Sliders: The Dimension of Continuity
Perceptions
 
Sliders DoC   Alternate Visions

The following piece contains the further adventures of the quantum quartet otherwise known as THE SLIDERS. This document is encouraged to be freely distributed but the characters and most of the elements of this story belong to St. Clare Entertainment and Universal Studios. They have been used without permission, but no copyright infringement is intended as this story is for the enjoyment of Sliders fans everywhere and not for profit. Enjoy the story and please send any comments to the e-mail address below as I would love to hear from you.


Perceptions
Written on June 10, 1997
by TemporalFlux (temporalflux@hotmail.com)

The following story would happen in the fourth season with Wade still in our reunited group and JRD absent (even though he reappeared in my story "The Real Thing" which can be found in the main listing). Now, for the presentation of "Perceptions":


Part 1

Quinn in a gladiator costume? What's worse is that he is facing another, substantially larger man, in a Minotaur costume and Quinn's only weapon is a cheap, foil-like dagger. The crowd is looking for blood as they chant for the Minotaur to end this struggle. How did this happen you ask? In a world where the entire social structure revolves around the entertainment industry and ratings are the sole criteria for ALL decisions, it's not hard to believe.

Quinn has fought a valiant battle against the Minotaur as shown by the sweat amassed on his brow, but he is inevitably knocked off balance and falls to the ground beneath the enormous shadow of the Minotaur and his equally large blade. The Minotaur is about to land the finishing blow when he pauses and looks up to the stands where the throne of the grand C.E.O is located for his approval. The C.E.O stands and with downward turn of his thumb says, "Cancel him!!" Quinn braces for the blow, but just as the Minotaur readies himself, a cry comes from the audience....or rather a Cryin' Man! Rembrandt shouts "Q-ball" as he points the timer at the dirt behind Quinn, opening a vortex parallel with the ground. Quinn looks at the Minotaur with a smirk and says, "Sorry, nobody's getting canceled today!" as he does a backwards roll into the vortex. By now, Rembrandt and the others have also made it down from the stands and follow Quinn through while the Minotaur is still confused.

Quinn comes out of the other side of the vortex to land upon a white picket, and the force of his impact is more than sufficient to destroy it completely. He doesn't have time to worry about the fence or the resulting pain he now has from the rough landing, though, because he looks up to see the portal do something it's never done before. Electricity is streaming in all directions from the vortex and it's beginning to flicker out of existence prematurely.........and the others haven't made it through yet!!!


Part 2

Quinn is lying on the ground, watching in desperation as he sees his friend's only possibility of joining him begin to distort and flatten into so much as a horizontal line much like when you turn off a television. He tries to run up to the vortex, but the sheer force of the electricity shooting forth from the vortex hurls him back into the already demolished fence. Quinn looks up again, now with utter panic on his face, and watches as the vortex close completely, but just as it does, the other three sliders come hurtling forth, thrown hard and fast in three different directions from the resulting electric explosion of the portal collapsing.

Wade pulls herself free from the brush that she landed in thanks to the glorious entrance from the portal..."Well, I don't care where we are, just as long as you don't have to wear these stupid 'Nielsen' boxes everywhere you go.....I'm a little tired of having someone monitor my mental opinion about everything!" Wade says in a sarcastic voice. Maggie immediately answers, "Who needs a box for that!" and the tension between the two of them is almost as thick the electricity still streaming through the air. Rembrandt breaks in between the fighting females, "Give a rest girls! I just want to know what happened with that freakin' vortex!! Any ideas, Q-ball?" Quinn shakes his head and for one of the few times in his life he actually has no idea what is going on.

As the others begin to stagger over to Quinn's location, he looks at the timer to see how much time they have, but the read out is scrambled. Quinn begins to remember how this happened once before on a past parallel earth they visited (Electric Twister Acid Test), but the environment was a little less hospitable on that world and the vortex certainly did not react as violently. Something was different here. Interrupting his chain though, Wade says, "Hey Quinn, isn't this your house?" Quinn hadn't noticed that yet! It was his house!! Even with the slight differences in atmosphere, could this be home? He knows one way to make sure, all he has to do is check the.........gate? That would be the same gate that he had destroyed when he entered this dimension. Quinn looks to the others, "The gate's destroyed....I guess we'll have to find another way to check if we're home or not." Rembrandt places his hand on Quinn's shoulder, "Don't worry about it Q-ball. You never really thought that was going to tell us whether we were actually home, did you? Think about all the times we've been fooled by that!" Quinn doesn't have a chance to respond, though, because as soon as Remmy mouths the words, the door to the house opens behind them and at the door is Quinn's mirror image with a bag of garbage in hand. The two Quinn's lock eyes, and an unusual reaction occurs.....Quinn's double drops the bag and shouts, "NO!!!!! NOT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Part 3

(Quinn's double shall be referred to as "Q" for the remainder of the story in the spirit of simplicity.)

The shock that Q feels in seeing Quinn is quite obvious to all as he shouts, "NO!!! NOT YOU!!!!" and runs back into the house with great speed. The Sliders are a bit confused by this. Never in their travels have had this reaction from one of Quinn's doubles. Sure, several have helped them and just as many have tried to kill them, but none were ever scared of them. Quinn, now curious to why he got this reaction, starts to move towards the house and the others reluctantly follow.

Quinn reaches the open door to Q's home and is about to go in when he runs into someone. It's hi....Q's mom! Quinn still has trouble sometimes seeing his mom on all these parallel earths and not being able to truly talk to her because he knows that she is not the person he knew. "Hello Mo.....Mrs. Mallory, my name is Quinn and I'm...." Quinn doesn't have time to finish his statement as Q's mom has a light of realization dawn in her eyes and she says, "It's all true....I doubted him, but it's all true!"

A few moments later, Q's mom clumsily invites the weary travelers into her home for some rest and refreshment. Once in the living room, Q's mom turns to Quinn and says, "So, how long have you been sliding?" Quinn is a little surprised at first that she knows who they are without them having to explain anything, but then he realizes why Q must have been upset at his presence. Apparently they've met before somewhere, in another dimension anyway. Quinn explains how he and his friends wound up on their seemingly endless journey to Q's mom, and then asks her a very important and pertinent question, "Mrs. Mallory, if you know about us, then that must mean that your son is a Slider too! If that's true then we need his help because our timer appears to be useless on this world, and we need to continue on our journey. Since he slid off of this world, he must know how to configure the sliding equipment to leave this earth, so please take us to him." Q's mom looks at the Sliders with a sense of uncertainty. "Yes, my Quinn has been sliding," she says, "but he only went out one time. Much like your story, he was also eager to try his invention and invited over some of his friends to join him on his first expedition into new worlds. They entered the "whirlpool" and only left me a video tape telling me what they had done. It was over a year later that Quinn reappeared on the doorstep of our house, looking as if he had just survived a full scale war. Since his return, he has been very withdrawn and every time I try to ask him what happened or where his friends are, he just runs up to his room and locks the door as he's done now. Sometimes he'll just stay up there for days at a time, never letting me in or answering any of my pleas to him. The only thing he does talk to me about is the sliding machine.......even though he hasn't bothered to repair any of the burnt out equipment in the basement yet."

"Your son's equipment is still here?!?" says Quinn, "That could be the answer to our problem! Would you mind letting me see it and also could you possibly talk to your son and see if he'll help us?" Q's mom tells them that talking to her son is pretty much hopeless once he locks himself in that room, but she would be glad to show them the equipment.

As the Sliders enter the basement, they are thrown into a state of amazement. The equipment located in that dank, dark hole in the ground is so beyond anything they've seen it's almost impossible to believe! Quinn immediately begins tearing into the burnt out circuit boards and wiring to see what he can figure out, while the others just wander around the room taking in the advanced machinery with wonderment. Q's mom is about to go back up stairs and fix them something to eat, when Maggie stops her. Maggie says, "Where does all this stuff get it's power...I don't see a generator anywhere!" Q's mom walks over to a thin piece of metal petruding from the ceiling that has wires coming out of it in all directions and says, "Well here's the generator, didn't you see it! It supplies unlimited power for anything you need!"


Part 4

"Here's the generator, silly!" says Q's mom. Maggie is not amused by being called silly. Wade asks how that small piece of metal could possibly be a generator and Q's mom goes on to tell that on their world these antennae pull electricity from the atmosphere...something created by a scientist named Tesla, she thinks. Quinn raises his head. Could Tesla's inventions have been accepted on this world? He elaborates for the others that on his world, a Nikola Tesla created such a device in the early twentieth century and tested it by sending his first transmission of electricity in the direction of the North Pole so that Admiral Bird could see it as he went on his famous expedition to that area. Bird never saw it, however, and so Tesla's inventions were never accepted in mass...even though, around that time an enormous crater appeared in Siberia that still has no explanation behind it and could have possibly been created by the impact of the electrical force of Tesla's transmission. Quinn goes on to tell them that this must be what is causing the timer to malfunction. With the atmosphere networked into a system of these electrical transmissions, it must be jamming his equipment which is not used to so much interference.

Quinn sees the solution, though as he looks at the metal pylons in the center of the room and explains to everyone how this must be the way that his double arced the electrical field long enough to open a vortex, but the equipment was unfortunately burned beyond usability during the last time they were used. After asking Q's mom for permission to stay and work on the equipment that will help them leave this world, Quinn gives a list of things he needs in order to fix everything and sends them off to town to acquire these materials. Wade decides to stay behind to see if she can talk to Q and find out more about what happened since Quinn is now emersed in his science and she would rather not go anywhere with Maggie right now.

Unaware that Wade has left the room, Quinn continues to work feverishly on repairing the equipment. He knows that he has an unknown deadline to reach and if he doesn't get the timer up and running soon, they may be stuck on this world for 29 more years....which he would rather not do. It's a little too creepy for his tastes.

Upstairs, the silence from the room of Q persists......


Part 5

With Rembrandt and Maggie gone off in search of materials and Quinn completely ignoring anything said to him at this point, Wade decides to go upstairs and see if she can get Q to come out of his room and help them. She carefully climbs the stairs and walks to the end of the long, dark hallway where Q's room is located. She taps on the door and calls out to him several times, but there is still no answer. Of course, the ever resourceful Miss Wells does not stop there. Using some of her "street skills" (See 'The King Is Back' from the first season for more details), she picks the lock on the door and slowly pushes it open to see what is wrong with Q. To her surprise, not only is the room spotless (almost as if no one had been there in years), but Q is no where to be found and the window is open with a still breeze rustling the curtains as it blows through. Wade goes over to close the window, and her hand touches something damp on the window sill. It almost feels like dew to her, but not quite. She passes it off and leaves the room to go back down stairs and see what happened to Q's mom.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Rembrandt have made it into town at this point and retrieved the requested items for Quinn. They were on their way to return when Rembrandt "felt the call of nature" and had to stop for a moment....almost an hour ago. Maggie is infuriated! She had always thought of this group as highly unprofessional, but this is rediculous!! Doesn't Rembrandt realize the gravity of this situation? She rises from the park bench she has been sitting on and is about to go where no woman has wanted to go before when she feels something brush her shoulder. She turns around with the speed of a cheetah and is about to kick the unknown individual where it will count when she realizes who it is........the dead husband she thought she had left behind.


Part 6

Wade is becoming concerned. Hours have now passed since the Sliders separated and Rembrandt and Maggie have still not returned. Adding to Wade's worry is also the fact that not only has Q disappeared without a trace, but his mother is now gone as well. Wade begins to think to herself how this slide is going sour fast. She has tried to tell Quinn what's going on, but he can't pull himself away from his "mission" long enough to even listen her. She's on her own.

She is about to go back down to the basement to make Quinn listen to her when she hears a chaotic knocking at the front door of the house. With a sense of apprehension, Wade steps up to the door and slowly opens it when Rembrandt comes spilling through, looking as if he has been beaten within an inch of his life. Wade immediately leans down to him, asking him the entire time what had happened. Remmy explains, "On our way home, this world's version of Maggie's husband showed up and started acting like a psycho.....he pulled out a knife and killed Maggie before she knew what was going on, Wade; he would have killed me too, but I managed to barely escape. I guess we should have left as soon as we saw him, since it was obvious that he would have that military training backing him up on this world too." Wade interrupts, "How would you know if he had military training, the one we met before was a scientist who couldn't even defend himself due to his paralysis!" Rembrandt's expression rapidly changes from one of pain to one of a cold. emotionless killer and Wade only has time to voice one short scream before he jabs his cold steel into her heart thus robbing her of precious life. A vicious smile comes across the Cryin' Man's face.

Alarmed by the scream, Quinn comes up from the basement with a sense of aggravation. He murmurs to himself, "What does she want now?!?" He's even further infuriated by the fact that Remmy and Maggie never returned with the materials he asked for. At least he was able to improvise something and got the "null field" to work, even though he doesn't know for how long. That's okay, though. Now that he has been able to look at the readout on the timer, he knows that they have a few days until the next slide....plenty of time to get the equipment up and running.

Quinn reaches the top of the stairs to be welcomed by a most horrifying site. Wade, his counterpart of three long years, lying in a pool of her own blood with this world's version of himself standing above her lifeless body...


Part 7

In his many slides, Quinn has met evil versions of himself before, but he has never felt a rage for one of them as strongly as he does now. Cradling the lifeless Wade in his arms, Quinn looks up with tears in his eyes screaming out at his counterpart for an explanation to this heinous act. Q simply smiles and says, "Isn't it obvious, I need your timer!"

Quinn now has confusion to add to his rage, He looks to Q and says, "Why do you need MY timer if you have the ability to build your own? Unless....you aren't the Quinn of this world and you've been masquerading as him in an attempt to find a way off since you're stranded here just like us!" Q laughs out loud. "You're partially right, Quinn. I'll give you that." says Q, "You don't understand yet, though. You see, I am not the Quinn of this earth or any earth like this one, but in fact a different being entirely. On my world, we discovered sliding decades ago, but my culture never tested to see where the vortex would lead....they are too cowardly and superstitious to do that. So, they instead decided that the vortex was a gift from the gods, a method to get rid of the criminal element in society and purge the world of sinners in a mass cleansing. Yes, I'm really a criminal, Quinn, who wants to get off this god forsaken earth and return to my world so I can exact my vengeance on those wretched, short-sighted people!"

Quinn is still a bit confused, though. "If that's the case, then how do you look like me if you aren't an alternate version of myself?!?" Quinn says with a slight quiver in his voice. Q shakes his head in disbelief. "How did you ever invent anything? You're obviously a bit slow on the uptake! I am NOT like you, Quinn. My race is far superior to yours because we have control over every molecule and atom of our bodies and can make ourselves look like anything we desire. And thanks to our ability to grab images from other beings minds by simply touching them (As Q reached for Quinn and touches him), we can become anything you fear (morphing into a Kromagg soldier) or anything you desire (morphing into Wade!)."

Quinn has heard enough. He uses the opportunity of the chameleon being close to him and off guard to attempt a punch, but Q simply morphs his body around Quinn's fist and reforms with his hands around Quinn's arm. Q looks at Quinn for a moment as if telling him "goodbye" and works his position around to grab Quinn's neck and in one quick thrust snaps the neck of Quinn Mallory, thus ending his life....


Part 8

The chameleon-like entity reaches over the now dead bodies of Wade and Quinn to retrieve the timer from the ground where it fell during the struggle. He laughs at the irony of it all. The Sliders never realized that he had dispatched of Quinn's mother several months ago after he had gained the knowledge he needed from her, and then took her place when this Quinn appeared. He thought it the best way to see if it was the "real" one or not and then gain the knowledge he needed to build or steal the sliding device. After all, he had been stuck on this world for over a year now, and he wanted to get off by any means necessary.

After showing the Sliders what they needed, he simply stood back until he saw an opportunity to "divide and conquer." He tailed Rembrandt and Maggie on their quest for parts, and when Remmy had entered the rest room, he ambushed him and then later he was able to catch Maggie off guard long enough to use her own memories against her and distract her long enough to go in for the kill before her training could give him any problems. Thinking back about how he pulled this off, the chameleon can't help but laugh out loud again at how easy it all was. He stands for awhile longer in the emerald blood of the now dead Sliders, victorious with the timer in hand and ready to go to the basement to see how far along Quinn had come with the descrambling device before his "untimely" demise....

Unnoticed in the basement during this unfolding of events, an interdimensional portal opens in the recently finished "null field" that Quinn created. Four familiar figures fall from the rip in space and onto the floor like they have many times before. Quinn picks himself up off the ground and looks to see that everyone's okay. Then following the routines, he checks to timer to see that there are only 10 seconds until the next dimensional window! "I hate these interim slides! Ten seconds everybody, look alive!" Quin says in a frustrated voice. Rembrandt responds, "Hey, isn't this your basement, Q-ball?" "Yeah," Quinn says, "and it looks like he's been working on a sliding device of his own. Wish we had time to warn him about how dangerous it is in the multiverse, but...." Quinn points the timer at the floor and the REAL Sliders jump in one after another never aware of the danger that they have barely avoided on this day or the danger that they may face yet.....since the civilization made up of "doubles" has extradited their criminals throughout the multiverse and anyone can be a killer in disguise.....




UNTIL NEXT TIME......THE END.





Sliders DoC : Alternate Visions : Perceptions