Chapter 2

	"It's not your fault, Al."
	Al stared out the passenger's side window while Verbina drove them back
to the complex. The look on his face was frighteningly despaired, almost
as if the Admiral was thinking of joining Angela in death. Verbina knew
that wasn't the case. However, she was still very concerned for the
Admiral's mental and emotional well being.
	"The hell it isn't," Al finally replied dryly. "You heard her. Somehow,
I was the cause of someone's death, someone who named me for something."
He paused. "At least, I was in Angela's mind. That makes me just as
guilty as if I had cut that cord myself."
	Verbina exhaled. "You know that isn't true."
	Al didn't reply for a moment. "It sure as hell feels true." He turned
his head and looked at her. "What the hell do you expect me to do,
Verbina? Just shrug my shoulders and say 'Oh, well. She was just some
crazy nut'? I can't do that, Verbina. It may be cut and dry for the
police but it isn't for me." He paused dramatically. "A woman committed
suicide, Beeks. She called me to make sure I saw her do it. Why?"
	She shook her head slowly but didn't answer.
	Al exhaled, understanding her silence. He rubbed his eyes with the tips
of the fingers of his right hand, ending his strokes at the bridge of
his nose. "I have to know why, Verbina," he said quietly, looking out
the windshield at the stretching highway in front of them. "Why did she
do it?"
	Verbina hesitated as she watched the mountainous horizon come closer
and closer - as the mountain surrounded by a blue haze became more and
more clear. She wished she had an immediate answer for her troubled
friend. All she could give him was the answer she had.
	"While the police were questioning you, I took the liberty of calling
on Ziggy to research on Angela. Hopefully, she'll find something that
will explain all this."
	Al didn't comment to Verbina's reply. The car's passengers now easily
saw the mountainous horizon. They could clearly see their destination,
the mountain shrouded with the blue haze.
	"I knew her, Verbina."
	The statement came as a shock to the psychiatrist. She gave Al a
questioning glance. "You told the police - you told me - that you
didn't," she pointed out.
	Al exhaled slowly. "I know I did. I didn't lie." He paused for a
moment, gathering his thoughts. "I don't know the name. I'm sure I've
never met Angela Cotton until today but I know her face. I've seen her
somewhere. Maybe she looks like someone I knew. I'm not sure but there's
something familiar about her."
	The two said nothing as the car sped on through unmarked iron fences
and arrived at their destination.

	Al sat at his desk once again, this time staring into nothingness, deep
in thought. It had been almost two hours and, no matter how deeply he
thought, he still could not say how he knew the woman who he had
mysteriously wronged. He was, therefore, very pleased with the
interruption which came as a loud chime.
	"Come in," he replied to the chime, allowing Verbina Beeks to enter the
office, a small stack of papers in her hand.
	The psychiatrist placed the papers before Al and sat across from him
without permission. "Angela Bea Cotton," she told him as he looked
through the papers with curiosity. "Born February 21st, 1953 in
Charleston, North Carolina. Her mother was unmarried and gave her
children up for adoption. Angela was adopted, in August of 1953, by
Herbert and Carol Cotton. Graduated in 1977 from the University of
Virginia. She spent several years in Charlottesville where she was
reunited with her fraternal twin sister. The two live together until the
sister's death in 1980."
	Al got a peculiar look on his face. There was definitely something on
his mind and Verbina knew it. She looked at him with questioning.
	"What is it?" she asked.
	Al took a slow deep breath. "What was her sister's name?"
	Verbina tilted her head slightly, her curiosity heightened by Al's
question. "Susan, I believe," she replied. "Susan..." She hesitated,
searching for the last name.
	"Chambers," Al finished quietly, closing his eyes as he said the name.
	Verbina looked at him with surprise. "Yes," she confirmed. "You knew
Susan. That's why Angela was so familiar to you."
	Al nodded slowly. "She had told me she had a twin sister but I had
never met Angela. Susan called her Angie. I never made the connection up
in that building." He leaned forward, placing his elbows on his desk and
his forehead in his hands. "Gawd, if I had made that connection, I would
have had at least a chance to save Angela. I would have at least known
why she called for me, why she was so angry with me."
	Verbina was quiet for a moment. "Why was she angry with you?"
	He took a deep breath. "She believed I killed her sister. But I
didn't." He looked into the psychiatrist's eyes. "I couldn't have even
if I had wanted to, which I didn't." He lowered his eyes. "I think it
bothered her that I had a perfect alibi when she was convinced I killed
her." He paused momentarily. "She never realized how much she hurt me
with her accusations."
	"Angela's file says that she had been in a mental hospital for the past
eighteen months, only recently released," Verbina told him.
	He exhaled. "I guess she never got over her sister's death."
	"Admiral," a voice interrupted.
	Al rolled his eyes and looked at Verbina, annoyed by the interruption
but also thankful for it. She returned the look with a slight shrug.
	"What is it, Ziggy?" Al finally replied to the interruption.
	"I thought that you would like to know that we have a guest in the
Waiting Room."
	Al took a breath and slowly exhaled. "Thank you, Ziggy. Dr. Beeks and I
will be down shortly."
	"Very well, Admiral," the computer replied before leaving the two in
	Al stood up and looked at Verbina. "Shall we go?"
	She nodded slowly before standing and looking at him with concern. "Are
you going to be all right concerning Angela?"
	He gave her a slight smile. "I'll be all right," he told her before he
headed for the door.
	Verbina watched Al as she followed him, knowing that he had just lied.

	Soft lips pressed up against his and, for a moment, he forgot he was
kissing a stranger. Not only did he let himself be kissed, but also he
kissed her in return, relishing in the brief moment and knowing that
this woman truly cared for the person she thought she was kissing.
	The moment broke however when Sam Beckett noticed she was starting to
unbutton his shirt. He gently pulled away from her, trying his best not
to make the situation more uncomfortable.
	"Baby, what's wrong?" the woman asked as Sam buttoned his shirt, not
looking at her.
	"Nothing's wrong," Sam assured, trying to keep his voice from saying
	The woman frowned at him, placing his hands on her hips. "You're
worried about him, aren't you? I told you, we broke up over a year ago.
He dumped ME remember?"
	Sam hadn't looked at her yet. He laughed weakly, nervously.
	"Well," he started with an embarrassed smile. He finally looked at the
woman he had kissed and his smile faded to a look of pure shock. "Oh, my
gawd!" he whispered. "Beth?"
	She glared at him before taking a step forward and slapping him hard
across the face.
	"That's not funny, Dick!" she growled at him.
	"She's not Beth, Sam," Al told the scientist as Sam rubbed his cheek.
	"I know that," Sam whispered back to the Observer, not knowing that his
assailant heard him as well.
	"Then why the hell did you say it?" she said angrily.
	Sam looked to Al for help to see the Admiral looking at her with
haunted eyes.
	"Gawd, she looks so much like her!" Al said mostly to himself.
	She was still waiting for a reply. "Well?" she demanded.
	Sam looked at her, again startled by the resemblance.
	"I..." he started with hesitation.
	She frowned at him. "You know, Dick? Sometimes, you can he a real
asshole." With those words, she quickly exited through a door, slamming
it as she left.
Sam and Al stared at the door through which she had left, each with
their own unique expression.
	Al whistled quietly. "Still was fiery as ever, I see."
	Sam looked at his partner with confusion. "You know her?"
	Al turned away and walked a short ways with a huff of a laugh. "You
kiddin'? I dated her once upon a time."
	Sam blinked, trying to absorb the latest bit of information he was
given. Al looked at his friend and raised his eyebrows at the look of
confused shock on Sam's face. "Don't look so shocked about it, Sam." He
pointed towards the door. "I mean, it's pretty obvious why I dated her."
	"She looks like Beth," Sam reasoned.
	Al nodded slightly. "A hell of a lot like her and she knew it. I told
her so. So, it's no wonder that she blew her top with your reaction."
	Sam exhaled, looking at his surroundings. The apartment was definitely
the kind that the upper middle class, or the lower upper class, would
keep. The living room was very spacious with leather sofas and chairs,
oak tables, and brass lamps. There was a well-applianced kitchen to the
right of the front door and there were a couple of doors to the left,
presumably the bedrooms of the apartment. Just across from the front
door was a large bay window, which overlooked a city. To the right of
the door was two other doors which, Sam presumed, were a closet and a
bathroom. All this Sam gathered with a quick glance before sitting on a
leather couch and facing Al.
	"Al, what is going on here? Who is she? How did you meet?"
	Al took a breath before raising the handlink. His eyes squinted ever so
slightly as he read the information Ziggy was providing to him.
	"Today's April 22, 1980, and your name is Dick Anderson-Kemp. You're a
thirty-three year old accountant with an ego that almost surpasses
Ziggy's." He looked at Sam pointedly. "The guy in the Waiting Room? He's
driving Beeks nuts! He thinks he's God's gift to women. Anyway, you work
for a big time accounting firm in Charlottesville, Virginia, and you
make a whopping thirty thousand dollars a year, rounded to the nearest
thousandth." He raised his eyebrows. "And you're due for a promotion.
Makes me wonder why this guy lives in Virginia."
	Sam nodded at the information. "What about her?"
	Al raised his head upon Sam's question, lowering the handlink as he did
so. "Susan Chambers," he told him. "Twenty-seven year old business
woman. Runs and owns her own shop near her alma mater, the University of
Virginia. She loved the Beatles, chocolate, really good lasagna, horror
movies, and sleeping naked in satin sheets." He smiled at the
embarrassed flush in Sam's face. "You asked," he reminded.
	Sam cleared his throat with discomfort. "So you did more than just date
	A gentle smile crossed Al's face. "We had our moments." He exhaled. "I
was going to marry her but it just didn't work out."
	That caught Sam's attention. "Let me guess. She left you."
	Al shook his head. "No. I left her."
	Sam raised his eyebrows in surprise.
	Al shrugged slightly, almost nonchalantly. "We were... engaged... for a
short while but one day I realized that I was going to marry her because
she looked like Beth, not because she was Susan Chambers."
	"And that angered her," Sam concluded.
	"Infuriated her is more like it," Al replied, beginning a well
remembered eight step pace. "She had fallen head over heels for the war
hero who barely survived eight years in a Vietnamese POW camp. And me?
Every time I looked at her, all I could see was the wife who wasn't
there waiting for me when I returned a year before." He hesitated. "Plus
she was only a kid - twenty-three years old - and I was forty-two. We
weren't really made for each other." He looked towards the door again.
"Looks like she never really forgave me for unintentionally leading her
on." He exhaled and rubbed his face.
	Sam thought for a moment. "What else did you see in her? I mean, it had
to be more than the fact that she looks like Beth. Did she act like
	Al laughed sadly. "There was nothing else, Sam. She and Beth were
nothing alike other than appearance. Susan had one hell of a temper and
like things a little on the kinky side. Beth was almost made of patience
and was more interested in the emotion of love rather than the act, if
you know what I mean." He took a breath. "When I met Susan, I was still
hoping that Beth would find out that I was alive and that she would come
running into my arms. I'd just gotten out of the hospital and,
subconsciously, I thought that Susan would be the closest I would get to
having Beth back in my life."
	Sam took a breath, placing what Al told him to a corner in his mind.
"So, why have I leaped into your ex-girlfriend's boyfriend?"
	"My ex-fiancée's fiancé," Al corrected.
	"They get married?" Sam questioned.
	"Well, that was the intention."
	Sam frowned. "Let me guess. He dumps her too."
	Al blinked a couple of times, a sad look on his face. "No. She dies." 
	His words shocked Sam. The latter closed his eyes sadly. "She died
	Al hesitated. "She died on April 23rd, 1980."
	Sam quickly opened his eyes and looked at Al with surprise. "The 23rd?
But that's..."
	Al nodded. "She dies tomorrow."