CHAPTER 3 Sam nervously paced the Control Room thinking, he had to get the hand-link, he had go back to his own time. He strode steadily towards the now darkened Accelerator Chamber and stood on the metallic disc and waited, nothing happened. Of course nothing happened, the Accelerator needed to be activated. Disheartened he stepped back from the disc and looked down at his bare feet, he was still wearing the white Fermi-suit. He sat where he stood and held his head in his hands, desperately trying to conceive a solution. Slowly, his eyes began to close, fatigue took over and Sam fell into a deep sleep. A hazy, feminine figure stood above him, silhouetted against the bright light behind her, she held out a hand and he took it. He rose to his feet, never once taking his eyes from her darkened face. As she turned the light illuminated her features, he knew her, he could remember her but he couldn't recall her name. "Sam," her voice was soft and gentle, she held his hand tenderly between her own. She bought her soft, red lips down and kissed it, it was a feeling of a feather as it brushed his skin. "I came back for you Sam." He swallowed hard, he opened his mouth to speak but the words were gone and so he closed it again. She bought her head back up, now face to face with him, inches apart. He looked into those blue velvety eyes as he had done years before and again was lost in their depths, "J-Jes-sie," he stammered, as if her eyes held her name, he swallowed hard again. Her luscious, red lips met his for a brief moment, his eyes closed. He could feel her lips as they brushed his cheek across his skin to the other cheek, down to his neck. He felt a quiver inside, a feeling he had not experienced for years. A loud humming noise followed by footsteps on a hard floor made him open his eyes. Florescent lights flashed on and the humming stopped. He had been dreaming. He raised his head from the hardness of the floor and eased painful joints into a standing position, he looked around the corner into the Control Room. The unmistakable figure of Gooshie stood by the control panel. Despite his aching body Sam hurried towards him, limping as the circulation returned to one of his legs, "Gooshie, you're here." He remembered then that Gooshie could not hear or see him, even so, Sam continued to talk, "can't here me can you, but it's great to see you pal, even though you can't see me." Gooshie continued to read and input data from a clipboard into Ziggy, oblivious to Sam standing behind him. Sam turned around, looking for something, anything that would help him, he noticed a calendar standing on the middle shelf next to the control panel. At the top in capitals the word SEPTEMBER below in large numbers, 15. So what if he were a day early. He then looked at the clock it was 7:12, "It must be morning, Gooshie always comes in at 7 am." His thoughts then strayed to the Imaging Chamber, as he saw the door below the clock, he raced towards it and went through. Once inside he let his eyes become accustomed to the blue-pink light, he blinked intensely several times. With each blink images became more clear, he could see Sammi Jo and Al talking, Al was pacing as usual, and his hands motioned to his words. "Al, Ziggy can you hear me?" Sam saw Al instantly look up at Ziggy, he spoke to her, it was like watching a silent movie. Al turned and picked up the hand-link from the shelf, he pressed a few buttons. Sam could hear Al's voice, "Sam where are you?" "I'm in the Imaging Chamber." "What yer doin' in there?" "I leapt Al, but I'm stuck." "What you mean yer stuck?" "I leapt, but as a hologram and I don't have the hand-link. Ask Ziggy if she can figure a way of getting the hand-link to me." "Well just come out of there." "I can't Al, it's the year 2000 and Gooshie's in the Control Room, he can't see or hear me, I need the hand-link to operate the Accelerator and to communicate with Ziggy." Sam saw Al turn and talk to Ziggy and then to Sammi Jo, "Sam, We think you're in big trouble there." Al turned back to Sammi Jo and listened to her, "Hang on Sam, I'm coming in, see if I can do somethin'." Al entered the Imaging Chamber, "Sam can you see me in here?" "Yes Al. Can you see me?" "No I can't, but I can see Gooshie in the Control Room. Hey I just had a thought pal, remember when you and I switched places, we had trouble with the hand-link, Gooshie put a spare hand-link in the Imaging Chamber, can you see it?" Sam looked around, "Where Al?" "Straight opposite the door." Sam moved to the wall opposite the door and saw the hand-link on a shelf near the floor, he bent down to pick it up but could not grasp it. "Al we got a problem here, I'm a hologram, remember." "Oh right Sam, you can't get it. I'll get it from here and see what Ziggy has to say." Al picked up the spare hand-link and headed back to the Control Room. Sam could see Al talking to Ziggy and Sammi Jo. He stood and waited. It felt like waiting for the verdict on a death sentence. Sam's legs ached and he sat down, forgetting, he leaned back against the wall and fell into it. "Darn it," he was confused, and looked round annoyed at the wall, hesitating, he tried to grasp the hand-link once more. "Sam, can you still hear me?" "Yes Al, what have you figured?" "Ziggy reckons that, if we put the hand-link into the Accelerator Chamber you should be able to get it at you end." "I don't know about that, the Accelerator was designed for microcosmic-molecular objects, I don't know if it'll work on inanimate ones." "What do you want me to do? Give it a go or what?" "Yeah give it a try Al, what we got to lose. I'm stuck here, and I'm getting seriously hungry. Give it your best shot Ziggy" Sam watched as Al placed the hand-link onto the metallic disk in the Accelerator Chamber. Al turned to Ziggy, "Ziggy, Activate the Accelerator Chamber." The overhead disk began to lower. "Al wait!" Sam shouted, "The time Al, you've got to adjust the time on the epoch-atmosphicmetre dial, I didn't set the time when I left, it'll need advancing." The Metallic disk stopped descending. "I don't know the time, just wait while I check." Sam ran out into the Control Room and checked the clock above the door. "Al it's 11:42, Gooshie's still here so I guess it's still morning." Sam stood and waited for a reply, but none came. Realising he had to be in the Imaging Chamber to speak to Al, he rushed back in. "Al it's 11:42 am." Al turned the dial on the control panel, "Okay Ziggy, re-activate the Accelerator Chamber." The metallic disk continued it's descent, "I've set the atmosphicmetre to mid-day, should be with you anytime then." Al scuttled towards the Accelerator Chamber, blue-white light flashed between the metallic disks and bright white sparks were emitted from the hand-link. "I hope this is working Sam!" He shouted above the sound of the wind and static. The hand-link shone white and disappeared along with the light. All at once Sam had a horrifying thought. "Al! The date, the date was wrong! I arrived a day earlier than the date I'd set on the epoch-atmosphicmetre." "Maybe that'll happen with the hand-link too, if not then you'll have to wait another 24 hours, it's not as if I sent it to you yesterday." "Oh Al I hope so. I'm going into the Control Room to wait, I'll get back to you after noon." Again Sam went into the Control Room to check the time. Five more minutes, he sat on the floor a couple of yards away from the Accelerator Chamber. Thoughts of the day's events went though his mind. He remembered the dream he'd had, why had he dreamt of Jessica Olivera after all these years. She still had the same effect on him as she had done from the first day he'd met her, and that frightened him, he like to be in control of his emotions. He'd lost control from the moment he'd met her, he didn't want to treat her so badly, but he didn't know what to do about it, he still didn't. Blue-white light flashed from the Accelerator Chamber, changing to bright, blinding white. Sam shuffled himself away as the light intensified, turning his head from the glare. As shadows dissipated from the walls, he turned back and scrambled to his feet. Lying in the centre of the metallic disk was the hand-link. Hardly daring to move he stared at the object. Afraid to grasp it in his hand in case.... he could not bear the thought. Slowly he stepped, nearer to the object of his fixation, he crouched, on hands and knees, he moved in closer. Cautiously, he raised a hand from the ground and shifted it towards the object, fingers outstretched, gingerly he touched it, it was solid. A gasp of relief left his soul, as his eyes closed he collapsed in a heap and rolled over smiling, the smile turning into laughter, hysterical laughter.