"Cry, Angel...Cry"

Balboa Naval Hospital 
San Francisco, CA
December 24, 1985
7:37 a.m.

	As the vast blueness faded and the next life that needed 
something put right focused, as he felt himself take form, Sam 
instantly knew three things with certainty.  

	One, he was laying on his back and bright light was shining 
down on him.  Obeying instinct, he squeezed his eyes shut against 
it.  Shivering as a waft of cool air washed over his body clarified 
the second item: he was cold and wet all over.  And third...he was 
naked.  Then he heard the voices and the noise.  Voices speaking 
in sharp, urgent tones. The sound of monitors of some sort.  Then 
he heard the crying.  

	Fighting rising panic, he carefully half opened his eyes.  
It took a couple of seconds before he realized where he was.  
*I'm in an operating room* he thought, then frowned. *No...a 
delivery room.*  

	Even as that thought occurred to him, Sam's mind was moving 
at hyper-speed, adding up what little he could see through his 
half open eyes.  He then added to that equation the sound most 
prominent in the room...the sobbing.  

	Remaining motionless he glanced around.  Almost instantly 
his gaze went to the woman still on the delivery table while the 
doctor was finishing up with the after-delivery aspects of the 
birth.  He noted that no one, not the doctor or nurses or even 
the woman on the table was paying him any attention.  

	Sam's brows knitted ever so slightly when the doctor nodded 
at the chief delivery room nurse who paused beside him.  

	"Yes, doctor?" she said quietly.  

	Sam's wonder deepened when the man said in equally low 
tones, "I want her to have something to help her sleep as soon 
as she's out of recovery."  

	The nurse nodded, listening carefully to the medication 
order, then moved away.  Tilting his head slightly the doctor 
looked down the length of his patient's body to her tear-
washed face.  

	Even from his position, and though only his eyes were 
revealed, Sam could see the touch of sadness in the doctor's 
eyes.   But the man's next words as he turned his gaze in Sam's 
direction let loose a flood of uneasy disbelief in the time 
traveler's mind as all the bits and pieces came together.  

	"They wanted you so very much, too" the man's deep voice 
was low and gentle as he uttered the achingly sad words.  

	Sam felt the blood drain from his face as he went absolutely 
still.  The shocking realization of...who he had leaped into 
seemed to drain every ounce of reactionary strength from his body. 

	He waited until the doctor returned his attention to 
finishing with his patient, then glanced down at himself, at 
the aura surrounding his body, and barely stifled a gasp. 

	*Oh my God!* The words seemed to repeat and echo endlessly 
in Sam's mind as he stared, unable to take his eyes off the clamp 
on the severed umbilical stump in the middle of his belly. 
*My God!* he shouted frantically into his mind. *What wrong can 
I possibly set right as a newborn infant?... Al!  Where are you?*  

	He sneaked another glance at himself, then closed his eyes 
tightly.  Only two words managed to make themselves coherent in 
the wild jumble of his thoughts....*Ohhhh Boy!*  

Stallion's Gate, New Mexico
Project Quantum Leap
December 24, 2001
7:30 a.m.

	Al was sitting at the table in his quarters finishing a rare 
leisurely second cup of coffee after breakfast and listening to Beth 
in the other room getting ready to go out to do some last minute 
Christmas shopping.  He looked up when she came to the door, digging 
in her purse for something. 

	"Are you warm enough?" he teased.  

	Dressed in jeans, a red cable-knit Christmas sweater, ski 
boots and a dark blue ski jacket, Beth Calavicci gave her husband 
an equally saucy grin. Ignoring his cheeky question, she dropped 
a kiss on his lips.  

	"It's twenty degrees outside," Beth informed him as she 
continued her search.  "Oh, I just checked with the airlines.  
Pippa and Alan's plane will arrive at ten-thirty from San 
Francisco.  Jennie's plane will be arriving from Dallas at eleven 

	"Was Mike able to make the trip?"  Al asked about his newest 
son-in-law of eleven months.  

	"Yes.  Jen said he almost didn't make it. Traffic snarl right 
outside the airport." 

	"What about Ann Marie?" He glanced toward the hall behind her. 
 "Is she still sleeping?"  

	"Yes.  Let her sleep as long as she wants."  

	"What time did she get in?"

	"She told me she finished up her last exam yesterday morning 
about ten," Beth said.  "But there was a snow delay and her flight 
was delayed seven hours..."  


	Beth nodded, pausing in her search. "The plane didn't leave 
Boston till a little after five yesterday afternoon. When she got 
into Dallas, she managed to book a seat on the last flight into 
Albuquerque, and that didn't get in until nine twenty-two last 
night.   She didn't get here till nearly eleven."  She met his 
eyes.  "You were still in that committee meeting."  

	"Don't remind me," Al grimaced.  

	"Poor baby was in bed ten minutes after she got here."  She 
fixed him with a pointed look and admonished, "Regardless of what's 
on your agenda this morning, don't forget to send a car to the 

	"When was the last time I forgot to pick up any of my 
daughters at the airport?" Al challenged.  Beth didn't even pause 
as she dumped the contents of her purse on the table.  

	"How about last year when Ann Marie came home from college 
for the Easter holiday?  It was two in the morning on Good Friday, 
when she called to say she'd been waiting over two hours," she 
said, arching her dark brows and sending a pointed glance at him, 
"for 'someone' who had promised faithfully to meet her at the 
arrival gate even though her flight wouldn't arrive till midnight. 
Aha!" she said, finding the object of her search and stuffing it 
quickly in a pocket. Scooping up the items on the table and stuffing 
them in her purse again, she fixed her husband of forty years with 
a "when-will-you-learn" grin.  "Shall I continue?"  

	Just as Al was about to concede, his wrist communicator 
chirped. "Saved by bell," he grinned as he tapped in a response code. 

	"Sounds more like a canary with a sore throat," she said, 
picking up her purse and keys.  "I'll be back in a few hours."  
She bent to kiss him again. "Don't forget..."  

	"...the car." Catching her face between his hands he looked 
deep into her blue eyes. "I love it when the whole family can come 
together for Christmas," he said softly then returned her kiss.  
When he drew back a moment later, he saw the wistful sadness in 
the depths of her eyes, and knew what she was thinking. *Almost 
the whole family.*  

	"Honey..." Al began gently, but a second insistent chirp 
from his communicator broke the moment, and Beth straightened up 
and headed for the front door. Not until the door closed behind 
her did he respond to yet a third chirp.  

	"Yeah, Ziggy.  What is it?"  

	"It is critically urgent that you get to the Waiting Room."  

	"Why?" he asked, getting to his feet, and reaching for the 
dark red jacket on the back of his chair.  Slipping it on, he 
headed for the front door of his and Beth's quarters.  

	"A new Visitor has arrived and is incapable of speaking," 
Ziggy responded.  "She is also having difficulty breathing."  

	Alarm bells went off in Al's mind. "What's wrong with her?" 
he demanded.  He paused just long enough to lock his door then 
headed for the elevator at the end of the hall.  "Has the medical 
unit been alerted?"  

	"Doctor Sanderson and the medical unit are working on her," 
Ziggy answered. "Doctor Beeks is assisting them, but the Visitor 
may require a specialist if she is to live."  

	That stopped Al in his tracks, his finger still pressing 
the elevator button. "What kind of specialist?" he said sharply.  
Realizing the doors were open, he stepped in and punched the 
button for the lowest level of the Project. He didn't like the 
ominous direction this leap was taking in its first few minutes.  
Sam had leaped into some woman who not only couldn't talk, but 
who was having problems breathing, and that might require a 
specialist.  "What kind of specialist?" he repeated.  Ziggy's 
response brought him up cold.  

	"A neonatologist."  

	The doors of the elevator opened on Level Twelve and still 
Al didn't move.  Finally... "But..that would mean that Sam's 
leaped into a...a..."  The computer supplied the word he couldn't 
get past his lips. 

	"...baby," Ziggy said in her calm, emotionless voice.  "More 
specifically," she clarified, "Doctor Beckett has leaped into a 
newborn female infant."  

	"H.how..old is she?" Al asked as he left the elevator at a 
run, turning left.  "Door!" he yelled.  As he ran into the Waiting 
Room, he skidded to a halt, the sight of the doctor and several 
nurses clustered around the hospital bed where "visitors" rested 
during their stay, made his stomach churn uneasily.  "How old is 
she, Ziggy?" he demanded, his tone only slightly lower in deference 
to the situation.  He noticed that Verbena moved away from the bed.  
Her grave expression tightened the knot in his stomach as he went 
to her.  

	"How old is she, Bena," Al demanded.  

	"Gordon says she was born literally seconds before Sam leaped 
into her," she said quietly. "She can't be more than two, possibly 
three minutes old." She paused, then said, "And she's having 
difficulty breathing."  

	"Why?" Al asked, stepping past the psychiatrist. Moving 
closer to the beehive of concentrated activity around the bed, 
he was careful not to interfere.  He maneuvered to get a closer 
look at the tiny visitor. He felt a hand on his arm, and met 
Verbena's gaze.  

	"She's premature."  

	"How premature?" Al asked, quickly moving to fill the gap 
left when one of the nurses stepped away from the bed. Instantly 
his eye was caught by a tiny dark pink birthmark on the still 
motionless baby's left shoulder.  Suddenly it was Al who was 
having trouble catching his breath.  

	"Gordon estimates about three, maybe four weeks."  Seeing 
the Observer's face suddenly go ashen put Verbena on instant 
alert.  "Al, what is it?" 

	"Are you okay, Admiral?" Helen Olsen, one of the Navy nurses 
assisting the doctor asked.  She followed his glance and quickly 
assured him, "Not to worry, Admiral. It's...."  

	"...where the angel kissed her just before she was born," 
Al whispered, his gaze fixed on the birthmark shaped like the 
tiny pursed lips of a cherub.  "Clear her windpipe!"  

	Gordon Sanderson, chief medical physician on the Project 
glanced up from his tiny patient.  "Her nose and throat are 
clear..." he began.  

	"No!" Al yelled at the startled man.  "Check again!  There's 
mucous lodged in her windpipe.."  

	"How do you..."  

	"It's there!" Al's voice had risen to a shout as he leaned 
over the bed toward the doctor. "Just check it!"  

	Now it was Verbena's instincts slamming into overdrive. 
"Al, do you know who this baby is?"  

	"Yes." The single word response was barely audible.  Al 
held his breath as he watched the doctor thread a tiny lighted 
fiber optic instrument down the baby's throat. Then... 

	"Suction!" Doctor Sanderson ordered sharply. Taking the 
instrument offered, he carefully maneuvered it down the dark-
haired newborn's throat. The low sucking sound the instrument 
made changed slightly, and before it could be removed, the 
baby made a choking sound.  As quickly as the instrument was 
pulled out of her throat, the child gasped, caught a breath 
and began to cry.  It wasn't a particularly vigorous cry, 
but Al didn't care.  It was a cry.  

	He squatted down so his eyes were on a level with the 
tiny crying infant, unaware of the tears forming in his eyes. 
"That's it, Georgie," he encouraged softly.  "Cry, angel. Cry." 

	"Admiral?" Ziggy said.  

	"What, Ziggy?"  

	"I believe you should make contact with Doctor Beckett."  

	Al hesitated another minute, watching as the dark-haired 
baby girl, her cries strengthening, was gently but quickly 
checked over.  It took every ounce of discipline he'd ever 
learned to turn his back and walk out of the Waiting Room and 
head for the Imaging Chamber.  

	As he entered the Control Room, a beehive of activity as 
the Imaging Chamber was brought online, Al spoke aloud as he 
took the handlink Gooshie offered.  "Ziggy, do you...."  

	"Yes.  There is a ninety-nine point three five percent 
probability that Doctor Beckett has leaped into...the infant 
to prevent her death by asphyxiation four minutes after her
birth.  In the original history..." This time it was Ziggy 
who was cut off.  

	As the Imaging Chamber Door opened before him, Al said 
sharply, "I know what happened...originally."  

	"What happened originally, Al?"  Verbena asked as she 
hurried into the Control Room just as the Observer finished 
speaking.  She practically ran up the ramp to confront him.  
She expected to see angry defiance in his dark eyes.  What she 
saw was an unshakable determination.  "Who is that baby, Al?" 

	Meeting her eyes, Al held her gaze for a long five 
seconds, then entered the Imaging Chamber. "Her name is Georgia." 

	"Who is she?" Verbena repeated.  

	Just as the door slid shut, he looked into her eyes and 
said softly, "She's my daughter."  

In the Delivery Room
Balboa Naval Hospital
December 24, 1985
7:39 a.m.

	  His last desperate, almost mind-numbing thoughts had 
barely faded from his mind, when Sam saw the Imaging Chamber 
door open literally right in front of him.  His relief at 
seeing Al hurry toward him was cut short by the Observer's 
tense expression.  Coupled with the fact that his friend didn't 
waste words on small talk re-emphsized the seriousness of this 
leap. He remained silent and unmoving as Al came to his side 
and bent down so he could look into his eyes.  

	"Judging by the look in your eyes, you've figured out 
you've leaped into a newborn baby." He paused to take a 
breath then started talking. "Ziggy's figured out why you're 
here.  Time is of the essence, so here it is."  

	For a half second Al paused.  At this moment, because of 
some of Sam's mesons and neurons implanted in his body several 
years ago, he now looked down at both his best friend and a 
tiny, very fragile newborn baby girl.  Then, giving himself 
a sharp mental shake, he met Sam's half open eyes.  

	"You've leaped into mine and Beth's last child, Georgia 
Angelina Calavicci."  He nodded as Sam's eyes widened slightly. 

	 "Yeah.  I almost fainted, too.  Anyway, in the original 
history, Georgia was born five weeks prematurely.  She died four 
minutes after birth.  The autopsy Beth and I demanded showed 
that she could have lived if the doctor had worked on her 
another couple of minutes.  They checked her throat, but not her 
windpipe and because she was premature they..."  He hesitated, 
swallowing hard before continuing.  "...they didn't do anything 
else. And...and my sweet angel lay...where you are now and choked 
to death on a tiny bit of thick mucous lodged in her windpipe.  
We sued and won, but Beth never really got over Georgia's death." 

	Sam saw the pain in his friend's dark eyes. *Neither did 
you, Al* he thought. Quickly he refocused on what Al was saying. 

	"Ziggy says all you have to do is cry, and keep crying till 
you leap.  She says it'll be enough to sustain Georgia till she 
leaps back into herself.  Ziggy gives it a ninety-nine point 
three-five percent probability that you're here to prevent Georgia's 
premature death."  He saw the question clearly in the leaper's eyes. 
Without hesitation Al turned the handlink so Sam could see the bold 
black numbers on the small screen.  "I swear, Sam.  Ziggy told me 
the probability before I got the chance to ask."  

	In all the years of leaping, one of the things Samuel Beckett 
had learned to rely on without hesitation was the instinct of his 
heart.  He relied on it now without question, and nodded his head 

	Just then a nurse walking past the table where Sam lay, 
bumped the corner of the tray of sterilized instruments she was 
carrying, gasping as the tray's contents clattered to the floor.  
It was the perfect cover.  "Someone help me!" Sam said urgently, 
knowing that anything he said would only be heard as crying. 

	The reaction in the delivery room was instant shock and 
suddenly all attention turned to him.  Even the woman on the 
delivery table...Beth ...had snapped her head over to look at 
Sam, her eyes wide.  

	"She cried!" Beth whispered. "Doctor Bartlett, my baby 

	Suddenly Sam found himself on the receiving end of massive 
attention as an air mask was placed over his mouth and nose, and 
a stethoscope was placed on his chest.  *Geez, that's cold!*  In 
spite of everything happening, he looked around for Al, then smiled.

	He watched as his best friend went to stand by the delivery 
table, looking down at his beloved wife. Watched as the couple, 
though separated by vast oceans of time, shared tears of happiness.  
Sam felt tears form in his eyes as he listened to Al whispering 
over and over, even though Beth couldn't hear him, "It's okay, 
honey. She's gonna live. Our sweet little Georgia's gonna make it." 

	For the next minute or so Sam kept up a steady one-sided 
conversation with the people who could only hear a baby's crying.  
He smiled when Al finally returned to his side.  

	"So? How do things turn out?"

	Al pulled the handlink from his pocket.  Unashamedly he 
wiped his eyes with the back of one hand, then focused on 
punching in codes into the multi-colored handlink.  As information 
began to flash across the tiny screen, he couldn't have disguised 
the happiness in his voice even if he'd wanted to try.  

	"Right now, at the Project, the doctors have her stabilized.  
Ziggy says you should keep crying..talking until Georgia leaps back 
into herself."  

	"What happens to her?"  

	"Even as we speak Georgie...Georgia's a healthy, beautiful, 
headstrong girl who..." he paused to take a shaky breath. "...is 
driving me and her mom nuts with more shenanigans than even I 
remember getting into." He paused again then said with quiet 
fervency, "Thanks, Sam.  Thank you for our Christmas angel." 
The shocked look in his friend's eyes prompted him.  

	"You probably don't remember, but Georgia was born at 
seven thirty seven a.m. Christmas Eve morning, 1985." As he 
glanced at his watch at that moment, something occurred to 
the Observer.  Bending over so his face was mere inches from 
Sam's, Al gave his friend the only Christmas gift he could, 
even if it only lasted a moment.  He glanced at his watch 
again then back to Sam's eyes and said, his voice nearly 
inaudible in its softness, "Georgie just turned 16."

	The Observer smiled as he watched the realization of the 
meaning of his words dawn in Sam's eyes.  "Merry Christmas, Sam."

	"Thanks, Al," Sam said softly.  He let his eyes say what he 
knew he didn't have time to say aloud as a familiar feeling deep 
inside steadily intensified. 



	"Merry Christmas," Sam said, and leaped.

	The year 1985 faded away, and Al heard the Imaging Chamber 
door open.  As he walked out into the Control Room he was 
'confronted' by a more than annoyed hybrid computer.  

	"Admiral Calavicci, I have a complaint."  

	"What is it, Ziggy?"  

	"If your youngest child doesn't learn and abide by 
certain rules," Ziggy said with the closest thing to a 'snap' 
in her voice Al had ever heard, "She may one day find herself 
locked in a room not easily located. And I will erase all 
knowledge of that room's location!" 

	"What did she do now?"  

	As he listened to Ziggy rant about his youngest daughter...
and mentally grinning like a Cheshire cat..., two words continually
looped through the Observer's mind.

	*Thanks, Sam.*

					THE END.