Arturo and Rembrandt were still walking along the street as they heard a strange noise behind them. They turned and saw a silver man walking towards them. The man actually looked like a metallic skeleton and its glowing red eyes were focused directly on the two of them. "Uh, Professor? You said everything here is make-believe, right? That means that Terminator robot can't hurt us, right?" "Yes, Mr. Rembrandt, that robot should walk right by us." As it neared, the robot raised its arm. It reached out and grabbed Rembrandt by the shoulder,"You are loitering, humans. You will accompany me to Termination headquarters, where we will be evaluating your usefulness before terminating you." "Excuse me... er... Mr. Robot, sir."Arturo reached behind the robot and flicked a switch. The robot's red eyes slowly faded and turned off as the robot shut down. Rembrandt slipped out of the robot's grasp and moved away. The robot collapsed to the ground, shattering into thousands of pieces as it did. "I thought you said it couldn't hurt us." Arturo paused for a second,"Perhaps there are dangerous aspects to this world. We should get Ms. Wells and Mr. Mallory and get to safety." "We have no idea where to start looking." There was a humming noise and the robot's red eyes began glowing again. “Perhaps we should take this discussion elsewhere."Arturo sprinted away. Rembrandt looked over to the robot as it slowly stood up and then he took off running, quickly gaining on Arturo and passing him. About four blocks away Rembrandt stopped in the middle of the street to catch his breath and allow the Professor to catch up. Arturo paused on the sidewalk, breathing heavily,"I think I'm going to have a heart attack if we don't find one of them soon. Let's go." Rembrandt nodded and started to follow the Professor when the older man stopped, faintly hearing the sound of squealing tires. Arturo glanced back, seeing Rembrandt still in the street walking toward him. He glanced behind the black man to see a sleek looking sports car racing toward them. The black transam screeched around Rembrandt blocking his path. A well built white man with curly black hair wearing a black leather jacket jumped out of the car and slammed Rembrandt against the car's hood. "Hey, man. Relax," Rembrandt said trying to get up. Michael Knight shook his head. "You're under arrest for the murder of Cathy Williams." Arturo was about to reply when the car interrupted. "Michael, that's not Terrance Faxton." The man glared at the car,"Now you tell me this?" "I tried to tell you while you were exceeding the speed limit a few blocks ago." Rembrandt quickly joined Arturo on the sidewalk as the man got in the car and did a U-turn. Speeding back in the direction it had come. "Well, that was quite rude," Arturo said watching the car's retreating tail lights. "Yeah," Rembrandt agreed, brushing dust off his bright colored suit coat. "But fascinating. A talking car."Arturo shook his head,"What will they come up with next?" Rembrandt stared at him,"You mean to tell me you never watched Knight Rider?" Arturo nodded. "I believe I did.... Was that the one about the Crusades?" Rembrandt sighed as the two began walking again,"Professor, remind me when we get back to introduce you to a thing called pop culture." ******************************************** Wade was following Wade(2), Arturo(2) and Rembrandt(2) up in the elevator when she realized she had been there before. She looked around the elevator,trying to figure out where she was. It all looked familiar but she could not remember even seeing this building before. The door opened and they moved into an open door. Arturo(2) was keeping a close eye on Wade as they entered and Wade could only get glimpses of the apartment she knew she had seen before. When Nick entered the room, Wade realized what was going on. "Forever Knight!" she called out. "You've seen my show?" Nick asked,"It's a good cover to hide the fact that I am in the resistance. It's a syndicated show, which means none of the major networks are involved with it, and I am also in the police force, which means I can keep an eye on everyone while I'm working." He smiled, his yellow eyes almost glowing in the light and his sharp fangs showing between cracked lips. "And who might you be..." His voice was low and seemed to pierce into Wade's mind. Wade's eyes glossed over. "I am Wade Wells," she replied. "How did you get here?" he asked in the same low pulsing tone. She was emotionless, answering as if being controlled,"My friends and I are searching for a way home... We are sliding from dimension to dimension to try and find our original dimension." "Ask her which network is funding her show," Wade(2) said. "Who are you working for?" Nick asked. "I am not working for anyone right now," she told him,"We are just trying to save Quinn and leave this dimension for the next one..." "Could she be lying?" Arturo(2) asked. Nick turned to him, his eyes returning to normal,"She would have to have the strongest will I've ever encountered." He looked Wade over as she came out of her trance,"This truly is a Wade from another dimension." "Then she is telling the truth about Mallory Quinn? He really did invent the Slider machine?" Rembrandt(2) said,"Then we have to get to his set and confront him." "I think we should get under..." Arturo(2) was in the middle of telling them, when the familiar blue energy lit up his body and he vanished, smoke pouring out of the hole left behind him. "I really hate it when one of you do that," Nick told Wade(2). ************************************************** After his captives left, Quinn glanced at the handcuffs that tied him to the bedpost. He scanned the room, looking for something... anything. Finally he spotted a hairpin on the night stand. Within a few seconds he was free. Rubbing his wrists to restore the circulation Quinn walked out of the room,and was hit by color shock. The hallway was completely devoid of color. It was almost gray. Quinn took a right and followed the gray hallway until he reached a set of stairs. He started down them, when he suddenly remembered the timer. With relief he found in his left pant's pocket. They had just under four days left to regroup and slide out of this place. He started down the stairs again, finding himself in a radio station. CERK 640 am's logo was proudly displayed on the wall, underneath written in jagged letters was:'Home of the Nightcrawler.' Quinn shrugged and walked the rest of the way down to the street. Once there he decided to retrace his steps and go back to the Raven, hoping the others would too. Quinn felt like he had been walking for miles when he saw the sun finally begin to creep over the horizon. Captivated by the view he didn't realize he'd made a wrong turn until he noticed there was gravel under his feet instead of cement. He glanced up to see a set of an old western town. Complete with horses and extras walking around. A loud sound whizzed by his right ear causing Quinn to automatically hit the dirt. "What the......." he muttered, as he scooted behind a pile of barrels. "You should know better than to walk into the middle of a gunfight." A young man with brown hair and eyes said from behind, "You almost got your head blown off." Quinn turned slowly to look at the young man who was leveling a rifle at the street, "I took a wrong turn." He did a double take at his new companion, "Do I know you?" The young man shook his head,"I don't think so. Name's Kid. I work for the Pony Express." A memory surfaced as Quinn said, "The Young Riders." Kid nodded. "Yeah, we're all trying to lay low since our show is in reruns now." He motioned to the street,"I'm trying to give Jimmy some back up. He never realizes that the bad guy in these gun fights always has somebody ready to take him out." Quinn nodded remembering seeing this particular episode,"The guy's on the roof." "I see him, Kid," a native American said from a few feet away. He raised his pistol and got off a few shots. The man grabbed his chest before tumbling off the roof crashing through the balcony of the hotel. "Got him." "Good work, Buck," Kid said watching the two men on the street,"Think Jimmy will listen to us this time?" Buck grinned,"Does he ever?" Quinn turned to Kid, "I gotta ask you this. Since they ended the series before we ever found out. What is your real name?" Kid grinned shaking his head,"Sorry. Wish I could tell you but the writers swore us to secrecy." He placed a hand on Quinn's shoulder. "Why don't you join us for breakfast? I'm sure Teaspoon could help you out." Quinn smiled,"Thanks. I think I will." **************************************** Wade, Wade(2), Rembrandt(2) and Nick Knight were walking along the streets that were used as the Toronto, Ontario, Canada set, when Arturo and Rembrandt ran around the corner. Rembrandt(2) almost fell back,"Professor?" he asked. "Me?" "Rembrandt. Professor," Wade called out as she greeted them,"Have you found Quinn, yet?" "Regrettably, no," Arturo replied,"We have found a place to spend the next four days but..." "Four days?" Wade asked,"But we've only been here one afternoon. We still have seven days left." "We've seen the sun rise and set three times in our search," Arturo told her. "Quinn said we had eight days here. That leaves only four left." "But the days are different here," Wade(2) told them,"Because of all the shootings, they control the time around the planet so that they can have time to shoot. It may have been only one afternoon for you but two weeks could have passed for someone else." "But if that's true, then Quinn could have already missed the slide." Wade looked around. "How do they control the time around the planet?" "There are certain studios who can do it," Rembrandt(2) replied. "That's why they can shoot shows in the future and broadcast them in the present." "Like seaQuest," Wade added,"But couldn't we find Quinn, get back the slider control and find a show that is filming when the slider control would bea ctivated?" "That's a little complicated." Wade(2) shook her head. "There are things going on that most people don't want to be in. Some shows, like the Love Boat reunion and..."She began to glow and vanished in a cloud of smoke. "There's another Love Boat reunion?"Rembrandt asked,"God, this place must be terrible during sweeps week." As they discussed what to do, two men stepped out from each end of the alley. They rushed forward, swords almost appearing out of nowhere as they ran. Meeting in the center of the alley, the two men began fighting, swords clashing and clanging as they battled. Nick pushed the group out of the alley to avoid being caught up in the fight. "Highlander series," he told them,"They fight more and more these days, with the Gathering approaching and all." "Where are we going to fight Quinn?" Wade asked. Then she turned to Nick,"I should have put this together sooner. Jeanette took him. I recognize her now that I think about it." "Jeanette? She's been trying to get in touch with me for the past few days but I've been a little busy." He looked up. "The sun'll be up soon..." "But it just set." "I've only got an hour show," Nick replied,"I'll take you to the Raven. If Jeanette took him, he'll be there." "I do hope he is. There is no telling how much time is left until we slide,"Arturo said. ******************************************** Once the smoke from the gunfight had cleared the townspeople went back to their daily routines. Kid stood from behind the barrels and walked out into the street followed by Buck and Quinn. A tall man with shoulder length brownish blond hair strode angrily over to Kid,two ivory handled colts in his hands. "Kid! How many times have I told you to stay out of this!" Kid didn't back away,"And how many times are you going to get yourself killed? There's no prize for being an idiot!" "Guys...." Buck started to say but stopped realizing no one would listen to him. Jimmy Hickock put his guns in his holsters and placed his hands on his hips,"Who says I'm an idiot?!" "I do." As the staring battle continued a man about fifty with scraggly white hair, a marshal's badge and a slight limp walked over to the group. "Teaspoon, maybe you can talk some sense into them," Buck Cross commented. Teaspoon Hunter sighed,"I doubt it."He looked at Hickcock,"Jimmy, I hear you got yourself in another gunfight today. That's the fourth this week." Jimmy finally looked at him,"Its not my fault Teaspoon.They called me out." Teaspoon shook his head,"I know, I know." He seemed to notice Quinn for the first time,"Who's your friend here?" Kid smiled,"Teaspoon Hunter this is... I'm sorry I never caught your name?" Quinn smiled, extending his hand,"Its Quinn. Quinn Mallory." Teaspoon grinned,"Good to meet you, Quinn Quinn Mallory. What brings you to Rock Creek?" "I took a wrong turn," Quinn replied. "Why don't you come back to the station for breakfast? Maybe we can help you find your way back." Quinn nodded. "Thanks, I think I will." ********************************************* As Nick led the group toward the Raven it became less crowded. Sets were spread farther apart now, dark buildings lined the streets. "We're almost there," Nick said,"The Raven is only a few blocks away." Wade nodded,"Good. My feet are... hey!" She protested as a rough hand shoved her out of the way causing her to loose her balance. "Miss? Are you all right?" A polite male voice asked offering her a hand up. Wade did a double take at the brown haired Mountie that stood before here. Complete with hat and wolf. "Yeah, I think so," Wade said getting to her feet. "I apologize for the inconvenience. By the way did you happen to see a dark-haired man about twenty dark hair and eyes pass this way?" Wade blinked and pointed,"Yes, he went that way." The Mountie tipped his hat,"Thank you kindly." Wade watched in amazement as the mountie and wolf took off running in the direction the man had gone. "Don't mind him," a new voice said. She turned to see a flashy dressed Italian cop. "He's Canadian."The man finished before following the mountie and the wolf. ********************************************* The Raven was just like Wade remembered it from the show. She stared into the darkness. "It's incredible," Wade said,"To think that this is just a set in my world." "It could have been better that way," a deep voice said from behind her. She turned to see LaCroix standing behind her. "To what can I owe this visit?" he asked. "My name is Maximilian Arturo, these are my associates, Rembrandt Brown and Wade..." "Wells, yes, I know. I have met all of you before, although you do appear a little different now." "Where'd Nick go?" Wade asked, hoping he would come rescue them. "He had to return home," LaCroix told her,"He will be back later. Please,have a seat." "Where's Jeanette?" Wade asked. "She has left the area. Her character was no longer written into the plots." "Jeanette is gone?" Wade asked. "But why? her character was great." "You are allowing this world to draw you in, Ms. Wells," Arturo interrupted her. "This is all part of a television show, remember?" "Some shows are more real than others." Wade(2) and Rembrandt(2) walked up carrying some drinks. As they took their seats next to Wade, Arturo and Rembrandt, LaCroix gave them odd looks. "This is getting intriguing." "LaCroix, a young man was seen with a vampire earlier today," Wade(2) told him. "We need to find him."She handed a drink to Wade and Rembrandt. "Jeanette was with someone new earlier but he recently left," LaCroix told them. "Perhaps we could discuss your search efforts over the drinks." He snapped his fingers to call a waiter over. “We have drinks," Wade(2) held up her drink. "Then perhaps you could find the young man on your own. Searching alone in the night could prove disastrous, though. There are many things in the night that are unseen during the day." "It's day right now, LaCroix," Wade(2) snapped,"Don't try to creep us out with your Nightcrawler talk." "I would never think of it." LaCroix smiled as he took a sip of the deep red liquid the waiter handed him. Wade smiled as she looked up and saw a familiar face enter the Raven. He was walking towards the bar and was almost next to their table when Wade stood up and rushed over to him and wrapped her arms around him. "Quinn, don't ever do that again." She kissed him, then broke off the kiss. "Sorry, miss, I don't know you," the man told her,"My name used to be Mallory Quinn but I think I would remember you. And it's Andrew now, by the way." "It's Mallory Quinn!" Wade(2) jumped to her feet,"If my counterpart is right then you're the cause of our problem." Andrew looked confused,"There's two of you? I don't understand." There was a bright light, the air in the room became stale and Arturo(2) appeared. "You've used my slider machine!" Andrew called out,"Don't you realize how dangerous that is? Doctor J and I weren't finished with it." "Doctor J? oh, right. You live out that show, My Secret Identity. Doctor J must be your assistant on the show," Wade said. "He's my mentor," Andrew told them,"When I joined the show, he was the inventor who gave me the powers and abilities I have today." Andrew lifted into the air,hovering above the rest of them. "You've got to help us stop this slider effect," Wade(2)insisted,"We can't control it. It takes us at any time and forces us into other dimensions at its whim." "I told you. Doctor J hadn't finished it." "But in my dimension, you were the one who built the slider machine," Rembrandt stood up,"Man, you have to be able to fix it. You're the one who got all of us into this." "We could go to Doctor J's house and check into it," Andrew told them. "But I can't promise anything." "But what about our Quinn?" Wade asked. "Yes, we should find Mr. Mallory. He may be able to assist you in repairing your slider machine," Arturo added. "I believe there's no need for a search." LaCroix pointed to a new face walking in the Raven. It was Quinn. Wade immediately rushed over to the young Physic's student and threw her arms around his neck. "Quinn! Where have you been?" Quinn Mallory held her close for a moment then pulled back smiling at her. "Only on this world could I be kidnapped by a vampire one minute then have breakfast with the Pony Express the next." Wade returned his smile, her right hand gently touching a bruise starting to form around his left eye,"Are you sure you're all right? She didn't hurt you?" Quinn pushed her hand away gently,"I'm fine." He assured her. "Great to see you Q-ball," Rembrandt said coming up to the twosome. "How much time do we have left?" Quinn felt around for the timer, panicked for a minute when he didn't find it in his right pocket. He relaxed when he pulled the remote control sized mechanism out of his left jacket pocket. A frown crossed his handsome features as he read the display. “Only a half hour," Quinn replied. Rembrandt shook his head,"Why do we always have to cut these things so damn close." "We'll be fine," Quinn assured him as he approached their doubles. "What's going on here?" Wade pointed to Andrew,"Quinn, this is Mallory Quinn he has a Slider machine. It could get us home." Mallory Quinn shook his head,"I don't have it... They..." he said gesturing to Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo(2), "have it and have been using it without my permission." Arturo(2) shook his head,"We don't have the Slider machine, young man. We only have the timer. The machine is still your basement." "You have a Slider machine?" Quinn repeated moving to stand in front of his counterpart,"This is terrific. We could use it to finally get home." Andrew shook his head,"I haven't been down in that basement for years. I have no idea what shape the machine is in. It would more than likely take more than..." He peered at the slider's timer,"Twenty five minutes to fix it." "I'm willing to take that risk," Wade said excitement clearly in her brown eyes. "I wouldn't get your hopes up just yet, Ms. Wells," Arturo commented, moving to stand next to Quinn,"If we try to fix Andrew's slider machine we would miss the slide. There's no guarantee that we could get it working." ******************************************************** They gathered in Andrew's basement, looking over the pieces of what was once the slider machine. Andrew glared at Arturo(2), Rembrandt(2) and Wade(2) as he examined the damage. "We had no way of knowing what would happen. We were just trying to repair it so that we could stop," Arturo(2) insisted. "Stop?" Quinn asked. As if on cue, Rembrandt(2) began to glow brightly and finally he vanished. "This is what we have been going through. The whole sliders experience is unwanted, Mr. Mallory Quinn. Once we were all in one spot for long enough, we came down to this basement and tried to stop this machine of yours." "All we succeeded in doing was damaging it," Wade(2) replied. "Then why did you try?" Wade asked, "Why didn't you find out who built it and get his help?" "Why not tell them, Mr. Quinn," Arturo(2) glared at Andrew. "This house isn't registered in any name," Andrew replied,"I had to keep my experiments hidden from everyone." "Is there any chance we can repair this slider machine, Mr. Mallory?" Arturo asked Quinn. "I'm not sure," Quinn replied,"It's in pieces. We'd have to work fast if we're to make it before it's time for us to slide." "Listen, Q-ball, we have to slide. We don't want to miss it and be trapped here." "Rembrandt, we might be able to get home," Wade told him. "And we might get stuck here," Rembrandt reminded her. "Let's just get busy." Quinn knelt down by the pieces and picked up a circuit board.
Five minutes until they were to slide Quinn Mallory managed to get the slider machine in working order. At least he hoped it was. "Okay, Rembrandt," Quinn said, handing him the timer,"Hold this and we'll see if this works." "Quinn, we've got less than three minutes," Rembrandt protested. "This will only take a minute, Rembrandt. Relax," Quinn replied as he walked over to the slider machine and hit the main switch. A red glow came from the machine as power surged. The lights in the basement dimmed and went out. It seemed to be working until Wade(2) and Arcturo(2) were surrounded by a blue light and disappeared. "Well so much for that," Arcturo commented taking the timer from Rembrandt and pointing it at the wall. Quinn had one of the panels off the machine and was lying on his back. "Just give me two minutes, Professor," Quinn replied in a muffled voice. "I think I know what's wrong." "Unfortunately we don't have two minutes." Arturo replied sadly as hit a button on the timer causing the blue well to appear. Mallory Quinn helped the physic's student to his feet,"I'll keep working on it,Quinn. If I can't help you and you're friends then perhaps I can keep the others from sliding without notice." Wade walked over and kissed Andrew on the cheek."For luck," she said before following Rembrandt into the blue well. Quinn sighed in frustration. "If only I had more time." Mallory Quinn clasped him on the shoulder,"I'll figure it out. We have nothing but time here when our shows are canceled or in reruns." "Mr. Mallory," Arturo called holding up the timer, "we have to go now or we really will be stuck here." "Coming," Quinn replied watching the Professor jump into the void. He turned back to his double,"Good luck." "Same to you," Mallory Quinn replied. Quinn took a last look at the basement before jumping into the blue well and disappearing. The End