Sliders: Earth 214

6.15 | Stowaway

The vortex opened, and Quinn flew out. Seconds later, Wade, Arturo, and Rembrandt emerged. Just as it was about to close, the vortex ejected another slider.

QUINN
Caitlin!

REMBRANDT
Don't scare us like that, girl!

ARTURO
After all of the time we've been together, I think it'd be hard to lose you!

CAITLIN
Thanks guys. So is this Earth Prime?

The five sliders walked down the street. On this world, the stop signs were orange.

REMBRANDT
Guess not.

Rembrandt looked down at Caitlin. She looked discouraged, as if they were never going home.

REMBRANDT
Don't worry girl. We'll make it back.

Caitlin smiled.

REMBRANDT
After all we've been through, you should know we will.




The sliders continued to the Dominion hotel. They observed a couple walking their cat.

WADE
That's interesting.

QUINN
Sure is.

WADE
To tell you the truth, I haven't seen a single dog at all.

ARTURO
Perhaps dogs were never domesticated on this world. Or perhaps they were driven to extinction.

WADE
That's sad.

CAITLIN
Sure is. Remember when Wade had that dog?

Wade looked confused, but realized that Caitlin must have meant Remmy's Wade.

REMBRANDT
Yeah. At least he found a good home with Ryan.

QUINN
Well, we have about an hour here.

WADE
No reason to check into the hotel. Why don't we split up and have some fun?

The others agreed. Quinn and Arturo checked out the library, while Caitlin checked the local gym. Rembrandt didn't really feel like doing much. He just wanted to go for a walk, and Wade decided to join him.




After a few minutes, they approached a large building.

REMBRANDT
Well, I'll be damned. Its my old recording studio. It brings back so many memories. Good and bad.

WADE
Look at that, Remmy!

Wade pointed to a sign on the studio's outer wall. It was a picture of Rembrandt, with a list of tour dates. There was also an announcement about The Cryin' Man's next album.

REMBRANDT
And seeing stuff like this is definitely bad. Can you believe it, girl? I think that everything is pointing to the fact that I was just born on the wrong Earth. I'm a star practically everywhere else!

Rembrandt moved away from the studio. Wade ran after him.

WADE
Wait! You're not even going to give it a look?

REMBRANDT
Are you kidding? I feel bad enough already. Let's just keep on walking.




Quinn and Arturo were sitting inside the library, researching.

QUINN
Nope. It's not here, professor. No canis familiaris. In fact, I don't see any canines at all. They even have a different name for the tooth.

ARTURO
I don't see anything in the periodicals either. So, that shows us that canines were either killed off before records were taken, or they never evolved at all.

QUINN
Wow, but they do have a fascination with cats. They've devoted sixteen, seventeen, eighteen pages to them in the encyclopedia. What do you think? Egyptians?

ARTURO
Only one way to find out.




Rembrandt and Wade continued to walk the streets.

REMBRANDT
Well, its about that time. We should probably be getting back.

WADE
Yeah. Wanna hail a cab?

Rembrandt checked his pockets.

REMBRANDT
I don't think so. Unless, of course, they're going to accept bills with some Mayan king on them. What do you have?

WADE
Yeah, all I have are American Pounds. You want to try it anyway? I mean, it worked on the last world.

Rembrandt began to laugh.

REMBRANDT
But it didn't work a month ago.

WADE
Yeah. Let's just get walking then. I'm sure we'll make it if we hurry.

Rembrandt turned around and saw a group of prisoners working on the side of the highway. One woman, in particular, attracted his eye.

REMBRANDT
Wade, is that...?

Rembrandt pointed to the familiar face, but he couldn't seem to remember her name.

WADE
It's Caitlin! Sweet little Caitlin, in prison? Ha! Talk about your parallel worlds!

Caitlin! How come Rembrandt couldn't think of her name? She had been a Slider since the beginning. And he and Caitlin had been friends even before that! How could he have forgotten her name? Rembrandt shrugged it off, and he began to walk off.




Rembrandt and Wade met the others. Quinn opened the vortex and the sliders continued their journey.

The vortex opened and all five sliders jumped inside. This was a tough slide. Each slider was thrown around a lot, and there was a particularly brutal landing.

QUINN
Ouch...

REMBRANDT
You got that right, Q-Ball!

QUINN
Well, another short one! Four hours.

CAITLIN
I don't know about you all, but I want some sleep. I've got some extra cash. Let's check into the Dominion.

QUINN
You said it!

The group put together all the cash they had that resembled American money. They had barely enough to get a suite, even though they were using money from three different worlds. The Sliders were relieved when they saw Gomez Calhoun behind the desk. He was always too annoyed or star-struck to check for alternate currency.




Caitlin went straight to her room for a quick nap. Arturo and Quinn decided to peruse the Internet, to add to Arturo's ever-growing journal. Rembrandt and Wade were also tired, so they decided to watch a little television.

When she turned the television, Wade saw a preview for an upcoming movie. They saw pictures of a desert island, with serious-sounding music.

TV ANNOUNCER
This summer. Get stranded! Jim Carrey. Chris Farley. Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Wade laughed. These three are in a serious movie?

VOICE
Skipper!

TV ANNOUNCER
Gilligan's Island.

WADE
That's funny! Think they'll have it on other worlds?

Rembrandt laughed as well.

REMBRANDT
We'll see. Let's check out the news.

TV ANCHOR
More news has just come in on the fire at San Quentin. Police now believe that the fire was started by a group of inmates, in a ploy to escape. While several suspects were caught by prison security, we know that at least three prisoners have escaped. They should be considered armed and dangerous.

The television showed two men and a woman. Rembrandt stared at the screen as he saw who the woman was. "Caitlin Reynolds" popped onto the screen with a picture.

WADE
Wow. Caitlin again!

REMBRANDT
On two straight worlds? This is getting kind of weird. Should we tell Quinn and the Professor?

WADE
I wouldn't worry about it, Remmy. Quinn told me that sometimes worlds branch off of each other. They can be very similar. Plus, you know Caitlin; she's not a criminal!

Rembrandt knew she was right. Didn't he?




The limit came, and the Sliders almost forgot to go in and check on Caitlin. Wade had to remind them, just before the timer was activated. On exiting the vortex, Rembrandt, Arturo, and Quinn began talking amongst themselves. Wade looked at the vortex, waiting for Caitlin.

QUINN
Wade, what are you doing?

WADE
Waiting for Caitlin...

The others seemed confused, and they were surprised to see Caitlin emerge from the vortex. Quinn was about to question it, but he began to remember her. It was faint, but it was still a memory of his friend.

None of the sliders told each other of their memory loss, but they were all concerned, because Caitlin was the only part of their memories fading.




This slide was longer. It was a day and a half, and the sliders were eager to get some more rest. They hadn't received a full night's rest in about a week. Rembrandt wasn't very excited about rest, though. He had an inquiry about Caitlin. When all of the others were asleep, Rembrandt snuck to the library and began to surf the internet. He wasn't very happy with the results.

He looked up San Quentin's website and looked for any indication that Caitlin was in there. He found an interesting section that allowed people to e-mail criminals. Rembrandt clicked on the link, but when he got to the list of inmates, he couldn't seem to remember Caitlin's last name. He had a hard enough time remembering her first. He still remembered her face, though. So, he was forced to click on each name until he came to Caitlin's file. It had taken well over an hour, but he finally found her. She was a criminal. Again.




In the morning, he talked things over with Wade.

REMBRANDT
This can't be a coincidence. This is three straight worlds! She's a criminal. I have to talk with her.

WADE
You've known her for 11 years!

REMBRANDT
I can hardly remember her now. I find myself forgetting more of her every day!

WADE
What about all the things she's done for you?

REMBRANDT
I can't remember anything she's done for us! I can't remember anything about her! And I don't think it's just me!

Rembrandt was worried. He couldn't keep wondering if Caitlin was a friend or an outlaw. He had to talk to her.




Rembrandt approached Caitlin in the hotel.

REMBRANDT
Caitlin?

CAITLIN
Yeah, Remmy?

REMBRANDT
I have a question. It's going to sound weird, but I need you to tell me.

CAITLIN
Okay...

REMBRANDT
How did you get started sliding?

Caitlin seemed nervous.

CAITLIN
Why?

REMBRANDT
Just for old times' sake.

CAITLIN
I was your friend for 11 years. I was inside your Cadillac when it was sucked into the vortex. Then, Quinn reset the timer, and we've been looking for home ever since!

Rembrandt was very worried now.

REMBRANDT
Have you ever been to prison?

Caitlin was very nervous.

CAITLIN
No...

REMBRANDT
Good, because I was worried.

CAITLIN
You know me, Remmy.

Rembrandt was tired of beating around the bush. He asked her straightforward.

REMBRANDT
Do I? How are you messing with my mind? Who are you?

Rembrandt had forgotten almost everything. He genuinely wanted to know how she began sliding.

Caitlin put her hands to her head and went into a deep state of concentration. Rembrandt was hit with a blast of mental energy.




Now she was in trouble. She quickly examined the events of the past few weeks. Everything had changed so much over the past months. A year ago, she was a happy woman. Then, she stumbled on the papers, and everything changed. She thought that the adoption papers were a mistake, but she knew that her "mother" would never tell her the truth.

That's when it came to her head. She knew that she had the potential to get the real truth. It was a very dangerous move, but she had to know the truth behind her past. She knew that she might be caught, but she never imagined that her own "mother" would turn her in.

So, suddenly, she was alone. She had two sets of parents that had betrayed her. And the system had betrayed her. The judge looked at Caitlin straight in the face and issued the sentence of life in prison...for wanting to know her own past! It wasn't hard to escape from the prison, but it would've been hard to avoid capture. And she knew the punishment for escape from prison was death. But that's when that beautiful blue-green gem crossed her eyes.

She had the chance to escape, but she didn't. The vortex was just supposed to be her way out of the system. A way off an unjust world. But she had stayed. Maybe she wanted to turn a new leaf; to get back to a normal life. These people wouldn't betray her. They wouldn't stop loving her. For the first time in years, she had true friends. But it was all over now...

She ran off, leaving Rembrandt on the floor.




A couple hours later, the others returned. They had been on a walk though San Francisco National Redwood Forest. Rembrandt was still on the ground, asleep now. His injury and his fatigue had caught up with him. Wade ran and woke him up.

WADE
Remmy!

Rembrandt woke up, but was slow in getting up.

ARTURO
Mr. Brown, what happened?

WADE
Yeah, where's Caitlin?

The others were confused. Who was Caitlin? Wade was the only one who remembered the fifth slider.

WADE
Your friend!

Rembrandt was still confused.

REMBRANDT
All I remember is being knocked out by someone. Then they ran off.

ARTURO
We should call the police!

WADE
It wasn't an intruder, Professor! It was Caitlin!

QUINN
Wade, who is Caitlin? Is she a friend of yours?

Wade was confused. How could they not remember her?

WADE
No, she's yours! She's been sliding with you since the beginning!

REMBRANDT
What the devil are you talking about, girl? It was just us and our Wade at the beginning!

Wade was worried, but she decided to try and forget. Obviously, they were all suffering from some sort of memory loss. She didn't want to leave Caitlin, but she had no choice. She was gone, and the slide was in a couple hours.




By the time of the slide, the memories of Caitlin in Rembrandt, Arturo, and Quinn were completely eliminated. Wade activated the timer and jumped inside the vortex. Arturo jumped inside. The hotel door opened, but Quinn and Rembrandt knew they would be gone soon. They both jumped inside, but before the vortex closed, Caitlin had burst into the room and followed them.




On the next world, the four sliders touched down, and then Caitlin. Wade was the only one who recognized her.

WADE
Caitlin!

QUINN
Who are you?

Caitlin brought out a gun. She aimed it at the sliders.

CAITLIN
Don't remember me? Give me the timer and walk straight ahead. If this world is anything like my own, then I should have some friends up the street.

Wade handed over the timer to Caitlin, and the sliders walked to the building.
The whole time, Arturo, Quinn, and Rembrandt tried to work out who this woman was, and Wade puzzled over what had happened to her friends.

They came to an abandoned building. Caitlin searched the building, but found none of her "friends".

CAITLIN
Well, this will do until it's time for me to slide.

WADE
Why are you doing this, Caitlin?

REMBRANDT
Yeah, and who are you?

Caitlin looked surprised that her effects had dissipated so quickly.

CAITLIN
Don't remember me, Remmy? After "all those years". You people must have very resistant minds on your world.

Then, Caitlin looked at Wade.

CAITLIN
And you... Your mind is the weakest of the weak. That's the only reason I intend on sliding again. If I can find a world like yours, I would rule it in a matter of hours. I could proclaim myself a god, and no one would argue.

QUINN
What are you talking about?

CAITLIN
About 10 or so slides ago, you guys came across my world. I had just escaped from prison, and I needed a quick escape. I overheard one of your conversations, and I decided to force you to take me with you. You see, on my world, we have very powerful minds. Telepathic, if you will. I was able to read your minds, and know your memories. I then implanted myself inside those memories. I thought this would be very easy. You'll have so many memories, so just placing myself in a couple of those made me seem like an old friend.

None of the sliders could believe what Caitlin was talking about.

CAITLIN
It was working perfectly until you approached me about my criminal history. I read your thoughts and saw myself in almost none of them. I thought about doing it again, but I assumed it'd be the same with you two, and there is something strange about your minds. They can have memories easily implanted into them, but they don't stay. It would've been futile for me to keep doing it. I would've had to do it over and over.

REMBRANDT
Well, if what you are saying is true, then I should remember what actually happened with you. Shouldn't I?

He looked at Arturo and Quinn. They gave their approval to his inquiry.

CAITLIN
It seems to me that your minds flushed the memories out, and then, your mind erased any memories of me, assuming that it was part of the trick.

REMBRANDT
Our minds can do that?

ARTURO
Mr. Brown, there are parts of the mind that can't be explored. I wouldn't be surprised if everything she is saying is true.

CAITLIN
Of course it's true!

WADE
It is true! I've seen the last part! And I remember everything. Quinn went and picked up Caitlin and you, Remmy! On my world, don't you remember?

Wade was in tears. She remembered everything so clearly. She remembered seeing Caitlin and Remmy for the first time. They had become friends. Caitlin was her friend!

Caitlin smiled as she read Wade's thoughts. She had an ally. Caitlin glanced at the timer.

CAITLIN
Well, look here! We never checked the timer! We always check the timer! Always!

Caitlin laughed, and Wade laughed too. It was as if they shared a mind. Caitlin was completely controlling Wade's mind.

CAITLIN
It's time to go.

Caitlin opened the vortex. Quinn, Rembrandt, and Arturo stood up. Caitlin aimed the gun at them.

CAITLIN
No, you're not going anywhere!

She stared at Wade.

CAITLIN
Stop them, Wade.

By her command, Wade stood in front of her friends.

CAITLIN
You see, I've just made Wade my "sister". We're very close, and she will stand up for me no matter what. Now, I'm going to find her homeworld, or a world like it. And you're not going to stop me!

QUINN
You're insane! You can't just play with minds like that!

Caitlin tried to look innocent.

CAITLIN
Why not?

Arturo noted that the vortex was destabilizing. They had to go! Arturo ran towards Wade, diverting her attention. Quinn ran towards Caitlin, and Caitlin knocked him down, mentally. She tried to knock down Rembrandt, but it was too late. Rembrandt had tackled her. He picked up Quinn and threw him inside the vortex. Arturo and Rembrandt struggled to throw Wade inside. Together, Rembrandt and Arturo jumped in, only seconds before the vortex closed.

On the next alternate Earth, Quinn landed, conscious, but weary. Wade landed, followed by Rembrandt and Arturo. They all looked at Wade, wondering if the effects of Caitlin's work were still there.

ARTURO
Miss Welles?

WADE
Yeah, Professor?

Wade suddenly remembered everything, but told everyone that the memories were wearing off. Everyone was relieved. As they walked away, the memories of her faded away.




Caitlin emerged from the old, abandoned building. If her plan was going to work, she needed a test subject.

A man walked by her on the street. She waved at him in a friendly manner.

MAN
Do I know you?

Caitlin closed her eyes and concentrated for a couple seconds. When she opened them, the man had a very big smile on his face.

MAN
Caitlin Reynolds? I haven't seen you in years! How are you?

CAITLIN
I'm doing just fine. Everything is perfect...




Back to Earth 214