Mallory was sitting at the table of his hotel room eating Chinese food and watching The Sliders on TV. Maggie was lying on the couch reading one of the early "Sliders" books that LeBeau wrote.|
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 soon as he walked in there, he heard the room door open. He knew it had to be Diana, coming back to give them the bad news. Mallory didn't know much about science, but he did know when they were screwed. He knew they were screwed weeks ago.
Just then he didn't feel too good. He tried to shrug it off as those noodles disagreeing with something but the pain just got worse as he took a towel off the rack. He began to feel lightheaded. He dropped the towel and made his way back to the other room, maybe Diana could help.
"You better clean up that mess before it stains." Maggie teased and looked up at her fellow Slider. But when she did, Mallory didn't like the look on her face. To make matters worse, his pain tripled since he walked out of the bathroom.
"Help me" he tried to mouth out as Maggie and Diana rushed toward him and tried to hold him up. Then nothing. Mallory blacked out. But when he regained his senses the pain flooded right back into him.
"Quinn!" Maggie shouted as Mallory threw up on the floor.
Then Mallory sensed nothing but pain. Hours of it. Mallory thought he died and went to hell. He felt like he was literally being torn apart. He wouldn't wish this on the most black hearted Kromagg in the multiverse. It was that bad.
Then he blacked out again. He felt nothing and sensed nothing, but despite this, it was this rest that he really needed. He was enjoying every minute of this nothingness.
Then he opened his eyes. At first he dreaded feeling that pain again, but when it never came, he welcomed awareness with open arms. And right there to greet him was the familiar face of Diana Davis looking down upon him.
"Hey," Diana said cheerfully, "Welcome back to the land of the living."
"Honey," Mallory replied, rubbing his head thanking god it was all over, "You don't know the half of it."
"I can take an educated guess, but I know that would be nothing compared to experiencing it."
"What the hell happened to me?"
"You seperated from Quinn."
Mallory froze and then stared up at Diana. "That's not funny. I just came out of the most horrific pain I've ever experienced and you're playing games?"
"No, I'm serious. Quinn's been seperated from you."
Mallory paused. His head did feel rather empty. Could it really be over? "For real?"
"As real as real can be." Diana smiled.
"I don't believe it," Mallory smiled back, "I can finally meet that voice inside my head."
Diana giggled but rolled her eyes at the same time. In a hospital bed or not, Mallory was still Mallory.
"So, where is this guy, anyway?"
A loud voice came from another room. Mallory couldn't see who was shouting but he knew from the tone that it was Maggie. "How dare you make a deal with that woman?! You could have at least asked Diana and I what we thought first!"
"All right," another voice shouted back, this one Mallory didn't recognize, "What do you think?!"
Mallory looked at Diana. "Why do I get the feeling that I missed something?"
"Because you did." Diana said, face neutral. She then began to inform Mallory on what was going on.
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?
Jerry O'Connell as Quinn
Kari Wuhrer as Maggie
Robert Floyd as Mallory
Tembi Locke as Diana
Quinn went to another room and shut the door behind him. He really didn't like these hospital gowns. He was told by Logan that this room had wardrobe for him to change into, and it did. It was some sort of blue jumpsuit, kind of stupid looking, but he guessed it was all they had right now. There was one for him, one for Mallory, and even some provided for Diana and Maggie if they ever wanted to change. He changed into his new threads and prepared to go back, but for some reason he hesitated. He looked back down at the picture Logan gave him that he was still holding, the one of Wade. He was trying to convince himself that it was actually her, this could easily have been another one of Logan's cheap tricks.
Wade was sitting down. She seemed to be playing with rocks or something of the sort, tossing them at the ground, perhaps she was aiming at something, fighting boredom or lost in thought. He studied the background surrounding Wade. It was some sort of field, or maybe a meadow. She wasn't alone, there were many women behind her. All just as dirty and beat up.
Breeding camp. Quinn thought to himself. The whole idea made Quinn sick to his stomach. But from the Kromagg perspective, it was something that had to be done. They were genetically mutated so that their females would die during child birth. Then Quinn thought about that one world where less than 10% of the population was male. Those people set up a system similar to the Kromaggs, shipping men off to what also could be called "breeding camps." But they didn't resort to crossbreeding. But still, he could kind of see the Kromagg point of view, desperate times call for desperate measures.
But that still doesn't make it right.
Just then, the door slid open and Maggie walked inside.
"Someone's changing in here." Quinn joked.
"Would you mind explaining that to me?" Maggie demanded.
"Yeah, when someone's changing clothes, other people should have the decency to turn their back and respect their privacy."
Maggie just stared at him. She was not amused at all. "How dare you make a deal with that woman?! You could have at least asked Diana and I what we thought first!"
"All right, what do you think?"
"I think we shouldn't trust her."
Quinn laughed. "You think I do? Logan has done nothing but lie to me since the day I met her."
"So why are you trusting her?"
"Think about it, Maggie! We're on another world. No timer, not even a lousy weapon. Not to mention we're in a building filled with people who work with her. We're on her turf and she wants us to play by her rules. And for now, I think we should follow them."
Maggie looked Quinn straight in the eyes. There was more to it, she could tell. "That's not the real reason, is it?"
"No, it's not."
"You're doing this for Wade, aren't you?"
"If it means getting her back..."
"Wake up, Quinn! Wade is dead! The Seer said so, himself."
"Then how do you explain this?" He handed her the photo.
Maggie looked at it, but tossed it right back at him. "An obvious fake."
"Look closer, Maggie! That's a breeding camp."
"Yeah," Maggie rolled her eyes, "And the fact that I told her about Wade being in a breeding camp before she laid this picture on us is just coincidence, right? For all we know, that could be Wade's double making a few extra bucks on the side posing for a stupid picture with a bunch of extras getting paid just as much."
"I don't believe that."
"Don't give me that bull..."
"Hey, my gut got me this far during sliding, I'm not about to stop listening to it now." Quinn paused. "Maggie, you don't know what it was like, being inside of the other Quinn. Then seeing, through his eyes, Wade hooked up to that Kromagg weapon. I brought her along on this adventure, and she paid the price. Not just her, the Professor, Colin, maybe Remmy as well. I wanted so much at that moment to reach out to her and tell her how sorry I was, but I couldn't."
Maggie's anger had subsided. She knew Quinn's pain, probably not to his extent, but she knew it. She remembered seeing Wade as that "experiment." Even though she and Wade never got along that well, it sent chills down her spine. She knew she was partially to blame too. If Quinn hadn't stayed behind to help her fight off Rickman and the Hybrids, he would have followed Wade and Rembrandt through the vortex and been on Earth Prime with them when the Kromaggs attacked. He may have not been able to stop the invasion, but maybe he could have used his sliding knowledge to get people off that world and find help.
"It's not your fault." Maggie did her best to comfort Quinn, but she knew it wouldn't do any good. Quinn had been hanging on to the guilt of bringing his friends into this since the earliest days of sliding, nothing she said could ease it.
"I sware, I'm going to do everything in my power to make things right."
Quinn smiled. "Logan's not the only one who can lie."
"What are you talking about?"
A lightbulb went on in Maggie's head. "You remember them?"
"Every single digit." Quinn said as he walked out of the room.
Mallory and Diana jerked their heads up and saw both of them coming their way.
"You must be Quinn Mallory." said Quinn.
"And you must be Quinn Mallory." Mallory said with a smile on his face. "It's been fun, but I must say I couldn't be happier to get you out of me."
"The feeling is mutual." Quinn smiled back.
"Did Diana tell you...?" Maggie asked.
Mallory's eyes wandered. "About our home world? Yeah. No big deal, I guess. Nothing back there but my old wheelchair and a bunch of pissed exes."
Diana knew that wasn't true. Mallory was probably trying not sound too disappointed, but he was failing at it. He was just as depressed about this news as Diana was. Both Diana and Mallory weren't exactly like the other Sliders. The original four, Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt, and Arturo, were out here by accident and spent their first few years of sliding looking for their home again and when they finally did, it was taken over by Kromaggs. Maggie's home world was destroyed by pulsars, but when she finally got revenge on Rickman, she stood by Quinn and Rembrandt because she felt a sense of loyalty to them. She could have gone back to the New World that Quinn found for her and the survivors, but they lost the coordinates to that when they replaced the gem in the timer months ago. Colin came along by choice, also because he didn't feel comfortable on the Amish World his real parents (and Quinn's also) put him on. Quinn and Colin have been looking for their true home world ever since, but now they know they can't because it was devastated by the Anti-Kromagg weapon that was developed. Each one of the Sliders had lost their home in some way.
Mallory and Diana on the other hand, always felt like they could go back home at any time (that is until they lost their coordinates by replacing the gem in the timer), and they were ready to do just that when Dr. Geiger gave them the coordinates to their world and Rembrandt's world, but that was not possible after Claire sidetracked their wormhole to Seer World and destroyed their timer. Now if they do happen to make it home, they would either have to live in hiding or get arrested. Neither wanted that. Now their best choice was to stay with the group.
"So where do we go from here?" Diana asked.
"If I know Quinn, back to the life of sliding." Maggie responded.
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that Miracle Boy here has only been back in the real world for twenty minutes and he's already got a plan." Maggie paused for a second. "You do have a plan, do you?"
"Well," Quinn said, a little uneasy, "Yes and no."
"What?! Then what was all that about keeping Logan's coordinates from her?"
"To buy us some time. The way I figure it is that I don't need to trade Logan's coordinates for Wade's. Logan goes from one world to the next with a timer, just like us. If we can grab this timer and slide away from here, we could backtrack and find Wade."
"And what if Wade's coordinates aren't in that timer?" Or don't exist at all? Maggie said silently to herself.
Quinn sighed. "Then we move on. Find Rembrandt. Try to anchor Colin if given the chance."
"And how do we do get the timer?"
"That is where the 'yes and no' part comes in. I woke up not to long ago. I'm not familiar with this place like you guys are. If what Logan said about this place raiding other worlds is true, we may have to destroy this place."
Maggie rubbed her forehead. Of course. What slide would be complete without saving a world from themselves?
"It's the only way we can make sure that nobody follows us." Quinn finished.
"So let me get this straight," Mallory said, "You have a plan, but you don't know what it is?"
"That's pretty much it."
"I like it. I say we go for it."
"Are you sure this is wise?" Diana asked, concerned. "This could take a lot of improvisation."
"Diana," Maggie responded, "Quinn's been sliding longer than any of us. If there's one thing he knows how to do, it's improvise."
"But to what extent? You are talking about tearing an entire building down and destroying the sliding technology with it. And to top it all off, we're still not finished. We have to steal a timer while we're at it."
"The results of this improve show should be interesting to say the least." Quinn said. "But it's the best plan we have."
"Why not just give the coordinates to her? She said she'd let us go with your friends coordinates."
"Even if the coordinates are real, she won't give them to us. I know her too well. As soon as she's sure she has what she wants, she'll shoot us in the back for stranding her in the multiverse in the first place."
"Us?" Mallory interrupted. "That was you and your little group. We had nothing to do with it."
"She won't care. As long as you're with me, you're the enemy."
"Why do I have this sudden urge to play double agent?"
"Besides," Quinn continued, "If this place is raiding other worlds, we have to stop it. Even if it costs us Logan's timer and Wade's coordinates."
The group fell silent. Quinn was right. Even if they did want to get out of here, they couldn't let this place steal resources from other worlds. It just wasn't right.
"So," a voice from the doorway said, "I see your little group is keeping secrets from me, Quinn."
Logan made her way toward the group.
"We were just..." Quinn started.
"I don't care." Logan interrupted. "I'm holding all the cards. Even if you are planing something, I highly doubt you'll be able to pull it off. But be warned, I still have me eye on you. If I sense you deceiving me, one of your friends will have a date with a bullet from my gun." She looked at Diana. "Starting with her. Now, you said something about finding my coordinates. How?"
* * *
"...Before he died, Dr. Geiger told us how he tracked down our home worlds." Quinn was lying his ass off for about ten minutes now. Dr. Geiger didn't tell them anything about how he got their home coordinates. He gave them to Diana and died. But Logan didn't know that. "By tracking our singnatures backwards he was able to pinpoint the origin dimension."
"And you can track mine and get me back home?" Logan asked.
"From what I've seen of this place, I probably can. Hopefully I can recreate what Geiger did."
"Beautiful." Logan grinned.
Logan was leading the Sliders around the building, showing Quinn the labs, seeing if they had what he needed to get the job done. Mallory was now also dressed up in the same jumpsuit Quinn was, only he was a lot more outspoken of how stupid it looked. Both Maggie and he came along with the group because they thought they should stick together, but neither were paying attention to anything, and what they did hear they didn't understand at all. Diana on the other hand, couldn't have been more attentive if she tried. She found each lab they visited facinating, but what really grabbed her ear was Quinn. Every time Quinn told a lie, she got more uptight, remembering what Logan said minutes ago. Quinn noticed her uneasyness. He prayed that she didn't give them away.
"Now," Quinn said, trying to change the subject, "Tell us about Wade."
"What do you want to know that I do?" Logan replied. "I didn't know a thing about what happened to her until I ran into your newbies. I found her there, took the picture, and slid out. Those lumpy headed things gave me the creeps."
OK, so she knows what a Kromagg looks like. Quinn thought to himself. But she might have encountered them before.
"How do we know that the picture is real?" Quinn asked her.
Logan smiled her evil, little smile. "You don't. You're just going to have to trust my word."
"That's what I was afraid of."
Logan rolled her eyes. "Very funny."
"I was dead serious." Quinn said, face neutral.
Logan stuck her gun to his head. She leaned forward on the other side of his face and whispered into his ear. "So am I."
Quinn didn't move. He just stood there, almost welcoming the gun that was pointed at his head. Logan leaned back and stared into his still neutral face. She frowned. Sliding had definitely broken this man. He didn't care if he lived or died. That kind of took the fun out of torturing him like this. But she still knew that his weak spot stayed in tact. His friends. She knew he was helping her because of Wade, and she knew he'd go through with it because of the threat she made to Diana. Still, Quinn Mallory was daring, Logan saw that the last time they met. He corrupted her computer system and refused to fix it until they released Wade. She knew Quinn would try to outsmart her, but Logan knew better than to underestimate him this time.
"Now," Logan continued, taking her gun from his head, "I'm going to have a little talk to Michael and Val. Make sure they give you access to whatever you need, but have them keep a close eye on you."
She walked into lab and the door shut behind her. Diana pulled Quinn to the side.
"Are you crazy?" She solded him. "Dr. Geiger never told us how he got our coordinates."
"I know that," Quinn confirmed, "But this is the best way to buy us some time. Besides, not everything I said was a lie. I thought about how Geiger got those coordinates, and from what I can tell, what I told Logan was my best guess."
"Easy for you to say. Your head's not on a chopping block."
"So wait," Mallory interrupted, "You gave a completely bull story based on a theory that you can't confirm is possible?"
"Yeah." Quinn said.
"This is getting better by the minute. I'm gaining a lot of confidence in our old leader here."
Maggie elbowed Mallory in the ribs. Causing him to yelp in pain.
Quinn ignored Mallory and continued. "Let's think here. If I don't have the slightest idea on how to do this, I figure that neither does Logan. If we can try to fake our way through this thing, we will have access to computers which means we can hack into the system and formulate a plan."
Now even Maggie was skeptical. "Quinn, that is the stupidest...you do realize you're going to get us all killed? She's going to be watching us like a hawk."
"If anyone has a better idea, raise your hand." Nobody moved a muscle. "I rest my case."
"What do we do if we get caught?" Diana asked.
"If we get caught, she'll most likely kill one of us." he said, glancing at Diana. "If it comes down to that, I'll use her coordinates as a bargaining chip to talk her out of it. But if we do that..."
"...She gets what she wants," Mallory continued, "Not to mention that she might kill us all anyway or send us on our merry way without your girlfriend's coordinates."
Quinn stared at Mallory when he said the word "girlfriend."
"What?" Mallory said, defensively. "I had your memories too, I know things." He then mouthed the word "basement" and raised his eyebrows.
Quinn blushed slightly and tried to look away to hide it, but he didn't hide it quick enough. Mallory was enjoying watching Quinn squirm, Diana was rolling her eyes at how childish Mallory was being, and Maggie just stood there, lost in thought. Maggie had feelings for Quinn. She knew about Quinn and Wade, but Quinn assured her that they were just good friends and that was over long ago. Maggie didn't know what to think, Quinn almost snapped when he found out about the breeding camps. But then again, how would you feel if you found out someone you knew was in one of those? During her short time with Wade, Maggie studied her often to try and figure out her feelings but Wade was hard to read. Professor Arturo had just been killed and Wade took it very hard, Maggie sensed nothing but depression and sadness from her at that time.
And now they might get Wade back. Maggie could help but ask herself What now?
Just then, the door next to them slid open and Logan walked out.
"Quinn," she said with a smile, "I'd like you to meet the man in charge of our operation here."
Michael Mallory walked out, Quinn's jaw dropped.
"Dad?" Quinn said, not believing his eyes.
Logan saw the pain on Quinn's face and smiled. "Look at the look on his face." She faced Diana and Maggie. "He didn't know? You never told him?"
Quinn stared at his fellow Sliders. "You knew about this and didn't tell me?"
Diana didn't say a word. She didn't know anything about Michael Mallory before she met him last night. Maggie on the other hand, should have told him about it. Maggie knew this.
"I didn't get the chance," Maggie tried to justify it, "I was just so furious at you when Logan left the room that it just...slipped my mind."
"My father is running this place, Maggie. How could that slip your mind?!" Quinn was getting angrier by the second.
Mallory was also taken by surprise, but he didn't show it. This was his father too, but he never knew him that well. He was put up for adoption at an early age. He just stood by and watch the group tear itself apart because, to Quinn, this blow was below the belt. His own father was helping Logan St. Clair raid other worlds. And Logan, herself, was this man's offspring from another dimension.
This is like some warped family reunion. Mallory thought to himself.
"What's the matter, Quinn?" Logan teased, she was loving every moment of this. "Jealous because I'm daddy's favorite?"
Quinn couldn't take this anymore. He just turned around and walked away.
"Hey!" Logan shouted after him. "We had a deal! Get back here and fill it!"
"Let him go, Logan." Michael said, putting an arm around his "daughter." "He's understandably shaken up. Give him a couple of hours to recover from this."
Maggie glared at Michael and Logan. Then she ran after Quinn.
"Quinn, wait." she said as she began to follow.
"No!" Quinn turned around to face her. She stopped in her tracks. "I don't want to talk to anybody right now. Especially you."
"Quinn, I'm sorry..."
"Don't." He turned around and stormed down the hall.
Maggie just stood there and watched him leave. Quinn never spoke to her like that. Quinn never spoke to anyone like that. She tried to hold back the tears as he disappeared around the corner.
During the whole thing, Logan was giggling and Michael was smiling.
* * *
Quinn eventually found his way back to the room he and Mallory woke up in. He sat at the edge of his bed, thinking. This was just too much. To much was thrust upon him right now. Logan, Wade, his father... Quinn had just got unmerged with Mallory. You'd think he'd deserve some peace and quiet. But that's not meant to be. Never was. Not when sliding is your lifestyle.
He heard a knock at the door. Maggie. he thought. He just wanted to shout out "Go away!" but couldn't for some reason. He just sat there in silence.
The door eventually slid open and, to Quinn's surprise, it wasn't Maggie. It was Mallory.
"Oh," he said, "So you are in here. Sorry to barge in on you like this, but I really need to use the can."
Bull. Quinn thought. "There's got to be at least ten restrooms on this floor alone." he said aloud.
"OK, so I'm not as good at lying as you are."
"You give yourself too much credit."
Mallory walked over to Quinn. Quinn still sat there, staring at nothing. Mallory saw the picture of Wade lying on the bed next to him. He picked it up and looked at it.
"She was nice, wasn't she?" He asked.
"Excuse me?" Quinn looked up at him, puzzled.
"Wade." Mallory answered. "I remember you remembering memories of her several times. If that makes any sense."
"No, actually that doesn't." Quinn still didn't crack a smile.
"OK, this is ridiculous." Mallory tossed the picture back on the bed. "That man is not your father. He's his double."
Quinn now was getting a little annoyed at Mallory's constant subject changing. "I know that."
"Do you? You're acting like he just grounded you for staying out after dark."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"You got upset and then you just run to your room like a spoiled brat."
"I just saw my father planning to steal resources from other worlds? And you think I'm overreacting?"
"You seem to be forgetting rule number one when it comes to sliding..."
"Oh yeah, and what's that?"
"Expect the unexpected. The Michael Mallory that you just met isn't your father. Why can't you realize that?"
Quinn just sat there. He was right.
"You know," Quinn said, "You'd make a lousy psychiatrist."
"Is that a fact?"
"But at least you know how to get your point across." Quinn finally cracked a smile.
Mallory smiled back. "As long as it makes the Allmighty Sliding Poobah happy. Now can we get your insanely stupid plan into action?"
"Yeah." Quinn got up and they left the room.
* * *
About an hour after Quinn left the group, he returned to the lab followed by Mallory. Logan looked up from the computer Val was working at and watched them walk in.
"Now," she said, "If you're done crying, can we get to work?"
"Yeah." Quinn replied as he looked over to the corner. He saw Maggie standing there, she was doing her best to avoid eye contact with him. He didn't blame her, he acted like an ass and he knew it. He took a deep breath and walked over to her.
"I'm sorry." He said.
"No," She replied, "I should appoligize. I should have told you..."
"But I shouldn't have acted the way I did. This wasn't the first time I met a double of my dad. This wasn't even the first time he wasn't on the level either." He leaned forward and whispered into her ear. "We're going to get out of this. I promise. Leave everything to me."
Maggie smiled. She believed him. No matter how deep they got into trouble, Quinn always seemed to get them out. Not to take anything from Rembrandt, but he just wasn't the leading type. She felt a lot more at ease now that Quinn was back.
"Hey!" Logan shouted at them. "Enough procrastinating. I want my coordinates and I want them as soon as you can get them."
"Right." Quinn walked over to the computer Val was sitting at. Val got up and let Quinn sit in front of it. "OK, do you have a scanning device around here?"
"Just a second," Val said as he walked over to the wall and pull off a paddle that was hanging there, "We have this. It has to be used by hand though."
"But we can hook it up into the computer, right?"
Val extended a cord and attached it into the side of the computer.
"That's good." Quinn began typing up a bullcrap command. "OK, scan her."
Val walked over to Logan and ran the device over her skin. Quinn began typing while they were pre-occupied. He hoped they thought he was recording the data he was receiving, instead he was hacking into the system, trying to find out a weak spot that they can use.
"All right," Logan said as they finished, "Now what?"
"Now we wait."
* * *
Quinn had nothing but trouble from Logan from the start. She kept questioning every stroke of the key he made. Maggie, Diana, and Mallory tried to keep her preoccupied while he worked. Maggie kept asking stupid questions, like if there were any vending machines she could get a snack from. Diana was asking questions about this Earth and it's history. Logan got so annoyed with her that she gave her access to a computer to get her away from her, Diana was currently reading up on history. Mallory came up with lame come-ons that Logan kept shooting down and when she pointed out that they were almost blood related, he pleaded ignorant.
Like that stopped her from kissing me. Quinn cringed at the thought of the almost incestual relationship he had had with Logan all those years ago. Didn't get very far, but it was creepy enough. But he couldn't dwell on memories for long. He had to find a weakness in this place and put a stop to it. His friends were running out of excuses, and he hadn't gotten very far in trying to find that weakness. In fact he was near square one. He had to distract Logan somehow...
"How'd you know, Logan?" Quinn asked.
"About what?" She asked back.
"About Daelin? How'd you know that I knew a Daelin?"
"You mean that little story I told actually happened?" She looked confused and walked to the other side of the room.
She was distracted, Quinn clicked off the window that was hiding what he was really doing and started again.
"No. Actually it didn't. But I do know a Daelin. Several of them in fact. One was on Earth Prime."
"Huh. I just picked the first name I thought of. That name just happened to belong to some bitch I knew in high school. Whore stole my boyfriend."
"I knew her in high school too." Quinn continued.
"That's nice. But considering I don't give a rat's ass, I suggest you shut up about it."
"Just trying to strike up a conversation. You know, lighten the mood."
"I don't want the 'mood lightened.' I want you to do what I told you to."
"OK, fine." Quinn turned his attention to Michael now. "So you never had children?"
"Why do you care?" Michael said, watching over the room.
"Just wondering if there was a little Quinn or Colin or Logan at home."
"Not that it's any of your business but no."
"That's it." Logan said pulling out her gun and pointing it at Diana. "Now is the time to shut up, Quinn."
Diana just sat there, not moving. She tried to hide the terror she was feeling but you could see it in her eyes.
Quinn caved. "Sorry. I won't do it again."
Logan lowered her gun. Diana returned her gaze to the computer she was on. Logan still wasn't paying attention to his monitor. He tried to type and read fast.
"What the hell are you doing?!" It was Val and he looked pissed.
Damnit! Quinn pressed escape and the window disappeared. He would have to start all over again if he ever got the chance. He returned to the scanning window he had originally.
"What was that other window you had?" Val grabbed Quinn by the shirt.
"What other window?" Quinn tried to look as innocent as possible.
Logan and Michael ran over.
"What the hell are you babbling about, Val?" Michael asked.
"This guy's trying pull something." Val threw Quinn back into his chair.
"I have no clue what he's going on about, Logan." Quinn said defensively. "I think he's delusional."
"You had another window..."
"Would you like to do this?" Quinn shot back. "Do you know anything about coordinate tracking? If you do, by all means, take my place."
Val just stood there staring into Quinn's eyes. "Watch yourself, smart boy. Because I'll be watching too."
Val walked away. Logan and Michael just stood there looking at Quinn. Now he knew they weren't going to leave him alone.
"Wait! Quinn." Diana ran over to him. "I have an idea on how to speed the process up." She leaned over to his ear and whispered into it. "I know how to take this place down. Give them the coordinates."
Quinn glanced over at Logan and Michael who were staring at them. He knew they saw her whisper to him.
"That's a good idea." He covered up. "Let's do that."
He typed in a phoney command. And they waited about half a minute. Suddenly a strand of letters and numbers flashed on the screen.
"Bingo." Quinn said. "Logan, I present your way home."
* * *
"All right, Diana. What's this all about?" Quinn asked as soon as they were sure they were alone. They went back to their room while Logan loaded the coordinates into her timer in the lab.
"Well," Diana explained herself, "I noticed that trying to hide what you were doing from Logan and the others was no easy feat, so I figured that they would be too busy watching you to notice me. I realized that this world might have something similar to an internet hookup, the question was why would they let me access it? And then it hit me...information..."
"They don't call it the information superhighway for nothing." Maggie joked.
"Anyway, I started to act very curious about this Earth. Actually it wasn't that much of an act. I really wanted to find out more about this place. You will not believe some of the things I saw on the net..."
"Diana..." Mallory interrupted.
"Oh, sorry. Eventually they let me use a computer to look this stuff up. What harm could it do, right?"
"Famous last words." Quinn said. "So once online you hacked into the system from there?"
"No. You see, my hunch was that some of the information we were looking for would have been right in front of our noses, so I looked up the history of sliding on this world. After a while I think I found what we were looking for."
"Which is...?" Maggie was getting anxious.
"You remember that story Michael Mallory told us about the merger that happened on this world? Well merging wasn't the only outcome of it..."
"What do you mean?"
"The device that pulls the wormhole into this building was on the verge of exploding, but they managed to cool it down. Two wormholes were too much for it to handle. In fact, if one more wormhole was added, they predicted that it would have exploded immediately. An explosion so powerful that it would have knocked this whole building down."
"So if we can get our hands on three of their timers and have them attract all three wormholes..." Quinn began.
"Slide Central will slide into the center of a crater." Mallory finished.
"That's the way I figure it." Diana concluded.
"But how do we get them to activate their little vortex fishing reel?" Maggie asked.
"We have to convince them." Quinn said.
"Get one of those communicators and convince them you're the president or something. I don't know. This part is up to you guys."
"What do you mean, Quinn?"
"Last time I ran into Logan, she demanded that I came with her through the vortex to make sure that I gave her the right coordinates. Odds are, she'll do the same this time."
"But what happens when she finds out you gave her the wrong coordinates this time?"
Quinn didn't say anything.
"You did give her the wrong coordinates, didn't you?" Maggie demanded an answer.
"I had to give her what she wanted. If I didn't she would shoot me as soon as we got to the other side. I have to distract her long enough to get her timer."
"And what do we do with Logan afterwards?" Mallory asked.
"We'll deal with that when we come to it."
"Quinn, this is very risky..." Maggie began.
"It's our only shot."
* * *
The Sliders marched back into the lab a half hour later.
"You wanted to see us?" Quinn said.
"Yeah." Logan said with a huge grin on her face. "Get ready. You're coming with me."
"I figured that. What about the others."
"If we're not back in an hour, I've given the guards permission to execute all three."
Two men moved up behind the Sliders and pointed some sort of hand held weapon at them.
"And," Logan continued, "Just a warning, if my homeworld isn't at the other side of that tunnel, this time the gun won't be aimed at your pretty little girlfriend..." She took out her handgun and playfully pointed it at his chest.
"What are we waiting for?" Quinn said, face as neutral as always when he faced death.
"Confidence? Either you have a plan or you've done exactly as I said. Let's find out."
She pulled out her timer and pointed it in the middle of the room, a beam of light shot out and opened wide into the giant orange vortex.
"After you." Logan smiled.
Quinn took a deep breath, ran forward, and jumped in. Logan went in right behind him. The vortex then snapped shut behind them.
* * *
On a new world in the vast multiverse, the orangeish vortex opened inside of an empty room. Quinn plopped out and landed on his stomach. He scrambled out of the way because he knew Logan was coming through any second. But as soon as he got up onto his feet, she flew out of the wormhole and plowed right into him sending him back onto his stomach with her on his back.
Logan blinked, suddenly realizing what just happened. "Don't touch me." She smacked tha back of his head.
"Ow!" Quinn said rubbing the back of his head. "Believe me, I'll avoid it if I can."
Logan started getting up, but while doing so she kept stepping on Quinn's limbs, making him wince in pain. She was definitely doing this on purpose.
"Get up, brain boy." Logan ordered. "No slacking off."
Quinn rolled his eyes, got up, and dusted himself off.
"What kind of place is this?" She asked, looking around the room.
"Your homeworld?" Quinn shot back sarcastically.
She gave him the evil eye. "We'll see about that, smartass. I was talking about where we are."
Quinn looked up around the room. The place was a mess, completely abandoned. "It looks like...a McDonald's?"
"What the hell is McDonald's? Looks like a Great Gruel to me."
"Right." Quinn said. He forgot the food was different on her world.
"And it's abandoned," Logan smirked, "The way they should be. Let's get the hell out of here."
* * *
The two guards had their gun-like devices pointed toward the Sliders. The guards were uptight at first, ready to shoot at the slightest movement. They relaxed as the minutes passed and they figured that they weren't going anywhere. And the Sliders were allowed to wander the room as long as they don't leave it. Maggie was formulating a plan in her head. She saw the shelf on the other side of the room. Stacked there were timers and communicators. Exactly what they needed.
Now all we have to do is get past Schwarzenegger and Van Damme over there. She said to her self. She knew she had to sneak up on them, and she knew she had to do it alone because if she started scheming with Diana or Mallory, the guards would notice. What she needed was a distraction...
Suddenly Diana started moaning slightly and grabbed her stomach. Val looked up at her.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked.
"I need to use the rest room." She replied. "Where is it?"
"You think I'm falling for that? You can hold it."
"No I can't," she whined, "I hope you have a bucket in here, because I have to go now."
"Fine. It's the first door in the hall."
"Thanks." She started to leave as one of the guards followed her. "Where do you think you're going?"
"I'm not letting you out of my sight." he replied.
"What ever happened to privacy?"
"It doesn't exist until Ms. St. Clair gets back."
"If you have to go that bad," Val shouted her way, "You can do it with him there."
Diana's eyes went wide. "That's sick! I'm not doing that!"
Just then Maggie grabbed the arm of the other guard, aimed his gun at the one with Diana, pressed the trigger, and fired. A bolt of electricity flew out of the gun and it hit the other guard square in the back. He fell to the floor.
"Wow." Diana said staring at the dead body in front of her.
Maggie kicked the guard she was holding in the groin and punched him in the face, sending him to the floor, unconscious. Mallory ran up and elbowed Val across the jaw before he could call more security, knocking him out as well.
"Wooh!" Mallory shouted. "Glad to see I'm not getting rusty."
"That was brilliant, Diana. I wish I thought of that." Maggie said. "Now we need to get out of here."
"Sure," Diana replied back, "But can we do one thing first?"
"I really do need to go to the bathroom."
Maggie refrained from giggling. "Number one or number two?"
"OK, make it fast though."
In a flash, Diana ran out of the room. Both Maggie and Mallory walked over and grabbed three timers and a communicator.
"So how do we get out of here?" Mallory asked Maggie.
"The transports." Maggie said as she stuffed the communicator device in her bra and the timer in her pants pocket. "I say we highjack one of them and anti-gravity our way out of here."
"Finally, something that resembles a plan."
"Let's get out of here." They grabbed the guns that the guards dropped and ran from the room to get Diana. But as soon as they're out in the hallway, they find themselves facing Michael Mallory who had drawn a gun at the sight of them.
"Hold it." He said. "Where do you think you're going?"
"The usual places." Mallory said. "If trouble can't find us, we go looking for it."
"Well, I'd say you found...Ow!" Something hit him in the back of the head. He turned around to see Diana who shot her hands out and made a grab for the gun. They started struggling, leaving Maggie and Mallory pointing their weapons at them, but hesitant to fire for fear of hitting Diana. Diana then kicked Michael in the knee causing him to howl in pain and let go of his weapon. Diana caught it and was now pointing it at him.
"What were you about to say, dad?" Mallory said. "'I'd say you found your ticket out of here?'"
* * *
Quinn and Logan walked out of the abandoned building. Quinn looked up at the sign.
"Yep. Great Gruel. Over ten served."
Logan began to look around, trying to find something familiar. Quinn was still laughing at the restaurant.
"You know," he continued, "I bet the food's still better than..."
"You lying son of a bitch!" Logan charged back at Quinn and shoved him against the wall. She pointed her gun right into his chin. "I warned you Quinn. I warned you what would happen. Now you die, your friends die, and your girl on another world will die alone, wondering why the great Quinn Mallory never saved her. You know come to think of it, I should travel back to that world and put a bullet in her head too."
"What are you talking about? I gave you the right coordinates."
"Look around, Quinn. Do you think I'm stupid? Does this planet look overpopulated to you?"
Quinn shifted his eyes around. Indeed, this city was anything but overpopulated. In fact it was empty. Quinn and Logan were the only people outside. But he was certain that he had the coordinates right. This had to be her world.
"A lot can change in three years, Logan."
"Don't play that game with me..."
"I mean it. How many worlds have a successful restaurant chain named Great Gruel?"
Logan let go of him. He had a point; even if it wasn't her world, it was similar. But she still kept her gun pointed at him.
"Now," he continued, "If you would mind not jumping to conclusions for a minute, maybe we can find out what happened here. Is there anywhere that might help us?"
Logan smiled. "My old workplace."
Quinn shuddered. That was the one place he didn't want to go. Please let it be abandoned too. If it wasn't, he'd have to get Logan's timer fast.
Logan walked over to a parked cab on the sidewalk and got in.
"Woah! Hey!" Quinn screamed at her. "You're just gonna steal it?"
"Like anyone's going to care." She replied.
Quinn looked around again. She had a point. He sighed and got in on the passenger's side just as it started.
"It had the keys too?" he asked her.
"Hell no." She smirked. Quinn looked down and noticed two wires hanging over her legs from under the steering wheel. She hot wired it. he realized as she drove off.
* * *
It's a good thing that there was nobody in this city. Logan was murdering the speed limit. But there were no other cars in sight, all they had to worry about was driving down a dead end.
"You mind slowing down a little." He asked.
Logan responded by pressing down on the gas.
"Thought not." He sank down into his seat, about to lose his lunch. He glanced out of the window. The city was starting to look very different. It looked less abandoned and more...messy. Buildings were barely standing up, there was rubble on the sidewalks...
Suddenly Logan pressed down on the brakes. Quinn would have gone right though the window if he wasn't wearing his seatbelt.
"What the..." He looked out the windshield. The road was blocked off by rubble. A giant building had obviously fallen forward. Logan got out of the cab and looked out beyond the rocks. There was a huge crater, miles in diameter.
Logan glanced at a garbage can next to the street and saw a newspaper on top of it. She picked it up.
"'President Calls For Evacuation of California.'" She read. "China has fired warning missiles at San Angeles. They claim unless the US shares the new oil that was found earlier this year for a reasonable price, they will fire a nuclear warhead that will take out the entire state. Not to give in to terrorism, the entire state is being evacuated in hopes of trying to find a peaceful solution." She read the date, this newspaper was from last week. She tossed it to the side in a state of fury and ran back to the cab. Once there she turned on the radio.
"...warhead is due to hit in forty-five minutes." A man over the radio announced. "We repeat, to all who have failed to evacuate California, find shelter from the nuclear blast immediately. The warhead..."
She pulled out her gun and pointed it at Quinn. "Get out."
Quinn did as she said. "What's going on?"
She got out as well and kept her gun aimed at him. "You knew this happened! Somehow you knew!"
"Knew what? What happened?"
"You were going to steal my timer and leave me here! Leave me in the middle of a nuclear explosion. Sorry, Quinn, it didn't work."
"I have no clue what you're talking about!"
"Damnit Logan! Listen to me! I haven't even been back here since we slid out three years ago! How would I know?!"
"Logan, put down the gun and we can slide out of here to safety..."
"I got a better idea..."
Quinn heard a gunshot, then felt nothing but pain as he fell backward onto his back. Something warm was running over his chest. Blood. Logan shot him.
* * *
Mallory, Maggie, and Diana were marching Michael down the hallway toward the transport holding center. Once there they stopped.
"OK, this is how it's going to work, dad," Mallory said, "We're going to go in there and request a transport and we don't want any problems. Understood, pops?"
"Call me 'pops' again," Michael shot back, "And I'll make sure you never become a father yourself."
They all walked into the holding center. Mallory, Maggie, and Diana all hid their guns but made sure they were in a spot that they could reach them easily in case Michael tried something funny.
Inside the room were several workers. One of them was staring out an entire wall made of glass, which had a beautiful veiw of the city. The man jumped up and gave Michael his full attention as he walked in. "Mr. Mallory. What can we do for you?"
"I'd like a transport."
"May we ask where too?"
"No you may not."
"Well, it would help the pilots if they knew where you were going."
"Good point. Let me ask my friends here about it." Michael turned around. "Well, should we tell them?"
Oh damn. Maggie forgot all about the pilots. If they didn't have a destination, they would grow suspicious. Not that they hadn't already arose suspicion. A bunch of people walking in with the head of the building asking for a transport to an unknown location.
"Well uh..." Mallory tried to cover up, "This is pretty top secret stuff. We can't disclose that location. Couldn't we just fly the thing ourselves?"
Maggie rolled her eyes. Mallory was making an ass out of himself, as usual. Still, it was about as good as anything she could have came up with.
"Of course." The man said as the transport silently hovered up behind him and the pilots jumped out. "May I see your transport license?"
"License? Uh...Mr. Mallory, don't you have one of those?"
"Why no I don't." Michael said, smiling as Mallory was blowing their cover.
"And none of you have one?" The man asked Diana and Maggie who both shook their heads in response. "Well this is weird. You ask for a transport to fly by yourselves, and none of you have licenses? Any grade schooler knows you have to have a license to operate one of these. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call security..."
Maggie pulled out her gun. "Hold it."
"Freeze!" A voice called from the side. Maggie glanced over to see the pilots were pointing guns at her.
"Well crap." She turned and fired a bolt of electricity at them. The dodged it and fired back.
Mallory had pulled out his gun as well and he, Maggie, and the pilots were in an old fashioned shoot out. Dodging shots and firing back. Diana would have pulled out her gun, but she was petrified. The only thing on her mind right now was stay alive. She dodged every shot she could and ducked behind a control station, where Mallory and Maggie were as well. But they weren't cowering behind it like she was, they were crouching down and firing shots at the pilots. This made Diana very uncomfortable, she hated when stuff like this happened. Maggie, on the other hand, lived for it. And Mallory...well...he played video games all his life, so he should have felt right at home.
Out of the corner of her eye, Diana saw the guy who greeted them sneaking up to a panel on the wall. He was calling reinforcements. Then they'd be in bigger trouble. She didn't even think, she aimed and fired nailing him square in the chest, and he went down. She didn't want to do it, it was a survival instinct, but it still didn't feel right. They desperately needed to get out of here. She knew where the safest place was...the transport. But that was behind the pilots.
Diana knew what she had to do. She got up and ran.
"Diana!" Maggie screamed. "Are you crazy?"
Diana didn't answer as she fired on the pilots. Her aim wasn't that good as she missed every time. I guess that first hit was a lucky shot. she thought to herself during her suicide run. The pilots were firing back but also missing. She dove in between them as they both fired, they missed her again, but hit each other and they both went down as Diana slammed on the floor on the inside of the transport. She scrambled up and tried to get to the pilot seats before the pilots could fire in there.
Maggie stood up and ran to Diana. "It's OK, girl! They're down!"
Diana poked her head up and saw that they were indeed on the floor.
"Wow, Di." Mallory laughed. "You're just saving the day today, aren't you?"
"I guess so." Diana gasped. She was out of breath.
They all walked over to the pilot seats and saw Michael was already sitting in there. He was in there the entire fight.
"Damnit." He said. "Why can't at least one of you not make it out alive?"
"Because we've been through worse." Mallory said as he punched Michael in the face. "Sweet dreams, 'pops.'" Mallory took Michael's unconscious body and tossed it in the back of the transport. "So, do any of you know how to fly this thing."
"No, do you?" Maggie replied.
"Are you kidding, I've never even seen this thing before."
"Well," Maggie sat down in the chair, "It's already running. How hard can it be?" Maggie punched a button and the door in back shut. She smiled. "See?"
She punched another button. They all heard a loud screaching sound. They covered their ears and looked out the windshield. They were moving, but they saw sparks. They weren't floating but dragging the bottom of the transport across the ground.
"Pull it up!" Mallory shouted at Maggie.
Maggie couldn't hear him. "What?!"
"I said pull it up!"
"I'm sorry! I can't hear you! I'm going to try to pull it up!" Maggie looked around to see if she could find a wheel or a joystick or something.
"Uh oh!" Diana shouted.
Maggie looked up through the windshield and she saw that they were heading toward the huge glass wall that led outside. They crashed right into it as the whole thing shattered. But that wasn't the most of their troubles; they weren't floating at all. They were falling towards the ground from about twenty stories up.
"Well that's not good." Mallory said.
"GET DOWN!" Maggie shouted as they were about ten feet off the ground.
* * *
Quinn reached over and touched the blood that was running through his shirt. The wound was not in the chest. But where was the blood coming from? He followed the blood trail to his shoulder where he felt a sharp stab of pain. She shot him in the shoulder. It hurt but at least it wasn't instantly fatal. But he had to wonder why Logan didn't go for a kill shot.
Quinn didn't have time to wonder, he had to get up. He began to sit up, trying his best to ignore the pain, but Logan was right on top of him. She walked over too him, crouched down and grabbed him by his shirt collar.
"Thought you could leave me here, huh?" She whispered into his ear. "Maybe I should return the favor." She raised her hand and struck him across the face. Wait, not just her hand, she smacked him with her gun too. She did it again. And a third time and then finally let him go. Quinn was so dazed that he couldn't see a thing.
Then a sudden burst of wind hit Quinn. Oh no. Quinn thought. Logan had activated her timer and was sliding out without him.
"Hasta la vista, Quinn." Logan said. "Do me a favor and die a slow and painful death."
He heard her jump and then nothing. Logan had slid. But the vortex was still open, Quinn had to act fast. He struggled to his feet as fast as he could. He still couldn't see a thing, but with all of the years of sliding, he knew the burst of wind the vortex created like the back of his hand. Now all he had to do was reach the vortex before it closed...
* * *
Logan fell out of the vortex and landed hard. She didn't even try to catch herself on her feet, she had too much to think about. Her home city was a lost cause, but if she could change her sliding radius, she could still slide into another location. Her plans were still not over, she did have her home coordinates and Quinn Mallory was now out of the way. Now that this was taken care of, she had no use for the other three. She got to her feet, reached into her boot, and pulled out her communicator.
She was about to click it on when suddenly Quinn flew out of the vortex right when it was about to close. He tackled Logan in midair and they both fell to the ground. Quinn didn't waste any time, he grabbed Logan by her hair and slammed her head against the steel floor knocking her unconscious.
Quinn, still a little woozy from before, did his best to shake it off. He could see clearer than he could before, but was still a little blurry. He began searching Logan's pockets until he found the timer. He then took the gun from her hand and ran off to find the others. That is, if they're still alive...
* * *
Maggie opened her eyes. The windshield was shattered but it held. It was the weirdest thing, they heard a crashing noise but didn't feel a thing. Then she remembered about the anti-gravity that was holding the people in place on the inside; that's why this thing didn't have seatbelts. She sighed a breath of relief and got up out of her chair.
"Everything's fine." She reassured everyone. "We're safe."
"Not quite," Mallory said taking his arms away from his face, "I'm betting that Val guy got up from his little nap not to long ago and already called more guards to come after us."
"Then let's get moving, we still aren't done here."
Maggie hit the door switch and it slid open. Mallory was the first one out, all too eager to get away from this place. But once he was outside the door, he fell upward. Or at least from his point of view. What he didn't realize was that the transport actually landed upside down, and when he stepped out, normal gravity took effect.
"Mallory!" Diana called out to him as soon as she saw what happened. "Are you OK?"
"Nothing a few shots of morphine won't cure up." He said, rubbing his head and jumping to his feet. "Would you mind getting out here? It's kind of freaky talking to two upside down women."
Diana looked at the door of the transport, and then outside where Mallory was standing. This was going to be tricky. So she did the only thing she could think of, she grabbed on to the side of the door and flung herself out, doing a flip in midair. Didn't quite work, she landed flat on her ass, but at least she was out. Mallory helped Diana and they stared at Maggie, who was laughing at the whole thing.
"Your turn, Maggie." Mallory said. "We'll see who's laughing then."
Maggie bent over and pressed her hands to the ground. She flipped her lower body up so she was walking on her hands. She walked over to the door and just dropped out on her feet. She smirked and raised an eyebrow at Mallory.
"Show off." Mallory sneered.
"OK, we had our fun," Maggie said, getting a final laugh in, "Now we need to get as far away from here as possible."
The all ran off, away from the building.
* * *
Quinn stumbled his way back to Slide Central a few minutes later. He spotted the crashed transport on the outside and immediately knew that his friends had escaped. He smiled and ran to the transport to peek inside. There was nobody in there. That means they were either recaptured or about to blow the building. Either way, Quinn knew he had to get away from there as quick as possible...
* * *
Maggie stopped running.
"OK," she said, "I think we have enough distance between us right now." She pulled the communicator out of her shirt and handed it to Mallory. "Tell them you're a guard and that your group caught us. And you need to slide in immediately."
"What?" Mallory said. "Why me?"
"You're the one that's always making those stupid macho voices. They'd believe you were a guard long before they would me."
"Fine." He clicked the top of the communicator and lowered his voice. "This is the...security team. We have caught the prisoners and we're preparing to slide them back."
A voice spoke up over the communicator. It was Val. "Since when do you slide prisoners back here?"
"Uhh..." Mallory looked at Maggie and Diana. Neither knew how to respond to that. Mallory had to make something up on his own. "Ever since they kidnapped Michael Mallory. We rescued him, and he's ordering me to get them back a soon as possible and this is the quickest way."
Maggie was shocked. That was a good explanation. Mallory was definitely handling this situation a lot better than the transport one.
"Fine. You're clear to come in. Activate timer when ready."
Maggie pulled out her timer and activated it.
"We got the vortex." Val reassured. "Slide them in."
"Do it now!" Maggie shouted.
Mallory and Diana both pulled out their timers and activated them...
* * *
"What the hell is going on?" one of the workers screamed.
"It's overheating! Get out of the building!"
Suddenly, there was a huge explosion. The entire Slide Central building crumbled within a blink of an eye.
"Wooh!" Mallory shouted as he watched the building go down in the distance. "Look at that dust cloud! And all that steel flying everywhere!"
"How can you act like that?" Diana scolded him. "So many people just died because of us."
"Well, yeah, but they were trying to kill us."
"Look, Diana, they were raiding other worlds. We had to stop them."
"And all the innocent people in there that we didn't even meet? The ones that probably didn't even know what was going on in there. Are they acceptable casualties?"
"Well, it's a little late to be growing a conscience now, sister. Seeing how you helped us destroy that building."
Diana flinched. "I know that we had to do it, but all I'm saying is..."
"Diana, it's over. Let it go. We have to find Quinn."
"You aren't going anywhere..." A voice from the side called out.
The Sliders all looked behind them, they saw Michael Mallory pointing a gun at them. And he was pissed.
"Val you idiot." He cursed into thin air. "If you weren't dead, I'd fire you." He then faced the Sliders. "Next time you decide to destroy a man's building and take away his achievements, don't leave him unconscious in a transport and leave three guns behind!"
If Maggie weren't trying her best to hide her fear, she would have slapped herself for being so stupid. Or at least have blamed it on Mallory...
"Now comes the hard part," he toyed with the trigger, "picking which one to kill first..."
A gunshot was heard behind Michael, he spun around and found himself facing Quinn, who was holding Logan's gun.
"Drop it." Quinn demanded.
Michael laughed. "Logan told me all about you. And when I met you, it confirmed everything she told me. You're weak Quinn. You're not the type to kill your own flesh and blood, even if they were like me."
"Don't push me to the limit. You don't know how far I can go."
"Well then, let's just see how far..."
Michael spun around and pointed his gun at Maggie Suddenly there was a gunshot, and Michael dropped his gun. He soon followed. Quinn stood behind him, his gun still pointed forward. The other Sliders ran up to him.
"Quinn," Maggie whispered to him as she pushed his hand that was still holding the gun to the ground, "It's OK." She looked at his shoulder, which was still bleeding. "You're hurt."
"I'll be fine for now." Quinn lied, "It can wait until we get back to Seer World."
"Seer world?" Diana raised an eyebrow.
"I have to see my mother."
"So you have the timer?" Mallory asked eagerly.
"Have it and already loaded the coordinates we need."
"Well then let's get off this rock." Maggie ordered. "A few days ago, I would have been happy never to see the Seer's world again, but now I'm going to welcome it with open arms."
Quinn raised the timer and activated the vortex. Maggie was first, followed by Mallory and Diana. Quinn took one last look around like he always used to do. His vision was still blury, but he still liked to take one last look at a world they would hopefully never see again. But then he saw a figure walking towards him. At first he didn't know what it was, but then he figured it out. His suspicion was confirmed when the figure spoke to him.
"Give me the timer, Quinn!" Logan said, her head bleeding because of the blow she took earlier.
He raised his gun to her. "Don't make me shoot you, Logan."
"Give it to me!"
"Not one more step!"
She didn't listen, she kept walking. "I'LL GET YOU QUINN MALLORY! EVEN IF IT TAKES ME ANOTHER THREE YEARS!"
Quinn fired. Logan grunted and fell backwards. Quinn dropped his gun and jumped into the vortex.
* * *
The vortex opened back on the Seer world. Maggie fell out of the vortex and onto a sidewalk. Mallory flew out of the vortex and into a crowd of people on the street. Diana landed right next to Maggie. And Quinn crashed to the ground not too far from the others.
"Oh my god!" exclaimed one of the female members of the group Mallory fell into. She immediately embraced him in a hug. "It's Mallory! I want to carry your child!"
"Ahhh," Mallory sighed with his smug attitude, "My adoring public! How I missed you!"
Maggie rolled her eyes and then set her sights on Quinn. He was still lying on the sidewalk, and he wasn't moving.
"Quinn!" She shouted as she rushed to his side with Diana close behind him.
"Quinn?" Mallory's groupie said. "The Quinn? Quinn Mallory?" She let go of Mallory and rushed over to the fallen Quinn along with the rest of the group.
"Hey!" Mallory shouted at her. "I'm Quinn Mallory too! What happened to carrying my child?"
"Everyone stay back!" Maggie ordered to the group who came over to catch a glimpse of the most famous Slider of all time.
"He's lost a lot of blood," Diana reported to Maggie, "We have to get him to a hospital."
* * *
Quinn slowly opened his eyes. He looked at his shoulder; it was all bandaged up. At first he didn't know where he was, but then it hit him. Another damn hospital room. At first he thought he was back in the Slide Central building, but this place was way too primitive. They had successfully slid out. He leaned back and breathed a sigh of relief. He was glad that was over. Sure they had been through worse (thank you very much, Kromaggs), but stuff like that never got any easier.
"Hey! You're awake!"
He jerked his head to see who had just spoken. It was a woman. Quinn had never seen her before, but she was obviously a doctor.
"I'm Dr. Flint. How do you feel?"
"Like I never want to get shot ever again." Quinn replied. "I hate it when that happens."
She laughed as she recalled the several other stories she heard where Quinn got shot in the shoulder.
"Where are the others?" He asked.
"In the waiting room. I'll go get them, but...uh...I wanted to ask you..." She looked at her feet.
"If it's not too much trouble...maybe later on...maybe you could...sign an autograph for me?"
Quinn smiled. "No problem. Anything for a fan."
Dr. Flint almost jumped up and down for joy right then and there, but she tried her best to stay professional. She couldn't, however, hide the large smile on her face as she left to get his friends.
A few minutes later, Maggie walked into the room.
"Hey!" Quinn said. "Where are the others?"
"Well," she stated, "They thought it might be a little akward considering that they barely know you. They thought it was best that I saw you alone." She sat down next to him. "How are you doing?"
"What's there to say? I got shot..."
"No I didn't mean that, I meant about...your father."
Quinn paused and stared deep into Maggie's eyes. "That man was not my father."
"I had to kill him, Maggie. Even if he dropped the gun, he still knew too much about sliding. He could have still raided worlds. I did what I had to do."
"Does that mean that Logan's...?"
"Yeah. She's dead too."
"What about the other Slide Centrals that were on that world? How can we be sure that they weren't raiding worlds too?"
"We don't. But it's just a hunch I have from what I gathered on that world, interdimensional sliding was kept secret from the public. My guess is that it was only that one building because Michael and Logan would have wanted to keep the profits to themselves."
They paused and stared into each other's eyes.
Maggie spoke first. "What now? Do we find Wade?"
"I have to. If she's still alive. We keep backtracking to previous worlds that Logan has slid into, and we'll see what happens from there."
Maggie kind of glanced to side.
"Hey," Quinn lifted her chin up, "Cheer up. We don't have a time limit anymore!"
That made Maggie smile. That time limit was a pain in the ass.
Suddenly, they heard a noise coming from the doorway. They glanced over and saw Amanda Mallory, his adoptive mother, standing there, staring at Quinn.
"Quinn?" she said.
"Mom?" he replied.
She run up to him and gave him the biggest hug she had ever given. "I thought I'd never see you again."
"Oh, c'mon mom. After all the stories you've heard on this world? You should have known anything was possible."
There was shouts coming from the outside window. It was a crowd. They were shouting "We want Quinn! We want Quinn!"
"The word got out on the street a long time ago." Maggie said. "Your public awaits."
Quinn let go of his mother and slowly got up out of his bed. He winced in pain from his shoulder wound, but walked it off. He glanced out the window and the crowd cheered at the sight of him.
Quinn smiled. The Sliders were back in business.
* * *
Back on the world that the Sliders had just left, there were emergency transports everywhere trying to find survivors from the wreckage of Slide Central. After a while, someone found the bodies of Michael Mallory and Logan St. Clair. He bent down and checked Michael's pulse.
"He's dead!" He shouted out to his colleagues. He then checked Logan's pulse. "But she's alive! Barely..."
Original Roles Played By:
Tom Butler as Michael Mallory
Linda Henning as Amanda Mallory
Sabrina Lloyd as Wade Welles
Zoe McLellan as Logan St. Clair
"Sliders" created by Tracy Torme and Robert K. Weiss.
Special thanks to alcohol! The cause of and solution to all of life's problems! It was also a major inspiration on this lousy fan fiction.
* * *
And now for another exciting episode of What the Hell Was He Thinking? SPOILER WARNING!
First, I'll confirm one thing, yes the title is a stupid pun on Logan's Run. Feel free to smack me if you want.
Now, as for story development, "Turning Point" was all talk, so I knew I had to make "Logan's Slide" all action. Two "talky" melodramatic fan fictions in a row would just be boring. That is if you already didn't think my first story was boring. Granted I can see how one could see it that way, but it had to be that for me to tell the story I want.
In fact, typing this story, I couldn't help but be reminded of The Matrix: Revolutions. The first half is technical mumbo jumbo that we already know, but during the second half all hell breaks loose. Or maybe it was just picturing Jerry's deadpan acting as Quinn I was just reminded of Keanu Reeves' deadpan acting as Neo.
"Logan's Slide" took a lot longer to write than "Turning Point" for one reason, that outburst that Quinn had on Maggie earlier in the story. I sat back for a while and just thought about it, wondering if it was out of character. I decided to keep it, because I figured that Quinn was very stressed at the moment and that's how I think he would have reacted to seeing his father with Logan.
I also can't help but notice how much of a hypocrite I am. I'm very outspoken of how much I hate the smarmy lines that Mallory has in the series, and yet I'm typing them. I can't help it! They just pop out! Maybe I'm just used to them. Damn you, Mallory!
So now that I've done my "Return of Quinn and Logan" story, where do I go from here? If you've read a lot of Sliders fan fiction, you should damn well know.
If you haven't...enjoy!
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