The vortex opened and deposited Quinn, Wade, and Rembrandt out in the middle of a park.
"Please tell me we're home!" Rembrandt yelled. "Just..." His voice trailed off as he caught a bridge in the distance.
"The Azure Bridge!" Wade said excited. "We are home!"
Quinn smiled, he had finally gotten his group home. Looking at the timer he put it in his pocket. "Finally."
"What ... what do we do?" Wade asked. She walked over to a park bench and sat down.
Quinn followed her and sat down next to her. "Wade, we're home. We look up family."
"Quinn!" A voice came from accross the park. "Wade! Remmy!"
The sliders looked up to see a man shouting at them. He ran over as fast as his legs would carry him. "Is it reall you?"
Quinn and Arturo looked at each other and sighed. "Conrad."
As Conrad Bennish walked up to them he could only smile. "You came back again!"
Quinn smiled. "Yes we're back."
Rembrandt looked at the man, "Do I know you? What do you mean back... again?"
Conrad nodded. "Dude, don't you remember the last time you came back? It was like three years ago man!"
Rembrandt looked at Quinn "We did what now?"
Quinn shrugged. "Conrad, we haven't been home in five years. You've gotta be daydreaming man."
Bennish stroked his beard. "I guess it could have been someone else... with the whole alternate dimensions. Well one thing I'm sure of, Arturo will go nuts when he sees you! Man remember how he didn't believe anything you told him?"
Quinn nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure he was pretty ticked off over the whole thing."
Bennish nodded "Shoot, worse than that man. He claimed that he invented sliding!"
Quinn sat back down on the bench as his jaw dropped. "That bastard."
Bennish dropped his smile "I know dude. It's something else for sure."
Quinn stood up "He still working at the university?"
"I think so."
Wade lookd to Quinn "Quinn, like you said let's go meet up with family first. We can take care of the professor later."
Quinn smiled "You're right." He kissed her on the cheek and said "I'll catch up with you two later. I'll be at my mom's."
Quinn headed towards home, Wade and Rembrandt went their ways as well leaving Conrad Bennish alone in the park.
Quinn knocked on the door to his house. The gate had squeeked like it was meant to. He couldn't quite get why the squeek was necessary. Maybe it was something that was just meant to reassure him. Who knew.
As the door opened, his mother stood before him. "Yes?" She started "Quinn!" Mrs. Mallory hugged her son tight. "Oh Quinn! It's been so long since I last saw you!"
He returned the hug just as tight. "Mom! It's good to see you!"
"Oh Quinn, after you left that second time, I didn't think I'd see you."
Quinn nodded. "You're the second person to have said something like that to me today." He continued to hug her.
"Come in, I'll explain it all to you." She said as they went inside and sat down.
Mrs. Mallory explained the situation with the last group that had visted her home who called themselves Sliders.
"Oh brother." Quinn said. "I go for an adventure, finally make it back and find out all hell has broken loose on my Earth."
"Whatever the case I'm so happy you're home." Mrs. Mallory said.
Wade walked into her apartment. On the desk were letters upon letters, some opened some not. She read through a few of them. They were deals based on book deals and writings from her journal she was keeping about their adventures sliding.
She picked up a phone and called made a call. "Hey Sandra" there was a pause as she waited for the person on the other end to speak, they were shocked to be hearing from her. "Of course it's me silly! Who else would it be?" She paused, "Wait what? Start that over, you have to tell me everything." Wade said as she sat down.
Rembrandt Brown knocked on a door in an older part of town. Nothing fancy or really kept up. He wasn't even sure if there would be a response, but it was a place to start.
"Who's making all that noise?" A voice came from behind the door.
Rembrandt smiled. "Mama, it's me! It's Remmy!"
As the door opened an older woman with gray hair looked out. "Remmy? But you've been gone... for so long."
His smile dropped. "I know mama. I'm home now. I'm home."
"... and that my dear students is why the Earth goes around the Sun." Professor Arturo finished his comments. "Class dismissed."
As the room emptied, Max walked over to his desk and started packing up his briefcase. Arturo was interrupted as a familiar face entered the room. "Ah Mr. Bennish what can I do for you?"
Conrad walked up to his former teacher. "Have you heard man? They're back."
Max kept packing his things. "Who are they?"
Conrad smiled "Who do you think? The Sliders."
Max dropped a paper. It fell to the floor. He looked to Conrad in shock. "What?" Could it be? They had come back for him? "Where are they?"
"Who? The Sliders?"
"Of course you blistering idiot! Who else would I be talking about?"
Conrad laughed "Dude, you don't have to get so excited over it. They went their ways man. Probably to catch up with family and stuff."
Max thought it through. "Good, their timer hasn't hit zero yet then. They have time." He headed out the door leaving his briefcase behind.
As Max walked across the university campus, he couldn't help but start running. He wondered why they didn't track him down first. That really didn't matter though, what mattered most was they were back.
Before long, Arturo was at the Mallory's door. He knocked on it and waited.
The door opened, it was Mrs. Mallory. "Oh Professor ... Arturo isn't it?"
"Yes ma'am." Arturo said "It's good to see you again."
She looked him up and down remembering the last time she had seen him. He and his double had fought on the front lawn before the Sliders had left for another world.
"Yes of course. What can I do for you?"
"Ah, what indeed." Max said. "I heard that young Quinn was back. I wanted to welcome him home."
Mrs. Mallory hesitated "Do you think that's a good idea? I mean with all that happened three years ago..."
Max rubbed his hands together "Yes the um incident. Oh trust me Mrs. Mallory, time has given me the chance to think things through."
"Please come in. I think Quinn is downstairs in the basement."
Max entered the residence. "Thank you." He headed downstairs.
Sure enough, Quinn was seated at a computer running through calculations.
Arturo walked up to Quinn "You came back for me!"
Quinn turned around "Professor." He said. Quinn turned back around and continued working.
"After all this time, that's the best you can do?" Max asked. "One would think you'd have more to say."
Quinn stopped typing. "What do you want me to say Professor? That I'm happy you took credit for my work?"
Arturo sighed. "What? We've been through this. Three years ago, that was my double from this world!"
Quinn looked up "You're making no sense. You're the only one here."
"I think there's been a miscommunication Quinn." Max went on to explain how he was switched with his double from this world and was left here when they slid. "Don't you remember?"
Quinn shook his head. "Professor, I haven't been here for five years. I don't know what you're talking about."
Max paused as he attempted to put all of the pieces together in his head. "You aren't the Quinn I know... this is in fact your Earth." He sighed. "Dammit. Here I had thought you had come back for me. But in reality you have just come home to your own world."
Quinn caught onto what the man was saying. "I'm sorry Professor, I'm not the Quinn you knew or traveled with. You've been stuck here for three years?"
Max nodded "Yes, and a great deal more I fear."
Quinn looked to his timer on the desk. "I really don't have need for this anymore. I'm home. You could use this to search for your home world."
"I don't even have the coordinates of my Earth Quinn. Bouncing from Earth to Earth just doesn't sound enjoyable anymore."
Quinn nodded. "I understand. It was only by chance that we happened to come back here. We were lucky."
Max sighed "I will take my leave of you now. I have bothered you too much. Good day."
Quinn showed Max to the door. He couldn't imagine just settling down on a strange Earth that wasn't his own. He hoped the Professor would be able to cope.
Max took a look at the Mallory house before heading back to the university. To have come so far and yet so short. He truly was going to spend the rest of his life there on a world that wasn't his.
"Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt... wherever you are. I hope you had a hell of a ride." Arturo said to the wind as it rushed through his hair.