CHAPTER SEVEN Ghostly voices and 'dream-like' laughter echoed from the guests sitting around the table in the dining room, drifting through the doors into the Salon. The distant 'dream-like' laughter was still echoing from the Dining Room as Sam sat sobbing, "I can't do this anymore Al." "I know this is hard." The observer was still sniffling, "Sam I'm so sorry, I really didn't want to tell you, not yet at any rate." Sam wiped tears from his face, composing himself a little, "I know why you didn't tell me. What of Sammi Jo, who's her mother?" "Wait there, I'm just gonna do something." "What?" "I'll show you, trust me, just hang on in there pal." The observer punched buttons on the hand-link, the Imaging Chamber door opened and he disappeared. * * * * * * * * Sammi Jo, Beth and Jimmy turned to see Al enter the Control Room Beth asked, "Was everything okay?" Al hurried over to Sammi Jo, ignoring Beth. He was almost shouting, "Sammi Jo, go and get Joel." Sammi Jo looked at Al, "What's wrong Al?" "Sam's not taking it too good, go and get Joel." Sammi Jo ran toward the external door and hissed at it opened, Sammi Jo left to fetch Joel. Jimmy meandered up to Al, "What's wrong with daddy?" Al bent over Jimmy and kneeled. "Oh, he's okay, really.... He just wants some company so I thought I'd take you, Sammi Jo and Joel to see him." Beth joined Al and Jimmy, "Do you think that's wise Al?" Al looked up at Beth, "Might do more good than harm. He's talkin' about giving up. I can't think of anything else to bring him round." "Oh Al, I hope you're right." Jimmy continued playing with his toy, making screeching noises as he crashed it again. Al stood up and Beth joined his side. "I told him everything, well almost, I didn't tell him about Katie..... I mean, I couldn't, not that too." "Oh Al." "That would've really finished him off." "How was he with you, when you went back?" "Nothing really, I think he understood, just like you said he would. Geese, when I told him about Donna, that really hit him with a backstroke, though. Literally knocked him for six." The external door hissed open and Sammi Jo and Joel entered. Joel ran up to Beth and gave her a hug. He turned to Al and gave him a thumbs-up sign, they both slap hands. Joel was slightly taller than Al, so Al had to stretch for the high 5. Al went over to Sammi Jo, "Come here, I have to tell you something." Sammi Jo questioned, "What? What's wrong?" Al hurried Sammi Jo over to the corner of the Control Room, where no-one could hear, "I haven't got time to explain much, Sam is your father." Sammi Jo whispered, "What! How?" "Yeah I know it sounds impossible but it's true. Sam leapt into your mother's fiancE9 while they erm, were-er making love." "How do you know that he's my father?" "Genealogy. We have a genealogy synopsis." "Al... what does this mean?" "It means you have a father and Sam has a daughter. Only Beth and I know and now you. Sam knew, but it was erased from his memory. We're gonna have to keep it this way for a while at least. You understand how this-this Quantum Leaping works, I doubt if anyone outside of this project will, or ever will for that matter." "I can't believe this Al, but in a way I can. Okay Al, but why tell me now?" "I can't go in too much detail now, there's not enough time. Sam's Great-Great-Gr.. whatever Grandson, six generations into the future at any rate, has paid a visit to Sam. God damn it, he told Sam that he has kids. I felt a right nozzle standin' there I can tell yer. I wasn't gonna tell him anything until we could get him back. Being emotional about anything back here could jepardise him in his leaps." "Well I can understand that, I mean Donna, Katie and everything." "I've not mentioned Katie and I'm not gonna either, not till we at least get him back." "Does he know about Donna then?" "Yeah.... I told him. That's why I'm gonna take you and the boys in to see Sam, he's feelin' pretty bad, I can tell yer. Will yer go along with me on this one?" "Of course I will." "I'm not sure about this, about his reactions I mean. He feels pretty hopeless out there on his own. Damned Ethos for tellin' him. Just act like nothin's happened, okay." "Okay." Al turned to Joel. "Ready kiddo?" Joel mock punched Al in the stomach. "How many times do I have to tell yer, I'm not a kid. I'm 16 now." "Just teasin' yer, kiddo." Joel mock punched Al again. Jimmy ran up to Al and Joel. Jimmy ran up to Joel and Al. "Are we going to see daddy now?" "I'm takin' you and you." Al pointed to Jimmy and Sammi Jo, "and kiddo here to see Sam." Al ruffled Joel's hair. Joel backed off. "Quit foolin' around." Al turned to Joel, "Just kiddin' Joel, we know you're the big man of the family." Joel looked down at his shoes, "I know you are Uncle Al, it just seemed weird, that's all. Seein' my Grandpa after all this time. When's he comin' back here?" Al smiled at Joel "Soon pal, real soon." Al looked at Beth and raised an eyebrow, a questioning curve to his lips. "Now remember, let me do the talkin' to start off with. I know you all want to ask him loads of stuff, but we got plenty of time... and remember, you have to keep hold of me. If you let go, Sam won't be able to see you.... Is everything ready Ziggy?" Ziggy proudly retorted, "All set Admiral." Al turned from Ziggy, "Are you guys ready?" Jimmy, Joel and Sammi Jo, in unison said, "Yeah, we're ready." Jimmy added, "set and go." The four walk over to the Imaging Chamber door holding Al's. hand, "Hold on to me tight, remember don't let go." Al looked over to Beth and then to Sammi Jo, he opened the door. Al, Jimmy, Joel and Sammi Jo enter the Imaging Chamber. Sam was looking out of the window when the Imaging Chamber door opened. Sam heard the door open and turned around. The observer, Sammi Jo, Jimmy and Joel stood hand in hand. Sam was motionless, mouth open in amazement. "Abigail, what are you doing here?" The observer shook his head, "No Sam, this is not Abigail, but her daughter, Sammi Jo." Sam's eyebrows twitched, "Abigail had a daughter? Al, but I thought you told me that she never married erm, what's his name, er, Will." The observer lifted the hand that held Sammi Jo, "No, she didn't Sam, she didn't marry Will. Sammi Jo is 'your' daughter." "How Al, I can't be..." "We'll go into that later." The observer nodded his head towards Jimmy. Sam's gaze changed to Jimmy. "This is your son Jimmy - Jimmy this is your daddy." Jimmy suddenly excited, started to run towards Sam. "Daddy!" Jimmy let go of the observer's hand and disappeared. Sam span around looking for Jimmy, "Where'd he go Al?" The observer held out his hand, "Come here Jimmy, you gotta keep hold of me." Jimmy suddenly appeared again, he was crying. "I couldn't see you daddy, you went away." Sam walked over to the four people standing by the table. He kneeled on one knee and reached out to Jimmy, but then realised that he could not touch the boy. He withdrew his hand away slowly. "Hi there Jimmy, hey you're a big boy." Jimmy stood there worried, "You look bad." Sam looked up at his friend. The observer shrugged his shoulders. "Why bad Jimmy?" Jimmy eyed Sam up and down, "You don't look too good." "Well son, I'm tired. You have your mom's eyes." Jimmy whispered, "Can I hug you?" "I wish you could too, but we can try." The observer kept hold of Jimmy whilst he tried to hug Sam. "I can't touch you, you're not here." Sam could see the sadness in the boy's eyes. "I'll always be here, and someday I'll be home." Sam moved his hand to Jimmy's cheek. "We'll have to pretend for now." Jimmy looked up at the observer and then to Joel. Sam's gaze turned to Joel, "My look at you, all grown." Joel was pleased to be called 'grown', "That's right Grandpa, I'm all grown." Joel looked at the observer. "See, I told yer, I'm grown. Grandpa says so."