Old 02-16-2006, 03:47 AM   #1
asearcher
Observer's Aid
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 504
Default New Story: Stranger Than Fiction

STRANGER THAN FICTION







PROLOGUE

The sparkling blue light gently dissipated. Sam felt the setting he was currently in was vaguely familiar with the tease of a memory playing thorough his mind. He noticed the woman standing in front of him. She looked like she was expecting something from him. He looked around the new world he inhabited, the feeling of deja vu growing, haunting him. He’d been here before, exactly this way. Hadn’t he?

Yes.

“Uh, Scott. Forgotten your line?” The voice was coming from the side.

“Wha…Oh, yeah.” He looked over towards the voice. It was then he noticed the cameras and production personnel. He seemed to recall he’d been in a similar situation once as a doctor on a soap opera. “What is it again?”

"About the road not taken."

Why did that line sound so familiar? It was like he had said it before. He decided he would need to see the entire script, or at least that particular scene, before continuing.

“Could we take a few minutes here? I seem to have spaced on this scene. I’d like to review it again before we go on.”

The various people on the set looked somewhat shocked. One gentleman came forward. “You, Scott? You’re usually so well prepared! Gee, you’re the one who’s usually helping the other guys! I guess there’s always a first time for anything!” He handed Sam a copy of the script.

Sam took it and started to scan the page. “Wait a minute! I HAVE seen this before. I mean what happened and what was said -- not the script itself. How could this be?” He turned the book so he could see the front cover.

“Oh boy! Quantum Leap is a TV show?”

************************************************** **

Set of QUANTUM LEAP TV Show

Nothing could have shocked Sam more. There was NO way anyone could have created a TV show about his project. At least, not in the past of the current project. Had he leaped into the future? He looked around the set and saw Al.

Strange, I didn’t hear the Imaging Chamber door open. He waved at Al to indicate that the other man should come over so they could talk without being seen.

Al walked over. “Yeah?”

“Al, I don’t know what’s going on here. Quantum Leap is a TV show and this scene is one I know we already lived. What’s the date?”

Al looked around as if he expected hidden cameras. Seeing nothing of the sort, he turned back to Sam. “OK, Scott. If you’re going to do a practical joke, ya gotta suck the person into it first! You know that.”

“This isn’t a practical joke!”

“Yeah, right. Well if it isn’t, you’re taking this role WAY too seriously, Scott. I mean…I didn’t think you followed method acting.”

Sam was really confused and it didn’t get any better when he heard the Imaging Chamber door open and another Al walk out. Now there were two Al’s in his line of sight, both were decked in their unique choice of wardrobe.

“Hey, nice duds!” the new Al commented. “I wonder where he shops?”

OK, OK. I’m on the set of a TV show based on Project Quantum Leap. I must have been talking to the actor that plays Al. They really decided to go with realism. This guy looks just like him!

The actor Al stated, “You need anything, Scott? We really need to pick up on the pace on the production. We’re behind as it is and we have those promos to do this evening.”

“Uh. No. I’m fine. I just…” He laughed weakly and continued, “wanted to see if I could try out a new concept. See what you thought.”

“Well, okay, but as I said, there are better times to do it. We really have to pick it up here.”

“Yeah. I’ll be ready in a minute.”

The actor Al walked off. Sam checked the script he was holding and found that the man playing him was an actor by the name of Scott Bakula and the actor playing Al was Dean Stockwell.

Sam saw that HIS Al seemed eager to get his attention. He was indicating they should walk over behind a set wall. Sam followed his lead.

“Sam, this leap is really weird!”

“Tell me about it! Al WHEN are we?”

“November 4, 1990, Sam, but in a totally alternate universe! Here, we don’t exist as us. We’re just characters in a TV show! Ziggy’s in a real snit because she doesn’t even exist in this universe. She says that since she has no way of knowing the possible histories in this reality, she’s not even going to try and figure out why you’re here.”

“An alternate universe? How could ANYTHING I do here matter to our universe, much less our timeline?”

“That’s the million dollar question, Sammy boy! I don’t know, Ziggy doesn’t know, and unless you can trust your gut to figure something out, we’re sunk!”

“You about ready, Scott?” A woman was peeking around the side of the set wall, looking at him like he’d really lost his mind.

“Uh. Just a minute more.” He waited until she left and then turned back to Al. “I guess this Bakula guy is my host. He must be in the Waiting Room. Maybe HE can shed some light on what needs to be fixed. Go back and see what he might know.”

“OK. Just hang in there, buddy. We’ll figure this out together.”

Al opened the door and walked out of Sam’s reality. Sam finished scanning the scene, thankful that his eidetic memory would allow him to fulfill his role. It was exactly what happened when HE had lived through this very leap, down to the dialogue. He shook his head, trying to get a handle on what was happening. It was like Al said, they’d have to figure it out, and hopefully soon!

He walked back to the production area. “OK, ready to shoot.”

For rest of the day, Sam played his life out before the cameras. In Sam’s mind, this was certainly a bizarre and disturbing leap.

************************************************** **

May 2, 2006
Project Quantum Leap
Stallion's Gate, NM

Al walked out of the Imaging Chamber. Not since the leap into the Al’s Place bar had a leap been so…WEIRD!

Al tossed the handlink over to the technician on duty. “I’ll be in the Waiting Room if you need me.”

Al did not like this situation one bit. Actors! They were only actors on a stage of life? NO…that’s not quite it…they were CHARACTERS and actors just played them! The actors had their own lives, their own realities. They just brought the characters to life on a weekly basis.

He reached the Waiting Room door. This was definitely going to be an "Outer Limits" type of meeting. He steeled himself and was shocked to find a perfect match between the actor, Scott Bakula, and his friend, Dr. Sam Beckett. The aura fit the actor like a glove.

“Hi, Dean…you’ve really outdone yourself this time! What’s this room supposed to be? I haven’t seen any mock ups describing it before. I certainly don’t know how you convinced everyone that enclosing the set would be worth the cost! I’ve been trying to get out since I woke up and I STILL can’t find the opening! What did you do? Put something in my drink to put me to sleep? How are we going to get cameras in here? And WHY am I wearing this costume from the pilot. It was uncomfortable then and it hasn’t gotten any better since!”

“Yeah…Uh…Scott. May I call you that?”

“Dean! What’s with you? Of course you can call me Scott, that’s my name.”

“Well, Scott. This is going to sound a bit bizarre, but you’re really in the Waiting Room.”

“Really? Why would they build this set? It’s not in any of the upcoming scripts and it’s definitely not in the current shoot? Speaking of which, I need to get back on the other set. We’re behind schedule.”

“That’s just it…see, here there isn’t any schedule.”

“OK, Dean. Enough is enough. I’m very impressed by your ingenuity but we can’t hold up production. And I’ve got a lot of other things to do today, including an MC gig tonight.”

“Um, yeah, well…that will be taken care of. Unless things change radically, you may be here awhile.”

“What ARE you pulling, Dean?” Scott was usually pretty even tempered but this was getting out of hand.

“Well, you see, to you Project Quantum Leap is a TV show that you star in. It’s just an acting job. To us, it’s real. You currently inhabit the aura of Dr. Samuel Beckett, quantum physicist and creator of Project Quantum Leap…”

“And the creator of the string theory of time travel whose experiment goes a little caca and all that. Yeah…this IS the third season for the show after all! I've been playing this role for two years...I know the storyline. Come on, Dean, this isn’t funny.”

“The real Dr. Beckett has been leaping for almost 11 years now. Somehow, in your universe we only exist as characters in the TV show that you act in. But in OUR universe, we’re real, flesh and blood real.”

Al looked over at this person from the other universe watching as he sat down on the bed and took on a distinctly puzzled look. ‘Geez! Even his expressions are Sam’s!’

Scott sat down on the bed wondering. Could he believe what he was hearing or was this one of Dean’s demented practical jokes? He next tentatively looked into the mirrored surface of the table. Seeing his own reflection he said “No, Dean. This is probably the finest practical joke you’ve ever pulled but really! You CAN’T expect me to bite on this one.”

“I’m not your co-star, Dean Stockwell. I’m Admiral Albert Calavicci, U.S. Navy, Retired.”

“I don’t believe this. I just simply don’t believe this.” Scott was adamant.

Al sighed and then said, “Well, since I don’t believe that Sam will be leaping in the next five minutes or so, I’m going to take you out of the Waiting Room and let you see the project itself. It’s not like you can do much with any knowledge you retain when you go back.” He went to the door and opened it, gesturing to the visitor to exit before him.

Scott got up off the bed and started walking towards the door. “I guess you’ll have the entire crew there. What, have we been on closed circuit?” He walked out of the room fully expecting the laughter that accompanied set pulled practical jokes. He knew the value of keeping things light on the set and letting people “get away” with such jokes. It ultimately made the production go much smoother. He was surprised to find no one except men that looked exactly like U.S. Marine Corps guards at the door.

He sighed; they were taking this joke further than they’d ever done before. It just didn’t make sense since they were behind in the shooting schedule. But for now, he was at their mercy. He’d tried to call it off but they were still involved in this intricate little prank. They were really trying to pull his chain.

He looked around for evidence of the production but the set had been transformed. He walked up to a wall and noted that it was fully load-bearing and solid. As they went into the Control Room, he was amazed to see a blue light suspended and a control booth flashing multicolor Plexiglas squares.

Scott suddenly had the feeling that he’d walked into the "Twilight Zone"...not the show, mind you....the ACTUAL "Twilight Zone." He knew about practical jokes and had even orchestrated some of them himself, but this was on a magnitude that he’d never seen before. It was becoming clear to him that life, as he knew it, had transformed to something else. He looked around for a chair and not finding one, leaned against the wall for support.

“Admiral Calavicci?” Scott said weakly, trying to hold on to his sanity while he realized the ramifications of this new reality. He swallowed, trying to find moisture in a throat that had suddenly gone dry. "Al?"

“Yeah, Scott?”

“Why am I here?”

It was ludicrous to ask this question. Scott had asked it weekly but that was only because it was in the script! Now, being for real, it was a shocking statement to make.

“We don’t know. We’re sort of hoping you could help us with that.”

“But…” He paused for a moment, “is everything here the way Don Bellisario conceived it for the show?”

“From what we can tell, yes. Right down to the Fermi Suit you’re wearing. Sorry it’s so uncomfortable, but we gotta keep you in it. Otherwise, the leap won’t occur.”

“Yeah…I sort of got that. But if everything is the same, why can’t you ask,” he paused. If this was for real then his next word would make sense and if not… “Ziggy.”

“Yeah. Well, usually we could but since your reality is in a totally different universe where she doesn’t exist, she’s unwilling to help us out. She says she knows nothing of the probabilities in your reality.”

“Uh…OK…does this happen much?”

“What?”

“Leaping in to alternative universes?”

“I can honestly say Sam’s NEVER had a leap remotely like this.”

“But you’ve got things under control? From the scripts, I know “out of control” is the more likely scenario around here but, I will eventually ‘leap back,’ right? That’s still the correct terminology?” Scott voice betrayed a concern that this may not happen.

“Believe me, Scott; we want to get back to our reality as much as you want to get back to yours.”

“Do I need to do anything?”

“We don’t think so. But it would help if you could tell us if anything is wrong. That might help Sam pinpoint what he needs to fix so he can leap."

“OK, I think I’d like to go back to the Waiting Room now, if that’s all right. I really want to be there so he can leap at the earliest opportunity.” Scott fervently hoped that this was just a really bad dream that he’d wake up from soon. “I can’t think of anything that’s wrong at the moment.”

“OK, but if you do think of something, even a small thing, let us know.”

Scott nodded and smiled half-heartedly. "You'll be the first to know."

Al led him back to the small blue room he’d found himself in at the beginning of this strange situation. “If you need anything, just ask. Ziggy will hear you and let us know.”

“I think for right now, I just want to be alone.”

Al nodded and then left the room. The guy was handling this pretty well under the circumstances. Al was amazed by the similarities between this Scott Bakula and Sam. They had similar personalities, the same expressions, same calmness in the face of calamity, same quiet determination, and the same curiosity. Well, maybe Sam was a BIT more curious.

He decided he’d better check on Sam. He entered the Control Room and picked up the handlink. “OK, fire up the Imaging Chamber.” He then walked up the ramp to face that reality that Sam had to somehow fix.

************************************************** ***

November 4, 1990
Set of QUANTUM LEAP TV Show

Production was shutting down for the day. Al found Sam looking around the set to find where he was to go.

One of the production crew walked over to Sam. “Great work today, Scott. We’ve gotten mostly caught up so tomorrow shouldn’t be as long. Don’t forget the promo piece at six tonight.”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll be there.” Wherever ‘there’ was.

Al shook his head at Sam. “Sam, you look exhausted!”

“Hi, Al. This production stuff isn’t exactly a cakewalk. We got most of the scenes completed though.”

“Nothing like playing yourself, huh?”

Sam’s face suddenly darkened. “Al, actually it REALLY sucks! Here I’ve spent my entire life developing and implementing this theory. I’ve spent the last 11 years leaping around in time, seemingly helping people and not being with the ones I love. Now I find I’m only a CHARACTER in a TV show, the creation of someone’s fertile imagination!”

Al looked down at the handlink. “That would be Don Bellisario.”

“WHATEVER!” Sam was obviously greatly disturbed by this entire scenario. “Al…how can BOTH be real? Which one is THE reality?”

Al started slowly, his eyes indicating he was thinking this through himself. “Sam, when that Bartender at Al’s Place told you things would sometimes get tougher, this may have been one of the leaps he was talking about. I KNOW I’m real cause if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have the feelings and memories I have. You are a part of MY life – I know you are REAL too. Maybe we just have to accept that the way the universe or multiverse or whatever is out there is beyond our ability to classify it.”

“I can’t accept ‘that’s just the way it is’ as a valid explanation! There HAS to be a solid explanation.”

“Why?”

“Because…” Sam stopped his retort in mid sentence. He just stood there, trying to work out an answer that didn’t come back to his subjective view of the universe. Suddenly, it was if the wind had left his sails. “Because, I want to understand how it all works.”

“You’ve accepted that we can’t know the physics inside a black hole. I think this may be one of those situations. The best thing to do is what you always do. Live the leap, observe, and then do what your gut tells you to do. This Bakula guy has no idea why you’ve leaped into his life. It’s difficult for him too, believing he’s been simply acting out a story and now has faced the fact that it is reality in another plane of existence.

“He’s accepted it?”

“Yeah. Pretty much anyway. I think he’s just hoping it’s all a bad dream.”

“Hmmm.” Sam considered this for a minute but then turned to Al asking, “Do you know what I’m supposed to do now – where I’m supposed to go? Do I have a trailer or dressing room? If I’m going to live this life, I need some data.”

“Let me go back and find out. In the meantime, use your detecting skills. You’ve really developed them over the past few years.”

Al keyed the door to open and walked out.

Sam noticed that most of the production personnel had left the set so he wasn’t sure what to do. He took the time to explore the set and found a copy of the production schedule.

He noticed he’d be filming a scene the next day where he’d be carrying a woman up some stairs on his back. “Doesn’t sound too rough.”

Al returned, checking out his handlink as he said, “OK. I’ve got your schedule for today. This is normally the time you’d check in with your publicist, Jay Schwartz, but since we’ve been jabbering, you don’t have time now. Your next appointment is with the pre-production crew of Necessary Roughness. Scott has the lead part. It a comedy/sports movie. Football based. Then you’re to meet Dean at PREVIEW TV to film a promo for ‘A Little Miracle.’” Al paused, reading what was apparently a TV Guide type summary, and recognition dawned. “Aw, Sam. I liked that leap. It was when we saved the Salvation Army Mission.”

Sam looked like he was going to say something but just nodded.

“Then you’re acting as an MC at a local community service function. That should be over at 11 p.m. You have to be back on the set at 7 a.m. But you do need to go to the gym first from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. I guess that means you’ll be working on 6 hours of sleep.”

“Well that’s not too far off how things used to be at the project. Sometimes I was really lucky if I got three hours. Did you find out where my trailer is?”

“Yeah. It’s over here.” Al walked to a door at the side of the sound stage. As they exited, they saw several trailers. “Yours is the one on the left. I’m going back to the project for awhile.”

Sam entered and found it to be a neatly kept trailer. He went into the bathroom to take off his makeup and was amazed to find this man’s face was his own, right down to the patch of white hair over his left temple. He found a closet with his street clothes. This guy liked to go with comfort but he was definitely not into the grunge look. He figured for a meeting with the pre-production crew of a movie he should dress on the nicer side. He picked out a pair of black pleated pants and a light green button down shirt. He put on his socks and slipped on a pair of loafers. Then he headed off to the address that Al had given him. Sam figured that as lives went, this one wasn’t too bad.

************************************************** **

May 2, 2006
Waiting Room
Project Quantum Leap
Stallion's Gate, NM

As Scott waited for whatever it was that Sam had to do that would cause him to regain his life, he thought about this unique situation. He had enjoyed playing this role. It certainly had given him an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of talents that he’d developed over the years. From his start in musical theatre, to his ability to play both the piano and guitar, to his athletic abilities, there was always something to pull out of the hat. Sometimes he thought the writers were trying to kill him with some of the stunts he did. It seemed very strange to him that there was really a person who was “setting right what once went wrong” out here in what was obviously an alternate universe.

Scott had never gone into science as deeply as the man he played but he had a healthy interest in learning more about what life presented to him. He assumed he would forget most of what he learned here – at least that was the way it was defined in the stories he acted out each episode. He decided to take a proactive approach. “Uh…Ziggy?”

“I am here, Mr. Bakula.”

“Call me Scott.”

“All right. I am here, Scott.”

“So. You are really a parallel hybrid computer?”

“Yes. Dr. Beckett created me in that manner.”

“And you really help him to figure out what to do as he leaps through his own lifetime?”

“That is correct.”

“Do you know what happens in my future?”

“Since your timeline and ours are not significantly identical, there is insufficient data to base probabilities on.”

“Uh. So you’re saying you don’t know.”

“That would be a simplified and somewhat inaccurate assessment but it would be a good approximation.”

‘Geez, this computer really DOES have an ego!’ Scott thought ruefully. “And that means you don’t know what Sam is doing in my life?”

“I have insuff…”

“Yeah…I get it. Insufficient data.”

“No need to be impatient. I am simply stating the facts.”

“I know. Sorry, Ziggy. This is just a little bizarre.” He stopped and thought a second and then revised his opinion. “No, this is a LOT bizarre.”

“We have never had a leap of this type before.”

“So tell me, which came first? I mean, did Don’s mind create this universe or did this universe inspire Don somehow?”

“It is only speculation but I believe there may be a leak between certain spacetime continuums and somehow, Mr. Bellisario has tapped into our reality. To him and the rest of you, it seems only an idea. To us, this is the reality and you are the idea.”

“Oh.”

“It is possible, however, that an idea must have expression and that the idea could bring about its own reality.”

“So it’s like the chicken and the egg?”

“Yes, that is an apt description, Scott.” Ziggy continued, “There is no way to verify objectively which came into being first. You can equally argue either side of the question.”

“I see that.”

“I think Dr. Beckett would be pleased that you are the one acting out his life in your universe.”

“Why would you say that?”

“I detect several areas of compatibility between you and Dr. Beckett. You are obviously not exactly alike but there are definite similarities.”

“Yeah. I like playing the role. I’ve always respected the idea of doing what God, Fate, Time, or Whatever wants you to do. And Sam’s a pretty great guy. I’ve learned a lot from this role. I hope he makes it home someday.”

“As do we all, Scott.” Ziggy paused. “You have a visitor coming.”

At that moment, the door opened and Al walked in. Scott was really and truly amazed how the man in front of him and Dean could look so similar.

“Just wanted to check in with you. You need anything?”

“Well, I’m not used to sitting around like this. Any chance of getting a weight bench or something?”

“Yeah, I think we can arrange that. Anything else? Something to eat or drink, perhaps?”

“Bottled water would be good and…is this really New Mexico?”

“Yes, it is.”

“How’s your green chili?”

“Damn GOOD, if you ask me.”

“OK. A bowl of that would be great!”

“Coming up. You doing OK otherwise?”

“Yeah. This whole thing is a bit trippy but you’ve got to take things as they come. I can’t DO anything about it so I might as well enjoy the ride.”

“I must say, that’s one of the healthier attitudes we’ve seen in this room.”

“Well, if I hadn’t been doing the role I might have a whole different take on this situation.”

“True.”

“How’s Sam doing?”

“I just checked with him. He’s finishing up the MC gig and getting ready to head home. Anything he should know?”

“My wife and kids are visiting her mother so the house is empty right now.”

“Check.”

“And outside of that, the schedule’s like I told you earlier.”

“Sam said during the shoot tomorrow, he’s supposed to continue filming "Runaway." Know anything about that?

“Tell him just to be careful.”

“Well, I’m turning in after one more check with Sam. Need to catch sleep whenever I can. You might want to do the same.”

“I will. Good night.”

“Good night.” Al turned to leave when Scott stopped him. Al turned back, a questioning look on his face. “Something else you want me to tell Sam?”

“Uh, no. I just wanted to say, if your friendship is as strong as the way it is portrayed on the show, Sam is one lucky guy. You’re a good man, Al.”

“Thank you, Scott. Sam is like a brother and a son rolled up into one for me. I never had either. But if I had, I’d like to think he’d be like Sam.”

Scott nodded and Al left. As Scott crawled under the covers on the bed, he was surprised to find he was really tired. He fell asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow.


************************************************** ***

November 4, 1990
Scott Bakula’s House
Los Angeles, CA

Sam was glad that Al had let him know he wouldn’t have family to face that night. Not that he hadn’t had leaps were he was both husband and father (wife and mother too, for that matter) but it was nice not to have that extra stress tonight.

This certainly had been a strange day. He’d met with the pre-production crew for the upcoming movie and everything had gone well. It felt good to see that the man who acted out his life was truly a gracious and kind man who held the respect of the people he worked with. Scott was a bit worldlier than Sam, but did not take things to the extremes that Al did in so many areas. Indeed, to use the analogy that Al had used in that one leap where he’d saved Kevin Bruckner’s life, if Al and Sam were the extremes, then Scott was firmly in the middle of normal.

Sam had expected – being that he had been told this was a fairly popular show with fans akin to the Star Trek phenomena – that Scott might be a bit of a stuck up star. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like Sam, Scott had what were often referred to “Midwestern values” and he had not allowed the glitz of Hollywood to usurp them.

For some reason, even though he knew this would only be a short sojourn into this alternative universe, it gave him a bit of pride that the show was popular. In his own universe, nobody outside of the project and a handful or two of Department of Energy, Military, and Governmental personnel even knew what he was doing. At least in this universe, there was an entire group – Dean had told him they called themselves ‘Leapers’ when they’d talked before the promo was filmed – of people who appreciated the concept of his string theory. Indeed, he’d been told of the conventions that were held where these ‘Leapers’ would congregate to hear Scott, Dean, the show’s creator Don Bellisario, or some other QL related personality make an appearance to a very appreciative crowd.

From what he could tell, these ‘Leapers’ were overall a really great group, capable of exceptional creativity and able to discuss (often at length) the rather esoteric concepts of time travel, parallel hybrid computers, and the Don Quixotic nature of his life. Many of the ‘Leapers’ were more fans of Al than himself, but that was okay with him. He’d known Al as an incredible individual ever since that incident at the vending machine.

Yes, this leap was one for Ziggy’s record books. With such a happy thought, Sam drifted off to a restful sleep.


************************************************** ***

November 5, 1990
Scott Bakula’s House
Los Angeles, CA

Sam awoke to the alarm clock roaring out its message to “get up now.” ‘Let’s see, I need to get to the gym and then to the set by 7 a.m. No problem.’ He jumped out of bed, found a gym bag with workout clothes and toiletries, took some street clothes to change into afterwards, and headed off to his workout. The streets were still dark. Scott was apparently committed to keeping his body in shape and it showed in the muscular definition. Sam had also become aware that a fairly sizable part of Scott’s fanbase were women who certainly felt he was easy on the eyes.

He certainly could relate to that. Even though his area of expertise was quantum physics and he had been dubbed “the next Einstein,” he had received his share of female penned fan mail. But it was MUCH less then Scott received. That made sense though. If you’re in the entertainment world, that’s part of the territory.

It was good to give his muscles a workout although he would have liked going to a dojo to work on his martial art skills as well. He knew Scott was into sports as he had found hockey equipment and other sports paraphernalia at the house. He had not seen any martial arts clothing, however.

Sam decided to stop at a local Taqueria and pick up a breakfast burrito. He hadn’t eaten much the day before and was feeling a bit famished. He walked to the counter, ordered, and paid. As he waited for the burrito to be prepared, a woman of about 25 years of age entered the shop. She placed her order and then went to stand next to him. She looked up and her eyes grew wide.

“Are you Scott Bakula?” She almost squealed.

“Um. Yeah.”

“Oh My God! I can’t believe it. Denise is going to be so mad that she didn’t come with me this morning!”

“Well…”

“Can I have your autograph?”

Sam knew that his handwriting would not match his host’s. He needed to think of a reasonable excuse. “Um. I hurt my hand at the gym today but if you’ll give me your information, I’ll send you something in the mail.” He hoped that this was something his host would do.

“Oh WOW! Really? You’d DO that? That would be SO great!”

“And let me have your friend’s information too. I’ll see she gets something as well.”

“Oh man. She’s going to be so jazzed!” The woman wrote down her and her friend’s names and addresses and handed it to him.

By that time, the food was ready for pickup and Sam said goodbye. The woman, who had said her name was Sindi, was beaming broadly. As he walked away she called “Goodbye and thank-you.” He heard her turn to the man behind the counter and say “What a really regular guy!” Sam hoped that was the style that his host was going for.

************************************************** ***

November 5, 1990
Set of QUANTUM LEAP TV SHOW

He arrived on the set a few minutes early. Dean was already there and was reading through the day’s script, holding a ceramic mug of coffee. ‘I wonder if Dean is as environmentally conscious as Al?’ Dean had already gotten into costume. The outfit he was wearing was a bit over the top even for Al. Apparently the costume manager for the episode didn’t quite understand that Al’s style would NOT include such an ugly (that was the only word for it) green and red plaid jacket. While Al's wardrope generally utilized the entire palette, it always had a certain flair.

The Imaging Door opened and Al walked through, mug in hand. ‘God…they look almost like twins except for their clothes.’

“I’d NEVER wear THAT,” declared Al with vehemence. “Who dreamed up THAT combination?!”

“Al, if it makes you feel any better, I thought the same thing.”

Since Sam was often the one who commented on the eccentricity of his haberdashery, Al looked grateful. “Thanks, Sam, that means a lot.” He walked over to the wardrobe rack and started looking through it. "Sam, I HAVE this jacket in MY CLOSET!" He was pointing to a jacket with a big stop sign on it. "You should tell them to have "my character" wear it. It would be more ME!"

Sam made the suggestion to the director who agreed to the wardrobe change. Was it Sam's imagination, or did Dean look grateful as well? The man certainly had taken the ugly jacket off as quickly as he could and seemed to look more comfortable in the the Stop Sign Jacket.

Sam suddenly remembered the names and addresses in his pocket. “Hey, Al. Do you have the phone number for that guy you said was Bakula’s publicist?”

“Yeah, Jay Schwartz. Why.”

“Just give me his number.” Al complied and Sam called. He was not surprised when the phone was answered by an answering machine. Sam waited for the tone and then explained the need to send a signed picture or something to each of these two ladies. He left the names and addresses and hung up. He hoped that would fulfill his promise to the young lady he’d met earlier. Then he turned back to Al to continue his mission. “So, anything to report?”

“Scott just said you should be careful.”

Sam got set up to do the scene. It called for him to carry a woman up some stairs. Later, through the magic of technology, the stairs would become a mountain. They rehearsed a couple of times and then started the shoot.

“Sam…watch out! Your foot has caught a cable.”

“Wha….ohh no!” Sam took a dive backwards off of the stairs twisting his foot as he fell. “OHHHH…that hurts!” He checked his foot. Definitely dislocated. The filming was over for that day.

Suddenly the handlink sounded its cheery little beeping. Al pulled it out, surprised that with Ziggy’s insistence that she would NOT participate in the leap, there was something to report.

As Al looked at the display, he smiled. “Ziggy says you’ve done it, Sam.”

“Done what, other than screw up Scott’s foot!”

“You’ve changed history in this universe.”

“How do you know? Ziggy said she had no data.”

“She decided that she would try anyway. I think she likes Bakula and wanted to learn more about him.”

“From what I've been told, a significant number of women feel that way.”

“Lucky guy. Well, more will get the chance. Ziggy tapped into some website called the Internet Movie Database. IMDB for short. Before when Scott fell, he broke his neck. It killed him. In the original history, the database indicated that he’d been a promising actor whose life was prematurely cut short. But you changed that, Sam. Now the IMDB shows him with a significant career in TV and Movies. She found other bios showing he continued to work in musical theatre, too.”

“So why haven’t I leaped?”

“No idea, Sam.”

************************************************** **

May 3, 2006
Waiting Room
Project Quantum Leap
Stallion's Gate, NM

Ziggy realized herself what a strange leap this had been. Although she’d not been as active this time as in the past, this leap had shown her that she could interact (albeit at a lesser level) with universes where she did not exist. It was a fascinating concept.

She also realized that in this particular other universe, she had a certain respect for the man who literally took her father’s role. She had researched his biographical information and had found she really liked this person. She had identified one area of distinct similarity between her father and Scott. Ziggy decided to make a request.

“Scott, I believe you may be leaving very soon.”

“That’s good to know – I’d like to get back to living rather than waiting.”

“I do have a request first though. Dr. Beckett is a great fan of the musical 'Man of La Mancha.’ He was known, while building this project to play the music over and over. His favorite song in that musical is ‘The Quest.’”

“I remember when we did the episode “Catch a Falling Star.” That was part of the story.”

“Yes.”

“So what do you have in mind, Ziggy?”

“Would you please sing that song? I would record it and it would be here for Dr. Beckett when he returns. I think he would like that.”

“How about I do a medley with ‘Man of La Mancha,’ ‘Dulcinea,’ and ‘The Quest’?”

“That would be perfect. Thank you.”

“So where can we do this?”

“Right here, in the Waiting Room. I know the room is sound ready.”

Ziggy pulled the music from her memory banks. It was easy to remove the voice track and play only the music. She played it through a few times with Scott indicating any changes he would like to make in the score. Finally, they took the recording.

Just as Scott’s voice reached the last line of “To REACH the UNREACHABLE Stars!” the blue light engulfed Scott. A moment later, the blue light had faded. Ziggy noted that Dr. Beckett’s body had returned to the project but again it arrived without his "spirit" for lack of a better word. His body collapsed to the floor, seemingly in a faint. Ziggy called the medical technicians into the room to assure that her father’s body would receive the proper care it required between leaps.

Al walked into the control room. “You bucket of bolts. I KNEW you couldn’t keep your nose out of that other universe.”

“I wanted to see what his life was like.”

“Why?”

“I think that there are connections – not physical, but still connections – between spacetime continuums. Mr. Bakula and my father have similarities that can not be explained fully as coincidence which caused me to want to know more about him. I am glad my father was able to save him from an early death.”

Although Al many times had questioned Sam’s decision to give Ziggy an ego, it was times like this when he was floored by how far along this computer – based partly upon Sam’s brain cells and his own nerve cells – had come towards humanity. He felt that Ziggy would have felt something akin to pain if Sam hadn’t succeeded in his mission.

“I am too, Ziggy.” He paused and then continued “I’m going to get some sleep. Call me when Sam leaps again.”

“As always, Admiral, as always.”

************************************************** ******************
END


(AUTHOR’S NOTES

The details of this story are very loosely based on Scott Bakula’s dislocated foot, which he attributed on a “Tonight Show” to a scene during the filming of QL’s 3rd season episode, "Runaway." Most details were made-up to allow this story to be written (e.g. NO idea when the accident actually occured, any meetings, or other activities), although, the author hopes that she has accurately identified the character traits of the persons who are living referred to in this story. THANK YOU SCOTT, DEAN, and DON! And a nice nod to JAY.

BTW...the concept for this story comesfrom an old Star Trek FanFiction story entitled "Visit to a Weird Planet." This is a classic story where Kirk, Spock, etal. TRANSPORT onto the set of Star Trek. There is (of course) the reverse "Revisit to a Weird Planet" in which Shatner, Nimoy, etal. TRANSPORT onto the Enterprise...This latter was most likely the source of the "Galaxy Quest" movie.

Anyways...it seemed reasonable to have Sam leap into Scott. OF COURSE, there had to be a compelling reason for this leap to happen and I figured that since the dislocated foot did happen, taking it to the Nth degree and having that be the reason Sam would leap in seemed a likely scenario.)
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:43 PM   #2
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LOL! That was an amusing read. I feel bad for all those involved; all that confusion... Great concept!

And the thought of Scott dying on the set of QL is extremely disturbing...
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
And the thought of Scott dying on the set of QL is extremely disturbing...
You're absolutely correct. It was disturbing to me as well. Which is WHY I had Sam save him!

Regarding the related statements in the Snake in the Grass thread.
Quote:
I am difficult to shock/offend/disturb
AMAZING...I did it!

Quote:
I consider the torturing of favorite characters as a sign of affection.
I hope you don't think that my SAVING him from death is a sign of disaffection! I actually like both the fictional characters in QL and actors who brought them to life!
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Old 02-17-2006, 12:05 AM   #4
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oh god, my scotty boo DYING! it would break my heart, hurray for Sam!
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Old 02-17-2006, 01:57 AM   #5
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Fan-bloody-tastic! It was so much fun to read!

Samantha Beckett
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:49 AM   #6
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i loved it, i instantly gave it to my best friend to read when she signeed on to AIM
kristen: hey
me: hi, you have to read this (gave her the link) lol. she loved it too. she was laughing her pants off, said she was glad her roommate was out of the room.
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Old 02-17-2006, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asearcher
You're absolutely correct. It was disturbing to me as well. Which is WHY I had Sam save him!

Regarding the related statements in the Snake in the Grass thread.

AMAZING...I did it!


I hope you don't think that my SAVING him from death is a sign of disaffection! I actually like both the fictional characters in QL and actors who brought them to life!
What's truly disturbing is what this would have done to me had this actually happened. I was... um... almost 11 around this time, I loved QL even then, and I loved Sam. If Scott had gone and died on me - on my favorite show - I think I would have spent the rest of my life traumatized.

And don't worry; saving him from death is good, too! It's just as good as character torture.

Why, yes... I am strange...
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:40 PM   #8
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I helped Beta this story and you know how much i like it.

I noticed how you tweaked it some and I just wanted to reiterate how much I liked it. It made me think of a scene in Mirror Image. When Sam is looking into the mirro and asks the bartender which reality he is supposed to accept. The Bartender asked "Haven't you learned to accept both looking into all those mirrors."

It is like, in your story, which reality is supposed to be the real one? The one with the show, or the one with Scott and Dean. That kind of thing facinates me
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:20 PM   #9
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Helen, it was a great story.

Of course, it was a weird one, but it still was pretty interesting.

Plus, your story has the immense credit that it was the second Fanfiction of Quantum Leap I've ever read, and the first in over two years.

I hope you keep having fun with ideas like this for a long time to come

Have a good day!!!

Clara
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Old 03-04-2006, 09:24 PM   #10
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Well, I can honestly say that I enjoyed that immensely! In fact it's the first QL fan fiction I've ever read. And I loved it.

I loved the whole concept of this Fan Fic and I must say that you are a very talented writer. I feel you managed to capture Scott Bakula's personality and all the others characters/people perfectly.
And that's hard to do when you only have a perception of the real person to go on.

So bravo! And keep writing. Cause i'd love to read more of your work. In fact i'll make sure i read all your previous works.

Oh and I had no problem with the Scott dying senario. Cause it was imperitive to the story. Though it would be tragic to say the least if that had actually happened.

The fact that you had Sam save Scott's life shows that you would never wish him any harm of any sort and that's all that really matters in my opinion!

Take care of yourself and keep writing, maybe you'll get something published one day, you never know! xxxx
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:47 AM   #11
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"Stranger than Fiction" was a very nice read. Funny too, and somewhat shocking. I had to keep in mind just who I was reading, Sam or Scott!
I enjoyed it Helen, and look foreward to reading more of your works.Linda
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:02 PM   #12
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Very amusing, I loved it! If it wasn't to much of a bizzare story and if I had created the show I would make it an ep!
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