1858: A young slave is running through the woods, trying desperately to escape from his owners.
Present Day: Stuart Mitchell is doing a routine geological survey when suddenly he feels like his body has been invaded. A few months later, he is a resident of a local asylum. His doctor takes his case to J.J. and Laura, knowing that they're doing a study on reincarnation. The interesting thing? When he claims to be the slave, he has a bruise on his temple and lashmarks on his back, but there is nothing when he is Mitchell.
When they begin to investigate Mitchell, who is claiming to be a slave from 1858 named Fountain, they realise that there is something more than reincarnation or even multiple personalities at work. While they are trying to interview him, Fountain (who is in control) knocks out J.J. and takes Laura hostage. He forces her to drive him to a supermarket for supplies (where he is astonished not only that a white man opens the door for her, a black woman, but also that she can buy whatever she wants to), then the two head off on foot for the hills.
While holed up in an old cabin, Fountain tells Laura about his dreams, and how he cannot let Stuart Mitchell have his body back, because he's just not willing to go back to being a slave, or worse, be killed. Laura reminds him that by keeping Mitchell a prisoner in his own mind, Fountain is turning him into a slave. The on-going fight between the two men in Mitchell's body ends when Fountain takes his chained hands off Mitchell's throat and embraces him, apologizing for what he's done. Laura is both touched and saddened when she realises that Fountain let the body go.
Back in 1858, Fountain regains consciousness on the bank, a free man. His pursuers were convinced they had killed him. A still depressed Laura listens to a tape J.J. found of a slave who reports being hit on the head with the butt of a rifle, but who lived. Although there is no name on the report (which was made in the 1930s), Laura knows that Fountain found his freedom.
Summary by # 17011