Title: Nor Tie to Earths to Come

Author: MJ

Author's e-mail: mjr91@aol.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/mj/

Date: 08/19/2003

Rating: PG-13

Warning: Crossover

Pairings: Archer/Reed, Sam/Al, Sam/Reed, Al/Archer (implied), Tucker/female, Reed/Ziggy

Archive: if it's on your list, fine. Also coffeeslash.

Summary: Dr. Samuel Beckett is lost in time. The Enterprise crew is enlisted to help get him back.

Spoilers: mostly vague for both shows

Author Notes: Enterprise/Quantum Leap crossover. Obviously this works BEST if you know both shows, but you needn't to follow it. I've tried for the most part to adhere (except for the slash) to canon for both, having taken a few—but not many—liberties with Tina Martinez-O'Farrell. My basis for the relationship between Sam Beckett and Jonathan Archer is pseudo-canon, namely a comment made by Scott Bakula before ENT aired in which he said that Archer's middle name should be Beckett and a relationship established between Beckett and Archer as a tribute to Quantum Leap fandom. Scott said it, I believe it. It's possible, QL fen, that they're related through Sammy Jo Fuller, but I'm leaving that open here (it's too hard to explain her briefly to non-QL fen).

Author's Note regarding ENTERPRISE: No, there is no direct canon making Jonathan Archer a descendant of Sam Beckett. There is pseudo-canon, however, constituted of Scott Bakula's having stated his opinion that this is true in some interviews prior to ENT airing. Malcolm Reed is not canonically a programming wizard, but he *does* appear to be capable of impossible feats of weapons engineering and development, so I don't think having a knack for program design is totally beyond him. Daniels, of course, is canonical and, so far in the series (end of second season), inexplicable other than being a time traveler with a yen to keep fixing things in the past to straighten out the future who likes to drag people along for the ride.

Author's Note regarding Quantum Leap: For any ENT fans unacquainted with Quantum Leap, the ending is a reworking of one of QL's most famous and beloved Sam-and-Al exchanges. ("More misadventures, Sam?" "Adventures, old friend.") All QL Project members are canonical, though I've taken liberties with Tina's dating. The ability of Leapers to "see" the actual forms of other Leapers if they touch is canon. Finally, I, like many other QL fans, reject the tacked-on ending to the series that claimed that Sam Beckett never returned home.

I have no Life but this—
To lead it here—
Nor any Death—but lest
Dispelled from there—

Nor tie to Earths to come—
Nor Action new—
Except through this extent—
The Realm of you—

—Emily Dickinson

Rear Admiral Albert Calavicci's head was buried in his hands as the door to his office slid open. It was a common position for the admiral's head. Once, before Sam Beckett had gotten him to dry out, it was the position in which he dealt with his hangovers. Now, it was the position he had adopted for dealing with the news of the quantum physicist's leaps in time.

Since the loss of contact with the physicist, since Ziggy, the computer with the monstrous ego, had been unable to follow him, since Al Calavicci, Project Observer as well as Project Administrator, had been unable to speak to him, Calavicci's head appeared to have taken root in the palms of those hands.

"Sir? May I come in?" Calavicci looked up briefly at the lab-coated tech who stood at his door. "Sure, sure," he waved. "Have a seat."

"Thank you." The man eased himself into a chair facing Calavicci, who lifted his head and reached for his coffee mug.

"Any news?"

"I may have some, sir." There was no change of tone, no change of facial expression, to the tech. The man was as bland as white bread, and you wouldn't recognize the man the second time you met him, as insignificant as he seemed, but he was supposed to be a genius, which excused a lack of personality. If he could get Sam Beckett back to this time and this place, or even just re-establish contact with him, he could be instant mashed potatoes with no gravy and Al Calavicci would kiss him.


"First, I'd like to make sure my understanding is correct." The tech reached for a small electronic notepad in his lab coat pocket and referred to it. "Dr. Beckett is lost from our end. Ziggy can't track him. This means he could be anywhere in time, presumably within his own lifetime, but we have no idea. There is no consciousness, no leapee's personality, entering the body in the Waiting Room, so we have no way of making any determination as to time or place."

"Right." Calavicci fumbled for a cigar, as he heard nothing but recap of facts he knew.

"Now," the tech continued, "since we know that every previous leap Dr. Beckett took impacted history in some way, the Project was careful, through Ziggy and you, to make sure that Dr. Beckett did the right things under the circumstances, so that if history was altered, nothing negative happened."

"Right again." The expensive Chivello was trimmed lovingly before Calavicci reached for his lighter.

"This means that a problem we haven't discussed," the tech droned, "is that without the information that used to be given to him, Dr. Beckett could do anything and change anything, without knowing what the right thing to do should be. That could have radical implications on the future long past us. It could change the world as we know it—it could change the timeline for centuries, like dropping a stone in the middle of a pond. And that could even affect—who knows what might happen centuries ahead—the circumstances of other planets in the future."

The hand holding the lighter paused as Calavicci mused on the tech's words. "That's absolutely true," he agreed. "And we have no way of knowing it, or being able to use Ziggy to project ahead. And we don't have the technological capacity to come up with anything more advanced without Sam here." "I may have a solution, sir. But it will require you to accept a couple of ideas you might find hard to believe."

Calavicci began puffing on the cigar, taking care to light it evenly. This was comfortable territory. "Kid, I was an astronaut, and I thought that was pretty impressive. Then I started workin' with Sam, and I started having to believe six impossible things before breakfast every day of the week. There's nothin' impossible out there, not in my book. Try me."

The tech slid the hand-held electronic device back in his pocket. It would not do for the admiral to see it, although its very design and the writing used on it would have proven the truth of the claim he was about to make. "Sir, Dr. Beckett is not the only time traveler on Earth at this time. There's a traveler from the future who is here now, and is concerned about the changes Dr. Beckett's being lost in time could cause. He may be able to bring in some technology to help the Project out."

Calavicci laid the cigar in an ashtray and leaned forward. "You serious? You can prove it?"

"Absolutely, sir."

The admiral rose. "Then come on, Daniels, you're wasting my time. I got a kid genius to rescue."


Jonathan Archer, captain of Enterprise, hated surprises. They usually meant bad news. And when he was lying on his bed, scratching Porthos' ears and watching a download of the most recent water polo tournament, and the nagging sensation came over him, quite suddenly, that there was someone standing in the room watching him, it was definitely not a pleasant surprise. And no, against his security officer's advice, he didn't have a phase pistol handy.

Porthos had noticed; the beagle was rousing, though he wasn't growling.

Was he going crazy, or did he smell a cigar?

"Nice dog." The voice came from the corner; Archer turned, to find the gravelly sound attached to a man in what had to be an American naval officer's uniform. He mused for a second on rank—one star? An admiral of some sort; the apparition outranked Archer in his own branch of the service, at any rate. "I had a great one a few years back, but my fourth wife, Sharon?" The apparition waved his cigar. "She left me and took the dog. God, do I miss Chester."

Now the apparition stepped forward. "Oh, sorry, first time I've been this far out in space. Those old Apollo capsules, they weren't quite made for this sorta thing. You—you're Jonathan Archer, right? Captain of this thing?"

"You mean Enterprise?" Archer sat up and faced the speaker. "Right, Admiral." His brow furrowed as he tried recalling his space history. "Naval admiral, Apollo missions—you *can't* be Albert Calavicci."

"Sure can." The older man approached the bed and extended a hand. The one, fortunately, without the cigar. Archer accepted it; it was warm, powerful. This was neither a ghost nor a hologram. "Never been in the future before, either. It was 2000 a couple of minutes ago, where I was, anyway. This guy working for me, Daniels, he —"

"Daniels?" Archer groaned. That explained all, and this could indeed only be the Admiral himself. "Where is he?"

"No clue." Calavicci shrugged. "Said he'd be along. But he sent me on ahead of him because he thought you guys might be able to give the government a little help in the past before your own mission kinda doesn't exist." Calavicci looked around. "Meanwhile, while I clue you in, any chance I can get a tour 'a this joint? Probably my only chance to ever see one of these things, y'know?"

Archer rose. "My pleasure, Admiral. I think it can be arranged."


Calavicci arrived at dinner escorted by Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker, chief engineer of Enterprise. They had been together for over three hours; as Calavicci was an engineer by training himself, the two had found themselves with much in common and much to discuss. Apparently that commonality extended to more than space and engineering. "So anyhow," Tucker expounded as they entered the captain's mess, "there I am in my underwear, and she takes one look, and her twin sister says—"

"You too?" Calavicci roared, slapping Tucker on the back. "That's how I got my service nickname! She wasn't from Pensacola, was she?"

"You were in Pensacola?" Tucker howled. "Might be her great-great granddaughter—who knows!"

Archer coughed. "Sir…"

"Ah, right." Calavicci and Tucker composed themselves as a steward seated them with Archer and with Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, security and tactical officer. Reed nodded genially to Tucker, then, quite formally, to Calavicci, who had met him earlier during his tour of the armory. The admiral looked around, then back at Archer. As he shook out his napkin, he sighed, "Captain, I gotta say, you look just like him." "Like who?" Archer asked.

Calavicci held out a hand, thinking and tapping his fingers as he spoke. "Your great-great-great-great-great—yeah, that's about right—grandfather. I work with him."

Archer puzzled for a moment. "My—Oh, Dr. Beckett? The physicist? Is that what this is about?"

The admiral nodded. "Yeah. Daniels can explain it better than me. But we've got Sam lost in this time travel project, you see, and Daniels says if we don't get him back before shit happens, well, you ain't gonna be his great-great whatever. And there ain't gonna be this whole mission, or anything. These guys from some other planet, they're gonna invade, and there goes the whole shebang, you see?"

Reed snorted. "Do we ever. Probably a whole phalanx of bloody Suliban."

"Suli—whatever? Yeah, that sounds familiar, kinda," Calavicci replied. "You know 'em?"

"All too well, sir," Reed assured him. "And it's not been a particularly pleasant association, either."

Archer shook his head. "I don't recall that Dr. Beckett did any time research, though. It's not in his autobiography—my father made me read that twice."

A steward entered, carrying a tray of food. "Sorry, sir." The steward was Daniels, who had an uncanny knack of appearing at the oddest times and places on the ship but seemed to favor showing up to handle Archer's food. "That's because—you might not want to know this, Admiral, but it *is* going to happen—once you rescue Dr. Beckett and he works to refine the process, the military will attempt to use it to fight a war in the past. Dr. Beckett, who is a pacifist, will object and dismantle the project. As the public won't be aware of it, the whole matter will disappear, as it were. Officially, the two of you will have been working on another space project—and actually, some of Dr. Beckett's projections from his time work will have some results the two of you will be able to use when you win—oh, I'm talking too much, right. Sorry."

"Sit down, Daniels," Archer ordered. "Why is Admiral Calavicci here?"

"Because I thought you'd all be more convinced—that includes the Admiral—if I brought him to you before we get you to come back with us. We won't be able to rescue Dr. Beckett from his time problem without some help from you."

"Me?" Archer jabbed at his food.

"Well, I really think we need Commander Tucker's and Lieutenant Reed's engineering skills. I'm sure we'll need Mr. Reed on the computer there; it's *very* touchy. I thought you'd like to supervise, though. It's not every man who gets to meet his direct ancestor—especially such a distinguished one. And you and the Admiral have some test piloting stories you might like to share while your officers are working. Dr. Beckett's project doesn't have anyone there besides me with the technological knowledge to do what's required, and I'm no expert, so I'm going to need their help to get him back. Actually…I'm afraid Tucker and Reed will have to do the work; they're a bit better at all of this than I am. I'm not exactly a specialist, they just think I am back there because I know more than *they* do."

Tucker stared at the steak on his plate. "Oh, man, T'Pol is not gonna *believe* this one."

"T'Pol?" Calavicci asked. "That—whatcha call it—Vulcan chick, with the pointy ears? The hot one?" "Don't even try," Reed warned their guest. "She only mates every seven years, and *this*," he calculated, "is probably Year Three. Just guessing, of course."

Calavicci sighed as he reached for his steak knife. "I go to the future, I'm on a space ship, and I ain't gonna get to date an alien? That sucks."

Reed and Tucker looked at each other for a moment. Risa had been no picnic. "That might be a very good thing," Reed volunteered.

"Yeah," Tucker added. "Believe me, you've got *no* idea."

"Damn. And here I was hopin'."


Trip Tucker looked around the control room, which was possibly even more sterile than Sickbay after Phlox's pet bat was done sniffing for crumbs. Malcolm Reed had given the admiral a tour of the armory on Enterprise, and Tucker had shown more of the ship; here a curly-haired computer genius called Gooshie, who smelled like Phlox's pet bat, was showing Tucker the equipment. There was a huge bank of typical late Twentieth Century computers, something called an Accelerator Chamber, a Waiting Room that had something on a bed in it—Tucker couldn't see who or what, an Imaging Chamber that dealt with holographic projections, and a bizarre hybrid computer that was irritatingly interactive and vocal, apparently named Ziggy.

Gooshie—Dr. Dennis Gushman—exchanged several sarcastic comments with Ziggy while attempting to introduce Tucker to the thing. Unsure of what to make of it, Tucker kept a respectful distance from the wisecracking computer that called Dr. Samuel Beckett its father. Archer and Reed had been shown around some other areas of the Project Quantum Leap facility, including, at Reed's request, the security area, which was run by a Captain Tom Beckett. If the admiral was correct, Dr. Beckett had, while traveling in time, rescued his brother from being killed during the Vietnam War. That fact had interested Reed, who was dazzled by the military applications Beckett's project had—no wonder the government had attempted to hijack it.

Reed and Archer were led into the control room by Admiral Calavicci, currently arrayed in an outfit that shamed Tucker's worst shirts into pallid comparison, and by a tall, slender, busty redhead who was cracking chewing gum. She stuck out a hand at Tucker.

"Hiya." The voice was shockingly squeaky and little-girlish. "You gotta be Trip Tucker; I been hearin' about ya."

Tucker took her hand and nodded, unsure of what to make of her. "Right, ma'am. Chief Engineer on Enterprise. And you're?"

"Me?" She giggled and cracked her gum again. "Tina Martinez-O'Farrell. *Doctor* Martinez-O'Farrell," she suddenly added. "Pulse Communications." The titles were everything one could not expect from what looked like an overgrown high school easy date. Apparently nothing was as it appeared to be at Project Quantum Leap.

Dr. Martinez-O'Farrell looked over Tucker as if she'd suddenly realized she'd missed lunch and he was a turkey and Swiss sandwich. "Gooshie, I guess you ain't shown our hero here the whole thing this is about." She nodded over at the Waiting Room.

"I thought I should wait for everyone to get here," the little programmer told her. She gave him a tight-lipped smile, then looked over at Calavicci.

"Your show, Al," she told him.

Calavicci motioned for the three Starfleet officers to join him. "Follow me, gentlemen." He placed his unlit cigar on the edge of a workbench and led them to the door of the Waiting Room. "There's someone in here you need to meet." He opened the door and ushered them in, letting the door close gently after their entrance.

The four men gathered around. "When Sam designed the program, he designed it so that the person who entered the Accelerator Chamber didn't necessarily travel physically to the prior time. The mind and some other portions appear to transfer into a target or host, who exchanges mental activity with the person who entered the chamber. The mind of our guest here is presumably the mind of the person whose body Sam is using right now, even though there's no response. The body, however—Captain Archer," he said, waving everyone to the bed, "come take a look at your great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Dr. Samuel John Beckett."

The body on the bed, clad in a form-fitting white jumpsuit of some type that was slightly reminiscent of the EV undersuit, was a few years younger, and his hair a bit longer, but was otherwise the double of Jonathan Archer. If there had ever been doubt as to Archer's ancestry, there could be none now. The two men were all but indistinguishable; Tucker and Reed kept flicking their eyes back and forth between the drugged body and their captain.

"This is Sam's body," Calavicci continued. "It used to be I could go into the Imaging Chamber and contact him holographically. Our computers would lock on him and I'd go find him and update him on the situation. That stopped all of a sudden. And we used to have an apparent personality exchange, but our staff psychiatrist can no longer get any kind of response from the body, nor can I, though he's not in any recognizable kind of coma, according to Beeksie. We know Sam's on Earth, or we think he is, but he's lost in time, probably somewhere during his own lifetime. If we don't get him back, there's no telling what he'll change that could affect the future—and keep everything you've been doing from happening, or worse."

Archer looked down at his ancestor's very present, very inert body. "We'll do our best, Admiral," he promised. "We'll do our best."


Tucker had shrugged out of the sleeves of his jumpsuit and had tied them about his waist before pushing up the sleeves of his black uniform shirt. He was inputting data into Ziggy, who kept complaining of a headache. "You're a machine," he snorted, "you can't GET a headache, so quit whinin' and finish these calculations."

"All right, if you insist," the computer fussed. "But you're starting to sound way too much like the Admiral."

"You got no clue what I can sound like," he snarled as his fingers ran over the keyboard, pulling up Beckett's diagrams of the Accelerator Chamber for a third time that morning. "And you don't wanta find out, either. Dr. Beckett may have put you together, but nobody's created anything yet I can't take apart. And if I can't do it, Lieutenant Reed will just disintegrate ya. So get yer act together and finish pulling those files."

"Yes, Commander," Ziggy sighed.

Shortly thereafter, a series of answers appeared on the monitor in front of Tucker. Gushman and Martinez-O'Farrell copied notes anxiously while Tucker studied the diagrams.

"This isn't my specialty," Tucker admitted, wiping his forehead. "But it looks to me like you actually do have corruptions in those schematics, Gooshie. The worst one's in the Accelerator Chamber diagrams, if I read this right, and there's some fixes to the chamber I oughta be able to make pretty easy if Daniels gets me back to Enterprise to pick up some tools. You guys, you're gonna have to tell me what Dr. Beckett's original specs on this were supposed to be—that part's not here. You got the original sketches?"

"Of course," Gushman told him. "They're in his office; we'll have them brought down for a comparison.

Tucker closed the schematic for the Accelerator Chamber and opened another program. "Now, here's another problem ya got. There's a million possible reasons why you're not able to track Dr. Beckett any more. But I think ya got a couple of 'em right here. In the retrieval program, for one, and right here in the tracking component. It was workin' before, but it's cut out on ya, right?" Another wipe across his forehead. It wasn't that the room was hot, far from it. Between the building's location inside a mountain, and the low temperatures kept to maintain the equipment, people usually complained that it was chilly. But Tucker was exhausted after four straight hours of fighting Ziggy.

He reached for a comm. "This is Commander Tucker. Could I have Lieutenant Reed in the Control Room."

A few minutes later, Reed entered, Tom Beckett in tow. Beckett was studying Reed's phase pistol, turning it over in his hands respectfully. The two security officers were bonding over equipment. "You needed me?" Reed asked.

"Yeah. Malcolm, I need ya to look at somethin' here. This is the tracking program they've used to try to follow Dr. Beckett. It's not workin' any longer. I don't know much about this one myself, but I thought it might look familiar to you. Thank God program writing hasn't changed that much."

Tucker rose, and Reed slid into his seat to read the data on the monitor. "You're right. It's very close to the Starfleet tactical program for tracking warp plasma signatures." He turned and shrugged to the Project staff. "I ought to know," Reed explained. "I helped write it seven years ago, my time. It was part of my masters' degree project. I've been trying to revise it based on what we've actually run into in deep space."

"Damn." It seemed odd to hear the word in a squeaky schoolgirl voice. "You two sure you don't want jobs working here? 'Cause we could sure use you." Martinez-O'Farrell shook her head at them in wonder, then looked over Tucker once again.

"I prefer a job with a bit more travel," Reed replied as he hunched over the monitor. "Oho, what have we here?"

"I don't know if it's original errors or a program corruption." Tucker responded. "But it looked off to me."

"Quite." Reed began entering commands at the keyboard. "Ziggy, I'd like to make some changes to this program. You'll need to keep this original you have, but I want you to save the changes I'm making separately and run a comparison. I also want you to retrieve Dr. Beckett's original of this and tell me if lines 37, 52, and 118 in this program are identical to the original he wrote."

"Certainly, Lieutenant. I'll be happy to help you." Ziggy began humming off-key as Reed typed. "And please check lines 223 through 251. That's probably what you're really looking for."

Gooshie goggled. "Ziggy's never that nice to anyone."

"Really," Ziggy snorted. "Some people know how to talk to a computer, and some don't. Besides, the Lieutenant has a very cute accent." It was hard to tell, but Reed appeared to be blushing.

"What *I* wanna know," Martinez-O'Farrell sighed, cracking her gum, "is how come you'll tell *him* where all the program errors are and you never told us?"

Ziggy sighed the sigh of the truly exasperated. "I am the world's most advanced computer," it replied slowly, as if speaking to children. "However, I am still a computer. I have more information than any other resource on this planet, but if you don't tell me what you want, how am *I* supposed to know to get it for you?"

"But I've looked at the tracking program a thousand times since we lost Dr. Beckett," Gooshie complained.

"Three hundred fifty-seven, to be precise," Ziggy told him. "And no one ever asked *me* to check the comparisons for them, they kept doing the comparisons themselves. If you'd *told* me what you wanted…" it trailed off with another sigh. "Besides," it added with insufferable cheeriness, "Lieutenant Reed seems to have an idea of how to fix it. *You* wouldn't have."

There was no arguing with that, but then, arguments with a sentient computer whose builder had programmed emotions into it had been doomed to futility the day the contraption had discovered first self-awareness, then self-esteem and finally egomania, all in rapid succession. It was Admiral Calavicci alone who was brave enough to argue with Ziggy for hours on end, but then, Calavicci had donated part of the neural material that made up Ziggy's core. The rest of it was Sam Beckett's. The computer technician backed off from the dispute.

"Give me a day to play with this," Reed sighed. "Dr. Gushman," he asked, unable to bring the man's nickname to his lips, "would you be able to assist me here? I'm going to have some questions about Ziggy's programming operations from your end while I go through this."


Albert Calavicci and Jonathan Archer were sequestered in Calavicci's office. "Cigar?" Calavicci offered, picking up one for himself. Archer declined. "These babies are Havanas," Calavicci chided. "If what you're tellin' me about your time's true, you don't know what you're missing." Archer grinned. "All the more reason to pass. Don't get me started on something I'll never be able to have again. I'll just be frustrated."

"Ain't *that* the truth," Calavicci agreed heartily as he trimmed his cigar and began lighting it. "Nothin' worse than wantin' something so bad you can taste it, and knowing it's completely out of your reach." Archer gazed at the wall behind Calavicci, trying to imagine what the admiral could have wanted in his life that he'd never had.

There were photos of Calavicci with test planes in San Diego, pictures of him on his first Apollo trip. A diploma from MIT, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. A photograph of him, shortly after the moon launches, with a beautiful woman that Archer was sure he'd seen in some twentieth century motion picture; she had been a famous actress in that day. Photos of him with Sam Beckett on one project or another. Now, Calavicci had even been on Enterprise; he'd traveled in time and into deep space. It seemed a hard-lived life, but with more packed into it than a dozen ordinary people might ever have. Calavicci reminded Jon of himself, only having done more. Could he possibly accomplish as much with the rest of his life as Calavicci had accomplished with the extra twenty years of age he had on Archer? "You sound like you're speaking from experience."

"I am, kid, I am." Calavicci slumped back in his desk chair, regarding his cigar. "All that stuff you been lookin' at on the wall? Yeah, I've done a lot. Had the five wives to prove it. Been a test pilot, been through a war, been a POW for five years, been in space, worked on some of the greatest scientific stuff this planet's seen to date. And there's only one thing I want on God's green earth and I ain't gonna get it anytime soon, maybe not ever." He took another drag to keep the stogie lit. "Life's like that sometimes."

"What is it?" Archer couldn't help asking the question.

A sigh. "Nothin', kid—nothin'." He reached over to a computer keyboard. "Let's find out what your guys have come up with, see if maybe they've gotten anywhere with findin' Sam."

Archer eyed Calavicci carefully. Maybe what Calavicci wanted so badly had more than a little to do with the heart that he was so plainly wearing on his sleeve.


"Run it again," Reed sighed. His uniform had been exchanged for a lightweight shirt and a pair of khakis; in deference to Dr. Gushman's sensitivities, he'd borrowed a lab coat. Tucker, uniform again around his waist, was under a panel, making alterations Reed had coaxed out of Ziggy to the wiring of the Accelerator's control console. Gushman took back a printout that Reed had just finished examining.

"Are you sure?" the programmer asked as he scrounged for a mechanical pencil. "The results have come in fine eleven times now."

"Make it an even dozen and I'll sleep better," Reed told him.

"You sure about this at all?" Tucker asked as he reached out for a wrench. "You're talking pretty dangerous stuff here."

Reed sighed. "Look, I think the tracking program is working. It's shown a location and date, a leap, and another location and date that seem consistent with Ziggy's records from the previous leaps. And we can probably continue mapping the entire series of leaps from the time the Project lost the man. But I still think —"

He quieted as Admiral Calavicci entered the room, the neon glow of his electric blue suit preceding him by at least a foot. "I hear you've got something, gentlemen?"

"Yes, sir," Reed acknowledged, standing. Calavicci might be from a hundred fifty years before Reed's time, he might be American, he might be US Navy, but in Reed's book, an admiral was an admiral. The branch of service didn't particularly matter as long as they were from Earth. "We're still working on a few other ideas, but I think we have a fix on the leaps again for you."

Calavicci sighed with relief. "What have you got?"

"He's in Schenectady, New York, 1987. Ziggy thinks —"

"I hate to correct you, Lieutenant, darling, but I'm not doubtful," Ziggy purred. "Would you like me to tell the Admiral, or should you?"

"I'll do it, Ziggy."

"You go, tiger," Ziggy growled happily. Reed flushed.

Calavicci stared at Reed. "My God, that tin can with a brain's in love with you. Damn thing won't give *me* the time of day. What'd you do to it?"

"It's his hands," Ziggy trilled. "He's *really* good with them, Admiral. If you could handle my keyboards the way you handle your dates, you *might* get somewhere with me."

"Shaddup, you —"

"Now, now," Reed sighed, running a finger across an "enter" key in a manner that apparently sent Ziggy into ecstasy for no fathomable reason. "No fighting, love," he ordered the computer. "Admiral, Ziggy says that he's a college student named Paul Hartman. He has a part-time job working at the campus bookstore, and he plays bass in a blues band. She doesn't have much else yet. But you might see if you can contact him."

Calavicci nodded, trying his best not to look excited, an effort that was failing miserably. "Okay, Gooshie, what the hell are you waiting for? Fire up the Imaging Chamber."

"Yes, sir." The programmer began a series of small actions, adjusting buttons and switches that had gone untouched for far too long. "All right, Admiral—and good luck." Barely nodding an acknowledgment, Calavicci grabbed a handlink to the computer and moved for the Imaging Chamber door as Gushman and Reed began peering at monitors. Tucker, now out from under the console, joined them.

"What's happening?" Tucker asked. "It looks like nothing's going on in there."

Gushman bit his lip. "That's the problem. See, Dr. Beckett and the admiral have neural links set in place. If they're both working, Dr. Beckett and the admiral should be able to see each other and communicate. The admiral starts moving about as if he were in the same location as Dr. Beckett, and—wait." Calavicci began addressing the wall as if he were talking to another person. Then there was nothing. Suddenly, the admiral threw the handlink against the wall. "Oh, dear, I hope he didn't break it."

Calavicci thundered out of the Imaging Chamber, a slightly battered handlink with him. "Nothing," he spat. "Then I saw him for one lousy minute but I don't think he saw me. And then it all went blank."

Gushman adjusted controls. "There's nothing wrong with the Imaging Chamber, Admiral. We can test your neural implant, but I'm rather afraid it might be Dr. Beckett's."

"Shit. Get Beeks down here now." Calavicci pounded his fist against one of the work surfaces as he tried to sort out the experience.


The Project psychiatrist, Verbena Beeks, stared down at a file on her desk. "I did an MRI, I did a CAT scan, I did the whole nine yards. I can't tell for sure, but I believe the problem lies in some form of physical difficulty with the neural link itself, possibly corrosion due to implant time. They were never intended to be in place as long as you and Dr. Beckett have had them. Why yours hasn't—yet—suffered any effects I don't know, except that you're physically and mentally active and Dr. Beckett's required continual passive stimulation.

"And before you even ask, Admiral, no, I will *not* authorize any form of invasive procedure to do anything other than to remove the existing neural link; I certainly won't replace it on an unconscious man. I can't justify it." She closed the file and set it aside.

"However, whether corrosion of the neural link or a completely different problem caused the breakdown we've had in communicating with Dr. Beckett, I refuse to let any further holographic attempts be made to contact him."

"So how the hell do we contact him?"

Tucker and Reed both began pointed throat-clearing as they stood behind the seated man. "I think we can answer that," Tucker finally said. Beeks looked up; Calavicci and Archer turned in their chairs to face the two younger officers. Tucker turned to Reed.

"Well it's a theory I have—we've run the projections, but it's only a theory, mind you—"

"Get on with it," Calavicci demanded. "Any ideas you got, I need to know them."

"Commander Tucker and I were afraid that the holographic contact concept might need an alternative plan. So he and I have been working with Dr. Gushman—you might have noticed that Mr. Tucker was doing some adjustments to the Accelerator controls."

"Another leap?" Beeks gulped. "We can't do that…"

"Begging your pardon, ma'am," Reed continued, shifting his weight, "I'd have to insist on it. We *appear* to have a functional retrieval program now, but I shouldn't like to take the chance without its being reviewed by the one person who can tell us if the correction I've made to the program is the right one, and that's Dr. Beckett himself. If the admiral can't communicate with him holographically to have him discuss it with Ziggy, someone needs to go back and take the program directly to Dr. Beckett."

"There's a gaping flaw in that theory," Archer protested. "If you're right, both parties come back. If you're wrong, we lose both of them."

Reed nodded. "I'm positive it's basically correct, sir. However, with the work Commander Tucker and I have done on the Accelerator, I'm more certain of its safety than I am of the retrieval program's. As it is, if someone leaps back, we'll now be able to fix the time and location of the leap, which Dr. Beckett hadn't done when he first leaped. We'll also be able to send the person themselves, physically, which means that a copy of the program and a handlink to Ziggy can go along, so there would be functional contact back to here. The thing is, if the retrieval program I've patched is correct as it stands, that's wonderful, but if it isn't, we risk losing Dr. Beckett entirely. It's essentially the difference between intact and in cinders, sir. And I'm not willing to risk that on him without his vetting the program—and, frankly, having him decide if he's willing to risk it."

Calavicci winced. "He's making sense, Captain."

Archer rubbed a hand over his face. "Very well. Presuming we did do this, who would go?"

"Me, of course," Calavicci responded.

"Oh, no, you don't, Al," Beeks said forcefully. "I know what rescuing Sam means to us, but with him gone, you're the only person here who *can* run things. If anything happens to you, you know who they'll send in to take over."

"Shit, yeah." Calavicci winced. "Donna Elissi. And Sam's ex-wife is not the person to be following up on this. She'd throw everything out the window on the spot."

"Right, Al," the psychiatrist sighed. "She'll destroy everything, and you know it. Find someone else."

"With all due respect," Reed cut in, "it really *should* be me."

Everyone stared now. "Malcolm," Tucker sighed. "We've been through this. No."

"Sorry, Commander, it's true. We can't spare the Admiral, obviously. You—you're the one who's done the actual work on the Accelerator controls; you and Dr. Gushman should be handling them. Dr. Gushman and I are the ones who have been working on the program, we're the ones in the best position to cover it with Dr. Beckett. And yes, of course, there's no arguing that this is a very dangerous plan, and that something could very easily go wrong with it, and, frankly, that *is* in my job description. Rather more so than applying Starfleet military programming to this Project to try to do a patch on the retrieval program is."

Archer stood up. "I don't see how I can allow it."

Reed turned slightly to face off with his commanding officer. "Respectfully, sir, there isn't a choice here. I've already conceded the risk, but someone has to do it, and it *is* my job to take those risks."

"Malcolm…" Archer looked pained; Reed didn't appear to be any happier.


Calavicci cleared his own throat, then rose from his seat. "Look, someone's gotta make a decision around here, and that's my department. Lieutenant, you're the one who knows what's to be done and how to do it; you're the one who should go. Captain Archer, you're about to learn what it feels like to be on the waiting end of a leap."


Tina Martinez-O'Farrell looked over Reed's clothing. "Hmmm." He was in jeans, leather boat shoes—trying to find a decently-kept looking pair of sneakers in a decade-old style hadn't been possible—and a lightweight plaid shirt over a white tee-shirt. She looked down at a pair of scissors, then shook her head. "Ah, the hair's okay, I think. The clothing's fine. Nah, wait." She stepped up to him with a comb and flattened the hair a bit. "Okay, you'll do." She turned to Tucker. "You got that stuff?" Tucker handed her a wallet. "One 1987 New York driver's license, a credit card in Malcolm's name with a number Ziggy swears was valid in 1987, couple of hundred bucks cash from the right period. Should be enough to get by and to get out of any scrapes if you have to," he told Reed.

The Pulse Communications head flipped through the wallet. "Looks kosher to me." She handed it to Reed, who stuffed it in his pocket. "Just try not to use that credit card if ya don't hafta. It's gotta be linked to someone's real account, and you don't wanna attract any notice. 'Sides, since that'll impact someone else's credit, we don't know that it won't change anything in history if you gotta use it." She cracked her gum loudly.

"Right," Reed agreed.

Dr. Gushman handed Reed a worn backpack. "One book bag with the printouts in it. Try to bring the bag back in one piece—it's mine."


"And," Gushman continued, brandishing what looked like a large wristwatch, "here's a wristlink to Ziggy. I know the handlink is a little easier to use, but this won't get lost and it's not likely to attract much notice if you keep your sleeves down."

Reed strapped on the wristlink. It was considerably heavier than a watch would have been, but not too difficult to manage. "Is it working?"

A light beeped on the wristlink. Looking down at the display, Reed and Gushman could both read "Anything for you, tiger."

Gushman sighed. "Good luck—you're gonna need it."

The four walked into the Control Room, where Calavicci and Archer were both waiting nervously. Calavicci fidgeted, his fingers tapping on the flat of a console; Archer paced. "We ready?" Calavicci asked.

"Ready as we'll ever be," Gushman answered.

"Too late *not* to be," Reed sighed, glancing uncomfortably at Archer. Archer nodded back, his mouth in a tight-lipped smile.

"Good luck, Lieutanant."

"Thank you, sir."

Tucker slapped Reed on the back and joined Gushman at the Accelerator controls. "Let's fire this thing up." Gushman began hitting a series of switches, and the console lit up; then the Accelerator Chamber itself began glowing in a distinctly unpleasant but familiar manner. Tucker began adjusting dials. "Schenectady, New York, 1987. You *should* wind up in front of Paul Hartman's apartment house. Find a newspaper or something; check the date, and get input to Ziggy *immediately*."

"Check." Reed adjusted the backpack over one shoulder, moving to the entry to the Accelerator Chamber.

"Okay," Gushman called out. "Go."

Reed stepped forward, into the glare of the Accelerator. The glare increased, casting shadows about weirdly, as the vibration increased to the point that the spectators could feel the floor shaking under them. It was impossible to look towards the Accelerator for a moment…and then the light tapered off. The chamber was empty. "*Something* happened, anyway," Tucker sighed.

Martinez-O'Farrell nodded. "C'mon, sailor, lemme buy you a drink or three. It'll be a while, and this part's all Gooshie's department now."

"I could use a drink," Tucker admitted to her.

"Fine," the scientist smirked, her gum cracking once more. "I got a pitcher of margaritas waiting for us at my place. C'mon, I got a pool at my apartment."

"I don't have a swimsuit," Tucker protested faintly.

"Better yet. C'mon." She grabbed his hand and tugged him after her towards the exit.

Calavicci and Gushman both watched the escape with terror as Archer looked on with astonishment. "Poor guy," Calavicci sighed. "She'll eat him alive."

"Yeah," Gushman agreed. "Poor SOB."

Calavicci slapped a hand on Archer's back. "C'mon, let's get some coffee over in the cafeteria. Gooshie, buzz us when you hear from the Lieutenant—or if you don't."


It was sunny out, very much so—Malcolm Reed found himself wishing for a pair of sunglasses. He looked around. There was a run-down three-story brick house in front of him with several mailboxes on it. Similar houses surrounded it. There, down at the end of the block, a convenience store of some kind.

Had there really been such a profusion of fossil-fuel driven personal vehicles in the Twentieth Century? Apparently so, for they lined the sides of the street as well as moving through the lanes of traffic. The convenience store, something called Stewarts—surely they would have local newspapers as well as something to drink—had gasoline pumps in front of it, with cars lined up to fuel up. This was something one had read about in history lessons, had seen in old motion pictures, had seen in books, but it was different being among such things. The air around them…wars had broken out to fight over lands with fossil fuels? A war to get away from them would have been more logical.

Reed fought his way through the traffic—the wristlink indicated five o'clock, a time, he supposed, that people were coming home from work. He entered the convenience store—wait, there were some inexpensive sunglasses on a display rack. He grabbed a pair, testing them for fit. The price was well within range of any one of the bills in his wallet. There was a refrigerator case. Most of the brands and many of the beverages were unfamiliar—good Lord, what was a Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray?—but iced tea shouldn't have changed drastically over a bit more than a century and a half, should it? Well, it could have, but at least it should be vaguely recognizable.

Some newspapers, presumably all that day's. There was one—The New York Times. Well, he was supposedly in New York State; that should be good enough. Where were the local papers? The date should be near the top on these things—right, June 17, 1987. He glanced further down the rack and eyed a large empty space with a placard for "The Gazette," but that didn't name the town. He looked further afield; by the door were road maps of New York, and a small collection of local maps. All right, the word "Schenectady" was around the place in several spots. Everything was probably fine, at least as far as getting there went. He paid for the glasses and drink, and found the men's room. Locking the door, he looked at the wristlink. Along with the time display, everything else seemed to be functional.

"I'm here," he said to the device sotto voce. "Schenectady, June 17, 1987. I just walked about half a block from the place I landed, which was in front of an apartment house, to check this out. I'll go back and find Dr. Beckett."

The wristlink flickered a "Good job. Report on contact."

He opened the restroom door, popped the cap on the iced tea, and headed back to the apartment building. Whether it was the quality of the beverage or tastes had changed, it didn't seem much like the iced tea he was used to, but it was good enough to get by for the moment.

The apartment house had a bicycle rack set in front, along with the mailboxes. A small patch of flowers surrounded a couple of shrubs. Someone, probably a first-floor tenant, cared for the yard. Reed made his way to the mailboxes and read the nameplates.

Paul Hartman, Number Four. That was the one he wanted.

He entered the building, whose main door was unlocked—didn't these people believe in home security? Anyone could come in from off the street, as he had. There were two apartments on the ground floor, as well as a wide flight of stairs, with Number Four, presumably, one of the two apartments on the next floor.

Up the stairs, which were steeper than they looked. Number Three's door was in front of his face to his left—there, on the right, was Number Four. He could hear a few general noises—someone seemed to be inside. With luck, it would only be Hartman—and please, God, let Hartman be Beckett—and no company.

A finger to the doorbell, with an audible buzz. A faint "Hang on" came from within. The door was opened by a young man with longish hair, perhaps twenty-three years old, in cutoff shorts and a tee-shirt. The eyes, though…the eyes seemed familiar, and much, much older. If Sam Beckett was peering out through them, that explained a great deal; perhaps it explained Reed's uncomfortable feeling that Jonathan Archer was looking back at him in the face of a younger man from the past.

"Paul Hartman?"

"Yeah—who are you?" The voice wasn't hostile, just inquisitive; Reed felt himself being scrutinized.

The Englishman took a breath. "I'm looking for someone named Sam Beckett. My friend Ziggy thought he might be here."

Hartman's—clearly Beckett's—eyes widened. "You're from the Project? Thank God, I thought you'd never—" He looked at Reed again. "Wait. You rang the doorbell. You're not a hologram if you can handle objects here…Where's Al?"

Reed lowered his book bag. "He's fine, Dr. Beckett, but there's a very long story. May I come in?"

"Yes. Please."

Reed entered the apartment as Beckett shut and locked the door.


Calavicci looked up from his monitor. "They've made contact," he sighed in relief. "Your boy's found Sam."

Archer wiped his forehead. "Thank heaven." He rose from Calavicci's office sofa and stretched. "I don't think I've ever been so tired from doing nothing in my life."

"Welcome to my world." Calavicci rose as well. "Until Sam first got stuck out there and I began following his movements, I had no idea that sitting around waiting was anything like this."

"You're a hell of a lot tougher than I am," Archer told the admiral, pouring himself a cup of coffee from the office coffeepot. "If this is what it's like for me just to hear that Malcolm's all right, I can't imagine doing this every day for a few years."

"It ain't easy." Calavicci peeled off his jacket and threw it over a chair, then pulled off his tie, a confection of colors not found in any portion of the galaxy Archer had ever seen, and tossed it expertly on top of the suit coat. "There's only one thing that keeps you going, and that's if you—" He silenced himself. "Look, I know you ain't my branch of the service, and I *know* we're talkin' a hundred fifty years from now, and things gotta get better by then, and I still can't finish that sentence."

Archer reflected on what he'd seen two days before. How Calavicci felt about Beckett might not be obvious to his Project co-workers, but it was plain enough to Archer. Archer knew all about unrequited love, knew all about wanting someone who didn't seem to return the sentiment—in Calavicci's case, perhaps Beckett did, but there was no way to know, nothing to be done about it. This was the Twentieth Century—of course, the American military had been notorious back then; Archer had heard about that in the military history classes he'd taken in officer's training. Everyone had been in total disbelief that such policies had ever existed—but clearly they had existed at this time, and Calavicci plainly felt trapped by them.

"Admiral," Archer addressed him, "I want you to know—it *will* get better. And I know how you feel about Sam."

Calavicci slumped. "Can't happen soon enough, far as I'm concerned. Been married five times to try to cover up—you got no idea, Captain. It—it ain't easy. And…shit, if I'd 'a known this was gonna happen to him, I'd 'a told him anyway, I wouldn't 've kept sitting on it. You ever find someone you love more than anything, lemme tell ya, you tell them. Right away, dammit. 'Cause the main thing keepin' me working on finding Sam? All the other stuff's nothing. But if it's the last thing he or I ever do, I gotta let him know."

Archer walked Calavicci over to the sofa, seated him, and sat back down with his coffee. "Admiral—Al—I *do* know what you mean." Archer stared across the room, his eyes drawn to the riot that was Calavicci's tie. "I need to tell that to a man who's told me he'll never get involved with a commanding officer. And now I'm doing the same waiting for him that you are."

"Reed?" Calavicci asked. "Shit, I'm sorry. Guess we're both a couple of walking wounded, huh?" He turned and looked at the man beside him, sighing. "Fuck. I wish—I wish to God you weren't a dead ringer for Sam. It's killing me, you know it?"

"I'm sorry."

"Nothing you can do about it." Calavicci looked at Archer again, more closely, then reached a hand out to Archer's face, cupping it for a moment. "Shit, I —"

"I know," Archer said softly, reaching gently up to Calavicci's hand and removing it. "I'm *not* Sam, Al. And we both know it. I can't *be* Sam. If I could, I—I —" "I know," Calavicci said to the floor. "I know."

Archer leaned over and kissed the other man's temple lightly. He hadn't even noticed he was still holding Calavicci's hand. "You're exhausted. Get some rest."

"I—I know this sounds crazy, but…do you think you could stay anyway? I mean, just stay here with me?"

A moment's deliberation, and a sigh. "You know, I don't really think I can handle being alone right now either. Let me get the lights."

"Thanks, Jon." Calavicci finally relaxed against the back of the couch, wedging himself into a corner, as Archer dimmed the office lights and returned to his seat, reaching his hand over to the admiral once more.

The monitor flickered before going into "sleep" mode as Ziggy quietly noted everything to itself and programmed a wakeup call for four hours later, barring any news. It was the least it could do, it determined, to be nice to the admiral for once. After all, he'd finally owned up to what Ziggy had known since the day it was born. And it had to be nice to Captain Archer, if Captain Archer was going to join it in fussing over Lieutenant Reed.


Beckett handed Reed a beer and opened another one for himself as Reed continued explaining the situation. "Let me get this straight," Beckett interjected. "Another human time traveler from the thirty-first century got three human space travelers from the twenty-second century to come back to rescue a time traveler from the twentieth century?"

"That's about it," Reed grinned. "Apparently time is littered with good Samaritans trying to dig each other out of scrapes." "It's got some real jerks, too," Beckett replied. He passed on a story of someone named Alia whom he could describe only as "an evil leaper". "I guess we're not all Boy Scouts."

"Good thing some of us are," Reed chuckled over his bottle. He looked at the label: Samuel Adams. He'd never heard of it, but it wasn't bad. "Anyway, our chief engineer and I looked over the programs for your Imaging Chamber, your Accelerator, and your tracking and retrieval programs. He's done a bit of fix-up on your Imaging Chamber, and we've completely revamped the whole Accelerator business for you, because I figured we'd possibly need to get someone here in person. I hope you don't mind."

"Mind?" Beckett was nonplussed. "I just hope you left records so I can follow what you did to them."

Reed grinned. "Ziggy's been extremely helpful. To me, anyway. She seems to like me. Rather a lot, actually."

Beckett looked at him sharply. "Oh. Do you have a habit of running your fingers over a keyboard while you're thinking? Ziggy thinks that's the same thing as a neck rub. I'd been playing with programming sensation equivalents as well as emotions, and I'd completely forgotten to tell Al or any of the staff. I don't want to tell you what I wired to the 'enter' key."

Reed blushed. "Oh, my God, *that* explains it."

"Ziggy's always hated it if anyone's rough with an 'enter'—which is why it's always mad at Al. Al's kinda been going at it with no foreplay." The physicist grinned. "Ziggy must think you're the greatest lover of the century."

"That's what it's indicated." Reed took another pull at the longneck. "Anyway, thanks to having an intimate relationship with your computer that I didn't know I was having, Ziggy found that whoever last put in the retrieval program did an input with some major errors in it that everyone's overlooked somehow, and the erroneous program's been treated as if it were the original one you did. I re-entered the program with your original calculations, and then I made some adjustments. I *think* it works. I *think* it can get both of us back. But I want someone who's better at this than I am reviewing it, and that would appear to be you."

Beckett nodded. "Do you have the program?"

Reed shook his head and patted the book bag. "I have your original, a copy of the incorrect version everyone's been trying to work with, and the one I did to make some adjustments to the original. It took Ziggy and me about a day and a half to work it out, working with some programs I had to get from the ship."

Beckett bit his lip. "With only printouts and a wristlink, and no computers from 1987 that can handle this type of work, I'll need a few days. Are we up against an immediate time deadline, or do I have the luxury of doing this right?"

"Let's tell them we need three days."

Beckett grabbed the backpack. "You tell Ziggy, I'll see if I have enough paper here to double-check things by hand. You know—this is going to require an incredible amount of pizza, don't you?"

"A hundred and fifty years—you're telling me that program writing has run on pizza for nearly two centuries?" "I want extra cheese, onions, mushrooms, and sausage. The place across the street isn't bad—go rustle us a couple of extra large."

"Yes, sir." Reed felt for his wallet. "Two pizzas, coming up."


"Mr. Rostov, have you had any success in finding Captain Archer, or either Mr. Tucker or Mr. Reed?"

The engineer shifted uneasily as he felt himself being scrutinized by T'Pol. "No, Sub-commander, I haven't. They don't appear to be on the ship. In fact, we're three human bio-signs short."

"Thank you, Mr. Rostov. Dismissed." The young man hustled off of the bridge, happy to escape from either debate or additional duty.

T'Pol deliberated for a moment before choosing the captain's chair over her seat at the sciences station. If Archer and the other two men were gone, she was in command of the ship without any of the most senior officers. Archer had mentioned something earlier in the day about Crewman Daniels and a visitor; how the older human in the American naval uniform happened to be aboard Enterprise was something beyond her explanation but plainly impossible by her own standards. Whenever Daniels' name was invoked, something peculiar happened. The captain had been missing since dinner; however, none of the disappearances previously linked with Daniels seemed to have taken more than a few hours.

Perhaps Ensign Sato could tend to Porthos for the rest of the evening. The abnormality would probably be resolved by the morning. If it were not—T'Pol dismissed the thought from her mind. As long as the officers were back without that naval officer everything would be quite satisfactory. But the man's cigar—really, the olfactory overstimulation her nose had received was too great for Phlox's numbing agent—and the manner in which he had looked at her, which was far too similar to how she recalled observing Lieutenant Reed during a rather embarrassing incident…she hoped that whatever Daniels was doing this time, or whatever the captain would say Daniels had done, the admiral would be not be there when the captain returned.


"There's a new upload from Sam," Gushman alerted Tucker and Martinez-O'Farrell. "It's going to take forever coming through the wristlink, but it's a shot at revising the end of that program."

Tucker perked up, tearing his eyes from a copy of Beckett's journal notes on the construction of the Accelerator's engine. "How long's it gonna take?"

"About another hour to complete the upload, because that wristlink is slow, and then Ziggy's estimating about half a day to analyze it and run simulations." The programmer rubbed his hands together merrily. "I can't wait to see the results."

"Half a day?" Tucker looked at a clock across the room. Nothing would be completed that day. "There anyplace decent to eat around the town here? Don't think I've got any period currency, but…"

"Did you want to go to dinner?" Gushman asked. "There's a terrific Chinese place at the edge of town. For all the work you've been doing, I'd be happy to buy for you."

Tucker deliberated between sitting at a table across from Gushman's breath and the alternative of yet another night with Tina Martinez-O'Farrell. He never thought he'd have seen the day, but…"Gooshie, how's their moo shu pork?"

"I don't eat pork but their moo shu vegetables are out of this world, and everyone who gets the pork dishes likes them."

Tucker tried clearing logic cobwebs out of his brain—of course, Gushman was Jewish. "Sounds great. You just tell me when it's time t' head on out and I'll be ready."

"Sure, it's a date."

Tucker hoped Gushman didn't mean that quite literally—if men were something he was going to take up, the computer genius just wasn't going to do it for him—but even if Gushman *was* serious, if it came down to Gushman or Martinez-O'Farrell…

He'd never before thought of heterosexuality as something it would be possible to get sick of. But damn it, he needed some rest.


"Bloody hell." Reed looked down at the report coming through on the wristlink. "There's a flaw still in the last quarter of the program. We're talking molecular stream reintegration failure on the physical recovery, or else—here, check this yourself."

Beckett took the device and restarted the data stream. "God, isn't *this* just wonderful." He tossed the wristlink back to Reed. "I could philosophize on the meaning of life to every subatomic particle in the universe as whatever's left of my mind becomes one with the entirety of existence. That sounds a lot better than it actually is, you know." He slumped back on the shabby student-housing couch. "I can't deal with this till tomorrow."

"Neither can I," Reed agreed. "Let's not look at the blasted thing." He opened a beer, carried that and another one to the couch, and joined Beckett, handing the second beer to the other man as he sat.

Beckett idly flicked a television remote. "A rerun of 'Murder, She Wrote,' a baseball game…National Geographic special on whales…I didn't think 1987 was *this* boring when I was living through it the first time."

"I have no clue about that, but," Reed asked, staring at the screen, "how is an English actress convincing everyone in this show that she's actually from New England?"

Beckett sighed. "The willing suspension of disbelief is a wonderful thing." He flicked the remote again. "Oh, wow, 'Colossus: The Forbin Project.' A movie I ought to program out of Ziggy's database. *If* I ever get back…" He tossed the remote onto a cluttered coffee table.

Reed turned to him. "You shouldn't think like that. We'll get back to it in the morning and work out those last bugs."

"I haven't done this sort of thing since I started leaping through time," Beckett said, burying his face in his hands for a moment. "I'm not up to it—in fact, I think I made some errors when I corrected your work."

"That's possible," Reed conceded, reaching over to Beckett, "but you're doing one hell of a lot better than I could ever do with no equipment and nothing to help me out."

"That doesn't make the problem go away." The physicist let Reed draw his hands from his face. "I'm sorry, Malcolm, it's just—it's been years since I've been this close to getting home, and watching it all get blown to hell…"

"It isn't, Sam," Reed protested. "Come on, take a deep breath." He reached one hand around to Beckett's neck and began massaging. "You're too wound up. We need to *not* think about this for a while, and get back to it when we're not exhausted." He blinked; it was a strange phenomenon that the slightest contact with Paul Hartman's body caused Beckett's own physical appearance to be visible as a superimposition upon Hartman. The fact had made living and working together for the past few days quite confusing. It was a good thing that time travel had been refined by Crewman Daniels' time.

A nod. "Yeah, you're right." Reed could feel Beckett relaxing into his hand, and turned to move both hands to Beckett's shoulders. "Thanks, that feels great. I know, I'm obsessing about everything."

"It happens," Reed assured him. "We all do it. Especially me. I must say, it's a bit refreshing to see someone else getting more wound up than I do." He kneaded into tightly knotted muscle, hearing the other man sigh at the release of the tension in them.

"Al used to give me neck rubs when I'd sit up all night working on something. He'd get the kinks out of my neck, and then he'd make me eat dinner. Sometimes he'd actually unplug my computer so I'd go to bed." Reed laughed, keeping up his rhythm on Beckett's deltoids. "Ah, that sounds like Captain Archer. He's hounded me into going to bed when I've tried assigning myself double shifts. Once he threatened to have me court-martialled if I didn't quit working on some torpedo launcher calibrations at two in the morning."

A chuckle from Beckett, who reached for his beer. "Yeah, sounds like Al. God, I miss him. I don't care much about anything else, but Al and Ziggy, I need to get home for them."

"I gathered from the Admiral that the two of you were—are—very close."

"Yeah." Beckett leaned back into Reed's touch. "I met him when he hired me to work on an astrophysics program with him. I guess we've been together since then."

"Ah. I wondered if you were a couple."

"If—huh?" Beckett seemed startled, but didn't flinch. "No, we're not. He's my best friend, we've always done pretty much everything together—but Al's been married five times. Real ladies' man. At least he seems to be. I wish—but I've never told him."

"I understand." Reed fell silent as he continued to work. He knew all about not telling other people how he felt, had thrown up the defense of being against fraternization when he'd felt cornered. When Jonathan Archer had left him with nothing else to say to protect himself, no clue in the older man's mind, Reed thought, that it had been a better answer than the truth that he feared the possibility of actual spontaneous combustion at Archer's touch.

Finally, hands tiring, he let go of Beckett. The scientist turned towards him. "You sound like you've been there yourself."


"Unrequited love. In a word, it sucks."

"I know," Reed acknowledged edgily, working his fingers. "Believe me, I *do* know."

The pain was evident enough not to be missed. "Who's yours?"

A glance over at Beckett, mere inches away from him, and a grimace. "You have no idea how much it hurts to answer that to a man who's a dead ringer for him."

Beckett winced. "Jon? Your captain?" The scientist had heard about Archer, but hadn't seen him; hadn't had the experience that Reed or the Project staff had, of seeing Archer beside Beckett's body to be confronted with the near-identical resemblance between the men. "I—I'm sorry."

"Don't be. You couldn't know."

"I might have guessed; you've talked about him enough when we've been trading stories." Beckett reached his own arm out in sympathy, hand to Reed's shoulder.

The touch should have been gentle, should have been reassuring. What it should not have been, what it was, was electric. Impossible to pass it off as the initial static of two leapers' contact; they had experienced that already—this was something else, something much, much different.

Both of them recognized it at the same time, heads turning, eyes locking. Both of them froze, just for one second, before Reed blinked as if to clear his head, and Beckett sighed audibly. "Malcolm, I—" His hand still lay on Reed's shoulder, but the touch was hesitant, as though he were unsure of whether it had outstayed its welcome on Reed's body.

"No—no, it's all right." Reed moved closer to Beckett, reaching his hand to the physicist's thigh. "It's all right, Sam."

"Is this?" Beckett drew himself closer to the younger man, sliding his hand into Reed's hair and gently turning his head. His lips grazed Reed's softly. "I know I'm not Jon. And you're not Al. But we're here together…and we're in this together…and we might be here for a lot longer than either of us planned."

"If it all goes south on us, we may not be getting out of this alive," Reed mouthed quietly. He slid his own arm around Beckett, leaning his head against the larger man's shoulder. "Let's move this to the bedroom, shall we? This couch is rather lumpy."


"Damn this calculator," Beckett sighed, "it's a museum piece." He shoved aside his "host's" Texas Instruments scientific calculator and went back to a pencil. Working by hand appeared to be easier for him than using the piece of equipment in front of him. He looked up at Reed and grinned. "Sorry. That's really your line, I suppose."

Reed, bearing two mugs of coffee fresh from the kitchen, grinned back. He was shirtless, and just shaven. "Museum piece? Hmm," he pondered, looking down at the device. "Try absolutely prehistoric." One of the mugs went in front of Beckett, near the pad of paper. "You're hard at work already, hmm?"

"For some reason, my mind seems to be *much* clearer than it's been lately." Another flash of teeth at Reed. "Can't imagine why."

"Nor can I." Reed set his own mug on the table. "Shall I make some breakfast, or would you rather have an assistant?" Beckett bit the end of his pencil with two perfect front teeth that recalled enough of the previous night to make Reed shiver. "Hmm. I think there's bread back there. Just make a huge pile of toast. Let's do that and then get through some projections. And then we should probably take a break."

"What kind of break did you have in mind?" Reed was appraising Beckett frankly now, and not without clear interest. There was a stray twinge of guilt—but why? He had nothing with Jonathan Archer—that he pushed aside with some effort, recalling the pleasure of the night before.

The time traveler flushed crimson above the collar of his knit pullover. "I…um…"

Reed came around the table to reach for Beckett's neck and shoulders as he had the night before. "More of the same as last night? I think I could handle that."

"So could I. So why am I…um…"

"Feeling guilty?" Reed supplied as he worked his thumbs along the base of Beckett's skull.

"Uh, right."

"Same reason I am. We're both painfully loyal to two men we're not even involved with but we're terrified we'll never see again."

"What's the solution?" Beckett put the pencil down and leaned back against Reed's hands.

"You're the one with six doctorates."

"All of which I acquired so early I missed out on little things like understanding relationships."

Reed sighed deeply. "I'm hardly an expert there myself. The only thing I know is that we're the only ones here now. And if—er, when—we make it back in one piece, we deal with what's there then."

"When we get back, you're going to head a century and a half into my future." Beckett dropped his neck as far backwards as he could, letting his head hang, and looking up at Reed goofily.

"Then we deal with that. You'll be with Al then. And maybe you'll finally be able to take a deep breath and tell him how you feel about him."


"Sorry—am I hurting you?" Reed paused. "No. I was thinking about trying to tell Al."

"Samuel Beckett, I've met your Al. Something tells me that at the very least he won't be offended."

"I'll make you a deal. I'll tell Al how I feel about him if you tell Jon how you feel."

Reed stopped dead this time. "Oh, lord."

"Malcolm, if he's even remotely close to being as much like me as you say, it's the least you can do."

"Sam, he's my commanding officer."

"And your point is? He won't always be, will he? I may not know much about relationships, Malcolm, but one thing leaping's taught me—even *I* know you have to take chances sometimes. You're not going to convince me the man came out to rescue you from a live mine himself, offered to get killed instead of you on another planet, and doesn't have some kind of feelings about you." Beckett paused. "If he's enough like me…"

The sentence hung unfinished.


"Malcolm, if he's enough like me…" Beckett swallowed. "I think he's probably very much in love with you. Take advantage of it for everything it's worth." He reached back to squeeze Reed's hand. "You'd better get that toast, and we'll get back to crunching some numbers."


Ziggy's voice cut through the still air of Al Calavicci's office. "Dr. Beckett and Lieutenant Reed are sending another upload, Admiral. They have a very large block of revisions."

Calavicci looked up from a pile of budget forms as Archer set down a recent Time magazine, amazed at what Americans hadn't known about the world around them at the end of the twentieth century. "How's it look, Ziggy?"

"It's fine so far, Admiral, but it will be some time before the information is fully uploaded, and then processed. I am sure that it is much closer than the last set of corrections. However, even *I* can perform only so many processes at once, and so I will not be able to report until everything is completed. I anticipate tomorrow morning,"

"Thanks, Ziggy." Calavicci stood up and stretched. "It'll be a long day today. Want to swing by the cafeteria and then look in on the Control Room?"

"Sure. Let's see if Tina's laid any snares for Trip around the place."

Calavicci chuckled. "She'll just have to get over it. When you guys leave—" Calavicci sighed. "Damn, Jon, this ain't gonna be easy."

Archer clamped a hand on the admiral's shoulder. "Look, Al…I'm not Sam, and we both know it. I've got a mission to run, and you've got—damn it, Al, I know how you feel about him; for God's sakes, just tell him, will you?"

The admiral bit his lip. "I've been less scared of facin' a bunch of Viet Cong than I am of that. Ya know it?

Archer nodded slowly. "I know. I'm starting to think I need to talk to Malcolm myself…and Lord knows he's not going to want to hear it from me. He's rejected every opportunity I've ever offered to try to get closer…" He sighed, shrugging his shoulders.

Calavicci wheeled around to face Archer. "Ever stop to think maybe he *is* interested? That maybe he's just as scared to deal with how he might feel about you as I've been about dealing with Sam?'

"Why?" Archer was startled by the suggestion.

"Hell, I don't know, I'm not a mind reader. But I've been a C.O. a lot longer than you have, Jon—hell, I'm old enough to be your dad, kid. And a man who avoids his C.O. that much when there's no reason for it, someone who throws up that much fear about fraternizing when you're already in close circumstances—I'll bet you anything that boy's scared to death of how he feels about you."

Archer rubbed a hand over his face. It was so obvious that he'd missed it. "Shit. Call me stupid."

"Hey, no shame in bein' stupid about relationships—it's kinda the curse of bein' human. C'mon, let's get some food here and see what we can do about getting both of our guys home, huh?"


Dennis Gushman ripped pages of printout from a steadily churning printer, sat down at a work counter with a red pen, and began scribbling as he read. Five pages in, he stood up and handed the paper silently to Trip Tucker.

Tucker reached over for a blue pen and began jotting and circling. Finally he looked up at an expectant Gushman. "It'll take a bit of doing," he sighed, "but I can handle it. I'd probably better start working on things now." The programmer swigged down a mouthful of leftover cold coffee. "If you can do the actual adjustments in the Accelerator Chamber, I can finish the recalibrations on the console. I've never seen anything like this before, but Ziggy swears it checks out." He stared down at another stack of printouts in his hand. "This is the first time in a couple of years I've allowed myself to think that Dr. Beckett might actually make it home."

Tucker pushed up his sleeves. "We're gonna get him back here, Gooshie. Malcolm and me, we're gonna get him back. 'Cause if we don't, Malcolm's pretty well stuck too, and he doesn't take to that kinda thing real well."

Gushman looked down at a few papers still in his hand. "Well, if we're gonna get them unstuck, then, we'd better get started."

The engineer stood up. "Betcha an order of kung pao chicken we get them back here in two days."

"You've got a deal." Gushman headed to the Accelerator's console and began humming tunelessly as he started adjusting controls.


Beckett stretched across the bed to place Ziggy's wristlink on the nightstand. "Sorry, didn't want to push you out of bed there."

Reed chuckled as he moved back towards the center of the bed. "I think I'll survive the crushing. What's Ziggy say?"

"Tomorrow afternoon. They'll be trying this three-thirty our time."

"You'll be glad to get home," Reed observed, rearranging the sheets. Beckett rolled onto his side and pulled Reed up against him.

"I'll miss this."

"So will I—but you've Al to get back to."

"If I can get him to listen to me. At least Jon's pretty obviously interested in you."

"If I can get up the nerve to let anything happen," Reed sighed, burrowing comfortably against the physicist's broad chest.

"You let *this* happen." Beckett nuzzled the back of Reed's neck. "We both wanted this."

"I know." Reed leaned back, pressing himself into Beckett's touch. "Unfortunately, however things work…I suppose this is the end of it." "Life's funny," Beckett observed, stroking Reed's chest. "It always seemed as if these leaps had a reason, but I wasn't always sure what I was supposed to do or to learn. This time I'm in bed with a man who's telling me to make things work with Al." He laughed. "It's kind of like a bad rewrite of 'Casablanca'."

"Oh? You mean 'We'll always have Schenectady'?" Reed's voice moved into a mimic of the film's line as he parodied it.

"My God, you mean people are *still* watching 'Casablanca' in 2153?"

"Some watch it. My friend Commander Tucker sniffles his bloody way through it."

"God, things never *do* change." Beckett shifted position, pinning Reed under him. "I'm glad to know *this* doesn't change." He turned his attention to Reed's collarbone as Reed let out a sigh, writhing bonelessly under him. "I'd hate to think I'm doing this wrong."

"N—not in the least." Reed let himself be carried along by Beckett's touch. "In fact, you're—ah, yes…doing admirably…"


T'Pol looked at the scanners' report again. There was no sign of any of the three senior human officers. "Ensign Sato, the Captain is still absent. Perhaps you might assist with his dog's bedtime routine."

"Of course. I'll take Porthos to my quarters overnight."

The Vulcan nodded. "That should be suitable. Leave a note for the Captain. If he returns in the middle of the night, he might wish to know where his dog is."

"Of course, Subcommander."

These excursions of Daniels' were quite irritating when they occurred. One never knew how many minutes, or hours, the captain might be away when such things happened. No doubt she would be told that it seemed he had been away for days. Human perception of time, like human senses, was clearly lacking.


Verbena Beeks, the Project Quantum Leap psychiatrist, stood by in the Control Room with two medics. Calavicci and Archer were nearby, one watching a still figure in the Waiting Room, the other eyeing the Accelerator Chamber warily. Gushman and Tucker stood by the Accelerator controls. None of them paid heed to the various technicians and workers who had not yet met Archer, who were now silently eyeing the man in uniform who looked exactly like their Project Director.

"Power on," Ziggy announced. "On your count, Dr. Gushman."

Gushman rubbed his eyes, then jammed them back on. "Kung pao chicken tonight?" he teased Tucker.

"You're on." Tucker flicked three switches as Gushman worked the control settings.

"What is WITH you two?" Martinez-O'Farrell hissed at the two men. "Aintcha comin' to my place to celebrate, Trip?"

"Sorry, darlin'," Tucker whispered, "I got a date with Gooshie."

Martinez-O'Farrell blinked and cracked her gum more loudly than usual. "Oh God, don't tell me you're one of *them*…but *Gooshie*?"

Tucker suppressed a chuckle. "Tina, some people just get off on a guy with a lens prescription and an IQ that are both close to 200."

The pulse communications queen eyeballed Gushman. "I never thought of that before."

"Quiet," Gushman whispered back at the other two. Then, more loudly, "Everyone ready? Three, two, one, *now*."

The sound and light show wasn't altogether unexpected, but was still incredible. The sparking was perhaps the most distracting element, suggestive as it was of things that could go wrong, but the steadily increasing glow from the Accelerator Chamber negated that concern. People shielded eyes at the glare, as Gushman and Tucker peered through it to see what might be happening.

"Looks like we've got something—is that one, or two, or—"

"Hey!" Calavicci shouted, looking into the Waiting Room. "Beena, Sam's moving, dammit, get someone in there!" A medic rushed into the Waiting Room, Beeks following.

Calavicci was about to follow suit when Gushman called out again. "We've got Lieutenant Reed."

The admiral nudged Archer. "You and the Commander check on your guy, Captain, I'll check on ours." The second medic moved to Archer's side and Tucker moved from the Accelerator console as Calavicci darted away.

"Powering down," Gushman called. Tucker opened the door of the Accelerator Chamber and caught hold of Reed, who was collapsing against him. Gushman's backpack slid out of Reed's hand and to the floor of the Chamber. Archer slid his own arm around Reed as the medic peered over to check Reed's eyes, then to grab Reed's wrist and check his pulse. Reed looked around tiredly. "I seem to be in one piece," he sighed wearily to Tucker. Turning to the man who supported his waist, he offered a weak smile. "Captain. Is Dr. Beckett quite all right?"

"I'm not sure, we haven't seen him yet. How are you?"

The medic was reaching over to try to read Reed's temperature with an ear thermometer. "Fine, sir, just a bit tired. I think, however, we need to talk."

"We do, Malcolm," Archer acknowledged. "We will. I need to talk to you. Later, though. We ought to check on Dr. Beckett first." The three officers made their way from the Accelerator Chamber area to the Waiting Room. Beckett was sitting up on the edge of the medical table, Beeks checking his pulse, Calavicci behind Beckett supporting him as he tried to remain upright for the first time in two years. "Take it easy there, Sam," the admiral urged. "Y' ain't been using this body much for a while; don't overdo it."

Beckett nodded, then looked up as he heard the Enterprise crew's entry. He cracked a slow grin. "Hey, Malcolm, you made it back, huh? Good job."

"How's being back in your own body feel?" Malcolm lobbed back at Beckett.

"Weird. It's been a few years since all of me was in one place. I think I still have a few parts missing." Beckett looked over to the man beside Reed, then stared with frank curiosity. "You have to be Jon Archer." The scientist held a hand out with slight effort. "I haven't used these muscles much lately, so you'll have to excuse me. Feels a little odd being in my own body."

They shook hands. Beckett looked at Archer again. "Malcolm said you and I were apparently related. I don't think there's much question, is there? It's pretty incredible."

"To say the least," Archer agreed. "It's nice finally getting to meet you, by the way; I've been hearing about you for days."

"You need some rest," Beeks chided. "Enough conversation for one time. You can all see each other at dinner."

"Good," Calavicci snorted, "'cause Sam and I, we need to have a little talk."

"Well, I wish someone was talking to *me*," came a high-pitched whine.

A nearly unnoticeable man in a lab coat came up to Dr. Martinez-O'Farrell's side. "I think you'll find things really will be back to normal shortly, Tina." She looked over at him in surprise. "If it ain't Daniels! Where ya been, buddy? No one *else* around here loves me."

Daniels looked at her placidly. "It's nice to see you, too."

A perfectly manicured hand reached out and snagged him by his lab coat. "C'mon, I ain't got the rest of my life to celebrate, have I?" She glowered at Tucker as she left the Waiting Room, Daniels in tow, attempting to wriggle free from her taloned grasp.

"I hope he survives," Tucker sighed. "We need him to get us away from her. I mean, we've prob'ly kept T'Pol up past her bedtime waiting for us to get back."


Reed was alone in the armory, finishing adjustments to the phase cannon calibrations and cursing silently, wishing he hadn't given beta shift the rest of their shift off. A hand would have been useful just then. A voice came from over his shoulder. "Need a hand with that?"

"Jon?" How it could have been Archer escaped him; he should have heard the door.

"Not for about a hundred fifty or so years."

Reed swivelled on his work station's stool. "Sam? What on earth are you doing here?" He leaned over, reaching a hand to the taller man's shoulder and giving him a welcoming peck on the cheek.

Beckett returned the kiss with a slight hug. "You spent enough time at my place; thought I'd return the visit. Daniels dropped me off. Besides, I wanted to know—but I think you answered my question. You've obviously talked to Jon."

Reed grinned. "I suppose calling the captain by his first name when no one's around *is* a bit of a giveaway. Did you talk to Al?"

Beckett's face flushed, but he was smiling. "I, uh, yeah. God help the Navy if they ever find out; I shudder to think what Al would do to them."

Reed stood, then hugged Beckett. "Congratulations."

"You too."

"Somehow," Reed said, releasing his grip on the other man, "I don't think you're here just for us to have an update on our love lives—not that I object." "You're right." Beckett slid a book bag off of his shoulder. It was the one Gushman had given Reed once before. "I want you to take this."

Reed took the backpack, which was heavier than he'd expected. "Good Lord, what's in here?"

"Everything." Beckett leaned against one of the consoles. "The whole Project, my leap records, the diagrams for all of the equipment, the programs, everything. Papers, computer disks, everything."

"Why?" Reed carried the bag to one of the armory lockers and stowed it.

"I don't know—Daniels tells me he told you folks and Al, but Al didn't quite believe him, and I don't know if you did. The Navy—well, now that I've proved I could do it, that time travel works…what they want to do with it…I can't let them. If they take it over for what they want—Daniels talked to you, I guess, about what can happen to the future if you change the past. The government—it wants to go back, start changing what's happened already—my time, that is. If they start changing history on that scale, we—we might never get here. Starfleet, this ship, everything Daniels wanted to make sure I didn't screw up." Beckett paused. "I'm going to have to kill the Project. I wanted to save the records."

Reed sighed. "It's a shame to have to do that to your life's work."

"It's not exactly that; I'm still in my forties. I've got a lot of other trouble I can get myself into, me and Al, that is. It's just—I hate to do all that, and know that it won't be able to be put to use for a couple of centuries. Some of it—I know Al and I could get ourselves into a university research lab anywhere to do some commercially salable space project development. But I don't want the rest of the work I did with Quantum Leap to get completely lost, and it sounds like Starfleet's reinventing the wheel in some ways. Maybe if you have my work you won't have to keep doing that. Maybe it's what Daniels' people need somewhere down the road. I want you and Jon to take it."

A nod. "I understand. We'll take care of it." Reed laughed. "Won't *this* burn T'Pol's arse."

"Who's that?"

"Our first officer. She's from some incredibly hot planet called Vulcan. They're way ahead of Earth technologically and they still claim time travel is impossible."

Beckett grinned. "Go ahead, fry some alien brain cells."

"My pleasure."

Beckett began moving about the room, stopping to peer out the viewport. "So that's what it looks like from out here. Al always tried to tell me, but I never quite understood what he meant."

"Did you want to see the ship?" Reed offered. "I can get Jon."

Beckett shook his head. "I should get back."

"You're sure you won't have tea before you leave?" Reed paused to smirk. "After all, you *have* come an awfully long way; I'd hate to see you rush right back without something to drink."

Beckett smirked back at Reed. "Very well…Take me to your mess hall." A frown. "I always wanted to say something like that, ever since I saw my first alien spaceship movie. Say, can I meet any aliens while I'm in the mess?"

"Forget T'Pol, she wouldn't be impressed. But I think our Denobulan doctor might enjoy a chat. *He* believes in time travel."

"Great, I'd love it."

Reed escorted Beckett to the armory door. "After you."

"Will I cause too much trouble being here?"

"Not at all, not with what goes on around here already. Besides, what's life without a few misadventures?"

"Adventures, Malcolm," Beckett corrected. "Adventures." He stepped into the corridor, Reed behind him, as the armory door slid closed.

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