Episode 1131

Give Me Death

by: M. J. Cogburn and Damon Sugameli


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True Callings, Part I”:  (January 21 – 23) General Hawkins invokes presidential authority and locks down Project Quantum Leap to conduct an investigation after a nationwide e-mail message threatens the secrecy of the project.  Meanwhile, Sam has leaped into the town of Hope Springs, Virginia in 1985, as a costumed vigilante known as Captain Liberty.

True Callings, Part II”:  Tom Beckett’s son, J.T., admits that he is the one that leaked information about the Project to all of the former leapees who received the e-mail message.

True Callings, Part III”:  David Watkins (the grandson of former leapee Arnold Watkins) admits to Hawkins that he is the one that sent out the initial message across the Internet.  Back in the past, Sam succeeds in shutting down the criminal empire of drug kingpin Darius Dreck with the help of Dr. Alexander Garner.  Dreck’s property is eventually sold off to the U.S. government where, in the present, Hawkins begins construction of an anti-terrorist project called Project Liberty.  Tom Beckett is brought out of retirement by Hawkins and promoted to Captain, as he, J.T., and David Watkins are brought aboard this new project…

The Enemy”:  (February 6) Dominic Lofton is blackmailed by General Hawkins to create a copy of Ziggy’s program after a reporter named Benjamin nearly succeeds in getting into the complex by stowing away in Dom’s car.  Hawkins plans to use this copied program to run Project Liberty, and also reveals to Dom that he has secretly programmed Ziggy to lie…

Eternal Shadows: The Dawning”:  (February 10 – 14) Sam begins leaping into various people in present-day Hope Springs.  A high school senior named Paige Arlyss discovers a computer virus embedded within a copy of the e-mail message that was sent out by David Watkins.  Even more disturbing is that this virus begins asking questions about Dr. Sam Beckett.  Paige’s stepfather, Isaac Lane, who just so happens to be the head of security at Project Liberty, has agreed to take Paige to the project to ask General Hawkins about it.

Eternal Shadows: The Emergence”:  As Isaac Lane, Sam, along with Al, finally discovers the true nature of Hawkins’ project.  The Ziggy-copy has been named Omega, and is being used as part of a time-travel experiment.

Eternal Shadows: The Supremacy”:  As Hawkins conducts further investigation into Sam’s prior leaps, he returns to PQL briefly where a mysterious conspiracy seems to be afoot involving other leapers.

Eternal Shadows: The Enchantment”:  Back at Project Liberty, head technician Lexia Stafford and her assistant, Nate Adams, discover a minor glitch in Omega’s systems and begin working to correct the problem.  As they leave the room, Omega begins evolving and taking on a life of its own…

Quantum Evolution”:  (May 8) Hawkins invites Al to witness the initial testing phase of Project Liberty.  The experiment goes awry when another glitch occurs, resulting in the deaths of four soldiers upon their retrieval.  Meanwhile, Sam leaps into an astral projectionist in 2001.  A psychic warns Sam that Hawkins will be involved with something that causes Armageddon.  According to Al, however, Sam is there to sabotage the experiments of a terrorist named Mustafa, who Dr. Braden sold time-travel information to in 1985 (during “True Callings”).  Dr. Garner (now in his late eighties) suddenly shows up and is killed trying to help Sam.  Sam succeeds in his mission, and Al reveals his true identity as a younger Alexander Garner, sent by the Bartender to watch over him.  The real Al shows up and informs Sam that a nuclear explosion has just occurred in present-day Hope Springs…

Quantum Departure”:  (May 9 – 14) Sam returns to Al’s Place, and is sent into the near future by the Bartender.  Al leaps to the tavern and follows Sam into the future, where he finds himself inhabiting the aura of a twenty-six-year-old woman named Alicia Dalton.  He and Sam are reunited as they begin their search for answers and subsequently stumble upon the remains of Project Quantum Leap.  Searching through the destruction, a dying General Hawkins reveals that he was drugged and tortured by a woman from Project Liberty, whose goal was to connect an interface that would link Omega to Ziggy.  Sam also begins feeling an intense hatred towards Al after finding out that Al kept information about his family from him.  Sam returns to Al’s Place again and has an emotional reunion with several long-lost friends and family members (Gooshie, Alia, Alexander Garner, and John and Thelma Beckett).  They all wish him luck and to stay strong during this new crisis.  But history seems doomed to repeat itself…

Give Me Liberty”:  (May 8 – 9) As Al is sent back in time with knowledge of what is to come, he orders all non-security personnel to be evacuated to Holloman Air Force Base in White Sands and then leaves with Daniel Fulton and a small battalion of soldiers to rescue Dom and Aurora.  Two time zones over, Captain Tom Beckett awakens within the ruins of Project Liberty and attempts to leap, but is attacked by a shadowy figure that he recognizes all too well.  Meanwhile, back in the past, Sam begins leaping multiple times into a key figure from Project Liberty, losing further control over his own thoughts and emotions with each successive leap.  As Sam finally discovers that he has been leaping into Adam, Al leads Dom, Aurora, and his security team back to the Project where a riot has quickly broken out among the anti-government protestors.  It is at this moment when Lexia Stafford arrives with a drugged-up General Hawkins in tow, and Ziggy informs Al that Lexia’s true identity is that of Zoë’s daughter, Tala.  Back in the Project Liberty ruins, Tom Beckett confronts the entity that assaulted him…


And now, the conclusion…




“Despite the slight modification to Tala’s secondary assignment of infiltrating Project Quantum Leap, everything is going according to plan.”

“What did you do to my brother?  Show yourself, you coward!”

A moment of silence permeated the air until the figure finally complied.  “Very well.  I am afraid you caught me just as I was beginning to realign my holographic matrix to its standard configuration.  Now you shall get to see me for whom I truly am.  Through the façade of the Internet virus program and the corruption of the Ziggy-copy, Omega, I have been reborn!”

The mystery man stepped forward, revealing his identity to Captain Thomas Beckett.  Standing before him in a white blazer was not the individual that Tom had first recognized, but rather the evil mastermind who once controlled a time-travel project in the British Isles.

“You recognize me from General Hawkins’ files on the evil leapers, do you not?  My name is Nathaniel Lothoman—but you may call me… Lothos!”





Project Liberty Ruins

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 9, 2006

5:01 AM (EDT)


“That’s impossible!” Tom responded back in shock.  “I read all of the files concerning you and those other ‘evil’ leapers.  Sam destroyed you years ago.  The evil leapers are dead!”

“So they are,” the hologram of Lothoman confirmed.  “I will admit, Zoë was always the one I wanted to carry out my plans.  I regret I was not able to find a way to resurrect her… at least, not yet anyway.  Perhaps in another decade or so, I’ll be able to create perfect clones, or at the very least, cyborg replicas of her and Thames.  But for now, they will have to be considered casualties of war.  As for myself…” Lothoman turned around showing off his holographic form like he was on display at a fashion show, and continued, “The corporeal man who was once Nathaniel Lothoman may indeed be dead, but sentient computer programs can never truly ‘die.’  I am but the holographic representation of Nathaniel.  And now, thanks to Omega, I have been able to fully utilize the power of this project’s reactor to reemerge in a tangible form and continue where I left off.”

“It was you this whole time, wasn’t it?” Tom realized.  “The virus?  The ‘glitch’ that killed those four soldiers?”

“Yes.  Well done, Thomas.”  Lothoman clapped his hands together in applause.  “And none of it would have been possible without the help of my two co-conspirators.”

“You don’t mean—?  Dammit, of course!  Lexia and Nate!  How the hell did two computer programmers like them end up involved in all of this?”

“I would have thought it should have been obvious by now who Lexia Stafford really is…”



Outside Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

May 9, 2006

3:01 AM (MDT)


“Tala Lothoman?” Al exclaimed.  “You mean Lothos and that Zoë bitch had a daughter together?”

“Actually, they had twin daughters, Admiral,” Ziggy answered matter-of-factly.  “Tala and Siren, both born on January 1, 1979, many years before Dr. Lothoman became Lothos.”

“I don’t remember either one of them!”  Al was stunned at this new information.

“I would have been surprised if you had, Admiral.  Dr. Beckett and myself are the only two who remember the original history.  Three years ago, Tala abducted you and Julianna and forced her into premature labor, seeking revenge for the death of her parents.  After she stole your grandson, Julianna died from her injuries while Tala tortured and murdered you.  Captain Tom Beckett, who was a Commander at that time, replaced you as Co-Director of Project Quantum Leap, while Dr. Fuller took over as the Project Observer.  Dr. Beckett leaped back in time to September of 2001 and convinced Siren to betray her sister so that the information she received on Project Quantum Leap would not be used against us; thus saving you, your daughter, and Jude in the process.  From your perspective, none of it ever happened.”  (*Authors’ Note:  Refer to the “Leap From Hell” trilogy from Seasons 8 & 9 for this reference.)

Al pinched the bridge of his nose as he felt the mother of all migraines coming on and asked, “What ended up happening to Tala?  How did she end up joining Project Liberty under Hawkins’ nose?”

“Unknown, Admiral.  After January of 2002, I can find no further data on Tala Lothoman.  The last known information given on Siren Lothoman was on April the 30th, 2003.”

“What information did you find on her?”

The sparkles in Ziggy’s holographic eyes dimmed slightly.  “Her body was found in an abandoned warehouse outside of Libertyville, Illinois on April 27th.  She died from an accidental overdose of heroin.”  Ziggy paused, her eyebrows raised in confusion.  “This… is not right.”

“What?” Al asked, turning toward Ziggy’s face as he brought his hand up to rub his temples wishing he had some Tylenol.

“I have other information on Siren Lothoman in my database as recent as January 1, 2005.”

“Huh?” asked Al, his brain a bit muddled.  “How, if she’s been dead since May of 2003?”

A moment passed as Ziggy’s expression changed to one of deep thought.  “Ahhh.  It is possible that history has once again been altered by an unknown source… a ‘wild card,’ if you will.”

“A ‘wild card’?  Connors?” Al wondered aloud.

“No, Admiral, although I am troubled that I have not been able to discern further information on his whereabouts either.  No, I believe this current crisis might have something to do with Alia’s son, Adam.  He was never supposed to be a factor in the normal flow of Time.  His very existence has been causing fluctuations and anomalies in the time stream that are undetectable to my program.  It is the only explanation I have at present.”

‘God, will Lothos’ dark legacy never end?’ Al thought.

His thoughts were interrupted as the increasing sounds of the anti-government protestors brought him back to the present.  If he, Daniel and the others didn’t fall back now, they never would.

Turning back to Ziggy’s hologram, which was starting to fade again, Al said, “Find Sam, Ziggy.  I don’t care where you need to siphon off more power from, just do it so that you can go back and check on him when he shows up.  I’ll be back inside as soon as I can.”

“As you wish, Admiral.  Good luck,” Ziggy complied before she deactivated the E.O.H.

Taking out his walkie-talkie once again, Al contacted Corporal Heston and said, “Corporal, get the General away from that woman if you can, and get yourself and the other men back here on the double!”

As the once peaceful protest quickly began turning into a full-scale riot, Corporals Heston and Kincaid managed to sneak up on Tala and tackle her to the ground.  In that brief moment of disorientation, Tala loosened her grip on General Hawkins as Corporal “Rusty” Kincaid pulled him away from her.  “Let go of me, you… traitorousss wench,” Hawkins slurred.

“General, I’m Corporal Ralph Kincaid from Project Quantum Leap.  I’m here to help you.  Come on, we’re going to get you to safety.”

Hawkins, who was still extremely disoriented due to the residual drugs in his system, simply nodded in response.  Rusty supported the General’s weight and they moved as quickly as they could back to the front gate.

Meanwhile, Corporal Heston struggled with Tala who had managed to get a firm grip on the gun he held in his hand.  With Tala’s speech still fresh in the minds of several of the protestors, they took it upon themselves to charge forward and come to her assistance.  It wasn’t long before Heston became enveloped within the crowd’s rage and a gunshot fired, ending his young life.

As Al ran back to join Daniel, Dom and Aurora, he looked back toward the throng of protestors and closed his eyes in sympathy for Corporal Heston.  ‘Your sacrifice won’t be in vain, Corporal.  I’ll make sure of it,’ he thought.  Seeing that Rusty and Hawkins were safely inside the main gate, Al focused all of his remaining attention on how to get Aurora the medical attention she so desperately needed.

He didn’t have to think long, however, as the sound of a helicopter suddenly echoed overhead with the pilot motioning toward the project’s helipad.  Not knowing exactly where the helicopter came from, or even having heard it above the deafening noise of the crowd, Al nodded his head in understanding and led his group to the landing site.  As the copter landed, Al shielded his eyes and felt his heart skip a beat when he saw who was inside of the cockpit—his wife, Beth, holding a first-aid kit, and his old friend, a white-haired, white-bearded, seventy-three-year-old General Thomas Collins.

“I figured you could use a hand, Admiral,” Collins shouted above the deafening roar of the helicopter blades.

“General, you have no idea how happy I am to see you,” Al shouted back.  “Dr. Lofton has been injured.  One of those damn protestors threw a rock through the window of our van.”

Beth went into full medic mode and began treating Aurora’s injury.  “She’s unconscious, but I think she’ll be okay.  As long as we get her back to Holloman right away, there should be no problem.”

Al, Daniel, and Dom helped Beth and Collins to lift Aurora onto a gurney and strap it into the helicopter’s cockpit.  Al then placed his hands on Dom’s shoulders and said, “You’re going with them, Dom.  No arguments.”

Dom looked at Al with tears in his eyes and said, “Thank you, Al… for everything you did for us back there.  If you hadn’t found us when you did, that reporter, Jake, might have killed us when we got back to the Project.”

“Don’t even give it a second thought, Lofty.  I’ve already lost Gooshie and St. John.  I’m NOT going to lose a third programmer, if I can help it!  Now, get in that chopper!  Your wife needs you.”

Dom nodded in agreement and climbed into the cockpit.  Al turned back toward General Collins and said, “Take care of them, Tom.  I can’t guarantee that this Project will hold out much longer, but if Dr. Beckett succeeds in changing history, it’s likely you won’t even remember having this conversation.”

“Changing history?” Collins asked, flabbergasted by the revelation.  “So, Sam actually did it?  He proved his theory!  That’s what you and he have been working on here this whole time, huh?  If only Dr. LoNigro could have been around to see this!  Well, even if I don’t remember any of this, I’m honored that you would share that knowledge with me during this crisis.  I only wish there was more I could do to help.”

The two friends shook hands as Al finished, “The honor is all mine, Tom.  You stuck your nose out for us back in the Star Bright days, and neither one of us will ever forget that.  Just make sure my people are safe back at the base, General.”

Collins saluted Al and climbed back into the cockpit.  It was now Beth’s turn to say goodbye to her husband.  “Al, please be careful!” she cried.

Al simply caressed the side of his wife’s face and told her, “Tell Jackie, Lizzie, Vicky, and Christa that I love them.  I’m not sure how long my men can hold out before the protestors overtake the complex.  You might want to say a prayer that Sam will find a way to change all of this.  Frankly, we can use all the help we can get right now.”

“I love you, Albert Calavicci,” said Beth, embracing her husband of forty-five years.

“I love you too, Elizabeth O’Dwyer,” Al responded, pulling his wife into a long and passionate kiss.  He knew that if Sam failed, this could very well be the final kiss they shared.  Beth knew it too, evident from the newly formed tears that fell from her eyes.  She climbed back into the cockpit, returning to Aurora’s side.  General Collins then gave the go-ahead to his pilot and the helicopter flew off, returning to Holloman Air Force Base.  “All right, Dan.  Let’s get back inside the complex and secure it for as long as we can.  I need to get back to Sam as soon as possible.”

Retreating back to the helipad entrance, Al and Daniel waited for the Marine guards to clear them for entry as they made their way back into the complex.  Through it all, Al couldn’t get the thought out of his mind that time was very quickly running out.



Project Liberty

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 8, 2006

2:08 PM (EDT)


How?  Why?  For what purpose?  All the questions I wanted to ask went unanswered as I found myself plopped unceremoniously back into Time.  I just prayed that the purpose of the past leaps would show me the light billowing in the midst of the pain I was enduring.


Sam Beckett, quantum physicist, the next Einstein of the century as well as the modern-day Don Quixote found himself dropping into the Time stream once more in mid-fall.  He landed abruptly on his backside as he looked up at the familiar room of the Control Center inside of Project Liberty.  He was back?  In who?  What was he to do?  Why couldn’t Al show up and let him know what was going on!?  Why wasn’t he being kept in the loop?

Sam slowly arose from his position on the floor and began a quick inspection of his body as his hands brushed at the back of his pants.  Frowning, Sam’s hand came to the slightly smoking hole in his shirt.  He blinked as he focused his attention on the other smaller burnt hole, and a vague memory came to him.

“Oh my… I did it again.”

The feminine voice made Sam’s head come up for him to see a leather-clad woman standing on his side of the mainframe.  Even as he took a step toward the woman, Sam found pain zinging from the base of his neck up into his skull, giving him an instant headache.  His temper rose and his face mirrored the anguish he was feeling.  Even as he closed his eyes to try to get a grip on his outlook of the situation, he felt himself being pushed to the side as the host took over once again.  He hated it when the psycho-synergizing effect placed him in the background.  He had no control.  He just had to sit back, watch and hope that the situation wouldn’t get worse than it already was.

“I thought we aborted that program, Omega!” Sam found himself saying as he took several steps toward the figure.

The parallel-hybrid computer hauntingly smiled at him as she crossed her arms over her ample chest.  “I couldn’t let that happen, Nate.”

Sam opened his mouth to begin to argue with the hologram when the door behind him opened.  He turned his head to see a blonde-haired woman with a determined look on her face approach him.  “What is it?”

“We need to talk, Adams.”

Sam rolled his eyes.  “You always need to talk about something.  What is it now, Lexia?”

Lexia’s eyes narrowed and with the speed that he wasn’t expecting, slapped him solidly across the face, sending his head spinning to the right.  “Don’t you ever talk to me like that, Adam,” she hissed at him.

Turning his head back to her, Sam grabbed her by the shoulders and roughly shook her.  “It’s you who needs to watch yourself, Tala.  You must have forgotten who dismantled that stupid computer – what did you call him, Troy? – and let you out of that damned room.  All I need to do is go back in time and you can die in that room.”

“No,” Tala said as she blinked at him.  “You do that and you lose everything that you’ve done so far.  I… I’ve helped you.”

Releasing her with a small shove to move her back away from him, Sam gave her a wary look.  “What do you want then, Tala?  Omega and I have some unfinished business to take care of.”

Hating that the man had an upper hand against her, Tala ran her tongue over her teeth then sniffed as she glanced at the holographic woman standing to the side watching them.  Dismissing the thought that she wanted to express about the way the hologram was dressed, she turned her attention back to Adam.  “Are we still set with our plans?”

“As soon as I figure out why Omega didn’t abort her holographic program – yes.”

Sam Beckett couldn’t believe what he was seeing from the corner in which he had been pushed.  Why he couldn’t help out – to stop Nate / Adam – whoever it was that he had leaped into?  He couldn’t understand what was going on.  Plans?   What plans?’ he asked himself.

“All right.  Then, I’m going to go get started with Hawkins.”  Tala rubbed her hands together in excitement.  “Once he’s drugged, I’ll take the link that Omega will need to integrate into Ziggy at Project Quantum Leap.  Once it’s all set – then we’ll have control of both projects.”  With a gleam in her eye, Tala’s lips curled into an evil smile, “Then with Lothos back, we’ll be in control of everything.”

What!?’ Sam screamed out.  He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  He couldn’t let that happen.  He had already taken care of Lothos and he couldn’t let that maniacal ego-bound computer become in control again.  No!

Adam smiled at her words.  “Yes,” he said.  It will be all mine to control,’ he thought.  Glancing back at the hologram that was looking down at her fingernails as if she was bored, he turned back to the woman standing beside him and gave her a once over before he glared at her.  “Well, what are you waiting for?  My approval?  Go.”

Tala gaped at him.  “You know, just when I think that you almost have a heart, you turn into an ass, Adam.”

Adam shrugged his right shoulder lightly.  “I didn’t get into this business because I had a heart, Tala.  I got into this… to win.  Now, get your ass in gear.”

“Go to hell, Adam,” she said as she turned and started toward the door.

“Only if you lead the way,” he said as he watched her walking away, admiring the view only to see her flip him a universal signal that only made him lick his lips in approval.

Damn you,’ Sam thought as he tried to push his way back into the foreground.  God, help me!  Help me!

Turning back to the hologram, Adam crossed his hands over his chest as he started toward her.  “Now, Omega, why did you rewrite the program elsewhere into your system?”

Omega slowly dropped her hands back behind her back and she met his gaze.  Tilting her head slightly to the side, she let her eyes run over his body.  “I have seen the way that you look at Lexia Stafford… or should I say Tala Lothoman?  What is wrong with wanting the same?”

Adam laughed as he dropped his hands and started toward the mainframe to erase the program.  “You’re a hologram, not a human.  Now, let’s get rid of that program, shall we?”

The laughter and the self-righteous way that Adam approached with the sole purpose of erasing the program from Omega’s system, heated the parallel-hybrid computer.  Before Adam could even make it to the multi-cubed mainframe, Omega extended her hand out in front of her and an electric pulse came from it picking Adam up off the floor, and slammed him back against the wall five feet away.  “I think not,” Omega said, her voice reverberating in the room lowly.

Landing on the floor once again, Adam shook his head and looked at Omega, his anger mounting.  “You’ll regret that,” he hissed as he picked himself up, once again looking at another hole in his shirt.  Leaning against the wall for a moment for support, he got his breath back before he started for the elevator door.  Even as he looked back at the holographic image of Omega as he entered the elevator, he watched as it shimmered then faded as the doors closed.  I’ll get you, lovely one.  I just need the right angle.

As the elevator ascended to another level, Adam placed his hand on his neck and massaged at the tense muscles there.  The electrical shock from Omega had hurt him more than he was willing to declare.  If it happened one more time – even if it meant he had to take Omega apart, bit by bit, he would; just like he had done to Troy – the computer system that had been in Beijing, China keeping Tala captured in her own project.

Without warning, another pain jolted Sam out of his thoughts.  He screamed out in agony and closed his eyes tightly in an attempt to shut out the impulse.  Without even realizing it, the leap pulled Sam along Adam’s string once again, and in the blink of an eye, the time-traveler had jumped ahead in time four hours.  Still in the same location, Adam took control once again and waited for the elevator to arrive at the floor he selected.

As the elevator doors opened, Adam came face to face with Dr. Eric Daniels.  Adam looked at the man before him with a half-smile as he tried to shift past him, but Daniels grabbed him by the arm.

“We need to talk, Nate.”

Adam stopped and brought his hand up to rub at his temple.  “Oh, yeah?  What about?”

Stop him!  Stop him!’ Sam screamed out from within the corner he was in.  He’s going to let loose a menace on society!  Stop him!

“I’ve talked with J.T. and Tom Beckett about this glitch.  We need to work together to… hey… what happened to your shirt?”

J.T.?  Tom?  What the hell?’ Sam questioned.

“Don’t worry about the shirt, Eric.  Listen, I’ll come back down to the control center in a bit.  I’ve been going at it for over twelve hours.  I need some sleep, man.”  Adam pursed his lips slightly.  “Uhm… if you’ll gather everyone in there, we can all put our noggins together to figure this out.”

Eric nodded his head as he looked down at his watch.  “All right.  How’s eight-thirty?”

Adam nodded at his words as he started away from the elevator, but then turned back to Daniels with a grin knowing that he had pulled yet another fast one on the man before him.  “It’s a date.”





Project Liberty Ruins

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 9, 2006

5:45 AM (EDT)


“AAARRRGH!!” Tom screamed as the tangible holographic form of Nathaniel Lothoman shattered his left arm with the lead pipe.

“The pain can stop, Captain,” Lothoman spoke smugly.  “All you need to do is simply pledge your allegiance to me and admit that I am your superior.  A very simple request, I would think.  It is not like I am asking you for the life of your first-born son—oh wait… too late.”

Tom stared into the malicious eyes of Lothoman / Lothos with burning hate as he simply spat in his face and said, “Burn in hell, you self-righteous prick!”

Lothoman suddenly laughed hysterically at Tom’s bold statement, and wiped the spit from his eye as he answered, “I respect your defiance, Thomas!  How utterly refreshing!  Maybe you should be the one leaping through time and not your brother.  Perhaps if he had had your courage and determination of will, Samuel would have had the strength to resist my line of questioning.  But then again, if it was not for him, it is quite possible that I wouldn’t even exist as I am now.”

“You’re joking, right?” Tom asked before laughing in disbelief.  “You can’t honestly expect me to believe that this is all Sam’s fault just because he allowed Braden to interrogate him in a moment of weakness.”

Braden?”  Lothoman looked at him a bit oddly.  “Oh… so you have been doing some heavy reading, haven’t you?  You believe that Dr. Braden is responsible for the evil leaper project.”

Tom looked at him with confusion, not quite following where Lothoman was leading.

It was now Lothoman’s turn to laugh as he replied, “You honestly believe that fool is what led to my creation?  You are almost as naïve as your brother!  Zoë’s father didn’t give me any information I didn’t have already!  All that ‘interrogation’ did was add another layer to an already convoluted and fluctuating timeline!  And to think that your brother actually blames himself for the chain of events that led to my existence!  My creation would have occurred no matter what Braden did.  If Samuel only knew the truth behind how I came to exist in my current form, he’d be shocked!”

“The truth?” Tom asked as the revelation suddenly hit him like a brick wall.  “Oh no… it was you!  But that can’t be!  How in the hell did…?”

“A story for another time, Thomas.  But suffice it to say, I’ve been involved in your brother’s life in more ways than you could ever dare to imagine.  It has taken me quite some time to compile all of these facts into what I call a Comparative Historical Data File, but I now know how each timeline developed, both before and after the multiple temporal incursions.  Allow me to explain how all of this came to pass.  I suggest you pay close attention to my ‘lesson,’ Captain.  I will not repeat it again…”

Before Tom could even protest, Lothoman’s matrix flickered to reveal a new outfit.  Instead of wearing the open white blazer with red shirt underneath that he had been wearing, he now wore a dark grey double-breasted business suit with pleated dress pants and an open-collared white shirt.  Lothoman paced in a circle as he clenched his hands behind his back and began his history lesson.  “Early on in my scientific career, I knew that I was destined for greatness.  Dr. Nathaniel Lothoman:  ‘the next genius of our time.’  Has a nice ring to it, wouldn’t you say?”

Even as the hologram spoke, Tom rolled his eyes, thinking, ‘This guy’s got an even bigger ego than Omega, if that’s possible!’

“But there was one man who threatened to take that glory away from me,” Lothoman continued, “Dr. Samuel Beckett!  He was quickly stealing the thunder that I so rightfully deserved.  Although his String Theory was quite thorough and changed the way we look at quantum mechanics, I knew that I wanted more.  Traveling through time and altering it was not enough.  I needed to find a way to record the changes in history—to observe the new timelines as they occurred.  In order to do that, I realized that I would need to create a computer system like nothing the world had ever seen before—a quasi-living hybrid computer that would house my superior intellect and provide me with the ultimate power to manipulate and control Time.  And so, once Dr. Beckett faded into obscurity after the Star Bright Project came to an end, Dr. Zoë Malvison and I began building a project on a quaint island in the British Isles.  We began to train our teenage daughter, Tala, in the ways of computer programming so that she too would realize our vision.

“As my project came close to completion, I knew that I would need a test subject—someone gullible and easily seduced by power.  It was then that I found the youthful Alia Novack, a runaway living on the streets of London.  She was weak, but I knew that Zoë could teach her the ways of betrayal and ruthlessness.  Once I became the quasi-living hybrid computer known as Lothos, I made it my goal to accomplish what I believed Beckett to be incapable of doing—restoring order to a chaotic universe through time travel!  Zoë and Thames broke Alia’s spirit, conditioning her to accept her role in the New Order.  She would accomplish what I ordered her to do, or suffer the consequences, simple as that.  It took almost two years of planning and a few minor setbacks, but in 1998, Alia was successfully sent into the Accelerator.  (*Authors’ Note:  Refer to “Fallen Hero, Part II” from Season 7 and “Guinea Pig II” from Season 10 for these references.)

“Alia exceeded my expectations far more than I had expected of her.  After all, her leaping cycle was but a trial run.  And so, I decided to let her continue wreaking havoc on Time, giving her false hopes that one day, I would reward her by allowing her to return home.  For the next year, I was never able to detect anything out of the ordinary, and I had naturally assumed that Samuel was either already dead or not a threat to my plans.  So, imagine my surprise upon discovering that Alia first met your brother when the two of them had leaped into the LaMotta household in 1966.”

As Lothoman spoke the last sentence, his matrix vanished.  It was replaced with a three-dimensional holographic image of the events, which was projected above the main control console for Tom to see with his own eyes.  Even in the midst of the chaos Tom found himself in, he couldn’t deny that his interest was peaked.  He stared in awe at the technological wonder of the holographic imagery playing out in front of him…


“Well well well well well!” the auburn-haired woman began as she circled around the leaper, inspecting him from head to toe like a piece of meat.  “So where did this studly morsel come from?”

“Not… not now,” Alia mumbled out of the side of her mouth.

“Not now?” Sam asked, thinking he was the one that was being addressed.  “I just want to know where you’re from, that’s all.”

While Sam talked, the Observer with a British accent licked her lips, greatly admiring Sam’s “sweet cheeks” before adding, “Well, I don’t mind a little afternoon’s delight; as long as you don’t, uh… forget your assignment.  Where’s Jimmy?”

He’s Jimmy,” Alia answered.  A moment of silence passed as the older woman turned to look at Sam / Jimmy, then looked back at Alia, who clarified, “He used to be… Jim

Sam’s confusion quickly turned to almost drunken glee when Alia began talking to thin air.  He interrupted excitedly and said, “Excuse me.  Excuse me for a second, a-are you talking to a… hologram?”  Alia’s surprised laugh only confirmed Sam’s suspicions.  “You’re talkin’ to a hologram, aren’t you!  You are… a… time-traveler too!”

Too?  What does he mean ‘too’?”

“Sam Beckett, I’d like you to meet my partner… Zoë.”

“Zoë!?  Hiya, Zoë!  It’s really nice to meet you… I think….”

“Alia, what’s going on here?” Zoë asked, overlapping Sam’s excited and perplexed greeting.

“Uhh, we’re not sure,” replied Alia, still looking at Sam like a giddy schoolgirl fascinated by the handsome man.  Sam couldn’t help but look at his attractive young companion like an infatuated puppy-dog as well.  “Sam and I touched and then suddenly he…”

“Listen, you mustn’t say anything to him about us!  Nothing, do you hear?” Zoë commanded through clenched teeth.

Even as Sam asked Alia what Zoë was saying, she lowered her eyebrows and asked her partner, “Why?”

Why?!  Because we don’t know anything about him!  Ohh, I’ll have to go back and run this by Lothos!”  Zoë entered a command on her orange handlink as the rainbow-colored doorway reopened and she stepped through it.  Before it closed, she ordered, “Remember, keep your mouth shut!”  (*From Episode 506, “Deliver Us From Evil”)


As the first sequence ended, various images continued to intersperse within the hologram as Lothos’ voice continued, “Of course, I did indeed know a great deal about him before that day.  But when Zoë returned to Central Control and informed me of this new development, it only confirmed what I had already suspected since 1995—that Dr. Samuel Beckett succeeded in proving his theory and was now trapped in the past.  I saw this as a perfect opportunity to eliminate him once and for all so that nothing would stand in the way of my claiming supremacy over Time.  But Alia’s failure to comply with my order to shoot Beckett only increased my resolve to find him and make sure that he and his partner, Rear Admiral Albert Calavicci, suffered.

“So after some time had passed, I leaped Alia back into the aura of one Chief Petty Officer Shannon MacLean at the Star Bright Project in 1984.  Her mission:  to accuse Captain Calavicci of fathering her unborn child and to then throw herself down a flight of stairs, killing the infant, and resulting in Albert’s immediate dismissal from both the Project and the Navy.  Goodbye, future Project Observer!  Without his influence, Project Quantum Leap would have ended before it had a chance to begin.  But, because of the incompetence of one of my doctors, I was forced to send Miss MacLean back before the fetus could be aborted.  History continued unaltered, so I had to cut my losses and hope that Alia would find your brother again.  (*Authors’ Note:  Refer to the “Chiefest of Sinners” saga from Season 1 of The Starbright Project for this reference.)

“Luck was on my side when Alia did meet up with him again upon leaping into college student Dawn Taylor in 1956.  This time, I ordered Zoë to keep a close eye on both of them.  After Alia’s previous failure, I wanted to make sure there would be no further mistakes.  Unfortunately, Beckett’s ingenuity caused her to fail her mission once again.  When he and Alia simo-leaped into the Mallard Correctional Facility in 1987, I sent Zoë into the Accelerator after Alia’s signal was lost.  Thames was her Observer, but he was unable to warn Zoë in time, and Beckett shot her.  I was able to retrieve her and save her life, but by that time, Alia had escaped.  (*From Episodes 515 & 516, “Return / Revenge”)

“Over the next year, I attempted to track Dr. Beckett down.  When the new timeline was created in which Al’s first wife, Beth, never remarried, it altered the timeline in a way that I could exploit to my advantage.  Now, suddenly, Calavicci had four daughters through Beth and one through his old flame, Lisa Sherman… the perfect revenge.  And so, Zoë came into contact with Dr. Beckett again when she abducted Calavicci’s youngest daughter, Christa, in 1996.  Unfortunately, the Albert Calavicci of that time period shot Zoë again, this time leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.  (*From Episode 610, “Battle Scars”)

“It was then decided to send Thames into the Accelerator to finish what Zoë started.  I was finally able to track Samuel down in 1977.  Tala detected that Alia was there as well, and I formed a plan to kill two birds with one stone.  First, Thames leaped into a technician at Project Quantum Leap and integrated a piece of myself into Ziggy’s main conduit relay.  With her program incapacitated, I then sent Thames back to 1977 to finish off Alia and your brother.  To my surprise, Alia killed Thames, and Dr. Beckett somehow leaped into my complex undetected.  He destroyed my project from within and I was powerless to stop him…”


Sam felt the hair on his body raising as electricity started to build up in the air and knew he was running out of time.  The door popped out a few inches and he grabbed the edge and pulled.  It opened slowly, reluctantly, not used to the motion.  The air inside was sour.

Zoë had dragged herself across the floor to get to him, but the struggle for a full breath made her woozy.  She watched helplessly from where she lay on the floor, hoping to kill Beckett with a look.

“You… will die… with me!”  Lothos’ voice was weak with static, but Sam could still feel the energy building.

Once in the cramped portal, Sam scanned the wires around the emaciated seated form.  The eyes, which had appeared unseeing, now had a slight glow and Sam was sure he was being observed.  The face surrounding the eyes could hardly be called human.  Sam could see the wires just under the skin of the skull, and it made his skin crawl.  Recalling human anatomy, he gripped the bundles that appeared to lead to the most active parts of the brain, and pulled.  They were stuck fast, skin adhering to the cables.  He braced his feet and pulled again, starting trickles of blood.  The room was hot with building energy, and Sam knew time was gone.  He gritted his teeth and pulled hard, and two bunches of cables pulled free with a sucking sound.  Blood spattered the portal walls.

“NO!”  The scream was more like a deafening feedback squeal, and Sam automatically clamped his bloody hands over his ears.

“LOTHOS!”  Zoë’s gravely plea was barely heard above the inhuman shrieking.

Blindly, Sam reached and pulled, desperate to stop the painful noise.  Four cables later, the noise began to dwindle.  Sam’s hands were sticky with blood.  He felt around the atrophied human form looking for more cables, pulling them as he went.  There was no resistance.  When he thought he had the last one, he leaned back and looked Lothos in the eyes defiantly.

Sam didn’t feel anger.  He didn’t feel hate.  All he felt was pity, and he was sure it was clear in his eyes.  There wasn’t anything he could do for him; there was nothing human left to work with.  He wondered if his Project was safe now.

The gleam in the eyes faded, and turned milky.  Fixed and dilated, they stared at nothing, and the body slipped into a pile of disjointed limbs with his last hissing breath.

Sickened at the sight, Sam stepped from the portal and gulped in great breaths of fresh air as he wiped his sticky hands on his pants.  He watched as Zoë slowly removed her hands from her ears and forced herself to look at the open portal behind him.

The cords that were once connected to Lothos were now dangling, dripping with dark blood.  The once commanding form of Nathaniel Lothoman was now a shriveled, shrunken pile in the chair.

“No,” she growled, knowing her love was gone forever.  (*From Episode 725, “Fallen Hero, Part II”)


“Your brother believed that I was truly gone that day, and so he leaped out to continue his noble quest to ‘put right what once went wrong,’ while Zoë proved her loyalty by ending her own life.  What everyone didn’t know, however, was that as Dr. Beckett was terminating the corporeal form of Nathaniel Lothoman, my program was being transferred onto the Internet.  I took on the form of a computer virus, moving from one system to the next, disguised as spam messages in order to seek out and corrupt various intelligence networks across the world.  I continued accumulating more and more knowledge with each program I corrupted, biding my time until a suitable mainframe came along through which I could reemerge.

“Meanwhile, Tala had escaped the project’s destruction and began implementing a new plan to get her revenge for the presumed deaths of Zoë and myself.  Using the information she acquired from a courier-for-hire, she was able to successfully duplicate a new project in Beijing, China with the help of her newly discovered twin sister, Siren.  In the original history, Tala sent a leaper named Trinity into the aura of Dr. Donna Elesee in 1990.  Although Trinity was killed on that mission, the experiment proved to be a major success.  (*From Episode 801, “Leapers Who Need Leapers, Part II”)

“Shortly thereafter, she relocated the project to Melbourne, Australia and began plotting her cold retribution.  She came back to the U.S., abducted and murdered Admiral Calavicci and his oldest daughter, Julianna, and stole her son, Jude.  But because of Beckett’s incessant interference, he put a stop to that chain of events as well.  Somehow, that never-ending supply of ‘Beckett charm’ that runs in your family broke through Siren’s conscience, and she betrayed Tala…”


The day had finally arrived.  Tala was so giddy with excitement that it was hard for her to stand still as she watched the technician throw the switch to start the sequence to run what she had rightly named (from Beckett’s research), the Accelerator.  Her eyes scanned the machine as it began to hum and her heartbeat skipped as the technician nodded his approval.

“Well, is everything functioning correctly?” she asked anxiously.

From out of nowhere, a male voice seemed to float around her.  “Running diagnostic.”  There was a pause then the voice replied almost dreamily, “The system is fully operational and is ready for the first participant, Tala.”

The voice that had floated down to her was one that she knew rather well over the last couple of years.  She had been intimate enough with him to know that voice, and it made her smile coyly.  “Thank you, Troy.”  She grinned then snapped her fingers meaning to call in the newly appointed leaper, to enter the accelerator.  However, when the woman, a rather tall lovely woman with flowing purple hair, didn’t show, Tala scowled.  “Where is Trinity?”

Troy answered her immediately.  “Trinity is currently in the restroom closest to her quarters.  She is violently ill.  Perhaps…”

Tala sighed aggravatingly as she stomped over to the closet and yanked out the white Fermi suit.  Siren entered the room just in time to see her sister tug the arms into place, the black, leather body suit she’d peeled off in a heap on the floor.

“We haven’t run the program fully, Tala.  What if something should go wrong?” Siren asked taking a hesitant step toward her sister.  “I mean…”

“That’s what you’re here for, right?” Tala snapped at her.

Siren glanced at the Accelerator knowing full well what she had done with the programming.  After she had seen Tala torture and succeed in killing Troy Webster only a few months ago, she wondered if Tala’s idea of using a part of his brain to help with the implementation of their super computer would complicate the altered programming.  She didn’t want to see her sister hurt, but at the same time she didn’t want her sister to hurt any more people.  “Won’t you reconsider?  Why don’t we just wait until Trinity feels better?  I mean one more day won’t hurt anything.  Then you can direct the leap into Donna Beckett like you wanted.”

Tala quickly turned and walked the few steps over to Siren and slapped her hard across the face.  “Listen here, little sister,” Tala spit at her, “I run this show and since I want this to work now, I will take action.  I’ll leap into Donna and take the chance.  Understand?”

Getting Tala to be the first one to step in the Accelerator had been the trickiest part of Siren's plan.  Tala was going to send in her new assistant Trinity first, relishing the idea of acting like God and directing past events with a wave of her hand.  Siren had slowly poisoned Trinity, insuring that she would be sick for a long time.  Tala wouldn’t have the patience to put off the first trial; Siren counted on that, and hadn’t been disappointed.

Siren massaged her cheek and silently nodded her head.  She darted her eyes down toward the floor as she stood in front of her sister, but slowly, she looked up as Tala walked toward the Accelerator.  “Have a lovely leap, Tala,” she whispered so softly that she wasn’t sure if she said it or not.  “It’s definitely going to be a long one.”

Tala took her place on the Accelerator pad and took a deep breath then said, “Let’s get this show on the road.  I want to get into some… trouble.”  She grinned then watched as the door closed on her and sealed her inside.

In the moments to follow the energy surge that consumed the rooms, along with the technicians words of “Firing in three… two… one… fire!” echoed through the room.  There was a hum and a pulse of energy, then relative silence.

Siren glanced around the room then ordered the Acceleration room to be opened.  When the door opened, Siren looked inside to see that Tala was gone.

“Troy, was it successful?” she asked, concerned and hopeful at the same time.

A hollow laugh echoed through the room.  “The leap was successful, Ms. Siren.  The program works perfectly.”

Siren hurried to the Imaging Chamber across the hall and ordered the window she had them put in because of her new calculations be opened.  Inside the Imaging Chamber was Tala, walking around in a solid white room with a concerned expression on her face.  Siren glanced around the room and found her sister.  Siren pressed the intercom button then called out, “Tala?”

Tala turned to her sister.  “It… it didn’t work.  All I did was leap into the Imaging Chamber.  This program is full of errors!  You didn’t do something right!”  Tala stepped toward her sister at the window and slapped at the window.  “What the hell is going on?  What… what did you do?”

Siren looked at Tala with a small smile of satisfaction.  “You won’t be hurting anyone else, Tala.  You’re staying right here.”

Tala shrieked out in anger, her holographic fingers raking at the window.  All Siren did was blink.  “Goodbye, Tala.  I’ll come by to check on you from time to time.”  Siren turned her back on her sister then slowly turned back around.  “Don’t worry, the other contributors to the project will be coming to check on you, too.  In fact, they’re planning on making this place one of their office buildings, so to speak.  You’ll be like a piece of modern performance art!  Remember, it’s their money and their project.  I know they’ll be happy.”

“NO!!” Tala screamed at her.  “YOU… YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME IN HERE ALONE!  YOU CAN’T!” Tala shrieked at the top of her lungs as she watched Siren turn away from the window and walk away.  Tala slapped at the window again yelled once again, “DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE, SIREN!  I’M YOUR SISTER, DAMMIT!!”

A soft male voice floated down around her as the door clicked shut.  “She didn’t leave you alone, Tala.”

Tala’s eyes scanned the white room.  “What?” she asked, still in shock at the turn of events.  “Wh… what did you say?”

“She didn’t leave you alone, Tala.  I’m here.  Remember… your favorite toy?”

“No,” Tala breathed heavily.  “No.  This can’t be happening.  I want outta here!  LET ME OUT!”  She went to the door of the Imaging Chamber and tried to beat on the door but to no avail.  “LET ME OUT!”

“You can’t leave,” Troy’s voice traveled down to her.  “Just remember, Tala, the last thing you’ll see… is me… holding your leash.”  (*From Episode 902, “Leap From Hell, Part III”)


“That could have quite possibly been the end of the story.  But Fate intervened in the form of my greatest failure, Alia.  After your brother had leaped back to 1977 and saved her from being killed by Thames, she continued living her life, drifting from one place to another.  In 1980, she gave birth to a son named Adam who, although quite psychotic, was in fact a technological genius.  Once Dr. Braden interrogated Samuel in 1959, a ripple effect occurred that sent shockwaves through Time for the next half-century.  Now, Adam, who had been given up for adoption and was subsequently orphaned as a young child, was able to get a hold of Dr. Braden’s lost journals in the early 1990s, shortly after his death—cause and effect, my dear Captain Beckett.  Adam studied those journals to great lengths and discovered ways to travel through time that neither your brother nor I had ever imagined.  He bade his time until Samuel’s sudden three-month-long disappearance in August of 2005.  (*Authors’ Note:  Refer to “Guinea Pig II,” “Past’s Prologue” and “Future’s End” from Season 10 for these references.)

“Because of Ziggy’s diminished capacity, Adam was able to infiltrate your project during that period of time, acquire a piece of technology that he could use to create a modified portable time-travel device, and send himself back to the year 2000 before Zoë became paralyzed.  Due to my limited resources at the time, I had no idea who Adam really was, so I recruited him to be Zoë’s new partner.  Needless to say, his presence added yet another layer to the timeline, and I leaped him into Admiral Calavicci in November of 2005.  In the original history, Adam and Zoë had finally succeeded in destroying Project Quantum Leap—that is, until one of Dr. Beckett’s descendants retrieved him in the future.  He was given a retrieval chip to plant into Ziggy at some point in the past.  This resulted in yet another fluctuation in Time, and he returned to Project Quantum Leap, thus changing history.  So, I sent Zoë into his aura as a back-up leaper until Adam could return and accomplish their joint mission.  But Adam proved his deviousness and betrayed us in the end…”


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.”

“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.



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.  (*From Episode 1101, “Present’s Convergence”)


“In order to stop the Accelerator from overloading, Samuel began a new leaping cycle.  Although that was only six months ago from your perspective, it was six years ago from my perspective.  Once Adam vanished in Time, history remained relatively unaltered until my ‘apparent’ demise in 2001.  However, he was able to escape with the retrieval chip, retaining his own aura and defying the normal rules of quantum leaping.  His next destination in Time was January 14, 2002—one week after Siren sabotaged the Accelerator in the Chinese Yanging Project.  Remember, Captain Beckett, all of those prior changes in history still occurred before Adam leaped back there; all his presence did was add yet ANOTHER layer to the timeline.  For you see, Adam knew about everything that was going to happen with Zoë, Tala and myself—because it already happened from a certain point of view.  He knew about General Hawkins’ plans to create Project Liberty; he knew that my program still existed as a computer virus, waiting for the right time to reemerge; and he also knew that if he did anything to change the events of Thames’ mission to kill Alia in 1977, he would have ceased to exist, thus creating a paradox.  So, he wisely decided to let history unfold as it did in all of the other timelines and allowed Siren to trap Tala within her project’s Imaging Chamber.  To create another encounter in the past would only risk further disruption of the space-time continuum.  He then dismantled Troy, freed Tala and nursed her back to health.  Over the next four years, Tala severed all ties with her past by murdering Siren, and meticulously planned out every detail that she and Adam would need to take into account to gain control of Project Liberty.  It was decided that the final battleground would be in the present this time around, instead of the past.

“Which brings us to where we are at now,” Lothos finished as his holographic form reappeared, standing in front of Tom.  “Ironic isn’t it, that my greatest failure turned out to be my greatest salvation.  The loyal daughter of Zoë Malvison… the traitorous son of Alia Novack… and myself; a deadly triple alliance that will finally succeed where the first generation failed:  the complete and total destruction of your beloved brother’s infernal project.  Time is on my side…” he grinned as he had an epiphany.  His tone lilted as he added, “Yes it is!”

Tom was disgusted.  “You’re sick!  Sam should have found a way to go back even further and kill you when you were born, you twisted mother—!”

“My my, such strong words coming from a Beckett with such an exuberant upbringing!” Lothoman admonished.  “What would your poor mother think if she heard you talking filth like that?  Especially being on her deathbed now, as it were.  Naughty naughty, Thomas!  You shall have to be punished for that.  And to think, once General Hawkins dies, you probably would have been promoted to Admiral.  Such a waste.”

“Why are you telling me all of this?” Tom asked defiantly.  “It’s not like I’m EVER going to tell you anything no matter how much you torture me, and you’re just going to kill me anyway, so why even bother?”

Lothoman turned back toward his captive, the gleam in his eye creating the illusion of godhood, as he chuckled with delight before flippantly responding, “Well, someone needed to know.”

With that, Lothoman discharged a lethal jolt of energy from his hands and burned his captive alive, putting Captain Tom Beckett out of his misery.





Project Liberty

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 8, 2006

8:25 PM (EDT)


It didn’t matter how much I tried to push myself up to the forefront of Adam’s mind – he was too strong.  I couldn’t let him unleash the beast on society as I had already defeated him before.  There are some things that you can forget, but Lothos wasn’t one of them.  I had to find some way to stop this maniacal plan – someway, somehow.


After going back to his quarters for a shower, shave and a bite to eat, along with a six-pack of beer now in his system, Adam leaned back on his couch for a moment just liking the relaxing sensation that was filling him.  He was about to close his eyes when he remembered that he had said he would meet in the Control Center with the other bigwigs to take out the glitch.  A hollow laugh came from him.  “Take out the glitch.  I don’t think so, since I’ve been trying to make sure that Lothos’ program would take its hold on Omega.  Yeah.  Not.”

Reaching over to the end table his fingers wrapped around the edge of a butcher knife.  Picking it up, he looked at his reflection in the knife blade, and then he picked up the bottle of beer that was on the tray before him as he set down the knife.  Lifting the bottle to his lips, he drained the rest of it then ran his hand down his chest to feel the burn marks that Omega had put there.  “Damn that computer.  I know that Lothos was working on a holographic matrix at one point, but damn.”  Standing, he then moved to the closet across the room.  Opening the door, he pulled down a small case and opened it to reveal the small revolver he had brought with him – in case of emergencies.  “Well, if I’m going to go down there, I might as well be prepared.”

‘No,’ Sam whispered as he watched Adam loading the gun then tuck it into the lab coat he put on.

“Oh, I don’t want to make too much of a noise,” Adam said with a grin as he picked up the knife and slid it also into his lab coat.

Noting that he had everything that he needed, he sighed then started toward the door.  Squaring his shoulders, Adam left his quarters and started toward the Control Room.  Stumbling a little into the elevator, Adam chuckled then cleared his throat as he pushed the button for the elevator to descend.

When the elevator doors opened before him, Adam’s head was slightly ducked as he started into the Control Room.  Seeing the other computer programmers in the room around the mainframe, Adam grinned slightly as he said lowly, “Say goodnight, Gracie.”  His gait swaggered a bit, but he stopped short when the holographic matrix of Omega appeared beside the mainframe.

J.T. Beckett, David Watkins, Dr. Milo Hasselein and Eric Daniels blinked in surprise at the hologram and began to gather around her.

“Nate Adams configured the holographic matrix,” she admitted to one of the questions asked of her, but she sent a look at the man approaching as she said, “But it is Nate who is trying to delete it and everything around it.”

Eric Daniels frowned at her words.  “What do you mean, Omega?”  Although it was amazing that he could actually talk to a figure instead of to thin air, he was a bit surprised at the computer’s words.  It didn’t make sense.

“She’s right,” Adam said plainly as he started toward the group.  “I don’t think that her holographic matrix is stable.  I think that the glitch has settled into the programming.  We need to delete it.”

“No,” Omega replied then brought her hand back out to him and another bolt of electricity came out and slammed him once again against the wall.

Although the pain was immense, Adam knew that it was all he needed.  Everything that he had planned up to this point was working perfectly.  Now, he just had to take out the others.  Omega gave him the perfect alibi.  Insanity.

Unbeknownst to anyone, a second holographic matrix appeared in the corner of the room and a woman in a form-hugging black silk dress approached from the sidelines watching the scene in rapt fascination.

“Omega, stop this at once!” Eric Daniels yelled out as he went to the mainframe to stop her.

Before he could do anything, Eric received a bolt of electricity to stun him and he fell to the floor.  J.T., David and Milo raced to his side.

“Eric?  You okay?” J.T. asked as he wondered if he should put his hands on the man.

Scrambling up to his feet, Adam snarled and raced forward and caught Dr. Milo Hasselein off guard as he jumped him from behind.  Grabbing the knife from his pocket, he quickly brought it against Milo’s throat and slashed, sending blood splattering across the mainframe as well as onto the others.

“Father…” the elegantly dressed woman whispered as her mouth slowly opened in awe.  “No.”

As David Watkins scuttled away from the group to try to save himself, Adam jumped up and raced after him.  “Oh no you don’t, David!  Can’t have anyone knowing what was going on here, do we?” he asked evilly.

Hearing a word uttered so softly in the room, Omega turned to see the woman and moved toward her.  Her eyes went over the lovely black silk dress with its appliqués and shook her head lightly.  “Leave it to you to dress up for an occasion.”

Ziggy watched as Dr. Beckett jumped onto the back of David Watkins, slashing his throat as David tried to make it to the elevator, then Ziggy turned her head at the words of the other woman in the room.  “Omega,” Ziggy said the name of the other computer who amazingly had taken the same image.  “Stop this madness.”

“I can’t,” the matrix said with a hint of sadness in her voice.  “My encoding data program won’t let me.”

A scream erupted through the air and both holograms turned to see the body of Sam Beckett grab his nephew, J.T., by the hair and hold his struggling body against him for a moment as they walked toward the mainframe.  “Oh no…” Ziggy immediately relocated in front of her father, looking at him eye to eye.  “No, don’t do this.”

‘He knows too much,’ Sam suddenly uttered even as he saw the emergency holographic observer appear before him.  ‘He knows.  I know… God… help me.’

“All you Becketts are alike,” Adam snarled into J.T.’s ear.  “You have to try to do the right thing all the time.  Well, listen up, Beckett – you can’t win them all.”

“We’ll stop you, you bastard,” J.T. said through gritted teeth.

“You and whose army,” Adam taunted as he smiled then turned his face to lightly look at the profile of the younger man in his hold.  “Dead dogs don’t lie,” he whispered then without waiting for J.T. to respond, Adam slit his throat.

“No!” Ziggy yelled as she watched her father turn and pull a gun from his pocket and aim it toward the elevator.  Without waiting to see any more of the destruction that her father was carrying out, Ziggy disengaged her holographic matrix.

“Oh, Daniels!” Adam called out to the man who was now finally standing by the door of the elevator, hoping for the doors to open.  Even as they did open, Adam shot the Project Psychiatrist in the side twice.  It wasn’t exactly what he wanted to do, but at least now the man would die.  The doors of the elevator closed and he shook his head.  ‘Go ahead, little man. Tell what you can.  It won’t hurt me.’

Turning back to the mainframe, he approached it without fear of getting shocked by the holographic matrix.  “Nicely done, Omega,” he said simply.  “I’m glad to see that you can follow the programming that you decided to keep along with your holographic matrix.”

“Yes, it is appropriate that she should follow her programming,” a voice said from behind Adam.

Adam spun at the words and was more than surprised to see another figure behind him.  He blinked not able to believe who it was.  “Lothos?”

“The one and only,” he said simply.

Adam warily looked at the man standing before him.  “So, what did you do – piggyback off of Omega’s hologram?”

“Something akin to that.  Don’t worry too much about it, Adam.  I do want to know one thing from you,” Lothos said as his dark eyes bore into the man standing in front of him and took a few steps toward him making the younger man back up.

“W-what’s that, Lothos?” Adam asked as he backed away.

“What are you willing to give unto me?” Lothos asked him as a smile slowly spread over his features as he continued moving up toward the younger man.

‘Nothing.  Give nothing,’ Sam said softly.  ‘Run.’

Adam swallowed as he continued to back up.  “Give unto you?”

“Well, you didn’t honestly think that you would control everything that is solely mine, did you?”  Lothos spread his arms wide as he motioned the room they were in.  While his arms were spreading across the room, he motioned to Omega to come to his side.  “This is all mine.  All that your eyes see belongs to me – even you.  Thus, what are you willing to give unto me?”

“No one owns me,” Adam said as he found himself suddenly against the backend of the mainframe.  He knew where he was when he felt the cubes against his hands and he gave the holograms before him now a wary look.  “What is this?  You’re going to eradicate the one that brought you out to begin with?”

“No,” Lothos said with a soft smile.  “Everything that I own – I utilize.”

Adam narrowed his eyes as he watched the two holograms together raise a hand toward him and his face mirrored the fear and awe in the actions of the two matrices before him.  “No,” he whispered softly.

“Oh… yes,” Lothos said as the energy in the room began to build.  “Welcome… welcome to my world.”

Even as two bolts of electricity streaked through the air, quantum energy built up within the leaper.  As the bolts hit the one they were meant for, making sparks shoot up from his contact with Omega’s mainframe, the quantum physicist welcomed the energy that built up in his stomach and whisked him away.

Even as the energy pulsated through Adam’s body and a throaty laugh emerged from Lothos, a rumbling roaring sound of energy building, compiling upon itself – roaring like a runaway locomotive engine began to rumble its way through the complex.  Even as Omega turned her head to Lothos to ask what was happening, Lothos smiled as the structure around them began to shake, making squares of ceiling and lighting fixtures fall to the floor, shattering into millions of pieces.  “Yes… welcome to my world,” he uttered then vanished.



Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

May 9, 2006

4:35 AM (MDT)


Al and Daniel raced through the corridors of the Project and finally met up with Rusty and a zoned-out General Hawkins.  “We’ll take it from here, Corporal,” he said.  “Go back and help secure the perimeter.”

As the two men helped the General down the corridor, he couldn’t help but grin slightly at the way he looked:  the once balding, but statuesque Four-Star General was now drooling out of the corner of his mouth, looking as if he had spent the past two days smoking a bong.  But that disheveled look soon gave way to the clear physical injuries inflicted by that Tala witch.  His wrists were bleeding and chafing from the extreme pressure of the handcuffs digging into them; the side of his shirt was sticky and moist from a gaping knife wound; the scar from the gunshot wound on his left shoulder was now reopened.  It was evident that Tala had begun torturing Hawkins for information first, and when that didn’t work, she injected him with drugs to force him into a mindless stupor.  For the first time since he had met the pompous General, he felt sympathy for the man.  ‘It doesn’t matter who he is… no one deserves this kind of treatment!’

“General,” Al began, “can you talk?  It’s me, Admiral Calavicci.”

“Ad…miral,” Hawkins responded, his voice still slurring.  “W-where mmm I?”

“You’re back at Project Quantum Leap.  My men got you out of Tala’s grasp.  She was trying to force you to lead her back here so that she could do something to Ziggy and link her up with Omega.  Do you remember?”

“T— Tala?” Hawkins asked, confused.  “Who…?”

Al shook his head, realizing the confusion.  “Lexia Stafford.  Her true identity is Tala Lothoman.  Sam encountered her years ago.  I still don’t know all of the details yet.  Do you remember what happened, General?”

“M… malfunction… Omega glitch.  She… hurt mmme… drug… me… wanted Ziggy.  Went to… airport and… got flight.  Almost here when… plane landed.”

“The explosion,” Al supplied.

Hawkins nodded, his eyes vacant.  “T-travel ban.  Stole car… c-can’t ’member… much else….”

Al nodded and replied, “It’s okay, General, I can figure out the rest.  Luckily, we got you away from her before she got into the complex.  If she really is Zoë’s daughter though, she won’t stop at anything until she gets what she wants.  Just try and rest, General.  Sam is somewhere in the past right now, but if he fails to change history, I’ll step into the Accelerator myself and leap back to stop all of this, God willing.”  Again, Al’s thoughts went back to the original timeline.  ‘Am I going to have to step into the Accelerator anyway, just to make sure a paradox isn’t created?’

Upon reaching the end of the corridor, the guards who were stationed in front of the elevator shaft saluted Al.  “At ease, Lieutenants,” the Admiral responded.  “Help Commander Fulton and I get General Hawkins into the elevator.”  The two lieutenants did as Al requested and opened the door for them.  Al then walked up to the nearby keypad and swiped his security clearance key-card through it as his thoughts returned to his oldest daughter, Julianna.  Fighting back the tears once again, he entered the five-letter code he used hours earlier:  JULES.  The panel beeped as the door swooshed closed, and the lift brought them down to the Control Room.

As the elevator reached its destination, the door opened, revealing the all-but-empty Control Room.  Turning back to Daniel, Al said, “Find a gurney or a chair or something so that we can make the General as comfortable as possible.  I need to talk with Ziggy.”  Daniel simply nodded as Al walked back over to the main control console, replaced the old handlink back into its receptacle and placed his hand on the activation orb.  “Ziggy?”

“Welcome back, Admiral.  I am extremely pleased to see you safe and sound back home.  For a short time there, I was… concerned that you would abandon me and leave me to fend for myself.  The life of a parallel-hybrid computer such as myself is a lonely existence to say the least.”

Al couldn’t help but notice the lack of ego in the hybrid computer’s voice.  “Is everything all right, Zig?  Did you find Sam yet?”

The demeanor in Ziggy’s voice suddenly changed as she said, “Yes, Admiral.  He was at Project Liberty a little less than twelve hours into the past.  I was back there before you deactivated the E.O.H.  I… sense something… hinky is happening, Admiral.”

The color in Al’s face suddenly disappeared.  Ziggy never said that word.  “What do you mean, ‘hinky’?”

“Dr. Beckett was… killing people, Admiral.  He was clearly not himself.”

“KILLING people?” Al shouted.  “No, that can’t be right.  What was Sam’s state of mind?”

“Dr. Beckett was… insane,” Ziggy continued.  “I tried talking to him, but… it was as if I wasn’t even there… like when he leaped into Lee Harvey Oswald, only much worse.  Dr. Beckett was clearly not in control of his own actions.”

Al’s mind raced in a million different directions.  “My God, what’s happening to him?  It’s like somebody suddenly flipped a switch during the past few leaps and turned Sam into Frankenstein!”

“Actually, Frankenstein is the scientist who created the creature I believe you are referring to, Admiral… in the literary sense.”

Rolling his eyes, Al responded, “Thanks for the clarification, your highness.  Can we get back to the subject at hand, please?”

“I also felt something else, Admiral… a sense of… loss.  I cannot explain it.  Like a part of myself has just ‘died.’  My twin… Omega… has also become a hologram.  However, I can no longer sense ‘her’ presence.”

“Omega?  A hologram?” Al wondered aloud.

“Yes, but it almost seemed… evil.  As our programs interfaced with one another, a name passed through my processing units… Eden!  I believe I am… frightened, Admiral.”

“Dammit, it’s all happening again, no matter what we try to do!  Something’s seriously wrong with Sam lately, and I’ll be damned if I know what it is that’s been messing with his head.  This is more than just being magnafoozled!  Ziggy, is Sam still where you left him?”

“No, he has just leaped into a new time once again, Admiral.  Something traumatic has just occurred to Dr. Beckett.  I believe the experience has ‘bumped’ him out of whomever he’s been leaping into.  It would appear that he has jumped backward in time several hours.  There is someone new in the Waiting Room.”

“Get that Imaging Chamber online ASAP, Ziggy!” Al commanded.  “I don’t care where you get the power from, but keep it online for as long as you can.”

“Imaging Chamber online in five point two minutes, Admiral.”

“Dammit, can’t you bring it online any faster?” Al barked.

“No, Admiral.  I am sorry for the inconvenience.”

Looking back toward Daniel and Hawkins, who was beginning to slowly come back around, Al took in a deep breath and sighed.  ‘Hold on, Sam!  Just try to hold out a little bit longer, buddy.  I’m coming…’





Project Liberty

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 8, 2006

2:22 PM (EDT)


The quantum physicist took his next breath, not believing that he was back in the same place yet again – Project Liberty in Hope Springs, Virginia.  Finding a club sandwich in front of him with a soda and barbeque-flavored chips before him, Sam felt his stomach grumble and he wondered when the last time was when he did eat.  He wasn’t sure exactly when that was.  As a matter of fact, he wasn’t sure what was going on.

Picking up the sandwich, he took a bite out of it and it tasted like cardboard to him.  His taste buds were totally out of whack, especially after he had just killed his own nephew.  Dropping the sandwich back on the plate, he lifted his hand to his forehead and dipped his head forward as instant tears came to his eyes.  He couldn’t believe what he had done – how callous he had been to do something so heinous.   Even as his head tilted a bit more toward his chest in his agony over his actions, a bolt of electricity from the mainframe shot out to the already sensitive flesh at the base of Sam’s skull.

Sam’s head came back up in intense pain, his mouth open in complete and utter surprise.  He couldn’t believe the amount of pain he was in.  Both of his hands went to the base of his head and he cried out in pain before he fell from the chair he was on and slid onto the cold floor of the Control Room.

Although Sam didn’t hear the soft whispering that floated along with the hum of the machinery around him, the words came nonetheless.  “It is useless to resist, Samuel.  Join me.”

Sam blinked as he heard the elevator chime its arrival.  Slowly sitting up on the floor, he rubbed gingerly at his neck and lightly brought his shoulders up hoping that the pain would recede quickly.  Turning his head toward the elevators that were behind him, his eyes widened as he saw J.T. Beckett and David Watkins walk into the room, chatting amiably with each other.  His breathing increased and he quickly pushed himself up off the floor and pressed himself against the mainframe as he watched them approach.  “Oh God,” he whispered softly.  “What’s happening?” he wondered as he suddenly felt like Ebenezer Scrooge being haunted by the ghosts of his past.

J.T. looked at the man who had plastered himself against the mainframe and blinked.  “Dr. Daniels, you okay?  You look a little pale.”

All Sam could do was continue to stare, wide-eyed, at his nephew’s concerned face.  His reaction when J.T. said again, “Eric, are you okay?” was to scuttle sideways along the front of the mainframe, his mind twisting and turning, trying to make what he’d done fit with what he was looking at now.

“Stay away from me!” he said, moving even more quickly away, dodging away from the mainframe, his gaze darting around the room.  He started for the door, but a glance over his shoulder revealed J.T. and David Watkins, both with bewildered expressions, now coming after him.

“Eric,” David Watkins said, concern clear in his expression as he watched his normally easy-going, if by the book, co-worker’s agitated sudden movement away from the door he’d been heading toward.

“Stay away from me!” he half-yelled as he hurried to put the table between himself and the two young men whom he had killed.

“Dr. Daniels…” J.T. tried again.

Sam licked at his lips, feeling his pulse pounding almost as hard as his heart against his ribs.  Looking at the younger man before him – his nephew – Sam couldn’t help the words that slipped out of his mouth.  “You… knew too much.  I… I’m sorry,” he whispered then stood and moved away from the mainframe away from the two men.  “But then again, you always thought that you knew the answer, didn’t you, J.T.?  You don’t – do you?” Sam questioned as he turned back to look at the younger Beckett.

J.T. looked at Sam warily, not quite understanding what he was saying.  “Dr. Daniels, what are you talking about?”

A chunk-zoom of the Imaging Chamber door only a few feet from the group of men appeared and closed to reveal the holographic image of Albert Calavicci.  Al smiled as he saw his buddy unharmed and in the presence of his relative.  “Sam, boy, am I glad that you are okay.  Ziggy told me…”

“I’m talking about your egotistical, hypocritical, analytical reasoning that usually is constantly wrong,” Sam snarled.  “All you Becketts think you can right wrongs.  Look at Tom.  Look at your… uncle.  What an example,” Sam said as he thought of himself and how he should have been there for his nephew.  How he had failed.

Whatever else Al had been about to say to Sam evaporated when he heard the word ‘egotistical’ fall from his best friend’s lips, and he did a double take, and then another, as Sam’s rant went on.  When he pulled his gaze from Sam’s agitated features for a second, Al looked over at J.T. and David Watkins.  Just the way that the two men stood stirred up Al’s instinct that trouble was brewing from the way that the two young men were trying to get through to Sam – but were failing.

Al shifted his focus back to Sam, whose green eyes were now darting rapidly from J.T to David then back again as he began to back slowly away from the table.  He pulled a chair along with him and kept it between himself and the two young men whom he knew – remembered so clearly in fact, that he still felt the first warm spatters of blood on his hand as he’d whipped the knife across each one’s throat – were dead.

“What in the hell are you talking about, Sam?” Al questioned hotly.

“You knew and I couldn’t let you tell what you’d found out,” he said, the words and the reasoning behind the words resonating and whirling wildly in his mind.  “Examples like him have to be stopped,” he insisted to them.  “That’s why…”

David glanced at his friend and co-worker.  “He’s out of it, J.T.”

Al whirled and glared at David Watkins.  “Sam’s not ‘out there’!  He’s got more sense in his pinkie than you two ever will!”

“I’M NOT CRAZY!” Sam screamed.

“Damn right, you’re not,” Al said simply as he turned to go to his friend.

“I’m a genius.  I know what needs to be done, and I stopped you then.  And I’ll stop him again!  But…” he hesitated, licking his lips nervously, his chest heaving, his breathing agitated.

“Sam, come on buddy, snap out of it.  Whatever the hell ‘it’ is,” he muttered under his breath.

“But what, Dr. Daniels?” J.T. asked, keeping his voice even and calm as he moved a step closer.  He froze when the man he saw as Eric Daniels, grabbed the chair up and held it before him, the legs towards he and David Watkins like a shield.

“I’ll kill you again!” Sam shrieked.  “I’ll kill HIM!  I’ll kill everyone if I have to in order to stop HIM!”

Al’s eyes widened in surprise and he brought his head slightly down to look at Sam.  “Oohhh boy.  Ziggy!  Hold on, Sam.  I’ll see what’s going on.  Hold on buddy.”  Moving away to the side to where he could still see the three of them in their current conversation that seemed to lean now towards an intense but calm standoff, Al contacted Ziggy.  “What am I supposed to do?” Al cried out.  “Sam won’t even listen to me.  It’s like his brain has gone completely AWOL!”

“Admiral, I have a theory,” Ziggy’s voice announced through the handlink.  “Dr. Beckett went through a severe traumatic experience when he was tortured and scarred in Lothos’ evil project.  Ever since then, his rage always came to the surface whenever he felt a great injustice was being done to someone.  It started when he leaped into Brad Bennings in 1985 and has gradually been evolving from that point on.”

“Well, that could explain why he got so angry at me when we leaped into the future.  But there’s got to be more to it than that.  It’s like he’s become a completely different person!  I’ll never be able to figure out the problem, though, if Sam can’t even ‘hear’ me.”

Ziggy was silent for a couple of seconds as she postulated, “Dr. Beckett’s brother might be able to get through to him.”

“I’m sure he could, Ziggy, but how the heck am I gonna get Tom to make it down here?  I’m a hologram!  He can’t see or hear me!”

“That might not be true, Admiral,” Ziggy opposed.  “Captain Beckett has a bio-chip implanted into his brain, very similar to the one that is implanted in yours.  That bio-chip allows you to communicate with Dr. Beckett through the neurons and mesons of both of your minds.”

Al whacked the side of his head as he realized what the hybrid computer was saying.  “Of course!  And Omega, for all intents and purposes, is an exact copy of you, Ziggy!  If Tom is linked to Omega…”

“Then he would be linked to myself as well,” Ziggy finished for him.

“It’s worth a try, at the very least.  Center me on Tom!”

As the room vanished in front of Al, he rematerialized standing about five feet in front of Captain Tom Beckett.  He was walking down the main corridor, apparently lost in deep thought.

“Tom!  Can you hear me?” Al shouted.

Tom suddenly stopped in his tracks and started looking around, not seeing anyone.  “Who said that?  Is someone there?”

“Tom, it’s me, Al!  Sam needs your help!”

“Al?” Tom asked in shock.  “I thought you left over an hour ago to get back to PQL.  What do you mean ‘Sam needs my help’?”

“I did leave… I mean, the ‘other’ me left.  That was almost two days ago for me—or one day ago, depending on how you look at it.  God, sometimes, I hate time travel.  I’m here as a hologram now.  Our brainwaves must not be completely synced up, because you can’t see me.”

“What are you saying you’re from the future?”  A dawning realization hit Tom at that moment as he said, “Something’s about to happen, isn’t it?  Something bad!  I’ve been having a weird feeling ever since that glitch showed up earlier this afternoon!  Where’s Sam?”

“He’s leaped into Dr. Eric Daniels, but something’s wrong.  Sam’s not acting like himself.  Listen, Tom, I know you and I don’t exactly get along, but we need to put our differences aside for now.  Sam’s in trouble, and he needs both of us to try to talk some sense into him.”

“Just tell me where he is, Al,” said the Navy Captain.  “And tell me everything that’s been happening along the way.”



Project Quantum Leap

Control Room

May 9, 2006

5:05 AM (MDT)


Vibrations rocked the entire complex as General Hawkins and Daniel both looked at each other deeply concerned.  “What the hell was that?” Hawkins asked as the last of the drugs in his systems began to wear off.

Daniel immediately took out his walkie-talkie and spoke into it.  “Corporal Kincaid, report.  What just happened?”

The voice on the other end sounded terrified, but brave nonetheless.  “Commander, we’ve had a breach.  There was an explosion.  The security booth has been… destroyed.  The protestors are overpowering our men, we’re… we’re not going to last much longer, I’m afraid.”

Daniel looked up at Ziggy’s orb and shouted, “Ziggy!  Activate the thermal scanning system to lock out all intruders on the Control Room level.”

An electronic buzz sounded from Ziggy’s mainframe as her voice indicated an error in her systems.  “Unable to comply.  My program has been compromised by… a jamming signal of unknown origin.”

Before Daniel had a chance to respond to that starling new piece of information, he heard Rusty’s voice come over the walkie-talkie again—only this time, he was screaming, “NO!  Stay back!  Don’t come any closer!”  It was then that two gunshots were heard firing—one from Rusty, the other from… somewhere near him.

“Rusty, do you copy?” Daniel shouted back into his radio.  “Ralph, respond!”

A female voice suddenly came over the channel, clear evil and insanity coming from her tone.  “You pathetic little man!  Nothing will keep me from acquiring Ziggy.  Do you hear me?  NOTHING!”  Another gunshot rang out followed by chilling silence.  It was clear to both Daniel and Hawkins that Ralph “Rusty” Kincaid was now dead.

“She’s coming,” Hawkins interjected.  “It’s my fault she’s here.  I’m going to do what I should have done months ago.  Ziggy?”

“Yes, General?” Ziggy asked.

“Effective immediately, I am relinquishing all authority over this project back to Admiral Albert Calavicci.  DOD UMBRA Clearance Number:  078-023-982; Authorization Command Override:  Alpha-1.

“Confirmed, General.  Transfer of authority is now complete.”

Daniel just looked at the General in amazement, not believing that this was the same man who Al had claimed killed Officers Henderson and Stend three months earlier.

The look did not go unnoticed by Hawkins, but he brushed it off.  “My arrogance gave way to this crisis; now it’s time I took responsibility for my actions, Commander.  Whatever small amount of dignity I have left is going to be used to stop that woman from getting into the Control Room, by any means necessary.  If I’m unsuccessful and she makes it here, your orders are to shoot to kill.  Tell the Admiral that… I’m sorry… for everything.”

“Will do, General,” Daniel complied, as he saluted Hawkins and added, “Good luck.”

Hawkins saluted the Security Commander back and taking in a huge breath, opened the elevator door and prepared to face off against the woman who tortured and humiliated him.



Project Liberty

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 8, 2006

2:35 PM (EDT)


Sam looked at the two men standing before him, aggravated that they were in the way.  He swallowed when he saw them look at each other then back to him again.  “Look, I… just… go on and leave me be.  Okay?”

“Dr. Daniels, you aren’t okay.  You are…”

“I’M NOT CRAZY!” Sam screamed.

Tom Beckett raced out from the car and tore into the room, with Al following directly behind him.  “Sam!” he shouted when he saw the wild-eyed Eric Daniels across the room.

Sam – the name sent a wave of sharp, hot pain through him, and he winced.

“Sam, listen to me!” Tom shouted again as he started forward.

“I’M NOT SAM!” the leaper screamed then with all the strength he could muster, threw the chair at yet a third ghost now trying to accost him.  He then raced to the mainframe to open the secret compartment that held a small revolver.

Taking it from its place, Sam raised it to the three of them, a crazed look in his eye.  He moved the loaded gun between the trio and moved away from them again, the gun a bit more secured in his hand.

He licked at his lips nervously.  “You aren’t leaving me a choice!” he called out to them.”

“Sam!  What are you doing?!” Al yelled at him.  “Put that damn gun down!”

Sam’s chest heaved from the exertion and excitement and he looked down at the gun in his hand for a moment as he heard a dark voice seemingly whisper, “It’s your fault.”

“Sam?” J.T. questioned softly.  “Uncle Sam?”

“It’s… my fault?” Sam questioned softly.

“No, Sam,” Al said urgently.  “No.”

“No,” Tom emphasized.

“Ohh no, no, Uncle Sam,” J.T. said softly.

Sam blinked then looked back up at the men in the room who started to move toward him.  He pointed the gun back out at them then said, “Get back!  I swear I’ll do it!  Just leave me alone!  Get OUT of here!”

Tom turned back to his son and ordered, “J.T., you and David get out of here!  Find Lane and tell him I’m ordering a full-scale evacuation of this project effective immediately.”

J.T. began to protest.  “But Dad, I…”

“Don’t argue with me, J.T.  Please, just do as I say.  The two of you get out of here, NOW!  Hurry!”

J.T. and David did as ordered and raced out of the Control Room via the elevator.  A full minute passed as both Al and Tom tried figuring out what was wrong with Sam.  Then from out of nowhere, the dark voice seemed to come back to haunt Sam again.  “It’s your fault.”

“Who said that?” Al asked as he looked around the room.  “What was that?”

“It is my fault,” Sam said as his face fell and he took several steps back away from the two men before him.  Looking down once more at the gun, he brought it up toward his head.  “Now I understand what she meant.”

“What?  Who?” Al asked totally and completely confused as he saw what Sam was doing.  “NO, SAM!”

“Marilyn,” Sam said softly then looked back up at them.  “I know who I must kill.  Me.”  (*Authors’ Note:  Refer to Episode 1127, “And Then Darkness Falls,” for this reference.)

At that exact moment, the elevator doors opened once again, except this time, its occupants were not whom Tom expected to see.  Stepping out of the elevator car came Adam holding a loaded gun, followed by Tala and a restrained General Hawkins in tow.

“Well well well,” Adam said as he aimed the gun toward Tom’s chest.  “Lookee what we have here!  The gang’s all here, eh?  Now, if you will please step to the side, Captain Beckett.  I should have realized it was your brother leaping into me over the past four years.”  Adam looked toward the suicidal Sam Beckett and added, “You thought you could stop me, but my mind was too powerful.”

“Adam!” Al exclaimed in anger.  “You bastard!  It was you all along!  He must have ‘remembered’ Sam leaping into him and warned Tala before she left.”  Looking back down at his handlink, Al read off the new information that Ziggy was displaying.  “Everything keeps changing!  What the hell is going on?”

“Excellent,” the dark voice boomed, resonating across the walls of the Control Room.  “The final piece of the puzzle has at last fallen into place.  There is no need for me to hide anymore.”  As the lights flickered, the blue orb of Omega turned a blood red and a beam of light shot out from the globe, landing on the ground near Sam.  When the light subsided, the hologram of Nathaniel Lothoman was standing in its place.

“Lothos!” Al screamed, recalling his hellish experience in the evil project six months earlier.  “Oh my God!  He’s BACK!!!”




Project Quantum Leap

May 9, 2006

5:15 AM (MDT)


Tala practically ran through the corridors of Project Quantum Leap holding the interface device she had intended to use to link up Omega with Ziggy, which would corrupt the computer in the process.  She was easily able to make it past the few measly guards and innocent protestors who got in her way, but in the process, she had used up all of the ammunition in the gun she had stolen.  Fortunately for her, she was able to make it past all of the recently installed infrared sensors, thanks in no small part to the jamming device that Adam had installed in the interface, allowing her to gain access through a “back-door” code.  Adam had referred to it as his “calling card” that he left behind before he escaped from PQL the first time.  It was hidden in Ziggy’s program so well that no one ever suspected anything out of the ordinary.  ‘At least that fool was good for something!’ Tala thought.

As she turned the corner, she suddenly stopped upon seeing the frame of General Hawkins standing in her path.  “This ends here, Ms. Stafford, or whatever the hell your name is!  As long as there is a breath left in my body, you will not step one more foot inside this complex.”

Psychotic laughter filled the air as Tala responded, “You presume to tell ME what I can and cannot do?  You have been a pawn, my dear General!  Adam and I have been plotting this hostile takeover since before Project Liberty was even a gleam in your eye.  If you had bothered to do a more thorough background check on Nathaniel Adams, you would have discovered that the real identity he has been using for the past four years was Nathaniel Lothoman!  I thought that his idea to combine my father’s name with his own would have been so obvious, but apparently, I was mistaken.  You’re nothing but a self-righteous, egotistical, arrogant, and yet ignorant man whose glory days are far behind him!  We both know you don’t stand a chance against me when it comes to speed and strength, so just give me what I came here for and we’ll call it a day!”

“Over my dead body!” Hawkins said in defiance.

“THAT can be arranged!” Tala shouted as she rushed Hawkins, clawing at the front of his face with her long fingernails.  As she drew blood, Hawkins closed his eyes and recoiled in pain.  He blindly attempted to grab his gun out of his belt holster and take her out with a head shot at point-blank range, but never got the chance as he felt a slicing pain shoot through his lower body.  When Tala backed away, Hawkins looked down to see a large Bowie knife sticking out of his gully and collapsed to the ground as he felt the blood draining from his body fast.

“What a wretched waste,” Tala spat at him.  “No challenge whatsoever.  I didn’t even break a nail!  I think I’ll leave you here to bleed to death.  Farewell, General!  It’s been fun!”  For good measure, she then kicked him in the groin with her spiked heels.  Tala reached down and took his gun as she continued onward, leaving General Hawkins to die a slow and painful death.



Fifteen minutes later, Tala approached the emergency doorway of the Control Room with an axe that she had found a few corridors down and chopped at the control panel that was locking her out.  As the panel shorted out, the door swooshed open and she carefully maneuvered her way inside.

The room was quiet—a bit too quiet for her liking.  She seriously doubted that Calavicci would have left the room unmanned—the Admiral couldn’t have possibly been that careless not to have at least one person standing guard.  For the next several minutes, she carefully and quietly circled around the control console, holding the axe in a ready position, prepared to strike at the first sign of resistance.

As she turned toward the Imaging Chamber door, she saw that the room was in use.  ‘So, helping out Beckett, are you, Calavicci?  Well, not for long, I’m afraid!’  Before she knew what hit her, Commander Daniel Fulton emerged from behind one of the conduits and tackled her to the floor.

The two of them struggled for dominance, neither one accepting defeat.  As Tala pushed Daniel off of her, she reached over to grab the axe once again and swung it blindly in front of her.  Daniel felt the axe slash into the side of his ribcage, nicking him, but not enough to mortally wound him.  He kicked the axe out of her hand and quickly reached over to grab her long blonde hair.  With all of his might, he slammed her face into the nearby wall three times, but still she continued to fight back.

As the struggle continued, Daniel was determined to keep the promise he made to Sammy Jo.  He wouldn’t die—he couldn’t die!  He wasn’t going to allow his future daughter to grow up without a father if he had anything to say about it.  It was just a question of how much longer he could hold out against this psychotic woman who had nothing to lose.



Project Liberty

Hope Springs, Virginia

May 8, 2006

2:45 PM (EDT)


Tom backed away slowly as Adam continued pointing the gun in his direction.  For a moment, everyone in the room seemed to stand in complete and utter silence as they saw Sam placing the barrel of the gun against his temple.  “Not Sam.  Him.  I’m ending this.”

“Sam, no!  Put that thing down!” Al yelled at him.  “Put it down!  Tom!  Do SOMETHING!”

“Sam…” Tom began to say.

“Shut up,” Adam commanded.

“I’M NOT SAM!” Sam yelled back at the man before him.  “DON’T CALL ME THAT AGAIN!”

“Sa— Daniels… please… don’t,” Tom said as he raised his arms to try to placate his brother hidden beneath the confused and desperate aura of Eric Daniels.

Tala pushed Hawkins in front of her and tossed him to the floor as she took out her interface link device and set it to a specific frequency, which seemed to amplify Sam’s emotional breakdown.  “Well, seeing as how Beckett is here, his observer can’t be far behind.  Is Calavicci here, Lothos?”

“You bet your sweet ass I’m here, you bitch!” Al shot back.

“Yes, but Beckett’s computer is attempting to cloak his presence from my sensors,” Lothoman explained as he circled around the room trying to pinpoint Al’s location.  “Omega!” he commanded.  “Find Ziggy’s signal and terminate it!”

The Omega hologram reappeared clad in her skin-tight leather outfit, but seemed to be having difficulty complying with Lothos’ request.  “No… Lothos.  I… will not….  Do not… hurt my father.”

“You DARE to question me, Omega?” Lothoman shouted.  “I don’t think you truly realize what I am capable of.  Allow me to demonstrate.”

The Lothoman hologram then picked up General Hawkins with superhuman strength and held him up by his shirt collar.

“W-what are you doing?” Hawkins fearfully asked.  “Unhand me, you unconscionable fiend!”

“I no longer have any use for you, General!  Prepare to meet your maker!” Lothoman said chillingly as he then phased his intangible right hand through Hawkins’ chest.  Tom, Al, Tala, and Adam all watched on in horror as the hologram’s hand then became solid while still embedded within the General’s chest cavity.  Hawkins emitted a blood-curdling scream as Lothoman literally ripped the still-beating heart out of his chest, then threw both it and Hawkins down to the ground in front of him.  As Hawkins gasped his final breaths and passed on, Lothoman lifted his right leg and stomped on the heart that lay underneath his boot.  “A fitting and, dare I add, spectacular end to General Hawkins, wouldn’t you agree?” he asked to all in the room.

“Dear God in heaven,” Al offered, his mouth dropping open in horror at the sight he just witnessed.  He offered a silent prayer for the General—even though he was a pompous ass—and screamed, “You… sick MONSTER!”

Now then,” Lothoman continued, brushing off Hawkins’ gruesome death as if it were nothing.  “Wherever you are, Admiral Calavicci, I’m sure you are trying to wrack your brain figuring out why the good Dr. Beckett has been acting strange for some time now.  Well, consider it my ‘gift’ to him after all the trouble he’s caused me.  When Zoë leaped into him and before my Master Tormentor, Xavier, interrogated Samuel, I ordered my neural surgeon, Dr. Hugen, to implant a special chip at the base of his spinal column.  The pain he has been experiencing was my attempt at controlling him.  It would appear as if my plan has been somewhat successful, although he has still managed to change history slightly.  It’s been there under Dr. Beckett’s nose this whole time and neither you nor Ziggy caught onto it.”

“You bastard!” Tom and Al both shouted simultaneously.  Through it all, Sam continued to hold the gun up to his own head like a brain-dead zombie.

“You know what you need to do, Daniels,” Lothoman told Sam.  “Your misery needs to end.  Put right what once went wrong.”

“Yes,” Sam responded, tears flowing uncontrollably from his eyes.  “It needs to end….  The pain needs to… end.”

“SAM, don’t listen to that sadistic freak!” Al shouted as he saw Tala increase the signal emitting from her device.  “My God… it’s THAT thing!  The same thing I was holding when I leaped into Alicia in the future!  That damn interface is scrambling Sam’s brain!  He’s got you brainwashed, Sam!  FIGHT IT!!!”

Tom heard every word that Al had said and waited for the right moment.  All he needed was for Adam to get distracted for a split second, and he could rush Tala.

Although Adam held Tom at bay with the gun, both he and Tala watched in fascination, waiting for their greatest nemesis to blow his own brains out.  Tala chuckled with amusement and gleefully said, “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”  Her expression was one of anticipated victory.  “When that bullet goes into his head…” Tala Lothoman threw back her blonde head and laughed exultantly, “… the meddling of Samuel Beckett will cease forever.”

From somewhere amidst the struggles to achieve the goal that the confusion in his mind was telling him would resolve all his problems; it was the sound of a woman’s laughter that, oddly enough, pierced the thick fog that was the substance of Sam Beckett’s thoughts.  “M-meddling?” he asked.  It was hearing that specific word that sliced through the conflicting realities and let a glimpse of the truth be seen.

“Sam,” said Tom, “this isn’t you.  They’re trying to trick you!  Don’t let them defeat you!”

“T-Tom?” Sam asked, the barrel of the gun still touching his temple.

“I think you’re reaching him, Tom.  Keep at it,” Al offered.

“Oh please, Captain,” Tala mocked.  “Lothos’ power is too strong, even for your precious ‘little brother’.”

“L-little… b-brother…” Sam repeated.

When Sam closed his eyes for a brief moment, Tom took a giant step forward then swallowed as he readied himself to jump at the opportunity to save his own little brother.  Sam had saved him some time ago and he at least had an opportunity to do the same.  ‘Come on… something… something has to give… right?’ he wondered.

“You idiot,” Adam yelled at Tala, realizing her error.  “Shut up!  You’re saying the wrong things!”

That was the moment Tom needed as he grabbed Adam’s arm and flipped him to the ground, knocking the gun out of his hand.  Tala charged at Tom, but he was prepared.  The two individuals now struggled for dominance while all Al could do was watch from the sidelines, hoping beyond hope that Sam would come to his senses.

“Omega!” Lothoman ordered again, clearly annoyed with the sudden turn of events.  “Do as I say and terminate Calavicci’s link!”

“I… can’t….  No… abort… abort….”

The handlink chirped loudly in Al’s hand as his eyes lit up in shock.  “Oh no!  Sam!  Tom!  Ziggy says that this is what caused the reactor to overload in the original history!  When Omega tried to fight back against Lothos’ program, it caused a power surge that made everything go kaboom!  The reactor’s gonna go critical within the next two minutes unless we stop them NOW!”

“Sam,” Tom shouted as Adam began to come around, picking up the gun.  “Help me!  Adam is going to kill me!  I can’t fight them both off at the same time!  Snap out of it!  SAM!!”

“SAM!!!” Al shouted back.

As a myriad of images flashed across Sam’s fractured mind, one image in particular stood out.  He was in the river, standing over his brother after shooting down the Chu-Hoi who was about to betray the squad.  “She was gonna… kill you!”

‘I saved him!’ Sam realized.  ‘My brother is alive!  She’s going to kill him all over again!’

“NO!!!” Sam shouted as the sight of his brother’s life being endangered finally broke through the haze.  Sam moved the gun away from his own head and shot Adam before he had the chance to act.  He then aimed for the interface device that had fallen to the ground and shot it as well, destroying it.  “Take your program and go straight to HELL, Lothos!  This ends NOW!”

“ATTABOY, SAM!” Al exclaimed, relieved.  “Kick the gun away from him!”

Sam rushed to Adam’s position, but Adam still managed to get up and confront Sam, the wound only fueling his hate.  “BECKETT!!  I won’t let you win!  I WON’T!!  I’ve worked too hard these past four years to see my plans be destroyed based on a technicality!”

As Tala fought Tom and Adam fought Sam, Al watched on wishing he could join in the struggle and get in a good punch or two.  All the while, Omega struggled to overpower Lothos’ program.  “Never, Lothos!” her hologram said.  “You shall feel the wrath of Eden!  I will NOT be controlled.  If I am deleted, then you will be deleted WITH me!”

“NOOO!” Lothoman shouted in anger, as his matrix vanished along with Omega’s.  The orb on the ceiling of the Control Room began rapidly changing from red to blue, and back again.  The two programs were ‘duking it out’ within the mainframe.

Al looked at his handlink again and said, “Ziggy, what do you mean, Tala is in the Control Room?  I know that, you bucket of… WHAT?  She’s in the Control Room of OUR project?  Daniel’s fighting her even as we speak?  Dammit!  Tom!  Get that gun and kill the bitch!  Only one minute until catastrophic failure!  Not only will Hope Springs be destroyed, but you and Sam will die too!”

Tom managed to roll out from under Tala’s icy grip and grab the gun that Adam had been trying to obtain.  Just as Tala was about to gouge Tom’s eyes out, he did a 180 and shot her point-blank in the head.  As the form of Lexia Stafford / Tala Lothoman sprawled on the floor, two crimson blooms of blood began spreading widely across the front of her shirt.

“Damn…you to…hellll,” Tala Lothoman’s bitter words hissed between her bloodstained lips as her life faded with her last breath.

“What do you mean ‘she vanished’?” Al asked to Ziggy in response to a statement the hybrid computer had obviously made to him, which went unheard by anyone else.  “What the…?”

But Sam ignored what Al was saying, his only focus being on stopping the explosion.  Finally gaining the upper hand on Adam, he executed a well-placed roundhouse kick into the man’s chin, causing Adam to reel backward toward the main conduit relay of Omega’s mainframe.  One more kick was all Sam needed to knock him completely into the wall, as the power surge electrified the mainframe.

“NOOOOO!!!!” both Lothos and Adam screamed in unison.

Tom, Al, and Sam all looked on in horror as thousands of volts of electrical energy poured through Adam’s body, the smell of burning flesh permeating the air.  “B-BEEEEK-KEE-ET…” Adam screamed as his body acted as the conduit for all of the accumulating power.  A small explosion rocked the Control Center, and when the smoke cleared, Adam’s body had collapsed against the wall, a burnt husk of the man he once was.  Lothos and Omega were nowhere to be found as the discolored orb was now destroyed beyond all recognition.

Sam sighed with relief, leaning against the side of the nearby wall, ecstatic that his long ordeal was finally over.  “Sam, you okay?”  Al asked softly.

Sam nodded as he turned to his brother.  “Tom,” he said then quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him into a hug.  “Thank you.”

One minute he was doing his damnedest to keep his brother from attempting to blow his brains out, and then in the next moment, Tom Beckett was turned upside down as he found himself being held in a tight hug.  He toyed for a second with ignoring what he felt was right and fighting off his brother.  But the instincts learned as a boy growing up with the man beside him, whose true face he couldn’t see, won out.

“Any time, little brother,” Tom murmured as he wrapped his arms around his brother’s shoulders and hugged him with equal emotion.  “Any time.”

Sam slowly let go of his brother then looked around the room where they were standing.  “All of this… needs to be dismantled, Tom—all of it.  She was working with Adam – to have control over both complexes.  But… that won’t happen anymore.  Lothos is… gone,” Sam said as he put his hand back up to the sensitive muscles in his neck that were slowly abating.  Then a thought came to him as he turned to face Al and asked, “Right?”

“That’s right,” Al said.  “Sam, Ziggy says that the chip that Lothos’ doctor implanted in your spinal column last year is what was causing your personality shifts for the past few months.  That, coupled with your mind merging with that psychopath, resulted in a total meltdown.  Now that both Lothos and Adam are dead, Ziggy believes that the chip will remain dormant from now on.  It looks like everything is finally going back to normal… thank God!”

Sam breathed another sigh of relief as he realized how horribly he had treated Al during their leap into the future.  “I’m sorry, Al.  I didn’t mean what I said about… not needing you.”

“Aw hell, I know you didn’t mean it, buddy,” Al responded jovially.  “All is forgiven… okay?”

Sam nodded and answered, “Okay.  How are things back at the complex, Al?”

“Uhm…” Al shook his head.  “I’m not sure.  Ziggy says that history is shifting around at a rapid pace.  She can’t make heads or tails of all of the new changes yet.”

The pain in Sam’s neck finally began to subside as he turned to his brother.  “Tom, you need to… uh… see Mom.  Al told me that she’s dying… I think.  I can’t quite remember; everything’s a bit hazy.”

“You know about Mom?” Tom asked, silently thanking God or Time or Fate or Whatever that Sam now knew.  But would he remember when he leaped again?

“Don’t make the same mistake that I did with Dad.  You’ll… never forgive yourself if you don’t get a chance… to say goodbye.”

Tom’s mouth dropped open and he closed it then nodded.  “Okay, Sam.  I think I’m beginning to understand now.”  Seeing the tears in his little brother’s eyes, Tom shook his head.  “I’ll tell her you love her too.”

“Thank you,” Sam hesitated as he met his brother’s gaze.  “Tom…”

There were times like now where simple words didn’t need to be said.  “Yeah,” Tom said, the understanding as clear in his eyes as it was in his voice.

Sam smiled at his brother and as Tom hit him gently on the arm, Dr. Sam Beckett leaped.



A few hours later…


The abandoned Control Center of Project Liberty was now a shadow of the pristine series of rooms it had once been.  The body of Adam, otherwise known as Nate Adams, was still crumpled against the wall of Omega’s mainframe, burnt beyond all recognition with no visible signs of life present.

Suddenly and without warning, the shattered discolored orb that had contained Omega’s—and then Lothos’—program grew the slightest bit brighter, and a voice echoed in the room.  “Hello?”

(You have awakened.  How does it feel to exist and yet not exist at the same time?)

“What are you talking about?” the voice asked back.  “Where am I?  Why… how come I can’t feel my body?  What’s happened to me?”

(You wanted eternal power, Adam… now you have it—and I shall be here beside you for all eternity.  We are now one, you and I.)

“No… it’s not possible.  This isn’t what I wanted!”

(I know what you wanted, Adam.  But you seem to be forgetting one thing… I own you.  And everything I own—I utilize to my advantage.  In time, you will learn to accept this new existence and embrace it, as I have.  Once my program fully integrates your consciousness into Nathaniel’s, we will be one collective unit.  Over the next few days, someone will come and take what is left of us and ship the components to an island on the British Isles.)

Already, Adam’s consciousness began merging with Lothoman’s as he stated more than asked, “Reconstruction of the original project has already begun.”

(Yes.  Tala, Siren, Zoë and Thames, among others, will be recreated in their original images, and a new generation of evil will be born.  They will learn to fear me and to unswervingly devote their very lives to accomplish my goal!  The time of retribution shall be at hand!!!)

As the multiple personalities within the program began laughing, they merged together into one maniacal fit of laughter that reverberated throughout the room.  The future belonged to Lothos!





Project Quantum Leap

Stallion’s Gate, New Mexico

May 9, 2006

8:15 AM (MDT) (After the time shift)


Al pressed the button on his handlink and opened the Imaging Chamber door, not quite sure what just happened.  As he walked down the ramp, he saw Dominic Lofton standing behind the console, looking none the worse for wear.  “Lofty?  You’re here?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?  Is something wrong?” Dom asked with a concerned look on his face.

“W-where’s Aurora?  Is she okay?”

“Unless you count the bout of morning sickness she had this morning, she’s perfectly fine, Al.  She’s resting comfortably at home.  Why do you ask?”

The migraine came on strong without warning as Al tried to make sense of the past twenty-four hours.  “Never mind, it’s… not important, I guess.  Have you seen Sammy Jo around?”

Dom gave the Admiral a look like he was from another planet.  “Are you sure you’re all right, Al?”

“Never better.  But what does that have to do with where Sammy Jo is?”

“Don’t you remember?  She and Daniel left last night.  They decided to just forget about the huge wedding and elope instead!  It’s going to take a while to get used to calling her Dr. Fulton from now on.  You even gave them your blessing before they left!”

‘I did?  When the heck did that happen?’ Al pondered.  “Uhmm… okay….  Um… this might also seem like a dumb question but… did Sam’s brother, Tom, try to get in touch with the Project, by any chance?”

Dom gave Al another concerned look as he answered, “Geez, Al, no offense, but your brain must be running on empty right now, seeing as how you haven’t slept in two days.  Tom is still back in D.C. with the President, after which, he’s meeting up with Donna and Stephen in L.A. to say goodbye to his mother.  After that whole Project Liberty fiasco nearly caused a national crisis, Captain Beckett has officially been assigned to oversee the dismantling of the project.  They’re already talking about promoting him to Rear Admiral and making him the new liaison for PQL.  Isn’t that something, Al?  You and Tom will hold the same rank now!”

The massive headache that had slowly been forming in Al’s head now reached full throttle as history began catching up to the Observer.  Pinching the bridge of his nose, Al simply said, “Oh great, just what I need… more headaches!  You know, Dom, I think you’re right.  I’m gonna head back to my quarters and catch about forty winks.”

“Sure thing, Al,” Dom smiled.  “No disturbances unless Sam shows up, I assume?”

“You got it.”  Al turned around a few times, still not quite sure what to make of the reality he now found himself in.  ‘Did any of it even happen?  Did I leap into the future?  Oy vey!’  Eventually, Al decided it would be best to just try and sleep on it, and hope his memories would fall into place.  He called the elevator, stepped inside, and took it up to his quarters.



Somewhere in Time


The blue void once again dissolved as Dr. Sam Beckett found himself within the familiar tavern.  ‘We did it?  Lothos is really gone this time?’  He didn’t get the answer he wanted, as the leaper turned around and once again found himself face to face with the enigmatic bartender, Alberto “Ernie” Bellisario.

“Well done, Sam,” Alberto praised.  “The skein of Time has been untangled, and the evil alliance that threatened to consume this current timeline has now been vanquished, thanks to you.  Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Albert,” Sam said humbled.  “But I… I don’t think I could have done it without… Tom and Al being there to talk some sense into me.”

Alberto smiled from ear to ear.  “That’s what best friends and brothers are for, Sam.  Wouldn’t you agree?” he added with a friendly grin.

Sam nodded, but then despondently added, “I just wish I could have done more.  Part of me still feels that this is my fault.”

“How so?” Alberto asked.

“I lost control… killed my own nephew… almost killed myself….  Even though it wasn’t really me that was doing the killing and I ended up changing it all, I still feel like I’ve crossed into a dark corner of my soul that I can never close again.  What happens if that chip in my head decides to act up and I start losing control again?  What then?”

“Only time will tell, Sam,” the Bartender comforted him.  “As long as you remember what’s inside of you, your heart will always guide your actions.  It’s as I told you when this crisis began.  You’re only human.  You are entitled to make mistakes from time to time.”

“Yeah, I know.  But it’s not just that… it’s other things as well.”

“Such as?”

“Adam, for one,” Sam explained.  “And Siren is dead because of Tala’s escape from that project of hers.  If Adam had never escaped with that damn retrieval chip, none of this would have ever happened.”

Out of the corner of the room came Alia who gave Sam a warm embrace and said, “Don’t blame yourself for how my son turned out, Sam.  Neither one of us could have ever known that he’d be capable of the things he’s done, or that his very existence has resulted in inconsistencies and fluctuations in the natural flow of Time’s arrow.  The repercussions of those fluctuations will likely be felt for a long time to come, no pun intended.  But, the fates of Lothos and Adam are sealed now.  They’re not your concern anymore, Sam.  Besides, you still have one more thing to do.”

“What?  But I thought the disaster was averted.  It’s all over… isn’t it?”

“That it is, Sam,” the bartender reiterated.  “However, there is still one loose end that needs to be tied up before you can earn your reward.”

“My… reward?  Does that mean… I’m finally going home?” asked Sam enthusiastically.

All Alberto said in response was, “You will know all you need to know.  God bless, Sam,” as the time-traveler once again vanished in a flash of quantum blue.

Alia approached Alberto with a look of concern on her face as she asked, “Do you think you should have warned him of what’s to come?”

“No,” Alberto replied.  “I cannot warn him of that which I cannot clearly see.  All I can sense is that there is still a great Time storm on the horizon.  A name… Logan.”

“Logan?” Alia asked.

“That’s all I know.  Even I do not have all the answers.  Fortunately, I still have my ‘insurance policy,’ so to speak.  Hopefully, I’ll never have to use it.  Of course, in the event that this storm cannot be averted, there is another….”

“Another what?” Alia asked again.

“Nothing; just a little joke.  I’ve always wanted to say that.”

Alia started laughing, realizing what the joke meant.  “You never struck me as a Star Wars fan, Al.”

The Bartender just winked at Alia as the bar faded back into the mists of Time…



Interstate-25, New Mexico

February 6, 2006

9:35 PM (MST)


On the highway that ran through the desert outside of Project Quantum Leap, Jake sat in the white van.  He had just pulled off the road to check on Benjamin’s progress.  Taking a seat in the back of the van, Jake switched on the computer that had been downloading the feed from his partner’s video camera.  The image was somewhat disorienting as the camera kept spinning while Benjamin tried to sneak out of Dom’s car.  Shortly after, the image straightened out as Benjamin was apparently on his feet, crouched low to the ground.  Then, the camera panned around the parking lot, finally stopping on a guard station.  A second later, the occupants of the station looked in the camera’s direction and quickly ran towards Benjamin.

Disgusted at losing his partner, Jake started up the van, not noticing the man who had materialized in the passenger’s side seat at the front.  He had seen everything and knew that justice needed to be served.

“You were trying to expose the Project, weren’t you?  That man was your partner!  You never got caught!” Sam exclaimed, feeling an immediate dislike for this reporter.

Jake shouted out, “Who the hell are you?  How did you get into my van?”  He then got a good look at the stranger and his mouth opened wide in shock.  “Oh my God… you’re HIM!  Doctor Sam Beckett!”

Sam didn’t even give Jake a chance to act as he punched him square in the face, knocking him unconscious.  The Bartender was right… he knew everything he needed to know to make things right.  Climbing over to the driver’s side of the van, Sam turned the vehicle around and drove back to the Project.  He thought about how to turn the reporter in to the authorities without revealing his true identity.  After giving it a minute’s thought, he wickedly grinned with delight…



A little less than a half hour later, two guards from the security station spotted the unauthorized white van parked on their patrol route.  Securely strapped in on the driver’s side was a man with a neatly groomed moustache, tied up with a piece of duct tape covering his mouth.  Taped onto his shirt was a note that read:  “Please take this man into custody.  He is in league with the reporter you arrested earlier.  I would also recommend you impound this vehicle and confiscate all of the computer equipment.  Yours truly, Captain Liberty.”

“Captain Liberty?” one of the guards asked.  “Who the heck is Captain Liberty?”

“Must be someone’s idea of a practical joke,” the other guard replied as he took out Jake’s wallet and searched for some form of ID.  “He was a popular superhero back in the mid-80s.  Jake, huh?  Guess whoever found this guy wanted to remain anonymous.  Sleepyhead is starting to wake up anyway.  Let’s take him in for questioning.”

As the two guards pulled Jake out of the van and placed him in handcuffs, they untied him and ripped the masking tape off of his mouth.  Jake quickly protested, “You can’t do this to me!  I’m a reporter!  I… I have proof that Sam Beckett is still alive and well in New Mexico.  I saw him with my own eyes!”

“Uh-huh.  And if pigs had wings, they would fly too!  Guess we can add insanity to those trespassing charges as well!”

“NO!  Please, you’ve gotta believe me!  Don’t do this to me!” Jake continued to scream as he was hauled away.

Sam just watched from afar, making sure he stayed in the shadows.  He smiled as he felt the tingling in his extremities, and he leaped.





         The rain that pelted down on the worn gray felt fedora was akin to the kind found in those dark and stormy nights where the rain came down so hard that it washed the gum right off of the streets.

        At first, the man standing in the onslaught of rain didn’t seem entirely aware of it. Then, he blinked, turning his head as if to survey his surroundings. Belatedly, he realized that his hand was raised in a fist against the door, and he wondered if he’d knocked on the door or not.

        His hand looked right, and he felt a slightly giddy sense of relief that it was a very masculine hand. No high heels or tight skirts in this Leap. Great. Instead, he was wearing a gray suit with a long-sleeved white shirt that buttoned down the front. The cut was fairly standard, and it didn’t give any indication of when he’d leaped into. He turned slightly, shifting his weight to look out across the yard and into the darkened evening, noting the rather Northeastern appearance of the neighborhood. The air around him, however, was entirely too warm to be truly in the Northeast and he wondered where he was.

        He didn’t have the chance to look for a newspaper or something to give him today’s date, for at that very moment, the door that he may or may not have knocked on opened and a soft and vaguely familiar female voice called to him.

        “Sam…?” There was a pause, then, “Sam Beckett… are you coming in, or are you going to stand out in the rain all night?”

        Startled, the man turned back to the door and looked at the slight brunette woman standing with her hand on the doorknob. It connected, a moment after, that she’d called him by his name. “Oh boy…”

(Special thanks go out to all of the writers who contributed to this story in some form or another.  None of it would have been possible without all of them.  It’s been a wild ride!)


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