One month later:
Somewhere in Canada, a young lady named Sandra Rasputin was taking her brother, Alex, to his weekly therapy session at the hospital. Alex had a bad fall from his apartment and snapped his spine. He was paralyzed from the neck down.
Sandra had her own appointment this day for prenatal care. She was just starting to show. She did not speak of the baby’s father, except to say that he was her true love. The sonogram showed that the baby was a boy. He would be named Theodore after his paternal grandfather.
Stellar Studios, California:
One month ago, Starman returned from the dead. David Knight had finally been given a clean bill of health by his physician, Dr. Charles McNider. This left only one problem. After a month of being Starman, Jack Knight had no desire to quit, while David Knight was anxious to get back in the saddle. Where before, the brothers would have fought to the death, this time they easily reached a compromise that their father would have been proud of. David returned to the Justice Society of America as Starman, while Jack was about to be inducted by Infinity Inc.
The entire membership of Infinity Inc. was gathered, along with the JSA’s Starman, Wildcat, and Power Girl. Jack Knight stood before the assembled heroes. He wore jeans, a plaid shirt, a black leather jacket adorned with the star his mother had given him, and a bandana with white stars on blue. He held the cosmic rod in his left hand.
“Jack Knight, by unanimous vote of the membership,” the Patriot said with a huge smile, “we hereby induct you into full membership in Infinity Inc. as the new Star-Spangled Kid!”
The room erupted in applause. Jack looked at Sylvester Pemberton and smiled. If only Dad were here to see this.
Suddenly, a violent wind began to blow into the room as a portal opened in midair. Someone came flying out of it, followed by five other somebodies.
“Mr. Brown! I would appreciate it if you would get off me! I do not enjoy being your landing pad!” the rotund man harrumphed as he pulled himself off the floor.
“Sorry, Professor, but you’re a whole lot softer than the ground,” Rembrandt Brown said as he helped Professor Maximillian Arturo up.
Ted Knight pulled his glasses out of his pocket just as two voices shouted in unison: “Dad?”
Ted Knight looked in astonishment. He read the banner on the wall, which read “Congratulations, Jack, our new Star-Spangled Kid.”
Diana Davis walked over to Ted, holding the timer. “Is this the right world, Ted? Are you home? Mallory and Wade were told these were the right coordinates.”
Ted stared at David and Jack — Starman and the Star-Spangled Kid.
“It’s close, but it can’t be. David might be Starman, but Jack… he couldn’t be…”
Diana looked down at the timer and then back at Ted. “Well, you’d better decide quickly, because the next portal opens in ninety seconds, and if this is the wrong world, we’re stuck here for the next twenty-nine years.”
David and Jack ran to Ted, and all three men hugged.
“Dad, it’s really us. You’re home. You’re home!”
Ted looked at Jack through tear-filled eyes. “God, you look so much like Jack, but what could have happened that…?”
“Dad, you left us, trying to find a way to Earth-One. We thought you were lost forever. Then David died, and the Mist took over, and I… Dad, I had no choice. I had to become Starman. I had to be worthy of you. You remember what you told Mom about me? You told Mom that David was your son, but I was hers. It’s why you shut me out after she died. I reminded you too much of her.”
Ted Knight heard the familiar sound of a portal opening behind him. Professor Maximillian Arturo, Quinn Mallory, Wade Welles, Rembrandt Brown, and Diana Davis all stood before the portal.
“Ted,” the professor said above the roar, “it’s time. Do we go or not?”
Ted looked at his comrades — no, his second family — and then his sons. He had spent over five years from his point of view sliding from world to world. They almost lost Max. Quinn had been merged with his duplicate. It was finally time for the Sliders to rest.
“Close the portal, Diana. Ted Knight is done with sliding. We’re home.”
To Be Continued in Starman: One Starman Too Many