voice, coming from everywhere and nowhere, said, “Sam, you have done very
well. You have met all obstacles head-on and exceeded my wildest
that mean I can go home now?”
no. Your destiny has yet to be fulfilled.”
thought you said that I control my own destiny.”
do, but you have yet to accept that fact. Right now, it’s your own
subconscious need to continue that is driving your leaps, and before you are
done, it will take you on your most arduous leaps yet.”
you mean the leaps are going to get even tougher? I don’t think I could
handle it if they were any tougher.”
can handle it. Remember the past and apply what you have learned, and you
will get through it just fine.”
was just about to ask the voice what it meant when he felt the familiar
tugging of an impending leap. “No, no, not yet. I’m not ready to go.”
like that, the voice was gone and Sam found himself in new surroundings. As
they came into focus, he looked to his left and saw three cubicles. In each
station was a computer terminal with a woman sitting behind it. Behind him
and to his right, he saw an attractive young redheaded woman that looked to
be about twenty-three years old and five feet nine inches tall, running a
realizing where he was, Sam heard a voice say, “Hey Nate, are you going to
give me my thousand dollars, or are you going to bring it home for me
the first time, Sam looked ahead of him and saw a balding man with a
potbelly. This man was easily in his fifties and smelled slightly of
alcohol. “Oh, sorry,” said Sam before quickly counting the cash. He
counted one thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills before reaching up and
tearing the gentleman’s receipt off the printer. Quickly glancing at the
receipt, he saw that the man did indeed withdraw the thousand dollars and
that his name was Bruce Trillo. “Here you go, Mr. Trillo.”
handed Mr. Trillo the money and the bottom copy of the receipt but saw that
the man was just standing there. “Is there anything else I can help you
with today, sir?”
you need me to sign the receipt?”
right, sorry,” said a slightly red-faced Sam. Remembering a little too
late that his own bank always made him sign for withdrawals, Sam put the top
copy of the receipt on the counter.
Trillo signed it before saying, “What has gotten into you today, kid?”
without waiting for an answer, Bruce Trillo turned and started to walk
toward the door when he distinctly heard Nate say, “Oh boy.”
December 30, 1999
to see that there was nobody else in the lobby, Sam decided to look for
clues as to where and when he was. He had already learned that his name was
Nate—Mr. Trillo had been nice enough to clue him in to that.
date was easy enough to figure out—it was on the computer screen. However,
the screen didn’t tell him his whereabouts. Looking ahead of him, he saw
some money envelopes. He picked one up and read the name ‘American
Hardware Federal Credit Union’ off of it. According to the envelope, the
main office was located in Plainville with branches in Berlin, Farmington,
Southington, Thomaston and Waterbury, Connecticut. Not knowing which branch
he was in, Sam looked at the telephone that sat at his host’s station. On
it, there were phone numbers for every branch except Berlin so Sam assumed
that his host worked in the Berlin branch.
his when and whereabouts, Sam decided to study the computer screen in his
cubicle. Knowing that a member could walk in at any moment, he decided that
he had at least better be able to do some simple transactions. After only a
couple of minutes, Sam began to feel a little more confident about the
possibility of having to do a transaction. The system looked to be pretty
self-explanatory and after building Ziggy, it would be an absolute cakewalk.
lost his train of thought when he heard the teller at the end of the line
stand up and say to the young woman running the drive-thru drawer,
“Madison, did you ever get in touch with that member that you shorted
answered Madison. “He told me to put it in his checking.”
the exchange, Sam learned that the attractive redhead’s name was Madison.
This got him curious as to the names of the other tellers. Looking at the
girl that just asked Madison about the twenty dollars, he saw that she was
only about twenty-eight or twenty-nine. She was of average height, about
five foot five inches and slightly stocky. Reading her nametag, Sam saw that
her name was Cindi and that she was a Senior Teller.
next station down was another teller named Tammy. Tammy had blond hair
hanging just past her shoulders. Her brown eyes spoke volumes about the girl
and made her look much older than her approximate twenty-five years. To Sam,
they spoke of an already hard life and he couldn’t help but wonder if
maybe he was here to help this girl with her problems and make her life a
little more manageable.
to Tammy and immediately to Sam’s left was Susan. Susan was older than the
other girls—perhaps forty-five. She wore glasses and had her black hair
cut just above her shoulders. Sam noticed as well that she had taken very
good care of herself. She was well dressed and physically fit, something for
which Sam gave her a lot of credit.
the next several minutes, Sam continued to play with the computer system. He
was mentally filing away what he was learning when he heard Cindi say,
“Nate, it’s after four, aren’t you going home?”
it off, Sam said, “Oh, yeah, right. This last half-hour just flew right
by.” Mentally kicking himself for not studying balancing procedures, Sam
placed his ‘Next Window’ sign up and began to try to balance his drawer.
Not knowing what to do, he said under his breath, “Where are you, Al?”
on cue, the Imaging Chamber door opened and Al walked out of it. Sam was
pleased to see that Al was dressed pretty tame, at least by Al’s
standards. He was wearing a red shirt and a red pair of pants, which were
accentuated by a canary yellow blazer and tie. “Hey pal, how’s it
going?” asked the hologram.
looked straight ahead at the Project Observer; then covering his mouth, he
cleared his throat and slyly asked his friend, “How do I balance?”
Oh, how do you balance,” repeated the observer. Watching his friend’s
face, Al saw the look of acknowledgement. “I don’t know.”
no time flat, the look of acknowledgement turned to one of annoyance as Sam
looked from Al’s eyes to the handlink.
Ziggy,” Al said. “She’s depressed, so she’s not responding but
we’re a couple of smart guys, we can figure this out.”
walked through the counter and took a look at Sam’s screen. Over the next
several minutes, the two of them used trial and error to figure out how to
balance the drawer. Sam was thankful to see that his host balanced to the
penny, but he then realized that he didn’t know what was supposed to come
next. Fortunately for Sam, Madison was done for the day, too. So Al watched
what she did and then directed Sam to do the same.
his cash drawer was locked up and all his work was put away, Sam followed
Madison into the break room to get Nate’s belongings. He purposely hung
back until Madison said, “See you tomorrow, Nate.” The two men then
watched as Madison smiled at the man that she thought was Nate before
walking out the door.
soon as Madison left the room, Al said, “She can handle my transaction…
that his friend was all talk, Sam ignored the sexual innuendo. He had long
since gotten used to it, and at this point, even expected it. However, he
had always known that Al would no sooner stray on Beth than leave his best
friend stranded in Time alone. “So, what’s up with Ziggy?” asked Sam
as soon as he was sure that they were alone.
don’t know. All she’s told us is that it is Thursday, December 30, 1999
and that your name is Nathan Shaw. Then, all of a sudden, she gets all huffy
and says that it is bringing up bad memories. She’ll never admit it, Sam,
but personally, I think it was that whole Y2K scare. She is still mad that
we updated her for it. She took it as a personal insult that we didn’t
trust her not to crash. I mean, we were just following orders, but she said
that that one particular order was one that we shouldn’t have followed.”
what’s that?” asked Sam.
Al even had a chance to answer, both men heard the usual sultry voice of
Ziggy say, “Y2K was when the year changed over from 1999 to 2000. People
thought that every computer in the world would crash and… your staff…
felt the need to update me as if I were a common household desktop!!!” Her
full-framed holographic figure appeared, being projected from the handlink,
and she had daggers in her eyes.
badmouth desktops, you useless mass of microprocessors,” retorted Al.
“They have several advantages over you. Not the least of which is that
they don’t talk back!!!”
what exactly do you call an error message, you bag of bones!!!”
children,” Sam interrupted. “Can we focus on the task at hand here?
Ziggy, why am I here? Does it have anything to do with that girl out there,
Doctor,” Ziggy confirmed.
now we are getting somewhere. What happened in the original history?”
the original history, an armed assailant walks into the Berlin branch of the
American Hardware Federal Credit Union tomorrow at 11:08 in the morning with
the intention of robbing it. However, during the course of events, he
discharges his weapon, killing Tammy Stevens.”
able to enunciate the words, Sam asked, “Is there anything else I should
have relayed to you the extent of the information that I have, Doctor.”
Then with another threatening look at Al, Ziggy disappeared into the
I have a bad feeling about this one. Get back there and light a fire under
Ziggy’s circuits, and get me some information.” Then without another
word, Al opened the Imaging Chamber door and walked back into the future.
Gate, New Mexico
Al walked out of the Imaging Chamber, there was an authority in his step
that the project staff immediately recognized. This was not Al, the Project
Observer; this was Admiral Albert Calavicci. “Ziggy, you shelve that
overactive ego of yours on this leap and that is a direct order. I have a
really bad feeling here and you are not going to give me any lip. Is
Admiral,” Ziggy’s answer didn’t have a tone of defiance. On the
contrary, she seemed eager to help.
need you to search police records, criminal history, autopsy reports,
eyewitness statements, and anything else you can think of. You even get
extra credit if you track down the video of the robbery. I want to know
everything there is to know about this guy. I want his name, age, place of
residence, physical appearance, but most important, I want his toxicology
reports. I want to know if this guy was using at the time of the robbery.
Put it on a disc and have it ready for me in half an hour.”
Jo, get cracking on the retrieval program. If we ever needed a miracle, we
need one now. Give me that miracle.”
just a second, Sammie could see through that tough Admiral exterior and saw
the pleading in Al’s eyes.
could you give Sammie Jo a hand?” Al suggested. “We need all the help we
can get on this leap.”
it,” Tina replied.
going to the Waiting Room to have a word with our visitor. Keep me
updated.” Without another word, Al walked out of the Control Room. He
continued down the hallway and up the ramp to the Waiting Room. As he
approached the door, it opened and out walked Dr. Verbena Beeks.
Admiral,” Verbena greeted.
’Bena, how’s our visitor holding up?”
well, actually. He keeps saying that he is having an incredible feeling of déjà
vu. He thinks he read about something like this in a book or saw it in a TV
show, or something of that nature.”
much does he remember?”
not the most recollective visitor we’ve ever had, but he’s not far
some good news. I’m going to go have a word with him. Could you head back
to the Control Room and put together a psychological profile on this guy
that’s going to rob the Credit Union?”
watched for a moment as Verbena walked away toward the Control Room before
he turned and entered the Waiting Room. “Hi, Nate, how’s it going?”
young man wearing the aura of Sam Beckett looked up at the
flamboyantly-dressed man that had just walked in. “Honestly, I’m a
little freaked out. Where am I?”
this, we call this the Waiting Room. This is where we house our visitors
until they can go home.”
did I get here?”
a tough one. Why don’t we come back to that one later?”
you holding me prisoner?”
take me home.”
kid. I can’t do that.”
call me kid. Then, take me out to get a cheeseburger.”
I can have a cheeseburger brought in here, but we have a rule. No visitor
can leave this room.”
I am a prisoner!”
it’s for your own protection. Hopefully you’ll be out of here in a few
days. Now I have some questions for you. The more you can remember, the
sooner we can get you home.”
kind of questions?”
stuff, mostly. But why don’t we start with Tammy. Do you remember
course, I remember Tammy.”
what’s her story? She looks to have a lot of emotional baggage.”
a little crude, don’t you think? But, yeah, you could say that. A couple
years ago, she wasn’t like that. She was in a car accident. At the time,
she was eight months pregnant with her son… her son. What’s her son’s
name? I can’t remember.”
worry, we’ll find out and let you know. Now, what happened in this car
accident that took such an emotional toll on her?”
was going to dinner with her parents and her fiancée. They came up to an
intersection just as the light was turning green, so they kept going. But a
car coming from the opposite direction was trying to beat his red light. He
didn’t get there in time. He was going way too fast to stop, ran the red
light, and T-boned the car Tammy was in. It was a driver’s side impact
that killed both her parents and her fiancé. Tammy got really messed up and
went into premature labor.”
explains a lot. Poor kid, she doesn’t deserve that.” Not wanting to
sound heartless, Al waited a moment to ask his next question. Normally, he
would hold it for later, but the feeling in the pit of his stomach made him
ask it. “Ok, what kind of procedures do you have in place in the event of
wait, back up. I can’t give you that type of information.”
it’s important. If you’re worried about security, you don’t have to.
Believe me, I have clearance. The more information you can give me, the
faster we can get you back home.”
asking for a lot of faith here, pal, and I don’t even know your name.”
My name is Al.”
Al, how do I know that you didn’t drug me and bring me here? I certainly
don’t remember walking into this room. Now you’re asking for robbery
procedures. How do I know that you didn’t bring me here to get that
information so you can rob the Credit Union?”
had to admit, the kid had a point. He hadn’t given the kid any reason to
trust him. Although he hated to do it, Al knew he had to throw this kid a
bone. “Alright, why don’t you sit down and I will tell you what is going
sure how much someone was going to remember, Al always tried to give the
Visitor only the bare essentials of what was going on. However, as he
watched Nate take a seat on the cot in the corner of the room, he thought
that it might just take more than that to convince this kid to trust him.
“What I am going to tell you, you’re not going to believe, but it’s
the truth and I can prove it. I only ask that you don’t interrupt me as
I’m telling you. Let me finish and then I’ll answer any questions I can
for you. Deal?”
here it goes. Nathan, you’re in the future. You are part of a time-travel
experiment that went… a little ca-ca. As a result, you’re here, and my
friend, Dr. Samuel Beckett, is in your present. To everyone here, you look
and sound exactly like Sam. Just like Sam looks and sounds exactly like you
to everyone in 1999.”
you promised to tell me what is going on. Instead, you give me this
cockamamie story about time travel. Do you think I’m an idiot or
hear me out and I will prove it to you, ok?”
I’m done listening. I want out of here, NOW!!!”
over here for a minute.” Al’s tone was not nearly as friendly as it had
just been. He led him over to the reflective table placed in the center of
the room. “Look in here and tell me that I’m lying.”
his eyes, clearly thinking that he was wasting his time, Nathan looked into
the table and saw an entirely different man staring back at him. This man
was much older. He looked to be in his early fifties. There was a streak of
white hair above his left eye, but there was a kindness in his eyes that was
hard to dismiss.
you’re him and he’s you. He’s traveled back in time to change
something that should never have happened.”
are you guys to decide what should have happened? Who made you God?”
the big guy himself, maybe Time, maybe Fate, we don’t know. But the only
way for Sam to leap to another place, another time, is if he changes history
for the better.”
happened? What is he there to change?”
you sure you want to know?”
you want my help, you’ll be straight with me.”
then. On Friday, a man is going to walk into your Credit Union branch with a
sawed-off shotgun. In the process of the robbery, he is going to kill
father had been a New York City police officer for twelve years before being
killed in the line of duty by an armed assailant. But before he died, he
taught Nathan how to tell if someone was lying simply by looking into his or
her eyes. It had become second nature for him to do it, and he searched
Al’s eyes for a moment. Seeing the truth in the older man’s eyes, he
asked, “How can I help?”
hour later, Al walked back into the Control Room with an idea. “Ziggy?”
Admiral?” the response seemed to resonate through the room.
a scenario for me. Nathan said that if the Credit Union loses power, they
have to lock the doors. What if Dr. Beckett cuts the power?
If they lock the doors, this guy can’t get in and Tammy is saved,
is correct, Admiral. However, I must warn you that I predict a 98.2%
probability that if Dr. Beckett cuts the power, the perpetrator—one Peter
Harvey—would then rob the bank across the street.”
on Dr. Beeks’ profile, how would he react to getting to the Credit Union
and finding the doors locked?”
is a 97.1% chance that it would result in the deaths of several employees
and customers in the bank across the street.”
obviously that’s an unacceptable scenario. Damn it!” Now the stress Al
was feeling was showing through. “There has to be a way around a
confrontation altogether. What if Sam phones in an anonymous phone tip?”
took a nanosecond to compute the scenario before saying, “There is a 98.4%
chance that it would provoke a stand-off resulting in the death of everyone
in the Credit Union.”
this guy seems hell-bent on killing someone. Was he on drugs when he robbed
the Credit Union in the original history?”
tests indicate that Peter Harvey injected himself with heroin thirty-eight
minutes prior to the robbery.”
that may be something we can use. I’m going to go update Sam. Keep working
on this and keep me posted. Lofty, fire up the Imaging Chamber.” Then
grabbing the handlink, Al stepped into the not-too-distant past.
December 30, 1999
in the Credit Union, Sam watched as Al stepped through the Imaging Chamber
door to get some more information from Ziggy regarding the leap. With
nothing else to do but wait, Sam decided to gather up his host’s
belongings and leave.
that there were no locks on the lockers, Sam was quickly able to deduce
which locker was Nathan’s by the lack of a purse inside. Then, thinking
out loud, he said, “Well, at least I’m not a woman on this leap.”
was that, Nate?”
kicking himself, Sam turned to see Tammy walk into the back room. “Oh
nothing, I was just thinking out loud.” Then realizing that this was an
opportunity to try to find out a little more information without Ziggy’s
help, Sam asked, “Hey, Tammy. Are you all right? You seem to be kind of
in a distracted tone, she said, “No more than any other day.”
a chance, Sam said, “No, today is different. You seem to be distracted by
well, I wasn’t going to say anything, but tomorrow is the two-year
anniversary of the accident.”
don’t play stupid, please, the one where David and my parents were
the look in Tammy’s eyes made complete sense to Sam. “Oh, yeah, that
accident. I’m sorry. I should have remembered that it was New Year’s
well, what’s done is done. It can’t be changed now. I just wish Zach
could have met his father, you know.”
Tammy talk made Sam think about when his father died some time ago. Then,
without thinking, Sam said, “Yeah, I know. Fathers are important. When my
father died, I was devastated.” As soon as the words were out of his
mouth, Sam regretted his temporary lapse in judgment.
there is a big difference here. Your father only died like five years ago.
Zach will never get to even meet David.”
for the words to make Tammy feel better, Sam stayed silent for a moment. He
opened his mouth to say something, but he was cut off.
Nate, I know you mean well, but I have to get back up there.”
headed for the door and opened it before Sam stopped her.
back to the young man that she thought was Nate, she said, “Yeah.”
be home tonight if you need someone to talk to.”
saw a genuine smile form on Tammy’s face, making her look her own age if
only for a moment, and listened as she said, “Thanks, Nate. I may just
take you up on that.” Then Tammy turned and walked out the door.
Sam looked through Nate’s wallet. This was one thing he hated about
leaping. It always felt like he was invading his host’s privacy, but it
was the easiest way to get an address of where he was supposed to live. This
time, the wallet told Sam that his host lived in Bristol. Now, it was just a
matter of getting there.
Nate’s car keys out of his pocket, Sam saw that he drove a Toyota and was
thankful to see that there was only one Toyota in the parking lot. Getting
in, he searched the glove box for any approximate whereabouts and traced his
route to Bristol.
almost no time, he was heading toward Bristol via 72 West. Exiting the
highway, he did a very uncharacteristic thing. He pulled into the first bar
he came to—a place called Rod’s. Walking in, he sat down at the bar and
ordered a beer.
the bartender put the beer on the bar, Sam took a sip of it then laid his
head in his hands. This leap was weighing heavily on his mind and he
couldn’t figure out why. All that seemed clear to him was a gut feeling
that this leap was heading down a one-way street toward trouble.
was just finishing his beer when he heard the telltale sound of the Imaging
Chamber door opening. Stepping through the door, Al said, “Hey, pal.
Ziggy’s got some more infor…” Al then looked at his surroundings and
said, “Sam, are you in a bar?”
was your first clue?” was the Leaper’s response.
you say something?”
up, Sam saw the bartender looking at him from the other side of the bar. His
mind must have been playing tricks on him, because for a moment, seeing the
bartender, he thought he was in Al’s Place all over again. But after
tightly shutting his eyes, he opened them and saw the bartender that was
behind the bar when he had walked in. Then, answering the Rod’s Place
bartender’s question, he said, “No. It’s nothing.”
Al interjected, “you had better get home or Nate’s mother is going to
Sam said, “What? Al, this kid is like twenty-four years old, and he still
lives at home?”
actually. And yeah, he left college and came home after his father,” Al
hit the handlink which let off a loud squeal, “a New York City beat cop,
was killed in the line of duty five years ago. His mother took it really
hard, so the kid takes care of her.”
up, Sam left three dollars on the bar and walked out to Nate’s car.
Relocating to the passenger seat of Nate’s car, Al waited a moment for Sam
to get in before saying, “Sam, we have major problems here. Every scenario
we come up with to get you out of this mess results in the deaths of either
everyone in the Credit Union or in the bank across the street. It seems that
any change you make will make things worse.”
you have to come up with something. I can’t help but shake the feeling
that all this is going to end badly.”
know, pal. I have the same feeling. That’s why I have Ziggy running all
these scenarios to get you out of this.”
Al, why don’t we start with what we know. Who is this guy that is going to
rob the Credit Union?”
this guy is a real nozzle. He’s an out-of-work electrician named Pete
Harvey. He gets fired from every job he gets because he comes to work stoned
off his gourd. Eventually, he turns to petty crime. Then, two months ago, he
was arrested for robbing a gas station. A technicality got him off, so he
doesn’t do any time.”
tomorrow, he goes big time.”
this time, someone gets hurt. He… kills Tammy. Then the police show up and
we can’t let that happen. I talked to Tammy quickly after you left
earlier. Did you know that her husband and parents were killed in a car
yeah, I did. Nate told me.”
he mention that tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of their deaths?”
I didn’t know that. That’s why she looked the way she did today, poor
thing. Did she tell you she was in the car that day? She was pregnant at the
time and the accident forced her into premature labor.”
she was mentioning how she wished that her fiancée David had been able to
meet their son Zach.”
this is your house here on the right. Why don’t you go on inside and
I’ll see if I can come up with anything else?” Then without waiting for
an answer, Al opened the Imaging Chamber door and stepped back into the
his friend leave, Sam couldn’t help but notice that something about Tammy
seemed to be affecting Al on a bit more personal level than usual during
this leap. Deciding not to reflect on it, Sam shut off the car’s engine
and entered the house.
he saw Nate’s mother lying on the living room couch. Going up to her, Sam
said, “Mom, I’m home.” Seeing no reaction, Sam searched out Nate’s
room. Finding it without difficulty, he went inside and took a nap.
Gate, New Mexico
back into his present, Al walked up to Sammie Jo and said, “What have you
got for me, Sammie?”
sorry, Admiral, but there is no way we’re going to get this thing working
in time to get Dad home before the robbery.”
we had to try, right?”
seeing something in his eyes, Sammie Jo asked, “Al? Is everything all
right? You look…distracted.”
fine, Sammie. It’s just that…your dad is in an explosive situation, and
I don’t know how to help him this time.”
know what, Al? I’m not in the least bit nervous for Dad.”
got Al’s attention. “Sammie, I don’t think you realize…”
realize the situation, Al. The reason that I am not worried is because you
are with him. You have never once let him down and I know that as long as
there is a breath in your body, you never will. You will always find a way
to help Dad.” Then smiling a bit, she said, “You’re way too stubborn
to give up on him.”
at the little ribbing, Al said, “Thanks, Sammie. I know you’re right.
I’ll find some way to get your dad out of this. I promise.”
know you will.”
away, Al continued into the Waiting Room. “Hey, kid…um, I mean Nathan.
How’s it going?”
Nate and I’m pretty bored. Can I watch some TV or at least have a book to
read or something?”
could probably dig up something for you to read. What do you like?”
not too sure. I know that I once read something about a gunslinger and some
you mean The Dark Tower books by Stephen King?” Al questioned.
did he ever finish writing those books?”
sure did, they’re some of my favorites,” Al said remembering a few of
the scenes from the books, then shivered.
you have the last one in the series?”
I can’t bring in anything that hasn’t been written yet in your time. But
I know a good Stephen King book. It’s called Bag
of Bones. I’ll have it brought in here for you. In the meantime, did
you remember anything else that could be helpful to me?
Al. I really want to help, but I can’t think of anything else that we
could do to prevent the robbery. What if you just have this Sam guy try to
convince Tammy to stay home tomorrow?”
go. I already ran that scenario. If she’s not there, he’ll kill someone
else. We have to find a way to avoid a confrontation altogether.”
I don’t know what to tell you.”
thanks. I’ll have that book sent in to you.”
got up to leave when Nate stopped him. “Al, did you find out her son’s
name for me?”
that’s right. He’s a great kid, Al. He’s already lost his father. We
can’t let him lose his mother too. He doesn’t deserve that. Neither does
Tammy. She is an amazing person and a wonderful mother. We have to save
runs deeper than just friendship for you, doesn’t it?”
save her, Nate. I promise.” With that said, Al left the Waiting Room and
walked back to his office. Sitting behind his desk, he said, “Ziggy, what
have you got for me?”
have located a tape of the robbery as you requested, Admiral.”
some good news. Cue it up for me.”
seconds, a tape of the robbery began playing on the plasma TV in Al’s
office. Watching closely, he watched as Peter Harvey walked up to Tammy’s
window and stuck the sawed-off shotgun in her face. Not even ten seconds
went by when Harvey looked out the lobby’s window and saw a police cruiser
pull up. Almost immediately, he pulled the trigger and Tammy flew backward
out of her seat.
this, Al winced, tears forming in his eyes. However, knowing that the answer
they’d been searching for might be on the tape, he continued to watch.
Within seconds of pulling the trigger, Al saw Peter Harvey falling down
after being shot in the chest by the policeman that had pulled up only
seeing anything helpful, he told Ziggy to cue up the tape again. Then after
four hours of watching the tape over and over again, Al finally gave it up
as a lost cause and headed back into the Control Room telling Dom to fire up
the Imaging Chamber. Grabbing
Stephen’s handlink, Al stepped into the Imaging Chamber to give Sam the
December 30, 1999
through the Imaging Chamber door, Al said, “Hey Sam, we have to talk.”
Then, looking up from the handlink, he asked, “Who are you talking to?”
up a finger, Sam silently told Al to wait a moment. Then, speaking into the
phone receiver, he said, “Hey Tammy, I have to go. But I’ll see you at
alright. I’ll see you tomorrow then…. Hey Nate?”
for listening. It means a lot.”
Why don’t you go ahead and get some sleep.”
my kid, yeah, that’ll be the day, ha-ha.”
try, you need your rest.”
hey, do you have any plans for New Year’s yet?”
have to check, but off the top of my head, I don’t think so, why?”
was thinking that you could come over to my apartment. It’ll be just me
and Zach here, and we’d love to have you.”
go over there, for New Year’s?” Sam looked over at Al with a nervous
look on his face.
Sam’s unasked question, Al said, “Go ahead. Nate is crazy about her.”
at the same time as Al, Tammy said, “You don’t have to if you don’t
no, no. I want to. Like I said, I don’t think I have plans yet. I’ll
find out for certain and let you know tomorrow.”
great, then I guess I’ll see you tomorrow. Good night.”
couldn’t help but notice that Tammy sounded happier in that one sentence
than she had during the entire two-hour conversation. “Good night, see you
up the phone, Sam turned to Al and asked, “What have you got for me?”
not good, Sam. That was Tammy?”
it was. Al, I’ve been talking to her for the last two hours. I don’t
think she has ever talked to anyone about what happened. She has kept
everything bottled up inside for so long, that as soon as she started
talking, the floodgates opened. Towards the end of the conversation, she was
really sounding much better. I think it helped to get it all out…. We have
to save her, Al.”
don’t have to tell me twice, pal.”
I’ve been meaning to ask you. Your interest in Tammy seems to run a little
deeper than just wanting to save her life.”
shows, huh? Sam, she has a two-year-old son that is going to end up in an
orphanage if we don’t save her. I would hate to see that happen to the
part of it, but there’s more, isn’t there?”
a lot of things, Sam. I guess the biggest is…do you remember the leap
where you saved my daughter Christa? She had been kidnapped.”
it was Zoë that kidnapped her, right?” The look of hatred in Al’s face
at the mention of Zoë’s name was more than enough answer for Sam.
well when she got home, she had withdrawn. She wouldn’t talk to us,
and…” Al took a moment to compose himself. “Well, lets just say that
the look I saw on Tammy’s face this morning, I saw it a hundred times on
Christa’s. Heck, Tammy even looks like Christa.”
a moment of silence, Sam asked, “Did you find anything new for me, Al?”
Ziggy got the tape from the robbery. I’ve been watching it over and over
for the last four hours. Everything happened so fast, Sam. I mean he
wasn’t even in the Credit Union a minute before he opened fire.”
been meaning to ask you about that. Why would this guy rob the Credit Union?
Wouldn’t the bank across the street have more money on hand?”
I think that he just happened to see the Credit Union first. He didn’t
have an account at either place, so he wasn’t worried about being
recognized over there. He probably just needed some quick cash for drugs.
Only about forty-five seconds pass from the time he walks into the building
to the time he’s killed. But he never gives any indication of going after
the vault—which, by the way, Ziggy says that because of the Y2K scare,
your branch alone is going to be carrying more than $1.2 million in cash.”
he using at the time of the robbery?”
according to the autopsy report, he was. He is going to be extremely
high-strung, so you have to be careful.”
that’s why he kills Tammy.”
a big part of it. A few seconds after Harvey walks into the Credit Union, a
police cruiser pulls up. Harvey sees it and must think that Tammy tripped
the silent alarm, so he…” Unable to finish his sentence, Al ducked his
ok, Al. You don’t have to say it.”
a moment’s silence, a noticeably distraught Al said, “Sam, why don’t
you try to get some sleep. You’re going to need it for tomorrow.”
don’t know if I will be able to, Al. I tried to take a nap earlier and I
couldn’t get to sleep. My mind wouldn’t stop racing.”
try, Sam. I’ll see you in the morning.” Without another word, Al stepped
through the Imaging Chamber door and back into his own time.
December 31, 1999
7:30 the next morning, the shrill sound of Nate’s alarm clock woke Sam
with a jolt. Groggily reaching over his head in an attempt to silence the
offending device, Sam was forced to shield his eyes against the blinding
morning sunlight that was shining through the gap in the open curtains.
prediction about the lack of sleep he would get the previous night was on
the mark. Due to how physically exhausting leaping often was, sleep usually
came regardless of what wrong he was there to put right. Last night,
however, he couldn’t get his mind to shut down and the result was a nearly
sleepless night. All told, he had slept for less than two hours.
the urge to return to blissful slumber, Sam got out of bed and took a
shower. After his shower, he had a quick breakfast and was on the highway by
8:30. By 8:45, he pulled into the Credit Union’s parking lot.
urge to turn around and run away from a leap had never been greater. Using
all his willpower to keep going, he parked the car in the space it was in
the previous day. Then, locking the doors behind him, Sam got out of the car
and walked up to the foyer entrance. As he was stepping into the foyer, he
heard the telltale clunk-zoom of the Imaging Chamber door.
Sam, did you get any sleep last night?”
much, Al,” replied Sam honestly.
Sam, why not? You have to be on your toes today.”
couldn’t help it, Al. I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering.”
I can’t say that I blame you. I didn’t get much sleep myself.”
two men walked into the lobby and continued into the break room. Once back
there, Sam began to say something to Al when all of a sudden he heard,
for the source of the voice, Sam turned to see a much happier-looking Tammy
closing the refrigerator door. “Hey Tammy, you look like you’re in a
much happier mood today.”
it was all you. I didn’t do anything.”
you did everything. You got me to open up. I haven’t been able to open up
to anybody like that since the accident. I kept everything so bottled up
inside that it was taking an enormous toll on me emotionally. I had to get
that stuff off my chest. And now I have, thanks to you.” Then, walking up
to Sam, Tammy gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. Then, blushing a bit, she
took a couple steps back and asked, “Did you find out whether or not
you’re free to come to my house tonight for New Year’s?”
so then, why don’t you come to my house at 7:00 tonight?”
from ear to ear, she walked aimlessly backwards, knocking into the door and
said, “Great, great. So I’ll see you tonight at 7:00?”
I’ll see you in about thirty seconds when I go out there.”
now too, Tammy added, “Oh yeah, right. I’ll see you out there then.”
and Al watched as Tammy finally made it through the door. When the door shut
behind her, Sam said, “She’s a great kid, Al. A little lost maybe, but
you have any useful scenarios for me?”
Sam, nada. But I’ll be with you the whole time.”
Al. I better get up there.”
walked out of the break room and up to the teller line. Saying hello to all
the girls, Sam verified Nathan’s drawer.
9:00, the Credit Union was opened for business. Once again, Sam was thankful
that the computer system was so user-friendly. Although he was hesitant at
first, Sam quickly became comfortable doing the basic transactions.
the first couple hours of the day, that was how it went. Sam did basic
deposits and withdrawals, while Al looked over the shoulders of Nate’s
co-workers. A couple of times, Al had to explain to Sam how one of the girls
did something so that Sam could help his customer. In the end, the hardest
thing he had to do was a bank check, which was almost as easy as a cash
as Sam was beginning to feel really comfortable doing Nate’s job, Al
pulled him back to reality. “Sam, keep on your toes. He’ll be here in
about three minutes.”
a tense three minutes, Al said, “Here he comes, Sam.”
at the door, Sam saw two men walking in. The first was a well-dressed man
wearing a business suit. Sam watched as the businessman’s briefcase hit
the leg of the man behind him. This made Sam immediately focus his attention
on the second man.
second man was anything but well dressed. The stubble on his cheeks said
that he hadn’t shaved in about a week. His clumped-up, greasy black hair
said that he hadn’t showered either. The clothes under his long black
trench coat were battered and torn and there were holes in his sneakers.
the man walked to the table to fill out his withdrawal slip, Sam noticed
that he had a noticeable limp in the leg that was just hit with the other
man’s briefcase. Deciding to ignore this, Sam gazed intently at the
a moment passed before Sam saw the man reach around his back for something
under his trench coat. Watching intently, he noticed that the man was
pulling a long solid object from under his coat.
instinctively, Sam leaped over the counter and charged the man. Vaguely, he
could hear Al screaming something, but that no longer mattered. All that
mattered was stopping the man that was going to hurt Tammy.
the man, Sam placed him in an immobilizing choke hold. He could hear the man
drop what he was reaching for and a wave of relief washed over him. He
realized that all his worry was for nothing and began to feel good for the
first time since the leap in. Only when reaching down to pick up the object
the man dropped, did Sam realize his fatal mistake.
grabbing the man’s cane, Al’s words became crystal-clear in his ears.
“SAM!!! THAT’S THE WRONG GUY!!!”
slowly, Sam saw Peter Harvey—impeccably dressed in a pinstriped business
suit—remove a sawed-off shotgun from his briefcase. He watched as Harvey
pointed the gun at him and smiled. Then, seeing the coldness in Peter
Harvey’s eyes, a thought came to Sam from somewhere in the deep recesses
of his mind. Not knowing exactly whom he was thinking about, he still
allowed the thought to consume him. “Donna, I love you.”
Sam, everything happened in slow motion. He never even heard the gunshot,
but he felt the warmth of the bullets as they entered his chest. The force
of the shot at such a close range was enough to pick him up and send him
flying backwards. Then, after an eternity in the air, Sam hit the ground in
his friend’s ever-limp body flying through the air, Al panicked. Rushing
to his side, Al tried to pull Sam into his arms. Being a hologram, Al’s
arms simply passed through Sam unobstructed.
Al looked into Sam’s bloodshot eyes. He barely noticed the hysterics all
around him as a Berlin police officer shot through the glass door, killing
Peter Harvey with one shot. Instead, he was watching the best friend he had
ever had try to speak.
sound came from Sam, but even through tear-filled eyes, Al was able to read
his lips. Sam had just made the desperate plea of, “Al.”
here, buddy. I’m not going anywhere.”
didn’t hear. His body went limp as he released his last gasp of air.
Slowly, the hologram around Al began to fade before disappearing completely.
Gate, New Mexico
next thing Al knew, he was kneeling in the corner of the Imaging Chamber
surrounded on all sides by blue.
open this door… NOW!!! THAT’S AN ORDER!!!” The Imaging Chamber door
opened and Al rushed out. “Ziggy, get all senior medical personnel to the
Accelerator Chamber S.T.A.T.!”
done, Admiral,” replied the all business sounding computer voice.
close by, Al was the first one to the Accelerator Chamber. What he saw when
he walked in; however, stopped him dead in his tracks. Sam was lying in a
rapidly forming pool of his own blood.
recomposing himself, Al rushed to the Leaper’s side. Picking Sam’s head
up and placing it in his lap, he said, “Don’t you give up on me, Sam! Do
you hear me, dammit!! Don’t you give up! That’s an order!!”
sooner did Al finish his sentence than Dr. Aurora Lofton rushed into the
room pushing a defibrillator. Beth followed closely behind her pushing a
medical cart. Then, grabbing a pair of surgical scissors off the cart, Beth
handed them to Al and said, “Cut off his Fermi Suit.”
Al was cutting off the top half of Sam’s Fermi Suit, Donna rushed in with
Sammie Jo in tow. Crying hysterically, Donna dropped to her knees and
screamed, “NO!!! Oh God, Sam, NOOO!!! Look at me. Please honey, look at
to Donna, Sammie Jo was just staring at her father with a blank expression
on her face. What she saw was not her father lying there. She saw the woman
that made her and her mother’s lives a living hell when she was a kid. She
saw the woman that had slit her own throat in their kitchen with one of
their knives. She saw Leta Aider.
in the distance, a small voice could be heard. “Dad? Is my dad in here?”
Al heard the voice over all the commotion going on around him and yelled,
“Lofty, keep Stephen out of here!!!”
interference, Lofty grabbed Stephen before he could get to the Accelerator
Chamber door. Picking him up, he carried him kicking and screaming out of
the Control Room. “Stephen, we need you to stay out here. We’ll let you
know when we know something.” Stephen started to argue but got the door
shut in his face instead.
Al finished cutting the chest of Sam’s Fermi Suit open, Beth wiped the
blood away from the wound. With a clear view now, she was able to see
multiple entrance points. Standing back to give her recent replacement some
room to work with, Beth charged the defibrillator as Aurora placed the
paddles on Sam’s chest. Within seconds, the defibrillator was charged and
Aurora yelled, “CLEAR!!!”
but gently, Al placed Sam’s head on the floor and backed away. As soon as
he was clear, Beth depressed the button to send the shock to the pads that
Aurora was holding to Sam’s chest. Reacting to the jolt of electricity,
Sam’s torso lifted in the air and fell back to the ground.
the paddles away, Aurora used her stethoscope to check for a heartbeat, but
heard only silence. Placing the pads back on Sam’s chest, Aurora yelled,
“Nothing! Charge ’em… CLEAR!!!”
Sam’s body reacted to the electric jolt emitted from the paddles. Once
again, they had no effect. He was completely flat lining.
doctors in Beth and Aurora knew that once a patient was completely flat
lining, there was virtually a zero percent chance of fixing it. But that
didn’t stop them from trying one final time.
They shocked Sam a final time with no luck. Then with tears streaming down
Aurora’s face, she nodded to Beth.
the nod, Beth said in a choked-up, barely audible voice, “Call it.”
of death,” Aurora announced, “8:53 PM.”
screamed Donna, crying profusely. Trying to comfort her, Al pulled her to
him and tried to calm her down. Allowing it, she collapsed into his arms.
the background, Sammie Jo was crouched in a corner hugging her knees. She
was muttering indistinguishable words and rocking back and forth. Seeing
this, Al had an instant understanding that Sammie Jo’s family history was
finally catching up to her. Seeing her father like that had finally made her
crack, like her grandmother and great-grandmother before her.
back to Donna, Al could see that she was not in much better shape. She was
in hysterics, her make-up smeared from the tears that poured down her face.
While still holding Donna and crying over the body of the fallen hero, Al
was assaulted by the memory of when he had returned from his simo-leap with
Sam. He was outside the complex, with Donna standing beside him. Looking up
at the star-lit sky, they were filling each other in on the events that had
led up to that particular moment in time:
“He leaped into you. He
realized that that was the only way to save your life, so he leaped into
“But how? I was in ’45
and Sam wasn’t born until ’53!”
“Because some of your
neurons and mesons merged when you simo-leaped, part of him was actually you
“Part of me him, I
remember. But how was he able to leap into me? I mean, how did he hit the
“He said that his
subconscious mind must have been working on exactly that.”
the images that were playing out in Al’s head changed. He was no longer
outside the complex with Donna, but in the Waiting Room, talking with a
familiar-looking young Navy pilot:
going to put you in the Accelerator Chamber, and we’re going to leap
you… into you.”
“You’re going to leap
me… into me?”
Saturday, June 22, 1957. And no matter how Swiss-cheesed your brain gets
from traveling through time, you keep one thought on your mind. Don’t let
Chip out of your sight until dawn Sunday morning.”
“You’re going to put
“Now wait a minute.
Don’t let Chip out of your sight until dawn Sunday.”
“You’re going to put
me into a… nuclear accelerator chamber and send my body back into time?”
“Ha! Now even if I
believed you, would you do this if you were me?”
all these thoughts racing through his head, Al was about to make a command
decision—one that he had made without hesitation several years back. He
didn’t need to this time, however, as he suddenly felt a familiar tingling
sensation, starting from his hands and spreading down to his arms. Soon his
whole body was tingling and he felt a strong pull coming from an unseen
understanding what was happening, Al submitted to the pull and leaped.
minute, Al was crying over the body of his friend, the next, he found
himself sitting on a barstool. Hearing someone whistle at the end of the
otherwise empty tavern, Al turned his head to stare at the portly man at the
end of the bar, cleaning a schooner with a dishcloth. There was something
vaguely different about him this time—an almost ragged, sickly look about
him. His hair was considerably grayer and he appeared to be physically worn
out. Despite the noticeable change in appearance, however, Al knew
unmistakably without a shadow of a doubt that the entity in his presence was
the same one he and Sam had encountered on several occasions.
back,” said the enigmatic Bartender.
the Admiral asked, “How did I get here? You brought me here, didn’t
a sense, I suppose I did. But it was your own free will and determination
that allowed me to… pull you here. You were ready to leap and thus came
here of your own accord.”
how? I didn’t even step into the Accelerator Chamber.”
didn’t have to. You remember the alternate timeline where there was a
nuclear disaster at the sight of Project Liberty, right?”
but what has this got to do with that?” asked the confused Admiral.
you remember that Sam had to leap into the future to find a way to avert the
could I forget? Because Sam was in the future, I had to leap in order to
when you learned what you needed to, Sam leaped to a point where he could
change history and stop the explosion from ever happening. You, on the other
hand, leaped back to a point that was one day before you stepped into the
had to work together at the two ends of the timeline to fix it.”
when history was changed for the better, Sam leaped.” The Bartender
supplied the obvious information.
a look of understanding on his face, Al said, “But I didn’t. I remained
one day in the past.”
said the Bartender using the play on words.
bongo,” was Al’s automatic response. “So, in other words, I’ve been
displaced in Time ever since then.”
by one day. I knew I might need your help again, so I allowed you to stay
Whatever you say, pal,” Al replied. Taking a moment to survey his
surroundings, Al looked out the window and couldn’t help but notice the
multi-colored haze and storm clouds that seemed to permeate the atmosphere
outside the tavern. “So, why am I here? Is this supposed to be some sort
of cosmic ‘pit-stop’ before I move on to my assignment or something?”
suppose that would be a fair assessment. Consider this place… a temporal
haven, if you will.”
some haven. It looks like a whopper of a storm is brewing out there. If you
don’t mind me saying so, you don’t look so good yourself. I thought you
were supposed to be omnipotent or something.”
will admit, there is indeed a storm coming beyond the horizon that threatens
to ravage everything in its wake. Even this haven may not be safe for much
longer. As for myself, I’m sure it’s just your imagination, Al,” the
Bartender reassured with a jovial punch to his chest. “I’m as fit as a
fiddle! Sam, on the other hand….”
uncertainty in the Bartender’s voice didn’t go unnoticed by Al as he
finished stating the obvious. “Yeah… he’s dead. What I don’t
understand is how you could let it happen, if you’re so almighty!”
never claimed to be God or Time or Fate or anything that your project had
theorized I was. I am just a simple barkeep, trying my best to help guide
Sam on his long journey.”
a barkeep who just happens to have the power to transcend time and space
with a snap of his fingers,” Al mumbled under his breath.
you’re the Ace up my sleeve. Now, with what has happened to Sam, it’s
time to play my hand.”
leaping me into Sam, aren’t you?”
needs your help, and this is the only way to give him that help.”
what are you waiting for!!!”
luck, Al,” said the Bartender as he watched Al disappear in a flash of
once again, the Bartender keeled over and began to succumb to the condition
that had been afflicting him and the others of his kind for quite some time
now. Although he had used every ounce of his waning strength to conceal this
condition from Al, the Bartender was sure that Al suspected something was
seriously wrong, if the storm outside was any indication. “I pray that Sam
can be saved. I will use what power I have left to ensure that everything
falls into place; but even if Al saves Sam, I fear it may already be too
late to avert what is to come. However… there is still one last
Gate, New Mexico
minute Sam was sitting behind the teller line waiting for the impending
robbery attempt, the next he felt the telltale signs of an impending leap.
That couldn’t have been right. He hadn’t changed anything yet.
sure enough, changes in history or no changes, he found himself standing in
the Accelerator Chamber of the project wearing the white Fermi Suit that he
had been wearing the last time he stepped into the Accelerator Chamber.
out, he saw Tina first. “Tina, why am I back here? I still have to save
over to Sam, Tina gave him a big hug. “Welcome back, Doctor. It’s so
good to see you.”
good to see you too, Tina. But why did you bring me back? Tammy is still in
danger. I can’t let Tammy die.”
I can answer that, Dr. Beckett,” Ziggy’s voice purred from everywhere.
“Admiral Calavicci leaped.”
would you let him leap?”
didn’t have a choice, Doctor. Admiral Calavicci did not step into the
Accelerator. He just leaped.”
is that possible?”
believe it stems back to when you and he averted the nuclear disaster at
Project Liberty. The Admiral had leaped to help you change history. On his
end, he was one day in the past. After history was changed, he never leaped
back out. Therefore, the Admiral has been living one day in the past. I can
deduce with 100% certainty that Admiral Calavicci has leaped into you to
save your life.”
didn’t get the opportunity to ask for clarification as just then, Donna
shot through the Control Room door like a bullet, followed closely by
Stephen and Sammie Jo. Rushing over to her long-lost husband, Donna turned
to him and pulled him into a long passionate embrace. After a moment, she
released him, and Sammie Jo and Stephen crowded around.
Beckett,” said the dreamy voice from nowhere and everywhere at the same
time. “I hate to break up this long overdue family reunion, but Admiral
Calavicci has less than five minutes before Peter Harvey enters the Credit
Union, and I am projecting a 98.7% probability that the Admiral will be
killed during the altercation.”
away from his family, Sam said, “Ziggy, exactly why did my life need
fifteen minutes ago, in an attempt to save Tammy Steven’s life, you were
shot and killed by Peter Harvey. Unfortunately, Admiral Calavicci will share
the same fate as you unless you warn him.”
fire up the Imaging Chamber.”
did as he was told and a minute later, Sam was running through the door and
back into the past.
arriving, he saw Al sitting there with a confused expression on his face.
“Al, get ready, Peter Harvey is going to be here in about a minute and a
Harvey, the man who kills Tammy.”
asked the attractive young woman sitting next to him.
God, your brain got Swiss-cheesed. This is absolutely the last thing I
need.” Then reading the information streaming across the screen of the
handlink, Sam continued, “Al, don’t talk, just listen. In about a
minute, a man is going to walk through that door with a briefcase. In that
briefcase is a sawed-off shotgun. He is going to try and rob this Credit
Union and in the process, Tammy,” Sam pointed to her, “is going to be
shot and killed, leaving her son as an orphan. You have to stop him.”
remember,” Al said somberly.
remember what?” asked Tammy.
over at the young woman, Al replied, “Huh, oh, nothing, I was thinking out
the answer, Tammy returned her attention to the screen.
back to Sam, Al quietly asked, “How do I stop him?”
why don’t you start by walking around to the customer side of the counter
to be in a better position.”
Al said to the girls, “I’ll be right back.”
up from his chair, Al walked to the door and out into the lobby. Just as he
was passing the front doors, Al saw Peter Harvey walk up from the outside
and enter the lobby.
at the man with the briefcase, Sam said, “Ziggy says that that’s him.”
behind the door as Peter Harvey walked in, Al subdued the man with a choke
hold. “Drop the briefcase, NOW!!!”
man did as he was told as the girls behind the counter jumped up and started
what the hell do you think you are doing!?!” Cindi yelled.
took Al a moment before he realized that Cindi was talking to him. “This
man has a sawed-off shotgun in his briefcase.”
are you talking about? You couldn’t possibly know that,” responded
ask me how I know, I just do.”
I don’t want to hear it. Now let him go… NOW!!!”
the man had already dropped his briefcase, Al pushed him away with as much
force as he could muster. Then, quickly, he picked up the briefcase with the
shotgun in it. Keeping it away from the man, Al said, “I’ll prove it.
Throw me a letter opener.”
did as she was asked and Al used it to break the locks on the briefcase.
Opening it up, he turned it to show the girls that there was in fact a
sawed-off in there.
Sam and Tammy both yelled, “BEHIND YOU!!!”
quickly, Al had just enough time to register the fact that Peter Harvey was
pointing a handgun directly at him when he felt the bullet enter his chest.
back by the force of the shot, Al had a blank expression on his face as he
reached up to feel the bullet hole. Falling to his knees, Al said, “Sam,
moment later, a bullet hole pierced the glass window of the Credit Union.
Grabbing his chest, Peter Harvey fell to the ground, dead.
over to his friend, Sam said, “Al! Oh God, Al, it should be me lying
there. Ziggy, why didn’t you tell us he was carrying another concealed
the original history, Dr. Beckett, Peter Harvey was not carrying a backup
weapon. However, an inventory of his car afterwards revealed a .45 Caliber
Glock 36 Automatic Handgun in the glove compartment of his 1992 Pontiac
Grand Prix LE four-door Sedan. I suspect Peter Harvey saw the Admiral make
his way to the door and, anticipating trouble, grabbed the backup weapon
from his glove compartment.”
don’t give up. Fight! Fight for Beth—you can’t leave her and your
daughters all alone.”
Beckett,” interrupted Ziggy. “If you call up my holographic interface, I
can determine the extent of the Admiral’s injuries.”
pushed the appropriate button, and the hologram appeared out of the
handlink. She scanned Al’s motionless body for a moment before saying,
“The Right Upper Lobe of Admiral Calavicci’s left lung has been hit by
the bullet. I predict a 96.2% probability that the wound will prove to be
a dejected look on his face, Sam said, “Don’t worry, Al, I’ll save
you.” Then, pushing the button on the handlink that opened the Imaging
Chamber door, Sam ran out and said, “Lofty, fire the Accelerator back up,
I’m leaping into Peter Harvey.”
this, Donna yelled, “No!!! You can’t. I just got you back!!!”
Al is lying there right now because he tried to save my life. What kind of
man would I be if I just let him die because of it?”
tears in her eyes and dejection in her voice, Donna looked at her husband
lovingly. She bit her lower lip then finally said, “Go.”
over to her, Sam gave her a big kiss, and then he hugged Sammie Jo and
Stephen and said, “I’ll be back.” Then running to the Accelerator, he
said, “Don’t bother with the countdown, just fire.”
did as she was told. She placed her hand on the plate that activated the
Accelerator. In an instant, Sam was back in 1999.
December 31, 1999
into the parking lot of American Hardware Federal Credit Union, Peter Harvey
watched through the window as a young twenty-something-year-old kid walked
out from the back of the teller line.
watched intently as the kid positioned himself by the door, seemingly
talking to himself as he did it. Smelling trouble, Peter reached into his
glove box and pulled out his Glock 36 Automatic Handgun and stuck it into
the front of his pants. Then, getting out of the car, he headed for the
didn’t even get two steps into the door when he felt the strong arms wrap
around his neck and tighten. The pressure was enough that it forced him to
drop his briefcase.
the background, he heard someone yelling something, but he was not paying
attention. All he was thinking about was how to get the upper hand on this
strong kid that got the drop on him.
moment later, the answer presented itself as the kid pushed him away hard.
Falling to the ground, Peter took a moment to catch his breath. Then
standing up, he reached into the front of his pants and grabbed the Glock.
He pointed it at the kid when, all of a sudden, he started to feel a
instant later, Sam Beckett was standing in his place. Thinking quickly, he
put the gun down and held his arms up. Turning towards the windows, he saw a
police officer with his gun drawn and pointed directly at him.
the surprising turn of events, Al turned and looked out the window and saw
the cop pointing his gun at the man he saw as Peter Harvey.
eye contact with Al, the cop pointed to the gun that Sam just dropped. He
then motioned for him to cover Sam.
Al placed the briefcase out of reach and picked up the Glock, a weapon he
was well equipped to use. Then, pointing it at Sam, he watched as the cop
quickly entered the building. “Nice work, Nate,” said the officer.
the gun to the officer, Al responded, “It was nothing.”
Sam of his Miranda Rights, the cop cuffed Sam’s hands behind his back and
started leading him out the door.
all of this was happening, Observer Sam witnessed everything with an equally
confused expression on his face and said, “I don’t know what you did,
but you changed history, Al. Peter Harvey does fifteen years in prison for
the attempted robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Nathan
Shaw and Tammy Stevens are married in two years. Together, they are raising
Tammy’s son Zachary. In addition, they have one child together and another
on the way.”
great,” said Al. “That’s really great. They’ll make a great couple.
They’re both really great kids.”
a weird noise coming from the handlink, Observer Sam then added,
“Something weird is going on, Al. Ziggy says that… you’ll die unless I
step into the Accelerator to save
you? What the…? I have to check this out with Ziggy.” Then, opening the
Imaging Chamber door, Sam stepped through it.
seeing the observer step through the Imaging Chamber door, Al looked over at
the man he believed to be Peter Harvey. He couldn’t help but wonder about
what had happened. In the original history, Peter Harvey had been shot and
killed, and then again he had killed Sam. Now he was just giving up; it
didn’t make sense.
there for a moment, Al replayed the observer’s last words in his mind: “Something
weird is going on, Al. Ziggy says that…you’ll die unless I step into the
Accelerator to save you?”
looking at Peter Harvey once again, everything suddenly made sense.
“Wait,” yelled Al. He ran into the foyer and turned Sam around by his
shoulder. Instantly, the auras of both men disappeared and their true
identities were revealed to each other.
with Al still touching his friend’s shoulder, they both leaped.
the moment that Al leaped in, he became instantly calm. He had been nervous
after seeing some of the precarious positions Sam had been put in during his
leap-ins. This, however, was more than he could have possibly asked for. He
wasn’t home literally, but he was more at home in these surroundings than
anywhere else. Staring out into the great blue yonder, he was completely at
looking down at the instrumentation in front of him, he could immediately
tell he was the pilot of an F-4 Phantom II Fighter Jet. This was a jet Al
knew inside and out. He had flown one occasionally during his first tour of
duty in Vietnam.
suddenly became curious as to where Sam had landed. He wasn’t a pilot and
would not be able to handle the F-4 Phantom II. Hearing a gasp of air coming
from the seat behind him, he didn’t have to worry anymore.
his friend, Al said, “Kick in the butt, ain’t it?” Al didn’t receive
an answer. Sam was too terrified to speak.
to calm his friend down, Al said, “Don’t worry, Sam, I know this plane
like the back of my hand.”
afraid of heights, Al,” said the green-around-the-gills physicist.
then I guess you wouldn’t want me to do any of this,” said Al as he
began displaying some advanced aerobatics.
to control himself anymore, Sam vomited all over the back of Al’s seat
before uttering those two simple words, “Ohhh boyyy!!!”