"Whatever, it's me, Chris," she sighed, cutting right to the chase, while looking downwards as the toe of her boot twisted against the carpet.
Andy arched an eyebrow at the news, with Chris being so blunt about it. "Chris?"
The girl staring down at her cape pulled her eyes away from it and rolled them up towards the ceiling as exasperation crossed across her face. I'd grown familiar with that look from her before the transformation, and that had changed little, despite everything being so different.
"Yes, Chris. The same Chris you met yesterday, who was about six inches taller, and less...well, less!" She gestured to her chest and hips, waving her hands around herself.
The shocked expression remained on Andrea's face, as her eyes wandered up and down Chris' new form and back up to the top of her scarlet tresses.
"Yes!" From the look on her face, I could tell part of her wanted to throttle Andy for having to go through this again. "Really, it's me! Same thing that happened to you, happened to me, and I was turned into my costume."
"Urge to kill, rising." Chris crossed her arms and waited for Andrea to sort it all out in her head.
Andrea tugged at her leather vest, and brushed a hand through her dark hair, which I now had a chance to notice was even darker than before, and even a little longer. She pulled the weapon that had saved our lives back out of its holster, and traced a finger along the cool metal barrel as she considered Chris' words.
She looked only at her blaster as she spoke, "Yeah, it has definitely been a day for exceptional weirdness. Ok, you're Chris."
Chris threw his hands up into the air. "Finally!"
With a smirk, Chris replied, "Yeah, I've been getting that a lot today."
"Well, for the most part, just from Martin over there."
I stuck my tongue out at the both of them. "If we're done playing the Oh My God, Chris is a Girl Game, can we get this over with, so she can be a he again?"
Chris enthusiastically supported my plan, and her head bobbed up and down. "Yes, let's please do that. I may be able to walk in these stupid heels, but after all this, even my feet are killing me."
"Next time you go as a girl, use flat-soled boots, Chris," said Andy, picking up one of her own dark combat boots, showing the tread on the bottom that didn't show much wear at all.
"Trust me," Chris said, "there is not going to be a next time. After today, no more girl clothes for me. I want my jeans and sneakers back, now."
I gave a nod, and pointed to the hall that would take us even deeper into the Hyatt. Even knowing the Phoenix had been sighted over in the Hilton, I had major doubts that she was still there, and much like back in the Herriott, better to check the resources that were most available to us, rather than have to backtrack. We'd come this far into the building, we may as well continue further into the lion's den.
The girls took the lead, since they had actual weapons, and before we had even taken more than a step, noise could be heard coming from the halls that crossed the one we wanted, and that Andrea had exited from earlier.
Andrea's hand shot up to signal us to halt. She pulled her gun back out from the holster, and Chris' hand went to his back, and I could see the glint from some of the few remaining lights down here on a batarang being pulled from her belt. All I could do was ready my camera for whatever was on the way.
I tilted my head, trying to hear the incoming sound better. Chris tucked some hair back behind his hair, and also tilted his head to hear better.
The noise was strange, and yet somehow familiar. It tickled at the memories swimming around my head, and I cast my thoughts back. The noise was primitive, synthesized, and all I could think of was video games from my youth.
I leaned forwards, taking a slight step towards the halls as well, and looked down where it seemed the sound was coming from.
As soon as the things down the hall saw me, they zoomed at a high rate of speed towards us, or towards me, to be truthful.
With my eyes falling upon them, I was able to easily place the creatures. Several ghosts from the old Pac-Man video game, however looking far more curved and smooth than they ever did on the old Atari, raced straight at me, and even through me.
When one of them passed through me, I stumbled backwards, to be caught by Andy and Chris before I fell flat on my back. "I was just attacked by Inky and Blinky."
I was helped back onto my feet, as Chris said, "Actually, I think that was Pinky." She pointed to the two ghosts hovering in the air at the entrance to the corridor opposite where they had entered from. The just hovered there, six inches or so off the ground and watching us. They knew about just as much to make of us, as we did of them.
As we stood there watching our latest attackers, for lack of a better word, none of us heard the other noises coming from the hallway that was now behind us, and soon Pac-Man himself came out of the passageway. When he was almost upon us, I turned to see the giant, spherical yellow creature munching his way down the way. He stopped at the sight of his nemesis, and let out an "Aw, crap!"
"Just when I think this day can't get any weirder," I said. We were all taken aback by the arrival of a video game icon, let alone discovering he could talk.
He wheeled around on non-existant feet, and tried to head back down the corridor he had came in from, not even paying us any attention. The ghosts had spotted him and began to give chase, when twin crackling, twirling beams of energy shot out from the hallway and over Pac-Man's head, or body, or whatever.
The lemon shaded orb yelped in surprised and lowered itself towards the ground in a motion as close as it could get to a duck, and dodged to the side of the large room we were all in. It let out another surprised noise when it saw the dead alien beneath it and slid behind me.
A small box with a handle attached, and a long cord bounced out the rather busy hallway, and came to rest directly underneath the ghosts, trapped in the swirling energy beams around them. It opened up and a bright light shot out from it, and the ghosts appeared to elongate, their mouths letting out a silent scream before they were pulled into the small box. With the prisoners stored inside, the doors slapped shut, and the box gave a little bounce as steam slowly escape from the top of it.
I watched the display, knowing where it was all from, and could only pinch the bridge of my nose once more. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me."
It was almost too perfect after a ghost had passed over me, and even my brain went to the infamous "I've been slimed" line from the Ghostbusters movie that small metal trap came from, as well as the energy weapons that had held the ghosts while it came into place.
As if on mental cue, several people dressed in tan jumpsuits straight out of Ghostbusters stepped out of that hall. None of them resembled anyone from the movies or show, likely because none of them had dressed up as anyone specific, but instead appeared to be generic Ghostbusters, as if there was a franchise business in Boston.
They all had giant backpacks that even with the changes wrought upon everyone in the city still appeared as if they were constructed by the junk in someone's garage, but two of them held the familiar Ghostbuster weapons in the hands, the ones who had been firing at the ghosts.
Another picked up the still smoking trap, and attached it to a hook on his pack after inspecting it.
The last, a woman, was waving around a small, handheld scanner, with tiny waving antennae with blinking lights. "The area seems to be clear. Anything else in here is human or," she stopped short at the sight of the cowering ball, and the dead black creature.
"Or other. And I thought ghosts were weird."
Pac-Man remained behind me, looking out from around my shoulder, shaking. Even that I'm saying such sentences makes my mind boggle. As the Ghostbusters continued to check the area, just in case, the giant head gave me a nudge in the back.
It nudged me again.
I was not looking forward to whatever conversation a video game character could want to have with me, but I responded, without turning around. I snapped a few photos of the heroes, who seemed more than willing for the photo op.
"What," I asked.
The creature, whatever it was, took some time before answering, and when it did, its whisper was almost inaudible, trying to keep his question from being heard by too many.
"Do you have a fix?"
"A fix. I need some power pellets. If anymore ghosts show up, I am so screwed if I don't have any. I really need some.
Great, not only had I found a Pac-Man, but I was talking with one who appeared to be a junkie. "Weirder and weirder," I said, before telling him I didn't have anything that would help him.
With the area secured, I moved forward of my female companions, and introduced everyone to the Ghostbusters. We compared notes, and I told them what was up. They had surmised much the same, since they had indeed retained most of their original personalities, just with some added skills, and memories of hunting ghosts.
The leader, who called himself Jack, and I could only assume that was his real name no matter the reality he was before all this happened, slid his blaster into a holder on his pack, and adjusted the straps of the hefty contraption. "Since we came to in this place, we've captured some hot chick dressed all in white, an old guy with chains rattling on about Marley and Scrooge, some green glowy guys that looked like skeletons and were saying something about an oath, I dunno. It's been totally weird, Martin."
"Oh, the stories I could tell you. Anyways, thanks for the help. Where are you guys headed to?"
Jack looked around the room we were in, trying his best to ignore the non-human inhabitants, lest his mind break, even with his experiences.
"To tell the truth, I have no idea. We've just been wandering these halls and some of the floors above trying to keep things in check. No real goal, just doing what we do best. Which I guess we don't do, really, from what you've told us."
I gave him a nod, "Sorry to break the news to you. We're heading upstairs a few floors, to try and find a Phoenix to sort out this mess. We could certainly use the firepower," I ignored a scoff from Andy behind me and continued, "I don't know what we'll run into between here and there."
The four of them huddled and conferred for a moment, before returning to us with an answer. "Sounds like a good idea to us, at least our proton packs will be put to good use, and not just stumbling around randomly. Let's go Phoenix hunting."