APOCRYPHA:
GET REAL
(The Deleted Scene)

By Fritz Baugh

Continuity: Apocrypha
This is not in continuity with the Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline or the other fictions on the Ectozone. It's based on the IDW miniseries Ghostbusters Get Real written by Erik Burnham, and illustrated by Dan Schoening, which crosses over the IDW version of the Ghostbusters with the Ghostbusters as seen in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters

It takes place during the crossover (which itself takes place, from the RGB perspective, during the commercial break in "Janine Melnitz: Ghostbuster"), and it's a little scene I imagine happening some time when we were watching Proteus or one of the alternate universes or something.

Yeah, longtime readers probably know what it's mostly going to be about. Sorry.

Previously
1987. The Ghostbusters are dealing with a massive spate of supernatural events that have been running them ragged; even their intrepid secretary, Janine Melnitz, complains about her apartment being haunted, but due to the principle of triage--the bigger, more urgent, better paying jobs have to go first--they haven't even made it there yet.

Then they get ambushed by the bronze statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center, which zaps them. They don't know it, but they were saved from capture by a spell cast by a grateful client--all they know is that they've ended up about ten years in the future and arrive at a "blander" version of their firehouse to find it occupied by different versions of themselves.

Previously
1997. After recent unpleasantness with Tiamat, Gozer, and Chi-You, things have quieted down for the Ghostbusters. You know that won't last long.

Sure enough, four strangely almost-familiar men show up in their firehouse. As if four pizza-obsessed mutant reptiles from another timeline weren’t weird enough, these guys are younger and more colorfully dressed versions of the Ghostbusters themselves!

New York, New York
1997
The chalkboard was filled with equations, and two men stared at them. While both were tall and wearing glasses and one-piece flight suit coveralls, they didn't appear, at first glance, to have that much in common.

One had dark hair, and his flight suit was greyish-tan. "I think we misplaced a decimal point somewhere."

The other had longer blond hair, configured in a sort of swirled pompadour with a rat tail, and his flight suit was greyish-blue with pinkish highlights on the collar and cuffs. "Crumbs."

On second glance, they had virtually identical expressions of consternation. And their voices were difficult to tell apart.

A light knock at the open door was followed--without waiting for an answer--by a woman with short red hair and glasses. She placed two cans of Coca-Cola and two Twinkies on the table by the two men. "I figured you two were probably ready for some refreshments by now. And even if you weren't, you would be eventually."

"Thank you, Janine." the blond man said, opening the cola.

"Yes." the dark haired one nodded.

They then drank the Coke and ate the Twinkies like they'd spent years training to do it in eerie synchronization.

Janine couldn't help but stare, but knew if she kept it up long they'd inevitably get nervous or something. "Still crunching those dimensional numbers, Egon?" she asked. "Egons?"

Both made a very similar displeased grunt.

She adjusted her glasses. "I think there's a decimal in the wrong spot--right there." She pointed at the board.

Blond Egon gasped. "That's it!"

Dark-haired Egon began erasing the board after the indicated line. "Yes...thank you, Janine."

She sighed, taking a long look at both men. "Yeah, well, I'll remember that the next time I come up here and act like I'm bothering you. As much as I'd like to say and see two Egon Spenglers tearing apart the primal equations of space and time, those invoices won't get done by themselves." She chuckled. "And I'd understand only half of it at best anyway."

She turned and started to leave. "Call me if you need me for anything." She gave one last look at Blond Egon. "Though if you're as much like my Egon as you seem, I don't expect you to take me up on that offer."

Things were quiet a good fifteen seconds after she left the room.

"It's curious." Blond Egon said, adjusting his glasses. "You and I, and our Winstons only bear vague resemblances. Our respective Peters and Rays are almost completely different physically. Yet 'your' Janine is almost identical to 'my' Janine."

Dark-haired Egon raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

"Well, she does seem to dress more...um...conservatively. And her hair is shorter. But physically they seem far more like parallel dimensional counterparts of the same person than any of the rest of us do."

"Fascinating." Dark-haired Egon replied simply.

Blond Egon's eyes narrowed. He knew he was broaching a subject that, assuming his counterpart was the same in this way, he hated talking about.

"Who's Roger?" Blond Egon asked simply.

The chalk Dark-haired Egon was using abruptly snapped and flew away from the board. "What prompted that inquiry?"

"After we arrived here, Janine apparently mistook me for someone named 'Roger'."

Dark-haired Egon made a noise that Blond Egon knew to be highly exasperated (for an Egon). "She was referring to Roger Baugh, a former Professor of Literature at New York City Community College fluent in Swedish." He paused. "He and Janine used to date."

" 'Date'?!" this time Blond Egon's chalk snapped.

"They recently broke up." Dark-haired Egon continued. "He took a position at a college in San Francisco, and she declined the opportunity to go across the country with him. Said, I believe, 'her heart is in New York'."

"Oh." Blond Egon said.

"It is curious, though--you do resemble a younger version of Professor Baugh." Dark-haired Egon noted. "A time differential of about ten years, perhaps, which would be about 'right'."

"Fascinating."

"I did once speculate to her a year or two back that she appeared to make her dating choices based on whether a man bore some resemblance to myself. She was...not pleased by that speculation."

"Perhaps understandably."

"Yes...well...and then, here we are now, with a version of myself from an alternate timeline who bears a greater resemblance to her ex-boyfriend than he does to me. I could only speculate on how she's emotionally responding to the concept, but I have a poor track record when it comes to such speculation."

"Fascinating." Blond Egon adjusted his glasses. "Perhaps some sort of dimensional synchronicity...I wish we had more time and data to research the matter. I should mention that if so, it works the other way around."

"Oh?" Dark-haired Egon raised an eyebrow.

"Shortly after the Ghostbusters attained a level of fame, Peter sold the movie rights to our first cases to Columbia Pictures." Blond Egon explained. "The team of comedians and actors they chose to depict us in the movie didn't greatly resemble us--but they do resemble you and your Ghostbusters. You in specific greatly resemble comedian, writer, and director Harold Ramis."

Dark-haired Egon didn't say anything for a few seconds. "Fascinating. Like you said, perhaps some sort of interdimensional synchronization. Such as a psychic harmonic that causes subconscious influences..." He shook his head. "As you said, if only we really had more time and data."

Blond Egon looked around furtively. "Do you love her?"

Dark-haired Egon froze. "What kind of question is that?"

Blond Egon raised an eyebrow. "If you can't even be honest with yourself, who can you?"

Dark-haired Egon sighed deeply, and glanced around just as furtively as his counterpart. "I don't know. I enjoy her company. I miss her when she is not around. And I feel jealousy when she's involved with someone else." He began cleaning his glasses. "But on the other hand, she is a distraction from the pursuit of science, the goal I have devoted myself to. And I believe my own lack of...for lack of a better term...social graces make me questionable as a prospective romantic partner."

Blond Egon nodded, a somewhat rueful expression on his face.

"And what about you, Doctor?" Dark-haired Egon inquired. "Return that honesty."

"Unquestionably, yes." Blond Egon responded, cleaning his glasses in a similar manner as his counterpart. "My ambivalence mirrored your own until an incident a few weeks back, when it appeared that the other Ghostbusters and I were required to exercise the ultimate sanction--explosive overload of the proton packs."

Dark-haired Egon raised an eyebrow.

"And I realized in that moment that I deeply regretted the fact that I was never going to see her again. She was all I could think about. So yes, I am definitely in love with my timeline's Janine."

"But?"

"But, as with your case, she distracts me from my goals. I also question whether I would be fit as a romantic partner. But more...the intensity of the feeling she arouses...simply intimidates me." Blond Egon finished, echoing his counterpart's deep sigh of a moment earlier.

Thing were quiet for a moment more, then they coughed in unison, and hurriedly went back to the chalkboard.

A few minutes later, Ray Stantz--the copper-haired Ray from Blond Egon's timeline--appeared. "Hey, guys, the other me says he's got the suit ready to go!"

"We'll be right down." Dark-haired Egon replied.

The two Egon Spenglers regarded each other for a few seconds. "Thank you for the talk, Doctor. You have given me quite a lot to think about."

"And so have you."

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Based on Ghostbusters Created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis