Chapter 10 ``What happened to her?'' Sam demanded from the Observer. Al shook his head in frustration. ``I don't know. All we know is that sometime soon, Susan is going to be murdered and then dumped outside the city limits. She's reported missing by Angela tomorrow. So, obviously she dies sometime tonight but we can't tell you when.'' Sam sighed, leaving the restaurant completely and starting towards Dick's car. ``After what happened in there, I doubt Susan will even let me through the door.'' ``Probably not. But you've got to save her, Sam. And you've got to convince Angela to get psychiatric help. Otherwise, the timeline will only shift again,'' he told him pointedly. Sam nodded quickly. ``I will.'' ``How?'' Al questioned. ``By going back to Susan's apartment and trying to talk to her,'' Sam answered as he got in the car. --- Susan came into the apartment with a frustrated look about her, tossing her purse onto the couch and slumping into it. She just couldn't understand why Dick was so adamant about getting into her and Angela's business. She already knew what would happen to Angela if she had her see a psychiatrist - she had gone through that before - and there was no way she was going to be separated from her sister like that. Angela came into the living room and looked at her with concern. ``What's wrong?'' she asked with concern. Susan growled a bit. ``Dick. What else. That... that arrogant SOB thinks that he knows how I should handle things. Well, he's wrong.'' Angela looked at her with furrowed eyebrows. ``You went out with him tonight?'' she questioned with a growl. Susan looked at her. ``Yes. But it's okay. No harm done.'' Angela hurried over to her and grabbed her by the wrist tightly. ``No, it's not okay, Susie!'' she shouted at her. Angela pulled Susan off of the couch and wrapped her hands around her throat, tightening her grip. ``How many times have I told you that you're my girl!'' Susan desperately tried to release the grip, gasping for air. ``Michael!'' she realized with a pained whisper. ``Please, no!'' If she had time to think, it would have amazed her how strong Angela's hands became with Michael in control of them. Angela's mouth widened into a wicked smile. ``I like it when you beg. Obviously, you keep forgetting to whom you belong. So, now it's time to give you a little reminder.'' Susan struggled to break free of Michael's grasp while trying hard to speak. ``Angie... don't let him...'' ``Shut up!'' he shouted at her. ``Angela isn't here! I am! And I'm going to make sure you never go against me again!'' --- As Sam drove towards Susan's apartment, Al reviewed the information he had requested from Ziggy, using the handlink so that he didn't leave the Imaging Chamber. He had a bad feeling about the whole situation and he didn't want to leave Sam's side for a moment, just in case his instincts were right. Angela Bea Cotton, Al read. Born February 21st, 1953, in Charleston, NC. Sister: Susan Chambers. No other known living relatives. Checked herself in on April 27th, 1980. Upon admission, she was diagnosed with Multi-Personality Disorder. Personality #3 : Name: Michael. Age: 42. Characteristics: male with violent tendencies. He would often provoke physical confrontations with the staff. He had admitted to several acts of sexual harassment on women. Angela's psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Engalls, believed that the Michael personality was a result of suppressed memories of being sexually assaulted, probably by her foster father. Al closed his eyes slightly as he read Angela's psychiatric report. Poor kid, he thought sadly. No wonder she was so messed up. He sighed, moving his eyes back to the first page. Sentenced to psychiatric therapy. See police record. He frowned. Wait a minute! A moment ago, that read... ``Sam!'' he exclaimed loudly, causing the Leaper to jerk the wheel slightly. ``You've got to hurry! Susan's in trouble! Michael's got her and he's going to kill her!'' Sam pressed on the accelerator. ``How long do I have?'' he demanded. ``Only four minutes!'' Al read with disbelief. He looked at the handlink for an estimated time of arrival. ``And it'll take six at this rate! Go! Go!'' he ordered. Sam didn't need the order, racing at dangerous speeds to get to the apartment before it was too late. --- Michael forced Susan into the kitchen, throwing her across the room and into a wall. ``I warned you, Susie, but you didn't listen. You never listen!'' he shouted at her. ``Why don't you listen to me?!'' Susan whimpered, curling into a tight ball on the floor, obviously terrified. ``Michael, please...'' ``I wonder if your precious Dick will love you after I've messed up your pretty little face,'' he cackled as brushed a single finger across her chin. At that moment, Al appeared, looking at the situation with horror and fear. ``Oh, geezus!'' He looked at Susan and saw the utter panic in her eyes. ``Hang on, honey. Sam's on his way. He's coming and he'll get you out of this. He'll get you both out of this.'' Susan looked at her assailant with desperation. ``Angie, please!'' she cried. ``Shut up!'' Michael ordered. ``I told you Angela isn't here! I am!'' He grabbed her hair and yanked it so that it forced her head to tilt back. ``I'm going to teach you, Susie. I'm going to teach you good.'' Tears rolled down Susan's cheeks, mostly from the fear than from the pain the pulling of the hair brought her. ``Leave Angie alone, Michael,'' she begged between sobs. ``Get out of our lives!'' Michael slapped her hard across the face, causing Susan to scream in pain. ``Hey! Let her go, you Neanderthal!'' Al shouted at him. Michael looked at him and gave him an evil smile. ``Oh, no. I've got a much better idea.'' He stood up, kicking Susan before taking a few steps away. He looked at Al again. ``Hey, I know you,'' he said with a small smile. ``You want a piece of this, Calavicci?'' ``Al?'' Susan questioned in confusion upon hearing Michael's words. She looked around desperately. ``Al?'' Panic filled her voice. ``Help me, Al! Please!'' Al swallowed painfully, sickened by what he was witnessing and by what Michael was suggesting. Susan's plea for help only made the pain more severe. ``Hang on, honey,'' Al said carefully. ``Just hang on.'' Michael laughed as he grabbed a large knife from the kitchen counter. ``Yeah. Hang on to your seat. It's going to be a bumpy night.'' He laughed wickedly as he put the knife under Susan's chin. Al looked at the situation with trepidation. ``Susan, just tell him anything! Just get the hell away from him! Damn it, Sam! Where the hell are you?!'' Tears streamed down Susan's face. ``Please, Angie. Come back,'' she whispered between sobs. ``Come back.'' Michael moved the knife further in, causing it to draw a little blood from the underside of her chin. ``Stand up,'' he ordered. Susan obeyed slowly. ``Please, Michael. Don't hurt me. Please,'' she whispered with desperation. ``I'll do anything you want. Just don't hurt me.'' Al closed his eyes at the plea. He had always seen Susan as being strong-willed. It pained him to see her so completely terrified as to lose hold of her emotions. ``Hang on, honey. Sam!'' he shouted loudly, praying that Sam was close enough to hear his yell. Michael laughed. `` ‘Don't hurt me','' he mimicked. He gave her a firm look of determined hatred. ``I told you I was going to teach you a lesson, Susie. And school starts right now.'' ``NO!'' Al screamed as the knife went into Susan's chest, his own voice nearly drowned out by Susan's scream of pain. He watched helplessly as the stabbing continued. He didn't even move as Sam hurried into the room and pulled Michael off of Susan, punching him hard and knocking the feminine body unconscious. ``Susan!'' Sam exclaimed, hurrying to the bleeding form on the floor. Susan laid still, almost catatonic and in obvious shock. ``Al,'' she whispered painfully. The sound of his name shocked the Admiral from his own near catatonic state. He knelt beside Susan as Sam checked her wounds and applied pressure with a clean kitchen towel. ``Damn,'' Sam muttered in frustration and anger. ``There's too much bleeding.'' He grabbed Susan's hand and forced her to hold the towel to her chest. ``Hold that there and lay still. I'm calling for help.'' He quickly looked at Al and swallowed what he was going to say. The Admiral was looking at Susan with great concern. There was no need to tell him to stay with her. Without a word, Sam hurried around the corner to the nearest telephone. ``Al,'' Susan whispered again, pain obvious on her face. ``Al, why didn't you help? I begged for your help but you let him do this. Why?'' Al swallowed. Oh, gawd! She can see me! He knew from a previous experience that that could mean only one thing: Susan was going to die. ``Hang on, Susan. Please, hang on.'' Angela's eyes fluttered open as Al spoke. She slowly stood and stared at the sight: her sister clinging to life while Susan's ex-fiance watched without lending a hand. ``You've killed me, Al,'' Susan whispered painfully. ``Gawd, how could you? How could you?'' Her eyes slowly closed as Sam quickly returned to the kitchen. ``Susan,'' he ordered quietly but firmly. ``Don't give up on me. Come on. Open your eyes, Susan.'' Al's voice was quiet when he spoke. ``She's dead, Sam.'' Sam checked for a pulse, hoping to negate Al's statement only to confirm it. He stood slowly and stepped away from the limp form and from the Admiral who continued to kneel beside it. ``You bastard!'' Sam quickly turned towards Angela to see that he was not the focus of her anger. She was looking directly at Al, who seemed a little too willing to take her verbal abuse. Sam could see the hurt in Al's eyes and it made him afraid for his friend's sanity. Angela hurried to her sister and took her into her arms. ``Suz,'' she whispered between tears of sorrow. She glared at Al angrily. ``You murdering bastard! Get out!'' Al stood and took a couple of steps back, a frightful look on his face. ``I...'' ``GET OUT!'' Angela screamed at him. ``Both of you! Just get out!'' Al turned quickly around and marched out of the kitchen, pressing buttons as he marched. Sam followed quickly, calling out his name, only to watch him disappear behind the Imaging Chamber door. Sam sighed with sorrow and concern, anger and self-defeatism. Never before had he felt so utterly devastated by failure in completing his mission, in failing to save a life. So, it was with these horrible self-deprecating feelings that Sam disappeared in a flash of blue light.