again, the blue-white energy of the quantum field dissipated, and Dr.
Samuel Beckett felt the tug of reality seep back into his senses. The
first thing he felt was the coldness that seemed to be coming from the
walls that he was surrounded by. It was a coldness that he hadn’t felt
in quite a while, but one that was familiar nonetheless. As he looked
around at his surroundings, a sense of confusion kicked in as he realized
that the bluish hue of the leap was still surrounding him. That
can’t be right, Sam thought to himself.
he realized what he was actually seeing and why it felt familiar. He was
inside a bright blue-white room almost identical to the Waiting Room. My
God, could it be? Sam pondered with enthusiasm. Have I finally leaped home?
as Sam finished that thought, he heard the mechanical whoosh-zoom
of a door opening behind him, followed by the voice of a concerned man.
“Dr. Weller. You’re still here? I thought you were leaving to give
that report to Dr. Connors.”
Sam turned around to see a distinguished-looking man, who appeared to be
in his late forties, wearing a white lab coat. He was looking directly at
Sam. Since no one else was in the room, Sam assumed that he must be this
Dr. Weller person whom the man was addressing. What’s
going on here? Sam thought. Have
I leaped into someone else at the Project?
You seem lost, are you okay?”
simply replied, “Yeah, I’m just… uh… trying to get my bearings.
Now, if I could just find that, uh, report?” he asked more than stated. Sometimes,
Sam thought, it would be nice to get
a briefing on a situation before
I leaped into it.
that it you’re holding in your hand?” the man, who Sam now assumed to
be a scientist, asked as he pointed to Sam’s right arm. Sure enough, in
Sam’s right hand was a clipboard with what appeared to be a typed report
attached to it, with written notes scribbled on it. He hadn’t even
noticed it when he first leaped in.
right. Sorry, I’ll get right on it,” Sam apologized.
scientist looked at Sam impatiently and replied, “Wake up, David. This
experiment is in the final stages of completion. And Connors will have
both our heads if he catches us slacking off.”
don’t worry, I’ll get it to him right away,” Sam stuttered as he
left the chamber. As he walked down the corridor, he could recall how the
corridors of the Project looked. The architecture was slightly different,
but there was no denying it—this complex had a similar “feel” to it.
If I’m not at the Project, then
where the hell am I?
took a few seconds to look at the information on the report he was
holding. The heading at the top read:
Dr. Maxwell Connors
almost directly underneath, he saw something that shocked him to his very
Report of VR Quantum Accelerator:
Probability of Success
Accelerator?” Sam whispered. What
situation have I leaped into now? Following that thought, all Sam
could utter was his familiar phrase, “Oh boy!”
Second Genesis Project
February 29, 2004
all my leaps through time, there’s always been one constant thought that
has driven me onward—maybe my next leap will be the leap home. Although
I wasn’t always able to place names and faces to my own time, in the
back of my mind, I always knew that I’d recognize “home” when and if
I finally saw it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t home, and I most certainly
was not back in my own aura again. Apparently, I was a scientist named
David Weller. But if this wasn’t my project, then why was I holding a
status report about a Quantum Accelerator? Was it possible that someone
else had discovered a way to travel in time? And if so, were their
intentions good, or for personal gain?
walked aimlessly down the corridors for about fifteen minutes, not quite
knowing where this Dr. Connors could be found. He didn’t pay attention
when he first heard the name, but now that he was thinking more clearly,
something seemed very familiar about the name Maxwell Connors. Had he
heard that name before? Sam attempted to read more of the report he was
holding to try and get more insight into this new situation. As he turned
a corner, he nearly knocked over a young woman coming from the opposite
excuse me… I… wasn’t paying attention to where I was going,” Sam
quite all right, Dr. Weller,” the woman replied with a smile. “I think
most of us have been distracted these past few days. Dr. Connors has been
running around like a madman lately now that he’s coming so close to
finally proving his theories.” She paused for a second or two as she
looked down at the clipboard in Sam’s hand. “I take it that’s the
status report he’s been asking for.”
yeah—yes, I… I’m supposed to be bringing this to him,” Sam
muttered under his breath, hoping that perhaps this fellow scientist could
point him in the right direction.
I haven’t seen him in this area recently. You’ll probably find him in
his office.” Sam still had a clueless expression on his face, and the
other scientist noticed it. “Back the way you came, Dr. Weller,” she
said matter-of-factly as she pointed behind Sam in the direction he came
Sam responded as he turned around. “Heh heh, don’t know what’s with
me today, I seem to be a bit out of it.” Where
are you, Al? Sam nearly wondered aloud.
you feeling all right, Dr. Weller? You seem a bit… confused,” the
nameless, but attractive, woman said with a hint of concern in her voice.
I’m fine, I was just a bit disoriented from le—uh… almost bumping
into you just now. It’s okay; I’m on top of things. I mean, uh,
I-I’d better get this report over to Dr. Connors before he tears me a
darted away as he retraced his steps, leaving the young woman without a
name pondering the strange behavior she just witnessed in Dr. Weller. She
assumed it was most likely due to the stress of Connors’ erratic
behavior in recent days, putting everyone on edge.
Sam continued back the way he came, still not having a clue as to where
this Dr. Connors’ office could be found, he suddenly heard the familiar clunk-shoom
of the Imaging Chamber door as Admiral Albert Calavicci walked through.
right, St. John, I’ve got him,” Al said as he looked up to the
ceiling. “Hi, Sam, I got here as soon as I could.”
God, Al,” Sam replied. “You’ve got to tell me where I’m supposed
to go. I can’t find my way around these corridors. They all look the
same. This place, it… it looks just like the Project.”
Al looked at Sam’s surroundings, he understood exactly how Sam felt.
“You’re telling me, Sam. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think
you were back at the Project.”
I know it isn’t. I know that much already. According to this report,
I’m somewhere called the Second Genesis Project?”
yeah, Sam, this is it, alright.” Al started punching information into
the handlink as he continued, “It’s a good thing my hunch was correct,
otherwise, it might have taken us a hell of a long time to find you.”
hunch? What do you mean by that?”
when Beeks found out who you leaped into, his name sounded familiar, so I
had Ziggy do a quick background check on all the major news stories from
the beginning of the year up to now. This project was the subject of an
intense investigation a few months back, and the story was leaked to all
the major news networks. The guy you leaped into is David Weller, a
twenty-four-year-old scientist who is the assistant of the quantum
physicist who heads this facility, Dr. Maxwell Connors.”
Sam started. “That’s the man I’m supposed to meet right now. I’m
supposed to bring this status report to him, but I have no idea where his
office is. I’ve been looking for the past twenty minutes.”
don’t look at me, Sam! Ziggy doesn’t have the foggiest idea of the
layout of this place. This project was even more secret than Quantum
glared at Al for a few seconds before he continued, “Then, how did you
find me in the first place if this place is so secret?”
as I was going to say before you
interrupted me, once this investigation began, the project’s existence
went public. And when Verbena found out who you leaped into, I put two and
two together, and, voila, St. John was able to get a lock on you.”
took in everything Al had told him, and after a few seconds, he remembered
that the report mentioned something about an accelerator. He was about to
ask Al about it when another scientist turned the corner of a nearby
corridor and ran toward Sam.
Weller, there you are! Dr. Connors sent me to find you. He’s screaming
his head off asking where you are.” Sam looked at the young man who
looked like he could have just been out of college. He had short brown
hair and was wearing glasses. He could almost see the beads of sweat
forming on his brow. What was it about this Connors guy that was making
everyone so nervous?
this doesn’t sound good, Sam,” Al stated the obvious. “I think
you’d better high-tail it to his office before Connors busts an
turned his head toward Al with an annoyed glare as he reminded him under
his breath, “I would, if I knew where his office was!”
are you talking about? It’s right at the end of this corridor.” Sam
didn’t realize he spoke loud enough for the young man to hear him, but
fortunately, it finally gave him the information he had desperately
needed. “I’d better lead you back myself. I don’t want Connors
thinking I’m running around aimlessly trying to find you.”
the two scientists and the invisible Observer walked to the end of the
corridor, Sam’s guide placed his hand on the intercom outside the
doorframe. A very irate-sounding man shouting, “Yes?” could be heard
from both the intercom and from the other side of the door.
Dr. Connors?” the young man began nervously. “It’s Dr. West. I found
Dr. Weller, as you requested. He’s here with me now.”
about five full seconds of dreadful silence, Connors finally replied,
“Very well, Dr. West. Send him in.”
door opened with a swooshing sound, in much the same way as at Sam’s own
project. Connors looked up from his personal computer and gazed upon Sam
with a stern look. Sam looked upon the features of this man who was
apparently very peeved at his tardiness. He was an average-built man,
appearing to be in his late forties. He had short black hair with a touch
of gray starting to show, and although he couldn’t tell from his seated
position, he appeared to be about Sam’s height as well. There was also
something in the man’s eyes that made Sam experience a profound feeling
of déjà vu, as if he had seen this man once before. He couldn’t recall
where and when though.
saying anything for close to thirty seconds, Connors looked back down to
his computer screen and finally said, “You are excused, Dr. West.”
West looked back to Sam sympathetically, put his hand on his shoulder, and
simply said, “Good luck.” He then turned around and disappeared down
stepped into the cramped office with his trusty holographic companion
following closely behind. Somewhere in the back of his Swiss-cheesed
memory, he recalled how similar in size his own office was back home. It
brought a small smile to his face, but that smile quickly turned to a
worried frown as he looked at Connors staring at him. If looks could kill,
Sam would be dead where he was standing.
Weller,” Connors began. “I asked you for that report a half hour ago.
Would you like to explain to me where you’ve been?”
looked over to Al, hoping he could help him come up with a good excuse to
use. When Al shrugged and shook his head, he looked back to Connors and
decided to try and bluff his way through the conversation. “I, uh,
wanted to make sure these results were… conclusive before I brought them
to you,” Sam said as he gestured toward the clipboard he was still
holding in his right hand.
I contacted you, you told me they were
conclusive,” Connors replied, annoyance clear in his voice.
the percentage of the status report being close to one hundred percent,
Sam explained, “Ah, yes, but I felt that, with the results being… what
they are, and… well, seeing as how your… theories… are coming so
close to being proven, I felt it would be best to double-check the
results.” After a brief pause, he added, “Just to be on the safe
side.” Waiting to see if that excuse would be satisfactory, he extended
the arm that held the report over Connors’ desk, hoping he’d grab it
and send him on his way.
looked at Sam curiously, thinking it over and finally said, “Very
well.” He then snatched the report from Sam’s fingers and scanned over
the results that were printed on the sheet. Sam just stood there in
silence as Al slipped a cigar into his mouth and began punching in more
data into the handlink. Connors’ expression quickly changed to one of
enthusiasm as his eyes scanned the percentage. “94.2 percent! You’re
sure about this, David?”
quite sure.” Sam hoped that his answer was correct.
suddenly stood up in excitement as he pored over the results. “This is
the closest we’ve come yet to proving it will work. One or two more
tests, and it should be done. Thank you, David. If you don’t mind, I
need to run some more calculations, and then I’ll join you and Dr.
Marcus in the main lab.”
so that must be who spoke to me when I first leaped in, Sam thought.
“You’re welcome, Doctor.” Sam was a bit baffled over Connors’
sudden mood swing, but decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth as he
turned to make his way out of the crowded office.
he heard Connors say, as he turned back to him. “I appreciate you making
sure the results were correct, but the next time I ask for your findings,
I expect them in a reasonable amount of time. Timing is crucial in the
final phase of this experiment. I can’t afford to have you
second-guessing yourself. We’ve come too far to have this fail on us
understand,” was all Sam could say in response.
Then I’ll meet you in the main lab at twelve hundred hours. Carry on.”
With that, Connors returned to his computer screen, rapidly punching
various keys on the keyboard.
stepped out of the cramped office as Al popped into existence just outside
to join him. “Well, I’d say you handled that rather well, Sam.”
I suppose. Something seems familiar about Connors. It’s the look in his
eyes. Have I met him somewhere before?”
know the rules, Sam. If you don’t remember, I—”
I know, you can’t tell me,” Sam interrupted. “You’re starting to
sound like a broken record, Al.”
don’t blame me, kid. They’re your
rules, not mine.”
is there anything you can tell
me about Connors? Like what his experiments were about?”
held his cigar between two fingers as he tried to get more data from the
handlink. “Ziggy doesn’t have much on this project, Sam. On this end
of the timeline, much of the research that was being conducted here is
still sketchy, at best.”
mentioned an investigation. What happened? Maybe that has something to do
with why I’m here.”
tend to agree with you on that one, given what we know about what happened
here. And the date can’t be a coincidence either. Ziggy says it’s
February 29, 2004.”
did a double take when he heard that information. “February 29th? It’s
a Leap Year?”
Yeah, weird, huh? I’m not sure that’s ever happened before, but I
could be wrong, you’ve had over two hundred leaps. Anyway, from what was
revealed in the news reports, there was a freak accident that occurred in
the main lab of this complex on that date. The explosion that resulted
practically destroyed the entire facility and killed everyone inside.
Close to a hundred and fifty people were working here, Sam. What a
my God!” Sam exclaimed.
gets worse. Apparently, Connors was able to get the power he needed by
harnessing a large amount of solar radiation from the sun. How, we don’t
know yet, but his experiment—whatever it was—created an energy
overload that resulted in the explosion. Now, normally that wouldn’t
have resulted in any long-term effects, but toward the end of last year,
there was some increased sunspot activity resulting in a series of small
geometric storms that continued on and off for the next few months. And
you know what happens during a geometric storm, of course.”
creates magnetic disturbances that can result in scattered, and sometimes
delayed, electronic signals.”
Well, whatever Connors used to harness the energy must have contained
enough power to create a sort of vacuum in the location where this project
originates near the Hawaiian Islands. It’s believed there might have
been some kind of solar eruption the day he ran the experiment, which
threw off his calculations. The magnetic disturbances were then pulled
into this vacuum and sustained indefinitely, resulting in a lot of
electronic malfunctions across the West Coast and some neighboring states.
The malfunctions have been intermittent for the past few months, but they
haven’t gone unnoticed. It’s been creating some slowdown in various
computer operations, and even shutdowns lasting for days, in some extreme
other words, a chain reaction that’s wreaking havoc on the day-to-day
lives of a lot more people,” Sam realized. “My God, Al, I must be here to prevent that explosion then. I mean, what other
reason could there be?”
currently giving that an 87.2 percent chance. She says it should probably
be higher, but she’s having some ‘problems’ and can’t come up with
anything else at the moment.”
thought about what he had read on the status report. His instincts were
telling him that Connors had stumbled onto something beyond his
comprehension. “Al, go back and have Ziggy analyze every detail of the
news reports. I think Connors stumbled onto something he might not have
realized the full implications of. The status report I gave him mentioned
something about a Quantum Accelerator.”
nearly choked on the cigar he had just placed back into his mouth.
“WHAT? Are you serious, Sam?”
it was practically staring me right in the face when I first leaped in.
The report said, ‘Status of VR Quantum Accelerator: 94.2% probability of
Sam, you don’t think he was conducting some kind of time-travel
experiments, do you?”
don’t know, Al. But he’s definitely on the verge of a breakthrough on
whatever he’s trying to prove. Just run it by Ziggy, see what she can
come up with. If you have to, ask Dr. Weller in the Waiting Room. Maybe he
can remember something.”
do, Sam,” Al replied as he entered the commands to open the Imaging
Chamber door. “Just hang in there, buddy. I’ll be back as soon as I
And with that, Al disappeared into the near future. Sam then began walking
down the corridors, determined to find his way back to the main lab
without help. Maybe he could do a little bit of research on his own and
find out what Connors was hoping to accomplish.
had suspected something unusual with Dr. Weller after their conversation
and made sure he wouldn’t be seen while he quietly spied on him from the
doorway of his office. Why is David
talking to himself as if he doesn’t know what’s going on? he
wondered. Perhaps this requires some further investigation…
he called out.
you please run a complete scan of Dr. Weller’s brainwave patterns? I
don’t know what it is, but… something doesn’t seem right. He’s
acting oddly, and I fear that something may be wrong with his mind,
whether it’s from stress or something else. Inform me if you discover
anything out of the ordinary.”
you wish, Dr. Connors. Do you require any further assistance?”
I’m fine for now, Morpheus. Thank you.” After giving the order to the
voice that only he could hear, Connors returned to his desk, sat down, and
went back to his work.
Project Quantum Leap
Gate, New Mexico
walked through the Imaging Chamber door and placed the handlink back into
its receptacle on the main console. As the holographic matrix of the
hybrid computer sputtered to life, Al jumped back in surprise upon seeing
Stephen tinker with the “new” handlink from behind the control panel.
He still couldn’t get used to the idea that there was now a partial
image to go with the inflated ego. Even as he glared at Stephen for making
him jump, the boy quietly giggled to himself. I’ll have to have a little talk with that kid later about messing with
the hologram in the Control Room. Either that… or ban him from the
Control Room altogether. Hmmm…
Al asked, still keeping a watchful eye on his best friend’s
Admiral?” the silky silicon voice responded.
you been able to—?”
more data on the relevance of Dr. Connors’ research and extrapolate on
what Dr. Beckett is there to do?” Ziggy finished for him.
Al replied dryly.
And quite frankly, Admiral, I don’t see why
you need my input anyway. You managed to find Dr. Beckett just fine
without my help,” Ziggy huffed. It was obvious from both the tone of her
voice and the rolling of her eyes that she was annoyed that Al had found
Sam through a hunch, and not through her profound wisdom. “I am just a simple computer program with no ‘instinct,’ as you
so eloquently put it earlier.”
it out, Ziggy. Right now, I need information, not sarcasm. Has our Visitor
been able to provide us with anything new?”
not sure, Admiral,” St. John answered for her. “I believe that Dr.
Beeks is still in there with him though, if you want to check for
I’ll do that. Oh, and St. John? Try to remember to keep Stephen out of
sorry about that, Admiral,” St. John replied innocently.
made his way toward the Waiting Room and input the security code to open
the door. Dr. Verbena Beeks stood there, noticed Al, and slowly walked
he doin’, ’Bena?” Al asked her.
little disoriented, but otherwise, quite alert,” she replied.
“Although his memory is still pretty hazy. It may take some time for him
to remember some of the information you’re looking for.”
take my chances. Thanks.” And with that, Al took the vigil over Dr.
Weller as he slowly sauntered over to the twenty-four-year-old man with
short blond hair who inhabited Sam’s aura.
are you?” Weller asked, scared out of his mind.
my name is Al. We’re not gonna harm you. We just need you to try and
remember as much as you can.”
it’s as I told your psychiatrist there, whatsername… Dr. Beeks? Last
thing I remember is being in a room kind of like this, and the next thing
I know, I start feeling a tingling sensation and, wham, I’m here.”
that’s more than most people can recall,” Al pondered. “Do you
remember the experiment you were working on?”
thought about it for a minute before responding, “I… I’m not
authorized to give you that information. Max was very strict about
mean Dr. Connors? You remember him, huh?” Al asked somewhat surprised.
could I forget him?” Al noticed the expression on Weller’s face and
wondered if his initial impression of Connors was correct. “Don’t get
me wrong, I consider him one of my closest confidants, even a friend, but
the man can be very… egocentric. Especially when it comes to his
research. And to be honest…” Weller stopped himself from what he was
about to say.
is it, David? Go on, you can tell me,” Al pleaded calmly.
be honest… lately he’s been scaring me. He’s become so obsessed,
like nothing else matters. He’s determined to prove his theories, even
if he has to accelerate his own death to do it.”
was all Al needed to hear. I only
hope Sam can find out more than I’ve been able to, he thought.
Second Genesis Project
29, 2004, 11:59 AM
had managed to find the main lab on my own, but what I found there
didn’t help me to figure out what Connors’ research fully entailed.
The scary part was how easily I seemed to be adapting to the work that was
expected from me, minus the occasional blunder. And through it all,
something was nagging the back of my mind. It was Connors—the
familiarity I felt when I first saw him face-to-face wouldn’t go away.
In just one brief conversation with the man, I had felt both genuine
respect and a small level of hostility, almost as if we were competing
with each other. I couldn’t tell if it was just a residual from the real
Dr. Weller, or my own experience with the man. But my instincts were
telling me it was the latter. So, if that was the case, then it meant I
must have known the man personally at one time or another; but where and
up, David. Connors just arrived, punctual as always,” warned the man Sam
now knew as Dr. Marcus.
enough, Sam looked over to the digital clock at his workstation. As the
digits blinked from 1159 to 1200, Connors entered the room almost in sync.
Connors walked over to both Sam and Dr. Marcus with anticipation in his
eyes. “Any progress, Doctors?”
Dr. Marcus began, “we’ve managed to bring the percentage up to
ninety-five, but I still think it may take a few more weeks before
anything conclusive can be determined.”
don’t care what you may think,
Dr. Marcus,” Connors replied sternly. “What I want
is for everyone to ensure that this thing will work properly.”
think what Dr. Marcus is trying to say,” Sam chimed in, “is that there
are also safety issues to consider before we try anything.”
glared at Sam for a few seconds before replying. “There are always risks
involved in experiments such as these. You, of all people, should know
that by now, David. This is the closest we’ve ever come to proving the
Accelerator will work. I don’t intend to let this opportunity slip
about this argument sounded very familiar to Sam. “All I’m saying is,
it wouldn’t hurt to run a simulation first.”
concur with Dr. Weller,” Dr. Marcus agreed. “At the very least, let us
activate the safety protocols before you step into the chamber.”
looked over Connors, and for a second, it appeared as if he was listening
to someone speaking to him. Connors caught himself, however, and
responded, “I guess you’re right; better safe than sorry, I suppose.
Prepare the simulation.”
Sam began making the appropriate modifications, he heard the familiar
sound of the Imaging Chamber door opening and the footsteps of his best
friend following behind it.
buddy! How’ve you been making out?” he asked.
Dr. Marcus brought the simulation chamber online, the noise was loud
enough to drown out Sam’s whispering. “Well, all I’ve found out so
far is that this Connors guy seems to be obsessed with his research.”
Al remarked out of the corner of his mouth. “Obsessed is putting it
do you mean?”
from what was known about him, this guy was off-the-wall loony. I’m
talking crackpot here! I shouldn’t be telling you this, but since he’s
the most likely reason for you being here, Ziggy thinks it’s okay; it
might help jog your memory. Connors was a well-respected member of the
scientific community back in the early ’80s. He was the most brilliant
man to come along since—”
Sam suddenly recalled.
remember?” Al nudged.
of it, yeah. He was one of the pioneers of the first experiments with
cell-stem research or something like that, wasn’t he? But, that’s a
far cry from quantum physics.”
was just one field of expertise he excelled in, Sam. The man had seven
doctorates, just like you. Some people claimed he might have been smarter
than you, if that’s even possible.”
information stunned Sam. “Smarter than me?
I-I thought you once told me I was dubbed the next Einstein.”
were. What set the both of you apart was the fact that his research
started taking on dangerous aspects. He theorized that nuclear energy
could be harnessed through our bodies in a way that could eradicate
various diseases, or some other such nonsense. What he proposed was
considered extremely dangerous, and the government ultimately censured his
work, shunning him from the scientific community.”
remember now,” Sam continued as he entered more codes into his console.
“He was a major opponent of my research while you and I were still on
the Star Bright Project. I always thought it was just a rivalry.”
a sense, it was, but it was more complicated than that, Sam. He was
trapped in your shadow, ever since you won the Nobel Prize. He tried
unsuccessfully to disprove your String Theory, saying time-travel was a
bunch of malarkey that should remain in science fiction. And once he was
censured, he went into seclusion for many years. He supposedly inherited
his family fortune and must have used it to create this project.”
this is all privately-funded then? That’s how he’s able to continue
his research under their noses.”
got it, kid,” Al confirmed. “And it’s also why we can’t get any
further data on the specifics of his recent research. What gets me is how
closely this all resembles Project Quantum Leap. Even that simulation
chamber over there that Dr. Marcus brought online looks like the
Weller?” a voice interrupted Sam’s train of thought. It was the voice
of Dr. Marcus trying to get Sam’s attention. “Whenever you’re ready,
sorry. Safety protocols online, awaiting Dr. Connors’ signal to
proceed,” Sam recited as if he had done this a million times already.
Dr. Marcus replied. “Stand by to fire Quantum Accelerator.”
and Al watched in both fascination and surprise as Connors stepped into
the simulation chamber wearing a skin-tight white suit.
was speechless. “Al,” he whispered. “That’s a Fermi suit he’s
wearing! Is that a coincidence?”
don’t know, Sam, but you’d better activate the simulation. Dr.
Frankenstein over there doesn’t seem to appreciate you stalling,” Al
said, pointing his cigar over in the direction of Connors.
down quickly, Sam moved his hand over the entering command and watched as
a mist of quantum energy began filling the chamber. The color of the mist
rapidly changed from one end of the spectrum to another and back again,
creating a myriad of colors like a rainbow effect.
worry, Sam, this doesn’t cause the explosion,” Al reassured Sam.
“Ziggy says that won’t happen for at least ten more hours.” Almost
on cue, the handlink produced a squealing noise as new information
scrolled across the tiny screen, leaving a resigned look on the
Observer’s face. He shook it off as his eyes returned to witness the
simulation play out to its finality.
Sam looked on to Connors and the energy cumulating around him, a brief
memory flashed across his brain—a memory from a time that now seemed to
be a lifetime ago.
leaping! Ziggy says no, but Sam’s leaping!”
was the voice of his old colleague and friend Gooshie. Sam had tricked him
into thinking he wouldn’t do something drastic, but he locked Gooshie
out of the Control Room and did anyway. Pressure from the Committee caused
Sam to do the unthinkable and step into his Accelerator before it was
tested. He recalled the simultaneous feelings of joy and sorrow he felt as
the energy engulfed him—joy in knowing, in one instant, that he was
succeeding; sorrow in knowing he would be leaving his closest friends
behind. Sam wondered if Connors had anyone who would miss him if he
suddenly vanished without a trace. Was there a decent, honest man behind
the obsession he witnessed?
then another thought entered Sam’s mind. Was
anyone able to see beyond my
obsession in the days before I leaped? Was I as bad as Connors near the
end? Did I leave someone important behind other than Al? Maybe we’re
more alike than I’d like to admit.
thoughts were interrupted as the simulation died down without any results.
“No!” Connors screamed. “No, this HAS to work! David, run the
Connors, we used up a lot of power,” Sam answered. “The chamber needs
time to recharge.”
we’re so close! We have to try again!” Connors continued to protest.
Dr. Marcus announced through the intercom. “David is right. We need to
wait at least a couple of hours before we try again, otherwise there could
be a core breach. I’m sorry, Max. Why don’t we all take a break and
resume working on the problem after lunch, okay?”
lowered his head in defeat and paused before replying through the
intercom, “Fine! You all take a break if you insist. I’ll stay here
and work on the problem.”
you’ve been working yourself around the clock, you’ve barely slept,
you’ve barely eaten,” Dr. Marcus explained. “I think you should
seriously consider taking a break for a few hours. Exhaustion and an empty
stomach won’t help your concentration.”
Marcus,” Connors replied with a hint of frustration in his voice. “If
you don’t mind, I’ll decide what’s best for me. Just… leave me be.
Go! Take a break, all of you! I’ll be fine.”
reluctantly left his console as Dr. Marcus approached him, speaking softly
enough for Connors not to overhear. “I don’t know, David. Max is
scaring me lately. I fear he’s gonna do something drastic if we don’t
produce some significant results soon. God knows I’ve tried talking with
focused his attention on the monitor screen’s image of Dr. Connors and
tried to reassure Dr. Marcus. “I’ll try and talk to him. You go on
ahead, Dr. Marcus. Relax for a while,” he added with a smile.
you’ve been here for almost a year now. You can call me Will,” he
added with a smile back.
right… sorry, Will. I’ll catch up with you later.”
Will Marcus walked away, Al began to intercede with more information.
“Come on, Sam. We need to talk. Ziggy just came up with some new data
concerning Connors, Marcus, and the guy you leaped into.”
a minute,” Sam muttered under his breath, his attention still focused on
Connors. He slowly approached the simulation chamber where Connors was
still lost in deep thought. He activated the opening mechanism and tried
to get through to the scientist. “Dr. Connors?”
didn’t look up, but Sam decided to speak anyway. “I know this is
frustrating for you. We just don’t want to see you make a foolish
mistake by rushing things unnecessarily. Theories take time to prove.”
What do you know about time, David?” Connors muttered under his breath.
be surprised, Sam thought to himself.
is something I’m finding dwindling away from me more and more each day.
Success is so close I can taste it. And the longer I wait, the harder it
becomes to prove my theory before…” he stopped himself from saying
what?” Sam asked.
David. No need to concern yourself with it,” Connors replied. Then with
a slight smile, he added, “Now go on! Take a break. Be back here in one
nothing else to say, Sam simply replied, “Okay,” then turned to walk
out the corridor to join Al. He was now fairly certain that he was here to
convince Connors to slow down with his research. It might be the only way
to prevent the disaster that would soon follow and kill over one hundred
good men and women. And if he couldn’t convince him, Dr. Marcus seemed
to be the next best candidate.
looked back as Dr. Weller’s aura left the room and a vague recollection
from his past resurfaced—a recollection of an old rival who had the same
annoying boy-scout attitude that David was now exhibiting. His thoughts
were interrupted by the voice he heard earlier.
Connors? I believe I should inform you of something… odd I have
Connors wondered. “What about?”
is Dr. Weller. I have scanned his brainwaves and…”
they do not match the prior scans taken ten months ago when he first came
on staff. It is as if he is someone else.”
information left Dr. Connors dumbfounded. “Someone else? You mean an
do not know, Dr. Connors. I am simply projecting a 99.2 percent
probability that Dr. Weller is not who he says he is. It is the only
explanation I have at this time.”
was now beyond curious about his so-called “assistant.” This would
definitely require further investigation. In the nearly three years since “he”
had first come online, Morpheus was never known to be wrong.
with what I remembered about Connors, something still wasn’t sitting
right with me. Sure, he may have been a brilliant, arrogant, and even
egocentric quantum physicist with a grudge against me, but it still
didn’t explain the odd feeling I was getting. It was almost like a
premonition—that his obsession was leading him down a path I feared
would lead to an even greater disaster. Somehow, either Dr. Marcus or
myself had to get through to him—no matter what it took.
right, what do you got for me, Al?” Sam asked anxiously.
you might find this interesting, buddy-boy!” Al began. “It seems that
we’re not the only people who have noticed Connors’ odd behavior of
late. After talking with Weller in the Waiting Room, I had Ziggy do some
digging. Turns out that Connors had been acting strange for the better
part of the past year. You—I mean, Weller, and Marcus weren’t the only
ones who noticed.”
thought back to something Connors had mentioned to him earlier. “Connors
said something about not having enough time. You said this project was
yeah, according to the news reports. Why?”
if that’s the case, then it’s not an issue of the government
threatening to shut down his project. Part of the reason why I was
pressured to prove my theory was because the government wanted to pull the
plug on us.”
squinted his eyes with a curious expression as he said, “What’s your
point is that there has to be another reason why Connors is rushing to
prove this theory of his, whatever it is. What do we have on him so
lifted another unlit cigar into the side of his mouth as he brought the
handlink up out of his pocket and punched in more data. “Well, let’s
see here: Maxwell Connors, born September 11, 1956, only child of Robert
and Janine Connors. He attended MIT at the age of sixteen, where he met a
young William Marcus. They quickly became close confidants, which I guess
is why Connors recruited him to help him head up this project when it
apparently began over six years ago.
Connors graduated with full honors in ’75, earning seven doctorates, as
I mentioned before. Then up until the mid ’80s, he was heading up a
government-funded project called the Genesis Experiment. Hmm, this is
is it?” Sam asked.
were rumors that the experiment dealt with the origins of life on the
sub-atomic level. Many of his colleagues believed he was attempting to
trace all life back to a single source.”
expression was one of shock as he realized the implications of what Al was
telling him. “You mean he was literally trying to discover the genesis
was the general consensus among many people, Sam. You ask me,
I think he wanted to unlock the secrets of our genetic code. You see, he
believed we all had some kind of latent power within our bodies that could
literally make us immune to various diseases or afflictions—even old
age. I think he said it was ‘the next step in our evolution’ in an
interview about twenty years ago.”
was trying to eliminate death,” Sam realized.
think so, Sam. Some of his theories showed promise too, until he started
to suggest that nuclear energy could be harnessed to trigger those dormant
abilities on the sub-atomic level. What he proposed was considered too
dangerous, and well, you know the rest.”
thought for a couple of seconds before he continued, “I think it’s
safe to assume then that this project must be an extension of his prior
research. Has Weller said anything more?”
much beyond what we’ve already seen for ourselves—that Connors’
obsession will result in his death if someone doesn’t stop him.”
thoughts suddenly turned back to his own past. A brief flash of memory
returned to his mind as he remembered the events leading to his first leap
back in 1995. Although they were vague recollections from a short time
ago, these memories were now haunting him, weighing him down like a ton of
noticed Sam drifting off and quickly lifted his fingers up to his mouth to
remove his unlit cigar. He knew the look on Sam’s face—it was one of
guilt. He nudged, “Sam?”
that what people think happened to me,
Al? That I’m… dead?”
thought for a second before answering. “Some people do. But your family
and everyone at the Project know you’re alive. We’ve never given up on
Was I as obsessed as Connors before I leaped? Did people think I was a…
Beeks warned me this leap might trigger some memories of your life before
you leaped.” Al looked down at his feet before continuing. “You were
no more obsessive than was considered normal for you, Sam. Sure, you might
have gotten moody and absorbed in your work, but you took time out to
remember what got you to where you were and the people who helped you get
there. You never lost your compassion for life, Sam. Not everyone always
understood your theories, but you tried your best to involve them in your
work whenever you could. And your intentions have always been to better
mankind. That’s what sets you apart from Connors. He was always out for
himself, for the glory. He felt he was always second-best next to you and
it drove him nuts.”
just…” Sam didn’t quite know how to say what he wanted to say. “I
feel like I’ve somehow let everyone down. I left you all behind. In a
moment of weakness, I only thought of myself when I stepped into that
Accelerator. It’s been so long, Al. And part of me knows that I could
will myself home somehow, but I just don’t know how to.”
only human, Sam. No one expects you to have all
the answers. And you haven’t
let anyone down. You’re gonna make it home someday, I know it!” With a
smile, Al added, “Now come on, stop wallowing in self-pity, and let’s
think of a way to stop this project from going kablooey.”
right, Al,” Sam smiled back. “I guess this whole thing with Connors is
just so similar to my own experiences. Maybe Connors has some kind of file
on his theories in his office. I hate having to snoop around in
someone’s private files, but I can’t think of any other choice I have,
I’m surprised you thought of it though. It’s not like you at all, Sam.
Maybe there’s hope for you yet,” Al commented with a mild smirk.
laughed as they both made their way back to Connors’ office. Sam noted
the time he still had before his break would be over and made it a point
to tell Al to be on the lookout in case Connors came back unexpectedly.
“Maybe that report I handed to him earlier…I never got a good look at
it. It might mention something about the experiment, you think?”
worth a try, Sam. Is it still on his desk somewhere?” Al replied while
still keeping a lookout.
rummaged through piles of paper, carefully keeping everything in order so
as not to make a mess. If Connors was as smart as Al told him he was, he
would definitely notice if something was amiss in his office. After
searching for about two minutes, he found the clipboard he had been
looking for. “Here, I found it, Al.”
does it say? Anything?” Al asked.
see here… ‘Second Genesis Project’… ‘VR Quantum
Accelerator’… that must stand for ‘Virtual Reality.’ That would
explain why it has safety protocols that can be disabled,” Sam said. He
continued to skim over the details of the report until he stumbled across
the two words that made his heart jump. “‘String Theory’?”
Al exclaimed as he paced over to where Sam was standing. “He actually
mentions the String Theory?”
to this, Al. ‘Phase One of the
experiment centers on proving what the original Genesis Experiment failed
to prove: that the String Theory, once proposed by Dr. Samuel Beckett,
does in fact hold merit to eliminating various cancer-causing agents or
other forms of disease. While it is not the opinion of this scientist that
time-travel actually exists, I propose this theory can be applied to the
regeneration of dead cells—in effect, a rebirth of the human genome.
Upon death, a nuclear acceleration of quantum particles can be harnessed
through the physical body, eliminating the cause of death, and restarting
the process of life. This is the basic principle of the Second Genesis
Project.’ It then goes on to say that Phase One was completed and
that Phase Two is now in the testing stages.”
I’m getting a bad feeling about all this,” Al stated nervously.
“He’s putting a bend on your own theory to fit into his mold. What a
nozzle! No wonder the government put a kibosh on his research. He’s
trying to play God, attempting to re-create life from death—a literal
Do you realize the implications of this if it were to work?” Sam
suggested. “It would put an end to death! No one would have to die of
AIDS, or cancer, or anything else!”
old age? It’s insane! Death is a part of life. It has
to happen to make room for new
life to be born. Sam, you have to stop and think about this for a minute.
Connors is so caught up in trying to see if he can do this, he’s not
stopping to think if he should
do this. Trying to eradicate disease is one thing, but to actually reverse
death… it could never happen, Sam, no matter how much we may want it to.
Even you have to realize that.”
Observer’s speech was interrupted by a voice yelling, “What the hell
are you doing in my office, Doctor?”
by the unexpected appearance of Connors, Sam stuttered trying to come up
with a reasonable explanation as to why he was snooping around.
“I-I-I’m sorry, D-Dr. Connors. I was just, uh…”
look at me, Sam. Ziggy gave me no warning Connors was on his way back
here. Damn bucket of bolts!” The handlink squealed in protest at the
Observer’s insult. “Yeah, same to you!” he yelled back.
were snooping around trying to get information on this project, weren’t
you, Dr. Weller? If that is who
you say you are,” Connors replied.
passed through Sam’s mind at those words. Connors couldn’t possibly
know who he really was… could he? “I… I’m not sure what you mean
by that, Dr. Connors. I’m your assistant David. Why would I be anyone
don’t know. Maybe you’re an imposter sent by the government to spy on
my research,” Connors replied smugly.
little paranoid, aren’t we?” Al said. “This guy needs a serious
reality check. He’s gonna end up killing everyone in this complex
because he thinks he’s on the right track with his insane theory!”
Al spoke, Sam noticed the expression on Connors’ face change. It was the
same expression he had in the main lab, when it appeared as if he was
listening to someone. There was definitely something more to this project
than just an experiment. Connors was hiding something. “Dr.
Connors—Max… I’m not a government agent. I’m sorry for coming in
here without your permission. I was looking for the report I gave you
earlier to check something I might have missed, and I thought you would
have been back here. I was going to ask you first, but then… I-I just
saw the report on your desk and wanted to take a quick look. That’s all,
couldn’t tell if Connors was buying his explanation, but Sam was
dismissed with a stern warning. “All right, David, you can go. Your
break is just about over anyway. You, Dr. Marcus, and the others should be
going back to work. I’m telling you this just once, Doctor… if you
enter my office without permission again, I’ll see to it you never work
here or at any other research facility again. Do I make myself clear?”
Again, I apologize, Dr. Connors,” Sam said somewhat shamefully.
stood in front of Connors for a few seconds giving him a snide look as he
lit the cigar he had been holding and flicked some holographic ashes
toward him. He then used the handlink to relocate himself outside the
corridor to meet up with Sam.
Now he thinks I’m trying to sabotage his experiment,” Sam said to Al.
hate to break this to you, Sam, but you may have to. If Connors can’t be
reasoned with, that’s a possibility you may have to consider. You’ve
done it before.”
thoughts returned to that tragic time when Gooshie had been lost as a
result of the evil Lothos project. “If you can’t remember, then
I—sorry, I know… broken record.”
glared at Al even as he realized that his friend might be correct. If
Connors couldn’t be stopped, innocent people would die. Not only that,
the current solar activity would be amplified by the impending explosion
and cause technical and magnetic disturbances for months to come. “There
has to be a way to reason with him, to get him to at least hold off on his
experiment. You said he and Marcus go back a while, right? I’ll try
talking to him. Maybe he can talk some sense into Connors.”
looked at his handlink again. “Ziggy agrees with you, Sam. Marcus might
be the key to turning this Project around. I’ll go back and try to get
some more info out of Weller. In the meantime—huh?” Al entered the
command to open the Imaging Chamber door, but after opening halfway, it
suddenly stopped. “What the—? St. John, what’s happening?”
going on, Al?” Sam asked nervously.
Shoom! The door opened all the way this time, but Al was still
hesitant. “That’s weird. For a second or two, Ziggy didn’t have
enough power to open the door all the way. Must have been a minor glitch.
Don’t worry, Sam, I’m sure it was nothing.” He continued on. “In
the meantime, make sure you don’t get on Connors’ bad side anymore
than you already have.”
do my best,” Sam replied.
a nod, Al disappeared into the near future, leaving Sam staring at a blank
wall. He started toward the main lab, determined to talk with Dr. Marcus.
He was second in command, and Sam knew that he would put the safety of the
Project above anything else, and if need be, would have the authority to
temporarily relieve Connors of duty.
couldn’t fathom what Morpheus had told him when he had confronted
“David.” It didn’t make sense. An apparition? Standing next to
“David”? There were no such things as ghosts.
there has to be a logical explanation for the apparition you detected. I do suspect that it has something to do with ‘Dr. Weller.’ It
can’t be a coincidence.”
are correct, Dr. Connors. I have just uncovered a new piece of information
I believe you will find interesting. It concerns your old colleague, Dr.
look of shock fell on Connors’ face. “Beckett? What does he
have to do with all of this? Other than his supposed ‘String
appears that in 1995, he went into even further seclusion than he had when
he first created his top-secret project, Quantum Leap. Many people outside
of the government suspect that he has been dead for the past nine
Leap? You mean, the project that supposedly dealt with time-travel? What
happened? Are you saying he faked his disappearance to make people think
his time-travel crap actually worked?”
a slight delay, Morpheus responded, “If
what I am detecting is true, then Dr. Beckett’s theory may not be
‘crap,’ as you put it.”
That’s impossible. Explain.”
have been programmed to track physical and neurological anomalies in human
beings. And I also have the ability to expand beyond my original
I know, Morpheus. I created you, remember?” Connors said with slight
detected a second anomaly within your office, Dr. Connors. And this
anomaly was, for lack of a better word, paranormal in origin. It
originated from ‘Dr. Weller’s’ brainwave patterns. That means that
only ‘Dr. Weller’ could see and hear what I now believe was a
Connors inquired. “Projected from where?”
now believe with 99.8 percent certainty that the signal originated from
another time period. Part of Dr. Beckett’s work also focused on
holographic technology that would theoretically be considered
‘paranormal.’ He not only theorized that he would be able to
successfully travel through time, but he also conceived the idea for a
parallel-hybrid computer that would establish a neural link with someone
at his project. Therefore, using that data, I have extrapolated that Dr.
David Weller is in fact Dr. Samuel Beckett, and the holographic projection
was someone at his project communicating with him as a neurological
hologram from his own time.”
couldn’t believe what Morpheus was telling him. He spent a majority of
the past twenty years trying to disprove Dr. Beckett’s theories. He
always assumed that Beckett had the String Theory all wrong. Time-travel
was a fantasy—a dream first conceived by H.G. Wells, nothing more.
People were meant to learn from their past mistakes, not find a way to
change them from occurring. And besides, it didn’t make sense. If
time-travel were possible, then history would have been over-run by
visitors from the future changing things for their own benefit. And with
the world being in the condition it was in, he just couldn’t comprehend
how certain historical events would have gone ignored: the Holocaust, the
Vietnam War, the September 11th attacks—if there were people traveling
through time, wouldn’t they have prevented these things from occurring?
If David is really Beckett from another time, then… what do you
hypothesize is his reason for coming here? Could he be trying to halt my
am uncertain as to Dr. Beckett’s true intentions, Dr. Connors. But I
hypothesize that this holographic projection is providing Dr. Beckett with
information about the future. He could be using this information to alter
the course of history, whether it is for better or for worse.”
Connors took a few long minutes before he finally accepted the truth. Could
it truly be possible? Dr. Sam Beckett somehow broke the time barrier? I
remember him once saying he wished to observe time, but he didn’t say
anything about interacting with it. But now that he has, why hasn’t he
done anything to change our world for the better? There are people out
there who are sick and dying every day, and HE’S gallivanting around the
cosmos on a joyride through the fourth dimension doing whatever the hell
he pleases? Regardless of why Beckett was now here, Connors knew that
he couldn’t allow him to interfere with the experiment he was
conducting. It held the key to saving humanity from itself.
maintain your scans of Dr. Beckett. If he attempts to do anything that
directly threatens my research, initiate a lockdown in his location and
inform me immediately.”
you wish, Dr. Connors.”
try to obtain as much information as you can about this Project Quantum
Leap. I want to know where and when in time Beckett came from and the
reason why he’s here.” Success was nearly in his grasp; and he
wasn’t about to let some holier-than-thou quantum physicist take that
away from him.
Project Quantum Leap
Gate, New Mexico
progress with our Visitor?” Al asked the Project psychiatrist.
actually what I wanted to talk to you about, Al,” Verbena replied.
“Within the past hour, he’s started becoming more agitated. It’s
almost as if the closer we get to the accident occurring in Sam’s time,
the worse he gets. It’s like he senses something terrible is about to
happen. It might be the anxiety Sam is feeling bleeding through into
you mind if I talk to him again for a few minutes?”
think it’s okay if you do, but be wary of what you say. It took me a
good half hour just to calm him down.”
try my best. Thanks, ’Bena,” Al said as he left the Observation Deck
and entered the Waiting Room. “Hey, David. You feeling any better?”
little. Dr. Beeks explained that I’m part of another experiment. A
time-travel experiment! It’s unreal… I never would have thought it
possible. But I still have this terrible feeling. I-I can’t explain how
I know. It’s… Max. He’s going to be responsible for something
terrible, isn’t he, Al?”
took a moment to think about his response. He often had to make judgment
calls on whether or not to tell certain Visitors what would happen. In
this instance, Al felt that Dr. Weller needed to know.
David. There’s going to be an accident at the project and a lot of
people will die unless Sam stops it. Once he does that, you should go
back. That’s why we need you to remember as much as you can tell us.”
I want to help,” Weller replied. “I’ll do whatever I can.”
Al continued. “Can you think of any reason why Connors feels pressured
to prove his theory as soon as possible?”
he kept saying… time… no time left…”
doesn’t he have a lot of time? Is something going to happen to him? Try
and think, David. You and Dr. Marcus know him best.”
wait,” Weller interrupted. “That’s just it! Will doesn’t
know. He doesn’t know that… Max is dying.”
Al was shocked. Suddenly, it all made sense: Connors’ obsession with
reversing death, to eradicate disease. “It’s cancer, isn’t it?”
Weller confirmed. “He-he didn’t want me or Will to know, but I found
out about two weeks ago. I went into his office one day to ask him
something, and he wasn’t there. And then I saw it on his desk—the
medical report that said he had had it for a few years and was gradually
deteriorating. He’s been trying to hide it from us, but he’s been
snapping at everyone for the past few months, over the smallest things.”
Weller looked Al directly in the eyes as he came to another realization.
“My God, that’s it!”
Al demanded. “What’s it?”
why he’s rushing the experiment. If it works, it will be like a virtual
‘fountain of youth.’ He’s going to test it on himself without the
safety protocols. But if there’s even the smallest error, it could
destroy everything. You’ve got to stop him, Al!”
David,” Al said as he marched out of the Waiting Room. Directing his
voice toward the ceiling, he shouted, “Did you get all that, Ziggy?”
Admiral. However, I estimate that Dr. Beckett still has eight hours,
forty-one minutes and twenty-two point-three seconds before the explosion
will occur,” Ziggy’s voice announced through the corridor’s
quickly returned to the Control Room and began barking orders. “St.
John, get ready to activate the Imaging Chamber. I’ve got to get back to
Admiral,” St. John replied. However, at almost that exact moment,
several lights on the control console began to flicker, then shut down.
“Admiral, something’s wrong. The main controls are shutting down. I
can’t access the Imaging Chamber door!”
Al screamed. “Ziggy, what’s going on?”
Admiral. I am getting… interference,” Ziggy stuttered as her matrix
believe it is… originating from the vacuum created… by the remnants of
the Second Genesis Project in our time. The magnetic field is having an…
effect on my systems. I am losing poweeeeeer…”
it’s a side-effect from the explosion months ago,” St. John confirmed.
“The ‘pocket’ that was created is interfering with computer systems
and power grids along the West Coast, and it’s spreading east. Even
Ziggy’s enhanced program is not completely immune. I might not be able
to get a lock on Sam for another hour, maybe more.”
The very accident Sam is there to stop is preventing us from communicating
with him,” Al said more to himself than to St. John. “Divert power
from all other systems, even environmental controls if you have to. The
sooner I can get back there, the better! I just hope Sam can figure out
how to stop Connors before it’s too late.”
Second Genesis Project
29, 2004, 2:17 PM
the next half hour or so after the incident with Connors, Sam continued
with his research while trying to find the first opportunity to talk with
Dr. Marcus. Unfortunately, he was running back and forth so much that he
barely had time to think, let alone take a few minutes to speak with the
man. In that time, Connors had not returned to the main lab, which Sam
took as a good sign, for the moment. Despite Al’s reassurances, this
scenario was hitting too close to home for him, and he was determined to
prevent another experiment from ending prematurely.
youthful scientist Sam remembered earlier as Dr. West approached him with
a new clipboard in his left hand. “Dr. Weller, I’ve got the latest
test results from Dr. Marcus’s simulation.”
did he find?” Sam asked.
you can read it for yourself, but the latest results are still showing a
five percent margin of error. He asked me to tell you that he wants to
discuss his findings in more detail with you in his office.”
the opportunity I’ve been looking for, Sam thought. “Thank you,
Dr. West.” Although he would have preferred if Al were around to keep
another lookout for Connors, Sam felt fairly confident that even he
wouldn’t interrupt a private meeting with Dr. Marcus as long as it
here for the past several hours, Sam knew that Dr. Marcus’s office was
just down the corridor, so he began the small journey. Approaching the
open doorway, he noticed a concerned expression on Marcus’s face, as if
he was lost in deep thought. He announced himself to the man. “You
wanted to see me, Dr. Marcus? I mean… Will?”
looked up from his far-off gaze and asked, “Is Max around?”
no. I think he’s still back in his office.”
I’d rather not have Max involved in this discussion. Please, sit down,
David,” he said, extending his hand toward a chair in front of his desk.
Sam pressed a key on the control panel on the wall to close the door and
then sat down in the chair.
sure you’ve seen the report on my latest findings. Do you concur with my
I didn’t find any errors in your analysis.”
been going over the data again and again, and I can’t find a way to
increase the percentage any further. It needs to be at one hundred
percent, and until we can find a way to harness this energy safely, I
don’t want to run another simulation until we can guarantee the safety
of this Project.”
agree, Will. But I’m not sure what Dr. Connors will say about that.”
exactly why I called you in here, David. I’m… concerned about him.
He’s been acting erratic these past few months, more so than usual.
I’ve known him longer than anyone here, and yet, he feels like a
stranger half of the times.”
I’ve been meaning to speak with you about his… behavior,” Sam said.
“Doesn’t he seem overly… obsessed about his work?”
I’ve noticed. I’ve tried to be sympathetic about it. He just wants to
prove his theory. I can understand that.”
have you ever stopped to think about what it is we’re doing here? The
ethics behind his research?”
know his theories may be a bit… unorthodox, but he’s always had the
you sure about that, Will?” Sam took a couple of seconds to think of the
right way to word his thoughts without sounding like Weller had been
ignorant. “Look, I’ll admit, when I first realized the implications of
the research being done here, I was overwhelmed by its potential. But, now
that I’ve had time to think about it, I can’t help but feel like
we’re playing with Pandora’s Box. And if we’re not careful, we could
unleash a power we’re not capable of controlling.”
you think I realize that, David? This is a question of loyalty. Max has
been my closest friend and colleague for over twenty years. I’ve always
supported his decisions.”
loyalty enough of a reason to put innocent lives at stake?” Marcus
thought about that statement for a moment before Sam continued. “You
said it yourself, Will. The safety of everyone at this Project comes
first. Until we can guarantee that, the research being done here should be
put on hold.”
what can I do about it, David? This is his
project. He calls the shots around here. I’m only second in command.”
just it, you are second in
command, and therefore, you have the right to question if he’s in the
right frame of mind to be undertaking this work right now.” Suddenly,
without warning, one of Weller’s memories rose to the surface and Sam
realized what that frame of mind was. “He… he’s dying, Will.”
Marcus asked in shock.
has cancer,” Sam answered. How did
I know that? Sam thought, before he realized that a residual of
Weller’s mind was taking over. “I… I must have discovered it not too
long ago and not said anything,” he mumbled, but just enough for Marcus
to hear him.
all makes sense now… the erratic behavior… the obsession to prove his
theory…” Marcus thought out loud. “He wants to test the theory on
himself and be reborn. How could I be so blind? The cancer’s been
affecting his judgment, and he needs help.”
not too late to try to help him, Will,” Sam said. “You can talk to
him, try to make him realize he’s going about this the wrong way. Just
because his research has stalled doesn’t mean it needs to be stopped
altogether. It just needs adjustment, that’s all.”
right, David. But he needs to hear it from me. Effective immediately, his
research is being put on hold until he gets the medical attention he
needs,” Marcus said solemnly.
think you’re making the right choice, Will,” Sam replied.
Marcus got up from his desk and started to walk away, he turned back to
Sam and said, “Thank you for informing me of this, David. It’s made my
decision much easier. I just hope Max will understand.”
do I, Sam thought as Marcus turned again to leave to inform Connors of
his decision. However, in the back of his mind—or perhaps a residual
from David—he had a feeling that it wouldn’t be enough.
though Marcus knew Connors for a long time, he knew that his friend
wasn’t going to like what he had to say. He prepared himself mentally
for the conversation as he hit the intercom outside Max’s office.
“Max? Are you there? It’s Will, I need to talk with you.”
five seconds went by before he got the response, “Very well, but make it
quick.” The electronic signal of the door then sounded, indicating he
could open the door to come in.
walked into the office as he had walked in many times before for the past
ten years, but this was the first time that he felt so nervous, like
someone punched him in the stomach. Connors noticed his discomfort and
asked, “Is something troubling you, Will?”
took a deep breath and just came out and said what he now knew needed to
be said. “Yes, Max. It’s you, to be honest. Many of us have noticed
your erratic and obsessive behavior in recent months, and well, I’m
getting worried that it might be interfering with your ability to think
rationally about your research. You’re starting to take unnecessary
risks which might threaten the safety of this project.”
told you before, DOCTOR Marcus,” Connors said, somewhat annoyed.
“Risks are always a factor in trying to prove theories work. My job is
to make sure this experiment will succeed, especially now that it’s so
close to being proven.”
it’s my job to ensure the safety of all those involved, including
yourself, Doctor,” Marcus shot back at him. “Max, I know about the cancer.
David found out and told me. I don’t think he wanted to, but he felt it
was necessary to inform me.”
he did, did he?” Connors said angrily.
And quite frankly, I’m hurt that you felt you had to keep this
information from me. How long have we known each other, Max? We’ve
confided in each other about everything in the past. You’ve been there
for me just as I’ve been here for you. And now, to find out you’re
dying of a terminal illness… now I know why you’ve been so
knew where this conversation was heading. “Will, listen to me,” he
pleaded. “I don’t know what else Dr. Weller told you, but it’s all
an act. He’s trying to stop me, and now I think he’s trying to use
what he found out to get you to take his side. David is not
who he says he is, you have to believe me when I tell you that. His only
concern is to halt my research.”
was completely dumbfounded by the statement. “Max, do you hear yourself?
My God, you need help. The illness is affecting your judgment now, and
it’s becoming a danger to everyone in this complex. Max, I’m sorry,
I’m your friend, but I’m also the second in command here.”
what are you trying to say, friend?”
Connors snidely commented. “That my experiment is being put on hold
until further notice?”
stalled for a few seconds before he responded, “Yes, Max. I’m
sorry.” He felt like he was betraying his friend’s trust, but he kept
telling himself that this was the right decision. “I didn’t come to
this decision lightly. Please try to understand, Max, this is for your own
benefit. No one wants to see you make a stupid mistake that could ruin
everything. You need some time to rest and to be treated. Your work will
still be waiting when you’re able to return to it.”
knew Marcus as well as he knew himself, and he knew that there was no
point in arguing the case further. He resigned himself to the decision and
said, “I understand, Will. I… appreciate you coming to me first with
this. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to be alone for a while. Could
you inform the others about the status of the experiment?”
course. And Max, don’t worry, you know that your condition will stay
between David and us. Again, I’m sorry.” And with those words, he left
to make the announcement.
sat back in his chair in shock over how things fell apart so fast. Beckett!
He did this! For whatever
reasons, HE’S decided that my research isn’t worth continuing, and
he’s doing everything in his power to put a stop to it. Well, he
hasn’t finished me yet. I’ve still got…
my private lab. Despite what Dr. Marcus has said, the final phase of the
experiment will be conducted from there.”
you wish, Dr. Connors. What if Dr. Beckett tries to stop you?”
won’t be able to stop me, Morpheus. I’ll make certain of that.”
Second Genesis Project
29, 2004, 4:30 PM
the first time since Sam had leaped, he finally had a real
break, now that the announcement had been made about the research being
put on hold for safety reasons. Marcus didn’t go into specifics with
everyone, but Sam knew that Marcus wanted to keep the knowledge of
Connors’ condition between the three of them. He suspected that there
was still something he was here to do—otherwise he would have leaped as
soon as the announcement had been made. Without Al though, he couldn’t
figure out what it could be. So, he decided to make the most of his time
off and go to the cafeteria to get some much-needed food into his system.
As he sat there nibbling away, he noticed someone standing over him out of
the corner of his eye.
you mind if I join you?” It was the woman he had talked to right after
he had first leaped in.
at all. Please,” Sam gestured toward the chair across the table.
smiled as she pulled the chair out to sit down and laid her food tray on
the table. She was a pretty young woman who looked to be in her early
twenties. She had short blond hair and some freckles on her face.
Something in her eyes and her spunky attitude reminded him a little of
Tina back at the Project. Now, how
come I can remember her, but not anyone else? Swiss-cheese memory is damn
frustrating! He also felt a strong attraction to this woman, which he
deduced might have been another residual from David.
feel like this is the first real break I’ve gotten since I started
working here,” she laughed.
tell me about it,” Sam echoed. “How long have you been here now?” He
hoped that Dr. Weller wasn’t supposed to know the answer.
three months, I think I might have told you once before.”
Well, I tend to forget sometimes. Things have been so busy around here.”
worries. I know what you mean about being busy. I’ve been working my
buns off trying to make a place for myself, just being out of college and
all. Dr. Connors can be very intimidating.”
tried to reassure her, “Well, I don’t think he was always like that.
He’s been under a lot of pressure lately.”
was kind of relieved to find out Dr. Marcus would be in charge for a
little while. I kind of wish he was running this place. Don’t get me
wrong! I, like, really respect Dr. Connors and the work he’s trying to
do here, but as long as I’ve been here, he’s been rather…”
Sam finished for her.
ha, yeah,” she laughed. “Not to mention opinionated as well. It’s
hard to try to give your best to a man who insists on being right all the
time. Reminds me of my dad. Even though I love the man, he can sometimes
be as stubborn as a mule.”
know that feeling,” Sam responded. At that moment, he was relieved to
hear the familiar, if not slightly strained, sound of the Imaging Chamber
Sam, we’ve been having some technical problems. Oh, who’s this
lovely creature?” Al remarked with a grin.
was hoping you could tell me,”
you what, Dr. Weller?” the woman asked.
right, I can take a hint,” Al grumbled as he began punching keys on the
I was hoping you could tell me more about your relationship with your
father. I’ve had similar issues,” Sam replied to the woman.
it’s nice to know I’m not the only one,” she smiled back.
see here… well, all Ziggy can come up with at the moment is Dr. Lewis,
age twenty-two, and she started working here in November after graduating
from Cal Tech at the top of her class. Wow! Beauty and
brains! What a package!”
rolled his eyes at Al as he continued speaking to Dr. Lewis. “Sometimes,
it helps to talk to others about our feelings. Keeping them pent up inside
can do more damage.”
know, psychology was one of my majors,” she replied with a wink.
Sam, sorry to interrupt here, but if you’ve got a minute, we need to
talk,” Al said.
Well, if you’d ever like to talk about this stuff more, I’ll do my
best to listen, Dr. Lewis.” He hoped that there was a part of David left
behind that would comply with that.
appreciate that. Oh, and please, call me Kate,” she shyly smiled.
if you call me David,” he smiled back.
she replied enthusiastically as Sam got up and placed his empty tray on a
alongside Al in the mostly empty corridors, he finally noticed that
something was definitely wrong with his image. It appeared to be fading.
“Al, what’s going on? I can see through you. Does this have something
to do with what happened with the door before?”
what we need to talk about, Sam. That ‘vacuum’ created from the
explosion is starting to cause some magnetic disturbances again. It’s
starting to drain Ziggy’s power reserves. Whatever you have to do,
you’d better do it soon, buddy. Otherwise, we might not be able to
contact you for quite some time.”
not sure what else I can do, Al. I spoke with Dr. Marcus and convinced him
that Connors’ research should be temporarily halted until we can ensure
the safety of everyone here. Marcus is now in charge of the Project, at
least for a short while.”
this is odd. According to Ziggy, you should have leaped by now.”
I’m obviously still here. So, it has to be something else, but what?”
not—” Suddenly, the handlink went nuts in Al’s palm as numerous
high-pitched squeals began to emanate from the device. “What the hell?
Are you sure, Ziggy?” he barked at the ceiling.
What is she saying, Al?” Sam demanded.
the explosion wasn’t supposed to occur for at least another five hours,
but now Ziggy says it happens in less than ninety minutes!”
Where’s Connors? You’ve got to find him for me, Al!” Sam practically
trying, Sam, but it’s not just the power drain. Something in his
vicinity is interfering with a lock! Hold on… St. John,” Al yelled
out. “I need a boost from
wherever you can spare the power.”
five seconds, Al’s image began to flicker, then become solid again as an
audio confirmation of Connors’ location emanated from the handlink.
“Got it! He’s somewhere on the lowest level of the com—the Com?
Huh?” He hit the side of the handlink as the readout scrolled to the
remainder of the message. “—plex… Complex! He’s on the lowest level of the complex. Ziggy can’t
pinpoint the exact location though. After correlating all the new data she
found, she thinks Connors might have set up some kind of secret lab down
there somewhere. You’ve got to get down there now,
Al even finished his sentence, Sam was running toward the nearest
elevator, pushing the button that would take him to the lowest depths of
Sam made his way down the darkened corridors of this subterranean level of
the complex, somewhere in the deepest recesses of his Swiss-cheesed brain,
he knew where to go. Had Weller discovered this lab by accident as well?
Or could it be that the two men were so similar that he now knew how
Connors thought? Whatever the reason, Sam abruptly stopped in front of a
sealed door with Al following shortly behind him.
swiped the keycard he needed for high-level clearance into the nearby
slot, but to no avail. “I don’t have access, Al. How the hell do I get
in there to stop him?”
he has some kind of password he uses to get in?” Al wondered aloud.
How am I supposed to figure out what his password is?”
don’t know, Ziggy’s working on it, Sam, but she’s losing power fast,
and you’re starting to fade again!” Al furiously punched in as much
information as he could think of into the handlink in the hopes that Ziggy
or St. John could pull off a miracle.
that moment, a lockdown within the corridor occurred, and the door
suddenly opened as Connors’ voice spoke, “Don’t bother, Doctor.
I’ve been keeping my eye on you. Please, come in.” Sam and Al looked
to each other with questioning looks, but Sam wandered into the darkened
lab regardless. Before he could take many more paces, however, Connors
stepped out of the shadows pointing a gun toward him. He was wearing his
Fermi suit underneath his lab coat.
knew you might try to stop me, Beckett, so I came prepared. Don’t
move!” Connors said.
called you Beckett? H-he knows?” Al exclaimed in shock. “What?
What are you talking about, Max? It’s me, David,” Sam attempted to
deny the allegations.
play dumb with me, Beckett. I figured out your little deception. I suspect
you’ve also got your holographic friend standing beside you there
somewhere too,” Connors replied as Al’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“Am I correct in my assumption, Morpheus?” he asked, directing his
question to something behind him.
are correct, Dr. Connors. I am detecting the same paranormal anomaly that
was in your office earlier,” replied the electronic-sounding voice
that both Sam and Al could now hear as well. Connors stepped to the side
just enough for the two men to see exactly where the voice originated.
Sam’s heart jumped out of his chest when he saw a large multi-colored
cube glowing with yellow electrical energy, much like the bluish glow of
the hell…?” Al shouted.
a computer,” Sam said in awe.
Beckett, allow me to introduce you to my greatest creation: Morpheus—the
most intelligent super-computer known to man.”
so he thinks!” Al exclaimed.
has been detecting us,” Sam realized.
that’s where Connors has been getting power for this project.
From… Him… It… whatever!”
that’s why history’s been changing!” Sam added. “You weren’t
supposed to conduct this experiment for another five hours.”
to you, my hand has been forced,” stated Connors. “I cannot allow you
to hinder my work any further. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To
put a stop to my research, just like the government tried to do years
guy needs some serious help, Sam. He’s convinced there’s a conspiracy
out to get him,” Al said.
Connors. I’m here to stop an explosion from occurring that will kill
everyone in this facility, including you.
You have to stop this. I know now why you’re consumed with reversing
death, Connors. You’re dying and you feel pressured to prove your
theory. I can understand how that pressure feels, believe me. But this is
not the answer. You’re going off half-cocked, and it’s gonna result in
innocent lives being destroyed.”
not an idiot, I know exactly what I’m doing. You underestimate my
intelligence, Beckett. You were always the more respected scientist—the
one who received all the awards, the one who got all the recognition. I
had to do whatever it took to get out of that shadow and create this
project so I could resume my work in peace. And I’m NOT letting you take
it away from me again! I don’t know why you couldn’t leave me alone
with your time-travel experiment or why you picked me to be your guinea
pig, but I’m going to prove my experiment works and you can’t stop
I didn’t pick you, Connors. I can’t control where and who I leap into.
Don’t you get it? We’re the same! I was so desperate to prove my
theory that I stepped into my Accelerator prematurely, just as you’re
attempting to do now! I ended up getting stuck traveling back and forth
within my own lifetime with no way home. And the only way I can continue
leaping is to put right a mistake in time that once went wrong. This time,
I’m here to stop you from making the same mistake I did, except this mistake will
result in many deaths. I’m just trying to help you. Can’t you see
expression on Connors’ face was one of complete arrogance and contempt.
“You expect me to believe that? Are you trying to tell me that some… thing
is controlling your actions, sending you on some ridiculous crusade to
right the world’s wrongs? You really must take me for a fool, Dr.
Beckett. That’s a cop-out that people use when they don’t want to
accept responsibility for their own actions. What right do you have to
presume that what I’m doing is wrong?”
like you presumed my String Theory was full of crap?” Sam shot back,
remembering the conflicts the two men had about it during the Star Bright
fair enough, I was obviously wrong about that. But that doesn’t mean
I’m wrong in my conclusion that the theory can be applied to more
than just time-travel. Who’s to say that my experiment will ultimately
the explosion has already happened. It’s affecting things now…
in my time. I’m losing contact
with my own Project because of it!”
trying to tell me you’re from the future? Morpheus has done some
research, Beckett. He discovered that you disappeared in 1995. You mean to
tell me that you’ve been traveling through time for nearly a decade and still
haven’t gone home yet? Forgive me, Doctor, but I find that very hard to
believe. If you really wanted to go home badly enough, then you could have
figured out how to do it years ago. Instead, you act like some
self-proclaimed god by changing people’s lives for what YOU say is for
the better. Well, you have NO right interfering with mine!
You’re wrong about my outcome, and I’m going to prove it. Now, if
you’ll excuse me, I have an experiment to finish!” As Connors finished
his speech, the gun suddenly went off without warning and hit Sam in the
staggered backward and gripped his thigh.
You bastard!” Al screamed as he started swinging at Connors, but
forgetting he was a hologram, the effort was futile.
Connors… whyy?” Sam cried as he slipped to the floor.
only a tranquilizer gun, Beckett. I had no intention of killing you. I’m
not a violent man. I apologize for this, Doctor, but I can’t have you
warning anyone of what I’m about to do. Farewell!”
Sam felt the effects of the tranquilizer flow through his body, he
struggled to find the strength to stop Connors from leaving the lab. It
was pointless, however, as his eyes rolled back into his head, and he sank
into darkness to the sounds of his holographic friend screaming out his
Wake up buddy! Come on, kid, snap OUT of it! You’ve got to HURRY!”
Admiral’s voice continued to stir Sam out of his brief slumber as he
stumbled to stand on two feet. “How long have I been out, Al?”
little over an hour, Sam! You have to get up to the main lab now!
The explosion occurs in less than ten minutes, but Ziggy doesn’t have
enough power for a lock!”
legs are… wobbly, Al. I… I can’t…”
you CAN, Sam!” Al’s voice went into military mode as he barked orders.
“ON YOUR FEET! You can do this! You HAVE to do this! Over a hundred
people will die if you don’t!”
struggled to make his way toward the sealed door, but it wouldn’t open.
“Morpheus, open the damn door!”
sorry, Dr. Beckett! Dr. Connors has given me strict orders to keep you
confined until his experiment is complete which should be in approximately
nine point-two minutes.”
not going to work the way he wants it to, Morpheus. You know what I’m
saying is true, don’t you? I know he’s your creator and he gave you
orders to comply to, but you have a responsibility to safeguard this
Project as well. I know you do, because I created my parallel-hybrid
computer, Ziggy, the same way.” He looked over to Al for reassurance,
and the Admiral simply nodded.
assure you, Dr. Beckett, if Dr. Connors’ life was endangered, I would
detect the fluctuations through his brainwaves.”
You-you’re linked to Connors’ mind, aren’t you? Just like Ziggy is
to mine. But what neither one of you knows is that there’s a strong
solar storm occurring in the ionosphere right now that hasn’t been taken
into account in Connors’ calculations. It’s going to cause a massive
power overload. You can prevent it from destroying the entire complex!”
you’re right, Sam! If Morpheus is anything like Ziggy, he should be able
to scan for the disturbances and try to compensate.”
if in response to Al, Morpheus announced,
“Scanning… you are correct, Dr. Beckett. I have detected an unusually
strong solar current in the Earth’s atmosphere, which I was unable to
detect earlier. But I cannot abort the experiment, Dr. Beckett, unless Dr.
Connors orders me to.”
thought for a moment before responding. “Wait a minute! I programmed
Ziggy with an override command that would automatically kick in if the
Project were in danger of catastrophic failure. It’s happened once
before if I remember correctly. I’m sure that Dr. Connors has programmed
a similar code into you as well. You can initiate a shutdown of the
Accelerator’s power core to contain some of the damage, but you have to let me out of here to try to
stop him. Please!”
seconds went by before Morpheus finally opened the door. “As
you said, Dr. Beckett, the safety of this Project is my top priority. I
will do whatever it takes to prevent a disaster, but my loyalty still
remains with my creator. Remember that.”
you, Morpheus,” Sam replied as he raced back to the elevator. “Al,
even if I manage to break into the simulation chamber, how the hell am I
supposed to stop the explosion now?”
has a wild theory that might actually work. She says that the residual
leap energies in your body might be used to help contain the nuclear
energy Connors is harnessing. She thinks that if you can get inside the
chamber and grab onto him as the energy consumes his body, it might be
enough to accomplish your mission and leap. It’s like a domino effect:
the combined energy of your leap and Connors’ power source will
theoretically counteract one another and cause an implosion, rather than an explosion.
You’ll leap out, and the explosion will be averted. It’s a shot in the
dark, but it’s all Ziggy’s got!”
what’s to guarantee that I’ll actually leap, Al? We’re counting on a
whim of fate here!”
I don’t know buddy! Somehow, I think that part will be up to you!” he
admitted as he jabbed a finger toward Sam’s brain.
mean I have to somehow trigger the leap myself?
Can I do that?”
maybe not. I think it’s all in ‘His’
hands now, “Al pointed upward.
maybe,” Sam realized as he remembered what both Connors and another
vague stranger told him long ago. “I’ve had my destiny in my own hands
seemed to be breaking out all over the main level as Sam finally arrived
with close to five minutes left to spare. His legs still felt like lead
because of the tranquilizer, but he was determined to save these people
from annihilation. Running into the main lab, he found Marcus kneeling
down beside Dr. West, apparently helping him to get up.
happened?” Sam demanded.
was Dr. Connors,” Dr. West replied. “He… he wanted to get back into
the main lab. He tried convincing me that Dr. Marcus gave him clearance,
but there was something in his eyes. I… I just knew he wasn’t telling
the truth. H-he must have knocked me out when I turned my back on him to
find Dr. Marcus.”
it, I should have seen this coming! He tricked me!” Marcus said.
“He’s running the experiment. But how?”
running the procedure from a private lab on the bottom level,” Sam
explained. “I found him down there, and he shot me with a tranquilizer
gun to prevent me from warning anyone.”
Max has gone completely out of his mind.” He ran over to the main
console to see exactly what Connors did. “We have to do something! Max
disabled the safety protocols! I can’t abort the experiment! He’s
gonna get us all killed!”
Al started. “Ziggy says you might be able to bypass Connors’ lockdown
Sam shouted above the noise of the VR Accelerator. “I’m losing you!”
Al?” Dr. West shouted.
Sam! Connors was rushing to get the exper*ment running that he forgot
to—*ZZT*—able the other security overrides—” Al vanished before
he was able to finish what he was saying, but Sam was able to make out
what Al was implying.
Check the manual override system for the chamber door. Can I bypass the
lockdown?” Sam asked as he did a quick once-over on Dr. West to make
sure there were no lasting injuries.
I think so. But we’re cutting it awfully close. We won’t be able to
get Max out in time!”
me worry about that! You lead the evacuation. Get everyone as far away
from the main lab as possible!”
David, you’ll be—”
do it! GO!” Sam practically shoved Doctors Marcus and West out of the
room and went to work on bypassing the security lockdown.
God for my photographic memory, Sam thought as he recalled the
security clearance code he used several hours ago when Connors first
attempted the experiment and it failed. Even without Al’s information,
he knew he had less than a minute before all hell broke loose. He would
save the project, history would change, and Ziggy would be back at full
power again. Sam Beckett wasn’t going to let one obsessed man suddenly
stop his journey dead in its tracks.
moving his fingers, typing the code as fast as he could, the door finally
opened, and Sam raced into the chamber to grab onto Connors.
STOP!!” Connors shouted as the kaleidoscopic energy began to engulf his
body. “You’ll ruin everything!”
Sam screamed as he grabbed him by the shoulders.
struggled as hard as he could, as the energy maintained a yellowish glow
and grew to a crescendo around both men. “BECKETT!! Whatever it takes, I
WON’T let you stop me! YOU HEAR ME?”
happening! I have to leap, Sam thought. I
have to… believe in myself. I can do this!
physical struggle continued as the energy built to a fever pitch, but
Sam’s subconscious mind won out over his own self-doubts. He felt the
impending tingle of the leap overtake him, while at the same time Connors
felt the changes in his own body occurring. He felt the energy cleanse his
body of the disease eating away at it, but the sensation was short-lived
as the merging of the blue and yellow quantum energies overtook both men
and mutated the expectant results. For both Sam and Connors, their world
became an implosion of cerulean blue, and they vanished into nothingness.
Sam Beckett felt himself drifting in the blue void, unsure of what just
happened. He was more disoriented than usual, but he still managed to hear
did well this time, Sam. I’m proud of you! You’ve finally taken the
first step toward controlling your own destiny. It may take much longer
for you to fully accept the path you’ve taken, but now the next phase of
your journey can begin.”
next phase? I… I just want to go home! Please!”
is still much more for you to accomplish, Sam. The road ahead is filled
with great turmoil. You now have a new adversary to contend with, unlike
any you have faced before. He is your equal, Sam. And his actions will
unravel the thread of time. Only you can prevent the String from being
severed. Prepare yourself, Doctor Beckett. The journey begins anew.”
What do you mean, the string being sever—?” Suddenly, he felt a new
sensation, one that was unfamiliar to him. In all of Sam’s leaps through
time, he had never experienced what could only be described as a feedback
loop—drifting alongside with… himself?
the void, the nightmare returned to him. He hadn’t experienced this
nightmare since he was a child, but now it returned in full force.
cataclysm of epic proportions, the result of one man’s actions—a
cloaked figure in the darkness rising from the ashes to claim his
innocence. But Connors knew the truth. He knew the identity of this man,
and yet, his name eluded him. He had always assumed the dream wasn’t a
literal premonition, but merely a symbolic representation of times to
come. He knew that the knowledge to change the course of humanity’s fate
lay locked in the recesses of his mind, and this thought drove him to
engross himself in his research as an adult.
time was different. This time he felt a profound fear that it was
a premonition. A chain reaction of events was about to occur that could
spell disaster for humanity, and he felt compelled to find its origin.
Just as soon as these thoughts emerged, he suddenly felt a tingling rush
as his identity was ripped away from him. He could sense another soul
within as he pushed that person’s subconscious mind aside and took
almost as briefly, he felt his own subconscious mind being pushed aside.
He was drifting alongside of this unknown presence. He wanted to scream, “Let
me out!” but the attempt was futile. He was now one with this
person. The yellow light that had been surrounding him faded, and Connors
found himself living the life of another person—from another time.
Sam could remember was a strange blue glow. It seemed to engulf him, and
yet surround him at the same time. It was an exhilarating feeling, to say
the least. He had never felt more alive, but that feeling of being alive
soon faded to one of confusion as his world changed around him. He found
himself lying in bed, staring out a window as the sun was just beginning
to rise in the East. There was a small clock radio on the nightstand next
to the bed that read 5:00 AM, and he could hear the faint sounds of a
familiar song playing. A woman’s voice was singing:
The future’s not ours to see,
Qué sera sera,
What will be will be.
knew that he had just accomplished something extraordinary. Slowly rising
from his sleeping position, he sat up, overwhelmed with a strong feeling
of success. We did it! Then just as quickly, his smile faded. Did
what? I can’t remember. I… can’t remember anything. Who am I? Where
squinted his eyes in frustration as he realized he had complete amnesia.
Suddenly, the sound of someone shuffling beneath the sheets behind him
brought him to attention. He turned around quickly to see an attractive
woman with short, blond curly hair, dressed in a white-pattern nightgown,
just waking up. She turned her face toward him as if nothing was out of
the ordinary and said, “I’ll put the coffee on, Tom.”
initial shock of seeing this half-dressed woman not only embarrassed him,
but also made him experience something familiar—a sense of déjà vu, as
if he had been in this situation once before. As the woman got up from the
right side of the bed, he uttered out of the side of his mouth a humbled,