[ Earth 317, by Mike Truman ]
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Splitting Hairs
Episode: SL-319
Setting: San Francisco, a few days after SL-318
Time on world(s): 2 hours


[ Opening shot under water with camera looking up toward the surface. Arturo is fully dressed and sinking. He's not moving. Close up on his face. His eyes are open. Suddenly he shakes his head and begins his swim to the surface. Cut to shot above water where Arturo surfaces. ]
Arturo: [ gasping ] Aaagh!
[ Pan higher to an open vortex. Out comes Rembrandt yelling. He splashes down, followed by Wade and Quinn. They resurface. A high shot reveals the Golden Gate Bridge. The Sliders have landed in the bay. All are treading water. Rembrandt and Arturo are not amused. ]
Quinn: Nothing like a dip in the bay in March!
Arturo: There's nothing like hypothermia either!
Wade: How much time?
[ Quinn pulls out the timer. Close-up reveals one minute, seven seconds. ]
Quinn: We've only got a minute. We're going to have to slide out from here.
Wade: You mean swim out. [ to Rembrandt ] How are you doing Remmy?
[ Rembrandt is furiously dog paddling over to them. ]
Rembrandt: You guys know swimming is not my bag!
Quinn: Sorry, man, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. Look on the bright side. You should be happy that we're back to a two-mile radius with a small chance of a swim. It's better than the old 400-mile radius with a very large chance of one.
Rembrandt: How about you fix things so there's no chance of a swim in the future?
Quinn: [ smiles ] I'm working on it. [ looks at the timer ] At least this thing is waterproofed.
Arturo: Which is more than we can say for ourselves!
Rembrandt: Seventy-one! Seventy-one worlds in twenty-two hours. And no sleep in twenty-six! I can't take much more of this Q-Ball!
Quinn: It's out of my hands, Remmy. We have to take each window of opportunity as it presents itself. Come on, it hasn't been that bad...
Rembrandt: [ incredulous ] How can you say this isn't all that bad!
[ Wade splashes Rembrandt. Quinn and Wade laugh ]
Rembrandt: You two think this is fun, don't you?
Quinn: OK fellow travelers, on to world number seventy-two.
[ Quinn opens the vortex right in front of them. Odd effect as the vortex is half in the water. Wade swims through followed by Arturo. ]
Rembrandt: Now I'm going to be wet for the next hour or so. I hate walking around in wet shoes!
[ Quinn splashes him again. Remmy gives him a dirty look and slides. Quinn follows. ]
[ Cut to a world with an orange-yellow sky. The surroundings are of a city block, but it is in disrepair. The vortex opens and deposits the four. ]
Wade: Woah!
Arturo: Good heavens!
[ The four quickly remove their coats. ]
Rembrandt: It's a freaking inferno!
[ The heat is so intense you can see the water evaporating off of them. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Daytime. Camera pans past sign that says Golden Gate Park. Vortex opens. Out come Arturo, Rembrandt, Wade and Quinn. The four are very disheveled. Wade and Arturo are face down; Rembrandt is spread out like a snow angel; Quinn has his knees up. None are moving much. ]
Rembrandt: Are we alive?
Arturo: [ wheezes ] I...think so...Mr. Brown....[ breathing heavily ]
[ Quinn rolls to Wade. ]
Quinn: How about you?
Wade: [ coughs and nods ]... Time?!
[ Quinn looks at the timer. ]
Quinn: Hey guys, we have a reprieve. How's five minutes sound?
Wade: Peachy. [ she puts her head back down. ]
[ Rembrandt and Quinn are on their feet. ]
Rembrandt: That's it, man. Runaway greenhouse world was the worst one yet. Ever since we got this timer it's been nothing but bad news.
[ Wade joins them. ]
Wade: Relax, Rembrandt. At least our clothes are dry.
Quinn: Yeah, man. Be thankful for that two-minute window. If we had stayed much longer, our blood would have boiled and we'd all be dead. If anything, we're lucky the timer's been so quick.
Rembrandt: [ stares at them both ] Since when did the two of you become the sunshine twins?
[ Arturo joins them ]
Arturo: It's the exuberance of youth, Mr. Brown. You and I, however, are old enough to be realists. And back in reality, that was way too close a call for my tastes. I was always concerned that we'd slide into a completely inhospitable environment sooner or later. A theoretical possibility is one thing, but knowing for certain that they are out there is very discomforting.
Rembrandt: [ To Quinn ] Seriously, Q-Ball, you gotta do something about this never-ending slide. Are you sure you can't turn the power down on this thing?
Quinn: Define power. I've already toned down the force of the vortex. It might be that the chip in this timer isn't as fried as the last two.
Rembrandt: Then fry it some more before it kills us!
Arturo: I wouldn't advise that. Not yet anyway.
Quinn: I really don't know the history of this device. For all I know, Logan never truly corrupted it. It may be built without a tether. Or it's keyed into something other than the Helix Spiral. Then again, there may be nothing wrong with it at all. We know that the window can be anything from minutes to months. Maybe we've just been pulling short straws all day.
[ Pan camera past a hot dog stand. ]
Rembrandt: Man, all night sliding has left me hungry. You guys want anything?
Wade: Nah, my stomach's always queasy after breathing in methane.
Rembrandt: Ok. [ Rembrandt moves off screen ]
Arturo: Mr. Brown does have a point. We can't keep this up forever. At some point we will have to rest.
Quinn: It's frustrating for me too. If I'm right about quantum signatures, our home co-ordinates are stored somewhere in here. [ quick shot of the timer ] I only need to find a way to unlock them. If I could just get some time and some equipment...[ pause ] Right now the multiverse seems to be conspiring against us.
[ Cut to Rembrandt. The vendor is preparing his hot dog. ]
Vendor: That'll be fifty.
[ Rembrandt hands him a dollar. ]
Vendor: You're a real cut up. Fifty dollars, please.
Rembrandt: Fifty bucks?
[ Rembrandt fans out his money. Close up. He has seventy-two dollars. Pan up to Rembrandt with a pained look on his face. He looks at his money, then the hot dog, then the money again. ]
Rembrandt: Ah forget it...[ heads back to the others shaking his head ]
Quinn: Change your mind?
Rembrandt: I've seen enough of inflation world. Let's go.
Quinn: It's time.
Wade: Would it be too much to ask to slide into a bed and breakfast?
[ Quinn opens the vortex. ]
[ Sliding bumper ]


[ Dissolve to a lab at a university. Slowly pan past some very advanced looking equipment. Stop at a lab bench where Wing and Bennish are staring each other down in a card game. Both are wearing lab coats and look pretty much the same as we last saw them in Season 1. Cut to Bennish's eyes, back to Wing's, back to Bennish's. Bennish smiles. ]
Bennish: Dude, go fish!
[ Wing throws his cards down. ]
Wing: This is stupid! We have work to do.
[ Wing heads back toward a machine while camera follows Bennish. ]
Bennish: Man why am I working on Easter? It's sacrilege. [ He turns on a 10 inch TV and sits down in front of it. ]
Wing: You're a pagan.
Bennish: So?
Wing: Come on, the sooner we work out the bugs in this the sooner we can leave. If you'd just get started, we could be out of here by one.
Bennish: In a few minutes, man. The parade is starting.
[ Pan to TV. Pull closer until the set is the size of the camera angle. On screen, we see downtown San Francisco. The sidewalks are crowded as a parade is winding its way down the street. Pan the crowds and officers standing at the barricades. The parade is lavish but not exactly Macy's in size and scope. There is a very large balloon of the Easter Bunny. Move camera down to the University of California marching band, which is playing "Easter Parade." A commentator talks over the scene: ]
Commentator: We are coming to you live from Chaney Street as this leg of the parade is underway. First up is the collegiate champion UCal marching band. Led by Caroline Scott, they are opening the festivities with an old time favorite.
[ Pull back into the lab to Wing. Wing flips a switch. ]
Wing: That's odd. [ he checks some numbers ] Woah, that's not right at all! [ He quickly shuts down what he's working on. ] Uh...Bennish?
Bennish: Shhh!
[ Focus back on the TV. ]
[ Familiar sound of the vortex opening. ]
Commentator: There seems to be some sort of disturbance...
[ Pull back to the lab and close on Bennish's face. ]
Bennish: Holy sh-
[ Cut to the parade itself and focus on a vehicle just in front of the band as the wind whips up. Focus on the back seat of the car as Arturo lands in it. ]
Arturo: [ smiles contentedly at his soft landing ] Aaahh...
[ Arturo looks to his right but camera stays on Arturo ]
Arturo: [ surprised ] Aaaarrggh!
[ Camera cuts to see Wade hit the first unit of the band. Rembrandt and Quinn take out members of the brass and percussion. Cacophony as the band members are alarmed, knocked down, etc. Lots of yelling from the crowd as well. ]
[ Rembrandt has landed on the tuba player. He seems stunned to see it's not Arturo. ]
[ Move to Quinn, who's helping a trombone player up. ]
Quinn: I'm sorry.
[ Cut to Wade ]
Wade: Are you all right? Here, let me help you...
[ Camera pans to show the crowd in a panic running in all directions. ]
[ Cut to Rembrandt ]
Rembrandt: Q-Ball!
[ Quinn gets to Rembrandt ]
Rembrandt: These people are acting like they never seen four people drop out of the sky before.
[ Shadow covers them both. ]
Quinn: I don't think we're the only reason.
[ Pan up to see the winds generated by the vortex driving the huge balloon down onto the crowd. No sign of the vortex, but the Easter Bunny balloon is in descent. ]
Quinn: As the Professor would say, 'Run!'
Rembrandt: 'Run like hell!'
[ Switch to Wade who is helping another band member up. The shadow passes over and she looks up. Cut back to see Rembrandt running towards her. ]
Rembrandt: C'mon girl let's move!
[ Rembrandt grabs her hand and they run off screen. Pan back to the balloon coming down ]
[ Switch to Quinn with Wade behind him ]
Quinn: Let's go! [ Quinn and Wade stop. ]
[ Pan to show officers coming their way. ]
Officer: You two! Stop where you are!
[ The two turn and run the other way. ]
Wade: What about the Professor?
Quinn: No time! We'll double back for him after!
[ The balloon comes crashing down sending people scattering in all directions. Take a lingering overhead shot of the scene as sirens wail. ]

[ Commercial Break ]


[ Aftermath of the parade. There are still a lot of people and police are conducting impromptu interviews. Pan to a Detective and an Officer. Follow them as they walk. ]
Detective: And she's claiming they just dropped out of the sky?
Officer: That's what she says. Channel 8 was televising this so we may get a better look once we get our hands on the videotape. Whatever it was, sir, I've never seen anything like it. At least outside of 'Stargate.'
Detective: Is this the car?
Officer: Yes sir.
[ Display the car Arturo landed in. There is another Officer, the Driver, and Miss San Francisco County. ]
Detective: Ma'am, can you describe exactly what you saw before the balloon came down?
Miss SFC: Well, I was waving to the crowd when all of a sudden I heard this whoosh noise. Next thing I knew there were two men sitting on either side of me. I tried to scream, but I was overwhelmed. I guess I blacked out.
Detective: [ to the Driver ] What did you do?
Driver: At that point, the crowd starting screaming and I knew something was wrong. So I stopped the car.
Detective: Can you describe the men for me?
Driver: I didn't get too long a glimpse of them as they jumped out of the car and starting running in different directions. [ pause ] Maybe it was the heat of the moment and all, but I could have sworn I saw double.
Detective: Double? How so?
Driver: The two of them -- they looked like the same man.
[ Cutaway ]


[ Wade and Rembrandt are walking down a street at a brisk pace. ]
Rembrandt: Do you think Quinn and the Professor got out of there before Bugs came in for a landing?
Wade: There was so much confusion. If you hadn't grabbed me out of there, I'd probably still be digging my way out from under.
Rembrandt: I just don't feel right leaving without them. What if those officers caught them? God knows what the penalty for disrupting a parade is on this world? We've been arrested for less.
Wade: I'd be a little more concerned with what they think of people falling out of the sky from strange swirling holes. If we go back and we get caught, you're the one that can explain it to them.
Rembrandt: No thanks, I leave the science to Quinn and the Professor.
Wade: The best thing we can do is stick to the plan we always use when we get separated. I just hope we all get to the Dominion before the next slide. We don't even know how much time we have on this world.
[ Close up on a timer ]
Quinn: Good news. We've got well over an hour.
[ Quinn puts the timer away. He and Rembrandt are walking down another street. ]
Rembrandt: Thank God for small favors. I'd swear someone has it in for us today. First the timer goes wacky, now we're sliding into parades. What's up with that?
Quinn: I'd call it long overdue. We can't expect to land in abandoned alleys and open fields every time we slide. [ pause ] Besides, it could have been worse.
Rembrandt: How so?
Quinn: Those could have been cars.
[ Rembrandt rolls his eyes. ]
Rembrandt: You have a warped sense of optimism.
Quinn: On every world we visit today I'm going to give you a reason to be happy, my dour friend.
Rembrandt: And on every world we land on I'm going to remind you to get that geo-stabilizer or whatever you call it fixed.
[ Quinn smiles and pats Remmy on the shoulder. ]
Quinn: There's one other good thing we can agree on.
Rembrandt: What's that?
Quinn: The police here are pretty easy to evade.
[ Swipe to Quinn and Wade who are running down an alley. They turn a corner and stop to catch their breath. ]
Quinn: [ panting ] I think...we lost them.
[ Each pause to take a breath. ]
Wade: I hope Remmy and the Professor got out of there before that balloon came down.
Quinn: Considering that I think every on-duty cop in San Francisco was chasing after the two of us, they might have had an easy time of it.
Wade: Well, if they have cotton candy when we find them at the Dominion, they'd better share.
Quinn: [ pause, then alarm ] Oh man, the timer! We were so busy running I didn't check the window! [ takes out timer ] Phew! Finally some good news.
[ Wade looks over. The timer says 1 hour, 26 minutes. ]
Wade: Well it certainly beats three minutes.
Quinn: My thoughts exactly. You know, for everything we've been through today, I'm still feeling pretty good.
Wade: I think it's that delirious high you get when you pull an all-nighter.
Quinn: Maybe.
Wade: [ smiles ] Come on. Let's get to the others before someone else does.
[ Cut to Arturo leaning against the side of a dumpster. He's trying hard to be still. Two officers walk by on the other side. ]
Officer: I told you he went the other way.
OtherOfficer: Then who did we just chase down St. James Street?
Officer: It was probably just some bum.
[ Shot of Arturo making a face at the word "bum". ]
Officer: Come on, let's head back to Chaney.
[ Officers exit. Arturo slumps to the ground, breathing heavily. ]


[ Fade forward to the outside of the Dominion. Cut inside and focus on Quinn and Wade by the door. ]
Quinn: I'll take the front desk. Why don't you check the bar?
[ Wade nods and exits. Quinn heads to the front desk. ]
Quinn: Excuse me. I'm supposed to meet some friends of mine here and I was wondering if they've checked in.
Desk Clerk: And their names?
Quinn: Maximillian Arturo and Rembrandt Brown.
Desk Clerk: Arturo? I'm afraid not. But you're the second person to ask for him in the last few minutes.
Quinn: Where's the other person?
Desk Clerk: In the bar.
Quinn: Thanks.
[ Quinn turns around and exits. Pan to a television mounted on the wall. On screen there is a news report. ]
Anchorwoman: ...sending a giant balloon of the Easter Bunny into the crowd below. Fortunately there were no fatalities, but hospital emergency rooms are filling up with lots of minor injuries. Police have refused comment at this time. More to follow on this bizarre story....
[ Pull back from television to a set just over Wade's head in the bar. Pan the room and stop at Rembrandt who is sitting at the bar. ]
Wade: Remmy!
[ Rembrandt turns and sees her. He's stunned. ]
Rembrandt: Wade?
[ He leans back to reveal an identical Wade sitting next to him. Switch between Wades who are staring at each other with their mouths open in shock. ]


[ Arturo is running down a sidewalk. One cop is pursuing him. ]
Arturo: Pardon me! Excuse me Madame! [ shoves a woman out of his way ] Dreadfully sorry!
[ Camera should catch the names of the businesses Arturo runs by- Majestic Florists, the Captain's Galley and Moonatic Electronics. After Arturo passes the door of Moonatic's, two burly delivery guys walk out carrying a 51-inch television. ]
Cop: Get out of the way!
[ The Cop collides with the deliverymen and they all go down. ]
[ Cut to the street where a brown Toyota Corona comes screeching to a halt by Arturo. The side window is down and Wing pokes his head out. ]
Wing: Professor! Thank God we found you!
Arturo: Mr. Wing? [ takes a closer look ] Bennish?!
Wing: Come on! Hurry!
[ Sirens are faintly heard. Pan down the street where a cruiser, lights flashing, is gaining. ]
Bennish: Now, man, now!
[ Arturo looks at the cruiser then at the Corona. Arturo opens the back seat door and jumps in. Bennish punches the accelerator and the car screams back into traffic. ]


[ The Dominion. Pan back to the front door where Quinn and Rembrandt have entered. ]
Rembrandt: What I wouldn't give to just rent a room and sleep for days!
Quinn: Next slide, Remmy.
Rembrandt: Is that a promise?
Quinn: Ha. OK, I'll take the front desk. Why don't you check the bar?
Rembrandt: Got it. But the beers better cost less than a C-note on this world. [ Rembrandt exits ]
[ Quinn heads to the front desk. ]
Desk Clerk: Yes?
Quinn: Excuse me. I'm supposed to meet some friends of mine here and I was wondering if they've checked in.
Desk Clerk: I'm afraid they still haven't arrived. I'll let you know as soon as they do.
Quinn: But I haven't even told you their names.
Desk Clerk: [ sighs ] You're the guy looking for somebody named Arturo, right?
Quinn: How did you know that?
Desk Clerk: Because you just asked me! [ Exasperated and getting angry ] Look I don't have time for this. Do you want a room or not?
Quinn: I'll get back to you on that.
[ Quinn heads for the bar ]
Quinn: Remmy, something strange is going on. The desk clerk is acting like I've already...
[ Camera shows two Wades, two Rembrandts and another Quinn. ]
Quinn: ...been here.

[ Commercial Break ]

[ From here on in, when two of the same character are in an act together, they will be referred to as (1) and (2). This is for direction purposes only. Do not assume that the (1) or (2) refers to which group the character belongs to. ]


[ The Dominion Hotel. Wade(1), Rembrandt(2) and Wade(2) are each in a telephone booth. Close up on Wade(1) ]
Wade(1): Yes, has a Maximillian Arturo shown up in outpatient in the last half-hour? He might have been accompanied by his twin brother....Yes I know you're busy from the accident at the parade, but that's where I saw him last too...Yes I'll wait...
[ Pan to Rembrandt. ]
Rembrandt(2): No, no...ARTURO. A-R-T-U-R-O? It's British, I think. No I don't want to be transferred.....Hello? Yes.... I said Arturo....A-R...
Wade(2): Hi, this is Mallory Quinn from the San Francisco Chronicle and I'm covering the Attack of the 50 Foot Rabbit story?... Yes, I was wondering if you have apprehended anyone in connection with the incident?
[ Pan into the bar where the two Quinns and Rembrandt(1) are seated at a table. The Quinns have their timers out. They are perfectly synchronized at 1 hour and 4 minutes. ]
Rembrandt(1): I'm not getting this Q-Balls. Are you trying to tell me that we're the same people?
Quinn(2): Not the same people. Split from the same people. There must have been two vortexes, almost on top of each other. If they were in that close proximity, it could explain why that balloon came down like it did.
Quinn(1): We're dressed the exact same way. We arrived at the same time. Both groups took a swim in the bay last hour and then were nearly roasted. I just don't see any way that could have happened if we had different origins. I know it sounds strange.
Rembrandt(1): Of course it sounds strange. You're telling me we're split in half!
Quinn(2): We're not split in half. [ waves his finger between himself and Quinn(1) ] We are two distinct individuals. Except we're from different dimensions. Sort of.
Rembrandt(1): So which of us are the real ones?
Quinn(1): Both. No double is more real than the other.
Quinn(2): Something must have happened on the last world during the few minutes we were there. It could have been anything -- an election result, a prominent death... Whatever happened, a new dimension was formed but with different results from the original.
Quinn(1): Since we were there when it happened, a new set of us also came into being. Make sense Remmy?
Rembrandt(1): [ throws a hand up ] I don't know why I didn't see it before. [ slaps his hand back down and shakes his head. ] Look, we slide in an hour. When the time comes, how will we know which group is which?
[ One Quinn exhales while the other pulls the hair out of his face. ]
Rembrandt(1): I figured as much. Oh man, what more can happen today!
[ Rembrandt(1) leaves the table. Stay focused on Quinns. ]
Quinn(1): It's been a tough day for Rembrandt.
Quinn(2): Yeah. But he'll get through it. He always does.
Quinn(1): He shouldn't have to though.
Quinn(2): No, he shouldn't. [ pause ] We should have done more to get them home before now. All that time, just hoping that the next slide would bring us back...what were we thinking? We should have known better.
Quinn(1): We did know better. I guess we just got caught up in the adventure. Now things are more complicated.
[ Rembrandt(1) joins the others over by the phone booths. Rembrandt(2) is still on the line. ]
Rembrandt(2): For the last time, A-R-T... Just forget it man. [ Rembrandt(2) slams the phone back on its receiver. ] I've got nothing.
Wade(1): No luck on this end either. I've called every hospital within a twenty-mile radius of Chaney Street and there's no trace of the Professor. Either one.
Rembrandt(1): Look, I need some air. [ to Wade(1) ] You wanna take a short walk? Maybe see if he's coming?
Wade(1): OK.
[ They exit towards the camera angle. ]
Wade(1): I'm worried, Rembrandt. What could have happened to him?


[ Cut to Bennish's car, which is speeding along. ]
Arturo: I don't know how you knew where to find me, but your timing was impeccable!
Bennish: Hey man, it's no secret you eat Sunday brunch at the Captain's. They make some damn fine hash.
Arturo: [ looks behind ] I think we finally lost the police.
Bennish: Yeah, sorry about that man.
Wing: The next time you run a red light, can you just pull over like a normal person?
Bennish: And ruin my perfect driving record?
[ Arturo looks to the heavens. ]
Bennish: Besides, there was no time to waste. We have to get back to the university pronto.
[ Wing turns around to face Arturo. ]
Wing: You're not going to believe what happened with the experiment!
Arturo: What experiment?
Wing: You know, [ emphasis ] the experiment...
Arturo: [ plays along ] Ah yes. THE experiment. Go on.
Wing: I was working...
Bennish: [ interrupts ] We were working...
Wing: [ continues ]...on phase two of the unified field theorem proof. After I input the new equations, I started to get a very weird variance. I tried to shut everything down immediately, but by then it was too late.
Arturo: Too late for what?
Bennish: This huge rip in the fabric of the universe just bulged open over the parade. It was swirling and winds were blowing everywhere. It was like you could see into the mind of nature.
Arturo: Dear God...
Bennish: [ smiles ] It was awesome...[ checks himself ] in that horrible end of the world kind of way.
Arturo: Now this is very important. Did you see anything come out of that vortex?
Bennish: Nah, this giant Easter Bunny was blocking the view before it crashed. [ adjusts his rear view mirror to show Arturo. ] Speaking of crashed, what happened to you? It looks like you got run over by a truck and then let it back over you a few times for good measure.
[ A shot of the disheveled Arturo. ]
Arturo: [ waves off Bennish ] You just pay attention to the road. [ To Wing ] Now you believe the experiment is the cause of this?
Wing: What else could have possibly done that?
[ Arturo coughs. ]
Arturo: Gentlemen, there is more going on here than meets the eye. I shall explain it all shortly. But first things first. Mr. Bennish, get me to a phone.
[ Wheels squeal as Bennish makes a sudden right. ]


[ Cut to Wade and Rembrandt on the street. ]
Rembrandt: I never get over running into myself. It still freaks me out.
Wade: I don't know. It's kind of nice to see a familiar face from time to time.
Rembrandt: Come to think of it, we don't seem to run into many of your doubles, Wade. I mean, we always seem to be running into Q-Balls, and we've seen a fair share of the Professor and myself. But how many Wades have we seen? Two? Three?
Wade: For one thing, we don't ever actively seek out my double. It's not like a computer saleswoman majoring in poetry is going to be able to send us home. [ pause ] Besides, I'm not sure how many of me are out there. I died at childbirth on the world where we spent Christmas. Even in my own life, I survived what could have been a pretty bad car wreck when I was twenty. And if what happens on one world happens on millions of other worlds...well, let's just say I wouldn't want to tempt fate twice.
Rembrandt: What happened?
Wade: [ ashamed ] I fell asleep at the wheel. Crossed into oncoming traffic. I somehow avoided hitting anything. There wasn't even a scratch on the car.
Rembrandt: I don't know. To me that sounds like someone's looking after you.
Wade: It felt like that at the time.
[ Both look to the sky. It's a bright and sunny day. Their pace slows down a bit. ]
Rembrandt: You know, Wade, I've been thinking about what Q-Ball said. About dimensions and doubles and stuff.
Wade: I thought you left that science stuff to Quinn and the Professor.
Rembrandt: Yeah, and glad to. You didn't see me volunteering to help take apart the timer in there.
[ Wade laughs. ]
Rembrandt: Seriously, though. All this time we've been out here sliding, we've never run into something like this. Sure we've come across others like us, but they weren't us. They all had different pasts, different histories. But these guys we just ran into, they are us.
Wade: It is kind of freaky. I mean, I'm talking to you and you seem to be the same Rembrandt I've always known. And yet, maybe you're not.
Rembrandt: I hear you. That Rembrandt Brown we left back at the Dominion has the same number of gold records that I do. He has the same parents, the same memories, the same life.
[ They stop walking. Rembrandt looks directly at Wade. ]
Rembrandt: More importantly, he has the same goals and ambitions. He's trying to get home too, just like me. But whose home is he going to? His? Mine? Or is it one and the same?
Wade: I never thought about it like that before. [ pause ] Do you know how many of us there might be out there, all trying to get to the same home? What if one already did? They could have stolen our lives already...
Rembrandt: I'm not even sure it would be stealing. Who is to say who the original is anymore?
Wade: You're starting to really scare me now, Rembrandt.
Rembrandt: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. [ He holds her. ] I don't know. For all I know there's some perfectly logical reason having to do with something I've never heard of that forbids everything we just talked about, and I've got us all worked up for nothing. I bet those Q-Balls are already cooking up some scheme in there.
Wade: Remmy, do me a favor.
Rembrandt: Anything.
Wade: [ smiles weakly ] Please leave the science to Quinn and the Professor from now on.


[ Cut to the table where the Quinns are speaking. ]
Quinn(1): I've still got nothing.
Quinn(2): Me neither.
Quinn(2): All right. Let's go over it again. Even though this is the first instance we've witnessed of this phenomena, we have to assume this is pretty ordinary. Dimensions are forming all of the time. Just now, an infinite amount of dimensions have formed in the few minutes we've been sitting here. And yet until now we have never encountered any doubles of ourselves that derive from...us... since we started sliding.
Quinn(1): I'd have to credit that to the nature of the beast. Sliding is completely random. With an infinite amount of possible destinations, each set of doubles has been able to slide to completely different worlds each time.
Quinn(2): Until today. Why?
Quinn(1): That's the key question. Even if we could get our hands on a quantum analyzer, and there's no guarantee anyone on this world has even conceived of one let alone built one, what good would it do? We both derive from the same earth. [ pause ] That is unless...
[ The same thought has occurred to Quinn(2). They both cross their hands and stare at each other. ]

[ They both rub their foreheads. ]
[ Commercial Break ]


[ The Dominion. Camera is back in the lobby as Arturo walks by. He heads for the front desk. ]
Arturo: Excuse me sir. My name is Maximillian Arturo and I'm looking for some friends of mine.
Desk Clerk: Well I'll be! You actually exist.
Arturo: [ stares at him ] And what would give you the suggestion that I do not?
Desk Clerk: [ taken aback ] Forgive me. It's just the men looking for you were a little...peculiar.
Arturo: No argument here.
Desk Clerk: I believe they're still in the bar.
[ Cut back to the telephone booths. Wade and Rembrandt are still working the phones. ]
Rembrandt: If you put me on hold again, so help me God I will...Hello? [ slams the phone down ]
[ Arturo enters. ]
Wade: Professor!
[ Wade hugs Arturo ]
Arturo: Thank heavens you're still here. You didn't have to miss the slide for me?
Rembrandt: I think we're still looking at about forty minutes.
Arturo: Excellent. I'm afraid I had significant difficulties getting here. But that story can wait. Tell me, have you run into anything...unusual in the last hour?
[ Rembrandt and Wade share a look. ]
[ Cut back to Front Desk. The phone rings ]
Desk Clerk: Thank you for calling the Dominion. This is the front desk, how may I be of service? ...[ face becomes perplexed ] Arturo? But you just walked in here. [ noise over the phone gets louder, you can just make out the words 'blistering idiot' ]
Desk Clerk: All right, all right. I'll check. [ puts the phone down ] What a strange afternoon...


[ Cut to a payphone outside "Casey Jones's" (sic), an outside eatery with a coffeehouse/gift shop. Arturo is hanging up the phone. Wing and Bennish are nearby. ]
Arturo: Thankfully that's settled.
[ Two young women with multiple face piercings walk by Arturo. ]
Arturo: Come here often, Mr. Bennish?
Bennish: It's my home away from home... [ checks himself ] my true home being the lab of course.
Arturo: Of course. Shall we?
[ The three sit down. ]
Arturo: Now Mr. Wing. What exactly were you attempting to do and leave out no detail.
[ Cutaway ]


[ The bar at the Dominion. Arturo and Rembrandt have joined the Quinns. Wade is coming back from the lobby. ]
Wade: That was the other Professor. Apparently some old friends of yours, Bennish and Wing, abducted him.
Arturo: Ugh. And I thought I had an arduous journey here.
Wade: They're not that far away. He wants us to meet him there for the slide.
Quinn(1): [ low ] Great.
Quinn(2): [ low ] Super.
Wade: What's got into you guys?
[ Rembrandt(1) and Wade(1) come back from their walk. ]
Rembrandt(1): Hey! Hey! Look who's here!
[ Wade(1) gives Arturo a hug. ]
Wade(2): We've tracked down the other one too.
Rembrandt(2): Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get moving.
[ Wade(2), Rembrandt(2) and Arturo lead the way out, followed by Rembrandt(1) and Wade(1). The Quinns lag behind a bit. ]
Quinn(1): Should we tell them in the cab ride?
Quinn(2): Nah, wait till we're all assembled.
[ Cut to the lobby. Rembrandt, Wade and Arturo walk by. ]
Desk Clerk: Have a good afternoon. I apologize for the confusion earlier.
Arturo: That's quite all right. Good day.
[ Exit Arturo, Rembrandt, and Wade. Enter Rembrandt and Wade. ]
Desk Clerk: Good day...to...you [ confused ]
Rembrandt: Have a good one man!
[ Exit Rembrandt and Wade. Enter Quinns. ]
Quinn(1): [ to Desk Clerk ] What? You've never seen four sets of identical twins?
[ Quinns exit. Leave Desk Clerk staring ahead. ]


[ Casey Jones' patio. The three are in animated discussion. ]
Arturo: Yes, but there's an unintended side effect. Taken to its extreme, you could alter, perhaps even destabilize, electromagnetic fields at a quantum level.
Wing: Could that cause the hole we saw?
Arturo: It could destroy existence.
Bennish: So the project's off?
Arturo: [ stares at him ] Quite.
Bennish: No more Sundays at the lab!
[ A waiter comes over. ]
Waiter: What can I get for you today?
Arturo: Actually we're waiting for seven more people. They should be here shortly. Could we set up a larger table?
Waiter: Certainly. [ Exit Waiter. ]
Wing: We still haven't explained what happened over Chaney Street.
Arturo: That I can explain. You have told me your story, now I shall tell you mine.
[ Fade forward. The others have arrived. The ten have set up a big table and they are eating. ]
Wing: This is absolutely unbelievable! When the real Arturo...I mean, our Arturo hears about this...well...
Bennish: It's going to blow his mind!
Arturo(2): The experiment being conducted by our doppelganger is quite remarkable in its own respects. I'd never put that much thought into whether one dimension or another may be more susceptible or amenable to transdimensional travel. If it's true, we may not be sliding as randomly as we thought. The timer may be seeking out the, for lack of a better word, "weaker" dimensions.
Arturo(1): Why, it's possible some dimensions could even be impervious to sliding-- entire realms of possibility forever locked away.
Wade(1): I don't mean to interrupt, but what are we supposed to do when it's time to slide, just split up and go?
Quinn(2): Given the time constraints, I don't think we're going to have much of a choice. The other option is to slide together and try to sort it out afterwards, but that would leave one timer inoperative...
Quinn(1): ...meaning the eight of us would be stuck together.
Wade(2): And we thought it was hard being inconspicuous before.
[ Pan to Rembrandt(2) who has put his napkin down and is stretching out in his chair. ]
Rembrandt(2): Damn that was tasty. I know it's just a cheeseburger, but when you haven't eaten in twelve hours, it tastes like filet mignon.
Wade(1): [ looks at him with a weird expression ] What about your $50 hot dog?
Rembrandt(2): It's not like I got to eat it! Fifty dollars for a hot dog was too rich for my blood.
[ Wade(1) looks at Rembrandt(1) ]
Rembrandt(1): I was hungry! Like the man said, I hadn't eaten since the day before. Fifty bucks was a price I was willing to pay.
Arturo(2): Good heavens! That's it!
Wing: What's it?
Arturo(2): That's the cause of the dimensional split!
Rembrandt(1): [ incredulous ] Are you trying to tell me a brand new dimension popped out of thin air just because I decided to buy a hot dog?
Bennish: Fundamentals of dimensional theory, man. If it could have happened, it has happened.
[ Arturos, Quinns and Wing look at him. ]
Bennish: I watch Star Trek.
Wade(2): So we're responsible for this...
Arturo(1): It all makes sense now. Well, as much sense as could be expected in the field of dimensional theory. You see, when Mr. Brown spun off the new dimension, both groups still had the same countdown window. Usually, when the window opens, there is an infinite number of possible dimensions we can jump to. The odds of two sets of Sliders landing in the same one are astronomically poor. However, thanks to Mr. Wing's experiment, this dimension's barrier was exceedingly weak at the time of our slide. It was an easy target for our damaged timers.
Arturo(1): What a day for applied physics!
Quinns: [ unison ] It's time.
Arturo(2): All those with a thrifty Mr. Brown, you're with me. As for the cash-strapped...
Rembrandt(1): Speaking of cash-strapped, how are we gonna pay for this meal? I'm a little short.
Bennish: Dude, forget it. My credit's good here.
Quinn(1): In three...
[ The Quinns open the vortexes side by side. The Wades jump through their respective vortexes, followed by the Rembrandts. ]
Arturo(2): Good luck to the both of you. Make sure my double hears of all that transpired! I believe he'll know what to do with it.
[ The Arturos slide. ]
Quinn(2): [ to Quinn(1) ] Good luck.
Quinn(1): [ to Quinn(2) ] You too.
[ Quinns slide. The vortexes close. Pan back to Bennish and Wing. ]
Wing: I can't wait to tell Arturo about this.
Bennish: Who says he needs to know?
[ Wing looks at him and Bennish smiles. ]
Bennish: He shouldn't have made me work on Sunday.


[ Sliding bumper. Vortex opens on a miniature golf course that is apparently closed. The sky is overcast and there's a light mist falling. The four land on a putting green by a windmill. Close vortex. ]
Wade: Time?
[ Close up on timer. ]
Quinn: Four days. We finally drew the long straw.
Rembrandt: Any signs of ourselves?
Wade: It looks pretty quiet.
Rembrandt: Do you think we'll ever see them again?
Arturo: Never say never. But I wouldn't hold out much hope of it.
[ The four get up and begin walking out. ]
Wade: [ to Quinn ] What's wrong Quinn?
[ Quinn looks her at but doesn't say anything. ]
Wade: Come on Quinn. You've barely said anything in the last half-hour.
[ They stop. ]
Wade: Tell me.
Quinn: Wade, I really don't think...
Wade: You promised me you'd stop holding things in, no matter how much you want to protect us. What's wrong?
Quinn: [ sighs ] All right. Back in the bar, my double and I came to a conclusion we had somehow overlooked before. We've been working under a theory that states every dimension has its own unique set of co-ordinates and that every object or person from that dimension shares those co-ordinates. It's those co-ordinates that can take us home. I still believe that's true.
Rembrandt: Then where's the problem?
Quinn: The problem is I didn't take into account how a dimension gets its co-ordinates. When a new dimension forms, it -- and everything in it -- take on new co-ordinates. I can think of no reason why that wouldn't apply to wanderers from other dimensions. And I think our last slide just proved that.
Arturo: [ concerned ] If that's true, our original quantum signatures could have been wiped out long ago.
[ Quinn nods. ]
Wade: What does all this mean?
Arturo: It means our native dimension may no longer be the dimension we would recognize as home. If we are a spin-off group, our signatures would now be of the dimension where we came into existence.
Quinn: Simply stated, Wade-- only one group goes home.
[ Pan the four faces and fade to black. ]


Production Notes

"No one is in mortal peril in this episode, and yet I still think we have a compelling story. Imagine that!

Such a dark finish for such a light episode. I can understand why viewers would wonder why'd we introduce such a concept, especially so late in the series. I say it's because it's necessary. One of the great things about this show is that it straddles the line between real and funny physics. Sure the window of opportunity is a device to move the plot and not based in anything. But this show does explore a core concept. How do dimensions form? When do they occur? What ramifications, if any, are there? To you or I? None. But to someone lost among the dimensions? It means everything.

This is the last of the 'nature of the dimension' episodes. As Quinn said, every time a new dimension forms, it and everything in it take on new co-ordinates -- including the Sliders. There is only one TRUE Earth Prime despite many groups of Sliders who could lay claim to it. No matter what happens, an infinite amount of Sliders never find their way home. If they did, Earth Prime would be besieged by Quinns, Wades and the like. Fortunately, there are also an infinite number of dimensions that have spun off from Earth Prime since the Sliders left, so there are plenty of 'homes' available that a set of Sliders could reasonably return to and get on with their lives -- assuming they could find one. So are our Sliders the true group? It looks like Quinn will have to build a quantum analyzer and find out.

It should be noted that this episode was nearly not produced. The original plan for SL-319 was to run a story by the show's creator, Tracy Torme. The script, entitled 'Heat of the Moment,' would have also addressed spin-off Sliders from the main group, but wouldn't have shoved the consequences so forcefully down Quinn's throat. Unfortunately, due to matters I can't disclose, the project fell through. As a new story arc is introduced in SL-320, I'm afraid there will be no place for it in terms of the show's continuity. Who knows? Maybe one day it can be turned into a special TV movie.

Coming next week: mortal peril... and no doubles. I promise."

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