"'re not yourself today," Damon Ramsay observed.  Ramsay, 
the band's manager, a man of slight build much like...what was his name?  Sam 
began to grow desperate.  Damon gave him an odd look.
	"No, I guess I'm not," Sam replied truthfully.  He felt as if he were 
a landed fish gasping to breathe, searching for the knowledge he was losing. 
Sam knew that Ramsay, in his build, resembled someone that he'd known very 
closely.  His Observer, he realized.  Sam at least knew that Edward was not 
his true Observer.  [Al!]  He repeated it in his mind like a mantra now that 
he had retrieved it.  He would not allow it to slip away.  [Al, Al, Al!]
	"What's wrong, Paddy?  You're not concentrating."  Damon gave him a 
searching look.  The truth was, Sam didn't know any of the songs he was 
supposed to be playing.
	"I...I...nothing much," Sam stammered as he often did when he found 
himself in the uncomfortable position of having to cover for his mistakes 
when he did something 'out of character.'  "I guess I just got up on the 
wrong side of the bed this morning."  [I just lost my best friend!] he raged 
silently.  [What's his name...oh, boy...Al!  Al!  Don't forget it!]
	Damon rolled his eyes.  "Well, shake it off, Paddy!  Concert's in 
three days!"  Ramsay clapped him hard on the back and then walked off to 
talk to one of the roadies.  Sam watched him for a second, and as Damon 
spoke to him, the blond roadie flinched for a second, and blinked in apparent 
confusion.  Although Damon was keeping his voice down low enough to where 
Sam couldn't hear, the Leaper figured that the roadie was getting a pretty 
good grilling from the band manager.  Ramsay didn't look like the kind of 
guy to raise his voice when angry.
	"That guy's a total mental case."  Behind him was James Westhall, 
the keyboardist, whom Edward said was doomed to die unless Sam figured out 
how to stop it.  If Damon reminded him of...[oh, no...Al!  That's it!]  If 
Damon reminded Sam of a quieter, calmer Al, then James reminded Sam of a 
warmer, friendlier Edward.  Sam began to get that creepy feeling that he 
always did when he looked at someone whom he knew was a marked man.
	"Uh...who's a mental case?" Sam asked, confused.
	"Mac over there.  Honestly, I think he's a few cards short of a full 
deck.  And he hangs on Damon's every word.  I dare say all Damon's doing is 
asking him to get that amp fixed...the one you sat in front of yesterday!  
Makes me wonder if you shouldn't join him!"
	The Door to the Imaging Chamber slid open behind him, and Sam did 
all he could not to groan in annoyance.  "Ah, I see you've met James.  The 
name of that technician, roadie, I believe you would call him--what a 
singularly demeaning term--is Mac Forester.  I thought you should know that 
you have an interview today at Paddy's home with a reporter from Music Scene 
Magazine in less than an hour.  I suggest you dismiss yourself from this 
gathering and go there now."
	"Well," Sam told James, "we'll see about that.  Right now, I've got 
that interview, remember?"
	"Oh, I remember," Westhall commented, a sparkle in his eyes.  "Just 
remember, you are there to make us all look good.  No embarrassing stories 
about any of us...unless it's at your expense!  Well...good luck, Paddy."  
The last thing Sam heard as he left the auditorium was James's good-natured 
laughter resounding behind him.  To lose a talent and a personality like 
this would be a terrible failure on his part.  
	As Sam drove back towards Paddy's house, Edward materialized just 
outside the car, and Sam lowered his window to speak to the Observer.  
"I'll tell you this," Sam declared.  "James Westhall is not a man who would 
commit suicide, believe me.  I've developed a sense for these things in 
five years of Leaping."
	"Samuel, haven't I warned you numerous times about relying on your 
intuition in lieu of the facts?" Edward admonished.
	Dr. Beckett finally decided that he had had it once and for all with 
this Observer who had intruded on him and stolen the place that had 
rightfully belonged to...and now, try as he might, he had lost all memory 
of the other hologram, although he still knew that there was one.  He resented Edward, who had not only stolen his place, but Sam's memories, as well.  St. 
John could have at least left that.  "For God's sake, Edward!" he snapped 
with uncharacteristic anger.  "Do you have to be so condescending?!  And 
for the last time, don't you dare call me Samuel!"
	"Samu--Sam, what has gotten into you?"  The Observer flinched.  It 
occurred to Sam in the back of his mind that he might have hurt Edward with 
his tirade; the man couldn't possibly remember the other history, the real 
history.  But by now it was too late for him to call back his words.  "You 
really don't have any memory of me, do you?"
	"Well, of course I don't!  You're not my real Observer, anyway!"  By 
now, Sam was beginning to feel truly awful about his words, and yet he 
couldn't seem to stop the scalding remarks from coming out no matter how 
he tried, an experience he found new, and quite unnerving.  "I can't 
remember you.  And do you know what's even worse?  This whole Leap, I've 
been slowly losing my memory of my real Observer.  I can't remember anymore.  
I can't remember what he looks like, and I don't even know his name."  Sam 
sighed, feeling himself coming slowly back under control as he gave voice 
to his fears.  "I've just lost my best friend, Edward, and I can't even 
remember his name.  I'm...I'm really sorry."
	The hologram appeared sobered by Sam's admission, and seemed to be 
searching within himself, as if debating whether or not to tell the time 
traveler something.  He appeared to decide against it for the moment.  "I 
know, Sam.  I suppose this was partly my fault as well.  I might have done 
well to be more understanding of your situation.  In many ways, it is as if 
you have been thrown back to your first Leap, and we got through that, 
didn't we?  Oh, bother...that's right.  You can't remember.  Do you wish 
me to stay for the interview, or shall I return to the Project?"  St. John 
appeared as if he wasn't quite sure whether or not the storm had really 
settled yet.
	Sam paused.  He was feeling as guilty as he'd only felt a very few 
times in his life, and he was as afraid to tell Edward to leave as he was 
to ask the hologram to stay, after the tongue-lashing he'd just given him.  
"Well...I think it would be nice if you were there, but I think I can hold 
my own," he decided, wanting to let Edward interpret that however he wished. 
	Apparently Edward seemed to feel he was back in Sam's good graces, 
for he didn't move an inch, except to start calling up something on the 
handlink.  "Thank you, Sam.  Perhaps I should give you a little information 
about the circumstances of this interview.  It appears that the article was 
written by Heather Lynden, a young writer for Music Scene Magazine.  Despite 
her age, she is a fairly established presence on the staff, and she will be 
very experienced, and direct in her questioning.  However, she is reputed to 
be quite personable.  I'll meet you at Paddy's house," Edward finished, and 
with a touch to the handlink, disappeared from sight.
	Even with the help of the hologram, Sam was still beginning to build 
up something that was closely akin to stage fright, and he began to truly 
dread the coming torture.  For the second time this Leap, Sam murmured, 
"Oh, boy."

	After fifteen minutes of tense waiting and frenzied attempts at 
preparation as Edward filled him in on the some of the band's albums and 
accomplishments, the reporter arrived.  Lucy, the gigantic black Labrador, 
bounded happily to the door and immediately began a storm of playful barking 
as soon as she heard the car and kept it up as Heather rang the doorbell.  
"Just a minute!" Sam called as he was forced to grab the dog's collar to 
put Lucy in another room.  [Nice start, Beckett!] he chided himself, his 
insides churning with nervousness.  "Coming!" he called, and opened the 
door to admit the young reporter.  She was a somewhat plain-looking woman, 
with glasses and mouse-brown hair, and an average figure, not the kind Al 
would go crazy about.  [Al!  Yes!  I remembered!] Sam cheered inwardly.  
[Oh, please, please don't let me forget that again!]  Already things were 
looking up, even after the dog fiasco.  "Sorry about that, Miss Lynden. dog...she gets a little over-enthusiastic."
	"Oh, that's all right," Heather answered, setting her purse down on 
the couch beside her.  "I know what you mean.  I have two of them myself.  
And when I walked in the door this afternoon, they acted like they'd never 
seen me before, the way they started jumping all over the place."  Sam 
could not imagine having to deal with two of the huge bounding goofballs of 
dogs.  He had to smile at the thought.
	"Ah, can I get you anything, Miss Lynden?" he asked as he wandered 
into the kitchen and yanked open the refrigerator.  He desperately needed 
something to keep his throat from drying out.  "I have Coke, Sprite, root 
beer, punch, and iced tea."
	"That's all right," Heather called back from the living room.
	"Do you mind if I get myself a glass of water?"
	"Not at all.  Oh, and please, call me Heather," she asked as he 
returned to the living room and took the easy chair next to the couch where 
Heather had sat.  Glancing off into a corner, she took from her purse a 
miniature tape recorder of the kind that uses answering machine tapes, and 
pressed the record button.  "Are you all right with me recording this?  I'm 
going to use the tape to help me write my article."
	Sam smiled rather shakily, hoping Heather didn't notice.  "Say yes,"
Edward prompted in the background.
	"Uh, yes, that's fine."  The Leaper began to feel like he was 
fumbling already.  He took a sip of water, hoping to cover for his fear.
	Heather glanced at a paper that contained her set list of questions.  
"Well, then, I think we can begin.  After only two years in the United 
States, Overdrive has already released three hit albums and has had six 
singles in the top ten.  To what or whom would you attribute your success?"
	Still fairly unfamiliar with this Leap, Sam had to struggle for a 
moment to come up with some kind of answer.  "Hmm...I'd guess it would have to 
be luck," Sam decided.  "You know, we in Ireland have a lot of faith in 
luck."  It sounded completely lame, but then it was better than not answering.
	"How did you get into the music business?  What inspired you?"  
She glanced at a far point on the wall for a second, as if staring at 
something Sam couldn't see.
	Sam opted for the truth, not knowing of any other possible response.  
"I suppose I Leaped into it by accident."  Edward gave him a shocked look
and warned him frantically not to reveal his true identity, but when Heather 
took it as he'd had planned, the hologram visibly calmed down.  Something 
buried deep in his Swiss-cheesed mind told him that Al wouldn't have gotten 
so worked up over such a small thing.  "I didn't even see it coming myself.  
I guess there's no telling what God or Time or Fate or Whoever has planned 
for you."  Heather appeared as if she could sympathize.  Sam's remarks had 
made sense, but of course, Heather wasn't the Leaper.
	The interview continued back and forth like this, and a couple times 
Sam had to consult Edward by way of a sidelong glance to ask for an answer 
or two that he could not come up with himself.  At long last, Heather stopped 
the tape, and Sam let out a sigh of relief as the ordeal ended.  "It's been 
a pleasure, Paddy.  I think this will be in next month's issue..."  She 
glanced at a point on the wall as if searching for confirmation in the 
pattern of the wallpaper.  " month," she confirmed after a few 
seconds of apparent deliberation.
	"It's been nice having you over," Sam answered, and it's nice to 
have it overwith, he added inwardly.  In reality, the best thing was that 
he discovered that he had made it out in his mind to be far worse than it 
really had been.  Heather had been every bit as personable as Edward had 
promised, which had made everything go over a lot more smoothly, and even 
she had appeared to have her moments of nervousness.
	Just before she went out the door, Sam automatically reached out to 
shake her hand, remembering something his father had drilled into him 
relentlessly: [It's a man's job to be polite and respectful to a lady.]  Sam 
had thought it had sounded a little sexist at first, but now he understood 
what it meant, having seen many cases on various Leaps where someone had 
forgotten or never learned that rule.  When he took her hand, he felt what 
almost seemed to him like an electric shock, and a dazzling, blinding light 
engulfed the two.  For a second of wild panic, Sam feared that he was about 
to Leap prematurely.  Both Sam and Heather jumped back as if they had been 
burned.  Edward stared in total amazement and alarm, the latter of which 
seemed to increase as the light dimmed and finally ceased.  And at that 
point, Sam finally realized what had happened.  His heart pounded wildly 
with fear at what he now saw.
	Another Leaper.