Egon stopped in the doorway to the room and looked at his assistant walking towards him.
Connie was a short, dark haired young girl of Chinese descent, that worked with him at the university.
"There is a phone message for you. I placed it on your desk." she said, as she picked up a clipboard from off of the desk nearby.
"Thank you. I'll look at it at lunch time. Are the test subjects here yet?" Egon asked, as he removed his overcoat and stepped into the room.
"No, Doctor Spengler, not yet. I really do think you should take care of the message now though. The caller sounded upset."
Egon placed his coat over his left arm as he looked behind him at the clock on the wall. It was eight-fifty. The first set of test subjects were to arrive at nine o'clock so he did have a few minutes to see what the message was about.
"Fine Connie, I will go and see what is so important, if you could set up the cameras for me please."
"Yes, Doctor Spengler." Connie said, and turned to walk towards the back of the room.
Egon turned around and left the room. As he disappeared down the hallway he wondered who had called. Egon came to his office door and stopped. In the frosty glass were the words:
Doctor E. Spengler
A smile came to his face as he opened the door. He was back home again. Coming full circle from when he had first started college and had stood on the outside of such a door as a freshman, knowing that one day he would have such an office.
Egon turned on the lights and walked inside closing the door behind him. As he crossed to his desk he flung his overcoat onto a chair nearby.
Pulling his wheeled chair out from under the desk, Egon sat down into the tall black armed chair and picked up the pink note that was on his desk.
Connie's neat handwriting was on it. It was a message pad where you filled in the parts. Who for, caller, date, number, etc. It read:
For: Doctor E. Spengler
Date: December 4th, 1989
Telephoned, please call back, & urgent were marked with X's, and in the subject line was:
A Ms. Dana Barrett called.
Wants to see you right away.
Her child was taken from her by an unseen entity.
There was also a phone number listed as Egon placed the note back on his desk. Dana. He hadn't heard from her in what was it? Four? No, five years? Her child? When was she pregnant? Was the child's Peter's? No. Peter would have mentioned it to him. Or would he? They really were not talking to each other as of late.
Egon leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. Five years of unpleasant memories because of what had happened with Dana. Dana had been their first customer when Ray, Peter, and him had gone into business for themselves. They had to as Peter had single handedly gotten the group kicked off of campus. Egon grabbed the pink note and crumpled it up in anger. How he had hated Peter for that. Realizing what he was doing, Egon opened his eyes and smoothed out the note.
He had come to see that is wasn't all Peter's fault. Ray and him had been so busy conducting experiments and looking into ghostly activities that they had both left Peter to run the university end by himself. Left to his own demise, Peter had sweet-talked his way into trouble, not only for himself but for Ray and Egon too.
Egon sighed. That was now all water under the bridge until they had blown the top three floors off of an uptown New York high-rise while battling Gozer the Gozerian and the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man that Ray had conjured up in his mind.
Having saved the city the group thought that they were heroes until Walter Peck had showed up and sued the "Ghostbusters" business for damages to the city. Mr. Peck had gotten others to join him in his campaign.
Egon remembered standing in the court room next to Ray, Peter, and Winston as the judge handed down his verdict. A verdict that had caused the group to loose everything. The business, the firehouse, and even Ray's house that his parents had left him. Anything under the "Ghostbusters" franchise.
Each member of the team was fined five thousand dollars and had a restraining order placed upon them so that they couldn't offer their services as paranormal investigators and eliminators anymore. With a broken heart and no where to go, Egon had packed up what few belongings of his that hadn't been destroyed in the containment unit blast and had gone home.
Home, that wasn't home. He had grown up in Cleveland, Ohio and that is where he had gone back to. His mother and Uncle Cyrus had been only too happy to have Egon back in their lives, but he wasn't happy. He missed the university, the Metropolitan Opera, and Ray. However there wasn't anything he could do about it until his debt was paid to the city of New York. So Egon had set himself to work for his Uncle Cyrus in "Spengler Laborites" until his debt had been paid. Four and a half years of feeding rats and running them through mazes finally had its toll upon Egon. Egon was tired. Tired of only listening to his beloved opera on the radio or his records. He needed to hear it in person. He wanted to be there in the audience to enjoy its richness. He was tired of being told by his Uncle Cyrus that his experiments that he tried to run were a waste of time. So one fine summer day he had packed a bag, kissed his mother and bid his Uncle goodbye and had boarded the local greyhound bus to take him back to New York City.
Before Egon left he had called Ray, whom he had kept in touch with, and let him know that he was coming.
"Egon, that's good news!" Ray had said over the phone to him. "How long are you planning to visit?"
"I was planning on staying if I can find work." Egon replied.
"Great!" Ray retorted. "You can stay with me until you do. Why don't you try the university when you get into town? I hear that they have a position opening in the psychology department."
"What about Dean Yager?"
"Him? Oh, he's out! Got himself fired I heard. You should at least try for it."
Ten long hours later Egon had arrived back in the city. Ray had met him in Ecto-1 at Port Authority on 8th and 42nd street.
"So you were able to keep the car?" Egon asked, as Ray drove them to his occult shop.
"Yes. It wasn't under the franchise name, also the proton packs and traps too."
"Well that's a good thing. I can just see Mr. Peck fiddling with the packs and blowing up half the state of New York."
"And you know who they would blame again?" Ray responded.
"Us!" they said together.
Dana Barrett. Yep she was the start of it all and now she was back in Egon's life. A life that had taken a turn for the worse and then he had come home again.
Egon picked up the receiver of the telephone on his desk and dialed the number written on the message. After three rings he was greeted to a cheery voice.
"Buenos dias, habla Doctor Spengler. Me puede comunicar con la senora Barrett?" Egon asked speaking Spanish.
"Si, espere un momento." the person replied.
"Gracias." Egon told the female voice.
On the other end of the line Egon could hear a cello being played in the background. He knew the song. It was David Popper's 'Spinning Song' and Dana was having problems with it from what he could hear. The music stopped and footsteps were heard. Soon Egon recognized the voice on the other end.
"Yes, Dana it's me." Egon said switching back to English. "Still playing your cello I hear."
"Oh yes, just a bit rusty though. I had to take some time off to take care of my newborn baby. Thanks for calling me back. I need to speak to you in person. Do you have anytime today?"
Egon looked at his calendar that sat on his desk. "I can see you after lunch. Is two p.m. good for you?"
"Yes. I'll be there." Dana replied. "Where do I need to go?"
"Come to the building marked 'The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research'. I'm in room 116." Egon told her.
"Thank you. Bye."
Egon hung up the phone and got up from his chair. Smiling to himself Egon remembered when he had first heard the 'Spinning Song'. It was on a Saturday afternoon. He had gotten tickets for the NY Philharmonics. The cellist was a graduate of Juilliard and he had played the piece flawlessly.
Egon loved classical music, but opera was by far his favorite. Egon crossed to his office door and opened it. He stood in the doorway for a moment remembering back to when he had first met her. She had given him reason to go on living. Her voice had drawn him in, captivating him. His opera singer.
Egon turned out the lights and shut the door to his office. As he walked down the hall he reminded himself that he would soon see her perform. Tomorrow night was the Metropolitan Opera's performance of "La Boheme". In January, Egon had gotten season tickets to the 'Met'. It was a Christmas gift from his mother. That was where he had met her. Eden Parnell.
His mother's tickets were four rows back from the stage, in the orchestra seats, right in the middle of the row. Very expensive tickets he knew. Egon had gone to the performance of "Carmen" where he expected to hear Renee Fleming singing the role of Carmen that night. When he had arrived the role had been given to the understudy as Ms. Fleming was out sick that day. Disappointed at not being able to hear her sing, he had almost left, but giving it a second thought he stayed. He loved the opera and even though he couldn't hear his favorite coloratura soprano he would just have to give the new person a chance. You didn't get to sing at the 'Met' unless you were good Egon knew. Boy was Egon glad that he had stayed.
Egon opened the door to room 116 and walked inside. He could see that Connie was finishing setting up the cameras for each of the experiments that they were going to run that day.
"Good. Thanks Connie. I'll finish up." Egon said, as he moved towards the back of the room. Two rooms, side by side, each with a one-way mirror were at the back of the room.
"As you wish Doctor Spengler. Were you able to take care of the message?" Connie asked, as she busied herself with another task.
"Yes. Ms. Dana Barrett will be here at two. We should be done by then." Egon replied, making sure that the camera's were working.
"Very good. I need to check that the microphones are working, if you could excuse me Doctor Spengler." Connie said, walking away.
Egon watched her go. He knew that Connie liked him a lot more than she should. Connie wanted more than a teacher/student relationship but Egon would have none of it. He wasn't going to jeopardize his position with the university after all the hard work he had put into it.
When Egon had gotten into town he had stayed with Ray for the first two weeks. Egon thought that Ray had his own apartment, but what Ray had was the attic of his store that he had converted into a bedroom. Ray, like him, was struggling to pay off his debt to the city too. It was all Ray could do to keep the occult store open and making money. Egon knew how he felt. Two betrayed, hated, lonely souls looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Egon had gone to the university to apply for the job. Not only was Dean Yager not there but there was a new president as well. One who didn't know what Egon had done to be removed from campus. The president didn't ask and so Egon didn't tell him. Egon had gotten the job as an assistant like Connie was to him now. After getting the job Egon had found himself a studio apartment close to campus. He paid Ray for his two weeks that he had stayed with him, even though Ray had said he didn't need too. After six months Egon had been promoted. Now he could run any experiment he wanted to, provided the head of the psychology department approved of it first.
Here is where Egon was happy. Ray and him had come up with a lot of theories that they were never able to finish testing when they were "Ghostbusters". Now he could. Egon presented his theories to the department head and they had approved them. That was what was on the schedule for today.
A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. Looking up at the clock above the door it read nine. "Time to go to work." Egon said to himself as he crossed the room to answer the door and greet the first test subjects of the day.