Chapter 13

    In spite of his forced occupancy in the seemingly endless, 
unnervingly quiet blackness, Sam had decided he'd better get to 
know as much about it as he could if he were to have any chance of
escaping it and helping Perry.  If, as his own deepest survival 
instincts were telling him, he was going to have any chance of 
getting out...not just alive, but at all.

    Moving cautiously, holding as it were, mental hands out in 
front of him, Sam explored the boundries of his prison.  Some 
heretofore unused sense gave him the sensation of running his 
hands over walls he couldn't see, his fingers exploring the 
surface, feeling, searching it for...what he wasn't sure.  A 
crack, a sliver of an opening that would allow him to escape 
the oppresive darkness.  He found such an opening, but it was
an eerie chill that made Sam shiver when he realized that he 
had moved from the 'room' he was in to another 'room', but 
*..the darkness isn't so deep in here*.

    In 'here' it seemed that he could almost see, like looking
through murky water at night... and there were 'things' in the
darkness.  He refused to give in to the unnerving feeling that
something was following him, stepping in his footsteps, the 
horrible "face" just behind his shoulder, waiting to finish 
scaring him out of his mind if he so much as glanced back. But
GTFW must have decided at that moment to give Sam a tiny break,
because as he passed through the 'corridor', passing the things
he couldn't quite see, to his amazement, he 'recognized' some of
those 'things'.

    A warm memory of being cuddled and gossamer whispers of some
lullaby. He stopped, feeling the reassurance of love wrap around
him, felt the love draw him closer. The words the voice....a
woman's voice...was singing softly became clearer. " hush
little baby, don't you cry...."

    A couple of more steps and a feeling of pride welled up 
inside him ...something the voice was saying...something about
letting go and... walking... Sam relaxed a moment, smiling as 
he 'felt' his host's mother's pride (he was positive it had to
be Perry's mother) glowing in her voice.  He continued forward.

    Suddenly uncomprehensible fear lunged at the time traveler,
seizing him as he drew near it. Dropping down on the floor and
wrapping his arms over his head as if to protect himself from a
blow, all he could do was lay and shake as two screaming, angry
voices..a man and a woman.....lashed out at each other above him.
He felt the tears flowing down his face (do I have a face?...he
barely made out the question through the vitrolic screaming over
his head)...then heard a very little boy's trembling voice 
whisper, almost pleading, "...mama?..papa?...please don't 
fight..."  But the voices didn't hear the little voice below them
and the fear wouldn't let him up.

    Sam had no way of knowing how long he'd been laying there, 
experiencing the memory of a small, frightened child caught in 
the midst of a screaming match between his parents, when a cold,
clammy feeling of panic started to creep up his spine.  He tried
to ignore the slithering tendrils of unrelenting fear reaching up,
curling over his shoulders, but it wouldn't be ignored as the
new...sound?...overcame and drowned out the screaming.  It took 
several seconds for the synapses in Sam's brain to fire fast 
enough to trigger recognition of the sound. As a tiny fragment 
of a memory of his own upbringing clarified what the 'sound' 
meant, John and Thelma Beckett's youngest son leaped to his feet,
shouting fiercely, "NO! STOP IT! I won't let you do that to her!"

    In the single angry breath it had taken to shout the words 
defending the unknown girl at whom he'd sensed the thought was
directed, Sam felt himself jerked out of the darkness.  It 
happened so fast that he didn't feel who or whatever it was 
that always passed him as they exchanged places. He didn't care.
All that mattered is that he'd stopped the sinister, 
disgusting thought that had begun in the unknown entity's mind.
Then sensing its release from its prison, Sam's consciousness
lunged upward to freedom.