What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could
A young man is working on a bluff overlooking a bay. He deftly
manipulates his equipment as a vortex opens up in front of him. Four
figures hit the ground in rapid succession. “Dammit Autumn can’t this
thing be a little more smooth?”
“Right Quinn, I keep forgetting everything is my fault.”
“Autumn. Quinn. Enough. We aren’t alone.” Bennish looks up as the young
man with the machinery smiles.
“May I be of some assistance?” He too has become very good at hiding his
“Yeah. My timer seems to be fried.” Autumn shot Quinn a dirty look as she
pulled herself off the ground. She was sick and tired of Quinn’s high and
mighty attitude. It was bad enough he lied to her about the fact that he
couldn’t help her with the timer. But his self-pity was getting to be too
much. She hobbled over to the young man at the console. “Hi. I’m Autumn
“Hello Autumn. I’m Sethos MorningStar. Everyone calls me Seth though.” He
used his killer smile to his full advantage. Besides the girl was cute and
she looked like she could use a little love. “May I?” She handed over the
timer and a discussion of parallel technology soon developed. Bennish
ambled over to the two and joined in as Mary prepared herself for a little
heart to heart with Quinn.
“My name is John NightSky. My friend over there is Justyn Baggins and the
lady is my betrothed Lyrrala.” The group quickly moved to the food laden
“Please help yourselves. We’ve been expecting you for awhile now.”
Lyrrala was tall and thin. Her hair was the color of moonlight on water
and her eyes were the color of the starless midnight sky. One of the first
things Alt-Quinn noticed about her were the silver fletched arrows in the
quiver on her back. Alt-Bennish nudged him and pointed out the unusual bow
that rested like a sword at her side.
Remmy and Max had already begun to dig in. Alt-Quinn found his thoughts
drifting back to his wife. He was so lucky she had come back into his life
after Wade’s death. He knew how special his sister was since she had set
the whole thing up. Now Daelin was providing a safe haven for another
Wade. One pregnant by his double. Would wonders never cease?
“What exactly did you mean you were expecting us?” Maximillian Arturo had
sampled several delicacies and was steadily working his way through more.
It had been so long since he had a really good meal.
“We are in the process of testing out some theories. My equipment is the
practical application of several theological discussions my sister, her
betrothed and myself had before they began sliding.”
“It’s amazing that your cousin and his friends had such a strong grasp of
the theories governing sliding. I had never thought of half of the
applications you seem to have found.” Bennish was enthralled, while Autumn
did the talking. He and Quinn hadn’t even scratched the surface of
“Well I am doing my work in conjunction with a friend of mine from up
north. We seem to balance each other well. I need to go home and pick up
some of my other tools. There’s food in the house and running water.”
Autumn and Bennish watched Seth do a swan dive off the bluff. They began
to worry when he never surfaced.
“So your world has everything I consider myth and legend? That’s amazing.
Wade would love this place.” Rembrandt had decided to help Justyn clear
the table while Lyrrala was out hunting for dinner. They were an
interesting group. Almost as diverse as he and his friends had been when
they started sliding. Justyn was a reclusive scholar who had opened his
home to his dearest friend Lyrrala and her betrothed. Lyrrala was the
first of the Siddhe to pair with a Mixer. She was a strong, proud young
woman. John was a bit of a puzzle. He had seemingly dedicated himself to
completing the work of his sister and her betrothed. Remmy was having
trouble wrapping his mind around the rest of their culture.
“Tell me more about your world.”
“Well. Where do I start...”
“Quinn you need to back off. I don’t want to be having this conversation
with you, but you have been an insufferable jerk. I know your wife is
missing along with your mentor and Rembrandt. Don’t think the rest of us
have suffered losses. I don’t have half of my memories. It’s like someone
went through my mind and chose what to take. I don’t have a world. Bennish
is all I have. I can easily imagine losing him.”
“You don’t get it.”
“I’m not done. Autumn is suddenly without her friends and family. Her
brother’s double lies to her and treats her like dirt. You haven’t said
two nice words to that girl and until today she has been remarkable with
her understanding. Cut her some slack. Cut us all some slack. Quinn,” she
took his hand and forced him to look at her, “we all love you.”
“I’ll think about what you said.” Quinn walked away. Slowly, deep in
Alt-Quinn, Alt-Bennish and John were tinkering with the timer. Unless
they were forced to none of them wanted to create a new one. The trio had
been at it for hours. “I’m going to have to give you a new power source
and a new chip.”
“How long will that take?” Alt-Bennish stretched.
“About a week.”
“Can you upgrade us?” Alt-Quinn smiled.
“Actually I can one up your worm hole tracking device. I can give you the
ability to track quantum signatures and expand your coordinate storage
ability. I might also be able to give you the ability to override your
current window situation. The last is questionable.”
“Gentlemen why don’t you stop for the night. Remmy is keeping Justyn
company while he prepares dinner. I have a nice Siddhe whisky you might
like to try before dinner.”
“Lovely Lyrra break out the decanter.” John threw an arm around her
shoulders as they walked into the main room together. Alt-Bennish smiled
over at Alt-Quinn. The story of the couple’s unusual courtship had sent
the best friends into peals of laughter. Neither one had ever heard such a
Seth had returned in time for the dinner Autumn and Mary had cooked up.
Quinn had watched Seth walk up from his perch on the porch. He kept
noticing Seth’s unusual glow. “Why do you look like that?”
“What the glow? All my people look like that after immersion. It’s just
our bodies showing their pleasure. You should see us during sex.” He
chuckled as he took his tools into the house.
Bennish looked up from the bottle of wine he was uncorking. “You mind?”
“Not at all. What did they find?”
“Some sort of roast.”
“Sounds good. Would you pour me a glass? I’ll hit the wine cellar on the
way back through and grab a couple of more bottles.”
Bennish shook his head. Unusual guy. “Quinn why don’t you join the
living?” Mary had fully briefed him on her conversation with Quinn. He
just hoped it did a little good.
“Thanks man. Listen. I’m sorry. Things have been tough.”
“I know Quinn. I know.” The two men tasted the wine. “Wow. That’s
“I’m mostly a beer fellow. This isn’t bad.”
Seth wandered back into the room with two more bottles of red wine. “Did
I hear you say beer? Would you like to sample my home brews?”
“Sure.” Quinn set the wine glass down and followed Seth downstairs.
Over the last three days Alt-Quinn, Alt-Bennish, Remmy and Arturo had
settled into a routine. Morning saw John working with Alt-Quinn,
Alt-Bennish, and Arturo over the timer. They had done quite a lot
considering they were operating from three different technologies. The
inner workings of the timer had been reconfigured. The group was currently
installing the new power chip. Lyrrala and Rembrandt had spent many hours
exchanging songs. Justyn kept meticulous records. At night after the
sliders had bedded down Justyn shared his news with John and Lyrra. “They
come from three different worlds. Do we tell them or not?”
“No. We don’t have the right. It won’t interfere with installing Quinn’s
quantum signature will it?”
“Not a bit Lyr. Quinn and his sister will have the same q.s. He’s not the
one we have questions about.”
Mary had been at loose ends over the last two days. The others worked day
and night to restore the timer. They had finished ahead of schedule. Seth
had replaced the memory chip and given the group the chance to track
quantum signatures. They had inserted Autumn and Quinn’s signatures. Their
hope was it would allow Autumn to slide home and the others would be able
to find Wade, Remmy and Arturo.
Autumn held up the timer. The vortex looked a little different this time.
One by one they jumped in.
The next morning Alt-Quinn and company said fond farewells to Justyn,
Lyrrala, and John. “Thank you for all your help. I hope this helps us.”
“It will Quinn. Have a little faith.”
“You entered all our signatures?”
“Yeah. All of them.”
Alt-Quinn pressed the timer and a vortex opened. Max had gestured for
Rembrandt to precede him. Alt-Quinn and Alt-Bennish jumped together
laughing the whole way. “I think we should have told them.” Lyrrala seemed
about to say more, but stopped herself. Taking John’s hand they walked
back to the cabin.
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