6

Things went bad in more ways than one after the ship hit the iceberg. Sam was framed for robbing from Cal Hockley, Rose's fiancé, trying to keep him from Rose. The pompous and jealous steel heir had very little conscience and even less morals. It was actually Rose that came to his rescue in the sinking ship as history unfolded. At first, most of the passengers were complacent to what was happening, but as it became more and more obvious that their lives were in danger, the worse aspects of humanity began to come out into the open. People panicked, others tried to force themselves into the limited lifeboats.

"Bogg!!!" Another time-traveler named Jeffrey Jones fought against being placed in a boat to be near his mentor in their invasions, but he failed. He was being forced off ship. More interested in saving the stolen Mona Lisa, Phineus Bogg pushed his way around Doug Phillips and Tony Newman, two more lost drifters from the future, but at a time a bit earlier than them both. It was their underground facility in the Sixties upon which Project Quantum Leap was created. In the fracas of madness, worry and selfishness, Angelique Bouchard was rushed to a boat by her protector. The ship was coming up higher and higher out of the water even as boats came off of it. As the panic grew higher, tensions started to mount. As Thomas Andrews, Jason had to order the crew to fill the boats to their fullest capacity. In the meantime, the first hold as he predicted had filled with water, pouring into the second, pouring over into the third… The bow of the great ship was descending into the water. According to ALEX, Sam and Rose were deep in the bowels of the ship. Wondering what they were doing there, he worried less about himself and raced to get as many people to the main deck and the boats.

Having fled Hockley rushing after them with a gun, Sam and Rose were rushing up through the first class dining area toward the stern above the water as Jason was lead by ALEX to find them. He raced past the chair and tables resisting any proclivity to slide and entered the next dining area. Looking up, Jack Dawson and Rose Dewitt looked to see Thomas Andrews looking for each other, the two men once again reunited and took each other's hands to a burst of atomic particles and chronal energies revealing the true guises of the true men to each other but not to Rose. For all she knew, they were the men she thought they were. Sam welcomed Jason with a brotherly hug upon seeing him again.

"I notice Rose found you." Jason responded. It was him who repeated the path from ALEX to take Rose to rescue Sam as Jack. "What happened?"

"It's not important…" Sam looked to Rose and back to Jason. "How many more people did you save?"

"I don't know." Jason was upset. "I don't think I had any effect at all." He looked to Rose by his side. "I'm sorry I couldn't give you a safer boat."

"Come with us, Mr. Andrews…" Rose tugged at Jason.

"No, Rose," He daintily wiped the fear from her face. "Your future is on another path then mine." He took a deep breath. "Take care of her,… Jack."

"I will…." Sam hugged Jason again. He had found his brother. "I'll find you."

"I'll be looking for you." They whispered. Al took Rose by the hand and took her back up to the main deck. Standing in the dining hall, Jason checked the pocket watch in Thomas Andrews' pocket then noticed the Queen Anne clock on the mantle.

"Less than fifteen minutes left…"

"That clock is eight minutes off…" Max was there as well. Jason looked to his holographic buddy, opened the clock and adjusted the time to the how Robert Ballad would discover it in the future. When he did, electricity crackled through him and he began bursting with white energy. He was moving forward in time, and Max was suddenly in a blank imaging chamber in an underground lab under the physics wing at USI Baltimore. Out in New Mexico, a similar project was occurring off the White Sands Military Base…

"Admiral…" Gooshie looked worried. "I still can't get a lock on Dr. Beckett, however, ALEX says that Jason leaped."

"Jason…" Al became concerned. "What about Sam?"

"ALEX gave me the coordinates." Gooshie took the date and manually fed them into Ziggy. "He's still in 1914…"

"Did the Titanic sink with him?"

"I can't tell." Gooshie checked his readings. "But I got the imaging chamber up." The doors opened up and Al grabbed his reprogrammed comlink to go find Sam. The room was dark. There was nothing but eternal night and the image ocean around him under the floor. There was nothing but thrashing and screaming. Hundreds of bobbing people in White Star life jackets thrashing in the open sea, panicking captains-of-industry drowning next to floating bodies covered in ice, women clutching to husbands and freezing White Star crew members clutching to debris from the ship were all around as far as they eye could separate sea from the horizon. His mind struggled to see this literal sea of humanity. Al looked around in shock, his hand to his head in disbelief. Where was Sam in this horrific event? All these people screaming for help from the heavens and he couldn't reach out to any of them but one!

"Sam!!!" He screamed out. He walked in a circle through the imaging chamber. The searchlight from Ziggy allowed him to focus and light up parts of the hologram, giving him the faces of the tragic victims one by one, both dead and fighting to stay alive. A few feet to his right, Al saw Rose heaved up on to a floating headboard from a bed. She was staring up to the sea half alive. Sam was in the water… broken handcuffs on his wrist…

"Sam," Al hovered two feet above the sea as a hologram. "Thank God! Thank God!!! Can you hear me? Ziggy says you and Jason were only able to save fifty-five more people than the first time the ship sank. That's only 705! It's still being considered one of the worst disasters in maritime history."

"Al…" Sam floated on the headboard with Rose. "What about Rose? Does she survive?"

"Sam, there's no listing for a Rose Bukater in the survivors!" Al was becoming hysterical. "Sam, Jason leaped! He's now some little fat kid named Spanky in Greenpoint, California in the early Thirties, but you're still stuck in their system. However, Ziggy can get a lock on you again once you leap! You got to leap or you're going to freeze to death!!"

"No!!!" Sam refused as the cold ripped through him. "Not until I save Rose and Jack! How far away are the life boats?"

"Sam, the closest one is five hundred yards in that direction and getting ready to come look for survivors, but you're not going to make it!!!" Al was screaming at him scared to death he was going to die. "Sam, you have to leap now!!!"

"Not till I save Rose…" Sam insisted. He tried rousing her awake. "Al, you've got to help me!!!"

"What can I do?!" Al screamed. "I'm a hologram!!! Sam, you've got to leap or you're going to die!"

"I'm not leaping until I save Rose!!!" Sam tried waking her. He checked her pulse and found it very slow. She was still alive but barely. "How far away are the boats?"

"The closest one won't be here for twenty minutes, but you're not going to make it." Al was getting even more frenzied and frantic as his buddy stayed in these frozen North Atlantic waters. "Sam, ALEX says you're suffering from hypothermia. He's predicting you'll be dead in five minutes!!! Sam, please for the love of God! You've got to leap out of Dawson!!!"

"Al, please…" Sam was trying to warm up Rose by rubbing her arms. "Run another search for her… does she survive?!!"

"ALEX can't find no trace of her…There's no…" Al suddenly did a double take and looked again. "Wait, Sam, Ziggy found her!! She changes her name to Rose Dawson. That's why we couldn't find her! She does live! Sam, she survives, you hear me??? Sam, you've got to leap!!!"

"What about Jack?"

"Jack?" Al was punching up more facts. "Jack… he doesn't make it, Sam…"

"No…" Sam exploded with emotion as his chest pumped from the sorrow. "Rose…" Shivering, fighting to stay awake, Sam tried to grin happily for her; his face leaned in and whispered in her ear. "You have a good life!" He beamed happily for her and cried for joy. He dropped his head next to her and relaxed as everything erupted for him in lights and floating particles. The world vanished for him and he shot forward back to his lifetime past the Depression, two world wars, the Cold War of the Fifties, the hippie movement of the Sixties, the crazy fads of the seventies and the money-obsessed Eighties. Beyond the Nineties, he re-entered the time stream at a point just after the events of Nine-Eleven when he was one of the rescue workers in that disaster, past the time he shared the life of Hannah Montana and very close to the moment in the lifetime of Detective Don Flack he once had. As Sam could see again, he found himself sitting at the end of a sofa next to a lovely young lady and across from their eighteen-year-old brother in a room decorated with the ornaments of a Dungeons and Dragons game. There were large leather bound books, rolled up scrolls, statues of dragons and wizards, a suit of armor and an Egyptian sarcophagus next to the entryway. It could have been some sort of parlor, but it just didn't feel right. Amidst it all, their father moved about them.

"Max," Jerry Russo turned to his youngest son. "I want you to demonstrate that spell we were practicing yesterday."

"What?" Sam looked at him and his two siblings. He was supposed to demonstrate something? "Oh boy…."

END