Xliding into Sliding
Xliding into Sliding
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, and the Sliders characters aren’t mine (maybe Tracy Torme) either and any other characters or real-life folks are clearly not mine. No money is involved. None are mine.
This is dedicated to those of you who watch the shows.
Xander was feeling down about the rather lackluster reaction he’d gotten from his friends about going as a soldier for Halloween; it wasn’t as if he’d really wanted to go, but to finally finish up last year’s second season of Sliders episodes. He’d like the show, and had sometimes watched it with Jess and Wills. They’d argue about the characters, and how they’d like to be if they found themselves in the same situation.
Xander was lucky that his parents weren’t home yet as he walked around the house in his fatigues, and eventually headed down into the basement and rummaged around the stuff Jesse’s mom had given him after the disappearance of her son back in March. He smiled, and even found the replica tricorder they’d turned into a much better Sliding Timer. They’d laughed about some of the faults the show had, but loved it anyway, and especially with Willow to point out the bad science the two boys had had to really make up seriously convoluted explanations so maybe it would have worked out to be a fun show even with ‘good’ science.
He was going to set things back, when he decided to grab a few other items—a fake id that read ‘Alexander Mallory’ age 21 on it, old and Next Generation Star Trek phasers and the ‘Timer of the Gods’ as they’d joked, and a bag of forgotten chocolate ‘gold coins’ that might still be good enough to eat later. Looking at his watch, he realized he was running late; grabbing a heavy greatcoat from the pile of forgotten junk, he raced off to meet with his friends.
Xander had had a happy enough response from Willow when he’d told her he was going as Alexander Mallory, and the night had progressed to the point where he’d actually managed to load up his team of kids with candy and return them to the school. Heading into the library and bothering Giles seemed to be a good idea, but the man had put him to work cleaning and reorganizing the weapons in the cage when the spell hit. Xander was standing on the Hellmouth, and that meant extra magic and warping of reality. Xander slumped to the ground, next to the table where his possessions were, and dropping the crossbow drew Giles’ immediate attention.
“Xander?! Are you alright?” the man asked as he drew close, sipped on a dropped bolt and fell head-long into Xander’s stuff. The librarian and materials, in contact with Alexander just before the spell completed, sparked a shock across them as well.
Alexander Mallory recovered quickly and looked around the Library and found his fallen companion Dr. Rupert Giles. They’d been stuck traveling from world to world since the night of the Master, and it looked again as the timer counted down from its last minute, that they must not have reached their world. Xander quickly grabbed a duffle full of patrolling equipment, grabbed the EMT kit from the weapons cage and pressed the activator. Possessions secured, he helped his mentor up and as the man began to protest his being mishandled, Xander leapt the two of them into Vortex.
Rupert Giles was rather distraught, or would be if he weren’t so confused about what had just happened. One moment young Xander Harris was collapsing to the ground, and in the next they were rushing into some type of portal into this … place. The young man was to first to break the silence from where he’d produced a powerful Maglite and was beaming it around. They seemed to be in a well-made chamber of stone and mortar, though door handles were of more modern metal.
“You okay Rupert? We nearly didn’t make the Slide,” the young man sighed as the bluish Vortex closed. “You okay? I don’t remember the last few minutes before the Timer counted down; we must have been knocked out by something.”
“Xander, what the blazes are you talking about? One minute you’re assisting me in the Library, and the next thing I know we’re here.”
“Huh? You must have hit your head harder than I thought, Giles. Don’t worry, though, I’m sure it’ll come back to you soon.”
Giles didn’t know how to respond; the lad in front of him seemed quite convinced about a certain outlook, and carried himself with far greater assurance than normal. The Watcher decided upon a different tact.
“So, tell me…how long have we been doing this?”
“Four and a half years, Giles,” the young man replied distractedly as he hefted a large duffle and checked a large hand-held device of some sort, “Looks like we have nearly a day before our next Slide.”
“Our next what?”
“Our next…you really don’t remember any of this don’t you?”
“I do not recollect events as you do, Xander. What I remember is that it is October 31st, 1997. You just came back, dressed in costume, I might add, from escorting children around for Halloween. I was reorganizing the card catalog, and you were helping me by cleaning and double-checking the weapons when all of a sudden you collapsed to the floor—atop the Hellmouth I might add. I rushed over to check on your status, tripped, and when I made contact with you and some of your personal possessions, I suffered a shock and fell stunned to the floor. You then picked yourself up and pulled me through the um, the portal.”
Xander stopped as he found and activated what seemed to be a light panel next to the door. The lights came on and the size and decoration of the room came into focus once their eyes adjusted.
“I agree, Giles. Egyptian-looking, I’d guess. But it seems to be a Roman alphabet.”
“It does indeed. But—” they looked around what seemed to be an odd mix of a high-tech security control room, an Egyptian Pharaoh’s tomb and a lounge. “This is a bit confusing.”
“It always is,” Xander chuckled and set the duffle down once more in favor of moving to what seemed to be the main console. “Let’s see. Hmm, this is odd…look here, a lot of English, Egyptian and Latin words mixed, but it is English of a sort. Just the nouns and such seem different.”
“You can read this?”
“You can’t? Now I’m really beginning to worry, Rupert. You really have a different set of memories?” He looked up from where he was looking at the various monitors. Giles pointed at a small group. “They’re dressed like ceremonial escorts from hieroglyphs. And they seem to be accompanying a coffin, or perhaps an actual sarcophagus. Where in blazes are we?”
“Different dimension, that’s all I can tell you,” Xander responded, but seemed to be looking at a schematic and a list. “Go open that panel and take out whatever’s in there, please.”
The politeness as much as anything was causing Giles to wonder just what had happened at the Hellmouth. The Watcher did as asked, finding a pair of smaller devices similar to the one Xander had, and four serpentine-looking devices with handgrips.
“What am I holding, Xander?”
“Those are two more Slide Timers, Giles, just without the power sources in them; and four energy weapons of some sort according to the manifest. We’re in some sort of a pyramid built for a Pharaoh that just died.”
“We’re in Egypt?”
“We’re where Los Angeles should be, but different dimension. Largest city in the Confederation, so this is the Sunset Place.”
“This must be a bad dream…one minute I’m listening to try you explain how you’ve dressed up as a character from a television show…the brother of a genius named Mallard or something, and then I’m living it with you.”
“Mallory, Giles. We’re actually trying to catch up with my brother Quinn and his group. That’s why I changed my last name to Mallory and started studying all the math and physics after running into Bennish on A-Bomb World.”
Giles looked at him blankly, “So, now what do we do?”
“We try and save those people from a big ugly bug…” Xander sighed, pointing at a screen that in dim lighting showed without great detail a black man, a young white woman and a large Watcher-looking dude. “If they had a tall geeky guy with ‘em I’d say we finally caught up with Quinn’s bunch.”
“Would that be the fellow there with the young woman?” Giles queried as he pointed at another monitor. Xander’s intake of breath gave truth to the suspected response. “Then I’d say we must move quickly and then afterward determine our situation.”
They hurried along a short series of rooms and corridors to where the first group was avoiding the bug. Xander used his M-16 on the bug. It took three bursts of five rounds to hit enough of its innards to kill it. The ‘Watcher Guy’ was the first to speak.
“Thank God you were here to stop that thing!”
Quinn and Dr. Mubaric came running in before the large academic could go on further. The new arrivals were a bit put off by the two unknown men and the fact that one was very much armed. And the armed man turned and stared at the young genius.
“My name is Alexander Harris Mallory. I might be your brother. If not, a parallel.”
“Brother? Parallel? Are you a Slider?”
“And we’ve been following you,” the young man affirmed as he slung his weapon over his shoulder and took out his own timer. “This one can track. It has an hour default, but I can adjust it to follow a Slide Wake if I get there within the month before it goes placid again.”
They heard commotion from somewhere in the direction from which Quinn had arrived. He turned to Xander.
“Can you get us out of here without scrambling?” he asked, holding up a functional timer of this current world.
“If I have about ten minutes to change the programming, then yes. Otherwise, I have these coordinates and a bunch of others already in memory. You fire that one; I record it and shut this one off for a day before we jump. I can at least get us back here to this world, give or take the distance to the control room.”
“We don’t have the time, so start recording,” Quinn responded as he forced the Egyptian timer to create a vortex immediately. He turned to Mubaric, “You sure you won’t come with us?”
“I have to stay here and try to stop the experiments on people. I’ll keep them away for a minute or so.
“Thanks.” Quinn turned to the others, “Let’s go.”
Xander turned to Giles.
“Rupert, we’ll figure this out, but these are the good guys. If I get us back here, then if you’re somehow right and I’m wrong…we can work back from here. I have the coordinates of every world we’ve visited; I just might have to revisit them in order again.”
“Very well, Xander. I’m right behind you.”
And with that, the now-six Sliders left the Egyptian World for the next.