Date:  April 2, 1999

     "Well, now.  THAT certainly looks interesting!  How long can she
hold herself like that?"
     Thames, the man who had leaped into Gushie, yelped as the voice
came out of nowhere and upset the fine balance he and Tina had created
on the hotel's king-size bed.  WHO in the HELL is in our ROOM?  he
thought, as Tina whimpered from pain and from the interruption of their
     Looking around, Thames saw a man of late middle-age, balding and
very thin.  He was watching Thames and Tina curiously, a lecherous grin
on his face and some strange type of mechanical device in his hands.
     "Don't mind me," this strange visitor said.  "I didn't mean to
interrupt.  Go on with what you're doing--I'd be more than happy to
     "I am NOT doing this with you watching!"  Thames yelled as he
grabbed his shorts to cover himself.  Where in the hell had this guy
come from?  Thames was sure he hadn't heard the door open--but then
again, neither he nor Tina had been quiet during their exertions.  He
turned to remove this intruder from the room.
     "It's gonna be pretty hard to do this unless I'm here, honey." 
Tina looked at Thames with amused confusion.  Christ, Thames thought. 
I'd forgotten all about her.
     Wait a minute.  Thames looked at Tina, lying naked on their bed,
gazing back at him with desire.  I know she wasn't concerned when Sammy
Jo saw her, he thought, but a stranger enters our room and she doesn't
even grab a towel? Not even Tina's that much of an exhibitionist.
     "Have you figured it out yet, Thames?"  The man spoke quietly and
then smiled. He held up a finger across his mouth to indicate that
Thames wasn't supposed to answer him out loud.  Which was fine by
Thames, because he was terrified.  This man knew who he really was. 
"Tell Tina that you need to use the restroom," the man continued, his
voice suddenly stern and very firm.  Thames recognized that tone.  It
was one the controllers at the Project always used when the subjects
had screwed up.  "We can talk in there."
     "Honey, I need to use the restroom."  Thames looked from the man
to Tina and then, afraid that he was going to give something away,
lurched suddenly into motion and bolted to the restroom door.
     Tina watched him go, nodding knowingly.  "Yeah--that position can
cause lots of havoc with your bladder," she said to herself.

     Inside the restroom, Thames sat down on the toilet.  Only to leap
up again, yelping a second time--

As the visitor walked through the door as if it weren't there.

     "How--how--?"  Thames' voice was trying to get the question out,
but he was too shocked to make it work correctly.
     "Turn on the faucet first, Thames."  As Thames did so woodenly,
the man began to pace the length of the room.  "I hate new leapers. 
It's so silly to have to keep explaining things to them.  Before I tell
you what's going on, do me a favor, okay?"  The visitor looked at
Thames, obviously expecting an answer.
     "Um...okay," was all Thames could think of to say.
     "Try not to screw up or die, okay?  We go through so many of these
damn leapers, and every time one of you screws up, I gotta go and train
another damn swiss-cheesed idiot.  So don't mess it up, okay!?"
     Thames nodded, finally sure that this visitor did indeed have
something to do with the project, and with why he was here. "Now," the
visitor continued, "The basics."
     "You are part of a time-travel program that the United States of
the Western Hemisphere runs.  You are called a leaper.  Your job is to
travel back in time and change the past so that it becomes the future
that the government desires it to be.  Clear so far?"
     Thames only nodded, intrigued to finally be getting the answers he
had forgotten as soon as he leaped here.
     "Your name is Thames.  I cannot tell you more than that--not your
full name, where you come from, anything.  Each time a leaper is given
more of their lives back, they become more likely to leap home and less
able to help others in their leaps.  Clear?" Another nod.
     "In order to know what it is you have to change, you are given a
mission briefing by Lothos, the computer that runs our Project. 
Sometimes this mission briefing is lost when the leaper has completed
his leap--in that case, a person like myself steps into an Imaging
Room.  Using this room, I can appear to you as a hologram.  You can see
me and hear me, but no one else can.  Moreover, I cannot interact with
your moment in history in any way.  Watch."  The visitor walked through
the toilet, the sink, and even through Thames--all without impediment. 
     Thames nodded, fascinated.  His memory had given him nothing about
     "My name is Hardin," the visitor continued.  "That is what you
will call me. I have been reviewing your case, and while it seemed at
first that you had remembered your mission, now I find that you have
resorted to sexual acrobatics with the lady outside.  Explain
     Thames swallowed.  While he had forgotten many things, his reason
for being here was not one of them.  Neither had he forgotten how
devastatingly painful failure was, back in 2010.  "I do remember why I
am here, sir," Thames said, trying to sound as though he had everything
under control.  "As a matter of fact, a plan is already in place that
will take care of the subject without causing me any danger at all."
     Hardin was suddenly directly in Thames' face.  "You have clearly
forgotten a great deal, Thames.  We are able to see the future.  What
you do now, you have already done from where I am in time.  Whatever
plan you created not only failed, but in fact did damage to the entire
Project.  So let's start at the beginning.  What is your mission here
in 1999?"
     Thames had begun to sweat.  Damn, he thought.  I knew I should
have found a way to watch things more closely.  But it should have
WORKED.  He had seen too many obsessed people like Sammy Jo before. 
They always tried to get around things.  It couldn't have been that
hard for her to find a way around his orders.  Once she did, she'd have
been shot.  How could it have failed?

"I'm waiting, Thames.  NOW."

     Thames shook himself of his thoughts and began to answer, knowing
that if his plan were a poor one, he could be sent back to hell right
now, and someone else inserted in his place.
     That wasn't something he wanted.  Another moment in 2010 would
kill him.  There was a reason to travel backwards in time. 

Here, the world wasn't yet dying.

"I am here to kill Samantha Jo Fuller."

     The hologram nodded.  "Why?"
     "Because if she is not killed, she saves Dr. Samuel Beckett."
     "Good," Hardin said.  "At least you remember that much.  Now
explain to me this plan..."

Date: April 2, 1999

     Albert Calavicci, retired sailor that he was, had spent many
nights drinking with his buddies on shore leave, and many nights
drinking quietly with his wife and friends playing bridge or poker.
     He'd never been one to drink on his own, however.  Not, that is,
until tonight.
     Al sat in a corner booth in a bar mere blocks from the
psychiatrist's office.  He had gone straight here after ...whatever it
was that had happened happened...and given the bartender a $275 bill. 
That was enough to buy the whole bottle, and the drinks had come one
after the other since then, and Al was very, very drunk.
     At one point, he had called Beth to tell her what had happened,
the alcohol giving him courage to try and explain it all to her.  What
she had said had been the final straw, the piece that truly proved that
he was losing his mind.
     Beth had never heard of Dr. Gyore.  "What do you mean Dr. Gyore
vanished?" she had said.  "Who is he?  Why didn't you see Dr.
Rubenstein?  Was she on vacation or something?"  When Al realized that
for her, there had never BEEN a Dr. Gyore--that the reason the
name-plate on the front was changed, the reason the name on the board
inside the front lobby had changed--wasn't because someone was trying
to trick him but because Gyore had never EXISTED...Al had just hung up.
     Now he was determined to see how many more drinks would allow him
to fall asleep.  This day was simply proof of his insanity, and he
wanted to sleep before he committed himself for treatment.
     The bar was smoky and dark as the evening wore on and the drinks
were finally taking their toll on him.  His head had been nodding to
the side on its own for about five minutes now, and his eyelids were
getting heavier.  The voices in his head, clamoring for him to DO
something and not just sit here--begging him not to let himself become
a drunk AGAIN (SHUT UP! he screamed internally.  I have NEVER been a
drunk!)...those voices were finally, blissfully, falling silent.
     Nothing more about Beth and divorce.  Nothing more about leaping
and holograms.  Nothing more about--

"...Beckett, yes...."

     Al's ears caught it, just barely, from a table behind him.  Al
spun around to look, trying to place who had said that name.  It had
been a female voice, and the only woman he saw over there was sitting
alone, looking at the bartender.  It appeared the bartender was asking
her name, trying to get someone for a phone message.  
     Al looked hard at the woman, wondering at the coincidence, trying
to figure out if she was connected somehow, or if this was merely his
fevered mind trying to persuade him that he had heard that name.
     The woman, a dark-haired and beautiful lady in her mid-40's, had
eyes that seemed to indicate a long and painful journey through life. 
As if she had lost something dear to her after many years of stress,
and had never recovered from it.  She stood and followed the bartender
to a pay phone near the restrooms.  As she took the call, Al decided
that it might be time to relieve himself...and see if he could hear any
of that message.
     He stood and nearly toppled from the lack of coordination he
possessed at this moment.  Once moving, however, the momentum of his
steps carried him across the room without incident, depositing him at
the doors to the restroom.  Al entered quickly, and grabbed a shoe off
of a foot as he went inside.  He nearly fell over from the yank, but
managed to place the shoe between the door and the frame with only two
bumps of his head on the door itself.
     Then he began to use the restroom.  He was proud of himself.  Even
with that much alcohol, his plan was solid.  It had worked, and he
could hear what the lady was saying.
     "No," she was answering into the phone, "I'm afraid I have no idea
why this would be coming to me.  He's been gone for four years, and I
haven't seen him in a decade at least.  I really don't think I should
be getting anything from his estate..."  
     Estate?  Whoever it was she was talking about was dead.  And she
was getting something from someone she'd not seen in 10 years?
     "Yes, I understand that that's what the will says.  I'm simply
saying that I think the money should go to his family.  They live in
Elk Ridge, Indiana--or, at least, they did when I knew him."
     Al grabbed the urinal's piping as he was flooded by another
not-memory.  Sam was standing in a barn.  He was talking to Al about
some sport--a basketball game--Sam was going to win it and save ... who
had Sam been trying to save that time?  What do you _mean_ THAT time? 
Al's thoughts were expressing familiarity with Sam--as if he and Sam
had fixed things all the time.
     Who in their right mind went around fixing things that once went
wrong  Al tuned back into the lady as she got louder in response to the
person on the other end.
     "I don't want to--it's really none of your business--I--okay,
fine!  You want to know why I don't want his money?  Because I stood
him up at the altar--because he loved me enough to want me forever, and
I threw that away because I wasn't smart enough to understand how rare
that is.  Are you satisfied now?  I DO NOT WANT SAM BECKETT'S MONEY."
     The lady had begun to cry, now, and had Al been looking at her,
his heart would have gone out to her in an instant.  But he wasn't
looking at anything currently in that bar.
     Al was transfixed by a picture from his past--the past that didn't
exist.  The altar.  Sam's wife.  There was too much--too many
coincidences.  Too much was wrong, and too much was right.
     Jesus, Al thought.  What if I really DO have two memories?  What
if the reason I remember them both is because---they both really exist?
 Al had seen the Back to the Future series and loved them.  But even
then, he'd laughed at the concept of changing the past and creating an
alternate timeline that only those who changed it could notice as being

He wasn't laughing now.

     The phone clicked into its receiver and Al turned to look out the
door.  The woman was gone.  Al couldn't let that happen.  Not now- not
NOW.  He needed the information that woman had--the fact that she knew
a Sam Beckett could mean that she could help him track down the
truth--if it was the Sam Beckett he kept remembering that she had once
     And somehow, given what she'd said, he thought that might be the
case.  Because Al had gotten another flash--and he believed he knew her

     As he dashed out of the bar, the sudden darkness blinded him for a
moment, and he almost missed the woman getting into her car.
     "WAIT!" he screamed, and ran to the car as quickly as he could. 
Once there, he tried very hard to put on his old Bingo-smile.  Had he
been in his twenties, he'd have been guaranteed success.  Even now, old
as he was getting, it was still passable.  Being plastered, however,
didn't help it at all.
     The woman stood there, almost in the car, and looked at him for
several seconds.  "Can I help you?" she finally replied, with the tone
of one who is answering only for the sake of civilization, not because
she actually wanted to talk to him.
     "You are Donna, right?  Donna Elysee?"  Al watched with growing
wonder as the woman nodded, carefully.
     "You're the man," she said, "who's been trying to serve me with
the legal documents concerning Sam's will, aren't you?  They said on
the phone that they'd been trying to get some documents to me."
     Al nodded immediately, wondering for the first time since he'd
left the Church if there might actually be a God or Fate or Destiny or
something.  "That's me."
     Donna looked at him critically, then glanced down for a second and
back to his face.  "Do you always travel with one shoe?"
     Al grimaced, his other shoe left in the door.  "I...well, I got so
frustrated at not finding you that I'm afraid I had...too much to
drink.  I left my shoe inside.  Look, can you come back in and sit with
me for a moment?  I overheard part of your conversation while I was in
the restroom, and I was wondering why in the world anyone would want to
avoid getting money from a will?"
     Donna shook her head.  "I'm sorry.  That's far too personal an
issue for me to discuss.  Just tell your office that the money can go
to charity or wherever they want."  She started to get into the car and
Al took a desperate chance, not knowing what he would do if she agreed.
     "Donna...he was my friend.  I knew Sam Beckett very well."  
     Donna looked up at Al, and frowned.  "Really."
     Al nodded.  "It would mean a great deal to me to learn more about
his life before I met him.  After what happened...and all."
     Donna's eyes widened.  "You know what happened to him?  Do you
really? I thought that was all classified information!"
     Al nodded serenely.  In his mind, he was anything less than serene
at her response.  Great, he thought, NOW what have I done.  "Please,
can we talk and share information?  I'd...well, he was really important
to me."
     Donna closed the door with a snap and headed back inside.  "If you
can tell me what happened to Sam, you bet I'll talk."
     Al followed her.  "Great!" he said as if he were happy.  Just
great, he thought to himself  morosely.  

I'm supposed to tell a woman who I have never met, who was once the
wife of AND once stood up a man I've never known but was best friends
with, what happened to him 4 years ago.  I can't even tell her what my
false memories tell me, because those have so many holes in them it's
like they were swiss-cheesed or something.

Alternate time-lines.  Wow.  Is that a kick in the pants or what?

Date: May 13, 2005

     "Project Revision began as a time travel experiment by Doctor
Samuel Beckett in 1993 under the title Project Quantum Leap.  The site
of Stallion's Gate, New Mexico, was chosen because the high amount of
iron and diamond in this mountain would give it a natural affinity for
conducting electricity."
     Sam Beckett watched as his project was laid out before him.  For
the first time in 5 years, he was about to be told EVERYTHING about it.
 And this time, he was going to get it all DURING a leap.
     He wondered....if he could get out of here, and remember all of
this the next time he leaped...wouldn't it finally take him home?
     Now that Sam was remembering EVERYTHING, he realized that the
choices the Bartender had given him weren't fair.  He hadn't been
allowed to remember Donna.  He hadn't been allowed to remember Sammy
Jo.  As a listing of those who were first on the project scrolled by,
he realized he hadn't even been allowed to remember Tina.  The truth
was that he hadn't been allowed to remember any of the FUTURE--only the
past.  He had begun to wonder if what the Bartender had told him--if
that entire last leap--was for some other reason than he'd thought when
he was there.
     Now, the future was being given to him again.  And if he really
could choose where he went in time, then he knew exactly what choice
that would be.


His home.

The way he remembered it.

     And that meant only one thing.  His goal in this leap was to find
out how to make that future happen again.  And as the Ziggy of his
timeline would have been able to tell anyone who asked, including the
Ziggy of this time--if Sam wanted that future, he was very likely to
get it.
     Sam had a knack for putting things right whenever they went wrong.

He listened closely to the tapes, and began making his plans...