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blond_w_brain wrote in milliways_bar
The Door opens. Somewhat differently than at least a portion of the entries, this one is heralded by streamers of light.

A man in a spacesuit flies out of the light. Apparently, he expected to hit something else, as his arrival is uncontrolled. He tumbles teakettle-over-bandbox across the floor, hitching up against the bar lying on his back. A few moments to right himself, and the helmet comes off.

It reveals curled blond hair framing a long face suited for sarcastic looks and scowls. It seems incomplete, until he fishes around in the helmet, pulls out a pair of glasses, places them on his face, and looks around.

"Hm. This does not look like either the basement, the containment unit, or what my mother thought Heaven was like."

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"It is fairly cumbersome, yes - it wasn't meant to be worn for long in an environment with actual gravity." He puts the helmet down.

"I had to go into the containment unit after we accidentally captured three ghosts who should never, ever be captured, and help them get out, or watch the timestream dissolve."

Ray winces. "Great. Show me where the buckles are and I'll see what I can do."

Then he freezes for just a moment. When you have been thinking about time streams that've become set and their critical events unchangeable, and when you've read the right anthologies, chronological muck-ups are no longer associated with uniformed guys from the Federation. Or even with Jean-Claude Van Damme. They're associated with the Hounds of Tindalos, and so Ray nods fervently. "Good move," he says. "Should I ask which ghosts?"

Egon moves around to show the buckles, and starts to loosen the belt.

"The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. We ended up lost on some road, and wandered back in time. Winston, Peter and your analogue tried to take their place in order to save Christmas."

Ray gets to work on the buckles, which fortunately does not require much in the way of brainpower. Because his? Totally fastened on the wrong thing.

"The Ghosts of... as in Dickens? They-"

"... who got stuck in the Christmas Past outfit? Please don't say it was the local value of me. Neither of us has the legs for it."

Egon regards Ray carefully. "No, actually, your local was Christmas Present. Winston was Future." He allows Ray to intuit the resultant option. Just as it dawns in Ray's eyes, he drops the bomb in a flat tone:

"I understand he was objecting to the tutu strenuously."

Dana had gone to bed, but Peter stopped down, and stared, before running over. Even though it wasn't his brillo head Egon, it was still Spengs.

"Holy crap, Spengs!" He came up just to hear the comment about tutus, "What's this about tutus? Meg up to her bets again? Or somebody trying out for the New York Ballet?"

Ray tries to keep a straight face. Really, he does.

The part where he's making noises that suggest he may spontaneously shoot milk out his nose despite not actually being in the process of drinking anything undercuts that effort.

Egon adjusts his glasses slightly, as he does just before saying something. "I was just explaining to Ray how I came here, as well as describing what I was told about your mode of dress just before I performed a less-than-well-advised experiment."

Peter blinked at this, "Ok... why is any version of me wearing a dress? And what's with the spaceman gear, Egon?"

Egon is about to give Peter a "pay attention, 007" sort of look, before remembering the other man hadn't been in the room at the time.

"We were travelling on a job. ECTO-1 got stuck in the snow and ran low on gas, so we decided to try to find a gas station. We ended up in what we thought was a quaint Victorian historical re-enactment village. And then we captured three ghosts. We were wrong: we had somehow slipped back in time to London, and the ghosts we captured were the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Without them... Chrismas was doomed."

The last three words were said in that Spengler Crack Of Doom voice.

"... Christmas Past..." mutters Ray, who's been helping Egon get the suit unfastened. And then something occurs to him.

"Hey, Peter," he says casually, "does this mean we're going to have two of Egon at the christening?"

Too casually. Except for the slight, ill repressed snort.

Egon's eyes go wide.

"....christening?" His eyes have a look that says "Why are you saying things I can't un-hear?" in them.

Peter shrugged, "And your point being? It's just Christmas."

He added to Ray, "Uh... I guess? And the wedding, too? Gonna take some explaining though."

"Raymond," Egon says in that 'I am desperately in need of a moment' voice, "what are the charges for food and drink here?"

"Your first order's free," Ray says. "After that, it's roughly the same as what you'd expect to pay in the Slaughtered Lamb, down in the Village."

He's got more he could drop on the guy, but it'll work better if he gives Egon a chance to recover.

"Thank you."

Egon goes to the bar, and remembers what he was told. "Bar, I would like something that is both a stimulant and a muscle relaxant, preferably with significant levels of sugar. Also, if possible, some spaghetti in marinara sauce with meatballs. I believe I will require significant fortification."

And vooooop, there it is: a plate of pasta with gravy and meatballs not out of place in Little Italy, and a tall Irish Coffee. He picks them up and says, "I think I should now sit down."

Peter winced, "Yeah, sorry. I know you heard about the place? You are that Egon who heard, right? Can't believe I forgot how much it affects people sometimes when they first show up."

"He's the one I told about this place when I first landed in the flat continuum, Pete," Ray says cheerfully. "We built the dimensional portal together to get my butt back here. Philotic physics is fun- oh, Egon? Guess who the lucky spawning partner is. I'll give you a hint. Who did your Peter break up with shortly after the sanitation department finally got rid of all the crisped marshmallow?"

Egon sits down very quickly. He is a very smart man and puts it all together very fast.

The Irish Coffee mug is drained faster than it really should be, all things considered. Egon still looks slightly wild-eyed.

Peter stared at Ray, "Ray, you're friends with Dana, too. And why are you calling my fiancee that. I..." He was about to say 'I don't call Romana anything like that.' But with his friend's recent stress, he didn't want to remind him of it.

"So, Egon, enjoying the insane asylum we call Milliways? Should check out the view."

"It's... fascinating, Peter."

In his defence, Egon Spengler has today both time travelled and entered the containment unit, and that was before Milliways. He was already a bit on edge.

His eyes turn where Peter indicates, and he drops the fork and stares.

"Peter, in my own defense I'd like to note that I have yet to refer to myself at any age prior to eleven as anything other than a 'sprog'. Call it a slip of the tongue- it won't happen again."

He taps the Bar with one hand. "Could I have the usual, please?"

The usual is dark green, fizzy, faintly opalescent, and gives a vague impression of sluggishly moving on its own. This may or may not be the case.

"Let me know when you've got your vocabulary back, Spengs. I've got a lot to fill you in on. And he's not kidding about the view. Hawking would rise up and walk for a chance to get that kind of cosmological data."

Egon finally come back. He takes off his glasses, polishes them, and puts them back on. "He would," Egon admits.

"As I was saying before my mind was rendered inchoate by phrases I cannot forget unless I perform brain surgery on myself: we had captured the three spirits, and the others had gone to see if they could fool Ebenerzer Scrooge, while I used the equipment in that suit to perform a temporary aura alteration to make myself, effectively, a living ghost. Then I entered the containment unit to try to get them back."

He spots 'the usual'. "Ray," he says, reaching for his PKE meter, "why are you drinking raw ectoplasm?"

Peter waved his hand at that, "Just remember not to say it around her like you agreed."

He smirked at Egon's reaction to the Observation Window, "Thought that would get your attention."

He then listened to the explanation, and cue the blinking, "Living ghost time, I remember that bit. Bet you were having loads of fun."

"It's not ectoplasm," Ray says, and he's right. It doesn't even ping on the meter. "I asked Bar for this a long time ago. I haven't had the chance to analyze it yet but the specs I gave her were 'completely artificial, nontoxic to baseline Terran-stock H. sapiens sapiens, non-alcoholic, and mildly stimulant'. This is what she gave me." He holds it up for observation. "Pretty, isn't it? It's better than Coke, anyway. And it came from a nice clean lab somewhere, too."

Ray nods to Peter. "No problem. Say, is this the point where I tell Spengs here about Ecto or do we wait until he's a little more settled in?"

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