Chapter 13 In spite of his forced occupancy in the seemingly endless, unnervingly quiet blackness, Sam had decided he'd better get to know as much about it as he could if he were to have any chance of escaping it and helping Perry. If, as his own deepest survival instincts were telling him, he was going to have any chance of getting out...not just alive, but at all. Moving cautiously, holding as it were, mental hands out in front of him, Sam explored the boundries of his prison. Some heretofore unused sense gave him the sensation of running his hands over walls he couldn't see, his fingers exploring the surface, feeling, searching it for...what he wasn't sure. A crack, a sliver of an opening that would allow him to escape the oppresive darkness. He found such an opening, but it was an eerie chill that made Sam shiver when he realized that he had moved from the 'room' he was in to another 'room', but *..the darkness isn't so deep in here*. In 'here' it seemed that he could almost see, like looking through murky water at night... and there were 'things' in the darkness. He refused to give in to the unnerving feeling that something was following him, stepping in his footsteps, the horrible "face" just behind his shoulder, waiting to finish scaring him out of his mind if he so much as glanced back. But GTFW must have decided at that moment to give Sam a tiny break, because as he passed through the 'corridor', passing the things he couldn't quite see, to his amazement, he 'recognized' some of those 'things'. A warm memory of being cuddled and gossamer whispers of some lullaby. He stopped, feeling the reassurance of love wrap around him, felt the love draw him closer. The words the voice....a woman's voice...was singing softly became clearer. "...so hush little baby, don't you cry...." A couple of more steps and a feeling of pride welled up inside him ...something the voice was saying...something about letting go and... walking... Sam relaxed a moment, smiling as he 'felt' his host's mother's pride (he was positive it had to be Perry's mother) glowing in her voice. He continued forward. Suddenly uncomprehensible fear lunged at the time traveler, seizing him as he drew near it. Dropping down on the floor and wrapping his arms over his head as if to protect himself from a blow, all he could do was lay and shake as two screaming, angry voices..a man and a woman.....lashed out at each other above him. He felt the tears flowing down his face (do I have a face?...he barely made out the question through the vitrolic screaming over his head)...then heard a very little boy's trembling voice whisper, almost pleading, "...mama?..papa?...please don't fight..." But the voices didn't hear the little voice below them and the fear wouldn't let him up. Sam had no way of knowing how long he'd been laying there, experiencing the memory of a small, frightened child caught in the midst of a screaming match between his parents, when a cold, clammy feeling of panic started to creep up his spine. He tried to ignore the slithering tendrils of unrelenting fear reaching up, curling over his shoulders, but it wouldn't be ignored as the new...sound?...overcame and drowned out the screaming. It took several seconds for the synapses in Sam's brain to fire fast enough to trigger recognition of the sound. As a tiny fragment of a memory of his own upbringing clarified what the 'sound' meant, John and Thelma Beckett's youngest son leaped to his feet, shouting fiercely, "NO! STOP IT! I won't let you do that to her!" In the single angry breath it had taken to shout the words defending the unknown girl at whom he'd sensed the thought was directed, Sam felt himself jerked out of the darkness. It happened so fast that he didn't feel who or whatever it was that always passed him as they exchanged places. He didn't care. All that mattered is that he'd stopped the sinister, disgusting thought that had begun in the unknown entity's mind. Then sensing its release from its prison, Sam's consciousness lunged upward to freedom.