Chapter 1 New Mexico, Project Quantum Leap _________________________________ Dr. Samantha Josephine Fuller sat at a small table in the cafeteria deep in the desert mountains of the project Quantum Leap, she sipped the horrible project coffee and stared quietly at the unchanging New Mexico mountains. It looked like more rain she noted as the clouds gathered slowly above the horizon.___________________________________________ She had been on the project more than a year and was almost used to the New Mexico weather but she would never get used to the rain, she hated it, it felt so dreary with all the rain that came and then dried up only to have another storm pour over the dry desert again. It had been last year at about this time when she had received a message from Admiral Calivicci requesting her presence on the project, she remembered that day she first came off the plane on the project’s private air strip it had been raining she had gotten soaked in the sudden down pour, unprepared for the New Mexico weather. Then a man in a bright red suit and a very loud tie had walked over to her.____________________________________ “I’m sorry I should have warned you of the weather this time of year, its a kick in the but ain’t it!” She remembered him saying ______________________________________________________ He had introduced himself as Admiral Al Calivicci and led her inside four remote buildings. She’d would have mistaken them for being abandoned had she not noticed the trucks and other assortment of vehicles that lined one of the buildings. She had found on the inside, the place was far more interesting and looked more like people had been there even though there really was no decoration in the small cafeteria Al had led her into. They sat and talked and Al explained the job he wished her to take on the project even though he really did not give a reason why and he seemed very comfortable in the way he talked to her as if he had known her for years. Yes she had liked Al Calivicci that first moment he began to talk to her. He gave her the feeling that her Mother had so many years ago as a child before she had died. He smiled at her alot and went over every detail making sure she understood without revealing too much of the project’s information and although there had still been no explanation for why he wanted her on the project she had agreed and still even now she did not know why she had. All she knew was that Al had made her feel at home and the idea of the project did too. It was the most at home she had felt since her mother died a couple of years ago so she accepted the job and was put to work on Project Quantum Leap almost immediately. She smiled to herself as she picked up the coffee again still focusing on the horizon, letting the blackish liquid slosh around her cup before she took another sip. The years she had spent in physics, medicine and science at college and as a scientist on a few other projects had paid off beautifully when she had begun her work here! But that very first day when she met the project’s computer Ziggy she realized all Page 2 that knowledge was useless when dealing with the parallel hybrid computer with an ego the size of Texas! She had fit in here and was very good at her work it was if this was what she had been working up to all her life and that Quantum Leap was just as much a dream of hers as it had been for the project’s director. There was still something that bothered her about that, the project director was a Doctor Sam Beckett whom she had heard of before she had came to the project she had studied almost all of his work and admired him greatly but over four years ago he had leaped in the Project’s Accelerator apparently into situations within the time period of his own lifetime where he had to put right something that had once been wrong and he couldn’t get home, she felt as though it was her job to bring Dr. Beckett back and she didn’t know why. She just felt this closeness expressed between the things she believed in, in her work and the same things in Dr. Beckett. She had also felt obligated to keep the project going and she had kept the project going for sure. Al had put her in charge six months ago when she had taken up the responsibility gladly. Al had acted as if he knew she would do this and had been waiting for it so she went to work on her own theories! Her goal was to bring Sam Beckett home safely or die trying! She giggled at the statement in her mind maybe it was alittle rash but she meant it! She looked at her watch as she took another sip of the horrible tasting coffee. Al was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago and it was never like him to be late. “Ziggy” She called on the computer while looking up to the ceiling awaiting an answer. “Yes Dr. Fuller.” The computer answered in it’s moderately alto voice. “Where is Admiral Calivicci?” She asked as she looked at her now empty coffee mug “He is in his office looking over mail shall I tell him you are waiting” “Yes that will be fine. Thank you Ziggy.” she walked over to the coffee pot to refill her cup. “Admiral Dr. Fuller is waiting in the cafeteria as it is you are approximately 16 minutes and 20 seconds late shall I tell her you are not coming?” The Admiral jumped as he heard the computer’s voice come out of no where and everywhere at once. He thought he would never get used to the thing’s unexpected entries as he looked at the ceiling. “No Ziggy I’m coming I just need to get finished with these letters, Tell her I’m on my way.” Al responded “Yes Admiral” Admiral Al Calivicci sat at his desk at the heart of the project buried deep in the desert mountains. He stared at an unopened letter labeled classified addressed to the project’s new director Dr. Fuller and there was no return address. Page 3 Al knew what it was and would have handed it over to Sammy Joe had it not been for the fact he didn’t know what she would do and after her father’s reaction of leaping in the Accelerator he couldn’t afford to lose her too. He peeled back the unopened seal and began to slowly unfold the letter: Dear Dr. Fuller, We have reviewed your request for more funding and since you have offered us no proof as to whether Dr. Sam Beckett has achieved leaping in time, we have agreed that we cannot permit further funding and until we see proof of the work being accomplished we cannot continue funding Project Quantum Leap. Sincerely Senator Rebecca Ceely Senator Rebecca Ceely Al slumped in his chair. At that moment his heart sank. What was he going to tell Sammy Joe? Chapter 2 New York 1953 Sam sat in a small diner at 2:30 in the afternoon sipping a beer and nibbling on fries. He had leaped into New York in 1958 as Greg Willis, a writer living off royalties from his last book that was almost gone and Sam was supposedly here to Get his life straight so he could take care of his 15 year old daughter Samantha. Where the hell was Al Sam thought to himself while looking into the busy street, he had always preferred the country to the city. Growing up in Indiana had given him this aspect of life no doubt. You could always take Sam Beckett out of the small town but you could never take the small town out of Sam Beckett. He remembered getting up at dawn to milk the cow and feed the chickens and he still always rose at dawn no matter how late he went to bed it was just something that he had gotten used to over the years on the farm back home in Elkridge Indiana. God where was Al it wasn’t like him to be this late on a leap it was almost like he had disappeared on him I mean where was he? “ Hey mister ain’t that your girl out there?” a cocky brunette leaning over the counter of the bar asked as she chewed her lip and gazed at the girl crossing the street. Sam looked up at Samantha crossing the street. He watched as she rounded the corner and a young boy came up beside her talked for a minute a headed the other way. Samantha headed in the same direction following the young man, he led her into a building hidden out of Sam’s view. Sam jumped up from the table and dug into his pocket for a tip to leave for the cocky brunette and rushed out the door and headed for the building that Samantha had ducked into a few minutes ago. Page 4 Al looked at the clock and headed for the cafeteria where Sammy was waiting for him. He headed down the long corridors leading to the lower level of the project. He watched as the long silver blue walls passed by in his long strides. He looked up and called “ Ziggy tell Sammy to meet me when I get back from the imaging chamber I got to go check on Sam.” he stepped up the slanted ramp leading to the door of the imaging chamber. “Admiral are you avoiding Dr. Fuller?” Ziggy very playfully asked Al “Ziggy I don’t expect you to understand this but just tell her I’ll be back in a little while and I’m sorry I had to go check on Sam now” He narrowed his eyes to the ceiling and watched the blue half of the sphere in the middle of the control room behind him. Al began to punch the keys of the hand link and the door to the imaging chamber slid up with a smooth sound and Al stepped in holding his cigar ready to be lit as soon as he got a lock. Sam watched Samantha grab a sack and head out of the building along with a group of other kids. He followed her. Samantha headed one way while all the other kids headed separate ways. Sam watched and kept far behind her so as not to attract her attention. He hated spying on her like this but it might help with the leap if he knew what the daughter was up to too. He watched her make her way to a market place where vendors were set up in the street to sell their daily goods. Sam crept behind a building keeping a careful eye on Samantha. “What are you doing here playing hiding go seek.” came a familiar voice “Al god don’t jump up on me like that” Sam sunk back into the wall still watching Samantha “I’m keeping an eye on Samantha I think she’s up to something. At least something her father doesn’t know about. What does Ziggy have on her?” Al punched commands into the handlink as it squealed back at him and Al beat the thing with the side of his hand. “ Come on you rotten pile of gummie bears.” Al kept staring at the handlink “ ohh this is not good Sam; she gets arrested at nineteen for shoplifting but they let her off. Then she gets up with the wrong group of kids and they rob a place and she has something to do with it although she wasn’t in the actual robbery. She eventually dies at the age of 26 when she’s found dead of a heroine over dose.” Sam looked at the 15 year old girl standing at a vendor’s stand across the street and looked at Al and sighed “Well we can’t let that happen Al” Al watched Samantha talking to the vendor as a customer comes up beside them and Samantha drops her sack when the customer bends down to pick it up for her Samantha, out of the vendor’s notice, takes the wallet out of the man’s back pocket as he bends down to pick up her knapsack. “That’s how she thinks she’s helping her father with the money she’s stealing and and giving the money to her father while he doesn’t know it.” Sam spoke as he watched the whole scene and commented to Al Page 5 Al sighed and puffed on his cigar “ I knew a pick pocket once and she was damn good at it too. She used to pick my pocket a few times too if you know what I mean.” Sam wasn’t amused as Al smiled devishly behind his cigar “ This is no time for one of your sleazy sex stories Al” Sam barked Sammy Joe sat and stared at the ceiling while she talked to Ziggy. “He’s where.” “The Admiral is in the imaging chamber Dr. Fuller.” Ziggy said again to Sammy “ I know Ziggy I heard you the first time it just isn’t like Al to skip lunch with me like this, he must have something on his mind or he’s worried about Sam.” “That’s a negative Dr. Fuller, Dr. Beckett is currently progressing with the leap very well his life is in no danger on this leap so its not likely the Admiral would worry, Sam has never failed before.” Ziggy reminded Sammy “Well then he must have something on his mind he’s not willing to share and there’s only one way to find out what it is.” “Dr. fuller I do not like your tone. I hope you are not insinuating doing anything drastic.” “Ziggy what are Dr. Beckett and the Admiral currently doing?” “They are talking and watching Mr. Willis’s daughter. Why would you ask Dr. Fuller?” “No reason Ziggy is the Admiral getting ready to return from the imaging chamber?” “Judging by The Admiral and Dr. Beckett’s activity and conversation No Dr. Fuller I would say the Admiral is not ready to return yet. Dr. Fuller I must say I do not like your tone you are insinuating something at which I can not compute but can instinctively guess is not going to please the Admiral.” “Ziggy let me know when the Admiral steps out of the imaging chamber.” Sammy Joe began to make her way from the cafeteria rushing down the long corridors toward the Admiral’s office “Dr. Fuller this is not the way to your quarters.” Sammy listened to the computer but paid no attention she knew something was wrong with the Admiral and she was going to find out what it was and the only thing that might tell her what was on his mind was by looking at the things that he was doing while not meeting her at lunch. The door swung open to the Admiral’s office and everything lay as if it had not been touched except a letter lying open on the Admiral’s desk, unfolded and neatly lying in the center of the desk. “Dr. Fuller this is not your office and judging by the Admiral’s personality he would not be very happy at your intrusion to his privacy Dr. Fuller.” “Well then Ziggy he won’t know because your not going to tell him.” “As you wish Dr. Fuller I am programmed to follow orders but judging by human conduct the Admiral will probably find out anyway as he is on his way to his office now.” Page 6 Sammy folded the letter and slipped it in her pocket without reading it as she rushed out the door of the Admiral’s office. Sammy headed straight for her quarters rushing all the way. She fumbled with her keys and quickly unlocked the door! “Ziggy where is the Admiral currently?” “Dr.Fuller the Admiral is in his office do you wish for me to tell him you want to see him?” “No, Ziggy Tell him I’m sorry I missed him and I wish to see him tomorrow before he goes to the imaging chamber.” “As you wish Dr. Fuller.” Sammy slid the door to her quarters closed and sunk in to the wall and exhaled a breath she felt she had been holding forever. She hated snooping in Al’s things it made her sick to her stomach to have to do it but that was the only way to get this thing out of Al and she knew when something was bothering Al he was all male and he never parted with it unless he needed to really talk to someone. This was really bothering Al if he was avoiding her like he was, it was not like Al and Al never acted differently he even made it a point. She slid the letter out of her pocket and unfolded it and lied it on the table again without reading it. She changed and found her way back into the kitchen almost forgetting the letter until she saw it lying unfolded on the table. Sam sat down at the table in Greg’s small apartment looking at old pictures of his and Samantha’s life before Greg’s wife had died. It seemed her death had, had a disturbing effect on the family. Samantha seemed confused about what was right or it seemed that now that she was picking pockets in New York city. Sam thought that is dangerous thing for a fifteen year old girl or anyone for that matter to do. The door swung open to the apartment and Samantha walked in tossing her long brown hair over her shoulder. Sam noticed the knapsack wasn’t with her. She must be trying hard for her father to not find out. “Where were you today?” Sam asked trying to resolve the situation. he supposed thats what her father would ask if he knew. “At the market. Why?” “Well thats only half the truth don’t you think?” “What do you mean?” She asked grabbing a bottle of coke out of the fridge and sitting down at the table across from Sam. “Well I was at the diner today and I saw you crossing the street and talking to a boy and I thought it wasn’t like you to not tell me where you were going so I followed you to see what you were up to I’m sorry I invaded your privacy like that.” “ So you saw everything?” “Yes now why don’t you tell me why your doing this?” “Well its the only way I thought I could help you pay the bills around here I mean we are coming close to being evicted if we can’t come up with next month’s rent.” Page 7 “Samantha your a smart girl and its not your job to worry about paying the bills. I don’t want you doing this anymore its very dangerous and I think if you want to earn money your smart enough to come up with a way to do it other than stealing.” “I know and I’m sorry Dad I promise I won’t do it again.” “And I don’t want you hanging around those kids anymore they could get you in alot of trouble and a smart girl like you with so much going for her in life doesn’t need anything to mess it up okay.” He said and smiled to Samantha ruffling her hair as he did so. “ I’m sorry Dad I won’t do it again and I’ll stay away from the other kids I promise.” “Alright you do that. Now why don’t you and me clean up around here and then I’ll take you out for some ice cream okay.” Sammy jumped up from the table “ Great idea I’ll get to the living room I think I left my books in there anyway!” Sam smiled and thought I hope this changes something in her history as he hears the imaging chamber door opening. “Did I change anything Al I mean with Samantha?” “Yeah she stops hanging around with the kids and she goes to college and I guess she follows in her dad’s foots steps because she becomes a writer and even though shes never famous she does okay and writes a few popular novels.” “Thats great Al I’m glad that worked out.” “A matter a fact Sam one of popular books is about a pick pocket who is trying hard to get her life together, isn’t that strange.” “Yeah well I’m glad she lives her adventure out in writing instead of in real life.” “You did okay kid. Now Ziggy says that you have to figure out a way to keep this Greg on his feet financially other wise he and Samantha lose everything and he is forced to send Samantha to his sister’s who’s not all home if you know what I mean and shes not real straight money wise either. Greg never forgives himself for not being able to take care of his daughter and he drinks himself to death.” “How am I supposed to figure that out I mean what can I do? What does Ziggy say I need to do.” “She doesn’t have anything on that, come on your the genius here.” Sammy Sat at the small table of her kitchen and looked down at the letter she had read it over and over but she still couldn’t believe it I mean Quantum Leap was her dream her life what would she do without it and Ziggy and what about Al. She couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. No she told herself this was her dream and she wouldn’t stand back and watch it be taken away from her and someone had to be there for Dr. Beckett he couldn’t be stuck out there in time with no one else. “Ziggy where is the Admiral?” Sammy said rather firmly to the computer with a little anger in her voice “The Admiral has just stepped back out of the imaging chamber and his heading for his office should I tell you wish to see him.” Page 8 “No Ziggy I don’t want him to know I’m coming.” She jumped up from the table and made a mad dash to beat the Admiral to his office She found him already there and the door open. She rushed in a rage and slammed the door behind her waiting for Al to speak “Sammy what are you doing is this about our lunch today god I’m sorry I was busy I tried.” He glanced at the angry figure standing in her pajamas in a rage in the middle of his office he almost wanted to laugh but he didn’t he knew she was upset. “No Al it’s not about our lunch today its about this letter and I want you to explain to me how you could receive and open this without telling or handing it over to me.” Al took the letter from Sammy. He slumped down into his chair with a sigh and broken hearted look on his face. “How did you get this, Have you been going through my office?” “Yes after you skipped lunch with me I was worried and I wanted to know why so I came here and this was on your desk. How could you not tell me Al their gonna take away my work my dream.” “Sammy please calm down sweetheart don’t do anything drastic.” He jumped out his chair trying to calm her down. He felt like he was coaxing his daughter after all without Sam here Al had always felt Sammy was his daughter so he treated her that way. She rushed out his office still burning with anger with Al following behind her explaining to her. She yelled behind her to Al. “Al well let me tell you I’ll show those superficial nozzles that this project works.” She yelled as she made her way to the control room where Tina and Gushie watched in surprise while Sammy yelled and Al tried to calm her. “Tina get me a suit.” “You don’t mean your gonna..........?” Tina exclaimed She squeaked a sound of protest followed by a female grunt in a furry while rushing off to do what she was told. “Now Dr. Fuller with all do respect don’t you think this is alittle rash?” Gushie asked worried his friend would do what she was insinuating. “Please Sammy I’m sorry don’t do this.” Al still protesting following close behind. “Al its not what you did but their gonna take the project away from me and I have to do something I can’t just stand back and watch them do it, its my work all my dreams and I have to stand up and take control of them.” Al stopped protesting he knew he couldn’t stop she was just like Sam and she was gonna do it even if he tried to stop her. Sammy rushed from machine to machine checking Ziggy’s readings and preparing the accelerator chamber online. Tina hurried back in with a suit she handed it to Sammy with a squeal of pure shock and worry. She didn’t speak she was so shocked she just made squeaks and grunts of protest to Sammy and after several attempts to speak without finding anything to say she rushed over to Al and Gushie as they all watched Sammy flabbergasted not really knowing what to do. The computer’s voice came form the ball in the center of the room. Page 9 “Dr. Fuller are you sure this is what you want to do you will not be able to return home more than likely considering there is only an 11 percent chance we can retrieve you and you will be stuck with Dr. Beckett only traveling within his lifetime not your own because you will leaping from his leap span which means you are attached and set only to leap within his lifetime along with him.” “Yes Ziggy I am well aware of that now will you please bring the accelerator online.” “Yes Dr. Fuller but I think you are making a mistake in your personal judgment though.” “Well Ziggy I don’t need your opinion I know what I am going to do and that is final.” The computer didn’t say another word. Al tried one last time to stop Sammy. “Sammy please don’t do the same thing your father did.” Sammy looked up from one of Ziggy’s machine’s opened mouthed. “You mean Dr. Beckett is my father and you never told me.” Al nodded he was so upset he found he couldn’t speak. “Sammy please don’t do this.” Al said choking up and becoming very upset “Al if my father’s out there I want to find him and I’m sorry Al there is nothing you can do I can’t let them take this away from me or......my father.” Al grabbed her and hugged her and kissed her forehead. He didn’t want to let go but he had to when Ziggy broke in. “Dr. the accelerator is prepared and online.” “Thank you Ziggy” Tina and Gushie watched in silence still not knowing what to do but hoping Sammy would back down even though they knew it wasn’t likely, she was her father’s child and she was prepared to do what she had to save her father and Quantum Leap.