"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan

Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator... and vanished.  He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home...

The first thing Sam was aware of was the sound of rain, drumming on a roof.  The second thing Sam was aware of was that he was driving.  His first reaction was to look in the review mirror; but only for a split second to take his eyes back to the rain-slashed windshield, which was almost impossible to see through.  He was behind the wheel of some sort of jeep, or land cruiser, and was driving fast --- too fast  -- down a narrow, muddy road.  He was surrounded on all sides by black jungle.

Lighting lit up the night sky, and the thunderclap that followed actually made Sam jump, and he nearly lost control of the jeep.  He eased of the accelerator a fraction, just as the jeep careened over a slight raised section of the road, sending the vehicle into the air for a split second, before bouncing back down on the road with a shuddering jolt. 

Something dashed across the road, a white flash in his headlights.  It looked like a large rat.  It scurried into the underbrush, dragging a fat tail.  Possum.  Where was he?  Who was he?  What was he here to do?  And where in God's name was…

It was a shock when he came around a corner and saw that the road terminated in a grey concrete wall, 14 feet tall and streaked dark with rain.  Sam slammed on the brakes, and the jeep fishtailed, losing traction in an end-to-end spin, and for a horrified moment he thought he was going to smash into the wall --- he knew he was going to smash --- and he spun the wheel frantically, and the jeep slid to a stop, the headlights just a foot from the concrete wall.

He paused there, listening to the rhythmic flick of the wipers.  He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  He looked up into the rear view mirror once again, this time to get a proper look at his face.  A burly man with fading brown hair, a steal grey moustache, slight sign of wrinkles, and deep blue eyes stared back at him.  Sam guessed this guy was in his mid fifties.  He wore some sort of dark blue parker with a hood, khaki pants, black shoes --- caked with mud --- with a faded light blue long sleaved shirt.   

On the passenger's seat, lay a fold-up map, opened up, and underneath it, was a 12-inch double barrel shot gun with hammer action.  Three empty cartridges lay in the darkness of the floor.  Sam picked the weapon up.  Still warm.  Dreading the worst, he sniffed the end muzzle of the gun.  Just as he feared, it'd recently been fired.

"Oh boy!"  He moaned, dropping the gun back down on the seat. 

"Escape From Hell's Kitchen"

By Lein

Quantum Leap, and all it's characters are property of Belisario productions.

The rain thrummed loudly on the roof of the jeep.  Sam sat there for what seemed like hours, just staring at the shotgun on the seat beside him.  He then turned to look at the foliage on ether side of the road.  Not that there was much to see.  Sheets of water streamed down over the sides of the windows, making anything outside to see, virtually impossible.

He 'd better try and find out where the hell he was this time.

He turned the keys in the ignition that shut of the engine, and got out of the jeep, feeling heavy raindrops pelt his head, even with the parker hood up it was raining hard enough so that his head hurt.  It was a real storm, perhaps a tropical storm, considering he was surrounded by jungle.  Jungle.  That narrowed it down to a tropical location, considering the plant growth.  He looked back up at the concrete wall, which he'd nearly smashed into.  It was part of a rock cliff face, with some sort of sewer pipe at the bottom, gushing out gallons of water.  The water it's self was travelling down a sloping concrete half pipe, that disappeared down into the jungle, towards a gurgling water sound.

Was he near the river?  Sam hurried forward, some part of him, wishing it was the ocean.  Was this a desire from the person he'd leapt into to?  To find a river?  He pushed his way into the jungle, his eyes adjusting to the darkness as he went.  Dense jungle on all sides.  Raindrops slapping on the leaves.

The gurgling sound became louder, drawing him forward, and suddenly he came out of the foliage and felt his feet sink into soft earth and saw the dark currents of a river.  Nothing else.  Just a 10-foot wide river.  A small part of him cursed this.  This was strange.  There was a river, but he felt disappointed, and he began to wounder, if he wanted to find the river, why was the wrong one?  Was he looking for a certain section of the river?

The sky light up like day, and thunder roared once more.  Sam put his arms around himself, and shivered, damn the wind was starting to pick up, blowing right into his parker, and throughout his body.  He started back, heading towards the glow of the car's headlights.  He was drenched and miserable.

He heard a soft whining sound cry out into the night, and he paused.  He listened for it, and it came again.  It sounded like a dog of some kind, and it seemed to be close by, in the jungle of to his right.  As he listened, he heard the sound of something crashing through the underbrush.  Then silence.  He waited, and heard it again.  It sounded as if something was moving slowly through the jungle towards him.

Get out of here!

The urge seemed to come with a side of outright fear that caused Sam to run.  He made a lot of noise as he ran, but even so, he could hear something crashing through the foliage.  Sam knew he should stop, and call out to see who it was, to see if it was someone this person knew.  But deep down inside, something told him to get the hell back to the jeep, and leave whatever was out there alone.

Stumbling over tree roots in the darkness, clawing his way past dripping branches, he saw the jeep ahead, and the lights shining through the darkness.  He burst out of the jungle, ran around to the drivers side, yanked open the door, and leapt back into the jeep, making sure to lock all four doors.  For the moment, he sat there, panting heavily, before peering out into the rainy night.

Something was out there.  But it wasn't close.  It stood forty feet away, at the edge of the illumination from the headlights.  Sam's eyes widened.  It was a wolf.  A very large wolf.  It was the size of a small pony, with white fur, and was standing out on a muddy road, in the middle of a tropical storm, just watching him.  Sam shivered, not from the cold, but from the look it was giving him.  It seemed to be looking him right in the eyes.

Then it was gone.  It bounded off, back into the jungle.  Sam blinked once, twice, then leaned back in his seat.  He threw up his hands and let them fall into his lap.  "Okay," he muttered to himself, "What now?"

The sudden signing from beside him made Sam literally hit the roof.  "Thunder and lighting, very, very frighting…" Al sang.

"Would you cut that out!"  Sam snapped.  Al held up his hands in protest.

"Hey," he said, "I was only trying to lighten the mood."  Al looked wired, standing inside the jeep, with his legs disappearing through the bottom of the seat.

"Al, what am I doing here, in fact, where is here?"  Sam asked, looking back out the windscreen, the wipers had stoped when Sam had shut the engine off.   Al punched a few buttons on the hand link.

"Okay… the date is March 1st, 1965.  Your name is David Gibb, you're fifty years old, never been married, you're a professional private investigator from Mia.  Mia?"  Al slapped the side of the hand link, which squealed in protest.  "—mi.  Miami.  From Miami."  He taped a few more buttons, and then continued.  "You're on a tropical island, of the coast of French Guiana, South America, hey, that's where they've got Devil's Island!"

"Al!  Why am I here?"

"Sorry, Sam, ah-hem!  Ziggy says that there's a 89% chance that… you're here to find some girl named Jackie Phelps."

"That's it?"  Sam said.  "I find this girl, and I leap?"

"It's not that simple, Sam," Al said, shaking his head at the hand link.  "According to what records we can find, the both of you never get of the island alive." 

"What?!"  Sam almost shouted.  Al indicated to the hand link screen.

"Well, according to Ziggy, you both are never heard from again."

"Then maybe that's what I'm here to do," Sam said, "Help these two get of the island?"  It seemed too easy.  "What happens to them, Al?"

"Ziggy's not sure," Al replied.  He punched a few buttons, "In fact, nobodies sure, not even the authorities, you're both reported as overdue, and a week later, a search of the island turns up nothing."  He scratched his head.  "Strange."  He said, and taped the hand link a few more times.

"What's strange?"  Sam demanded.

"All the official reports are some what…. Vague."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, that all is said, is that you're bodies are never found after a week long search, nothing else.  No details of sweeps, people involved in the search, not even a report to the US embassy."

"Why is that strange?"

"Well, according to what Ziggy did manage to dig up on this island, is that there's a hotel/casino on this island, not far, about five miles up the road.  It's fairly recent too, only been open a week and a day.  No mention of witnesses, in fact, there's no mention of the hotel anywhere in our present day records, and as far as the authorities on the mainland are concerned, there never has been a hotel on this island."

"Then how dose Ziggy know there's a hotel on this island in the first place, if there are no records of it?"

"There are no records here, but Gibb's own personal files tell of a hotel/casino on this island, in fact, that's where you're staying at the moment.  You're booked in for a week, in room 23b."  Sam instinctively looked over to the key in the ignition.  There were four keys there, along with a red tag, with 23b written in gold on it, under that, was the name of the hotel.  "We still don't have enough information, even with Gibb's files, it seems as if he was just on vacation."

"Why would they deny the existence of a profitable business that could bring both jobs and tourism to their economy?"  Al punched a few more buttons on the hand link, getting only beeps and squeals.

"Ziggy's still trying to figure that part out.  We're sorting through everything we've got at the moment, Gibb's files --- seems he a long time friend of the manager --- we'll get back to you when we've got something."  Al punched a few buttons, and the image chamber door opened up.  Al stepped inside, and it closed behind him, leaving Sam all alone once more.

Sitting in the jeep, Sam was once more aware to the sounds of the storm outside.  Where to begin?  This mystery hotel seemed the most likely place.  He reached over to where the shotgun lay, and picked up the map.  Sure enough, the hotel was on the map.  He scanned the map for any sign of a storm drain that emptied into a river.  Bingo, Al was right, the hotel was only five miles away.  He turned the key --- the storm muffling out the sound of the engine starting --- then buckling his seatbelt, panicked a bit when the tires only spun, and when he finally got some traction, drove off down the road.

***

Al entered the Waiting Room.  He saw Sam --- or rather David --- sitting on the table in the middle of the room.

David looked up.  "Why am I here?" He asked.  "What is all this?  Who are you people?"  He was getting angrier by the minute.

Al shook his head.  "As for why you're here, we don't know.  All we do know is that both you, and a woman named Jackie Phelps may be in trouble."

David just rolled his eyes.  "Oh really, you think?  Jackie's fine for the moment, but what does that have to do with me being here?"  Al paused for a moment.  Obviously, this guy knew something they didn't.

"Someone, God, Time, Fate, whatever, decided that you would be in the right spot at the right time, to change history for the better, and Leapt Doctor Beckett into your place.

"'Leapt?!  What the hell are you talking about, and who the hell, is Doctor Beckett?"

"He's the person in your place right now.  Everyone sees him as you.  He's gonna try to help your friend, but we need to know what is going on, on the island?"

"Let me get this straight.  Everyone sees this Doctor Beckett as me?  Including animals?"

"Well, animals see him as he really is," Al explained, "as can young children."

"Your Doctor Beckett is dead man, then.  I suggest you try and get him of that island as soon as possible."

"Why, what's going on?" Al demanded. 

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," David muttered, crossing his arms, "I don't fully understand most of it myself."

"What is going on!?!"  Al insisted.

"The wolves."  Al scoffed at that.

"The wolves?!"  He cried out.  "There are no wolves in South America, now listen, I've got my best friend on that island, and it's plan obvious, that he's in a lot of danger, now tell me, what is going on, on that island!"  David narrowed his eyes.

"Wolves."  Al groaned in frustration.

"Please, Detective Gibb, we can not send you back to your proper place in time, until we know what to look for, now please, tell me what you know!"  David bit his lip.

"There are some sort of killers on the island," he said, "As I said before, I don't understand most of it myself.  As you know, there's a hotel on the island, that doubles for a gambling casino," Al nodded, "About five days ago, I received a call from the manager, a good friend of mine,"

"We know that," Al said.  David continued.

"It seems that they lost a customer, a man staying at the hotel, went on a hike in the islands jungle, and didn't come back."

"So, you were hired to find him?"

"Yes, to find out what happened to him, a disaster of that magnitude can be lethal to a hotel, epically during the opening week."

"But why call you?  Wouldn't the police be able to help?"

"The town on the mainland didn't want to attract any attention to the missing man, it might scare business away, so…"

"So they decided to do it quietly, and sweep it under the rug."  David nodded.

"Being a friend of the manager, and living in Miami, I was someone who was close by, and he could trust."

"Okay, then what happened?"  David closed his eyes, as he lowered his gaze to the floor.

"I don't know," he admitted, "before I boarded the plane, I was talking to Bill, the manager, and he seemed really frightened.  It seems that another guest had gone missing, along with three of the staff.  He hadn't called the police yet, and told them about it, but I could tell from his voice, he didn't understand what was going on either.  When I finally arrive, the next day, I borrowed a police jeep, and took the barge across to the island."  He exhaled, and shook his head.

"What?"  Al demanded.

"There was no one there.  The whole place was deserted, but from the looks of things, they'd all tried to leave in a hurry.  The ferry man hadn't taken anyone off the island, and I doubt they would have tried to swim across, when they have a barge hired for that purpose."

"And what about the wolves?"  Al asked.

"As you know, wolves aren't native to south America, but I've seen them, running around at night, in the jungle, giant wolves, they seem to be there one minute, and gone the next.  They've actually been inside the hotel, I've seen them, nosing around in the kitchen, and one was in the games room last night, sitting on a billiard table, just sitting there, looking me right in the eyes."  He shivered.

"And where dose Ms. Phelps come into all of this."  He shrugged.

"Just a tourist, caught the barge over from the mainland, the day I arrived.  We've managed to survive together"

"Why didn't you call out?"

"Powers out all over the hotel.  The wires had been slashed, but I fixed 'em.  That very night, some one slashed 'em again.  As for the phones and the radio, completely trashed.  The radio had been stolen from its proper place, but later on, I found it smashed up on the beach."  He sighed.  "And that's all I know."  Al didn't respond.

"Doctor Beeks, can you continue here for me?  I've got to get to Sam right away."  He practically bolted out of the room.

***

Staring forward, past the flick, flick, flick of the windshield wipers, Sam saw the black silhouette of the hotel looming in the distance, and he eased of the accelerator, slowing down.  As he did so, the headlights flashed upon a blue arrow sign with white writing on it, in two different languages, English and French.  The English sign read, 'PARKING' and pointed of the right. 

Sam brought the jeep down into first gear, and pulled hard on the wheel, and immediately putting it into second, as he drove up a steep gravel hill, and into a covered parking area.  There were only three other land cruisers there, and all three of them, had their bonnets up, with engine parts strewn all around them.  He exited the jeep, taking the shotgun with him, and walked across the parking garage floor, towards a door that had stairs leading up.  Sam followed the stairs to the ground-floor entrance of the hotel.

He reached the top of the stairs, and saw a door marked 'lobby,' then opened the door.  He immediately halted in his tracks.

In the lobby of the hotel, the glass entrance doors had been shattered, and a cold gray mist blew through the cavernous main hall.  A sign that read, 'WELCOME TO THE GRAND OPENING,' dangled from one hinge, creaking in the wind.  There was a big statue of Napoleon on a horse that lay in pieces on the ground; it looked as if it'd been pushed over.  Outside, through the glass Sam saw rows of palm trees, shadowy shapes in the pouring rain.

Sam hugged himself as the chilling wind blew in through the broken glass doors.  There were two grand staircases, leading up to a set of 19th century double doors, and in between them, a water fountain, that was no longer working.  The smashed statue had been the centrepiece for the fountain.  Beside the door that lead to the garage, was a long desk, with some scattered papers on it, the nameplate read 'FRONT DESK'

Sam tilted his head back, as if looking to the heavens above.  "You just find the greatest situations to drop me into the middle of, don't you."  He shook his head, and started climbing the staircase.  "Might as well check out my room."

At the top of the stairs, Sam could see out through a huge glass awning that allowed one to look out over the entire island.  Not that was much to see of course, but in the daytime, it must look impressive.  He pushed open the doors, and walked down a hallway.  There were doors on either side on him, as he walked down the hallway.  He'd tried some of the doors, but they'd been locked.  At the end of the hallway, were another set of double doors. 

He pushed them open, and came into what looked like the 1st class dinning room from the Titanic.  Except that some of the tall glass windows had been shattered, and the wind from the storm, had blown everything about, with table clothes here and there, smashed plates, and napkins and flowers all littered the floor.  Sam could only blink at the chaos that lay sprawled before him. 

"What the hell happened here?"  He muttered, before walking down the stairs.  How could the authorities deny something like this?  Behind a self-serve bar was a set of double doors with a single circle of glass in the middle.  This door lead to the kitchen. 

Looking at the door, suddenly filled Sam with dread.  Something about the kitchen made him feel nervous, but he couldn't explain why.  He found that he'd raised the shotgun before he knew what he was doing.  Sam glanced down at the hammers of the shotgun.  Both hammers were down.  Sam cursed, as he flipped the switch in between the hammers, and the chamber of the gun popped open.  Sam hastily removed the two spent cartages, and reached into his pocket.  There were five shells in his pocket, and placed two fresh rounds into the chamber, before snapping the barrel shut.

Satisfied he had some protection, he pulled back both the hammers of the gun, and walked towards the door, opening it with the muzzle of the gun.  It was the final straw for a teetering stack of dirty, unwashed plates, over on the kitchen sink, which collapsed, smashed and spread across the floor in an avalanche of broken plaster.  The noise of the disaster echoed throughout the hotel, making Sam wince.

The last thing he wanted to do was to attract attention to himself, even if there was nobody around.  However, something did make all these people leave in a damn hurry, and maybe, whoever it was, was still around.  Slowly, he looked around the kitchen.  Nothing much in here.  Dirty dishes lay in great big piles all over the place, one of them he'd just destroyed.  Sam let his gazes wonder over the abandoned kitchen, taking in every detail.

So, when the image chamber door opened up, and Al stepped out, it was no wonder that Sam swung the gun around, and nearly unloaded a round into the holograms head. 

"Oh, God Al, don't sneak up on me like that!"  Al made a face.

"Well, how am I supposed to let you know I'm coming, a silent alarm?  Or perhaps I'll have Ziggy leap back a mobile phone, so I can ring you every time I'm about to join you."  Sam lowered the gun, but it did not lower his heartbeat.

"Alright, alright, you've made your point," Sam said, leaning against the double door, "What'd manage to dig up?"

"Nothing good, and what we did manage to dig up, doesn't make much since at all."

"What did you dig up, Al?"

"Wolves."  Al said.  "According to David, he says that there are some sort of giant wolves on the island."

"Oh," Sam said, as he blinked into space.  Al raised one eyebrow.

"Oh?  What dose oh mean?"

"I've seen them, Al, or rather, just seen one.  Not long before you first arrived."

"Why didn't you tell me about this, when I first came by?"

"I didn't think much about it, Al."

"How can you not think much about a giant wolf in the middle of a tropical island in South America?"  Al snapped, shaking his hand link up and down as he ranted.

"Well, I didn't know where I was, then when you started singing Bohemian Rhapsody, it kinda put my mind into a jumble, then we got onto talking about other things, and the next thing I know, I'm walking through the hotel that time forgot!"

"Sorry," Al said, "it's just that… it's just that this place gives me the creeps."  Sam nodded in approval.

"You're not the only one, Al," he muttered, "so now that we've got the unpleasantries over with, what else have you got for me, besides wolves?"

"Well, according to David, someone has destroyed all of the phones, and the hotels only communications radio."

"What about the power?"

"Someone keeps cutting the wires," Al said, "David said that he'd fixed them, but someone cut them not long after."

"What about all the other people, and this Jackie woman?"

"Not to sure about the other people.  David said that he'd been called to do a quite investigation into the disappearance of a guest, then by the time he got to the island, there's nobody here."

"And Jackie?"

"No idea where she is, I forgot to ask David that question, but he did say she was safe."  He punched a few buttons, and called out, "Gooshie, centre me on Jackie."  Then, Al promptly vanished, leaving Sam all alone.

Sam took a look around the kitchen once more.  Lying in the kitchen sink was a wine bottle, with a corkscrew still in the top.  Sam's eyes widened.  Oh, what the hell.  He walked over, and picked up the bottle, and pulled out the cork.  He washed out a wine glass, and poured himself a drink.

"Here's to another weird, and crazy leap."  He said, as he lifted the glass to his lips, and drank heavily, perhaps an old habit from David.  He'd nearly emptied the glass when he lowered it back down on the sink, and his gaze fell to the door at the other end of the kitchen….

…Right at the white furred wolf staring him in the eyes.  Sam froze.  His grip tightened on the shotgun, and he found he couldn't move.  He could only stare at the wolf, looking right back at him, only its head was inside the kitchen.  It didn't growl at him, nor did it even flick an ear.  It just stared at him, as if assessing him.

"Sam!"  Sam spun around to see Al standing behind him, "I've found…"

"Al, look!"  Sam cried out, turning back to the wolf, "There's one of them…"

It was gone.

"…now?"  He blinked in confusion.

"Huh?  Where?"  Al peered over Sam.  "One of what?  I don't see anything." 

Sam indicated with the muzzle of the gun over to the kitchen door.  "I saw one of those wolfs, right over there, it was looking right at me!"

"Well, it ain't there now."  Al said, then looking back at his hand link.  "By the way, I've found Jackie.  She's okay, she's barricaded herself inside a security vult, and it's about three floors down."

"How do I get to her, Al?"

"Through that door there," Al said, pointing out to the dinning room, "Then you should see another door at the other end, that leads to the stair case."  He punched a few buttons.  "The elevators won't work,"

"The powers out, yeah I know."    Sam exited the kitchen; Al followed him, still giving directions.

"Then you go down three floors, and take the first right; after that, you then come to the security both.  You need to get Jackie to open the door to the both if you want to get in."

"Thanks, Al," Sam said, as he opened the doors to the stairs, "I can handle it from here, why don't you go back, and see if you can dig up some more information on this place."

"Sam, are you sure you want to be left alone in this creepy place?  I mean, it ain't Disney land!"

"I'm fine Al, and besides, I'll have Jackie with me, and I need you to find out exactly what is going on?  See if you can find out more about those wolves."

"That's going to be a little difficult, Sam," Al said, "Since I'm the only person here who hasn't seen one, yet."

"It's not too difficult, Al, they're wolves, they're white, and they're big."

"Great description, Sam."  Al rolled his eyes.  He opened up the image chamber door, and disappeared.  Sam looked down the stairs, receding into the darkness.  Automatically, he reached into his parker pocket, and pulled out a torch.  Shrugging, he clicked it on, and shone the beam down the stairs.  No wolves. 

He proceeded down the stairs, his shoes echoing on the concrete stairs as he made his way down three floors.  At the bottom, was a sign marked 'SECURITY' which had a warped glass window on it.  The window it's self had been smashed, and someone had boarded it up with a thin sheet of steel from the inside.

The door was locked, but just as Sam suspected, the keys he had with him, opened the door.  There were two halls, one leading right, and the other going straight ahead.  The thin sheet of metal was actually part of a car door, which had been welded on.  Sam mentally locked the door from the inside, and then headed right, down the hallway. 

At the end of the hall, was the security both, which reminded Sam of bank tellers both.  Just of the left, was a huge security vult door.  The glass covering the both was made of 6 inch bullet proof glass, with two phones, one on his side, and one on the other side.

Sam pushed a big red button next to the phone on his side.  A red light began flashing inside the both.  He only had to wait a few seconds, before the door to the both was opened, and a woman with long blond hair, wearing a green raincoat stepped inside.

Her eyes widened, as she saw Sam standing outside the both, and she quickly disappeared.  Sam was about to push the button again to get her attention, when he heard a low humming sound.  It built up, then abruptly shut it's self off.  There were several clicking sounds, and then the big steel door slid open. 

The woman's head appeared from inside the vault.  "You're back!"  She cried out happily in an English accent.  "I was beginning to think you weren't coming back at all."

"Yeah well…"  Sam suddenly paused, looking at the door.  "Hey, how could all this work, when powers out all over the hotel?"  Jackie gave him a funny look.

"A backup generator, remember?"  She said, slightly confused.  "You rigged it up, before you left.  Say, how'd it go?  Did you get to the boat house?"  She asked.

"Umm…" Sam stumbled, wishing he hadn't asked Al to leave him alone, but he desperately needed more information on those wolves.  "I didn't get there," he admitted, "I took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up at the river."

"What?"  She almost shrieked.  "How could you take a wrong turn?  It was left, left, then right, and you're there!  I gave you a bloody map!"

"It was the storm!"  Sam quickly protested.  "I… I lost my way when the rain got really heavy.  I literally couldn't see were I was going."

She shook her head.  "Well, I'm just surprised that the wolves didn't get you."

"I ran into one, down by the river," Sam said, "But it didn't attack me, just looked straight at me, then took off."  Jackie was confused.

"Huh?"  She said, looking right at Sam.  "What do you mean, just took off."  Sam gestured with his free hand.

"That's just what happened."  He said.  "It stood there, then left."

Jackie shook her head.  "That shouldn't be.  If you survived an encounter with a wolf for that long, then something's really wrong."

"Uhh, yeah."  Sam agreed.  "Maybe they're changing their strategy.  Look, I don't think it's safe down here, those wolves seem to beside the hotel now."  Now, he had really confused Jackie.

"What?"  She said, giving him a puzzled look.  "What the hell's gotten into, Gibb?  First you say it's not safe in our bedrooms, now you're saying that it's not safe down here?"

"Look," Sam quickly added, "I don't like what's going on as much as you do, okay, but we can't stay any longer in this hotel."

"Fine, she said, keeping her eye on him, "We'll try for the boat house again."  She head down the hallway for the stairs, "And this time, I'M driving."  Sam nodded, as he followed.  He swore mentally to himself.  He'd obviously made a damn mess of things here, and already, this Jackie woman was beginning to suspect something was wrong. 

Damn it, Al, where are you?

***

Al dialled the last number in on the speakerphone, and leaned back in the chair.  He had decided to get the answers he needed from the only place he knew where to get them from.  The town on the mainland.  He'd dug up the name of the town from Gibb's files, and rang the number for the police station. 

The phone rang three times.  Half way during the fourth ring, it was answered.

"Hello?"  And elderly man with a French accent answered.  "This is the Kaw Police station, Sheriff Dutourd speaking."

"Hi," Al said, speaking in French, "I'm Admiral Calavicci of the United States Navy; I would like to ask for your full cooperation for just a few minutes.  Would that be possible?" 

"Why certainly, monsieur Calavicci," the man said.  "How can I help you?"

"Do you have any files left over from the time period of the 1960's?"

"Just a second," the man said.  He was gone for a minute, before he returned.  "Why, yes we do, moneieur, what exactly are you looking for?"

"Missing persons, the date would be March 1st, 1965."

There was a short gasp on the other end of the line.  Then, silence.

"Hello?"  All called out.  "Hello, are you still there?"

"I'm afraid we don't have any missing persons files from that time period, moneieur," the man said hastily. 

Al glanced over at the files next to him.  "Not even from the Napoleon Hotel?"

"There never has been such a hotel, monsieur," the Sheriff snapped, "It's 10:59 at night down here, and I'm tired.  Now, please, leave me alone!"

"If you hang up, Sheriff," Al said, "I want you to know I not only have your police stations number, but your own home number, and I'm just going to call back, and I'm going to keep calling, until I get some answers."

There was another long pause.  "What do you want to know?"

"What is on that island?"

"How do you know about the island?"

"Never mind how I know about it," Al said, "Just tell me, what is on that island?"

"The devil, monsieur," the man answered, "I know you might think I'm crazy, but you wanted me to tell you, so now I'm telling you.  The devil himself lives on that island." 

"What happened, back in '65"

"We went over to the island, to check up on the hotel, after we lost contact with them.  We found the island deserted.  About a week into the search, we were attacked by were wolves."

"Were wolves?"

"Yeah, shape shifters!  They look like wolves, then they turn into demons.  I was only a new recruit back then, and I lost my Sheriff, and two deputies to those demons.  The rest of us barely made it back to the mainland.  The towns folk nicknamed the island, Hell's Kitchen." 

Al sat in stunned silence.  Were wolves?  It was impossible.

"Hello?  Monsieur?  Are you still there?"

"Yeah, I'm here," Al said, "Is that all?"

"Over the years, a few thrill seekers have gone over to the island, and all of them, never came back.  Despite making the island off limits, we still get a few screwballs thinking they can have a great time.  One thing is always the same.  Once you go into Hell's Kitchen, you don't come out."

***

MORE TO COME…….