Author's Note:  Finally, another chapter with Sam in it.  Reminder: ^*
means dreams/memories.

Chapter 4


	^*He was looking at an article about a young female genius, no more than
seven.  There was a picture of her with the article.  She had short, dark,
curly hair; long, thick, dark eyelashes; and sharp, bright, dark eyes.
Eyes very familiar to Sam.  He could hear himself speak.*^

	^*"No one could be that smart, Tom."*^

	^*"It's true.  I've met her.  She's smarter than you, little brother."*^

	^*The scene changed, and he was in the hall of Project Star Bright.  He
had just been hired.*^

	^*"Uh, what are you doing with that hammer?"*^

	^*"What does it look like to you, kid?" the Naval officer growled at him.
Al didn't look as drunk as before, but certainly a lot madder.  In fact, it
looked as if he was so mad, that he couldn't get properly drunk.  "Who let
you down here?" he demanded.  "This is a restricted area."*^

	^*"I'm Dr. Sam Beckett.  I'm--"*^

	^*"I know who you are, but it's too late.  They're going to fire me and
pull the funding out from under you!"*^

	^*"What? Why? Why are they firing you?"*^

	^*"Because I won't give them what they want," he snapped at Sam, as if it
should have been obvious to him.*^

	^*"What do you want from you?"*^

	^*"They want my daughter!" Al bellowed at him.*^

	^*"Oh, God.  You're Alberta's father."*^

	^*The scene changed again.  Sam, Al, and Alberta were in LoNigro's
classroom at MIT, along with the professor and his wife, Dana Barrenger.
His blackboards were all but covered with an impossibly long mathematical
equation that had taken Sam an hour to write.  It would have taken him that
long to solve it.  Bertie had solved it in 15 minutes.  She as only nine at
the time.*^

	^*Again, the scene changed and now Alberta looked to be in her teens.  She
was looking more like her father every time Sam saw her.*^

	^*"Come work with us on the new project, Bertie."*^

	^*"Now that Mom's agreed to work with you, once she retires, don't you
think that two Calaviccis are enough for one project?  I'm glad she's
agreed.  Someone has to keep an eye on you and Dad."*^


	^*"Don't beg, Sam.  Quantum Leap is your dream.  I have a dream of my own,
and I want to pursue it, first."*^

	^*"They'll never let you fly the shuttle, Bertie."*^

	*^She gave him a sharp look, one he was used to seeing from Al.  "They

	^*"You'd be better off working with us.  You'd be near your family and. .
."  Alberta's face was expressionless and her dark eyes were cold and

	^*"Don't ever ask me again, Dr. Beckett," she replied, in a low cold,

	^*The scene, once again, shifted and Bertie was a lovely young woman,
around eighteen years old.  He had known her a decade.*^

	^*"They're going to pull my funding, Bertie."*^

	^*"I know.  They want results.  You can't give them results."*^

	^*"I can if I leap."*^

	^*"That Retrieval program doesn't work.  You said so yourself.  Don't do
it, Sam."*^

	^*"You sound just like your father," he accused her.*^

	^*"Thank you.  I'll take that as a compliment."*^

	^*"I have to."*^

	^*"Daddy'll never forgive you, Sam.  Don't leap."*^

	^*"I'll lose funding if I don't."*^

	^*"So?" she replied, bluntly.  "If they do, you move on.  They 
still might pull the funding if you leap, Sam."*^

	^*"You don't believe the project can work.  You never did," Sam retorted,

	^*"I don't believe in your Retrieval program," she snapped back at him.*^

	^*"It's going to work.  You'll see."*^



	Sam bolted upright in bed, startled.  Resplendent in his uniform, was his

	"Sorry, kid.  Zig said you were having bad dreams.  She convinced me to
come wake you up."

	Sam rubbed his eyes.  Without saying a word, he rolled out of bed and
headed to the bathroom.  There, he splashed cold water on his face.   *Al
has a daughter!* he thought. *A daughter I royally pissed off and who seems
to be a lot smarter than me.* 

	As he dried his face, he could hear the handlink cheerfully chirping like
an ecstatic bird.  Al had followed him.   He opened his eyes again and
looked over at Al.

	"I thought you retired."

	"Yeah, that didn't change, neither did the date.  I'm just wearing this
because I feel nostalgic.  I do that from time to time."

	"Then, why did they promote you?"

	"Huh?"  Al glanced at his shoulder board.  There were three stars on each.
  "I guess staying out of divorce court improved my image.  I retired a
vice admiral.  So did Beth, by the way."

      Sam glanced at him, startled.  Al was surprised as he was, giving him
the impression that this was the first time he referred to her by name.
"Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?" Sam asked, grinning.

	Al grinned back.  "Actually, it was kinda of fun.  I think I'll say it
again.  Beth."  He tilted his head, apparently listening to someone on the
Project.  "No, honey.  I was just talking to Sam.  Tell Ziggy to mind her
own beeswax."

	Sam chuckled.

	"We still don't have a workable solution on how to save Kelly.  So far,
Ms. Know-It-All says the best way to save her is for you to kidnap her and
hold her hostage this weekend."

	"George could end up in prison, Al." Sam reminded him, crawling back on
the bed.

	"I said we didn't have a *workable* solution.  She's just brainstorming
with Sammie Jo."

	Al kept mentioning this member of the Project, but Sam couldn't put a
finger on what it was about her that eluded him.  He could only remember
she had worked, as an intern, on Project Star Bright.

	The sound of doors opening and slamming shut, could be heard in the
hallways, as the pilots headed out for another day of deterring armed
aggression.  The handlink squawked, and Al said, "I just left."

	The mention of the younger man brought last night back to Sam's mind.  Sam
watched as the Observer fiddled with the handlink.  By his expression, Sam
could tell he was actually consulting the link, not trying to avoid Sam's
eye.  A change had come over the admiral, besides the third star.  Al still
needed a few more hours of good rest, but on the whole, he now resembled
the version Sam had watched shoot pool.

	The hologram shook the link.  "Forget it, gang," he said to the invisible
Project.  "Take a break and try again later.  Sammie Jo, why don't you go
visit George?"

	"Still nothing?"

	Al nodded, sourly.

	"Well, what can you tell me about George?  I gather he's a really good
friend, better than Chip, I'd say."

	Al sighed, profoundly sad, and Sam knew that George was most likely dead.
He told Sam, briefly, how the two had become friends."

	"He's really related to the Revolutionary War hero?" Sam asked, awed.

	"Yeah.  You should see the family tree."

	Something in Al's face told Sam he was holding something back.  *Now, this
is familiar territory.*  "He looks kind of familiar.  Do I know him?"

	"No, but you've seen pictures of him.  He's was listed as MIA, until last
year.  His father had the Navy officially declare him dead." Al told him,
quietly, "Before he passed away himself."

	Sam sat in silence.  He yawned and squinted at the clock.  "God, Al, why
so early?"

	"Your brain-child said you were having nightmares, remember?"

	The dreams, or more importantly, the subject of them came back.  "They
weren't nightmares, precisely," Sam muttered.

	Al arched an eyebrow, inquiringly.

	"They were memories from the new time line."  Sam was reluctant to say,
exactly who was in them.  Al had yet to mention a daughter and Sam had a
feeling Al didn't remember having one.  Besides, the conversation with
Alberta was still fresh in his mind.

	"That makes perfect sense," Al was saying.  "I'm expected to live in, and
cope with, the new time line, and you've got the memories."

	"Tom was in one."

	"Now, that's not a problem, Sam," Al said, before he could continue.  "I'm
glad you can remember your brother.  In fact, I have a few memories about
him that go with the new past.  Having him around has come in handy.  He
remained on Active Duty until last year, and he knows about the Project.
He's kept your mother and sister. . .reassured, I guess."

	Sam was a little stunned by Al's willingness to discuss Tom.  *He must
assume I have more memories of Tom, other than that we saved his life in
‘70.*  Feeling a bit guilty, Sam decided to tell him the truth.  "You have
a daughter, Al."

	Al gave him a slightly lopsided smile.  "No, Sam, I do not have *a*

	Sam blinked in confusion, and was about to contradict him when he saw the
look in Al's eyes.  Al was disputing the number, not the fact.  "How many?"
Sam asked, weakly.  Given Al's reputed sexual prowess, Sam was prepared for
a big number.  On the other hand, Beth was in her thirties when Sam ‘met'
her in 1969.  She would only have had a few, safe, childbearing years left
by the time Al was repatriated. 

	"One for each of the ex-wives I never married."

	"Four?!  You mean, I've traded stories of sexual escapades for teen
angst?" Sam replied in mock horror.  "Good.  So, I won't be hearing about
those non-ex-wives anymore, right.?"

	"Well, actually, no.  You see, Sam, I still remember Ruth, Sharon, Maxine,
and. . .what's- her-name. . .the second one. . .or was she the third?"

	"I certainly hope you don't have the same problem with the girls.  Do you
know *their* names, including birth order?" *Not that I can dispute what he

	"Of course," Al promptly replied.

	Sam raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms.

	"Alberta, Trudi with an ‘i', Hope, and Faith.  The last two are a pair of
fraternal twins, and Faith has two kids of her own, a boy and a girl."


	"Yeah.  So?"  An odd look crossed his face, and he gave Sam a mischievous

	Sam heaved a mental sigh.  "All right.  Don't tell me.  One of your
grandchildren has discovered the cure for the common cold, right from the

	"No.  They're your typical toddlers, or so I've been told.  But
considering their family tree, you'd expect one of them would be a genius.
Their aunt and great-uncle have won Nobel prizes."  Al was looking at him,

	*So, Bertie's taken a Nobel.* "In what?"

	"Both in physics."

	Al continued to give him a knowing look, but Sam was so swiss-cheesed, he
was sure he wouldn't be able to remember all the Nobelists in physics.
"Al, it's too darn early for this.  I give up.  Who is their --" He stopped
short.  The admiral's twinkling eyes, and mischievous grin, finally gave
Sam the answer.  "ME?"

	"Yep." Al replied cheerfully.  "Faith married one of Tom's kids."

	"Oh, boy," Sam replied, weakly.

	"Now you know how I felt."

	Sam took several minutes to collect his thoughts, after hearing such an
announcement.  "What were we talking about?"

	"Ah. . . according to Ziggy, you were telling about you dreams."

	Sam shook his head.  "Anyway, I remembered first hearing about Alberta,
then the day I met you. . .incidently, you were doing the same thing, but
for a different reason, and you weren't as drunk."

	"The hammer and the vending machine?"

	Sam nodded.  He continued.  "I also remember asking her to work with us,
on Project Quantum Leap."

	"Oh, good," Al interrupted.  "At the staff meeting this morning, or our
attempted staff meeting since I was called away by Ziggy, I asked them why
she doesn't work for us.  Ziggy said only you and Alberta know that."

	Sam held a silent debate with himself, on whether or not he should tell Al
everything.  He couldn't believe he had told another aspiring scientist to
abandon her dreams for his; that he told another peer she would be better
off working for him. *She was right, and Al won't forgive me.*

	Al was still waiting patiently for an answer.

	"I only remember asking her."

	The handlink hiccupped, and Al looked shocked.  "Ziggy said, based on your
brain waves, you just lied to me."

	"She told me no," Sam confessed.


	"She wanted to pursue her own dreams."  That was as close to the truth as
he dared.  Ziggy's silence confirmed that she was accepting that as gospel.

	"Sounds like me," Al observed.  He shoved his hands ,and the 
link, into his pockets, which ruined the effect of the uniform.

	Sam swallowed a lump in his throat, suddenly remembering that he used to
call her.  "Junior," Sam whispered.

	Al heard him and saw the effect it had on Sam.  He pulled out the link,
and starting keying the Door.  "Why don't I let you go back to sleep, Sam."

	Sam nodded, not looking up.  He needed information on Kelly and how she
died, but if Al stayed with him much longer, he was bound to confess.
"Thanks, Al"

	Sam lay back down as the Door closed, leaving him alone with his thoughts