"The Day After That" pt. I

August, 1980
Seattle, WA

  "Linny? You still there?"
  Sam blinked to bring in the rest of his surroundings only to find himself on
the phone with...someone. Some woman. If there was one part of the leap he
truly hated...
  "Uh, yeah, I'm still here," Sam said uncertainly. "I just, ah, dropped the
  "Good, `cause I don't know what to do," the woman replied. She sounded tense
and worried and Sam was still clueless about what the crisis was.
  "Uh, about what?"
  There was a deathly silence. "Linny..." Now she sounded desperate.
  "I mean, I don't know."
  The pause was back, but it was shorter this time. "I guess I'll go with him.
Things'll just get worse if I don't, you know?"
  He moved to sit in a chair behind him and gripped the phone receiver more
tightly. "Worse how?"
  "In every way imaginable," she returned. "Linny, you're not having doubts
about anything, are you? I mean, you're still going to support me, aren't
you?" The desperation was back and Sam began to feel more and more
uncomfortable by the minute. This woman needed help and she needed it from
someone who knew what was going on. "You're my best friend and I really need
you now. Heck, you're my _only_ friend in Seattle."
  *Seattle?* "Of course I'll help you with...of course I'll help you," Sam
  "Is there any way I can come over there tomorrow morning? I just need to get
out of the house for a while before-"
  Sam tensed although he wasn't entirely certain why. "Are you okay?"
  "I have to go. He's home. I'll call you tomorrow morning."  Before Sam could
get another word in edgewise, she hung up the phone. He sat in the chair for a
few moments with a dumfounded look on his face. Over the past five years, Sam
had learned to trust his instincts regarding his leaps and the people he came
across and something told him this woman was in trouble. If only he knew who
she was...

March, 2000
Stallions Gate, NM

  Admiral Albert Calavicci walked alongside Dr. Verbena Beeks, straining to
keep up with the pace she had adopted. She had to be worried to be flying
through the halls like this.
  "What do you mean `frantic'?" he asked as they slowed at the elevator.
  "I mean frantic. Hysterical. Very upset," she replied tersely. "Do you need
a dictionary?"
  Al mentally withdrew from her sharp words; it wasn't something he was used
to encountering from her.
  "I'm sorry," she said quickly before he could interject. The elevator
arrived and they stepped inside. "He was just so upset and was just rattling
on and on about someone killing someone else. It's not the type of thing I
like to hear at the start of a leap, especially considering Sam could be the
one being killed."
  At her words, Al felt a weight on his chest that seemed to make it hard to
breathe. "Killing someone?" he echoed.
  Verbena cast him a sidelong glance. "Ziggy would have told you if he was in
danger, right?"
  "Assuming she knew - knows," he corrected himself.
  The psychiatrist laid a comforting hand on his arm. "Do you want to check on
Sam first?"
  "Ziggy? Do you have a fix on Sam yet?"
  "Negative, Admiral," the computer replied sweetly.
  He wiped his face. "I guess that makes my decision for me, doesn't it?
Ziggy, Sam's not in any danger, is he?"
  "I predict only a 0.3% chance that Doctor Beckett is in any perilous
  "See?" Verbena asked, taking his arm. "Relax."
  "Oh, sure."
  The elevator deposited them at the main floor and the pair walked past
Gooshie and Tina without comment, heading for the Waiting Room.
  The leapee was arguing with a nurse. Al stopped just inside the room to
study her and gather any information he could for Ziggy. It was a woman. She
looked young, maybe only 19 or 20,  and was about 5'4" with short blonde hair
and fiery blue eyes. In addition, the passionate manner in which she was
arguing with Verbena's staff brought a few thoughts to Al's mind which would
have been thoroughly inappropriate to voice.
  "I'm telling you, somebody's in trouble and I don't even remember _who_!"
she was saying, her hair swinging over her shoulders as she expressed her
  "I'm sorry, sir, but-"
  "Ma'am," the nurse corrected herself without hesitation.
  "What the hell kind of place is this?!"
  "Maybe I can help you answer that," Al interjected calmly. Once her
attention was diverted to him, the nurse took her opportunity to slip out the
door behind him. Verbena stood to his right slightly behind him.
  The woman's eyes narrowed slightly. "Who are you? For that matter, who am
_I_?" She sat down hard on the table in the center of the room and, for the
first time, Al noticed she was shaking. Either way, she wasn't letting her
fear show in any obvious manner and his respect slipped up another notch.
  "My name's Al. I'm in charge around here and I heard you were making trouble
for my staff." He smiled to take the sting out of the words.
  "Finally," she said, her voice trembling ever so slightly. She cleared her
throat. "I don't know why I'm here or where here is, but I have to get back.
It's a matter of life and death!"
  "Your life?" Al asked before he could help himself.
  She stopped and her face sported an expression he'd seen on Sam's many
times. Swiss-cheese. "I don't think so..." She shook her head. His soft
presence appeared to be calming her down as well, but it also seemed that
without her anger to hide behind, she was becoming more ill at ease with every
passing second.
  Al took a few steps closer to her. "It's okay," he soothed carefully.
"Nobody's going to hurt you here. We just want to help you."
  "Please," she whispered. "It's important. He's going to kill her."
  "She won't listen to me. The last time she came by he'd broken a rib..."
  Al gritted his teeth. "We'll help her, but we need to know where to find
her. Is she a coworker? A friend from a club or a church?"
  "You can't help her - she won't listen to anyone, not even me. I'm the only
friend she's got and she still acts like a frightened animal around me."
  Al put a hand on her arm. "Can you tell me your name?"
  "It's Lydia. But everyone calls me Linny." She frowned. "I...I can't
remember my last name!"
  "Calm down, honey," he said evenly.
  Verbena sighed. Al wasn't exactly known for being politically correct when
it came to women. He used pet names like there was no tomorrow and an outsider
may have thought he was being disrespectful. Those who worked with him knew
better. However, in situations like this, it often exacerbated the matter.
  "Linny," he corrected automatically, casting an apologetic glance towards
the psychiatrist. "It's okay."
  She shook off his hand. "No it's not! What's going on here?"
  "Can you tell me your friend's name? I promise you, we only want to help
  Al cut her off again before she could become more upset about what she
couldn't remember. "Don't worry, if you can't remember, we'll find some way to
help her anyway. Linny, this person who wants to hurt her... Is she in some
kind of trouble, or...?"
  She was silent again, thinking. "I'm sorry, I really can't recall. All I
remember is that she needed my help."
  "Okay, you did fine. I'm going to go see if I can find her and we'll let you
know. I'll make sure she's taken care of."
  He turned to go, but Linny grabbed his arm. "Be gentle with her, okay? She
can't, that is to say I don't think she can take too much more trauma in her
life. When I first met her she was strong and happy and now..." She released
her grip with an effort. "I just don't want her to get hurt."
  Al nodded. "We'll take care of her."

August, 1980
Seattle, WA

  Sam was fixing himself some dinner later that evening when Al stepped
through the Imaging Chamber Door, a disturbed expression on his face and a
cigar twitching back and forth between restless fingers.
  "Hey, Sam."
  "Boy, you look like I feel," Sam told him as he put some chicken in the oven
and set the timer.
  "That bad, huh?" Al grinned slightly. "What's eating you?"
  "I leaped in on the phone with...some woman. And I just have a really bad
feeling about her, Al. I think she's in some bad trouble."
  "Lydia agrees."
  Sam opened the refrigerator door and fished out a coke. "Who?"
  "Linny. She's the woman you've leaped into."
  "Right, yeah, she called me Linny."
  Al nodded and pulled out the handlink. "Verbena sent me in to talk to her -
she was really climbing the walls. She kept saying someone was going to kill
her friend."
  "Kill her?" Sam repeated in amazement. "Who?"
  Al shrugged. "Dunno yet. We're working on it."
  "First thing's first."
  Sam shook his head. "Who am I?"
  "Oh, right. Your name is Linny Bell and you've lived here in Seattle for
about six years now. You work at a local gift shop and are working on an
associates degree in English."
  "How old?" 
  "Uh, you're 21 years old."
  "Okay," Sam said, leaning against the counter, "and you're sure that Linny's
not the reason I'm here?"
  "Yeah, doesn't seem like anything happens anytime soon to her. At least,
nothing that made any kind of records for Ziggy to track down. At any rate, my
gut tells me we need to find this woman, and fast, before anything happens to
  "I agree."
  "So does Ziggy."
  Sam's brow was furrowed. "So now that we're an accordance, how do we do
  Al checked the `link. "Well, Ziggy can't find anyone in her immediate
probability matrix that seems to be in any kind of trouble, so it must not be
a coworker or anyone Linny has professional contact with. Must be _just_ a
friend. Not someone she sees in any other area of her life."
  "Great. What do we have to do, wait for her to call again?"
  Al sighed. "We could check the phone records, but that'll take a while."
  Sam's expression became slightly hopeful. "We could get to work on it now."
  Al entered in the appropriate code on the terminal and studied the readout.
"She's working on it. In the meantime, she could call again."
  "I doubt it."
  Al cocked his head. "Why do you say that?"
  "Before she hung up, and rather abruptly, I might add, she said that ‘he was
home'. I don't think I'm jumping to any great conclusion to say that we're
dealing with a case of domestic violence."
  Fire sparked in Al's eyes. "Damn, I _hate_ jerks like that!" he ranted,
chewing on his cigar.
  "Me, too," Sam agreed, considerably more restrained. A dismayed expression
crossed his face and Al moved to study him.
  "You okay, Sam?"
  The leaper took a deep breath. "Yeah, it's just that whenever I have to deal
with this kind of thing, it reminds me of-"
  "I know, kid," Al said quietly.
  Sam closed his eyes a moment, and then opened them up again, all trace of
despair erased from his expression. "So how are we going to find her? The less
time she has to stay in a war-zone, the better."
  "Right. Well..." Al trailed off as the sound of someone knocking gently on
the back door came to them. "Was that what I thought it was?" he asked.
  "I thought I heard something," Sam confirmed. He went to the back door and
turned on the outside light. The silhouette of a woman darkened the curtain
draped over the glass and Al pulled up the handlink.
  "Looks like this may be easier than we'd thought," the admiral commented.
  Sam just nodded as he unbolted the door and opened it. Sometime after Al's
arrival it had started to rain and a woman stood at the back door, drenched
from head to toe.
  "I'm sorry for dropping in," she said in a trembling voice, "but he went out
for the evening and I just had to..." She shuddered, wrapping her arms around
her waist. "He took the keys to the car with him so I ran all the way over-"
Whatever torrent she'd been holding back finally broke free and she started
  Sam glanced back at his partner and Al raised his eyebrows in question. Sam
reached out the doorway and took her by the arm, drawing her into the house.
Al was puzzled by the concerned glances the scientist was giving him.
  Until he looked at the woman.
  "Oh no..." he whispered. "Beth."