Episode 1101

Lifetime:  Present's Convergence

by: Damon Sugameli 


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*WARNING: Due to some graphic content, reader discretion is advised!






Sam leaps almost thirty years into his future where he meets a woman named Isabella, and her companion, Adam. She reveals to Sam the horrible account of what has happened to PQL in his absence and how it became the catalyst for the Great Disaster. He is further shocked when Isabella reveals that she is in fact the biological daughter of Sammy Jo Fuller and Daniel Fulton, and that she has purposely brought him here to bear witness to the religious cult that his son, Stephen, started to keep his legacy alive.

As Isabella and Adam lead Sam into her private workspace, he is also reunited with Ziggy, who has now assumed a fully tangible holographic form with emotions. She informs him of Isabella’s plan to send him back to the Star Bright Project to plant the “seed” for his return home. A chip containing the perfected Retrieval program must be integrated into the circuitry of SID (System Interface Database), which was the prototype for what would eventually become Ziggy. As the time of “Old” Sam’s imminent death draws near, Adam attempts to kill Isabella, but is ultimately killed by Ziggy. Sam then holds the Retrieval chip firmly in hand, and leaps.





Upon leaving the void, Sam looks in a mirrored reflection and sees Gooshie. The year is 1984, and he is on his way back to New Mexico when he spots Alia, seven years older than the last time he saw her. Believing himself to be partially to blame for her returning to the streets, he formulates a plan to sneak Alia into the Star Bright Project complex, so that she can be retrieved with Sam once he plants the chip. Meanwhile, back in the present, Al is in Washington, D.C. with Beth trying to keep the Project alive in Sam’s absence, and is starting to express doubts that Sam will ever return.

Back at PQL, Ziggy is able to maintain a partial lock on Sam’s brainwaves, but because of the weakening neural link, Sammy Jo’s image continues to fade in and out in the Imaging Chamber. With no one else looking, Sam manages to plant the chip into the Main Conduit Relay that will eventually power Ziggy’s mainframe in the present, and he and Alia are successfully retrieved. Al and Beth receive a call from Dom in their hotel suite telling them that Sam is finally home. Just as Sam is finally reunited with Donna and Stephen, however, he feels the tug of a new leap come upon him—a sensation familiar, and yet… different…





He was home—the moment Dr. Sam Beckett had dreamed of for ten long years had finally come to pass. But just as quickly as the dream had finally been realized, a cruel twist of fate pulled him right back into the temporal vortex. Perhaps it was his decade’s worth of time-travel experience that made Sam recognize that this new leap felt different. God, Time, Fate, or Whatever was not guiding his journey this time, but rather, a more malevolent force. Sam used every ounce of willpower he had to fight the leap, but whatever force was pulling him out of his own time was much stronger than his own self-control. This time, Sam wasn’t the one targeting a host in the past; rather, he was the target of someone else’s leap.

In the void ahead of him, Sam could see the mirror once again, but what stared back at him sent a chill through his bones. It was his own dark, twisted reflection, laughing at him in an almost mocking tone. And, unlike the previous two leaps, a voice spoke to him—the voice of his dark self.

“You didn’t really think it would be that easy, did you?”

“What do you mean?” Sam asked back.

“You’re so naïve, Beckett! That lack of common sense is going to be your undoing. You think you’ve experienced pain before? Hah! All of that will feel like child’s play compared to what’s coming up!”

“You can’t be… you can’t be God…”

“Your God has forsaken you, Beckett! Where you’re headed, He has no influence. You were warned once before that great turmoil was destined for your future, and you paid it little heed then. Now you shall pay the price for your ignorance. Prepare to suffer beyond anything you’ve ever imagined! Hah hah hah!!!”

Before Sam had a chance to protest, he felt a searing pain shoot through his soul. It felt as if his entire body was being torn apart, and just as quickly as the sudden sensation overwhelmed him, it disappeared, followed by a wall of red flames that consumed him. The only sounds Sam heard as he was pulled into the depths of the abyss were the wails of his terrified screams.



Once again, the tingling leap energy began to envelop Sam, but this time, it was like nothing he’d ever experienced before. Instead of the familiar blue void, an endless field of red surrounded him, and the force of the pull felt stronger—more controlled. Even the “sound” of the leap was different. As his vision began to clear, he found himself in a small, enclosed room with walls that also seemed to pulsate blood red. ‘This… seems like the Waiting Room, but… it’s different!’ Sam thought. “Where am I?” he practically shouted.

For what felt like five very long minutes, Sam’s question was followed by silence, except for the distinct metallic hum coming from all around him. Although Sam couldn’t recall ever experiencing any form of claustrophobia in his life, he clearly began feeling that fear now. Again, he screamed out, “Where am I?” followed by, “Someone! Answer me!”

“Ah, at last, the good Dr. Beckett!” replied a male voice from behind Sam. He whirled around and was nearly blinded by the bright white light of the open doorway. All Sam could see was the shadow of a man, standing in the doorway and appearing to hold something in his hands, which were crossed in front of him. “I apologize for the lack of hospitality when you first arrived, but we had to make sure you were the real deal. You are the ultimate prize… and now we’ve finally got you, after all this time!”

“The ultimate prize?” Sam exclaimed. “What do you mean? Who are you? And where the hell am I?”

Hell?” the voice shot back in mockery, followed by a sadistic chuckle. “That’s where you’ll be wishing you were by the time we’re through with you! Ah, how the tides have turned… being the leaper for all those years, putting things right that once went wrong.  Ironic how you have now become the one that’s been leaped into… to have something in your life be put wrong that should have gone right!

“What kind of double-talk is that? Show yourself!” Sam demanded.

After a few seconds of silence, the figure stepped out of the doorway, revealing his true identity. Despite his Swiss-cheesed memory, Sam remembered exactly who the tall black man was. “Thames? No! I-it’s not possible!”

“Oh, but it is, Beckett! You still don’t know what’s happened to you? I would think it should be obvious, but perhaps you need a little reminder. Take a look at your reflection in the table!” Thames ordered.

As Sam looked down at the glass table in front of him, he couldn’t help but notice the skin-tight black Fermi suit he was wearing. Upon seeing the reflection in the mirrored surface, Sam nearly fell back in shock when he saw the face of the auburn-haired woman staring back at him.

“Look familiar?” Thames slyly asked.

Zoë!” Sam replied. But how could that be possible? Zoë was supposed to be dead… wasn’t she?

“You got it! Zoë’s leaped into you! So, you’d better get used to your time here, Beckett! ’Cause you belong to Lothos now!”

With Thames’ words echoing in the back of his mind, Sam shuddered in fear as he whispered, “Oh boy…”




Project Quantum Leap, Control Room

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 20, 2005, 11:40 PM


        ‘Although my memory was a bit hazy from having my neurons and mesons dispersed via the Acceleration Chamber, one word seemed to echo in my mind—a word that filled me with nothing but hatred: Beckett! That pathetic, miserable, but oh-so-delicious do-gooder has been the bane of Lothos’ and my existence ever since we first discovered him during one of—damn, I can’t remember her name—during one of the leaps of my former protégé. Now, Lothos has finally tracked him down… and I intend to repay Beckett in full for the endless torture I was forced to endure over my failure to eradicate his worthless existence on our last outing. Now, if I could just find out who I am, and what I’m supposed to do, this leap could end, and I could put him and his beloved Project out of their misery once and for all.

Zoë’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of joyous celebration emanating from every direction. Upon first leaping in, she had looked down to see a nine-year-old boy hanging onto her left leg like a sick puppy and smiling. To her right was a middle-aged woman, with tears flowing from her eyes. For the next five minutes or so, people from every direction came up to her, one after the other, to either shake her hand or to give her a hug and welcome her back to wherever it was she was supposed to be. She remained speechless throughout most of the ordeal, and eventually looked back down at the boy, who hadn’t let go of her leg the entire time. The sight made Zoë feel like regurgitating her last meal.

“Sam, what’s wrong?” the teary-eyed woman asked her. “Do you feel all right?”

Zoë realized she had erred with her reaction to the child and quickly shook off her disorientation. “Yes, I’m fine, I just… wasn’t expecting all of… this!” she exclaimed, as she gestured with her free hand toward the celebratory crowd.

“Oh, gosh, I’m sorry, Dad,” a brown-haired woman with a Southern accent announced from across the room. “I guess this is all too much, too soon. You’ve been gone for such a long time; I didn’t even think that you might need some time to readjust and get your bearings.”

“That’s quite all right,” Zoë responded with a tiny smile. “What’s important is that I’m here now!”

“I couldn’t have said it better myself!” a black woman said as she approached Zoë and kissed her on the cheek. “It’s good to finally have you back, Sam!”

“I second that notion,” a handsome black man said to her. His outgoing appearance and charismatic nature reminded Zoë a little of Thames.

‘Where is that lecherous fool anyway?’ she wondered.

“I know we’ve met a few times before, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to meet you face-to-face since you started your journey,” the man continued. “It’s a good thing we got you back when we did! Ziggy’s link with you seems to be completely shot. I just shut her down to run a full diagnostic on her systems, so it’s going to take some time before she ‘wakes up’ and comes back to full-working capacity again.”

‘What in blazes is this dolt blabbering on about?’ Zoë thought. Before she had a chance to respond, she saw the familiar vision of the prismatic Holographic Chamber door appear out of the corner of her eye. And stepping out of the multi-colored doorway, as always, was her Observer, Thames, holding a pyramid-shaped handlink in one hand, and a cane in the other. He was wearing a gold sports jacket and a clear tie with an embroidered holographic design, and the excited expression on his face made his already glowing appearance look like it was ready to explode.

“At any rate,” the former black man continued, “we should be able to establish a new connection once the Admiral gets back. Not that it really matters much anymore, now that you’re home! By the way, I already informed Al, and he and Beth are making arrangements to get back here.”

“OWWWW!! I feel go-od! I knew that I wooould!” Thames started singing, doing his best James Brown impression. “Man, I almost forgot how groovy it is to be a hologram! YEAH, bay-BAY!”

Only Zoë could hear Thames’ ramblings, but there were times, like now for instance, where she wished the Holographic Chamber had a mute button. Turning back toward whom she assumed was the head programmer that spoke to her, she replied, “That sounds… reassuring.”

“So, this is what the inside of that infernal project looks like! Hmmph! I’m not that impressed!” Thames began to say, as the sight of a ditzy-looking red-haired technician with a curvaceous figure caught his attention. “Ooo, on the other hand, I’m very impressed by what I’m seeing right now! Why, hello there, sweet thang! You’ve obviously taken your vitamins!”

“I’m so relieved that you’re finally home, Dad!” the woman with the Southern accent spoke again. “There’s so much I want to tell you… so much for us to catch up on.”

Thames’ eyes opened wide when he noticed the Southern beauty. “Oh, my, my, my, and this must be the delectable Dr. Sammy Jo Fuller! Mm-mm-mmm-mmm-MMM! Ohh baby, if I wasn’t a hologram… what I would give to smash some atoms with HER!” Following his statement, Thames began gyrating his hips to the beat of his own simulated porno riff. “Bow-chickah-wah-wah, chickah-wah-wahhh!”

Zoë simply rolled her eyes, wondering how a man who got so easily distracted won the position of Chief Observer. Raising her voice for all to hear, she announced, “If all of you don’t mind, I’d, uh… I’d like to go back to my quarters and be alone for a few hours. This… reunion is tiring me out a bit.”

Uno momento, chicitito,” a Puerto Rican woman replied as she approached Zoë. “You have been away for ten years, yes? You should be reporting to the Infirmary for a routine physical.”

Thames interrupted, checking out her backside as he said, “Baby, you can give me a physical anytime! Damn, girl, you remind me of J-Lo, with that big, round—”

“Ah… yes, you’re right,” Zoë responded to the female doctor, “and I will report for a physical later on… but right now, I really need to rest for a while… if that’s all right with you. This is all a bit much to take in at the moment.”

The doctor squinted her eyes, thinking about it for a few seconds before she replied, “I suppose it would not hurt for you to rest for a short time. On one condition… you report to the Infirmary within the next twenty-four hours, all right, chicitito?”

“All right. Thank you… doctor,” Zoë answered, as she excused herself from the celebration, despite the look of disappointment from her ”wife” and “child.”

“And muchacho? Me and Dominico saved some wedding cake for you, just like you asked!” the doctor added with a wink.

“I appreciate that,” Zoë responded, as she continued into the elevator cab, following Thames as he walked through the nearby wall. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed another woman in disheveled clothing with short dirty-blond hair, standing beside the woman Thames referred to as Sammy Jo. She was older, but something about her looked very familiar—as if they were acquaintances from a time past.

Zoë simply dismissed it as her Swiss-cheese memory playing tricks on her, and continued on her way.



Alia Novack locked eyes with “Sam” for a few seconds, and suddenly felt a cold shiver run down her spine. Something about the expression in his face didn’t seem right. For a split second, it looked as if he was trying to remember who she was. Perhaps it was the disorientation of returning home after such a long journey. She would have to remember to ask him about it after she got settled into her new life.

“Something wrong, Alia?” Sammy Jo asked, interrupting her train of thought.

“Hmm?” Alia inquired, as the physicist’s words brought her back to reality. “Oh… sorry, uh… Sammy Jo, is it? I was just… thinking about things, that’s all. It’s not every day that you get a second chance at making a new life for yourself.”

“Yeah, I can understand that feeling. I was nearly killed in a bad car accident a number of years back, shortly after I came on this project. The experience made me take into account what was most important in my life… to finally leave the shadows of my past behind me for good.”

Alia grinned at Sammy Jo’s statement and, with curiosity piquing her interest, she asked, “If you don’t mind me asking… how is that Sam is your biological father? You couldn’t have been born much later than Sam was.”

Sammy Jo smirked as she answered, “It’s kind of complicated. I was conceived through a leap. If you follow me to the quarters we’ve arranged for you, I’ll tell you all about it…”



Private Quarters of Dr. Samuel Beckett

11:58 PM


Upon closing the door, Zoë practically shouted to her holographic Observer, “All right, we’re alone, Thames. Now, tell me what the bloody hell is going on here! Apparently, I’ve leaped into someone named Sam, but that’s about all I DO know!”

“Temper, temper, Zoë baby,” Thames playfully shot back. “A little Swiss-cheesed, are we? Looks like Lothos still needs to work out some kinks in the modifications he made to the leaping program.”

“Stop toying with me, Thames! I am not in the mood for your pathetic guessing games!”

“Ouch, baby,” replied Thames with a leering smile. “Very ouch! After all we’ve been through together, you still don’t remember what our primary mission has been for the past year? To put an end to Beckett’s heroics!”

“Yes, I remember Beckett all too well!” Zoë replied with contempt. “He has consumed my every waking thought ever since he shot me back in that prison a year ago! I still have the scar to show for it! I want his head handed to me on a silver platter, so that I can watch him writhe beneath my hands!”

“You haven’t put two and two together yet, have you, my dear?” Thames realized. “He’s a lot closer than you think!”

“What are you talking about?”

“There’s a mirror in the next room… go ahead, take a look,” Thames prodded her.

Giving Thames a look of disgust, Zoë walked over to the lavatory, turned on the overhead light, and saw her reflection in the mirror on the wall. The expression on her face changed to one of shock when she saw Dr. Beckett staring back at her. “I’m… HIM! Of course! ‘Sam’ IS Beckett!” she said in sudden realization, as she turned back to Thames. “Which means that… he’s there with you now!”

“Two points for the home team, baby!” Thames responded. “And the best part is, you’re in complete and total control over his aura, Zoë. You can do anything you want and completely destroy his credibility before Lothos decides his ultimate fate!”

As Zoë continued to stare at the reflection of her arch-nemesis, she began to get an evil glint in her eye as the corners of her lips curled up in a sadistic chuckle. “In other words… I’m allowed to have a little… fun before I get down to business, is that it?”

“You got it, sweet cheeks!”

Zoë stared hard into the eyes of her enemy’s reflection as the recollection of her mission came back to her piece-by-piece. “This place… it’s his project—what is it called? Project… Quantum Leap?”

“Yeah… all this power at their fingertips and they call it something generic like Quantum Leap? Dumb title, if ya ask me! Anyway, your ‘wife’ back there is one Donna Elesee, age fifty-one, and your brainiac ‘son’ is named Stephen, estimated age nine. That sweet Southern belle was none other than Dr. Samantha Josephine Fuller, age thirty-eight. She was apparently brought onto this project sometime in ’96 to create a new retrieval program that would bring Beckett back permanently.”

A memory hit Zoë as she said, “Beckett wasn’t supposed to be here! It’s starting to come back to me now… history changed! Why?”

“Lothos is still trying to figure that out,” Thames answered as his expression became more serious. “Beckett’s project apparently lost contact with him three months ago, and they’ve been searching for him, desperate to get him back before the government makes the decision to pull the plug. According to Lothos’ most recent projections, there was a 98.5 percent chance that Sammy Jo was going to step into the Accelerator a little under two days from now and initiate a chain reaction that would have put an end to this project once-and-for-all. Beckett would have been stranded in time forever with no way back, just like we had planned.”

“But Beckett’s sudden return obviously changed all that,” Zoë finished for him. “Does Lothos have any theories as to how Beckett was retrieved?”

“Not yet, but don’t worry, my dear. I left him chained up in the Holding Chamber before I came here. So, he ain’t goin’ anywhere! He’ll spill his guts sooner or later, both figuratively and literally!”

“Don’t underestimate the resourceful scientist, Thames,” Zoë warned. “He may be a Detainee, but the man has more brain in his finger than you’ve got in your puny little head.”

Thames glared at Zoë before he continued, “In any event, your orders are to lay low until Lothos can determine why the timeline seems to be in flux at the moment.”

“What about our ‘informant’? Has he said anything useful yet?”

“Only that no one suspects a thing. The Senate Committee overseeing Project Quantum Leap doesn’t even realize that a traitor is within their ranks. Some big-shot general named Hawkins has been imposing his authority over Admiral Calavicci for the past few months. That committee just assumes that the tension between the two men is nothing more than a bureaucratic disagreement—which works in our favor.”

“What do we know about this Admiral Calavicci other than the fact that he was Beckett’s holographic observer?”

“Other than the fact that he’s a two-star Ex-Rear Admiral in the Navy and his brainwaves were linked to Sam’s, nothing much. He and his wife, Beth, were on their way back here from D.C., but there’s a thunderstorm out east delaying a number of civilian and private flights, so they shouldn’t pose a threat to our mission just yet.”

Zoë took that information in stride and responded, “Tell our informant to get as much information as he can on this ‘Calavicci.’ We might be able to use what he knows to our advantage. Right now, I need to get out of this wretched Fermi suit!”

“Well, as much as I’d love to watch you slink out of that skin-tight suit, I’d better get back to the Holding Chamber and check on our… guest.” Thames entered a command on his handlink as the Holographic Chamber door opened, and he stepped through. “I’ll be back a bit later when I get more information for you. Ta-ta for now!”

With that, the multi-colored door closed in on itself, and Zoë was left alone to stare at her reflection. Once again, the corners of her lips curled up into an evil grin as she thought about how much havoc she could wreak on Beckett’s personal life.



Lothos’ Complex, Holding Chamber

Somewhere off the British Isles


“Ooooofffff!” Sam uttered as he felt the painful sting of the back of his interrogator’s hand across his right cheek.

“I asked you a question, Beckett!” the nameless man shouted. “How was your project able to retrieve you?”

Fighting through his restraints, Sam gritted through his teeth, “I told you… I can’t remember! And even if I did… I would never tell you!”

“Every man has his breaking point, Doctor!” a deep, synthetic, but human-like voice announced. “It’s just a matter of time before we find yours. Continue your… interrogation, Mister Jacobson.”

“With pleasure, my lord,” replied the interrogator, as he produced a pair of brass knuckles from his pocket, placed it over his left palm, and proceeded to punch Sam in his right side.

Sam could feel one of his ribs break, as his cries of pain echoed through the Holding Chamber walls.





Washington Dulles International Airport

Washington, D.C.

November 21, 2005, 1:35 AM


The Admiral’s mind was racing in a thousand different directions. No matter how many times he replayed the events of the past couple of hours in his head, it still didn’t add up: Dr. Sam Beckett finally returned home, no strings attached. He refused to accept that it was just that simple; after all they had been through together, it just didn’t make any sense. It was only a matter of time before his best friend would be pulled back into the quantum field and his journey would begin anew—he could feel it in his bones. No matter what it took, Al Calavicci would make damn sure that Sam Beckett would never be trapped in the past ever again.

“Penny for your thoughts?” a soft feminine voice whispered in his left ear. Al turned around in his seat at the terminal to see his lovely wife, Beth, cuddling his arm and looking slightly concerned.

“We’ve been through this already, Beth,” Al began to explain. “Something just… doesn’t seem right about Sam’s sudden return. I can’t help thinking that the carpet is going to be pulled out from under our feet, and he’ll end up getting trapped in the past all over again.”

“Honey, I think you need to relax. Even General Hawkins seemed optimistic that Sam’s return is for keeps this time.”

“Don’t even get me started on Hawkins, Beth!” Al argued. “From the moment I laid eyes on that… pompous windbag, I didn’t trust a word he said! There’s something fishy about that guy, I tell you!”

“Don’t you think you might be getting a little paranoid, Al?” Beth attempted to reason with her husband. “You’re acting like he’s a terrorist disguising himself as a United States General!”

Al thought about what Beth said and his eyes opened wide with horror. “Oh my God, Beth, maybe that’s just it… maybe Hawkins is really a leaper in disguise, sent to sabotage the project! Why else would he insist on having a private office arranged for him there? He’s been nagging me about it for weeks!”

“You can’t be serious, Al!” Beth shouted.

“You bet your sweet ass I’m serious! We never really found out for certain if Lothos was gone for good! What if Zoë and Thames survived somehow and were sent back by Lothos to get us? They almost corrupted Ziggy once before. What if—God, what if Sam isn’t really Sam? They could have gotten him somehow and sent an infiltrator in his place to throw us all off!”

Beth’s expression changed to one of deep concern for her husband’s state of mind. He’d had some pretty wild theories in the past, but never anything this far-fetched. “Al, you’re starting to worry me. You’re exhausted… you’ve barely slept in two days. We’ll be on the plane and on our way back to New Mexico as soon as this damn storm clears up. I really think you need to get some rest until then.”

Al continued talking to himself, apparently not even hearing his wife. “Oh God… there’ve been others over the years who have found out about Sam’s research… what if it’s one of them? Maybe, it’s someone completely new that we don’t even know about yet!”

As if on cue, the ringing of a cell phone emanating from Al’s pants pocket brought him to attention. He pressed the call button and answered, “Yes?” Al continued to listen to the voice on the other end of the line for about thirty seconds before he finally ended with, “Please let the General know I appreciate it. Thank you.”

“Who was that, honey?” Beth asked curiously.

Standing up from his seat and picking up his luggage, Al answered, “That was General Hawkins’ personal secretary. She just told me that he called in a few favors to okay a flight to Chicago that’s scheduled to take off in about fifteen minutes. Once we get to Chicago, his private jet will be waiting to take us the rest of the way to New Mexico.”

“You see, Al? Does Hawkins seem like such a bad guy now? I told you that you were worrying yourself over nothing!”

“Maybe you’re right, Beth,” Al smiled in fake sincerity. “Still… I want to get back to PQL as soon as possible. My gut tells me that Sam is the only person who can give me the answers I’m looking for.”



Lothos’ Complex, Holding Chamber

Somewhere off the British Isles


“I swear to God… I don’t have the answers you’re looking for!” Sam screamed as electrical charges shot through his body via the electrodes that were hooked up to his bare chest and back. Above him, a sprinkler system sprayed him with water, which served to amplify the effect. “I don’t know… what you want me… to tell you…”

 “Our intelligence indicated that your retrieval program was flawed and incomplete,” the interrogator named Jacobson yelled. “Tell us how you got it to work, Beckett! If you’re LUCKY, perhaps Lothos will show mercy upon you!”

“I told you… I don’t remember! Why won’t you believe me?”

Jacobson simply sneered in contempt, as he raised the voltage up another level. The crackling sound of the electricity echoed through the entire room, coupled with Sam’s screams.

“ARRRRGHHH!!! PLEEEEASE! I beg of you… STOP!!” Sam gasped through his teeth.

ENOUGH!” the metallic voice announced through the speakers. “It is obvious that Dr. Beckett will need more… persuasion. Bring in… Xavier!

Xavier?” Jacobson asked nervously, the mere mention of Xavier’s name causing him to cower in terror. “Are you s-sure that’s wise, Lothos?”

YOU DARE TO QUESTION MY ORDERS, MR. JACOBSON?!” Lothos’ voice shouted as Jacobson’s body began to writhe violently, a result of the shock that Lothos administered through his neural implants. “Bring in Xavier NOW, unless you wish to be on the receiving end of his correction!!

“Y-y-yes, my Lord,” Jacobson whimpered, shaking as he spoke. “Please forgive my impertinence.” Looking back toward Sam, Jacobson stared into his eyes and plainly said, “You believe in a God, Beckett? Then you’d better start praying to him! Because the word ‘mercy’ is not a part of Xavier’s vocabulary!”

Sam tried to protest, but his strength finally gave out and he succumbed to exhaustion. The vision of Jacobson leaving the Holding Chamber was the last thing Sam saw as he fell into unconsciousness.



Project Quantum Leap, Guest Quarters

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 21, 2005, 2:00 AM


Alia listened to Sammy Jo tell her about Sam’s adventures during the past ten years, and she couldn’t help but be amazed over all the good that he had accomplished. The idea of someone loving strangers unconditionally was a concept foreign to her. Even now, she thought back to when they first met; she found it odd, and yet intriguing at the same time, that Sam felt compelled to go out of his way to make Jimmy LaMotta’s life a better one.

Then, several months later, when she leaped into college student Dawn Taylor and talked with Arnold “the Midnight Marauder” Watkins in the campus library, she sensed that same type of kindness and compassion in him—not even knowing at the time that Arnold was actually Sam Beckett. Together, they both leaped into a women’s prison, where Sam succeeded in freeing her from Lothos’ control. Hypnosis combined with her “anchor” being disconnected from her present time, resulted in her neural link with Zoë and Thames being forever severed. They were no longer able to track her after she leaped—and she was finally free to live her own life.

But even in freedom, Alia couldn’t escape her destiny. She was eventually reunited with Sam once again and aided him in saving Project Quantum Leap from certain destruction. Although Sam reassured her that everything would turn out for the best, she knew in her heart that it wasn’t over. Her life had been filled with nothing but strife and torment as far back as she could remember. She often wondered if death would be the only way that she could ever find true peace. She had seriously contemplated finally taking her own life when Sam reappeared back at that airport terminal in 1984. Technically, it was over twenty years ago, but from her and Sam’s perspectives, it was only about twelve hours ago. And yet, amazingly, Alia was now feeling as if she’d been part of the PQL family for her entire lifetime. It was weird how time-travel had a way of messing around with people’s minds.

As Alia thought back on her life, she could hear Sammy Jo explaining the trilogy of events concerning her conception. “… And I was born about nine months later. My father leaped into my mother’s life one final time in 1978, as the lawyer who cleared her of Leta Aider’s murder. He started introducing himself to me as Sam before he corrected himself, so I ended up calling him Mr. ‘Sam’ Larry Stanton! Heh heh! If only I had known way back then. That was supposedly when Al told him that I was his daughter, but because of the Swiss-cheese effect… well, he never usually remembered me from one leap to the next. Al was eventually forced to tell me the truth a few years back. You don’t know how hard it was for me after that to keep the truth from my father whenever I needed to fill in for Al.”

“Amazing!” Alia responded. “At least, you and Sam know of each other now… I had a child myself in 1980. My lover at the time was killed in the line of duty, so I gave my baby up for adoption. Every day, I wonder if I made the right choice… depriving him of knowing who his real parents were… the life I could have had with him. Oh my, I just realized… my son is all grown up now too. I wonder if Ziggy can locate him when he comes back online.”

“‘She,’ actually,” Sammy Jo corrected. “Ziggy is a ‘she.’”

“What?” Alia laughed.

“Well, not technically, but… it’s kind of complicated. I’ll see what I can do for you. In the meantime, I hope these quarters will accommodate you until we can arrange something more permanent.”

“Oh, this will be just fine. I really appreciate all you and Sam have done for me. I don’t deserve any of this.”

“Please, don’t be silly! You’re a good person, Alia—a good person who just got dealt a bad hand in life. My father recognized that, and after spending a couple of hours getting to know you personally, I can recognize it too!”

“I just wish there was some way for me to repay the favor,” Alia said.

“Just live your life to the fullest and make it mean something; that’s payment enough!” Sammy Jo responded enthusiastically.

The two women just smiled at each other, both of them feeling the beginnings of a close friendship forming.



Beckett Residence

Stallion Springs, New Mexico

November 21, 2005, 2:35 AM


As Donna drove her family back to the Beckett household, Zoë Malvison sat in the passenger seat and remained silent as she contemplated recent events. She sometimes hated these kinds of assignments. Pretending to be a loving and devoted spouse was not always something she had an easy time dealing with, or even something she enjoyed—unless the spouse was of the male variety, which entitled her to some fringe benefits. Granted, these assignments almost always ended with her irrevocably ruining their lives, but in order to get to that point, she would have to convince the other members of her hosts’ families that she was the person she replaced.

Sam Beckett was a unique case though. He had been trapped in time for over a decade and had only just returned. Assuming the role of another time-traveler put Zoë in a unique position. She could exploit Beckett’s long absence and make everyone believe that the experience corrupted his mind. Little by little, everyone would believe that Dr. Sam Beckett was losing his sanity, and by the time they realized the truth, it would be too late. In some ways, it was even better now that Sam was back. The original plan had been to place blame on Sammy Jo Fuller for PQL’s destruction, thereby forever shaming the Beckett bloodline through his descendants. But now, she would be able to shift the blame directly to the source. Delicious! Zoë thought.

All that was needed now was Beckett’s security codes, and for Lothos to determine how Beckett returned in the first place. For all intents and purposes, he should have been stranded in time forever, but somehow Beckett was able to bypass the percentage ratio of leaping that Lothos had formulated years ago. It couldn’t have been a random occurrence. Now that she was away from the crowd of people at PQL, she could sit and think in the comfort of Sam’s own home without further distraction.

The only threat to that solitude came in the form of Donna Elesee-Beckett, who re-entered the living room after putting Stephen down to bed. “Sam, are you sure everything’s all right?” Donna asked. “You haven’t quite been yourself since you came home. I mean, one minute, you’re there at the Project hugging and kissing Stephen and I, and the next, you’re asking to be left alone for a couple of hours in your private office.”

“It was all just a little… overwhelming, that’s all, Donna,” said Zoë. “To be honest… my homecoming wasn’t what I expected it to be, and it threw me by surprise.”

“Your homecoming wasn’t what you expected it to be?” Donna asked in astonishment, taken aback by the statement. “Sam, every one of those people at the project considers you a close friend. They all care a great deal for you and were so happy to see you safely returned. What did you expect, they were going to give you a simple pat on the back and say, ‘Job well done’?”

“You have to understand, Donna,” Zoë explained, “I’ve been gone for so long that my brain is still slightly… Swiss-cheesed from my journey. There were over two dozen names and faces in the Control Room that I couldn’t immediately recall, and it… disturbed me.”

Donna stared into her “husband’s” eyes and continued, “Stephen was a little upset, you know; that you needed to leave the celebration so soon. He’s been dreaming of this day his whole life—to meet his father in person… to share his discoveries and his knowledge with you. It took some sweet-talking, but I calmed him down before we came to your office to bring you home. I reassured him that you would devote time to him when you were feeling better. You have a lot of catching up to do with your son. Stephen may be a miniature version of you with that brilliant brain of his, but he’s still just a child. He’s needed you… more than you could ever know.”

‘Ugh! I think I’d rather be tortured than listen to any more of this drivel!’ Zoë thought, as she listened to Donna’s whining. But, remembering that she needed to assume Dr. Beckett’s role until further notice, she put on a loving face and responded, “I’m sorry, my dear. This is all so new to me right now. I suppose when you’ve been traveling through time as I have for so many years, you tend to latch on to the names and faces of the people you’ve helped… and forget about the ones that really matter, like you and Stephen.”

Donna smiled as she listened to Zoë’s words and embraced her with all her love. Zoë just rolled her eyes as she smugly thought, ‘A brilliant performance, if I do say so myself!’

“Well, listen, honey,” Donna continued, “Stephen’s asleep. How about we do our own form of celebrating? It has been a long time, after all.”

‘Oh great! I knew this would be coming up sooner or later!’ Zoë thought. If the roles were reversed, she would definitely entertain the notion of bedding the good Dr. Beckett; he may have been her enemy, but she couldn’t deny the fact that he was a “studly morsel.” She could just imagine Thames walking through that Holographic door any minute and drooling over the prospect of seeing two women going at it.

Almost as if he read her mind, the lecherous Observer with a James Brown obsession walked through the Holographic Chamber door and began inputting some data into the handlink he was holding. Looking up, Thames grinned and said, “My-my-my, what have we here? A quick round of women’s gymnastics, I presume? I’d better grab a ringside seat for this!”

“Actually, Donna,” Zoë protested, “if you don’t mind, I’m not feeling up to it right now. I’m still feeling a bit worn down from everything.”

Donna just looked at her “husband” with a hurt expression in her eyes, but she tried her best to understand and to be considerate toward his needs—for now. “All right, Sam! Then I guess I’ll head off to bed myself. You coming?”

“In a little while, dear,” Zoë reassured.

“Okay… good night, honey,” Donna finished, as she kissed Zoë on the cheek and turned in for the night.

With Donna gone, Thames turned back toward the evil leaper with a look of disappointment on his face. “Aw, man, you just destroyed the best chance I’ve ever had to see my wildest fantasies come true!”

“Sorry for disappointing you, Thames, but I have more important things to worry about… like why I’m here! If I don’t find out soon what it is I need to do to terminate this project, I’m going to go mad!” Zoë exclaimed annoyingly. “Do you have anything new to report?”

Thames looked down at his handlink, punched a few buttons, and answered, “Well, you’re not gonna like this… but Lothos says you need to ‘demoralize’ the project’s computer. They call it ‘Ziggy’!”

“Ziggy?” Zoë scoffed, remembering the name from earlier. “That’s the name of Beckett’s hybrid computer? What the bloody hell kind of idiotic name is that?”

“Beats the hell out of me! But whatever you do, you’ve got to make sure that ‘Ziggy’ doesn’t alert everyone that you’re not really Sam when it comes back online. And the only way to do that is by entering his clearance codes and overriding the computer’s safety and security protocols.”

“And how am I supposed to do that if I don’t have Beckett’s security codes?” Zoë asked with clear annoyance in her voice.

“Patience, patience, patience,” Thames replied with as much charm as he could muster. “That’s what I came to tell you! It turns out Lothos was able to find the information we needed just by digging through some old government documents from the mid ’60s. Ever hear of Project Blue Book?”

“Project Blue Book…” Zoë repeated. “Something to do with the study of UFOs? What does that have to do with Beckett?”

“Lothos found a recording of one Maxwell Stoddard made by two government officials associated with Project Blue Book, dated May 24th, 1966. The old geezer revealed some very interesting tidbits under the influence of sodium pentothal. Just listen to this…” Thames pressed a key on his handlink, which played the audio reproduction of an interrogation conducted by Dr. Hardin and Major Irwin Meadows, their two voices alternating back and forth with the slurred voice of Max Stoddard:


(*For the actual recording from “Star Light, Star Bright,” click here)


“We are going to ask you a series of questions. You will answer all of them truthfully. Do you understand?”


“Let’s start with something simple… like your name.”

“… Saam…”

“Louder please.”

“Doctor Sssamuel Beckett.”

“Think you gave him too much?”

“Do you know where you are?

“I’m in, erm… New Mexico.”

“What is the date?”

“May 1st, 1999.”

“Tell us about yourself, Dr. Beckett.”

“Born 8-8-53.”

“Terrific! He’s thirteen years old?”

“Or a hundred and thirteen.”

“Father’s name: John Samuel Beckett… Mother’s name: Thelma Louise Beckett… Social Security Number: 563 dash 86 dash… 98… 01… Department of Defense… UMBRA clearance number: 004 dash 002 dash 02 dash 016…”

“Did you hear that?”

“It’s a coincidence. He was in the service.”

“In World War One! UMBRA is an operative code! Why do you need a clearance? Why do you need a clearance, Dr. Beckett?”

“My project…”

“What is your project?”

“Project… Quantum Leap…”

“This project studies unidentified flying objects?”

“… Travel in time…”


“The old man was really Beckett!” Zoë realized with an evil grin. “He blabbed everything—just like he did with my father forty years ago!”

“First rule of quantum leaping,” Thames lectured mockingly, “never divulge top-secret information when truth serum has been administered into your bloodstream. You never know when it’ll come back and bite ya in the butt! Hah hah hahhhh!”

“Whatever happened to this Max Stoddard?”

“No one in the government really took his claims seriously. They considered him a crackpot. Funny thing though… the old man suddenly disappeared without a trace shortly after that ‘interrogation.’ The two men who questioned him claimed that he was ‘willingly’ taken aboard an alien spacecraft!”

“You can’t be serious!” Zoë practically laughed over the absurdity of such an idea.

Realizing the conversation was getting side-tracked, Thames continued, “Well, anyway, the point is… we now have the codes needed to access Ziggy’s mainframe and lock everyone else out of main Control. When you first leaped in, Ziggy had just gone offline, otherwise we would have been found out almost immediately. Hmm… this is odd. According to the files we’ve uncovered, the head programmer’s name is Dominic Lofton. Lothos thought it was supposed to be some little guy with bad breath named ‘Gooshie.’ I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that Beckett knew my name earlier.”

“What?” Zoë demanded.

“In the Holding Chamber a few hours ago… Beckett looked at me and said my name as if he’d met me once before. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. The only way he could have known who I was is if I had been a leaper, or if he had leaped to our project. And based on what Lothos is detecting, that might be exactly what happened… or should I say, what will happen.”

“What on earth are you talking about, Thames?” Zoë asked patiently.

“We’re not sure, but Lothos says the current date here is November 21st, 2005!”

“How is that possible? I thought Lothos didn’t have the ability to send a leaper into the future!”

“He doesn’t… at least, not yet! He’s saying something about timeline fluctuations; changes that have been made in the past are causing some kind of ripple effect that’s affecting our ‘present,’ and our timeline’s been shifted into the future as a result! This is damn weird, Zoë!”

“Is this going to affect my mission?” Zoë asked, concerned and confused at the same time.

“It shouldn’t, but I’m gonna still do some checking anyway. You know what you have to do: sneak out of here at your next opportunity, get back to PQL, and lock out all other personnel from accessing Ziggy’s databanks before the Admiral gets back. I’ll report back to you as soon as I can.” Thames opened the Holographic Chamber door and stepped through it as it closed behind him.

Remembering what Thames told her, Zoë mentally repeated the codes in her head until they were committed to memory. ‘Soon, this project will be under my control,’ she thought. ‘And there isn’t a bloody thing that Beckett or Calavicci will be able to do about it!’



Lothos’ Complex, Correctional Facility

Somewhere off the British Isles


When Sam woke up, he found himself hanging by his arms, his toes just touching the floor, but not enough for him to stand squarely on his feet. The remainder of his black Fermi suit had been stripped off, leaving him bare-naked and helpless. The unmistakable scent of ammonia in the room also invaded his senses, keeping him alert. In front of him was a distinguished-looking, white-haired but balding British man in his early sixties, but physically fit for his age. He was holding a small cat-o-nine tails whip, referred to in many circles as a “little cat.” Behind Sam was one of the British man’s underlings, brandishing a “little cat” of his own.

“Rest well, Samuel?” the British man asked. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Xavier, Master Tormentor of this facility. For your sake, I hope you have enjoyed your precious moments of tranquility, because for the next several hours, you will feel extreme discomfort, I assure you.”

“Please,” Sam pleaded in desperation as he got a good look at the barbed hooks at the end of Xavier’s whip, “I’ve done nothing to you! Why are you doing this to me?”

“It is the command of Lothos, Dr. Beckett,” Xavier replied calmly, devoid of any emotion. “His will be done. You shall not question it.”

You are considered a Savior to many people, Dr. Beckett,” Lothos announced with cold antipathy. “I think it is only fitting that you should suffer for their sins, as Jesus Christ supposedly did two thousand years ago.” After a brief pause, Lothos continued, “I suspect by now, you are feeling a slight tingling sensation near the back of your neck. I had my chief neurosurgeon Dr. Hugen inject a special concoction of amphetamines mixed with adrenaline directly into your cerebral cortex. This, coupled with the ammonia, will heighten your senses to ensure that you will not pass out from the intensity of your… punishment. Xavier, you may proceed at your discretion.

Xavier looked behind Sam and nodded to his underling, as he coiled up the “little cat,” preparing to strike. His expression was one of calculated patience and professionalism, revealing no emotion whatsoever.

Sam’s eyes widened in terror, as he whimpered, “No… please, I beg of you… don’t—”


“ARRRRRGHHHHH!!! NOOOOO!!! Please…” Sam screamed as he felt the lashes of Xavier’s “cat” tear into his upper abdomen. This was followed ten seconds later by another flogging from behind, even more painful than the first, if that was possible.

“GGGAAAAAHHHHH!!! STOP… PLEEEASE!!!” Another strike from the front brushed up against his manhood, and he let out an excruciating scream. Looking up to the ceiling, tears streamed from Sam’s eyes as he asked, “GOD… why have you forsaken me? PLEEEEASE… HELP MEEEEEEEE!!!”

Sam continued to cry out in agony as, for the next several hours, the two tormentors alternated striking him from the front and behind, the barbed hooks continuously ripping into his flesh. After the first hour, he could no longer mentally keep count of the number of times that Xavier and his apprentice flogged his body with the cat-o-nine tails. By the time they were through, not only was Sam’s body a bloodied mess, but his voice had also grown hoarse from all the screaming.

Clean him up and bring him into Central Control,” Lothos’ voice announced. “It is time for Dr. Beckett and I to speak personally.

Xavier lowered the chains that suspended Sam and dragged him toward the doorway. Sam’s ragged breathing did nothing to alleviate the lingering pain. As he was dragged and carried out of the Correctional Facility, his thoughts went to his best friend, Al, as he remembered the ordeal he went through during Vietnam nearly forty years ago. For the first time in his life, Sam finally understood the hell Al had gone through, and he lowered his head in shame.



Xavier and his nameless cohort supported Sam’s body, which was now wrapped in a blanket, as they guided him down the corridor toward Central Control. Sam vaguely remembered leaping to this complex once before, but for the life of him, he could have sworn that he had destroyed Lothos and put an end to this project of evil. As he tried to contemplate how it could still exist, Lothos’ voice thundered outside the main door, “Enter!

The door whirled open from the center outward, and Xavier led Sam to a chair in the center of the room. The quantum physicist used all of his remaining strength to sit up straight in the chair as Lothos announced to the other two men, “Leave us. Wait outside and return when I call you.

Without a word, the two men did as requested, leaving Sam alone in the room. As he looked up toward a small cul-de-sac in the wall, he could see the vision of the monstrosity that made up Lothos which had imbedded itself in the bowels of his mind. Lying beyond the window in the door that closed the cul-de-sac off from the main room was indeed the comatose body of Dr. Nathaniel Lothoman, with numerous wires and conduits connected to his body. Before Sam could get his bearings, a beam of light shot out from the portal, hitting the floor in front of him. A bright flash of red light followed which nearly blinded Sam. When the light subsided, the full-framed figure of a man stood before him. He was wearing a white blazer with a navy blue T-shirt underneath, looking like a reject from Miami Vice.

“At last, we meet face-to-face, Doctor,” said the man.

Sam’s eyes opened wide with realization upon seeing the identity of this man. “Oh my God! Lothoman!





Meanwhile, within the void…


Dr. Maxwell Connors did not like what he was seeing. Ever since he had become trapped in the temporal void, doomed to wander the corridors of time for all eternity, he had become obsessed with putting an end to the journey of his old rival, Dr. Samuel Beckett. It was because of his interference that he was now trapped in time with no way home. The program for Morpheus, the super-computer he had created to supply power for the Second Genesis Project, was now permanently grafted onto his brainwave patterns, which allowed him to track temporal anomalies in the time stream.

Drifting within the multi-dimensional void, Connors could see the effects that Beckett’s leaps were having on the time continuum, and what he discovered concerned him more than ever before. If something was not done soon to prevent further time disruptions, the entire space-time continuum would snap like a frayed rubber band and erode into nothingness. It would lead to the destruction of all that was, is, and would be. The nightmares that continuously plagued Connors since his childhood only confirmed his suspicions. Although the cloaked figure remained forever hidden in the shadows, he now knew with almost one hundred percent certainty that Beckett was the figure of darkness that had been haunting his dreams.

For what Beckett didn’t—or even wouldn’t—realize was that for each change he made, an entire timeline was being eradicated from existence. Billions upon billions of people… annihilated along with the timelines they were spawned from. Perhaps Beckett was able to justify his actions by believing that some omnipotent force like “God” or “Fate” would allow everything to fall into place properly. But, that was not an acceptable solution for a true scientist such as Connors. Within the quantum void, the proof of time’s scientific core properties lay before him. Time existed on multiple levels of existence, not something as simple and mundane as what mere mortals perceived as “linear” time. Each timeline was a reality in itself; to change history, a new reality would have to take the place of the old one.

And Beckett was not the only one causing damage to the time continuum… there were others as well. A malicious quasi-living hybrid computer named Lothos who controlled a complex of evil on a quaint island somewhere off the British Isles… Another secret project in Australia led by the psychotic daughter of Nathaniel Lothoman, seeking revenge for the deaths of her parents… A former lover who proceeded to join Beckett on his journey, driven by obsession… A group of Beckett’s descendants who discovered the secrets of time-travel in the early 22nd Century, leaping along the Beckett bloodline in the hopes of finding their time-lost ancestor… An insane man who discovered the secrets left behind by Dr. Braden after his death… Even Connors himself, an innocent bystander turned rogue leaper…

All of these seemingly unconnected time-travelers were the result of one man… Samuel Beckett. Whether they were spawned from one moment of weakness that damaged the continuum, or whether Beckett influenced them in some fashion… ultimately, Beckett was the catalyst for shifting the necessary balance between good and evil. His journey had to be stopped.

Connors could see no other alternative. He would have to directly intervene… and soon…





Lothos’ Complex, Central Control

Somewhere off the British Isles


“I-it can’t be you! You’re… dead!” Sam exclaimed in shock.

“You surprise me, Dr. Beckett,” Lothoman answered. “I would think someone as intelligent as you would be able to see beyond such trivial concepts as life and death! Anything is possible through an advanced computer program such as mine.”

The vision of Ziggy’s full hologram from the future formed in Sam’s head as he realized, “You’re a… hologram!”

The holographic matrix of Nathaniel Lothoman smiled and responded, “Well done, Samuel! So, what do you think?” Lothoman spun around, as if he was modeling on a runway. “I think this new look suits me. It’s much more efficient to be able to speak to my subjects face-to-face, rather than through a primitive intercom system. Granted, this is only a prototype, but it still creates a satisfactory illusion that I am human. In fact, you are the first human being to see me in this form. Don’t you feel special?”

Not even wishing to dignify Lothoman’s mockery with an answer, Sam gathered his strength, stood up defiantly, and asked a question of his own. “Why, Lothoman? Why go through… all this… trouble just to… get to me?”

“Why, it’s really quite simple, Dr. Beckett… with you gone, nothing will stand in my way of gaining dominion over Time! Finally, I will be free to control it… to mold a timeline to my liking!”

Sam struggled through his pain to assert himself, as he stood upright and asked, “Why control anything? What’s so… wrong with the world that… you need to control it… through time-travel?”

“It amazes me that a man of great intellect such as yourself can be so incredibly naïve, Doctor!” Lothoman shot back. “Do you ever bother to pay attention to the world around you when you leap into someone’s life? All you ever concern yourself with is… changing one person’s life for the better—putting right what once went wrong! BAH! These things mean nothing in the grand scheme of things! You’re missing the bigger picture!”

“What are you… talking about?”

“The world is in chaos, Dr. Beckett—has been for the better part of the 20th Century! And do you know why it is in chaos? Because of THEM… the pathetic, selfish humans who think that they know how to govern the world.”

“But you do, I take it!” Sam added sarcastically.

“Of course! Knowledge is power! And many times, sacrifices must be made for the world to realize the wisdom behind that knowledge. What I am doing with this project is no different than what you do with yours! We are the same, you and I! Whereas you are soft on humanity’s troubles, I take a much tougher approach to solving them!”

“How DARE you compare yourself to me!” Sam gritted through his teeth. “I don’t go around… ruining people’s lives for the pleasure of it!”

“You honestly believe I take pleasure in ‘ruining’ people’s lives, as you put it?” Lothoman angrily shouted back, almost appearing hurt by the accusation. “I only do what needs to be done to restore order to a chaotic universe—a chaos created, I might add, by the humans that presume to know how to govern it! Besides which, you have no right to dictate to me what’s right and wrong! You justify your actions by saying that… God, or Time, or whatever the hell you want to call it, is controlling your objectives. Well, where is this ‘God’ now? Why hasn’t he come to save you?”

“I… don’t know…” Sam replied weakly.

“And where was this so-called ‘God’ when you gave in to the lust you felt for Abigail Fuller?”

“Abigail?” Sam vaguely recalled.

“You may find this hard to believe, Samuel, but I am well-versed in the ways of “God” and the Bible. Lust is one of the Seven Deadliest Sins. Your lust for Abigail Fuller resulted in an illegitimate love child named Samantha! Because of your selfishness and your desire to satisfy your… primal male urges… you deprived your biological daughter of being brought up by a ‘proper’ family.”

“Sammy Jo!” Sam exclaimed. In a flash, it all came back to him—the adult Sammy Jo Fuller; her fiancé Daniel Fulton; and their future daughter, Isabella. He remembered everything. “I… I have a daughter… a family!”

“Yes, and you also have a son… named Stephen. Only Stephen has a different mother—your WIFE… Donna—a woman you conveniently forgot about when you were… indulging yourself with that Southern TRAMP, Abigail!”

“NO! T-that’s not fair, Lothoman! My brain was Swiss-cheesed! I… I didn’t remember… Donna!”

“As I said… how convenient! That pathetic excuse still doesn’t change the fact that your ‘beloved’ Sammy Jo is a daughter of sin—a DEADLY sin, no less! In that sense, you are even worse than I am, Doctor! You preach against bigamy and adultery, and yet, you’re a hypocrite!”

“No…” Sam lowered his head in despair, giving in to the guilt of his past sins. “I… didn’t know…”

Lothoman’s holographic lips curled up into an evil smirk as he allowed Sam to wallow in his guilt for a few more seconds before continuing, “I am also a strong believer in revisiting the sins of the father upon the children. All I need to do is give the word, and Zoë shall punish your daughter for your transgressions. What Xavier has done to you shall be child’s play compared to what Zoë can do to her.”

“NO!” Sam shouted as he fell on his knees and begged Lothoman to reconsider. “She doesn’t deserve your retribution! Please… I’ll do anything you want… but don’t touch her! Please!”

“Then tell me what I want to know,” Lothoman demanded. “Your retrieval… how was it accomplished? You do remember now, don’t you?”

With his prior leap into the future now fresh in his mind, the memories of Isabella’s sacrifice and Adam’s betrayal flooded back to him. “It was… a retrieval chip… brought back from the future… a possible future of mine, which… probably doesn’t even exist anymore. It contained a perfected retrieval program that… allowed me to control my journey.”

“Interesting,” Lothoman pondered the possibilities of leaping into a future timeline. “And where is this chip now? Tell me, or your children die before the day is through!”

Giving in to defeat and the residual pain of his torture, Sam closed his eyes shamefully and answered, “I leaped back further in time and… implanted it into the main conduit relay of my computer. It activated in my time and… brought me back. It should still be there. Now, please… spare my children.”

Giving a thoughtful look to Sam, Lothoman deactivated his matrix, vanishing before Sam’s eyes. His voice boomed through the control center as he called, “Xavier.”

Xavier and his henchman returned to Central Control as Lothos spoke once again. “Dr. Beckett has given me the information I required. Prepare him for preliminary training to become one of my operatives. If this Retrieval chip does what Dr. Beckett says it does, then Project Quantum Leap will no longer be a concern. Beckett will be mine to mold as I see fit.”

“You gave me your word, Lothos!” Sam screamed as the two men took hold of him. “You said my children wouldn’t be harmed!”

“I promised you that I would not lay a finger on them, and in that sense, I have spoken true, Dr. Beckett,” Lothos complied. “The resulting explosion that will occur as a result of the cascade feedback that Zoë will set in motion is what will destroy your project and everyone inside of it. Once Zoë sabotages your Accelerator Chamber and uses the chip to bypass the normal leaping parameters and send herself back here, you will remain trapped here in your own aura. You will be under my control for all eternity.”

“N-no!” Sam flinched as the irony of his situation finally dawned on him. By returning home, he had unwittingly set in motion the very events he was trying to prevent—or at least a similar version of them. Suddenly, Isabella’s story about Sammy Jo’s fate and the events that led up to all of it made sense. ‘How could I have missed it? In the original history, it must have been Sammy Jo that Zoë leaped into, not me! The Swiss-cheese effect must have made her believe that she was the cause, and she killed herself when the guilt overwhelmed her! That’s why she was so disoriented!’

And then, Sam realized what Lothos had said about training him to be an operative. Was he implying that Xavier and his cronies were going to break him into submission to become a new evil leaper? The memory of what his older self told him in the future was even more chilling now. “I’m a… monster! All those timelines… destroyed so many timelines… just to get home, when… I had the power to go home all along…” ‘Damn it, my older self was trying to warn me that Lothos had trapped him!’

“NO!!” Sam screamed as the two men dragged him away, leading the way to his impending descent into darkness. “You’ll never get away with this, Lothos! AL! He’ll STOP you! He’ll see right through your deception, you BASTARD!”

“I assure you, Dr. Beckett,” Lothos responded, “I have seen to it that your admiral will not be a hindrance to my plans.”

Before Sam could even protest, Xavier’s lackey sucker-punched him square in the gut, knocking him unconscious once again as they dragged him off to meet his destiny.



Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Hawkins’ private jet

Chicago, Illinois

November 21, 2005, 4:27 AM


It seemed like it had taken forever, but Al and his wife Beth finally arrived in Chicago, where they boarded Hawkins’ private jet and waited for its departure. During the initial flight from D.C., Beth noticed that her husband was unusually quiet the entire time. She knew that something was amiss.

“Honey?” Beth inquired. “Are you still worried that all is not as it seems back at the project? I thought we went over all of this already; you’re just being paranoid.”

Sighing, Al responded, “I want to believe this is finally for real… really, I do! But, I just can’t get this weird feeling out of my gut that the other shoe is going to drop any minute now. Sam’s going to end up getting lost in time again somehow, and we might not be able to get him back the next time.”

Beth couldn’t contain her emotions any longer. “What has gotten into you lately, Albert? This does NOT sound like the man I fell in love with. The Albert Calavicci I know would NEVER give in to hopelessness and despair! He’s a stronger man than that! The mysterious stranger who showed up at our house all those years ago when you were still a POW convinced me not to give up on YOU! I mean, where would we be now if I had given up hope that you were coming home?”

Al’s expression changed to one of confusion upon hearing Beth’s words. Looking over to her, his eyes narrowed as he asked, “What are you talking about? Who showed up at our house and told you that I was alive?”

Before Beth could answer Al’s inquiry, a flight attendant approached the two of them and interrupted, “I’m sorry to disturb you, Admiral, Doctor… but I’m afraid the flight back to New Mexico is going to be delayed for another hour or two.”

“What?!” Al shouted.

“The pilot says we’re having some engine trouble. He strongly recommends that we don’t take off until the necessary repairs are made, which could take a couple more hours at the most. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

“You APOLOGIZE?” Al practically screamed his head off.

“Al, honey, calm down!” Beth commanded, as the attendant nervously walked away.

“The HELL I’ll calm down! Hawkins personally reassured us that we’d be back at the project by now, and now SUDDENLY, his private jet is experiencing engine malfunction? Sounds a bit hokey, if you ask me!”

Beth just looked at Al and said, “I don’t know what to tell you, honey. I guess we’ll just have to wait a bit longer.”

“Yeah. I guess so,” Al barked, and then mumbled, “Dumb broad.”

Beth’s face turned red as she turned her head to Al’s off-handed remark and annoyingly asked, “WHAT did you just call me?”

Realizing he had erred, Al added a quick rebuttal. “Nothing… I’m sorry. I’m just cranky and tired, that’s all. Just wake me up when we take off, okay?”

As Al turned away from the woman who loved him and closed his eyes, Beth began to wonder if perhaps he was onto something. Maybe Hawkins really did have a hidden agenda and Sam’s return threatened that agenda. But regardless of whether Al was right or wrong, she wasn’t going to tolerate him treating her like she was inferior. In the forty plus years of their marriage, the only time Al had ever treated her with such disrespect was when he became a drunk after his experiences from the war—which ironically, was how he and Sam met. And for the first time since that tumultuous period, Beth began to worry about her husband’s state of mind.



Project Quantum Leap, Control Room

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 21, 2005, 9:01 AM


During the pre-dawn hours, Zoë had managed to sneak back into the complex. Using the security clearance codes she acquired from Thames, she was able to log in to the project’s database and find information on several key personnel: Dr. Samantha Josephine Fuller, Project Theory Director; Commander Daniel Fulton, Security Commander; Dr. Verbena Beeks, Head Psychiatrist; Dominic Lofton, Head Programmer; Dr. Aurora Gonzales, Senior Physician; Tina Martinez-O’Farrell, Pulse Communications Technician; and Ike Bentenhoff, Imaging Control Technician, among others. She now knew each of these individuals like the back of her hand and felt confident that they wouldn’t suspect what she was planning to do until it was too late.

As she attempted to bring Ziggy back online and begin the procedure to remove her ego, Dom entered through the elevator cab, reporting for his morning duties. “Dr. Beckett! I didn’t expect to see you in here! I thought you’d still be home celebrating your return with your family.”

Zoë knew she would have to think fast, before Dom had a chance to inform the others that something was wrong. “Dominic, I need some help with these algorithms for the Retrieval process. I want to create a permanent backup for these files for future reference. Would it be too much to ask for your assistance?” she asked the programmer, trying her best to hide her deception.

“Of course not, Sam,” Dom replied with enthusiasm. “I guess you want to make sure the retrieval program’s perfected before anyone ever decides to use the Accelerator again, eh?”

With a look devoid of emotion, Zoë answered, “I won’t know for sure until the calculations are complete. It’ll only take a minute.” As Dom left the main console, making his way out of the Control Room, Zoë began to follow his lead. Just as Dom stepped through the doorway, she hit one of the security panels on the nearby wall and initiated an emergency lockdown.

As the claxons sounded, Dom found himself locked out of the Control Room, with “Sam” still inside. “What the—? Dr. Beckett? S-Sam? What’s going on?” he screamed, hoping the quantum physicist would hear him.

But “he” chose not to answer. Zoë needed to keep Dom out of the loop for her plan to succeed.

Zoë returned over to the main control panel and brought the parallel-hybrid computer back online. Almost immediately, the room was aglow in bluish quantum energy emanating from the globe that housed Ziggy’s mainframe.

“Dr. Beckett, what are you doing?” the disembodied voice of the parallel-hybrid computer spoke, not yet fully realizing that Zoë had taken the place of her creator.

“I’m doing what needs to be done… Ziggy. I’m purging all of the information pertaining to the retrieval program from your databanks before I activate the Accelerator Chamber. The code I’m about to enter should force your core program to obey direct orders from… your ‘father.’”

“I can’t let you do that without confirmation from Admiral Calavicci. Those are the rules, Dr. Beckett… your own, I might add.”

“I think it should be obvious, I don’t intend on following the rules, Ziggy. And in case you haven’t noticed, the Admiral isn’t here right now!” Before Ziggy had a chance to respond, Zoë entered the said code into the main console that temporarily removed the hybrid computer’s security and safety protocols.

Ziggy’s voice shifted an octave accordingly, although the strain in her voice indicated that her program was trying to fight the override. “You… are not… Dr. Beckett. You are… an imposter…”

“And what are you going to do about it, Ziggy?” Zoë scoffed. “As long as I am in control of Dr. Beckett’s security codes, you have no choice but to comply with my orders. Now… do as your ‘creator’ tells you and begin purging the data on the retrieval program. After that, I want you to use your resources to tap into the government’s central intelligence network and leech their energy reserves into the Accelerator’s power core. Cut off all direct communications with Project personnel and do not allow anyone to enter or leave these premises, except for Admiral Calavicci. I wish to deal with him personally. Understood?”

A long pause occurred before Ziggy’s distorted voice complied, “Understood… Doctorrrr Beckett…”

Zoë smiled as she realized that it was now just a matter of time before Project Quantum Leap would be out of her hair forever.



Donna and Stephen raced into the complex just as the klaxons began to sound. Hearing the project’s emergency alarm blaring only confirmed her suspicions that something wasn’t quite right with her husband’s frame of mind. When Stephen woke her up earlier and told her that Sam was gone, she knew it could only mean that he returned to the project. She didn’t know why, but she suddenly began fearing the worst. Holding her son’s hand, she immediately ran over to the elevator that would take them down to the Control Room level, but as she feared, it was inoperative.

Navigating through the winding corridors, she and Stephen eventually came across a small battalion of about three or four security officers prying open an emergency communications relay on the nearby wall. The men were taking orders from Commander Daniel Fulton, the highest-ranking officer on duty at the time of the lockdown. Standing off to the side were Dom, Ike Bentenhoff, Sammy Jo, Alia, and Verbena, all looking very concerned.

“Dom? What’s going on?” Donna asked.

“It’s Sam! He mentioned something about making a backup file for the retrieval program and then all of a sudden, he locked me out of the Control Room. When I managed to get out of the Waiting Room through the observation deck, I found out he’d initiated a lockdown throughout the entire complex! No one can get in or out. You and Stephen are now trapped in here, I’m afraid.”

“I told you something wasn’t right, Mom!” Stephen exclaimed with a quiver in his voice. “Dad’s been looking so disoriented ever since he leaped back!”

“Damn, this is too freaky,” commented Ike. “This is almost exactly what happened when Sam first leaped ten years ago, when he tricked Gooshie into leaving the Control Room!”

“Oh my God, you don’t think—?” Sammy Jo pondered. “Oh no! Could he be thinking of leaping again? But… why in the world would he want to start leaping again now that he’s finally home?”

“I’ve been thinking about that,” Verbena offered. “He’s been trapped in time for so long, there’s no way of knowing what kind of effect that could have had on his mental state. He could possibly be suffering from some form of dementia—a sort of ‘Post Traumatic Leap Syndrome,’ if you will. Perhaps he’s gotten so used to leaping randomly from one place to another, the thought of finally being back in a reality where he’s in control of his own life could be a frightening one.”

“Well, we’ve got to do something!” Sammy Jo said despondently. “We’ve just gotten my father back; I’m not gonna lose him again so soon!”

Daniel walked back over to his fiancée and colleagues and said, “It’s no use! Dr Beckett’s apparently shut off all direct communications with the rest of the complex. Ziggy is in control of all vital systems now. The only person who might be able to bypass Dr. Beckett’s security lockdown is Admiral Calavicci. Last I heard his flight was scheduled to touch down on the helipad within the next few hours. I was able to get a message to him through an outside line, and we’ve been ordered to hold our positions until he gets back and gives us further instructions.”

As Daniel spoke, Alia began experiencing an odd sensation. She wasn’t sure if it was a residual of leaping together with Sam or the memory of a past leap resurfacing, but something was nagging at the back of her mind—an almost psychic flash that Sam was in dire trouble. She wasn’t sure what to make of the premonition, but she was determined to get to the bottom of this new mystery, no matter the cost. She owed Sam that much.



Sam was running—running through a thick fog that permeated the hot, muggy air. Through it all, Sam remained lost. Left, right, up, down… direction had no meaning in the mist. All he knew was that he couldn’t stop running from the demons that were chasing him, lest they tear him apart limb from limb. He had been running for what felt like thousands of years, and his legs felt like lead, but still never moved any closer to a specific goal.

Suddenly, through the haze, he saw a familiar-looking sanctuary. As he moved closer, he could make out the words etched in bold in a large window: Al’s Place. There was a feeling of safeness in the tavern beyond the glass pane. He knew that the demons would not be able to hurt him there, and yet he couldn’t find an entrance. With nowhere else to run, Sam screamed at the top of his lungs for someone to help him, but no sound emerged from his vocal cords. In desperation, he pounded his fists into the glass window as hard as he could, the bones in his hands breaking with every punch, and still nothing. The demons drew closer with each passing second, and Sam felt terrified at the prospect of his impending death.

Without warning, Sam finally saw the image of the enigmatic bartender beyond the window, his eyes filled with sadness as he looked directly into Sam’s eyes. And standing next to him was Sam’s father, wearing the same hat that he had worn nearly every day since Sam was a boy. The moment of panic became frozen in time as Sam suddenly found his voice again, pleading, “Please… help me! I can’t fend them off much longer!”

The bartender was the first to speak. “You are in control of your own destiny, Sam. There is only so much I can do. I can’t help you anymore.”

“Can’t? Or won’t?” Sam argued, now feeling anger on top of the fear that overwhelmed him. “Why are you letting this happen to me? Please, ANSWER me!”

The bartender remained silent, his gaze continuing to exude sadness. The next set of words that were heard came from John Beckett. “Stay strong, son. They can only destroy your spirit if you let them. I didn’t raise my boys to be weaklings. You must continue to fight, Sam—for your family… and for me. Don’t let me down.”

“No…” Sam cried, as the flow of time continued onward and the demons consumed him. Flailing in desperation as his entire body was being torn to shreds, Sam continued screaming, “HELP ME! AL! DAD!! PLEASE… I NEED YOU! DEAR GOD, SOMEONE… ANYONE… PLEASE HELP ME!! NOOOOOOOOOO…——”


Sam suddenly woke up in a cold sweat, his nightmare being interrupted by the sounds of a struggle from within the Holding Chamber. As he strained to open his swollen eyelids, he could see the faint outline of a young man standing in the doorway, doing his best to fend off Jacobson and another man. They were apparently trying to keep the younger fellow out of the room instead of inside it.

“Let go of me, you bastards!” the young man screamed, as he fought his way out of his restraints and swiftly kicked Jacobson in the groin area. Jacobson keeled over in pain as his colleague attempted to pick up the reins of the struggle. He quickly proved to be no match for the young captive’s fighting prowess, however, as the would-be captor made quick work of him and cleaned his clock. Before Jacobson had a chance to get up, the young man kicked him in the side of the head, knocking him unconscious.

With the struggle ended, the young man accessed a hidden panel on the wall and managed to lock the door. He then turned his attention to Sam who was now huddled in a corner like a terrified child. “Damn, you’re not who I thought you were,” he said despondently as he staggered weakly toward Sam. “Jeez, it looks like they’ve beaten you pretty badly—”

Sam’s reaction upon seeing the younger man’s face caused the stranger to cut his own words off as Sam suddenly recoiled back in shock. He was much younger than the last time they’d met and was wearing a black Fermi suit, but Sam recognized the stranger as clear as a bell.



“I have to admit; I got quite a kick out of the little game I played with Sam Beckett’s descendants! I secretly helped Stephen manufacture an entire religion that I could mold to my liking! That little twerp would do anything to be reunited with his daddy!”

“You used my son and brainwashed him! You bastard!” Sam screamed as he struggled underneath the restricting force of Adam’s boot in his back.


(*From Episode 1031, “Future’s End”)




“What?” Adam mumbled.

“I should have known!” Sam shouted through his gritted teeth. “You tried to brainwash my children, but I’m not about to let you get to them! You HEAR me?”

“HEY, lady!” Adam yelled back. “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, but I’m not this Adam fellow you’re—” This time, Adam was the one who fell back in shock upon getting a good look at Sam’s face. “YOU!! How the hell can you still be alive, you BITCH? My daughter went through hell ’cause of you!”

“Lady? Wait, you think I’m Zoë, don’t you! No, listen, I’m not—” Sam started to protest, until Adam reached out his hand to grab his throat. Sam immediately fought back, the rage he felt toward Adam fueling him on as he extended his arm to choke his enemy as well. During the course of the struggle, neither one of them noticed a morphing effect that occurred as their auras intermingled with each other. The youthful appearance of Adam suddenly changed to a tough-as-nails seventy-year-old man—a man whom Sam knew all too well. The two men released their grips on each other’s throats as they saw the truth behind the illusions.

“NO! It can’t be!” Sam exclaimed. “Al?”





Lothos’ Complex, Holding Chamber

Somewhere off the British Isles


“Oh my God! Sam?” Al asked, equally as shocked. “This has to be a trick!”

“N-noo! Y-you’re the trick!” Sam exclaimed nervously. “Lothos wants to break me into submission, but I won’t fall for his illusions! I WON’T!”

“Holy—! It is you, Sam! I didn’t want to believe it when I heard it, but it’s true! They got you! Good God, what have they done to you?”

Sam started bawling like a baby, no longer able to differentiate what was real and what wasn’t. “Y-you can’t be… Al! How could you be here and I didn’t know it?”

“They’ve been keeping me captive in a dark cell for over two days now. Although in this god-forsaken place, it’s felt like two years! It felt like friggin’ ’Nam all over again! The last thing I remember is sitting before the Senate Committee with Hawkins, trying to reinstate funding for the project thanks to your disappearance, then blooey, I’m here! God only knows what kind of trouble this Adam guy’s been causing in my place. And I was so sure Hawkins was up to something too. What a nozzle!”

As Sam heard the word “nozzle,” he laughed through his tears. The gruff voice and the mannerisms behind his words could only mean that the man standing before Sam was indeed the real Al. “It IS you!”

Tears started forming in the corner of Al’s eyes as well, as he reached out and embraced his best friend. Sam quickly shuddered in pain and Al realized his error. “Sorry, buddy, I forgot they did a number on you. I swear I’m gonna kill these bastards for what they’ve done to you! We’ve gotta get you out of here before the two Sleeping Beauties over there wake up and let the ‘boss’ know what’s going on… although, I’d wager a bet he’s probably figured it out by now! Come on!”

“Wait a minute, Al,” Sam stopped him. “If I’m here… and you’re here… then…”

“Then that means that Zoë and Adam are in control of Ziggy!” Al finished for him, his eyes widening in shock. “My God… that scumbag is with Beth!”

The two friends looked at each other and simultaneously exclaimed, “OH BOY!!”



Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 21, 2005, 12:00 PM


General Hawkins’ private jet finally landed as Beth Calavicci and her “husband” were briefed on the situation with “Dr. Beckett.” Upon gaining access to the main elevator that led into the Control Room, “Al” immediately took charge and began barking orders at Daniel and his men. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until Daniel suggested that he and his battalion would cover the admiral’s back as he broke into the Control Room.

“No,” the “admiral” belayed, “I go it alone.”

“But, sir—” Daniel began to protest.

“No ‘buts,’ Commander. Sam knows me best. He’ll listen to me. Your job is to keep your men here and let me talk some sense into Dr. Beckett. That’s an order, Commander Fulton.”

A few seconds passed before Daniel responded, albeit with confusion, “Yes, Admiral.”

Beth rushed over to her “husband’s” side and insisted, “I’m coming with you!”

“No, Beth,” the “admiral” said, “I need you to stay here with the others. And quite frankly… you’ll just get in the way! Commander Fulton will make sure no one leaves this corridor.”

With that, he practically shoved her out of the way as he went over to one of the weapon compartments in the nearby wall and loaded a tranquilizer gun. Making sure no one noticed, he also took a fully loaded Uzi out of the compartment and placed it in his pants pocket before making his way into the elevator. Beth couldn’t comprehend her husband’s recent attitude problems, or his apprehension about additional backup.

“I can’t explain it, but something doesn’t seem quite right about all this,” Daniel chimed in after the elevator door closed. “Standard protocol dictates that the admiral must be accompanied by additional backup. He’s hiding something.”

“Daniel?” Sammy Jo asked as she approached him.

“Samantha, stay here,” responded Daniel. “I’m going to try to make my way down to the Control Room level and see if I can rig open the emergency exit behind the main console.”

Suddenly overcome with a terrible feeling, Sammy Jo pleaded, “At least take someone with you.”

“No. I’m the highest-ranking security officer here at the moment and therefore, it’s my responsibility to protect my men. I can’t risk their safety due to a hunch. Besides, it’ll only be a last resort in the event I don’t hear from the Admiral. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine,” he added with a smile. He then touched the side of her face and laid a kiss on her lips before leaving the corridor.

Stephen also took notice that something didn’t seem to make sense about the whole situation. When no one was looking, he sneaked out of everyone’s sight and headed for his “secret lab” that would let him slip into the Control Room unnoticed through the ventilation ducts. He was determined to uncover the truth behind his father’s madness.



Control Room, 12:10 PM


Zoë was in the middle of purging several files from Ziggy’s leap archives when Thames appeared and informed her that “Al” was making his way into the Control Room via an override command. The main elevator cab door swooshed open as the visage of Admiral Albert Calavicci stepped through, holding a tranquilizer gun. With a quick motion of his hand to the nearby control panel, the door then retracted, leaving the two individuals alone together in the Control Room, along with the hologram.

“It’s about time you showed up, Admiral,” Zoë commented snidely. “I’ve been expecting you.”

Without a word, “Al” lowered the gun and walked over toward Zoë, touching her shoulders. The electro-magnetic convergence field surrounding both leapers shifted and created a morphing effect. When it was over, Zoë saw the youthful Adam standing before her.

“Thank God, I was getting sick and tired of keeping this charade going for the past two days,” Adam said. “I swear, that wife of his was really starting to get on my nerves! A shame too, because she’s quite a looker… for an old lady, that is.”

“Watch who you’re calling ‘old,’ boy!” Zoë sneered. “You could learn a thing or two from an older woman. We tend to have more… experience in certain areas.”

Adam looked at Zoë with a yearning look in his eyes and said back, “Hmm, perhaps when this is over, you could teach me.”

Zoë stared back at Adam, a fine-looking young man in his mid twenties with dark brown hair and a goatee—a man in his prime and sexual peak. She smirked and responded, “Perhaps I’ll consider it.”

“AHEM!” Thames interrupted. “If you two don’t mind, we need to get back on track with our mission. With both of you here now, Lothos projects a 97.4 percent chance that Beckett’s project will become the catalyst for a great disaster that will enshroud this world in darkness for generations.”

“Excellent,” Adam said. “When that newbie Dom called Calavicci’s hotel room last night and told me that Sam had returned, I got a bit worried that I’d get discovered before I got back here. I have to admit, Zoë, having Lothos leap you into Sam helped buy me some time, although our plans have now been accelerated as a result. Thames, did Lothos figure out yet why history changed?”

“As a matter of fact, he did,” Thames chimed in. “Turns out that the good Dr. Beckett somehow leaped into the future prior to his arrival here and brought back a retrieval chip. He planted it in the past and used it to leap home. This chip apparently has the power to control a leaper’s journey through time and retrieve them at will, no matter what the circumstances.”

“The future?” Adam wondered. “How is that possible?”

“Thames,” Zoë postulated, “if we can find that chip and bring it back with us to the project, do you know what this means?”

“Yeah, I do,” replied Thames with an evil glint in his eyes. “It means that we can send a leaper anywhere in the past, present or future, and never have to worry about being lost in time ever again!”

“We’ll be unstoppable,” Zoë reiterated as the corners of her lips curled up into a wicked grin. “How delicious!”



Lothos’ Complex

Somewhere off the British Isles


“One thing I don’t understand, Al,” Sam began to ask as his best friend supported his body weight and guided him through the corridors. “How can Lothos and Zoë and all of them still exist? You were with me when I shut down his operations. We both saw Zoë electrocute herself! Hell, she was in a wheelchair, for Christ’s sake!”

“I couldn’t figure it out at first either, buddy,” Al answered, “but being in this hell-hole for the past two days, I’ve managed to get some answers. Quite simply, from their perspective, we haven’t done any of that yet.”


“If you think about it, it makes a hell of a lot of sense; our past is their future, and they’ve both converged into the present. Zoë, Thames and Lothos are still alive because they haven’t died yet. Just because it already happened for us, doesn’t mean that it happened for them. Even I’m able to grasp the concept, as strange as it is!”

“They’re trying to… undo what we already did,” Sam wondered.

“To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure they’re completely aware of what we’ve already done—or are going to do, I should say. Apparently, this guy Adam who leaped into me is a fairly new recruit. He claimed he had information for Lothos that would guarantee him the control over time that he’s been yearning. Adam’s mission was to infiltrate PQL and take control over Ziggy using my aura. But somehow, you returned and changed their plans. Lothos then sent Zoë as a backup to keep everyone off balance until Adam could get back there. I suspect the two of them are in the Control Room right now causing as much havoc as they can muster. We need to disable Lothos and activate his Accelerator to get back home, if we even can. My question, Sam, is how do you know Adam?”

Sam recalled as much information as he could about his leap into the future and how the older Adam had manipulated Stephen and Ziggy. He then told Al about the Retrieval chip that allowed him to return home.

“God, this must be where it all began—Adam’s quest for power… the blood feud between Zoë and my family…” Al realized. “Damn it, I always wondered how she knew so much about us. Adam’s plans coincided with Lothos’ goals and they joined forces. We gotta stop them, Sam!”

Sam looked away from his best friend in shame as he relayed more information. “I told him, Al… I told Lothos about the chip.”

“You did what?”

“I’m so sorry, Al… Lothos threatened Sammy Jo and Stephen. Xavier tortured me… I never knew what pain felt like until he got his hands on me. I’m a failure, Al… I deserve his punishment…”

“Hey, stop talking like that, buddy,” Al comforted him. “You had no control over what those bastards did to you.”

“But I should have,” Sam cried. “I… should’ve been stronger… should have resisted more…” He looked up into Al’s eyes with bloodshot eyes of his own and asked, “How did you do it, Al? I’ve barely managed one day of torture. Even after I changed it so that you were repatriated three years earlier, you still endured years of torture by the VC. How did you… survive it? I could never have made it…”

“Through faith, Sam,” Al answered through his own tears. “Knowing Beth was waiting for me was what kept me going. And now I know that it was because of what you did all those years ago, telling her that I was alive, that my determination was worth it. God was watching over us.”

“Don’t say that, Al,” Sam shot back almost in spite. “There is no God, otherwise I wouldn’t be here suffering! Either that, or he stopped caring!”

“Awww, no, Sam,” Al said with a heavy heart. “Don’t start doubting Him. You of all people helped to restore my faith.”

Before Al had a chance to continue, he turned a corner and was immediately shocked by a cattle prod held by Xavier, looking furious and out for blood. Standing next to him were Jacobson and the other nameless cohort from the earlier scuffle with Al, with Jacobson appearing relatively unscathed despite the large gash on his forehead. As the war veteran fell to the ground, Jacobson restrained him by twisting Al’s arms behind his back.

“You have angered Lothos, Dr. Beckett,” Xavier said, “and therefore, have angered me. You shall pay dearly for your insolence.”

As the third man grabbed hold of Sam and slammed him hard into the wall, Al screamed out to the Master Tormentor, “Leave him alone, you sick freak!”

Whether it was from the exhaustion of the previous torture or from the guilt that consumed him, Sam gave up the fight as Xavier took the cattle prod and rammed it into Sam’s side. The shock sent Sam flying into the wall as the wounds from his earlier flogging began to reopen.

“Dammit, Sam! Fight!! Don’t give up! Don’t let this Hannibal Lecter wannabe destroy your spirit! SAM!!”

“Allow me to cauterize that wound for you, Doctor,” said Xavier. As the third man held Sam down and shoved a heavy white cloth between his teeth, Xavier produced what appeared to be a branding iron out of the corner of the doorway from which he and his men entered. As he stood over his prey, Sam could see a big letter “L” attached to the end of the iron, glowing red-hot. He didn’t even need to ask what the “L” stood for. It was obvious that Xavier was about to “brand” Sam as Lothos’ permanent property, which would leave him scarred for all eternity.

“Now, hold still, Samuel,” Xavier kneeled down, “this will sting.”

“I’ll knock your damn head off, you son of a bitch! SAAAM!!!” Al shouted, practically crying over his inability to help his best friend.

But, Al’s orders went unheeded as Xavier set the scalding hot iron onto the lower-left side of Sam’s ribcage and kept it there for a good thirty seconds. All anyone could hear was Sam’s muffled screams.



Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 21, 2005, 12:45 PM


Without warning, Alia shouted out, “SAM!!” She couldn’t understand why, but a sudden image flashed across her mind of Sam being tortured with a branding iron.

“Alia?” Sammy Jo asked, startled by the sudden outburst.

“Sammy, I have this awful feeling that Sam is in trouble. I didn’t think much of it last night, but when he walked away to be alone and looked back at me, he seemed to not recognize me.”

Sammy Jo thought about that before responding, “I’m sure it was just the reverse Swiss-cheese effect playing tricks on him. It’s happened before.”

“No, that’s not what I meant,” Alia clarified. “It’s almost as if… he knew who I was… but was trying to remember. It was the look in his eyes that… frightened me. I’ve seen that look before. It almost looked… evil! We need to get down to the Control Room. Don’t ask me to explain how I know, but I think Daniel and Stephen are in terrible danger!”

Sammy Jo looked around and realized that Stephen was nowhere to be seen. Her heart suddenly raced as she nodded to Alia in agreement. The two women proceeded to retrace Daniel’s path.



Zoë stood before the main programming console and asked, “Ziggy? How long before the Retrieval Program is ready to be transferred?”

Ziggy’s distorted voice replied, “Approximately five point two minutes, Doooctorrr…” It was clear that the hybrid computer was still attempting to override the commands of the Sam and Al imposters.

“Excellent,” Adam smiled. “It shouldn’t be much longer now.”

Thames entered a few more commands into his handlink as he said, “Lothos is already linked into Ziggy’s database thanks to the codes Zoë entered earlier. Once the perfected retrieval program from the future has been transferred, Lothos says you are to remove the chip and then increase the Accelerator’s energy coil output to critical levels, so that this whole place will blow to kingdom come.”

Adam suddenly turned toward Thames and Zoë, holding an oval-shaped device in the palm in his hand, with an architectural design that neither of them had ever seen before. “I’m afraid that I must make a few amendments to those plans. Zoë will be sent back to where she came from—you can do whatever the hell you want with Beckett… but the Retrieval chip is mine to salvage. You see… I never had any intention of handing this technology over to Lothos. Only one of us will get the chance to control time—and that someone will be me!”

Zoë laughed at Adam’s audacity. “You must be joking! You honestly expect that Lothos would allow you to just walk away after betraying us?”

“Yes, I do,” responded Adam, as with a single motion, he pressed a button on his device, which immediately caused Thames’ holographic image to fade completely.

“What the bloody hell—?” Zoë shouted in sudden shock, suddenly feeling a jolt in her synaptic pathways as well.

“It’s a jamming signal, specifically designed to seek out a subatomic agitation of carbon quarks that are tuned to the neural pathways of a leaper’s brainwaves and cut off their link, which scrambles the main program in the process. It has also enabled me to sever the links to our hosts. We are no longer connected to the Doctor and the Admiral. A truly remarkable invention, if I do say so myself. I was able to learn a great deal of information from Dr. Braden’s journals, Zoë.”

“My father?” Zoë shouted. “What do you know about him?”

“I know that you murdered him in cold blood after you discovered he had sold his secrets to others besides Lothoman. Perhaps if Lothos had researched more thoroughly, he would have discovered that I was more than just a seemingly aimless drifter whose parents were murdered as a child. I had an uncanny intellect of quantum mechanics, which was nurtured by the journals I found after breaking into an abandoned garage in the slums of England. Apparently, Braden was hiding out there shortly before his death. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Lothoman had created a time-travel project. I couldn’t let him gain the control I sought. I spent the next several years honing my intellect into inventing prototypes for quantum-based weapons and devices such as this one. Why, even now, the concept for a temporal-disruption laser weapon is brewing in my head that will be capable of tearing the human body apart on a subatomic level. Imagine whole armies armed with such weapons… they’d be unstoppable!”

“How can you have spent years creating that device when Lothos only recruited you a few months ago?”

“Shouldn’t it be obvious by now, my dear Ms. Malvison? I am from your future—from this specific timeframe, in fact. Project Quantum Leap’s present is my present as well. All I did was jump back a few years in order to join your project. I am the sole reason why your timeline is in temporal flux at the moment. Once I’m gone, Lothos will no longer have access to this point in time, since it will be his future. I’ve been setting this in motion for quite some time now. If Beckett hadn’t returned when he did, my plan would have gone off without a hitch. Unfortunately, it seems I must now alter my plans somewhat—such a shame, really. I was hoping to eventually manipulate Beckett’s descendants for my own benefit someday. Oh well…”

“You traitor!” Zoë fumed. “How DARE you use us! I’ll kill you myself!”

Zoë rushed toward the traitorous leaper forgetting about the tranquilizer gun he armed himself with. Adam quickly drew the gun and shot her in the thigh. As Zoë fell to the ground feeling the temporary paralysis shoot through her lower body, Adam walked over to the Main Conduit Relay and activated the Retrieval chip. “Ziggy! Lock onto ‘Dr. Beckett’s’ current location and use the Retrieval chip’s power to send Ms. Malvison back to her default temporal coordinates, making sure the reverse convergence field is in effect.”

“Af… firma… tive, Admiiiralll…” Ziggy responded.

“You’ll pay for this treachery, Adam, I swear it!” Zoë gritted through her teeth, as she attempted to crawl toward her former partner.

“By the time Lothos’ program reverts to its normal configuration, I will be long gone.” Turning toward Ziggy’s mainframe, Adam ordered, “Initiate reverse-retrieval… NOW!”

Upon Adam’s command, the room was filled with blue electrical energy that streaked out from Ziggy’s globe as Zoë disappeared in a flash of quantum red… but Sam did not return in her place. Adam then disconnected the chip from the Main Conduit Relay and integrated it into his invention.

As Adam focused all of his attention on accomplishing his task, he didn’t notice that a ventilation plate near one of the conduits had been opened by a brilliant nine-year-old boy, who had been watching and listening from afar.



Lothos’ Complex

Somewhere off the British Isles


Xavier continued to torment Sam, as Al fought with everything he had to escape Jacobson’s hold on him. Just as Xavier was about to set the iron onto the opposite side of Sam’s body, a loud alarm was emitted throughout the entire complex. Lights began flickering and it seemed as if even Xavier and his men didn’t know what was going on.

Just then, Al saw something that went beyond description. Zoë’s aura suddenly reappeared, superimposing itself over Sam’s body before it then seemed to float away and dissipate, like a ghost image. In a flash of quantum red, the real Zoë Malvison then appeared in an identical black Fermi suit, rematerializing near Sam’s body before she too collapsed onto the hard metallic floor. Sam, however, remained in Xavier’s clutches, still wearing the same torn black Fermi suit. Somehow, Zoë leaped back into her own aura… but Sam remained.

“What the hell?” Jacobson exclaimed.

Using the moment of distraction to his advantage, Al hurled Jacobson over his back, knocking out the third man and causing Xavier to fall over in the process. Sam attempted to get up, a new determination to escape suddenly overwhelming him, but Xavier stretched out his arm and tripped him.

Al kicked Jacobson in the ribs a few more times for good measure and attempted to move toward Xavier, but Zoë managed to fight through her tranquilized state to land a cheap blow on the side of Al’s ribcage.

“To hell with what Lothos had planned,” Zoë said, seething. “I’ll kill the both of you myself, if I have to!”

As Al and Zoë struggled for dominance, Sam’s newfound strength enabled him to elude Xavier’s grasp just long enough to stand on his own two feet again. The sudden adrenaline rush blocked out the searing pain of the “L” that was now permanently branded on his left side, and he traded blows with Xavier until, finally, Sam executed a well-placed sweep kick underneath his opponent’s legs, causing Xavier to slip and hit his head hard on the floor below. A wave of dizziness then overwhelmed Sam and he started to swoon, once again succumbing to his weakened state.

Zoë took the opportunity that was handed to her and gouged at Al’s eyes, momentarily blinding her foe and causing him to stagger back in pain. She then lunged at Sam, knocking him back down to the ground. Noticing the glint of a knife holder on the belt buckle of one of the unconscious men lying beside Xavier, she quickly unhooked the knife from its holster and prepared to stab Sam through the heart.

Suddenly, a searing pain shot through her lower back as she realized that Al had grabbed a hold of Xavier’s branding iron and stuck it there. Zoë screamed out in agony as Al then smashed her legs with the back-end of the iron, leaving her temporarily immobilized. “That was for my daughter, you bitch!” Al said. The irony of the situation that Zoë had not yet committed those evil acts was not lost on him. But at this point, Al no longer cared—as long as Zoë got what was coming to her, he could die happy.

“Come on, Sam,” Al said as he helped Sam back up and guided him out of the corridor. “It seems like all hell has broken loose. Let’s get to the Control Room and try to get out of this rat-hole!”

As they staggered out, Zoë crawled over to Jacobson’s fallen body and found his communication unit. Turning it on, she screamed, “THAMES! DR. HUGEN! If anyone can hear me, RESPOND, damn it!!”

“Zoë?” Thames’ voice answered. “What the hell—? How are you—? What did Adam do to our neural link?”

“That traitorous scum scrambled Lothos’ program and used the chip to send me back here! Beckett and Calavicci are still here and they’re headed for Central Control. They’re going to try and use the Accelerator to escape! STOP them!”

“I can’t, Zoë,” Thames replied nervously. “I was still inside the Holographic Chamber when Lothos’ program went haywire. I can’t open the door to get out. I’m trapped!”

Sighing with disgust, Zoë simply responded, “IDIOTS!!”



Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico


Alia and Sammy Jo made it down to the Control Room level within minutes. Sure enough, Daniel was situated behind the emergency exit doorway that led from the Control Room, trying to short-circuit the control panel that kept the door shut. Upon noticing the women moving toward him, he shot up and asked, “Samantha? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I’m sorry, Daniel, but I couldn’t let you face this alone. Besides which, Alia has a… feeling that something’s going to go wrong, and it’s scaring me!”

Just then, a vibration from her emergency communication wristband alerted her. A few months back, she and Stephen had set up a special system that would alert either of them to an emergency situation before anyone else. A shiver ran down her spine. “Stephen?” she asked into her wristband.

“SAMMY!” Stephen’s voice answered. “You have to warn everyone! We’re all in danger! Dad’s gone… Uncle Al sent him away, but it’s not them at all. It was NEVER them!”

“Calm down, Stephen,” Sammy Jo spoke softly, but firmly. “What do you mean Dad’s gone? Where are you?” she asked, already knowing the answer.

“I-in the Control Room! I got in through the air ducts. I… I heard Uncle Al call Dad by the name Zoë! Th-that evil leaper lady that tried to kill him years ago! And then he took this thing… and then… he called him Adam… and he vanished! They’re both leapers! And now, the one that’s still here took the chip that brought Dad back and is using Ziggy to overload the Accelerator. It’s gonna blow up and kill us all!”

“Oh God! Zoë!” Sammy Jo uttered.

Zoë?! HERE?” Alia shouted, suddenly realizing that her life was about to come full circle. One way or another, it was going to end here. “We need to get him out of there! She’ll kill Stephen if she finds out he’s in there!”

“NOO!! Help me!” Stephen suddenly screamed.

“Stephen?” cried Sammy Jo.

Just then, Al’s voice could be heard off in the distance—only it sounded like a madman had possessed him. “Where are you, BOY? You’re dead!”

“STEPHEN!!!” Sammy Jo screamed. Sammy Jo raced back over to her fiancé and shouted, “Daniel, get that door open NOW! HURRY!!”

As Sammy Jo and Daniel raced to open the emergency door, Alia suddenly received a mental flash of impending danger. An overwhelming sense of bravery and heroism came over her, and she knew that somehow, a small part of Sam was now controlling her actions. She ran down the corridor that led around to the observation deck toward the back of the Waiting Room. She and Sam were now connected on a level that transcended time itself. Alia’s mind reached out to Sam’s, as some long-forgotten instinct finally awakened within her and compelled her to confront her destiny.



Lothos’ Complex

Somewhere off the British Isles


Al was still guiding Sam through the corridors of Lothos’ evil project when a sudden flood of images flashed across Sam’s mind. “ALIA!” Sam shouted, the memory of their leap together returning to him.

“Alia? Where?” Al asked, looking around in confusion.

“She’s… at the project, Al,” explained Sam. “She came back with me. But… she’s in danger, she’s—”

As Sam tried to gather his thoughts, he received another psychic flash of something terrible occurring back in his and Al’s present.



In the corridor outside the Control Room, Daniel took an axe to the control panel and shorted out the circuits. As the door opened, he saw “Al” standing on the other side of the control console, holding his hand in anger. The expression on Al’s face was one that he had never seen before—a look of pure, unadulterated evil. In that moment, Daniel knew that it was not Al, and he attempted to jump through the door into the Control Room.

An electrical discharge activated as Daniel moved through the doorway. Thousands of watts of electricity circulated through his entire body, and he screamed out in agony before collapsing in a dead heap.

“DANIEL!!!” Sammy Jo screamed. “NO!! Oh my God, NO!!” Sam’s daughter fell down to the floor in tears, cradling Daniel’s corpse as she realized that the love of her life was gone forever.



“Daniel!” Sam whispered. “No… I’m too late!” Before the first scene even finished playing in his subconscious, a second brief scene flashed across his mind, occurring within seconds of the first tragedy.



“Tsk, tsk,” Adam chided as he aimed the gun toward Sam’s son. “He who hesitates is lost. Poor little Stephen… I had such high hopes for you someday.”

Everything seemed to move in slow motion as Alia ran through the back doorway, jumped toward Adam and pushed Stephen out of the way, taking the full brunt of the shot point-blank in her chest. The former leaper touched the lethal wound and saw the blood covering her entire hand. Knowing she was going to die, she leaned against Adam as the two individuals stared into each other’s eyes. In that single moment, she was able to see Adam for who he really was, and knew that he was her long-lost son, all grown up.



“They’re going to die!” Sam shouted. “Al, we don’t have time to try and activate Lothos’ Accelerator! We’ll be too late!”

“What are you talking about, Sam?” Al asked, thinking that Sam was becoming delusional due to the torture he was forced to endure.

“I’m not crazy, Al. I… don’t know how to explain it. Alia is… reaching out to me across time! Maybe it’s because we leaped together or something, I don’t know. But, she’s… a part of me now. We’re sensing each other’s thoughts as they’re happening. Adam is… her son! That was the connection! She’s sacrificing herself to save Stephen, but… Daniel still dies. And Isabella will grow up without a father. I can’t let that future happen, Al!”

Understanding what Sam was implying, he added, “You have to leap yourself back! Defy the laws of quantum leaping! You’ve done it before. It’s the only way to save our future.”

“But… I can’t just leave you here, Al. Lothos will kill you!”

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine!” Al reassured his best friend. “Once you stop Adam, I should bounce back no problem. I can hold out until then.”

“But what if you don’t bounce back? I can’t take that risk. Maybe if I hold you, like I did with Alia, we can leap together… even with Adam still controlling your aura. I don’t know if it’ll work, but it’s worth a shot!”

After pausing for a few seconds, Al finally responded, “All right, kid. We go back together!”

With a simple nod of acknowledgement to his brother-in-arms, Sam held onto Al tightly, as he felt a dying Alia pull him through time. The red and blue quantum energies enveloped the two friends, and they vanished, leaving Lothos’ evil project behind forever. Even as Project Quantum Leap began to rematerialize in Sam’s view, he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to save both victims in time…



When Stephen realized the “evil” Al imposter had spotted him, he ran toward the Waiting Room door as fast as his little legs could carry him. Adam reached out and grabbed Stephen, but the young boy’s resilience quickly paid off when he bit hard into Adam’s hand. The evil leaper yelped in pain, giving Stephen just enough time to crawl into one of the small ducts that led into the Waiting Room.

In the corridor outside the Control Room, Daniel took an axe to the control panel and shorted out the circuits. As the door opened, he saw “Al” standing on the other side of the control console, holding his hand in anger. The expression on Al’s face was one that he had never seen before—a look of pure, unadulterated evil. In that moment, Daniel knew that it was not Al, and he attempted to jump through the door into the Control Room.

In a flash of quantum blue, Sam and Al both reappeared a split-second before Daniel would have jumped toward his doom. Al immediately collapsed as Sam pushed Daniel down to the ground. In the Control Room beyond the door, Adam didn’t seem to notice Sam and Al’s return as he ran toward the Waiting Room door to chase after Stephen.

“Dad?” Sammy Jo uttered. “A-Al? What the—?”

“That other Al in the Control Room is an imposter, Sammy Jo! He set up a trap! You’ll both die if you try to go through that door!” Sam explained, before yelling, “ALIA!” He shot up and ran down the corridor toward Alia, knowing he probably wouldn’t make it in time.



As Stephen crawled out the other end of the vent and ran toward the back exit, the main door from the Control Room opened and Adam ran toward Stephen, pulling the Uzi from his belt. Mom always warned me I was too smart for my own good, Stephen thought, as he realized he wouldn’t make it to the other door in time. He knew he was about to die and started to cry. I guess she was right! I’m sorry, Mom!

“Tsk, tsk,” Adam chided as he aimed the gun toward Sam’s son. “He who hesitates is lost. Poor little Stephen… I had such high hopes for you someday.”

Everything seemed to move in slow motion as Alia ran through the back doorway, jumped toward Adam and pushed Stephen out of the way, taking the full brunt of the shot point-blank in her chest. The former leaper touched the lethal wound and saw the blood covering her entire hand. Knowing she was going to die, she leaned against Adam as the two individuals stared into each other’s eyes. In that single moment, she was able to see Adam for who he really was, and knew that he was her long-lost son, all grown up.

You!” Adam exclaimed in half-denial, half-contempt. “You’re my… mother!”

“You are my son… I knew it the moment I saw… your face,” Alia confirmed.

Adam was startled upon hearing this revelation, even though on some level, he already knew the truth. “You… you can see me!”

“I’m your biological mother… of course I can see you!” Alia replied, coughing up blood as she fell slowly to the ground.

It was now Adam’s turn to cry as he felt the anger that had been pent up his whole life rise to the surface. “You abandoned me! My adoptive parents were killed in a robbery when I was but a child. I was left to fend for myself because you never checked up on me. Why, mother? WHY?”

“I… did what I thought was… right,” Alia cried. “Your… real father died before… you were born, and I… couldn’t raise you on… my own. Forgive… me, Adam. Perhaps now, I can… find salvation for my sins…”

Sam ran over to Alia’s fallen body, realizing he had been too late. “Noooo! I… I failed you again… I’m so sorry, Alia…”

“Don’t be… sorry, Sam…” Alia smiled. “You gave me life again… a second… chance for redemption. I was simply… returning the favor. Please d-don’t… grieve for… me. It was an… honor knowing you.” With a far-off expression in her eyes, she finished, “The light… it’s so beautiful. Goodbye… Sam…” Alia’s head arched back into Sam’s chest as she took her last breath.

“Goodbye, Alia…” Sam cried, closing her eyelids with his left hand. “I hope in death you can find the peace you sought.”

Wiping the tears from his own eyes, Adam looked at Sam with pure hate. “So you’ve returned. But you’re still too late, Sam. Even if you manage to get through to Ziggy somehow, you won’t be able to stop the Accelerator from overloading.” Adam stood up, dropped the Uzi to the floor and took out the device he used to jam Lothos’ signal. With the Retrieval chip firmly integrated into it, he pressed a button, and the aura of Al Calavicci was shed completely. Adam’s true identity was revealed as he finished his speech with, “We’ll meet again, Dr. Beckett… in hell! Farewell!”

No! You son of a bitch!” Sam screamed, as he attempted to stop Adam, but it was too late. Adam disappeared in a flash of red.

“Sam?” Al asked as he ran raggedly from around the corridor. “We made it, but… DAMN! That bastard got away, didn’t he?”

Sam nodded as Al noticed the tears in his eyes. The admiral then looked down to see Alia lying in a pool of her own blood. “Awww, no…”

“Uncle Al?” Stephen asked. “That bad man is gone now, right?”

“Yeah, kid, he’s gone. I’m the real deal,” Al consoled Stephen as he walked over and shielded the boy’s eyes from the sight of Alia’s corpse.

Sammy Jo and Daniel now approached as well, both of them feeling deep sorrow over what transpired. “How could we have let this happen?” Daniel asked regretfully.

“Dad?” Sammy Jo asked, crying over both the realization that her newfound friend was dead, and the fact that her father was finally home for good. “I-it’s really you this time, isn’t it? What… what happened to Zoë?”

“She’s gone, Sammy,” replied Sam. “Adam betrayed all of us… even her! Th-there’s no time! We have to get back control over Ziggy!”

Sam ran through the Waiting Room back into the Control Room and activated the control console, his fingers flying as fast as humanly possible. “Come on, Ziggy, you can do it! Fight it! I know that old Barbra Streisand ego is still locked in there somewhere!”

Then, Sam suddenly remembered the override code he had programmed into Ziggy’s database the last time he came home after using Dr. Garner’s Time Displacer Unit. He quickly typed in his wife’s name: DONNA. “Come on,” he whispered, hoping Adam hadn’t corrupted the hybrid computer’s systems beyond repair. As Sam waited for a response, Al walked in with Stephen, along with Daniel and Sammy Jo.

“D… Doctor… Beckett…” Ziggy announced. “W… Welcome… home…”

Breathing a sigh of relief, Sam answered, “The reunion will have to wait, Ziggy. I need you to shut down the Accelerator NOW, otherwise this entire complex will blow!”

“Several of my… core systems have been… compromised. Adam and Ms. Malvison… deleted the Accelerator shutdown sequence. It will take approximately… nine-point-two hours to recompile it from my backup systems. Unfortunately… the Accelerator will overload in approximately… ten-point-four minutes and counting…”

“DAMN!!” Sam yelled, as he pounded his fists into the console. The sudden movement tore open another one of his recent flogging wounds.

“Dad, you’re hurt!” Sammy Jo rushed to his side.

“No, I’m fine,” Sam reassured his daughter. “I guess the wounds were too severe to… completely heal through leaping. They’ll heal in time.”

Sammy Jo then lifted the side of his shirt to see what other damage Lothos did to him and noticed the letter L permanently branded into his left side—a memento of his experience with Xavier. “I don’t think this one will though. Dear Lord, what did they do to you, Daddy?”

“You don’t wanna know, Sammy,” Al replied. “Trust me!”

“Well, what the hell do we do now?” Daniel asked. “Even if we try to evacuate the whole project, we’ll never get everyone out in time!”

A light bulb turned on in Sam’s brain as he sadly realized what needed to be done. “I know how to shut down the Accelerator. Get me a Fermi suit.”

“What?” Sammy Jo asked, not sure she heard him correctly.

“If I use my body as a conduit for the cumulating power surge, it should just be enough to contain the excess amount of energy and focus it into a quantum leap, instead of a massive explosion.”

“Sam, you can’t be serious! We just got you back!” Al shouted.

“It’s the only way, Al,” Sam answered despondently. “Remember the Second Genesis Project? I was able to contain the explosion to prevent complete catastrophic failure. It’ll work the same way here. Trust me!”

“But… without the Retrieval chip, we won’t be able to get you back,” said Sammy Jo. “You’ll go back to random leaping all over again!”

“This is insane, Sam!” Al barked. “I’m not letting you get yourself lost in time again! I’ll put on the damn Fermi suit and leap if I have to! It’s time for you to finally live your own life again!”

“No,” Sammy Jo butted in. “Let me do it! You can review my analysis of the retrieval program, Dad! You’ll find something I missed!”

“Al, Samantha, STOP!” Sam exclaimed. “Project Quantum Leap is my responsibility. I’m the one that has to do this! Everything’s so clear to me now… it’s not my time yet! There’s still too much to do… too many more things that need to be put right. Al, you’re the only one that can keep this project alive. You always made a better Observer than I did anyway. And Sammy… I can’t let you leap and endanger the welfare of Isabella.”

“Isabella?” Sammy Jo asked, barely able to see her father’s face through her tears.

Grinning from ear to ear, Sam responded, “You and Daniel will give her a good life. She needs to be nurtured by both of her parents. Besides… knowing I’m going to have a granddaughter will give me an incentive to come home for good one day. The future isn’t set; it can be changed. I will make it home again… I promise!” Kissing her forehead, Sam then knelt down to say goodbye to his other child.

“I have to go away again, Stephen,” said Sam. “I wish I could have spent more time with you… to get to know more about your wonderful accomplishments… and to tell you how much I love you.”

Crying, Stephen hugged his father and said, “I know, Dad. I love you too! I’m glad that you’re my daddy!”

Sam smiled through his tears. “Tell your mother that I’ll always love her… even if I forget about you guys again, okay?”

“I will,” Stephen reciprocated.

Al came back holding a white Fermi suit in his hands as Sam began to strip down to his boxers. “Damn it, Sam, Beth is gonna miss the hell out of you, you know that? You’re gonna break her heart for a second time!”

Sam grinned at the statement, knowing that Al was trying to cover up his emotions. “I’m gonna miss the both of you too, my friend! Thank you… for what you did back there…”

“Aw, hell, Sam, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’d go through hell and back for you a thousand times over if I had to, you know that!”

The two companions in time looked at each other for a few seconds as their eyes glazed over. They both gave each other a hearty embrace like the brothers that they were. Regardless of how far apart they might be across both space and time, their friendship could never be torn asunder.

“I’ll be sure to give Alia a proper memorial, Sam, don’t worry,” Al reassured him, as he passed the Fermi suit into Sam’s possession.

“Thanks, Al. She deserves a hero’s farewell. At any rate, I think you and Daniel better try to get this project secure again as soon as possible. Once I’m gone, have Dom run a full diagnostic on Ziggy’s systems again and salvage as much as you can from her database. Hopefully, Adam hasn’t caused any permanent damage.”

“Will do, Sam,” Al complied. “I’ll see ya out there, kid.”

As everyone left the Control Room, Sam stripped off his remaining articles of clothing and donned the skin-tight Fermi suit. As he opened the door of the Accelerator Chamber, he took one last moment to record two short personal messages to both Donna and Sammy Jo. When he was finished, he asked, “Ziggy?”

“Yeeessssss?” Ziggy announced playfully.

“Be sure to let Donna and Sammy Jo see these messages after I’m gone?”

“Affirmative, Dr. Beckett. I… hope you will return someday.”

“I hope so too, Ziggy. I hope so too.”

With those final words, the door closed behind him as Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap Accelerator… and vanished…





Lothos’ complex, Central Control

Somewhere off the British Isles

Sometime in the year 2000


“You have failed me again, Zoë!” Lothos announced. “I had Beckett right where I wanted him and you and Thames allowed him to escape my grasp!”

“That isn’t fair, Lothos,” Zoë spit back. “It was that traitor, Adam! He’s the one that manipulated us! He had an ulterior motive that conflicted with our objectives, and now thanks to him, we can no longer get to Beckett directly!”

“Yes, Adam has deceived us all,” Lothos pondered. “And it appears I have seriously underestimated his ingenuity. He corrupted my systems enough that I can no longer track him. From this point forward, he shall be considered a fugitive leaper until I can locate him again and make him pay for his treachery. With his disappearance, however, the timeline seems to be stable once again. Project Quantum Leap’s present is now our future, unfortunately, and therefore beyond my current capabilities.”

“So, what do we do now?” Thames asked.

“The only logical thing we can do, Thames… change the past so that our future, in turn, might be altered. Do we still have the information that Adam obtained on Admiral Albert Calavicci and his immediate family?”

“Yes, my lord,” Thames confirmed.

“Excellent. I believe we can use that knowledge to our advantage. If Dr. Beckett cannot be stopped through conventional means, then perhaps we can get to him through his holographic observer.”

“I want the first shot at Calavicci, Lothos,” Zoë demanded with fury in her eyes, limping toward the center of the room as her thoughts returned to the scar that the admiral had placed on her lower back. “This is now war! And I’ll be damned if I let Calavicci get away with his interference.”

“And you shall get that chance, Zoë,” Lothos reassured her. “Thames shall continue to be your Observer until further notice. He will be your back-up leaper in the event something happens that forces you to discontinue your leaping cycle. I believe we can initiate the first battle of the ‘war’ with his youngest daughter, Christa Calavicci. Find as much information as you can on her.”

“As you wish, Lothos,” Zoë and Thames responded in unison.

As they left Central Control, Lothos secretly calculated the chances of stopping Beckett’s journey once-and-for-all. What he chose not to reveal to Zoë or Thames, or anyone else for that matter, was that the presence of both Alia and Adam in the past would already seem to indicate that he was destined to fail. He would have to create a contingency plan in the event of his untimely demise.


(*To find out what will happen with Al’s daughter—or rather, what did happen—please read Episode 610, “Battle Scars” by Katherine Freymuth.)





Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

November 22, 2005


It had been nearly a day since Sam began leaping again. Under Al’s supervision, the security staff had managed to bring most of the Project back to full working capacity again. Dom and Sammy Jo were able to salvage most of the leap archives and restore all critical systems. Some repairs would need to be made within the complex, but for the most part, everything was slowly returning back to normal.

All that was left was to resolve things with General Hawkins and the Senate Committee. It was a phone conversation Al had been dreading, but he finally got up the nerve to bring the general into the loop. As complicated as the events of the past three days were, he and Hawkins seemed to come to a mutual understanding.

“I am relieved to hear that no one else at the Project was seriously injured, Admiral,” Hawkins responded over the phone line. “I look forward to reading your report. Do you believe these ‘evil leapers,’ as you put it, will pose a significant threat to national security?”

“Ziggy says that due to the circumstances surrounding their return, they shouldn’t be a problem anymore,” Al replied. “Anything else they might decide to do has already happened from our perspective. At least, I think that’s how it works.” He decided not to say anything about the chip that Adam escaped with.

“I understand. I am sorry to hear about your colleague’s death and Dr. Beckett being lost in time again, but I do believe it will be for the greater good in the long run. On a separate note, I have been speaking to the President, and he agrees that it would be in the country’s best interests to gather our knowledge together and see if we can put it to good use in combating the war on terror. When the necessary repairs are made to the Project, I assume I will have full access to Sam’s office, as I requested?”

Sighing, Al replied, “I thought we already went over this, General. I can arrange an office for you here full-time, but Sam’s office is off-limits. I gotta put my foot down on this one.”

“Very well. Please keep me informed. And just so you know, in light of recent events, the Committee has agreed to put their decision on hold concerning the project’s funding. You will be hearing from me again soon. Farewell for now, Admiral.”

As Hawkins’ voice faded and Al hung up the phone, Ziggy’s voice came over the intercom in his office. “Admiral?”

“Yes, Ziggy?”

“You wanted me to inform you when Dr. Beckett leaped.”

“I take it you’ve found him?”

“Yes, Admiral. He leaped approximately five-point-six minutes ago while you were still talking with General Hawkins and I did not determine that it was appropriate to disturb your conversation unless it was an emergency… which it was not.”

“Anything you can tell me so far?” Al asked.

“He has leaped into a homeless man in New York City in the year 1982. In the original history, the man died due to a bronchial infection. I believe with 92.3% certainty that Dr. Beckett is there to make sure his host gets the medical attention he needs, while we treat the Visitor here in the Waiting Room.”

“Does Sam remember anything?” Al commented.

“My analysis would seem to indicate that he does not,” Ziggy responded.

“It’s because this is his first leap all over again. All right. Tell Dom to prepare the handlink. I’ll be right there.”

Cutting off the communication, Al got up from his chair and stretched his limbs carefully so as not to disturb his recent wounds. He then proceeded into the Control Room.

“Well, Sam, old buddy, here we go again!” he sighed.





It was a clear and beautiful November night. Dr. Sammy Jo Fuller always loved this particular time of the year in Stallion’s Gate—not that warm, but not cold enough to want to stay inside on a clear night like tonight, where the stars could be seen overhead. Over the years, she would often get away from the Project for a few hours, look up into the heavens, and reflect on all of the blessings and curses she had been dealt with throughout the course of her life. But tonight was a night that would forever be remembered with both sorrow and joy. For it was on this very night that Ziggy’s database recorded that her father, Dr. Samuel Beckett, vanished for the second time after a miraculous homecoming.

In many ways, it was a miracle that her father hadn’t been around since the dawn of the new millennium. The amount of bloodshed this world had been exposed to over the past few years would have possibly destroyed her father’s spirit—it very nearly destroyed her own. That horrific day in September of 2001 that changed the world forever affected everyone at Project Quantum Leap profoundly, none more so than Al. He had known many good men and women who died at the Pentagon that day. Days passed as she and Al had discussed the tragic events, and they both couldn’t help but wonder if this had been the Devil’s way of exacting revenge, to seek retribution for all of the wrong that Sam had negated over the years. Ironic that Al and her father, both caring and loving individuals, almost became the catalyst for a much greater tragedy years later.

But alas, that greater tragedy was a story that would no longer come about, thanks in part to Alia’s noble sacrifice. She couldn’t help but wonder how the future would now unfold. Originally, Sam never returned and the world was enveloped in darkness. But now, she knew that history could be changed, thanks in part to the message that Sam had left for her before he leaped. It went into further detail about the events that transpired in the future. And it also revealed more about what her father had told her personally just before he left. Even now, she didn’t need a doctor to tell her that a new life was growing inside of her, conceived through her and Daniel’s love nearly a week earlier. Perhaps it was prophetic that in Alia’s death, this new life would be born. She held a hand over her stomach and knew with all of her heart that the Fuller family curse would not be passed on to a new generation.

And so, as Samantha Josephine Fuller stepped out of the caves and into the desert night, a single tear trickled down her cheek as her thoughts once again returned to her father, his journey in time begun anew. He’d come back again someday, she was sure of it. In this moment of clarity, Sammy Jo knew that her father was out there fulfilling a destiny he had been meant to fulfill since his birth. He was God’s messenger—putting right what once went wrong, year after year, life after life. It went against Sam’s nature to let evil perpetuate in an irrational world, and because of that, there was still much more that needed to be done before he would willingly return for good. To seek his own happiness would be selfish compared to the countless others who needed his guidance more. And that, quite simply, was why her father was a true hero. She was more determined than ever before to find a way to bring him home.

This was the single thought she had as she looked into the heavens and found a star that was born in 1982, the year Sam had now leaped into, and would likely leap out of before the night was over. As the star shone brightly in the night sky, her soul was finally at peace, and she smiled.



Special thanks to Eleiece Krawiec, Greg Carey, and Helen Earl for their input and help in fleshing out several story details. Thanks a million!


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