When Sam leaped in, he found himself seated at a dining room table, in the middle of what looked like a family dinner. This, he could handle easily. He relaxed into the familiarity of the everyday ritual.
Two adults sat at opposite ends of the table, and he knew they must be the parents. Two girls sat across from him, bickering in typical sister fashion. That made him--as he confirmed by carefully peering into his silver spoon--the brother. From the vague glimpse he could get, he guessed his age at around fourteen.
Sam turned his attention to the conversation going around, and after a moment discovered that they were arguing about where to go on a family vacation. If it was a car trip...he hoped he'd be long gone by then!
"I want to go out west!" the older daughter said.
"But I thought we agreed on Greece," Mom told them.
"But, Dad..." the younger daughter whined.
"Don't whine, Karen. George, why don't we just all go on separate vacations," Mom suggested.
"Now Nancy, you know they give a real good group discount when the whole family goes to the same time," George reminded his wife.
"You mean, at the same time," Sam supplied helpfully.
Dad gazed at him oddly. "And where do you want to go, Phillip?"
"Uh...." he scrambled to think of something. "Las Vegas?"
They all paused from their bickering to give him strange looks.
"But Daaad..." Karen cried, "I thought we were going to Washington!"
"Why do you want to go to Washington?" her sister asked.
"We studied the Revolutionary War in school, I want to see if it was really like that."
"Huh?" Sam said, beginning to wonder if he'd missed some vital part of the conversation.
"We agreed to go see Great-grandma Mopatropolis," Mom told them. It's cheaper, because we'll be going through our genes," she reminded.
"I think you're all missing the point," Dad said sternly. "If my boss hadn't given me that raise, we'd be taking one of those old fashioned vacations. If I don't get some cooperation, we're going to go to Disneyland again--2015!"
"2-2015?" Sam stammered. "I'm in the future?" he squeaked.
"Now there's an idea we didn't think of, "Dad mused approvingly. "But I'm not sure they allow vacations in the future. I think you're limited to the past."
"We can take a vacation...in time?" Sam whispered.
"Thanks to that doctor...what was his name? Oh yeah, Dr. Beckett," Their father nodded, and leaned back in his chair.
"Huh?" Sam stared at him in disbelief.
"If I remember correctly, he invented the first time machine...well, not exactly. See, he went back in time and told everyone he met he was a time traveler. So, by 1993, Mr. Orvil Orifice had the first working model of what became 'Orvil's Vacation-Time-Good-Time.'"
"That's not true!" Sam defended. "I--he did not tell everyone he met!"
"Well, he must have told enough people to spark the interest that got the first time machine working in 1993. You know...I've been thinking it over, and I think I'm going to take your advice, son."
"Huh?" Sam asked, not having any idea what George meant, but dreading the answer anyway.
"I'm going to get them to let us go to the future. I'm sure, if I tip them enough extra--"
"I don't think that's--" Sam started to say.
Dad clapped him on the shoulder. "You're a genius!"
"Next stop--3001!" Dad announced.
"Yipee!" the sisters exclaimed.
They raised their glasses of juice in a toast. "Here's to Dr. Beckett," they chorused.
"No..." Sam cried, as he felt the leap take him.