"Quiet on the set! Roll cameras! Action!!" A confusing menagerie of sounds greeted Sam as the leap effect faded. Looking around, he saw that he was standing on a television set. "Not another soap opera!" he groaned to himself. Then he noticed everyone was staring at him. The director yelled "Cut!!" and Sam stood there, staring around, clueless.
"What the hell do you think you're doing Dolenz? Did you suddenly forget how to act?"
"No sir, I was lost in thought, um, trying to remember my lines. Do you think we could take a break?"
The director contemplated his request for a moment. "Okay Dolenz. Ten minutes. You're lucky we're ahead of schedule. Everyone, take ten!! Dolenz needs to get his act together!"
Admiral Al Calavicci stormed into the Control Room, yelling, "What's all the noise in here?"
"Um, that's the person in the Waiting Room. He or she is either acting like a dog or, uh, is a dog," Gooshie nervously replied.
"A dog, huh? Certainly sounds like it."
Tucking his handlink in an inner jacket pocket, Al strode over to the Waiting Room door to speak to the visitor. As he neared the door, the growling stopped, and a voice called out, "Hey, Henry, you missed your cue!"
"Hmmm . . . so it's not a dog after all. Good, cause Sam would not be happy leaping into a dog." Al opened the door and strode in to see a confused young man looking around the sterile Waiting Room.
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"My name's Al. I'm here to help you. What's your name?"
"Micky Dolenz. I'm supposed to be on the set of the Monkees . . . or at least I was until a few minutes ago. What is this place? With a little decoration it could be a real groovy pad!"
"We call this the Waiting Room. I need you to answer a few questions for me, Micky. First, what's today's date?" Al pulled out the handlink to relay answers to Ziggy.
After a quick look of confusion, Micky replied in a cowboy-style voice, "June 16th, nineteen sixty six, pardner."
"Okay, uh, and what were you doing immediately prior to coming here?"
"Filming a scene for this week's episode, pardner."
"The werewolf thing?" Al asked, prompted by Ziggy.
"That's right," Micky replied, motioning as if tipping a cowboy hat upwards.
"Okay, that's all I need for now. Is there anything I can get you?"
"Actually, I'm kinda hungry. There a chuckwagon around here that serves chili?"
"No chuckwagon, but I think I can scare up a little chili for you. I'll see you later!"
Al walked out and headed off to the Imaging Chamber, calling out to Gooshie along the way, "Gooshie, see if you can find some chili for our guest!"
Sam stood where he was for a moment, scanning the soundset to try and figure out where his dressing room was. Suddenly, two men came up from behind him, each grabbing one of his arms and carried him over to a dressing room marked "Micky Dolenz."
"Here ya go Mick. Don't get lost in your carpet!"
"Mike, you know he can never get lost. He has my music from next door to guide him out."
The men laughed and walked into neighboring rooms. "Well, that solves the problem of my dressing room, and I know at least one person's name -- Mike is the guy with the wool hat on," Sam mused as he opened the door to walk inside. Once inside, he stopped short. The entire room -- walls, floor, and ceiling were covered in tan-colored shag carpeting. There was an unlit candle and a pile of pillows on the floor. Atop the pillows was a shooting script, open to a page, with a shooting schedule laid on top.
"Thank you Micky!" Sam said aloud.
"Thank you for what?" inquired a disembodied voice.
Sam jumped, "Don't do that! Where are you?"
"Right here," the voice replied, as a figure walked through the wall from next door, the wall adjoining the room the other man, whose name Sam still didn't know, had gone into.
"Sam, you would not believe the storehouse of musical instruments this guy's got in his dressing room next door! Banjos, keyboards, harpsichord, drums, guitars, bass, french horn! I wonder if he can play them all . . . he can? You've got to be kidding, Ziggy!" Al gave the handlink a wary glance, as if he doubted the truth of the information scrolling across it. He was dressed in gray pinstriped pants and jacket, with a bright blue shirt and metallic blue tie, a navy blue fedora, and silver shoes finished off the ensemble.
"Al! All I care about next door is that guy's name, and why am I here?"
"Oh, uh, your name is Micky Dolenz, uh, short for George Michael Dolenz, and you're a former child actor. You're currently starring in a television series called The Monkees. Hey -- I remember them! Just before I went off to Vietnam, their first song hit number one. Clarksdale, or something like that."
"Oh, sorry. Um, it's a TV show about this out-of-work rock 'n roll band, called the Monkees. The producers hired actors to fill the roles, but along the way they actually became a group, writing and producing and playing their own music, and touring. And, y'know, they're still around. I took Tina to one of their concerts last night. Still great!"
"Al! What is the date, why am I here, and who is the guy next door?"
"Um, today's date is June 16th, 1966. The guy next door is your co-star Peter Tork. The other guy on the set with you, with the wool hat on, is Mike Nesmith. Your third co-star is Davy Jones. And, so far, we don't know why you're here. We've been too busy trying to figure this guy out to try and find that out. He leaped in and immediately started acting like a werewolf."
"Yeah, that's the scene we're shooting today."
"Really? Hmmmm . . . he must have been just doing his part. He's great Sam! He was climbin on the furniture, and howlin and growlin . . . we thought there was a dog in there at first!"
Suddenly, both men jumped as a song began to play out of nowhere -- the Quantum Leap theme.
"What's that?" Sam asked.
"Um, Ziggy says that's our theme song. Hmmm. I'm gonna go ask Micky some more questions . . . he switched personalities? And there's nothing in the files about him being diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder?" Al read the handlink with a wary eye.
"Maybe after-effects of the leap -- he's not MPD, but just switching between different characters he's played, confused from the leap as to which one is him," Sam supplied.
"Could be. I wonder if we have any of these episodes on file -- watching it might help you . . . we do?"
"Yeah . . . oh, our head technician Agnes Garreffa is apparently a huge fan of these guys and she has everything they ever did in Ziggy's archives. Lemme pull up the scene you have to do."
Al punched the handlink and a holographic screen appeared and played Micky's werewolf scene from "Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth".
"Dolenz! We're waiting!" a voice called.
"Uh, oh, I'd better get on the set -- thanks Al. That clip helped! Come back when we finish filming to help guide me home, OK?"
"Sure thing Sam," Al popped out and Sam ran out to the set.
As soon as the director called it a day, Sam stumbled back to the shag-carpeted dressing room and collapsed on a big, fluffy pillow. Just then, Davy walked in, still wearing his swim trunks from the scenes they had shot.
"You okay, Mick? You seemed sluggish and not quite your crazy self out there," he asked as he sat down on a huge furry pillow.
"Oh, just a little tired. I just need a good night's sleep."
"OK. Oh, I also came in here to remind you that we're shooting on that farm tomorrow and Bob wanted me to give you the map."
"Bob . . . is Robert Rafelson, one of the creators of the show and this week's director," Al supplied.
"Thanks. See you tomorrow morning?"
"Sure. 6 AM sharp -- don't get lost!" Davy replied, flinging the pillow he'd been sitting on at Sam as he walked out. Sam then turned to Al.
"Good timing. Find out why I'm here yet?"
"Um, Ziggy's still not positive, but he thinks you're here to prevent some sort of accident with a horse tomorrow during filming," Al read the squealing handlink.
"That sounds plausible -- we're filming on some farm tomorrow."
"Yeah, and early! You'd better get some sleep . . . oh, waitaminute! You're supposed to go over to the studio and record some vocals. You're gonna be tired in the morning."
"Story of my life, Al. Where's the studio?" He stopped short as he walked off the set to see several cars parked in unlabeled parking spots, "and which one is my car?"
"Um, the red Pontiac GTO right here," Al popped out and reappeared right next to a custom cherry red Pontiac GTO convertible with four bucket seats, "What a beauty!"
Sam glared at Al and got in the car. Al positioned himself in the back seat.
"Okay, Al," Sam growled, "Where is the recording studio?"
Sam walked into the recording studio, shadowed by an invisible companion, to see Mike standing there, arms folded, holding sheet music.
"Uh, hi Mike!" was all Sam could get out. Mike had an evil look on his face.
"You're late Dolenz. Here," he shoved the sheet music in Sam's face, "You better do a smoother job on this than you did on the set today. I'm expecting to hear One-Take-Dolenz in there, not some kid who forgets his lines, get it?"
Sam felt like a little kid under Mike's glare. "Yes, sir!"
"Good. They'll need you in about 20 minutes, so go practice!" Mike pointed at a door labeled "Practice Room" and Sam walked in there and sat down on the chair placed in the center of the room. Al walked backwards through the closed door a moment later, his gaze fixed on something in the hall.
"Al! Get your mind out of the clouds and in here right now!"
"Okay, okay, Sam. Beautiful woman out there -- but she just walked up to Mike and kissed him. Damn!"
"Very nice Al. You think any chance you could pull up the original recording of this song to help me?"
"Oh, sure. What's it called?"
"Um, 'All the King's Horses' . . . written by Michael Nesmith!"
"Oh, yeah, Mike wrote a lot of songs. He had the most prolific post-Monkees career of them all. I lost count of how many solo albums he's done. Aha! Ziggy found it . . . hmm, she says it was never released on one of the original nine albums but rather was released with a collection of hits and unreleased cuts by Rhino Records in the early 90s."
The practice room was suddenly filled with the strains of "All the King's Horses." Sam followed along on the sheet music. Then, when the music stopped he tried singing it on his own -- with a few tips from Al.
When Mike came in, in a slightly better mood, Sam was ready. He followed Mike into the recording booth, where Peter was waiting.
"All the king's horses and all the kings men . . . "
After recording two takes of "All the King's Horses" with Mike & Peter, and three of a song called "I Don't Think You Know Me" with Mike, while Peter looked on, Sam and Peter left Mike working on another of his songs, "The Kind of Girl I Could Love" and went home. Sam followed Al's directions to Micky's house, where he collapsed on the couch after telling Al to give him a wake-up call, early enough so he could make it to the filming location on time.
Al walked into the Control Room exhausted, but still humming the melody of "I Don't Think You Know Me" as he strode over to Gooshie and handed him the handlink.
"Gooshie, I need to get Sam up around 4:30 AM his time. Wake me a half hour before then, kay?"
"But, but, Admiral, it's almost 1 AM his time. You'll only get three hours sleep!"
"Can't be helped Gooshie. In the meantime, try and get me some more specifics on the filming tomorrow."
Al went to his quarters and collapsed on his bed without undressing, much like Sam had. It seemed like he had barely closed his eyes before he heard Ziggy's voice announcing the time. He stumbled out of bed, showered and got dressed in his one Monkees t-shirt, purchased by Tina for him at the concert the night before, and jeans. He grinned, thinking, "Sam will blow a fuse when I show up in jeans, gymshoes and a t-shirt!"
Sam drove further off the beaten path, heading for the farm, following the directions Davy had given him the night before. He still couldn't believe how odd it seemed to him to see Al show up in jeans, gymshoes, and a t-shirt. He knew he was in the right place when he spotted about a dozen trailers parked near a barn.
"'Kay, Sam, I had Tina watch the episode for me last night while I was in here for you, and she says that most of the filming will be done here today and tomorrow. Gooshie pulled up the shooting schedule and today you'll film most of the romp scenes, including with a horse race."
Sam turned around in the parked convertible to glare at Al. "Horse race? Al, I can't race a horse!"
"You don't have to. Davy, an accomplished rider, and one of the guest stars, do. You just have to blow a horn to start the race and stay on the sidelines cheering. Easy stuff."
"Yeah, like every other leap I've been through," Sam muttered.
"Did you go over your script for today?"
"Yes, Al. Did you find out anything more?"
"Not yet. I barely had time to sleep, as you did. If you think you can handle yourself for a little while, I'll go back and try to get some more info -- and check on our visitor. Seems something's up in the Waiting Room."
"What?" Sam's head popped up.
"I dunno. You think you'll be OK?"
"Yeah, sure, go ahead. I think I can manage."
"'Kay." Al opened the Imaging Chamber door and left, while Sam got out of the car and headed off to the makeup trailer.
Al tossed the handlink onto the control console by Gooshie. "Anything?" Gooshie shook his head. Then Dr. Verbena Beeks walked up to Al and gently pulled him away in the direction of the Waiting Room.
"Al, I'm concerned about our visitor. He keeps switching personalities, as if he has Multiple Personality Disorder, but he was never diagnosed with it."
"Yeah, I mentioned that to Sam. He said that maybe these are characters the kid played and in his confusion from the leap, he isn't sure which character is really him."
"Good theory. But, right now he's asking to see the 'head of this gang.'"
"'Head of this gang?' I guess that would be me. Lemme get my handlink."
"You!" The visitor strode toward Al, shaking his head and hunching his shoulders, "You're the dirty rat that killed my brotha!"
"Cagney?" Al thought. He noticed breakfast dishes on the small table set to one side of the room and he asked the visitor, "Did you enjoy your breakfast?"
Micky gave him a confused glance and then seemed to switch personalities, "Yeah, I'm still eating. Would you like to join me?"
Al grinned -- he hadn't had time to eat yet, "Sure, thanks. What are you having?"
"Cereal, toast, and scrambled eggs."
Al pulled up a chair and sat down. He had punched a request for an extra setting into the handlink a minute ago, and as he sat, Dr. Beeks brought in a plate, bowl, glass and silverware, along with Al's coffee mug, filled to the brim with hot steamy coffee. Then, Al looked around the table, "Where's the milk?"
Verbena took a look and said, "I'll get some."
Micky looked up at Al with a sheepish grin on his face. "Sorry, Al. I forgot about that. I don't like milk, so I never asked for any."
"What do you put on your cereal then?"
"Orange juice," Micky replied matter-of-factly, and punctuated his statement by eating a spoonful of cereal and orange juice. Al's stomach churned just as Verbena brought in a carton of milk and left again. Al helped himself to a little of everything, except the orange juice.
"So, Al, this is some kind of top secret research project? I see that I seem to be inhabiting someone else's body."
Al almost choked on his toast and had to quickly drink some coffee. "You're good. Yes, this is a top secret research project. And you're only temporarily in someone else's body. One of our scientists is taking your place right now, to set right something that once went wrong."
"Oh, so we're in the future, huh? Groovy."
Al was shocked at how calmly Micky said that. "Yes, we are in the future."
The rest of breakfast went pretty much the same way. Al was careful not to give too much away, although Micky was very persistent. He managed to pry from Al Ziggy's theory on what Sam had to do in 1966, how Sam was doing so far, and info on Al's military career, which seemed to fascinate Micky. Al wasn't too surprised to hear a note of discontent in the actor's voice when he learned that Al had served two tours in Vietnam.
"I'm just waiting for the day they try to draft me. But I'm not worried, cause they can't actually draft me."
"I'm 4F. I had a childhood disease that left one leg 1/4 inch shorter than the other. My doctors assured me that I could never be drafted."
Al returned to the Imaging Chamber with a better understanding of the 21-year-old superstar and a handlink full of new information for Sam. He found Sam stepping out of his trailer wearing overalls and a straw hat, heading for the barn where the cameras and lighting equipment were set up.
"Hey Sam! Looking good! Is this the cutting edge of 60s fashion?" Sam just glared. "Okay, okay. Well, Ziggy has some more info on what you're here to do. Uh, Sam, don't put milk on your cereal. They'll think you slipped a gear or somethin cause Micky doesn't like milk -- he puts orange juice on his cereal." Sam gave Al a quick confused look, then poured orange juice on his cereal. Al continued, "Ziggy says that when you begin filming the race scenes tomorrow at the beach, when you blow the horn, Davy's horse gets spooked and gets out of Davy's control. Davy is an experienced rider -- he was originally training to be a jockey before the Monkees, so he manages to control the horse, but not before it tramples Peter." Sam looked up at Al with a sad look in his eyes, which Al knew was reflected in his own. "Sorry Sam, but that's the original history. Obviously, that's what you're here to change."
Agnes was grateful for her top security clearance, because it allowed her to convince Dr. Beeks to turn the job of 'baby-sitting' the visitor over to her. She knew she couldn't wear any of her Monkee t-shirts, and she wasn't sure if the J.C. Penny wardrobe line was out yet. Then, she remembered a note in Ziggy's files from that morning, from Al, that mentioned the visitor's knowledge of the fact that he was in the future. So, Agnes put on her favorite outfit -- her red shirt that Micky wore in "Monkee Mother," which she had copied herself; gray pants with a little flare in the bottom, also copied from the show, from the pants they usually wore with the red 8-button shirts; her platform gymshoes that she had purchased because they looked like Micky's gymshoes in Head; her multi-colored love beads; her dolphin peace symbol necklace; and her peace symbol earrings.
She took her autograph book and a publicity photo from the pilot episode with her to get his autograph. She also dug up some ancient astrophysics and astronomy texts that she'd purchased at a used book sale, which had been printed before 1966, since she knew Micky was interested in physics and she knew it would be good to keep him busy, so she wouldn't accidentally give anything away while conversing with him. When she walked in the Waiting Room, arms full of books, Micky strode over, with his thumbs stuck out by his chest as if tucked under a pair of suspenders, and she noticed he'd removed his shoes. "Hillbilly Honeymoon!" she thought.
"Well, hello beautiful! What's a sophisticated girl like you doin in a hillbilly town like this?"
Agnes was flabbergasted. Then she remembered about the 'personality' switches, "Um, Mr. Dolenz, my name is Agnes. I've been asked to keep you company while you're here, so you don't get bored."
She noticed a look of confusion, then, "Yes, honey, great to meet you. Why don't you come sit down over here by me. Yeah."
Agnes grinned. Now it was "Royal Flush" when he was pretending to be a throne merchant. She sat down next to him and put the pile of books down next to her.
He noticed the books and said, "Lemme see those books, darlin." She handed him one of the textbooks, "Beginning Astronomy," and as she did, she saw a change come over him, switching to his normal self -- "if Micky at any time could be considered normal!" she thought, and held back a giggle.
"Ah, groovy man! How'd ya know I love astronomy . . . oh, wait, this is the future. You probably have it in your library or somethin, right?"
"Yes, but I put it there. I'm a huge fan of yours."
"Really? Guess you want an autograph, huh?" he said, with a hint of annoyance in his tone.
"Not if it bothers you. I just want to keep you company, help you pass the time while you're stuck here."
Micky grinned, "You're not going to throw yourself on me, screaming like a banshee, and tear off all my clothes?"
"Only if you ask me to. I'm not that kind of fan."
"Where's your pen -- I'll give you an autograph for being so nice."
Agnes handed him the autograph book, with the photo tucked inside and a pen slid in the spiral spine. He gave her a look, and signed "Here's to the future! --Love, Micky Dolenz" in her autograph book, grabbed the photo with a smile, drew mustaches on Mike, Peter & Davy and a flower in his own hand, then signed his name in huge letters across most of the picture. Agnes giggled. And he'd said he wasn't very good at improvisation and comedy when he auditioned! She set the book and picture aside and started looking through the astronomy book with Micky.
Al looked around the set. "Don't worry Sam, you have till tomorrow. I'm gonna bug Ziggy to get an exact time on this, so I can give you a heads up. Probably you'll just need to pull Peter back from the line of f-- uh, trample. Heh heh. Uh, sorry."
Sam glared at Al, then headed toward the other Monkees when the director called his name. He laid down and slid the hat over his eyes, as did the other actors. The barn door was closed, shutting out most of the light.
"Ready! Speed! Camera! Sound! Action!"
By the end of the day, Sam was exhausted but happy. He'd enjoyed the day. They'd run through the corn fields, played catch with a milk bucket, he'd sat down with Mike for a few minutes to film a sequence where the cows run off and go into a stampede. He'd even gotten to do a hog call which attracted chickens instead. Then they changed into elaborately decorated matador costumes for a short fantasy sequence with Mike milking a cow. Then they'd changed into another set of costumes -- Sam wore brown pants, a yellow and black striped shirt, and a tan jacket, for the scenes when they arrive at the farm, and when they accept the bet. When the director called it a day, Sam stumbled back to his trailer and changed back into street clothes, then grabbed his script to peruse at home. As he walked over to his car, the director -- Bob Rafelson, Sam reminded himself, ran up to him.
"Micky!" Sam stopped. "Glad to see you got your act together. You did a whole lot better today. Still not your best, but better. See you at the 56th street beach, 6 AM tomorrow, okay?"
Rafelson walked off and Sam slid behind the wheel of Micky's car. He had to agree with Al that this was a really nice car. He drove home and looked over his lines for the next day while eating a dinner of chili -- the only canned food he could find in the house.
Al left the Waiting Room after Sam had finished on the set so he could get some dinner. As he walked to the cafeteria, he ran into Agnes, carrying a delivery pizza and a pile of paper plates, napkins, and a 6-pack of Pepsi.
"Agnes. Where are you heading to with that feast?"
"The Waiting Room. Micky really wanted pizza, so I drove into town for Domino's."
"Oh, yes, you're keeping him company. How's he doing?" Al asked.
"Pretty good. Occasionally he switches to some other character he's done on the show, but usually it lasts only a little while, until the astronomy and astrophysics textbooks I brought in there catch his interest again. Then he returns to normal."
"Astronomy texts? Are you sure that's safe?"
"They were all published before 1966, Admiral. I know not to bring anything too recent in there."
"Ah, yes. Sorry. You'd better go before your pizza gets cold." Al continued on to the cafeteria while Agnes scurried off towards the Waiting Room with her pizza.
Agnes entered the Waiting Room to find a remote control car they'd been playing with on the floor, dismantled. Micky looked up at her with sad puppy dog eyes.
"My mommy won't let me play with toys that crash or smash or go boom."
Agnes didn't know what to say. She put the food down on the table and called Micky over. "That's okay, Micky. We'll get another toy after we eat."
Micky stayed in his little kid character all through dinner. Agnes took the empty pizza box, threw all the other garbage in there and left to get rid of it. She then went to her room where her drum set was still packed from her move to the Project, and she placed the boxes on the cart with her amp and flung her two guitars over her shoulder. She wheeled the whole cart over to the Waiting Room.
The sight of the instruments had the desired effect on Micky. He returned to normal.
"Aw, groovy! A jam session!"
"Yup. Do you want to play drums or guitar?"
"Guitar, if you don't mind. My drumming skills are still nonexistent."
"Good. My guitar skills aren't quite up to speed either. I prefer the drums anyway."
Micky helped her unpack and set up the drum set. He lifted an eyebrow at the sight of the Monkees logo she'd paid $100 to have silk-screened onto the bass drum head, but said little.
Agnes sat down behind the drums, made sure everything was set up right, and, checking her grip, ran through a couple of warm up exercises on the snare drum. She then quickly tuned all the drums, seeing as they'd been packed a while and the heads had loosened a bit. Meanwhile, Micky ran a couple scales on the guitar and tuned it.
"This thing is so out of tune. Has it been packed a while?" he asked.
"Yeah. I play left-handed guitar -- that's why I brought two guitars with me, so I've never actually played that one. It was given to me by a friend who gave up and instead of burning it, I convinced him to give it to me. I thought it would be good if I ever held jam sessions with friends, and to work on learning to play right-handed."
"But, why, if you're left handed?"
"I'm ambidextrous. I just have a left-handed tendency with both guitar and drums, but a right handed tendency on keyboards."
"I see. So, whaddaya wanna play?"
"You're the guest. You choose."
"Cool! You know 'Huff Puff'?"
"Oh, that was one of the singles you released before the Monkees. Um, lemme think . . . I can try. I don't know it too well."
"That's okay. I don't play it very well myself."
Agnes left the Waiting Room the next morning exhausted but floating on Cloud Nine. She wasn't much of an "oldies" fan, so she knew very few songs released before 1966. Micky, of course, had yet to record any of the Monkees songs she knew and loved, except for an early version of the theme. So, they ended up just jamming. Agnes had Ziggy record all of their jams and store them. She and Micky made a pact that, a few days after he returned to 66, she'd contact him in her own time to actually record and release some of the stuff they came up with. Agnes said nothing to Micky but she knew that the Monkees were at that moment working on another album, like Justus but without Nez. She'd heard rumors about Micky having trouble writing music for the new album. Those jam sessions might just be his ticket to a hit single.
The next morning Sam got up early -- he was adjusted to his schedule now, and made it to the beach five minutes early. The entire crew seemed surprised to see Sam arrive bright and early. He supposed Micky wasn’t much of a morning person. He headed for the makeup trailer and got his hair and makeup done, then went to his own trailer to put on his costume. It was the same brown pants, striped shirt, and tan jacket he’d worn for the last few scenes the day before.
By the time he finished changing, all the other actors had arrived and joined him on the 'set.' Rafelson called the four Monkees over for a private conference. Sam noticed Davy was wearing a jockey’s silks and realized for the first time that Davy was built like a jockey -- short and compact.
"Okay, boys. We’re going to do the dialogue scenes for before and after the romp first -- get those out of the way, then I’ll let you loose on the romp. So, let’s do the first scene first -- Micky’s pep talk, okay? Places!"
Sam had spent hours the night before running his lines with Al, because he had to say them so fast. Al had also taken time to coach Sam in the fine art of cigar-holding. Sam took the hat from the props man and put it on, then put on the sunglasses that were in his pocket.
The director gave them a five minute break before filming the scene where the money changes hands. Sam took off his tan jacket, hat, and sunglasses and placed them carefully on the director’s chair marked "Micky."
When Rafelson called places, he guided Sam to a spot atop a large boulder, had Peter sit next to the rock, and after a little fiddling decided Mike should stand with one foot upon the rock, near where Peter was sitting.
"Here you go. That should hold him for a while," Davy said as he handed the money he’d won to the farmer.
Rafelson rounded up the Monkees, except for Davy, and the little kid.
"Okay. We’re going to do the romp now. I’m sure you saw in the script a few specific shots -- I’d like to try those first, as they’re all before the race actually starts. Then while Davy and Chuck ride up and then down the beach, I want all of you to cheer and jump around like crazy. Got it?" Everyone nodded. "Good. Peter -- you’ve got the horn first."
Sam was getting even more nervous now. "Where is Al?" he thought. As if on cue, the Imaging Chamber door opened and Al stepped out. He had on the gymshoes again, but with tan pants and a polo shirt.
"Hi Sam. Ziggy finally pinpointed the time of the accident -- only a few minutes from now." Sam glared at him. "Hey, it wasn’t my fault! Blame that precious computer of yours." That elicited a squeal of protest from the handlink.
Sam stood next to Peter. Peter was to blow the horn in Sam’s ear, then Sam was to wave a flag while Peter blew the horn again and fell backwards on the sand.
"Don’t worry Micky. I won’t actually blow the horn in your ear," Peter said quietly. Sam smiled.
Agnes and Micky were having a breakfast feast together. Micky had persuaded her to try cereal with orange juice -- and she’d actually liked it! Too bad PQL is top secret, she thought, the listers would love this!
Micky seemed to pick up on her thoughts. "I bet you wish you could tell all your friends you got to jam with me, and have OJ and cereal together."
Agnes laughed, "Yeah. Unfortunately, what goes on here is top secret. I will tell them that I like OJ on my cereal -- they’ll believe that because I don’t think I’m the first lister to try that. Just the only one persuaded by you personally." She giggled, then suddenly remembered Lyric’s cloning business, which she’d helped with, and her OJ came out with a squirt.
Micky’s eyes widened, "What? What’s wrong?"
"Oh, just remembering a little . . . in-joke of sorts among some fans." She then tried to explain the cloning as best she could. Micky understood pretty well.
"So . . . how many pretend copies of me do you have?"
"Oh, boy. Lemme think," she started to count off on her fingers while mumbling to herself, "Morphing Micky, 66, 67, Monkees Paw, 80s, Heart & Soul video, 90s, Pictionary, Monkee Man," she looked at her count, "That would be nine, to date," she announced.
"Geez! I’m glad those aren’t real -- you couldn’t really take nine of me running around here, could you?"
Agnes thought a moment, then what could only be described as a <veg> spread across her face. "Yes, I could."
Micky looked startled, "Oh, yeah?" He got up, walked around the table, and pounced on Agnes, tickling her. She squealed with delight.
Oh, who needs clones when I got to have the real McCoy, er, Micky, for these few days, she thought, then proceeded to tickle back.
Sam took a deep breath and waited for the director to call action. Davy was on his horse several yards away, out of the shot, warming the horse up.
"Places everyone! Roll cameras! Action!" Rafelson called out. Peter blew the horn, or pretended to, in Sam’s ear. He rubbed his ear and gave Peter a "look" as scripted. Then Rafelson called, "Good! Here, take the flag Micky and do the next one. No sense in stopping the cameras." Sam took the flag, got into position and waved the flag. This time Peter did blow the horn -- loudly. Out of the corner of his eye Sam saw the horse buck.
Davy cried out, "Look out! ‘E’s spooked!" The horse bolted in Peter’s direction. Peter tried to get up but in the soft sand it was extremely difficult. Sam ran behind Peter, grabbed his arms, and forcefully dragged Peter out of the way, then pulled him to his feet.
Al then called, "Sam! The kid! He can’t run fast enough to get out of the way!"
Sam reacted quickly, chasing down the kid and carrying him over to Peter. By the time both Peter and the kid were safe, Davy had calmed his horse down. He dismounted and approached Rafelson.
"Bob, I don’t think it best to actually blow that bleedin horn. It bloody well scared the horse half to death!"
Rafelson ran a hand through his hair and let out a deep breath. "Yeah, we know now. Micky?" Sam ran over to Rafelson, "Good job in rescuing Peter and Kerry. Thanks." Rafelson then addressed the crew. "I think we’ll take the rest of the day off and resume filming tomorrow."
The crew broke up and packed up. Sam received a bone-crushing bear hug of thanks from Peter and a less painful one from Kerry. He headed over to Micky’s trailer and changed back into street clothes.
As Sam drove back to Micky’s house, he wondered why he hadn’t leaped yet. He poised that question to Al.
"I dunno, Sam. Lemme ask Ziggy . . . she says Agnes has some unfinished business with Micky." Sam gave Al a confused look.
Agnes approached the Waiting Room with a jumble of emotions and a stomach full of butterflies. Sam had accomplished his mission -- saving Peter’s life. She knew Sam might leap out at any moment. Wearing her blue flowered "Peter" shirt, her dark navy blue stretch pants, and tan moccasin "Peter" boots, she slowly walked into the Waiting Room.
Micky sat there plucking away at the guitar and scribbling notes on a sheet of paper. She stood for a moment just looking, knowing that she wouldn’t have much time with him. After a moment, Micky looked up and saw her. For the first time since Sam had leaped into Micky, she remembered that she couldn’t see him as Micky -- she only saw Dr. Beckett. But the soul inside was so unmistakably Micky she’d forgotten all about that.
"Hi Agnes. Why so glum?"
"Sam finished his mission. He might leap at any time. I came to say goodbye." She sat next to him and looked at the sheets he’d written tabulature notation on. Reaching back to where she knew her guitar would be, she grabbed it and started plucking out the song he’d written.
"We have to figure out some way to make sure I remember that we made this pact, so I won’t brush you off as just some silly fan when you bring me this wealth of material."
Agnes looked up from her guitar, trying hard not to cry.
"Do you think if Sam left a note somewhere mentioning the pact, would that be a sufficient reminder?"
"That might work, if he left it in my bedroom, by the alarm clock."
"I have already relayed the necessary information to Admiral Calavicci."
Sam sat in Micky’s bedroom writing a brief note. He wasn’t sure if he should be mentioning the future, but if no one at the Project objected he wasn’t about to argue. He folded the note and placed a corner under the alarm clock, then laid down on the bed to wait to leap, after setting the alarm clock for Micky.
"Dr. Beckett has left a note in the specified place," Ziggy announced.
Micky and Agnes both placed their guitars on the stands that she’d brought in the night before.
"Well, I guess this is it. It won’t be much of a wait for you, but I have to live a lotta years before I’ll get to see you again." He pulled Agnes to him in a tender hug. Agnes rested her head on his shoulder and whispered, "Thirty-five years . . . "
Just then she felt a slight tingling and Micky’s warm body gave way to a stiff, lifeless one. Sam had leaped.
Agnes carefully laid Sam’s body on the Waiting Room bed and then slowly set to the task of packing up her musical instruments again.
A week later Agnes received her signal -- Micky was in the recording studio in Los Angeles, hard at work. She got Al to pull rank and get a private meeting with Micky for her. She took a plane to LAX, where she saw a tall man wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the words "Open University" across the front and sunglasses holding up a sign that read "Agnes G."
Several hours later at Micky’s house, she and Micky were chatting over orange juice as if no time had passed at all. They talked the whole night long.
The next morning, Micky drove her to the recording studio. He introduced her to Peter, Davy, and the backup band. She was happy to finally get to tell Sandy Gennaro in person how helpful his drum instruction videos had been. Then Micky announced that two of the songs on the new album, tentatively titled "Reunion 2001" would be co-written by Agnes and himself. He then told Agnes he wanted her to play the drums on those two tracks. How could she refuse?
Al walked into the Control Room to find Agnes manning the console while Gooshie took a rare break to sleep. She was as usual dressed as if right out of the sixties, wearing a tan suede jacket with unbelievable amounts of fringe flapping around, tan corduroys, and tan moccasin boots. Al was about to laugh, then he looked down at his own black shirt with multicolored polka dots and white shoes with gold swirls on the toes.
"Hey, Agnes! Did you see today’s paper yet?" He held up the paper and waved it for emphasis.
Al walked over and pointed to one page of the entertainment section.
"We hit number one! Wow! That’s terrific!" Al gave Agnes a big hug, then despite her protests, got another tech to man the control console while he took her to eat at the best pizza place in town to celebrate. And the only songs they played on the jukebox were Monkee tunes.
Last updated 18 JUN 98
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