Admiral Al Calavicci burst through the Control Room
door.  "Anything?", he said to no one in particular.  But they
were all too busy to answer.  Lights flashed, alarms from every
console sounded, voices were raised in a cacophony of sounds.
The Control Room was in a complete panic.
     Not overly tall of stature, what Al lacked in physical
height, he made up for in indisputable presence.  The
overcrowded, extremely animated Control Room seemed to part

for him without actually realizing that it was doing so, as he
headed towards the Waiting Room viewing window.  As he
stood next to Verbeena Beeks and Donna Elesee looking
through the one-way glass, he saw what he always saw.  Dr.
Sam Beckett, or at least his body, lying on the bed, for all the
world looking like he was just sleeping.  When Sam was
moving between leaps, no one knew quite where he was, but
that which was his physical being was always here.  But this
time, it was different.  This time, Sam was coming home.  He
knew it, not only because of the commotion in the room, but
because he could feel it.  Sam was coming home, for good.
     The sound reached maximum proportions in the now
tiny room.  Everyone, it seemed, had a job to do.  Everyone,
that was, except him.  If Sam was coming home now, his job
would be over.  And for the first time in a long time, he didn't
mind the prospect of an assignment well and truly completed.
     There was nothing special to announce Sam's arrival

back into his body.  No trumpet heralds, no fireworks
showering down from the sky, no pomp and circumstance.  Just
the usual signals that emitted from the computer who watched
over him.  "Admiral, Dr. Beckett has returned."  That was all
Ziggy said, her monotone voice never betraying the emotion
that everyone else held close.
     Someone started to clap, but Verbeena quickly raised her
hand, stopping them immediately.
     "What are his vital signs, Ziggy?"  She spoke as if she
did and didn't want to know.  Sam looked fine to Al, and he
just wanted to go in and finally greet his friend.  After years of
seeing and speaking to him, but not being able to reach out and
touch him, Al just wanted to run in and give him a great big
bear hug.
     "Dr. Beckett's lifesigns are diminishing."  Verbeena had
left her position at the window and was half way to the door
before Ziggy could finish.  "Medical team, stat!"  She was the
first through the door, and Al desperately wanted to follow, but
let the medical team through first, knowing they could do Sam
more good than he could.  Finally entering the room, he could
see that they'd already moved Sam from the simple bed to a
gurney.  He stood close enough to see, but was well out of the
     Two med techs had already started CPR.  He could see
that Sam's shirt had been ripped wide to reveal his chest.  A
third was inserting an IV line into his arm, while yet another
tech was attaching small electric pads hooking them to a
barrage of monitors; monitors that would tell them if Sam was
alive, or dead.
     Verbeena was in complete charge, her medical training
overshadowing her psychiatric.  "IV =FE D5W and one milligram
of atropine.  Morrison, keep a close eye on those monitors.  I
want to know of any changes, got that."  Morrison nodded.
>From where Al stood, he could only see the top of Sam's head
and his feet, the rest of the Leaper's unresponsive body shielded
by those who worked around him.  A tech stood on the gurney,
bent over, pressing hard on Sam's chest and counting while
another breathed life into him.  "One, two, three, four, five,
breath, one, two, three, four, five, breath."
     "Dr. Beeks.  His heart has stopped."  The heart
monitor's screen showed a flatline, its tone sounding the alarm.
     "Five milligrams epinephrine."  A tech quickly moved
to follow her instructions, injecting the contents of a needle into
the IV tube.  The CPR continued.
     Come on, Sam.  I know you can do it.  You didn't go
through all those years of leaping just to not come home.  Al
didn't pace, as was his usual habit, he simply stood in his spot,
watching the med team, watching Verbeena, watching Sam.  He
nervously flicked an unlit cigar in one hand, rubbing the day-
old stubble on his chin with the other.
     "He's in v-fib."
     "Defib paddles.  200."  Her hands shot out.  The
paddles, covered with conductive jelly, were placed in them.
A high-pitched whine filled the room, as the machine reached
full charge.  "Clear."  Everyone quickly removed their hands
from Sam's body, as Verbeena applied the defibrillator to his
chest.  His body flinched grotesquely as the electricity raced
through it, and Al flinched with him.  Worry and frustration at
his inability to be of help when his best friend needed it most
wore on his face.
     "No change."
     "Again.  Clear."  Another jolt, nothing.  Al felt every
bolt of electricity as if it were running through his own body.
Verbeena's head bent, her stethoscope pressing against Sam's
     "No pulse."  The voice was Dr. Elesee's.  Al could see
her through the assembly of med techs and his heart wrenched.
She shouldn't be a part of this.  She shouldn't be watching
Beeks send shockwaves through his body.  But he knew that
right now, she wasn't Mrs. Sam Beckett, she was Dr. Donna
Elesee, and she was trying to save a patient.
     "Give him five more millis epinephrine."   He could
hear the popping sound of the vile and needle tops being
dislodged, then pressed together, before the life-giving
medication was pumped into Sam's body.  "Set it to 400.
Clear."  More electricity, more uncontrolled jerking.  "Again!"
Another jolt.  The monitor still emitted its warning signal.
     Those left in the Control Room had gathered at the
window, hoping to see Dr. Beckett stand up and walk out past
them, arm-in-arm with Dr. Elesee-Beckett.
     Minutes seemed like hours as they laboured beyond all
endurance to save the man that, in reality, very few had
actually met.  Most of them had never been below the third
level.  Only a chosen few had ever been as low as this
chamber, eight storeys below the surface of the New Mexico
desert.  Now they all were here, pumping more and more into
the body of the man they only knew as Dr. Beckett, Director of
the Quantum Leap Project.
     "That's enough."  Verbeena spoke in monotone.  Those
that had been working to save Sam all terminated there
ministrations.  The monitoring machines were turned off.  The
only sound in the two rooms was that of gentle sobbing.
Everyone was holding someone.  Everyone except Al.
     Those that stood around the bed stepped away.  Al
looked back towards the bed.  The only one left was Donna.
She was holding Sam's hand to her tear-stained face.  He could
see the tubes and wires that hooked Sam up to the various
machines.  He could even see the small red patches on his chest
where the shock paddles had been.
     Donna slowly lowered his hand, but held on tightly.
She gently caressed his face with her other hand, moving the
stray lock of grey hair from his forehead.  Slowly, she bent and
placed a kiss on her husband's lips.
     The Observer approached the bed where his friend lay,
his feet barely touching the pristine white floor.  Taking Sam's
other hand into his own, tears streamed down his face.  But he
didn't care.  Donna stood and turned her head to face Al,
searching for an answer.
     All he could do was smile at his friend.  "Welcome
home, Sam.  Welcome home."

     Or is he?