Earth 500
Tales of the Fifth Slider

Otherworlds Earth 500

Silent Voices (FS-1)
by David Pesqueira


PART ZERO

"Silent Voices" (in part or whole) can be freely distributed with the condition that no part of the text is modified, and this notice is included with all copies. It cannot be sold or translated into any other form without written permission from the author. Some characters and elements of this story are the property of St. Clare Entertainment, used without authorization. The author receives no compensation from the distribution of this work. Any comments or criticism would be welcome at epesquei@ix.netcom.com.

NOTE: This story is part of a chronological serial entitled "The Fifth Slider." You can participate to write for the serial, but you have to send me an e-mail first before joining.

The reason I wanted to do this is that because I want to see a different character being a part of Sliders. I won't hint now but I'll let you know that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" had a character named Geordi who is different because he is blind, but using a visor. I intend to do the same (but the person is not blind but you'll find out when the first part is posted.)

Enough about that now. I hope you enjoy it.



PART ONE

There was a rushing sound coming from nowhere. Then a blue wormhole began to form in the morning sky. As the wormhole reached its maximum size, it spat out the Sliders. They landed on the ground covered with long grass, which was more comfortable than the previous landings they experienced before. Arturo sat up with a grin on his face. "Finally, we have landed on soft ground. I feel no such pain in my body, which is relieving for me." he said gleefully.

"Good for you, Professor," Quinn said sarcastically, "But this landing leaves us a lot of grass stains."

The professor didn't take the remark seriously and shrugged it off. He looked at his suit and wiped the wet grass stains with his hands. Professor Arturo was in great mood because he despised painful landings they always experienced. He had suffered minor injuries from landing on hard ground and grew weary of it. This time the professor didn't complain about how painful the landing was.

Wade looked around the landscape as she strolled downhill. There was grass everywhere. No buildings. No suburbs. No roads. And no sounds. That made her queasy because they had slid to a world which was so quiet and it happened after the Kromagg invasion of that world. She thought the Kromaggs might also have invaded this world and she hated to encounter them again. But there seems to be no signs of civilizations on this world and maybe the Kromaggs had skipped this world. Wade suspected they weren't in San Francisco but somewhere in the Midwestern states because she studied the landscape. She suspected that they were in the Sandhills in western Nebraska. "Hey guys," Wade called the others. "I don't think we're in San Francisco."

All of a sudden, Arturo's relieved grin turned in a upsetting frown. He put his arms behind his back and stated, "That's absurd, Miss Welles."

"But take a look around! There are no mountains and no valleys in sight. This might be the plains. Or the Sandhills? It's possible that we are somewhere in the Midwest."

"Are you suggesting that we landed in the Sandhills in Nebraska?" Arturo shook his head and took a deep sigh. "I grow tiresome of you babbling about the impossible and absurdities. We are nowhere near Nebraska. We are still in San Francisco. Perhaps civilization never took place on this world, but I assure you that we are in San Francisco, California."

"Whaddaya mean, Wade? Are you sayin' that we ain't in San Francisco?" Rembrandt asked. "Are you sayin' that we are in Nebraska?"

"I don't know. But this looks like it." Wade replied.

"I better check this out, man." Rembrandt said, looking at the peak of the hills. "I don't think we're in Nebraska or the plains." He began to walk uphill and reached the top of the hill. Rembrandt looked around and got a glimpse of the town on the other side of the hill. He also got a glimpse of the sea at the end of the horizon. Rembrandt looked down at the others and grinned.

"What's on the other side?" Quinn asked.

"Wade's right. We ain't in San Francisco." Rembrandt said, still grinning.

"What?" Quinn started to walk uphill and got a glimpse of the town. He did not turn around. Instead, he began to snicker.

"That's impossible!" the professor bellowed. "How can we be in Nebraska?"

"We ain't in Nebraska either, prof."

Wade reached the top of the hill and saw the town too. She knew she was right. Half-right, actually. Wade turned around and smiled at the professor. "Yeah. We aren't in San Francisco or the Sandhills."

Quinn finally turned around and looked at the dumbfounded Arturo. "In fact, we're in the town of Fremont, California."

"FREMONT? But how?"

Quinn's grin disappeared, replaced with the expression of confusion. "Yeah. Good question. Mmm..."

Arturo caught up with the others at the top and took a look at the town. "Perhaps the geography of this earth is slightly different than ours."

Then it struck Quinn's mind. "That's it. I think I know why we're in Fremont instead of San Francisco."

The professor glanced at Quinn. "How do you know that, Mr. Mallory?"

"Well, did you remember what happened in the last world we were in?"

Now Arturo began to realize why. "You mean..."

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. We were walking through the endless forests 'til we arrived in the city. So maybe the San Francisco of that world might be settled in the land where Fremont is in our world."

"So that explains why things looked different on that world." Rembrandt said.

"Now I know why the Golden Gate wasn't there." Quinn added.

"But there is another issue we have to be concerned about," Wade said. "Have you noticed the silence of this world?"

Rembrandt suddenly remembered the similar silence and gulped. "Oh, man. Not the Kromaggs."

Quinn shook his head. "Nah. No need to worry about the Kromaggs."

"What do you mean, Quinn?" Wade asked.

"His theory is correct. If the Kromaggs invaded this world, it would not look like this." Arturo said, pointing at the streets of Fremont. There are a few cars driving on the roads.

Wade let out a deep sigh. "Thank goodness. That's a relief." But she still felt confused. "But why the silence?"

"What do you mean?" Quinn asked.

"I mean, we usually hear noises caused by people. But there I hear nothing but the noises from cars and animals."

Quinn focused on listening anything that comes to his ears. No voices came. Only cars growling, electricity humming and dogs barking. Then he looked at Wade. "That's weird."

Arturo put his arm around Wade. "It seems that we have landed into a world where there are no human voices around. Maybe this is Silent World. Rather refreshing, if you ask me. It is peaceful to hear no such racket." Then he began to smile. "Oh, the sil--"

The professor was interrupted by new voices coming from the small campus downhill. Then he sighed. "Oh, perhaps I'm wrong. The silence is refreshing, though."

"At least we didn't slide to a world where there was no such thing as music. Now, that would be a nightmare." Rembrandt said.

"Quiet." Wade said. She was eavesdropping on the voices from the campus and seemed to be fascinated by it. "Listen to this."

The others began to focus on the voices. They didn't know why it was so fascinating to Wade. But they have to find out why.

"Good morning," a female voice began to speak. "We're proud to announce that the Hearing Awareness Week are starting today. People from other schools will come to our event to learn how unique our Hearing Culture is!"

Then there were cheers.

"Thank you. The NAH will host the Hearing Awareness Week over at San Francisco. That means the public would learn about the hearing communities in the state of California."

Arturo was frowning. "Miss Welles, what's so unique about--"

"Quiet!" Quinn said. He was becoming fascinated about the strange announcement. "I want to hear this!"

"I'd like to congratulate the football team of CS--" Then there was a static.

"CS-what?" Rembrandt said.

"I don't know." Wade shrugged.

"Nonsense! What's so unique about the hearing culture? They are just common people like us!" Arturo bellowed. "It's absurd! Only the cultures of foreign countries are unique in their own ways! But not the culture of San Francisco or any American city!"

"Maybe Fremont is a small country." Wade suggested.

"Very unlikely, Miss Welles."

"Maybe we'd better figure this out." Quinn said. "And find out why is a big deal about our culture here."

"Good idea, Mr. Mallory." Arturo said.

"Wait. Listen for a moment."

Arturo groaned. "Now why do you want us to--"

"Oh, I'm sorry. The Hearing Awareness will start today at 9:00 in the morning." the female voice added.

"What time is it?" Rembrandt asked.

"7:25 AM. Oh I almost forgot." Quinn took the timer out of his pocket and looked at the indicator. "We're here for two weeks tops. Plenty of time to find out."

"So what will we do in the meanwhile?" Wade said.

"What about getting something to eat?" Arturo suggested. "I'm starving."

"Me too. Let's go out to eat." Quinn said. They began to walk down the other side of the hill.


PART TWO

The Sliders were standing on the curb of Gallaudet Street. Breakfast had been frustrating for them because every employees were deaf. Fortunately, Wade knew how to communicate with deaf people and ordered what they wanted.

"It's bizarre that every worker in that restaurant are all deaf and no normal people?" Rembrandt said.

"Maybe it's a restaurant for the deaf." Quinn told him with a shrug. "I guess."

They walked across the street toward the small campus where the sounds occurred earlier in the morning when they were in the hills. They were confused because they knew that the hearing culture wasn't unique but common. The quartet wanted to investigate what makes the average American culture so unique.

As they descended to the campus, they saw many buses parked in the campus parking lot. There were people waiting inside and none of them were using their voices. Instead they used their hands, just like the employees at the restaurant.

"What?" Quinn said in confusion. "Why didn't they use their voices, since they are from other schools?"

Rembrandt shrugged. "I dunno, Q-ball."

"Quinn?" Wade called.

Quinn turned to her and nodded. "Yeah?"

"I recognize this place. My high school football and basketball teams came here to compete against them."

"Oh? And what is the name of this 'school'?" Professor Arturo asked.

"California School for the Deaf, Fremont." Wade replied. "It's a school for the deaf."

Quinn looked around the campus and studying the buildings in his mind. Then he saw the gym. It came back to him. "Oh, yeah. I remember."

"Well, Mr. Mallory, since you two recognize the this as a school for the deaf, why is there speakers on this campus?"

"Huh?" Wade said.

The professor pointed at the speakers which were attached to the poles. "There."

"What is going on here?" Rembrandt asked. He was getting uneasy.

Quinn and Wade looked at the speakers. Then Quinn glanced at the professor. "So what about it?"

"Deaf people don't need them to know what's happening."

"Oh, it's nothing. The people who are not deaf come here to listen to what the deaf are saying." Wade said. "They usually do that. I have seen them before when I was in high school."

"Same here." Quinn said.

"Oh well. Maybe it's my imagination. I could swear that this world is not a normal world but a world of the deaf." Arturo shrugged. "It's just a ridiculous idea."

"That's right. It's ridiculous." Wade mocked him. "In fact, the population of the deaf of this world is dominant is absurd. This is a deaf school. Maybe the kids from the buses are just waiting for school to start today."

"This late?" Quinn asked.

"They say it's a Hearing Awareness Week, whatever that is. But I think it might be just a simulation."

"Oh, here they come." Rembrandt called the others. Then he looked at his watch. "It's almost 9:00."


Billy Wilkinson had been peeking through the window in the classroom. He just saw the four unknown persons wandering around the campus. He thought maybe they came here to witness the events of the Hearing Awareness Week which is starting at 9:00 today. Billy and some of the students at Fremont always liked to fool gullible people that it is a Deaf Awareness Day and they fell for it every time. He hoped that the four would be as gullible as the others they fooled at the 1995 Hearing Awareness Week.

"Can I get your attention, please?" the teacher, Mr. Hanson said. All of the students in the classroom glanced at him. Then Mr. Hanson smiled at them. "The Hearing Awareness is starting now. Please be on your best behavior because we don't want the public to think that the hearing are immature and unrespectful. Any persons who attempt to do that will be punished with 30 minutes of detention."

Some of the students gulped. Except Billy and his friends.

"Okay. Remember, you're in high school and should know to behave yourself. Now let's go outside and prove that we're not handicapped and can do anything like the normal deaf person does!"

The students rushed through the door. But Billy and his friends are walking calmly with silly grins on their faces. Mr. Hanson did not see their grins because he was observing the four unknown people standing outside.

As they stepped out of the classroom, they began to snicker. "Hey guys, know what - ha ha ha - to do today?" Billy said, beginning to laugh softly.

"Yeah, Billy. Ha ha ha. Fool the idiots that this is a Deaf Awareness Week." Jeff Tiller snickered quietly.

"Promise to do that, Frank, Steve, Jeremy, Kevin and Luis?" Billy spoke to the five other boys. They all nodded and laughed quietly. "Okay, let's fool--"

"Hey, Billy. Whazzup?" Michael asked. He didn't know what they were talking about. Michael was their friend but he never did anything daring, like fooling gullible people.

"Hey Mike. Just fine, man." Billy said. "We were just talking about pulling a joke on the public."

"A joke?" Michael asked dumbly.

"Yeah. Remember last year?"

Michael rolled his eyes. "Oh that. Just be careful not to get in deep trouble because I don't want to blame an innocent kid like I did last year. I promised my girlfriend I'll ever not do that again."

"Traitor." Luis said.

"No, he's not. He just want to prove to his girlfriend that he is mature enough. But we're lucky we broke up with our girlfriends before this week. If we didn't, we wouldn't have lotta fun fooling these people!" Billy told Luis. Then he glanced at Michael. "Okay. Just keep cool. We'll pick someone to squeal on that jerk Rick."

"Okay, dude. I won't miss your performance at the park today. I hope it'll be hilarious." Michael smiled. He gave them their secret handshake and left the hallway.

Billy turned at Jeff, Frank, Steve, Jeremy, Kevin and Luis. "Ready, guys?"

All six of them cheered and laughed. "Yeah!"

They roamed through the hallway, laughing uncontrollably. There was nobody in the high school building so they didn't get in trouble for running in the hallways.


The quartet were standing in the crowd at the park on campus. The people were both signing and talking. They have no idea what the event is about. Quinn picked up a conversation that the Hearing Awareness Week was just a simulation of what would happen if the deaf population dominated the Earth. He was really confused. Wade, Rembrandt and the professor felt the same way.

A woman dressed in casual clothes came up the podium and smiled at the audience. "Welcome to the Hearing Awareness Day at California School for the--"

"Excuse me, sir?" a man whispered.

The quartet glanced at the man. Then Quinn said, "Yeah?"

"Is this an event of the Deaf Awareness Week?" the man asked.

"I suppose so. I just heard some people saying the 'Hearing Awareness' is just a simulation." Quinn replied with a shrug.

"How dare you call our culture a 'simulation'!" the man said angrily. "You're a Benedict Arnold!"

"What?" Quinn said, puzzled.

But the man stormed away. He mumbled something about assimilation of hearing people who weren't proud to be hearing and wanted to act like a normal deaf person.

"What was that about?" Rembrandt asked.

"I dunno." Quinn said. This is getting too complicated for them. There was no way of knowing what kind of world is this. At first they assumed it was a silent world, then a deaf-populated world, and now a combination of deaf and hearing cultures. They let it go and went along with the crowd.

"--Now let the events begin!" the woman concluded.

"Now we'll never know." Rembrandt grumbled.

"There's one way to find out." Quinn said. "I'll ask around and gather more information about this world."

"Yeah, that's a good idea. We'll go with you." Wade agreed.

They walked through the crowd and bumped into a seventeen-year-old boy who was just laughing. Little do they know that boy was pulling a joke on gullible and unsuspecting people.

"Hey, kid. What's so funny?" Quinn asked.

"Oh, I just saw Harry accidentally spilled soda on the principal." the boy lied. And he did it so well. "Hey, are you from another school?"

Quinn shook his head. "No. I'm a college student who is traveling with my friends. Uh, kid, what is your name?"

"Billy. Billy Wilkinson." the boy replied.

"Listen, Billy. Can you tell us something?"

"Sure. What's the question?"

"What is this event for? We're not so sure what's it about."

"Oh, this is a part of the Deaf Awareness Week." Billy told him.

"But the announcer said it was a Hearing Awareness Week earlier this morning." Wade said.

Billy began to laugh. "Ha ha ha! You believe that? No, it's just a simulation to get the idea what it will be like if the deaf people dominates the world and the hearing population is just a small percentage."

"Oh, that makes everything clear." Arturo sighed with relief. "I thought this world might be populated with deaf people."

That made Billy laugh harder. "Oh, that's just plain silly! Deaf people dominates the world? Impossible!"

Quinn wasn't sure why Billy was laughing hard. But he got along with it. "Yeah. It's silly. So this school is California School for the Deaf, Fremont?"

Billy forced himself not to laugh and calmed down slowly. "That's right, sir. This is CSDF. I'm from Oakland High School."

"So Quinn and I were right." Wade nodded.

"Thanks, pal. You just cleared everything about this city." Quinn patted on Billy's back. "We have to go."

"Yeah. I'm glad I could help." Billy smiled.

The Sliders began to walk out of the crowd. They felt so relieved because the confusion is solved. But Billy started snickering.

"Man, I couldn't believe they fell for it." he said to himself. Then Billy went through the crowd to continue on his joke.

As the Sliders strolled out of the campus, there was the sign of the school campus, but they didn't even glance at it. If they had, they might have gotten confused. The sign said "CSHF - California School for the Hearing, Fremont".


PART THREE

The quartet got off the BART station in San Francisco. But they felt lost and confused again because they have seen the passengers in the subway and none of them were using their voices. Again, they were using their hands.

"This world is weird." Rembrandt mumbled. "I don't know why there are so many deaf people here."

"Maybe they're going to one of the events in San Francisco's Deaf Awareness. But I'm not so sure." Wade said.

"Why is that?" Quinn asked.

"Because I knew about the recent Deaf Awareness events in the past year and none of them were that big."

"What do you mean, big?"

"Mostly, the Deaf Awareness events are small and not generally known. But it seems that it's popular here." Wade told Rembrandt. "But this popular?"

Arturo took a deep breath. "Perhaps the deaf culture is more accepted here and respected as a part of the world culture than in our world. Or perhaps the deaf population is 50% of the general population."

"But it sounds impossible, prof! You said so yourself." Wade reminded him.

"Yeah. But perhaps I'm wrong. I have read articles about Alexander Graham Bell's biography. He believed that the marriage of the two deaf persons might make more of their kind. And the general population supported the theory and prevented the marriages of deaf people for a few decades. Perhaps this world never accepted Alexander Graham Bell's theory and allowed deaf marriages."

"That's right." Wade nodded. "I heard that the deaf didn't like him. Bell also was against sign language. I read that in Deaf Studies when I was in college."

"Yeah. Maybe that's true. But we will find out sooner or later. But now let's grab a taxi to my house." Quinn suggested.

"Your house? Why?" Rembrandt asked.

"Because I wanted to check something. Since this world provides a lot of silence, maybe I got further with my sliding machine. The noises always distracted me and I never focused on the simple elements of sliding."

"If there was no racket back home and you focused on the apparatus, maybe we would be home right now," Arturo said sarcastically. "But here we are, lost in the multiverse."

"Relax, professor. It's not his fault." Wade said. "We will be home someday."

"But when will that happen?" Arturo snapped.

"He got a point there, Wade." Rembrandt said.

Quinn shook his head. "Let's forget it. Now we need to get a taxi."

"Okay with me." Wade shrugged. "You got enough money?"

Quinn nodded. Then he hailed a taxi. The taxi pulled over and they went in and sat down. Quinn leaned over and said, "4591 Blue Jay, please."

The taxi driver didn't understand him. He raised his arms and began to sign. "What did you say? I don't understand you."

"Here we go again." Rembrandt grumbled.

"Let me take care of it, Quinn." Wade said. She turned to the driver and signed. "I'm sorry because we didn't know you were deaf. He said 4591 Blue Jay Street."

The driver smiled. "Okay." Then he stepped on the gas.

"Deaf taxi drivers? That's weird." Quinn said. "I thought they didn't allow them to drive taxis."

"As I said before, Mr. Mallory, this world might accept deaf employees more equally than our world." the professor nodded.

"But I'm not so sure. We have seen too many of them, and it seems as if this was a deaf world. We have seen a few of normal people, but that was at CSDF."

"Yeah. It seems so. Maybe we can get more answers when we go to your house. Maybe your double know more about this world." Wade nodded.

"I hope so. This is getting too complicated." Quinn muttered.


"Uh, tell the driver to stop here. We'll walk from here." Quinn whispered to Wade as they arrived to Blue Jay Street.

Wade nodded and tapped on the taxi driver. "Excuse me?"

The driver stopped the car and turned around. "Yeah, miss?"

"Can we stop from here?" Wade signed.

The driver nodded. "Sure." He looked at the fare. "That would be 4.75."

"4.75, Quinn." Wade said.

Quinn reached for his pocket and pulled his wallet. Then he picked up five dollars and handed the money to the driver. "No change."

"Quinn said keep it."

"Oh, thank you, mister." the driver signed with a smile on his face. The Sliders stepped out of the taxi and started to walk down the sidewalk. Wade looked back at the taxi then glanced at Quinn.

"You know, he's really cooperative. Better than the ones we have back home." Wade smiled.

"Yeah. I noticed." Quinn nodded. "I guess the professor's right. It sure is peaceful here."

"I'm delighted that you agree with me, Mr. Mallory. It is peaceful to my ears. Although the silence occurs more frequently than the noise." the professor said.

As they arrived at the Mallory house, the quartet saw the brown-haired teenager walking through the gate. The teenager was wearing the identical yellow trenchcoat that Quinn supposedly left in one of the worlds they slid to. He was also wearing blue jeans and brown hiking shoes. The boy opened the front door and entered the house as if he lived there.

"Who's that?" Rembrandt asked.

"Maybe it's my double. Or a brother." Quinn replied.

"Well, why not find out?" Wade suggested.

"A good suggestion, Miss Welles. Shall we?" Arturo nodded.

"Okay." Quinn said. They walked across the street toward the Mallory house and went through the gate. Then Quinn turned to the other three. "Uh, can you wait here?"

"Why?" Wade asked.

"Maybe there is another family living there. I don't want to make things more complicated than it is." Quinn told her.

"Okay." Wade shrugged.

Quinn sighed and walked to the front door. Then he began to knock on the door and waited.


David Mallory was sitting in the living room, watching television and drinking diet soda. Then the lamp began to flash on and off, getting David's attention. David looked at the indicator and looked at the door. That's weird, he thought. I never had any visitors since my so-called family deserted me. David went to the door and peeked through the door hole. And he was shocked.

Quinn? Can it be his brother? David wondered. He never knew that Quinn would come back but wondered why did he came here. It seemed to David that Quinn might pick him up and take him on the dimension-jumping journey with the family. So he have to find out about that. David took a deep breath and opened the door.

Quinn glanced at him and smiled. "Hey."

"Quinn? Is it really you?" David signed.

"What?" Quinn said. He didn't understand what David just said. But Wade did. She walked through the fence and approached Quinn and David.

"Excuse me, Quinn. I can interpret for you." Wade said. Then she began to sign to David. "Can you repeat, please?"

"Why?" David asked. "Quinn know how to sign."

Wade shook her head. "No, he doesn't."

"Is this a joke?"

"No. It's not a joke. You see, he's not your Quinn."

"Why?"

"You see, we're not from this world. We're from a parallel world far away from here." Wade explained.

David sighed. So it's not his brother, after all. David didn't expect his Quinn would come here like that because he knew he never do that. In fact, the Mallorys of this world treated David like he was a lowlife. "Oh, I understand."

"You do? Thank goodness." Wade smiled. "By the way, who lives here?"

"The Mallorys." David answered. "But they don't live here anymore. I live here right now."

"What did he say?" Quinn asked with curiosity.

"He said the Mallorys used to live here but not anymore." Wade told him.

"Really? Then who?"

"Him."

Quinn glanced at David. "Him? But who takes care of him?"

"I don't know." Wade shrugged. Then she turned to David. "What's your name?"

"David. David Mallory."

"David Mallory?" Wade said out loud. Rembrandt and the professor heard her and rushed toward them.

"He's my brother?" Quinn mumbled. "But why weren't my parents here?"

"It's peculiar that your family leaves this fellow stranded on this silent world?" the professor said to Quinn.

Quinn nodded. "I don't know. But they would never do a thing like that."

David didn't know what they were babbling about. So he tapped on Wade.

"Uh, yeah?" Wade glanced at the teenager.

"Could you tell me what they are talking about?"

"Well, David, they're talking about your family." Wade told him.

"My family?!?" David snapped. "I don't want to hear about my dysfunctional family!"

Wade was surprised. He also got the attention of the others. Then Wade tried to apologize. "Oh, I didn't mean to-"

"It's all right. Just tell them to come in." David signed. Then he went back in the house.

"Okay." Wade turned to the three men. "He told me to tell you to come in."

"I have to say that your brother's hospitality is appreciated." Arturo smiled. Then the professor went in, followed by Rembrandt.

"Uh, thanks." Quinn glanced at Wade. "What was that about?"

Wade shook her head. "I don't know. But it seems that your family on this world might have mistreated him."

Quinn looked up at the sky and sighed. "Oh, I hope that I would not make things worse for him."

"Well, let's find out." Wade smiled. Quinn put his arm around her and walked into the house. Then he slammed the door. The slam was quite audible. Then there was a sonic boom caused by an airplane overhead. The sounds that were less distracting on their world were very audible here. Very audible.


PART FOUR

David had explained everything about the particular world the Sliders were in and the absence of the Mallory family. This world wasn't normal after all. It was a deaf world, just like Arturo assumed. The Sliders were upset about the misinformation a teenage boy had given them in Fremont. They found out that the campus wasn't a school for the deaf, it was a school for the hearing. In fact, the name of the school was CSHF, California School for the Hearing, Fremont. David also told the Sliders that the general population consists eighty percent of deaf people and there was a small percentage of hearing people in this world. But the weirdest of all was discovered in history books because the entire historical figures were all deaf. It seemed that a deaf person was regarded as an average person on this world, while a hearing person was regarded as a handicap. American Sign Language was an official language of the United States. But there is a small detail that differs from the Sliders' world and this world was that the Mallory family was a hearing family, except David. Tragically, the Mallorys aren't alike in both worlds because they were a dysfunctional family. Quinn discovered that his double's character was somewhat dark, a far cry from his good-natured character. He found that his double used David to create sliding so he can slide off from the deaf world with Mom and Dad to find a hearing world, and that was hard for Quinn to believe. But Quinn was impressed that David also shared the knowledge of quantum physics but never experienced one single slide. Right now Quinn felt sympathetic for the brother he never had. He actually was thinking about taking David along the trip but he knew the professor would object to the idea. So Quinn kept silent about it.

"So, that's why I'm alone in the house." David concluded as Wade voiced for him.

"Man, that's terrible." Rembrandt shook his head. "I've never heard of a family deserting one member for any reasons."

"I can't believe they did that to you. It's...it's so tragic." Quinn said, his voice breaking up.

"Oh, it's all right. You're not the same." David signed, trying to give Quinn some relief.

"But my family would never do that. Are you feeling okay after these two months?"

"Well, Quinn, I'm feeling a little depressed but I managed to survive all by myself by working full-time and going to night school."

Quinn shook his head. "It's not right. You're sixteen. All the pressure you're facing. It's just not right."

"Yeah, it's tough." David nodded. "The first time I found my family had deserted me, I thought I can handle by living alone. But now..."

Rembrandt gently patted on David's back. "It's all right, man. We're here now and maybe we can help you."

Quinn looked at his brother. He was thinking about asking David to slide with them. But he kept it to himself.

Wade got up and looked through the window. She could see the neighbors signing with their hands as they walk. "It's amazing. Deaf people is the reason why this world is peacefully silent."

Arturo smiled and nodded. "Yes, Miss Welles. It's so refreshing. History of this world is quite identical to our world but all the historical figures were deaf. I find that intriguing."

David glanced at Wade. "Huh? What did he say?"

Wade turned to David. She realized that she had stopped interpreting. "Oh, sorry. The professor said this world is peaceful because it is silent. He also said that our history is exactly the same but all of the people in it were deaf."

David shrugged as if it wasn't important. "Yeah? What's the big deal?"

"Mr. Mallory..."

Quinn glanced at the professor. "Yeah?"

"Not you. I meant David."

"Oh, sorry. I thought you were talking to me." Quinn said.

"Um, David, deaf people are regarded as handicapped on our world, just as hearing people are regarded here. So that's why it's different to us than it is to you." Arturo told him. "In our world, CSHF was CSDF. They used a special way of communication by using their hands just as we use audio to communicate with our kind."

"Audio? What's that?"

"It's a form of communication which you cannot hear but we can."

"Oh yeah!" David nodded. "It's called American Voice Language. Hearing people use that to talk with each other. So it's called audio on your world?"

"American Voice Language? On our world, your language is called American Sign Language. Weird." Wade signed.

"Sign Language? We call it 'fingerhand' here. This is fascinating. A world where hearing people are dominant and people like us are regarded as handicapped or 'hearing-disabled'."

"Uh, it's 'hearing-impaired'." Wade corrected him. "But they like to be called 'deaf'."

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. It's fascinating. I wish that you can come with..." Then Quinn realized what he was saying. He could see Arturo starting to object. "...but we can't. Because we're trying to find a way back to our world."

"Wait a minute. You guys are lost?"

All four of them nodded.

"Did you know that you can't slide -- oh, that already happened. I'm sorry to hear that."

"Yeah." Quinn sighed. "But we hope to find it."

Then David was starting to think about joining them on their journey. Maybe it would help him feel better since his own family deserted him. But Quinn said he can't do that. But maybe...maybe later. "Hey, how long are you guys staying?"

"Two weeks." Wade replied.

Plenty of time, David thought. Then he looked at his watch. "It's almost 5:00. You guys hungry?"

"Yeah, we're starving." Rembrandt nodded. "We haven't gotten a bite since this morning."

"Okay. Want to grab a couple of hamburgers? Or order a pizza?" David asked.

"Pizza sounds good." Quinn shrugged.

David smiled. "Ok. I'll order pizza. You guys go ahead and chat."

"How can you...oh, never mind." Rembrandt said. David left the living room and walked into the kitchen.

Professor Arturo got up and sighed. "Well, I have to go outside to get fresh air. Call me when the food arrives." he said.

"Sure thing, professor." Quinn nodded.

Arturo went in the backyard and took a deep breath. Quinn turned to Wade and Rembrandt, who were just relaxing. Then it came to him that he can discuss about taking David along without the professor's presence in the room. Quinn didn't realize that Wade was looking at him.

"Quinn? What are you thinking about?" Wade asked.

"What? Oh. I was just thinking about David. I feel sorry for him. I mean, he's all alone in this world without a family. David's only 16 and he can't take care of himself that long. So I'm thinking about taking him along." Quinn said.

"What?" Wade gasped. "But the professor will not let you do that!"

"Look, Wade. I agree with Q-Ball. It's a good idea that we take him along." Rembrandt said. "It will be better if David come with us because his own family deserted him."

"So what do you think, Wade?" Quinn asked.

Wade took a deep sigh. "Well, I admit that I agree with you guys. I would do the same thing if I were you, Quinn. But what about your relatives on this world? Maybe they can take him."

"Hey, that's a good idea. I'll give them a call." Quinn got up and picked up the glass of diet cola. "I think the phone book's in my parents' room. But I can't believe my double did that." Then he went upstairs.


Meanwhile at the Golden Gate Park, there was a rushing sound coming from nowhere. Then a blue wormhole opened above the tree. Quinn Mallory was the first one to slide out. He was accompanied by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Mallory. Unfortunately, they landed on hard ground with a thin layer of grass but they managed to get themselves on their feet. Quinn began to focus on his ears. Nothing came to him. Then he realized that they slid into their home world, the Deaf World. "Oh, no. We're back to where we started."

"Deaf world?" Mike Mallory asked.

Quinn nodded. Then he thought of something. "Hey, I wonder if David's still staying at our house. Maybe we can go there and stay for a while until we slide again."

Mrs. Mallory frowned at her son. "That was a terrible thing to do. You knew that David knows more about your field than you did. This time we're taking him along."

"No, mom. We don't want him with us." Quinn shook his head. "Because he's deaf. David has no respect for hearing people."

"You know that's not true..."

"WHO CARES?!?" Quinn bellowed. "I just don't want him with us! Right, dad?"

Mike Mallory looked up at his son. "Yep. We don't want him, dear."

"But why?" Mrs. Mallory asked, tears began to come out of her eyes.

"We just don't want him!" Mike declared. "Now let's go home."

Mrs. Mallory fell silent. Then they began to walk on their way home.


Back at the Mallory house, the quintet were eating pizza in the dining room. David never felt better in months because he wasn't alone anymore. He was with the Sliders. David was still thinking about going with them to find their world, but he kept it all bottled up. Quinn was thinking about asking David to join them. In fact, Quinn always wanted a brother because he was the only child.

All of a sudden there was a knock on the door. Quinn was puzzled. "That's weird. Someone's at the door."

Wade didn't understand what he meant. "What are you talking about, Quinn?"

Quinn looked at the four of them. "Uh, after -- oh Wade you interpret for David -- um, after David ordered pizza, I looked through the address book and called all of them but no one answered."

"What?" David signed in surprised motion. "You mean they might have slid too?"

Quinn shrugged. "Maybe they did or maybe not."

"Well, find out who it is." Wade said.

Quinn sighed and went to the front door. He opened it and saw his double standing outside. Anger rushed in his blood. "YOU?!?"

Dysfunctional Quinn looked up and saw that it was his double. "You? What are you doing here? This is our world!"

"Yeah? Then why did you leave him?"

"You didn't answer my question first." the dysfunctional Quinn snapped.

Quinn could notice that there were two persons behind his double. They were looking at him and they seemed surprised.

"Who is it, Quinn?" Wade said as she approached him. Then she saw his double and his parents standing outside. "Oh my god."

Then the professor came in, followed by Rembrandt and David. They saw the dysfunctional Mallorys and looked at them in disgust.


PART FIVE

Dysfunctional Quinn was still standing on the porch with his parents. He was facing his double. Both of them looked like they were going to fight. Dysfunctional Quinn's face was full of anger and hate. "You haven't answered my question yet." he said angrily. But Quinn didn't answer. That made Dysfunctional Quinn impatient. "Well, Quinn?"

"Because you guys deserted me, Quinn. And I won't forgive you for it."

David signed angrily. "You used me to create a sliding machine because you want--"

"Shut up, David! You are nothing." Dysfunctional Quinn signed, his eyes glaring coldly at his deaf brother.

Wade understood what he said. And it made her angry. "How could you talk to your own brother like that? Why?" She started to clinch her fists behind her back.

"Who the hell are you?" Dysfunctional Quinn growled.

"Hey! Don't talk like that to her!" Quinn shouted. "Why did you use your own brother to get out of this world?"

"None of your damn business, Quinn." Dysfunctional Quinn hissed. "And what are you doing here?!?"

"What we're doing here is none of your business, you scoundrel." Professor Arturo said in disgust. He put his arm around the deaf teenager. "How could you do that to this bright young man?"

"Because he's nothing." Dysfunctional Quinn replied coldly.

Quinn shook his head. "What dark side did you come from? I would never do that to my brother. Not ever."

"You will never do that because you are from a hearing world. But I was born here and I have my reasons. You can't tell me what to do because it's my decision. And we don't love him as a family." Dysfunctional Quinn said.

"No, you're wrong. You are evil and I shudder to think that we are the same person. If I was born here, I wouldn't do the same thing you did. I would take my brother along with me to explore new worlds. You just use sliding to find another world to live in."

"That's it." Dysfunctional Quinn snapped. He grabbed Quinn and threw him to the floor. Then Dysfunctional Quinn put his hands around Quinn's neck and began to choke him. "You're going to be sorry that you came."

"No!" David yelled. He jumped on Dysfunctional Quinn and struggled to free Quinn. "Let go! Let go of my brother!"

Rembrandt looked at Wade and the professor. Then he leaned down and put David away from Dysfunctional Quinn. "Stay here, man. I'll take care of it."

"Just don't let him kill Quinn!" David signed quickly. He was breathing heavily. David knew that if Quinn dies, he will be stuck here forever. David was determined not to let the chance be taken away by his ill-behaved brother.

Rembrandt grabbed Dysfunctional Quinn by the arm and twisted it. Dysfunctional Quinn started to yell in pain as Rembrandt continued to twist his arm. "I won't stop unless you let go of him." Rembrandt shouted in Dysfunctional Quinn's ears.

"Ok! Ok!" Dysfunctional Quinn cried, and let go of Quinn. Then Mike Mallory pulled his dysfunctional son up to his feet.

Rembrandt looked down at Quinn, who was gasping for air. "You okay, Q-Ball?"

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. I'm all right." Then he struggled to get up and leaned on the hinge of the door. "Just let me get some air."

David shook his head. "Why did you come here since you, Mom and Dad deserted me?"

Dysfunctional Quinn growled at David. "Because we slid into this world! We need a place to stay here until we slide again. And you're not coming with us." he signed coldly.

"I knew it." David rolled his eyes in frustration. "You never came here to pick me up. You just came here to stay until you guys slide again."

"So what?" Dysfunctional Quinn shrugged. He glanced at his double who was blocking the doorway. "Get out of my way, you nerd."

But Quinn didn't listen to him. Dysfunctional Quinn shoved him out of the way and went in the kitchen. Then Mr. and Mrs. Mallory went in the house as the Sliders looked at them in disgust. Mrs. Mallory took a quick glance at David. Then she mouthed, "I'm so sorry, honey."

David knew what she said. But he looked down as they went upstairs. Then Wade tapped on his shoulder.

"You okay, David?" Wade asked.

David nodded. "Yeah. I just want to get out of here."

"Quinn! Tell them to get out of the house right now!" Mike Mallory shouted from upstairs. "Tell David to stay here because we need to talk to him."

"Uh-oh." Rembrandt said.

"What?" David asked.

Dysfunctional Quinn came back into the doorway. He was smirking. "You heard him. Get out of the house now. Or I'll call the police."

Quinn squinted at his double. "Yeah. I hope we won't see you again." Then he looked at David. "Come on, let's go."

"Hey, he stays." Dysfunctional Quinn signed as he spoke to Quinn. "You four go. But he stays here."

David shook his head. "No way."

"Yes, David. Stay or you'll be in deep trouble." Dysfunctional Quinn signed coldly.

"What did he say?" Quinn whispered to Wade.

"He said he must stay or he'll be in deep trouble." Wade whispered back.

David shrugged. "What trouble? You and Dad just want to hurt me."

"C'mon, let's go." Rembrandt said.

"No." Dysfunctional Quinn said in a stern voice. "You take him, and we will call the police that you kidnapped him."

"Whatever you say, Quinn. But I won't listen to you." David signed. His anger was becoming very worse. He felt like he was making a final decision about his life.

Dysfunctional Quinn grabbed David's arm and squeezed it. "Stay."

Quinn pulled David away from him. "Let him go."

Dysfunctional Quinn growled at his double. "None of your business."

"No. It's our business." Quinn replied.

"If you go, David," Dysfunctional Quinn signed. "You will be no longer a member of the Mallory family."

"I'll do that." David signed. But inside he felt like crying. David tried to keep back his tears and looked at the Sliders. "Let's go."

"I'm glad you decided to come with us, David." Professor Arturo said as Wade interpreted for David. "We will help you go through this."

Rembrandt glanced at Quinn. Then he nodded. Quinn knew what he meant and nodded back.

"You'll be sorry, David." Dysfunctional Quinn told him.

David shrugged, showing that he doesn't care. Quinn put his arms around the brother he never had and they walked out of the doorway. Rembrandt gnarled at Dysfunctional Quinn as he closed the front door.

David took a deep breath and looked at Wade. "So where are we going?"

"To the Dominion Hotel." Wade told him.

All of a sudden, David began to cry.


Dysfunctional Quinn just stood there, looking blankly at the door. Mike Mallory went downstairs and saw him. Then he walked toward his son. "Hey, Quinn. Where's David?"

"He's gone." Dysfunctional Quinn said blankly.

"What? He went with them?" Mike shouted. "Did you tell him to stay here?"

"I tried. But he wouldn't listen."

"Oh, he won't listen, eh? Well, he'll be sorry that he decided to go with them. In fact, he'll be in big trouble!" Mike said angrily.

"Yeah." Dysfunctional Quinn nodded. "I told him that."

"Well, I'm going to call the police and report the four for kidnapping. Then I'll send David to juvenile detention center and keep him there. Do you know where they will be going?"

"My guess will be a motel or a hotel. Dominion, Hilton, Best Western, whatever."

"Ok. I'll try." Mike nodded. He went in the kitchen and turned on the device that looked like a small television with phone lines. A police officer came on the screen. Then Mike connected the keyboard to the device and typed, "I'd like to report a kidnapping..."


PART SIX

David Mallory was staying with the Sliders at the Dominion Hotel in the city of San Francisco. It had been a day since they left the Mallory house. David felt hurt because Dysfunctional Quinn said David will be no longer a member of the Mallory family if he leaves with the Sliders. But right now David was lying on the sofa, feeling a lot better because he was with the good Quinn and the others. He wished that he could leave this world because there were too many problems here. David hoped that there will be a time when Quinn asks him to slide with them. And this would happen before the slide.

Rembrandt entered the room with a notepad in his hand. He sat down on the other sofa, took a pen and started to write. David didn't hesitate to look because Rembrandt wanted to talk with him. He read what

Rembrandt just wrote. "Hey, David. You all right? We were worried about you when you began to cry after we left your house."

David sniffed and nodded. Then he took the pen from Rembrandt and jotted down, "Yeah. I'll be ok. For now."

Rembrandt smiled at him. "Yeah."

"But I am still worried what I will do after you guys slide. I don't want to go back to my depressing life again." David added on the paper.

Rembrandt held up his index finger and took the pen back. "Well, actually..."

David raised his eyebrows. Could it be? Are they going to ask me?

"...me, Q-ball and Wade were thinking about taking you with us. Slide with us, I mean."

David's heart was beating fast. Free at last! Now I will be a teenager again! Then he began to nod rapidly as he wrote: "Yeah! Take me with you!"

That made Rembrandt happy. It was the first time he saw a happy expression on David's face. "Yeah. I know you'll be glad to join us. But we have to keep it a secret from the professor."

David looked at Rembrandt and mouthed, "Why?"

"Because he would disagree with us. It always happen every time we want to take someone along for a slide."

David sighed. "Ok. I'll keep it a secret."

Rembrandt patted on David's head. "Good boy."

"By the way," David wrote. "Where are the others?"

"Getting food. They'll be here soon."

David smiled and nodded. Then he crashed on the sofa and went to sleep. Just before Quinn, Wade and the professor came back with food. Quinn put the paper bags down on the table and looked at his brother.

"He's all right, Q-ball." Rembrandt said.

"I'm glad to hear that." Quinn said. He was concerned about David's feelings since his double hurt his brother.

"Well, I'm going down to ask about foster care for David. Want to come with me?" Professor Arturo said, standing by the door. All three of them shook their heads. "Okay, I'll be back in an hour."

"Okay." Quinn nodded. They watched the professor as he exited the room. Then Quinn closed the door firmly and looked at Wade and Rembrandt. "Is there more?"

Rembrandt nodded. "Yep. When I asked him if he want to slide with us, he was overjoyed. David didn't even hesitate to say that he want to join us."

"All right. So it's settled." Quinn smiled. "But there is a problem."

"Yeah." Wade sighed. "The Professor."

Quinn nodded. "We have to convince him to take David with us."

"Hey, Q-ball. Is he going to stay on the next world or..."

Quinn shook his head. "No. We will take him to our world."

"That's good, Q-ball. I think it's great that you want to take the brother you never had to our world. But what about your mother?"

"Oh, she will be happy to take David in." Quinn said. "We will take care of him."


About an hour later, the professor came back with a handful of booklets in his hands. "Hello, I'm back. Here are the information about foster care. We can look through them and decide what is the best one for David." Arturo said. Then he looked at David who was sleeping on the sofa. "Is he feeling better?"

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. He didn't wake up when you were gone."

"That's good. David must be exhausted from all the pressure of living alone." the professor sighed. "I cannot believe that your double said that to him, Quinn."

"Yeah. But I'm not him." Then Quinn looked at Wade. She was hinting about their decision about taking David with them. Quinn could see it in her eyes and nodded. "Uh, professor, we have to talk about my brother..."

All of a sudden the door swung open. The police came in and stormed the room. One of them stepped forward to the sleeping David and shook him. "Get up. We're returning you to your family."

"What?!?" David sat up. "Who called you to come get me?"

"Your father, Mike Mallory. He called us that these four kidnapped you from your home last night." the officer signed. Then he signaled the arresting officers to put handcuffs on the quartet.

"But, officer, I don't want to go back!" David ranted with his hands.

"That's too bad." the officer signed firmly. He turned to the Sliders and looked at them. "Quinn Mallory, Wade Welles, Rembrandt Brown and Maximillian Arturo, you four are under arrest for kidnapping David Mallory."

"We're not kidnapping him! He wanted to come with us!" Quinn cried. But the officer didn't understand him. Then Quinn groaned. "Oh, you can't understand what I'm saying because you can't hear..."

The officer turned to David and took his arm. "And you're coming with me."

"Quinn, the timer." Wade whispered.

Quinn turned his head and saw the timer lying on the television. Think fast, he thought. Then he looked at David who was watching them and began to mouth the words slowly. "Timer. Go get timer. On TV."

David turned to the television and saw the timer. Then he broke away from the officer. "Excuse me. I forgot something." David signed with a frown and picked up the timer.

"Good thinking, my boy." the professor smiled.

The officer walked to David and grabbed him. "We have to go right now."

David rolled his eyes as he was being dragged across the room. He took a glance at the Sliders and signed, "Don't worry. I'll think of something."

"What did he say?" Quinn asked.

"He said don't worry because he'll think something." Wade told him. "I hope we can get out in time before the slide."

"But how?" Rembrandt asked nervously. He was worried that they could miss the slide if they are sentenced to jail. "How?"

Quinn sighed. "I think we should keep hope." Then the officers shoved them out of the hotel room. "Maybe he'll surprise us."


David Mallory stepped out of the patrol car with the officer who took him. He doesn't want to see his family again. But he was being returned by the police. David looked up at the house with a frown. Who will he trust? His relatives? No. Quinn's buddies. Maybe. David knew that they were aware about Dysfunctional Quinn's plan. Most of them disagreed with the idea of deserting David. But who? Wing? Daelin? Or Bennish?

His father walked out of the house and folded his arms. His face was very red, showing the anger towards his young son. David knew what will happen afterwards. But it will be the last time to come here. Thank God for that.

"I brought your son, Mr. Mallory." the officer signed. Then he looked at David. "He's very cooperative."

"Yeah, right." Mike said in disbelief.

Maybe Bennish could help me, David thought. Last time I met him, Bennish was forming an organization to get wrongfully accused people out of jail. The organization was called "Right Justice."

"Go on, David." the officer signed. "You're here with your family."

David just stood on the pavement, looking down. Mike stepped down and put his arms around his son. But David knew his father was pretending in front of the police officer.

"Well, good day." the officer walked back to his car. Mike watched the officer as he drove away, then clenched David's left hand.

"Ow!" David winced.

"You are in trouble, young man." Mike signed angrily. "You shouldn't have gone with them. But you did. We're sending you to juvenile center today."

Dysfunctional Quinn walked into the porch. "I told ya. Now you are no longer with us. You will be on your own from now on."

David narrowed his eyes. "Oh yeah?" He broke away from his dad and took out the timer. "I have the timer with me. I took it when you weren't watching, Quinn."

"Bull. We have it in the house. In the kitchen." Dysfunctional Quinn signed with a smirk on his face.

"Well. That's what you think." David shrugged. "It's a decoy."

Dysfunctional Quinn glared at David. "You're bluffing."

David smiled. "Oh well." Then he slowly began to move away from them.

"Hey, come back here." Mike warned.

David shook his head. "Never. You'll never see me again."

"Don't let him get away. We never know which timer he's holding." Dysfunctional Quinn told his father.

David put the timer back in his yellow jacket. "So long, suckers." Then he began to run away from home.

"COME BACK HERE WITH THE TIMER!" Dysfunctional Quinn yelled. But David kept on running. Finally, I can go back to my normal life. But this time, it will be better, he thought. David didn't look back as he ran because he was on his way to a new life.


PART SEVEN

Quinn, Rembrandt and the professor were in San Francisco county jail for almost a week now. Wade wasn't with them because she was being processed to a jail where they keep women offenders. Quinn was lying on the bunk bed, looking at the ceiling while the professor was looking through the bars. Rembrandt wandered around the cell, feeling pretty queasy. "I know we're going to miss the slide. I know it." he muttered.

"Don't worry about it, Remmy. I'm pretty sure David will come up with a plan." Quinn said, trying to make Rembrandt feel better. "And we have been staying here for a week. So that leaves one more week."

"But I'm not sure. We should have left town for a while. Then the five of us would slide without trouble." Rembrandt said.

Arturo glanced at Rembrandt. Then his eyes narrowed at him. "What do you mean, Mr. Brown? There is only four of us."

"Yeah. But David will join us." Rembrandt replied without thinking. Then he realized what he just said. "Uh-oh."

"What?!?" the professor bellowed. "Who said he could join us?"

"I did." Quinn admitted. "I thought we should take him along."

"Why haven't you informed me about this, Mr. Mallory?" Arturo asked. He was getting upset because he doesn't like to be unaware of their plans.

"Because you would have said no." Rembrandt told him. "Most of the time."

"I would have said yes." the professor said angrily. "But you let me waste my energy by gathering information about foster care."

"I'm sorry, professor. We just assumed that you would disagree." Quinn said.

The professor took a deep breath and shook his head. "No, Mr. Mallory. I don't disagree with you guys. It seems like the right thing to take your brother with us. Perhaps David will stay with your family on the next world."

"Well," Quinn sighed. "We decided to take him to our world. I mean, if we come back home."

The professor frowned. "Mr. Mallory, we cannot do that. It will drain the energy from your sliding equipment."

"Well, I don't think so. Since David created sliding, maybe he can put more power into the timer."

"All right, Mr. Mallory. We can take him. But no more people after that."

"Okay. David will be the only person who can slide with us until we return to our world. But you have to accept the fact that we could rescue people from particular worlds. And they will slide once." Quinn said.

The professor nodded. "It's settled. Now we have to figure out to get out of this situation in case David fails."


"Conrad, there is someone in the other room. He insists on seeing you right now." the woman with blond hair said as she walked into the office. She was dressed in blue, bringing out the color of her eyes.

Bennish looked up at her. "Who?"

"He said you know him. His name is David Mallory."

"David?" Bennish said out loud. He knew that David was living alone since his family deserted him. Bennish tried to talk Dysfunctional Quinn out of it but he can't. After David's family left, Bennish had been checking on him. Sometimes he brought him food and clothing. Sometimes he invited him to his parties. "Send him in, Sandy."

"Okay." Sandy smiled. She opened the door and called David. "Come in, David."

David walked into the office. "Hey, dude."

"Hey, dude." Bennish signed. "What's up? Take a seat."

David sat down on a chair. "You wouldn't believe this. Last week I was watching TV and there was a knock on the door. And guess what? It was Quinn!"

"He came back?" Bennish jumped out of his seat.

"Not exactly. It's his double. A good one, thank God." David told him. "He was sliding with three people. A girl and two men. I told them everything about my brother and my family. They knew that I couldn't survive this long."

"That's true." Bennish nodded.

"So they asked me if I wanted to join. I said yes. Then my brother and my parents came back. Both Quinns got in a fight, then they kicked them out and I went with them. Then the police arrested them for kidnapping, which wasn't true. But my father told them that. One of the officers brought me home but I ran away. I've been avoiding the authorities ever since. I know that you help innocent people get out of jail early and can prove it, so I came here." David took a deep breath. "Can you help us?"

Bennish thought about it for a few minutes. Then he nodded. "Yep. We'll help you. Anything to make you happy. So the four of them were just arrested for kidnapping you?"

David nodded. "Yeah. A week ago."

"So they must be in San Francisco county jail right now." Bennish scratched his goatee. "I'll ask my sources if there is a court date. Hey, how long will they stay on this world?"

David took the timer out of his jacket and looked at the counter. "Five days."

"Plenty of time." Bennish signed. "We have enough time to make a plan to get them out."

"Thanks, man. How can I repay you for this?"

"Your happiness is enough." Bennish smiled. Then something came back to his mind. "Wait a minute. Where are you staying?"

"Nowhere." David shrugged. "I want to keep out of sight of the authorities."

Bennish smiled again. "Well, it's your lucky day. You're staying at Bennish Empire!"

"All right, man." David grinned. "So we're in it together?"

"Yeah. I'll ask my sources to find a court date. It should be soon. Maybe tomorrow. Or a day after that." Bennish turned to the intercom and used his voice. "Hey, Sandy. Could you bring David to the Bennish Empire?"

"Sure." Sandy spoke from the intercom.

"Sandy will bring you to my place. And I guarantee you that you will have a good time until you go with the good Quinn and his friends."

"Yeah." David nodded. "I've never felt this better before they came. Now I know that I'll be all right with them."

"I agree, man." Bennish nodded.

Sandy came in and smiled at David. "Let's go."

"Okay. See ya later, Bennish." David shook hands with the dude.

"Yeah." Bennish smiled. He watched them as they left the office. Then Bennish walked to the computer desk and turned the computer on. The computer was loaded with information of police records, arrests and court dates. It was one of his sources.


The next day, the trio was staying in a jail cell. They were unaware that their court date was today because no one had informed them. The guard entered the hallway and walked toward their cell. Then he looked at them coldly. "It's time, Mr. Mallory, Mr. Brown and Mr. Arturo."

"For what?" the professor asked.

"Your court date. The four of you are on trial today."

The three men looked at each other. Then Quinn looked at the guard. "But we don't have an attorney yet!"

"An attorney will be provided by the department."

"Who?" Quinn asked.

"How can I know? Any attorney who is available."

"Oh man." Rembrandt grumbled. "If they provides one, it won't do us any good."

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. If they find us guilty of kidnapping, we'll be stuck here forever."

"This is not good news." Rembrandt gulped. His forehead was starting to sweat.

"Follow me." the guard said and walked out of the cell. The men followed him through the hallway, their hearts beating faster. They started to wonder if David was going to rescue them out of the situation.


David was watching television in Bennish's living room with the timer in his hands. Bennish was on the phone with someone from his organization. David didn't hear what he was saying but he was looking at the timer. He wondered if they could rescue the Sliders on time because the timer indicated that they only have four days on this world.

"Okay. You got the info on Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo yet?" Bennish spoke into the phone. "We have to know so we can get an attorney from our organization to get them out of trouble."

"Uh, there is a problem." the man from the phone said.

"What do you mean, Jeff?"

"We just found out the court date is today. They probably would be in the courtroom right now."

"What?!?" Bennish gasped. "We have to act fast! Send a van to my house immediately. And call Kelley to come to the courtroom."

"Got it." Jeff said. Then there was a dial tone. Bennish turned to David and began to sign. "Get dressed! It's time!"

David raised his eyebrows. "You mean..."

Bennish nodded frantically. "Yeah, your clothes is in your room!"

David nodded and ran to his room. Bennish ran to the window and peeked through. He was checking for a van he requested. Then someone grabbed his attention. A blonde was strutting on the sidewalk, flirting with every man on the street. "Oh, what a babe!"

David came back, wearing a suit. He saw Bennish peeking through the window. Then David took a deep breath and opened his vocal cord. "Uh, Ben-nish?"

"What?" Bennish said, unorganized. Then he cleared his mind. "Oh yeah. The van's not here yet. But while we wait, let's go outside and talk to this babe."

"What babe?" David signed.

"Take a look." Bennish grinned.

David walked to the window and saw a flirting blonde. Then he rolled his eyes. "Her? She's not even my type!"

"But it's better than waiting for the van." Bennish signed and walked outside. "But since she's not your type, she's mine."

David shook his head and followed him. Then he realized that he left the timer in the living room. "How stupid of me! I left the timer in there."

"Then go get it."

David went back in the house and grabbed the timer. Then he locked the door on his way out. As he came out of the house, David saw Bennish showing off to the blonde.

"Yeah. I single-handled..." He was interrupted by a honk. Bennish turned around and saw a blue van approaching. Then he glanced at the girl. "Uh, I have to go. See you later, beautiful."

"Whatever." the blonde muttered and walked off.

Bennish ran to the van and opened the sliding door. David jumped right in the back seat with the other members of the organization. Then Bennish got in and turned to the driver. "Got my clothes?"

"Yeah." the driver nodded. "It's in the back."

"Good." Bennish smiled. Then he shouted. "Step on it!"

"Got it." the driver stepped on the gas and sped away.


PART EIGHT

The Sliders were sitting in the courtroom, becoming pretty anxious because they were still wondering about Quinn's brother, David. They didn't want to believe the fact that David might not get them out of this situation after all. The attorney who was provided by the police department was sitting with them in the defendant's box. Dysfunctional Quinn and his parents were sitting in the plaintiff's box, along with their lawyer. The bailiff got up and signed. "All rise. Judge Danore is presiding."

All of the people in the courtroom rose to their feet. Judge Danore entered the room, wearing the black robe just like the other judges. He walked to his seat and sat down. Then he signed, "You may be seated."

All of the people sat down. Judge Danore opened the file folder and looked at it. "Quinn Mallory, Wade Welles, Rembrandt Brown and Maximillian Arturo, you are charged for kidnapping a teenager named David Mallory. How do you plead?"

Quinn stood up. "Not guilty."

"What?"

The attorney sat up and signed. "They plead not guilty..."

"Excuse me!" a man came in, flipping his arms. "I'm the defense, your honor!"

"What?" the judge signed angrily.

The Sliders looked at the man with the suitcase. They recognized him. It was Ross J. Kelley. The hotshot lawyer. After seeing Kelley, they started to feel better. Quinn turned to the professor and whispered. "David did it. Thank God."

The professor nodded. "Now we can sit back and relax."

"I'm their attorney." Kelley signed and motioned the other attorney to move over. "My name is Ross J. Kelley."

"Who doesn't?" the judge shrugged. "Now sit down."

Kelley nodded and sat down. He put the suitcase on the table and opened it. Then Kelley pulled out the files with EVIDENCE labeled on it. Quinn leaned over to the suitcase and saw the print on it. It read: "RIGHT JUSTICE; Conrad Bennish Jr., President."

"Bennish..." Quinn whispered to himself. Then he began to smile. Bennish must be one of David Mallory's friends on this world. It seemed strange to him that Bennish was president of an organization which focuses on law instead of an enthusiast of rock and roll. But Quinn knew that everyone is different in parallel worlds so it seemed reasonable.

"Now, let's hear what the plaintiff have to say." Judge Danore signed, his head turning to the plaintiff's box. "Mr. Peterson?"

Mr. Peterson, the Mallorys' lawyer rose to his feet and looked at the files on the table. "On the evening of Wednesday, September 18, 1996, the four suspects kidnapped David Mallory from his rightful home with a motive of revenge." he signed. "They were arrested on September 19 and retrieved David Mallory. But one of their assistants kidnapped him again when the police returned him..."

"That's a lie!" Bennish signed as he walked into the courtroom, grabbing everybody's attention, including the Sliders. He was dressed in a business suit, which was very unlikely of him. David Mallory was behind him. "They didn't kidnap him because David decided to go with them!"

"Order! Order!" the judge ordered, pounding the gravel. "Sit down or I'll hold you in contempt!"

"Okay! Okay!" Bennish nodded. Then he went through the aisles with David and sat down. "Now can we go on?"

The judge turned to Peterson. "Proceed."

"Okay. Now...where am I? Oh. After the police returned David Mallory to his home, he was kidnapped again by one of their assistants. David have been missing for eight days...until now." Mr. Peterson concluded.

"Very well. Mr. Kelley?"

Ross J. Kelley rose to his feet and took a deep breath before he could sign. "Ok. The defendants denies that they kidnapped David Mallory because he made a decision to go with them. They did not force him to come with them." he glanced at the Mallorys in the plaintiff's box. "But they think so, which is untrue. As in David stated in his testimony, 'I decided to go with them because my family gave me a lot of sufferings..."

"Objection!" Mr. Peterson stood up. "His testimony was never admitted in court."

"It is now. Overruled. Go on, Mr. Kelley."

"Okay. 'They deserted me for two months on some trip. I have to do all the things by myself, which was torture. That's why I want to get out of this life. The four of them came to my aid and helped me pull through.' "

The people in the courtroom began to murmur with their hands.

"Silence!" the judge signed with wide arms, making it possible for the people to notice him. Then the people stopped signing. "Okay. Mr. Peterson?"

"I call Michael Mallory to the stand." Peterson replied.

Mike Mallory walked to the stand and looked at David coldly. But the people didn't notice his cold expression.

The bailiff came to him and signed. "Put your right hand on the bible and repeat after me."

Mike nodded and put his right hand on the bible.

"I swear to tell the truth. Nothing but the truth." the bailiff signed. Mike repeated after him. Then the bailiff nodded. "You may be seated."

"Proceed, Mr. Peterson." the judge ordered.

"Mr. Mallory, is it true that the four of them kidnapped your son?" Mr. Peterson asked. Mike nodded, pretending to look sad.

"Oh, come on..." David whispered to Bennish with his hands. "He's faking."

"I know." Bennish nodded. "But don't worry. Ross will take care of it."

"Okay. Why did they kidnap your son?" Mr. Peterson asked again.

"I don't know. Randy's twin, Quinn, wanted to have revenge because we disowned him." Mike answered. "But I don't know."

Quinn glanced at Wade. "Randy? They made that up to cover the evidence."

"Yeah. But Kelley will prove that." Wade said.

Peterson put his arms behind his back. "Why did you disown Quinn Mallory, Mr. Mallory?"

"Because Quinn caused us a lot of trouble. He was out of our control so we sent him away." Mike replied.

"Okay. No more questions, your honor." Peterson signed to the judge as he returned to his seat.

Judge Danore turned to Kelley. "Cross-examine?"

Ross J. Kelley walked to the stand and put his arm on the ledge. "Mr. Mallory, why didn't you take David along to your family trip?"

Mike gulped. "Well, uh, we can't find him. We looked everywhere on the day we left and assumed that David might be at the bus station." Sweat was coming down his forehead.

"Which bus station?" Kelley asked, narrowing his eyes.

All of a sudden, Mike Mallory became nervous. "Um...uh..." he tried to pretend that he could remember but he couldn't. "Uh, I forgot."

"And we have proof." Kelley signed and looked at the judge. "Your honor, may I show the evidence?"

Judge Danore nodded. "Yes, you may."

"Okay. Exhibit A. All of the employees at every bus stations in San Francisco never saw them on the date of July 12, 1996, the day they left."

"But, you see..." Mike tried to sign.

The judge stopped him. "Silence!"

Mike fell silent.

"And Exhibit B," Kelley continued. "The neighbors on Blue Jay recalled that they never used any kind of transportation. But we found traces in Golden Gate Park and assumed that they left at this point. I think they left David Mallory on purpose."

The people in the courtroom began to murmur with their hands again.

"Silence!" the judge signed with wide arms.

"No more questions, your honor." Kelley signed. Then he returned to his seat.

"Any more witnesses, Mr. Peterson?"

"No, your honor." Mr. Peterson replied. "The prosecution rests."

"Very well. Defense?"

Ross J. Kelley nodded. "Your honor, I call Conrad Bennish to the stand."

Bennish got up from the aisle and walked to the stand, holding up his arms. "Peace."

The bailiff came to him and signed. "Put your right hand on the bible and repeat after me."

Bennish put his right hand on the bible and grinned.

"I swear to tell the truth. Nothing but the truth." the bailiff signed. The dude repeated after him. Then the bailiff nodded. "You may be seated."

"Cool." Bennish signed smoothly. That made Quinn smile.

"You may proceed, Mr. Kelley."

Kelley walked to the stand and nodded at Bennish. "Okay, Mr. Bennish. What did you find out about this event?"

Bennish took a deep breath. "Ok. I found out when Quinn, I mean, Randall, told me that he was planning with his family to desert David. I tried to talk him out of it but he was adamant about his decision. So there is nothing I can do to prevent this."

Dysfunctional Quinn narrowed his eyes. Bennish ignored him.

"So what did you do after they left?" Kelley asked.

"I came to his house and helped him by providing food and clothes. I helped him find a job and encouraged him to go to night school."

"Do you know Quinn Mallory, Randall Mallory's twin brother?"

Bennish nodded.

"Is it true that he is a troublemaker?"

"No. It's not the truth, man."

"Okay. No more questions, your honor." Kelley signed and returned to his seat. "And the defense rests."

"Cross-examine, Mr. Peterson?"

Mr. Peterson looked up and shook his head. "No, your honor. The prosecution rests."

"What are you talking about, Peterson?!?" Dysfunctional Quinn snapped.

"Stop, or I'll hold you in contempt!" the judge signed angrily. Dysfunctional Quinn lowered his head and clenched his hands. Then the judge looked at everybody at the courtroom. "You may step down, Mr. Bennish."

Bennish nodded. He walked through the aisles and sat down. Then he looked at David. "It's cool. They'll be free."

"All right, man. Thanks for helping us." David signed quietly.

"No problem." Bennish grinned. Then they looked at the judge, just like everyone else.

"Okay. We will have recess for an hour. Afterwards, I will tell you my decision." Judge Danore signed. Then he stepped down and walked into his chambers. The bailiff signaled everyone to leave the courtroom. Bennish and David walked to the defendant's box and greeted them.

"Hey Quinn." David signed. Wade interpreted for him. "It's great to see you again."

"Yeah." Quinn nodded. Then they hugged each other. "Great to have you back, bro."

"Well. My name is Conrad Bennish Jr.," Bennish said, shaking Quinn's hands. "And I'm..."

"The president of 'RIGHT JUSTICE'. Yeah, I know." Quinn grinned. "Thanks for helping us."

"Not yet. We have to wait for the decision." Bennish smiled. "Then you can thank me."

Quinn nodded. "So let's wait in the defendant's room."

"Okay." David signed. They walked out of the courtroom, feeling relieved. David got them out of this situation after all.


PART NINE

The Sliders were sitting in the defendant's box with Kelley, Bennish and David Mallory, waiting for the judge's decision. Quinn hoped the judge would support them because they have to slide in four days. The Dysfunctional Mallorys were staring at them coldly. They wanted the Sliders in jail so they can have their way with David. But their fate will be depended on Judge Danore. Both sides were feeling pretty anxious.

The bailiff stepped forward to the courtroom and signed, "All rise. Honorable Judge Danore will be presiding."

All of the people obeyed him. Judge Danore entered the room and sat down. Then he signed, "You may be seated."

All of the people sat down. Quinn looked at Wade and held her hands. "I hope we would be acquitted for a crime we didn't even commit. But this pretrial is too soon." he whispered to her.

Wade squeezed his hands and whispered back. "Don't worry. I think Kelley did a good job convincing the judge that we didn't kidnap David. Now let's keep quiet and see what will happen."

Quinn nodded. Then they looked to the judge. But both of them felt a knot in their stomachs. So did Rembrandt, the professor and David. But they have to keep faith. They have to.

Judge Danore kept silent for a moment then signed. "Will the defendants please rise?"

Kelley turned to the Sliders and signaled them to rise. They did. But the pressure was getting hard on them. But they knew this will be all over soon.

"Okay. From the arguments provided by both sides and it comes to my decision..." Judge Danore paused. That made the Sliders feel more nervous than ever. "That the defendants be acquitted. There is no evidence of forced kidnapping. The victim stated that it was his decision to come with them."

"What?!?" Mike Mallory bellowed. "Mr. Peterson, could you..."

"SILENCE!" the judge signed angrily. "Now, you heard what I said. The defendants are acquitted on a charge of kidnapping, and they are free to go. Case adjourned."

The quartet felt the pressure being lifted from their minds. They felt relieved because they are free. Again. Now they won't have to worry about missing the slide.

"All rise." the bailiff signed as the judge returned to his chambers. "You may go."

The people began to leave the courtroom with approving looks on their faces. The Dysfunctional Mallorys stormed out of the courtroom with upset looks on their face because they knew they failed. Quinn turned to Attorney Kelley and held his hands. "Thank you, Mr. Kelley. Thank you for helping us."

"Oh, you're welcome." Mr. Kelley signed with a smile on his face. "But Bennish was the one who really helped you get out of this."

"Huh?" Quinn said.

"He said you are welcome but you have to thank Bennish for this." Wade explained. Then she smiled at Kelley, showing her appreciation.

"Oh." Quinn glanced at Bennish. He still found it strange that the 'dude' was a founder of an organization instead of a hippie. But he grinned at him. "Hey, Bennish. Thanks for helping us out."

Bennish shrugged with a grin. "No problem. I'll do anything to help David."

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. We really appreciate your help. And thanks for taking care of David."

"Yeah." Bennish took Quinn's hand and shook it. "You know what? I like you better than his real brother."

"Great to hear that, Bennish." Quinn said, returning the handshake.

"I can't see myself doing that to my brother if I had one."

"Yeah. It's great to know that David got us out in time." Rembrandt said, looking at David. "If he didn't, we would be stuck here in jail forever."

"What did he say?" David signed to Wade.

"Oh. He said we're glad that you came to get us out of this trouble before the slide." Wade told him. Rembrandt smiled and patted on David's back. David smiled back.

"Well," Bennish looked at his watch. "We have to get out of here. Do you four have a place to stay?"

All four of them shook their heads. Bennish looked at David and smiled. "Oh yeah...you're in luck. You're invited to stay at the Bennish Empire!"

Quinn grinned. "Okay with me." Then he turned to the professor. "Is that all right?"

Arturo took a deep breath. He knew Bennish liked loud music. But it's better than staying in the hotel. "Yes, Mr. Mallory."

"Okay." Bennish nodded. "But first I have to talk to Kelley."

"Oh. We'll be right outside." David signed. Then the quintet walked to the hallway. When they stepped out of the courtroom, the Dysfunctional Mallorys were nowhere to be seen. David turned to Quinn and struggled to use his voice. "Well?"

"Well what?" Quinn asked.

David rolled his eyes and motioned to Wade to interpret for him. "Is it okay for me to join you?"

"Oh. That." Quinn nodded. "Yes. The professor agreed with us about taking you with us. But we have a problem."

David raised his eyebrows. "Oh no. What problem?"

Quinn sighed. "The timer."

David took the timer out of his pocket. "This? How?"

Quinn grabbed the timer and looked at the readout. "Four days, fourteen hours, twelve minutes. Okay. The problem is that we set the timer to carry three people."

"But there are four of you!" David exclaimed. He didn't want to stay on this world. He wanted to go with them to start a new, better life.

"Yeah. I increased the power too high and took Rembrandt. Now it seems to carry the four of us pretty well. But if there are five of us, the energy of the timer would wear out and we would be stuck on one world. So we don't know how to solve this." Quinn said with a worried look. "We really want you with us. But we have to figure out how to make the timer to carry five people. Do you know how?"

David smiled. "For a moment there I thought there is no way to find a solution for this. But I do have a solution."

Quinn brightened his face. "Really?"

"Yeah. Really?" Rembrandt nodded.

David nodded. "Yeah. I can put more energy into the timer. But..."

"But what, bro?"

"Would you please slow down? I can't translate this fast." Wade told Quinn.

"Sorry. So but?"

David's smile turned into a frown. "It's back in the basement. In my house."

"Your house? Oh man." Rembrandt groaned. "We can't afford to get in trouble again."

Quinn let out an exasperated sigh. "Oh no. When will they slide?"

"Um, I don't know." David shrugged. "I didn't care to ask them. But they said they were staying for a few days. Maybe they will slide before we do."

"Wait a minute." Quinn said. "If they do, maybe we can go in and put more energy into the timer. Then we can slide together."

"Yeah." David began to smile again. "That's a good plan."

"Good thinking, Mr. Mallory." the professor nodded. "So we will stay at Bennish's place in the meanwhile. Then we will go to the Mallory house before we slide."

"So it's settled?" Rembrandt asked. "We can slide as five?"

Quinn nodded. "Yeah. There are five of us now."

"That's great." Rembrandt smiled and looked at David. "Welcome to sliding, D-ball."

"I can't wait to have a normal life. I know your mom and dad will be better than mine." David grinned. "Then we will live as a family."

Quinn looked at Wade. "Uh, David. There's something I have to tell you about my world."

David gulped. "What? I hope it's nothing bad."

"No, it isn't. But I have to tell you about my father."

"Is he the same as mine?"

Quinn shook his head. "No. No. Not that. Oh man. It's really hard for me to tell you this. But...Dad...died in a car accident."

"Oh no." Tears began rolling down his eyes. "But he was the greatest dad?"

Quinn smiled. "The greatest. Come here, bro." He gave David a brotherly hug. "But we still have Mom. She will be happy to take care of you and accept you as family. I will too."

David nodded. Then he looked at the others. "It's great to be with you guys. Now I know that there are people who will look out for me now. And that makes me feel more secure than when I was alone."

Bennish walked into the hallway with Attorney Kelley. "Ok. Be sure to come to the meeting next week." he told the attorney.

"I will." Kelley signed.

Bennish nodded. "Ok. See ya later."

"See ya later, Bennish." Kelley smiled. Then he went to the elevator.

Bennish sighed and looked at David and the Sliders. "Well...what are we waiting for? Let's go to my place!"

"Mr. Bennish, if we come to your 'empire', will you be quiet during the night when I have my sleep?" the professor asked. He doesn't want to be interrupted in his sleep by some racket.

Bennish was confused. "What do you mean?"

"The music, of course."

"Music? What's that?"

That made Arturo smile. "Oh yes. I forgot. This is Silent World. Never mind, Mr. Bennish. May we go?"

"Ok. Come on." Bennish said. They got on the next elevator. The Sliders were relieved because the problems were all solved. First, they were acquitted. Second, David knew how to increase extra energy into the timer. And they were delighted to have David with them.


PART TEN

The Sliders crashed into the desert. The heat was intense. Quinn took out the timer and looked at the timer. Then he groaned. "Oh no. Six years in this heat."

"SIX YEARS?!?" David signed. He didn't realize that he was using his voice at the same time. "We can't survive this long without water!"

All of the Sliders turned to him. They looked very surprised. Then Quinn began to speak. "You talked."

All of a sudden, there was a tidal wave rushing over the desert. The Sliders were pushed into the rushing water, unable to control themselves. The water continued to carry them into the vast ocean.

"Did I say that I can't swim?!?" Rembrandt yelled as he struggled to keep up. Then there was a fizz. The four of them heard it. But David didn't know what was going on.

"What?"

Quinn looked at the timer. It was short-circuited. "Uh-oh."

"Uh-oh what?" Rembrandt gulped.

"The timer's dead." Quinn said gloomy. "We're doomed here."

"NO!" David yelled. Then he woke up. David looked around the room and realized that he was in a guest room at Bennish's place. He left out a relieved sigh. Oh thank God. It was just a dream. I hope it'll never happen.

All of a sudden, Quinn bolted through the door holding the timer. The others followed. Quinn showed him the readout. It read: Three hours, twenty-seven minutes. Then David realized that they will slide today.

"It's time." Wade signed. "Come on."

David got up. He doesn't need to change the clothes because he was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans. It was not important to dress formal for the slide. "Okay. We have to make sure if my family wasn't there when we arrive."

Quinn nodded. "Sure thing."

Bennish came in the room and smiled at David. "So, you're going now."

David nodded. "Yeah. Thanks for helping us."

Bennish continued to smile. "No problem. Have a good time."

"Ok." David shook hands with Bennish. "You take care of yourself."

Bennish nodded and looked at Quinn. "And thanks for taking him with you guys, Quinn."

"Yeah." Quinn smiled. "See you on the next world."

"Cool." Bennish said. Then he waved goodbye to the five Sliders. "Bye."

"Bye." All of them said. Then they walked out of the room. Bennish sighed and jumped on the bed. I hope David will be okay with them, he thought. But the Mallorys of this world will never see them again and that's a good thing.


"They're not home." David signed. They were at the Mallory house, peeking through the windows. "I guess they slid. So come on."

"But how can we go in?" Quinn asked. He had checked all of the locks and they were all locked. They knew it was to prevent them from coming in.

David chuckled. "No problem. I have the spare key." He took out the key and unlocked the door. The quintet rushed to the basement and turned on the lights. All of the sliding equipment was there. Quinn felt like he was back in his basement, but it was David's basement on this world.

"Wow. It looks the same." Quinn said to himself.

"Ok. The timer?" David signed. Quinn took the timer out of his jacket and handed it to his brother. Then David looked at the Sliders. "It will just take a few minutes."

Quinn nodded. David put the timer on the table and turned on the equipment. Then he put the timer in the recharger slot and flicked on the recharger.

"What is that?" Quinn asked. He had never seen the recharger before.

Wade shrugged. "I don't know."

"Perhaps it's the recharger David invented for the apparatus." the professor stated. "It seems that David focused on the recharger so he won't have a problem about the timer shortening out."

David went to the other panel and turned the knob counterclockwise to increase the energy. Then he looked at the Sliders. "It's almost done."

Quinn nodded. David looked at the computer screen to check the energy of the timer. A few seconds, the word "COMPLETED" flashed on the screen. David walked to the charger and took the timer.

"Now we're done." David concluded with a grin. "Now we can go."

Quinn looked at the readout. Ten minutes. He looked at them and smiled. "Let's slide!"

"Hold it!" a voice boomed. The Sliders looked around and saw Dysfunctional Quinn standing on the stairway. "Give me the timer."

Quinn shook his head. "No."

Dysfunctional Quinn began to laugh. "Okay. We already called the police. They're coming on the way to arrest you for breaking and entering. Ha ha ha."

"Get out of the way, Quinn." David signed to Dysfunctional Quinn. "We're going now."

"No." Dysfunctional Quinn signed coldly. "You're going to the detention center."

Then they heard the sirens. The police were coming closer. The Sliders have to do something. And fast. Quinn handed the timer back to David. Then he walked on the steps, facing his dysfunctional double. "Look at my hand."

Dysfunctional Quinn looked down at his double's hand. Then Quinn knocked him out and turned to the others. "Hurry!"

The quintet rushed out of the basement and ran outside. Mike Mallory chased after them. But the Sliders continued to run. As Rembrandt looked back, he saw three police cars coming into the street. The cars skewed by the intersection and began to follow them. Then Mike Mallory stopped running and yelled, "You can run, but you can't hide!"

Rembrandt turned to Quinn. Then he panicked, "POLICE!"

All five of them looked around and saw the police. That made them increase their speed. As they were running, Quinn searched for the timer in his jacket. It wasn't there. "Oh no! Where's the timer?"

"David has it. Keep running!" Rembrandt shouted. He was gaining past Quinn.

Quinn looked back. David was running behind Arturo. And Wade was behind him. Then Quinn looked at Rembrandt. "I hope he'll make it!"

"He will!" Rembrandt assured him.

Quinn nodded. "He'll slide with us until we gets home! But if he didn't, I'll regret it for the rest of my life!"

David was panting. He haven't run in months and was out of shape. David looked back and saw the police car slowing down. Then the officers stepped out of the car and began to run after them. David groaned and looked at the readout on the timer. It read: fifty-seven seconds. He felt afraid and excited at the same time. David pushed himself hard to run faster. But he was starting to breathe heavily. Then he shouted, "Quinn! Catch the timer!"

Quinn looked around. David threw the timer up in the air. Quinn paced himself and caught it. Then he looked at the readout. Ten seconds... 9... 8... 7... 6... 5. Quinn looked up and saw Wade, the professor and David catching up. David's face was getting redder every second as if he was going to burst. Rembrandt turned around and stopped by Quinn. "2... 1... now."

There was a rushing sound in the air. The wormhole formed on the pavement. Rembrandt was the first to jump in. Then the professor. David was still running. And the police officers were gaining toward him.

"Oh no." Quinn whispered. Then he looked down and saw a rock lying on the ground. Quinn picked it up and aimed for the officers then he threw it with all his energy. As the rock was in the air, the officers stopped. David grinned and ran faster. Quinn looked at Wade and nodded his head. "Go."

Wade jumped into the wormhole. David stopped and looked at his brother. Quinn smiled and nodded. Then he leaped into the wormhole. David turned around and looked at the officers. They were getting closer. David began to grin wider. "So long, suckers. You'll never see me again. Not ever." he signed. Then he looked at the wormhole. David had never experienced sliding before, but he wanted to go with them. The blue glow of the wormhole welcomed him with dazzling colors. David took a deep breath and jumped into the wormhole. Then it contracted to nothingness. The officers stopped and looked at each other.

"What was that?" one of them signed.

"I don't know." the other replied.


Like a roller coaster, David thought gleefully. But he was getting pretty dizzy in the wormhole. David could see the others sliding ahead of him. All the colors. All the lights. The speed was fascinating. He loved it. Then David landed on the grass. Rembrandt helped him up and cleaned his shirt. Wade walked to him with a smile. "Did you like it?"

David nodded. "Yeah! It was cool..."

Wade looked at the other three. "He liked it."

Quinn smiled. "Glad you liked it, bro."

"Yeah." David looked around the new world. "So, what is this world?"

Wade shrugged. "We don't know yet. But we'll find out."

"Oh." David began to grin. "Let's find out, shall we?"

"Yeah." Wade nodded. Then they began to walk on the grass. David knew he was entering his new life. No more problems. Just adventures with his friends.


THE END (for now...)


What do you think? I would appreciate any feedback on this piece, good or bad. I want to know what you readers think about this. Email me at: epesquei@ix.netcom.com



Otherworlds Earth 500