the first time ever, Sam leaps almost thirty years into his future where he
meets a woman named Isabella, and her companion, Adam. She reveals to Sam
the horrible account of what has happened to PQL in his absence and how it
became the catalyst for a cataclysm known as the Great Disaster. He is
further shocked when Isabella reveals that she is in fact the biological
daughter of Sammy Jo Fuller and Daniel Fulton, and that she has purposely
brought him here to bear witness to the religious cult that his son,
Stephen, started to keep his legacy alive.
Isabella and Adam lead Sam into her private workspace, he is also reunited
with Ziggy, who has now assumed a fully tangible holographic form with
emotions. She informs him of Isabella’s plan to send him back to the Star
Bright Project to plant the “seed” for his return home. A chip
containing the perfected Retrieval program must be integrated into the
circuitry of SID (System Interface Database), which was the prototype for
what would eventually become Ziggy. As the time of “Old” Sam’s
imminent death draws near, Adam shows his true colors and attempts to kill
Isabella with a futuristic quantum laser weapon. In the ensuing struggle
between Sam and Adam, Ziggy loses control and becomes a force to be reckoned
with, electrocuting and killing Adam. She detects Isabella still alive,
“unstuck” in the time stream, and promises she will do everything she
can to find her. Sam then holds the Retrieval chip firmly in hand, and
again, Sam was surrounded by nothing but quantum blue. Within the void, he
was able to hold onto his thoughts and memories. His brief encounter with
his older self, dying before his eyes, shocked Sam into a new level of
awareness he had been denying since his very first leap. He knew the truth
now. I’m in control—always have
onto that realization when he leaped again though, would be an entirely
different matter. It required him to retrain his way of thinking—to
unlearn a frame of mind he had grown accustomed to. Since the quantum void
enabled Sam to surpass all physical limitations, his mind was now open to a
myriad of impulses. He could “feel” the presence of every single
time-traveler who had ever leaped or would leap, both in the past and
in the future. Linear time was non-existent here. The void acted as a cosmic
nexus for all time periods and parallel dimensions. There was literally an
infinite amount of timelines branching off from one another, and in some
cases, falling back on each other.
as quickly as this level of awareness invaded Sam’s mind, it disappeared
again. He knew that it was because he was about to leap again. Human beings
were not meant to retain this level of awareness in the mortal plane of
existence, hence they become like gods themselves.
of him, Sam saw the mirror again. This time, a flood of images was reflected
back to him. He could clearly see the mirror images of all of the
“leapees” from the past ten years. Significant segments of his past were
now guiding him along to his next-to-last destination on the roller-coaster
ride through Time. Sam felt his body become tangible once again, as the pull
of the leap brought him back to reality…
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!”
York City, New York
17, 1984, 2:38 PM
that thing you’re holding, Uncle Gooshie? Is that a toy for me?” the
little girl asked Sam.
looked away from the reflection and turned his head back down toward the
girl. A toy? What’s she talking about? he thought, before realizing she
was referring to the Plexiglas tube containing the Retrieval chip. “Oh,
this, no, uh… niece of mine,” he answered. Would
be nice if I knew her name! “This is, uh… something very important
for my job. It’s not a toy!”
it looks sparkly! Can I have it, pwetty pwease?” she begged him with
a male voice called out behind him. Sam turned around and saw a
well-distinguished man of about average height with blond hair and wearing
glasses. “Uncle Gooshie says it’s not a toy. Why don’t you go back
inside and finish watching your cartoons, and let Uncle Gooshie finish
getting his things together? He’s going to be leaving to go back home in a
Sam whispered in realization. Gooshie’s
niece, Moira McCloud… no, Perkins… from Al’s Place—but, that
wouldn’t be right either, she’s a little girl in this time. That man
must be her father! So, who is he in relation to Gooshie?
I’m thirsty! I wanted to ask you or Mommy for something to drink!” Moira
said innocently to her father.
was still feeling a little sick, remember? I’ll get you some juice if you
go back inside and watch TV, okay?” Moira’s father tousled the top of
her hair and smiled.
she said simply, as she walked back inside and plopped herself on the living
father turned back to Sam and said, “Don’t mind Moira, Irving. She gets
a little rambunctious at times. I guess it’s the tomboy in her, huh?”
heh, yeah, I guess so,” Sam answered. “It’s okay, she wasn’t
bothering me.” He noticed the man casually glimpsing at the chip he held
in his hand, silently questioning its purpose. “This is, uh, a special
piece of equipment I’ve been working on… for when I go back to work. I
was just… checking to make sure it was intact and everything.”
the workaholic, eh, Irving?” the man said, shaking his head but smiling
all the same. “I guess I should be grateful you managed to sneak some time
away from your work to help look after Moira. I know that Project of yours
doesn’t give you much in the way of free time, but I still appreciate all
you’ve done to help us out while Catherine’s been sick with that nasty
flu going around.”
Sam replied. Hoping he’d glean some additional information from his
prodding, he further asked, “So, is Catherine feeling any better?”
Oh yeah, she’s just resting now. She’ll be fine when we leave to drop
you off at LaGuardia. She insisted on personally making sure her ‘little
brother’ has no problems boarding the plane. Flight’s at 5:15, right?”
Catherine is Gooshie’s older sister. That must make this guy his
brother-in-law, Sam thought before responding. “Um, I… think so.”
I’d better go get Moira the juice she wanted. Wouldn’t want her throwing
a tantrum,” the brother-in-law said, winking as he passed Sam to walk into
the kitchen area.
the little bit of information he obtained, Sam realized two things: one,
that this was the home of Gooshie’s sister and brother-in-law; and two,
that Gooshie must be getting ready to leave to return to the Star Bright
Project after a brief vacation. That, itself, boggled Sam’s mind. Gooshie
hardly ever took vacations!
continued to look around the house, trying to spot anything that might prove
useful. On the dining room table, Sam noticed a tin tray with a few pieces
of mail on it. Most likely bills!
Sam thought. They would have the
owner’s mailing address on the front! Sam never liked having to snoop
around a stranger’s home, especially sifting through mail, but he felt
that one tiny peek wouldn’t hurt in this instance.
name on the front read: Robert Burke;
and underneath was the address: 249
E. 75th St., New York, NY 10021. The postmark in the upper-right hand
corner read: 15 MAR 1984, which
told Sam that it was probably either the 16th or 17th of March. St.
Patrick’s Day! he realized.
the noise coming from the television set, Sam walked into the living room of
what he now assumed to be a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Moira was sitting on the couch, smiling and watching the cartoon on the
screen. A muscular man with blond shoulder-length hair was holding a sword
and wearing a tunic with a red cross on his chest. He was fighting a
strange-looking equally muscular guy with blue skin and a skull for his
face. He was also wearing a dark blue hood over his head. Other than the
different heads and the coloring of their skin, the frames of their bodies
looked almost identical.
cha watchin’, Moira?” Sam asked curiously.
tape! That’s He-Man! He’s the most powerful man in the universe!
That’s the bad guy, Skeletor! He’s a real meanie! He’s trying to get
into Castle Grayskull!”
Sam responded. Why is the animation so
corny? In just thirty seconds, I’ve seen the same pose used twice! he
that girl inside the castle is the Sorceress! She’s really pretty! I wish
I could be the Sorceress! Then I could turn into a bird and fly, fly,
then looked into her hands, and noticed that she was holding a miniature
version of the hero, He-Man, holding a plastic sword in his right hand. Sam
knew very little about ’80s cartoons, but from what he observed, it seemed
apparent that this show was being aimed specifically towards young children,
so that their parents could go out and buy the toys. He shook his head and
smirked. Typical ’80s corporate
your juice, Moira,” Robert announced from behind Sam, as he walked over to
the couch and handed the cup to her. “Try not to spill it, okay?”
you, Daddy!” she smiled as she took the cup in both hands, sipped her
juice, and continued watching.
a handful, huh?” Sam asked Robert, referring to Moira.
you don’t know the half of it, Irving. Most girls her age are starting to
get into Barbie dolls and playing dress-up… she’s into all the typical
boy stuff: cops-and-robbers, things like that. Cathy and I always have to
keep running after her just to make sure she doesn’t accidentally hurt
herself. I swear, sometimes, I think she’s a boy trapped in a girl’s
No wonder why I saw her as Tess McGill when I leaped back to Al’s Place!
What was it Tess said in that leap way back? The man she married had to be
more of a man than she was?
Another small smirk came to Sam’s face.
I thought you still had to get a few things together,” Robert interrupted
his train of thought. “You’re all packed and ready to go?”
looked around, assuming and hoping
Gooshie still didn’t have more to pack, and responded, “Um… just
about. Just looking around to make sure I didn’t forget anything.”
you were only here for a couple of days, and you didn’t bring much, except
some change of clothes. So, I’m sure you’re good to go. I just wish you
could have gotten more out of your brief stay with us. We could have all
went down to Fifth Avenue to watch the parade.”
well, maybe next time,” Sam smiled, as he placed the Retrieval chip into a
secure compartment of the suitcase he saw on the floor. Wouldn’t
want anything to happen to it before I get back to the Project!
definitely wouldn’t want to forget that, it looks pretty important,”
said Robert. “Well, I’m just going to finish up some last minute stuff
around the house before we leave. I figure it shouldn’t take much more
than an hour or so to get out of the city and to the airport. If you don’t
mind, I’m going to go check up on Cathy, okay?”
problem,” Sam reassured. That’ll
give me a little more time to get my bearings and make sure everything is in
order. I’m just still not sure why I leaped here
and not at the actual Project. Is there something else I’m supposed to do?
Moira doesn’t need my help for another fifteen years or so, and I already
helped her a while back, didn’t I?
tried to remember the last time he saw the adult Moira. Although,
physically, her appearance matched that of another woman he had helped, Tess
McGill, it was simply a “mirror expression.” It all had to do with the
fact that he met her outside of the mysterious “Al’s Place,” a tavern
that did, and yet, didn’t exist. It was all coming back to Sam now, as if
the events had happened yesterday…
first time he leaped there, about five years ago, he had leaped as
himself—not into—on the date
of his birth, August 8, 1953—right down to the precise second he left his
mother’s womb at 12:15 PM. The bar was located in Cokeburg, Pennsylvania.
After talking with Al the Bartender, Sam realized that he needed to put
right a wrong in Al Calavicci’s life—his first wife, Beth, believed he
was dead, having been an MIA in Vietnam for several years. He leaped back to
the Calaviccis’ home in San Diego in 1969 and told Beth that, “Al’s
alive! And he’s coming home!”
second time Sam leaped as himself to Al’s Place was about a year, maybe a
year and a half ago, only this time it was Thanksgiving 2003, and he was in
South Bend, New Mexico. The Bartender hadn’t aged a day since 1953,
coincidentally. The Bartender continued trying to convince Sam that the
person in control of his leaps was Sam himself. While there, he met the
adult Moira. At that particular point in time, her full name was Moira
McCloud, having remarried a man named Brad after the death of her first
husband, John Perkins. With the help of a detective named Perry Mason and an
“angel” named Angelita, Sam was able to rescue her daughter, Sara.
Detective Mason, however, ultimately turned out to be Gooshie.
is it really you?” Sam turned to the man next to him. He still looked like
Nick Allen, but when Sam looked back to the reflection in the mirror, it was
Gooshie—his friend—the head programmer, who had worked for years to try
and bring him back home.
Dr. Beckett! I can not believe that it is really you!” Gooshie smiled as
Sam hugged him. “You mean you haven’t been seeing me as me all this
no, to me you look like Nick Allen, a guy I leaped into years ago.” Sam
froze for a moment. “And you don’t see me as me?”
for your mirror image, you look like Lieutenant Tyler. Remember? From back
in the early days on the Star Bright Project?”
searched for a face, but his Swiss-cheesed memory still had a few holes in
it. “I don’t remember.”
everyone here looks like someone I have known,” said Gooshie. “Al says
way it is,” Sam completed the sentence. “A mirror expression…”
Bartender smiled at the two friends reunited. “It’s funny how life can
surprise you, isn’t it?”
said Sam to himself. Then he realized, “But you… Gooshie, you died. Al
told me you died trying to fix Ziggy and save the project. That was… three
years ago, I think!”
yes I did, Dr. Beckett. March 1st, 2000, to be exact. I was working in the
Main Conduit Relay Room and, well…”
grabbed Gooshie by the shoulders and asked excitedly, “Then how are you
here—You’re a leaper, aren’t you?!”
shrugged. “I was given a choice. I could either go straight to… you
know,” he pointed to the ceiling, “or I could stay and help someone
here. I was given the opportunity to leap forward in time to fix a mistake
of my choosing and cannot leave until the mission is accomplished. If I
fail, time rewinds to the date of my death and I have the chance to fix it
if you can’t fix the mistake?” Sam asked, looking at his friend in
I can’t go… home.” Gooshie shifted his glance to the Bartender.
made the choice, Goosh,” smiled the Bartender. “But it looks like you
have extra help this time, don’t you think?”
nodded and smiled as Sam asked, “You can only leap forward? Not back in
correct, Dr. Beckett. We aren’t allowed to alter our own lifetimes. We can
only help people outside of our own lifetimes. I chose to help my niece,
Moira, get her daughter back.”
niece? You are Moira’s uncle that left her his estate!” Sam grinned
widely as he realized the connection. “The computer chip you created for
Ziggy… the one that made you rich… oh my God, this is incredible!”
932, “Mirror Expression III”)
just as Sam had the opportunity to correct a mistake in his friend Al’s
life the first time, he had the chance to correct a mistake in Gooshie’s
life that time as well. He could remember leaping back to the year 2000,
saving John Perkins’ life, and then telling Gooshie, “You
gotta listen to me. In two weeks, in the Main Conduit Relay Room, you
alas, Sam wasn’t able to finish his warning in time. Although Moira’s
first husband, John, was saved, Gooshie still died two weeks later—at
least, in that particular timeline. He also seemed to remember the date of
Gooshie’s death conflicting in other leaps, but that was a mystery to be
solved for another time.
that’s why I leaped here now… not just to plant the chip, but to somehow
also save Gooshie? It’s been so long since he died, could I still save him
without changing anything else that’s happened since then? Sam
thought. But if that were the case,
then wouldn’t I have leaped into someone else to warn Gooshie in person?
Even if he was told in the Waiting Room, I’m here and he’s there; I
don’t see what I’d be able to do now
to prevent his death fifteen years or so before the fact. The Swiss-cheese
effect would cause Gooshie to forget what anyone told him anyway. No, it’s
gotta be something else! But what?
he could figure out what that “something else” was, Sam figured his
safest option would be to go with the flow of the leap and see what would
develop. As long as he kept his main objective in mind, to make it safely
back to Star Bright and plant the “seed” for his long awaited return
home, the rest of the leap would most likely fall into place.
17, 1984, 4:32 PM
Robert drove the car across the 59th Street Bridge into Queens, Sam looked
out the back window to take in the awe-inspiring sight of the Manhattan
skyline. Even though he had been to New York City a few times in his life,
both before and during his leaping, he still couldn’t help but be amazed.
With the sun just starting to set beyond the horizon, the Empire State
Building, the Statue of Liberty, and so many other prominent sites were
shimmering in their architectural beauty. He could definitely understand why
most native New Yorkers claimed it was the greatest city in the world.
arriving at LaGuardia, Sam found the information on his ticket pretty
self-explanatory and was able to find the terminal gate he needed to board
with relative ease and some time left to spare. Saying his goodbyes to
Gooshie’s immediate family, Catherine gave Sam a warm embrace and
whispered in his ear, “Don’t be a stranger, you hear? Even if you’ve
got to write us letters, just to let us know how you’re doing, okay?”
I promise,” Sam reassured. He was genuinely certain Gooshie would follow
through on that request, from what he remembered about Gooshie’s
character. Looking at Catherine, it amazed Sam how much she looked like his
old friend, except for her feminine features and medium-length brown hair.
she kissed his cheek, she wrinkled her nose, looked at Sam curiously, and
inquired, “Have you been taking something new for your sinusitis?”
Sam asked, slightly confused.
offense, little brother, but your breath usually reeks, even with the
medication you take. This is the first time in as long as I can remember
where I’m not reeling backward from your bad breath. Those must be some
curiously strong mints you’re taking, or something.”
the first thing that popped up in his head, Sam grinned and responded,
“Someone gave me some Altoids! They work pretty well!”
ha, okay, if you say so, Irving,” Robert responded, as he stepped forward
and shook his hand. “I know we discussed this before, but thanks again for
giving us a hand.”
honey, you want to say goodbye to your godfather?” Robert asked Moira.
bent down, picked up little Moira Burke in his arms, and gave her a huge
hug, as if this would be the last time he would ever see her. And for all
Sam knew, maybe it was. “Take care, kiddo. Stay out of trouble, and
don’t give your mommy and daddy a hard time, okay?”
Uncle Gooshie. I love you!”
love you too, Munchkin!” Sam said, without quite realizing he had said it.
My mind must be merging with Gooshie’s. He calls her Munchkin!
Moira down and picking up the small amount of luggage he had, Sam walked
toward the gate, showed his ticket to the flight attendant, and boarded the
Albuquerque International Sunport
17, 1984, 11:12 PM
Sam’s flight had been rather uneventful. After a brief layover in
Cincinnati, he caught the connecting flight back to Albuquerque. It took him
a good half hour to claim his luggage, and he found out that Gooshie had
left his car at the airport so that he could immediately start his long
drive back to the White Sands Test Center. Good
thing my memory seems to be working with me on this leap, Sam thought. Or maybe it’s a little residual from Gooshie? Whatever it is, I’m
sure grateful, since it seems like my neural link with Ziggy is still
inactive for now.
he began making his way out of the terminal, he walked through a set of
automatic doors in an attempt to try and locate the lot where Gooshie’s
car was being held, but soon found himself getting slightly lost. Upon
turning a corner in an isolated area outside, Sam noticed a small group of
about three young men hassling someone in an alleyway. He couldn’t see the
person’s face from the angle he was standing at, but it appeared to be a
woman that the hoodlums were attempting to mug—and probably planned on
doing more than that.
it was one thing that angered Sam Beckett more than anything, it was men
taking advantage of a poor, defenseless woman. Sam couldn’t allow that
injustice to happen, if he could help it.
dropped his luggage, started moving toward the group, and shouted, “Hey!
Why don’t you guys pick on someone your own size?”
by surprise momentarily, one of the men ran off, leaving Sam to defend
himself in a one-on-two confrontation. Having excelled in several forms of
martial arts training, Sam was more than a match for the street punks, and
successfully scared the remaining two men off. But not before threatening to
press charges if they came anywhere near him or the woman again.
a sense of pride in having fended off a possible crime, Sam turned back
toward the frightened woman, who seemed to think he was one of them.
“Please, stay away from me! Leave me alone!” she pleaded.
guys are gone, Miss. I promise, I’m not going to harm you! Please, let me
help you,” Sam insisted. Despite the woman’s nervous protest, Sam gently
helped her to stand up. As he looked the woman over to make sure there was
no serious injury upon her person, their eyes locked, and Sam almost fell
back in shock when he discovered her identity.
Gate, New Mexico
Room, Present Day
log entry for Samantha Josephine Fuller, Friday, November 18, 2005. It’s
been three months since my father, Dr. Samuel Beckett, disappeared without a
trace. In that time, Admiral Calavicci has made numerous attempts to lock
onto Dad’s brainwaves using Ziggy’s upgraded epochtonusalgraphic probe
and goniospectrophotometer in the Imaging Chamber, but to no avail. Dad’s
sudden disappearance has caused the Senate Committee to have second thoughts
on providing additional funding, and Al and Beth have met up with General
Hawkins in Washington, D.C. to make a plea before the Committee. With the
two of them not due back until the 22nd, Dominic Lofton and myself have been
left in charge to deal with any immediate problems that might arise with
Ziggy or my father. Although at this point, it seems bleak that Ziggy will
reestablish a connection with him anytime soon.
I now find myself at a loss of what exactly to do. My retrieval theories
have hit a slight snag, and I can’t seem to focus on the problem. Ever
since my father used Dr. Garner’s Time Displacer Unit in 1959 to leap back
here briefly, the original program became corrupted. I was lucky enough to
be able to use most of the equations as a building block for a new program;
so fortunately, I didn’t have to start completely from scratch again. But,
I have this terrible feeling that time is running out. I can’t put my
finger on it, but I have this weird suspicion that if we don’t find and
retrieve him soon, we never will. Even with my high IQ of 192 and my eidetic
memory, they feel so limited in comparison to the huge complexity of finding
my father drifting in the time stream.
then there’s Daniel—the love of my life, the man who asked me for my
hand in marriage. If I hadn’t have spent so much of my time over the past
two years trying to perfect the Retrieval Program, we probably would have
been married already. It would be a dream come true to have my ‘real’
father there to walk me down the aisle, to watch me recite my vows to the
man I want to spend the rest of my life with. Daniel tells me he understands
and that he’s willing to wait, but I know that deep down inside, he’s
hurting. He wants to start a family with me, and I feel so afraid that his
patience will soon wear off. In his eyes, I need to move on with my life. I
can still remember each and every word he told me the other night as we lay
together in bed. ‘Life’s too short, Sammy. You never know what could
happen. The world could end tomorrow, and we would never have the chance to
know what our life could have been like. I’m sure your father would tell
you the same thing if he was still with us.’
know. It’s silly to worry that some ‘great disaster’ or something
would suddenly destroy our chance at happiness. But in a way, he’s right.
I don’t know if I could ever live with myself if something terrible
happened before we had the chance to unite our souls in the eyes of God. But
on the other hand, I don’t think Daniel truly comprehends the nature of my
father’s existence; that he’s still alive, trapped in time somewhere. I need to find him. He deserves to come home after all the good he’s done.
If only I could get a signal—some sign that my father is still out there,
waiting to make contact. I need something to restore my dwindling hope.”
Sammy Jo Fuller walked the corridors of Project Quantum Leap, racking her
brain in an attempt to come up with something—anything—that
would allow her to reestablish contact with Sam in the time stream. As she
entered the Control Room, her thoughts went back to her fiancé, Commander
Daniel Fulton, and what he told her the other night about moving on with her
life. The love they had shared that night was a particularly special
experience for both of them, and she could feel the bond between them
growing stronger with each passing day. For the first time in as long as she
could remember, Sammy Jo found herself at an important crossroads in her
life. The time would soon come when she’d be forced to choose between the
two most important men in her life: her father, Sam, or her husband-to-be,
wasn’t like she would have to resign her position at the Project, but
married life would put a significant damper on the amount of time she could
invest in perfecting the Retrieval program. Knowing that no one else on
staff even came close to comprehending her equations and continuing her work
effectively didn’t help matters any. Other than Stephen, there was no one
else at the Project qualified enough to carry on her work. And besides the
fact that Stephen was a genius, he was still just a boy.
of the corner of her eye, Sammy Jo noticed the new head programmer observing
her as she drifted off in thought and quickly shook it off. “Any news on
Dr. Beckett, Dom?” Sammy Jo asked him.
Dr. Fuller,” Dom responded. “Ziggy’s still coming up blank. If Dr.
Beckett’s still out there, he’s either still moving through time or his
neural link with Ziggy’s been severed somehow. I wish there was more I
could tell you, Dr. Fuller.”
but not entirely surprised, she said, “It’s okay, Dom, I didn’t really
expect anything new. And by the way, I’ve told you a few times already…
call me Sammy. You don’t need to be so formal here. We always tried
telling that to Gooshie and Sinjin too, but they insisted on using
formalities most of the times.”
Dom explained, “Sorry, Dr. Ful—uh, Sammy. I’m just still so used to
the formalities from my original line of work. To be honest, I’m still
trying to get used to not hearing anyone, other than Ziggy, call me Professor
Lofton, even though it’s been a good four years since I officially had
that title. I’ll try to keep what you told me in mind… Sammy!” He smiled as he called her by her first name.
all I can ask, Lofty!” she joked
back with a smile, but it faded quickly as her thoughts returned to Daniel
and the choices she would have to make.
you look a little worn out and tired. Everything okay?” Dom asked her,
no… well, sort of… I’m not sure. It’s… personal stuff…”
I understand. I won’t pry; I was just concerned, that’s all.”
it has nothing to do with you,
Dom. It’s just—well, I confided in St. John about a lot of things,
including Daniel, my fiancé. Sinjin knew we would end up together before we
Yeah, it was like that with Aurora and me.
Everyone else knew we were perfect for each other before we
both realized it. Took me a good few months before I got up the nerve to ask
just… sometimes, I worry that I’m letting my work get in the way of
making the ultimate commitment to Daniel, you know what I mean?”
I hear ya,” Dom replied. “I wouldn’t worry too much about it though,
Sammy. I’ve only been here for a few months, but I can tell you’re a
kind and generous person. If his love for you is as strong as you make it
out to be, then he has to know how important your work is too. He’ll wait
for you and go out of his way to make sure you’re happy. Things will work
out, you’ll see!”
at Dom, Sammy Jo responded, “Thanks, Dominic! I really appreciate your
Sammy!” he smiled back.
a mild-sounding klaxon went off in the Control Room as Ziggy’s disembodied
voice announced from all directions, “I believe I have reestablished a
partial lock on Dr. Beckett’s brainwaves.”
Are you serious, Ziggy?” Sammy Jo exclaimed excitedly.
should know by now, Dr. Fuller… I never make false assumptions based on
what I know. I have detected a slight increase in neural activity, which is
usually associated with Dr. Beckett leaping. It is, however, a weak signal
there anyone in the Waiting Room yet, Ziggy?” Dom asked.
Professor Lofton. I am having an unusually hard time maintaining my neural
link with Dr. Beckett’s brainwaves. It may take anywhere from twenty-four
to forty-eight hours to synchronize our timeframe with his.”
news gave Sammy Jo slight cause for concern. “Well, keep me informed,
Ziggy,” she then ordered with a renewed determination. “It seems like
I’m going to be running the show until Al gets back. Lofty, let me know
the instant the Visitor shows up in the Waiting Room, okay?”
got it, Dr. Fuller,” Dom replied enthusiastically before he corrected
himself. “I mean, Sammy!” he added with a smile.
Jo walked out of the Control Room with a new spark of hope igniting within
Albuquerque International Sunport
17, 1984, 11:22 PM
God, Alia!” Sam exclaimed. “It’s really you! I can’t believe
how do you know who I am?” Alia asked in confusion. “Who are
it’s me, Sam…” he started to answer back, but suddenly realized that
to her, he must have still looked like Gooshie. Unless… would she be able
to see through Gooshie’s aura if she looked closely enough?
Alia searched her memory. “You’re going to need to give me more than
just a first name. I’ve met a number of men named Sam in my lifetime and
you don’t look familiar to me at all.”
hold onto my shoulders and look closer,” he responded, convinced that his
theory would be proven. “Look deep into my eyes… it’s me, Sam
she strained her tired-looking eyes to look deep into his gaze, the vision
of the short, goofy-looking man with reddish-brown hair started to become
transparent. Beyond the aura, she could indeed see Sam’s green eyes and
the white streak in his hair, and in an instant, it all came back to her.
“Sam!” she shouted in astonishment. “It’s you! Wow, how long
has it been since you last saw me?”
searched his Swiss-cheese memory to try and recall their prior meeting, but
came up blank on a specific timeframe. “I’m… not sure. From my
perspective, it’s probably been a few years. I’m guessing it must have
been a lot longer for you, going by how much older you look. I mean… uh…
not that I was implying you were old—I mean… oh, darn it…” Sam
decided to quit while he was behind.
simply gave him a weak smile and reassured him, “It’s all right, Sam. I
know what you meant. It has been a
lot longer for me. I’m almost forty now. The last time I saw you, was at
the ranch on Kingswood Farms in Virginia back in ’77. Do you remember any
of that leap?”
a flash of lightning, the image of a young thirty-something blond-haired
woman dismounting a horse filled Sam’s mind:
Good afternoon, Mr. Kidd. You startled me!”
froze, unhearing and in total shock as his eyes fell on her face. “It's
impossible,” he murmured in a barely audible tone as pictures of past
events flashed through his mind—a prison; a shotgun; a dark-haired man
with sad eyes; a college library; a loud-mouthed punk in a letterman's
jacket… and a cape? He dared not move lest he break the chain of memories.
Kidd?” The woman said, her forehead wrinkling with worry when he didn't
respond. She took a step toward him, the horse shadowing her. “Are you
calling me Mr. Kidd, Sam's mind
finally registered. She doesn't have any idea of who I am!
Sam replied shakily, “What? Oh! I'm fine.”
you sure?” She didn't look convinced, but her step slowed.
I'm sure.” The urge to run away overcame him and suddenly Sam's feet began
to move. “I… uh… forgot something.” He bolted back into the house,
carefully shutting the door and leaning on it, his head on his arms. His
heart was pounding furiously. “Oh my God. That was Alia!” he breathed
724, “Fallen Hero, Part I”)
remember!” exclaimed Sam. “You were… yourself. You couldn’t see me
when we touched.”
I was back in my own aura,” Alia reminded Sam. “As I still am now. The
only reason I can vaguely see you now must be because I still have some
leftover leap energies inside of me that allow me to see beyond your aura. I
haven’t actually been a leaper in nearly ten years.”
set you free!” Sam recalled. “But… how come you didn’t leap home?”
project was my home, Sam. I
couldn’t have very well been free if I remained there, now could
I guess you’re right,” Sam realized, a bit embarrassed he had forgotten.
“Well, then, how did you end up in 1977 as yourself?”
not really sure, Sam. All I knew was that I just wanted the nightmare to
end. I can remember Zoë aiming the shotgun at me. I pushed you out of the
way, the shot was fired… and then, I felt a completely different type of
quantum energy envelop me. It was much more serene than I had ever
experienced before. I was floating… drifting in a heavenly blue void.
And… I heard a mysterious voice…”
voice?” Sam asked. Could it have been the same Voice he vaguely remembered
hearing often in-between his leaps?
it was a… comforting voice, nothing like the cold fear that Lothos’
voice exuded. It told me not to be frightened. ‘Think of something
peaceful,’ it told me. ‘Let my voice guide you to a new time… a new
place where you can start fresh.’ When I felt the leap pull me back into
the real world, I was standing on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I
was wearing a denim jacket and just the clothes on my back and couldn’t
really remember much of anything at first.
I did the only thing I could think of doing—hitchhiked a ride with the
first pickup truck I saw pass by and hopped in. The guy driving the truck
was Jim Kidd, the man you leaped into when we met later on. He was a gentle
and caring man; he asked me where I was from and where I was going, and I
told him I couldn’t really remember. As I looked in the side-view mirror,
I saw my own reflection for the first time in I don’t know how long. In
that moment, my identity came back to me and I told him my full name, Alia
Novack, and that I had no real ‘home’ to call my own. We began talking
about a lot of things, and he offered to give me a place to stay at his
ranch. He proposed I could work for him to pay off room and board, and
although I was nervous to say yes at first, I accepted his offer graciously.
He treated me like the daughter he always wished he could have had before
his wife died, and I really looked up to him. I was living and working
happily there for a little over eight months when you came back to save me
Sam recalled. “The tall black guy who leaped back to try and kill us!”
was about as sadistic as they come, next to Zoë. I managed to grab a
shotgun and shoot him in the back, just before he was about to kill you.
I’m not sure why, but I suddenly started shaking after that. It’s not
like I hadn’t killed anyone before, but it was different with Thames
somehow. And then, you leaped. I was so sure that Lothos was going to send
Zoë back to finish me off, but… he didn’t.”
destroyed Lothos, Alia,” Sam reassured her. “I tried saving Zoë, but
she chose to kill herself rather than be saved.”
dead?” Alia asked in shock. For about ten seconds, she seemed to stare off
into space before responding, “I can’t say I’m sad to hear that,
but… there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe she’s really gone
saw her die with my own eyes, Alia,” Sam reassured, remembering how upset
he felt over not being able to save her soul. “There was… nothing I
Lothos’ reign has finally come to an end,” Alia said in realization.
“I never thought the day would come when I’d be truly free from his
it would be best to try to change the subject and with curiosity peaking his
interest as well, Sam asked, “So, what are you doing in New Mexico? You
seemed like you had found peace at the ranch.”
few months after you left, Mr. Kidd’s truck was run off the road in a
terrible accident. Because he had no living relatives, he never designated a
beneficiary to his estate in his will. So, once it was sold, I had no place
to stay, and I had to move on.”
I had no idea,” said Sam earnestly.
don’t really think there’s anything you could have done, Sam. Anyway, I
began traveling, not really knowing where I was headed or what I should do
with the rest of my life. At one point, I met a really nice guy named Dane.
He was a cop and we both took a liking to each other. We dated for a while
and started to get pretty intimate. Then, after about five months, he was
gunned down in the line of duty.”
God… I’m so sorry,” Sam consoled her.
am I,” Alia replied. “But, there was more. I… had a child with him—a
boy. He was born about seven months after Dane died.”
God, did—did Dane know you were…”
he did. I… think he was going to ask me to marry him, but… he never got
I don’t know what to say, Alia. What ended up happening to your son?”
asked Sam, knowing he probably wouldn’t like hearing the answer.
wasn’t in a position to take care of myself financially, let alone an
infant. So… I gave him up for adoption. It pained me to do it, but I felt
I had no choice,” she said sadly.
just dropped his head, partly in sorrow, partly in shame. He had no way of
knowing what had happened to Alia since he had last seen her. He
inadvertently sent Alia from living a life of servitude by a malicious half
human-half computer, to a life filled with sorrow and despair. He had to
wonder if she had been any better off in the long run.
sudden thought came to Sam’s mind. “How old is he now?”
say about four years old. I know what you’re thinking, Sam, but it’s too
late. He has a family that takes care of him. He wouldn’t even remember me
now. And besides… I don’t even know his name to find him.”
just remained silent as Alia continued to explain her situation.
for why I’m here in New Mexico now, well… to be honest, I really don’t
know. It’s as if something inside me… compelled me to come here. I felt
drawn to this area for some reason. I’m tired of drifting from place to
place, Sam. I just want a place to stay, to call my own.”
you have any family? Or an acquaintance that could take you in to help you
find your feet?”
mentioning the word “family,” Alia seemed to shudder momentarily, almost
as if that simple word caused her even more pain than her recent
experiences. The moment wasn’t lost on Sam.
left home when you were younger. I remember now! You said Nathaniel Lothoman
found you on the streets of London, but you never explained how you wound up
there.” At first, Sam wasn’t sure he should press the issue further. But
one look into her glossy eyes told him that she wanted—needed—to
share her story with someone after all this time. He allowed her to speak at
her own pace.
swallowed hard as the tears began to form, and she dug deep into her soul to
dredge up the painful childhood she had long ago repressed from her memory.
father was one of those ‘tough-as-nails’ Marine men, always moving their
family around from base to base. Major Walter Novack was the kind of man
that always made sure everyone knew he was the ‘lord of his castle,’ and
he expected his ‘loyal subjects’ to follow his orders right down to the
letter. I don’t think I ever remember seeing my father with a smile on his
face, or giving me any form of praise whatsoever.”
in her head now, she could hear her father scream, “ALIA!”
as her thoughts returned back to her childhood.
want to explain to me this report card of yours?” Walter yelled. “Two Bs
and a C?! What the hell am I
paying good money to give you a good education at a private school if you
can’t even get good grades?”
don’t yell at your daughter,” his wife yelled back. “You’re treating
her like she’s failing!”
keeps this up, she WILL end up failing! And I don’t remember ASKING for
your opinion, Jenna! You’d best keep your big mouth shut if you know
what’s good for you! I was asking Alia
the question! She’s an intelligent girl, she can answer for herself! So,
I’ll ask you AGAIN, little lady, would you care to explain these marks?
ten-year-old Alia looked up at her father with fear in her eyes and weakly
responded, “I… I’ve been trying my best, father.”
obviously, you’re not trying hard ENOUGH! How do you ever expect to get by
in this world if you perform at sub-standard levels?”
a couple of Bs is hardly reason to reprimand your daughter!” Jenna tried
to reason with him.
thought I told you to shut your mouth! I
make the decisions around here, not you!
Alia, you get back to your room and wait until I decide on your
young Alia ran off crying, not knowing how to please her father.
always seemed to be mad at us for something—myself, for my inability to
live up to the high standards he set for me; my mother, for her lack of
discipline to “keep me in line”—but I think he was mostly angry at the
world and the conditions that kept him from being promoted to General. An
incident during his tour of duty left him with a crippled right leg, which
prevented him from doing anything other than a “desk job.” He was
ultimately given an honorable discharge. It wasn’t too long after that
before he began turning to the bottle. At that point in time, we had been
relocated to London, in the U.K. Although my father was able to find work,
my mother still had to take a part-time job while I was in school to help
provide for us. Despite that, my father still expected her to do what was
“expected” of her as a wife and mother… no questions asked.
dinner gonna be ready, babe?” a drunk Walter asked Jenna.
running a little late, Walter, I’m sorry,” she responded.
Jenna, I’m starvin’ here! And look at this filthy pigsty! Clothes hangin’
on the chairs, dust covering shelves… what the hell are you doing in the
afternoon when you’re home with Alia?”
a lot of things I need to do during the day, Walter! You know, I wouldn’t
have to constantly run around trying to tend to the house if you chipped in
a little bit when I was busy!” she said as respectfully as she could.
me?” Walter asked angrily. “I do plenty,
working and providing for my ungrateful
family! I know MY place; you would do well to be reminded of YOURS!”
either the old-fashioned mentality or the booze talking,” Jenna muttered
under her breath. The remark was just loud enough, however, for Walter to
did you just say?” Walter yelled through his gritted teeth.
It’s not important,” Jenna replied nervously.
HELL it was nothing! What the hell gives you the right to question the way I
run my household, you stupid bitch?”
As he asked her the question, he slapped her across the face, turning her
cheek a bright red.
young Alia, now thirteen years old, stood in the hallway outside her room,
listening to the argument unfold. When she saw her father slap her mother
across the face, she couldn’t remain silent. The man might have been her
father, but she knew it was wrong to hit someone.
it, Dad! Don’t hurt Mom! She does more than enough to take care of us
without you barking at her!” she yelled as she grabbed a hold of
Walter’s arm to prevent him from slapping Jenna a second time.
DID YOU SAY, you little BRAT?!” He turned around with a furious glare in
his eyes and slapped Alia with his other hand. “Don’t you DARE show
disrespect to me ever again, you hear me? EVER! I think it’s time you
learned the lesson my father taught me
whenever I mouthed off to him!”
quickly unloosened the belt around his waist and wrapped it tightly around
his fist as he moved closer to Alia. Never feeling more frightened in her
life, she crawled backward, begging her father not to punish her. “Please,
Dad, I’m sorry! Please! I promise to give you the respect you deserve!”
she pleaded through her tears.
bet your ASS you will when I’m done teaching you respect!” he shot back
as he pelted her once, then again just as quickly.
ran back into the room to try to hold her husband back. He had reprimanded
Alia before, even spanked her many times when she was younger, but never
went to this extreme. “Damn it, Walter, stop this! She doesn’t deserve
tell ME how to raise my daughter, BITCH!” With those words, he punched
Jenna with his free hand, knocking her to the ground in a withering heap.
Turning his rage back to Alia, he continued his assault, striking her with
his belt as many times as it took before he felt confident enough that his
“discipline” was engrained in her brain forever.
his daughter and wife lying on the ground, helpless and crying pathetically,
Walter decided that the best course of action was to go out for the night
and let them think hard about what they did and why he had to “punish”
them. He muttered something under his breath and then went to the closet to
get his coat and put it on as he walked toward the front door. Speaking
loudly enough for his “subjects” to hear him, he exclaimed, “I’m
goin’ out for the rest of the night! I expect the both of you to start
cleanin’ up your act and show me nothin’ but respect from this day
the door slammed shut, the youthful Alia slowly and painfully crawled over
to her mother, still lying hunched over on the floor with bloodshot eyes
filled with pain and fear. She tried her best to hug her mother, to comfort
her, but Jenna seemed to drift off into her own world, continuously
whispering, “It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault!”
in me snapped after that. My father had always instilled fear in me, but
when he physically assaulted my mother and I for the first time, I felt
genuinely afraid that he would kill us. I had heard all the stories about
husbands and fathers who fell into the cycle of abusing their families. I
had never been able to understand why those men’s wives could be so stupid
and weak as to actually convince themselves that they were to blame for
their husbands’ behavior, and yet, here she was, my own mother beginning
to believe it herself. I knew then that I couldn’t allow the cycle of
abuse to destroy us. I had to take action.
hours later, Walter stumbled through the front door into a dark living room.
Before he had the chance to turn on the lights, he heard the sound of his
gun being cocked and looked up to see Alia aiming it straight at his chest.
What the HELL are you doing with that gun?! Put that damn thing away or
you’ll end up hurting someone!” he screamed at her.
Maybe YOU!” Alia shot back at him. “I don’t want to hurt you, Dad, but
if you don’t stop your drinking and treating Mom and I like crap, I will,
I swear it!”
the two individuals could hear Jenna ask, as she walked into the living room
wearing a robe and stopped dead in her tracks. “Walter? Alia? What’s
has to stop, mother,” Alia said nervously as the gun started shaking in
her hands. “He can’t be allowed to hurt us! He has to learn to control
his temper and stop his drinking!”
PUT–THE–GUN–DOWN!” Walter said cautiously but sternly. “You have
the AUDACITY to point a gun—MY gun, that I keep in the house to protect MY
family—at ME? You’re some piece of work, Jenna! Encouraging my own
daughter to defy me!”
Jenna screamed. “I never did
anything of the sort, Walter!”
took a step toward Jenna, preparing to show her the back of his fist again,
as Alia shifted on her feet, preparing herself to pull the trigger. Smirking
at her with a mocking expression, Walter simply said, “You wouldn’t DARE
pull that trigger, Alia! I mean, really!
Look at you… your hands are shaking! You’re a cowering,
disrespectful girl who needs to be kept in line! As soon as I reprimand your
mother, you’re next, little lady!”
continued moving toward Jenna, not taking his daughter’s threat seriously
as he turned his back to her. “STOP!” Alia pleaded. “Please, father,
don’t make me—”
shots in the dark were fired, and Walter stopped moving as he felt the
bullets hit his back. “Alia? She… actually… shot me?” His eyes went
wide with realization as he fell to the floor.
God, Walter!” Jenna raced over to his fallen body, and as she touched his
back, her hands were covered in blood. “My God, Alia, what did you do?
Call an ambulance! Hurry! ALIA! Are you listening to me?”
young Alia just stood there in shock over what she had done. She lowered the
arm that held the still-smoking gun and fell to her knees, as she realized
that her world had changed forever.
paramedics eventually came and took my father to the hospital. It was touch
and go for a while, but he survived. He ended up being paralyzed from the
waist down though. And the cycle of abuse stopped too. It took two shots in
the back from a terrified daughter to make him realize what he had become.
I, on the other hand, lost my innocence that night and couldn’t bear to
face my family anymore. So… I left. I haven’t seen them since. It
wasn’t long after that when Nathaniel Lothoman discovered me and used his
charm to ‘seduce’ me into joining him on his grand experiment.”
shook his head in disbelief over her account. “Oh, Alia, I am so sorry!”
He thought back to his own father, John Beckett, and the kind and loving
family man that he was to his wife and children. “I… can’t fathom how any
man could do that to their own wife and daughter!”
everyone can have the kind of peachy-keen
family that you grew up with,
Sam!” Alia said snidely. “Most of us don’t have the luxury of living
on a huge farm with parents and siblings who respect and love each other!”
heard her remark and looked at her with guilt in his eyes. He didn’t know
how to respond to something like that, although he’d been sure that Al
used to have conversations like this with him in the past.
noticed Sam’s discomfort and immediately apologized. “I’m sorry, Sam.
I know you didn’t have control over your life. It was out of line for me
to imply you were intentionally rubbing your family’s morals in my
quite all right, Alia. I might not completely understand what you went
through, but I can sympathize,” Sam responded as a light bulb suddenly
went off in his brain. “In fact… I think you’re the reason I leaped
here and not at the Project.”
are you talking about?” Alia asked, confused.
shook his head, realizing that it was now after midnight, and he needed to
start the drive back to the Star Bright Project. “That must be the other
thing I need to do. Follow me to my car. I’ll explain it on the way. Come
Meanwhile, in Washington,
Admiral Albert Calavicci had reached an impasse with the Senate Committee.
Despite his wife Beth’s reassurances that the Committee would listen to
reason, he and General Hawkins seemed to be hitting a “road-bump” in
their quest to obtain additional funding for the Project. Al’s reasons, of
course, were so that he could pull out every resource at Ziggy’s disposal
to find Sam; Hawkins’ reasons, Al concluded, were purely out of ambition
so that he could gain control of the Project’s directives and personally
oversee Sam’s leaps. Knowing this about Hawkins didn’t help matters any,
and Al was almost certain that the tension between the two of them was not
lost on the Committee.
Beth’s presence in Washington was strictly to provide moral support for
her husband, she had begun sensing something odd about Al’s behavior
within the past several hours. Being as vocal as he was about Hawkins
wasn’t a big surprise, because she was used to hearing her husband’s
blunt comments for more than forty years. What disturbed her was that Al
began expressing doubts about ever finding Sam at all. He as much as told
her that he didn’t know why he was even bothering trying to keep the
Project up-and-running, because Sam had never disappeared for this long and
was most likely gone forever at this point. It didn’t sound like Al at all
to just start giving up, but she dismissed it as the amount of stress her
husband was under and told him to try to remain optimistic.
he chose to take her advice or not, she couldn’t tell. But she decided
that now would not be the best time to argue with her husband. Right now, he
needed her support, regardless of how helpless he was feeling. In the back
of her mind, she hoped and prayed that a miracle would soon happen to
restore Al’s spirits.
Gate, New Mexico
Room, Present Day
the blue rays of light faded, the aura of Dr. Samuel Beckett returned to the
Waiting Room after a three-month absence. The Visitor experienced the
standard disorientation that was normally associated with being replaced in
time and called out to no one in particular, “Hello? Is anyone there? Can
anyone hear me?”
went by before he got any form of response. The synthetic and sexy-sounding
feminine voice that seemed to permeate from every direction brought the
Visitor to a state of alertness. “Do
not be frightened. Someone is on their way and will be with you shortly.”
enough, a rectangular door opened vertically on the far side of the
blue-white room, and a rather attractive thirty-eight-year-old woman with
shoulder-length brown hair and a white lab coat walked through. She was
holding a strange-looking contraption in her right hand, which was blinking
my name is Sammy Jo Fuller. I know you’re probably confused, but please
try not to be frightened, no one’s going to harm you.”
Jo, huh? That’s a pretty name,” the Visitor said calmly. “Are you from
she answered, “Why, yes I am! I grew up in Potterville, Louisiana with my
momma, Abigail. Can you remember your
name, by any chance?”
of course, it’s…” the Visitor stumbled. “It’s… um… Irving…
Irving… what the—? I can’t seem to remember my last name! What the
heck is going on here?”
okay, Irving, don’t worry. It’s simply a side effect of what brought you
here. It’s only temporary, I promise. I know this might sound strange, but
can you remember what year it is?”
year?” Irving asked. “Why would you need to know that the year
Sammy Jo thought, as she quietly entered the year into the handlink so that
Ziggy could begin doing a search. Looking back over at the Visitor, she
attempted to fudge the truth and replied, “Um… well, this… experiment
you’re involved with usually alters people’s perceptions of time.
That’s why you’re having trouble remembering certain details about your
life. Just trying to determine what you can and can’t remember, that’s
experiment?” Irving asked, as he suddenly remembered something. “Sounds
a little like the project I work for… Wait a minute! Am I being
Sammy Jo asked, before nervously responding, “No… I mean, well, yes, but
only for information, that’s all. What
Adams found out I was gone, didn’t he? Please, don’t report me! I needed
to take a few days to deal with some family issues, that’s all, I
Jo began moving closer to Irving to try and reassure him that he had nothing
to worry about and suddenly hauled herself backward upon getting a whiff of
the Visitor’s nasty breath. She couldn’t remember anyone’s breath ever
smelling that bad since when Gooshie had still been around. She was about to
say something else to him when his eyes suddenly drifted downward to the
glass table he was sitting on and he caught a glimpse of his reflection for
the first time. Oh boy, get ready for a huge panic! she thought, mentally preparing
he said, however, was the last thing she expected him to say. “Dr.
Beckett? W-why do I see Dr. Beckett’s face in the mirror?”
know Dr. Beckett?” Sammy Jo asked in shock.
work with him and… Captain Calavicci at… the Star Bright Project…”
he said in fragments as the memories came back one by one.
Bright Project?” Sammy Jo said, as it suddenly dawned on her exactly who
Irving was. “Oh my God! Gooshie?!”
know me?” Gooshie asked in complete confusion. “What’s going
on here? How do you know me when I’ve never seen you before today?”
uh… a bit complicated to explain…” Sammy Jo trailed off. Dear
God, it’s almost like he’s back from the dead! No one else except Dom,
Ziggy, and I can know he’s here! Especially Tina! God, she’ll freak out!
Her mind went off in a thousand different directions as she attempted to
pull herself together as much as humanly possible and act professional.
“I’m sorry, but I have to speak privately with someone. Excuse me,”
she said, as she opened the door and practically ran back into the Control
she asked as soon as the door closed.
anticipated what you were going to ask, Dr. Fuller, and I have already
restricted Waiting Room access to everyone except you. I suspect that
talking to a close friend who died four years ago could traumatize even Dr.
Beeks,” Ziggy answered with a hint of sadness in her voice.
a gem, Zig! Do you have enough from what he mentioned to get a lock on my
am still having difficulty maintaining a link with Dr. Beckett’s
brainwaves. It shall take some time to establish a partial lock.”
we contact the Admiral in D.C. and tell him what’s going on?” Dom asked
not yet,” she determined. “If Ziggy’s still having problems, I don’t
want to prematurely get Al’s hopes up. Besides, knowing Gooshie is
‘back’ temporarily would just distract him from doing his job. Until we
get more info, I’ll have to fill in as the Observer when and if Ziggy gets
a lock. I’ve had to do it a few times before, so it shouldn’t be too
difficult to sync up our brainwaves again.”
on it, Sammy,” Dom replied as he began the procedure to transfer the
currently weak neural link over to her brainwave patterns.
While I’m waiting, I guess I’ll have to try to talk to… Gooshie,”
she pondered out loud. “Good Lord, what a mess!”
Gate, New Mexico
18, 1984, 8:40 AM
let me get this straight, Sam,” Alia started to speak. “Your theory is
that because we’re the same and we both have residual leap energies stored
in our bodies from years of leaping, that if we’re holding each other when
you leap home, I’ll be pulled with you to your Project?”
the theory, yeah,” Sam replied sheepishly. “Trust me, Alia, it’ll
work. Remember when we leaped together into the Mallard Women’s
Correctional Facility as two of the inmates? Al said there were two women in
the Waiting Room. That means that your physical aura can be transferred to
my own time again, as long as I’m holding you when I leap.”
this… chip you brought back with you from the future… you need to plant
it in this… SID computer?”
was my main mission on this leap. And now, after meeting you again, in New
Mexico of all places, I just know that our encounter wasn’t a coincidence!
It might not have been intentional on my part, but I left you to fend for
yourself all those years ago; that’s something I have to put right now. My
Project will welcome you with open arms, Alia. You can start a new life
there—one with purpose. You’ll see!”
driving Gooshie’s car for a good number of hours, Sam finally pulled the
vehicle into the parking lot of the Crossroads Diner, a well-known local
establishment just outside of Stallion’s Gate, approximately twenty miles
north of the Missile Range and the Star Bright Project. With every minute
that went by, more and more of Gooshie’s memories seemed to be merging
with Sam’s mind, and he could remember that the Al of this time had
covered for Gooshie’s temporary AWOL status. He needed to call Al on a
private line so that he could meet up with “Gooshie” outside of the Test
Center’s perimeter and give him the card key he had been holding for him.
Alia standing next to him, Sam picked up the phone inside the vestibule and
first dialed what his memory remembered to be the number to Al’s office.
When there was no answer, he then tried the main reception area of the
Lieutenant, Zackary Manheim, speaking,” he heard a young officer say
on the other end of the line. Sam remembered exactly who the young man was.
goodness it’s you, Lieutenant Manheim. I was afraid I’d get someone
else,” Sam said, spouting Gooshie’s exact dialogue word-for-word through
the psycho-synergizing effect.
Gushman?” Zack countered, recognizing what he heard to be Gooshie’s
unmistakable voice. “I didn’t know
you’d left the complex.”
story, just get a message to Al Calavicci, will you?” Sam asked
straight away, Doctor. I’ll put you through to the Captain’s office.”
No, I tried his office less than a minute ago; he wasn’t there. Could you
beep him please?”
the number where I can be reached,” Sam paused while he read back the
number displayed on the wall above the phone. “553-2639… did you get
I do know where I am, thank you, Zackary.”
I’ve sent that page out; can I help you with anything else?”
but please, it is vital that you don’t tell anyone that I’ve phoned or
where I am… understand?”
more buts, I don’t have time. I’m going to hang up now, and remember;
you haven’t heard or spoken with me outside of the complex.”
hung up the phone and waited for Captain Al Calavicci to return his call.
the way, Sam,” Alia said while they waited, “you never told me exactly
who this… ‘Gooshie’ fellow is that you leaped into. He’s a good
friend of yours?”
Yeah, he was… the original head programmer for Ziggy before he… was
killed trying to save her.”
no!” The sudden realization hit Alia and she sadly asked, “From… being
infiltrated by Lothos, right?”
Sam replied plainly, then seeing her saddened expression, he reassured her,
“It wasn’t your fault, Alia. He died a hero!”
conversation was interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing. Couldn’t
have come at a better time! “Hello,” Sam answered.
gravelly but younger voice on the other end responded, “Gooshie?
Nice to hear from you, pal. Did everything go well at your end?”
God, it’s so great to hear his voice again, even if it’s not really my
Al! Sam thought as he replied, “Um, yeah… Catherine’s feeling much
better. She and Robert really appreciated me helping out with their
daughter, even if only for a couple of days. How’s everything going over
there, Al… uh, I mean, Captain?”
I’ve seen better days, but it’s nothing you need to worry about. I’ve
got your card key to give back to you. Where are you now?”
at the Crossroads Diner just outside Stallion’s Gate.”
a momentary pause, Al continued, “Okay,
gimme about twenty minutes. I’ll meet you there.”
before you go, I have a favor to ask you,” Sam added quickly as he looked
over to Alia. “On my way back, I ran into an… old friend who’s run
into some hard times. She has nowhere else to go right now, and I was hoping
you could give me clearance to bring her to the Project for a brief period
of time until I can… arrange a more permanent solution to her problem. I
promise, she won’t get in the way.”
that’s… gonna be a bit difficult, Goosh! Adams downgraded my security
clearance. The nozzle’s got it in for me, I tell ya!”
right! Sam remembered. Al had to
sneak around for a little while until it got straightened out. This makes
things harder now. Great!
we’ll worry about that when we get back to the Project, okay?” Al
reassured. “I owe you a favor
anyway. See ya in about twenty minutes!”
Sam could respond, the line went dead. He just smiled and thought, Good
old Al! I could never have made it this far in my leaps without him… in any
Bright Project Complex, New Mexico
18, 1984, 9:42 AM
had been a bit tricky, but Al had managed to sneak Sam and Alia into the
complex through some of the unguarded caverns underneath the Project. Sam
was very careful not to reveal too much about Alia’s identity for fear
that Al might remember her when they both met her for the “first” time
years later during Sam’s second leap into Jimmy LaMotta.
they made their way back into the main corridors, another old acquaintance
of Sam’s turned the corner ahead of them: Dr. Sebastian LoNigro, or
“Bobby” as he had called him during the Star Bright days. He seemed
slightly agitated and upon seeing Al, he ran up to them.
Good, you guys are back. Agent Adams just returned and he wants to see us in
his office. Sam told me you had to run a quick ‘errand,’ so I stalled to
buy you some time, but he’s on the warpath!”
great! I thought Adams wasn’t due back until tomorrow,” Al said
did I,” Bobby reciprocated. “But apparently, he got back early. He
actually wanted to talk to both of you specifically, so I didn’t know what
to tell him. And… who’s this, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Sam began to say before he remembered that Gooshie was always insistent on
using formalities, even among friends. “Dr. LoNigro, this is an old friend
of mine… um, Allie. She’s hit a bit of a snag, and I promised her I’d
try to help her get her life situated. She won’t be here for very long,
but the fewer people that know she’s here, the better. Would it be too
much to ask for you to get her down to, uh… the Control Room?”
have my word, I won’t cause any trouble,” Alia offered.
okay, Gooshie. I know you wouldn’t bring someone into the Project from the
outside unless it was important. Come with me, Allie. In the meantime, the
two of you should probably report to Ross Adams’ office ASAP,” Bobby
told the two men. “Sam and I will meet up with both of you in about ten
Bobby,” Al responded, relieved that he had at least a few people on his
hearing the name “Ross Adams,” Alia suddenly whispered in realization,
my bag, Allie,” Sam told Alia, referring to the luggage that contained the
Retrieval chip. He then walked over to her and whispered, “Make sure the
chip is safe until I get down there.”
wait! Don’t ask me where I’ve heard Adams’ name before; it’s a bit
complicated to get into now…” Alia whispered back to him. “The
‘other’ Sam of this time doesn’t know about Ross’s contact, ‘Dr.
L,’ yet, does he?”
L? Sam thought, not sure if he remembered who that was or not. Swiss-cheesed
memory always kicks in at the worst times! “We can’t worry about
that right now, Alia. Besides, if my past self were to find out something he
doesn’t know about yet, it could cause a time paradox. I’m not ready to
deal with that again any time
soon. Just follow Bobby down to the Control Room. I’ll meet you back
there, okay?” he whispered.
that what Sam told her was valid, Alia took the bag and allowed Bobby to
quietly escort her down to the Control Room.
right, Goosh,” Al sighed, as Sam turned back toward him. “Time to face
the music. Let’s get this over with!”
of Agent Ross Adams, CIA
Bright Project Complex, New Mexico
18, 1984, 9:55 AM
Ross Adams considered himself a patient man, but when it came down to
information concerning an employee’s whereabouts, he did not like to be
given the runaround. Therefore, it was with great haste that he told his
secretary to admit Captain Albert Calavicci, and Doctors Irving Gushman, Sam
Beckett, and Sebastian LoNigro, into his office as soon as he received the
felt more than a little uncomfortable standing next to his past self,
especially being twenty years his senior. Whether the discomfort went
unnoticed by the “other” Sam or not, he couldn’t tell.
Adams looked up from his desk, he smirked and said, “It appears there are
rumors circulating that several of the key employees I’ve been assigned to
oversee are sneaking around exiting and reentering the complex without my
official authorization. Now why
would these rumors be floating around, may I ask? Any ideas on the subject,
was the first to speak up. “Are you accusing us of circumventing your
authority, Agent Adams? Where are you hearing these so-called rumors?”
It took all he had to hold his tongue. Al was in enough hot water with Adams
already. It was only through the Sam Beckett of this time that he had been
reinstated as Project First Assistant Director after his drunken incident at
the vending machine two months earlier, and although he had still flirted
with the bottle a few times, he’d been sober ever since.
have my sources, Captain,” Adams replied matter-of-factly. “Do you deny
that you and Dr. Gushman went unaccounted for within the past hour?”
deny nothing!” Al answered hotly. “And let me tell you something, Agent
Adams… you’ve had it in for me ever since you came on-board this
Project. I’ve been clean for two damn months, and I deserve a little bit
more respect than what you’ve
been giving me lately!”
it’s okay,” Leaper Sam nudged, as Gooshie’s personality began to
psycho-synergize with his brainwaves once again. “Agent Adams, Captain
Calavicci was covering for me. I requested a temporary leave of absence to
deal with a family crisis that came up. I swear I never had any intention of
undermining your authority. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Adams could respond, the “other” Sam piped in, “I can personally vouch
for Gooshie’s character, Agent Adams. If he needed to take a few personal
days to be with his family, then I don’t think he should be reprimanded
for doing what he felt was necessary. Dr. Gushman is a good and honest man
who I’ve known for over ten years now. Al was just trying to avoid a whole
bunch of red tape, and you were away on business. That’s all this was
concur with Sam,” Bobby chimed in. “And with all due respect, I think
you should cut the Captain some slack. He works his tail off keeping this
Project on schedule, and I’m sure that if Dana were to look hard enough,
she’d find a harassment clause in your contract that could get you some
heat with your agency if you don’t follow it. So, if I were you, I’d
suggest giving Al and Gooshie a break and let us all do the jobs that our
government is paying us to do!”
Sam looked over to his old friend, smiled, and thought, That’s
the Bobby I remember! Always treated everyone fairly and never allowed
anyone to boss him around!
a minute, it appeared as if Adams was ready to explode from the anger he
felt welling up inside him but just as quickly brushed it off and grinned
widely as he addressed the other four men in an unusually cheery attitude.
“Well, why didn’t you just say
you had a family emergency in the first place, Dr. Gushman? No need to sneak around; I would have understood. I’m not looking
to become anyone’s enemy. We’re all friends here, aren’t we? So,
consider this conversation fini.
You can all go back to work now!” he finished off with a goofy grin.
you, Agent Adams,” said Leaper Sam with gratitude, as he proceeded to walk
out of Agent Adams’ office and return to the Control Room on Level 20.
Bobby and the “other” Sam followed closely behind, Adams briefly stopped
Al to get one last word in edgewise. “Don’t think that this means you
automatically have your security clearance back, Calavicci. We’ll settle that
little affair later. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to take care of some
paperwork. Carry on!”
curled the corner of his lip up slightly, almost snarling at Adams, but held
his temper in check and left the room. Alone in his office once again, Adams
leaned back in his chair and sighed as the telephone on his desk rang. He
picked up the receiver, knowing exactly who it was on the other end. “Yes,
listened to the voice and responded to the request that was being made of
him. “Yes, sir… I understand, sir… As soon as I have more information,
I will inform you immediately… Thank you, sir.”
hung up the phone, opened the cabinet next to his desk, and pulled out the
taped-up sheet of paper he had placed there two months ago that read: MY
NAME IS SID.
dark little secret are you hiding from me, Dr. Beckett?” he whispered to
more details on the back-story and events in this chapter, please read SBP Episode
001, “Origins” by Brian D. Greene and the forthcoming SBP episode,
“With a Little Help” by Sue Johnson on The
Starbright Project website.)
Gate, New Mexico
Room, Present Day
Jo was getting flustered. Ziggy had finally reestablished contact with her
father, and yet couldn’t maintain a solid lock on his brainwaves. She
couldn’t understand what the problem could be and knowing that the Gooshie
of 1984 was in the Waiting Room didn’t help matters any. As Swiss-cheesed
as his memory was, he was a very intelligent man—he knew that Sammy Jo
wasn’t telling him everything.
room looks an awful lot like the Reactor Chamber at my project,” Gooshie
started to explain. “Where did
you say that this… Project is located? New Mexico?”
yeah…” Sammy Jo trailed off.
his eyes in deep thought, Gooshie looked around and added, “This is the
same complex, isn’t it? The room has been modified, but it’s the Quantum
Reactor Chamber, I’m sure of it!
And Dr. Beckett’s reflection is in the mirror…? Holy Moly! He did
it, didn’t he?”
what?” Sammy Jo asked, feigning ignorance.
broke the time barrier! I’ll be damned! It’s just as his String Theory
said! Dr. Beckett took my place in time! Fascinating!”
Jo knew it was pointless to try and deny it. “Yes, he did. Dr. Beckett has
leaped back into your life at some point in our past. His aura surrounds
you, and yours is surrounding him. Once we find him and figure out what
he’s there to do, you’ll go back to the time you came from and will most
likely not remember any of this.”
ha, I didn’t expect I would!”
Gooshie exclaimed with joy. “It’s okay, I don’t mind… really! Just
knowing that I’m a part of the greatest adventure mankind’s ever
experienced is reward enough! Tell me… is Dr. Beckett the only one who
travels in time, or are there others?”
Sammy Jo could respond, the silky voice of the parallel-hybrid computer
interrupted the conversation. “Dr.
Fuller, Professor Lofton requires your immediate attention in the Control
by the ego! Sammy thought with a smirk. “I’m sorry… if you’ll
excuse me, Dr. Gushman,” she said as she opened the door and reentered the
seemed as good a time as any to tell you that Ziggy thinks she’s located
Sam,” Dom told her as soon as she entered.
a relief!” Sammy Jo responded. “Where is he?”
just it, Sammy… he’s… here!
Well, here twenty years ago, at
least! The neural link suddenly got a boost when Sam entered the Control
Room of the Star Bright Project in 1984. If he leaves the area, there’s a
chance we might lose the lock again. I’m not sure why.”
on that for a few seconds, Sammy Jo took the upgraded handlink out of the
console’s receptacle and proceeded into the Imaging Chamber.
Bright Project Complex, New Mexico
Room, March 18, 1984
made his way to the Control Room on the twentieth level of the complex and
couldn’t help but feel the slightest bit weird as he took in his
surroundings. Twenty years and a few cosmetic changes later, this very room
would be the main hub of activity for Project Quantum Leap. He could see the
photographic images in his mind: the massive globe that housed Ziggy’s
mainframe, the main console that activated the Accelerator chamber, even the
ramp leading into the Imaging Chamber. It was a surreal experience being
home, and yet, not home at the same time.
he walked over to the Main Conduit Relay for the Interstellar Drive, Alia
approached him and handed Gooshie’s bag over to him. “Everything work
out okay up there with your boss?”
wasn’t really our boss, but yeah… everything worked out, I think,” Sam
reassured her. “Anyone bother you down here? A lot of the technicians
should still be on leave for the holiday weekend, so it should be pretty
quiet down here, I would think.”
don’t think anyone significant noticed me, if that’s what you mean.”
Tina must be down in the Crystal Lab working on one of the relays. I’m
pretty sure she would be the only technician that would recognize you in the
Beckett?” a garbled, female voice with a Southern accent suddenly asked
from behind him. Without thinking, Sam turned around on reflex and was
relieved when he realized that it wasn’t a native to this time period, but
rather a faded image that only he could see and hear.
Jo?” he asked.
her right eyebrow in curiosity, she in turn asked, “You re*ember me?”
memory of his previous leap suddenly came back to him in a flash. He
remembered meeting his granddaughter, Isabella Fulton, and the story she
told him of Sammy Jo’s death sometime in his near future. Sam couldn’t
hold back the tears that fell as he joyfully exclaimed, “Oh, Sammy!
You’re alive!” As he reached out to embrace his daughter, he nearly
tumbled over when he passed right through her image.
Alia asked in confusion, as she saw Sam staring into thin air—or at least
from her perspective. “What’s going on? Is that Al?”
B*ckett, is ever*thing alright?” Sammy Jo asked in mutual confusion.
a hold of himself to wipe away the moisture from his eyes, Sam responded
first to Sammy Jo, “Y-yes, I’m… I’m fine. It’s just… so good to
see you after so long!” then to Alia, “It’s my… daughter, Sammy
daughter?” Alia almost shouted. “You—you have a daughter?
You never told me that before!”
she didn’t exist the first time you and I met… long story! Listen,
Sammy… where’s Al, and why are you fading in and out like that?”
reeling over the revelation that Sam remembered she was his daughter this
time, Sammy Jo shook her head and said, “Al’s, uh… he’s unavail—*FZZZ—the
moment. I’m filling in f*r him. As f*r why I’m fading, we’re not sure.
Zig—*FZZZ—hell of a time
neural link!” Sam realized. “My ‘anchor’ must be starting to
deteriorate on your end. There isn’t much time left!”
are—*FZZZ—talking about, Dad? And, what’s Alia doing here?”
don’t have time to explain right now! Sammy, I have a way for Ziggy to
retrieve me along with Alia, but I need a few minutes to set it up in this era. Do you
have enough power to activate Ziggy’s hologram?”
Jo looked down at the handlink and punched the button that projected the
holographic matrix of the hybrid computer. “Exactly what are—*FZZZ—proposing,
Dr. Beckett?” Ziggy asked.
gave Sammy Jo and Ziggy a brief overview of his plan to retrieve Alia by
holding onto her when he leaped and how it would be possible based on the
events that occurred back when they both leaped together the first time. The
expression on Ziggy’s face made it obvious that she was more than a bit
intrigued over the process. Taking into account all of the information
provided, Ziggy gave her final analysis. “I project a 97.6 percent chance
that Dr. Beckett’s plan shall succeed. What—*FZZZ—intriguing
did this… chip c*me from, Dad?” Sammy Jo asked, confused.
the future… another long story I can’t get into right now. Before I
plant the chip though, I need to go down one level to the lab and shut down
the power output to the Main Conduit Relay, otherwise…”
you will suffer—*FZZZ—same
fate as Dr. Gushman suffered, which would be ironic considering you are
sharing his aura more than fifteen years before his death,” Ziggy finished
his eyes, Sam replied, “That’s not quite how I would have put it, but,
yes, I’ll be fried if I try planting the chip without shutting off the
electrical current first. Alia, stay here, it shouldn’t take too long.”
Bright Project Complex, New Mexico
Crystal Lab, Level 21
three people were allowed on Level 21 without escorts: Doctors Samuel
Beckett, Donna Elesee, and Sebastian LoNigro. Even the Project Director,
General Thomas Collins, and the two Assistant Directors, Captain Albert
Calavicci and Commander Jonathan Bartlett, needed to be escorted by one of
those three individuals. So, after remembering this minor detail, Sam placed
a call to his old colleague and met up with Bobby by the elevator so that he
could personally escort “Gooshie” down to the lab. During the trip down
to Level 21, Sam informed Bobby that he was taking care of “Allie’s”
situation and that he would personally arrange her transport out of the
complex within the next hour. It was also mutually agreed that “Allie”
would not be discussed again in the near future. After all, it would be a bit hard for Gooshie to explain how a woman he
knows nothing about suddenly vanished into thin air, Sam thought.
they walked by the “Glass Room,” Sam’s heart skipped a beat when the
door opened, and the younger versions of himself and his future wife, Donna
Elesee, stepped out. She was every bit as beautiful as Sam remembered her
from that leap to Lawrence College way back during the first few months of
his journey; perhaps even more so, if that were even possible. It was
because of that leap that history had changed, resulting in Donna no longer
leaving him at the altar. At this point in time, they had only just started
developing a close working relationship with each other.
need to talk with Sam and Donna about the status of the orb, Gooshie, so
don’t mind us,” Bobby told him. “Do what you have to do, and I’ll
escort you back up when you’re done,” he added with a smile.
himself to take his eyes off of Donna, he entered the Glass Room and passed
by the glowing palm-sized blue orb that would eventually grow into Ziggy. As
Sam got closer, it began to pulsate and radiate warmth toward him.
it hardly ever reacts to anyone other than Dr. Beckett. It must really like
you, Gooshie,” said a bubbly female voice from inside the room.
looked over and saw the youthful red-haired Dr. Tina Martinez-O’Farrell
working at the output relay on the far side of the room, blowing a huge wad
of bubble-gum from her mouth, which subsequently popped.
the orb senses me! Sam realized. Interesting!
It must be imprinting Gooshie’s aura onto its extraterrestrial polymer,
like it did with mine! And to think that this little energy orb is
essentially the heart and soul of Ziggy! Incredible!
morning, Tina,” Sam greeted her. “I need to shut down one of the relays
that connects to SID for about a half-hour or so. Will you be down here for
answered Tina with a huge smile. “You want me to, like, turn it back on
for you in an hour, so that you don’t have to come back down here again
“If you could, that would be great! I appreciate that, Tina!”
Gooshie!” she winked back at him. “Maybe we can, like, grab some lunch a
bit later? If you wanna, that is…”
smiled, knowing that the love affair between Gooshie and Tina began to bloom
during the Star Bright years. “I’d like that very much.”
Catch ya later then, cutie!”
shook his head in astonishment as he shut down the necessary relay and then
walked back over to Bobby who was waiting for him. As he turned his head to
look back over to Donna one last time, he saw her standing close to the
“other” Sam as they reentered the Glass Room. It took every ounce of
restraint he had to not walk back over and tell her how much he wanted to be
Donna, honey… I’m so sorry I left you all those years ago! I’m coming
home to you, my love! I promise!
Bright Project Complex, New Mexico
Room, Level 20
returned to the Control Room and began the procedure to plant the chip into
the Main Conduit Relay, which at this particular point in time diverted
power to the ISD, or Interstellar Drive. With Ziggy and Sammy Jo’s help,
he was able to integrate the chip into a covert alcove inside the conduit
that Ziggy guaranteed would not be accessed for at least another twenty-one
years. Alia stood watch in front of Gooshie’s post, just to make sure no
one would discover what Sam was doing.
approximately thirty-five minutes, Sam was finished. Just as he placed the
metal plating back onto the opening of the conduit to cover it up, a sudden
power surge in Ziggy’s program activated as her and Sammy Jo’s
holographic images became whole once again.
I… I think it’s working!” Sammy Jo announced. “All of a sudden,
Dom’s telling me he detects a signal being emitted from Ziggy’s
mainframe that he’s never seen before.”
time-code!” Sam practically shouted. “Sammy, what’s the date there
20, 2005,” she answered.
more days…” Sam whispered before raising his voice for both Sammy Jo and
Ziggy to hear. “Ziggy, deactivate your search engine and focus as much
power as you can into the Retrieval program. If Alia and I move closer to
the Quantum Reactor inside the chamber and hold onto each other tightly when
you activate the Retrieval program, there shouldn’t be any problems, but I
don’t want to take any chances. Pull up her file from the archives and try
to project her residual brainwave patterns into the Waiting Room.”
Dr. Beckett. Dr. Fuller, I suggest you return to the Control Room and assist
Dominic with the retrieval process,” Ziggy recommended, as she deactivated
her own matrix and disappeared.
simply nodded as she entered the command to open the Imaging Chamber door.
As she stood in the white rectangular doorway, she looked back to Sam and
Alia and said, “Good luck… Dad!” The door then closed, and Sammy Jo
disappeared into the future.
you sure this is going to work, Sam?” Alia asked as she walked with Sam
into the Reactor Chamber and huddled into Sam’s arms.
work, Alia! Trust me. Just keep focusing on this room—focus on my voice
and where I’m taking you. I’ll leap… and you’ll leap with
me! Just like before!”
remained silent, knowing in her heart that Sam would fulfill his promise
somehow. For what seemed like the longest minute of her life, she just stood
there, holding onto Sam with all her strength as the familiar tickling
sensation of the leap overcame her one last time. As she and Sam entered the
blue void, nothing but happiness welled up in her soul. For the first time
in as long as she could remember, Alia Novack felt truly safe.
the blink of an eye, the surroundings of the Reactor Chamber of 1984
dissolved away, as it became the Waiting Room of 2005. Sam looked down and
saw that he was indeed wearing the white Fermi suit he had first worn upon
stepping into the Accelerator Chamber ten years ago. Huddled next to him was
Alia, wearing the same clothing she wore in 1984. They both loosened their
tight hold on each other as the Waiting Room door opened.
Jo walked through and approached them both. “Dad?” she pondered, not
quite certain she could actually believe that her father was finally home.
She had been let down so many times before.
Jo! I… I’m home! I-I can’t
believe it! I’m finally home for good!”
her eyes starting to glisten over, she looked up and asked, “My God!
Ziggy, is this for real?”
Dr. Fuller,” Ziggy’s voice replied with surprising enthusiasm. “The
individual standing next to Ms. Alia Novack is indeed the true Dr. Beckett!
The Retrieval chip he planted in the past worked. His leaping cycle has
finally ended. Welcome home, Father!”
Dad!” she exclaimed, overcome with emotion as she embraced her father.
Sam reciprocated back.
been dreaming of this day for so long, ever since I found out you were my
real father! I’ve wanted to tell you how much I love you!”
have I, Sammy! So have I! We have all the time in the world now! And I’m
never going to leave you, Stephen, or Donna ever again!”
O’Dwyer Calavicci returned to the hotel suite with her husband after a
long grueling day in front of the Senate Committee. Al had seemed very
downtrodden and run down, and he wanted to be left alone for a while. She
couldn’t really blame him for feeling the way he did, but in the same
sense, she was a bit annoyed that Al was apparently giving up so easily. The
Committee had yet to make a decision, and although Hawkins seemed to have
his own agenda, she felt confident that he had as much to lose as they did
if the Project were to be shut down. He wouldn’t be easily deterred from
accomplishing his objective, which gave him and Al a common goal for now.
thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing, and she picked
it up. “Yes?” she asked. As she heard the excited voice on the other end
of the line, she felt her heart suddenly flutter upon hearing the news that
was being told to her. “Are you SERIOUS? Oh my God, Al needs to hear this!
AL!” she shouted excitedly. “Come here, you’ll never believe this!”
walked over and took the receiver from Beth’s hands. “Yeah,” he said
tiredly, with no clear emotion evident in his voice.
Dom’s voice could be heard on the other end. “It’s Sam! He’s back!
We got him home!”
eyes suddenly shot open with surprise. He thought he was hearing things.
“You’re kidding!” he said back, more in denial than realization.
true! He’s standing here right
in front of me with Sammy Jo! Ziggy had a lock on him briefly, but we
didn’t want to inform you unless we were sure we found him! And now,
he’s leaped back to the Project! You and Dr. Calavicci got to get back
here ASAP! Ziggy’s already made a general announcement to the entire
complex to celebrate his return! It wouldn’t be the same without you
just stood there in shock, not saying anything for about fifteen seconds as
he heard the cheers from several technicians coming from the Control Room.
“I… I can’t believe it! All right, Beth and I will get back there as
soon as we can,” Al finished as he hung up the phone.
Al, isn’t this wonderful?” Beth embraced her husband with everything she
had as tears began to fall from her eyes. She looked up into Al’s face and
was surprised to see him still in disbelief. “Al! Honey, what’s wrong?
Aren’t you ecstatic that Sam is finally home? You’ve been dreaming of
this day for ten long years!”
am, Beth, it’s just… we’ve gotten him home before and he’s
never been able to stay for whatever reasons. I can’t help feeling that
there’s another catch this time. Something doesn’t seem right about
come on! I’m sick and tired of you being so pessimistic! There’s no
catch! Sam’s finally home and he needs you to be there to welcome him!”
right, Beth,” Al gave in as he kissed his wife on the forehead. “Go
inside and pack your things. I’ll let Hawkins know what’s going on!”
at Project Quantum Leap, Verbena Beeks, Ike Bentenhoff, Dom, Tina, and
several others began gathering in the Control Room. Sammy Jo gently pushed
her way through the forming crowd to give Sam and Alia some much-needed
space. “Allow me to be the first to officially welcome you to our family,
Alia. You must be a good person if my father went out of his way to free you
from Lothos’ evil project. Lord knows, he almost got to us if it hadn’t
been for Gooshie’s noble sacrifice, but if it hadn’t have been for you,
my father could never have permanently stopped his evil. And for that, we
all thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Welcome aboard, Alia!”
I don’t know what to say,” Alia responded, completely taken aback by
Sammy’s kind words. “Thank you!” she said simply, as she shook Sammy
the door to the Control Room opened again, the room suddenly got quiet as
Sam stepped forward to move closer to the two individuals who walked
through. There she was, his wife, Donna Elesee-Beckett, older-looking with
graying hair and “crow’s feet” forming in the corners of her eyelids,
but still as beautiful as he remembered. And standing beside her, holding
her left hand was his adorable nine-year-old son, Stephen.
Stephen!” Sam proclaimed, unable to hold his emotions back.
it’s really you!” Donna cried as she reached out and kissed him full on
the lips. “You remember us!”
course I remember you!” he reassured, as he knelt down and hugged Stephen.
Stephen exclaimed, his eyes glossing over now as well. “I knew
you’d come home someday! I just knew
and Sammy have told me about some of your accomplishments, son. I’m so
proud of you! I know you’re going to grow up to be a fine young man
he could ask where Al and Beth were, however, Sam was suddenly overcome with
a wave of dizziness and nausea. The Control Room started to dissipate before
Sam’s eyes, replaced by a strange reddish glow. He couldn’t understand
why no one else seemed to notice until he realized that it wasn’t the room
being engulfed by the glow—it was he!
was tearing him away from his long awaited reunion. He tried to scream out,
but no sound was able to emerge from his lips. He had no control over the
new force that was pulling his body back into the maelstrom of space-time.
again, the tingling leap energy began to envelop Sam, but this time, it was
like nothing he’d ever experienced before. Instead of the familiar blue
void, an endless field of red surrounded him, and the force of the pull felt
stronger—more controlled. Even the “sound” of the leap was different.
As his vision began to clear, he found himself in a small, enclosed room
with walls that also seemed to pulsate blood red. This…
seems like the Waiting Room, but… it’s different! Sam thought.
“Where am I?” he practically shouted.
what felt like five very long minutes, Sam’s question was followed by
silence, except for the distinct metallic hum coming from all around him.
Although Sam couldn’t recall ever experiencing any form of claustrophobia
in his life, he clearly began feeling that fear now. Again, he screamed out,
“Where am I?” followed by, “Someone! Answer me!”
at last, the good Dr. Beckett!” replied a male voice from behind Sam. He
whirled around and was nearly blinded by the bright white light of the open
doorway. All Sam could see was the shadow of a man, standing in the doorway
and appearing to hold something in his hands, which were crossed in front of
him. “I apologize for the lack of hospitality when you first arrived, but
we had to make sure you were the real deal. You are the ultimate prize…
and now we’ve finally got you, after all this time!”
ultimate prize?” Sam exclaimed. “What do you mean? Who are you? And
where the hell am I?”
“Hell?” the voice shot back in mockery, followed by a sadistic
chuckle. “That’s where you’ll be wishing
you were by the time we’re
through with you! Ah, how the tides have turned… being the leaper for all
those years, putting things right that once went wrong… Ironic how you have now become the one that’s been leaped into… to have
something in your life be put
wrong that should have gone right!”
kind of double-talk is that? Show
yourself!” Sam demanded.
a few seconds of silence, the figure stepped out of the doorway, revealing
his true identity. Despite his Swiss-cheesed memory, Sam remembered exactly
who the tall black man was. “Thames?
No! I-it’s not possible!”
but it is, Beckett! You still don’t know what’s happened to you? I would
think it should be obvious, but
perhaps you need a little reminder. Take a look at your reflection in the
table!” Thames ordered.
Sam looked down at the glass table in front of him, he couldn’t help but
notice the skin-tight black Fermi suit he was wearing. Upon seeing the
reflection in the mirrored surface, Sam nearly fell back in shock when he
saw the face of the auburn-haired woman staring back at him.
familiar?” Thames slyly asked.
“Zoë!” Sam replied. But how could that be possible? Zoë was
supposed to be dead… wasn’t she?
got it! Zoë’s leaped into you!
So, you’d better get used to your time here, Beckett! ’Cause you belong
to Lothos now!”
Thames’ words echoing in the back of his mind, Sam shuddered in fear as he
whispered, “Oh boy…”
Special thanks to Brian
Greene and Sue Johnson for their input.