Stand Where The Lord Puts You (Part 1)

By Laura Brigandi (Robin14334)


Cleavant Derricks as Rembrandt Brown
Kari Wuhrer as Maggie Beckett
Robert Floyd as Michael Mallory, Jr.
Tembi Locke as Diana Davis

Guest Starring:
Wes Charles, Jr. as Malcolm
Elise Neal as Janine Brown
Darius Carlos Rucker as himself

The sliders walked through the park, headed for the Dominion. Diana was beginning to have second thoughts. Perhaps she shouldn’t have come. They didn’t ask her to come along. Maybe they didn’t want her.

"You don’t mind that I came along, do you?" she asked the others hesitantly.

"Nah, the more, the merrier," Maggie replied. "If you’re sure this is what you want."

"Well, it’s a little late to be making that decision now, isn’t it?" Rembrandt chimed in, not trying to be mean, but pointing out that now she had slid, she was stuck with them.

"No, actually I have the coordinates for Diana’s homeworld," Michael provided. "I loaded them in before we slid, just in case. The timer can store coordinates, but that still doesn’t do us any good," he continued as Maggie’s and Rembrandt’s faces lit up. "We don’t know your home coordinates or mine to put them in the timer."

They fell into silence after that, until Maggie noticed something odd.

"What do you suppose that’s all about?" she asked, realizing that, as they went, they kept getting strange looks and pointed fingers.

"They probably recognize me. I bet my double is a superstar on this world," Rembrandt answered proudly.

Maggie and Michael looked at each other and started laughing. "What’s so funny about that?" Diana asked them. She didn’t know about Rembrandt’s not-so-successful singing career.

"Well," Michael said, controlling his giggles, "Remmy was in this singing group on his world, the Spinning Wheels or something…."

"Spinning Topps, man! Spinning Topps," Rembrandt corrected. "Get it right! And what do you know anyway? Did Q-Ball tell you that? I knew that ‘bonding thing’ before we left was a bad idea!"

"Yeah, anyway," Michael continued, "once he quit the group, he wasn’t too popular… or so I’ve been told," he added quickly when Rembrandt shot him an angry look.

"Remmy, weren’t you on your way to sing the National Anthem at a baseball game when you started sliding?" Maggie teased.

"Who told you?" he retorted. He wasn’t really mad; his friends were just kidding. He knew his career would have taken off again if he hadn’t been sucked into that vortex on his way to Candlestick Park.

As they reached the street, Michael waved his arm. "Let’s take a cab, it’ll be faster." A cab emblazoned with the words "Golden Bay Cab Company" slowed and stopped in front of him. "The Dominion, please," Michael said as he got in.

"All of you?" the cabbie asked, waving his finger at the group.

"Well yeah," Rembrandt answered. "Hey, Pavel, how ya doing?" He recognized the cabbie from past worlds.

Pavel looked up at him surprised and somewhat suspiciously. "I no take you," he said.

"What’s the matter? You intimidated by a star?" Rembrandt asked him.

"No, no, no… I no take you… please get out," Pavel insisted, directing the last comment at Michael, who had already settled himself in the cab.

"But…" Michael was at a loss for words, but obeyed. As soon as he was out of the car, Pavel floored it away from the curb, muttering under his breath.

"What was that all about?" Diana asked.

"I don’t know," Maggie said, "but it looks like we’re walking to the hotel. Come on, Mallory." She gestured to Michael, who was still standing at the curb pondering after the retreating cab.

They entered the hotel lobby just as puzzled as when they first arrived on this earth. All the way here they had received dirty looks and disturbing side glances. Maggie went up to the front desk to check in. She noticed the desk clerk was Gomez Calhoun.

"Hi, we’d like a suite please," she said.

"For the two of you?" Gomez asked, indicating her and Michael, who had, along with the others, come up behind Maggie.

"No, the four of us," Maggie returned, checking behind her. Yeah, they were all there.

Gomez shook his head. "Sorry. Can’t you read the sign?" He pointed to the sign hanging behind him. Whites only, it said.

Maggie’s jaw dropped. She turned to the others, unsure what to do. "We’ll just go someplace else then…" she started.

"No," Rembrandt interrupted her. Not only was he familiar with this from his own childhood, they had experienced prejudice on other worlds as well. "You two stay here. Diana and I will go find another hotel and call you when we get there. What’s your room number?"

"We’re not going to split up," Maggie insisted.

"We have to," Rembrandt told her. "Look around you. This world has probably never heard of the civil rights movement. No matter where we go, it’ll be whites only or blacks only. Get used to it. Now what’s your room number?"

Maggie looked at Gomez. "Room 304," he said, handing her a key. "Enjoy your stay."

"Thanks," Maggie said, annoyed.

"Yeah, thanks," Michael echoed, giving the hotel clerk a dirty look as he left.

Rembrandt and Diana finally got checked into the "blacks only" Motel 12 and were settling into their hotel room. It was not a nice place, and very obviously second-rate. Rembrandt picked up the phone and called the other two.

"Hello?" Michael answered.

"Hey Michael, it’s me," Rembrandt said.

"Oh hey, Remmy, where are you guys?"

"We’re at the Motel 12, room 12."

"Room 12, Motel 12…. What?" Michael said, with his voice muffled. Rembrandt guessed he was talking to Maggie. He was right.

"Maggie says, where is that? We can meet you somewhere if you want."

"I don’t think that’s such a good idea," Rembrandt warned. "On this world, we’d probably attract unwanted attention by being seen together. We’ll meet up with you in time for the slide."

"All right… hold on, Maggie wants to…." There were noises that sounded like the receiver was grabbed from Michael, then Maggie came on.

"Remmy? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, we’re fine, Maggie," Rembrandt assured her. "We’ll just hang out here, and we’ll meet you tomorrow, all right?"

"Yeah." Maggie sounded very reluctant to be separated during this slide. She had good reasons for that. Things never seemed to go as smooth as planned, and it was better if they all stayed together.

"Listen, we’ll see you later, okay?" Rembrandt said. "Bye, Maggie."

"Tomorrow night, 11:00, be at the park," she reminded him. "Bye, Remmy."

Rembrandt hung up the phone. "We’re on our own for this one," he said to Diana, who had been sitting quietly during the entire phone call.

She nodded. "I just don’t understand. What is the matter with this world?"

Rembrandt looked at her. "Racial injustice," he replied. "It’s everywhere. Every earth has it…. But not on yours," he finished, judging by the astonished expression on her face.

"No, there’s nothing like this on my world," she told him. "How could something like this happen?"

"Well, I’m no history buff, but I do know my black history," he began. "Ever heard of Bartolome de La Casas?" When she shook her head, he continued, "He was a guy on my earth, back when America was just discovered. The Europeans were using Native Americans as slaves, but they were dying from diseases and all, so La Casas said, ‘Why not use the Africans instead?’ And that began slavery."

"Slavery?" Diana was shocked. "You mean, they used Africans as slaves? On my world, the Europeans treated the Africans well because they possessed gold and riches."

"Well, not on my world, and not here, either, by the looks of things. But on my world, there was a civil war in the 1800s, freed the slaves, and then the civil rights movement in the ’60s gave us equal rights. Guess that never happened here."

Diana couldn’t believe it. On her world, they had used the Native Americans as slaves, but when they all died out the European colonists did the work themselves. She didn’t want to think about it.

"Let’s go for a walk, Remmy. I can’t stand to be cooped up in this little room."

The two of them headed downstairs and out to the street. As they walked, Rembrandt noticed a boy following them. The boy looked rather familiar. Finally, he turned and confronted him.

"Who are you?" Rembrandt asked him. "Why are you following us?"

"It is you!" the boy exclaimed breathlessly.

That was when Rembrandt recognized him. "Malcolm?"

"Reverend Brown!" Malcolm hugged him tightly. Rembrandt didn’t know what else to do, so he hugged him back.

Rembrandt looked at the place where Malcolm had taken them. It was an old, somewhat rundown church in a not-so-nice neighborhood. He and Diana were waiting in the church lobby, while Malcolm went to "fetch her," as he had said, whoever "she" was. Just then, Malcolm returned, with a woman in tow. Rembrandt didn’t recognize her, but she certainly recognized him. The look on her face clearly showed that. "Dad?" she gasped.

"I…" Rembrandt started, not sure what to say.

"No, it can’t be," the woman said, shaking her head.

"But Janine! It is!" Malcolm insisted.

Janine bent down so she was eye level with Malcolm. "Reverend Brown is dead," she said. "I know it’s difficult, but it’s true. We have to accept that. Whoever this man is, he’s not our Rembrandt. What is your name?" she asked, turning back to Rembrandt and Diana.

"Uh… well, Rembrandt," he said. He decided to tell the truth. He didn’t know why, but he trusted this young woman. After all, she was his daughter. Sort of.

"How is that possible?" Janine asked. Her father was dead. She had seen it with her own eyes.

"We’re sliders, travelers from a parallel dimension," Diana explained. "I’m Diana Davis, and this is Rembrandt Brown."

"I’m your father’s double," Rembrandt added. Seeing the confused looks on both Janine’s and Malcolm’s faces, he continued, "I know this is difficult to understand, but we can explain everything. Just let us stay and talk to you."

Janine nodded and gestured for them to follow her.

Once Rembrandt and Diana had explained their situation to Janine and she decided she believed them, she told them her story.

"My father was the minister of this church. He always believed that blacks should be equal, and he tried to convince others of it. He was a peaceful man, though. He refused to fight violently or join in the riots. One day about two years ago, he was speaking in the park, trying to convince our brothers and sisters to stop the fighting, and he was shot. We never found out who did it." She started to break down in tears, and Rembrandt put his arm around her.

Diana just sat, shocked. She couldn’t believe the horrors she had heard, both from Rembrandt and Janine. How could people let this happen? One group having dominance over another, treating them like lower class, it just didn’t seem possible. She had been sheltered from this on her earth, the whole world had been sheltered. In all her life she had never imagined that people could be so unfair.

Malcolm looked up at the clock and then at Janine. "Neen, it’s time to go," he said.

"Oh, so it is," Janine replied, wiping her eyes. She looked to Rembrandt and said, "You’re both welcome to join us for dinner if you’d like."

"Well, thank you," Diana agreed. "That would be nice."

You got your big girl
Now you’ve got your young one too
Wondering if some day I could have them
The way I once had you
I remember your crazy remarks
We’d get drunk and go out after dark
Searching for someone we could take home
You don’t wanna be alone
You don’t want to see the sun go down
You don’t wanna open the door and see her go
One step and tomorrow comes
Two steps and she’s off with someone
Three steps and it’s all you know
You’ll be gone, she’ll be gone
So what are you gonna do about me
I’ll be there when you have no one else
I’ll be there, be your friend
Hold on strong, don’t let go
There will never be no one to take your place
So don’t you want to reach out and take my hand
You don’t wanna be alone
You don’t want to see the sun go down
You don’t wanna open the door and see her go
One step and tomorrow comes
Two steps and she’s off with someone
Three steps and it’s all you know
You’ll be gone, she’ll be gone

Rembrandt sat back in his chair at the rear corner table and let the music envelop him, washing his worries away. It was a pop-y sound, and the song sounded familiar, but he couldn’t place the band. Janine had told him that Darius, the lead singer, was her boyfriend, and she and Malcolm always came to the night club to see the band perform. Once the song was over, Darius announced the band was taking a break and came over to the table, kissing Janine on the cheek as he pulled up a chair.

"Hi," he said, extending a hand to first Rembrandt, then Diana. "Darius Carlos Rucker."

"Dar, this is Diana Davis," Janine started to introduce the sliders, then stopped. "And this," she said hesitantly, "is… Rembrandt… Rembrandt Brown."

Darius looked startled. He had never met Janine’s father, but he had certainly heard about him.

"We’re sliders," Diana quickly explained. She briefly explained sliding, and Darius nodded, not quite understanding it all, but grasping enough to realize who these people were.

Rembrandt then realized how he knew the song and the singer. "You’re Darius Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish!" he exclaimed.

Darius just looked confused. "Hootie and the who?"

"Blowfish," Rembrandt corrected. "On my world, you were the lead singer of that band."

Darius nodded and smiled. "Cool!" he said. He liked this "parallel world" thing. He looked down at his watch and jumped up. "Time for another set, talk to y’all later."

Those left at the table watched as he headed back up to the stage and the band reassembled. Darius took the microphone and began to speak to the audience.

"I’ve got a new song for y’all tonight, it’s a little controversial, but I think you’ll like it. Here it is, it’s called ‘Drowning’." And with that, he began to sing:

Trouble with the world is we're too busy to think about it, all right
Why is there a rebel flag hanging from the state house walls?
Tired of hearin' this shit about heritage not hate
Time to make the world a better place
Why must we hate one another?
Well no matter what we gotta live together
Just that you don't look like me, tell me what do you see
When we pass on the street what do you wanna see
P.E.'s coming is all I gotta say
Wanna turn and run away
They're just telling you how they see it
Right or wrong they don't care, you wish that they would quit
Drowning in a sea of tears
Hatred trying to hide your fears
Living only for yourself
Hating everybody else
Cause they don't look like you
Nanci singing it's a hard life wherever you go
About some fat racist living in Chicago
Trying to teach his kids to hate everyone
Well tell me why is that something you wanna teach your son?
Why must we hate one another?
When the people in the church, they tell me you're my brother
You don't walk like me, you don't talk like me, saying
Go back to Africa, I just don't understand

Drowning in a sea of tears
Hatred trying to hide your fears
Living only for yourself
Hating everybody else
Cause they don't look like you
I'm trying to be someone that he could look up to, but
When I walk down the street, tell me what do you see
I'm a man, I'm a man, I'm a man
No I'm not like you
Why do you hate me so
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know
Hating everybody else cause they don't look like you
When he finished, the entire place erupted into applause. The "blacks only" night club was a popular hangout for the rebellious protesters who was responsible for most of the riots in town and they felt this song was a great expression of their cause. Darius was right on, as far as they were concerned.

The back corner table also joined in the cheering. Although Malcolm was too young and Diana too naïve, Rembrandt and Janine understood the full meaning of the song. However, Janine knew one thing that Remmy did not. That song would probably stir up a riot, one that would rock the streets of San Francisco.


To be continued…


Alternate Earth 117
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