Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke 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 Doctor 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.
When he arrived, he immediately knew something was wrong. Most leaps came with a form of disorientation, the swiss cheese effect doing its work. He could remember parts of who he was and most of what he had done while leaping around in time. But this was different. He looked around the room. He was sitting on a half- moon-shaped booth. To his left was a circular door leading to a tunnel. It reminded him a bit of a movie set. In front of him was a hologram of some sort of animal that was kicking its front legs into the air.
He slid to the edge of the booth and stood up. His first instinct was to look for a mirror. He glanced around the room but didn’t see one anywhere. There were plenty of nooks and crannies, though. And a closet on the far wall. He walked over to the closet and put his palm on the handle. Before he could open it, he heard a crash behind him. It sounded like it came from the big circular corridor to the left of the booth. Then he heard footsteps running toward him.
An older man appeared in the doorway to the tunnel. His hair was grey and his face wrinkled, but he had the presence of a man who still had lots of energy. He was wearing a leather jacket, a white cotton shirt, and brown pants. On his hip was a gun holster holding a strange-looking pistol.
“Chewy!” He said. “I found it!”
Sam looked at him for a moment, then said: “Found what?”
Except it didn’t come out like that. The noise that came from his mouth sounded like a cross between a bear and dog. A low rumbling growl.
“What do you mean ‘found what’?” The man said. “I found the Falcon. We’re about to jump out of hyperspace, so you better get your hairy butt up to the cockpit.”
“Cockpit?” Sam asked.
The man turned and ran back the way he came. Sam pushed the lever to the closet and the door opened. There was a small mirror on the door.
In the mirror was the hairiest face he had ever seen. He looked like some kind of yeti. Or maybe he was bigfoot. He couldn’t tell.
His mouth dropped open, and he stood there for several seconds in silence.
“Oh boy!” He said.
Sam found his way to the front of the ship. The old man was sitting in a chair on the left. There was an empty chair to his right. Dead ahead was a window, but what he saw didn’t make sense. Bright flashes of blue light extended forward into the distance. It looked like a tunnel with long lines of light all around the sides. He still had no idea where he was.
Where are you, Al? Sam thought.
He sat down in the chair next to the old man.
“Strap in, pal.” He said. “We’re getting ready to come out of hyperspace.”
Hyperspace? Sam thought. Were they in space? Or was this some sort of movie set? He had leapt onto movie sets before. Several times. In one instance, one of the actors was crazy enough to think that he had built a time machine. In fact, he learned later that his younger self came up with the theory behind the quantum accelerator from the very show he leapt into.
“Roger that.” Sam replied.
The man looked at him funny. “You okay, Chewy?”
Sam nodded his head. “I’m fine. Just a little under the weather is all.”
Sam could feel that the words he were speaking were not English. He was continuing to grunt and howl, but the old man was able to understand him somehow.
“Dropping out of hyperspace in 3…2…1…” The man pulled a small lever towards him and, suddenly, the tunnel of lines disappeared and the ship slowed down. In front of him was a planet. It reminded him of Mars.
“Where are we?” Sam asked.
“It’s a small desert planet called ‘Jakku.’” The man replied. “We’re at the Western reach to the galaxy’s inner rim.”
Sam figured they must’ve been on some kind of movie set. He kept looking around, trying to find someone else. But, at the moment, it seemed like it was just him and the old man. He didn’t even know the man’s name. Sam continued to play things by ear.
“Why are we here?” Sam asked.
“The Falcon has finally showed up on our scanners. It’s been a long time, Chewy, but we finally found her.” The man’s eyes sparkled as he talked.
“Falcon?” Sam said. “We’re looking for a bird way out here?”
Han’s face wrinkled, and he looked at Sam from the corner of his eyes. “What’s the matter with you?”
Sam shrugged and remained silent.
“Anyway,” The man said. “I figure our best bet is to wait here until they decide to make a move. The Falcon is showing up on our scanner because someone is flying it again. We can assume that they will eventually leave the planet and try to jump into hyperspace. So, we’ll be waiting for them when they do.”
“Aye-aye, Captain.” Sam said.
The man rolled his eyes and stood up. “I’m going to the back to check on the rathtars. Stay here and try to keep us in orbit.”
Sam was stunned. He kept waiting for a director to say “cut,” but it never came. There was no one else with them. Maybe they were just practicing their lines. Or maybe they were in an underground bunker somewhere, and the old man was just crazy. Before he could chase that thought, he was interrupted by a whirring sound behind him.
He jumped a little when he saw him. Al had finally locked onto him and was standing in the ship behind him.
“Oh my god, Al!” Sam said. “You have no idea how happy I am to see you.”
Al shook his head and pointed to his ears. Apparently he couldn’t hear anything. Al tried mouthing the words: I…CAN’T….HEAR…YOU.
“Crank the juice on Ziggy, Al.” Sam mouthed back. “Give her more power because we seriously need to talk.”
Al tapped some buttons on his device. “Can you hear me now?”
Sam shook his head. “Yes, thank god. Al, this leap has got me feeling like I’m crazy.”
Al was silent.
“Well, come on, Al! Tell me where I am.” Sam said. “I figure I’m on the set of a movie or something, but I don’t see any of the other crew. And why did it take you so long to get here? I’ve been dying trying to keep up with this charade.”
Al sighed. “Sam, please calm down.”
“Calm down?” Sam shouted. “You have no idea what it’s like to be stuck in some kind of weird bunker with a guy that you think might be crazy.”
“He’s not crazy, Sam.” Al replied calmly. “The reason it took me so long to find you was because we couldn’t locate your signal anywhere on earth.”
Sam was silent for several seconds, then said, “Wait…what? What does that mean?”
“Well, whenever you leap, the person you leap into comes back into the waiting room.”
“Duh, Al. I know that. I designed the thing, remember?”
Al hit some buttons on his handlink. “Well, when that happens, some residual is leftover from the leap that allows us to lock onto you.”
“I’m losing my patience here, Al.”
“We were unable to get a lock this time.” Al said. “At first we thought maybe the equipment was malfunctioning, but all the diagnostics came back okay. Then Gooshie got the idea of going into the waiting room to talk to whoever leaped into you.”
Al’s face went white, and he shuddered.
“Well, who did I leap into?” Sam asked.
“Not ‘who,’ Sam.” Al said. “‘What.’”
“Yeah, I know. I’m inside a gorilla or something.”
Al shook his head side to side. “It’s worse than that. Your name is Chewbacca, and you are the co-captain of the Eravana, which is the ship we are on right now.”
“So, this isn’t a movie?”
“No, Sam.” Al replied. “This is going to be hard for you to hear, but you’re not on earth at all. You’re in another galaxy.”
Sam put his hand to his heart and breathed a heavy sigh. “That’s not possible.”
“Ziggy isn’t sure what happened.” Al said. “I thought the guy was looney toons when he told me that. But, just in case, we started pinging radio signals to the coordinates he gave us. It’s how we managed to lock onto you.”
“What are you saying?” Sam asked. “That I’ve not only traveled in time, but I’ve leapt across the universe? That’s crazy. It’s outside of the scope of what we designed Quantum Leap for.”
Al pointed to the ceiling. “But it’s not outside of…er…his…jurisdiction.”
Sam scoffed at the notion. “So, God or fate or whatever has leapt me across the galaxy. For what?” Then, to himself he said, “This ought to be rich.”
Al tapped the handlink with his right hand. “Your name is Chewbacca. You’re co-captain of this ship, the Eravana. You’re here with Han Solo, and you’re trying to find your old ship, The Millenium Falcon.”
Sam scoffed again. “You sound crazy, Al. So, what am I here to fix?”
Al tapped the handlink again. “We’re not sure about that yet. This Chewbacca character wasn’t exactly the friendliest guy to talk to. He tried to choke me out when I first approached him. We had to hit him with a tranquilizer and some truth serum to get him to talk.”
Before Sam could reply, Han returned.
“Rathtars are sleeping,” Han said. “So, I guess there’s nothing else to do but wait. You take first watch, Chewy. I’m going to get some shut-eye.”
Han checked the gauges on the ship and walked out of the cockpit.
“Yes, sir.” Sam replied, and looked at Al.
Al shook his head and took a puff of the cigar he was holding. “You’re way less formal than that, Sam. This Chewbacca may owe Han a life-debt, but they are more like family than co-captains.”
“Good to know.” Sam said.
“Anyway, Chewbacca gave us details on some old archives that exist in this galaxy. Ziggy is trying to get a lock on it now. When he does, I’ll be back to tell you why you are here.”
“You know, Al, just once it would be nice if you could show up AFTER you get me the information I need.”
Al tapped a few buttons on the handlink, and a door of light appeared behind him. “What would be the fun in that?”
Sam watched as he disappeared into the door of light. “Oh, boy.” He said again.
Sam sat in the cockpit and stared at the planet in front of him. He really didn’t know what he was looking for, but he kept watch anyway. He thought back to his first leap. He’d leapt into an airplane pilot and had to learn how to fly an airplane. If he could get through that, he could get through this. He looked down at the dash before him, a giant rectangular array of buttons, knobs, and lights. He didn’t have the first clue what any of them were for.
He sat in the cockpit for what felt like hours, staring into space. The thought of being in another galaxy was both exhilarating and frightening all at once. Knowing that his project was leaping him not only in time, but in space as well, was maybe the apex of his entire life’s work. He could fill a book with the technical details, and this leap would definitely make for a whole section of that book. To be the first human to leave the Milky Way. He was officially the first human to accomplish interstellar travel. The possibilities were endless.
Suddenly, one of the lights started flashing and an alarm started whirring loudly throughout the ship. He stared at the console and the flashing light, but didn’t have a clue what to do about it.
“Han!” He yelled over his shoulder. “I think we got something!”
He listened. Han didn’t reply, but he heard a thud in the back followed by footsteps thumping through the corridor to the cockpit.
“Now we’re talking, Chewy.” He said as he sat down next to him. He flipped a switch on the console and the the buzzing stopped. “Look! Over there!”
Sam followed Han’s finger to the left of the planet before them. Another ship leaving the planet in front of them.
“We’ll get them.” Han said. “Hang on.”
Han took the controls and steered the ship towards their target. He flipped another switch and hit another button on the dash and the ship began to pick up speed.
“We’ll come in behind them,” Han said. “Then we’ll lock onto them so they can’t get away.”
The ship sped forward and they got within a half a mile of the other ship. Han pulled a lever above his head, and a tractor beam began pulling the other ship towards them.
“Get to the back and open the hatch, Chewy.” Han said. “We’re about to see who is dumb enough to steal from me.”
Sam ran to the back of the ship. “How do you open the hatch?”
Han’s voice came back with frustration. “Did you hit your head or something? It’s the panel with buttons on the wall next to it you big hairy dope.”
“That hurts.” Sam said to himself as he randomly tapped buttons on the panel next to the hatch.
The hatch slowly started opening, much like the door on a garage. Sam stood at the opening and looked out. The background of stars and galaxies was breathtaking. The other ship came floating into the bay. Sam thought it looked terrible. He couldn’t understand why Han would be out looking for such a hunk of garbage.
Han came running in. “Okay, Chewy, let’s go see what kind of party awaits us on the ship.”
He started walking towards the ship, and Sam followed. The door opened and the two ran up the steps. When they were inside, Sam saw Han stop for a moment and the look that came over his face was a little sad, like he might be remembering someone or something from long ago.
“Chewy, we’re home.” He said.
Then he ran further into the ship. Sam looked around and then followed him. He heard a familiar sound and a door of light appeared in front of him. He tried to stop, but wound up running right through the hologram of Al that appeared before him.
“Whoah, take it easy, Sam.” Al said and took a drag of his cigar.
“Where have you been?” Sam whispered angrily. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“I was waiting for Ziggy to get the data.” Al said. “Remember, you told me not to show up until I had the information you need?”
“Meanwhile, I’m looking like an idiot to this guy.” Sam whispered and kept walking after Han.
“Damned if I don’t, damned if I do.” Al said to himself. “I’m sorry, Sam, but we need to talk.”
“Where are the others? Where’s the pilot?” Sam heard Han say.
Sam looked over Han’s shoulder and saw a black man and a white woman, both looking scared and jittery. They were talking. Sam gave Al a little shrug. He didn’t want to leave Han until they found out who the people were.
“Who stole it from me!” Han shouted. “Well, you tell him Han Solo just stole back the Millenium Falcon for good!”
The girl’s eyes lit up. “This is the Millenium Falcon? You’re Han Solo?” The words came out as much statements as they were questions.
Han walked to the front of the ship. The man and the woman followed. Sam figured this would be a good time to hang back with Al.
“Okay, Al.” Sam said. “What am I doing here?”
Al tapped on the handlink. “You’re Chewbacca and your friend is Han.”
“We covered that.” Sam said impatiently.
“The other two are Finn and Rey.” Al tapped the handlink again. “Finn is a stormtrooper who denied his citizenship with the First Order, the evil regime trying to take over the galaxy. On his first mission he got spooked and decided to run away. Rey is a scrapper, a long time junk-seeker who has been waiting on Jakku for her parents since she was a young child.”
“So, I’m here for them?” Sam asked, walking back and forth in the hallway.
“Ziggy says there’s a 98.26% chance that you’re here for this Chewbacca character.” Al said.
“What could possibly be wrong with him?” Sam asked.
“In a few days Han cries…wait…cries?” Al slapped the handlink. “Oh no, Sam.”
“In a few days, Han dies.” Sam said. “And Chewbacca, in his anger, kills the man who did it. This sets off a chain of events that leads to the galaxy’s destruction and Chewbacca’s suicide.”
Before he could reply, Han, Finn, and Rey came walking back into the hallway. They were talking to each other, but Sam kept eye contact with Al, who had positioned himself near Rey.
“You know, Sam,” Al said, eyeing Rey up and down, “she’s not too bad on the eyes. A little dirty, but that’s nothing a shower couldn’t fix.”
“Al!” Sam said in a loud whisper. Al pumped his left arm and the left half of his body as if she was pulling him towards her.
“He’s carrying a map to Luke Skywalker!” Finn said.
A look of recognition flashed across Han’s eyes.
“You are the Han Solo who fought with the rebellion.” Finn said. “You knew him.”
“Yeah, I knew Luke.” Han said, his eyes looking off the in the distance. “I knew him.”
Suddenly, a distant metallic CHUNK! sound came from the back of the ship.
“Don’t tell me a Rathtars gotten loose.” Han said as he ran out of the hall. Finn and Rey followed.
“Al, what do I do?” Sam asked.
“A Rathtar is a…” Al tapped the side of his handlink. “It’s a…well…let’s just say you won’t like them. I’ll go see what is going on.”
Al disappeared through the wall. He was gone for several seconds, long enough for Sam to get jittery and start pacing, ready to go to the back of the ship. Before he could act, though, Al was back.
“He’s telling the others to hide underneath the ship.” Al said. “Go in there and back him up.”
Sam went after Han and found him getting ready to go negotiate with whoever had boarded the ship.
“Where have you been, Chewy?” Han asked.
“Just checking the ship.” Sam said.
“You big oaf.” Han said. “Follow my lead before they kill us both.”
Sam thought Han was kind of cocky and full of himself. He didn’t like the way he talked down to Chewbacca. He believed that you should took care of your pets and treat them like one of the family.
“Sam, they are behind you.” Al said from behind him.
Sam turned and a group of men were gathered at the opening to the hallway they were in. Sam watched as the men accused Han of stealing from him. Han must have been quite a character. Stealing and swindling people all over the galaxy. And now, suddenly, two different groups on either end of the hallway. A second group had shown up, and the first group announced their presence.
“Tell that to Kanjiklub.” The leader of the first group said.
What happened next was kind of a blur to Sam. They all started shooting at each other. They ran towards the other ship, the ship that Rey and Finn arrived on. The one that Han said belonged to him.
“Sam!” Al shouted as he ran with them. “That thing on your back is a gun.”
“Are you ever going to start shooting?” Han said, frustrated.
Sam took the gun out and aimed it at one of the men. He fired and the recoil of the gun knocked him backwards. He managed to stay on his feet. Barely. He looked down at the gun and up at Han, whose mouth had fallen open in surprise.
“I’ve got the door!” Han shouted. “Cover us!”
Sam fired down the hall as Han crossed the corridor. The little droid called BB-8 followed Han. Sam continued to exchange blaster fire as Han worked the controls. The hatch opened, leading directly to the Falcon, just as a blaster shot hit Sam in the shoulder.
“Ouch!” Sam screamed and grabbed the shoulder.
“Chewy, are you okay?” Han asked, taking the bowcaster gun from him and shooting the controls.
Han shot the bowcaster and watched as it knocked the guy over. “Wow.” He said looking at the gun. “Come on! Come on!”
Han and Sam ran into Finn and Rey, and they all boarded the Falcon. Blaster fire whizzed past their heads, hitting the ship behind them. The shots deflected from the ship as if there were some sort of invisible shield.
Han and Rey went to the cockpit. Finn tried to help Sam to the back of the ship. Al stood behind Finn and looked around at the chaos.
“Hang on back there!” Han yelled from the cockpit.
“I’m trying to take care of this dying hairy thing!” Finn shouted, accidentally squeezing the wound too hard.
Sam yelled in pain and grabbed Finn by the neck. “Take it easy!” He grunted and then fell back onto the bed in the med bay. His shoulder hurt like hell, but it was unlike him to react with violence like that. Sam wondered if part of this Chewbacca character had imprinted onto him. That kind of thing had happened before in previous leaps.
Sam could feel the change in speed when the ship jumped to light speed. And suddenly, everything went quiet. Finn wrapped Sam’s arm in a bandage and made his way to the front of the ship.
“Finally, a chance to talk.” Sam said, sighing and taking a deep breath.
Al walked through the wall and stood next to the bed. “This ship doesn’t look like much, but it’s got it where it counts.”
Sam nodded. “Okay, Al. So, I’m here to stop this Han from dying?”
Al looked at the handlink. “Ziggy says no.”
“How can I not be here to save him?” Sam said. “He’s obviously a very capable person, no matter how much of an ass he is. Someone like him would be very valuable in a war.”
Al shook his head. “Ziggy says that his death rallies people to their cause. He thinks that if you save him, the resistance won’t have as much cohesion as they do when they find out the great Han Solo was killed by…” Al tapped on the handlink. “Kylo Ren.”
“I don’t give a damn what that hybrid computer says, Al.” Sam retorted. “If I can save a man’s life, then I need to try.”
“It doesn’t look like it’s in the cards, Sam.” Al said. “What is more important? One man’s life? Or the fate of an entire galaxy?”
The next few days were a whirlwind for Sam. Not only were there ships that could drive from planet to planet and all across the galaxy, but the whole galaxy was actually teaming with life. It was a discovery so monumental, so worthy of a Nobel Prize, that Sam could hardly contain his excitement. Not to mention that he’d seen and set foot on a couple of different planets in that time.
He pieced together the struggle that Han and his crew were facing. It was a war torn galaxy, ripped to shreds by an evil empire that was eventually defeated. In the time since that defeat, the band of rebels that won the fight tried to stitch the galaxy back together and get a functioning democracy going again. In the 30 years or so since the fall of the Empire, the galaxy was well on its way to peace and democratic control.
However, a new regime that called itself The First Order had risen from the ashes of the Empire and was making a play for control. This conflict with the First Order was starting to unravel all the progress made by the New Republic.
Sam stood in the control room at the base on D’qar. The little droid (another fascinating invention) was displaying a map when they learned of the First Order’s newest attack. An entire solar system wiped from existence, and the resistance base was the next target.
“So, we blow up their big gun.” Han said to the crew a little later. “There’s always a way to do that.”
Sam was impressed with the poise and control that Han displayed. Sam had leapt into many people and seen many places, but very few people had the presence for leadership that Han Solo possessed. Sure, he was a bit of an ass, but Sam was learning that you came to love him in spite of that. He was a swindler, but only insomuch that it “paid the bills.” To those closest to him, Han was very loyal, direct, and honest.
“I can disable the shields.” Finn said. “But I have to be there…on the planet.”
“We’ll get you there.” Han said.
“Han, how?” Leia asked.
Han shook his head. “If I told you, you wouldn’t like it.”
Poe stood up. “So, we disable the shields, take out the oscillator, and blow up their big gun. Let’s go!”
People scattered, each with a sense of purpose and duty. Sam went outside and started helping Finn load supplies into the Falcon. Sam watched as Han interacted with Leia. He could sense a lot of history between them.
“Love is a beautiful thing, Sam.” Al said out of nowhere.
Sam jumped. “Al, you scared the bejesus out of me. Can you not do that?”
“Sorry.” Al said and took a drag of his cigar.
“Do you have an update for me?” Sam asked.
“Yeah, that’s why I am here.” Al said. “Ziggy is saying that it’s absolutely crucial that you let Han die today. Everything is riding on it.”
“Come on, Al.” Sam said as he stepped past him. “There’s nothing we can do to save him?”
Al shook his head. “Not according to Ziggy.”
“Well then we are right back to where we started.” Sam said. “Why even come at all if the answer is still the same?”
“Because…” Al tapped the handlink. “According to Ziggy, Kylo Ren still dies. Which means that you still shoot him.”
“Isn’t this Kylo character the bad guy?” Sam asked. “Why do we let a decorated man like Han Solo die while one of the most dangerous criminals in this galaxy gets to live?”
Al looked at the handlink. “Because this Kylo Ren isn’t the real bad guy. There’s a much worse guy behind him named Snoke. And Kylo Ren is the only one who can kill Snoke.”
“But aren’t Kylo and Snoke on the same team?” Sam asked as he loaded the bag.
“According to Ziggy, there’s a 76.53% chance that Kylo will betray Snoke if he is allowed to live today.” Al replied. “But he can’t do that if he doesn’t survive.”
Sam shook his head. “I don’t know if I can do it, Al. Watch a man die, knowing I could have helped him. And a good man, with a family, to boot.”
“It’s about the greater good, Sam.” Al said. “You make the necessary sacrifice today so that you live to fight tomorrow.”
“That sounds like the kind of thing a villain would say, Al.” Sam stuffed more of the explosives into the bag.
“Chewy, check that donal capacitor.” Han said as he approached the ship. “Come on. Let’s go. Finn, be careful with those. They are explosive.”
Finn looked up in distress. “Now you tell me?”
Leia showed up again to talk to Han. Sam looked at the two, realizing that they would never see each other again. Sam could feel the tears welling up behind his eyes. Was that his emotion? Or was it the residual left over by Chewbacca?
“If you see our son, bring him home” was the last thing Sam heard before he boarded the ship.
He looked out of the window and Han and Leia were holding each other in a loving embrace.
“I’m sorry, Leia.” Sam said, touching the glass.
Sam almost threw up when they landed on the Starkiller Base. Han made the descent at lightspeed so that he could slide through the fractional refresh rate of the shields. After a hard landing, they made their way into the base. They captured one of the officers and forced her to lower the shields. Then they went looking for the girl, Rey, who was kidnapped by Snoke. They found her climbing around on one of the exhaust ports. They met up with her and started making their way back to the ship.
A major battle was taking place outside. Ships that Sam had never seen before were attacking the base and being attacked by other ships that Sam had never seen. It was chaos, and it was clear that the resistance was losing.
“They’re in trouble. We can’t leave.” Han said to Finn, then looked at Chewy. “My friend here has a bag of explosives. Let’s use them.”
The group split up. Finn and Rey went to disable the maintenance hatch and let them into the building.
“We’ll set the charges to every other column.” Han said, pointing at the structure.
“Wouldn’t it make more sense to set them all together?” Sam asked. “That way you can blow a hole big enough for those fighters to get inside.”
“You’re right.” Han said. “That’s a better idea. You take the top.”
Sam placed the explosives as directed and then stopped to look for Han. He had wandered away from the wall and was making his way to a platform that spanned the great chasm in the middle of the structure.
“Ben!” Han shouted.
One could hear a pin drop. Kylo Ren stopped in his tracks and turned around. Suddenly, it dawned on Sam why this was so hard for Han and Leia and what that embrace was really all about. Kylo Ren was their son, and they were there to try to rescue him.
Sam watched as Han and Kylo met in the middle of the walkway. He couldn’t hear them talking, but could see Kylo remove his mask. They were having a conversation. Sam heard the beeping of Al’s handlink.
“This is it, Sam.” Al said.
Sam was silent, but suddenly pulled the bowcaster from his back.
“Saaaaaaam.” Al said. “Don’t do it, Sam.”
Sam pulled the bowcaster up to his shoulder and aimed it at Kylo’s head.
“Sam!” Al shouted. “If you do this, you are dishonoring everything that Han stood for!”
“Han doesn’t think he’s going to die, Al.” Sam replied, clicking off the safety. “I can help reunite a family. Perhaps Kylo can be turned if Han survives.”
Al looked at the handlink as it beeped and whirred. “He won’t, Sam. And just how do you get Han out of here alive at this point?”
“I’m going to shoot Kylo.” Sam said. “Right now.”
Al’s face turned red, and he moved in front of Sam’s bowcaster to block his vision.
“Get out of the way, Al!” Sam whispered loudly.
“Sam!” Al shouted. “You can’t do this!”
Sam slid sideways, but before he could aim at Kylo, he saw a flash of red below. It was protruding from Han’s back. Kylo stabbed him with what looked like a laser sword.
Sam’s eyes filled with tears as he shouted. “Haaaaaaaan! No!”
Kylo Ren looked up at Sam and they made eye contract for a brief second.
Sam aimed the bowcaster at Kylo’s head…and then lowered it and fired. The blast left the gun and hit him in the side, knocking him back. Then he hit the detonator on the bombs and explosions rocked the structure. He could hear Rey screaming from above him, and he decided it was time to get out of there.
“I’m sorry, Sam.” Al said. “But there’s something you need to do.”
Al led him back outside and to the Falcon.
“I don’t know how to fly this thing.” Sam said, as he sat in the cockpit.
Al tapped the handlink. “Ziggy is uploading instructions.”
Over the next several minutes, Al showed Sam what buttons to push and how to fly the Falcon.
“You’ve come a long way since being a fighter pilot, Sam.” Al said, smiling.
“Har har, Al.” Sam said. “I wish you could experience this feeling just once.”
“The feeling that you are not in control and that you have no idea what to do next?” Al said. “Believe me, I’ve experienced it many times. I was in the army. And I was a prisoner of war.”
Within minutes the ship was in the air. “Where do I go, Al?”
Al tapped the handlink. “There. Ziggy has a lock on Finn and Rey over there.”
He pointed out the window, and Sam steered the ship into the woods, where Rey was trying to help a wounded Finn. Sam left the Falcon hovering, walked outside, and brought Finn onto the ship.
They made it off the planet just as a huge explosion rocked the core and the star that was sucked into their giant weapon destroyed the planet they were on. They rode home in silence. When they made it to D’qar, Sam stayed with Finn as he led them to the medical bay. When Finn was safe, Sam sat on one of the cots to catch his bearings.
“Why am I still here, Al?” Sam asked as Al appeared through a door of light.
Al read the handlink. “Ziggy says there’s one more thing for you to do.”
Sam stood up. “What’s that?”
“You need to get one of the droids working again.” Al said. “It’s in maintenance mode, and has been ever since his master disappeared.”
“What do I know about droids?” Sam asked.
“Quite a lot, actually.” Al replied. “One of your doctorates is in robotics.”
Al led him to the droid in question. It looked more like a trash can than a robot. Sam opened a hatch on the front and looked at the electronics.
“This droid isn’t in maintenance mode, Al.” Sam said. “He’s been manually powered down. Look! The switch is breaking the connection.”
Sam flipped the switch and waited.
“Got any other bright ideas, Sam?” Al smirked and took a drag of his cigar.
“Yeah, I have one.”
Sam kicked the droid. Nothing happened. So he kicked it again. Nothing. He went to kick it a third time, but, before he could, a little port opened and the droid zapped him with electricity. Sam spun around and tried to walk away. He saw the other droid, the little round one, roll past as he walked away. Just before he could sit on the cot again, he felt it. A bright flash of blue light, and he was gone.
Sam woke up, disoriented. He couldn’t remember where he was or what he had done. The name Han stood out in his mind, but he couldn’t remember why. He looked around at his surroundings. He was in a car, but it wasn’t a normal car. There were far too many gadgets and electronics for it to be a normal car.
He looked up and saw that the car was moving. He looked at the dash and the speed was 88 mph, and he was heading straight towards an old phone booth. Then he saw bright flashes of electric sparks all around the car. Suddenly, the entire landscape changed and he was in a field, running over a scarecrow. He tried to steer the car, but it was going too fast. He crashed into a barn just as the headgear from a radiation suit fell over his eyes.
“Oh boy!” He said as the car came to rest.
If you enjoyed this story and want to read more by author James Leatherman, then be sure to visit this page and read some of his original works.