The Alien Link

Hiya. This is my first Red Dwarf story. I'm a new writer, so feedback is greatly appreciated. Sorry about the problems last time this story was online. I'm new to all this stuff. As for my punctuation, I hope it's a little better this time around. This is set a year and a half after series eight and deals with what the Dwarfers do when they are released from the Tank. I've also tried to sort out the end of series cliffhanger, but since I haven't seen it, there may be a few discrepancies.

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Chapter one – D-Day

"Rimmer."

"What?"

"Rimmer!"

Arnold J Rimmer let out a long sigh. *It* was in one of those moods.

"What?!" he repeated exasperated.

"Okay, okay man...chill." Moaned Lister

"Well, what is it?"

"How are you feeling?"

"About what exactly?!"

"About getting outta here! Are you looking forward to it?" said the younger man matter-of-factly.

"No" replied Rimmer, monotone

"WHAT? We've been in this cell for a year and a half. We're only allowed out on suicide missions, we're finally getting out and all you can do is sit there and mope!" Lister was visibly annoyed.

"That's because we're getting let out onto a stinking, filthy mining ship, where life's not worth a smeg!" Rimmer shifted restlessly on his bunk. "On top of that, the only people I now outrank are the Cat, Kryten and the laboratory mice, and none of them have a rank! Even you outrank me, Gerbil Chops!"

"Great...innit!"

"No it's smegging well not great!"

"It's your own bleedin' fault you got demoted"

"Hmmph"

"You fired on Blue Midget"

"I thought you were the enemy"

"You got into that parallel universe thing right, and pirates that'd hijacked the ship told you that you were their captain and you fell for it! Boy are you gullible. It was up to us to get you back here. We managed to get to the other universe using a black...hole...or something like that. I can't remember exactly what. Todhunter told me"

"A quantum singularity"

"Whatever...Anyway, we find you and you open fire!"

"If I'd known who it was, I wouldn't have attacked you"

"Or called Captain Hollister and arsehole! I'll never forget the look on your face, when we led you back here and he took off your little second technician's badge - and gave it to me!"

Rimmer remembered it too well. One of his few honest accomplishments was ripped away, and handed to his nemesis.

"Oh that little obnoxious look of glee on your ugly mug. I could have killed you!"

"No you couldn't – you're a weakling"

"Want to bet?"

"Sure, how much?" said Lister reaching for his back pocket

Rimmer glared at the scouser as his anger simmered away. List had put him through years of hell, and Rimmer would be damned if he'd let Lister away with it.

A sigh broke his chain of thoughts, and looking up, he saw Lister put away a little plastic watch.

"Five minutes to go" He muttered

Thank god."

Looking at his cellmate, he realised how glum he suddenly looked.

"What's up?" Rimmer offered "Five full minutes" Lister grumbled before adding "Five minutes – with you" "Never mind Listy. It should pass quickly"

After what felt like five hours, Lister's old friend Chen appeared at the door of the cell.

"All right Lister my son" Chen chirped

"Not bad man"

"Petersen's got a kamikaze hot chicken vindaloo all ready for you"

"What for?"

"For putting up with third technician smeg head for so long" Chen let out a gritty laugh, while a winsome grin broke out on Lister's face.

"Oh smeg off" barked Rimmer.

"Don't curse at you superiors Rimmer" Chen smirked

"Yeah. To quote my former superior officer, 'You're on report squire'" At this comment, Rimmer sighed. Bringing his hands up to cover his face, he let out a large groan and turned to face the mesh 'wall' at his bunk.

"Come on Rimmer. Let's get outta this joint!" and with that, Lister sprung to his feet.

Bending down, he picked up a scruffy beige duffel bag. It had once been white, but was now dank and damp and stank to high heavens. Lister slung the duffel over his shoulder, and headed for the door of the cell. Slowly, Chen unveiled a small key. Placing it in the lock, he gave it a sharp twist and the door creaked open.

Peeling himself off his bunk, Rimmer grabbed his old tatty red suitcase. It hadn't always been tatty, but wear and tear along with the infamous Chicken soup nozzle incident had stained it beyond redemption. Rimmer thought back to that day. A man named Wilson had been made a temporary third technician. He'd neglected to service the vending machines. The chicken soup vendor had subsequently become clogged. Chicken soup backed up in the ship's innards, before bursting and flooding the Tank. The ship's brig just happened to be located in the Tank.

Rimmer strode purposefully towards the door, not looking back at the hovel of a cell he and Lister had shared for almost two smegging years.

Well what do you think? Please read and Review. All feedback is welcome. I'll be updating this soon.