Author: Kody Wright PM
Sam has leaped into the life of a B-17 bomber engineer in WW2, who must now save the life of the navigator and keep HER secret to ensure the bomber's success rate. Rated Teen for swear words and war theme. Please go to fiction press for original work.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,392 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-14-12 - Published: 05-27-12 - id: 8155494
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Sam Beckett had spent years leaping from life to life, putting right what once went wrong, hoping the each leap would be his next leap home. After years of finding himself in the most unpredictable situations upon each new leap, Sam was relived to find himself laying in bed. He gave out a sigh, resting on the cot, relived he could sleep for a while.
Reveille never sounded so harsh as it did just then. He knew the sound, the feel of the wool blanket. The lights went on and Sam found himself in the middle of a military barrack filled with men. He just wanted to turn back over and go back to sleep, knowing he just leaped into the military.
A tall blond haired man in the cot next to him looked over at the lifeless lump. He spoke with a slow southern drawl.
"You getting up, Ambrose?"
Sam sat up in the cot and looked about the area. The men seemed to be dressed prior to the Vietnam era. Korea came to mind but the barracks were so full he couldn't justify the amount of men.
Another man spoke to him, his captain, a tall man with dark hair and blue eyes.
"You okay, Ambrose? Don't need a sick engineer today."
Sam gapped, "Engineer?" He looked upon the patch on the man's sleeve. A blue circle with wings and an eight in the center. "I'm an engineer?" asked Sam.
"Ambrose," the captain stated, "we got a mission today. I need you up there. You okay? You seem a little out of it."
Sam regained his composer, "I'm fine, Cap."
The co-pilot finished buttoning his shirt, "Come on, Cap. Let's go get the bad news from Jackson."
The captain nodded, "Be right there, Frank. Ambrose, I'll see you at breakfast."
"Right," nodded Sam as he looked for Ambrose's clothing. He started to get dress, lagging behind the rest of the men who were forcing themselves awake in the early morning hour.
As the men cleared out of the barracks, Sam lingered, trying to figure out where he was and what he was supposed to do. All he knew so far was his name, Ambrose Hockenberry and he was an engineer in the eighth Army Air Force, a time that was before his own birth. He wondered just how come he went so far back in time.
Much to his relief, Al walked through the door after the men left. Sam looked at him, as Al puffed a cigar and looked rather frazzled himself.
"Al, what am I doing here?" asked Sam.
Al held the communicator with Ziggy in his palm, "You just leaped into the middle of World War Two, Sam. You're at Bassingbourn Air Base. Your name is Ambrose Hockenberry, your are a sergeant and a flight engineer on a B-17, Blondie's Boys. This bomber has a huge success rate due to the navigator and the engineer."
Sam scoffed, "World War Two? How did leap that far back?"
"Ziggy is working on an answer, Sam. We don't know yet. She thinks you are here to help save the life of the Navigator. You save the navigator and you save the plane."
"But you just said they were highly successful," countered Sam. "If they were highly successful, what they need me for?"
"Ziggy is working on it," Al replied. "It's the navigator that is the key. This navigator needs to stay on the plane and you have to make sure she does."
Sam gave a cockeyed look, "She? Did you say 'she,' Al?"
Al nodded, still getting information from the hand unit, "The navigator's name is Jackie Jackson. She is a semi-famous aviatrix who made her mark air racing. She develops racing planes, builds and races them. She has snuck into the Air Force."
Sam blinked, "She snuck into the air force? The navigator? Build's and races air planes?"
Al nodded as he read off the accomplishments, "Sam, this girl is as smart as you. She has a photographic memory and can navigate cross country without a map. She was racing a bi-plane with her father before the war during the golden age of air racing." The old admiral's eyes lit up as he continued to read the aviatrix accomplishments, "Before sneaking into the US Air Force, she was flying in a Hurricane for the RAF dogfighting. They are the ones who are behind this. The navigator and the flight engineer are credited for the high success rate of the bomber. Now, according to Ziggy, you need to make sure she doesn't get caught and doesn't get killed. The records are not very clear and Ziggy is having trouble figuring out just what happened to the navigator."
"How long will I be here?" Sam wondered.
Al shrugged, "Ziggy doesn't know. But Ziggy says this navigator important."
Sam sat with the crew and at his eggs, bacon and toast. The breakfast was rather good for army food. He didn't think much of it, figured it was just local farmers supplying the camp. He didn't know that fresh eggs were reserved for crews going up into battle, nor did Sam have real idea of the miserable failure rate the B-17's faced during the start of the war.
The tailgunner, Owen Ridder, sat across from him. It was the same blond hair man with the southern accent. The tailgunner complained.
"Damn, Ambrose, they only feed us good when they are sending us up on missions."
Sam gave a nod, "Yeah, they do."
The captain, Daniel Garrett and his co-pilot, Lt. Frank Mooney had taken their seats at the table along with the very person Sam was just brief about. She was short, only five foot two inches tall, a petit woman with light brown hair and big brown eyes. Dressed in men's clothing she passed herself off as a teenage boy barely old enough to shave. Ironically, she was also a lieutenant and thus the youngest officer.
Jackie had just given the pilots the bomb run and sat down to eat her own breakfast. She looked at Sam, her nose wrinkled as try to figure it out.
"Where's Ambrose? He sick?"
Sam's mouth dropped. She just asked where Ambrose was meaning she must be able to see him.
Frank huffed, "He's right in front of you, Jackson. Man, what the hell is it this morning? First your long lost baby brother is acting funny and now you."
"Um?" she looked at Sam. "That's not Ambrose."
Sam tried to cover meekly, "Yeah, I'm someone else today. Jackson and I are having a bad day. Just joking guys."
"Jackson?" asked Frank. "Shit, I thought you two were joined at the hip."
Jackie asked, "What are guys talking about?"
"Um," Sam replied, looking for Al. He was nowhere to be found. With no way of debasing the situation Sam did all he could do. Tell the truth. "My name is Sam Beckett and I am from the future. I have come to help you, Jackie."
As Jackie looked on in complete shock Frank and the boys started to laugh figuring that Ambrose and Jackie just played some bizarre joke on them.
Frank help up his coffee cup, "Good one, Ambrose. You two trying out for the USO tour?"
Sam decided it was best to ignore Frank and speak directly to Jackie. He took a piece of string from his pocket and held it before her.
"Time is generally thought to be linear but if you connect the ends of time you make a loop. Then you can touch any moment in time together like so."
Frank snickered, "Ambrose, stick to keeping the plane in the air, makes more sense."
She nodded comprehending the meaning behind the time loop. She didn't know what she just stumbled across but figured no one else could see this strange man wearing Ambrose's clothing.
"I get it," she told him. "We really should discuss quantum theory more often…Ambrose."
Sam gave a smile, "Would love too, Jackie."
The sun rose over the field where the heavy bombers were staging. Men and equipment being stashed into the planes for the six hour flight. Luckily it was an easier flight path and not into Germany but rather in Austria going after munitions factories. Still, there would be heavy resistance.
Sam had pulled Jackie aside, he didn't know anything about being a flight engineer nor about keeping a heavy bomber in the air. He would need her's and Al's help just to do the job.
Sam began, "I have never been a flight engineer before. I was a pilot once, but…Um, I needed help landing the plane."
She looked at him, "You were a pilot…Once? Just where is Ambrose and why are you wearing his clothes?"
Sam explained, "I am in Ambrose's place, his aura. Everyone else see's Ambrose but for some reason you can see me. He's safe in the waiting room."
"Waiting room?" she asked.
Sam explained, "I was part of an experiment, I leap from life to life. The person I leap into goes back to my time and waits in a waiting room in the facility. He's fed and taken care of. He just can't leave till we switch back."
"And why haven't you switched back?" she wondered.
"I won't leap again till I have accomplished some task."
"Which is?" she wondered.
Sam winced, "I don't really what it is yet."
She gave a nod, "Really thought that one out, huh?"
"I was pressured to prove my theory or lose my funding. I'm Dr. Sam Beckett. The Quantum Leap project went wrong and I'm stuck doing this. Trying to get back home."
She looked at him, "You mean, you are stuck going from life to life trying to what? Leap back?"
He nodded, "That's it."
She sucked in a breath, "I help you do whatever it is you are supposed to do and I get my engineer back. I kind of need him…A lot."
"Yes," assured Sam.
"Okay, what do you need me to do?" she asked waiting for a reply.
"Um, right now. Live and don't get kicked off the plane."
"That's what I've been doing, Sam."
"Ambrose," he told her, 'you need to call me 'Ambrose.'"
"Sorry, Ambrose." She sucked in a deep breath. "Okay, Sam…I mean Ambrose…I'll give you a crash course in your job. If you get stuck, just ask me. Ambrose and I bounce engineering idea off each other all the time, Dr. Beckett." She laughed to herself, "Gee, never met a real life scientist before."
Sam gave her a look, "You're a famous aviatrix who traveled the world air racing in the thirties."
"And I never met a scientist," she proclaimed. "I feel so special, you know I was never allowed in school."
He asked, "Why not? You're very intelligent woman."
"I'm not a guy, women get married and have kids. Sending me to the school for the gifted kids would have been a waste of time and money, so the principle said. I was too advanced for regular school. My father taught me everything he knows…Which wasn't much."
Sam couldn't believe his ears, "Women become doctors and scientist."
"Not in nineteen twenty-five," she reminded him. "Come on, I'll give you a crash course."
After Sam had finished going over his job with Jackie, Al finally came back. Sam was suited up like an Eskimo: bomber hat, thick jacket and pants and more gear to don in the flight. He looked at Al from the station the flight engineer had right behind the cockpit. Sam kept his voice low so the pilot's wouldn't hear.
"Jackie can see me," he told him. "I had to tell her about the project."
Al nodded, "Ziggy already knows she can see you. Sam, you and Jackie share the same brainwaves. You're minds are equal. That's why she can see you. And Ambrose, he's very close to you too. His mind is equal to yours Sam. They both are. That's why this bomber did so well. Between Jackie and Ambrose, it was like having two Sam Becketts on board. Both are engineers but Jackie can also fly the bomber. Ambrose can't. Ziggy thinks that's why you leaped into Ambrose instead of Jackie. Or else you would have leaped right into her."
He whispered, "I though you said I was here to save her?"
"You are," replied Al. "And there is a chance that you could leap home after this."
"With every leap there is a chance," replied Sam.
Al shook his head, "Not like this, Sam. Ambrose and Jackie are equal in mental ability to you. We have Ambrose in the facility and you have Jackie here. Ziggy thinks if we can get them working together they might be able to find a way to bring you home."
"But Ambrose is seventy years into the future, Al," Sam rebutted.
"He's working with Ziggy as we speak, Sam. The kid is only nineteen, hasn't even gone to college yet and is a genius. He's a nineteen year old version of you, Sam."
"Okay," Sam gathered, "I have two equals here. Jackie and Ambrose and both have brainwaves similar to mine as well as cognitive ability."
Al gleamed, he hadn't been this excited in years, "Yes, It's like two versions of you Sam. One in our time and the other here with you. Now, Ambrose didn't know Jackie is a woman. No one is supposed to know, so you have to help her keep the secret."
He blinked, "They don't know? I thought they knew and were helping her cause she's so smart. She already figured out the chances for mission. She's a number's wiz."
Al shook his head, "They don't know, Sam and you need to keep her on this plane. The plane needs you and her both. So don't call her, 'her' or 'she' or anything that could give it away."
"Got it," replied Sam. It was bad enough he was about to go on a bombing mission but worse, now he had watch his vocabulary.