Part 1 It looks like the suburbs. A nice quiet area with homes, churches, and no busy streets. This may not offer the same tranquility as life on the farm, but Dr. Sam Beckett can appreciate the niceties of suburban life. There's something about it that appeals to him. Perhaps memories of past leaps are giving him a pleasant feeling. This isn't the first time Sam has leaped in behind the wheel of a car, so the adjustment was not too difficult. Leaping in while riding a motorcycle was. There is some old rock music blaring on the radio. It's good, but he turns it down. As the saying goes, if it's too loud, you're too old, and Sam isn't exactly a young man. He checks his reflection in the rear view mirror. A young man, probably in his early twenties. "I wonder what I'm here for," he mutters to himself. "I don't even know where I'm going." Just then he looks far ahead and figures out what he's there for. A car is on fire and rolling down the street. Sam can make out the shadows of passengers still in the car. He speeds ahead to catch up to the car, which is now coming to a stop. Sam jumps out of the car and pulls off his flannel shirt. With it wrapped around his hands, he opens the door. Three men immediately jump out. Almost at the same time a man comes out of his house with a fire extinguisher. "Need some help?" One of the passengers replies: "Let me see that extinguisher." "Why don't you call 911?" Sam asked the man. "You guys want me to drive you to the hospital?" "I'm sure they'll send an ambulance. Anyway, I don't think any of us are hurt to bad. We all appreciate your help." Before he got a chance to respond, he leaped. Ding! went the elevator. "I guess I'm going down," Sam thought to himself. So he stepped on. A few seconds later a young woman followed him. She was holding some papers, what seemed to be a printout she had just picked up. Sam figured he was on a college campus. He was sure that in his day colleges in general did not have computer labs. Sure, there were plenty of them at MIT, but not anywhere else, he figured. Almost instinctively, Sam spoke. "Hello." "Hi," she responded. She was a very pretty young woman, but the way she spoke told Sam that she did not think that of herself. She was dressed rather conservatively, with a blue t-shirt and jeans. But she smiled subtly when he spoke to her and that smile struck him in the strangest way. "Aren't you in my history class?" She obviously knew Sam, or the person she figured Sam to be. "I believe so," Sam replied. Just then, after another brief but memorable encounter, Sam leaped. Sam now found himself behind a drumset. "I can't play the drums," he thought to himself. Just then, the man at the mike said: "We thank you for coming out. Drive safely. We hope to see you again!" "Whew!" Sam was relieved that the show was apparently over. All he had to do was figure out what he was here to do and all would be well so long as he didn't have to play a concert. He stood up from behind the kit and walked toward the front of the stage. A woman in front beckoned for his sticks, and when Sam resisted she lifted her shirt. At this Sam figured she deserved them, so he tossed them to her. The place was a small club, and Sam guessed that his was just the latest in a large number of local bands that played there. He wished he was the lead singer or perhaps the keyboardist. He could handle those jobs. But he never learned the drums. It's one of those things he never got around to doing. But if it were necessary he would have to learn in a big hurry. He took a look around. The place was full of college-ages kids all nursing beers. To his surprise Sam saw a familiar face at the bar. It was the face of the woman in the elevator. He was stunned. How did he remember? He never remembered previous leaps that clearly, but for some reason this time he did. It was all there, most notably the expression on her face. It started out the same way this time, but it escalated into a very large smile. She ran up to him and embraced him. "You were terrific," she said, and then kissed him. Sam didn't know how to respond. "Thanks," was the best he could come up with. He was at a loss for words after the kiss. Why had he been present at their meeting for the first time? What was his role in this person's life? And who the hell was he? "I need to use the bathroom." "Go ahead. I'll be out front waiting for you." "Okay." "I'm proud of you." "Thanks." Sam found his way into the restroom. He really did have to go, and after he was finished he checked himself out as he had grown accustomed to doing over the years. To his astonishment, the face in the mirror was the same one which appeared in the rear view mirror of the car he was driving. That seemed like just a few minutes ago to him. But why was he bouncing around this guy's life? Why was each instance so short? And why did he remember it all so clearly? "How's it going, kid," a voice sounded behind him. "Al!" Sam replied in relief to see his friend. "Did you know that I've leaped into the same guy three times?" "Yeah, we monitored the whole thing. Your name is Jack Vescio. It's October 28, 1998 and you're a 20 year old student at Pitt." "Pitt?" "Yeah. University of Pittsburgh. You know. Dan Marino? Tony Dorsett?" "Who?" "Nevermind, Sam." "Why did I leap in when this guy met his girlfriend?" Sam asked in wonderment. "Kimberley, uh, Cook is her name," Al replied as he fiddled with the handlink. "Well, Sam, in the original history she wasn't his girlfriend." "What do you mean? She seems crazy about him. There's no way they wouldn't have gotten together, even without my help," Sam said. Al replied: "That's precisely what happened. Apparently he never spoke to her on the elevator. You were responsible for hooking these two up, Sam. I never tagged you as the matchmaker type." "Neither did I. But I don't understand? He's not a bad looking guy. Why didn't he just ask her out?" "Dr. Beeks has been talking to him in the waiting room," Al said. "She said he suffers from generalized anxiety disorder. There is nothing he can do except to overcome his fears, and being with Kim for this time was necessary in putting him in the right direction. That's what you were there to do. Not only did you change Jack's life, but you also helped Kim as well." "What do you mean?" Sam asked. "Originally she ended up working for her dad in a family owned restaurant. By changing history you got her to go to graduate school for English and she got some poetry published." "Wow. I guess they had a positive effect on each other. But if they got together why am I here?" "You're here to help sin. That's not right. Singer. Right, the singer in the band. Paul Michaels. He skips out on tomorrow's gig and dies in a car accident. The report said that there were liquor bottles in the car, Sam." Sam responded: "So all I have to do is keep an eye on this guy and make sure he stays sober and comes to the gig." "I guess it's that simple. Just your basic life saving. Should be no problem." "Ok," Sam replied. "But I don't have to play the drums, do I?" "You shouldn't. All you have to do is get him to the gig. I'm getting something here." Al looked at the handlink. "I have to go, Sam. Beeks says I need to get back there." "Why?" "She says the kid's, uh, I'll just talk to you later. Don't worry. Just go home and get some sleep. Make sure you keep your eye on Paul. Don't let him drink, and make sure he doesn't get away from you tomorrow. I'll be back before then, Sam." The imaging chamber door slammed shut, and Al was gone. Sam looked in the mirror. "Why do I not think this is all I'm supposed to do for you?"