Wes, Eric, Jen, Alex, Lucas, Trip, Nadira, Ransik, and Frax belong to Disney/Saban.
Lister, Rimmer, Cat, Kryten, and Holly belong to Grant/Naylor Productions and I guess the BBC.
I am using them without permission, but I am not and do not expect to make money from this.

Time Force: takes place sometime between Quantum Secrets and Frax's Fury, or between 'Ambition' and 'Destiny' in my AU version.
Red Dwarf: takes place sometime shortly before Legion

Red Dwarf fans will remember that the episode Backwards featured a timehole amazingly similiar to the Time Force timeholes. Seems like the same phenomenon exists in both universes...

This is just for fun. I realize Wes and Jen are a little out of character, and this is based on my version of Time Force (Future Rangers are from 2200, Trip and Katie are mutants, etc.). You don't have to be a Red Dwarf fan or a Time Force fan to hopefully enjoy this.

The poem is by Alexander Pope.

Rated PG : harsh language, tasteless jokes.

Hope Springs Eternal

The mining ship Red Dwarf, stranded in deep space, three million years in the future:

"Holly, what time is it?"

"Five minutes past the last time you asked, Dave."

"I'm bored," Lister groaned.

"So am I, Dave. You don't hear me whinging on about it."

"Yeah? What do you call that?"

"Just stating a fact."

"Where's Rimmer?"

"Pretending to take a jog in the ship's corridors. You could join him."

"No thanks, I'd rather be bored. Where's the Cat?"

"Where is he usually? Sleeping."

"And Kryten?"

"Cleaning the kitchen."

"I'm bored!"

"Try reading a book."

"I'm not that desperate."

"Look, Dave, I'd love to stay and chat, but I have important duties."

"Like what?"

"I'm repairing the Holly Hop drive."

"What? The drive that got us into a parallel universe where male and female roles are reversed?"

"That's the one."

"The drive that got us into a universe where we found another Red Dwarf, with a crew of female counterparts of ourselves?"


"The drive that got us into a universe where men get pregnant instead of women?"

"That's correct."

"The drive that got us into the universe where in fact I got pregnant by my own female counterpart?"

"Correct again."

"Do all of us a huge favor. Don't repair it."

"You instructed me to get us back to Earth as quickly as possible."

"Yes. But not by way of parallel universes. Next time maybe we'll find ourselves in one where cockroaches rule the Earth. Or time runs backwards. Or something really bizarre, like where Rimmer isn't a complete smeghead."

"Do you want to get back or not?"

"I do. But I'd like to get there in one piece. And for a ship's computer with an IQ of 6000, I'm sorry but you're not all that bright."

"It's not my fault, Dave. Three million years on my own while you were in stasis made me go a bit off."

"I know, Hol." Lister smiled at the computer-generated face of a blonde woman in his monitor screen. "No offence. I guess I'll try and find the Cat."

Silver Hills, year 2001:

"Daddy, I'm bored!" Nadira whined.

Ransik sighed, looking at his pink-haired offspring. "Can't you watch television?"

"There's nothing good on!"

"Can't you rob a store?"

"The stupid Rangers always show up and ruin everything! I'm bored!"

He smiled. "Don't worry, my sweet, I have a plan that should keep you amused, and take care of the Rangers."

"What do you mean, Daddy?"

"Look at this." Ransik took her arm and led her into one of the laboratory rooms on the prison ship which was their home in the year 2001. Inside, they saw Frax, their obedient robot servant, surrounded by various bits and pieces of machinery, working on his latest project, an impressive-looking machine.

"This should dispose of the Power Rangers, once and for all."

It looked rather like a small cannon, set on a tripod. The design was familiar, of course, even to Nadira; it was a modified timehole generator.

"I assigned Frax to make something to get the Rangers out of our hair," Ransik said proudly. The tall, golden form of Frax stood silently, watching as they inspected it. Ransik turned to him. "I don't want to just send them to another time. I want them out of this universe, forever."

"Yes, master. This will project a timehole leading not only to another time and place, but into another dimension. Once they go through, they will never return."

"What kind of dimension?" Nadira asked, already giggling with anticipation.

"The laws of physics may be different there. It could be a parallel universe, where they'll meet counterparts of themselves. Perhaps a set of evil Rangers."

"That would be nice. How are we going to get them to go through?"

"The projector will create the timehole around them. All we have to do is get them in a group, and use it."

"Excellent," Ransik said, rubbing his hands together.

Nadira joined in as Ransik laughed softly. The Power Rangers had been a thorn in their sides for long enough. When Ransik had escaped from prison in the year 2200 and traveled through time to this dismal year with Nadira and Frax, they hadn't expected to be followed by four Time Force officers, bent on recapturing him. They hadn't expected them to bring morphers and become Power Rangers. And they certainly hadn't expected them to recruit two more Rangers from this time.

"Wait." Ransik stopped laughing. "We have to get them in a group, including the Quantum Ranger?"

"Correct, master."

"But he hates the other Rangers," Nadira moaned. "He wouldn't get within ten yards of them, except to start a fight."

"When necessary, he'll help them, Nadira," Frax reassured them.

"Perhaps. I suppose we'll manage," Ransik said.

The mining ship Red Dwarf, stranded in deep space, three million years in the future:

"Cat!" Lister roamed the empty corridors, occasionally stopping to call. The Cat could be anywhere, cat-like, he would simply lie down and go to sleep whenever the urge struck him.

The Cat was not an ordinary cat, not a small domestic feline. Over the course of three million years, his ancestors had evolved from cats into something remarkably similar to a human.

"Cat! There you are." Lister had spotted him, curled up on top of a food dispenser machine, raising his head sleepily. Cat jumped down lightly, stretched, and pulled a small portable iron out of a pocket. He began to press out the wrinkles his nap had put in his elaborately stylish powder-blue and maroon suit.

"Thanks for waking me up, monkey-breath," he said, putting the iron away and pulling out a mirror. "I was almost late for my three o'clock bath, and then I would have been late for my four o'clock serious beauty sleep."

Lister sighed. This was the product of three million years of evolution.

Silver Hills, year 2001:

"I don't know why you defend him, Wes. I'm starting to think you like the bastard."

Wes frowned. "I don't like him. Never been able to have a conversation with him without an argument. But maybe he's not as bad as you think."

"Yeah, Lucas. He's not such a bad guy," Trip chimed in.

"Jen, you talked to him, after you pulled him out of that river," Katie said. "What did you think of him?"

Wes turned, seeing a playful smile lift Jen's lips. "I thought he was cute."

"Cute!" Wes protested. "Wait a minute. Exactly what happened between you two?"

"You mean in the water? Or on the riverbank?"

"Whatever! Both!"

"Oh, I helped him dry off... we had a nice long talk... he was very charming."

Wes gritted his teeth and muttered something containing the words 'bastard' and 'creep'.

She laughed. "Relax. He was cute as long as he was unconscious. The minute he woke up, he was back to being rude and ungrateful. Didn't even thank me for saving his life."

"Hmm. If he came on to you, I'll..."

"Face it, Wes. The guy's a jerk," Lucas interrupted.

"Yeah, he sure is." Wes paused for a moment. "But... he saved my neck a couple of times. He's always been there to help when we needed him."

"Least he could do, after he stole our morpher and became the Quantum Ranger."

"He's just… not very friendly," Katie said.

"There's an understatement."

"Eric'll come around. I have a feeling about it," Trip said quietly. The others fell silent. Trip's feelings were usually right.

The mining ship Red Dwarf, stranded in deep space, three million years in the future:

"Are you really going to let that overblown calculator scatter our atoms who-knows-where again with that infernal Holly Hop drive? Remember what happened the last time!" Arnold Rimmer drew himself up rigidly and glared, nostrils flaring. To tell the truth, that was his normal look.

"You seemed to enjoy it when I got pregnant!" Lister retorted.

Rimmer smiled reminiscently. "Yes, that made the whole thing worthwhile… The spectacle of you, Lister, waddling about with a bulging belly… not that your belly doesn't bulge all the time, mind you."

"The same thing could have happened to you. That female Rimmer was hot to trot. And she wanted to trot all over you."

Rimmer inhaled and smiled again, bouncing gently on his heels. "That's the difference between us, Listy. I have what's known as self-control."

"Ha. You mean you were scared stiff of her. Or maybe I should say non-stiff."

"Unlike you, I don't believe in making love to myself."

"Admit it. Without yourself you'd have no sex life at all."

"That's a lie!"

"Oh right, I forgot about Inflatable Inga. The perfect woman. Of course she's a little plastic."

Silver Hills, year 2001:

Eric Myers raised his left arm, eyeing the morpher strapped on it. It was a slow day. Might as well check up on the other Rangers. He sneered slightly. They had a lot of nerve, always looking down on him, throwing it in his face that he had… appropriated the Quantum morpher. They should be grateful. Where would they be now, without him to bail them out every time they got into trouble?

In his more thoughtful moments, he had to admit that he felt guilty -- enough to make him keep tabs on them, enough to make him jump at any chance to help them out, and hope that someday they might even thank him for it, might at least stop looking at him like he was a step below pond scum.

"Morpher. Can you locate the other Rangers?"


He sighed. "Where are they?"

"In a warehouse at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Naylor Place."

"Do you always have to be so literal?"

"Yes." The telepathic 'voice' sounded almost smug.

Eric knew the neighborhood where the morpher said they were. It wasn't a place they were likely to be visiting casually. And the fact that they were in one of Silver Hills' strangely large number of abandoned warehouses also meant they were probably in action. Which meant they were probably in trouble.

"Quantum Power!" Eric shouted his power-up phrase, feeling the energy of his morpher surge through his body, replacing the uniform he wore as commander of the Silver Guardians with the red and black Quantum Ranger suit. He started out for the warehouse district.

The mining ship Red Dwarf, stranded in deep space, three million years in the future:

Lister stared at the box mounted on the Red Dwarf main control panel. It didn't look like much, just a plain metal box, the words 'Holly Hop Drive' printed on it, two buttons mounted on the top. On and Off. That was the one redeeming feature of the Holly Hop Drive, the controls were rather self-explanatory.

"Mr. Lister, sir, are you sure it's a good idea to try this?" Kryten's plastic, faceted face wore its usual expression of vague anxiety.

"Actually, I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea, but anything's better than spending the rest of my life here."

"But to risk all our lives on the slim hope of getting back to Earth..."

"Technically, the Cat and I are the only ones who're alive."

"That's right, Listy," Rimmer drawled. "Throw it in my face again that I happen to be dead."

"I know I'm just an android and not worth worrying about," Kryten said. "But what about the Cat? As you said, he's alive, too."

"What do you say, Cat? The rest of your life here, or a chance to get back to Earth?"

"I don't know, Bud. What's Earth got that we don't have right here?"

"Trees. Grass. Mountains. Fresh air."

"Mmm... not interested."

"Other people besides us."

"I dunno."


"Real women?"


"Three-dimensional women?"


"The soft and cuddly kind?"


"Let's go, Bud."

"All right! Holly, prepare to engage drive, target Earth, twenty-first century."

Silver Hills, year 2001:

They wandered through the cavernous warehouse, looking for signs of the mutant activity their scanners had picked up. So far there was nothing. Wes stopped as his morpher bleeped. He raised it and answered the call.

"Everyone, regroup at the entrance," Jen's voice commanded. Wes acknowledged and turned to retrace his steps.

They joined up just inside the door. Wes looked around uneasily. The others were doing the same.

"Where do you think they went?" Lucas asked.

"I don't know," Jen said tensely. "But Circuit was sure there was at least one mutant here."

"I have a bad feeling about this," Trip said.

"Trip's feelings are usually right. Maybe we should get out of here." Katie's voice was nervous.

"But if there's a mutant around here, we've got to get it," Wes protested.

A new voice spoke up behind them, from the doorway. "Why don't you kids go home, and let a grownup handle this?"

"Oh crap, you!" Lucas snapped.

"Eric, we'll take care of this," Wes said. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Someone's got to keep you guys out of trouble."

"The only trouble I see around here is you!"

"Oh yeah? Take a look behind you."

"You really think I'm going to fall for that?"

"Um... Wes..." Trip's voice said behind him.

"It would never occur to you to just show up and help us out, without starting a fight, would it?"

"Wes... You really should turn around..." Jen spoke up.

"Just because the Quantum morpher is a little more powerful than ours, you think you can push us around!"

"Wes, if you'd shut up for one second and turn around, you've got a bigger problem than me."

"I hate to say it, but Eric is right," came from Lucas.

Wes shut up and turned around. Ransik, Nadira, and Frax were standing a few yards away, inside the warehouse, a large machine that looked vaguely like a cannon on a tripod beside them. Ransik and Nadira were smiling happily.

"Hello, Rangers," Ransik said. "And goodbye."

Frax touched a control on the machine, which lit up and began to make a loud humming sound. A glow appeared around it, and intensified. Before they could react, a beam shot from it, ending over their heads, in the air, and a dreadfully familiar shape began to form from it. A whirlpool of violet and black, sparking lights inside, swirling rapidly down on them.

"A timehole! Watch out!" Trip shouted, just as it engulfed them.

The mining ship Red Dwarf, stranded in deep space, three million years in the future:

"Ten… Nine… Seven…"

Holly's voice counted down. Lister crossed his fingers. Kryten's anxiety chip appeared to be overloading. The Cat stared stupidly.

Rimmer stood at attention. "Idiot computer forgot a number again," he gritted.

"Six… Five… Four…"

"Well, Listy," Rimmer said more cheerfully. "Soon you'll be joining me in the afterlife."

"Shut up, Rimmer."

"Three… Two… One… Engage Hop Drive!"

Lister banged his fist on the 'On' button. They all tensed, glancing around. Nothing had changed.

Rimmer exclaimed, "Good job, Holly! Excellent work! You actually managed not to disintegrate us!"

"Are we back?" Lister asked eagerly. "Can you see Earth?"

"Not exactly, Dave."

"What do you mean?"

"We're near a massive object, but it's not Earth."

"What is it, then?"

"You're not going to like this."

"I already don't like it," Rimmer muttered.

"We're falling into a black hole."

"A black hole!" Lister shouted.

"Another fine smegging technical achievement!" Rimmer exclaimed.

"Something has interfered with the Hop Drive," Holly's voice announced. "A timehole started to form as we activated the drive. As a result we landed here instead of near Earth."

"Oh, great."

"The Hop Drive has attracted the timehole. It's forming now, inside Red Dwarf, at the current location of the drive."

"What? That's here!" Lister cried.

"Look!" the Cat shouted. "A big swirly thing in the air!"

They all jumped back as a swirl of violet and black faded into existence in the middle of the control room. As it materialized, they could dimly see six humanoid forms within it, all struggling as if trapped. The swirl became real, almost solid, and for a moment seemed to fill the room with light and color, almost blinding in its intensity. Lister ducked and closed his eyes. When he opened them, the colors were fading, and in an instant the timehole was gone. But the six figures remained, lying or crouching on the floor.

They were humanoid, but with metallic helmet-like heads, blank visors over the eye area and molded into almost the shape of a human mouth and chin over the lower face. Their suits covered them completely, skin-tight outfits over very human-appearing bodies, two of them female. The suits were all of a similar design, a different basic color with white decoration, except for one which was red with black.

"Aliens!" Rimmer exclaimed in a reverent tone.