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Mythbusters: Ghosthunters – A Short Story

 

(I do not know why this story was erased from Fanfiction.net after it got so many good reviews, but I hope you like it.)

 

The employees of Carney Realty briefly braced themselves as another boom filled the air outside their business. Looking among each other, some of them sighed and took a breath as one of them rolled their chair over to the window and chanced to look out into the parking lot. There was activity all right, but no one was going to believe it.

“What are they doing this time?” Someone asked.

“Well,” The guy at the window looked at their neighbors. “They got something like a large pipe aimed like a cannon and Adam is sitting on it, straddling it, and Jaime is firing it at something like a small airplane with no wings.”

“I don’t believe it.”

Another boom and Adam’s twisted laughter rang out. Kari Byron jumped up laughing and clapping her hands as Grant Imahara ran with a tape measure running the distant of the raw chicken fired through the glass windshield of the former small jet. Tory Bellucci smirked preparing more ammunition as Jamie Hyneman built up more air pressure for another shot. They were special effects experts, but they were also TV stars who busted urban myths, tested movie concepts and just all around explored scientific feasibility from behind the nom de guerre of “Mythbusters,” a team of gifted artists and engineers. Any of them might have had a huge career with great success by themselves working behind the scenes of the movie industry, but on this funny science show, they were each cult stars, and a pseudo-family of friends who loved science. They did not mind the term geeks, and where Adam and Tory were concerned, they weren’t afraid of embarrassing themselves. They each had their own skills and talents they brought to the show, and they were revered as cult stars because of it.

“Well, that seems to suggest…” Adam turned back to Jaime in his customary beret and Nordic whiskers. “That there really is no difference between frozen or thawed.”

“Hit it again just to be sure…” Grant beamed with his youthful exuberance shining through. 

“Do we have enough chickens?” Tory mildly acknowledged Kari the lone female Mythbuster since Scottie had left.

“One more, gotta use them up…” Adam watched as Tory reloaded the raw chicken into another Styrofoam sabot to keep the chicken secure in the pipe and pushed it inside the pipe. Adam was grinning like a kid, Jaime studied his connection blasting the chickens with compressed air and Kari stepped back glad she was a vegetarian. After all the pig parts and dead chickens used on this show, she just could not see them as food ever again.

“Reloading…” Jamie lightly smiled and readied the trigger release. “And firing in… three, two, one…” He released the compressed air.

There was no boom, just a faint hissing.

“What happened?” Grant leaned over and checked the connections.

“It looks like we burst a connection on that one.” Jamie studied his creation. “I need more sealant.”

“I’m on it.” Grant turned on his heel and lightly braced to keep from running over Kari. M-5 Industries was the two-story warehouse location which served as the affectionately named Mythbusters Headquarters. It had two work areas, seven offices, a full basement and enough storage space for years of former creations and old projects. It also held Jamie’s old inventions and every tool possible for creating virtually anything. He jaunted at a brisk pace through the back work bay into the main work area for the sealant Adam needed and turned back the way he had come, knocking a few tools over in his haste. Rolling his eyes briefly at that clumsy accident, he picked up the loose tools and set them back up on the counter then turned again. As he turned, he heard one of them hit the floor again. Not one to be reprimanded for leaving tools on the floor, he turned, picked up the stray wrench in his left hand and turned away again.

It hit the floor again.

Stopping at the threshold of the back bay, he turned and looked at it. It was in plain sight. Laying right in the walkway. One of Jamie’s rules was absolutely to tools on the floor where they could be stepped on, broken or lost. Those rules were set in stone. Another brief gasp and he stepped over and placed the silver-plated wrench a bit further from the edge of the work counter, about three feet away from where it was falling. Knowing the others were waiting on him, Grant finally turned back to return outside to the chicken cannon. Behind him, he heard the wrench hit the floor from behind him and he stopped and looked back.

It was then he realized that that was not normal.

 

2

 

“Anyone see my three-quarters wrench?” Jaime was working on a device to remotely drive a car to break a steel cable. He looked over his wrenches and tools before them as Grant looked up, around and continued on the automatic firing mechanism for the rifle in another myth. Away in her own world listening to music through head phones, Kari was hard at work sculpting a fake dog out of polyurethane foam for an animal myth as Jamie came behind her, looked over her work area and then continued searching through the shop. Grant was oddly silent as he applied simple robotics to his creation. Things had been vanishing around here and he wasn’t sure why because they were all so diligent with tools and equipment. A pin to the wood lathe, Tory’s coffee mug, Adam’s spare eyeglasses and the keys to the junked out myth mobile used in numerous myths had all gone missing among objects. Adam thought they had an animal trapped in the shop like a raccoon or even a raven stealing things, but Jamie refused to believe that. He was getting short-tempered and quick to get upset with the things vanishing. Kari and Tory exchanged glances then looked at him getting even more upset.

“I’ll just use the vise-grips.” Jamie gave up and returned to his work.

“Jamie…” Adam stepped out from the second story and stood at the top of the stairs. “Discovery Channel’s on the phone.”

“I’ll get it down here.” The one in the beret looked up to him and jogged lightly down the main bay toward the main doors but instead veered through the double doors for the downstairs phone. Grant looked up to Jamie vanishing through the doors and turned toward Kari sculpting. He smiled at bit at her warm beauty and effervescent nature glad to have her as a friend and adjusted the torque for his invention then decided he needed a new spring.

“I gotta replace a spring….” He announced holding up his part. “Are you going to be okay by yourself?”

She didn’t respond. Her mind was trapped in the lyrics of Jesse McCarthy. Once more musing on her mind set, Grant checked the length of the spring he was trying to use and set off the get a better one. Behind him, Kari was humming the lyrics to “Beautiful Soul” and dreaming herself away to a world where she and a certain young pop star were the only ones within a million miles. It was just something about young male singers with blonde hair and she was fifteen again and a mere girl again away from lusty fans, inappropriate e-mails and bagfuls of fan mail. She had the soul of an artist that belonged back in the Renaissance of Medieval Europe.

“Grant,” She pulled her headphones down and grinned at her fake Chihuahua. “What do you think?” She looked to where he once was and quickly realized she was by herself. Looking around the room, she acknowledged her surroundings and beamed over her little creation and felt a bit like a goddess to have created such a perfect lifelike thing. She leaned and scrutinized it a bit and thought she’d scrape a bit more from the neck area to create muscle tones and then jerked her head back up to Jamie’s motorized soda machine parked in the corner. There had been a noise from the sodas in it sliding against each other. Brushing her long red locks from her face, she leaned forward again to her creation.

For some reason, her eyes turned back to the machine. Was there someone in here watching her? She had the feeling she was not alone. For some reason, there was a nagging feeling that she was being watched. Her eyes scanned for another person around her and she took her precision knife to adjust her sculpture. As she started to carve once more, her eyes looked to the soda machine again. The sodas in it slid together again and a cold breeze embraced her, setting the hair on the back of neck at attention. Her eyes slowly toward the main entrance without turning her head and she pretended to be carving.

“Hey…”

Kari’s voice screamed and Tory jumped back from her, his hands up to defend himself after touching her shoulder. She was clutching her chest breathing quickly. Grant and Jamie stepped into view from different far corners and Adam re-appeared at the top of the stairs. They looked to see if anything was wrong then slowly began retreating once they were sure everything was all right.

“I was just going to say I was getting Chinese take-out!” Tory replied quickly in one breath. “Do you want an egg roll?”

“No…” Kari stepped back catching her breath.

“Are you okay?” Tory asked her suspiciously thinking something was wrong.

“Yeah, nothing, it’s just….” Kari dropped her knife and took a deep breath. “I don’t know why but I am getting the creeps in here.” She lowered her voice and leaned in far enough to whisper. “I think someone else is in here.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know.” Kari turned her innocent brown eyes up to him. “It’s just that I….” She stopped mid-sentence. “It’s just nothing.” She grinned realizing she had just been spooking herself.

“All right…” Tory backed from her sharing her good mood. They had a good laugh and parted once more briefly. Kari’s fingers reached for her knife to fine tune her sculpture and started thinking how well it would look by the phone in her apartment after the myth was filmed. Her fingertips poked through space and her eyes looked around and under her fake dog. Her knife was missing.

Her jaw dropped and Kari looked into the direction Tory had left her. Retracing his path, he was standing before Grant and taking his lunch order.

“One more time…” Grant repeated himself. “Shrimp and rice with an egg roll and dipping sauce on the side.”

“Why’d you take my knife?” Kari asked blatantly.

“What knife?”

“The knife I was carving with.” Kari continued. “I was using it.”

“I’m off to get food.” Tory answered. “I’m not doing anything that requires a knife.”

“Look, it was there, now it’s not.”

“Maybe you dropped it.” Grant interjected.

“Come here…” Kari wanted to show them where she was working. “If I had dropped it, I think I’d noticed….” She stopped where she was and looked at her fake dog. Perched in its mouth was the precision knife as an offering.

 

3

 

What Grant had first noticed, everyone else was starting to figure out. Odd mystifying occurrences were starting to happen with increased regularity, but as yet, no one was really trying to figure out if they were all connected, or if they were even truly happening. Tory had been next to experience something when he heard Kari calling for him from across the shop, but when he went to see what she wanted, she was no where to be found. Adam even reminded him that Kari had not come in that day; she had a dental appointment.

Later that same day, Adam was in the woodworking room working the lathe and he glimpsed a figure coming into the room behind him. He acknowledged the person, finished what he was doing and then held up his wood piece for a second opinion and realized that he was talking to empty space. He would walk away from the room chuckling at himself for seeing things.

The day after, Kari looked to recognize who was coming down the stairs behind her, but when she arched her head, she realized there was no one in the room with her, yet, the sound of footsteps were still coming closer to her and then drifting away as if they had passed her and were moving away. Grant had heard the same footsteps as well and as they compared notes, they blamed Tory for trying to scare them, a claim he vehemently denied, but then he revealed he’d had experiences as well, like hearing Kari around when she was not there and seeing a presence that vanished when he tried to find it. As the trio started comparing notes and making whispers, they wondered who to go with it. Looking for someone to talk to, Tory would be cooking a burrito at the local market down the block from the shop when he looked up and recognized someone he used to talk to all the time. Her name was Scottie Chapman, and she had done relative metal design for one season of Mythbusters before moving on ward to other life plans. Having pumped her gas for her vehicle, it was possible a chance meeting for them to see each other again off the show and away from M-5. Heartfelt grins greeted each other as they once again met, and Scottie gave Tory a quick kiss out of friendship.

“How you doing?”

“Surviving…” Scottie stroked her shoulder-length blonde hair back. “How’s everyone?”

“Well…” Tory lightly bobbed his head as he leaned on the condiment counter. “Kari’s got a new hair color, Adam has hair now and Jamie’s stache is bigger… You really ought to come by and say hello sometime.”

“I’ll try, but, busy, busy, busy…” Scottie paid for her diet soda and twisted the cap off for a sip.

“Yeah…” Tory briefly reminisced some of their fun together on the show then asked the question he really wanted to ask. “Scottie,” He paused for a second. “When you worked for the shop, did you ever experience something weird?”

“You mean besides Jamie’s stache?” She kidded a bit.

“No, I mean…” Tory hoped he didn’t sound or come off as an idiot. “Voices from nowhere, things moving, sounds of non-existent people, sensations of being watched….” He drew quietly serious.

“Wait,” Scottie once more stroked her hair back behind her ear. “Do you think there’s a ghost at M-5?”

“Forget I said anything….” Tory wanted to get out of this discussion and abort this line of talking. He started to turn away, but Scottie tugged him back by his left arm.

“Wait a second…” Scottie encouraged him to turn to face him. “You know, I consider myself a very spiritual person, and if you think there’s a ghost at the shop, I believe you. Now, I never saw anything there while I was there, but maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to notice. However, from what I understand about ghosts, they don’t like being ignored and they’ll keep trying to get noticed until they are, and then….”

“Then what?”

“They get even more active.” Scottie continued. Tory could only sigh at that response and wondered how he was going to tell Jamie that that he thought the place was haunted. Maybe if he was lucky, Grant or Kari would them. Grant was a bit more believable than him and wasn’t the comedian he was, plus Kari had the seniority over them both. The day would go on and the three of them would continue to whisper their experiences and compare notes, but pretend to look confused or bewildered around Adam when a screeching noise came from an empty part of the room or an unused and unplugged piece of equipment suddenly started up. Kari would be first to abscond the shop that day, saying she had to get her water bill paid before the water department closed. Tory would leave next to go pick up more supplies but asked if he could bring it in the next morning. Jamie would let Grant go after him as long as he closed up and locked up the back on his way out. Alone in the building after the research staff departed, Adam and Jamie had a few promos to film for Discovery Channel and then the customary closing routine of lights, equipment check and the regular orderly brief inventory before dismissing themselves. M-5 was now being known for being more intimidating at night when the lights were shut off and the few pieces of light came from emergency lights, exit signs and the motorized soda machine with tank treads on it.

“Have you noticed anything weird going on around here?” Adam was at the fuse box turning off the lights in the main bay.

“Weird things, huh…” Jamie mused with a youthful gleam to his eyes. “Like someone putting a bottle of soda in the wood lathe.”

“Darn that Tory…” Adam laughed under breath and found another person to blame for his personal shenanigans. “Actually, I mean more like the sensations of being watched and the sounds of someone we can’t see for a change.”

“You mean our resident poltergeist?” Jamie answered frankly. Adam looked at him with surprised awe that he was actually confirming it.

“I heard about him ages ago when I got the shop but didn’t believe in it.” Jamie continued his confession as they walked out the main hallway instead of the still open front bay. “I never thought ghosts existed anyway so I never paid attention to it. I just figured there’s a logical explanation about it.”

“I think our little Myth team is becoming aware of it.” Adam paused by Jamie in the cold night air tinted with the taste of the San Francisco Bay and adjusted his fedora. The mustached one in the beret pulled down the doors to the main bay and commenced with locking it up for the night. “They’ve been sharing things between them, and I’ve been seeing and hearing things myself.”

“What do you want to do about it?”

“Well,” Adam postured a bit and turned up his head to his best friend, a person he considered his brother. “I’d like to get some experts here, ghost experts for a change, and have them tell us if this is all for real, or if there’s a more rational explanation.”

“Okay…” Jamie took all of a second to mull it over. “But two provisos… One, I don’t want our clients finding out; I don’t want Discovery Channel learning about it unless I can truly help it, and two, I don’t want it in the media. Last thing I want is for the fans of the show getting another reason to want to visit the place.”

“Didn’t you turn out that light?” Adam arched his head up to the second floor light after realizing the parking lot was brighter than usual.

“Yeah…” Jamie noticed the light on in the conference room above them. “It probably didn’t take. I go get it.”

“Want me to go with you into the big old darkened building?” Adam responded humorously condescending.

“No,” Jamie thought of Adam as an annoying little brother he just wanted to slap around. “I can get up there and back a lot quicker if I don’t have to drag you along.” He proved he was not as stiff as he sometimes seemed. A light smirk from his own comment and he was through the door and back inside dashing deeply into the darkened maw of the shadowy structure with only his memory of the layout to guide him. Standing outside by himself, Adam postured a bit on his feet and drew silent for the moment pulling out a packet of beef jerky from his jacket pocket and taking out the last piece. Crumbling the trash into his pocket, he popped the light snack into his mouth and chewed on it, turning his head up and looking to the light pouring out over the parking lot. M-5 was a little spooky at night as the shadows drew longer and the city sounds became stifled. A distant ambulance cried out from the direction of Oakland. Lightly adjusting his fedora, he cleared his throat, shifted his weight to his other leg and looked up again to catch the figure in the window.

It wasn’t Jamie.

It was a dark-haired figure, definitely male, slight of frame and nearly scrawny with thin features, large soulful eyes, short hair that looked like it had been combed with an egg-beater and a white shirt merely draped over his nearly skeletal body. He looked as if he had been sick a long time, but as he saw Adam, he stepped backward from the window and the room went black. The meat snack in his mouth lodged in his throat. A moment later, there was a sound from downstairs hallway and Jamie’s shadow stumbled through the darkness coming toward him and pulled shut the door to close and lock it.

“And that’s that…” He again checked the upstairs window then looked to Adam. “What’s the matter? You look as if you’d seen a ghost.”

“I think I did….” Adam barely answered. He had swallowed his snack without chewing it.

 

4

 

Jamie had not seen a thing, and he had actually looked into the room before switching off the light. There was no one in the room, and no one could have gone past him in the narrow upstairs hallway. That evening on his own free time, he borrowed his wife’s laptop and started searching for accredited paranormal agencies in his area and started mentally eliminating them left and right as he checked their websites. The Bay Area Ghosthunters Club didn’t sound professional, and the San Francisco Paranormal Agency didn’t have an updated e-mail address. The Oakland Ghost Society sounded interested, but they didn’t have that sort of expertise in serious examinations, but they did have a list of the top ghost societies in the country. The Hollywood Paranormal Research Agency based in Los Angeles was closest, but they were having funding problems. The Collinsport Ghost Society all the way in Maine was unavailable; they were on an examination all the way down in Australia. Down the coast from them was the Atlantic Paranormal Society out of Warwick, Rhode Island. Grant knew these guys; they had their own series on a rival network and also appeared in many of the same cable sci-fi fanfares as the Mythbusters to meet and greet their common fans. It seemed like the best bet; with their common ties and past, Jamie felt he could trust theses guys to keep the whole experience out of the media. He hit their website and sent a message through their e-mail. When Brenda Schuster their computer assistant and secretary reviewed the messages the next day, she printed the message and caught her bosses and the TAPS founders at lunch between their jobs as plumbers and careers as ghost hunters.

“Guys…” Brenda looked to her bosses. “We just got an e-mail from a famous TV personality - Jamie Hyneman.”

“What?” Grant looked to Jason Hawes with a French fry in his lips. “You mean like Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman?” He licked ketchup from his fingers. Endowed with the dashing look of a Hollywood leading man, he and his best friend Jason Hawes had founded TAPS. His best friend, Jason Hawes, was big guy with a baldhead and the posture of an action star or sports hero but filled with the heart of a father and family man. They were both family men from the same mold. Plumbers by trade, they had fixed two sinks, snaked three drains, installed a dishwasher and replaced a septic unit all before lunch and were now relaxing.

“Uh-huh…” Brenda excitedly nodded. “He thinks they might have a ghost.”

“Oh, we can’t pass that up…” Jason reached for the message just a bit more excited and looked over the description. “Objects moving, sounds, poltergeist activity, feelings of being watched, an apparition… It’s the mother lode!!”

“We can’t turn this down.” Grant wiped hamburger juice and ketchup from his fingers to handle the printed e-mail. “I’ve always wanted to visit their place and to hear they might have a presence, that’s like getting a printed invitation to the Playboy Mansion!”

“Yeah,” Jason reflected like a young boy. “I’m sure Kari Byron would love to hear you put it like that.” He smiled a bit as Grant chuckled a bit too.

“Problem is…” Grant took and read their printed e-mail. “How will our guys act when they get there? We’ve been the Stanley Hotel and Jim Henson Studios, but this place is practically a TV icon…”

“I trust the guys…” Jason looked to Grant then back to Brenda. “They’ve always been responsible…”

Almost on cue, the guys came in through the rear entrance. Brian Harnois came in first wearing his baseball cap, leather jacket and tan khakis but he was drenched up to his waist in muddy water and sloshing through the room in wet sneakers. His companions were in the same conditions. Tech manager Steve Gonsalves wandered in drenched through his jeans bringing their gear with Dave Tango bringing up the rear. Dave was drenched head to toe. Wet hair, wet jeans, wet shirt and streaked with mud from his back down to his boots. Brian stopped at the mini-fridge in the room and pulled out a can of Pepsi to tip to his lips. He glared back to Steve with a look of annoyance. Brenda covered her face from the smell and turned out of the room.

“I’ve got to hear this story.” Jason was stifling a laugh.

“How was Underground Norwich, guys?” Grant wondered about their trip to a buried city in Vermont. Dave wasn’t talking. He was upset. Steve looked to Brian and Brian looked at him tipping back his soda.

You going to tell him?” Brian spoke with declared frustration.

“Well,” Steve looked to the food on the table then to Jay then to Grant. “Apparently, the Loudon’s forgot to tell us that when it rains the caves fill up with rain water. We saved all the gear, but we almost lost Tango.”

“Yes,” Dave was still shaking water out of his ears. “You guys almost left me behind. One minute, I’m bringing up the rear, the next… I’m treading water. Didn’t you hear me screaming?”

“That was you?” Brian looked up with his boyish good looks. “I thought that was Stephanie’s ghost.” He looked to Jason and Grant chuckling at their ordeal.

“I doubt the Loudon’s knew about the rain.” Steve gasped and took a breath of air. “It washed in fast and veered through the first low bend down that side tunnel away from the structures. God knows where it went next.”

“I think it veered into an underground lake into the river.” Dave peeled off his favorite jacket and dropped a small trout wriggling on the floor. “The undertow was horrible!” 

“I saved you, didn’t I?” Brian gasped between sips of his drink. “Anyway, I think we got some good EVP and images. I think they’re definitely haunted. I just want to get showered and changed before hitting all the footage.”

“Great, fine…” Grant looked to Jason then back to their guys. “But first, guys…” He heard them sloshing and squishing in unison. “We got a call to come to San Francisco, Jamie Hyneman at M-5 Industries…”

“Are you serious?” Steve removed his cap to a head full of wet hair.

“They got a ghost?” Dave asked the question.

“Probably,” Jason postured a bit and wiped his face from his lunch. “But professionalism as usual, maybe more so given the circumstances, this is all going to be kept secret from the public.”

Their crew expressed complete understanding.

“Brian,” Jay slipped into boss mode. “If you met Kari Byron, do you think you could behave yourself?”

“Sure!” Brian wondered what he was basing this on. “When have I not?”

“You can say that now,” Grant added. “But can you mean it.”

“Of course…” He reacted after being put on the spot.

“Okay,” Jason turned and called into Brenda’s direction. “Send a message to the Hyneman and book a date. Tell him we can do it.”

“Check.”

“Another thing…” Grant looked to them. “What is that smell?”

Steve and Dave looked to Brian, but Brian looked at Steve. Steve just took a deep breath and lowered his head.

“I don’t even what to know.”

 

 

5

 

Working around two busy network schedules to conduct a secret examination was difficult, but eventually it was planned for an early winter date before snow started falling. A few more things happened and passed and two TAPS vans finally departed Warwick, Rhode Island for 1628 Missouri Avenue in the Bay City. A certain member of the TAPS crew did not fly, plus the drive allowed for appearances and possible future investigations along the way. In Cleveland, they had a choice between Franklin Castle and the Drury Mansion. They came close to Hickory Hill in Illinois. Paolo High School in Kansas would be willing to have them and then Stoddard House over in Utah turned out to be just interesting enough for a stop. Cruising into San Francisco close to the bay, Brian looked out trying to see Alcatraz and tried to imagine being trapped in its walls or trying to escape through the cold bay. Dave pulled out his handy guide to the ghosts of California and started describing a few of the over fifty haunts within the vast city. Grant was wondering about the Brookdale Inn south of town. It had been so over-exposed in the media, but he really wanted wondered if it was worth its salt. Checking his map, Jason waved at fans recognizing the TAPS fan and circled the block before turning the back way into the Mythbusters lot. Kari Byron looked up from putting explosives on a beer keg. Grant Wilson looked from the van to Tory with a grin, and Tory gritted his teeth trying to focus his vision against the sun and shielded his eyes toward the bald guy emerging first from the head van.

“Adam, Jamie…” Jason reached his feet first and shook the hands of the Mythbusters. “Good to meet you.” He introduced his team. Upon stretching their legs again, Steve tapped Brian by the shoulder and pointed out Kari in her black t-shirt and jeans out in the lot behind the shop. There was a flash of light, the sound of laughing and a beer keg shot up into the air twenty feet and crashed back to earth. 

“Don’t mind them…” Jamie replied. “They’re on their break.”

“Why don’t you give us a tour?” Grant spoke next.

“For you and only you…” Jamie’s whiskers bristled as he turned. It was the loosest TAPS team for this investigation. Dave Tango and Brian Harnois turned to the back of their van to start unloading gear. Steve followed behind Jason and Grant to judge camera positions for filming the location in case anything happened tonight. The Hyneman accompanied by the Savage strolled through the front bay of the shop in a discussion of the activity occurring the location.

“Truth be told,” Jamie started off. “The previous owner who owned the place confessed the place was haunted, but he never went into particulars.” He paused passing by an explosive decompression tank and the swinging sword rig to the work bay at the end of the shop. “His belief for that seemed solely based on the fact that someone had died here.” He commented matter-of-frankly.

“You’d be surprised how many people think they’re haunted just because someone died on location.” Jason replied as he panned over the confused and cluttered shop. There were umpteen projects going on between myths in process, myths in status, myths that had yet to be cleaned up and then the regular movie projects that M-5 was regularly undertaking.

“In here,” Jaime looked up through his glasses, his black beret perched at a tilt on his bald head. “We’ve had probably the most experiences. We’re busy the most in here and out there…” He pointed through double doors to the back work bay where the rear garage doors were open and lighting up the far room beyond them. “We’ve heard sounds of people when no one should be here, noises from the machine…” He pointed to the soda machine on tank treads. “Objects have been moved that shouldn’t be moved. I’m very particular where things are left and with twenty to fifty projects going on at one tome, I don’t like this stuff being moved around. Kari has a hard time working in here nowadays; she feels as if she’s being watched at times.”

“I think I saw a figure in here a few days ago.” Adam interjected while Steve and Jason discussed a good place to put a camera.

“This figure…” Grant wondered. “Was it shadowy, partial or almost real?”

“I couldn’t say.” Adam was far from his comedian status for the moment. He liked ghost stories, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to live one. “I was working over there as this figure passed quickly next to me just out the corner of my eye. I’d say it was between shadowy and physical.”

Jason looked intrigued by that description. His left eyebrow went up.

“I’ll show you upstairs.” Jamie led the way as he motioned to the stairs at the corner off the work area up to the second floor. The stairs headed up to a long hallway running the length of the downstairs garage.

“Not a lot up here, but we’ve felt a few things.” Jamie continued. “The room at the end there is our planning and drafting room and for some reason it’s been cold a lot lately even if the thermostat reads it should be hot. A shadow has passed along this wall and the sound of footsteps has been heard through here. I’ve heard it and Jess heard it. She got so spooked by it that she chose to stop working here. Discovery Channel let her off her contract quietly by claiming they weren’t interested in her.”

“I think Dave Tango had a crush on her.” Jason absorbed the stories being thrown at him like a sponge. “What about the rooms under here?”

“That’s woodworking and metal shop and opposite the hall are our computer graphics offices and administrative office, break room and rest rooms.” Adam leaned against the wall pretending to be nonchalant as he rubbed his sandy blonde hair. “We don’t get as much through there, but Grant said he felt someone pass him through there and Tory said he heard the toilet flush when no one was in the men’s room.”

“Toilet flushing?” Grant lifted his head up. “That’s unique. We could definitely look at that.”

This a very interesting and eclectic place.” Jason observed. “Okay, I’ll have my guys start setting up equipment and as soon as your people are ready, my people will take over and try to see what we can find.”

“And you guys are keeping this all under wraps, right.” Jamie asked the question.

“Once the fans start thinking we have ghosts, we don’t want them thinking we’re going after a new bunch of myths.” Adam postured a bit on his feet.

“My guys are entirely professional.” Jason insisted.

“This is like so cool…” Brian looked at his autograph from Kari Byron in his appointment book. “My wife will never believe me.” The Junior Mythbusters stood in front of M-5 standing around the TAPS vans.

“No, thank you, Brian…” Kari had Brian’s autograph in her sketchpad with Dave’s and Steve’s. “My husband tapes all your episodes. He TIVOs you guys all the time.”

“I missed you at the last Comics Convention.” Grant Imahara signed Dave Tango’s notepad. “What was the deal with Yvette Fielding and you guys?”

“We just wanted to discuss the hoax accusations that she and Most Haunted were always being accused with, but she took it personally.” Dave loaned Imahara his pen for an autograph.

“So, I’ve been thinking…” Tory leaned on the TAPS van while wearing a TAPS cap. “If I get a chance to visit Rhode Island, can I follow you guys on an investigation?  I mean, after working with Kari, I ready for something less stressful….”

The redhead pinched his ear for that. 

 

 

6

The sky started turning gray and the clouds started forming overhead by early evening. Steve was routing cameras and Brian was running lines. Unlike the Collinsport Ghost Society, they did not have the luxury of wireless cameras, the kind where each had a separate signal to the computer in the van, but then, neither Jason or Grant had a rich New England family behind them like William Collins. On the other hand, Collins, Barnette and his team did not have a successful TV series on a major cable network so it all balanced out. From the van, Dave was telling Steve when the camera angles were perfect over the back work bay. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson were plotting stragedy. It wasn’t a big place, but they wanted to plan their examination. He and Grant would take the front bay and work their way upstairs while Brian and Steve would come through the back, come in behind them and take the bottom floor. It was only twenty minutes until seven and the weather had turned the block into night. Grant Wilson felt a drop of rain hit his head from an otherwise empty sky. Perfect weather for a ghost to show itself he thought. A random sparse array of drops hit the dry asphalt around him in random places. Steve and Brian hastened to cover some wires and Jason aimed his gaze skyward ready to face the rain-gods than the gods of the dead.

“Grant Steven Wilson, the date is November 13, 2007, we are doing a private investigation of M-5 Industries owned by Jamie Hyneman of the Mythbusters TV series from Discovery Channel, a rival network…” The senior ghost hunter started taping his investigation. Jason had an EMF detector while the camera Grant had used a heat sensor that videotaped in the heat spectrum. Bathed in blue to violet light, he maneuvered through the shop with objects glowing in the soft green pallor of room temperature.

“So, from what I figured,” Jason thought aloud as he passed through the front bay. “The most things happen on the first floor where the most equipment is. EMF is steady about 1.5 through here…” He paused listening to the rain pattering on the roof above. When he started approaching the back work bay, he stopped moving and swayed backward to check something.

“It just jumped to three and back again.”

Grant stopped and looked around aiming his camera. There was nothing standing out to him. Jason took a few steps back and duplicated his route.

“Nothing that time.”

“Probably just a blip.” Grant shined around the soda machine. The light was a brilliant white to him, but the hatch where the drinks popped up was deep purple. So far, so good, he figured. He waved his hand up the window overhead expecting a breeze, but despite the weather outside, the room temperature never wavered.  Maybe that was odd. Wouldn’t the cold rain on the window start cooling the air inside? Jason had stepped away motioning back toward the staircase to head upstairs. Even with the power shut off, they were not in complete darkness. Emergency lights and exit signs prevented them from having full darkness. They were not going to be walking into and knocking over things – something the Hyneman was likely going to appreciate.

“This is one non-responsive ghost they have.” He commented.

“I wonder where they hide when we show up.” Grant came up behind Jason on the stairs. At the top landing, they passed the camera set up to tape the room underneath them. Jason glanced into the first room on the left ready to hit the room at the end where Adam had seen the nighttime presence. When Grant panned the length of the hallway, he suddenly jerked his camera view back to the end of the corridor. For just a split second, he had seen a shape bob out of view from the room at the far end.

“I think I saw something…” He started rewinding.

“Where?”

“In the room at the end of the hall…” He began researching for the image they had seen. “It looked like someone leaning into view.” He found the section of footage he wanted and replayed it. As he and Jay watched, they watched the edge of the doorframe bob and weave as if another shape was coming out of it.

“Is that a figure?”

“Shine the heat sensor on it.” Jason guided Grant hand to the direction of the shadow.

“Wait, where was it?” His hand was blindly panning the hall both long shot and close-up. “I can’t find it. Where was it again?”

“Wait?” Jason cocked his head upward. “Is that music?”

“I hear it too.” He lifted his walkie-talkie. “Steve, guys, can you hear music?” The device just crackled.

“Jason, was that you?” Steve heard his walkie-talkie crackle to life trying to hear who was trying to talk to him, but it didn’t want to work. He and Brian were coming in through the back work bay, maneuvering through tools and incomplete metal projects. They shared a look between them as they came through the doors into the main work bay at the bottom of the stairs.

“Guys!” Grant stood at the top of the stairs and called to them. “Did you hear music?”

“What kind of music?” Brian asked.

“Any kind of music…”

“No.”

Grant looked around defeatedly and stepped back into the top hall. He knew he had heard it. Jason had had heard it too. It was too distant to identify, but he could definitely note the tinkling noise of the tune being played from over their heads. Brian looked toward familiar Mythbusters paraphernalia. He poked his gaze over a crate marked for pig intestines and noticed it was empty. The skeleton from the original Pop Rocks myth was wearing sunglasses and a cap. He strolled past the soda machine with tank treads and stopped to tape footage around the Van Der Graaf generator. If anything had an EMF reading around it, it would.

“Hey, look…” Steve tapped Brian and pointed behind them. “Plywood glider.”

“I remember that one.” Brian felt like a kid here. “Was that one busted or confirmed?”

“Busted.” Steve was strolling toward the double doors into woodworking. Outside the room, Buster the crash-test dummy sat in a chair on duty. He rubbed the life-size figure’s head passing the burned and battered dummy while Brian lightly popped the thing as if to get his attention. Standing briefly in the room, they panned the room with their camera and gear.

“What was your favorite episode?” Steve looked to Brian’s shadow.

“Exploding jawbreaker. Yours?”

“Exploding implants… Wait.” He stopped where he was and looked through the open doors of the woodworking rooms to the corridor on the far side. “I saw a shadow.”

“Is someone there?” Brian asked out loud. Nothing answered them. Pointing his camera back to Brian, Steve started mouthing directions with hand gestures to sneak up on who ever had just passed them.

“Was that you we saw in the doorway?” Above their heads in the planning room, Grant sat in a chair facing Jason. Sitting in the dark room with just their shadows for company and several dozen prospective myth plans, they asked and posed questions to the darkness. “If you died here, why do you still return?” They waited a few minutes with their audio recorders going.

“That’s a good question…” Jason agreed whispering. “According to Collins, ghosts aren’t interested in their resting places or where they died. They’re more interested in where they lived. His theory is that they exist where they left the most of their own life energies.”

“William likes listening to himself.” Grant took a deep breath. “He’s a writer, not a ghost hunter. He likes guiding field research instead of getting dirty in fieldwork. Besides, what about all the haunted cemeteries out there?”

“Good question.” Jason whispered back and drew quiet once more. “He’s a nice guy despite his money. Last we talked, he promised us an examination of his ancestral estate.”

“Do you realize how many ghosts that place is said to have? It’s supposed to be almost fifty!” Grant responded under breath. He looked around the roof and listened to the rain outside wavering and washing over the roof above them. “If you are here, why won’t you reveal yourself to us?” He spoke aloud to the room.

“Can you move the papers on the counter?”

“I want to steal one of Collins’ tricks.” Grant stood whispering with his audio recorder. “Let’s leave audio recording up here on voice activated and go downstairs for a while.”

“I won’t tell if you won’t.” Jason reacted equally humorous. It was just barely past eight and they had two hours before Adam and Jamie returned to lock up the shop for the night. Trying not to take the same route twice, they retraced their paths, crossed each other in the downstairs corridor twice and even did a reconnaissance of the outside perimeter after it stopped raining. From the back work bay area, Jason suddenly recalled the recorder going in the conference room and went to check it. With it turning itself on and off, it would not waste a lot of tape and it would have any recorded EVPs on it at all within a few seconds of each other. Upon retrieving it, Jason looked at the tape and started rewinding it. Looking back to Grant, he pushed PLAY. There was the sounding of humming through the white noise of the location.

“What did that?” Grant wondered out loud.

“Something running in the building I guess.” Jason held it up to his ear. “No, wait… it’s the recorder taping itself running.”

“But it wouldn’t voice activate to tape itself coming on…” Grant pointed out. “Something had to activate it first.”

“Why are you here?” A distorted whispering voice came from the machine.

Jason cocked his head up in surprise. Grant’s eyes shone like a kid on Christmas. They had an EVP! Electronic Voice Pattern was the phenomenon where voices imprinted on recording devices from out of the air. Maybe there was another noise that had turned on the device earlier, but it hadn’t taped, or maybe just maybe someone on sight had been up here. They couldn’t be sure, but it did make for a good investigation and a promising reveal.

“Play that back.” Grant asked. Jason hit the REWIND button and PLAY again. 

“Why are you here?” The distant murky voice again tried to reach out from the white noise on the tape.

“Maybe one of the guys was up here.” Jason tried contacting his other guys with his walkie-talkie. “Steve, Brian...” His transmitter just squawked and played static back at him.

“What’s wrong with that thing?” Grant took it to change frequency. “It was working before we got here.” He changed to another frequency and back again. “Brian, Steve… Dave?!

“What’s up, guys?” Dave sat in the van watching the video as it recorded and monitored the signals being recorded. Munching on Fritos and drinking coffee from a thermos, he picked up his walkie-talkie and spoke to Grant. “Not much happening, eh.”

“Well, now, I wouldn’t say that…” Jason postured a bit on his feet, checking his watch by the scant light streaming into the upstairs conference room. “Something in here is keeping us from reaching Brian and Steve. “

“We’re out here by the van getting fresh batteries.” Brian reached up from behind Dave and took his walkie-talkie to talk to Jason. Upstairs, Jason made a face at Grant wondered what was going on here.

“What’s up?” Brian asked.

“Nothing, we’ll tell you on the analysis.” Jason scratched his ear and tiredly rubbed the grains of sleeplessness from his face. “Let’s start wrapping it up.”

“Whoa…” Dave Tango stopped short from sipping his coffee. “Jay, when you said that, monitor three shut off on the top of the stairs. You’re upstairs right?” 

“Yeah, but we’re not at the stairs yet.” Jay and Grant left the conference room and started down the corridor for the stairs in the main workshop. Stepping out on to the top landing, Grant found the camera that Steve had set up and was looking it over. It looked as if it was still running, but the line running from it was lying at his feet. Someone had unplugged it, either from here or by pulling at it from the bottom of the stairs.

“Make sure you guys double check this footage when you get it.” Grant took the camera to bring it with him. “Maybe we can see who unplugged it.”

“Or what?”

“We got it.” Steve was flicking on the lights ready to start collecting gear. Humming an imperceptible tune under his breath, Brian was heading after gear and winding up lines to recollect their equipment. On his way, he passed Buster the Crash Test Dummy still sitting in his chair outside the woodshop. He grinned at the silent star unaware of his celebrity and patted him on the head.

“Good to have finally met you, Buster.” He mused upon the silent Mythbusters stuntman, spinning his head back to watch the room and continuing to wind up cable. He had more than a few hours of footage of Buster and this place to peruse.

“What do you think was wrong with the walkie-talkies?” Grant talked to Jason as they headed to the van to save their data and start packing up.

“I don’t know.” Jason shook his head wondering about it. “High EMF can play games with transmitting, but then why did we get Tango?”

“Guys…” Jamie had returned from dinner with his family to close up M-5. Sans his cap and familiar Mythbusters attire, he was wearing a UCLA sweatshirt and blue jeans with a thin tan jacket against the cold moist night air. He stood standing before the TAPS van in front of his shop. “How was your night?”

“It was an incredible night.” Jason spoke frank and honest as Grant went to talk to Dave about a few things. “We came up with a few and interesting things…”

“Really?”

“But what we do now is take the data we absorbed and go over to try and figure out what we experienced.” Jason continued. “We try to guess if it has a logical explainable source and then we come back and try to tell you what it is.”

“Of course…”

“My guys are pulling our gear in and then you can get your shop back.” Jason replied.

“Anything you can tell me right now?”

“I’m not sure yet.” Jason stayed professional. “It’s too early for me to make a guess.”

Jamie respected that. He and Jason shook hands and then he greeted Brain coming out winding up cable. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen. In the morning, Adam would be exploring the notion of weather he could really cook a filet of trout on an engine block by driving the car around the block. Kari would be sculpting a polystyrene dolphin for a new shark myth and Tory and Grant would be revisiting the ice bullet for the third time, trying to fire it with air pressure. Jason and Grant were out scouting other locations. Due to their promise to Adam and Jamie, their footage at the Mythbusters Headquarters would not be televised, but they did want their trip over to nearby Alcatraz to look for the ghosts of The Birdman and the Anglin Brothers and then there was the Mansions Hotel and the Hotel Royal not to mention the already over-exposed Whaley House. Hearing his friends were in San Francisco, William Collins had e-mailed Grant from Maine recommending that he and Jason to check out Atherton Mansion where the Collinsport Ghost Society had videotaped a figure as well as the Crabbe House near Knob Hill where moaning sounds came from the graveyard under the house. Their visit to town had also sparked a local interview on the radio, but Jason and Grant only said they were in town to cover Alcatraz, the Mythbusters never came up but for to say they wanted to meet them.

Steve, Brian and Dave meanwhile were stuck in the local Holiday Inn perusing the footage from M-5. Dave tested the walkie-talkies and found nothing wrong with them. There was no reason for Jason to not get Steve or Brian. It was then to the audio evidence and Dave was listening to ten hours of audio from two recorders.

“That music…” Dave turned to Steve. “I think it was a car radio.” Steve listened to it as well.

“Yeah, I can hear it coming and going.” He leaned over. “Good catch. Is that our tape?”

“Yeah, I still got Jason’s to go.”

Brian yawned stealing some of Steve’s corn chips from the bowl between them, but Steve treated him the same as his brother - taking his hand and patting the chips out of it back into the bowl. A smirking grin to his face, Brian reached up and picked up his bowl of popcorn off the floor on his left side and glanced at the video footage for a minute. It was the footage of he and Steve on the ground floor of M-5. Sipping his Sprite, he paused and made a face. Something hadn’t seemed right. He had missed something. On the tape just after seeing the shadow downstairs, Steve was aiming his camera to him. Brian looked himself on the footage then noticed something happening behind him.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!” Brian nearly stood up where he was. “Steve, look at this!!!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me!!!” Dave casually looked over.

“Play it back! Play it back!!!” Steve screamed standing at attention.

 

7

 

Jay and Grant had finished an investigation at Alcatraz joined by local police officer Roger Barrett and retired corrections officer Earl Spaggett, two members of the now defunct San Francisco Paranormal Agency. They both had a few interesting personal experiences, but now, it was Steve and Brian’s job to see if those experiences were backed by hard evidence on tape. Before that investigation could start, they had an appointment with Adam and Jamie back at M-5 to reveal what they had discovered the night before. Kari, Grant and Tory were going to join the reveal, but at the last minute, it was decided that Adam and Jamie would hear it first and then relay it to their staff.

“Okay,” Grant Wilson looked at the two TV stars. “You know what we do – we came in, listened to your stories, we set up equipment and then we made our observations.” He looked to Adam and Jamie listening to him. “And then we come up with some solutions.”

“Right.” Jamie understood.

“First off,” Jason cleared his throat and leaned forward in his TAPS cap and TAPS t-shirt. “You guys have a lot of over-stressed outlets. We were getting high EMF reading spots through the place, and that can have an effect on your mental perceptions. It’s an old building, it probably needs to be rewired and some extra fuse boxes to take on the extra power you are using since you started your TV series.”

“I’ve had several renovations over the years.” Jamie admitted. “I’ve had the wiring changed and adapted as I’ve needed it.”

“That in itself could be part of it.” Grant continued. “What we’ve noticed is that paranormal activity sometimes flares up when you change their surroundings.”

“I’d be angry if someone changed my home.” Adam mused a small laugh.

“Exactly….” Jason shared a chuckle with him. “Thing is, we had some trouble with our walkie-talkies inside. Not sure if it’s because of the high EMF readings, but it is something you might want to look into, plus you’ve got a few water leaks in your basement, uh, nothing major, but you might want it taken care of. We could do it if you like…”

“Well, you guys came out all this way, we’d hate to impose.” Jamie responded logistically.

“It wouldn’t be a problem…”

“We did get some things we want to share with you.” Grant stayed professional as usual. “For one, Jason and I were in the back-bay during our wrap-up and felt we weren’t alone back there. There is a feeling of being watched, but that could be because of the EMF resonating through the metal in the building. EMF can affect one’s perceptions and give you the idea you’re being watched. Again, it is easily fixed.”

“Yeah.”

“And we heard music from in the place, but we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.” Grant continued. “But you are in a public location close to a major highway so it could have come from anywhere.”

“We’ve never heard odd music here.” Adam was apprehensively learning more and more by the minute.

“Two of our guys, Brian and Steve also said they saw a figure in the downstairs corridor while we were upstairs.” Jason slightly tilted his head as he spoke. “But they didn’t get it on tape. Now, I trust them and if they say they saw someone, I believe them, but they didn’t get it on tape so I really can’t call it evidence unless I can show it to you as proof.”

“Of course…”

“We did get some audio we want you to hear.” Jason looked to Adam sitting at attention then to Jamie relaxed in his seat. “What we did was we tried posing some questions to whatever is here in order to try and get a response. We taped this in your conference room.” He started the audio file. “Listen closely to this area…” He pointed to a section of the recording spectrum on the monitor.

“Is there someone here who wants to talk to us….” Grant’s voice came from the computer. There was some white noise and abbreviated silence and then a quick, brief grumble.

“Are you alone?” The reconfigured voice was quick and garbled as if spoken through a faulty telephone system. Adam perked up grinning at attention. Jamie cocked his head to attention upon hearing that.

“That came from the shop?”

“I am speechless!” Adam had a grin and chuckling laugh coming from his lungs. “I was prepared for you guys not to get anything.”

“Want to hear it again?” Jason offered.

“Sure!”

“Are you alone…are you alone…are you alone?” Grant replayed it in a loop.

“I don’t know what to think.” Jamie confessed. His eyes were lit up with intrigue.

“We got more.”

“You got more!” Adam was enjoying himself.

“We had asked a few more questions, but we got no more reactions, so what we did next was we left the audio recording by itself on voice activation for two hours.” Grant continued. “When we did that, we got more sounds. During that time, something tripped the voice activation, but there was nothing there. It could have been a noise from downstairs, but after that, we got this…”

Jason played the next sound file.

“Why are you here?” The same presence as before spoke up once more. After a few seconds, it popped back up. “I need some space…” Grant and Jason looked up to Jamie and Adam with the demeanor of stunned paranormal researchers. Adam was fidgeting excitedly like a young kid. Jaime was thinking analytically. Who or what could be saying these things? Could they be faking these things?

“Please tell me you have nothing else.” Jamie asked.

“Well….” Jason and Grant looked at each other nervously. “One video file if you can stand it.”

“This is from Steve’s handheld when they tried chasing the shadow.” Grant continued. “He just happened to pan back to Brian and caught something in the background. Look back behind Brian to Buster outside the door.” He pressed a button to run the footage.

“Is someone there?” Brian said from the tape. Behind him was the shape of Buster on the chair outside the woodworking room. As he sat propped up in the chair, his burned and stitched up head actually turned slowly and moved to look at Brian from over his shoulder. Things were no longer fun at this point. Adam had stopped fidgeting. Jamie stared in shocked astonishment at the video and tried to comprehend what he was seeing.

“Our question is…” Jason spoke frankly and professionally. “Is Buster animatronic?”

“No.”

“Does he have any motors in him at all?”

“No.” Adam reached across and replayed the file and slowed it down. “I’m… speechless…”

“We bust urban myths and sometimes blow things up.” Jamie spoke slowly.

“And have a lot of fun doing it.” Adam added.

“We’re not used to this type of subject.” Jamie blinked as he cleared his throat. “Do you have any rational explanation for us?”

“Practical joke by Grant and Tory?” Jason posed his first theory, but that did not explain them scaring themselves. 

“We did get some history about the place….” Grant pulled out a file and opened it. “It was built in 1969 as a warehouse, but it was converted into a garage by 1975…”

“Sounds about right.”

“While it was a garage…” Grant continued.  “A mechanic named Benjamin Hackett was fatally injured when a car slipped off its jacks and crushed him. It didn’t kill him outright, but he managed to live only eight more days before he finally died from his injuries. This may be the origin of the rumor that someone died here. According to the article we found detailing his death, his family and friends knew him best as….” He turned the article to face the Mythbusters.

“Buster?” Adam sat up straight and surprised.

“Wow!”

“Our theory is that when you guys are talking about your crash test dummy…” Jason spoke up. “He thinks you’re talking about him.”

“We got to change Buster’s name.” Jamie looked to Adam.

“We can’t… he’s Buster!” Adam was grinning and beaming through his amusement. “He’s just always been Buster!”

“Here’s the thing…” Jason looked at them from across the table. “It does look like you guys have something here. Is it a ghost, I don’t know, but it sure seems to point in that direction, but at least, no one has been hurt. It doesn’t seem dangerous, just maybe a little… distracting….”

“Exactly…” Grant chimed in. “It’s nothing to worry about. It’s like having a tenant around that you never see but you have perceptions of…”

“So,” Jamie tried to understand them. “Business as usual?”

“My god,” Adam removed his glasses and rubbed his face. “I’ve always thought of Buster as the star of the show. I couldn’t bear to lose him or rename him. He just now became the most interesting member of the team.” He started wondering how they were going to give this news to Kari, Tory and Grant. Would they want to quit? Would they decide to stay? How was this going to affect the show? Jamie decided to be frank and honest to them about it. He would not influence their decisions. Tory reacted a bit like Adam getting excited by the idea, and Grant responded slowly like Adam, letting the news soak into his brain before reacting and releasing all his emotion. Kari had the most seniority and she reacted alarmed debating what she wanted to do, but she loved this job. She could not leave it. Her husband with his appreciation for the subject gave her the best support, and she opted to stay.

“Buster…” She started grinning to him as she returned to work every day. “I love you, but please don’t ever scare me.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ Grant looked at Buster then to Tory.

“She’d kill us.”

“And then we’d be haunting the place.” Grant smirked at the idea.

“You guys do realize…” Adam came up behind his team. “That with the new unknown factor in the shop, we have to scrutinize and re-examine all our old myths for anything that doesn’t look right, just in case the ghost knocked something off kilter.”

“Every single myth…” Tory’s eyes rounded at the concept.

“Cool!” Kari placed her arm around Buster and sat in his lap. A childlike mischievous excitement rushing into her face, she patted his head and posed with him. “I finally got a guy who does what I say without complaining, and he’s got more life than you bozos.”

“And more brains than Kari.” Grant smirked.

“What was that?” The redhead leapt to her feet chasing Grant and Tory into the back work bay, the adjacent work area and out the back. Adam looked to Buster sitting by him.

“Buster, we’ll always be friends, won’t we?”

The crash test dummy just stared up at him with his charred and worn face. If only he could talk….

Or maybe he did.

 

END

 

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