Eleese felt some strange force within her that also seemed to come from outside of her,
and suddenly she was surrounded in a reddish, electrical light that made her tingle all
over her body. When she could orient herself again, her clothes had turned into a
black, skin-tight suit to replace her knee-length maroon dress, and her surroundings
entailed a small room with a reflective, bed-length table in the center. Every
surface was the color of sterile white: the walls, the floor, the ceiling, even the table
except for the mirrored top that Donna instinctively stayed away from for the time being.
noticed what looked like a control panel beside the door and attempted to use it.
The display requested a pass code, something Donna did not have. Where am
I? she mused aloud, examining the room and spotting a tiny camera above the
doorway. As frightened as she may have been, she gazed into the lens for a moment
before taking another scan around the white room. W - where am I? she
repeated, this time with a stutter.
to my project, Doctor, a silky male voice sounded, coming from all around and
startling Donna. She took a few steps back from the door and bumped into the table.
- who are you? demanded the scared doctor.
have no need to know that. With luck, you will not be here for long, the voice
continued. Somebody will be with you shortly. When there was no
more, Donna waited in expectation of this somebody.
few minutes passed and she decided to take a seat on the table and examine her new
environs once again. When her eyes finally came to glimpse down on the tabletop, she
gasped loud. It was not Donna Eleese staring back at her as it had been for her
whole life in a mirrors reflection: it was a stranger, a young woman with flowing
purple hair and sky-blue eyes. Donna began to breathe loudly and a shiver ran down
her spine. Swallowing hard, she looked into the camera again. What the
Hells going on here? she demanded with new-found courage. In response,
the voice spoke again, this time with a hostile tone. I told you before, that
is not for you to know. Now be silent or you will have to endure the
tell me what kind of trick this is and let me out of here, she demanded, even at the
threats of the voice.
is no trick, Doctor Eleese, this is reality. However, when you return, things will
not be as they were, the sullen voice laughed. The laughter grew until it
filled the room, so loud that it made Donna cover her ears. Suddenly, as if somebody
flipped a switch, the maniacal laughing ceased and the white door opened, revealing a
young-looking, willowy woman. She took two steps into the room and stared directly
into Donnas eyes. After a moment of staring at each other, the woman pulled a
handlink out of her pocket. With a press of a few buttons, her eyes widened and she
said to Donna, So, youre Becketts wife? The surprised
expression turned to one of devious pleasure as she whispered, Delicious.
within an underground complex buried on an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, Donna
Elesee sized up her newest acquaintance. With a determined look on her face Donna
approached the slender woman standing in the doorway.
demand to know whats going on here. Who are you? No
response. The woman continued tapping keys on the colorful handlink, causing Donna
to press on. What is this place?
name is Tala, the reddish-haired woman answered with a hint of annoyance.
You will be returned to your own time soon enough.
'Own time'?" Donna repeated with confusion. What are you talking
about? Where am I? She thought for a moment, realizing that this might
be a time-travel project like Sam had theorized, and perhaps farther in the future than
she could imagine. When do I
go back? She backed up as Tala
stepped farther into the room with intimidation, the door swishing closed behind her.
enough, Tala reiterated. Just sit tight and be quiet or Ill have
to discipline you. Her stony face and cold eyes gave Donna a chill that ran
down her back, knowing that the threats were sincere. Now Im going to
examine you, so sit down.
sat down on the table again, feeling like a marionette with a puppeteer pulling at her
strings and watched silently as the sharp-spoken woman inspected her.
Tala stated after a thorough examination of Donna. I will return with food in
a few hours. She turned on her heels and walked out of the room.
before the door closed, Donna spied the devilish smirk on Talas lips.
the home of Sam Becketts temporary in-laws, Gwen Alstersons mother was
interrogating Sam, seeing the aura of Sean Alsterson, as well as Sams younger self
and his wife. Tala was as yet undetected in the aura of Donna Elesee.
name is Sam Beckett, maam, younger Sam said as he stepped up to shake her
hand, and this is my wife, Donna.
woman took his hand, and with a sudden turn-face, said with a smile, Call me Susan.
Well, why dont you and your wife come on in, Sam?
everybody was in the house, Sam the leaper sat on a loveseat while Susan settled into a
large recliner and young Sam and the concealed intruder flopped on a couch. From
upstairs, they heard Gwens voice and an older male voice trying to soothe little
James. By the sounds of it, they were not having much luck with the terrorized
wonder what as that boy so upset, Susan blurted out. Then she turned her
attention to young Sam and Donna's aura on the couch. So are you from the
States? Cause your accent is certainly not Australian.
were here on business that happens to involve Sean, and he invited us to stay with
him. However, as you know
young Sam replied before getting cut off.
youre not stayin here! Susan retaliated angrily.
Gwen yelled from upstairs. Theyre only visiting!
the elderly woman screamed back. I cant ear ya!
the leaper leaned forward, about to explain to Susan what the situation was, but Gwen
appeared at the bottom of the stairs in a huff, her pregnant bulk supported by shaking
hands on the banister. Theyre only here to visit me and Sean, and
theyre our friends! Though Gwens expression was semi-kind, her
tone was one of aggravation. Please treat them with respect!
okay, replied Susan, rebuffed, and started staring at the ceiling as if to conceal
her shame. Gwen patted her mothers shoulder and ascended the steps. Once
Gwen was gone, Susan stood up and headed to the adjacent room, pushing open the
double-swinging door and revealing a stove and refrigerator. Would any of ya
like something to drink? she called from the kitchen.
its not too much trouble, both Sams said at the same time. The two
looked at each other and started to laugh, though the leapers laugh was a more
silence followed and the leaper Sam noticed that Donna had been quite quiet since everyone
had entered the house. She seemed somewhat confused, but with some glee in her
expression. Are you feeling all right, Donna? he asked her with concern.
Uh, yeah, Im fine, thanks, came the reply, with a slight smile to reinforce
the words. Sam was about to ask if she was sure, but Susan came in with four glasses
of what appeared to be lemonade.
ope you all like lemonade and vodka, she said with a smile. I
think we could all use a dose at this time anyway.
than youd think, muttered Donna. Quickly, her expression changed to one
of embarrassment and she managed an uneasy chuckle. By which I mean, its
been, um, a very stressful few days. Her eyes shifted from person to person
before focussing on her beverage as she took a sip of the alcoholic drink.
Sam, however, was not convinced that she claimed to be fine, and made a mental note to
tell Al about Donnas strange behavior. Thinking of the small wave Al gave when
he left the Imaging Chamber at breakfast, Sam realized that it had been a while since the
Observer had reported in with any information or guidance. Hurry back,
Al, he thought forlornly.
Al Calavicci and Doctor Sammy Jo Fuller returned to an empty Control Room after a lengthy
lunch break feeling a little more jovial than before. This leap is a pretty
tough one. Let me know how dad's doing, asked Sammy Jo.
do, replied the Admiral with a smile. He walked up the ramp to the Imaging
Chamber. Fire it up, Sammy, he said lightly as the door opened before
centered himself on the silver disk in the middle of the blue room and waited for the
swirling images to begin. Thank goodness coffee keeps me from tossing my
cookies, he grumbled to himself. In a moment, the whirlwind commenced.
Normally after a minute a lock was maintained, but this time seemed to be taking
longer. Cmon, hurry up, complained Al as he closed his eyes.
"Sammy, whats going on? he yelled as the swirling stopped, leaving the
Observer alone in the large blue room.
steadied himself and stumbled to the Imaging Chamber door, punching the handlink furiously
to exit the room. He approached Sammy Jo at the main control panel and she looked up
from the screen to speak to him.
somethings very wrong. Theres interference in maintaining a link with
dad. We had the link set in the memory buffer, and we still have it, but some
quantum force is blocking us from connecting to his mesons and neurons, explained
Sammy Jo in a hurry as she frantically jumped from console to console. Im going to need some time to cut through it. I need some more of the
damn it, muttered Al. What kind of force?
dont know what it is, but its preventing... wait, said Sammy as she
suddenly stared up at the blue, sparkling orb on the ceiling. Ziggy, run a
search through any other leaps where we couldnt access Doctor Beckett due to outside
quantum interference. I have a feeling... and she delved back into the console
where she sat.
Fuller, history is changing at a phenomenal rate at the moment where Doctor Beckett is
currently existing. I only have the capacity to... Ziggy began.
do it, you heap of scrap metal! screamed Al, furious. If Sams in
any danger, youd better work your damned hardest to get us to him or Ill
disassemble you microchip by microchip!
you know that I dont respond to threats. As I was saying, I only have the capacity
to observe the exceptional speed at which the past and present are being altered at this
time. You human computers can figure out for yourselves how to reach Doctor
Beckett, Ziggy retorted with a haunting air.
the camel that broke the straws back, Al grumbled, then stormed out of the
room, unwrapping a Chilvello and lighting it as he stomped down the corridor to the
elevator. Disembarking from the elevator cabin, the Admiral swung open the doors to
the cafeteria and barked, Any and all of you programmers, technicians, analysts,
whatever! Get to the Control Room this instant! Al then turned on his
heels, half-soothed by the sounds of rapidly moving chairs and shifting feet.
what... Sammy Jo started, seeing the Admiral storm back into the Control Room, with
Tina and St. John right behind him leading a parade of technicians and programmers.
right, some kind of quantum field is blocking our access to Doctor Beckett,
announced Al. Pointing to a couple of programmers, he ordered, You two, search
the archives for any other related activity. The rest of you, find a way to get
through this force. He glanced at Sammy Jo, giving her a wink.
sure hope we can do this quickly, Sammy Jo said as she approached Al and Tina, her
Southern accent thickening and adding urgency to her words.
worry, hon, Tina smiled, smacking her peach-flavored gum. Weve
been through worse, right?
guess so, replied Sammy Jo, cheering up a little. Well, enough chat,
lets get to work.
had been nearly two hours before two researching programmers approached Sammy Jo and Al at
the main console. We found that similar forces, though not as strong, occurred
in previous experiences with... other leapers, the female scientist said, swallowing
hard before saying the last two words. We are thinking that this may be either
another leaper near Doctor Beckett and somehow is blocking us out, or that... she
trailed off, looking to her research partner.
that it is a natural phenomenon, a side effect from a reported meteor strike just off the
south-eastern Australia coast shortly before the time Doctor Beckett leaped in, the
male programmer finished. They were never found, so practically anything could
have composed the meteoroids.
great, Al responded. So its either someone else out there is
leaping or a space rock. Glancing up at the blue orb, he asked with a nervous
lump in his throat, Ziggy, what are the odds that this is the work of Lothos?
since Doctor Beckett destroyed Nathaniel Lothomans body, the computer portion would
have died with him. However, there is a possibility of his
consciousness, one could say, may have remained within the computer, or they
may have reconstructed a computer with a new body. I estimate the possibility of another
leaper at 87.57%, and a meteor causing disruption at 28%, Ziggy said with some
sadness, thinking of her dear friend Gooshie and the sacrifice he made to save Project
Quantum Leap from the evilness of Lothos.
was grateful that Ziggy didnt pull an I-told-you-so routine, and turned
to the room He saw that work had stopped and attention had turned to him during the
conversation with Ziggy.
right, the Admiral stumbled at the unexpected attention. Now, we
dont want panic here, people. Just keep your level heads and find some way of
getting to Doctor Beckett. He sat down beside Sammy Jo and continued
brainstorming ideas on how to reach Sam, silently worrying himself sick if Ziggys
hypothesis was correct.
July 18, 1990
was getting impatient, aggravated that Al had not returned yet to help him with the rest
of this leap. What else was there to do? He had saved the life of Sean and his
family, and attended the meeting where he met his past self. I should have
leaped hours ago, he thought grudgingly. He had been sitting in the living
room for what seemed like days listening to Susans anecdotes, which got more and
more unintelligible as she consumed more of her special blend of lemonade.
Donna stood straight up, glanced over her shoulder, and then quickly turned back to
Susan. Oh, uh, Im sorry, would you all excuse me for a moment? I
have to use the bathroom, she said. Both Sams watched her in surprise as she darted
up the stairs. She hadn't even asked where the bathroom was.
questioned in a slightly drunken tone, Why is she taking a bath at this
hour? Both Sams laughed lightly in reply, their surprise dispelled.
Donna reached the top of the stairs, pursued by someone only visible to her, she saw Gwen
leading a cautious five-year-old James out of the bathroom. Now are you sure
youre ready to go downstairs, James? Gwen asked in a soothing tone. He
was just about to nod his head affirmatively when he looked towards the stairs and saw a
young woman with flowing purple hair at the top step with a man floating beside her in
mid-air! His eyes grew wide and he scurried back into the washroom, slamming the door
behind him and locking it.
by her sons reaction, Gwen spun around to see the woman at the top of the
stairs. Donna! Oh, Lord, what is his problem? she nearly
screeched. She took an exasperated breath, then said calmly at the door,
James, darling, whats wrong now?
the, the woman! She has purple hair! And the man is floating like a ghost! he
yelled frantically from the other side of the door.
another glance, Gwen only saw the concerned aura of Donna Elesee standing there. She
sighed, and turned to an old man standing nearby. Daddy, wheres the
key? she asked him, pointing at the keyhole in the door. If hes
convinced hes seeing floating men and purple air, I dont think
hell every come out on his own.
in the kitchen, Ill get it, Gwens father replied in an aged voice. He
excused himself politely, and slightly amused, as he passed Donna to descend the stairs.
Trin, this kids still in his alpha state, the floating man said, a mischievous
grin crossing his face. He passed through the banister as he left Trinity's side and
approached bathroom door. Hey, hey, kiddy! He said in a sing-song voice
as he melted into the door and disappeared from Trinity's sight.
someone walk through the door caused little James to nearly jump out of his skin, and he
quickly opened the door with a shriek and rushed into his mothers arms.
Help me, Mommy! he exclaimed, crying intensely into Gwens bosom as she
soothed him with her embrace. I suppose you can go in there now, Donna,
Gwen said wanly over the crying boy's head.
in response, Trinity entered the washroom and closed the door behind her, letting out a
sigh of relief. Then she noticed the man who cruelly frightened James and gave him a
glare. This is the first leap assignment since we got whats left of
Lothos half-running again. I dont need you getting your jollies by scaring little
kids. It's, its just going to complicate the leap! she hissed at the
man, meeting his brown, Asian eyes fiercely.
calm down, Trinity. Learn to relax! If Im going to be a hologram, I may as
well enjoy it, right? he answered lightly, his eyes still locked with the leaper's.
blue eyes eventually dropped and she suddenly found the floor to be very
interesting. Drake, just tell me, now that youve finally decided to show
up, what Im supposed to do? All I know is that my name is Donna, and Im
here with my husband, uh, Sam? Yeah, Sam Beckett, she said innocently, leaning
up against the bathroom door. The boys clamor in the hall was disguising her
conversation with the hologram, and she had to admit that the scare tactic was working in
jaw dropped as he looked at her. S-Sam Beckett? The Sam Beckett?
Im pretty sure thats his name. Why? Trinity questioned with
confusion, watching as Drake frantically punched keys on the orange handlink.
Beckett is the one who destroyed Lothos! But I guess you cant remember
everything. Leapers would be more susceptible to memory flux with most of the main leaping
systems still offline, Drake reminded her, glad to see the enlightenment in her eyes
as she remembered their time-travelling rival. Were not having much luck
with integrating the biological systems. Anyway, weve managed to erect a strong
quantum field around you. As long as Im here, it should block the leaping Beckett
from contacting his precious Admiral until you can complete your mission.
rolled her eyes at Drakes long-winded explanation. Which is? she queried
impatiently, crossing her arms across her chest.
Trin, youll have the honor of completing the job Alia and Zoey failed to do: Ridding
the world of Sam Beckett!
Is that all Lothos can think about? Ever since that leap where Alia and Doctor
Beckett accidentally discovered each other, hes been obsessed with destroying
Project Quantum Leap. That is, if he exists anymore, the leaper
some of him still around, Trinity. Unless you accomplish your assignment, hell march
you through Hell and back. There is a forty-eight-hour window in which we have a
eighty-nine-percent chance of retrieving you, and after that the percentage drops,
explained Drake, clearing his throat before continuing. It drops by fifteen or
twenty percent. The only way...
I know, kill Beckett. She paused for a moment, noticing that the noise out in
the hallway had been silenced, and she reached for the doorknob.
Drake exclaimed. You came in here to use the bathroom, remember? Flush
the toilet before you go. Dont want to raise suspicion, do you?
smirked and pushed the toilet handle, washed and dried her hands and left the room, her
eyes dancing with evil delight.
Stallion's Gate, New Mexico
Jo was going over readings Ziggy supplied about the mysterious quantum field. Looking at
screen, Sammy Jo noticed a pattern in fields frequency. It seems like every
minute the frequency of atomic particles in the field changes slightly, she mumbled
Doctor Fuller, I was just about to say the same thing, Ziggy purred.
Sammy Jo said. I think I have something.
walked over to her terminal and with a look of relief. What is it? he
asked, keeping professional in front of all of the computing staff.
seems that after one minute, the frequency of the field changes by a small amount.
However, this means that we can only adjust our instruments once we have the reading,
which takes about thirty seconds, Sammy Jo explained excitedly. We can
give you half a minute with Doctor Beckett, then the frequency will change again.
Whoevers doing this sure must be using a lot of energy to produce such a strong
barrier that changes so often.
her a nod and a smile, Al congratulated her. He walked over to Tina and St. John,
telling them to start up the Imaging Chamber with the modifications from Sammy Jo.
I want to be able to talk to Sam as long as possible so be sure to keep on top of
those changes in the frequency, Al told them, getting rolled eyes all around.
hon, we know how to do our jobs. You just go do yours, Tina said
weakly, the Observer picked up the handlink from the main control panel and the Imaging
Chamber door slid open. He centered himself on the silver disc and waited for the
swirling images to show up.
the hallway now devoid of Gwen and the hysterical boy, Trinity decided she might as well
rejoin the rest of the people downstairs. She descended the staircase, only to have
Drake reappear in front of her at the bottom step.
I just love being a hologram! he cheered, tugging at his white jacket that
covered a multi-colored shirt and silver tie.
With a patient sigh, Trinity walked through him and re-entered the living room. Everyone
was still seated and talking amongst themselves. Wheres James? she
asked, noticing only the adults were in the room.
put im in is room, e was feeling tired, Gwen stated.
But you sure gave him a scare somehow!
some reason, Gwens statement caused alarm bells to go off in leaper Sam's
mind. Hows that, Gwen? he questioned, very intrigued.
off, when you three were walking up to the house, e said that there were two Doctor
Becketts! And then, when Donna was at the top of the stairs, he said she had purple
hair and a man was floating beside her. Then he said the same man floated through
the washroom door!" Trinity glanced at Drake, widening her eyes at that
fact. Oh, he cried his eyes out, but I think hes just traumatized from
the fire, Gwen said, getting a worried expression on her face. What are
we going to do, Sean?
question, Sam answered, turning a now suspicious eye at Donna. He wondered
feverently where Al was. I mean, I dont know, either. I suppose well
just have to rebuild the house.
was about to open her mouth when the telephone rang. Ill get it,
she said, swiftly rising from her chair despite her pregnant state.
glanced at Drake when rebuilding the house was mentioned. He fiddled with the
handlink and shrugged. We dont know who these people even are. Ill
go check the address outside. He disappeared, only to re-appear seconds later
frantically pressing keys on the handlink. The large man over there is
Sean Alsterson, and the pregnant woman is his wife Gwen. Their kid, oh, James, is
it? he said with a chuckle. Anyway, these are her parents Susan and
Donald, and it says here that Sean and Gwens house burned down this morning, cause
unknown. It seems the Australian government classified the entire investigation at
high security. We cant break their pass code.
this perked Trinitys interest, wondering what could possibly have started a house
fire and caused the government to cover it up.
Sean here works for the Ministry of Science. So maybe thats a clue...
Drake mumbled to himself, cut off by Gwen returning from the phone call.
that was Sally Markson on the phone. She said that youd better get down to the
Ministry building or youre going to be in trouble. And she wants you to take
Sam and Donna with you, Gwen told Leaper Sam in one breath.
Sam jumped up at that. Did she say why? Before she said that I
dont know, Sean, just get yourself down there and fast, she replied not
right, sighed Sam, discouraged at having to drive back to Melbourne. At least
Donna could direct him since she helped him get here to Geelong. He didnt feel
as though he could depend on his photographic memory right now. Well, I guess
were going back to Melbourne. Bye everyone, he said standing up.
Waving a good-bye to Gwen, Sam walked out the front door deep in thought and followed by
his doppelganger, Trinity, and Drake.
Drake yelled out when they were on the veranda, and with a couple pressing of keys on the
handlink, Trinity saw him reappear in the beige mini-vans passenger seat. She
and the young Sam settled themselves in the middle-row seat while Leaper Sam drove Sean's
on the road Sam glanced at Donna in the rear-view mirror, seeing his own aura in the
reflection. Ignoring the hazel eyes in the mirror he asked Donna, So, where do
we go now?
if caught by surprise, she said with a tinge of annoyance, I dont know.
uneasy chuckle escaped Sams lips. But youre the one who helped us
get out here, Donna. Are you sure youre feeling okay?
turned his head around and turned to stare at her with an accusing glare.
yeah, Im fine. I was just joking with you, she told him, laughing
anxiously. Not a very good joke, Ill confess. Looking at Drake,
she raised her eyebrows at him in a silent request for aid. He punched some keys on
the handlink and started giving her directions. Tell him to turn left at the
next stop sign. It will take him right out to the west-bound highway, the opposite
direction of Melbourne, Drake told her with a sly smirk.
can just turn left at the upcoming intersection, Sean, Trinity said
nonchalantly. Thatll take us to the highway back to Melbourne.
listened to Trinitys directions, and fifteen minutes later down the road, he was
still wondering what was wrong with her. She seemed to be acting very
absent-mindedly and simply strange in general. Maybe this is the way she
is, he mused to himself silently. I dont remember anything about
her. He consciously redirected the sorrow he felt building by trying to figure out
why Al hadnt returned yet. It had been many hours since the Observer had last
stepped through the Imaging Chamber door.
if in answer to his reflections, the door to the Imaging Chamber opened in the passenger
seat next to him, and Al stepped through. Hes on the move, Al said
loudly. Keep me centered on him. Al settled himself down onto the
passenger seat, unwittingly overlapping with the other Observer. Sam turned onto the
highway heading west, away from Melbourne.
wanted to scream, shout, and attack Al for being away for so long, even if Al was a
hologram. His frustration was building, but he knew he had to keep himself composed.
Im sorry it took me so long to get back, Al started, then thought better than
to upset Sam by telling him about the possible leaper, but as you know, Ziggys
acting up. The handlink made an insulted-sounding squawk, and the Observer
continued. Im only going to have thirty seconds to talk to you, then
Ill be gone for another thirty...
Sams surprise, Al disappeared again in mid-sentence. After a half-minute, he
re-appeared, frantically pressing buttons on the handlink. Sam, Ziggy says
that you have to get yourself back to Melbourne or Seans going to lose his job by
the end of the week. Glancing around for a moment, Al turned back to
Sam. Is that where were going, Sam? To Melbourne?
nodded in response, stopping when he noticed the highway sign stating the distance to
Inverleigh. I dont remember passing through a city with that name,
Sam thought to himself. Donna, are you certain this is the right way? I
just saw a sign for Inverleigh. Just as Sam finished his sentence, Al was gone
yeah, certainly Sean, Trinity replied, noting the mischievous grin on Drakes
lips. I remember driving through here before.
a thoughtful look in his eye, the younger Sam glanced at Trinity. I dont
think so, Donna. I recall Werribee and Lara, but not Inverleigh, he piped up
as he began rummaging through the various paraphernalia littering the floor of the
Alstersons van. Wheres that road map?
returned again, telling Sam immediately, Youre heading the wrong way!
You need to turn around and take the northbound highway. Ziggy says that you took a
left where you should have made right. The handlink made an agreeing noise,
punctuating the Observers statement.
Sam took an off-ramp and managed to get the mini-van driving down the road in the correct
direction. Hey, Sean, we took a wrong turn back in Geelong. I think
Donna said left, but she meant right, young Sam said as he moved his finger along
the slightly worn map. I guess you figured that out on your own,
huh? The reply was a simple nod.
turned around and looked at Trinity disapprovingly. Well, theres not
much we can do now but go along for the ride, he stated a bit sourly.
think Ill go back and confer with some of the gang, see what we should do
next. With a few taps of the handlink, the Holographic Chamber door opened.
Drake stepped backward into it, closing it promptly. At the same moment the transmission
between Al and Sam terminated again.
Al re-appeared almost immediately. It took him by surprise for a few seconds, as he was
just getting used to the thirty-second intervals. Ziggy, whats going on
here? he questioned aloud. He felt like he was being watched, and noticed that
Donna was observing him oddly, almost as if she could see him. He gave her a double take,
but she looked away, so turned his attention to the handlink.
quantum field that was inhibiting the brainwave transmissions just ceased. We will
have no problem maintaining a lock on Doctor Beckett now, Ziggy announced into the
dont know what you did Sam, but Im here to stay, for the moment
anyway. Al noticed the expression in his friends eyes.
know it has been a tough leap, but Ziggy says with a seventy-six-point-three-percent
accuracy that all you have to do is save Seans job and then you can
leap. He paused for a beat before continuing. Apparently, Sean
never went back to Melbourne after he and his family went to stay with Gwens
parents. This Friday he was fired. If you can get to the Science Ministry building
without getting lost again, he said somewhat sarcastically, then you should be
listened carefully; glad to hear that there was an end of this leap in sight, although he
was nearly going crazy not being able to talk to Al. He heard his doppelganger and
whom he thought was Donna talking quietly in the back as he drove. Glancing in the
rear-view mirror, he saw that they were drawing out a route on the map with their
fingers. The expression on Donnas face was one of aggravation, indicating to
Sam that she simply made a mistake and felt remorseful about it.
minutes later they returned to Geelong, back to where they had started. With
guidance from the younger Sam and more detailed navigation from Al, Sam maneuvered the
beige mini-van along the correct route.
they were on their way to Melbourne again. However, with the level of traffic on that day,
Sam found it difficult to keep down his road rage. The traffic, along with
Sams general mood, seemed to lighten the closer they got to the Ministry of Science
building which was located on the northern outskirts of Melbourne. He didnt
even bother locking the vehicle once they had all arrived and sprinted to the back
entrance, followed closely by his younger self and Trinity. After taking the
elevator up five stories, the group headed to where Sam had leaped in nearly a day ago.
you are, Sean! God in Heaven, what took you so long?! Sally Markson asked, not
waiting for an answer as Sam entered the research laboratory where his desk was
located. Oh, and you brought Doctor Beckett and Doctor Elesee. Good,
good. She waddled over to them from her desk, shaking the hands of young Sam
and Trinity. We need to go see Doctor Kovanah immediately. Waving
her hand and scuttling in front of the three plus Al the hologram, she led them down the
hall to the elevators. I realize that you all must be very tired, but
apparently Doctor Kovanah has postponed the meeting with you two and the science
minister, she said, referring with a wave to young Sam Beckett and Trinity.
"Im not certain why she ordered me to call you in, Sean.
elevator stopped on the third floor and Sally marched hastily toward the conference room
where they had met with other scientists in the building for the seminar by young Sam and
the real Donna Elesee in the morning of that hectic day. Sally began to reach for
the handle of the door, but before she had the chance to touch it, Sam spoke up.
Can this wait a couple of minutes? It was a long drive and I really need to
use the bath- er, mens room, he told her, catching himself on the phrasing.
a sigh, Sally smiled wanly and said not unkindly, Go ahead, Sean. But
dont be long.
appeared beside Trinity, an impish grin on his face. Trinity, we may have some
news here, he announced, glancing around as he saw the aura of Sean Alsterson
walking off down the hallway in a hurry. Lets get somewhere private so
we can talk. Trinity also excused herself to the bathroom, getting Sally even
but please dont take a long time. Doctor Kovanah is very strict, Sally
repeated to Trinity.
a nod, the evil leaper headed off to the ladys room, flanked by Drake.
Sam burst into the men's room and gave it a cursory search for occupant. None. All
right, Al, Im here. Im back at the Ministry building. Now what do
I have to do to save Seans job? Sam questioned the hologram wearily as he
leaned up against the sink counter in the restroom.
gave him an exasperated look as he checked the handlink. Ziggy originally said
that Sean lost his job because he didnt return to the Ministry of Science building
today, apparently for this meeting with Doctor Kovanah. But Ziggy says instead of
losing your job on Friday, you lose it on Monday! The Observer gave the
handlink a swat to the side, unfortunately seeing the same information as before.
Looks like theres no way to save his career now, Sam, unless you can do
something to wow that woman in the conference room. Ziggy says
theres only a twenty-seven-percent chance of that happening.
looked at Al somberly, letting out a heavy sigh.
Trinity was simply annoyed. So, whats going on here, Drake? You said
Im supposed to kill Beckett, right? Well, when do I have that
opportunity? And is that all my mission entails? Trinity demanded of her
Observer as she washed her hands and face of the nervous sweat that had broken out.
looked at Trinity, surprised by her sudden apprehension. According to our
research, Sean Alsterson lost his job at the Ministry and was never re-employed, at least
not as far as we can find. So, Trin, it looks like youre only here to kill
Beckett. His murder would be blamed on his wife, and you would leap out. That should
buy us some time until we can get Lothos operational again, Drake reported.
If we can, he added quietly. Since that bratty little kid saw 'two
Dr. Becketts', we have to assume that Mr. Alsterson is a leaper. And since were
having some troubles here at the complex, we no longer have the power to produce the
quantum-inhibiting field. If Beckett is here as a leaper, then he will be able to have
contact with his own people at his project.
so Im only here to murder the Beckett from now, not the leaper right? But I
still dont know how, Drake, Trinity replied with a level tone, slightly
agitated by Drakes lengthy explanations.
I cant think of everything! he exclaimed, anxiety rising in his voice.
After a flabbergasted look from Trinity and taking few breaths, he said, Ill
stay here as long as I can to help you out. If an opportunity presents itself, then
well make our move. Just be sure not to touch Alsterson, just as a precaution,
because then Beckett will know about you.
nodded in response, and the two headed back to join the others, meeting up with Sam, sided
by Al, on the way. So, Sean, do you know what this meetings all
about? Trinity asked in an inquisitive demeanor.
shook his head no, uneasy about being alone with the person that appeared to be his
wife. I havent a clue. This was a complete surprise to me.
continued the walk in silence, coming upon Sally and young Sam still waiting outside the
door. All right, has everybody had their washroom break? the portly
scientist asked sarcastically as she pushed open the door.
entered the conference room to find Doctor Kovanah standing at the head of the table
again, her face an unreadable mask. The four people plus two holographic Observers
walked into the room robotically, the overpowering gaze from Doctor Kovanah causing them
to feel as if they were in the midst of a military investigation.
sit, the intimidating woman stated simply.
all sat immediately without a word.
in their chairs Doctor Kovanah remained standing at the head spot, her hands clasped
behind her back. I realize that this morning I told you, Doctor Beckett and
Doctor Elesee, that you would be meeting with the Science Minister tomorrow, as well as we
would have reports on our opinions on your time-travel theories ready for you August the
sixth. I regret to inform you that, after the Science Minister reviewed the notes
taken and my personal views, e has decided that we will not be able to fund this
project for you. She spoke as if she were giving a speech on the evolution of the
Al cheered, glad that Project Quantum Leap would still exist in the future in Stallion's
Gate, New Mexico. Sam, this is just the way history played itself out
originally. All you have to do now is to make sure that Sean won't lose his
am, however, disappointed that you, Doctor Alsterson, are over forty-five minutes
late! the head of the quantum physics department exclaimed, causing Al to cringe at
her words. Doctors Beckett and Elesee, could you please excuse us?
Sam looked to who he thought was his wife and said, Certainly, Doctor
We'll just wait outside. He and Trinity, followed by Drake, exited the
conference room. Trinity motioned with her eyes for Drake to return and eavesdrop on
apologize for my arshness, Doctors, Kovanah said to Sam and Sally, but I
ad to convince them that we were indeed disinterested in time travel. I
believe that you two would be optimum for our new top-secret department on chronometric
research, adapting the theories of Doctor Beckett. The eyes of Sam, Al, and
Drake all nearly bugged out of their sockets while their jaws dropped wide open.
time-travel project? Drake and Al exclaimed as each started punching keys on
their respective handlinks.
Sam could hardly believe it. Was the Australian government planning on stealing his
theories on time travel and planning to create one of their own? He looked to Al,
hoping for some answers.
Sam, I don't have anything here about another project, so maybe they flunked out, or maybe
this is where the beginning of Lothos is! The Observer said anxiously, basing his
statement on percentages from Ziggy.
I ave never met him, a Charles Deb-rock will be joining us soon to discuss further
details with us. Both of you must keep your mouths tightly sealed, not to discuss
this matter with your family, friends, or colleagues, not even to discuss it amongst
yourselves outside your labs, the white-haired woman said with dead
younger Sam and Trinity had been making small talk in the hallway, but Sam did most of the
speaking as the evil leaper was paying attention to her holographic Observer. Drake
was nearly frantic talking about this hypothetical third project, which of course they
knew was neither Project Quantum Leap nor the mirror project that created Lothos.
Weve never come across another leaper except for Beckett, so maybe we can
assume that the Australian project here failed. But, I still cant get it out
of my mind that they might be out there, Drake sputtered to Trinity as he paced back
and forth in the hallway.
couldnt believe the situation at hand. It was enough that they had to contend
with Project Quantum Leap putting things right that once went wrong, what if there was
another one with the same mission? The Australian project could also be performing
the same task as the project created by Nathaniel Lothoman had in mind, changing history
for his own profit, or in this case, the Australian government would alter the past for
their own sake. Either way, Lothos, what was left of him, didnt need any
opponents, good or evil, in the same industry as him, especially with the
current situation at the complex in the Atlantic Ocean. That was the fuel that
powered Trinitys desire to succeed at this leap.
Trin, the others back here are as surprised as you and I are. Tala is nearly
spitting fiery-red bullets at this new information, and
Drake stopped, making
an insulted face as a tallish man walked through him on his way to the conference
room. How rude, the Observer muttered, glaring as the man opened the
should be here at any moment, Doctor Kovanah said just as Charles DeBrock walked
through the door into the conference room. Ah, Dr. Deb-Rock, I presume?
she addressed him as the door closed almost silently behind him.
Yes, but its pronounced De-Brock, not Deb-Rock,
Doctor, Charles corrected with a light-hearted attitude and a touch of a
had been trying to retrieve information through the handlink about this man immediately
after Kovanah had mentioned his name to Sam and Sally. Sam, Ziggy has next to
nothing about this guy. It seems that any information about him is under the same
high-level clearance as information on the fire at Seans house, Al told his
apologies, sir, the quantum-physics administrator replied. After a dismissing
gesture from Charles, she cleared her throat softly and introduced him to the other two in
the room. This is Doctor Sally Markson, our top DNA and xenogenetics
specialist, and Doctor Sean Alsterson, our second DNA specialist as well as our number-one
researcher in quantum physics and temporal studies.
I read up on their files before this meeting, thank you. Very nice to meet you
both, Doctor DeBrock told them with a smile as he held out his hand to shake.
How much have you told them, Doctor Kovanah?
that we are venturing into human kinds greatest journey yet, thanks to you and the
voluntary information from Sam Beckett, she answered with a wicked smirk on her
face. Sam had to keep himself from throttling the scientist, but Al did nothing to
witch! the Observer yelled as his holographic form passed through her multiple times
before he gave up hope.
Isnt that immoral, stealing somebody elses theories? Sam
questioned with a touch of anger.
when it will allow us to change the past for the better, Kovanah retorted sharply,
staring at him with a cold glare. I know youre friends with Doctor
Beckett, but you will never say anything about this to im.
a moment of painful silence, Charles walked over to the table. Well, I suppose
I can fill you in where the good Doctor Kovanah left off, he began as he sat himself
down at the table, motioning the other to do the same. I, along with a few
other scientists, have been working on theories to send a human being travelling through
time. Nonetheless, we had a few holes that couldnt be filled by us, we just
didnt have the resources or knowledge to do so, he told them bluntly.
Thankfully, that changed today when Doctor Beckett sparked some ideas with two of my
partners at this mornings meeting. We firmly believe that we will be able to
begin operation of the project within the year, but we need you two for the link-up of
brainwaves between our time-traveler and us in the present. As importantly, we need
you to configure DNA sequencing so that we can achieve the first attempt at
travelling. With your extensive knowledge on temporal studies, Doctor
yours on DNA Doctor Markson, I know that we will be successful.
and Sally were speechless, both for different reasons. Sallys thoughts were on
being involved with such an incredible undertaking, whereas Sams were the anguish he
felt from being plagiarized.
dont know about Sean, but Id be more than honored to be part of such an
awesome venture, Sally told Charles with a large smile, and they both turned to Sam.
well, the leaper stuttered as he looked to his Observer for guidance.
says that this will more than likely keep Sean with a job, and it wont threaten
Project Quantum Leap in the least. After a sigh, the hologram said, Go
ahead, say yes.
suppose, how could I not say yes? Sam answered, forcing a grin as he glanced from
Sally to Charles, and eventually to the detestable Doctor Kovanah.
settled then, Charles announced gleefully as he stood up. I have to get
back to the complex soon, but I anticipate welcoming you both to the team on
Monday. They all shook hands with him again, and he departed from the room.
I just cant express my pride in you two, Doctor Kovanah told them with
some actual happiness manifesting itself in her manner. This project will
indeed be an awesome venture, as you put it, Doctor Markson.
she cant even come up with her own words, let alone theories for time travel,
Al ranted as he checked some information on the handlink.
Kovanah stood up from her seat and began walking toward the door. If you wish,
you may stay ere and discuss the situation by yourselves, but I ave another
appointment to go to, the white-haired administrator told them. See you
the door closed, Sallys eyes met with Sams. Well, I dont
think theres much to say, is there, Sean? she said with joviality.
Were going to be members of a team that will progress temporal sciences far
beyond our dreams. I think Im going to go to my office, I have some things to
finish off before this new assignment. Sally stood up, and Sam mimicked
her. You should probably go rest, she advised, and after a firm hug, she
speedily walked out of the room.
a day, the Observer muttered under his breath. Sam merely exhaled with
exasperation, agreeing whole-heartedly.
had been listening to Drakes continuous complaints about how people were acting
around the complex, and became curious when the tall man that had passed through her
Observer earlier left the conference room, followed shortly by Kovanah, and soon after
her, Sally Markson. Wheres Sean? she accidentally wondered aloud.
me? the young Sam replied. He did not hear the response as when he finished
the syllable, a haze of greenish-white light enveloped him, and he found himself alone in
a large, empty room. Strangely, it was the color of a pale green and seemed to have
Sam Beckett was now the Visitor at someone else's Project.
I was just wondering why Seans still in there, Trinity said to the man beside
leaper now in young Sam's body was somewhat taken aback when he heard the comment.
S-Sean? he repeated, trying to figure out where he had seen this beautiful,
brown-haired woman before.
Sean, she repeated with annoyance as she waved a hand at the closed conference room
door. How about we go in and see him? Not bothering to wait for a
response, Trinity stood up and went back into the conference room. She opened the
door so silently that neither Sam nor Al heard it open.
I should be leaping! the form of Sean Alsterson whispered strongly. He turned around
quickly when he heard a small gasp behind him. Donna, he said nervously.
Trinity replied, hearing Drake punch keys on the handlink. She stepped farther into
the room and toward Sam-as-Sean. What was that you were saying?
new occupant of young Sam Beckett's body stepped in the door behind Trinity and came to a
shocked stop at seeing the nineteen-ninety version of Sean Alsterson. Was I
really that huge? the leaper pondered silently, amazed at how obese he used to be.
really, just talking aloud, Sam responded to Trinity. What shall we do
now?" sputtered nervously, looking for a way to get as far away from this building as
he could so he could think. "I think Im free for the rest of the day, he
said, glancing at Al briefly. As free as I can be in this job, he added
three leapers stood rooted in their spots, none of them knowing what to say or do, and all
totally unaware of each other's situations.
piped up, seeing this as an opportunity. Hey, Trin, if that is Sam Beckett and
not Sean Alsterson over there talking to himself, you can kill both the leaper and the
present-day versions! Now, just some way to do it
eyes lit up as she realized exactly what Sam had said when she entered the room. He
was talking to his hologram! Knowing that she had to be extra cautious, she turned
to the aura of young Sam Beckett. Maybe we could go for some early dinner
somewhere here in Melbourne? Trinity suggested innocently.
why not? Sean replied, not really knowing what else to say, and turned to his past
aura. What about you, S-Sean? he asked, forcing himself to use his own
leaper Sean saw the large, illuminated oval open up beside him and his Observer, a
happy-looking woman, step out from within. A shocked look came over her face as she
saw the obese aura of Sean Alsterson. My word, Sean, you used to be
'uge! No wonder you dont like talking about the old days! she stated
with humor. As far as we know from the man you leaped into, the year is
1990. He isnt sure of his name, but I recognized im as your friend Sam
Sean managed to contain his immense astonishment, and looked at his former self with a new
eye, and understanding why he seemed uneasy.
Ziggy has no idea whats going on and shes going absolutely bonkers! The
display on the handlink, its in German, no wait, Spanish, no, now its
Russian! Al began slapping the handlink with his greatest force yet, trying
his hardest to shake it back into sanity.
lets go, Sam said, looking distracted as he tried to ignore Al and his
three leapers, trailed by the three holographic Observers, left the conference room,
heading for the elevators.
Trinity, Im not sure what you can do now. For some reason were
losing huge amounts of power; I cant stay with you for much longer. You have
to meet your objective soon or we might not be able to retrieve you, Drake spouted
with apprehension. She nodded in response, furiously trying to develop a scheme to
kill Sam Beckett; either one of them!
entered the elevator, and Sam reached to press the down button at the same time as
Trinity, their fingertips almost touching. It took a lot of control to pulled back her
hand in a calm manner.
one, Drake whispered. Just watch yourself. No touching! He waggled
his finger teasingly.
not sure why youve leaped into Dr. Beckett, Sean, but we just cant seen to
keep track of whats appening at this time. Something as, 'cause
all of the systems are going ay-wire, the female Observer reported.
Aha! It says ere that originally, you, that is Sam Beckett, was murdered
by his wife? Donna over there, she gestured toward Trinity. And then she was
sentenced to life in an American prison. You must be ere to prevent the murder
or to ensure it appens. Were not sure yet.
looked up at the ceiling of the elevator cabin as it came to a stop on the ground
floor. That's why the brown haired woman looked familiar; Sam's wife!
all managed to depart from the elevator without touching one another by sheer chance, with
Trinity watching leaper Sam carefully.
Sam, I finally got something in English here. It turns out that Donna is going to
murder you?!? Al announced, pointing toward Sean in the aura of the younger version
of Sam. I mean, him over there
she murders that Beckett, and then
shes put in prison for life. Sean basically drops off the face of the Earth
didn't think he could be anymore shocked, and it was a real struggle to keep his face
neutral. "Donna? Kill me? What's going on here?" The uneasy suspicion
about who he saw as his wife rose again, and he thought back to the other times during
this leap that she didn't seem quite right; he had dismissed his uneasiness as
Swiss-cheesed memories, but maybe something else was going on here.
walk down the hallways to the rear entrance was a silent and solemn one. Each leaper
trying to gather their thoughts, and each Observer trying to get more information on what
their charges were supposed to do. The interference from each other was throwing the
computers that ran each project into complete chaos.
all boarded the Alsterson familys beige mini-van in the parking lot. Sean had to
abort his approach to the driver's side and allow his aura-wearing counterpart to take
over; it wasn't easy not being himself!
three Observers positioned themselves in the front passenger seat, silently waiting to see
what would happen next. The Sam and Donna auras parked themselves in the second row of
began to go through Donnas purse in a desperate attempt to find a weapon to utilize
against Sam, her mind whirling with possible plans. After coming up with nothing,
she looked urgently into Drakes eyes, silently asking for help.
a shrug, he looked to his handlink, then glanced at the instrument panel of the van.
Hey, this things almost outta gas, Drake noticed. You should
maybe get out in the country somewhere. The Observer noticed her questioning
stare, and elaborated. Nobody ever finds bodies in the woods, right?
Sean, since we all seem to have some time off right now, do you mind showing us some of
the areas outside the city? I'd love to see a wild kangaroo. Trinity suggested to
Sam. "Wouldn't you, honey?" She said to Sam's aura. "Then we can find some
place to eat."
like an idea, leaper Sean answered, his mind whirling. "Getting away from any
other distractions might be a good idea", he thought feverently.
then," leaper Sam replied from the driver's seat, not really anxious to go back to
Sean's in-laws, anyway.
were several miles on the outskirts of Melbourne in a rural area when a 'low fuel' light
thought Sam. "Um, we need to look for a gas station," he said out loud.
we out of gas?" Trinity-as-Donna said innocently.
yet," Sam grumbled.
." Sean-as-Sam stopped himself. "I mean, there should be a
station right up the road," he stated carefully. "Shouldn't there?"
Somewhere in his brain something told him that these memory losses were not unusual for a
leaper. He caught his Observer's eye.
guess there's one up 'ere somewhere," she replied, shaking her link. "This
thing's worse than my old Palm Pilot."
As the van climbed a particularly steep part of the road, it began to chug and sputter.
oh." Leaper Sam said.
like it's out of fuel," leaper Sean noted out loud.
Leaper Trinity thought. "There's no woods here! Just rocks and dirt!" Then her
eyebrow arched. "Rocks?" she thought, looking out the window at the roadside.
van chugged over the crest of the hill, and lurched one last time, directed by Sam to the
dirt shoulder. They all sat quietly for a moment as Sam tried to restart the van.
think that's it, folks," Sam sighed. "Maybe there's a gas can in the back?"
He gave Al a sideways glance.
me," Al shrugged.
lets see, Sam said, getting out of the van.
help you," leaper Sean said, getting out of the car. He wasn't too comfortable
sitting next to his
.murderer, alone, in the van.
two respective holograms followed their charges, leaving Drake with Trinity.
looks like a good time, Trin!" he said. "Check the glove box! Maybe there's a
screwdriver or something!"
she leaned over the front seat and popped the glove box open. Yes! A shiny yellow, brand
going to try for both of 'em just to be sure, but which one should I go for first, in case
I only get one? The one that looks like Beckett now?"
got it, babe. Go for the sure bet." He tapped the link. "This piece of junk sure
isn't going to help at all with a decision."
popped the door open just as the other two popped open the rear hatch. The two were
scrounging through the mess in the back of the van, trying to find the reserve of
only were you large, Sean, you were also had a pig-sty on wheels! The woman hologram
called out playfully, fiddling distractedly with her link.
was next to Sam, mumbling curses at Ziggy, the project, and life in general, completely
focused on the screeching link. "I can't get a time of death on you
Damn this interference anyway!" he griped.
emerged from the van with screwdriver in hand, aware that both of the men were occupied
scrounging in the back of the van. Quietly, she moved along the side of the van keeping
her eyes on the closer of the two. "Luck be with me; the Beckett we're sure of is
closer!" she thought with joy. The corner of her mouth curled up into a leer as she
gripped the weapon tightly and rounded the back of the van, aiming first for a low kidney
shot. "That should incapacitate him enough for a first shot," she thought.
feeling was catching, and Drake grinned a feral grin, too. "Go get 'em,
Trin! You got
a clear shot! Step into it!"
She pulled back her arm to get the full power of her body into the low stab and began her
deadly jab when her target stepped back.
" the aura of Sam was saying as Trinity followed through with her
motion, unable to stop the momentum of her body. "Hey!" he yelped in surprise.
Sam, seeing the sudden motion in his peripheral vision, instinctively grabbed at her
extended arm, but not before she nicked his side with the weapon. "AL!" He
yelped, getting his Observer's immediate and full attention.
Al saw made him queasy; the rippling effect of merging auras was nauseating to see.
"Sam! She's a leaper!" After an astonished second, the hand link squealed, and
he punched the buttons and tried to keep an eye on Sam at the same time. "Hold her,
had a vice like grip on Trinity's arm, shocked at the purple-haired stranger that once
looked like his beloved wife. Trinity snarled and fought like a demon, and they both went
down in a tangle.
Sean stood with his mouth hanging open as he watched the merging of auras. "Another
leaper!" he whispered, eyes wide. "Isobelle! There's another leaper!" He
barked a bit louder to get his Observer's attention. Isobelle jerked her head up from her
link and ran the few steps to his side.
my Lord! That's why the readings have been so quirky!" She began a frantic input of
information. "Sean, help him! He can't die! If he's you, then you will get stuck
ooohhhh I can't take this much longer!" Her fingers were frantic on
Sean stepped up and grabbed Trinity around the neck with his forearm, pulling her off of
his own aura ... which right now looked a lot like an older Sam Beckett!
Sean yelped, barely subduing the snarling woman.
rolled to his knees, pressing his bleeding side with his hands. He glanced up at his name
and saw the weird, undulating ripples of touching leapers. "Sean!?" He said,
paused at the inquiry and twisted around enough to see Sean's face in Sam's aura.
"There is a third project!" She yelled to Drake, whose fingers were flying like
the other Observers.
THIRD PROJECT?!" Al and Isobelle squeaked together, their unified voices unheard by
Ziggy says Sean's in on the third project!"
do something! The power levels are off the scale! We can't guarantee your retrieval!"
Drake yelled, his eyes on fire. "Don't let them stop us, Trinity! You'll regret
began to fight anew, desperation feeding her fear of being stranded in time.
"NO!" she shrieked, wildly throwing her body.
was unable to hold her. She broke free and fell, rolling along the shoulder of the road as
Sean slammed into the back of the van. Sam stumbled to his feet, lurching from the painful
wound, and tried to catch her.
was nearly on top of her with Sean close at his heels when Trinity gained her feet. Her
eyes, wide with fear, looked like that of a trapped animal. She whirled and sprinted
across the road just as a car topped the crest of the hill that their van had just managed
car impacted with the purple haired woman with a sickening thud and sent her sailing
through the air. The car's brakes squealed too late as the vehicle fishtailed to a frantic
Sam choked as he stumbled across the roadway. 'What's going to happen to Donna?' was all
he could think as he made his way across the street, his throat tight with fear. He held
his breath to keep from screaming, and fell to the woman's side, Sean stopping behind him
woman's hair was snarled and wild, spread like a fan under her head. There was blood
trickling from the corner of her mouth and her breathing was ragged and bubbly sounding.
Her limbs were at an odd angle from her body, and all Sam could hope was that Donna didn't
feel anything. He smoothed her hair from her forehead, speechless, a mix of fury and
sorrow roaring through his brain.
eyes cracked open, focusing in and out. Finally, she found Sam's eyes and an awful laugh
choked from the cracked lips. "Checkmate, Beckett!" She cackled. "We still
have your wife!"
Sam said from clenched teeth, slamming his hand on the ground next to her head. "Al!
What's going to happen to Donna?"
Sean said as Isobelle reached his side.
be Admiral Calavicci, his Observer," Isobelle clarified, unable to take her eyes from
the horrifying woman on the ground. "Who is she, Sean?"
have no idea," he said, mystified.
calm down!" Al said, kneeling next to his friend. Sam's eyes were full of sorrow when
he turned them on his Observer. "It's ok, buddy. If that woman's project works like
ours, she'll leap when she dies." He gave the gasping woman a visual once over.
"And I think that may be soon. Who is she?"
Drake's voice was faded and scratchy in her ears. She knew it was hopeless at this point.
"Trin! We're losing you!"
dying woman found her hologram with her eyes and smiled. " 's ok, Drake. They can't
." her voice faded, her eyes closed, and she sagged deeper into the
dirt. The last thing she heard was Drake's far-off voice spouting obscenities.
it, Al." Sam said in a shaky voice. "She's gone."
dropped to his knees next to him, the sound of cautious footsteps from the car's driver
coming up behind.
"Please," a voice said meekly. "Don't tell me she's dead
live with myself
" the stranger's voice cracked. Sean and Sam both looked at the
stricken man, unable to tell him anything.
a glowing from Trinity's body brought their attention back.
Look!" Al said, pointing.
aura was fading in a reddish glow, replaced by a solid form. When the haze cleared, Donna
surprised eyes were looking into Sam's. "Donna!" he cried happily.
Al warned quickly. "She sees Sean, remember? He's her husband!" The hologram
pointed at Sean. "Sam?"
he acknowledged his Observer, holding back his initial response to pull his wife into a
What happened?" Donna asked hurriedly, sitting up and glancing around. "I was
... I wasn't here
" her voice trailed off, confused, and she reached out at took
Sean's hands. "Sam, honey, what happened?!"
took over consoling her with a guilty glance in Sam's direction, and Sam unwillingly
all right? She's all right? How could she be?" The driver stammered. "There's a
'uge dent in my car!" He watched as Donna got to her feet. "Praise God! There's
not a drop of blood on her!"
took his arm to calm him. "She, uh, works out a lot. She'll be OK, really." The
confused man allowed himself to be led back to his car. "Um, we will need a ride to
the nearest gas station, though. Can you do that?"
man nodded enthusiastically. "By all means! Lord! What was she doin' in the road,
anyway, man? Hey, are you OK? You're bleedin'! "
Sam lead him back to his car to inspect the damage, he pressed one hand on his wounded
side. "I'll be fine. Let's check out your car." He gave Al a questioning glance
and mouthed, why haven't I leaped yet?
was all screwed up from the interference, but now that the goofy-haired shrew is gone,
she's making more sense. There's still interference from your old buddy there," Al
tilted his head in Sean and Donna's directions, "but we can work around it. In fact,
Ziggy thinks that's why youre here; to stop the Australian from getting off the
can I do that from here?" Sam said softly as he pretended to inspect the back of the
car while the driver looked at the front.
can't. I have to talk to Sean. Hang in there, buddy, I'll be back." Al tapped the
link and the Imaging Chamber door whooshed open. Al stepped through with a wave and a
cocky grin. "Meanwhile, keep your hands to yourself. You're Sean, remember!"
yeah," Sam said sadly as the door closed.
Stallion's Gate, New Mexico
mind was quickly throwing out thoughts as he was formulating them. How should he bring
this up to Sean in the Waiting Room? How could he stop this project before it was even
started? And most importantly, how good a friend was Sean Alsterson to Sam Beckett?
met Sean several times over the past few years, and now his demeanor made sense. From what
he'd heard and seen, Sean was a good friend of Sam's, but always seemed nervous and
fidgety. Even Sam had commented on it, but wrote it off as a weird reaction to winning the
Nobel Prize. He'd lost some scientific friends due to jealousy on that one, but thought
Sean was above that kind of reaction.
Al had it figured out: Sean knew he was working with plagiarized material. Sam's
plagiarized material, to be exact. No wonder he was so jumpy; the guilt must have been
just then Al knew he had his out.
figure in the Waiting Room looked glum. Verbena had told him nothing and Al was sure his
brain was going a mile a minute in there, with all the possibilities looking pretty grim.
When Al stepped into the room, Sean's surprise was immediate and obvious.
'eavens! Admiral Calavicci! Why didn't anyone tell me you were here? And where's Sam? He
must be here, where ever here is!" He stuck out his hand and he glanced around the
Alsterson, please. Call me Al."
if you call me Sean. 'aven't we made those requests before?" The man's eyes were now
shining with relief.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, we have. You remember when?" Al was curious to
see how many holes were in his memory.
Sean rattled off exactly the circumstances where and when they had met, down to the brand
of champagne they had imbibed that evening. He was laughing jovially. "And then Sam
had to give that presentation the next day! At least we got to wear our dark glasses! I
don't know how he and Donna did it!"
that the old Beckett determination. You know."
I do, I certainly do. Quite and individual, Sam Beckett is. Is he here? Can I see
not really." Al motioned for Sean to sit on the bed and Al took a position in front
of him. "Sean, I have to talk to you. It's serious."
settled down immediately. "Go ahead, Al."
Admiral began the story of Project Quantum Leap, leading Sean through the beginnings of
the Project to its current state, and then told him about the events in Melbourne of the
past few days. Al could tell that Sean was keeping careful track of all the information
and considering the implications.
serious? That old cow Kovanah has finally done it; plagiarizing another scientist's work.
I've never liked her, and now I know why! The woman 'as no morals." He met Al's eyes
determinedly. "That's no way to run a project. And as far as I'm concerned, Sam is
one too many leapers in time. When I go back, will I remember all this?"
shrugged. "We don't know, really. We haven't had that much feedback. Ziggy figures,
and I agree, that God, Time, Fate or Whoever got you here for a reason, and that reason
will stay intact when you leap back. You have to stop the project, Sean."
nodded solemnly. "I know. It's simply the right thing to do. Thank you, Al, for
confiding in me. Sam's trust in you is not misplaced, my friend."
his friendship is not misplace in you, Sean."
shook hands, and Sean's forehead furrowed deeply. "Oh, my. I feel
dont believe this! Youve wrecked my life, do you realize that? Standing
in front of Sam was a teenage girl, blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, her face red
from emotion, eyes brimming with tears. She lifted a hand to wipe away the tears and her
eyes filled with accusation as she stared back at Sam. Im seventeen! I want to
live my own life! She sobbed before turning and leaving the room quickly. A few
moments later, a door slammed at the rear of the house hard enough to rattle several
windows in the front.
Sam stood immobile, his mouth open, wondering what on earth he had arrived in the middle
of this time. A movement to his left caught his eye and Sam turned to see a boy standing
in the shadows.
Sams comment as disapproving, the boy hunched his shoulders. Sorry. He
back in the direction in which the girl had disappeared, Sam raised his eyes to the
ceiling. Oh boy. He sighed.