was a dark and gloomy November night. Dr. Sammy Jo Fuller used to love
this particular time of the year in Stallion’s Gate—not that warm, but
not cold enough to want to stay inside on a clear night where the stars
could be seen overhead. Over the years, she would often get away from the
Project for a few hours, look up into the heavens, and reflect on all of
the blessings and curses she had been dealt with throughout the course of
her life. But tonight was an especially tough night for her. For it was on
this very night one year ago, that she made a cataclysmic mistake in her
quest to find her father, Dr. Samuel Beckett, who disappeared without a
many ways, it was a miracle that her father hadn’t been around since the
dawn of the new millennium. The amount of bloodshed this world had been
exposed to over the past few years would have possibly destroyed her
father’s spirit—it very nearly destroyed her own. That horrific day in
September of 2001 that changed the world forever affected everyone at
Project Quantum Leap profoundly, none more so than Al. He had known many
good men and women who died at the Pentagon that day. Days passed as she
and Al had discussed the tragic events, and they both couldn’t help but
wonder if this had been the Devil’s way of exacting revenge, to seek
retribution for all of the wrong that Sam had negated over the years.
Ironic that Sammy Jo herself, a caring and loving individual like her
father, would be the catalyst for a much greater tragedy years later.
alas, that greater tragedy was a story she had replayed in her head every
single day for the past year. She didn’t wish to relive those painful
memories anymore. All she needed to do was simply look at the devastated
world around her to remind her of the burden she carried—of the guilt
she had to bear. Now, all she wished for was eternal peace—to be with
her beloved, Daniel Fulton. With their child now in the loving care of
Donna Elesee, she knew with all of her heart that the Fuller family curse
would not be passed on to a new generation.
so, as Samantha Josephine Fuller stepped out of the caves and into the
apocalyptic landscape, a single tear trickled down her cheek as she
thought about her father one last time. He was still alive, she was sure
of it. In this final moment of clarity, Sammy Jo knew that her father was
fulfilling a destiny he had been meant to fulfill since his birth. He was
God’s messenger—putting right what once went wrong, year after year,
life after life. It went against Sam’s nature to let evil perpetuate in
an irrational world, and because of that, his work would never truly be
done. To seek his own happiness would be selfish compared to the countless
others who needed his guidance more. And that, quite simply, was why her
father was a true hero.
was the final thought she had as she took the knife she held in her hand
and plunged it into her heart. As the bright light enveloped her body, her
soul was finally at peace, and she smiled.
blue light was always soothing—a reminder of how truly wonderful a
creation the universe was. For Sam Beckett, it was breathtaking, to say
the least, to be able to see the multilayered levels of reality all around
him without a physical outlet to process and comprehend the information.
Here in this void between infinite timelines, he was completely himself.
Drifting in unreality with the memories of Al, Donna, Sammy Jo, Alia, and
so many others whose lives he had touched, he remembered everything and
yet nothing. In the nanosecond it would take for Sam’s mind to realign
itself with the realities he created, it would unravel just as fast. It
was the constant driving force that kept Sam focused on his mission to put
right what once went wrong.
time, things had changed. In the quantum void, he saw… a mirror? That
had never happened before, had it? He tried to look at his reflection, but
he couldn’t see one. Sam couldn’t put his finger on it, but something
felt different this time. He could feel some “force” pulling him in a
new direction. The universe became small once again as the blue light
faded. He was leaping…
first thing Sam noticed was the smell. It was an odor unlike any he had
ever smelled before—the stench of death, and it frightened him. He
looked around at his surroundings. He was outside and it was dark, but it
was a different kind of darkness. Not the dark of night, but rather, the
dark of terrible destruction—like a black cloud billowing over the
world. He started coughing and suddenly realized he was breathing in toxic
fumes of smoke. All around him, he could see the debris of cars and
buildings. Dust covered everything and when Sam looked closely through the
dense fog, he could literally see hundreds, maybe thousands of
skeletons—the remains of human bodies caught in the throes of a deadly
God, where am I? he thought, as he saw the faint outline of a figure
moving toward him. Before he could make out the form, he collapsed and
fell into unconsciousness.
awoke to the sound of a female voice. The coarseness of her voice made it
hard to distinguish, but she was talking to someone else. “He’s coming
to. Thank God!”
looked up through strained eyes and found the source of the voice. Leaning
over him was a beautiful woman with lovely brown eyes—a contrast to the
dark hooded shroud she wore around her body. Although most of her physical
features were hidden underneath the cloak she wore, Sam guessed that she
was most likely in her mid to late twenties.
am I?” he asked.
in an underground shelter, about five hundred feet below ground level. You
were beginning to succumb to the radiation. If I had arrived a few minutes
later, you would most likely have been permanently exposed to fatal toxins
without proper protection. Luckily, you were only a few hundred yards from
where you were supposed to be. Thank God it worked, otherwise the Prophecy
would have remained unchanged.”
prophecy? I don’t understand. What’s going on here? What happened to
all those… people… up there?” Sam asked as he pointed a finger
in good time,” the woman calmly replied. “Just try to relax. You have
a long journey ahead of you, Dr. Beckett.”
jolted up as he heard his name. “D-Dr. Beckett? D-did you just call me
voice of an older man shouted out from across the enclosed shelter.
“Damn it, Izzy, I warned you that he’d get all riled up over this. He
needs time to adjust to his new surroundings.”
is something we don’t have a lot of, Adam,” Izzy huffed. “In case
you’ve forgotten, our society is on the brink of extinction, and Dr.
Beckett might be the only one who can help us change things for the
had to shake his head just to make sure he was hearing the words
correctly. “Society… on the brink of extinction? Dear God, what’s
going on? Please, tell me!”
gave Sam a look devoid of emotion. “I don’t know how to put this
delicately, so I’ll just come right out and say it. You’re in the
future. The 39th Year of Ascension, or to be more specific, December 31,
2034 on the Roman calendar.”
future? M-my future?”
to hell, Sam.”
Sam came to grips with what he had just been told, he uttered a very
sorrowful, “Oh boy!”
Gate, New Mexico
has to be some kind of sick joke, right? Or a dream?” Sam asked,
desperately trying to make sense of the situation. “I mean this can’t
be the future. I… can’t be in the future! It just isn’t possible!”
wish this was all a dream, Dr. Beckett,” Izzy replied. “But it’s all
very real. It’s the final day of the final month of 2034 A.D., according
to the Roman calendar. You’ve been gone for nearly forty years.”
I’m me again?”
you’ve leaped as yourself, if that’s what you’re getting at,”
answered the older man standing beside Izzy. He had graying hair and a
full goatee. He looked like he could have been about Sam’s age, possibly
a couple years older, maybe fifty-three or fifty-four. “I still say this
is a big mistake, Izzy. He’s not ready to accept his destiny yet.”
Izzy protested. “If the Prophecy is correct, we have less than
twenty-four hours until the end. It’s been on the mark with everything
that’s happened so far, and I doubt this time will be any different.”
me,” Sam interrupted. “But if you don’t mind, I’d like to be
brought into the loop here. Apparently, you two seem to know a lot about
me. If that’s the case, then I’d like to know what I’m doing here
and what this so-called ‘prophecy’ is all about!”
gave Sam a stern look. Perhaps Adam was right. Maybe Sam wasn’t ready
for the role that was about to be thrust upon him. But she knew that she
had been meant to bring him here for a reason. Whether he realized it or
not, it was a self-conscious choice Sam made for himself when he decided
to continue leaping. Dr. Sam Beckett had helped so many countless others
for the better part of the past century, at the cost of his own freedom.
Now it was time for someone to help him—to put right what once went terribly wrong in his own
life. That, itself, held the key to saving the future. He deserved to hear
the whole story.
well, Samuel. But it’s best if you heard this tale on the way to our
destination. Take a flashlight, and let’s go.”
got up slowly and saw a row of beat-up looking flashlights lining the
shelf next to the cot he had been laying on. After trying a few, he found
one that had a strong battery charge and took the hooded cloak Adam held
out for him. He was immediately taken aback by the dusty mildew scent of
the cloak, but he managed to adapt fairly quickly as he wore it and
followed Izzy and Adam out of the shelter into the caves beyond.
took point as he navigated the twists and turns of the rock caverns. Sam
trailed Izzy closely behind as she began to speak once again.
of all, allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Isabella, but
everyone calls me Izzy for short. The man leading the way is Adam, one of
the most well-respected members of our society and… someone I consider
to be a close, personal friend.” Adam returned a small smile upon
hearing that remark, but remained silent as Isabella continued. “What I
am about to tell you is the general story that has been passed down for
the past quarter of a century or so. Some of the details have been lost to
time, but it’s a rough approximation of what we know as fact.
Ironically, it all began at Project Quantum Leap, shortly after the First
Decade of Ascension.”
sorry… first decade of ascension?” Sam asked in confusion.
pardon me. Um… a few years after the turn of the 21st Century… 2005,
if memory serves correctly,” Isabella confirmed. “Anyway, the parallel
hybrid computer you created, Ziggy, suddenly lost all contact with you.
The legendary Rear Admiral Albert Calavicci was determined to find you at
do you mean, his brainwaves are gone, Zig?” Al barked at the glowing
as I said, Admiral Calavicci,” Ziggy replied. “My tracking sensors
have lost all connection with Dr. Beckett’s neurons and mesons. To put
it quite simply, Admiral, he has vanished. I am unable to locate his
temporal signature anywhere within the confines of his lifetime. The only
logical conclusion I can make is that his life force has terminated. If it
didn’t, I would be detecting a small trace of his brainwaves within my
life force has NOT been terminated, you bucket of bolts!” Al protested
angrily. “Maybe YOU can just give up on him because you’re a damn
emotionless hybrid computer, but I can’t! I WON’T!”
need to get snippy with me, Admiral,” Ziggy replied with a snotty
tone. “You act like I am intentionally terminating my link with Dr.
Beckett. I assure you that that is not the case, and quite frankly, I
resent that you would imply otherwise. You wound me.”
quit being melodramatic!” Al turned toward the African-American man
standing behind the main console and without thinking, said, “Edward,
prepare the new handlink and activate Ziggy’s e-probe. Sam’s out there
somewhere and I’m gonna find him no matter what it takes!”
new head programmer looked over to Al and corrected him. “Admiral,
it’s, uh… Dom, remember?”
right, I forgot. Sorry, Dom,” Al apologized. “Force of habit.”
understandable, Admiral,” Dom sympathized.
like it didn’t already take long enough to get used to a replacement
when Gooshie died, Al thought, as he reflected on the unfortunate
passing of Edward St. John VI and his subsequent replacement, Dominic
the Imaging Chamber door opened, Al walked over to the central imaging
disc and activated Ziggy’s holographic matrix. “Even if Dr. Beckett is
miraculously alive out there, Admiral,” Ziggy began, “It could take
days, possibly weeks, to find him without a frame of reference from a
Visitor in the Waiting Room.”
don’t care if it takes months,
Ziggy!” Al argued. “Just begin the nano-search—as far back as 1952,
from the day he was conceived, up to today. That new gonio—um…
thingy… GoSep… er, ma-call-it… meter that Stephen installed should
be able to detect his bio-signs, even if your program can’t.”
you wish, Admiral Calavicci,” Ziggy responded, as her matrix transformed
into the whirling tornado effect. Al stood within the maelstrom of images
in time, focused on finding his lost friend.
go by, which turned into weeks, which in turn became months, and Ziggy
still had no luck finding you. Despite his prior assistance in obtaining
additional funding for the Project, General Hawkins was losing ground with
the Senate committee, and hope was slowly dwindling. On November 22, 2005,
your daughter, Dr. Samantha Josephine Fuller, made one final, desperate
attempt to bring you back home before all hope was lost. If only she had
known the full consequences of her actions, she would have reconsidered
her decision. But history is always doomed to repeat itself.
I need some help with these algorithms for the Retrieval process. Would it
be too much to ask for your assistance?” Sammy Jo asked the programmer,
almost as if she was in a trance.
course not, Sammy Jo,” Dom replied with enthusiasm. “Stumbled on a way
to bring Dr. Beckett home, eh?”
a look devoid of emotion, Sammy Jo answered, “I won’t know for sure
until the calculations are complete. It’ll only take a minute.” As Dom
left the main console, making his way out of the Control Room, Sammy Jo
began to follow his lead.
without warning, the claxons sounded as Dom found himself locked out of
the Control Room, with Sammy Jo still inside.
the—? Dr. Fuller? S-Sammy? What’s going on?” he screamed, hoping she
would hear him.
she chose not to answer. She needed to keep him out of the loop for her
plan to succeed.
Fuller, what are you doing?” the disembodied voice of the
parallel-hybrid computer spoke.
doing what needs to be done… Ziggy. I’m activating the Accelerator
Chamber. I’m going to find… my father.”
can’t let you do that without confirmation from either Dr. Beckett or
Admiral Calavicci. Those are the rules, Dr. Fuller.”
think it should be obvious, I don’t intend on following the rules,
Ziggy. And in case you haven’t noticed, Dr. Beckett and the Admiral
aren’t here right now!” Before Ziggy had a chance to respond, Sammy Jo
entered a code into the main console that temporarily removed the hybrid
computer’s security and safety protocols.
voice shifted an octave accordingly, although the strain in her voice
indicated that her program was trying to fight the override.
“Activating… Accelerator Chamber.
Please specify… the date…”
Jo thought for a minute before responding, “Make it random.” She
removed her lab coat to reveal the skin-tight white Fermi suit she had
been concealing from Dom. With a look of fixed determination in her eyes,
Dr. Sammy Jo Fuller set the power output to maximum levels and entered the
chamber, never looking back.
“Sammy Jo!” Sam exclaimed, as the memories came flooding back to
him. “My—my daughter!”
following in her daddy’s footsteps,” Isabella said with a mix of
sarcasm and grief. “To this day, no one really knows what drove her to
make such a rash decision. But, she did. And her actions would be felt for
decades,” she said, as she continued the story.
managed to break into the Control Room, but he was unable to crack the
code that Dr. Fuller had input into Ziggy’s mainframe. In desperation,
he placed a call to Admiral Calavicci, who was on his way back from an
unsuccessful committee hearing with his wife, Beth.
lose hope, honey,” Beth reassured her husband, who was behind the wheel
of their sports car. “Hawkins is on our side. With the both of you
calling in some old favors, together, you should be able to pull a few
strings and keep the Project up-and-running until we can find Sam.”
don’t trust him, Beth,” Al barked. “Last time he was at the Project,
he mentioned something about ‘government
input.’ That could only spell trouble for Sam during his leaps.
He’d see to it that all the other bureaucratic nozzles got first dibs on
dictating Sam’s mission for political agendas, I’m sure of it!”
I’m sure if he got to take a closer look at the archives, and—” But
her words were cut off by the sound of the car phone beeping.
on, hon,” Al interrupted, immediately recognizing the URGENT
message originating from Central Control. Over the horizon, he began to
notice the blue glow of the Project just starting to emanate, and
suddenly, it felt like ten years ago all over again. Al began to fear the
worst. “Lofty? What’s going on?”
it-it’s Sammy Jo!” Dom’s voice announced over the speaker.
“Sh-she’s leaping! Ziggy is saying no, but… I think something’s
wrong with her program! Sammy’s leaping!”
my God!” Beth shouted out, her hand covering her mouth in shock.
she out of her freakin’ mind?” Al screamed. “Put her on the line!”
can’t, she’s in the Accelerator! She locked me out of Control before I
knew what she was up to! What do I do?”
happening again! Al thought. Damn
it all to hell, it’s happening again!
I’m not gonna lose another
Beckett to time! Not on my
you try and interfere directly, you might kill her! Damn it, you’ve got
to buy me some time until I get back there! Lofty! Dom!
Can you hear me?”
was at that moment, however, that the line went dead as a crackling
explosion of light flashed beyond the horizon. A power overload of immense
proportions had caused a catastrophic cascade feedback through the
Accelerator ring buffer. In the blink of an eye, the complex had become a
glowing beacon in the dark desert night.
and Beth both looked on in horror as the stray energy snaked out from the
mountains like streaming tentacles, sending random bursts in all
directions. One of those bursts hit the ground directly in front of the
vehicle, and before they could even blink, Al and Beth found themselves
being thrown off the road. The car tumbled repeatedly, the force of each
impact battering and bruising it beyond recognition along with the two
occupants inside, before the mangled heap was consumed in a blazing
those final moments before death came to take them, as their lives flashed
before their eyes, the Calaviccis knew that something had gone
catastrophically wrong at Project Quantum Leap.
Gate, New Mexico
Sam screamed. “You’re lying to me!”
wish I was, Sam,” Isabella said with sorrow. “I truly wish I was!”
can’t…” Sam began to break down, and Isabella and Adam stopped
walking. His body was wracked with heaving sobs as Isabella knelt down to
nooo… please, God… no… Beth… Al… you can’t be gone! You…
know this comes as a shock, Dr. Beckett, but we need to keep moving. To
pardon the expression, time is of the essence,” Adam nudged.
looked up at Adam defiantly and gritted through his teeth, “How can you
act so heartless? Those were my friends! The people I loved!”
apologize if I seemed unsympathetic, Dr. Beckett, but you have to
realize… to us, this is history,” Adam answered. “It happened many
years ago from our perspective. Izzy’s plan will give you a way to
change all of this from ever occurring, but ultimately, it depends on your
own resolve. History recorded that you never returned home, and the reason
why you never did is because you’ve locked yourself into a set mind
felt like he had been punched in the stomach upon hearing Isabella’s
story and Adam’s statement. I
never returned home? Al and Beth and who knows how many others all dead?
How had things gone so wrong so fast? “But I… I remember going back
home a few times… didn’t I?”
few, yes, but never permanently,” Isabella chimed in. “There was
always a catch that forced you to continue the leaping cycle. The truth
is, you were never able to accept that you were subconsciously controlling
your journey. Because you relinquished your free will, you were at the
mercy of Time’s rules, bouncing back and forth within your own lifetime,
the percentage of returning home dwindling with each new leap, until at
last, it became impossible. In the decades since your disappearance,
we’ve solved a few mysteries about how the leaping process works. When
someone first leaps, they have a forty-eight-hour window of opportunity to
leap back before they become stranded in time. Subsequently, once a person
becomes stranded in the time stream for too long, they become integrated
with it. Their ‘anchor’ deteriorates and they eventually become exiled
in time until the end of their natural life. That time for you is now fast
approaching, Sam. With my help, you can have a second chance at changing
your fate. At this point in history, it’s too late… but at your point
in time, there’s still hope.”
nooo!” Sam protested. “My leaps are controlled by God or Time or
Fate, or-or whatever! I-I even met Him once before… I think… or maybe twice? I
can’t really remember. He
controls my future, not me! He
even implied that the leaps were going to get tougher. And for the most
part, they have been!”
looked into the eyes of this great and selfless man she had looked up to
for her entire life and, for the first time, felt pity. As kind and caring
as he was, he was naïve. That naïveté had also infected her society,
allowing them to blindly follow a “prophecy,” which they believed to
be set in stone. It was for that very reason that she only confided in
Adam about her plan. Sam needed to hear more in order to fully grasp the
gravity of the situation he would soon find himself surrounded by.
right, we need to keep moving,” Isabella changed the subject as the
three individuals continued walking.
I have told you is mere prologue,” she continued. “Unbeknownst to Dr.
Fuller at the time, Ziggy had been using her own resources to tap into the
mainframes of other computer systems across the country in an attempt to
track down your possible location in time. The code Sammy Jo had input
into Ziggy’s mainframe contained a bug, which unintentionally corrupted
her program. Once her corrupted program began interfacing with the other
systems, it acted like a virus, corrupting them in the process.”
other words, her mainframe became a giant server,” Sam realized, almost
stumbling over a rock incline in his path.
you crash the main server and the entire network crashes along with it—a
chain reaction which proved to be disastrous, not just for the Project,
but for the whole nation as well. See, some of the databases that Ziggy
had been interfacing with were controlling several nuclear missile silos
in a few military bases. Once the warheads became active, it was just a
matter of time before they struck. Hence, the ‘nuclear winter’ you
were exposed to when you first leaped in.”
fell silent for a few seconds as she saw the distant look in Sam’s eyes.
He felt partially responsible. It was his brilliant, genius mind that
created Ziggy—a hybrid computer, which was, no pun intended, a quantum
leap beyond anything the world had ever seen; a hybrid computer, which in
turn was too advanced for its own good.
should have known that Ziggy’s advanced program could lead to something
like this someday, Sam thought. Good
God, how could I have let this happen?
let him ponder for a moment before she continued. “But I’m getting
ahead of myself…”
Fuller’s attempt to leap proved to be unsuccessful in the long run, as
she rematerialized in the remains of the Accelerator Chamber a few hours
later. The disorientation she experienced was amplified by the destruction
that surrounded her. She had no idea what she had done or what had
Sammy Jo shouted, coughing through the billowing smoke. She couldn’t
quite remember anything, but it was obvious that something was very wrong
at the Project. She stepped out of the Accelerator into the Control
Room—or rather, what was left of it. The carnage waiting to greet her
was like something out of a bad horror movie.
room and the corridors beyond were littered with bodies, twisted, and in
many cases, burned beyond recognition. Some, she could make out, but most
God! she thought, feeling the bile rising in her stomach. This
can’t be happening! The smoke filled her lungs, and she began to
coughing subsided, which transformed into heavy sobs. No longer able to
contain the bile in her stomach, it poured out, followed by a long series
of dry heaves. As she looked up from her bent-over position, the lifeless
face of the new head programmer, Dominic Lofton, stared back at her from
behind the main control panel. The scorched flesh of his body made him
Oh my God, Lofty! Noooo!” she screamed in terror. Barely beyond the
shock of seeing Dom’s dead body, Sammy Jo turned around and saw the once
beautiful face of Tina Martinez-O’Farrell, her head lying in the corner
of the room—with the rest of her burnt body hunched over in the opposite
corner, along with other appendages strewn out beside it.
Oh please, God, no…” she cried out, as she emptied out the contents of
her stomach all over again. This felt like some horrible nightmare that
she desperately wanted to wake up from. She murmured something but
didn’t get the response she had hoped for, so she repeated it louder and
more clearly than before. “Ziggy?”
there was still no response. “Please answer me,” she whimpered.
seconds later, the disembodied, distorted voice of the parallel-hybrid
computer came alive. “I am… here… Dr. Full… er,” she weakly
stated, the strain apparent in her synthesized voice.
what in the hell happened here?” Sammy Jo yelled through her tears.
Ziggy’s voice was scattered, speaking in fragments that made little
sense. Sammy Jo looked up to the blue orb where Ziggy’s mainframe
resided and saw a faint glimmer of light from within. The blue quantum
energy flow within the globe suddenly jogged her memory, and Sammy Jo’s
heart collapsed under the weight of the knowledge of what she did.
God, what have I done?” she whispered, as she sobbed even more than she
did before. “I condemned them! Every single one of them! How could I
have been so damn careless?”
blame… —self, Doctor,” Ziggy offered, fighting through the
corruption in her system. “No human… being could have… foreseen
“Y-your error?” Sammy Jo asked, confused.
unable to detect… bug in your code—*FZZT—my…
new emotion subroutines. Shall take time… to… purge what’s left
Sammy Jo remembered in shock. “Oh God, Daniel! Ziggy, please tell me
there are people still alive. I need to find… Daniel!”
nearly ten seconds of silence—an eternity for a sentient computer
program—Ziggy’s voice responded with, “Handlink… take…
handlink?” Sammy Jo asked in confusion. As she looked over to the
burnt-out console, she noticed Stephen’s new handlink, miraculously
intact, and grabbed it out of its receptacle. “You mean, the hologram?
But… how can I activate your hologram, Ziggy? Don’t I need to be… in
the… Imaging Chamber?”
component… next to… control panel…” Ziggy responded. “Stephen…
used it to… modify when… handlink broke…”
Jo looked over in desperation, fighting through her tears, as she at last
found the component Stephen had used during his experiments nearly a year
ago. In a flash, it all came back to her, as she knew what needed to be
done to integrate Ziggy’s holographic matrix into the portable unit. She
pushed Dom’s corpse aside, and within fifteen minutes, the hologram was
up-and-running, albeit at diminished capacity.
guided the way, helping Sammy Jo to navigate through the ruins. As they
made their way to the deepest levels of the once-shimmering Project, hope
of finding anyone alive was fading as fast as Sammy’s will to persevere.
After about three hours of searching, Ziggy finally detected a small
section of the complex, caved in but not completely inaccessible.
Carefully making her way into the area, Sammy Jo was overjoyed to find a
few survivors fighting to stay alive, two of whom she had come to look
upon as family members.
Stephen! Oh, thank God, you’re both alive!” she cried, reaching out to
hug them, but then stopping as Donna winced in pain. “Oh no, you’re
be… fine,” Donna reassured as she gritted her teeth. Sammy Jo could
tell from the way she held her right leg, and the way it was positioned,
that it was broken. “It’s S-Stephen I’m… worried about…”
Jo looked over Donna’s shoulder as she got a closer look at Stephen. He
appeared to be almost catatonic. Most
likely from shock, Sammy Jo considered.
she said. “Stephen? Are you all right?”
been like this since I… woke up. Just… unngh… stares off into…
space…” Donna struggled.
Stephen appears to be in… a state of shock due to the… catastrophe,”
Ziggy responded matter-of-factly.
you THINK, Ziggy?” Sammy Jo asked sarcastically. “What about Donna?
Will she be okay?”
has a broken femur… right down the middle, which will… prevent her
from being… able to move on her… own until it heals. Other than… a
possible limp for the rest of her life… I foresee no… permanent
another voice sounded from across the cavern. Sammy Jo and Ziggy turned in
the direction of the voice to find Verbena Beeks standing there, along
with imaging technician Ike Bentenhoff, both of them happy to see someone
God, we were beginning to think we were the only two people who made
it,” Ike said, relieved. “What the hell happened? Did World War Three
break out or something?”
able to contain her grief in front of her friends any longer, Sammy Jo
confessed, “It-it’s all my fault! I… I activated the Accelerator
to… find D-Dad and something went… wrong…” She broke down in
told you, Dr. Fuller… you should not… blame yourself,” Ziggy
interceded, with a slight quiver in her voice. It was almost as if
Ziggy’s program experienced… guilt. “I am… as much to blame as
you… perhaps even more so…”
it, both of you!” Verbena shouted, as her survival instinct kicked in.
“It won’t do any of us any good to have you blaming yourselves, saying
‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’! What’s important now is that we find as
many survivors as we can, and find shelter, and food and water as soon as
right, Verbena,” Sammy Jo conceded as she gestured toward Donna and
Stephen. “Donna is hurt, she… she won’t be able to move on her own.
Stephen’s in a state of… shock.”
bent down to take a hold of Stephen, carrying him against her shoulder,
while Ike took an emergency first-aid kit he had found and tended to
Donna’s injury. “Go and keep searching,” Ike said. “I’ve got
this taken care of.”
Sammy Jo, Ziggy, and Verbena continued their trek through the ruins,
Verbena tried whispering comforting words to Stephen. Upon reaching the
outskirts of what was once the main entrance of Project Quantum Leap,
Sammy Jo screamed in despair as she finally found who she had been looking
for. He was still alive—but it was obvious that he wouldn’t be for
Oh, no, Daniel!”
Daniel Fulton had third-degree burns over ninety percent of his face and
body and was struggling to keep breathing long enough to say his goodbyes
to the woman he loved. “Sam… antha… I… knew you’d be… a…
hold on, Daniel…” Sammy Jo cried. “Ike has a-a first-aid kit…
he’ll-he’ll make you more… c-comfortable…”
too late for me… Sammy,” Daniel told her. “A-any f-fool c’n… see
calling me a fool?” Sammy Jo asked, trying to laugh through the clear
anguish she was feeling.
smiled back at her, gasping for a few final breaths. “Please don’t…
forget me… Sammy… I can… see… the f-future—our… child… will
grow into a… beautiful woman…”
ch—our child?” Sammy Jo asked, thinking her once-fiancé was losing
his mind to the pain that wracked his body.
hope for… humanity…” Daniel’s breathing became heavier as he
struggled to speak his final words. “The light… so beautiful…
please, Daniel, stay with me… just a… little longer… please…”
—bye… Samantha—I… l-love youuu…”
is… gone, Dr. Fuller,” Ziggy said solemnly. “I’m… sorry.”
Sammy Jo knelt there cradling her beloved in her arms, every ounce of
pain, every tear she had ever shed, came pouring out of her wounded soul.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” she screamed.
and Ziggy just looked on, not saying a word to each other. No words were
necessary at a moment like this. Even Ziggy surprised herself with the
feeling of melancholia that overwhelmed her program. But only she, with
her one-million-gigabyte capacity, could have known the exact amount of
time that passed as Sammy Jo continued to cry into the long, dark night.
felt himself at a loss for words. As unbelievable as it all sounded, he
believed Isabella’s story—every word of it. His beloved
Project—destroyed in one fell swoop. His friends and loved ones
struggling to stay alive in the wake of a nuclear disaster—and all
because he wasn’t there.
words weren’t just the nonsensical words of a dying man, either,”
Isabella continued, referring to Daniel Fulton’s final words to Sammy
Jo. “Approximately eight months later, she gave birth to the child he
was referring to. She never even knew she was pregnant until Ziggy had
confirmed it, shortly after Daniel’s death.”
noticed a single tear roll down Isabella’s cheek as she removed the hood
that had been concealing her face. For the first time since his arrival,
Sam was able to get a good look at her. She was an angel of beauty
appearing to be almost thirty years old, as he had guessed earlier, with
flame red hair that stopped and cascaded around her shoulders, and a pale
complexion. In that one moment, Sam knew, without a doubt, the truth
behind Isabella’s heritage.
“You’re the child… aren’t
you?” he asked, knowing in his heart what her answer would be.
she replied. “Isabella Fulton… your granddaughter.”
held her chin up as he looked into her eyes and said, “Your father was
right. You have grown into a beautiful young woman.”
the tears falling from her eyes, she sadly replied, “Except, I was a
girl who grew up without her mother.”
Sam murmured, stumbling backward.
over the course of the next few months… a few dozen survivors were
eventually found, both within the Project’s ruins and people on the
outside world who managed to survive the nuclear fallout. My mother was
able to salvage what was left of Ziggy’s mainframe and converted some
stray power cells to integrate into the Imaging unit so that her
holographic form could be maintained indefinitely. They were able to lead
the survivors into a stable series of caverns beneath the complex that
could sustain them, for a while, at least.”
through it all, Sammy Jo’s guilt was eating away at her, bit by bit. She
felt a small pang of joy when I was born, but even months later, the
anguish she had been carrying overcame her short-lived happiness. She
couldn’t bear to live with her burden and didn’t want her daughter
carrying that “curse” throughout her childhood. On the one-year
anniversary of the Great Disaster, she went to see Donna, who together
with Verbena, had started to break through the psychological barrier
Stephen had erected. The intention of my mother’s visit was not only to
ask for Donna’s forgiveness, but also to ask her for a favor.
sorry to disturb you, Donna,” Sammy Jo began, her four-month-old infant
held tightly in the tattered cloth she was wrapped up in. “But… well,
you’ve always been like a mother to me and… I have a request.”
limped over to Sammy Jo, looking at her through tired eyes, and remained
silent as her stepdaughter spoke.
don’t expect you to forgive me for what I’ve done. I can’t even
forgive myself. Every day—literally,
every day—I’m reminded of the terrible mistake I made that led to… this,” she made a grand gesture with her free hand to emphasize
her point. “I can’t keep going on. I can’t!”
Donna interrupted, knowing where the conversation was going. “Please…
you’ve got to stop blaming yourself. No one blames you, except you.
We’ve survived—all of us—because of you and Ziggy! We could never
have made it as far as we did without the two of you guiding our path. If
there’s anything to forgive,
it’s the lapse in judgment you had when you activated the Accelerator.
And for what it’s worth… I do
forgive you for that.”
Jo cried as she replied, “I wish that were enough. But, it isn’t. The
pain never goes away, Donna. I thought having Izzy could help me forget
about it… but I can’t! My irresponsibility helped pave the way for
this disaster. I-I can’t let Izzy’s growth as a person suffer as a
result of that. How can I ever hope to protect her if I couldn’t even
protect an entire civilization? This world is better off without me! Isabella…
is better off…”
you’re being too hard on yourself,” Donna started to say, until
Stephen suddenly pushed his way between her and Sammy Jo.
the first time in twelve months, Stephen spoke. “Sammy. Don’t go.”
Donna replied in shock. “Oh, my sweet boy!”
Jo handed the innocent form of Isabella Fulton over to Donna and
reasserted her decision. “Please, Donna. Take good care of her. I can
leave this world peacefully knowing she’s in your hands. All of the
Project data I was able to salvage and compile is stored in Ziggy’s
mobile unit. All you or Stephen need to do is to access them from her
Donna pleaded. “Please don’t do this! Reconsider—”
Sammy Jo interrupted. “I… I need peace. I want to be… with…
Daniel. Please try to understand. I-I’m sorry.” As she hugged Donna
and Stephen tight and kissed Isabella’s forehead, she shed her last
deluge of tears as she somberly said, “Goodbye.”
as Sammy Jo left the cavern, Donna continued to stare at Isabella’s
youthful face, the innocent child completely unaware of the world
surrounding her. How can I just stand here and let her end her life? Donna thought. All
Al, Verbena, and I, and so many others ever wanted was for Sammy to find
she’ll never find it in this world, she argued with herself. Why
shouldn’t she be allowed to end her misery?
Stephen meekly asked.
Stephen.” Donna took hold of her ten-year-old son with her free arm and
sorrowfully explained, “I think Sammy Jo lost her will a long time ago,
sweetie. Nothing I said would have changed her mind. Please don’t hate
her for it.”
mother, son, and infant remained motionless in their small living space,
not a word was spoken for what seemed like hours, even though it was most
likely just minutes. The one who finally broke the silence was Stephen,
who suddenly seemed to emerge out of his catatonic state completely. He
spoke with a new determination, his boyhood innocence gone forever,
replaced by the first inklings of a mature, young man. “I won’t let
her decision be in vain, Mom. I’m going to teach Isabella everything
that Sammy and I ever knew. No one in this world will ever forget the
legacy that Dad started with Ziggy and the Project. I swear it!”
took hold of her son tight and kissed his forehead, wishing her husband
could be here to see the young man that Stephen was becoming. Her heart
yearned for him, but she knew as well what Sammy Jo realized in the end:
Sam was out there, doing what he had always been meant to do. He was never
coming back. And for the first time in over a decade, she felt truly
alone. Only Stephen and Isabella could fill the huge hole in her heart.
took in all the details of the story that the adult Isabella was telling
him and could no longer contain his frustration and sorrow. “Oh,
Samantha… you could have had so many wonderful years ahead of you. Why
did you do it?”
you see what I meant when I said I was a girl who grew up without her
mother,” Isabella expressed her mutual sorrow.
looked up at Isabella and asked, “W-why are you telling me all this? I
mean… what’s the point of sharing all of these horrible things that
happened to everyone with me if I can’t do a damn thing about them
you need to see how far your ‘legacy’ has reached, Dr. Beckett,”
Adam announced ahead of them. “We’ve arrived at our destination.”
you are about to see is the cold, monotonous reality of the society we
live in every day,” Isabella said. “You can’t let them see who you
really are. You’ll need to keep your face concealed from the public,
did as he was told and placed the hood of his cloak back over his head. He
heard Isabella whisper into his ear, “Just let us do all the talking.”
As he looked ahead, he saw a mysterious, but familiar brown-haired man
approaching them. Sam could feel the thumping of his heart reverberating
through his body. What was this “legacy” that Isabella and Adam were
referring to? Did it involve the so-called “Prophecy” that was
thoughts were interrupted by the powerful and deep voice of the man who
greeted Adam and Isabella. He spoke with an overpowering charisma,
enunciating every syllable. “Greetings, Brother Adam! Your presence is
always looked upon as a blessing to us! And greetings to you, Sister
Isabella! I see you have brought a guest into our midst.”
hesitated slightly before she responded, “Yes, this is… Thomas. He
wishes to be blessed with the gift of salvation in these final moments of
the enthusiastic man responded. “The more disciples there are to follow
the Word, the greater the eternal reward for all of us. Come, let us
celebrate the Prophecy together!”
followed the three individuals into a series of man-made corridors, which
reminded him of… something vaguely familiar. Everything was dark, but he
knew he had been here before. I’m
not sure why I have to hide my identity, but if it’ll give me the
answers I’m seeking, then I suppose I’ll have to masquerade as this…
Thomas, Sam thought.
he continued to follow the others, the architecture of the corridors
triggered Sam’s memories, as he discovered exactly why they looked
familiar. My God, it’s the remnants of the Project! he realized. He could
see a light at the end of the tunnel. As he got closer to the light, it
grew until it filled the whole area.
upon entering the light, he could hear a large group of people chanting in
unison. It was hard to make out at first, but within a matter of minutes,
the chanting grew louder as well. They were repeating, “Praise
be to the Traveler, for He shall come again! Praise be to the Traveler,
for He shall come again!”
the leader guided Sam, Isabella, and Adam through the final stretch of the
corridor, Sam couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the scene unfolding
before him. He was in a rebuilt version of the former Project’s Control
Room. Gathered in the room was a crowd of about fifty or so people,
dressed in tattered robes and cloaks, all of them appearing to be in a
state of deep worship. Situated above them was a giant mural, which was
sitting in the spot where the blue orb that once housed Ziggy’s
mainframe used to be. The mural contained a painted image of a man in
white, surrounded by a bluish glow, with his arms outstretched towards the
took a closer look at the mural and was shocked when he saw the image of
the man’s face was his own—surrounded by a multitude of images of
random people from all walks of life.
boy!” he whispered in total awe. Sam wanted an explanation for the
“legacy” that he left behind—now, he was going to get it.
my brothers and sisters! Praise the Traveler!” the preacher shouted to
the Traveler, Father Stephen!” the crowd responded.
God, no wonder why he looked familiar! Sam realized. My boy is all grown up!
new disciple joins us today!” the now thirty-eight-year-old Stephen
Beckett gestured toward Sam and continued. “His name is Thomas, and he
wishes for his soul to be saved on the Eve of Final Ascension! Let us, the
holy members of the Divine Brotherhood of the Quantum Traveler, welcome
him with open arms… and an open heart!”
Thomas!” the crowd said in unison.
too realizes, as have we all, that as the New Age looms… the Almighty
Word is the only thing that can absolve our tainted souls! The Traveler
hears our prayers and grants us eternal salvation!”
the Positive! ALLELUIA!” they shouted in unison again.
couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. These people were worshipping
him, treating him like he was the Son of God. Isabella could see the
protest beginning to form from Sam’s mouth and quietly shushed him.
Reluctantly, he remained silent as he continued to listen to Stephen
speak, allowing him to preach his “gospel.”
we worship in these final hours of the Eve of Final Ascension, let us
reflect back on the many miracles the Traveler has blessed us with. I
bestow upon all of you the first of His many children who have been given
the gift of His guidance: Brother Michael Stratton.”
looked up and saw an elderly man in his mid eighties approach the podium.
Upon hearing the name “Michael Stratton,” Sam suddenly recalled the
identity of the first person he leaped into a little over ten years ago,
Tom Stratton, and his son. “Mikey!” he whispered in shock.
the Traveler touched my life during the very first Year of Ascension. My
father was a pilot and was fated to die. Had it not been for the
Traveler’s kind and generous compassion, my life would surely have been
one of great sorrow and misery. As a result of His divine intervention, He
was also able to give the gift of life to my sister, Samantha. The Quantum
Traveler reached back into Time itself to touch my life, so that I could
know His glory!”
Michael was just the first of the Chosen Ones!” Stephen continued.
“Thousands upon thousands of His children, many of whom this world
deemed unworthy of His giving graces, have received the Traveler’s
blessing, decades before the Age of Ascension even began! The
Leap Chronicles, as I have dictated, have shown numerous others the
light of His giving grace. I implore any others who have received His
blessings to come forward and tell us your story, so that we might further
revel in His love!”
a minute, a line of approximately a few dozen men and women of different
ages formed in front of the podium. Many of them, Sam couldn’t
recognize, but a few faces stood out in his mind, as he suddenly began
remembering several of the leaps that he made over the past ten years of
his life. The first of which was an elderly woman, around the same age as
Michael Stratton, give or take a few years.
name is Becky Pruitt, and the Traveler touched my life when I was but a
little girl. Back when the Traveler still assumed the human name of Samuel
Beckett, He controlled the life force of a murderer named Leon Styles, who
had taken my mother and I hostage in our own home.”
a random voice from the crowd shouted.
another random voice shouted.
He convinced us that He wasn’t going to hurt us and set us free! He knew
nothing of us, and yet, He defied Fate and put right what was destined to
go wrong in our lives. I took that lesson with me into my adult life and
used it to keep doing good for others. Once the Great Disaster came upon
us and the existence of the Traveler was confirmed, I just knew that I had
been chosen to be one of His disciples. I’ve devoted the remainder of my
life to His Word and the lessons He taught us: to love one another and to
pull others like me into His loving embrace.”
be to the Traveler!” the crowd shouted in response.
a man and a woman stepped forward. They were middle-aged, appearing to be
in their mid fifties or so. The man had graying brown hair, brown eyes and
was of average height and build. Sam didn’t recognize him, but the woman
standing next to him looked very familiar. She had long, dark brown hair,
dark brown eyes, and contained an aura of youthfulness, despite her age.
everyone,” the man began nervously. “I’m Damian Santorelli and this
is my wife, Terry. Before the Great Disaster, our paths never even
crossed, but the Traveler’s impact on both of our lives and our shared
experiences is what brought us together in its aftermath. I’m one of the
few that have been blessed twice by the Traveler. When I was a teenager, I had been in a state
of deep depression—so deep that I often thought about ending my life. He
took control over the person who would become my best friend, and showed
me a level of kindness no stranger had ever shown me before. It gave me a
new hope that there were caring
people in the world who didn’t always think about themselves and we
became like brothers to one another.”
I don’t remember him, Sam thought. Must
have been a leap I haven’t done yet.
years later, I met a woman named Margaret Conahey through the online
community, who I had also begun developing a close friendship with,”
Damian continued. “She was becoming like a sister to me but was also
destined to die in a terrible car crash, which would have cut our
new-found kinship short, had it not been for the Traveler. He took control
of her life and shared in her pain, ultimately keeping her alive. Her loss
would have devastated me at a point in my life when I had finally started
feeling better about myself. His strength kept her alive, allowing her
wonderful soul to continue touching my life as she had touched so many
was then Terry’s turn to speak. “And Damian’s strength and
compassion in turn helped me continue living after the Great Disaster
struck. During my childhood, when I was almost five years old, the
Traveler and His Companion appeared to me and saved my brother, Kevin,
from a horrible fate. The Companion, Albert Calavicci, promised he’d be
a part of my life again someday, and he fulfilled his promise many years
later. Unfortunately, he was one of the first to be lost in the Great
Disaster, and his loss very nearly destroyed my spirit. If not for Damian,
and the lesson he learned from
the Traveler, I would’ve lost all hope. Our story is the perfect example
of how the lives that the Traveler touched, in turn touched others, and in
some cases, rippled back through time to touch each other. Samuel Beckett
was truly a Savior to all of us. I never forgot about Him.”
Bruckner?” Sam whispered. “My God, it is
be to the Traveler!” the crowd shouted once again.
Damian and Teresa stepped away from the podium, another woman came
forward. She had blond hair and dark green eyes. Although she was a few
years younger than her predecessors, she appeared to be struggling with
some kind of illness that made her weak.
name is Dawn Bowen and my story is one of both tragedy and triumph. When I
was five years old, my birth parents died, which left me an orphan.
Shortly afterward, I was injured in a hit-and-run accident, which sent me
into the hospital. When I was there, a medical mix-up caused me to get
infected with the HIV virus through a tainted needle.”
crowd gasped in disbelief over the tragic occurrences in her life.
despite the fact that I had become ‘damaged goods,’ the Traveler took
control of a social worker who in turn adopted me. He showed me
unconditional love, even in the wake of a terrible illness that still
consumes me to this day. I never forgot that lesson, and I used it to
become an advocate for AIDS. Countless others who shared my fate took in
my message of caring and hope and became better people in the process.”
be to the Traveler!” the crowd shouted for the third time.
returned to the podium and said, “What powerful messages of love! Their
stories prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Traveler, AKA Samuel
Beckett, has been moving back and forth within Time itself to change the
lives of so many. I know there are many others who would like to share
their experiences, but I feel it would be appropriate at this time to lead
us all in singing our unending hymn of praise!”
crowd seemed to become overjoyed at this statement, and they immediately
began singing in unison a chorus that also sounded vaguely familiar to
“I’m just a Traveler,
upon the sea
Of time, of life, of
Fate’s wide wheel
Just a Traveler, in this
The me I am, is all
that’s real to me”
heard the words being sung with a religious connotation and felt a wave of
déjà vu hit him. He had heard that somewhere before, but he couldn’t
remember where and when. Was it also from another leap?
and Adam pulled Sam off to the side as they motioned him toward a corridor
behind them. “Come along, Thomas,”
Isabella whispered. “We don’t have much more time to do what needs to
they slowly moved away from the crowd, Sam’s mind went in a thousand
different directions. “What the hell was
all that, Izzy? It’s like a… cult!
Those people are letting their lives be governed by some ridiculous notion
that I’m, what? A god who knows all and sees all?”
is that so hard for you to believe, Dr. Beckett?” Adam replied. “Every
religion has its origins based on the notion of a powerful entity that
governs us. The Christians believed that a humble carpenter named Jesus
was the Son of God that was meant to deliver us from our sins—all
because he performed a few miracles and taught people to love one
a lot more to it than that, Adam,” Sam defended his Christian
upbringing. “Jesus Christ’s coming was foretold in the Old Testament.
He was born in an immaculate conception through the Virgin Mary so that he
could devote His entire lifetime to preaching God’s gospel and to
inspire the world through His deeds. He loved us so much, that He was
willing to be crucified so that God could save us from our sins. He was
subsequently resurrected on the third day to give us Hope of eternal
you know this as fact? Were you there?” Adam challenged.
no, but… that’s what the Bible tells us. It’s what I was taught.”
the Bible was also written by Man. It is simply speculation that God was
speaking through Man to convey His message. Ultimately, it comes down to
what you yourself believe. Faith is an extremely powerful thing. It can
create an absolute truth in your mind, despite the lack of hard evidence.
For all you know, Jesus could have been a time-traveler, like you, who
performed ‘parlor tricks’ to convince his followers that he was
performing ‘miracles,’ or even used modern-day techniques to heal the
can you even think something
like that?” Sam asked angrily.
not agreeing or disagreeing with you, Doctor; simply giving you something
to dwell on. You’ve never questioned why
your beliefs are true, only that ‘They just are,’
or ‘That’s the way it is.’
Anyone can believe whatever he or she wishes to believe, but most people
never bother to question the reasons why
they believe what they do.”
brief memory resurfaced in Sam’s head once again. A mysterious
‘bartender’ who told him, “Sometimes… ‘That’s the way it is’ is the best explanation.”
The memory was so vivid, and yet, so very prophetic now. “He knew! He was challenging my way of thinking even back then!” Sam
whispered to himself.
about the Muslims?” Adam continued, not hearing Sam’s words. “They
believe Allah to be their
creator. Small segments of their doctrine even dictate that the
non-believers should be smote down and punished. There have been some
extremists who have taken that quite literally and led horrible acts of
terrorism upon our world. September 11, 2001 proved the evil extremes
which some would go to in the name of religion.”
11th? W-what are you talking about? What happened on September 11th?”
Sam asked, honestly ignorant of the events that supposedly happened that
needs to learn of those events on his own, Adam,” Isabella interrupted.
“I think what he’s trying to say, Sam, is that there are many
religious and political leaders throughout history who let themselves hear
what they want to hear in order
to justify their actions. The Crusades, the Nazi regime, the Taliban…
they were all responsible for some of the bloodiest slaughters this world
has ever seen, and all in the name of race or religious beliefs. In the
eyes of the followers, their deeds will lead to great rewards in the
afterlife. They honestly don’t see their actions as wrong, even though
understand what you’re saying, but is there a point to this debate?”
Sam asked. “I mean, what does this all have to do with me and this… cult
devoted to my ‘legacy’?”
there are some within the ranks that believe a ‘reckoning’ is about to
unfold,” replied Isabella. “Your prophesized ‘resurrection’ will
supposedly usher in a new age of human existence. Adam and I have reason
to believe that an extreme faction of fanatics plan on doing something
that will accelerate our ‘destruction.’ How yet, we’re not entirely
sure. But your knowledge of what’s to come could change all that. I want
you to take a quick look at something.”
handed Sam a thick document with the title, The
Leap Chronicles. Sam saw that several pages were dog-eared and
realized that Izzy wanted him to read what was highlighted on the selected
“‘The quantum physicist once known as Samuel Beckett stepped into the
Quantum Accelerator on May 4, 1995, and ascended to a new plane of
existence upon entering the Fourth Dimension. This has come to be known as
the Day of Ascension, marking the beginning of a new age. The Age of
Ascension shall last for forty years, whereupon He shall return as the
Traveler and deliver us from our sins so that we may join Him on His
eternal crusade to right the world’s wrongs.’ So… the date of my
first leap was used as the focal point for your… calendar?”
does that surprise you?” Adam replied. “The Roman Gregorian calendar
is based on the approximate date of Jesus’ birth. Although many believe
that the calendar is off by about four years or so, but that’s beside
the point. According to the Jewish calendar, we’ve just moved into the
20th of Tevet in the year 5795. And according to the Chinese calendar, we
are in the year 4732. The Brotherhood’s origins center around your first
leap, so we record the passage of time based on the amount of years
you’ve been gone since then.”
Sam exclaimed as he flipped a page and continued reading. “‘The
Companion, known as Albert Calavicci, guided the Traveler’s journey
during the first ten years. As was foretold in the Prophecy, the
Companion’s mortal existence ended during the Great Disaster, which
ushered in the first phase of Final Ascension. During this time, the
Traveler’s Son, Stephen Beckett, brought His followers together to form
a new society based on His teachings.’”
skipped ahead to another section and kept reading. “‘During
the Second Decade of Ascension, a small faction of His followers led a
revolt to establish the presence of the Divine Brotherhood and to seek out
the Chosen Ones who were unaware of the Traveler’s impact on their
lives. With the Divine Brotherhood of the Quantum Traveler firmly
established as a legitimate religious society, the Chosen Ones began to
work toward the day when Final Ascension would take place.’”
that day is today, Sam,” Isabella noted. “Final Ascension refers to
the end of the ‘string’ that represents your death. The Prophecy says
your lifetime will end when you return to die of natural causes, just as
the Gregorian calendar rolls over from December 31, 2034 to January 1,
according to this ‘Prophecy,’” Sam said sarcastically, with a hint
of a smirk on his face, “my death will result in the end of the world?
Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?”
it’s our society that will
end, not the world,” Isabella corrected. “But, you’re right. I
personally never bought into that notion either. Unfortunately, there are
many others who are so strong in their beliefs, they’re willing to do
whatever it takes to ensure that it will
our religious discussion earlier?” Sam realized.
Isabella confirmed. Motioning to Adam, he pulled out what appeared to be a
pocket-sized audio playback unit. “You’re probably wondering why that
hymn the crowd started singing sounded so familiar, right? Turn to the
last page and read the verses while you listen to this recording. I
guarantee you’ll recognize it in its entirety.”
pressed a few buttons on the unit while Sam found the entire hymn as
Isabella told him. The memories of a leap long past returned to the
forefront of his mind as he read the title: “Fate’s
As I travel in space and
I want to stay; I want to
You see my face, but
it’s not mine
What you can’t see,
you’ll never know
How can we meet, if I’m
Our hearts may touch, our
But time divides what we
And sends us all where no
I’m just a traveler,
upon the sea
Of time, of life, of
Fate’s Wide Wheel
Just a traveler, in this
The me I am, is all
that’s real to me
We all begin this life
We live; we love, all
through the years
Yet deep inside, we long
But it recedes, obscured
I cry for time, it falls
The door of faith remains
But in my soul, this hope
Oh, please let there be
one final leap
I’m just a traveler,
upon the sea
Of time, of life, of
Fate’s Wide Wheel
Just a traveler, in this
The me I am, is all
that’s real to me
The me I am, is all
that’s real to me
do remember this song!” Sam recalled. “I was… Tonic of the
rock band, King Thunder! I sang this very song!”
of your earlier leaps, according to the Chronicles,”
Isabella offered. “It’s become the mantra for your followers—the
hymn they sing to praise you.”
is insane! I’m not some miraculous Messiah! I’m just a man—an
ordinary human being, like Stephen and the rest of them! All I’ve really
done is change a few lives here and there, that’s all!”
the risk of over-inflating your ego, Sam, you’ve done so much more than
that. To the people you’ve helped, you are
a Messiah! You’re a Savior to these people—someone who showed
unconditional love for complete strangers because you didn’t have an
ounce of selfishness in you. You cared in a world where compassion was
becoming as foreign as the situations you found yourself in. Stephen
wanted the world to know of your accomplishments, to share your compassion
with others. He did what he felt was necessary to keep your spirit
at what cost?” Sam asked. “Even though I didn’t always consciously
remember him or your mother, or even Donna, deep down inside, all I’ve
ever wanted was for them to move on, to create better lives for
themselves. Stephen could have done so much more with his life.”
you weren’t there for him,” Isabella interrupted, with a kind, but
firm voice. “That little boy was forced to grow up before his time. With
Al and my mother no longer around, it fell on him to look after Donna—to
protect her. The truth is… he needed you… more than you could ever
know. That’s why I can’t just stand idly by and allow this… reality
I still don’t understand what I can do to change all this,” Sam
me, Dr. Beckett,” Adam chimed in. “Everything will become clear in a
Sam followed Adam and Isabella once again, he found himself being led into
a new, hidden area of the former Project, one he was unfamiliar with.
After making sure no one else was around, Isabella entered a secret
password into the keypad on the wall, and the door cracked open.
inside, Sam looked around to see literally hundreds of books, volumes of
forgotten scientific lore lining the shelves, collecting dust. This
must be some kind of private workspace Isabella built for herself, Sam
thought. As the thought entered his head, a familiar female voice spoke
from across the room. “Welcome
home, Dr. Beckett.”
knew that voice anywhere. What he saw when he turned around, however,
threw him for a loop. Standing before him was a beautiful woman with brown
eyes, shoulder-length brown hair, and the body of a supermodel. The vision
of beauty was wearing a white dress that accentuated her perfect form.
Another memory floated to the front of Sam’s brain as he recalled her
face appearing to him a few times in the past. Recent developments in his
own time had resulted in a new handlink that projected a partial image of
Ziggy from the shoulders and neck up. As Sam looked at this woman, he
realized that he was now seeing the full hologram standing before him.
I’m now complete. It’s been a long time… Father!”
I-it’s really you! You still exist!” Sam practically shouted with
glee. As he reached his hand out toward her face, he was surprised when it
actually touched her physical form.
something wrong, Doctor?” Ziggy asked curiously.
not a hologram anymore!” he replied in shock.
that!” Ziggy replied with a huge smile on her face. “Actually, I
still am a hologram, Dr.
Beckett—just not an intangible one anymore. A lot can change in thirty
years, as you’ve no doubt seen by now.”
the way you’re speaking… you’re not talking like a computer
program,” Sam was puzzled. It was as if Ziggy had shed her computerized
personality completely and had become… human.
the years, I’ve attempted to explore more aspects of humanity. Your…
disappearance affected me more than I’d care to admit, Father. In
addition, the Admiral’s death left a… gap in my program. It was a very
disconcerting feeling. To be honest, I… I’ve missed the adventures all
three of us used to have together. Even if the Admiral did
used to call me a ‘bucket of bolts’ when he was annoyed with me.”
do I, Ziggy,” Sam said earnestly. “So do I.”
any event, Dr. Beckett… it’s good to finally see you again, even if
you’ll be gone again shortly.”
again?” Sam asked. “What do you mean?”
isn’t it obvious, Dr. Beckett?” Ziggy replied. “You’re going to go
back to where you belong.”
Sam queried, looking back to Isabella and Adam.
you been paying any attention, Dr. Beckett?” Adam responded, slightly
annoyed. “Izzy plans on sending you back home so that, in effect, your
future—our past—will change.”
not sure I follow,” Sam said.
stepped forward and began to explain the specifics of her plan. “For the
better part of the past quarter of a century, I’ve been conducting
extensive research into my mother’s theories and what went wrong back in
1995 and 2005. Through the continuation of her work, I was finally able to
perfect the retrieval program and find you. Didn’t you wonder how I was
able to bring you here, to this specific point in time?”
mean… my being here wasn’t a
coincidence?” Sam pondered.
course it wasn’t,” Adam answered. “Using the perfected retrieval
program and ‘our’ Ziggy’s upgraded matrix, Izzy was able to
reestablish your connection to ‘her’ so that she could track your
presence in-between leaps anywhere in the time stream and redirect your
next leap here instead.”
that’s the case, then how come you didn’t just ‘redirect’ me back
home in the first place? Or even send me back as soon as I got here?”
Sam asked, somewhat confused.
not quite that simple, Sam,” Isabella explained. “My mother was able
to salvage as much of the Project’s database as possible, but she
wasn’t able to salvage the actual leaping program—at least, not in the
same way you originally designed it. You forget, Doctor, there are
hundreds of ‘followers’ out there that are anxiously awaiting your
return. The reason why is because your older self is still out there
leaping. He has been for the
past thirty years—and according to the Prophecy, he’s about to finally
come home to die. Once that happens, you’ll be bumped out of this time
period, since you can’t exist outside of your own lifetime without a
host that you’re genetically connected to. That’s why I pulled you out
now, before your lifetime ends and it becomes too late.”
a minute,” Sam interrupted, trying to make sense of what Isabella told
him. “If I’m here… now… then, how
am I still out there?”
temporarily pulled you out of temporal sync with your own leaping cycle,
which is why you leaped as yourself and not into someone else’s aura.
Think of yourself as a ‘shadow’… a simulacrum of your body and soul
that was pulled out of quantum phase from your regular body, as it existed
in 2005. Remember how I said that the temporal ‘anchor’ of a leaper
deteriorates after they’ve been trapped in time for too long? Well, your
temporal ‘anchor’ is still at PQL, in your
present, but it won’t be for much longer—relatively speaking. You’ve
been trapped in time for a little over a decade. All I can do is return
you to the point in the quantum field where I got you from, so that you
can leap yourself to a point in your own
past where you can plant the ‘seed’ for your return before it becomes
seed?” Sam asked.
Sam asked the question, Isabella held up a small Plexiglas tube containing
what appeared to be a microchip. “This chip has the perfected Retrieval
program stored in its memory. I’ve programmed a time-code that will
automatically activate within a week of the Great Disaster occurring on
November 22, 2005, and lock onto your temporal signature in the time
stream. But in order for it to work, it needs to be integrated into
Ziggy’s circuitry in the dawning days of her creation.”
most logical timeframe for its integration would be the first few months
of your tenure at the Star Bright Project, Dr. Beckett,” Ziggy
interceded. “When my blueprint was still in the pre-conceptual stages,
SID was the prototype for what I would eventually become. In a way, I
suppose you could say ‘he’ was my… older ‘brother.’”
Sam suddenly recalled. “That’s right! The—the energy ball that
Professor LoNigro showed me when I first signed on had time-altering
properties, if I remember correctly. It kept… growing. We had to build a
special mainframe just to contain its growth.”
that’s correct, Dr. Beckett,” Ziggy continued. “And once I was
created, Admiral Calavicci, Dr. Gushman, and yourself took some of the
components from SID and transplanted them into the core of the mainframe
that contained my program. Since Isabella’s chip contains an automated
time-code, assuming it’s properly inserted into my core components in
the past, it should remain dormant until it activates in ‘your’
present, allowing me to retrieve you in 2005. If you target either
yourself or one of the other two individuals I mentioned earlier to be
your host for the next leap and covertly plant the chip into SID without
changing the course of the Star Bright Project’s history, I project a
near one hundred percent chance of success.”
“Near one hundred percent?” Sam asked Ziggy curiously. “I never
knew you to be so non-precise in your calculations.”
as I said earlier, Father. A lot—”
Sam finished for her. “A lot can change in thirty years.”
just as Sam finished his sentence, a large cry from the crowd in the
Control Room down the corridor could be heard, and a random voice
screaming, “Final Ascension is upon us! The Traveler has returned!”
no!” Isabella said, as she turned toward the digital readout on her
console and saw the digits blink from 23:59:59
to 00:00:00. It was now January 1, 2035.
happening! We don’t have a lot of time! Ziggy, we need to send my
grandfather back now!” However, as Isabella turned to give the chip to Sam, Adam
stood between them, not letting her pass. “Adam? What are you doing?”
needs to be done… Izzy. I can’t let you alter this timeline. I’ve
worked too hard to see my plans come unraveled so easily.”
are you talking about?” Isabella asked, suddenly very concerned.
sorry, Izzy,” he responded as, with amazingly quick reflexes, he turned
toward Sam and punched him hard, square across the jaw with the back of
Sam muffled as he fell to the floor.
quickly as he had punched Sam, he turned back toward Isabella and drew two
strange-looking laser devices from beneath his cloak. He aimed one at her
and Ziggy, while placing his left foot on top of Sam’s back, shoving him
into the ground to keep him down. “Don’t move, or ‘your’
Sam dies, right here and now!” He aimed the other weapon at Sam’s back
to prove his point.
what do you think you’re doing?” Ziggy asked.
quote the late Samantha Josephine Fuller, ‘I think it should be
obvious.’ I intend for the Prophecy to be fulfilled exactly
as the extremist factions want it to happen. Those people out there will
all be annihilated in just a few short minutes. And then, there will be no
one left behind to stop MY
followers and I from exacting retribution for the pathetic good deeds Sam
has performed over the past eighty-plus years! This weapon, of my own
invention, is charged with a temporal disruption beam capable of tearing a
human body apart at the subatomic level. Even at this very moment, my men
are standing by until the designated time of ‘old’ Sam’s death at
12:10 AM, waiting to blast the crowd with a focused chronal burst that
will tear their bodies apart and send them into eternal oblivion!”
Isabella cried. “You sold us out! How could you betray us?”
evilly, Adam responded, “Oh, my dear, sweet Isabella, you are even more
naïve than the good Dr. Beckett and your mother were. You and Stephen
were my pawns since Day One! Haven’t you ever heard the old expression,
‘Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer’? No, I
don’t suppose you have. Before your time, I guess. Anyway, I’ve had
the leaping technology under everyone’s noses, including yours and
Ziggy’s, for decades. It was just a matter of waiting for the right time
isn’t possible!” Ziggy protested, her old arrogant ego resurfacing.
“That kind of technology could never
have been concealed from my
arrogant of you to presume that
my leaping technology is the same version of the one Sam Beckett created,
you insipid egotistical hologram! Have you ever heard of a man named
Braden!” Sam mumbled under his restraints, suddenly recalling that
fateful leap from just a few short months ago.
seems he managed to escape from a top-secret military base during the late
1950s with a rather… unique memoir on time-travel theories and
equations. He sold those secrets to various people over the next thirty
years before his eventual murder at the hands of his daughter, Zoë
Malvison. Some time after Braden’s death, I stumbled across a copy of
his memoirs. A very wise man, I must
say, to ensure that he had multiple copies of his documents so that they
wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.
suffice it to say, I studied those memoirs inside and out. I craved for
the power to manipulate Time, to control people’s lives with a single
thought or action. And then, the Great Disaster occurred. I found out
about Dr. Beckett and Project Quantum Leap. I knew I could use that to
cement my foothold on history. Who do you think planted the information
that Stephen foretold in the Prophecy?”
my God!” Isabella realized. “It was you?”
hah, did you honestly think that the ‘Traveler’s’ return was prophesized?
You disappoint me, Izzy! I thought you were smarter than those fools out
there! I have time-travel at my disposal! I can peek into the future as
well as into the past! I knew EXACTLY
when the ‘old’ Sam would come home to die. Everything Stephen wrote in
the Chronicles was told to him
through the computerized sentience he called Dante. And whom do you think
found Dante’s program in the Project ruins and reprogrammed ‘him’ to
give Stephen that information? Yes, that would again be me!
I have to admit; I got quite a kick out of the little game I played with
Sam Beckett’s descendants! I secretly helped Stephen manufacture an
entire religion that I could mold to my liking! That little twerp would do
anything to be reunited with his daddy!”
used my son and brainwashed him! You bastard!”
Sam screamed as he struggled underneath the restricting force of Adam’s
boot in his back.
now, it’s pointless to struggle, Samuel,”
Adam mocked him. “This will all be over in a few minutes. Your older
self will die, and you’ll be
reintegrated into your leaping cycle, completely unaware of the events
that have transpired here. Allowing me
to continue my work without any more interference!”
can’t possibly expect us to let you get away with this, Adam,” Ziggy
defied him. “Even if your weapon works the way you say it does, you
cannot use it to destroy me. I am not human.”
right, Ziggy. You’re not
human,” Adam said. “But Isabella IS!”
And before Sam or Ziggy could even flinch, Adam pulled the trigger as a
stream of red quantum energy enveloped Isabella Fulton along with the
Retrieval chip she was still holding. Her body appeared to stretch and
contort as a blood-curdling scream came out of her mouth, and she
disappeared in a flash of light.
No, I wasn’t quick enough,” said Ziggy sadly. For a nanosecond, Adam
could swear he saw a tear forming in her holographic eye, and it surprised
used that brief moment of distraction to push out of Adam’s foothold
with all his strength. Adam stumbled as Sam used his martial arts training
to instantly get up and execute a roundhouse kick into the side of
Adam’s shoulder. The weapons went flying out of Adam’s hands as Sam
continued his assault, letting his rage fuel him on.
several minutes, the two men traded blows back and forth, while Ziggy’s
matrix stood off to the side in a daze, apparently trying to compute how
Adam could have duped her program. Down the corridor, the crowd of
followers could still be heard, awing and praying to the “other” Sam
Beckett, who was on death’s door. As Adam managed to land a lucky blow
into Sam’s chin, Sam stumbled backward for about two seconds, giving
Adam just enough of an opening to dive for his weapon.
Ziggy seemed to snap to attention. As she saw Adam dive for the weapon, a
level of fury emerged from the deepest recesses of her emotional
subroutines, and she screamed, “NO!
YOU SHALL NOT HARM MY FATHER!”
and Adam both looked up, shocked and horrified, as Ziggy’s holographic
form began glowing with a bright red energy and moved with an extremely
incredible speed toward Adam’s body.
“NO! Stay AWAY from me!”
“I FORBID YOU TO CONTINUE WITH YOUR
PLANS! YOU HAVE SINNED, AND FOR THAT, YOU SHALL NOW FEEL THE WRATH… OF
pupils of Ziggy’s eyes disappeared, replaced by a solid white glow as
she extended her arm and phased it into Adam’s chest. Sam watched in
horror as Ziggy phased her arm back into solid form while it was still
impaling Adam’s body.
Adam screamed, as a wave of electrical charges shot through him like
lightning. He felt his life force seep out of him just as the darkness
came to envelop his soul.
just as quickly as Ziggy’s wrath took over, it was over.
about a minute, there was nothing but silence. Sam looked at Adam’s dead
body and saw Ziggy standing over it, just staring at it with a look of
pure fear in her once-again normal eyes.
Sam gently asked. “Talk to me, Ziggy.”
the sound of her creator’s voice invading the room, Ziggy looked back up
to Sam and nervously responded, “I… I could not control myself, Dr.
Beckett. He was… going to kill you. I… couldn’t let that happen.”
was that—that ‘Eden’ thing all about?”
was… a name I had considered calling myself when my solid holographic
form first became complete. For some reason unknown to me, I felt
compelled to revert to that name when I decided to cast Adam out of the
paradise he wanted to create for himself here. Please… forgive me,
forgive you, Ziggy,” Sam consoled her. “I felt a rage when he killed
wait!” Ziggy interrupted. “Isabella isn’t dead! I… can still
detect her life force!”
How is that possible?” Sam asked, suddenly feeling a glimmer of hope
rise to the surface.
studied the weapon Adam had used on Isabella and revealed her analysis.
“Adam must have mistakenly misaligned the quantum phase of this weapon.
It sent her body into the quantum field intact. All it did was destroy her
‘anchor’ to this time period. For all intents and purposes, she is
‘unstuck’ in the time stream. She can be pulled back into phase, but
it will take a long time to find her.”
My way home is now ‘unstuck’ with her!” Sam said sadly.
no, Dr. Beckett,” Ziggy replied, as she walked back over to the console
and opened a secret compartment which contained another Plexiglas tube.
“Isabella would never have been careless enough to not have a spare
chip. She anticipated you might need another one in the event of an
unforeseen contingency such as this.”
you, Izzy,” Sam said, as he took the last Retrieval chip from Ziggy’s
is very little time, Dr. Beckett. You must leap back to the Star Bright
Project and integrate that chip into SID’s circuitry. I estimate five
minutes until your older self dies. Since you inhabit your own aura, as
long as you hold the chip tightly in your hand when you leap, it will leap
back with you into your next host.”
have to stop Adam’s men from killing Stephen and all those people out
there, Ziggy! I can’t let them die that way!”
Dr. Beckett, when you leap home, this timeline will be changed. It’s
pointless to change it now when leaping home will prevent this scenario
from ever coming about in the first place.”
can’t know that for certain, Ziggy! I still have a few minutes. I can
how do you hope to accomplish that, Dr. Beckett? You are one man against
smiled as a plan formulated. “I have an idea, Ziggy, but I’ll need
your help to pull it off…”
the “old” Sam struggled to ask, as he strained his eyes to look up
into the eyes of his son.
It-it’s really you? Dante was right!
I knew it!” Stephen said, leaning over his father’s position on
the floor with tears rolling down his cheeks. “You-you’re going to
die, but don’t be afraid. Your followers and I are going to join you on
your journey into the afterlife. Together, we’ll all share in your
accomplishments and change the world for the better!”
an image began to materialize in the center of the Control Room. Stephen
and the crowd turned toward the image as it took on the form of a younger,
almost angelic appearing Sam Beckett and spoke to the crowd.
“My brothers and sisters of the faith, I come to you with a warning. A
false prophet named Adam has deceived you all. He has misled you into
believing that my return will usher in the end of all existence. Even now,
his men are waiting in the shadows to destroy your corporeal bodies so
that no one will remain to stop him from controlling this world.”
crowd gasped in disbelief over this new piece of information. The
Leap Chronicles never foretold this event.
“But, fear not, for I have struck Adam down. He shall no longer pose a
threat to this society. You must find it in your hearts to trust my words
and imprison his men, so that you may all continue on with your lives and
live in peace.”
the words were spoken, the “real”
Sam Beckett snuck up behind the confused leader of Adam’s faction, who
was disguised as one of the followers in the crowd. He held Adam’s
weapon, aimed it at the leader’s back and said, “Drop your weapon, and
tell your men to stand down! NOW!”
leader, who knew all too well what Sam’s weapon was capable of doing to
him, did as he was told and tossed his own weapon down to the ground.
Holding his arms up to surrender, he shouted out to the others to comply
with Sam’s orders. The crowd simply looked on in shock as the other angelic-looking
Sam Beckett transformed before their eyes into a stunningly beautiful
take it from here, Dr. Beckett,” Ziggy told Sam.
watched as the crowd began to round up Adam’s men. Knowing they
wouldn’t harm anyone else today, he turned his attention back to
Stephen, who just stared at him with his mouth agape, not saying a single
I-I don’t understand! What’s going on?”
can explain it to you once I leave. I’m so sorry you had to go through
this, Stephen. Just remember that I’ve never stopped loving you! I want
you to move on with your life, you hear me? You don’t need to worship me
to keep my spirit alive. Your actions—your compassion for others—will
do the job just the same.”
beyond words, Stephen simply moved off to the side as Sam leaned down over
the body lying down behind him and came face-to-face with his older self.
The “old” Sam was very disheveled-looking with long, withered gray
hair down to his shoulders and a beard covering his entire neck. He
reached his hand out to the “young” Sam, taking a firm grip on his
was right! I’m a… monster!” Old Sam said.
Young Sam asked.
those timelines… destroyed so many timelines… just to get home,
when… I had the power to go home all along…”
are you talking about?” Young Sam asked again.
all so clear to me now… I… I can see Time in a whole new
perspective… Bartender… tried telling me but… wouldn’t
control my own destiny?” Young Sam replied, more in realization than
future’s… not set in stone… change our fate… before it’s too
that moment of clarity, Young Sam finally understood. He felt the tingle
of the leap beginning to overwhelm him and knew he had to put things
right. He took the Retrieval chip out of his pocket and held it firmly in
his left hand as he turned back toward Ziggy.
her, Ziggy! Promise me you’ll do everything you can to find Isabella!”
he pleaded with her.
have my word, Dr. Beckett! Even if it takes another century, I WILL
find her! I promise.” Ziggy smiled and finished with, “Good luck…
with those final words, seconds before his older self took his last
breath, Sam’s world filled with blue as he reentered the quantum void
and prepared for the second-to-last stop on his journey home.
the blue light finally faded, Sam found himself standing in a well-lit
room. The light emanated from a chandelier on the ceiling above him, and
in front of him was a wooden table with chairs around it.
momentary confusion that Sam had gotten used to in his ten years of
leaping faded quickly when he looked down at his left hand and saw the
Plexiglas tube clenched tightly in his palm.
Retrieval chip! Sam remembered. It
worked! Now, all I have to do is plant it into SID. But…
looked around at his surroundings and realized he was in someone’s
home—a dining room, to be specific. Where
exactly am I? Why didn’t I leap back to the Star Bright Project?
small tug on Sam’s pant leg brought him out of his thoughts. He looked
down and saw a small blond-haired girl, maybe six or seven years old
staring up at him. “Uncle Gooshie? Have you seen Mommy and Daddy?”
no, but I’m sure they’re—wait!
W-what did you just call me?”
Gooshie!” the girl responded innocently.
Sam said in shock. “No! It can’t
directly in front of him, Sam saw a wooden china cabinet filled with fancy
dinnerware. As he looked into the glass windows, he strained to see his
reflection and was completely thrown for a loop when he saw the face of
his late colleague and friend, Dr. Irving Gushman, staring back at him.
Gooshie!” Sam exclaimed in amazement.
little girl started giggling, saying, “You’re being silly, Uncle
Gooshie! Oh boy!”
thanks to Sue Johnson, Helen Earl and Aurora McPherson for their input on
helping me to flesh out several technical details.