Wade Welles sat on the bed of her hotel room looking deeply into her diary. She looked as if she had been crying non-stop for hours, possibly even days. After taking a deep breath, she picked up a nearby pen, or at least what passed for a pen on that world, and began to write.
July 15th, 1997
In an instant, my life has changed. Both sliding and the simple things in life will never feel the same to me again. Not without him at our side. The only way I can let out a little bit of my pain is by writing it all down, so let me start at the beginning. It all started one slide ago........
3 1 4 | S l i d e l i k e a n E g y p t i a n
The scene then shifted away from the hotel room to the familiar incredible colors found inside the sliding tunnel. Suddenly, the colors ended abruptly and a vortex opened up on an empty street below. A few seconds went by until Quinn Mallory tumbled out of the vortex, landing on a patch of nearby grass. As soon as Quinn picked himself up, out flew the petite body of Wade Welles. Quinn gave Wade a hand, helping her up only seconds before the burly Professor fell out of the vortex. The Professor did not have any time to pick himself up though, as Rembrandt Brown followed him immediately, crashing right into the Professor's stomach. Then, the vortex disappeared into the patchy blue sky as if it was never there at all.
"Mr. Brown, one of these days I am not going to be there to break your fall and you will find yourself flying out of the vortex first only to hit a tree and get knocked unconscious!" the Professor ranted.
"Now now Professor, you know that would never happen. You're always there to break the Cryin' Man's fall. If it isn't you, there's always Quinn or Wade to use as a landing pad!" Rembrandt shot back with a laugh.
"Remmy, with the way you've been gaining weight the past few worlds, you would probably crush us if you tried!" Quinn added.
We all got a big laugh out of Quinn's one liner. I think if we would have known it would be the last time we'd all be together, we would have laughed a little bit harder.
"Well, now that the comic relief is over with for now, how much time to we have?" I said.
"A little less that ten hours." Quinn answered. "So, I suggest we all just find either the Chancellor or the Dominion, and kick back until the slide."
I wish we would have done that.
Quinn Mallory was soon interrupted by the cry of a nearby woman. She was attacked from behind by two men in what looked like some sort of police outfit.
"NO!! PLEASE, I'LL DO ANYTHING, DON'T TAKE ME, PLEASE NO!!!" the woman shouted on the top of her lungs, hoping somebody would hear her.
"Ah man! Why is it that every time Quinn says we should just kick back something like this happens?" Rembrandt questioned.
"Come on Remmy, it's not always my fault! Anyway, who's up for saving a damsel in distress?" Quinn responded.
The Professor tried reasoning with Quinn, but as usual as of late, it was no use at all.
"Come now my boy, have you not learned from past mistakes that getting involved with unfamiliar cultures on unfamiliar worlds can get you, and US in serious trouble?" Arturo spoke trying to reason with Quinn.
"Professor, we can't just let them cart that woman off like that. What did she do to deserve that?"
With those last words, Quinn ran over to the guys and got in trouble, like he always seems to do.
In an instant, the fight began. Quinn tapped one of the officers on the shoulder, and when he turned around, Quinn punched him right in the face. A struggle then ensued between Quinn and the guard, while in the background, Rembrandt snuck up on the other guard and knocked him to the floor.
"Come on lady, follow me!" Rembrandt told the woman as she agreed without an argument. Sadly, the escape did not last as reinforcements soon arrived. Two vans pulled up and two men stepped out from each van. Two of the guards cut off Rembrandt and the woman, while a third guard pointed a gun at Arturo and Wade who were about to leap into action. The tides soon turned on Quinn, and when he tried to tackle another guard, a laser shot was fired and hit him right in the arm.
"QUINN!" Wade screamed as he fell to the ground in pain. She ran over to his side, but was cut off by a guard who grabbed her from behind.
"Well, we came her to find one servant and we find two. Looks like it's our lucky day!" one of the guards remarked. Wade was placed in a van along with the woman, and it sped off.
"Where are you taking her? You have no right!" Rembrandt shouted at the two remaining guards.
"Don't worry, she'll be in a higher place with our loyal pharaoh, may he rest and peace. Come on, get them out of here now!" the guard said to the other guard, and they entered their own van and sped off. Rembrandt chased after the van, but it was no use. When it was out of sight, Rembrandt turned back around and went to help Quinn.
"Mr. Brown, you had better call an ambulance. Who knows what effect that beam had on him."
"Good idea Professor. Hopefully we can trust these paramedics more than last world. Not a pretty sight getting anal probed, is it Professor?"
"Please Mr. Brown, now is not the time to remind me of that horrible experience! Just call the ambulance before I loose my temper!"
Arturo's screaming was just the ticket to wake Quinn back up.
"Hey Professor, there's no need to yell over helping me out. I'm fine, really."
"Mr. Mallory, you are not fine. That laser had a direct hit on your shoulder and it looks severely burned."
"I said don't worry....OWW!" Quinn screamed as the Professor rolled Quinn's shirt sleeve up to see the full extent of the burn. As he did so, Rembrandt walked back over from the phone.
"Well, the paramedics are on their way, but I found something weird on the side of the phone. Ever heard of New Cairo Telephone?"
"That's something new. Maybe we landed on a U.N. world where peace between nations is a reality? Quinn questioned hopefully.
"No Mr. Mallory, I believe that is not the case. I believe from the small bit of architecture we have seen so far, and the reference to the pharaoh that the guard made, we may very well be on a world where Egyptian society still is dominant."
As soon as Arturo finished his sentence, an ambulance pulled up, and the sliders were on their way to the hospital.
The ambulance arrived at the hospital and Rembrandt and Arturo exited and went to the desk.
"I believe my assumption earlier may very well be the case, as we are now in King Tutankhamen Memorial Hospital." Arturo said proudly, knowing he was right after all.
"Great, just what we need. A world where Walk Like An Egyptian is still a popular dance."Rembrandt joked. "How much longer until the slide?"
"Seven hours, twenty-two minutes, fifty-two seconds. We're going to have to make this quick Mr. Brown. As soon as Mr. Mallory is taken care of, he must leave the hospital." Arturo turned to the receptionist at the desk. "Excuse me Miss, but how long must we wait to check our friend Quinn Mallory out of this hospital?"
"Limited stay is four days, no visitors. Sorry, no exceptions," the receptionist replied in a very dull, lagging voice.
"Thank you miss," Arturo responded as he turned back to Rembrandt. They hunched over slightly as Arturo began to whisper. "Give them two hours to work on Mr. Mallory, then sneak in and get him out of here. I'll go get Ms. Welles. They said something about taking her to rest with the late pharaoh, so I'll simply ask around and find out where she is. On the way back, I'll rent our usual suite at the Chancellor. We'll meet back there in six hours for the slide."
"Sounds like a plan," Rembrandt said with a nod.
I hated being without the guys. I didn't know what the plan was, but I knew that somehow they would find me. I figured that as long as I was chained up in the back of some van, I might as well find out why.
"Why are they doing this to us? What crime did you commit do get these guys after you?" Wade questioned, directing it to the woman chained up next to her.
"I committed no crime other than desiring to live. I should not have tried to escape though. You do not deserve the fate that is waiting for us. I was a servant of the late pharaoh. We are being taken to his pyramid resting place where we will be buried alive with him."
Just the news I wanted to hear.
"That's inhumane! Since when does service for someone lead to death?"
"It has been this way for centuries, and it will be this way for centuries to come. It is tradition. How do you not know this by now? You seem fairly well minded. It is the history of the Great Empire of Egypt."
"Not on my world," Wade mumbled softly to herself.
Professor Arturo walked up to the desk at The Royal Chancellor hotel. He had decided to kill two birds with one stone, and find out where to go along with getting the room. Arturo rang for assistance, and Gomez Calhoun came from the back to assist him.
"Welcome to The Royal Chancellor hotel. Would you like a room, a suite, or a Pharaoh's Chamber?"
"A suite, Suite 412 if available. One night is all we will need."
"Very well. Suite 412 is available. Here you go. That will be either 20 dollars or four gold pieces please."
"Twenty dollars is it. Oh, and by the way, I am planning on visiting the tomb of the recently deceased pharaoh. Could you please give me directions if possible?"
"You don't know where it is? I thought everybody did."
"Well, I do not. Please be kind enough to point me in the right direction!"
"Of course, I'll get you a brochure." Calhoun went to the back once again giggling under his breath.
I started to get a little anxious inside that van. It felt like it had been hours already, and there was still no sign from the others. I was beginning to think maybe things were worse than they seemed with Quinn. Good thing my mind soon got the relief it was looking for.
Suddenly, the van stopped with a jerk, which pushed Wade and the servant forward, only to be thrown back by their chains. The sound of mashing metal could be heard and soon the door was forced open, and Arturo was standing in the doorway with crowbar in hand.
"It's about time Professor! I was beginning to think I was going to have to spend the rest of my life locked in some pyramid," Wade retorted.
"I'm sorry if I kept you waiting Ms. Welles, but I had to stop for directions and my little friend here first. Hold still, I'll break the chains."
The Professor jammed his crowbar into the lock on my chains, and he got the lock opened. After doing the same to the other woman, we were free.
"I don't know how to thank you for this. The pharaoh must be looking over me from beyond!"
"There is no need to thank us. We simply couldn't stand by and watch someone get carted off for no reason. I just hope you these guys don;'t get you again," Wade commented.
The servant hugged Arturo by the neck and kissed him on the cheek. She then hugged Wade as well, and said one last goodbye.
"Farewell! May the gods and the pharaohs of times gone by look over you and protect you along your journeys to come!" With those words, she was off.
"If only she knew where we were going to travel next Ms. Welles," Arturo said with a smile.
"Hey, I just hope her prayer works and we get some relaxing slides in!"
You would not believe how badly I wanted this to be true, but of course it wasn't on our itinerary.
The scene soon shifted to an operating room. At least ten different doctors hovered over their patient, Quinn Mallory. Quinn could not believe he was getting all this attention for a simple laser in the shoulder.
"You guys ARE going in to fix my shoulder, right?" Quinn asked skeptically.
"Don't worry Mr. Mallory. I'm Dr. Achtbit, your doctor for today. You're in good hands. We are going to put you in a deep sleep now so that we can fix your wound. Dr. Ghanarev, put him under."
"Yes Dr. Achtbit."
In a matter of seconds, Quinn's eyes had closed and he was fast asleep.
"Turn off the gas Doctor, he is asleep. Doctor Sentavis, notify the Kheri-Heb. The test subject is ready."
Rembrandt Brown looked down one last time at his watch. He had had about enough of waiting around and was about to act. Rembrandt waited for the receptionist to have her attention diverted, and rushed for the door.
"HEY, YOU CAN'T GO IN THERE!! SECURITY!!!" the receptionist screamed.
Rembrandt knew he would have some trouble getting around the hospital the way he looked, so he headed for the first hospital shrub closet he saw. He walked into it in street clothes looking suspicious, but walked out in hospital garb looking as calm as he could. He approached an elevator and went up one floor to a different receptionist's desk.
"Uhh, excuse me, but what room is Mr. Quinn Mallory in?" Rembrandt said in a very deep voice.
"One moment doctor, let me check," the receptionist said politely as she types into her computer. "Here he is, Mr. Mallory is in the necrology ward right now. Why do you....."
Rembrandt cut her off before she could ask why he needed to know. "Thank you miss. I'll be on my way now." Rembrandt walked away from the desk as fast as he could without running, and went to find the necrology ward.
Meanwhile, in the necrology ward, things were just beginning to unfold. Suddenly, a man wearing the robes and headdress of a pharaoh walked in and was greeted by the doctors.
"Ahh, welcome Kheri-Heb. You are here just in time. We are ready for the experiment," Dr. Achtbit commented.
"Thank you for waiting until I arrived to begin. Is Dr. Mubaric ready for the post cross-over interview?" asked the Kheri-Heb.
"Yes, she is waiting in the wings. Once he is drained, we will all have to exit to let Dr. Mubaric do her work."
"Very well. I will expect a full report of today's findings by tomorrow morning. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to return to the palace. I have preparations to make. Once word gets out on our soon to be successful traverse into the afterlife, my claim to the throne of Egypt will be accepted. I give you permission to drain the man. May the gods have mercy on him and let him enjoy his after-death experience to the fullest."
"You heard our soon to be pharaoh. Dr. Sentavis, Commence drainage of fluids."
The Kheri-Heb left the room with a large smile on his face, as the procedure began. Dr. Sentavis flipped switches on a machine situated right next to Quinn. There were tubes connected to the machine which were inserted in Quinn's skin as an IV would be. Soon, the tubes began filling up with bodily fluids or different colors. Quinn Mallory's head fell to its side when no more fluids were left in his body. His heart gave out a few last pumps, until he flat lined.
"Time of death, 3:15 P.M." Dr. Achtbit said with an evil grimace on his face.
"Time of death?" Quinn Mallory asked with a shocked tone in his voice: "What are you talking about, I'm right here! Don't you hear me, don't you see me? I'm right here! I'M RIGHT HERE!!"
"Call for Dr. Mubaric," instructed Dr. Achtbit. "She will be needed."
Rembrandt rounded a final corner on his way to the necrology ward as he bumped shoulders with a female doctor.
"Excuse me doctor, but where do you think you're going? The necrology ward is for authorized personnel only."
"Who are you to say so?"
"Dr. Deera Mubaric, co-supervisor of this division. Now either turn away or I will have to call for security."
"Well, when you put it that way....." Rembrandt ran passed Dr. Mubaric and entered the necrology ward. He was not ready to see what waited for him there.
Lying on the operating table was the lifeless shell of Quinn Mallory.
"Q-Ball?" Rembrandt saw his friend and his face turned pale. He checked the pulse and felt nothing. "My god, he's not breathing!" Rembrandt tried CPR, but nothing happened. "Q-Ball! Q-Ball come on! Talk to me!"
"Remmy, I'm here! Rembrandt, you have to hear me!"
As Quinn cried out aimlessly for his friend, he looked down at Rembrandt trying aimlessly to revive a body. He looked deep into the face and realized that it was his own body lying there.
"Oh my god. That's me down there. I'm......I'm dead."
To make things worse, Dr. Mubaric and the guards then marched into the room.
"Get away from that man, he's my patient, not yours!" Dr. Mubaric screamed towards Rembrandt.
"Your patient? He came in here with a simple shot in the shoulder. You killed him damn you, you killed him!"
"Guards, take this man away."
When the guards approached Rembrandt, he ran off as fast as he could.
"Should we go after him doctor?"
"No, let him go. He didn't do anything to interrupt the process. Everything seems to still be intact. Thank you officers, you can go now."
With that, the guards exited. Running down the stairs at that moment was Rembrandt Brown, tears streaming down his face. He might be known as The Cryin' Man, but this times, his tears were completely real.
"Damn, what is taking Mr. Brown and Mr. Mallory so long?" Arturo asked knowing there was no actual answer to his question.
"They'll be here Professor, don't worry. We still have an hour in change until the slide, so they still have plenty of time."
That's me all right, always the optimistic one. When someone needs hope, I'm there with enough for the both of us. If only my hope was worth it this time around.
Another ten minutes passed until a knock was finally heard upon the door. Arturo went to open it, and there was Rembrandt, in hospital shrubs stained with tears.
"It's about time Remmy! Not much more time left until the slide. Where's Quinn?" Wade asked Rembrandt.
The mere mention of his named made Rembrandt sniffle. He tried to regain as much composure as he could, and answered.
"Quinn......he didn't make it."
"What do you mean he didn't make it? We all entered this world together, and the next slide isn't for--" Arturo said, trying to get a real answer.
"When....when I went to find Quinn, he was lying on an operating room with all these tubes sticking out of him. He went to the hospital because of his damn shoulder, but when I found him....he was gone."
"You...you mean he checked himself out right? You mean he's on his way, right? RIGHT?" Wade asked barely keeping back the tears.
"Wade, Professor, listen to me. He's dead. Q-Ball's dead."
"My god," Arturo responded taking aback by the words which came out of Rembrandt Brown's mouth.
"He can't be dead! He just can't be! Like you said Remmy, he went in for his shoulder, nothing else was wrong with him!"
I couldn't believe what I had just heard, and I still don't as I'm writing this.
"He was so lifeless. So empty. He was dead, and there was nothing I could do. Those.........those bastards murdered the best friend I ever had like it was nothing! I don't think I can keep on doing this anymore guys. Not without Q-Ball. He was the heart of our team. The heart of our family. Now that Quinn is gone, how do I know that we won't be next to die? I'm staying here. Maybe there's a way I could make him proud here, shut down that project or something."
"Mr. Brown, I have not felt as horrid as I do now since the day my wife died so many years ago. We all feel the way you do right now, but I do not believe the end of our adventure would do Mr. Mallory's memory justice. We have to keep sliding, find our way home somehow. It is what Quinn would have wanted more than anything, as I'm sure Ms. Welles agrees."
I trailed off. I could not hold in the emotional pain any longer. Right there, everything came out at once. I fell to the floor, tears uncontrollably falling from my face. Rembrandt right away lunged to comfort me, as did the Professor.
Soon the three companions were in a joint hug, supporting each other like they always have done.
As the trio of interdimensional travelers let out their pain, their anguish, their feelings of remorse, across town, Quinn Mallory was in for the ride of his life. One minute he was hovering over the husk of what once was his body, while the next he was rushed through a dimensional portal, not much unlike the one he had fallen through for the past two and a half years.
On the other side of the vortex was a forest with a gloomy feel to it. Quinn looked around this area until his eyes focused on a man he thought he would never see again. Quinn was looking at his father.
"Dad?" Quinn cried out.
"Quinn. It's been a long time. I've missed you ever since I arrived here. Do you know what I miss the most? The simple things, like playing catch. You remember what I used to tell you Quinn, don't you?" Michael Mallory asked as he through a football at Quinn, only for Quinn to watch it fall through his fingers.
"If you can touch it, you can catch it," Quinn replied as he threw the ball back to his father.
"Good arm Quinn. You must have been one hell of a quarterback."
"I was dad, but if not for you, it would have never happened."
They continued to throw the ball for a little longer, until Michael held on to it, and turned away.
"It's been fun Quinn, but it's not your time." Michael Mallory spoke as he walked back into the woods.
"Dad, no. Where are you going? Do you know how to get me home? Don't leave me again. DAD!"
"I'll see you again someday Quinn. Just always remember, if you can touch it, you can catch it."
As these words were spoken, Quinn was once again thrown through the dimensional gateway back into the hospital lab.
"Time of revival 4:00 P.M."
"Thank you Dr. Sentavis. You may leave now. I'll deal with our patient from here on out."
"Very well Dr. Mubaric.. Good luck with your investigation." Dr. Sentavis left the room, leaving only Dr. Mubaric and Quinn Mallory in the room. As soon as the door to the room was closed, Dr. Mubaric began her process of investigation.
"Welcome back to the land of the living Mr. Mallory. I hope you enjoyed your experience."
"What experience? I don't know what the hell you're talking about."
"Come now Mr. Mallory, you were legally dead for forty-five minutes. Surely you remember what went on during that time."
"Wait a minute. Did you just say that I was dead?"
"That is exactly what I said. Did you see anything on the other side? Were there people from your past? Was there an ancient civilization? Was there any white light?"
"Mubaric. Dr. Deera Mubaric"
"Dr. Mubaric, could you explain to me what just happened?"
"I just told you. You were signed up by my partner, Dr. Achtbit, for this hospital's necrology program. All people with seriously fatal conditions are signed up for this, and with your tumor......."
"Tumor? What are you talking about? I was supposed to have a burnt arm treated at the hospital!"
"That's impossible! Dr. Achtbit assured me you would not live another week with that tumor on your brain."
"Let me put this in plain English for you doctor. I am in perfect health other than my arm! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have friends that I need to meet, because I'm leaving this world in most probably a few minutes."
"Leaving this world? You're a dimensional traveler?"
"I like to call it sliding. Look, I have no time to explain this. Now, if you help me get out of here, on the way to my hotel room, I'll tell you anything I remember about the "experience" I had."
"I believe you have a deal Mr. Mallory."
Back at the hotel room, the sliders were spending their last few minutes on this world letting out their feelings. Rembrandt and Wade were the worst of the group, while Arturo was trying to fight back his tears trying to play the role of the strong one that Quinn used to play in the group.
"If only I'd gotten him out of there sooner Wade, then maybe he'd still be alive right now!" Rembrandt spoke, slamming his fist against the nightstand.
"Remmy you can not blame yourself for this! How could you have known about what was happening in there?"
I had never thought that in a situation like this I'd be the one lecturing Remmy.
"I should have gotten suspicious with the whole four day stay thing. I mean, since when do scorched arms take four days to heal?"
"Mr. Brown, different worlds have different ways of going about their business. The rule might have simply been this world's answer to patients leaving the hospital too early and getting themselves hurt once more. Listen, we all have to stop grieving for a moment, for there is a decision to make now. There are three minutes left on the timer. We either slide, or let the time run out, spending the next 29 years of our lives on a world ruled by an empire."
I had a feeling the Professor would leave this up to us. If it had been one of us who died, Quinn probably would have did the same thing.
"I....guess Quinn would have wanted us to keep on going. He tried so damn hard to get us home, it almost drove him to the breaking point," Rembrandt said. He then pointed to the sky, obviously speaking to Quinn. "This one's for you Q-Ball. When we get home, we're going to get the President himself to erect a statue in your honor. Maybe you'll replace Abe in the park. Who knows."
"Very well then Mr. Brown. What about you Ms. Welles?"
Without Quinn with us, I wanted to see my parents more than anything else in the world. Plus, I'm sure Mrs. Mallory would like to know what happened to her son from our mouths.
"I'm in too guys. I miss my family too much to stay. Now I have one more reason to get home. Make Quinn proud."
"Well then, if you all agree, I believe I will agree too. When we get back, Quinn's name will be on a patent for this device. I don't care how I am remembered, I want Mr. Mallory to be seen as a pioneer. He was like a son to me, I would want nothing less."
That speech finally brought The Professor to tears, and I'm sure no one blamed him. Quinn saw Arturo as the father figure he had missed all these years, while Quinn filled a void in The Professor's life that was now once again empty.
"Here we go then. Three.....two......one......."
Professor Arturo counted down the seconds and at zero, the blue vortex opened up inside the hotel room.
"GO MS. WELLES, GO!" he screamed over the sounds of the vortex.
"NO WAY, WE GO, WE GO TOGETHER! I'M NOT GOING TO LOSE ANY MORE OF YOU GUYS!!" Wade yelled back with tears flowing down her face..
All three of us joined hands and jumped into the vortex, leaving that world behind us. The memories will stick with us forever, though. Somehow I feel you're still out there Quinn. If you are, I hope I'll see you someday on the other side. So I can finally tell you how much you mean to me. I will love you always Quinn. Well diary, I can't write anymore, my tears are staining too much paper. Plus, we have a slide to make, get off this crazy world ran by 1980's yuppies. I'll write again soon, when I have the time, and the courage.Sincerely, Wade Kathleen Welles
Meanwhile, a day ago and a world away, Quinn Mallory was walking down the hospital corridor with Dr. Mubaric when suddenly, Dr. Achtbit and at least five other guards were walking down the corridor in the opposite direction. Quinn and Dr. Mubaric stopped dead in their tracks.
"Excuse me Dr. Mubaric, but helping the patient escape the hospital is not exactly part of our protocols."
"Dr. Achtbit, I am simply taking him....."
"To recovery? Recovery is that way Dr. Mubaric. Guards, take these two away."
"I don't have time for this! Let's go!" Quinn grabbed Dr. Mubaric by the arm and they ran into the closest hospital room, locking the door behind them.
"Whatever you're trying to do, it isn't going to work you know. We're four floors up."
"Only four floors? I've jumped from eight stories up at least three times in the last year!" Quinn opened up the window and looked out it, seeing that there was an alley way with a garbage bin waiting for them outside. "Come on, follow me!"
"Are you serious?"
As Dr. Mubaric asked the question, the guards had successfully broken down the door.
"Does that answer your question? Grab my hand!"
Dr. Mubaric obliged, grabbing Quinn's hand, and the two jumped out the window, landing inside the garbage bin.
"Is that how you treat all the ladies Mr. Mallory?" Dr. Mubaric asked jokingly as the two jumped out of the bin.
"It all depends on my company. Oh, and I only let one person get away with calling me Mr. Mallory. The name's Quinn."
Some time goes by, as Quinn and the doctor begin to make their way to the Chancellor Hotel. As they inch closer to their destination, Dr. Mubaric tried to get some answers to her "patient's" origins.
"Are you royalty on your world?"
"Not by a long shot. I'm just a scientist who went on the ride of his life with two friends and a passer by, and accidentally got lost along the way. Why do you ask?" "Only royalty is allowed to traverse the dimensions on our world. Is Egypt in control of the world from where you come from?"
"No, but they were a long time ago. On my world, the Egyptian dynasty was defeated centuries ago, and since then many different powers have risen up in its place. America is an independent nation known as The Untied States, while all across Europe other nations have formed as well."
"The Egyptian dynasty was defeated? That's incredible. I never thought such a thing was possible."
"Anything is possible on parallel worlds doctor. Trust me, I've learned that the hard way."
As the two continued to quiz each other, they finally reached their destination. Quinn rang the bell at the front desk, and Gomez Calhoun came out.
"Welcome to the Royal Chancellor hotel."
"Yes, hi, I'm looking for my friends who are staying at this hotel. Professor Maximilian Arturo, Wade Welles, and Rembrandt Brown."
"One moment please sir, let me check our records." Gomez typed a few keys on his computer keyboard and then looked back up. "Yes, they're up in Suite 412."
The pair walked up the room and knocked on the door. No answer. They knocked again, and still no response. Finally, Quinn checked to see if the door was opened, and to his surprise, it was.
"Guys, you in here? Professor, Wade, Remmy?"
The two checked throughout the room, and found nothing. That is, until Dr. Mubaric checked the night stand.
"Quinn, there's money on this night stand."
Quinn examined the money closely and a pale look formed on his face. "Oh god."
"Quinn, what is it?"
"This is the usual amount of money that this room costs. Sometimes we slide from the hotel room and leave the room fee on the nightstand for the bellhop to find."
"What are you saying?"
"They slid. They slid without me. I can't believe it. They would never do that if they believed that they could find me!"
"Wait. Quinn, is one of your friends a tall black man with a mustache?"
"Yeah. How did you know that?"
"A man walked into the room you were in a few minutes before we revived you. That must have been your friend trying to get you out of there. Since they are from another world, they might not have realized you were in the necrology ward. Meaning that....."
"They saw me lying there lifeless and thought I was dead. That would be the only reason why they would ever leave me here."
After realizing what had happened, Quinn Mallory did not know what to think. He was in a way happy that his friends decided to keep sliding, yet at the same time sad at the fact he may never see them again. Plus, worst of all, the realization that he may never see his home again had finally reached his mind. Quinn thought for a little wile longer, until an idea popped into his head.
"I'm not stuck here yet," Quinn spoke with a feeling that this was his last hope in his voice.
"How so Quinn? Your friends are gone, and from what you have told me, there's no way that you can track them down."
"I might not be able to track them down, but I will be able to continue sliding. Dr. Mubaric, where are your dimensional travel devices held?"
"They are in the palaces of every overseer for the pharaoh across this and every other country. As I told you before though, only royalty is allowed to traverse the dimensions."
"That might be true, but quite frankly, I don't care. Doctor, we are going to break into the overseer's chamber and get us one of the timers. If i continue sliding, there may be a chance of my landing on a world where I can gain the technology top track down my friends."
"You're asking me to commit a crime against the pharaoh Quinn! If I'm convicted, I might never see the outside of a prison cell for the rest of my life."
"Well, now is your turn to make a decision Dr. Mubaric. You can either leave now and go back to your job, where you're sure to either get demoted or even fired, or you can help me get a timer and slide off this world with me and begin the ride of a lifetime through parallel worlds."
Dr. Mubaric had never expected a situation like this to come up in her lifetime. She had always been a law abiding citizen since the day she was born. She excelled through every school she went through, and later graduated Doctor's School at the top of her class. Now by helping this patient escape the hospital she worked at, Dr. Mubaric had jeopardized her career, and even her life. Yet was she willing to possibly leave this world behind forever? She had only a sister and a brother on this world to keep her here, and in her mind, it was not enough. Her mother and father had died less than a year ago in a fire at their family home, and she had recently broken up with her long time boyfriend, Conrad Bennish. Did she have any hope of reclaiming a shred of dignity in her practice? This was as uncertain as any question, and it only made what she was about to say next easier.
"My first name is Deera, Quinn. Get to know it, you might be calling it out for a while to come. Now let's get a move on, you've got some friends to reunite with!"
Deep down, Quinn had hoped Deera would accept his offer. He had experienced many doubles of himself who had gone out sliding alone, and quite frankly he did not like what he saw. Many had grown a darker side, while others, such as Wizard Quinn from Sorcerer World, had become isolated within their surroundings, sometimes even quitting sliding altogether. He did not want to see what would happen to himself if he had to slide solo for long periods of time. Deera was willing to sacrifice her life on this world for life on another, and for this he would be eternally grateful.
"So Quinn, what's the plan? Do we sneak in through the window, tunnel underneath the building, or find a secret passageway?"
"We use the door."
"The door? You're kidding me! What makes you think that the guards will let us just waltz in there?"
"Simple Deera. You had a change of heart and decided to turn me in to the proper authorities."
"You did. That's the plan at least."
"Well, I guess we could work with that. How long did it take you to think up that idea?."
"Get used to quick decision making Deera. It's how things work with sliding. Everything, and I mean everything, is done on the fly."
Dr. Mubaric and Quinn Mallory approached the palace of Kheri-Heb when three guards approached them.
As the guards drew closer, one began to speak. "Go no further than where you are now Dr. Deera Mubaric. We have been instructed by the Kheri-Heb to arrest you for treason against the dynasty. Either surrender now peacefully or we will have to use force."
"Gentlemen, let me explain my action. I was coerced into helping this man. He threatened my life, and there was nothing I could do to defend myself. I finally gained the upper hand and decided to turn him in to the Kheri-Heb to save myself from the humility and pain of incarceration."
"What makes you think we should believe a word of what you just said Dr. Mubaric?" questioned the second guard.
"If you have looked at my record, you saw that I have been an outstanding citizen and a follower of Egyptian law all my life. Surely someone with a record like myself could never do such a thing. Could I?"
"You plead a good case Dr. Mubaric, but I still have my doubts. We're going to have to take you both to the jail for questioning," replied the third guard.
"You're making a big mistake! Will you at least hold us in the Kheri-Heb's holding cell so that I could plead my case to him directly?"
"It is against regulations Doctor."
Deera was not going to take no for an answer, as she immediately tried to play up her emotions to change the guards' minds.
"Please guards! I feel that if the Kheri-Heb does not deal with me personally that the Gods may not have mercy on my forced soul!"
The three guards began to talk with each other as Deera gave Quinn a glance to show him that there was a plan behind her actions. Soon thereafter, the guards turned back around.
"Very well Dr. Mubaric. We have taken your situation into mind, and we will allow you to be held in the Kheri-Heb's holding cell. Come with us and you will wait until the Kheri-Heb returns," spoke one of the guards.
Quinn and Deera were handcuffed by the guards and were led inside the palace. As they were moving inside, Quinn whispered something in Deera's ear.
"Now that's thinking on the fly!"
Slowly the guards brought the pair through the Kheri-Heb's palace. After passing through a few different hallways, they arrived at the holding cell. Even though the cell was presently empty, a guard stood at the holding cell waiting for instructions. The two guards which were holding Quinn and Deera motioned to the other guard to open the cell, and once he did so Quinn and Deera were thrown inside.
"When the Kheri-Heb arrives, he will hear your story," spoke one of the guards. "Until then, you will remain here in the cell. Do not try to escape, for you do know that escapees are doomed to death, don't you?"
"Yes, we understand. I will not try anything. I simply wish to clear my name, and rid myself of the burden of being an accomplice to a common criminal."
With these words, the two guards left, leaving only the original guard that was on duty. When the guard turned around, Quinn and Deera immediately huddled up.
"Common criminal? If this were any other situation, I might have taken that the wrong way you know."
"Good thing it wasn't a different situation then. So, I got us in. Any ideas as to how we get out of here?"
"Give me a minute and I will."
Quinn was whispering into Deera's ear when the guard turned around. He had an extremely suspicious look on his face.
"What are you two whispering about?" asked the guard. "If you have anything to say, say it out loud! You wouldn't be trying to escape, would you? I thought we made it clear what would happen if you did so."
"No sir, we are not trying to escape. I am just consulting with a doctor about my arm," answered Quinn in a very convincing tone.
"That is correct. Mr. Mallory here never received treatment for his arm when he was brought into the hospital. he was taken straight to the necrology ward. I was just inspecting the area and realized that Mr. Mallory has an extremely severe burn on his arm. If he does not receive treatment soon, he may lose his arm. Is there any way that I could get medical supplies so that I could at least try to help his arm?"
"Out of the question Dr. Mubaric. You are prisoners. Prisoners receive no special treatment whatsoever!"
"OWWWWWWW! OH, IT HURTS!" Quinn screamed as Deera touched the area slightly. "PLEASE, HELP ME! I CAN'T STAND THE PAIN!"
"Why is it that all of a sudden you are screaming like that when before you were not even showing any pain?"
"THAT'S BECAUSE IT WASN'T BEING TOUCHED BEFORE! OWWWWWWWWWW!"
"Please sir, I beg you, let me help him! I am a doctor and my job is to help others! I cannot stand by and let this happen to someone!"
"STOP! If it will get him to stop screaming like that, I will call one of the other guards to bring in some supplies. You will got no more than what he brings, under the condition that Mr. Mallory stops screaming like that! Did Queen Cleopatra scream like that when she was defending her royal kingdom from invaders?"
"Of course she did not. I thank you for your generosity. I will promise that Mr. Mallory will stop screaming like that."
The guard talked into his communicator as Quinn and Deera looked on about to start the next part of their plan.
A few minutes passed, when a guard walked into the room with a First Aid kit. He handed it to the the other guard who then opened the door to their cell. As he was about to place the First Aid kit in the hands of Dr. Mubaric, Quinn started to scream again.
"OWWWWWW! OH GOD, IT HURTS! I CAN'T HELP MYSELF! THE PAIN, IT'S OVERWHELMING!"
The screaming diverted the attention of the guard for a millisecond, which Deera took to kick the guard in the back. The guard tumbled forward, and Quinn knocked him in the face . The two ran out of the cell before the guard could recover. As Quinn and Dr. Mubaric got down the hallway, they ended up at a fork. Quinn turned to Deera.
"Which way to the chamber?"
"I think we take a left here."
"You think???? I thought you knew where you were going?"
"No time for arguments Quinn, let's just go!"
Quinn listened to Deera and they went down the left corridor as sirens began to sound throughout the palace. After taking yet another left, and a right, they ended up at their destination.
"That's it, the last door in the hallway. I'm sure of it."
Quinn looked back for a minute and saw that there were guards running towards them.
"I hope you're right Deera, because we've got company!"
"STOP RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! THAT'S AN ORDER!"
"Order this!" Quinn responded as Deera and Quinn entered the chamber.
As soon as they got inside, Quinn barricaded the door with the Kheri-Heb's desk, as Deera began to search for what they were looking for.
"Any luck Deera?"
"No. They've got to be around here somewhere! You're a slider, where would you hide your timer if you had to?"
"We've never really had to worry about that before. I would make sure it was secure though. Possibly in a hidden drawer or something."
The two looked through the barricaded desk, the shelves, books, and even the trash to try and find the timers, yet still they found nothing. As Deera continued to look, Quinn stopped to think for a second.
"I think I've got an idea." Quinn started knocking on the wall, looking for a hollow spot. Suddenly, he found what he was looking for. He picked up a chair and used it to break open the hollowed out portion of the wall. In it they found at least ten different timers.
"I think we just hit the jackpot," Quinn said with a slight bit of excitement in his voice.
Meanwhile, back in the hallway, the Kheri-Heb had just arrived. He bore a furious expression on his face as he was very disappointed with the turn of events.
"I cannot believe you let these people escape! You are all incompetent! Why have you not recaptured them yet?"
"I'm sorry sir, but they have barricaded themselves in your chamber. There is no way to get inside other than this door, as I'm sure you know," replied the guard.
"Fools! You are all fools! Break the door down! Do whatever you can to get them, dead or alive!"
"Well, this is it Deera. Now that we found the timers, all we have to do is activate one and we're out of here. You sure that you're up to this? Remember, we have absolutely no idea where we might end up along the way."
Deera responded with a smile on her face. "I know the circumstances Quinn. My life on this world is now just a memory. I'm ready to go when you are."
"Glad to hear that, Deera."
As the two took one final look around their surroundings, they were interrupted by a loud crash, followed by yet another one. After one more loud crash, the door and the desk which was barricading it lied in ruins, and the guards were ready to attack.
"There is no way out now Dr. Mubaric," the Kheri-Heb said with an evil grin on his face. "Did you honestly think you could get away with playing the Kheri-Heb for a fool? You have ruined my chances of becoming the next pharaoh, and for that you will not live to see tomorrow. Guards, grab them!"
"I DON'T THINK SO!" Quinn screamed as he pressed a few buttons on the timer. After one final button press, a thin stream of light shot from the timer, and a vortex opened. The vortex was a beautiful shade of gold, and had a very different consistency than the other vortex.
"GO! GO!" Quinn yelled to Deera. She complied, and dove into the vortex head first.
Before Quinn entered the vortex, he had one last thing to say to the others.
"Give my regards to Egypt, will you?"
The Kheri-Heb turned a bright shade of red and called for the guards to stop Quinn from entering the vortex. They were one step too slow though, as Quinn ran into the vortex just in time. A few seconds later, the vortex disappeared into nothingness.
The colors inside the tunnel were outstanding as the two adventurers tumbled through to a new world. A white light was seen and soon the two were exiting the vortex. Deera fell out first, landing on a patch of grass. She picked herself up just as Quinn fell out onto the concrete sidewalk. Quinn's exiting was followed by the closing of the vortex yet again.
"Whoa. That was amazing!" Deera said with a tone of amazement in her voice.
"You get used to it after a while. That was something new for me too though. The color is going to take some getting used to. Ours is a shade of blue."
"That's some difference."
"Yeah. I miss it already."
"Don't worry Quinn, we'll find them someday."
"I know. Well, now it's decision making time. I set this timer for ten minutes before we left. We could either return to the world when the time runs out, or activate it before hand and star sliding randomly."
"I say we slide randomly Quinn."
"Are you sure? If we do that, I can't guarantee we'll ever be able to return to your world."
"It's...it's okay Quinn. I will come to accept not returning home eventually. There's nothing for me on that world anymore. Plus, don't you think it would be dangerous to return there with the Kheri-Heb as angry as we left him?"
"You do have a point there. Okay, if you're fine with it, I'm fine with it. Let's go then!"
Quinn activated the timer once more and the gold vortex opened in front of them. It was much smaller than it was originally. It was enough to slide safely though. Quinn dove into the vortex, followed by Deera. Deera did so with a smile on her face, knowing that she had just opened up a new chapter in her life. A life of the unexpected, a life of the not so unexpected, and a life of the abnormal. A life of sliding.T h e E n d