A Unique Point of View
By: Christina Campbell

Chapter 3

Three days later Sam Leaped back out, and Rachel was in the Control 
Room when Al walked out of the Imaging Chamber.  "Well, that was an 
interesting end--"  He stopped and stared at her.

She looked up at him, a smile playing around her lips.  "Hello, Al."

"Rachel?"  He shook his head as if to clear it.

She raised an eyebrow at him.  "Want to talk about it?"

"You could say that.  In my office?"

She just grinned and followed him out.  Tina and Gooshie looked at each 
other and shrugged.  Al often acted strangely when he came out of the 


They were in Al's office, at Rachel reintroduced herself to him.  "Hi, 
I'm Rachel Thorton.  I was Rachel Harris back then, but Mom divorced my 
stepfather and went back to my father's last name.  I did too, although 
Alan didn't want to.  I've been here for about two months."

Al looked at her as if he was trying to place her.  "Keep talking."

She smiled.  "You don't have the memories yet, do you?"

Al shook his head.  "How'd you know?"

She gave him a run-down on the incident with Donna, also hitting the 
highlights of her job here.  Al finally seemed to be remembering by the 
time she wound down.  She ended with a report.  "The handlink is almost 
done.  You can keep using the one you've got now until it breaks, if 
you want.  The new model is very different."

"Now about that TV show . . ."

"Ziggy tells me that the execs know about it.  I'm keeping my mouth 
shut on the whole matter.  It's bad enough that _I_ know what's going 
to happen.  If she knew, or you knew, it could be horrendous.  Some of 
the stuff coming up is meant to be and needs to happen. You ever see 
the movie Back to the Future?"


"I believe, like Doc Brown, that no one should know too much about 
their own future.  Just look at all the crazy things Sam did when he 
Leaped back into himself!  Singing a song that wasn't written yet, 
insisting that Tom was going to die on a specific date in the near 
future--a fate which he changed on the next Leap!"

Al looked at her, suddenly scared, but trying not to show it.  "That 
show is rather specific about the Leaps, isn't it?"

"From what Ziggy tells me--very specific.  I know for a fact that it 
doesn't cover every single one, but the Leaps that are covered are 
covered thoroughly."  She looked rather nervous.  "I know a whole lot 
about both you and Sam, things you probably don't want others to know.  
It would be scary to know my whole life was public information.  I just 
want you to know that you can still count on me to keep the things I've 
learned from the show to myself."

She was looking at him earnestly.  Al nodded slowly, accepting her 
word.  Then he suddenly realized something.  "You've referred to Sam as 
'Sam' twice in the last five minutes.  Is it my poor memories of you, 
or is that new?"

She blinked and thought back.  "It's new.  I hadn't even realized I'd 
done it.  I guess it's because, on the show, you are the only one that 
refers to him by his real name and you always call him Sam.  Most of us 
fans refer to you two by your first names.  It was a real problem for 
me when I first got here.  I kept thinking of you both as 'Al' and 
'Sam' and I'd just barely stop myself from saying it out loud.  I was 
relieved when you asked me to call you Al, but I lost count of the 
number of times I'd say 'S-Dr. Beckett.'"

Al thought back, and laughed.  "I never even noticed."

She smiled briefly, then grew serious.  "I know you have a serious 
phobia of psychologists, and won't talk to Dr. Beeks about the Leaps.  
If you want to talk to me, I'll listen.  I probably understand what 
it's like on the other end better than anybody else here."

"Do you?  Do you really?"  He seemed rather hostile.

Rachel thought for a second. "Al, I _like_ you and Sam.  Sometimes I 
wished I could just crawl into the TV set and do something about the 
terrible situation you both were in.  I understood how frustrated you 
can get when you see your best friend in danger two feet away and you 
can't do _anything_ about it.  I'm not Sam's best friend, so I haven't 
really been in your shoes, but you can at least yell a warning at him!"

Al's expression had changed to astonishment.  "I hadn't thought about 
it that way."

Her expression abruptly softened.  "Oh, Al.  You'd be surprised how 
many people got emotionally involved in the episodes, _especially_ the 
ones that involved your past or Sam's."  She seemed about to go on, but 
then stopped herself.  She changed her manner, realizing that this 
conversation had gotten way too deep.  "Anyway, I never told a soul 
that it was real and that Sam Beckett had been my brother for a period 
of three days in 1990.  Not only would they have thought my imagination 
was running away with me, but I had promised him, and you, that I 
wasn't going to be a security risk."

He smiled at her.  "It's good to know that people can keep promises."
She smiled back.  "I need to go back down to the Control Room.  I was 
consulting with Tina about the handlink.  Duty calls."


It was another three or four Leaps before Al killed the backup handlink 
in the Leap that Rachel had known as 'The Great Spontini.' Rachel's 
improved model replaced it, and Al seemed pleased with the things it 
could do. She breathed a sigh of relief.  She had gotten the new model 
out in time.  Now it was time to get back to the real reason she was 
here--the retrieval program.


A month and a half later, Rachel was staring at the program that had 
sent Sam off to the past, wondering what half the lines were supposed 
to do.  Sammy-Jo had walked her through some of the program, but was 
currently working on the theoretical side, leaving Rachel to her own 
devices.  Donna walked in.

Rachel smiled at her, wearily.

"You want to talk about it?"

"Sure.  I've already spouted off to Al about this, why not do the same 
thing to you too?  This doesn't make any sense.  Right now, I can only 
tell what about half of these lines are supposed to do!"

They looked up as Al came in.  Rachel waved him to a seat.  "Still 
having problems?"

She snorted.  "Yeah, you could say that.  Sam Beckett's a hard man to 
follow.  His mind doesn't twist and turn so much as hop and jump over 
incredible distances. Al, I know Sam, the way he is now, better than 
any one except you--"

Donna, was staring at her, aghast.  "How can you say such a thing?"

Rachel blinked.  "What?"

"How could you say you know Sam better than everyone?"

Al sighed.  "Because it's true."  Donna started to get indignant.  
"Hold on, Donna.  You weren't listening.  She said that she knew Sam 
the 'way he is  now,' after three years of Leaping.  And in that, she 
is correct."

"I'm sorry, Donna.  I didn't mean to offend you.  I was going to say  
'I know him so well and it doesn't help me one inch because he did all 
this stuff before he Leaped.'  I have only a basic understanding of how 
he was before the day he stepped into the Acceleration Chamber.  
Memories are at least half of our personalities, and he can't remember 
anything anymore when he used to remember everything."  She sighed.  
"Al, why are you here?"

"I was waiting on Ziggy to come up with some information for me and 
then I have to get back to Sam.  I just thought that I'd relax for a 
bit first."

Ziggy spoke up.  "I have that information you requested, Admiral."

Al sighed and got up.



"He couldn't make it without you."  She smiled at him and he smiled 
back.  Then he turned and left with a bit more energy than he'd had 
when he came in.

Rachel looked back down at the computer screen and the printouts she 
had all over the place.  "I just wish I could talk to him about this."

Donna looked at her carefully.  "Don't we all."

Suddenly, Rachel's head came up. [Wait a minute.  Did Al say three 
years?]  "Ziggy, where and when is Sam right now?"

"Dr. Beckett is a rock star in Detroit in the year 1974."

Rachel closed her eyes, trying to remember.  [This would be late third 
season.  No more than a month before he comes home--for all of a day.]  
"Thanks, Ziggy."

Donna was considering her friend.  "Rachel, why was that important?"

Rachel shook her head.  "Just a thought.  Would you talk to me about 
how Sam was before the Leaps?  Maybe it would help me sort this out."

Donna narrowed her eyes, but allowed herself to be diverted.


Rachel was staring at the ceiling, sipping a cola, when Verbena Beeks, 
Project Psychologist, walked into her lab.

"Hello, Rachel."

Rachel's attention refocused on the present.  "Hello, 'Bena.  You asked 
to talk to me?"

"Just checking up.  I'm trying to talk to everyone--and probably will 
speak to everyone but the Admiral."

Rachal laughed. "I'm fine, 'Bena.  I've been working a little too hard, 
but I've decided to back off a little and let it settle.  Well--
actually, I've stopped staring at programs, and instead I'm talking to 
everyone about Sam."

Verbena blinked.  "Sam? I've never heard you call him anything but Dr. 

Rachel smiled, thought [Oops!] and said. "I've been talking to Al and 
Donna too much, I guess.  And, anyway, I'm trying to get into his head 
a little ways and I can't do that by being formal."

"Why do you need to get into his head?"

"Because I need to decipher his programming.  Every programmer has a 
different style.  The better you know someone, the easier it is to 
figure out whether he'll use this command or that one.  Sam put 
comments on some of the work but even those are hard to decipher, 
sometimes. I'm having to carefully follow what it is he's doing in the 
program while trying to decipher the physics behind it at the same 
time. I wouldn't be nearly as far as I am now if it wasn't for Sammy-Jo 
helping with the physics stuff, but it's still liable to take me a 

Verbena nodded.  "It's hard to come into a project in the middle."

"No kidding."


Rachel leaned back in her chair.  Sam had come home and left again.  
[Poor Donna.  But he couldn't have done anything else and still be Don 

She had forgotten that Sam and Al had swapped a few neurons in The Leap 
Back.  Or maybe more than a few.  His visit home had helped her get a 
grip on the programs he had written, but he was acting too much like Al 
for her to have figured it out entirely.  [Actually, he was acting more 
like Al than Al usually did.  Al had a way of suppressing those 
instincts and going into Admiral mode when something important was 
going on.  Sam had had no such ability.  After all, he's never needed 
it.  Also, it didn't give me much insight into _his_ psyche--just 
Al's.]  Rachel sighed and turned back to the computer terminal.  [OK, 
time for a different approach.  What languages does he speak and 
understand?  Maybe those affected the way he programs as well.]

Rachel sighed again and got back to work.

Thanks to NormalBean and A fellow Leaper for their help with 'The Great 
Spontini' and 'The Leap Back,' respectively.


Feedback requested!  What do you think of my story?

Christina C.