CHAPTER EIGHT The air was still and heavy. The grey and brown of the mountains and the soft blue and white of the sky were mirrored perfectly in water as flat as a millpond. It was much later than Helen had intended to leave. They had lingered over breakfast and packing, both reluctant to depart from the peaceful isolation. As Helen turned and locked the door, Sam sent up a silent prayer that he be allowed to keep the memories of this place intact when he Leaped on, that they not disappear into one of the black holes in his brain. Trying to shake off her pensive mood, Helen asked abruptly, "Do you want to drive?" "Yeah, okay, why not," Sam replied, a little startled. He walked around the Ford to the driver's door. "You'll need these then," said Helen, throwing the keys across the top of the car. Sam caught them one-handed and opened the door. "Er, you need to introduce yourself to Mrs Murray first," Helen went on in a serious tone, belied by the green gleam in her eyes. Sam raised a disbelieving eyebrow. She nodded. "You gave your computer a name. I gave one to my car. At least I was only a kid when I christened her - Mrs Murray-in-a-hurry. You were a distinguished physicist when you named Ziggy!" A sudden memory of Al brandishing a cigar, peering over his shoulder as he delicately adjusted a circuit in the console of his brainchild, smacked Sam in the face. "Alpha! You want to call it ALPHA!" The gravelly voice had almost hit the soprano register in exasperation. "Jeez, Sam! For someone who's capable of dreaming up this whole thing in the first place, some- times your lack of imagination astounds me! Who gives a hoot if it's the first of a new breed of computer? 'Alpha' is so BORING! Have you no style at all? Give it a name with some pizzazz. Or at least one that'll annoy the hell out of that damn Funding Committee, we sure need something to lighten up those never-ending Budget Reviews." He'd withdrawn his head from inside the console to ask, "And what, exactly, do you suggest?" "Me? I don't know. You're the one with all the bright ideas, not me." He'd rocked back on his haunches, looked at his friend, and waited. "Well - well - how about..." Al had sucked on the cigar for inspiration, then snapped his fingers. "I've got it! Those politicians think you've got stardust in your eyes for believing you really can time-travel, so throw a little dust back at 'em and call the thing 'Ziggy'. You know - after 'Ziggy Stardust', David Bowie's alter ego." So he did. "I didn't call him 'Ziggy'," he said to Helen. "Al did." Helen shrugged. "It doesn't make any difference. You still have to say 'hello' to Mrs Murray." Feeling very foolish, Sam said, "Hi, Mrs Murray. I'm Sam." He patted the white hood hesitantly, waiting for the engine to thrum into life in greeting. It didn't. Helen grinned at him over the roof of the car. "Now that wasn't so hard, was it?" she said, opening her door. * * * * * Having made the final turn into the drive, Sam switched off the engine and looked with interest at Helen's home. Last time he'd been here, he'd hardly been able to keep his eyes open. It was a little, single-storey, weatherboard house, in a row of similar houses, neatly painted in white and green. Several large pots filled with healthy-looking plants were placed along the porch, which ran the full length of the front, and hanging baskets bright with flowers were suspended from the low, overhanging roof. A wide swing- seat sat on the opposite end of the porch from the door. The garden looked just as neat as the house; a square of lawn surrounded by flower- beds and shrubs, separated from the road by a low wall. At the end of the drive stood a timber garage and, between it and the corner of the house, Sam caught a glimpse of a vegetable patch and more lawn. Near the back fence grew an apple tree, heavily laden with fruit. An orange and white cat ran around the side of the house and up to the car. Helen opened her door and the animal jumped nimbly onto her lap. It rubbed its head against her neck and shoulders, purring loudly. "William! Have you missed me? I missed you. Yes I did. Lots and lots," Helen said, stroking the cat from head to tail with one hand while rubbing under his chin with the other. "Shakespeare?" inquired Sam, watching the fuss she made of the animal. "No - Blake." She gave the cat one last rub. "Come on now, William. Let me out. We need to take the stuff in." She gently shooed the animal out, then stepped out of the car. They carried the bags inside while William wound himself around their legs, mewing, threatening to trip them. Helen directed Sam down the short passageway to her bedroom where they dumped the bags on a huge wooden bedstead. William leaped onto her case as she undid the catches, still trying to get her attention. She picked him up and scratched him under the chin again. "You are an old fusspot, aren't you! I know I've been away but I can't spend all day stroking you. Here, Sam, you have him for a while. I really want to get unpacked before we start lunch." She put the cat into Sam's arms before opening the case and whisking clean clothes into drawers. Sam rubbed under William's chin as she had done and was rewarded with a loud purr. As he petted the cat, he looked around. The room and furnishings were in soft blue and grey tones and, like the living room, suited someone older than Helen, even if there was a Helen-ish stack of books on the night-stand. The bed was stunning, its dark, mahogany frame built on clean, simple lines. The bedposts were beautifully turned, the knobs so highly polished Sam could see the green eyes of the cat clearly reflected in the one nearest him. Spread over the bed was a complex-patterned quilt in varying shades of blue and grey. At its foot stood a huge chest with iron hinges and lock, its wood nearly black with age. Helen noticed Sam's gaze. "My Dad made the bed as a gift for my Mom when they first moved here and Mom made the quilt. The chest was my great, great grandmother's. It's passed on to the eldest girl when she gets married." "What if there isn't a girl?" Helen looked confused. "I don't know. There always has been a girl." She flushed. "Um, could you give William some milk, please? There should be some in the refrigerator. My neighbor should have left some." "Yeah, sure," he replied, heading for the door. A wooden box on the dresser caught his eye. He tipped William onto the floor, picked it up, and caught his breath at the sight of Brian Palmer in the dresser mirror. Hurriedly turning his back, he gave the box his complete attention, rotating it carefully to feel and see the texture and colors. It was beautiful. Apart from a single 'M' carved on the lid, it was completely plain. It needed no decoration, its beauty inherent in the rich walnut from which it was crafted; even the 'M' followed the grain. It had been carefully sanded and polished, silky smooth under his fingers. "Did your father make this, too? It's beautiful. What's the 'M' for?" Helen came over quickly and removed the box from his hands. Myfanwy," she said, pronouncing the name with the hard Welsh 'f'. She traced the carved letter with a gentle finger. "Dad gave it to Mom on their wedding day. She used to keep her most precious things in it." She looked up at Sam. "Could you take the other stuff out the car and put it in the kitchen, please? I'll unpack it when I've finished here and show you where everything's kept." At her feet, William mewed piteously. "And could you PLEASE give him some milk." "Oh, sorry William. I was sidetracked by that lovely box. Come on, let's find the refrigerator." Helen sat down on the old chest and blew out a sigh of relief. Opening the box, she drew out the letters it contained. There were many different types of envelopes, some old and some new. The postmarks were from many places but, apart from one, all the addresses were written in the same, firm hand. She took out the gold ring that was the only other item the box held and closed her fist tight around it, holding it to her chest like a talisman. "Oh, Mam," she whispered. "I wish you were still here." She sat for a moment, head bowed. Then, face composed once more, she carefully put the letters and ring back in the box and gave its smooth surface one last caress before setting it back on the dresser. Pulling in a deep breath, she turned away, picked up her toiletry bag and took it into the bathroom. William was sitting beside an empty saucer primly cleaning his whiskers when she went into the kitchen. The box containing the unused groceries, her knives and other pieces of culinary equipment stood on the table. Sam was watching the cat, milk carton in hand. "I think your neighbor forgot to feed him. That's the third lot he's had." Helen laughed. "No, he's just greedy and wanted attention. Didn't you, Cat?" William stood and stretched his forepaws on the floor, claws unsheathed. Without a single glance in her direction, he turned his back and stalked out through the catflap in the back door. Sam grinned. "I don't think he likes being called greedy." He waved the milk carton. "Where do you put the garbage?" Helen showed him. Then they emptied the box, Helen showing Sam where everything lived. "I think we'll make one of Mom's Aussie favorites for lunch today - pumpkin soup and damper," she said when the table was clear. They had taken no more than a couple of mouthfuls when the phone rang. "Hello?" inquired Helen. "Hi, David... Yes, thanks." She grinned wickedly at Sam. "It was WONDERFUL... Yeah, sure... Tomorrow night? That'd be lovely." She paused, listening. "I don't know yet. Bring one of each to be on the safe side... Okay... Bye." She hung up the phone and sat back at the table, eyes alight with mischief. "I think you're going to be inspected. David's coming for dinner tomorrow night." "Oh, what joy," said Sam, remembering the supercilious look the grey-haired man at the hotel had given him. "I'm looking forward to it already." Helen's eyes sparkled even more. She picked up her spoon. "You can look forward to the wine he'll be bringing. It'll be from his cellar and will be EXTREMELY good. I'd better make something really nice to put him in a good mood." She ate silently, planning the menu for the following night. Sam wondered if there was any hemlock in the garden and if he'd be able to add it to David's dinner without Helen noticing. * * * * * After lunch they drove into the center of Truro to shop. Sam did not enjoy himself. The clothes and hairstyles of the shoppers assaulted his eyes, the enormous collars, flares and platform shoes hammering relentlessly into his mind that he was in the past, in a Leap. He had pushed the reality of his situation to the back of his mind whilst at the cabin. Helen had made their days there seem timeless, OUTSIDE time. He hadn't thought about WHEN he was but had simply felt he belonged. Worse than seeing other people in their Seventies gear, was the sight of Brian Palmer's reflection in the windows of the shops. The face, with its weak chin and straggly hair, popped up when he least expected, making him jump. Its pale blue eyes stared at him with an expression of horror that he realised was his own. *I am NOT Brian Palmer. I am Sam Beckett.* He stared at the side- walk to try to avoid the face but bumped into the other pedestrians. He grabbed Helen's hand. If she led the way he wouldn't have to look up. He gripped her fingers so tightly she stopped, exclaiming when she saw his face, "What's wrong, Sam? You look as though you've seen a ghost!" "I have - sort of. It - it's okay now. Let's go." He pulled her hand, still keeping his head down. They had stopped in front of a large department store window. If he looked up he would see the reflection in the glass. "No, it's not okay," said Helen, trying to catch his eye. She pushed up his chin with her hand. "Hello? I'm up here." Hesitantly he lifted his eyes to her face - and couldn't stop from glancing behind her at the window. He quickly dropped his gaze to the top button of her jacket. Puzzled, Helen turned to see what was bothering him so much. She felt as though a frozen fish slapped her in the face as she saw their reflection, and drew in her breath sharply in shock. The nervous man she'd seen enter the library, the man she'd smiled at because he looked a bit of a geek, was standing behind her in the glass. In the excite- ment of realising Sam had arrived on that first day, she'd instantly forgotten about the man whose life Sam was living, except, of course, when she'd stood in the middle of the mess at Logres, swearing at Brian Palmer to herself because Sam felt responsible for that garbage dump of a room. Why should she remember Brian? He wasn't important, Sam was. Looking now at the stranger in the reflection, she finally understood how vital it was to Sam that she could see him. This was what greeted Sam every time he looked in a mirror - a stranger. He never, saw himself, hadn't seen himself for years. She tried to imagine waking up to an unknown face every morning, living with a stranger in the mirror, lots of strangers - only the stranger, all the strangers, were yourself. No wonder Leaping had nearly sent Sam mad. But she could no longer protect Sam from what he did. She moved so the window was no longer directly behind her and pushed up Sam's chin to force him to look into her face. "Listen to me. No matter who you see when you look in a window or mirror, inside you are Sam Beckett. Never forget that." She spoke steadily, her gaze unwavering, though her eyes were dark with emotion and full of unshed tears. "You are a time traveller, you Leap from person to person, changing things. You make things better, you help people. YOU do it, Sam - no-one else. It's your job, a very special job that only you can do. You can't ignore that any more. You have to face it, as you have to face that reflection." Inexorably she turned him around. "Look at it, Sam." She stood by his side and held his hand. "Look at it." Reluctantly he raised his eyes to the window. Brian Palmer stood holding the hand of a red-haired girl. Even in the glass Sam could see the girl's eyes were a clear grey-green. She spoke. "What you see is just a shell, Sam. It doesn't matter who you look like. It's who's on the inside that counts." Helen reached up and turned his face so he could see directly into hers. "I believe in you and what you do. You just have to believe in yourself. I know that the person inside here, that Sam Beckett, is very special and I am VERY proud of him and what he does." Sam looked down into steady, grey-green eyes that reflected all Helen's love, looked down into eyes that reflected tiny, twin images of Brian Palmer. Even if she hadn't been able to see through to the heart and soul inside the body, even if she had seen Brian, he knew she would still love HIM - Sam Beckett. Her pride in him flowed from her like molten steel, searing away the last doubts and fears, renewing his sense of worth, giving him back his strength and purpose. "God, I'm so lucky," he murmured. He gently touched her cheek. "Thank you, Helen. You've put everything back into perspective." Finally healed, completely whole, exhilaration rushed through him. With a shout of laughter, he swung her high into the air. Passers-by either frowned in annoyance as the couple took up so much of the sidewalk or smiled indulgently at the lovers as they heard the man cry, "I am Sam Beckett and I can do ANYTHING!" Sam set Helen back on her feet, ready to Leap, wondering if he would but, when he looked again into the now sparkling eyes, glad he did not. "Good, because you're going to need to be able to do anything." Helen towed him after her as she set a brisk pace. "We have a mountain of groceries to buy with very little time to do it in AND tomorrow night you have to face the Spanish Inquisition." "Oh, yes. David. Now that really is going to be a fun evening." * * * * * "Let me guess," said Sam as they headed home, "your Mom used to shop like that, instead of all in the one place like any sane person." They had visited a large supermarket and come out laden down with bags. Then Helen had dragged him off to a butcher, a baker and a green- grocer, even though the supermarket had had what he considered perfectly adequate supplies of meat and fresh vegetables and fruit. "Of course. It's the only way if you want the best and freshest ingredients." "I just wish it wasn't so hard on the feet." "Oh, you poor, old thing!' Helen patted his arm solicitously, while her eyes danced. "Never mind, dear heart, when we get home you can put those poor, aching feet up and rest your weary bones, while I make the dessert for tomorrow night. Then we're going to a fitness class at the Health Club. We haven't really had any exercise today." "What do you call what we just did?" Sam protested. "A gentle stroll round the shops. Did it make you sweat?" "Well, no." "Then it wasn't exercise." Sam resigned himself to sweating it out at the Health Club. * * * * * He was surprised when he saw it. He'd imagined it would be new and fashionable. Instead it was old and shabby, housed in what appeared to have been a small warehouse. Inside, however, was bright and cheerful and, judging by the number of people hurrying through the lobby, it was very popular. Helen constantly swapped greetings as she strode across the lobby and down a corridor. Sam followed as she turned through a doorway into a light, airy studio and leaped up onto a small stage. She gestured to the lower part of the studio. "You need to be down there, Sam. Only the instructor gets to be up here." Sam wondered why her eyes were twinkling. Then he turned, and wished he could defy the laws of physics and dissolve through the sprung floor. About twenty women, all shapes and sizes, mostly dressed in black leotards, black tights and pastel-hued leg warmers, were staring at him. Their looks were not of admiration. Face flaming, he stepped down and walked as nonchalantly as he could to the back of the room, When he turned to face front, Helen had stripped off her grey sweats to reveal a black leotard and tights similar to the ones the other women wore. She was sitting on the edge of the stage, pulling on mint-green leg warmers and greeting late-comers who hurried through the door, a couple of whom, he was relieved to note, were men. Helen caught his eye and mimed pulling off a sweater. He hurriedly yanked off his tracksuit, threw it by the wall near his towel and waited for her to start, feeling very self-conscious in singlet and shorts. They had been going for about three-quarters of an hour, and he was sweating but not particularly tired, when a fervent, gravelly voice said, "Oh, wow! I've died and gone to heaven. Thank you, thank you, God! You listened to my prayers after all." Al stood by his side, looking angelic in a snow-white silk suit and shirt and white shoes. Upon his face he wore a beatific smile, which broadened as he gazed around at the moving female bodies. "I might have known you'd turn up now," Sam whispered, as he tried to follow Helen's moves and look at Al at the same time. "Where have you been? I haven't seen you since that morning up at the cabin." Al wasn't listening. He was gazing in rapt admiration at a leggy blonde just in front of Sam. Sam wished he could smack him round the ear to get his attention. However, as that was impossible, he had to content himself with saying Al's name in as urgent and insistent a whisper as he could manage. "Al. AL! Stop perving, you sleaze, and tell me what you've been doing all this time." Al dragged his eyes away from the blonde. "PERVING! I don't PERV!" So Helen had told Al the meaning of 'perving'. How could Al look at other women when Helen was around? Mind you, Al could have been dating Claudia Schiffer and still perved at everyone else in the vicinity. Al continued loftily, "I just have a great capacity for appreciation of the female form." His gaze slid past Sam to the buxom brunette on Sam's right. "Especially when it JIGGLES as deliciously as that one." He walked straight through Sam so he could get a closer view of that part of the brunette's anatomy that interested him so much. "Oh, if only I could just..." and he reached out his hand, as if to touch the woman's bouncing bosom. "AL!" whispered Sam again through clenched teeth. "What would Beth say? Behave yourself!" "Oh, all right." With great reluctance, Al withdrew his hand. "Where have you been?" repeated Sam, his eyes shifting from Al to Helen and back. "Oh, nowhere much. Just renewing an old acquaintance." Sam chose that moment to switch his gaze to Helen so Al allowed himself a smug smile. He waited for Sam to ask what he had to do to Leap, puffing rather uneasily on his cigar. To his surprise Sam said nothing but concentrated on the moves. Al breathed a silent sigh of relief. Good, now he could really concentrate on enjoying himself. "I thought you and Helen might appreciate being left alone for a while." He raised a suggestive eyebrow. "Did you get to finish what I interrupted?" Sam remembered the shower he and Helen had taken. "Um, yes. Eventually." "Aha." Al waggled his cigar at him. "You're blushing, Sam." "No, I'm not. I'm just hot!" Al raised both his brows. "From all this exercise," Sam added hurriedly, feeling his face flame even more at his injudicious choice of words. "No way! It's definitely a blush!" crowed Al. "I bet you two have been going at it like-" "Al! That's enough!" Sam spoke so loudly that a couple of women turned around to stare at him. He smiled apologetically and pretended to cough. "When I think of all the times you've preached at me about my 'lewd, lustful and lascivious mind'," Al went on gleefully, "and here you are, you dirty dog, doing a hell of a lot more than using your imagination with that gorgeous young thing-" "Al!" warned Sam, more quietly than before, but just as fierce. "Sorry. Here you are having a wonderful, fulfilling relationship with Helen. Not that I blame you for wanting to..." He waved his cigar around while Sam glared at him. "To have a relationship with her. I remember, she and I-" "AL!" This time Sam was totally outraged. "Ah, revenge is VERY sweet." Al blew a cloud of extremely satisfied smoke, deciding he had pushed Sam as far as he could. His gaze wandered around the studio again, finally coming to rest on the figure of Helen at the far end. "You know, Sam, she's not beautiful," he said thoughtfully. "There are a couple of women here who are much prettier than she is, yet there's something about her - how she moves, she's never awkward, always graceful - but it's not just that. It's something in her manner that's really attractive. I can't quite describe it, it's - it's..." "I know what you mean." Sam had stopped moving and was gazing at Helen, oblivious to the other people around him. "She sees straight past what's on the outside - the lies and the deceit - sees right inside, knows what's in your heart. She looks behind the mask, sees the good and the bad and the pain and hurt - and she does her best to help." Al smiled at the girl at the far end of the room. Sam was right. She'd seen straight through himself and done her best to ease the pain and loneliness in his heart. She'd tried so hard to diminish his demons - the sweating nightmares of heat and thirst, and the booze. But his problems had needed more help, and love, than she could give. She'd given so much of her love to Sam. Al was grateful there had been a little for him when he'd needed it. It had taken all of Beth's love and years of therapy to drive out the memories of 'Nam and AA to cure the drinking. "And she's so honest herself." Sam's voice was filled with love. "There's not a deceitful bone in her body. She's like a lamp, a light. Her soul shines through, clear and bright and strong, and at the center she's so still and serene. Even when she's physically active like this she's restful. It's so peaceful, comfortable, being with her, Al. Like being somewhere very familiar, where you can relax, be happy. Like being home." Al averted his eyes from his friend. The expression of yearning on Sam's face was so intense, naked, he felt he was intruding on something he had no right to see, as if he'd peeked through a window into a very private place and spied on something precious. The two men were recalled to their surroundings by a voice shouting. "Hey! You at the back there." It was Helen. Several women turned around to stare at Sam. He looked around in confusion, then pointed at himself and mouthed, "Me?" "No, not you." Laughter bubbled in Helen's voice. "The other guy near you." The women, seeing only Sam, shrugged at one another and turned back to face her. "People who come to my classes are expected to work, not hang around distracting others from the benefit of my expert tuition. If you don't want to do the class then you should leave." Sam grinned at Al. "She means you." "I had realised that," retorted Al. "But if she thinks I'm going miss out on all this luscious scenery just because she says so she doesn't know me very well." "She doesn't know you at all yet," muttered Sam. "Okay everyone," called Helen, "grab your towels, time for floor work. Now, I want to try a new way of doing sit-ups which, I'm expertly informed," her eyes caught Sam's for a moment, "is less stressful to the lower back than the way we've done them before." Sam obediently sat on his towel. "Maybe that's what I'm here to do - reduce the incidence of lower back trauma amongst the female population of Truro!" Al tore himself away from his examination of the leggy blonde and said dryly, "Er - no, Sam, I don't think so." He pressed a couple of buttons on the handlink. "Ziggy says there's only a 2.3% chance of that being the reason for this Leap. He - er - he agrees with Helen - you're just here for a vacation." The handlink squawked a protest at this blatant lie. Sam's mouth opened as if to speak, so Al went on quickly, "Um - I'm just going to check out the view from the front," and he hurried away before Sam could ask awkward questions. After many stops to check out the women, he finally made it onto the stage. "Will you PLEASE hurry up and tell Sam why he's here," he said to Helen, "before I blurt something out." "Right everyone, that'll do," Helen called. "Hands and toes now for push-ups. Hold your stomach in and don't allow your back to hollow." She commenced push-ups, hissing, "Al, I know you've come closer. For Pete's sake, go away. You're distracting me." "It sure doesn't look like it," he replied, enjoying the sight of her butt moving up and down. However, he walked away and wandered around the class, stopping every so often to admire one of the derrieres that rose and fell so temptingly, occasionally reaching out with his hand as though to pat a particularly nice one. As the class ended, he drifted back to Sam who was wiping his sweaty face with his towel. "Are you satisfied now you've had a little 'tour'?" asked Sam. "Satisfied! Are you kidding?" Al's eyes were rather glazed. "I'm happier than a pair of Kim Basinger's undies. Hey, Sam, did you catch the way the ass moved on that little thing over there? It was just incredible, so - so PNEUMATIC!" "No, I didn't catch anything." The studio was emptying fast and the two men walked over to Helen, who was pulling on her tracksuit. "I was too busy moving my own ass to worry about anyone else's." "Sometimes I feel sorry for you. You just don't appreciate the finer things in life, Sam." "Yes, I do." Sam smiled at Helen. Al followed his gaze. "Hmm. Yeah, well, I guess I don't need to feel sorry for you after all." "Did you enjoy the class?" Helen asked Sam. "Yes, thanks," replied both men together. "Not too hard?" Helen asked Sam. "No, not at all," answered Al, before Sam had a chance to reply. Sam glared at the hologram. "In fact," Al went on, "it was real easy, especially on the eyes." "Will you shut up!" said Sam in an exasperated tone. "She's talking to me. Why do you keep answering when she can't hear you?" He turned to Helen. "No, I didn't. I think I must be pretty fit now, thanks to your 'expert tuition'." "I take it Al enjoyed the class, too," said Helen, as they left the studio. "Though I don't suppose it was in the same way as everyone else." "Yes, he did." Sam turned and glared again at Al, who was following them, head going like radar at the passing female forms. "He spent the whole time PERVING." Helen laughed. "Including at me, I suppose. I felt him close by when we were doing push-ups." Sam nodded. "I hadn't realised you were an actual aerobics instructor. I thought you were going to just take part in the class, not lead it." Helen frowned in puzzlement. "What's 'aerobics'?" "No, no, Sam," said Al, dragging his eyes away from a particularly luscious blonde. "That was Jazzercise." He punched in the data request sequence and looked at the handlink's display. "Aerobics didn't really take off until Jane Fonda decided to make us all fit. She opened her first club in 1980 and had everyone 'going for the burn' in '81 when she launched her books and videos. Ziggy says that's when Helen will start teaching aerobics." "You'll find out in a few years, Helen." They went through the lobby and stood to one side of the street door whilst a group of laughing, chattering young women entered the club. Al's eyes lit like a little boy's on Christmas morning. As Helen and Sam walked out, he called after them, "I think I'll stay for another class. The scenery looks pretty good here, too." He pushed a couple of buttons on the handlink. "Gushie! Center me on that cute little dark-haired number - or maybe that one with the big bazoombas." He waited for the Chief Programmer to change the focus of the link and send him after the girls. Nothing happened, and the girls disappeared down the corridor. The handlink squawked and he peered at its display. "Whaddya mean - it's not specific enough? How much more specific do you want? Her bra size?"