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?
-Quinn could hardly believe what he had done. He had shoved Wade and Rembrandt into Rickman's vortex. It was suppose to take them home, but he didn't follow them. He had to help Maggie, he couldn't leave her on that world to face those hybrids alone. It didn't matter, they had tracked Wade and Rembrandt's vortex. In mere minutes Quinn would be home. There was no time to ponder it though, because only seconds after they landed on Earth Prime Maggie would be unable to breathe. He would have to act fast.
-The Vortex opened and Quinn and Maggie were deposited from it. "We have to get you to a hospital. "Quinn said. "Wait. This isn't your homeworld, I'm not having trouble breathing." Quinn looked to the skyline and saw flying cars and futuristic buildings. "We must have slid into the future," Quinn said. "How do we get you home? "Maggie replied. "I don't know . . ."
--"The future. I thought sliding wasn't time travel." Quinn replied, "It's not. It's not really the future, probably just a more advanced world. Nearly forgot." Quinn lifted the timer and spoke, "3 minutes and counting." "What?" Maggie replied. "Our window . . .get ready to slide." Maggie looked at Quinn strangely. She could see that the turn of events had shaken him. "Ready?" Quinn asked. Maggie nodded. Quinn opened the vortex and jumped in. As Maggie was about to enter the vortex, she saw a statue of Quinn, the inscription read "Quinn Mallory: The Father Of Anti-Gravity." She shook her head and dove into the vortex.
-The vortex opened and Quinn fell from it. He looked around at his surroundings. Maggie was thrown from the vortex. "Oww!" she screamed. Quinn didn't even look her way. "Hey Quinn!" No answer. "Mallory!" Quinn turned around. There were tears in his eyes and he was holding Rickman's timer. Maggie did not respond. "What have I done?" Maggie placed her hand on Quinn's shoulder and spoke, "You got them home, Quinn." "Did I? How can I be sure . . . . If I didn't they're trapped there." "Buck up Mallory. We'll get you home." A loud humming noise turned Quinn's attention to the sky. He saw the last thing he needed to see. "Kromaggs." "What?" Maggie replied. "I'll explain later, run!"
-Quinn and Maggie had found haven in an abandoned building. Quinn could not believe it. The Kromaggs, they had conquered this world. They had 10 hours on this world. How would they escape? "You've never spoken of these Kromaggs." "Not exactly something I like to talk about. They took me , Remmy, Wade and the Professor prisoner. We barely escaped. If not for the help of one of their servants, Mary. We wouldn't have. She died saving us." Quinn heard footsteps. "Someone's coming." The two hid behind some empty crates and waited. Four Kromagg soldiers appeared. "How did they find us?" Quinn asked. "Maybe it was the Kromagg tracking device at the base of your skull." The voice it wasn't Maggie's. Quinn turned around and watched the form of Maggie Beckett become Mary. She stood up and spoke, "He is over here." The Kromaggs began to approach Quinn. This entire change of event had thrown him for a loop. He ran. When he saw that he was trapped, he dove out of a window. The soldiers began to follow. "Wait, let him go. We can track him anywhere," Mary said.
-What was going on? Where was Maggie and how could Mary be alive? Quinn's mind was swirling. He could only think of on place to go . . . . .home . . . well at least as close as he could get on this Earth. His house.
-The house was abandoned. He hoped his double had developed sliding and gotten his family away from this place. Quinn walked into the basement. The equipment was there. his double had developed sliding. He only hoped he could adapt his technology to suit his own needs. He began to look through his doubles notes. The cocking of a gun was the last thing Quinn expected to hear. He turned around and was face to face with himself.
-"You had better pray you're a double and not a Kromagg in disguise." his double said. The double raised a device and punched a few buttons. "You're clean. Welcome to hell Quinn Mallory." Quinn spoke, "What happened here?" The other Quinn looked at him and spoke, "The Kromaggs happened. I thought it was fairly obvious." Quinn was still in shock. He couldn't think. What had happened to Maggie? "You don't look to well," his double said. 'I'm confused. So much has happened." "Well, unless you have a timer . . .which I'm assuming you do . . . .you've got plenty of time to explain it all." Quinn reached into his pocket and pulled out he timer. His double grabbed it and spoke. "Five hours. Nice design by the way. Egypt world right?" Quinn was stunned, his double was a slider. "Let me guess, you're lost in the multiverse. Can't find your way home. Were you by yourself, or where there others?" "Others," Quinn replied. "Let me guess. Rembrandt Brown, Wade Wells, Maximillian arturo. They seem to be the most common permutation." "Maggie . . . .," Quinn said. His double responded, "There's a new one. Haven't heard of her before. Tell me the whole story, Quinn. I may be able to help you."
-It was two hours later after Quinn had finished the tale. How he had become lost in the multiverse with his friends. How they had lost the Professor, how Maggie had joined them on Pulsar world and how they had become separated ending up here. He even explained about Maggie seemingly becoming Mary suddenly. His double spoke, "I can help you. I can reconfigure your timer to take you home. It'll take a little while, but you'll still have time to slide. "What about you?" "This is my world. The Maggs have had control of it for nearly a year. They killed my wife, my friends and my family. I'm staying." "What about Maggie?" Quinn asked. "I hate to be the one to break this to you Quinn, but chances are she never existed. She was probably a plant. More than likely this Mary in disguise to keep tabs on you. You said you'd run into the Kromaggs before, maybe this is all one of their plans." Quinn couldn't, wouldn't believe that. Maggie was a real person, not some Kromagg trick. "Anyway, let's get to work.'
-Quinn's double placed the back cover back on the timer and spoke, "It's ready. Just one thing left to do." He pointed the timer at Quinn and spoke, "Okay, it has your quantum signature stored in it. Once I set it to track that signature it should take you home." "Thank you, "Quinn said. "No thank you, " Quinn's double said. The timer hit zero and Quinn's double opened the vortex. Quinn began to walk towards it. He never sw his doubles fist coming for him. Quinn landed on the ground, he was woozy and disoriented. His double spoke, "You should have killed me on fog world. Should have made yourself stronger, but at least you opened my eyes up. I lost my life, my world to the Maggs, so I think I'll take yours instead!" Quinn's double jumped into the vortex. Quinn arose from the ground and headed for the vortex. He jumped for it, but landed on the ground as it collapsed. His mind quickly raced. Rickman's timer, maybe he could reconfigure it ot work with this equipment. He reached into his back pocket. The timer was gone. Quinn sank to the ground and began to cry.
-"Quinn? Come on, look at me." Quinn looked up to see Maggie. "Maggie?" "Yes, you just ran off when the Kromaggs showed up. I barely escaped. Where's the timer?" "It's gone. So is Rickman's." "That is unfortunate . . .for you Quinn Mallory." Quinn looked up as Maggie's features became those of Mary. "Take him to the masters." Two Kromaggs grabbed Quinn. "No!" he screamed. He tried to break their grip, but was rendered unconscious.
-Quinn was not sure how much time had passed. He awoke in a cell in a Kromagg prison. The pieces finally had fallen into place. maggie was Mary all along. The Kromaggs had tricked him. He was a threat to them. And his double . . . .the one who gave him the equation in the first place . . . had tricked him too. He was probably on Earth Prime right now convincing everyone he was the real Quinn Mallory. The others would never come to look for him.
-Quinn's mind drifted back to the present as two Kromagg guards approached his cell. They lowered the force field and threw a man into the cell. Quinn ran to his side and spoke, "Are you okay?" The man looked up at Quinn. "Mr. Mallory?" Quinn was in shock the man in front of him, it couldn't be . . . could it? "Professor?"
TO BE CONTINUED
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