Quantum Leap: Regenesis, Page 1Steve Sagarra
Quantum Leap: Regenesis
By Steve Sagarra
Copyright ©2015 Steve Sagarra
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[VOICEOVER, WITH ACCOMPANYING MONTAGE:]
In 1908, art student hopeful Adolph Hitler is rejected for a second time by the Fine Arts Academy Vienna. Penniless, homeless and with his mother having passed away the previous December, he becomes despondent and dejected to the point of suicide. Due to the devastating aftereffects of The Great War (1914-1919) and The Great Depression (1929), Germany’s Weimer Republic collapses from internal conflict between left- and right-wing groups vying for control of the destabilized country. In 1933, a small Bavarian fascist-led revolt, inspired by Italy’s Benito Mussolini and his National Fascist Party, is quashed by a German majority coalition government that results from a unifying referendum held four years earlier; without a charismatic leader, the National Socialist German Workers Party, colloquially known as the “Nazi Party,” is decimated beyond repair. In support, Great Britain, France, Spain and Italy pledge economic aid to Germany, forming a European economic and political bloc; while political and social obstacles still exist, all of Europe is economically stabilized within five years.
Meanwhile in Asia, the Japanese Empire continues to execute and consolidate its economic and military plans against China and the United States. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacks the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, fearful of the potential economic threat that the U.S. poses in the Pacific region. Though a surprise, the attack is not as devastating as planned thanks to the preparedness of the U.S.’s Pacific fleet; unencumbered by any further global conflicts, the U.S. and its allies quickly mobilize and crush the Japanese Empire. The swiftness of this action allows Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists forces and Mao Zedong’s Communists forces to continue their struggle against each other in China’s civil war, which results in a Nationalists victory in 1946. By 1950, Chiang’s China is the cornerstone of an Asian economic and political bloc that includes Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
Isolated on both its European and Asian borders, the Soviet Union, formed in the Leninist revolution of 1917, becomes a rogue state with little influence or allies throughout the world. The United States, set economically, militarily and politically between the European and Asian blocs, is a semi-isolationist second-world power.
But history was not always this way…
QUANTUM LEAP MUSIC PLAYS, OPENING CREDITS ROLL.
EXT. QUANTUM LEAP PROJECT FACILITY - NIGHT
INT. QUANTUM LEAP PROJECT FACILITY – COMPUTER LAB
DR. SAMMI JO FULLER – Dr. Sam Beckett’s “daughter,” and now lead scientist on Project Quantum Leap – has been working on a way to bring back home Dr. Beckett, who continues to leap through time in order to correct wayward events of the past. She has theorized that he actually returns to his body for an undetected, split-second between leaps before leaping to the next one. Working with a now-retired ADMIRAL AL CALAVICCI, who is still happily married to Beth, she and her team, including the son of the late Gooshie, set out to isolate that instance and permanently return Beckett home.
Sammi Jo POINTS to a computer monitor.
Right there Admiral. A nano-second fluctuation, simultaneously replaced by another when the next leap initiates.
Al TOUCHES his hand to his cheek.
Quite literally, the quantum leap of the project’s namesake. We detected it after the upgrade to Ziggy’s sensors. Comparing data from all of Dr. Beckett’s leaps, I believe the fluctuation is his aura in transit.
Amazing. All these years, he really has been returning home. So, how, um, how do we isolate and prevent him from leaping again?
We’re analyzing specific instances – when you sent your younger self back to 1958, when you and Dr. Beckett changed places – to determine if there are any patterns or factors that might prove useful. We initially thought maybe shutting down the reactor at the critical point, but the timing would be tricky even for Ziggy. And since we know it’s not the only source of his leaping through time anyway, it probably would not matter.
Al SMILES at Sammi Jo, an approving glint in his eyes.
Nice work, Dr. Fuller. Your…Dr. Beckett would be proud.
Sammi Jo SMILES at Al.
I’ll keep you updated, Admiral.
EXT. OUTDOORS – DAY, SUNNY
DR. SAM BECKETT has LEAPED into his most recent circumstance.
Sam WALKS down a semi-deserted sidewalk in an urban/business setting.
Al Calavicci, in the form of a hologram, WALKS beside him.
Let’s see, it’s March 26, 1989. Your name is Gabriel Salcedo. You immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the late 1970s, starting a small computer servicing firm a few years back. ZIGGY says there’s a 52.4% chance you’re here to prevent…
Al HITS the hand-held device.
…to prevent the Evil Leaper Project!
E-Evil Leaper Project? Here? How?
Sam, do you realize what this could mean? Ziggy is still working on it, but…Sam, the Evil Leaper Project!
Sam THINKS. Though his brain is Swiss cheese, he REMEMBERS a thought.
A-Alia…but wh-what are the chances of us finding and convincing her not to join something that doesn’t even exist yet?
Maybe we don’t need to convince her. Just steer her in another direction.
So how do we find her, Al? Does Ziggy know if she is in fact here, in this time
Well, no. Not exactly. But…oh I have an idea how we might find her! If they’re still around…
Al USES the handheld device to do a records search.
Al excitedly EXCLAIMS.
…yes! Sister Angela and Sister Sarah! They run an orphanage for runaways!
Sister…right, the nuns with the boxer. That’s brilliant Al. They might know Alia, or at least could take her in once we locate her.
Are there any other probabilities, Al?
Nothing even close. But this is interesting…
Hmm, Ziggy says there’s a greater chance you’re here to…
Al perplexingly STARES at the hand-held device.
Al? What it is?
Something must be wonky with Ziggy. Now, she thinks you’re here to prevent the premature death of Adolph Hitler?!! Gooshie needs to run another diagnostic!
What does she mean ‘the premature death’ of Adolph Hitler? And in 1989? How would that even be possible, Al? Number one, why would I? And number two…
Sam CONCENTRATES, SNAPPING his fingers.
umber two, he died in 1945 at the end of the Second World War.
I don’t know Sam. Ziggy must be messed up from all the new updates to her system. But the probabilities are increasing, and…oh god, Gooshie increase the shielding output!
When briefed about the time I was almost sent to the gas chamber, Dr. Fuller enhanced the shielding for Project Quantum Leap to delay any effects from changes to the timeline.
Of course, that makes sense. But why did you just tell Gooshie to increase them?
Because Ziggy is detecting a major cascade of changes to the timeline. I mean MAJOR! Oh, those damn evil leapers!
Stay with me Al, how major? What are the probabilities now?
Holy mackerel, where do I begin? Let’s see…the Second World War in Europe never happened. And…and without the lessons of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is rabid across Europe and the United States, and…and Israel no longer exist. And despite not having it as an international foil, the Mideast is still in turmoil between the various sects…sects of Christians, Islamists, Arabs, etc, all still trying to destroy each other.
Okay, that sounds pretty bad. What else?
Mainland Asia is under Chinese rule that is oppressive against all dissidents and foreigners opposed to Chaing’s still-ruling Nationalists majority, who went on to win the Chinese civil war against Mao’s communists forces 43 years ago. Interesting. They hold strategic economic and military strength in both land and naval forces, despite Great Britain, France and…and the Dutch retaining a colonial presence in the area. In cooperation with the United States…thank god, it still exists…Great Britain shares a strategic naval presence throughout the world but…but both lag in overall economic and military power due to less mobilization during what now is known only as the Pacific War.
Al LOOKS at Sam, then TURNS BACK TO the handheld device.
According to Ziggy, the space race between the United States and Soviet Union never happened either, meaning no moon landing or space exploration. And the world only now is beginning to harness atomic energy, with…with Germany leading the way in both space and atomic programs due to their scientists having never defected or been captured by American and Soviet forces after the war. Asia is second in development of both, but not far behind Germany
Sam SHRUGS his shoulders, SIGHING.
Oh boy. Any good news, Al?
Well, the U.S. apparently thwarted the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and with no build-up in anticipation of a European front against a Nazi-ruled Germany, had more resources in the Pacific to quickly counter. The Japanese Empire was…was crushed within a year by a combined U.S., British and Chinese alliance. But this is bad Sammy. No civil rights movement emerged from the shortened and less-enlightened post-war environment and…and segregation still exists in United States. There’s also very little in the way of a global economy or international cooperation, and economic conditions have been stagnant for decades because of it.
Sam grimly LOOKS at Al.
And Ziggy thinks this is all because of Adolph Hitler’s premature death, which I’m supposed to stop? From here?
Al dolefully STARES at Sam.
With a 94.3% certainty. And rising. Apparently, he committed suicide after his second art school rejection, before the First World War even started.
How do we sacrifice all those lives apparently now saved by h-his suicide, Al?
What about the lives lost because of it? Ziggy estimates that the world’s population has been reduced by half without the global affluence and prosperity that developed in the decades after the war.
A few million lives for billions? Is that what you’re saying Al?
I’m afraid so Sam. As grave as it sounds, it’s what was…what is supposed to happen.
And I’m guessing that shielding won’t last forever. So what’s Ziggy’s suggestion before Project Quantum Leap is affected?
Ziggy says…says there’s a scientist named…named Donald Cutter.
That’s it? A name, that’s all we have to go on?
Yep, I’m afraid so. He has an office downtown.
Sam continues WALKING down the street.
He HAILS an approaching “Greenman Company” taxi.
The taxi STOPS, and Sam GETS IN. Al, as a hologram, SLIDES in next to him.
Where to Sam?
Al and Sam STARE in bewilderment at the driver.
I-I’m sorry, w-who did you just call me?
The driver TURNS around to face him.
Sam, it’s Angelita!!
Sam LOOKS at Al, not comprehending.
Sam, you remember me, no? Angelita Carmen Guadalupe Cecelia Jimenez.
Sam THINKS for a moment, RECALLING a fragment.
B-But that was decades ago. H-How are you here now?
Angelita TURNS BACK in her seat, ENGAGING the gearshift into “drive.”
I told you, I’m an angel. Say hi to Al for me.
Al PLACES his hand on his cheek, visibly stunned.