Episode 1020

Guinea Pig II

by: G. Carey

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   Al and the staff of Project Quantum Leap face serious charges by disobeying government orders.  Due to the costs of keeping troops in Iraq and the rekindling of the space program by President Bush, the government will no longer allocate power or funding to any non-weapon Level 1 Projects.  The staff was given a month to dismantle Quantum Leap and prepare for reassignments.  Because of the government’s power cuts, Ziggy has begun losing files and memory and is slowly dying.  On top of that, a four-star general has arrived to find out why no one has left and also why he should be convinced that the Project should be saved.

   Meanwhile, Sam has Leaped into 1959 as a terminally ill man with lung cancer named Charles “Ohdee” O’Donnell.  Because of his illness, Ohdee was a civilian volunteer for a top secret U.S. research installation located somewhere in New Mexico.  Sam’s arrival found himself standing in the desert as a guinea pig for radiation fallout testing with a bomb just seconds away from detonation.  Al quickly arrived to tell Sam to protect himself in a ditch just as the bomb exploded.  The blast caused Ziggy to seal off the Imaging Chamber, trapping Al inside.

   Eventually Sam remembered the code that allowed Al to leave, but not before the Admiral revealed that there might not be anymore contact with each other because of Ziggy’s health. Believing that Al or Ziggy would not return to help him, he assists a scientist in completing a Time Displacer Unit.  Sam’s goal was to use the Unit to Leap himself home.  Because of his tampering, another scientist sees Sam’s equations and perfects a new type of Hydrogen bomb that will change modern warfare.  The use of the Time Displacer Unit would also change world events as well. 

   In order to persuade the scientist to test the Unit on him, Sam reveals his true identity.  The scientist informs him that it will take eight months before testing on humans could happen.  At that moment, two doctors arrive suspicious that something is wrong with Ohdee when old and recent blood samples show two different blood types.  As Sam is being led away for testing to confirm his identity, he leaps out…





March 2004



   The walls around Al Calavicci turned back to their regular features as he now stood in the Imaging Chamber with General Hawkins.  All the Observer could think about was the hurt look on Sam’s face as he was being led away to a laboratory, subdued in a wheelchair, and tired from the lung cancer that he inherited from the person he had leaped into. 

   “Well?” asked a gruff voice alongside the Admiral.

   Al looked over and saw the General lightly gripping the sleeve of his teal suit jacket.  He had forgotten that Hawkins had come in begrudgingly to prove that the Project worked.  Touching Al’s sleeve was supposed to allow the General to share the neural-link that connected the Observer with Sam in the past.  The only stipulation was that the General could only see and not hear anything.  The staff at Project Quantum Leap thought that this was the best way to convince the General, but just as contact to Al’s sleeve had been made, Sam Beckett Leaped out.

   The Observer had mixed feelings about the timing of Sam’s Leap.  On one side, it now made dealings with the General extremely difficult.  To come into the Imaging Chamber and see nothing made this exercise a waste of his time.  It would take a Herculean effort to make Hawkins participate in any further chances of offering proof about the Project.  On the other side, if Sam had stayed in 1959 any longer than he did, his real identity would have been discovered by a lot of people at the secret U.S. research installation.  But now that Sam had Leaped out before the doctors were able to take another blood sample, it would create confusion but it would leave them without answers and they would eventually dismiss it.

   “I’m waiting, Admiral.”

   Al hated irony.  That was the reason why Sam had Leaped and why he had failed to prove anything.  Without power, Ziggy couldn’t function to give Al or Sam any data about the current Leap.  Without power, it was highly possible that Sam wouldn’t Leap again.  Al wasn’t going to gamble his friend’s life on whether or not Ziggy and the Project Leaped Sam Beckett through time or if God/Fate/Time actually did it.  In a desperate bargaining attempt, Al had convinced the General to give the Project a temporary power extension.  This failure in the Imaging Chamber may well have just cost them any more extensions.

   The Admiral took a long puff on his cigar.  “You see, General, it’s like this.  Just as you made contact with me, Doctor Beckett Leaped out.”

   “Goddammit, I knew this was a waste of my time.  I hope for your sake this is not an attempt to stall me before the computer technicians arrive to take apart your machine.  I’ll take the blasted thing apart myself with my bare hands if I have to.”

   Still holding on to Al’s sleeve, the General pushed him toward the exit door.  “Now get me the hell outta this thing, Calavicci.”

   Al walked towards the door and it slid open.  He escorted Hawkins down to the Control Room console that was Ziggy’s mainframe.  The blue sphere hanging above seemed brighter than it had in recent hours.  Sinjin and Tina both looked tired as they tried to keep power flowing to Ziggy’s circuits.

   “Please do not blame the Admiral,” Ziggy told the General.  “Just as you made contact with Doctor Beckett, he Leaped out of 1959.”

   Hawkins only reply was a huff.

   “Any update on Sam?” asked the Observer.

   “None at present, Admiral.  He is still currently between Leaps.”

   “Can you tell when he will arrive at his next stop?”

   “Sorry, Admiral.  Not at present.”

   “Not that I am buying into all this,” interrupted the General, “but how long does Beckett remain between, uh, Leaps?”

   “A normal stasis period between Leaps for Doctor Beckett is usually 6.4 days.”

   “A week?” Hawkins scoffed at Ziggy.  “It’ll take another week before you know anything about him?  May I remind you that the technicians will be here tomorrow afternoon?  I strongly believe that everyone here should make the most of their remaining hours.  If I were you, I’d start packing my bags now for reassignment and then prepare a defense for disobeying my orders to leave here on time.  Trying to convince me that this place works will be a huge waste of time.” He headed for the elevator that would take him to his guest quarters.  “One more thing, Admiral.  Bright and early tomorrow morning you will show me the few remaining areas you have tried to keep me away from.  Don’t think I haven’t noticed.  I want to see this Waiting Room your Doctor Beeks has tried so hard to keep me out of.  It’s very late and I plan on getting a good night sleep before our tour.”

   Al cursed under his breath as the elevator took the General away.  “Ziggy, inform Beeks to get some rest.  She’s gonna have a visitor tomorrow.  Tell her to get someone else to monitor Sam.”

   Trying to stifle a yawn, Sinjin blurted, “But Al, if the General sees Doctor Beckett looking like a catatonic mental vegetable, this Project won’t have a chance.  Hawkins will have us all committed.” 

   “I know, Edward, but we still have time before morning to think of something.”  Al’s face turned into a scowl. “God, I hate irony.  Here we are, standing next to the biggest time machine ever built and we can’t change anything about what’s happening here right now.”  He heard another yawn, this time coming from Tina.  “All right, everybody is getting their relief to take over.  We all need our sleep.  We have to be fresh tomorrow if we are gonna save Sam and the Project.”

   Al took the elevator to where his quarters were.  Entering his bedroom, he saw Beth already asleep.  Too tired to remove his teal suit, he slipped into bed next to his wife.  In silence, he laid there, trying to think of any solutions that would fix the situation.  In ten seconds, Al was snoring.



   He was back in the blue void again, dimly aware that he was relieved of his escape.  He couldn’t remember what he had gotten away from, but he knew it was a terrible ordeal.  His conscience was in agony; it wouldn’t give him a moment’s peace.  It was telling him that he had caused something catastrophic, and that he had left before he could put something right that had gone terribly wrong.  Time had no meaning now, and he wasn’t sure how long he had been floating in the void, but he anxiously wanted to fix his mistake as soon as he could.

   Shortly, he got his wish.  The euphoria tugged at him again.  He was leaving.  The blue void dissolved once more, leaving Sam Beckett to figure out his surroundings.  He was lying on a cot in a small room.  Facing him against the wall, was a desk with a lamp, some toiletries, a small mirror, and a legal pad with a pencil.  Sam knew this room, he had been here before.

   In agony, Sam resisted the urge to cough as he stood up out of the cot.  Looking down, he noticed he was wearing familiar gray sweats.  He stumbled over to the desk and picked up the mirror.

   Sam gasped in horror at what was staring back at him.  He was Ohdee again, but the face looked months older, his eyes more sunken inward with heavy bags under them, and it looked like more cancer growths were scattered across his face and arms. 

   The mirror dropped from his hands and smashed upon the floor.

   “Oh, nooo!!!”






March, 2004

The Next Day



   Loud jazz music flooded through Al’s bedroom.  With a start, he and Beth both jumped up out of bed.  Groaning from fatigue, the Admiral yelled up at the ceiling, “OK, Ziggy, we’re awake.  Shut it off!”

   The music persisted for a few more seconds.  Then finally it shut off.

   “We apologize, Al,” came the sound of Sinjin’s voice.  “Ziggy’s a little slow this morning.  The overnight crew thought it best to keep Ziggy on low power to conserve energy.”

   “Good thinking, Edward, we need every scrap of power we can get before those computer geeks show up to trash the place.  No offense at the geek remark, Edward.”

   “None taken, Al.  You best start getting ready, Ziggy says the General is just waking up.”

   Al wiped his eyes as Beth went around getting things ready for Al’s shower.  He looked a mess from all that had happened yesterday.  His teal suit was rumpled, his hair was sticking out in places, and his scruffy stubble was becoming quite noticeable.  “Edward, any news on Sam?”

   There was a pause on the Control Room end.  “Yes, Al, there is.”

   “Why haven’t you shared it with me yet?”

   “Not much to report, Al.  Ziggy knows he has Leaped in.  Doctor Beeks…”

   That news seemed to wake Al up better than a cup of coffee.  “Sam Leaped in? Already?  Usually it takes almost a week.  God must really like us, the odds are tilting in our favor.”

   “I concur.  Ziggy doesn’t know much else other than that he has reappeared in the timeline.  Doesn’t know where or when yet.  It will take a while because Ziggy is still not up to full power yet.  Doctor Beeks is already in the Waiting Room.”

   “Thanks, Edward.  I’m heading for the shower now.  Inform Beeks I’m coming as soon as Beth makes me presentable enough.”

   “Will do, Admiral.”

   Al wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard Sinjin mutter, “Quite the lucky woman.” as he made his way to the bathroom.





Thursday, December 3rd, 1959 


   Shortly after the mirror smashed against the floor of his room, Sam’s legs quickly gave out underneath him and he collapsed hard to the floor.  His right knee screamed in pain as he banged it on the metal surface.  Gasping for breath, he tried to pull himself up onto the cot.  No sooner did he manage the feat, his body convulsed as intense pain and coughing hit him full force.  Unable to stop himself, he spit up reddish-brown blood onto the floor.

   “They really should get you to a hospital.  Why they still need you for experiments I will never know.” 

   Sam looked up to see Doctor Garner enter the room.  The Leaper’s heart raced.  He barely remembered how upset he was that Garner wouldn’t test the Time Displacer Unit on him.  Besides that, he recalled the doctor taking him in a wheelchair to have his blood sample taken for examination, the result of which would have given away Sam’s identity that he wasn’t Ohdee. 

   “Do you want me to call a medical aide?” Garner inquired.

   Sam shook his head.  “No, I’ll be fine.”  It felt weird for Sam.  He had told Garner his true identity in the past and now the doctor looked at him as if he didn’t know who he was.

   “Very well, then.  I will leave you alone.  If anything, your coughing did me a favor.”

   “How’s that, Doctor Garner?”

   “You got me to leave the lounge so I could end my procrastination and get back to work.  I can only take so much Christmas music.  You’d think it was tomorrow instead of a couple of weeks.”

   “It’s December?” Sam said, mostly to himself.

   “Yeah, seems like Thanksgiving was only yesterday.  How time flies, I suppose.  It’s a shame you signed on to be a volunteer here.  Wouldn’t you have rather spent your last holidays with family members?”

   “I guess something keeps me here.” It was a twisted truth, Sam knew, as soon as he said it.

   “You’d think the government would let a man in your condition go home to spend out the last of his days.  Price you pay for being a civilian working for a Top Secret installation, I suppose.  Then again, I guess Doctor Hudson and Doctor Braden need you for observation as long as you can remain with us.”  Garner gave a weak smile.  “I apologize again like I always do, Ohdee.  It’s hard to just ignore what you are going through.”

   Without realizing he was talking out loud, Sam jumped to a conclusion.  “It’s because of the blood samples that Ohdee is still here.”

   “I beg your pardon, Ohdee?”

   “Everything is making sense now.  It’s eight months later.”  Sam realized he had to bury any negative feeling he had towards Garner.  “If you need a guinea pig for your Time Displacer Unit, I volunteer.”

    Garner stared intently at Ohdee and then a look of astonishment crept into his face.  “How do you know about my Time Displacer U…Sam? Sam, is that you?”

   Sam nodded.  “For some reason, I’ve come back.”

   “Incredible.”  Garner rubbed at his goatee, “It seems like yesterday, you helped me finish my work, and then in the observation room, you struggled in the wheelchair and then…then, you were gone.  I assumed that you made it back home.”  Guilt suddenly hit the doctor.  “If you are upset about the blood sample business, I apologize.  Morally, I couldn’t allow you to be experimented on with my machine.  It wasn’t ready for testing, and if you died, I would lose any further support from Congress and the military.  And you were right, Ohdee came back confused and couldn’t remember anything.  They took his blood and it put the brakes on Hudson’s project, but they dismissed it as tainted samples.  You left at an opportune time.”

   “But I’m back again.  There must be a reason.”

   “What were you saying a few moments ago about Ohdee being here because of the blood sample?”

   “If I had never come here at all and there was no blood sample discrepancy, Ohdee probably would have gone home to die in peace.  But since there was a problem, Ohdee had to stay in case it proved that there were side effects to Hudson’s research.  Eight months later, Ohdee is still here and I have leaped back into him again.  There must be a reason for this.  I don’t accept it as coincidence.”

   Garner approached the cot.  “Well, you’re here now.  Come with me.  I’m heading for the Time Displacer Control Room.”  He helped Sam into his wheelchair.  It now had an oxygen respirator on it.  Instinctively, Sam attached it to his face and he found he was breathing a little easier, suppressing the urge to cough. 

   “What else has happened since I left?” Sam asked as they passed Doctor Hudson’s office.

   “George, I mean, Doctor Hudson is a few months away from testing his Perfect Clean Hydrogen Bomb.”

   The Leaper burst into a coughing attack.  “What?” he sputtered.

   “I’m not sure how I feel about it either.  Even though he comes to me for ideas and suggestions, I have often tried to persuade him against building the thing.  Oddly enough, it was around your last visit that he started getting new ideas, which lead him to figuring out what he needed to complete his experiment. “ The wheelchair stopped.  “You didn’t help him did you, Sam?”

   “No, he only performed tests on me, he never asked me anything.  The only help I gave was to you on the blackboard.”

   “And since that day, I have kept everyone out of there.  Only I have the key to my office.”

   “I wonder if Hudson managed to sneak a look at your blackboard…” Sam sat up in the chair.  “He did!  The same day I wrote all the equations, he came it to get the notes he left for you to look over.  Then he left, you locked up and we went to see your experiment.”

   Garner’s jaw dropped.  “I remember now.  How could you know all that?”

   “It’s selective, but I do have a photographic memory from time to time.”

   “And so does Hudson.  He must’ve seen the equations in passing and remembered the ones he needed that would help him.”

   In silence, they proceeded to the double security doors that lead to the Time Displacer Unit.  Now, eight months later, there were two young cadets guarding the entrance to the doors.

   “Hello, Doctor Garner,” they both said. 

   Garner took out a security key and used it to open the doors.  The two guards refused to move.  “I’m sorry, doctor,” one of them said looking at Sam, “but he is not cleared to be in here.”

   “It’s ok, cadet, he will be with me the whole time.  Besides, he is confined to a wheelchair, what could he do in there?”

   The cadet thought it over for a moment and then relented, allowing the two to pass.

   The second cadet, a young officer with short blonde hair, snorted, “Your predecessor wouldn’t have allowed him in.  I wouldn’t have let him in.  He could be a commie.”

   “Ohdee, a commie?” said the first cadet, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

   “Not that it matters,” the second cadet went on to say, “I don’t put much stock in these Top Secret experiments.  It’s all a load of crap.  A waste of time if you ask me.  The guy before you thought the same thing.”

   “Whatever happened to the guy I replaced?” asked the first cadet.

   “Not sure.  One day they found him dead of an apparent chemical imbalance.  Guy injected himself with something.”




Same day, March, 2004


   Admiral Al Calavicci marched to the entrance of the Waiting Room, dressed in his white military uniform.  General Hawkins was outside waiting for him. 

   “Admiral, I’d like to begin the tour with this room.  Your staff keeps trying to make sure I don’t go in there.  Open the door for me, now!”

   “Certainly, General.  This is the entrance to the Waiting Room.  The people that Doctor Beckett replaces in time end up in here until Sam’s mission is done and he leaps again.  I think you might appreciate the tour better if I took you to the observation deck that looks down upon the…”

   “My patience is growing very thin, Calavicci, I would prefer to see everything up close for myself.”

   With an “Oh, boy” under his breath, Al opened the door.  The two men entered to see Doctor Beeks writing into a journal as she made observations on the body lying on a bed.

   Doctor Beeks looked at Sam or rather the appearance of Sam and asked, “Can’t you remember who you are, what your name is?”

   ‘Sam’ looked at Beeks and the two newcomers.  “I must have died and gone to heaven.” Then looking at Al, he said, “Even the angels wear uniforms, I never would have guessed.”  Peering at Hawkins with his white hair and moustache with awe, he suddenly cringed.  “Are you God?”

   “What nonsense is this?” roared the General as ‘Sam’ fainted on the bed.  Beeks rushed over to make sure Sam didn’t fall off.  Al couldn’t think of how else this could get worse.

   “I can explain, General…”

   “Explain what, Calavicci.  You have been feeding me story after story that Doctor Beckett is trapped in time and you need all this extra time from me so that he can be returned.  I walk in here and find Beckett lying on a bed.  He’s not lost, he is right here in front of me.  You feed me garbage that we can see him in the past through the Imaging Chamber and when we go in there, you conveniently come up with an excuse as to why I can’t see him.  This charade has gone on long enough.  The power extension is over.  Excuse me, but I am going to place a call right now to speed up those technicians and completely shut off this Project once and for all!”  Hawkins stormed out of the room, leaving Al to wonder what he should do.  It would take a while before the General’s call went through, he knew.  As fast as he could, the Observer ran for the Imaging Chamber.





Thursday, December 3rd, 1959 


   The hair on top of Sam’s head rose slightly from all the electrical discharge in the room.  The smell of static was almost nauseating, but he managed to get through it somehow.  Dr. Garner stood at the controls of the Time Displacer Unit console.  His hands moved quickly as he adjusted power settings and checked readings for fluctuations. 

   “A few more tests, Ohdee, and this will be ready to work,” Garner almost said Sam’s name but remembered they were not alone.  The two cadet sentries from outside were now inside the room, guarding the locked double doors.  Doctor Garner wiped his sweaty palms on his white lab coat as he turned on a couple of switches.

   “Final pre-test check, Ohdee.  All that’s left is to check the power running into the Time Displacer Booth.”

   Sam looked ahead.  About thirty yards ahead, stood a booth that looked like it was taken from an old quiz show.  Every piece of electrical machinery was tied in to the sides, top, and rear of the booth.  Behind it was an endless maze of pipes, wires, conduits, and turbines that seemed to stretch forever.

   “Moment of truth.  Here we go.”  Garner hit a red master switch.

   The room became alive as every available source of power channeled itself into the Time Displacer Booth, which vibrated from all the power it was absorbing.  Discharges of lightning began to flare out from various parts of the room.  Suddenly, red lights came on and a klaxon bell began to scream.

    Sam wanted to get out of the chair to take a look at the control console but found his condition was too weak to permit him.

   “What is it, Doctor Garner?”

   “Power overload!” the doctor shouted over the alarm.  “I must have forgotten to compensate for something.  Electrical charge is building up.  Trying to shut down now.”

   Without warning the glass door at the front of the Time Displacer Booth shattered, spraying Sam and Garner with pieces of glass.  From within the booth, a large bolt of lightning streamed outward, barely missing Sam.  A scream and a loud explosion behind him made him turn to see a cadet lying on the ground in pain, the thick double doors torn off the wall, scattered in many pieces on the floor out in the hallway.  At the end of the hallway, pieces of cinderblock lay on the floor, a large black burn mark evident where the bolt had struck.

   By now, Garner had shut off the power, killing the alarm.  He rushed over past a helpless Sam who was brushing pieces of glass off himself and approached the cadets.  The one with the blonde hair was screaming in pain, clutching his left side.

   “He’s in shock,” exclaimed Garner.  “We need to get him to medical.”

   “The bolt just grazed by,” the other cadet stammered. “It barely touched him.”

   “But it was enough to knock him over.  There could be possible heart flutter from this.  Sa…Ohdee, I’m gonna help take this guy to medical.  Will you manage by yourself?”

   Sam was tired and still in awe that he had missed being struck by the bolt.  “Yeah, I’ll manage.”

   Garner and the uninjured cadet picked up the hurt young man and carried him off as fast as they could move.  As they approached medical, people were already starting to gather as word spread of the accident.  Nearing the door to the medical center, Doctor Braden stepped forward and pushed the doors open.  “Allow me to help,” he said, trying to avoid getting squashed by Garner in the doorway.  The wounded man arrived to the examining room without further incident. 

   On his way out past the crowd on onlookers, Garner looked for Braden to give a word of thanks for his help, but the British doctor had already left.

   The uninjured cadet approached Doctor Garner.  “Your presence is requested at Admiral Forrester’s office now.  He wants a complete explanation of what just happened.”

   Nodding in apprehension, Garner went off to see the man in charge of overseeing the whole installation.  His hopes of the project working seemed to be in jeopardy.

   Meanwhile, Sam made his way back to the social lounge down the hall from his quarters.  The medical area was too crowded and he would only get in the way in his wheelchair.  Besides, he could find no trace of Doctor Garner anywhere.  Just as he reached for the radio knob, Al appeared through the Imaging Chamber Door.

   “Sam, what’s wrong, you look like hell!” he stopped short.  “Wait a minute, a wheelchair again?  This room is familiar too.  What the hell is going on here?”

   “I’m Ohdee again, Al.  It’s eight months later, and I’m back again.  And if you had the near death experience I just did you’d look this bad too,” Sam wheezed as he tried to refrain from coughing.

   “Calm down, Sam, tell me what happened?”

   With ragged breathing, Sam tried to retell the story.  “Explosion…in lab…big bolt of lightning…missed me…grazed cadet…blew both doors off…” Coughing overtook him again.  Al watched as he spit up more reddish-brown blood.

  “Jesus, Sam, we have to get you outta here.”

   “Ziggy…running?” Sam asked between coughs.

   “Barely.  Hawkins is ready to slit our wrists here.  You Leaped just as he was about to join our neural-link and then he saw Ohdee as you in the Waiting Room acting like he’s died and gone to heaven.  We’re almost out of time here, Sam.  Tina and Edward are feeding Ziggy every scrap of power they can.  I think they've illegally tapped into some outside power companies, but I don’t want to know about it.”

   “Nothing has changed since last eight months?”

   Al checked the handlink.  “Ziggy says it’s December 3rd, 1959.  There’s a high probability that you have to stop both Hudson and Garner’s projects from succeeding.  How you can do all this in a wheelchair, God only knows.  I just hope to hell Ohdee’s date of death isn’t for a while yet.”

   As Sam replied, “I hope so, too,” the Door opened, although Sam couldn’t see who had entered.

   “It’s General Hawkins,” Al hissed.  In a louder voice, he said, “What do you want General?”

   “You tell me, Calavicci.  Your damned computer told me that you needed to meet with me in here immediately.  Almost interrupted my call.  Whatever it is you want, make it quick.  If you think I will make anymore deals with you, then you are sadly mistaken.”

   “Why, Ziggy, that sneaky…” Al reached out to grab the General’s arm in an attempt to establish connection to the neural-link.  Sam watched in total confusion, as Al appeared to grab thin air.

   The room around Al and the General sparked briefly with an image of Sam’s location, but quickly flashed to nothingness.  Recoiling in anger, Hawkins screamed at Calavicci, “What the hell are you trying to do? I will make sure you are definitely at the top of the list of people I plan to press charges against.”

   The Door opened as Hawkins stormed out again.  The handlink in Al’s hand squealed at him.

  “Uh, Sam, I gotta leave for a while.  Ziggy is about to experience another power drop-off, and I don’t want to be stuck in here again.  Edward and Tina are looking for another place to steal power from.”  With a whoosh, Al was gone again.

   Sam’s mind was spinning.  Ziggy is dying, and Garner’s experiment might not work after all.  What should I do?  Right now, I don’t care about putting right what went wrong, even if I am to blame for any of it.’

   Music wouldn’t help now, he surmised.  Guiding the wheelchair, he traveled down towards the medical area.  Perhaps good news concerning the injured cadet would make him feel better.  Before long, he found himself in the main office of the medical area.  Two medical specialists were there talking.  Sam overheard one say to the other, “He’ll experience some paralysis in his left arm and have one massive head-ache, but he should recover.  That was a major shock to his system; I’m surprised it didn’t short out his brain.  I think it’s time we checked up on him again, amazing how fast he’s awake and coherent.” 

   The two specialists left, one of them placing on the counter a medical folder.  Sam wheeled up and took a look through it, letting his knowledge of first aid seep into his memory.  Sam agreed with the specialist’s assessment, adding that the cadet probably had some minor burns, and did wonder if the electrical overload caused any brain damage at all.  Sam scanned through the file and then nearly dropped it as he saw the name of the cadet being treated.






Thursday, December 3rd, 1959 


   Stunned by the new development of the cadet’s identity, Sam raced back in the wheelchair to his room, hoping that Al would return soon to give him the information.  It created a new wrinkle.  Who was Sam really here for now?  Was it Hudson, Garner, or this injured cadet?  He paused as he approached Garner’s office, wondering if he had returned from where he had gone off to. 

   Barely audible, Sam could hear sounds of things being moved inside the office.  He knocked on the door, and suddenly the noises stopped.

   “Doctor Garner?” he called through the door.  “I can hear you in there.  It’s me, Ohdee.”

   The door opened.  Expecting to see Garner, he was shocked to see Doctor Braden behind the door.  Sam turned to leave, but Braden was quick and rushed Sam back into the room and locked the door.

   “How did you get in here?” asked Sam.

   Braden didn’t appear to hold anything back. “No one was looking in medical.  I stole his keys out of his lab coat.  He’ll be tied up for hours explaining his mess to Admiral Forrester.  One normally doesn’t see that man, but if you do, it will be time consuming, I assure you.”

   “What are you doing in here then?”

   “Quite obvious, I would think, Ohdee.”  Braden sneered at him.  “I’m looking for whatever I can get my hands on.  For years, I played the good boy, doing whatever I could in the scientific community.  Eventually, I gained enough trust to be recruited for this top secret installation.  Oh, don’t worry, I am no Communist.  I am into self-profit, of course.  I sincerely hope that erases any doubts in your mind.  By the way, speaking of erasing things.” He pointed to the wall behind the Leaper.

   Sam looked over at the chalkboard.  It was now completely erased.  His heart sank as he realized his chances of getting Home now were slim.  “How could you do this?”  the words were barely a whisper.

   “You really think I’d erase that without taking pictures?”  Braden held up a small camera and a large briefcase.  “I’ve got everything Doctor Garner ever put down in writing concerning his Time project.  Oh, yes, I know all about that.  Drugged a cadet a few months back and he spilled his guts about the project he was guarding.  Unfortunately, he died shortly after from my interrogation.  I made it look like a suicide.”

   Sam could only sit in horror as Braden continued, “What I really wanted was the Golden Goose, Doctor Hudson’s bomb experiment.  I could’ve made a fortune selling that to other world powers.  But damn his photographic memory, he keeps everything in his brain.  No files or paperwork to steal.  I couldn’t just drug him to get the information.  If a doctor turned up drugged after the death of the cadet, this installation would be shut down, and I’d be sent back to England.”

   Braden set the briefcase down and opened it up.  “However, I think you may have a story or two to tell me.”  He produced a syringe and advanced forward.

   Just as a scream for help was about to let loose from Sam’s mouth, his illness kicked in and he began coughing uncontrollably.  Unable to fend off his attacker, Sam Beckett slipped into unconsciousness as the drug that was now administered to his body went into complete effect.



   The injured cadet was lying in bed, some gauze wrapped around his left arm.  All he wanted was to be left alone and didn’t want his fellow cadets to see him like this.  He knew he would never hear the end of his ordeal.

   “Hey Shockey, how are ya feeling?” said the cadet that was with him at the time of his mishap.

   “Shockey?” chuckled a different cadet.  “I like that nickname.  Have to tell the others about that one.”

   “Very funny guys,” Shockey said.  “I could have been killed.  Besides this killer head-ache, I really feel fine.  Wish I could get back to my post.”

   “What’s left of your post you mean,” said the first cadet.  “The security doors were blown clean off.  Tomlinson is watching the area now.  What a mess.”

   They all turned as Garner ran into the room in complete panic.

   “What’s wrong, doctor?” the first cadet asked.

   “I can’t find my keys and my office has been broken into.  Someone has ransacked all of my files, my papers are missing.  I need to find Ohdee.”

   The two uninjured cadets headed for the door.  “We’ll begin a complete search and alert each wing,” said the first cadet.  “A door to door search should provide something.”

   “But won’t most of the scientists’ doors be locked?  Most of us carry the only key to our office doors.”  Garner then picked up the phone on the wall.

   “What are you doing?” Shockey asked.

   “The Admiral probably has a key to each room.” Then into the phone, “Yes, Admiral Forrester please.  This is Doctor Garner calling…”

   As the cadets hurried out the door to begin their search, Shockey started putting his uniform back on, strapping his holster in place.



   Fighting a sea of darkness, Sam’s eyes fluttered open, and he discovered he was in another person’s office.  The overhead light was turned off, only a small desk lamp was on, and even that hurt his eyes to look at.  He realized the drug in his system must have caused eye dilation.

   “So you have awakened, Ohdee.”  Sam heard Doctor Braden approach.  The Leaper tried to move but found himself tied to the wheelchair and a towel placed in his mouth.  “The knock-out drug appears to have run its course.  The effects should wear off in a few seconds, so there should be no interference for this.”  Sam saw another syringe heading his way, his eyes widened.

   Braden laughed.  “I figured you’d be used to needles by now.”  Quickly, the doctor plunged the needle into the back of Sam’s neck.  “I need to work quickly,” the doctor continued.  Seconds later, he withdrew the needle from Sam’s neck.  “It will be quite some time before I am discovered, but you have attracted my curiosity.” 

   The words seemed to echo slowly in his skull as the truth serum coursed through him.  Sam shook in the wheelchair, trying to fight it.  The effort tired him out and he began to lose focus as everything became blurry.

   “That will do you no good, I am afraid, Ohdee.  You see, since I have been here, there have been a few odd occurrences concerning you.  First of all, there was that business with the different blood samples.  Hudson dismissed it that your blood was mixed up with another person’s sample.  I disagree.  I was in charge of filing those samples.  Interesting, that for one day, your blood type completely changed.  Then eight months later, Doctor Garner takes you along to witness his experiment, odd considering he barely spends time with you.  And what does a person with a low IQ need to be doing around a high level scientific project like that if that person is not part of the experiment?  Curious indeed!” Braden checked his watch.  “The drug should be in your system completely by now.”

   The doctor removed the towel.  Sam was in a state of heightened awareness.  He felt himself floating, unaware of the restraints keeping him in the wheelchair as his out of body experience kept escalating.  The desire to yell for help was non-existent.  He failed to even notice Braden place a tape recorder next to him and activate the record button.

   “We shall start with something basic.” Braden said into the recorder, slowly and deliberately.  “What is your name?”

   At first, Sam’s lips twitched, as if some part of his awareness was fighting to answer.  Eventually, the truth serum won through.  Slowly, Sam mumbled, “My name is Doctor Samuel Beckett.”

   The look on Braden’s face was obvious that he wasn’t expecting that.  “Doctor Samuel Beckett?  Is that your true name Ohdee?”

   “I am who I say I am.”

   “In that case, what are you a doctor of?”

   “I have six doctorates,” Sam replied.  “Medicine, ancient languages, quantum physics…”

   “Quantum Physics?  Did you help Doctor Garner with his project concerning quantum physics?”

   “I finished his equations for him.”

   “How is that possible? Ohdee never completed basic education.”

   “Ohdee never completed it.  I am not Ohdee.”

   Braden tried a new line of questioning.  “How is it that you are here now, Doctor Beckett?”

   “I came here from the future.”

   “How did you get here from the future?”

   “My experiment malfunctioned and brought me here.”

   “What experiment would that be?”

   Without hesitation, Sam replied, “Project Quantum Leap.”

   “What does this Project Quantum Leap do?”

   “Project Quantum Leap is a time travel experiment that was designed to allow an observer to travel in time within their own lifetime. I can only go as far back as the date of my birth.”

   “How is it that everyone including myself can only see you as Ohdee?”

   “When I leap in time, I exchange places with another person.  People can only see and hear me as the person I have replaced.”

   “Is there anyone who can see you for yourself?”

   “Al can.  As can animals and little children under the age of four.”

   “Who is this Al?”

   “Al Caleeche.”  Whether it was fatigue or the effects of the drug, Sam could only slur Al’s last name.  Braden would have no way of knowing that piece of information was wrong.

   “What does this Al do?”

   “He is the link to my present.  As a holographic three-dimensional image, he appears to me through my brainwaves and tells me what I need to know about where I am.”

   “What makes Al’s appearances possible?”

   “Ziggy, the parallel-hybrid computer that runs Quantum Leap.  The computer allows Al to see me in the Imaging Chamber.”

   “Imaging Chamber?” Braden looked over to make sure the recorder was getting everything.  “Let’s get back to this Leaping business.  Where does the person you replace go?”

   “He is in my present in the Waiting Room.”

   “What goes on in there?”

   “The person I have replaced remains there until I Leap again.  Everyone in there sees me as my true self.”

   “Is this Leaping continuous, do you ever stop and go back to your present?”

   “My experiment malfunctioned.  I stepped into the Accelerator prematurely and as a result I have become trapped in time.”

   “Is there a connection between your project and Doctor Garner’s?”

   “Yes.  It is much like my Accelerator but not as advanced.”

   “Are you here to witness the testing of Garner’s experiment?”

   “I am not sure.”

   “Why exactly are you here?”

   “Ziggy says I am here to stop both Hudson and Garner’s experiments.”

   “Interesting.  But it seems you have been trumped, doctor.  I still have plans for Hudson but it is in my power to take care of Garner for you.  In theory, with all the equations, the files, and the schematics I took from Garner’s office, can a project like yours be reproduced?”


   “Thank you, Doctor Beckett.  That was all I needed to know.  With your help, I look to become quite rich.  It won’t take long before Garner comes back, so I am afraid I will have to, forgive my usage, accelerate my plans. “  Braden started to pack the tape recorder in his briefcase.  “Now that I know that this project can be created and will work, I will take Garner’s files, destroy his Displacer Unit, and sell all of these secrets to whichever person or world super power cares to pay me a king’s ransom.  All of my patience will finally pay off.”

   Reaching into his desk drawer, Braden pulled out a revolver.  “Your usefulness to me has reached an end, Doctor Beckett.”  The doctor leveled the gun at Sam’s head but then thought better of it.  “Better not, too much noise and mess.”  He then picked up another needle off his desk.  “This should do the job nice and quietly.”

   Just as he was about to administer the lethal injection, the door suddenly sprung open and a cadet, the one who was with Shockey, burst into the room.  In fear, Braden dropped the needle and picked up his revolver.  Shots were exchanged.  Being in the dimly lit room gave Braden the advantage, for the cadet was struggling to see where his target was. 

   The cadet’s shot went wide of its target, while Braden’s was accurate.  The cadet took a bullet to the head and fell back, firing off a shot as he fell.  In his drug-induced state, Sam never realized he was in the crossfire.  He never felt the bullet tear through his back and burst out of the left side of his chest.  With the shock of the wound so great, he passed out, blood oozing from his wounds.

   Thinking Sam dead, Braden grabbed his large briefcase and ran out the door.  Seconds later, Garner followed immediately by Admiral Forrester entered the room.  The Admiral pulled his skeleton key out of the door and proceeded to examine the dead cadet while Garner rushed in to see Sam.

   “God, no!” cried the doctor as he grabbed a pair of scissors off the desk and quickly cut through the bonds that held Sam to the chair to examine his injuries.  The Admiral came over and checked him.  “He’s still alive but barely.  He needs medical attention now.”

   Somehow, Sam fought his way back to consciousness, the truth serum was wearing off.

   “He’s waking.” Garner could hear Sam look up with almost sightless eyes, murmuring something faintly.  Leaning closer, Garner could hear Sam say, “Braden…Accelerator…Take me…Dying…”

   Garner turned to the Admiral.  “Sir, Doctor Braden is about to destroy my project.  Get some men there quickly.”  The Admiral immediately rushed into the hallway, almost knocking over Shockey who was eavesdropping outside the door.  Adjusting his holster, the injured cadet headed towards Garner’s experiment, intent on not missing out on any action.

   Inside Braden’s office, Sam was getting paler by the minute.  Blood was seeping through Garner’s hands, not sure what he should do.

   “Take me…Accelerator…”Sam gargled through a mouth full of blood.  “Accelerate me…before Braden…” Sam drifted back into a sea of darkness.






Thursday, December 3rd, 1959 


   The wheelchair holding a dying Sam Beckett raced through the hallways of the installation.  Out of breath, Doctor Garner pushed it as fast as he could.   As they neared the hallway that led to the Time Displacer Unit, they found Shockey getting ready to enter the corridor, his revolver drawn.  On the ground in the corridor lay the dead body of cadet Tomlinson, his face twisted in shock and recognition.  A needle appeared to have been jammed in his neck.

   “Stay back,” Shockey said upon seeing them approach.  “Braden is in there and he has a hostage.”

   “Who is it, cadet?”

   “I don’t know, Doctor Garner, I think it might be Doctor Hudson.”

   Garner rushed past the cadet, pushing Sam forward around Tomlinson.  They were both running out of time.  Braden must not destroy anything.  Cursing under his breath, Shockey followed them down the corridor. 

   At the end, all three looked in to see a handful of cadets with their weapons aimed at Braden.  The British doctor was standing in front of the Displacer booth, Hudson standing with hands clasped behind his head in front of him with a gun pressed against his backside.  On the floor nearby lay Admiral Forrester in a pool of blood with a gunshot wound to the face.

   A look of maniacal fear showed on Braden’s face.  “Everyone will back off and let me through the hallway.  If you dare not wish to share your Admiral’s fate, I suggest you adhere to my demands.”

   “Let the doctor go, Braden.  We can discuss your demands,” said the cadet apparently now in charge following the death of Admiral Forrester.

   “You can’t escape, doctor,” Shockey chimed in. “You only have four bullets left in your gun.  You can’t shoot all of us.”

   Noticing Garner and Sam now in the room, Braden seemed wilder than before.  “You cannot stop me either, Garner, or you Doctor Beckett.”

   Everyone looked around in confusion.  Garner could only stare down at the body of the man bleeding to death in the wheelchair.  “He knows who you are, Sam,” he whispered.

   “Yes, I said Doctor Beckett,” Braden screamed.  “You are all fools.  He may look like Ohdee but he is a time traveler from the future.  He has come here to destroy Hudson’s project.  I am trying to save him from Beckett.” His eyes returned to the cadets.  “I will not waste anymore time, if you do not wish to see Doctor Hudson killed, move away from the door and let me pass."

   The cadets stood there, guns aimed at Hudson and Braden.  They were struggling with their consciences.  Should Braden be allowed to leave or should they shoot, hoping that they miss Hudson.  It was too big a gamble and the cadets knew it. Reluctantly, the cadet in charge ordered.  “Stand down, let them pass!”

   Reluctantly, the other cadets lowered their weapons.  Braden nudged Hudson to walk before him.  As they moved, Braden quickly aimed his gun at the control console and fired a quick shot.  Hudson flinched as the bullet slammed into the control mechanism.  Sparks and smoke started to creep out of the bullet hole.

    “Damn you, Braden!”  Garner started to run forward but Shockey held him back.  Instead, the doctor looked down to see more blood seeping through Sam’s mouth, drooling down onto his gray sweats, staining them dark red.

   The cadets instantly retrained their guns on Braden and Hudson.

   “I’ll kill him if I have to,” ranted Braden putting the gun to Hudson’s head.  The cadets again put down their weapons, unable to get a clean shot off.  “I have three bullets left but I know you’d rather not see any more innocent people get hurt.”  In Hudson’s ear, he whispered, “You’re coming with me.  I know you have all the knowledge of your bomb experiment locked up inside your head.  I’m going to squeeze that out of you before you die.”

   Braden slowly led Hudson past the cadets and down the corridor.  “You may wish to stand back, I have this hallway charged with explosives.  A little insurance policy I cooked up before destroying Garner’s office.”  Garner moved Sam to the smoking console and the cadets ran away from the doorway towards the inside of the room as a loud explosion filled their ears.  Dust seeped into the room as a large pile of rubble from the hallway sealed them in.

   “We’re trapped!” Shockey yelled, coughing from the smoke.  “It will take a while before anyone can dig us out!”

    Garner wasn’t paying attention, his hands working the controls trying to assess the damage from Braden’s bullet.  Sweat poured down his face as he started to bring the power controls on line.

   “What the hell are you doing?” asked Shockey. “Are you mad?”

   “I’m praying to God this machine will work.  One innocent man may not have to die in here.”

   “The last time this machine was running, it put me in the medical wing.”

   “I know where my mistake was.  It’ll work now as long as Braden didn’t do any permanent damage.”

   “What’s the point, doctor?  Who will it save?”

   Garner pointed at Sam.  “Him.”



   No one else in the installation seemed to notice Hudson and Braden move down a side corridor as cadets and scientists rushed to the corridor that was now blocked off by debris.  Swiftly, each man began trying to dig their way to the people trapped on the other side.

   Before long, Braden guided Hudson to an elevator and they stepped inside.  The British doctor selected the ground floor button and soon they were moving upward.

   “Just a reminder, Hudson.  Once we reach the hangar, you try anything funny and I will kill you.  I’d rather have your secrets instead.   I will require one favor from you, however.”  With a quick strike, Braden slammed his gun into the back of Hudson’s head.  With a groan, the prisoner fell to the floor.

   Seconds later, the elevator door slid open.  Thinking fast, Braden put Hudson’s arm around his shoulders and proceeded to drag him into the hangar area while carrying his briefcase in the other hand.  This place also seemed to be abandoned except for one guard.  Seeing Braden carrying Hudson he ran over.

   “What’s going on?” inquired the guard.

   “There was an accident down near Doctor Garner’s labs.  People are trapped behind rubble still.  Hudson was knocked over by the explosion.  Medical said to get him ready in a chopper to be flown to a hospital.  He can’t be examined for his injuries here.”

   The guard noticed blood trickling from the back of Hudson’s head where Braden had struck him and without another word assisted Braden in strapping Hudson into the passenger side of a helicopter that was sitting just outside the hangar.

   “How soon before a pilot can get him outta…” The guard never finished his sentence as Braden shot him in the chest, the dead man sliding against the copter to the ground.  

   The sound of a bullet hitting the side of the copter made Braden duck around to the other side.  Apparently there was a second guard in the hangar.  Braden cursed himself for his carelessness.  But luck was on his side once again; the second guard was now emerging from the hangar in plain view.  Aiming through the cockpit past the unconscious Hudson, Braden emptied a bullet into the guard.

   Climbing into the pilot’s seat, he began flipping switches to get the helicopter ready for take-off.  Within seconds, the blades of the rotor came to life and Braden was able to take off. 

   “I bet you didn’t know I’m full of surprises, Hudson,” he said as he maneuvered around to fly across the desert, leaving the installation miles behind them.  So intent was the Britain on his flying that he didn’t notice Hudson’s hand unbuckle his own safety harness.  As the helicopter gained altitude, Hudson tried to remove the harness and bolt out of the cockpit.  Braden managed to grab onto a piece of Hudson’s lab coat, keeping him inside.

   “Don’t be a fool, Hudson.  We could make millions from your ideas.”

   “You’ll never get my ideas.  No one will.”  Hudson twisted with all of his might, his arms becoming free of his lab coat, leaving it behind in Braden’s hand.

   “No!” Braden screamed trying to regain control of his craft as Hudson flew out of the cockpit to his death below.  The helicopter continued to fly away over the desert, the pilot silently contemplating what he could do with the contents of his briefcase, assured that at least he would profit from that.  He patted the briefcase, having the need to confirm he still had it.



   Sam was barely conscious again.  The pain was growing intolerable.  He knew he was dying, nothing could stop it.  It would not be from cancer, but from a bullet wound to the chest.  In his delirium, he thought he almost heard a whooshing noise.  A figure in white stood before him.

   “Sam?!  Oh, God, Sam, what happened?”

   “I’m dead,” Sam mumbled to the hologram.

   “Not yet.  Stay with me, Sam.”  He doubted his friend could hear him, but Al went on anyway.  “Edward and Tina did it.  They got Ziggy a whole butt load of power.  That egotistical computer told me I had to come in here right now.”  Tears started to form around the Admiral’s eyes.  “Don’t you die on me, Sam Beckett.  Damn you, don’t you die!  Wake up, Sam!  The technicians are at the Project, they’re gonna pull the plug on Ziggy any minute. We’re out of time! Sam! Wake up!”

   By now, the cadets had started to gather around Garner and Sam, not sure as to what was going on.  They could all feel their hair start to stand on end as the power was coming online.  Electrical sparks emanated from the conduits and turbines.

   Al was still screaming at Sam.  “Dammit, wake up.  You have to do something.”  The handlink yelped.  “Sam, Ziggy says something major has just happened in the timeline.  The nozzles are about to cut power to Ziggy right now! Do something!”

   Somehow, Al was getting through.  With uncanny strength, Sam pulled himself out of the wheelchair.  Garner and Shockey rushed over. 

   “Accelerate me…now…” was all Sam could say.  Suddenly, he toppled over before anyone could catch him.  He fell on his back, hardly feeling the pain anymore.  The Leaper was ready to embrace death.  He could feel it coming for him.  The void wouldn't be blue this time, he was hoping for a white tunnel.

   Garner turned to Shockey.  “Help me put him in the booth.”

   The cadet stared at the doctor.  “This is crazy.  These experiments never work.  I refuse to believe that your machine will help this man!”

   Al stood there frozen.  He knew now that Sam was right about his only chance to escape death.  “Do it!” he screamed almost hysterically at Shockey.  “Get him in the booth!”

   “Look, cadet, this man has nothing to lose.  He either dies while we stand here, or he either lives or dies in my machine.”

   Shockey was about to respond to Garner when suddenly he stared at Sam.  “What the hell?  He’s changing!”

   Garner, Shockey, and all the other cadets stood around the dying man they thought was Ohdee.  Somehow, it appeared to be a man in his early fifties, with graying hair and crow’s feet, staring back up at them.

   “They can see you, Sam,” Al said in astonishment.  Then he heard a cadet exclaim, “Hey, who is that guy in the white military uniform? How did he get in here?”

   “Who the hell are you?” a second voice aimed directly at Al. 

   “What?” was all the Hologram could say in shock.

   “You didn’t answer Shockey’s question,” came the voice of yet another cadet, “Who are you?”

   “Oh my God, they can see me too!  Sam’s dying must be altering his brainwaves.”

   Garner raced over to the cadets.  “We have no more time.  This man is dying.  Get him into the booth, now.”

   Shockey and the other cadets gently picked up Sam and place him inside the booth.  Meanwhile, Garner was flipping switches on the control console.  “Just about ready to initiate Time Displacer Field.  Everyone stand back from the booth, the glass door is gone.  Who knows what electrical energy might come out of there.”

   The cadets quickly moved back to stand with Garner and Al, who kept worriedly looking down at the handlink. 

   “What is that thing?”

   Al turned to face Shockey.  “It’s a monitoring device, cadet…” Al looked at the name on Shockey’s ID badge and nearly dropped the handlink.  It read Hawkins. 

   “One minute to Time Displacement Field.”  Garner increased the power output.

   Looking past Garner, Al noticed a security camera on the wall like the one in Ohdee’s quarters.  Thinking fast, he rushed over to stand in front of the camera.  “General Hawkins, this is Admiral Al Calavicci!” and as many times as he could kept shouting into the camera.  “Project Quantum Leap! Project Quantum Leap! Project Quantum Leap!”  He could hear his voice quiver as the power from Ziggy was tapering off.

   No one seemed to notice that Al was starting to fade.  All eyes were transfixed on Sam in the booth.

   The energy in the room was staggering.  Everyone tried to keep from being knocked over from the pressure that the force of the power was building up.  The crowd tensed as Garner’s countdown neared the end.

   “5…4…3…2…1…Initiating Time Displacement Field!”  The doctor hit the big red switch.  The booth containing Sam’s dying body seemed to glow.  Small charges of electricity seemed to course through him, and he writhed in pain from the jolts he was receiving.

   “Sam!!!”  Al yelled, and then he was gone.  Ziggy was shut down.

   Streams of electricity burst out of the booth over Sam’s body, causing the cadets to take cover.  Garner stood his ground, confident that he would not be struck.  Lightning discharged bounced off the walls, one of them breaking the glass of the observation booth behind them. 

   Sam didn’t even notice.  He was in a dream state now.  Whiteness enveloped him and he no longer heard the roar of the machine or the crackle of electrical energy.  He was floating forward.

   “Where would you like to go, Sam Beckett?” asked a voice from his past.  It was Him.  The one Sam believed had been Leaping him around through time.

   “I want to go Home!”  Sam screamed back at the voice.  “But I can’t.”

   “You control your own destiny Sam.  You can go home anytime you want.”

   “Home.” The word echoed through Sam’s mind.  “Homeee….Hoooommmeeeeeeeeee…”

   The whiteness disappeared to be replaced by a blue void.  Sam Beckett Leaped.






Same day, March – 2004


   The Control Room was a state of chaos as technicians started removing panels to begin disconnection of Ziggy’s higher logic circuits.  Tina and Sinjin could only stand in fury, held back by Hawkins military personnel that had just arrived.  Tears were flowing down Tina’s face, knowing that the man who inspired Quantum Leap must be dead.  The General lit up a cigar and called for one of his men.

   “Guard, I am placing Admiral Al Calavicci under military arrest for insubordination.”

   “Yes, sir, General.”  The guard walked over to Al with a pair of handcuffs in his hand.

   “Dammit, General, you can’t do this!”  Al was still in grief over the dying friend he had left behind in the past, just having left the Imaging Chamber before the last scrap of power was denied to Ziggy.  He had to crawl through the narrow space that the Door barely allowed him to squeeze through.  Dirt now smudged his once dazzling white uniform.

   “Oh, but I have, Admiral.”  Hawkins walked up to the now shackled prisoner.  “This has gone far enough.  The technicians have begun the dismantling process, and you have ran out of time to convince me why I should save this Project.  As soon as I get an assessment of what needs to be done here, more of my personnel will be arriving within hours from Washington to make sure everyone is gone from here.   Personally, I’d worry more about finding a good lawyer.”

   The General turned to issue orders concerning the fate of Tina and Sinjin when Al barked, “You’re wrong, General.  I can prove that Doctor Beckett was in the past and that he changed history.  You were there when he died for Christ’s sake.”

   Hawkins blew cigar smoke in Al’s face.  “I’m through playing this game with you.  Doctor Beckett is playing his little games in that Waiting Room of yours.”

   Al stood his ground, resisting with all of his might to choke on the smoke.  “He changed history right in front of you, Shockey.”

    That got Hawkins attention.  “What did you call me?”

   “I think you heard me, Shockey!”

   “Where did you hear that name?”

   “When I was standing with Sam back in that installation you were stationed at back in 1959.”

   “No one has called me that name in over 40 years.  I made damn sure no one would call me that again.  That installation was top secret.  There’s no way you could have gotten access to those classified files.”

   “Didn’t have to.  Sam and I were there, Shockey.”

   The General raised his left arm in a threatening manner and suddenly brought it back down.  Al could tell he was obviously in pain.  “Hurt your arm, general?”

   “No, Admiral, it’s just old age.”

   “Amazing coincidence since that was the same arm you injured when you were hit by that blast of lightning.”  Hawkins jaw dropped as Al continued.  “You said it was convenience on my part that we failed to connect you to my neural-link with Sam.  I know what it is now.  That blast of electrical energy that knocked you on your ass did cause some neurological trauma.  Your brainwaves got scrambled because of it and it kept shorting out our attempts at establishing a connection.”

   “Now listen here, Admiral…”

   “No, dammit, you listen to me!” Al went for broke.  “You said if I could prove Sam changed time, that you would halt all this dismantling.  The whole time you’ve been here you have said that these top-secret experiments never work.  If only you’d just get the video footage of Garner’s lab the day he put Ohdee into his machine.  Are you so blind to the past that you have forgotten what happened back on that December day in 1959?”

   The General had started to walk away when Al’s last few words sunk into him.  He turned to the guard.  “Release this man at once.”  The guard removed the handcuffs as Hawkins turned to Al.  “I have tried so hard over the last four decades to forget what happened on that day.  So many people died needlessly because of that British madman.  The Admiral in charge of the base was murdered, many cadets, my friend Bert Tomlinson among them, were killed.  Then Doctor Hudson’s body was found dead in the middle of the desert miles away from the base.  The bizarre death of that guy with the cancer…”  Memories repressed over a long span of time began flooding back.  “Something bizarre happened that day but I can’t remember it.  So many deaths…”

   Al took pity on the man.  “I can fill in those missing memories.  Place a call and get the footage form Garner’s lab.”

   Sadness crept into the General’s eyes.  “I’m not sure I want to relieve that day.”  After a few long sighs, he said, “A deal is a deal.  I am a man of my word, even if I have been too stubborn to realize it.  I will make the call.  It will take some pulled strings, but I will have the footage here in a few hours.”  To the technicians he ordered, “Stop what you are doing.  Has the power been totally disconnected?”

  “No, sir,” said one technician.

  “Turn it back on, as much as you can get.  Admiral Calavicci, I am off to make that call.”

   An instant later from the General’s departure, the blue sphere that housed Ziggy began to swirl and return to life.

      Al marched over to Tina and Edward.  “I want the both of you to see if the Accelerator can be brought online and fired up.  If I can convince the General that this Project works, I’m gonna try to go back and save Sam from dying in that God-awful place.”

   “That’s a suicide mission, Al.  Do you even know if you’ll end up in 1959?  You could end up anywhere.  What if you can’t come back either?”

   “I’m willing to risk it, Edward.  Sam would do the same for me, in fact he did once.  He deserves a better fate then the one that he got.  I owe him more than that much.”

   “Who would be your Observer?  Gooshie was the last person that was linked to you and he’s gone.  Someone else would have to be prepped for the biochip.”

   Al gave a frustrated sigh.  “If I am successful with the General, then I’m afraid it will have to be you, Edward.”  The technician started to voice a protest when Al yelled, “Now get to work, that’s a direct order.”

   Speechless, Tina and Edward began their new assignment.

   “Ziggy?” Al yelled up at the globe.

   “Yessssss,” purred Ziggy, causing Tina and Sinjin to laugh out loud, fighting back tears of joy in spite of the current situation.

   “Glad to have ya back, sweetheart.”

   “I am pleased to.  Being dead was not enjoyable.  Admiral?”

   “Yeah, Zig?”

   The blue mist seemed to pause.  “Did I dream?”

   Before Al could respond, Ziggy chirped, “Doctor Beeks needs you in the Waiting Room, Admiral.”

   Al felt a lump in his throat.  He had forgotten that although Sam had died in 1959 his body was still in the present.  Was Ohdee still here, living his cancer-free days through Doctor Beckett?  “Tell her, I’m coming.”  His feet seemed to move for him as he walked to the Waiting Room door.

   Inside, Verbena Beeks looked up as he entered.  She was holding Sam’s limp wrist.  Al closed his eyes trying not to think of his friend’s fate.

   “He is still alive, Al,” she said.

   “What?” Al’s cigar fell to the floor.  “What’s happened?”

   “All I know is that as soon as the power came back a few minutes ago, Sam went comatose.  There is no evidence that Ohdee is still present.  Every reading I get says that Doctor Beckett is between Leaps again.

   Al walked over and kissed Beeks on the cheek.  “That’s the best news I have heard all day.”

   “You may want to reconsider that, Al.”

   “What do you mean?”

   “Ziggy says he is out of the timeline again.  The same readings he gave when he went back in time as himself.”

   “That makes no sense.  Sam is right here.  The last time he was back in time as himself, his body disappeared from this room.”



   Hours later, Al and the General were seated in one of the conference rooms that was located in the lower level that housed Sam’s abandoned offices. More of Hawkins men had arrived from Washington; one of them had brought the classified top-secret video footage along.  Al had ordered Sinjin to set up the video projector in the conference room so that it was linked to Ziggy.  Wires from the ceiling connected to the video projector on the table.

   “What you are about to see General,” Al said dimming the lights, “is classified top secret footage that has remain sealed until today.  Ziggy, roll the footage.”

   The projector started to spin the video reel.  The footage was grainy and showed signs of age, occasional bursts of static covered the audio.”

   “OK, General, explain to me what’s going on.”

   Hawkins stared at the screen, trying to compare what he has seeing to his memory.   “I can barely make out the commotion.  There are a lot of cadets in the room.  This camera is positioned at a bad angle, but it looks like…Yes…this is when Braden was holding Doctor Hudson at gunpoint.  Can you increase the audio here?”

   “Ziggy, boost audio two levels.”

   Distinctly, Braden’s voice came over the loudspeaker sin the conference room. “…Yes, I said Doctor Beckett.  You are all fools.  He may look like Ohdee but he is a time traveler from the future.  He has come here to destroy Hudson’s project…”

   “Right there, General.  He said Doctor Beckett twice.”

   “There could have been someone back there in 1959 named Beckett.  I never learned all the names of the scientists.”

   “Ziggy, play the last five seconds.”

   The video rewound sharply and then again audio could be heard.  “…fools.  He may look like Ohdee but he is a time traveler from the future.  He has come here to destroy Hudson’s project.”

   “Why would Braden say ‘time traveler from the future’?” asked Al.

   “Doctor Hudson died trying to escape from Braden.  Beckett wasn’t even near that to destroy anything. All I am thinking Admiral is that somehow you got hold of this video beforehand.  You learned all about what I experienced that day and have been using it to manipulate my stance on this project.  You have probably used that computer of yours to change the audio on it so I would hear what you want me to believe.  Beckett didn’t change time in this instance.”

   Gasping in bewilderment, Al could only sputter, “That’s not true. “  Angrily, he yelled, “Ziggy, resume playback.”

   They watched as Braden escorted Hudson out of the room while everyone else ran inside the room, just before the explosion rocked the room.  The camera jiggled so much from the blast it took awhile before the footage was viewable again.  The new scene showed a clear shot of Garner and Sam by the control console.  Al had trouble watching his friend rise out of the wheelchair a second time only to collapse on the floor.

   “Ziggy, can you zoom in or the man on the floor?”

   The picture on the view screen zoomed in tight on the face of the man on the floor.  It was the features of Ohdee, a man in his thirties with very little clumps of hair covered by cancer growths. 

   “What is the purpose of this, Calavicci?”

   Al bit on his cigar.  “Keep watching.”

   Suddenly, the young voice of Hawkins could be heard off screen, “What the hell? He’s changing.”

   Smoothly, the face of Ohdee melted into that of Sam’s.

   “That’s impossible.” Hawkins stated in denial.

   “Dammit, General, don’t repress what happened.  You were there.  Don’t you remember this happening?”

   They both looked again at the view screen as something odd began to happen.  In the background, people could be seen moving what could now be clearly visible as Sam’s body into the booth.  As the crowd moved back, something appeared to be dancing in front of the camera.  Faint whispering sounds could be heard.

   “Ziggy, rewind to the beginning of that mist and boost the sound 6 levels.”

    The video moved in reverse and then began to play again.  The mist appeared in front of the camera.  Now, new audio could be heard.  “General Hawkins, this is Admiral Al Calavicci!” Then over and over:  “Project Quantum Leap! Project Quantum Leap! Project Quantum Leap!”

   General Hawkins sat there in silence, not knowing what to believe.  Al thought there was more he could show yet.   “Ziggy, can you intensify the focus on the image of that mist distortion?  Keep going until there is an identifiable picture.”

   The video rewound again as Ziggy vastly increased the focus of the video. As it played forward, Al could barely contain his excitement.  It was a faint image of him, dressed in his white military fatigues screaming up at the camera.  He looked ghostly but it was unmistakably him.  Al could not gauge a reaction out of the General as the video continued.  Abruptly, Al faded out of the screen as the focus returned to normal.  The image was now that of Sam lying in the booth while charged lightning flashes danced around him.

   “Ziggy, zoom the footage in on Sam! From the waist up, please.

   The view screen showed Sam moving in convulsions as he was bombarded by electricity.  Suddenly he stopped moving, the body became a shell.  Suddenly a blue aura could be seen enveloping him.  A few seconds later, the face of Sam Beckett melted back into Ohdee’s.  The electrical charges began to sputter out as the group of cadets removed Ohdee from the booth and placed him in the wheelchair.  Seconds later, explosions rocked the back end of the room as the conduits, turbines, and energy sources that fed the Displacement booth began to collapse in a heap of burning metal.

   Doctor Garner could be seen entering the view screen.  “Sam? Can you hear me?  The Time Displacer has been destroyed. It will never work again.  Sam?”

   Ohdee’s sightless eyes looked up.  “Who is Sam? I…had a wonderful dream.  I was in a Waiting Room on my way to Heaven.  Even…the angels wore uniforms…I saw God…” Ohdee smiled and his eyes closed shut for the last time.  He was at peace.

   “Ziggy, stop the video please.”  Al got up out of his chair.  “I showed you the classified video, General.  Do whatever you want to the Project, I have had my say.”  He was almost out the door of the conference room when Hawkins said softly, “Wait.”

   Al stopped and turned to face the General.  Hawkins looked completely lost.  “I don’t remember much from that day back in 1959.  But I do remember those dying words.  “’Even the angles wear uniforms.  I saw God.’  Beckett was saying that in the Waiting Room this morning, long before you asked for that video to be delivered.  How could he have known?”

   The handlink in Al’s pocket chirped.  He took it out to see what was going on.  The colored cubes on the device seemed extraordinarily bright in the dimly lit room.

   “What is it, Ziggy?”

   “Doctor Beckett has reappeared in the timeline.”

   “Wonderful news.  I’ll be in the Waiting Room in a minute.”  He started to leave a second time.


   Al sighed in impatience.  “Now what, sir?”

   “That device you have in your hand.  That’s how you communicate with the computer, right?”

   “Yeah, so?”

   “Didn’t you tell me once that it was a monitoring device?”

   Al stared at the General open-mouthed, no words came to mind.

   “Before you go, Admiral, let me inform you of something.  As of this day in the month of March 2004, Project Quantum Leap will have the funding necessary for power and monetary aid.  I will personally see to it.  The Pentagon should be interested in the report I will give them.  Now that this Project works, I am sure the government will want to provide some input as to what it should be used for.  Dismissed!”

   Al saluted and walked out into the hallway.  As he stepped into the elevator, a sickening thought struck him.  Government input?  Did they just avoid one mess by leaping into another?’

   Ziggy buzzed him again.  The news that the computer had for him nearly made his knees buckle out from under him.



   Donna Eleese-Beckett and Sammy Jo Fuller were fighting the jet lag from their trip to Washington D.C.  They had struck out in their efforts to save the Project and crushed by their failure, arrived back at the Project when Ziggy broke the news to them that Al had convinced a General to keep things going.  Arriving at the Control Room, they found Al waiting for them, a sad look on his face.

   Donna hugged him, “I heard what you did, Al.  That’s great.”  She pulled away.  “What’s wrong? Is Sam all right?”

   “He’s fine,” Al said sadly.  “I think you’d better come with me.”  He led them both to the Waiting Room.  Inside Sam Beckett sat on the bed; a computer interface linked directly to Ziggy was by his side.

   Tears formed in Donna’s eyes.  She knew it was really her husband returned to her once again.  Running forward, she hugged him fiercely before kissing him as hard as she ever did in her life.  She clung on tightly to him, not even realizing that Sammy Jo was now piling on to the hug pile. 

“I’m so glad you made it home, dad,” she said through a river of tears.

   Sam looked up.  “Dad?”

   Donna looked him in the eyes.  “Sammy Jo knows you’re her father.  We both know.”

   Sammy Jo took her father by the arm.  “I think you and Donna need some time alone out of this room.”  She pulled up short as Sam refused to leave the bed.  “What’s wrong?”

   Sam looked over at Al.  “You didn’t tell them?”

   Grimly, Al replied.  “Not yet.  I didn’t have the heart to.”

   Donna’s eyes went wide.  “What is it? What haven’t you told me, Al?”

   “He made it back to us, Donna.  But on a technicality.”

   Sam’s wife wiped tears from her eyes.  “A technicality? What are you saying?”

   Sam took his wife’s hands.  “I Leaped home, but through another Accelerator.  Because I wasn’t tied in to Ziggy when I did it…”

   “You’re going to leap out again.”  Donna buried her face in her husband’s chest, weeping uncontrollably.  “When?”

   “We’re not sure yet,” said Al, “When Ziggy got her power switched back on, Sam became tied in to Ziggy again because he was in the Waiting Room.  As soon as Ziggy gets full power, I’m assuming.”

   “When will that be?”

   Al lowered the handlink.  “Soon.  Very soon.”

   More sobbing from the doorway made everybody turn.  Verbena, Tina, and Sinjin were on one side of the doorway, Beth and her daughters on the other.   Suddenly, a young boy ran through the doorway and jumped on the pile of people hugging Sam, who looked confused.

   “Our son, Stephen,” Donna explained, kissing Sam once more.  Then the Beckett family stepped away from Sam, all of them looking at Al.

   The Observer approached the Leaper, his eyes misting over.  “Dammit, Sam.  I’m sorry.”

   Sam couldn’t help but smile as his friend approached him.  “It’s OK, Al.”

   Al wiped a tear away.  “It’s not OK.  I’ve already lost Gooshie, and now you again.  I…” Words could not express the value of his friendship with Sam.  He didn’t have to, it went beyond words.  It was a brotherhood.  Al started to extend his hand to shake Sam’s, and then at the last second, he threw his arms around Sam in a tight hug.  “I’m afraid a handshake won’t do this time.”

   “That’s just so beautiful,” cried Sinjin.

   “Shhhhh,” Tina sobbed.

   Suddenly everyone else in the room approached Sam and Al and created the largest group hug in the history of Quantum Leap.  Not a dry eye was in the room at that moment in time.  Everyone wished it could remain frozen forever.

   “We’ll get you back for good, Sam,” Al croaked.

   “If you don’t, I’m gonna find a way to kick your butt.” Sam managed to joke.

   Suddenly, Ziggy’s voice broke through the moment.  “I am approaching 99 percent.  It is almost time.”

   No one seemed to care as Ziggy achieved a hundred percent power.  The bond from the group hug only made everyone stronger.  Sam felt the tingling sensation again and with a smile looked at all the people that were important in his life.  If I ever die during a Leap, I will always have this moment for eternity,’ he thought.  “I’ll return…” he said, and he leaped, leaving everyone hugging the vacant body of a man lost in time.

   Dejected, everyone marched out of the Waiting Room.  Al and Sinjin stayed behind.

   “Damn irony!” Sinjin cursed.

   “What was that, Edward?”

   “It’s not fair.  We saved the Project to make sure Doctor Beckett gets back home.  He returns home, and has to leave again because we saved the Project.  Irony is so damned infuriating.”

   “Well, Edward, that’s one belief we both have in common.” 

   Sinjin smiled at that as he started to wheel the computer Sam was using to interface with Ziggy.

   “What the hell is wrong with the screen?”

   “I don’t know, Admiral.”  Sinjin tried accessing the program that was currently running.  Over and over the screen repeated: DONNA.  “It’s caught in a loop and I can’t break the programming.  I don’t think I should either.”

   “Why is that?”

   “Whatever Doctor Beckett did, he encrypted this into Ziggy’s main software.  Trying to remove it might damage Ziggy.  I think it’s a code for something.”

   A smile crossed over Al’s face.  “Yeah.  A code for something he hopes he’ll never forget in the past.  Don’t try to change it.  Leave it as it is.”



   Desperately in need of sleep, Al saw Hawkins off to the landing pad.  After a brief conversation, the General boarded the helicopter and was flown away into the desert night.  Groggy, the Admiral then returned to his quarters to get some sleep.  A teary-eyed Beth was waiting for him.

   “He’ll come back,” she said.

   “I know.”  Al barely realized he answered her as a faraway look entered his eyes.

   “What is it?” his wife asked.

   “I can’t help but wonder what this past Leap accomplished.  Hudson and Garner’s experiments were destroyed.  Hudson took his with him to his death.”

   “But that’s not what bothers you?”

   Al leaned back in his bed.  “It’s the government, Beth.  Hawkins is probably gonna try to convince the Pentagon to let him run the Project his way.  The military could then dictate what Sam’s priorities are.”

   “Such as?”

   “Instead of helping people one at a time, what if the government keeps trying to use Sam to change big historical events?  Like 9-11 perhaps?  Or take on Bin Laden?  Just have a bad feeling about all the things that will snowball from this Leap.”  He kissed Beth goodnight and started to close his eyes.

   “What else, Al?”

   Sitting up, Al looked at his wife.  “There’s no fooling you.  It’s about Garner’s project to build a time machine.  It was destroyed in the past when Sam was leaped back to us.  Without Sam, Garner can’t rebuild the Project.”

   “Why is that?”

   “After I left the Imaging Chamber, I spoke with Hawkins.  He remembered something about that day in 1959 that he felt might be a danger to this Project.  He told me that Doctor Braden took all of Garner’s notes with him when he escaped.  Makes you wonder, though, if anything will hit the fan because of that.”






   Sitting in Nathaniel Lothoman’s office, Zoë looked through the old tattered briefcase that sat on her desk.  There was no turning back now, her lover had now become more than a man, he had become Lothos.  She would not mourn his fate, just as she did not mourn the fate of her father.

   It was her idea ten years ago to introduce her father, Andrew Braden; to the man she was emotionally attached to, her Nathaniel.  She recalled how for decades her father had carried around secrets of some military installation.  It took him forever to make a fortune off of it as the schematics and the notes seemed years ahead of its time for anyone to comprehend.  He had to wait for the right moment.

   Nathaniel had been looking for something extraordinary that would put him on top and forever push fellow scientist Doctor Sam Beckett out of the media spotlight.  Lothoman had hated him ever since he won that Nobel Peace Prize.  But Zoë’s father would change that with the secrets he proposed to sell.  Nathaniel paid a pretty penny for those files, realizing that he could build himself a time machine.

   After years on the run with her father growing up, Zoë should have learned to never trust the man.  At the time that Nathaniel had bought the secrets, her father assured them both that he had never sold the secrets to anyone else.  Right after Lothoman had given his millions to Braden’s bank account, Zoë had discovered that he had recently sold the secrets to the Chinese government and some corporation in Australia.  Betrayed by her father’s lies, she murdered him and drained his bank account of all of its millions.  Taking all the extra money, Zoë and Nathaniel were able to complete their working project.

   The arrival of Thames into her office broke her free of her reverie.  “Hiya, Zoë baby.”

   “What news do you have for Lothos?”

   “Well, sweet thang, my spies have informed me that the Chinese and the Australians are very close to firing up their Accelerators.  Mmm-hmmm, what a race we have going on here.”

   “Oh, shut up, Thames.  Your sources are positively certain of this?”

   “Would I lie to you?”

   “I hope for your sake, you haven’t.  What about the girl? My trainee brat.  Is she ready yet?”

   Thames licked his lips.  “She’s fine but not in your league, darling.  I think we’ve done all we can with her.  Got her locked up in her cell as we speak.”

   “Get her ready.  She goes into the Accelerator now.”

   “Damn, honey, jumping the gun are we?”

   “I have my reasons, Thames.  Get out and follow your assignment.”

   Thames bowed, blowing her a kiss as he left the office.  Zoë watched in disgust.  “This will be our day, Nathaniel.”

    Reaching across her desk, she hit the play button on a very old tape recorder.

   “We shall start with something basic” Zoë heard her father say, slowly and deliberately.  “What is your name?”

   A slight pause and then Zoë heard, “My name is Doctor Samuel Beckett.”

   She hit the stop button and marched to the cave where Lothos and the Accelerator waited.  Everything was online.  Alia was in a Fermi suit, half awake.  Thames had used too much drug on her.  No matter, Zoë grabbed Alia’s face in her palm.  “You have but one simple task, my pet.  Find this Doctor Sam Beckett and kill him.  I don’t care how but you will find his Project and he will be destroyed.  Or I will find you and kill you myself.”

   Thames grabbed Alia and placed her into the Accelerator.

   “Lothos,” Zoë screamed, “Fire the Accelerator!”




Day after Sam left Project, March – 2004


   All fingers were crossed as Sammy Jo Fuller activated the Control Room console.  Her fingers danced over the glowing cubes as she initiated her program.   Sighing, she stepped back in disgust.

   “It didn’t work?”

    “No, Admiral.  I thought for sure my new Retrieval Program would bring him back, especially since he was just here.”

   “What went wrong?”

   “All I can determine is that Leaping through a different Accelerator did something to him.  It’s preventing my program from working.  If he hadn’t used that Accelerator in 1959, I might have done it.  Then again, if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have ended up back home again would he.  It’s a catch-22”

   “Damn irony!” Sinjin and Al said in unison.




  Plummeting through time like a runaway express train, Sam felt a sudden lurch as he stopped off at the next stop on his one-way ticket along the infinite corridors of time.

 “Really, old boy if you that my advice, I think that Lord Tennyson said it best:


  Cossack and Russian
        Reel'd from the sabre stroke
     Shatter'd and sunder'd.
        Then they rode back, but not
     Not the six hundred.”


In front of Sam was a shorter man with a small-distinguished mustache of breeding in a tan jumpsuit who continued quoting Tennyson oblivious of Sam’s presence.


“Cannon to right of them,
       Cannon to left of them,
       Cannon behind them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;”


Sam scratched his head, “Did I miss something?”

The man stopped and looked up. “That is not the response I was expecting!” he said looking a bit annoyed.

“Uh, bravo?” asked Sam sheepishly as he often sounded at the beginning of a leap.

“Cut!” someone yelled behind them. Sam looked around into the face of a television camera and the accompanying production crew. One man Sam assumed to be the director waked over to him looking both dismayed and worried.

“You okay, Tom? YOU haven’t forgotten your lines, have you? You’re always prepared and ready. An inspiration to the whole crew, Tom!” the director said trying to cheer Sam up.

Sam turned away from his director and thought “MY lines? As in acting? I’m an actor! Oh, boy!”


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