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
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
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 core:
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
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 direction.
excuse me… I… wasn’t paying attention to where I was
going,” Sam admitted.
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 from.
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 new one.”
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
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
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
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
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 Leap.”
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
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
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
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 artery.”
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
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
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 the corridor.
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
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
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 now.”
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 waste!”
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
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 cases.”
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 success.’”
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 can.”
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
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 yourself.”
I’ll do that. Oh, and St. John? Try to remember to keep
Stephen out of trouble, okay?”
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 toward him.
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
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
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
mean Dr. Connors? You remember him, huh?” Al asked somewhat
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
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
was all Al needed to hear. I
only hope Sam can find out more than I’ve been able to, he
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 when?
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,
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
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 away.”
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
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 mildly!”
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
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
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 Accelerator.”
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, Doctor.”
sorry. Safety protocols online, awaiting Dr. Connors’ signal
to proceed,” Sam recited as if he had done this a million
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
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
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
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 simulation again!”
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
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
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
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 him.”
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.
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
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 anything further.
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 hour, alright?”
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
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 imposter?”
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
thought back to something Connors had mentioned to him earlier.
“Connors said something about not having enough time. You said
this project was privately-funded, right?”
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, Sam?”
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 far?”
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 interesting.”
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 of… humanity?”
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
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
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
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 bricks.
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 you, buddy.”
Was I as obsessed as Connors before I leaped? Did people think I
was a… crackpot?”
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
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, can you?”
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
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 second genesis!”
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
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 else?”
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
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, honest!”
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
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
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
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. Samuel Beckett.”
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 years.”
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
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 programming.”
I know, Morpheus. I created you, remember?” Connors said with
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 holographic projection.”
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 progress?”
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 David.”
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,
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
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
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 loud-speakers.
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 Sam pronto.”
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
Al screamed. “Ziggy, what’s going on?”
Admiral. I am getting… interference,” Ziggy stuttered as her
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
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
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
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 involved work.
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 data?”
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
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
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 best intentions.”
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
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
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,
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
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,
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 obsessed.”
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
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
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
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
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
three months, I think I might have told you once before.”
Well, I tend to forget sometimes. Things have been so busy
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
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 door.
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 handlink.
I was hoping you could tell me more about your relationship with
your father. I’ve had similar issues,” Sam replied to the
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
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
if you call me David,” he smiled back.
she replied enthusiastically as Sam got up and placed his empty
tray on a nearby counter.
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
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
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
I’m obviously still here. So, it has to be something else, but
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
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
Where’s Connors? You’ve got to find him for me, Al!” Sam
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 the Project.
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
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
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 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
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 Ziggy.
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
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 ago?”
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
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 me!”
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 that?”
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
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 years.
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
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 right leg.
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.
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 name.
Wake up buddy! Come on, kid, snap OUT of it! You’ve got to
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
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
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
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 all along.”
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 by—*ZZSTT*—Weller’s securi—*ZZT*—cl**rance
Sam shouted above the noise of the VR Accelerator. “I’m
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
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
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 the Voice.
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
the void, the nightmare returned to him. He hadn’t experienced
this nightmare since he was a child, but now it returned in full
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 control.
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
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 am I?
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,