Sam was still talking to Bernie when Al and Beth walked into the 
cafeteria.  Bernie was lying in Sam's arms, their cheeks together in a 
warm embrace.  Al was going to sit elsewhere but Sam beckoned them over. 
 Bernie shifted as Al sat down.  Sam watched her as she stood, still 
holding onto her hand.

"It's okay Bernie we only need a drink, I'll get them.  Anyone else?"  
Beth asked as she placed the parcels she was carrying onto an adjacent 

"No Beth, I'd better get something done."  Bernie turned to Sam and 
smiled, Sam reluctantly slid his fingers away from hers.

"I'll come with you, leave the boys to talk."  Beth blew a kiss to Al 
and followed Bernie into the kitchen.

"Well, how was the shopping trip?"  Sam leaned his elbows on the table.

"Uh, okay, a bit of a ruckus, on the way back, just outside of Santa Fe. 
 A truck jack-knifed, spilled it's load and the road was blocked for 

"Was anyone hurt?"

"Nah, just took 'em ages to clear the road."

The two women returned with a jug of hot steaming coffee, the aroma of 
the coffee filled the air as Bernie lay it on the table.  Beth promptly 
poured it out into the mugs.

"Bernie's been telling me about the confrontation you had with Rosie 
earlier.  She's a weird girl."  Beth remarked as she handed a mug to 

"Oh yeah Al, did you know Jessie Olivera was Rosie's sister?"

"No I didn't know, she doesn't have the same name, I don't think anyway. 
 Can't remember much about her, I'll check her rE9sumE9."

"Sammi said her surname's Saint-James, that reminds me, I want Ziggy to 
run a check in those two.  According to Rosie, I'm somehow involved with 
Jessie's murder."

"Okay we'll go down later, see what Ziggy can come up with."

"Alfredo's getting a little squiffed about Rosie too." Bernie added, 
"He's not at all happy with her lately."

"I love those cute little English terms so quaint."  Beth continued, "No 
he's not too happy with her attitude, he says that she's been slacking, 
slinking off somewhere, she keeps disappearing, he turns around and 
she's gone."

"I'll see if Ziggy can check on that too.  Where she goes I mean,  Ziggy 
will know if she's spoken to anyone, Ziggy may not have eyes, but her 
ears are everywhere."

"I still can't believe you created this fascinating computer.  How come 
you called her Ziggy?"

"Well that was Al,"  Sam remembered the first Beta test, "On the first 
test run, Al thought that the Beta version was like the cartoon 
character Ziggy.  Remember pi Al?"

"Was that Cherry or Apple, ahm, Ziggy's little joke." Quirked Al.

"She wasn't a she at the beginning though, she was a he."

"That was Donna's idea."  Al looked a little flustered.  After he'd said 
it, he wished he hadn't.

"Tell me about Donna, Sam."  Bernie asked.

Sam felt a little embarrassed, "We'll talk about that later, I want to 
run those check on Jessie and Rosie," Sam kissed Bernie.  "I'll see you 
at the end of your shift, about seven okay.  Are you coming Al?"  He 
stood up and strode to the door.

Al had to run to keep up with him.  Bernie looked uneasy that she'd 
mentioned Donna.

Beth turned to her, "Don't worry about it, it's not you, he doesn't like 
to discuss Donna."

"I didn't want to upset Sam, I hope he'll be okay with me."

Beth reassured her, "He'll tell you when he's ready.  It's just Sam's 
way of dealing with things."

"Oh I do hope so."

* * * * *

"Al, I've had a great idea."  The doors opened as the elevator arrived, 
the two friends entered and the floor descended.

"What's that?"  Al asked when San didn't carry on the conversation.

After a long pause Sam continued.  "When the plane arrives tomorrow."  
The elevator stopped and the doors opened,  Sam leaned against the open 
door of the elevator and paused again.  "When the plane comes for Matt 
and Leone," another pause, Sam looked heavenward, "I'm gonna ask Bernie 
if she'd like to visit my Mother and Katie in Hawaii."

Al looked at Sam aghast, but let Sam keep on talking.

"I've not seen them for years, I need to make amends, I'm sure they 
would love to meet her.  I wonder if I have any nephews or nieces?  Do 
you know Al?"

"Erm, ahm, er," Al led Sam by the arm, "We've got some talking to do."  
He was almost dragging Sam down the tunnels that let to the Control 

"What's with it......."

"Shut up Sam."  Al ordered, with the authority of an Admiral.


"Sam!"  Al was almost reprimanding.  Sam became quiet.

He ushered him into the chair next to Ziggy's console.

"Ziggy run the full scenario for September 18 2000."

Sam suddenly turned to Al, "What are you trying to tell me Al?"

He ignored Sam's remarks.  His attention was on Ziggy.

"Are you sure you want me to run the full synopsis for September 18 
2000, Admiral?"

"Al, are you going to tell me?"

Again he ignored Sam.  "Yes Ziggy, especially the full one."

"If you insist Admiral."

"Just do it Ziggy!"  Al was becoming impatient.

"This is the newspaper article from the New Mexico Journal, 'On 
September 18 2000, an accident occurred, involving several fatalities.  
Two of whom were top scientists at a government research centre and 
their families.  Also involved in the accident was a farming family and 
not connected with the government facility.  The accident occurred when 
one of the scientists suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel of his 
vehicle, which was north-bound on the Albuquerque Road to Taos.  The 
fatalities include: Gooshie, research centre scientist; Donna Elessee, 
research centre scientist; Bruce Danielson, husband of research centre 
scientist; Katherine Bonnick,'"

Sam's jaw dropped, "Katie's dead?"  His words were slow and deliberate.

Ziggy continued, "'sister of research centre physicist and Nobel Prize 
Winner, Dr. Samuel Beckett; Lloyd Jones, farmer; Jacqueline Jones, wife 
of Lloyd Jones; Nathan Jones, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jones and Masie Jones 
daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Jones.  There were no survivors.'"

"Yes Sam, she died."

"What was Katie doing here?  I mean Katie here, where was Mom, was 

Al looked into Sam's despairing eyes.  "Your Mom was home on the farm 
Sam, she's okay.  Kate came to help Donna with the baby, your baby, 
Jimmy.  He was less than a month old when Donna and Katie.... when they 
were killed."

"I did it again didn't I, Al."  This was not a question, Sam was making 
a statement to himself.  "I changed history, not for the better, I made 
it worse."

"You weren't to know Sam."  Al looked at his friend's saddened face.

"I should've know not to change my past, I made that rule, now I have to 
live with the consequences."  Sam stood and walked round to the back of 
the chair and grasped it.  The white of his knuckles showed through his 

"You didn't intentionally change their lives Sam, you wanted to make 
Donna's live better.  It's just that it backfired a little and affected 
other things in your life."

"You said my mom was on the farm, we lost the farm just before dad died, 
she went to live with Kate in Hawaii."

"That changed when Tom came back from Vietnam."  Al looked at Sam 
concerned, "With Tom's help the farm wasn't lost Sam, after your dad 
died in '89, he took over the running of it."

"Of course, I remember now," Sam's mood lightened, "Tom didn't get 
killed in Vietnam, how could I forget that Al?"

"I think your memory's still a little Swiss-cheesed from the leaping 

"And my dad didn't die till '89?"

"When you were on your honeymoon with Donna, this time you weren't to 
blame for not attending your father's funeral."

"So it wasn't all bad?  I mean, for my family then, I did some good?"

"Yeah  Sam, you did some good."  Al was pleased at his friend's change 
of mood.  "And you are an uncle Sam, Tom married and he has two sons."

Sam's face lit up, "So I'm an uncle then, two boys.  That's it, I'll 
take Bernie home, to Indiana, Elk Ridge Indiana."  Sam smiled as he 
remembered.  The corn fields and the view of the house in the valley, 
the sun glistening on the windows, the smell of home cooking.  He was 
going home but first he had some digging to do.

"Ziggy, give me a rundown on the lives of Jessica Olivera and Rosie 
Saint-James ."

"Will do Doctor.  Any particular period?"

"No Ziggy, then do a comparison check too."

"Affirmative Doctor."  Ziggy's processors whirred into action, within 
seconds she had completed the search and comparison checks.  "Jessica 
Olivera and Rosemarie Saint-James had the same mother, Marie Willis, but 
both had different fathers.  Jessica Olivera was born April 17 1963, her 
father Willard Olivera married Marie nE9e Willis on 26 August 1960.  
She attended college and university in Pennsylvania, attained an honours 
degree in mathematics and literature and worked as an aide for Senator 
Judith Dreasney until her death on November 12 1996, she never married.  

Sam glanced in Al's direction, Al stood listening, one hand rubbed his 
chin,  the other arm folded.

"Rosemarie Saint-James was born on March 4 1971, as a result of an 
affair, illegitimate daughter of Peter Saint-James.  She attended 
college in Pennsylvania, attended numerous anti-political 
demonstrations, no formal qualifications, worked in an ammunitions 
factory until 1996, a munitions and firearms depot until her present 
position of waitress.  She has never married."

"What do you think Al?"

Al stood as before, still thinking pensively.  "I'm not sure pal, 
they're two opposites.  Different fathers, step-sisters.  One for the 
government the other against, not sure at all."

"Could be that Rosie's jealous of her sister, better career, probably a 
better relationship with her father, and......"  Sam broke off, "Ziggy 
give me what you have on Marie Olivera?"

" Divorced from Willard Olivera in November 1972 and after a long court 
battle, lost custody of Jessica in September 1976.  She committed 
suicide the following January and Rosemarie was taken into care at the 
age of five."

Al turned sharply to Sam, "I think we've hit the nail on the head there 
Sam."  He wandered off into thought again, "And isn't Peter Saint-James 

Ziggy broke in, "The vice-president of United States of America.  Yes 
Admiral, your deductions are correct."