Chapter 2

Sam floated in the blue-white mist.  He was there, yet, not there.  Form 
without substance.  His mind puzzled over the question.  Is it possible?  
Another thought entered his mind.  Was he dead?

Time passed with no real awareness.  He could have been here only minutes, or 
it could have been months. Time was irrelevant here.

He vaguely remembered this place.  A feeling of relief washed over him.  He 
wasn't dead.  He sometimes came here to rest between Leaps.  It was a safe 
haven.  A home away from home.  Home.  The word brought a longing to Sam.  He 
wanted to go Home.  Sam could barely remember home anymore, he had been 
Leaping for so long.  He was so tired.

A voice sounded out of the nothingness.  "Dr. Beckett, the time has come."

It was the same voice he had heard before when he came here.  It was female, 
and kind of mechanical.  He tried to focus on the location of the voice, and 
found none.  It seemed to emanate from all around him.

"Time? What time?"  He tried to stall, he didn't want to leap yet, unless it 
was to Leap home.

"To prove yourself."

Sam let the mist cuddle him, rock him and relax him.  The sensation was like 
being in his mother's womb.  He felt safe and protected.  Nothing would harm 
him here.  He was as sure of that as he was his own name, Sam Beckett

Sam paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts.  "I am ready."  He sighed.  
"I am also tired.  I want to go home."  He didn't think pleading with the 
voice was going to do any good, but what could it hurt?

Sam thought again about Home.  That one word had so much meaning to him.  
Four little letters.  The one place he was denied time after time.  He 
thought he might have been home once, but he couldn't remember anymore.  How 
many Leaps had it been?  How many more?

He could almost remember another voice pleading with him.  He grabbed on to 
the memory and tried to focus on it.  "Please don't leave me.  I couldn't 
stand it if you left me again.  Not when I just got you back."  He saw a 
flash of a face and brown hair as the woman turned away from him.  He tried 
to remember more, but the memory slipped away, just as the mist was doing now.

The mist-voice returned and it seemed sad, even wistful.  "If you can 
accomplish your mission, you can go Home."

Sam wanted to cry.  He thought again of the mystery woman.  Home was near 
her.  He thought of Al.  Home was also with Al.  His mood cheered some at the 
thought of actually touching his friend again.  He would grab him in a big 
bear hug... the thought trailed off.  "I will do anything you ask.  Haven't I 
done so

There was a long pause before the voice responded.  "You have done that, and 
more."  The mist was silent again.  Moments or minutes passed.  Sam was sure 
of neither.

The voice returned once again.  "This will be your hardest mission."

Sam wanted to break down.  Why him?  Why ask so much of him?  He envisioned 
the mystery woman.  He could remember holding her and staring up at the night 
sky, the New Mexico breeze sending a slight chill over him.  Her body had 
been so warm, her lips so soft, as he bent down to kiss her.  The memory 
dissipated again.  Be strong, he told himself.  No whining.  You're a 
Beckett.  Do it for Her.  So you can go home.  He steeled himself.  "I can do 

The voice seemed to whisper in his ear.  "You have done much good.  More than 
was ever expected."

Then silence stretched out for an eternity.

Sam rested, and waited.

After a while, the mist began to gather itself around the essence of Sam.  It 
grew denser, almost as if hugging him.  To Sam it seemed reluctant to let him 

A final word floated to him across the emptiness.


Then in a blinding flash of light- Sam Leaped.