Chapter 10

Al had yet to leave the imaging room due the fact that no one could open the door. Radar had subconsciously sealed the door shut thus trapping Al in a virtual reality of the camp. As Gushy worked feverishly to get the door open Al found himself strolling about the virtual reality. He came across Margret Houlihan during his stroll.

"Major," he nodded to her as she emerged from her tent.

She looked over at Al and wondered, "Why are you still in the imagining room?"

He let out a sigh, "Radar has taken over completely and locked me inside. I need to catch a flight for DC but we can't get the door open."

"Maybe we should go find Radar," she suggested.

Al paused, "Actually, I would like to speak to you privately."

"Okay," she motioned for him to follow, "In my tent." She stepped back inside.

Al walked right through the wooden door and stood inside. He wished he could take a seat but there was simply nowhere for him to sit other than the floor. He puffed his cigar in thought.

"What did you want to see me about, Admiral?" asked Margret.

"According the latest readings Sam end up staying and becomes your husband," he informed.

She gasped, "I marry Sam?" She took a seat on the bed as her mind swirled in the information. "Oh my…I mean…Sam…He's such a wonderful man. I can't imagine being married to someone like him. I mean the closest thing to Sam is Pierce when it comes to smarts but…Wow."

Al informed, "You can't marry Sam. He's already married."

She looked at him and asked, "What? Sam never mentioned a wife?"

"That's because he doesn't remember," explained Al. "If Sam stays he will never regain his memories and you will end up supporting him…You will go to medical school and become a doctor. Sam's wife is working in the control room. She requested I don't tell Sam about her for he would never be able to do this mission if he knew. It's not just Sam who sacrificed for this project but his wife as well."

Margret gathered, "She must be an amazing woman. I don't think I could do that…Especially for Sam. I would be too jealous."

"She is an amazing woman," agreed Al. "She's helped develop the project and is just as much a genius as he. They have both sacrificed a lot for the lives of total strangers."

"I won't marry Sam even if he asks me," she assured. "Has anything else gone wrong?"

Al nodded with a disgusted face, "Winchester."

She asked, "What did he do?"

"I accidentally gave him some information about the future and becomes a billionaire," confessed Al.

She gave a strange look, "This isn't going so well…Is it?"

"Not at all," he agreed.

"What do you need me to do to help?" she asked.

Al pondered, "Stay away from Sam…I suppose." He paced back and forth, "Tell me about Captain Pierce."

"Captain Pierce?" she asked baffled.

Al nodded, "You seem to like him."

She asked, "What makes you think I like him?"

Al replied, "You're always talking about him."

Margret huffed, "That doesn't mean I like him. I mean yes, he's a great surgeon and a brilliant man but that mean I am in love with the man."

Al grinned, "Oh, you're in love Pierce. Maybe you marry Sam as a means to get him jealous?"

She barked, "I highly doubt Pierce is jealous of Sam…Though Peirce could certainly use some lessons in etiquette from him. Maybe Sam could teach Pierce to act like more a gentleman? But I am sure that Pierce is not jealous of Sam Beckett."

Al grinned, "You really are in love with him."

She grew angry, "Admiral, my personal life is none of your business."

He held up a hand, "You're right…It's none of my business. I apologize, Major." He quickly thought of an escape, "I need to see how Gushy is doing with door. He then swiftly turned and walked out the tent with an idea of just how to keep Sam from remaining in the past. He started right back towards the Swamp with the intention of finding Hawkeye Pierce.

Meanwhile

Dr. Sidney Freedman's jeep pulled into the 4077th and stopped before Colonel Potter's office. He was instructed to go right to see the colonel upon arrival for a briefing. He walked into the clerk's office and found Radar sitting at the desk talking with BJ and another strange man.

"Captain Hunnicut," greeted Sidney.

BJ smiled, "Sidney…I'm glad you are here."

Radar seemed more quiet than normal.

Sidney greeted, "Corporal."

Radar seemed a bit nervous, "Hi, Dr. Freedman."

Sidney looked at Sam, "I'm Dr. Sidney Freedman," he offered a handshake.

Sam shook his hand graciously, "I'm Dr. Sam Beckett. I'm very grateful you came as soon as you did."

"So, what's this all about?" asked Sidney.

Sam looked at BJ and then both men looked at Radar.

"Radar?" asked Sidney concerned.

Sam asked, "How good are you at hypnosis?"

Sidney shrugged, "Fairly good."

"I need you to be an expert," stated Sam.

BJ assured, "He is an expert, Sam. He's Radar's best hope."

"Is there something wrong with Radar?" he asked the men.

Sam shook his head, "No, he's mentally fine and we need you to help us keep him that way."

"I'm not sure I understand," stated Sidney.

BJ motioned, "Potter is expecting us. Come on, Sidney." He led them through the door to the office.

Meanwhile

Al found his way back to the Swamp and found Hawkeye laying on the cot in his red rob and sipping some homemade booze. Hawkeye had to admit, it tasted much better after Sam adjusted the still.

"Ah," grinned Hawkeye with a slight buzz, "my favorite hologram has come back to visit." He held up the glass, "Drink?"

Al stood before the cot and replied, "I'll have to take a rain check on that, Captain. I need your help."

"My help?" asked Hawkeye. "What do you need my help for? Sam Beckett can do anything!"

Al informed, "I believe the reason Margret married him was because he becomes stuck here and still has massive memory issues. I think the marriage was due to her feeling sorry for him."

Hawkeye shrugged, "The better man won."

Al informed, "Sam is already married but doesn't remember his wife and we are not allowed to inform him of her. She's a genius like him and helped develop the project."

Hawkeye gave a funny look, "He's married and has no idea?"

Al explained, "He doesn't remember her and isn't allowed to know during these missions. Sam needs to leap home and Radar is his best chance at doing that. But Radar doesn't want to let him go. Radar wants more changes before Sam goes home. He's not doing this purpose but he was pretty upset when he found out what happened to you. Matter of fact, Major Houlihan was very upset when she read your file."

"I die after struggling for twenty years with mental illness," he retorted. "I don't see how that's a great future either."

Al informed, "That was changed. Originally you died with two years of returning home. Your father died and then you could not take it and died homeless a year later."

Hawkeye sat up in bed, "My father dies? How? When?"

"In nineteen fifty four of a heart attack," informed Al.

"Heart attack?" Hawke sprung to life. He stood up and started pacing back and forth, "I can warn him. I have him get to a cardiologist."

Al shrugged, "You can try."

Hawkeye asked, "Do I save my dad?"

Al looked baffled and Hawkeye pointed to the device.

Al read off the updates, "Yes, you father does live another ten years now."

"So," stated Hawkeye, "All I need to do is warn him. What else can I do?"

Al grinned, "I'm absolutely positive that Margret Houlihan is in love with you."

He stopped the pacing and looked at Al, "Why would you say that?"

"She talks about you all the time and she gets this look in her eyes…"

He shrugged, "Doesn't mean she's in love with me. And even if we did hit it off, she's military. Can you see her retiring from the military and settling down in a sleepy little town in Main?"

Al countered, "She was willing to retire to take care of Sam. If you hadn't had died early in the first time…I bet she would have left the corps to take care of you."

"I doubt it," stated Hawkeye.

"Trust me on this," pleaded Al. "I know women."

"Really?" asked Hawkeye.

"I've been married five times," stated Al.

Hawkeye smirked, "And that makes you an expert?"

Al confessed, "No, my first wife's name was Beth and when I was a POW she was told I was KIA. When I got back home she had already moved on and that's why I had so many failed marriages. I don't want to see that happen to you, Pierce. The reason Major Houlihan likes Sam so much is because…"

Hawkeye interrupted with a raised finger, "He's a great, all around wonderful guy. Hell, everybody loves Sam Beckett. Even the guys love Sam Beckett. He's a genius!"

"No," countered Al, "she likes Sam because he reminds her of you. Sam Beckett and you are cut from the same cloth, Captain. If Sam had leapt into your shoes he would be doing exactly what are doing here because…This place can drive someone insane. If it was you in the accelerator, Captain and you were leaping from life to life…You would do what Sam has been doing. You would be putting right what once went wrong and being the world's biggest Boy Scout." Al took a puff on his cigar, "Tell me, Captain…If you had the chance to leap from life to life and put right what once went wrong…You would do it…Wouldn't you?"

Hawkeye held up a glass, "But I would do it with more flare."

"Margret told me you were the only man she knew of that could rival Sam in intelligence," he informed. "And I happen to agree with her, Captain."

"Why thank you," he stated taking a seat on his cot once more.

Al suggested, "Go to her tent tonight. Have a small private dinner with her. She's lonely."

Hawkeye looked up at him, "Lonely?"

Al huffed, "Yes, she doesn't have any friends here. She in love with the head surgeon who happens to be a captain and you're too much of an idiot to do anything. Stop chasing around the nurses and focus."

Hawkeye asked, "If I have dinner with her tonight…Will you leave me alone?"

Al agreed, "I will."

He stood up and removed the robe and found his jacket, "You got a deal."

Meanwhile

Sidney had been debriefed by Colonel Potter about the current situation. It sounded bizarre even to him but he could see no reason to suspect a joke was being played. He had Radar lay down on his cot in the clerk's office and slowly placed Radar into a hypnotic trance as the boy held onto his teddy bear. Surrounding Sidney was the colonel, BJ and Sam.

"Radar," stated Sidney. "Can you tell me where you are?"

Radar replied, "I'm in a bright light."

Sam informed, "That's the accelerator."

"Radar," stated Sidney. "We need you to come out of the light and come back to base now."

"I can't," he informed.

"Why not?" asked Sidney.

Radar replied, "Too much to fix."

Sidney asked, "What do you have to fix?"

"Ziggy is broke," he informed. "Sam can never go home if I don't fix it."

Sidney asked, "Can you fix what is broke?"

Radar paused for a moment and then replied, "I don't know."

In the middle of the session Al walked into the clerk's office for he was still looking for Sam as he was trapped inside the imagining room.

"Sam," shouted Al.

"Shh," Sam hushed.

Sidney looked up and did a double take, "What the?"

BJ stated, "That's Al…Our hologram."

Sam asked, "Why aren't you in DC?"

"Gushy can't unlock the imaging room door," he informed.

Radar states still in the trance, "I locked it."

Sidney asked, "Why did you lock this door, Radar?"

He replied, "They can't shut down power with a person inside."

Sam closed his eyes for a second and recalled, "He's right. They cannot shut down power while someone is in the imaging room. It would release a radiation wave that would kill whoever is inside." He then gathered, "Radar is buying is time by locking the door."

"I almost have it," he informed.

The hand held device blinked and buzzed in Al's hand. He read off the findings.

"Ziggy is coming back on line, Sam" stated Al, "and with a whole new protocol. I'm not sure what he did but he did something." Al sucked on the cigar and continued to read off the device, "Sam, we changed some more things."

Sam asked, "Does Winchester still become filthy rich?"

He nods, "Yeah, but he does all sorts of good things with the money. He gives to charity and has a hospital named after him. Major Houlihan retires from the army within a year after the war ends and goes to medical school and becomes a doctor."

BJ stated, "Good for her. I always knew she could do it. What about Hawke? Does he still have mental issues?"

Al shook his head, "He still has an issue towards the end of the war but come home and gets through it. His father lives another ten years. Captain Pierce and Major Houlihan eventually get married after she gets her degree." He looked at the men in the room, "You can't tell them that!"

Colonel Potter nodded, "My lips are sealed."

Al then added, "Radar goes to school on the GI bill. He goes for veterinary medicine…The boy becomes a vet."

Sidney asked, "That little device tells you what is gonna happen?"

Sam informed, "Actually, he reading of what already did happen. Al is in the future and connected to us though Radar and Ziggy. Will he remember any of this when he wakes up?"

Sidney shook his head, "He won't remember a thing."

"I suppose that's for the best," stated Sam.

Al looked at the hand unit once more, "Say goodbye, Sam."

Sam looked at everyone, "Tell Radar…"

A bright light engulfed the entire camp for a second and then it was gone as soon as it came. Al and Sam were both gone and Radar was slowly coming out of the trance.

"Did it work?" asked Radar looking about. "Hey, where is Sam?"

BJ informed, "He leapt."

Radar asked, "Did he get home?"

"I don't know," stated BJ. "You tried to send him home though. I hope he did."

"Me too," stated the boy.

Sidney looked about, "I guess that bright flash of light means it worked."

"Indeed it did," agreed Potter.

Next Day

The next day all seemed normal at the MASH 4077th. No sign of Al or of Sam about the camp and Radar seemed back to his old self again.

Colonel Potter started to make his report on the incident when father Mulcahy came to his office.

"Colonel," stated the father.

"Yes Padre," he replied from behind his desk.

The father held a picture in his and, "I thought you might like to see this." He then handed him the photo.

"Nice looking kid," stated Potter. "Who is it?"

"That's Sam Beckett," he informed, "our Sam Beckett. It turns out I'm a friend of his father…John Beckett."

Potter took the picture and looked upon the baby, "He's just a baby."

"He is," stated the father. "The lord works in mysterious ways."

"I guess so," nodded Potter who still had no idea what became of the time traveler. He handed the photo back. "Better keep that someplace safe."

"I will," assured the father.

Just then there was a commotion at the door. Radar could be heard yelling.

"No Klinger you can't go in there," shouted Radar.

Klinger busted through. This time instead of wearing a dress he was dressed like Al complete with a cigar and loud colored shirt. He went right into the act.

"I'm a time traveler from the future, Colonel. See, I'm crazy…Do I get that section eight now?" asked Klinger.

Potter shook his head, "No, but you get and 'E' for effort."

Klinger argued, "But I'm from the future."

Potter huffed, "Being from the future doesn't make someone crazy."

Klinger quickly went to his next line, "I'm a hologram. See, I can pass right through things," He then walked face first into filing cabinet. "Ouch," he stated.

"Out," stated Potter.

"But sir," pleaded Klinger.

"Out," repeated Potter sternly.

1999

Sam emerged from the accelerator and looked about. He wondered if he was really home. The door slid open and array of men led by Al came rushing to his aid for Sam was now exhausted.

"Radar?" he asked. "Did he disconnect okay?"

Al assured, "He did fine, Sam." He helped his friend, "He got you home, Sam. The boy did it."

"I knew he could," stated Sam relived. Then suddenly all of Sam's memories started to rush back. He looked at his friend, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was ordered not to Sam," he stated.

"Where is my wife?" he asked.

"She here," he assured.

Later

The MASH 4077th held a reunion picnic for the long since retired veterans. Many of them had passed due to age but a few were still alive. They meet up for what would surely be the last reunion. Father Mulcahy had kept in touch with the Beckett family and through him Sam was notified of the reunion.

Hawkeye was still alive and lived much longer than he should have. His hair was white and he was still thin but less of a drinker. Margret Houlihan sat beside him on the lawn chair. Her hair was now white and her face wrinkled but she was still a pistol even in her senior years. BJ Hunnicut was doing very well too. His hair was also white and he long shaved the mustache. Radar had gained some weight and lost some more hair but looked good for an old man. Klinger's hair turned show white but his skin remained a luscious shade of tan which made his hair more obvious. Colonel Potter was in his late nineties and near the end of his days. This would be the last time he would see his friends. As they sat and chatted a red SUV pulled up to the parking area.

Margret asked squinting, "Who drives that?"

Hawkeye shrugged, "No idea."

The doors swung open. Al and Sam both emerged from the vehicle in civilian clothing. Al was still sporting the loudest colored shirts imaginable while Sam was dressed more sensibly in jeans and a button down white shirt. The pair walked up to the surviving member of the old army unit.

Margret spotted, "Oh my god. It's Sam and Al!"

Hawkeye and the others all rose to their feet except for Colonel Potter who was too weak and frail.

Sam walked up and spotted Radar, he instantly gave the now much older man a hug, "Thank you, Radar."

"You made it home?" asked Radar.

"Thanks to you," stated Sam.

Next Sam found himself in Margret's arms as she held her old friend tight, "I'm so glad you made it home."

"Me too," he assured with a hug.

She looked at Al and sucked back the tears as she hugged him next, "Al? Oh gosh, you still wear those awful shirts."

"These are classics," he replied with a smirk.

Colonel Potter couldn't see very well but BJ went his chair and informed him, "Colonel…Sam made it home. Remember Sam?"

The old man nodded, "I remember Sam. He's home?"

"He's home," informed BJ. "Radar did it. He sent Sam home that night."

The old man smiled, "I'm glad that everyone is finally home."

The End