The Second Leap


When the blue light faded, all Sam heard was the delicate sound of rushing water. His vision cleared and he found he was sitting on a rock at the edge of a creek, a fishing pole in his grip. He looked around at the seemingly hidden jewel of countryside he’d arrived at, feeling the sun on his face that trickled through the leaves of the trees behind him.

Suddenly, Sam felt a tug on the fishing pole and he turned back to it. He tightened his grip and started to turn the reel. He pulled the pole back watching it bend in resistence to the fight of the fish.

“Oh. Fiesty fella are ya?” Sam said letting up on the pull of the pole and turning the reel again. Sam repeated the motion until he saw the fish in the water coming closer to him. When he recognized the trout in the shallow water he stood up and grabbed the line, bringing his hand back to hold the pole and reached into the water and pulled the fish out by the mouth.

Sam held up the fish, looking at it in triumph for a moment. “I’ll be damned,” he said. He then proceeded to take the hook out of the edge of the fish’s mouth. Once the fish was free, Sam bent down and let it back into the water.

Sam paused at a residual he got, but it was gone just as quick as it had come. As he sat back on the rock he wondered where he was and who he was.

And where the hell Al is, he thought as he looked behind him. He saw a blue car parked not far from the creek and started getting residuals that bothered him a little. He wasn’t sure what it was, but there seemed that the person he lept into was emotionally drained. Something had happened, something very terrible and Sam could feel this incredible amount of loss.

“Al?”

It was a moment before the Admiral appeared.

“I don’t know what went wrong,” Al said. “It should have worked, but Ziggy says there may be another chance.”

Sam looked at him confused. “Another chance for what?”

Al stopped. “You don’t remember the last leap? Anything from the last leap?”

Sam shook his head. "You know I don't hardly ever remember previous leaps..."

“Oh man...”

Sam looked at Al in concern. “Who am I, Al? Where am I? What’s so important about the last leap?”

Out of habit, Al looked at the handlink although he already knew most of the information he was about to give. “You are former Sheriff Rosco Pervis Coltrane, fifty-five years of age and you are in Finchburg County, Georgia. In the last leap you were Sheriff Rosco Pervis Coltrane of Hazzard County and you were there to save his cousin, MaryAnne, who was killed in the line of duty two weeks and three days ago. Today being January 14, 1987.”

Sam stared at the hologram of his friend. “Al...”

“Something went wrong, Sam. But because of the other leaper, there may still be a chance at success.”

Sam’s mind was racing so fast he didn’t hear Al say ‘other leaper.’

“I failed then,” Sam said. “That’s it, isn’t it? I’ll be trapped here for ever.”

“Maybe not. You and this other leaper have switched time periods. There’s a chance the other leaper could save MaryAnne.”

“What? Other leaper??”

Al sighed. He then explained to Sam what happened in the last leap, who MaryAnne was, the other leaper and the chance that the other leaper could save MaryAnne.

“You were getting really strong residuals and doing things on impulse from Rosco,” Al said. “What do you feel now?”

“I think Rosco’s drained, emotionally. Just before you arrived I had this residual that something terrible had happened and there was this feeling of loss.” Sam paused. “It all makes sense now.”

“Well, last time the residuals became stonger the closer it got to Rosco waking up at Project. When he did wake up, it had such an effect on you he had to be sedated. After that was when Ziggy figured out about the other leaper.”

“So I have half of Rosco with me still?”

“Yeah. Only from ‘87 not ‘86. If and when he wakes up at Project I can only guess that what happened before might happen again.”

“I’ll have a really bad headache?”

“Right. And if it were to happen after Rosco returned to Hazzard and people saw him, they might think he’s gone whacko or something and that’s not going to help you in trying to help him adjust.”

“So that’s what I should be doing? Helping him adjust?”

“Yeah.” Al looked at the handlink. “And the first step’s going to be the hardest and that’s getting Rosco back to Hazzard.”

Sam paused at the impulse he got, a souring sick-to-the-stomach feeling. “Rosco doesn’t want to go back to Hazzard.”

“Not at this moment, no. We have to find out what it was that made him change his mind. Ziggy hasn’t been able to find any information on the two weeks Rosco was gone and certainly can’t find what made him decide to go back.”

Sam paused and looked around. “What is this place anyway?”

Al continued to look at the handlink. “This is Rosco’s unlce Eli’s property. The farm house is off in the distance there.” Al pointed.

Sam turned to look and saw a house and barn way off in the distance. The fields that once grew corn, wheat and other necessities that helped feed a nation, were dry and barren. Slowly taking in the sceneary, Sam started to feel more familar with where he was.

“Eli was MaryAnne’s father,” Al continued, “and Rosco used to spend a lot of time here when he was younger.”

“A close family?”

“Very. Eli trusted only a few people to look after MaryAnne if something ever happend to him. His older brother, Raleigh, who was Rosco’s father, and Rosco himself. MaryAnne’s older brother was drafted into the army and was in Vietnam. When he got out he never really came back home. His last known whereabouts was in Arizona.”

“They’re all gone, aren’t they?” Sam said. “Eli. His wife. MaryAnne. All of them.”

“Yeah.”

Sam suddenly felt so alone. He shook his head. “No, Rosco doesn’t want to go back to Hazzard.”

“He has to, Sam. There’s no telling what could happen to him if he stays here.”

“But there’s nothing there for him, Al. He doesn’t think anybody or anything there can fill the void.”

“So staying all alone here is going to fill the void?” Al said, more to Rosco than to Sam.

Sam paused paying attention to the impulses he got from Rosco. “You’re making him mad, Al.”

“I don’t care. He has to understand that he can’t just crawl into a hole and hope it all goes away, because it’s not going to. He has to face reality and there’s people back in Hazzard who do want to help him.”

“Al--”

“I’m not done. He can’t keep living in the past, wondering what if? He can’t blame himself and he can’t blame everybody else. What happened, happened and he has to move on. I think, based on the information Ziggy got on MaryAnne, that she would want him to move on, and not be here drowning in sorrow and memories.”

“Stop it!” Sam exclaimed on impulse. He clenched his fists and then looked at Al.

“Got his attention, didn’t I?” Al said.

“Oh yeah and if he could he’d like to, uh, knock you into the middle of next week.”

“Already been there.” Al looked at the handlink. “Well, I think he’s trying to wake up at Project. We have to find whatever it is that makes him change his mind, Sam.”

“I know.”

Al disappeared and Sam stood there, trying to sort through the residuals he was getting from Rosco. The man absolutely refused to go back to Hazzard. It was here he wanted to stay, regardless of it being considered living in the past or not. The memories were all he had.

Sam went to gather up the fishing gear and then loaded it into the blue Firebird. He paused, looking at the car and the silver firebird emblem on the hood.

It had been her car.

“Rosco, I’m sorry,” Sam whispered. He knew Rosco felt guitly because he couldn’t save MaryAnne. Sam felt even more guilty because he was supposed help Rosco save MaryAnne and he couldn’t even remember what had happened. Sam had a hard time believing that there was a possibilty for a second chance, regardless of this ‘other leaper.’ He was more apt to believe that this was where he would be from now on. Never to leap home, bound to remain in the past to help a man adjust after the tragic loss of a family member that Sam didn’t know much about.

And didn’t save.

But if Al was right, Rosco had to go back to Hazzard, as much as he didn’t want to. And Sam figured if there was anything he could do to salvage what he had failed to do in the last leap, it was to somehow get Rosco to want to go back home. So, he got into the car and started the engine and then drove down the dirt road back to the farm house.

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Next Chapter...Opportunity