Harbinger: Prologue

Harbinger is an original story based in the Ghostbusters universe that was, at one time, going to be a fan film. Logistics ultimately never allowed the film to actually be made (beyond a few initial footage tests), but the story was finished and a script was written. This is the first of several chapters in an attempt to adapt the screenplay into a more narrative format.

The wind blew harshly through the dry valley, scattering leaves and bits of broken foliage across the clearing, making it hard to concentrate. The lone figure, seated at a crude fire, made no notice of the cold air, incongruous with the normal heat of the summer months, choosing to focus instead on the guttering flames before him. It was the only spot of light and color in an otherwise desolate night, everything else being tinted in the same dismal blackness: the expansive grounds, the surrounding forests and the ancient Mayan temple looming before him.

The man tended the flame, not for warmth or light, but for ceremony. Though he had sat vigil for many years, this night boded ill for his charge. There was a nasty change in the air, underscored by weather that seemed to punctuate the foreboding. He hoped it was no more than premonition, but he dared not deviate from the ritual that had been passed down through many generations, the sacred rites that had kept his charge bound for the last sixty some-odd generations.

The man was getting old, however, and he could feel his grip loosening on the world he had been in control of for longer than he could remember. Ignoring the fear that was now a constant prick in the back of his mind, he pulled out a worn leather bag from inside the loose folds of his robe. With weathered, calloused hands, he removed a collection of small pieces, carved from bone and inscribed with various markings. They were yellowed and smoothed over from years of use, the symbols only faint depressions on the surfaces. He turned them over in his hands with great care, smoothed out an area of dirt in front of where he knelt, then cast the pieces to the ground.

Slowly, he bent lower over the bones until his face was mere inches from the surface of the dirt. Reverently, he cast his eyes over the pieces, studying them carefully, noting the orientation, proximity and arrangement. They were sacred to him, had talked to him most of his life. He read them like an old book, one whose story was familiar, but layered enough that new meaning could be found upon rereading. The ritual was consoling, but the story the bones told this night was one that gave no comfort.

It was one that foretold destruction.


The sudden panic made his hands shake, the tremor disturbing the careful reading of the pieces. He sat up quickly as the weather seemed to sense this, the wind getting sharper, more painful. He shook with dread as everything around him seemed to grow darker, more dangerous. He looked up to the temple pyramid standing silent in front of him. The shadows in its surface seemed to mock him, growing deeper before his eyes, the power in the depths beneath the surface seeming to call into his very soul. He shook violently, though from the cold or the sudden terror he was not certain.

And in that moment he knew, without doubt, that the tenuous thread holding his world together was at an end. He hurriedly scraped the bones together and thrust them back in the bag, returning it to his robe, and started praying. Praying to all the gods he knew, praying for his very life, and the lives of those who would be affected when his was at an end.