"Hidden Agenda" Prologue October, 1998 Hardesty, OK Sam Beckett leaped in in some of the most awkward, challenging, desparate situations almost all the time. So when he found himself kneeling in a garden, a pair of clippers in one hand, and a handful of soil in the other, he glanced around to see who was holding a gun to his head. Instead of turmoil, everything was still and peaceful, and maybe just a bit too cold for his tastes. He breathed a silent `thank you' to whomever was running this show, and then sat in the middle of the leapee's garden. A few moments went by, and then he heard the light sound of a child's laughter. A young girl with long, blonde hair tied up in braids swinging behind her came dashing around the corner of the house, giggling furiously. She stopped dead when she saw him, backing up several steps. Then, letting out a frightened cry, she turned and ran into the house. "Oh, boy," Sam muttered in worry, and got up to follow her in.