Previously on Sliders...|
As Rembrandt and Mrs. Mallory stood by and watched Diana work her magic on the Kromagg sliding device, LeBeau suddenly didn't feel too well.
No. Not now. he thought to himself as a sharp pain shot through his chest. He was having a heart attack. He bent over crying in pain as Rembrandt came to see what was wrong.
"Get me a chair! Quick!" Rembrandt ordered Mrs. Mallory. She followed Rembrandt's words and immediately picked up a chair off the ground and set it behind LeBeau as Rembrandt helped him sit down. "I think I saw a medicine case over here." He pointed behind them and Mrs. Mallory followed the direction he was pointing in.
"I'm so sorry my friends..." LeBeau gasped as Mrs. Mallory returned with a first aid kit.
"What do you give a man who's just had a heart attack?" Rembrandt rhetoricaly asked.
"Uhh..." Mrs. Mallory searched throught the kit and pulled out a bottle. "Aspirin. Best we can do."
Mrs. Mallory started force feeding some pills to LeBeau. Rembrandt knew they probably wouldn't do any good, but they couldn't lose LeBeau now.
"Claire...left word...at the center..." LeBeau could barely speak, but he did his best to warn them of the upcoming danger. "More...security forces on their way. Hurry up...please..."
Maggie and Mallory ran into the room, fresh from locking Claire and her goons up in the freezer.
"Well, our friends will be safe and comfortable for a while." Maggie said with a smirk on her face.
"You OK?" Mallory said after noticing LeBeau clutching his chest.
"Oh don't worry," LeBeau lied. "This isn't the first time this has happened and it won't be the last. Look after yourselves, we haven't much time."
"I'll take care of him." Mrs. Mallory assured Rembrandt and the others.
Mallory and Maggie reluctantly make their way back toward Diana, who was still working on the sliding device. Rembrandt hesitated, but knew he had to join his friends. He looked down at the first aid kit on the floor and noticed something sitting in there. It was a hypodermic needle. He picked it up and hid it in his sleeve. Who knows? Maybe they'd need it for the virus on Earth Prime. Rembrandt got up and joined his friends.
"OK." Diana said. "I think I got it. It's damaged but it's operational. The main problem is that its data bank has been wiped."
"Meaning...?" Maggie hated this technobabble bull crap.
"Meaning that all I have to do is put in a new set of destination locations and we should be in business." Diana flipped a bunch of switches and entered Earth Prime's coordinates. "Mallory?" She nodded to gun shaped end of the device and Mallory walked over to it. He aimed the barrel straight at the wall ahead of him. A beam shot out and an orangeish vortex appeared. It was both beautiful and threatening at the same time, like it wanted to swallow them whole. It was obviously unstable.
"What's wrong?" Mallory asked.
"This device is too badly damaged. Containment is deteriorating rapidly."
Rembrandt knew what this meant long before she finished. He turned away from the group, not wanting them to see what he was about to do.
"Look, guys. There may be enough power only for one of us to go through." Diana continued. "We better decide who it's going to be fast."
Both Maggie and Mallory thought the same thing at the same time and they both ran towards Rembrandt.
"Rembrandt, give me the vial!" Mallory shouted.
"No, I'll do it!" Maggie argued. She put her hand on Rembrandt's shoulder and spun him around only to notice that Rembrandt was injecting himself in the arm with the virus with the needle he took. "What are you doing?!"
Rembrandt tossed the needle to the side and threw the vial on the floor, shattering it into pieces, sending the infected blood onto the floor. Rembrandt knew that was probably a stupid move, but he was determined to not have the others follow him.
"Just call me Typhoid Remmy!" He smiled. "Look, if I survive this, the Seer, he'll know if the coast is clear. Just fix that thing and slide with me, all right? If not..." He paused. He didn't like the idea of instant death and didn't want to think about it, but he knew it was a possibility. "...have a good life."
He walked over to Mallory and stared him straight into the eyes. Deep down, he knew that Quinn was staring right back at him, even though he couldn't see him. He embraced Mallory (and the fraternal double he was merged with) in a hug. All Rembrandt could say was "Take care, Mallory" as he turned to face Diana.
He took her face into his hands. "I'm counting on you. All right?" Diana nodded as they embraced.
Now came the hard part. Facing Maggie. Other than Rembrandt, Maggie's been on the team the longest. She was there when every one of the Sliders fell. Professor Arturo, Wade, Colin, Quinn...he knew she'd take this hard. And he was right. When he looked at her, he could tell she was fighting the tears. And she was losing that battle miserably. Rembrandt couldn't help but notice how much she had changed since she joined the group. Had he lept into this vortex when they first met, she probably wouldn't even flinch. Now she can't stop crying.
"We're family, huh?" Rembrandt kissed her on the head and then embraced in a long hug as she cried even harder. They knew they had to let go eventually, the vortex would close any minute, but they just held onto each other. Finally, Rembrandt let go and faced the vortex and walked toward his destiny.
"Remmy..." Maggie managed to squeak out before he jumped in.
Rembrandt turned around to take one last look at his friends. OK, you Kromagg bastards. Let's see what you got. He thought as he dived into the vortex.
"NO!" Maggie screamed as it closed.
Maggie, Mallory, and Diana just stared at the empty wall. They couldn't believe it. The last of the original Sliders was now gone.
Mallory was the one to break the silence. "The Seer said death would be immediate."
Diana stared up at Mallory. "For the four of us, yes. But by sending only one of us through, we may have... altered that timeline. Look, we may have just changed the future. He might still be alive."
Maggie was the first to move as she rushed to LeBeau's side.
"Mr. LeBeau? Can you see our friend? Can you see Rembrandt? Mr. LeBeau!" She was almost begging him for an answer.
But LeBeau didn't move. Diana pressed her fingers against LeBeau's neck.
"I can't get a pulse." she informed.
Mrs. Mallory, who never left his side, delivered the news. "He's gone."
Maggie couldn't take this. She burst into tears again as she stood up and faced the wall again with her fellow Sliders. "Rembrandt..." she managed to say one last time.
"What do we do now?" Mallory was the one to ask this almost rhetorical question, but he was honestly hoping for an answer.
Problem was none of them had the answer. They just stood there in silence, staring at the wall that their friend disappeared through, knowing that there was nothing that they could do.
* * *
Three Months Later...
Mallory was sitting at the table of his hotel room eating Chinese food and watching The Sliders on TV. The people of this world have been kind to them ever since they arrived a little over three months ago. After Rembrandt jumped into the vortex, the people rallied against Claire and now she was doing some serious jail time for trying to kill them. When it was all over, they were each given a free hotel room just for being "the Sliders." They made money off of personal appearances, as well. Living here was good, but honestly, they couldn't take it anymore. People worshiping them everywhere they go, they were tired of that after about an hour. Not to mention they still needed to find Rembrandt and Earth Prime.
Maggie was lying on the couch reading one of the early "Sliders" books that LeBeau wrote. This one involved Rembrandt, Arturo, and Wade being trapped inside a cave with an Allosaurus on the outside while Quinn was wandering around looking for the timer. This must have been what Quinn meant when he said "Been there, done that, and got the T-Shirt. You should have been with us the first time we ran into dinos" all those years ago.
She glanced up at the TV screen. "How can you watch that crap?"
"You'd think I'd miss the season premiere?" Mallory shot back. "Sure, the show was better in the earlier seasons, and I miss that girl who played Wade, but it's still not bad."
Maggie laughed. "Yeah, not bad if you haven't lived the whole thing. Besides, my boobs are not that big."
"Well, I could measure them for comparison if you'd like?"
Maggie tossed a pillow at Mallory and it hit his noodles, spilling them all over the floor.
"Hey!" Mallory said, irritated. "Not funny! Now I have to clean this stuff up."
Mallory got up and went to the bathroom for a towel as Diana walked into the hotel room.
"Any luck?" Maggie asked, while giggling.
"None." Diana replied. "That thing is way too damaged, not to mention it's from another culture, I don't even know where to begin."
Maggie leaned her head back. This was not the news she wanted to hear. She wanted to get out of this dimension as soon as possible. They did have an idea a while ago about fixing the Egyptian timer, but they couldn't find it. They couldn't even find the disc that Dr. Geiger gave Diana before he died. Maggie thought Rembrandt took them. Maybe he thought if they couldn't get to him, he could get to them. Maggie didn't know, but she just liked thinking that Rembrandt had a plan, no matter how far fetched it might be.
Just then Mallory walked back into the room.
"You better clean up that mess," laughed Maggie, "Before it stains."
She got up to look at Mallory's annoyed face, but his face wasn't annoyed. It was as pale as a ghost as he leaned against the wall.
"Help me" he tried to mouth out as Maggie and Diana rushed toward him and tried to hold him up. Just then he stared Maggie straight in the eye. Maggie stared back as his face started to shift into a form that was more familliar to her. The form of Quinn Mallory. The man who started this journey. The man who Dr. Geiger merged into this Quinn Mallory, his fraternal double, about a year ago.
"Quinn!" Maggie shouted as Mallory's face turned back into it's normal form and he puked all over the floor. This stain would be much tougher to get out than Chinese noodles.
What if you found a portal to a parallel universe?
What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds?
Where it's the same year...
And you're the same person...
But everything else is different?
And what if you can't find your way home?
Kari Wuhrer as Maggie
Robert Floyd as Mallory
Tembi Locke as Diana
In a moment of pure shock, Maggie dropped Mallory from her grip. Diana couldn't hold him up by herself so he slid from her grip as well. Mallory hit the floor face first and was groaning in pain.
"Hey! You...you just dropped him?" Diana was at loss for words of what Maggie had just done. Maggie could be cold sometimes, maybe a little bitchy, but this was unlike her.
"It was Quinn! I saw Quinn!"
"What are you talking about?" Diana got to her knees and tried her best to avoid the vomit on the floor, which was no easy feat, and flipped Mallory on his back. "Oh my god..."
The face that was staring up at her was not Mallory's. This was a man she'd never seen before. The man lying on the floor was screaming in pain. His hand shot up and grabbed Diana's wrist. Diana stared in horror as his hand started to grow. No, scratch that. The hand itself wasn't growing, but there was another hand forming on top of it, reaching for the air. Diana had never seen anything like this. Neither had Maggie, who was watching the whole thing. After a few moments the hand seemed to shrink back into the skin, the original hand let go of Diana and flopped down to the ground, and the strange face returned to Mallory's normal face. Mallory started shaking, and shaking violently.
"He's having a seizure!" Diana exclaimed.
Maggie didn't know what to do. She felt like she had to do something but didn't move an inch. She just stood there and watced Mallory, and Quinn, lie there shaking like a large electrical surge was running through his body. After about a minute, Mallory just stopped. He lied there, not moving at all. Diana checked Mallory's pulse.
"He's alive but he's unconscious." Diana stated. "We have to get him to a hospital."
"It was Quinn. What's going on Diana? Is Quinn trying to gain dominance of the body again?"
"I don't know. But from the looks of it, I think they're separating."
Maggie returned her gaze back to Mallory, who was still lying on the floor. Maggie wanted Quinn back more than anyone, but she remembered what Dr. Geiger told her a few months ago when they last tried to separate Quinn and Mallory, if they separate, one of the Quinns would die. Odds are, that one would be Mallory.
* * *
After a few minutes, the ambulance arrived and they took Mallory away. Diana rode with him, because she knew more about the Quinn/Mallory merger than anyone else (except the late Dr. Geiger). Maggie caught a cab and was currently in the waiting room at the hospital. From what she was told, Mallory was doing fine until he got to the hospital and then the seizures started again. That was ten minutes ago. She had no clue what was going on right now. The only thing there at the hospital to do was the rest of The Sliders season premiere on TV and a bunch of "Sliders" books on the table, most of which she already read. The one that she didn't read, "Paradise Lost," she skimmed through but put it down when she read something about "Worm waste bringing eternal youth."
Soon enough though, both Diana and a female doctor walked out into the waiting room. Maggie got up to greet them.
"Maggie, this is Dr. Annie Flint," Diana said, "She's helping us with Mallory."
Dr. Flint had a big smile on her face as she shook Maggie's hand. "Wow. Maggie Beckett. I never thought I'd ever...wow. You were always my favorite Slider. I loved your gung-ho, 'Girl Power' attitude." She immediately looked at Diana again. "Don't get me wrong, I love you too Diana. The smart girl is always cool. And then there was Wade..."
"What about Mallory?" Maggie interrupted. Maggie liked being praised, but this was rediculous, especially when Mallory's life might be on the line.
"Oh, sorry. Anyway, Dr. Davis explained what happened at the hotel and gave us her 'separation' theory, and we agree with it. We can't find any reason for Mr. Mallory to have these seizures, let alone the whole 'face morphing' incident that Dr. Davis told me about. We've given Mr. Mallory several drugs to try to calm him down, none of them have worked. We can't stop these violent attacks."
"My theory is," Diana continued, "That while the two Quinns' structures have bonded because of Dr. Geiger's experiment, they are still rejecting each other because it's not natural. If I'm right, these two are going to separate, and it's going to happen soon. What I'm worried about is how violent these seizures are, I fear that this world doesn't have the technology to separate them safely. We could wind up losing both Quinns."
Maggie's jaw dropped. This was worse than she feared. She felt her legs give way as she attempted to fall back into her seat and missed completely. She landed on her ass with a thud. But she didn't care. She was still in shock.
* * *
A few hours had passed since Maggie talked to Diana and Dr. Flint. She was sitting in the waiting room still, with her head resting atop her hands. She hadn't moved in about an hour, mostly because she had a million things going through her mind at this point. The most dominate one being that if both Mallory and Quinn die, it'll only be her and Diana left.
Sliding was a funny thing. The group always seemed to stay at four, no matter what. When Arturo was shot by Rickman, the group picked up Maggie. When Wade was lost to the Kromaggs, they picked up Colin. When Colin became unstuck and Quinn had that little merging accident, they picked up Diana and Mallory. Maggie just shrugged this off as coincidence. This is real life we're talking about here. It's not like anybody writes this stuff. Is it? Besides it can't be anything more. Not with Rembrandt god knows where and the Quinns practically at death's door already.
No. Maggie thought. I can't think like that. Remmy might still be alive and both Quinn and Mallory aren't dead yet. There's still hope.
Maggie's train of thought was interrupted by voices in the background.
"Let me through! I have to see him!"
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Mallory. They're working with him right now, we can't let you in."
Mrs. Mallory? Maggie thought to herself. She followed the voices to where Mrs. Mallory was arguing with a nurse.
"If you would please just wait around," the nurse stated to her, "I'm sure they'll..."
"Wait?!" Mrs. Mallory shot back. "My son is back there and you wan't me to wait?! If that were your son, you'd be doing the same thing as me!"
Maggie gently grabbed Mrs. Mallory's shoulder and turned her around to face her.
"Oh Maggie." Mrs. Mallory let out a breath of relief. "Thank god, a familiar face."
Maggie smiled. "Well it doesn't look like you're trying to make new friends, so I thought I'd just stroll on over. I'd ask 'What's the matter' but I have a feeling that I know the answer to that..."
"And I'd think you'd guess right. These people won't let me see Quinn."
"They won't let me see him either. All we can do is wait right now, Mrs. Mallory. C'mon, I'll treat you to a SliderCola from the vending machine." Maggie wished she was joking about this comment, but alas she wasn't.
"No thanks. I don't really drink that stuff."
"I don't blame you."
Mrs. Mallory cracked a smile. Maggie was glad, being hysterical wouldn't help anything. She led the way to the chairs that she was sitting at as they sat down and talked.
"So," Maggie said, "How'd you know about Mallory being in the hospital?"
"It was all over the news. I rushed right over."
Maggie should have figured. If one of the allmighty Sliders was injured, of course this whole place would know about it.
"How much do you know about it?"
"Just that he had a seizure. They won't tell me anything more."
Good. Maggie thought. If word got out that the great Quinn Mallory, the man who invented Sliding, was about to be separated from Mallory, there would be complete chaos. People flooding the hospital, begging to get a glimpse of the event. And if word got out that both may die, lord knows what would happen. There just might be some sort of riot.
"How much do you know?" Mrs. Mallory asked back.
"What's happening to Quinn?"
Maggie explained the whole thing. She felt that Mrs. Mallory had the right to know. Mrs. Mallory reacted about the same way that Maggie did.
"They might be separated? I might get to see Quinn again?"
"Maybe. But you should know that this world doesn't have the technology to do this safely. It's almost certain that one, maybe both, will die."
Mrs. Mallory started tearing up. Maggie hated to have to be the bearer of bad news, but she thought it would be best coming from her.
"Mrs. Mallory," Maggie continued, "I can assure you that we'll do everything possible to make sure both survive."
"I know. It's just hard whenever a mother, even an adoptive one, outlives their child. The last time I saw Quinn was in that Kromagg prison...I never even said goodbye."
"Last time I actually saw Quinn, we were running for our lives. I never said goodbye either. I didn't get to say goodbye to my husband Steven, either. Sometimes you like to think that saying goodbye to a loved one may make you feel better, but it's not any easier. I said goodbye to Rembrandt, and that was one of the hardest things I've ever done." She put on a half-smile. "And I was a Marine."
Mrs. Mallory and Maggie just sat there in silence for a few moments before they finally hugged each other. Each hoping for the best.
* * *
Diana ran everything she knew about Geiger's work through her head, trying to think if there was something she missed. It was probably hopeless. If Dr. Geiger himself couldn't separate the Quinns, what luck would Diana have? That is unless he was lying about not being able to separate them. Maybe it was revenge for foiling his plan to merge with Mallory, trying to make everything seem hopeless. But then why would Dr. Geiger give them the coordinates to their homeworlds on his deathbed? Diana could never figure that man out.
That bastard. Diana thought to herself. He probably knew this would eventually happen.
But if he did, then why did he try to merge with Mallory in the first place? Did he have a way to stablize it? Only Dr. Geiger knew the answer to those questions, and now he was dead. This was driving Diana insane. She eventually checked up on Mallory again. He seemed to be doing fine, laying there, almost looked like he was comatose. But Diana knew he wasn't. She couldn't begin to describe the amount of pain that Mallory was dealing with right at this moment. She theorized that it would feel like he was being torn apart, because that was literaly happening to him. She could only hope that the Morphine that was given to him would be effective enough.
After a few minutes she left Mallory's side, she promised Maggie that she'd keep her up to date on what was going on, even if nothing changed. When she walked into the waiting room she was almost shocked to see Mrs. Mallory right there with her.
"Mrs. Mallory?" Diana said, stating the obvious, but it was enough to get the attention of both women. Maggie and Mrs. Mallory got up from their seats and rushed over to Diana.
"What's happening?" Maggie asked.
"He seems calm enough right now, but the seizures are getting more violent."
"How long do you think it will be?"
"I have no clue."
"Can I see him?" Mrs. Mallory asked.
"I don't see the harm in it." Diana signaled a nurse her way. "Could you take Mrs. Mallory here to Quinn Mallory's room, please?"
"Of course." the nurse politely responded as she led the way.
When they were gone, Diana turned back to Maggie. "Did you tell her everything?"
"I had to."
Diana sighed. She supposed she would have done the same thing if roles were reversed, but they needed as little people in the way as possible right now.
"Has Quinn...you know..." Maggie tried to look for the right words, "...resurfaced?"
"No. Mallory's form has stayed stable ever since we took him from the hotel."
"But why would Quinn appear then and not anytime else?"
"My guess is that is was an early separation attempt. They were too bonded at that time in order to complete it."
Maggie had a look of disapointment on her face.
"What's wrong?" Diana asked.
"It's just hard. That was the first time in a year that I've seen Quinn. I was hoping maybe I'd get to talk to him one last time. Not that I want Mallory to disappear though. That smug little smartass can grow on you."
Diana smiled. Isn't that the truth?
"I was wondering," Maggie said, "If maybe I could see him also?"
"Are you sure?"
Diana led the way down the hall. They eventually found theirselves at Mallory's room, sitting right next to him was Mrs. Mallory, holding his hand. Maggie walked over and stood on the opposite side. She looked down upon Mallory. He looked so helpless. She always wanted the guy to shut up, but not like this. She leaned over and kissed him on the forehead. Not a good idea. He was sweating, very badly. She wiped the sweat off of her lips and then just rubbed his hair.
"Don't give up Fog Boy." She said. "You can pull through this." These were the exact words that she figured Rembrandt would have said had he been here right now. She felt that she had to say them for him. And Mallory. And even Quinn.
Suddenly Mallory started shaking. Startled, Mrs. Mallory jumped up out of her chair. He was having another seizure.
"Oh no..." Diana said as he hit a button on a speaker that was hanging on the wall. "Dr. Flint, please report to Quinn Mallory's room."
Both Maggie and Mrs. Mallory watched in horror as Mallory started shaking more violently than ever before, like a fanboy at a heavy metal concert.
"C'mon, Mrs. Mallory." Maggie said. "We should get out of their way."
Mrs. Mallory reluctantly nodded and they made their way back to the waiting room.
* * *
Ten minutes passed, Diana finally made her way back to the waiting room to update Maggie and Mrs. Mallory.
"The seizure has stopped," Diana reported, "But lord knows how long it will be until the next one."
Both Maggie and Mrs. Mallory just sat there in silence. They knew that they had no options at this point, except sit back and watch whatever was going to happen.
"Excuse me." a female voice behind Diana said.
Diana turned around to meet a young woman in her late twenties staring right at her.
"I heard that Quinn Mallory checked into this hospital." said the woman, "Is that true?"
"Yes," Diana replied, "But I'm afraid I can't allow anyone to see him at this time. Especailly fans."
"Fans? What are you talking about?"
Maggie walked up to the strange woman. "You are a fan of 'The Sliders,' aren't you?"
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. Listen, I'm from another dimension and I really need to talk to Quinn. I have a message for him."
"Right." Maggie rolled her eyes. "Save it missy. We know all the tricks."
The woman pulled out an object from her pocket and tossed it to Maggie, who promptly caught it. Both Diana and Maggie studied the object that she was holding carefully. What it was was the most beautiful thing Maggie had seen in years. It was a timer. And it wasn't counting down.
"That's a pretty good trick." Diana said.
"Who are you?" Maggie asked.
"My name is Daelin," responded the woman, "Daelin Richards."
* * *
"Merged? Are you kidding me?" Daelin asked, obviously shocked. And who wouldn't be? How would you react if you found out that the man you were looking for was actually inside of another man. Maggie, Diana, and Daelin were all sitting in the waiting room. Mrs. Mallory was allowed once again to see Mallory, so she left them to talk their "Slider Talk."
"That's what happened." Diana confirmed.
"And what about the others that he was sliding with? Wade, Rembrandt, and Max?"
"Max?" Maggie asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, Max Arturo."
"Oh, you mean the Professor." Maggie never heard him refered to as "Max" before. "Professor Arturo was shot by a man named Angus Rickman about two and a half years ago. Two years ago Wade was taken by the Kromaggs..."
"Kromaggs? What's that? Some sort of vampire rock band?"
"The Kromaggs are a race of beings who go from one Earth to the next and take them over, adding to the Kromagg Dynasty." Diana answered. "Their race was infected with some sort of virus that caused the female sex of their species to die during child birth. Therefor they set up Breeding Camps for crossbreeding experiments. Wade was taken to one of these."
Daelin's eyes went wide. "Wow."
"We actually found Wade months ago." Maggie continued. "She was hooked up to some sort of Kromagg superweapon. She risked her life to destroy it."
"Is she still alive?"
"We don't know. We think she's dead."
Maggie paused for a second. "About three months ago Rembrandt leaped through a vortex in order to save his Earth from the Kromaggs. We don't know what happened to him either."
"So what you're telling me is that all the Sliders are either dead, missing, or merged with someone else?"
"Not exactly," Diana interrupted, "There was one other Slider, his name was Colin. He was Quinn's brother. During the same slide that Quinn was merged with Mallory, Colin became unstuck."
"Yes. It's when you lose your anchor in reality and become lost in the multiverse, unwillingly going from one Earth to the next. Dr. Geiger, the man who caused the Quinn merger, had this condition also. But he was anchored to a single reality by a stable forcefield."
"And you can't get this Colin guy back?"
"If we could, we would have by now." Maggie stated.
"Man, you Sliders can't get a break can you."
Maggie rolled her eyes. "No, I guess not."
"It gets worse..." Diana said. She began filling Daelin in on the Mallory separation that was about to happen. Maggie, already knowing all the details, even if she didn't understand much of them, began studying Daelin. She wasn't sure, but she could swear that she had seen this woman before. She probably had. It was a large multiverse, she's probably ran into a double of her once or twice. But something inside Maggie told her not to trust this woman. She tried to ignore it. After all, she was always "just one of the guys." She wansn't that comfortable around other women. She wasn't that fond of Wade (the feeling was mutual). Hell, she had a little trouble accepting Diana at first too (although Diana either didn't care or didn't notice). But still, that gut feeling was nagging at Maggie.
"...and chances are that both will die." Diana finished.
"Wait." Maggie had a thought. "That timer of yours does work, right?"
Daelin smiled. She took the timer back out of her pocket and pointed it into an empty portion of the waiting room, pressed a button, and a bolt of light flew from the tip. A bright orange vortex opened right there in the middle of the room. The other people in the room that were just passing by stopped to marval at this gateway to another world. Maggie stared in awe, this vortex reminded her a lot of the vortex that Rembrandt jumped into, only this one was obviously a lot more stable. The vortex's bright colors swirled around the room, lighting it up. It was a beautiful sight. Maggie couldn't help but wonder about the mysterious swirling mass of energy. She once asked Quinn what it was made of and why it was that color (she assumed this had to do with how powerful the vortex was. Rickman's vortex was red, as were the ones the Kromaggs used), and she regretted it ever since. Quinn attempted to explain it in the simplest words possible, but Maggie still had no clue what he was babbling about. She just accepted the fact that it worked.
After a minute the vortex just vanished. The crowd of people in the room cheered, and who could blame them? They had just seen what the people of this world based an entire religion on.
Maggie turned back to Daelin. "Do you think maybe we can use this timer to find a more advanced world? One that could separate the Quinns safely?"
"I can do better than that." Daelin's smile grew bigger. "I've been to a very advanced world, one that I'm sure would have the technology that you would need."
Maggie's eyes lit up. This was the lucky break they had needed for a long time. And it couldn't have come when it was needed more.
"Are you absolutely certain this world has what we need?" Diana asked, just as excited as Maggie was.
"I better be. I was trapped there for about a year."
"Trapped for a year?!" Maggie's eyes went wide.
"Yeah. You guys were lucky you've only been here for three months."
"Oh god, don't remind me. If I had to spend a year in this place, I'd lose my mind."
"How advanced is this world?" Diana butted in.
"Advanced enough to get me sliding again, and then some." Daelin said. "I was lucky that world shorted out my timer, otherwise I might never have found Quinn again. I might have spent the rest of my life running from dinosaurs or those Kermit things you were talking about."
"Kromaggs." Maggie corrected.
"If you'd have met one, you'd know the difference, honey."
"Um..." Diana interrupted. "You said that world shorted out your timer. What happened?"
"And why were you looking for Quinn in the first place?" Maggie added.
"I need Quinn's help." Daelin said. "A long time ago, Quinn and I crossed paths. We were both Sliders, exploring the multiverse. Only he was out here by accident. We kind of collaborated, exchanged coordinates. Maybe I'd been to his Earth. But I was pretty new at the whole thing, not many worlds under my belt. It was a long shot, but he was willing to take a chance."
"I don't recall Quinn ever mentioning this to me."
"I don't see why he would. It wasn't like it was a significant event in sliding history. Anyway, not long after this encounter, I ran into a problem. One that I need Quinn to help me with."
"A personal one. One that only Quinn can solve."
Maggie just sat there in dead silence. There was definitely something wrong with this chick.
"Anyway," Daelin continued, "As for why my timer shorted out, that was an accident. I'll explain the whole thing when we get there."
"If we get there." Maggie said.
"Don't take this the wrong way, Ms. Richards, but I'm having a little trouble trusting you as far as I can throw you. You show up out of nowhere, you claim you're looking for Quinn and you won't tell us why, and you claim to have access to a world that could solve all our problems but won't tell us anything about it except that it's 'advanced.'"
"Well 'Ms. Beckett,' I would have thought seeing the world itself would be better than explaining it."
"You know, that's a good idea. Why don't you take me to this 'Miracle World.' And I'll see for myself."
Just then the intercom sounded, "Dr. Davis. Please report to the ER. The Quinns are separating."
Oh no. Maggie's jaw dropped in horror. We can't be too late, we just can't!
Both Diana and Maggie ran from the room, leaving Daelin behind.
* * *
Diana and Maggie ran into the ER to find Mrs. Mallory struggling with the nurses.
"Quinn!" She shouted.
"Mrs. Mallory, please," one of the nurses begged, "You have to leave."
Maggie ran over. "Just leave her, I'll make sure she doesn't get in the way."
"Do you want a fat lip, bitch? I don't give a damn if you are a nurse. Let her stay."
The nurses, fearing for their faces, wisely backed down. If they knew their Sliders, they knew Maggie was dead serious.
"It's Quinn..." Mrs. Mallory said.
Maggie looked toward the center of the room, and sure enough, lying on a bed was Quinn and he was screaming in pain.
Please, tell me that they haven't separated yet. Maggie begged to god.
"How long has the other Quinn been dominant?" Diana asked.
Thank god. Maggie let out a breath of relief.
"About two minutes." Dr. Flint responded.
Quinn started leaning upwards, like he was doing a sit up. But the back of his head was bulging out. Quinn's hospital gown began to tear down the shoulders and the sides, that's when Maggie realize that his torso was bulging out too. The Quinns really were separating. Both Maggie and Mrs. Mallory grabbed each others hands and squeezed tightly as they watched his head break in two, Quinn's in front, Mallory's in back. Both were screaming bloody murder. Maggie and Mrs. Mallory began to cry as they remembered that both Quinns could die at the moment that the separation was complete.
I should have taken Daelin's offer. Maggie kept repeating these words to herself over and over again even though she knew it probably wouldn't have helped. The Quinns began to separate before they would have had a chance to get them to the vortex. But still, if Maggie had the chance, she'd run right back to Daelin and say yes.
At that moment, Quinn went limp and fell backwards into Mallory. Literally. Quinn just disappeared inside of him. The Quinns didn't separate, but Mallory was having another seizure. For five terrifying minutes, Maggie and Mrs. Mallory stood by and watched Mallory shake violently while Diana, Dr. Flint, and the nurses tried to restrain him. Suddenly, he just stopped. Mallory went limp again, not moving a muscle. Diana checked his pulse again.
"He's still alive." she reported.
But for how long? Maggie asked to herself.
* * *
It was about a half hour before Diana finished examining Mallory. She came to the same conclusion that she had before, it was definitely a separation attempt, that much was obvious, but their cells were still bonded together. They separated further than they did last time, however. Diana hypothesized that the next time they attempt separation, it would be the last. She walked outside the ER, and found Maggie and Mrs. Mallory standing outside. It was several minutes before one of them broke the silence.
"Look Maggie," Diana said, "I know you have your doubts but I think we..."
"I know." Maggie snapped. "I think so to."
"Of course I do. I'm sick of that waiting room. I'm sick of this hospital. Most of all, I'm sick of this god damn world!"
"What are you two talking about?" Mrs. Mallory interrupted. Maggie suddenly realized that she wasn't aware of Daelin's proposition. It wasn't really fair, Quinn was her adopted son, and her and Mallory have gotten close over the past three months, she should have had a say in what they did too.
"You know that woman, Daelin, who we met in the waiting room?" Maggie reminded Mrs. Mallory.
Diana took it from here. "She's offered to take us to a world where it might be possible to separate the Quinns safely."
"The problem is that we have no clue if she's telling the truth." Maggie continued. "Neither Diana or I have met her before tonight. And we have no way of asking Quinn about her, either."
"Look, Mrs. Mallory," Diana went on, "We'd like to hear your imput. Do you want us to take a chance on this?"
Maggie and Diana could tell that Mrs. Mallory already had her mind made up on the subject. There was no talking her out of what she was about to say.
"Of course we take it." Mrs. Mallory said. "If there's any possibility that we can save Quinn, we take it."
Exactly what they expected her to say.
* * *
"You sure you don't want to come along, Mrs. Mallory?" Maggie asked.
"Oh no." Mrs. Mallory said modestly. "After hearing your stories on this world, I'm sure that sliding's not the life for me."
"Oh, c'mon. You toughed out a Kromagg prison, I'm sure you could take anything on."
Mrs. Mallory blushed. "Maybe so, but I feel like I've had enough excitement for a lifetime."
The group was in Mallory's room. Maggie and Diana were preparing to take Mallory through the vortex, Mrs. Mallory was off to the side trying not to be in the way, and Daelin was fiddling with her timer, putting coordinates in.
"Hey, Daelin," Maggie shouted, "How smooth are your landings? Our's were pretty rough."
"I don't think it matters what timer you're using, sliding's always going to be a bumpy ride." Daelin said without making eyecontact, she was still punching buttons on her timer.
"So how are we going to do this, Diana?" Maggie asked.
Diana looked at her, confused. "What?"
"Mallory. How are we gonna, you know, make sure we don't bump his head, make this any worse."
Diana never thought of that. How were they going to get Mallory through the vortex safely? "Well I guess one of us could go in with him and provide a 'soft landing.'"
"I'll do it."
"Of course. Mallory's expressed his desire to get on top of me since day one. Better that he do it while unconscious, that way I won't have to smack him upside the head."
Diana smiled. And Maggie calls Mallory a smartass...
"Dr. Davis!" Dr. Flint ran into the room.
"Dr. Flint, is something wrong?" Diana asked.
"No, just came to see you off. The Sliders sliding again. I wouldn't miss it for the world." Dr. Flint had a huge, glee-filled grin on her face.
"I'd like to thank you with all the help you gave me with Mallory. Is there anything I can do to repay you?"
"Well, there is one thing..."
"Could you come back some day and tell us how this all ends? Right now it's like ending a TV show on a cliffhanger, and that completely sucks."
Diana smiled. "Deal."
"OK, people!" Daelin shouted back. "The train's leaving the station."
Maggie gave Mrs. Mallory one last hug.
"Take care of Quinn for me." Mrs. Mallory said.
"Don't worry." Maggie responded. "I've saved his ass too many times, I'm not about to quit now."
Maggie and Diana both helped Mallory out of the bed and carried him with his arms around their shoulders over to where Daelin was waiting for them.
You guys ready?" Daelin asked.
"As ready as we'll ever be." Maggie said back.
Daelin pressed a button on her timer as a beam of light came from the tip, in moments the giant orange vortex appeared in front of them.
Here goes nothing. Maggie thought as Diana let Mallory go and both he and Maggie dived in the vortex together. Diana was next to jump in. Daelin hesitated for a second. She looked back towards who was left in the room, Dr. Flint and Mrs. Mallory. She looked them straight in the eye and smiled.
Dr. Flint's jaw dropped open. Oh my god... Daelin jumped into the vortex at that moment and it disappeared behind her. Mrs. Mallory looked at Dr. Flint's frozen expression.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
Dr. Flint didn't move. She just stared at the spot that the vortex disappeared from.
* * *
Maggie clutched her arms around Mallory tighter as she slid through the wormhole. She faced the direction opposite of the way she was going to see if Diana and Daelin made it all right, and sure enough, there they were.
Wow, what a sensation. Maggie had completely forgotton what sliding felt like. It was smooth, yet rough at the same time. Kind of like body surfing, except there was no water. You just kind of float in the air as you are thrown forward into the next dimension. Whenever she was in the vortex Maggie always wondered exactly how fast they were going. A universe is a huge place, yet they go from one to another regularly in less than a minute. It blows the mind.
Suddenly Maggie felt a burst of energy, and then gravity grabbed her yet again. Maggie instantly knew that she came out of the opposite vortex. She jerked he body around to protect Mallory from the fall and she slammed into a steel floor. Hard landing. And Mallory knocking the wind out of her when he landed didn't make it any easier. Maggie gently pushed Mallory off of her stomach as she attempted to stand up, kneel over, and catch her breath. Just as she was doing this, Diana popped out of the vortex, landing just as hard as Maggie. But she didn't waste any time in getting to Mallory to see if he was all right. She checked him over real fast and looked back up at Maggie who was still breating hard.
"You OK?" Diana asked with a concerned look on her face.
"Yeah," Maggie said, even though she felt like crap, "Just give me a minute."
Daelin was next to exit. She flew out of the vortex, but landed on her feet. She regained balance before she fell over. The vortex closed at that instant.
"Woah!" she said, "Almost wiped out there."
She looked at her new traveling companions, who did not look happy.
Daelin looked to her feet and put on a half smile. "Sorry, you guys. I guess I should have told you chances are we'd hit solid steel."
"Yeah," Maggie said, annoyed but finally caught her breath, "Like when I asked how smooth the landing would be."
"I thought you were asking about landings in general. Maybe next time you should be more specific."
Maggie was ready to shout something right back at Daelin, but decided against it. They had other things to worry about than getting into a catfight. Instead she rolled her eyes and started looking around at her suroundings.
They were outside and it was dark out. Figures. Maggie lost track of time durring her stay at the hospital but she estimated that it was close to midnight when they left. They were in the middle of a city, but not just any city. It was full of smooth, futuristic buildings. This city seemed to be taken straight out of one of those Star Wars or Star Trek movies. In some spots, it even resembled the Jetsons. Daelin definitely wasn't lying about this place being advanced. So far, so good. But still, Maggie had an uneasy feeling about this woman. Right now, she just wanted to help Quinn and Mallory and get the hell out of there. There was something else about this place that Maggie couldn't place her finger on. It almost felt as if she'd been here before, but she couldn't remember...
Bingo! She had been here before. Right after Quinn shoved Wade and Rembrandt in Rickman's vortex and they attempted to follow them off of that Hybrid world and into Earth Prime, they landed here with the Egyptian timer instead. Apparantly, the wormhole tracking device was damaged and they lost track of Wade and Rembrandt's. They were only here for a few minutes though, then they went on their way. Quinn was majorly depressed after this world, though. A few weeks before that, Professor Arturo was killed, and then they lost both Wade and Rembrandt. Quinn just felt so alone, even with Maggie's company.
Maggie turned around to find Diana standing there, looking in awe at the city. Maggie smiled. She knew Diana would love to spend as much time here as possible. Like a kid in a toy store, Diana looked like she was going to rip everything out of the package and play right there.
"Didn't I tell you?" Daelin said, smirking at the look on their faces.
"What are we going to do with Mallory?" Maggie finally asked.
"Just a sec..." Daelin bent over and reached into the side of her boot, she then pulled out a little metal bar, about the size of a pen. She clicked on the top and spoke into it. "Slide Central, this is your little interdimensional eagle. I just flew back and I got a couple of eggs with me."
"Cut the cute talk, Richards." the little pen thing barked back, "You know I hate that."
Daelin giggled. "Yeah, I know. That's why I do it. Did you read the vortex?"
"We sure did. We have a transport headed your way. Just stay right there."
"We've got an injured too. I'll explain everything when I get there."
"I'm on it."
"Eggs?" Maggie asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Would you have prefered that I said chicks?" Daelin responded, while clicking off her pen thing.
"What is that thing anyway?" Diana asked.
"A communication device. Like a telephone or a walkie talkie. Only this is wireless and has better range. All without satilites too."
"What's this transport that he spoke of?"
Daelin smiled again. "You'll see..."
* * *
Soon enough, both Maggie and Diana did see, as the transport landed right in front of them. That's right, landed. The thing was frickin' huge! Built like a tank, yet it seemed to defy gravity with ease. Not only that, it landed so softly that it didn't make a noise at all, not even a "thunk."
"How did it land that softly? I didn't hear a thing." Diana asked.
"It didn't." Daelin responded. "At least not yet."
"What do you mean?"
"It's not touching the ground. It's less than a millimeter off of it."
"Amazing. How do you..."
"Save all your questions until later. Trust me, the answers are well worth the wait."
I bet they are. Diana thought to herself, still marvaling at this wonderous vehicle. The door to the transport slid open as two men pulling a gurney that was also floating and they lifted Mallory on top of it. They took him in and Daelin walked inside. She turned around to see the hesitant Maggie and Diana still standing outside.
"Don't be afraid. It's perfectly safe. Not one of these things has failed in ten years."
Diana took a deep breath and walked inside. Maggie waited a moment longer, but followed as well. The door shut behind them and the transport immediately lifted off.
"Woah, hey!" Diana said in surprise, "Shouldn't we be seated first? Maybe a seatbelt?"
"You can sit down if you'd like." Daelin said in response, "But a seatbelt won't be needed."
Indeed, the ship may be moving, but the rules of inertia didn't seem to apply inside. Diana couldn't feel a thing, in fact, they might as well have still been on the ground.
"Why does it..." Diana began.
"Ah." Daelin raised a finger. "Remember what I said? Questions can wait until we get to where we're going. Besides, there's someone waiting for you who could answer all your questions better than I can."
Daelin looked over to Maggie, who was staring out of the transport window, staring at the cityscape. Daelin walked over and stood alongside her.
"You recognize this place, don't you?" Daelin asked.
Maggie looked at her, with a hint of confusion. "How did you know?"
"Why do you think I ended up here in the first place? I was obviously following Quinn for quite some time."
Maggie didn't know whether to feel sorry for this woman or fear her. For all she knew, this could have been some interdimensional stalker. God she wished Rembrandt were here. Hell, she'd settle for Wade. They'd be able to confirm if Daelin was telling the truth or not.
Daelin smiled. "We're almost there." She pointed to the building that the transport was headed toward. The roof slid open as the transport hovered above it. The transport dropped at an amazing rate and suddenly stopped. Not one of the passengers felt a thing. The doors slid open as the two men caring for Mallory rushed off with him.
"Wait!" Maggie shouted. "Where are they taking him?"
"Oh don't be so paranoid, Maggie." Daelin said. "They're just doing their job. They know what they're doing. Come with me I have someone you two will want to meet."
Daelin walked off the transport. Maggie resisted the urge to chase after those men, along with the urge to punch Daelin in the face for calling her paranoid. But Maggie sucked it in and walked out of the transport, with Diana right behind her. When they were off, the door slid shut and the transport flew off to somewhere else in the room.
"Where's it going?" Diana asked.
"To the landing area." Daelin replied, "We have insulated pads for them to land on so that they don't make a loud irritating clang. It's really distracting when those things do that."
Daelin walked into the room opposite to the transport room, Maggie and Diana followed.
"Now," Daelin said, "I'm about to introduce you to a mode of transportation that you are already familiar with, only not quite the same. Val, does he know I'm back?"
There was a man sitting at a control desk, Val. "Told him you were here ten minutes ago. Told him about your new friends too." A beep emmited from one of those pen like communicators that Val had hanging on the top of his ear. He took it off and clicked on it. "Talk to me."
"We're all set." said the voice from the communicator, "Stand by to intercept."
"Ready. You are clear to enter." Val kept his finger close to a green button on his desk. A light flashed above it as Val pressed down. Suddenly, right in front of the desk, a sliding vortex appeared. Maggie and Diana's jaws dropped at the sight of it. It was crystal clear, like a puddle of water floating in the air. A man flew out of it and landed on his feet. Diana had never seen this man before in her life, but Maggie had, and her jaw dropped even wider when she saw his face.
The man walked up to them. "Great to see you again, Daelin." They exchanged smiles, then he looked at his new guests. "Ah, you must be Daelin's passengers. Welcome to Slide Central. I'm Michael Mallory."
Michael Mallory. Quinn's father. Or at least, one of his doubles.
* * *
"Merged?" Michael asked as they were all sitting around a table, discussing the situation. Daelin had just returned from informing the medical staff on the Quinn merger.
"Yeah, merged." Maggie said, semi-sarcastically. "Now if you don't mind, we have some questions of our own..."
"Let me guess, all of these have to do with the transport, the vortex, Daelin, and how we can help your friend?"
Maggie sat in silence for a moment. "Yeah."
"Well all of those are really interconnected. It all started about fifteen years ago. I was working on some sort of anti-gravity machine. Thought it might make transportation safer."
"The transports." Diana chimed in. "That's how they hover in the air. Anti-gravity. That's also what's holding us in place on the inside so inertia isn't apparant."
"You're a bright one, Dr. Davis." He smiled at her, she blushed back. "But oddly enough, I wouldn't get the anti-gravity machine right until three years later. But first, in what I assumed was a miscalculation, I discovered something even more extraordinary..."
"Sliding." Maggie butted in as well. "That's how Quinn discovered it too."
"Right. Only his was interdimensional, mine was limited to this dimension. I discovered a way to get from one point on this Earth to another in a matter of seconds. The problem was that I couldn't control where the other end would open. My first probe I lost somewhere in the Atlantic. So, I invented a fail-safe device that limited the vortex to land only, but couldn't do this without limiting it to a circular radius. Even then, there was still no telling where the vortex would open."
Maggie was following this perfectly. One of the few pieces of scientific mumbo jumbo that she actually understood about the timer was the sliding radius. The Egyptian timer had a four hundred mile radius. She also remembered Quinn telling her that his original timer only had a two mile radius, limiting him to the San Fransisco area.
"So," Michael continued, "If I couldn't make it go where I wanted, I decided to reel it in. That device that Val was operating pulls the vortex into an area like a magnet. And that is how we control it. We have stations like this in every state, and other nations as well for quick travel."
"OK, I understand all of that," Maggie said, "But how come you couldn't 'hook on' to our vortex when we slid in?"
"We couldn't have known it was coming until the other end opened. But by then it would be too late. There's a similar reason as to why we couldn't send a vortex for you to jump through to get here instead of the transport, we could activate the vortex here, but without this control station we couldn't have opened it right where you were. It could have opened anywhere."
"But what about Daelin?" Diana asked, "She said that this world shorted out her timer."
"It did. You see we limit sliding. Mostly to important people, like the president and all. But still, plans for sliding timers have leaked out to the black market. In order to prevent terrorism, we created a sonic wave that will shut off all timers that it hits. When we detect an unauthorized vortex, we set it off and go after all who exited it. Daelin being trapped here was an unfortunate mishap. But it did help us advance further, she introduced us to the idea of other dimensions. With her help, within a year, we ourselves discovered interdimensional sliding."
"But then why didn't that wave affect Quinn's timer when we were here?" Maggie asked.
Daelin butted in. "How long was your window?"
"Less than two minutes."
"And you were on the outside of the city?"
"That explains it. You vortexed out before the wave hit you."
"That's a little hard to believe. A society as advanced as this and you can't stop a timer in less than two minutes?"
Michael smiled. "We're advanced, not perfect."
"How are you going to help Quinn and Mallory?"
"This is rather simple. Remember what I told you about reeling in the vortex?"
"You see, some time ago, when this was all new, we had an unfortunate accidnet. Two vortexes were activated at once and they were both attracted to the same place. The result was a merger of two people from different vortexes, not unsimilar to the Quinns' condition. We studied them and separated them two weeks later with no side effects. However, I will say there's still a risk involved. We've never separated someone who's been merged as long as the Quinns. But I promise you that we'll do whatever we can to set things right. You have my word."
Suddenly a communicator beeped. Michael picked it up and clicked it. "Mallory."
"Mr. Mallory. The other Quinn has surfaced. They're begining to separate."
"Begin the procedure."
A shiver went up Maggie's skin. This was it. The moment of truth.
* * *
Quinn was screaming his lungs out. The pain was too great. Even the most self controlled man in the multiverse would have been screaming just like he was. He was lying on a table, completely nude, hooked up to a heart monitor with doctors and nurses scrambling around him.
"Has the separation begun yet?" one doctor asked another.
"No. Get the stablizer." the other said.
At that moment, what looked like some sort of high tech laser cannon lowered from the ceiling. A nurse stepped behind it and pointed it straight at Quinn.
"Stablizer ready." the nurse said.
The doctor waited patiently for the Quinns to begin separating. He knew that if he attempted it before their cells were completely unbonded, one of them might lose a limb or an organ to the other. Maybe worse. The wait wasn't a long one. He looked down at Quinn's arm and saw what looked like another arm growing out of it.
"Now!" he shouted.
The nurse flipped a switch and a ray was shot at Quinn. Quinn's body glowed bright white and he was still screaming as he slowly split into two beings. After a few minutes into the separation, Quinn was lying on top of Mallory.
"Shut it off!" the doctor shouted.
The nurse flipped the switch as several doctors ran towards Quinn and Mallory. They pulled Quinn off Mallory and put him on a separate table. After that, they hooked Mallory up to a heart monitor as well. Quinn's heart was doing fine, and he was no longer screaming, but Mallory was flat lining.
"Damnit!" a doctor shouted.
The doctor took what looked like a robotic arm from the side of the table, at the end of it were two metal paddles. He took this device and pressed the paddles up to Mallory's chest.
"Clear." the doctor said.
Mallory's body jumped up as several hundred volts of electricity was pumped into him. Mallory's heart beated a few times, but flat lined again soon after.
* * *
Maggie was sitting in a room close to where the Quinns' separation was occuring. Another damn waiting room. she said to herself. Next to her was Diana and standing at the window, looking outside was Daelin. Maggie couldn't take anymore, the tension was killing her. She jumped out of her seat when she saw a doctor walk into the room. She ran straight to him and both Diana and Daelin were right behind her.
"What's going on?" Maggie asked eagerly. "Are they OK?"
"I'm sorry Ms. Beckett." the doctor said, "We did everything we could do. We separated them, but soon after, their hearts just...stopped."
Maggie's eyes went wide, as she started crying. No. Not Quinn too. She had enough of sliding. Ever since she discovered that there were other universes, everyone she ever cared about just vanished or died. Steven, Colin, Rembrandt, now Quinn and Mallory. Not to mention everyone from her world that was still on it when the pulsars hit, but she could hardly blame that on sliding. Still, she was pissed at the whole thing. It was like it set off some sort of chain reaction that destroyed her life.
Then Maggie lost her train of thought, she just realized that not only her life was destroyed, but Quinn and Rembrandt's too. But they slid for nearly three years, then they met Maggie...
Oh my god... Maggie thought to herself as she came to a realization. She looked back over to Diana and Daelin and expected them to have expressions of sadness on their faces, but they wern't sad. They had huge grins on their faces. And they were laughing. Laughing at Maggie...
* * *
"Maggie!" Diana shook her friend, who was asleep, "Maggie wake up!"
Maggie opened her eyes and returned to reality. "What happened?"
"You looked like you were having a nightmare."
Thank god. Maggie thought. "Thanks."
At that moment a doctor walked into the room. Maggie jumped out of her seat and ran over to him, Diana and Daelin soon followed.
"Are they OK?" Maggie asked, preparing for the worst.
The doctor smiled. "They're doing just fine. The separation was a complete success."
Maggie started tearing up, tears of joy this time. Diana was just as overjoyed, they turned to each other and embraced in a long hug, each expressing their joy in laughter. Daelin stood by and just smiled.
"One of them gave us quite a scare," the doctor continued, "his heart stopped, but he pulled through."
Maggie let go of Diana and turned to the doctor. "Can we see them?"
"Go right ahead."
Maggie, Diana, and Daelin rushed into the other room. There they saw both Quinn and Mallory, now in hospital gowns, lying in separate beds. Maggie walked slowly to the side of Quinn's bed and looked down upon him. I can't believe this is real. she thought. She reached down and cupped his cheek in her hand. It sure felt real. She finally came to her senses, it was Quinn. Sure, he was sweating and unconscious, but the fact still remained that it was Quinn. She looked back over to Diana who was looking over Mallory, he seemed to be doing all right as well.
"Well you guys," Daelin said, "I'm going to give you Sliders some time alone. I'll be back in the morning."
Daelin left the room, and Maggie looked down at Quinn. She still couldn't believe it. It was Quinn.
* * *
Wow. What a hangover. Quinn thought to himself as he opened his eyes. He looked around, he didn't recognize where he was at. He looked to the side and saw a hospital bed, and lying in it was a man he technically never met. He was asleep. To that man's side was an African-American woman, sitting in a chair at his side. She was also asleep. He looked down, he saw a fuzzy lump lying atop his chest. It was a woman, she was sitting in a chair at his side and she seemed to be using his chest as a pillow.
Maggie. he thought to himself as he smiled and rubbed her hair. Maggie stirred slightly then opened her eyes.
"Quinn." she said as she sat up and hugged him.
"I get the feeling that you missed me." Quinn joked.
Maggie let go of him then stared into his eyes. "I'm sorry, Quinn."
Quinn was confused. "For what?"
"For everything. It seems that ever since you slid into my world, it's been one disaster after another. The Professor getting shot. Earth Prime being taken over by Kromaggs. Losing Wade and Colin..."
"Maggie, none of that was your fault. It never was."
"It's just that nothing like that ever happened to you before you met me."
Quinn smiled. "Trust me, we've gotten into our fair amount of trouble."
"But nothing that severe, it's like I'm some sort of jinx."
"Maggie, it was all coincidence. You had nothing to do with it. Why can't you realize that? Do you think I'm just going to dump you off on this world just because you're bad luck? C'mon. Back in the early days, Remmy used to be a trouble magnet. Did we dump him?"
Maggie finally returned the smile. "Maybe you're right."
"Of course I am."
"So this is the great Quinn Mallory." a voice from the side said.
Quinn and Maggie both looked up to see Diana walking toward them.
"The inventor of sliding. It's a pleasure to meet you, I'm Dr..."
"Dr. Diana Davis." Quinn finished for her. "The scientist that was babysitting while I was away. From my point of view, I'd say you did a hell of a job."
"Thanks." Diana smiled. "So how did it feel to be inside of another person?"
"'Weird?'" Maggie laughed. "Is that a technical term?"
"Yeah," Quinn laughed back, "One of the big ones."
"Do you have any of his memories?" Diana asked.
"Not anymore. I used to have them all. At times I couldn't tell his from my own."
"And what about the memories of the events that were happening while you were merged?"
Quinn leaned back on his pillow. "I remember everything."
"So," Maggie said, "You know about..."
"Colin being unstuck? Wade being hooked up to that Kromagg weapon? Remmy jumping into that unstable vortex? Mom? I saw all of it."
"And you know about your homeworld? How the weapon we were searching for turned it into a wasteland?"
Quinn let out a huge sigh. "Yes."
They all were silent for a few moments. Nobody knew what to say.
Quinn was the one to break the silence. "So, where's my mother?"
"Back on Seer world." Maggie responded. "We had to slide to another world in order to separate you and Mallory."
"Wait, I thought the timer was destroyed..."
"It was. A woman named Daelin Richards gave us a lift to a world that could help you."
"Yeah, she said that you and her bumped into each other a while back and exchanged coordinates. She's been looking for you ever since. Do you know her?"
"I've met a few Daelin Richards, but never one that could slide."
I knew it. I knew she was lying about something. Maggie thought to herself.
"Can I talk to this Daelin?" Quinn asked.
"That can be arranged." a voice from the side said. Quinn, Maggie, and Diana all jerked their heads to the doorway and saw Daelin standing there. She was holding a gun, and it was pointed straight at them.
"Hello, Quinn." she said with a smile on her face. "So nice to see you again."
Quinn's facial expressions went neutral. "Hello, Logan. I wish I could say the feeling was mutual."
Then it hit her, Maggie remembered where she had seen this woman before. She was one of LeBeau's paintings. She was a woman, holding a gun, with a orange vortex behind her. Underneath it was the name "Logan St. Clair." Maggie then recalled the story that Quinn told her about this woman. Logan was Quinn's double, that was born female. Her mother divorced her dad and she took her step father's last name at an early age. Her world was limited on resources, so she planned to use sliding to raid other worlds of their resources and charge a heafty price for them. During this, she murdered Arturo's double and tried to kill both Arturo and Wade. Quinn managed to stop her by stranding her in the multiverse, lost without her home coordinates.
"You bitch!" Maggie shouted at her. "We trusted you!"
"Oh, so feisty." Logan said. "I think I like this one a lot better than that other whore you used to drag around, Quinn."
"What are you waiting for?" Quinn shouted. "If you want to kill me, now's your chance. SHOOT!"
"God, you are naive, Quinn. If I wanted you dead, I would have left you on fanboy world and let you die a slow and painful death." She smiled again. "Oh, those screams were music to my ears."
"What do you want?"
"I want the same thing I wanted last time we met, my home coordinates."
"Logan, that was three years ago. What makes you think I even remember them?"
"Don't play coy with me, Quinn. I know you. I am you. If you're anything like me, which you are, you have a photographic memory. I'm willing to bet that you remember every single digit."
"Even if he did remember your coordinates," Maggie said, "Why should we give them to you? So you can raid worlds?"
"Oh, wake up. I don't need my world to raid other worlds. When I was trapped here, I saw that the people here were greedy, without moral, corporate types, just like they all are, and presented them with my plan. They, of course, loved it. I provide them with sliding, they raid the worlds for me. My homeworld would be a major cash in. Plus, I'm a little homesick."
"What if we don't help you?" Quinn asked. "Are you going to shoot Maggie? Maybe Diana? Just like you tried to shoot Wade?"
"Believe it or not, Quinn, my ace card is the exact same one I had when we last met. I was telling the truth about being stuck her and having to fix my timer. When I finally got going again, I immediately went after you. Gaining every peice of information I could and following your wormholes. I knew all about your merger before I got to the world you were on. By the way, Diana, you're on the ten most wanted list on your world. Something about killing a Dr. Oberon Geiger..."
Diana's jaw dropped. She hadn't thought of that. She fired a laser at Dr. Geiger and he disappeared in front of several witnesses. Of course she'd be in trouble.
"But before I tracked you down," Logan continued, "I found it very interesting that your slide signature separated from someone else in your little group. So I followed it." Logan reached into her pocket and pulled out a photograph. "This picture was taken one month ago."
Logan tossed it into Quinn's lap. Quinn picked it up and looked at it. Pictured was a woman. He didn't recognize her at first, but he evetually did. Her hair was longer and back to it's original color, and she was also pretty dirtied up, but there was no mistaking it. He could tell from the eyes. The woman in the picture was Wade Welles. She was still alive.
"I'm willing to make a trade," Logan continued, "My coordinates for hers."
"Logan, I told you," Quinn said, "I don't remember your coordinates..."
Logan frowned. Her finger tight around the trigger.
"But I know how we can get them." Quinn finished.
Maggie and Diana looked at Quinn in shock. Logan just smiled.
"So we have a deal?" Logan asked.
Quinn paused for a second, not believing the word he was about to say. "Yes."
To Be Continued...
Original Roles Played By:
Tom Butler as Michael Mallory
Roy Dotrice as Marc LeBeau AKA the Seer
Linda Henning as Amanda Mallory
Sabrina Lloyd as Wade Welles
Zoe McLellan as Logan St. Clair
Jerry O'Connell as Quinn Mallory
"The Seer" originally written by Keith Damron.
"Dinoslide" originally written by David Peckinpah.
"Sliders" created by Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss.
Special thanks to my computer, for helping me write this fan fiction and not crapping out as often as it usually does. No computer was harmed during the writing of this fan fiction. Although I considered it several times.
* * *
And now, time for a little segment I like to call What the Hell Was He Thinking? SPOILER WARNING!
Now, I know what you all are saying right now. "Another fan fiction season six? WHY GOD WHY?!" And I agree. I decided to write my own season six because I've read a bunch of them over the net. The only thing that has even come close to satisfying what I wanted was Infinite Slides, and that wasn't even a season six. It was an alternate season four and five. I could list the things I liked and didn't like about all these fan fictions, but I'd be here all day. So I took it upon myself to write twelve stories to finish off the series the way I saw fit. I chose the number twelve because Sliders already had eighty eight episodes and I thought it would be cool to make it an even hundred.
To prepare for this, I rewatched five episodes that I thought related to the stories I was going to tell: Double Cross, the Unstuck Man, Requiem, Eye of the Storm, and the Seer.
Now came the tricky part, I had to avoid something that plagued all fan fictions, they started with what seemed to be a quick fix. Usually they always started with Rembrandt finding Arturo on Earth Prime and discovering everything is a lie. Later on they find Quinn and Wade; Maggie, Colin, Mallory, and Diana are thrown away like leftovers; and everything is OK again. The way I tried to avoid this was I decided to not follow Rembrandt. I thought the more interesting story would have been with the remaining Sliders. After all, Quinn was technically with them. But I had three goals for this story without making it seem like a quick fix: bring back Quinn, bring back Logan, and plant the Wade seed. That was no easy task. Hopefully I made this story feel new, even though I highly doubt I did.
Another problem I was trying to avoid was the whole Logan/Daelin thing. If you were one of the 99% of people who figured out who Daelin really was the minute they read "orange vortex," congratulations. YOU RUINED MY F***ING STORY! But that was to be expected. It's not like bringing Logan back was a fresh idea in the fan fiction world.
The last problem was one I couldn't avoid at all. This was my first dramatic fan fiction, I used to only write humorous fan fiction. I also usually write fan fiction in a script-like format. I do this because I'm terrible with descriptions, which is apparant above. I prefer writing dialogue. I also tried my damnedest to keep from writing humorous lines every here and there. Like for example right after I said Quinn was "the man who invented sliding" I almost wrote down after that to describe Mallory as "the man who invented the excuse" or "the man who invented eBay addiction." Thankfully, I erased both. I let a little of my lame humor leak through, however. Whether it works or not is up for you to decide.
So, I hope you enjoyed my stupid, predictable little story. You'll be getting more. Just don't expect any ground breaking alternate history. I almost flunked History, so I wouldn't know good alternate history if it bit me in tha ass, but I'll try my best.
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