[ Earth 414 ]
Paradise Regained

Story - Chaser9
Premise - Propyromania

Maggie Beckett heard the hybrids approaching. She knew it was only a matter of time before they would arrive. The timers weren’t in synchronicity. Rickman’s timer would hit zero first and Quinn’s a few minutes later. The others were going home. They finally had Rickman’s timer and with it the coordinates to Earth Prime. Maggie held the tears in check as she bid farewell to the others.

Quinn opened the swirling red vortex. The sounds of the approaching hybrids grew louder. He looked to Wade and Rembrandt and spoke, “Go on you two.”

Rembrandt spoke, “We’re going together Q-Ball.”

Wade chimed in, “That’s right. We go together.”

“I just want a minute alone with Maggie. I’ll be right behind you.”

Wade shook her head and looked to Rembrandt. They linked hands, looked to Quinn and then to Maggie. Wade spoke, “Goodbye Maggie, I hope you find someplace you can call home someday.” Rembrandt added, “Who knows girl, maybe we’ll meet again someday.”

“Thanks you two, now get going.” Maggie smiled at her two friends as they dove into the vortex. The approaching sounds were getting louder as Quinn began to speak. “There’s a part of me that wants to stay with you.” Maggie replied, “There’s a part of me that wants to convince you to.” Quinn looked deep into Maggie’s eyes, he drew closer to her, but just as he was about to kiss her he heard the roar as the feral Rickman ran screaming towards them. Behind him were several hybrids.

Quinn shouted, “I won’t leave you Maggie!”

Maggie smiled, “I know Quinn. Just remember, I love you.” Quinn’s expression turned puzzled. It all happened so suddenly. Rickman was closing in on them. Maggie turned and shoved Quinn into the wormhole. As he passed through the barrier all he could do was scream, “Maggie!”

Maggie dodged Rickman and he leapt for the gate. He had almost reached the opening as it collapsed, leaving Rickman to tumble over the cliff to his death.

The hybrids were confused. Some looked over the cliff at their fallen master. Others turned their attention towards Maggie, and for the first time in a long time, Maggie used her head. She ran.

She could hear them behind her, but she knew she couldn’t stop. She heard a beeping noise coming from her pocket. She pulled out the Egyptian timer, it read zero. She pushed a button and the glowing blue vortex she had grown accustomed to sliding in appeared. As she dove into the “mouth” of the vortex, one thought went through her mind, “Home. Someplace I can call home.” And the thought of finally being able to call someplace “home” made Maggie Beckett smile.


The swirling red vortex opened and Rembrandt and Wade were thrown to the hard ground. Rembrandt helped Wade off of the ground and the two looked back to the wormhole.

“Where is he?” Wade asked.

Rembrandt was silent. He wanted to believe that Quinn would come barreling out of the vortex at any given moment, but there was a part of him that realized that Quinn might have decided to stay behind. He had seen the attraction between Maggie and Quinn. He just had to ask himself, what was more important, home or Maggie?

Quinn came flying out of the wormhole still screaming Maggie’s name. He picked himself off the ground and spoke, “Damn it!”

“What happened Quinn?” Wade asked.

“Rickman and the hybrids showed up . . . Maggie shoved me into the vortex. I . . don’t know if she made it.” Quinn’s voice dropped off and he sank his head.

“I know it doesn’t help right now Q-Ball, but we’re home.”

Quinn spoke, “Yeah, home.”

“Uhm guys . . . you might want to take a look at this.” Wade said.

Quinn and Rembrandt turned their attention to a flag hanging from a building. It was divided into two sections. One side was blue, the other white. In the center was a large red maple leaf.

Wade picked up a newspaper and spoke. Her voice was soft. “San Francisco, California, Canada.”

Rembrandt bit his lip and held back the tears. It wasn’t home.

Quinn shook his head and raised Rickman’s timer. He looked at the coordinates. They were identical to the ones he had stored. It was the same world he and Maggie had visited before . . . he had been fooled again. It wasn’t home. He looked at the readout and spoke. “We’ve got about three days here. Let’s go find a place to stay.”

The three sliders began their walk. No words were exchanged. No one knew what to say. One day they would find home . . . they had to.

The Adventure Continues
 [ Otherworlds ]