Chapter VI



	Al woke up and grumbled, "Go away, Ziggy."  His wife stirred beside him.

	"Dr. Calavicci asked me to wake you.  She will be there in ten minutes."

	*Bertie.* He nearly forgot about her.  In fact, he hadn't seen her yet
this visit.  "Why?  What's up?"

	"Furthermore," Ziggy continued, ignoring the question, "Dr.  Beckett is
awake and getting ready for work.  I advise that you check in on him, prior
to his departure.  Also, Dr.  Beeks and Dr. Elesee are en route and should
be here in the next half hour."

	"How's Elizabeth doing?"

	"Oh, and I have data for Dr. Beckett's consideration."

	"Ziggy," he snapped, voice rising, "why is Bertie on her way, and how is

	The computer remained silent.

	Al swore.  He disentangled himself from the sheets and his wife, pulling
on his robe as he went.  Beth followed suit.

	"One of these days, I'm going to reprogram that computer with a
jackhammer," he threatened, as he entered the living area.

	"Need any help?" Beth asked, starting the coffee.

	Bertie arrived sooner than expected and she didn't look happy.

	"She doesn't believe me," she blurted out.

	"Who? Ziggy?" Beth asked.

	Bertie stared at her mother as if Beth should know exactly who she was
referring to.  "Didn't Ziggy tell you why I wanted to see you?"

	Al glanced up at the ceiling.  "No, as a matter of fact, she didn't."

	"I've been in the Waiting Room."

	Al and Beth glanced at each other.  "Go on," Beth told Bertie.

	Their daughter began her narrative.  "Around 2 a.m., Ziggy tells me that
the Visitor is awake.  It appears that I'm the only one awake or not  . . .
occupied, so she asks me to go in."  Bertie went on to explain that Ziggy
briefed her, thoroughly, on the events that transpired earlier that day. 

	"I've always had reservations about leaping," Bertie explained to her
parents, pacing.  "Mainly, in the wrong hands, it could lead to disaster.
I know that Sam Beckett isn't bent on world domination or profit, and for
him to be there, I know that someone is in need of his help.  Ziggy assured
me of that.  I was willing to lend a hand at that point and I was even
curious to meet . . . Elizabeth."

	Beth made her stop pacing and asked, "What happened?"

	"Elizabeth thinks she's in an institution because of a nervous breakdown
brought on by the news that her husband is dead."

	"She thinks I'm dead?" Al asked, worried.

	Bertie nodded.  "Regardless of what Sammie Jo said to her earlier,
Elizabeth is convinced she was brought to New Mexico for a mental
breakdown.  I guess she thinks she blacked out or something, because she
told me she remembers going to work, and that's it." 

	"Sweetheart, did you tell her the truth?"

	"She thought I was lying," Bertie said.  She went on to repeat exactly
what was said in the Waiting Room.  By the time Bertie finished, she looked
to be near tears herself.  "As soon as I left the Waiting Room, I ran all
the way back to my room.  I was sobbing before I was out of earshot of the
Marine guards."

	"Oh, Bertie," Beth said soothingly, gathering their daughter up in her
arms.  "It's all right, sweetheart."

	Al crossed over to his wife and daughter, and gently stroked Bertie's
curls.  All the holes in his memory weren't completely filled, but he did
know that for Bertie to be reduced to this state, she had to be deeply

	Beth sighed "It looks as if Elizabeth needs proof.  I recommend that you
pay her a visit, Al."

	Bertie looked up, astonished.  "You're serious?"

	"Yes, sweetheart, I am," Beth replied, smoothing away a stray curl.  "I
think Bena will agree, once she reviews the situation."

	"By the way," Al asked, "where was Sammie Jo while all this was going on?"



	"Apparently, Dr. Fuller had," she narrowed her eyes slyly, "some company
last night and Ziggy didn't feel it was polite to interrupt."

	Al's mouth hung open. *Sammie Jo?   ~Sam's ~ daughter?*

	"Anyway," Bertie continued, pulling away from her mother.  "Sammie Jo
wouldn't have been any more successful with Elizabeth, so it really doesn't
matter where she was last night."

	"Good point," he conceded, still trying to figure out who had caught
Sammie Jo's eye.

	"I'm sorry, sweetie," Beth was saying to their daughter.

	"It's ok, Mom.  I mean, if I was in her position, I would probably react
the same way."  Bertie smiled at them, turning to go.  She got half way to
the door and stopped.  Bertie turned back to them, a look of uncertainty on
her face.  "I wasn't going to say anything, because Kevin doesn't even know
yet, but I want you to know that," she paused, shyly.  "I'm pregnant."

	Beth reacted first.  She gave a little gasp of joy and enfolded Bertie in
her embrace again.

	A proud grin slowly spread across Al's face.  "I hope it's another girl."

	"Oh, Al," Beth said, gently reproving him.  They already had one grandson
and two great- nephews, but little Theresa and Georgia's daughter, Aurora,
were Al's little darlings.

	"I'll keep that in mind, Dad," Bertie replied, amused, as she moved into
his arms.

	Despite her appearance, Bertie had a powerful hug.  The ‘first' time he
hugged her (back in April), Al had been afraid of hurting her, instead she
nearly hurt him.  "Congratulations, sweetheart," he whispered to her.  He
kissed the top of her head.

	"Let me know how it goes in the Waiting Room, Dad," Bertie said, heading
toward the door.

	Al chuckled, shaking his head.  He turned to his wife.  "Well, I better
get ready to visit Sam," Al said, as Beth dabbed at her eyes with a tissue.

	"Just go like that."

	He gave her an odd look.  "Why?"

	"Because you'll only have to change again, when you get back."

	"I will?"  He studied Beth shrewdly.  He felt he missed part of the
conversation somehow.  "What makes you say that?"

	"I haven't decided what you should wear into the Waiting Room," she
explained, handing him his coffee.  She turned and headed into their room.
He followed.

	"You see, you can't just walk in there, wearing just anything," Beth said,
opening the closet.  "I like your clothes Al, but there's no way to know
how Elizabeth will react.  The whole point is to make her believe that you
are her husband.  She needs to recognize you."  Beth held up one of his
favorite shirts, the one covered with letters, and smiled.  "This would be
too much."

	Al raised an eyebrow.  "You think so?"

	"I'm positive."

	"Why not the uniform?"

	She frowned.  "Too sterile.  It's white, but so is the Waiting Room, the
Fermi suit, the lab coats.  Elizabeth thinks she's in an institution, Al."
She sighed.  "I'll have to give it some thought."

	Al gave his wife an amused smile, and kissed her cheek as she contemplated
his wardrobe.  "Hopefully, you'll have decided by the time I get back.  If
not, I could always go like this."

	"I don't think so, Al."

	He grinned at her.  "Jealous?"

	"Hardly.  Now go and see Sam before he gets me court-martialed or
something," she replied, patting his cheek playfully.

		* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

	Bertie hummed to herself as she made her way back to her room.

	Despite everything, she was feeling good about this leap.  It had hurt
Bertie to hear her mother accuse her of lying.  If the Visitor had been
anyone else, such accusations would not have phased her in the least.  For
a brief moment, Bertie had toyed with the idea of telling Elizabeth that
she, Alberta, was her daughter.  But that would have been unnecessarily cruel.

	The biggest relief was that Sam was *not* there to change Elizabeth
Calavicci's life.  The years of waiting were over, the man she loved was
coming home in one piece, and the children she so desired where in her
future.  There were people, in that time, who were less fortunate than her
mother and who needed Sam's help.

	Bertie still wasn't comfortable, personally, about the idea of time
travel, but she couldn't find fault with the things Sam had done.  Most of
them, anyway.  There were rumors that Sam had changed the outcome of
November 22, 1963, yet no one on the project would admit to it, and Ziggy
and her own father were the only two who knew what was different, if
anything.  Things like that scared her.  Change the wrong thing, and you
get a domino effect that could really mess things up.

	Bertie rounded the corner and bumped into Sammie Jo.

	There were only two people living on Level 2:  Bertie and Paul.  The odds
that Sammie Jo had been down to see *her* were so low, they were nonexistent.

	Bertie raised an eyebrow, hiding her happiness and amusement.

	Sammie Jo's face changed from pink to red as she realized who she bumped
into.  Without saying anything, she stepped around Bertie and continued on
her way.  Bertie remained rooted to the spot.

	Once she was sure Sammie Jo was gone, Bertie bursted into a fit of
laughter. *I never would have guessed!* she thought, as she wiped a tear
from her eye.  She shook her head. *This is turning out to be one
interesting day.*