Hero from Loser

DemonicAngelic: Thanks for your point; here it is, with the change you recommended.

Scene 1: Simulant Ship Command Deck. SIMULANT CAPTAIN and SIMULANT LIEUTENANT present.

SIMULANT LIEUTENANT: Sir, we found the human. He was hiding in the latrines, trying to plant a bomb there.

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Good. Bring him in. He's perfect for our needs. Whether it was a time warp that brought him here or no, it doesn't matter, any human is a victim for us.

[Enter SIMULANT PRISON WARDEN with MCGRUDER. He looks slightly like ACE Rimmer, but has certain differences around the face, and black hair.]

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: [To MCGRUDER.] So, friend, you thought you could destroy us? Well, instead, you just doomed your entire race!

MCGRUDER: You won't get away with this! My father's out there, and he'll save me!

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Hah! I laugh at you father, whoever he is! Take him away!

MCGRUDER: [As he is dragged away.} His name is Arnold Judas Rimmer!!!!

Scene 2: Captain's quarters. LISTER present. He is sitting up in a bed and looking into a camera that he is holding in front of him.

LISTER: Third Technician/Captain's Log, date...um...3rd March 3 002 389, I think. Following the battle with the DespairoMorph, my friends and I have begun to head straight home. We have little chance of reaching there in out lifetimes unless we go into stasis, which nobody is willing to do since this would leave us vulnerable to attack by practically everything. However, the human race is certainly less doomed since this situation began.

[LISTER turns the camera around slightly, and, following it, we see that, lying beside LISTER in the bed is KOCHANSKI.]

Scene 3: Red Dwarf Corridor. KRYTEN present. He is holding what looks like a small Game Boy, and looks at a door with an attitude of expectation.

[Enter LISTER. He is wearing what he was seen to be wearing in the bed, but underneath a Red Dwarf bathrobe.]

KRYTEN: [Looking up at LISTER.] Ah, Mr Lister sir. Any progress on the situation of Miss Kochanski's womb?

LISTER: Huh? [Picks up on KRYTEN's meaning.] Oh, no, no, kids yet, Krytie.

KRYTEN: [Looking disappointed.] Oh...

LISTER: You didn't just want to talk to me about that, did you?

KRYTEN: [Suddenly remembering.] Oh, yes, that sir. We recently received a blackmail message from some Simulants, sir. I thought you'd want to see it.

LISTER: Blackmail message? What could they have to blackmail us with? Every last bit of curry powder in the universe for Kriss or me?

KRYTEN: I believe they have more to offer than that, sir. Look at this.

[KRYTEN shows LISTER the Game Boy-like thing and turns it on. The screen now shows the SIMULANT CAPTAIN looking as pissed of as a Stimulant can.]

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Attention, human weaklings! We have captured one of your race! We shall only set him free if all humans in your number surrender themselves to us and let us slowly and painfully kill them! If you don't come, he shall die instead!

[Screen pans over to show MCGRUDER, struggling against several chains that have been tied around him.]

MCGRUDER: [Looking at screen.] Don't worry, father, if you're getting this! I'm a Space Corps Marine! I'll be fi-[Screen shuts down.]

LISTER: [Looking up at KRYTEN] That...that was a human!

KRYTEN: Quite so sir.

LISTER: Needing our help!

KRYTEN That would be the case, sir.

LISTER: We havta save him!

KRYTEN: If I may point the flaw in that plan, sir? We have as much chance of saving him as Mr Rimmer has of forming a relationship lasting long than his twelve-minute time on the sink with Yvonne McGruder, especially given that Miss Kochanski is the only woman on this entire ship and she loves you.

LISTER: Well, we haveta try! Call up Cat and Rimmer- we got a human being to save!

Scene 4: Red Dwarf Staff Room. LISTER, KOCHANSKI, KRYTEN, CAT, RIMMER and HOLLY present, HOLLY watching the others as a hologramatic head, like in 'White Hole,' in the centre of the table.

LISTER: [Standing up and looking at the crew.] I got news for you, guys. We have found another human in the Universe!

RIMMER: [Looking up.] At last! Holly, set course for her coordinates! Finally, a beautiful woman, hungry for the presence of a male figure...

LISTER: Rimmer, I know you're obsessed with getting a woman, but don't get hopeful- he's a guy. And he's being held captive by the Simulants.

RIMMER: Now, as I was saying, there is absolutely no way in all known Universes that we are saving that prat from his situation! He gets himself captured, that's his smegging problem!

HOLLY: Begging your pardon, Rimmer, but we haven't got much choice. We only have two real humans here, and we really should at least try to save him for the sake of the species.

CAT: I'm hearing you on FM, buddy!

KRYTEN: Agreed, sir.

KOCHANSKI: I'm with it with the rest of you.

RIMMER: Ah, the usual method of deciding an argument- do whatever Rimmer doesn't want to do. Can't we do what Lister doesn't want to do for once?

LISTER: Rimmer, he's an SCM. He could be helpful.

RIMMER: [Looking sharply at LISTER.] An SCM? Perfect! I can finally have a commander I can respect!

HOLLY: Rimmer, we elected Dave as the Captain because people like him and not you. We aren't going to kick him off because some guy has a higher rank- that isn't our way.

RIMMER: Oh God. You all have got about as much respect of the chain of command as a piece of sheep's slop!

LISTER: Look, Rimmer, I've got a plan. It'll work. All we need is one thing.

RIMMER: What's that?

LISTER: [Looking at HOLLY.] Can you access the Starbug Black Box and find out what Legion did to Rimmer's Light Bee to make it Hard Light?

HOLLY: I can try, but only the Skutters will be able to do anything.

LISTER: Cool. While you're doing that, add in a new quality to Rimmer for the mission.

HOLLY: What one?

LISTER: One of the many things he's never even tried to pretend he possesses. Nerve.

RIMMER: Hey, you're not meddling with my personality!

LISTER: Cat, turn him off.

CAT: Buddy, I am so far ahead of you, you can't see me without an atomic powered telescope! [Reaches out and turns off RIMMER's Light Bee, KRYTEN catching it as it falls.]

LISTER: Kryten, I think you know what to do.

KRYTEN: I certainly do, sir! [Heads out the door.]

Scene 5: Starbug Cockpit. LISTER, HOLLY, CAT, KRYTEN and KOCHANSKI present, KRYTEN, holding Rimmer's Light Bee. KRYTEN activates it, and ACE Rimmer appears.

LISTER: [TO KRYTEN.] Ace Rimmer? I only asked for you give him more nerve.

KRYTEN: The Light Bee did it automatically, sir. Mr Rimmer is apparently so pathetic that from what the disk has of his subconscious, it believes that Mr Rimmer, believes he can only be heroic if he looks like Mr. Ace.

HOLLY: Yeah, that's just what I said. [Beat.] Who does he think is great again?

ACE: [To LISTER.] All right then, Skipper, let's get going!

LISTER: Um, how long will you stay this way?

ACE: Oh, only until we kick Simulant ass.

CAT: Well, at least we ain't going to have to deal with Goalpost Head on this one!

Scene 6: Space. Starbug is seen flying towards a massive Simulant ship, looking almost microscopic by comparison.

Scene 7: Starbug cockpit. ACE, CAT, KRYTEN, and HOLLY present. ACE and CAT are polishing bazookoids, while HOLLY directs KRYTEN on the construction of what looks like a matter paddle [See 'Meltdown.']

HOLLY: No, no, you've gotta program it to lock on to the tags whenever I send a signal, not when someone pushes a button! Why didn't I bring the skutters?

KRYTEN: I believe a certain phrase in binary code serves well in this case, Holly. Basically, it's 011110000001101010001111000111001, which, translated, means, 'Never trust those with no eyes and/or hands to do extremely complicated work that only someone with eyes and hands can do,' which, if you recall, is your constant, unending opinion of at least half of the skutters, but more likely than not all of them, since they only have hands and no eyes whatsoever.

HOLLY: Oh yeah, that.

ACE: [To CAT.] So, Cat my man, where did you get that suit? Pretty much has to be the smartest suit in all six known Universes.

CAT: Hey, thanks buddy! Actually, it's just something I picked up from my wardrobe, but yeah, I think it's perfect for Simulant-killing!

[Enter LISTER and KOCHANSKI. They are tied up in several thick-looking chains and being forced forwards by several Skutters.]

HOLLY: [Noticing them.] Ah, good, you're here.

LISTER: Obviously. [To HOLLY, KRYTEN, ACE, and CAT.] OK then, everyone clear on their roles in the plan?

ACE: Never been surer of anything, Skipper.

KRYTEN: Mr Cat and I shall be right here ready for you, sir! You did remember the tags, correct?

LISTER: 'Course, Krytie!

HOLLY: Well, we're almost there. Good luck.

LISTER: Thanks. [He and KOCHANSKI vanish.]

Scene 8: Simulant Ship Command Deck. SIMULANT CAPTAIN present. As he looks at an empty space in front of him, the chained forms of LISTER, KOCHANSKI and ACE suddenly fill it.]

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Ah, you're here. [Looking over them.] Bit of a pathetic batch, really. A man and a woman. I was hoping for so much more...

LISTER: So, are we dead meat?

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Oh no. I'll just have to send you to the prison deck while we decide who kills you.



SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Lieutenant, take these two to the prison deck with the other human. We'll decide who kills them later.

SIMULANT LIEUTENANT: As you command sir. [Pulls out his gun and forces LISTER and KOCHANSKI away.]

Scene 9: Prison Deck. MCGRUDER present. He isn't tied to the wall, but sits completely still, looking very depressed.

[SIMULANT LIEUTENANT kicks open the door and thrusts LISTER and KOCHANSKI into the room. MCGRUDER looks up at them, and smiles as though in recognition.]

MCGRUDER: David Lister and Kristine Kochanski, correct?

KOCHANSKI: What? How'd you know that?

MCGRUDER: I studied everything I could about my father's ship, and the records in question really were very accurate. I never bothered to check him up, because my mother told me what position in the crew he occupied, so I didn't need to know. You were the Navigation Officer and Third Technician, correct?

LISTER: Yeah, that's right...so, who are you and how'd you get here? I thought I was the last human male in this part of time?

MCGRUDER: You are. My name is Michael Richard McGruder. I was thrust forward into the future and further out into space by an experimental ship that exploded on exit of the space/time corridor. I escaped to this ship, but got captured by the Simulants. I can only hope that my journey hasn't been wasted, since I believe my father's somewhere at this end of time. Your being here suggests that he's all right after all, but I'll have to wait and see.

LISTER: Ah. So, who's your father, exactly?

MCGRUDER: [Smiling.] He's the greatest soldier and the bravest man ever to serve in the Space Corps, Mr Lister.

LISTER: Who, the prison warden?

MCGRUDER: No, sir. My father is a man of such bravery and resourcefulness that he and he alone was chosen by your ship's onboard computer to protect your life when you were revived, sir. My father, Mr Lister and Miss Kochanski, is Officer Arnold Judas Rimmer.

[LISTER and KOCHANSKI stare at McGruder for several seconds, before LISTER finally locates his tongue.]

LISTER: McGruder...was your mother a Miss Yvonne McGruder, by chance? Used to box on Red Dwarf, is that right?

MCGRUDER: That's my mother, sir. She tells me that, although my father had so many women fawning over him he would only sleep with her, because she was more beautiful than all of them put together, as he said. Ever since I was born, she's regaled me with stories of his adventures. His pure courageousness, his determination, his superb intelligence, his self- sacrificing attitude...[His eyes glaze over.] If I hadn't had him as my role model, I doubt I would ever have been able to become an SCM. I based my entire career around searching for him, ever since Red Dwarf's Black Box crashed into the Pacific Ocean all those years ago...[Looks at LISTER and KOCHANSKI.] Was he really as great as my mother says, sir, ma'am?

KOCHANSKI: [Uncertainly.] Um...how great did your mother say he was, McGruder?

MCGRUDER: She said that he was the greatest soldier to ever grace the Space Corps, ma'am. Better than Paton, Napoleon, and Nelson combined into one incredible package. But, well, I have to wonder, sometimes, if my mother didn't exaggerate, just a little bit, here and there. Did she?

KOCHANSKI: What was he like?

MCGRUDER: Please, ma'am.

KOCHANSKI: He was...he was...[Decides she might as well play along with it and smiles at him.] He was a great man.

MCGRUDER: [Eyes slowly filling with tears.] I knew it...I always knew it... Was it true when my mother says that he once saved six officers when they were trapped inside a hold and oxygen was being slowly drained out and they were cornered by a ravenous, murderous PolyMorph that could have destroyed the entire ship, but he managed to-

LISTER: [Interrupting.] That's true.

MCGRUDER: [Still seeming ready to cry.] And the time that a fleet of Simulants attacked a Starbug that he was in command of and he was the only person-

LISTER: Everything she told you is true. Can, uh, Kriss and I just talk for a bit?

MCGRUDER: Oh, of course sir. My mother always said that my father told her that you two were electrically in love with each other. [Walks off to a corner of the cell.]

LISTER: [Whispering to KOCHANSKI.] What do we do? We can't just go right up to him and say 'Oh, your dad was actually just a Second Technician with a bad exam technique and the only time he ever had sex in his life was with your mother, who had a concussion'?

KOCHANSKI: Well, we only have one thing to do, don't we? We have to fake our way through it until we're rescued, and then Rimmer tells him. It's only fair.

LISTER: Yeah, you're probably right. Let's just hope that the others play their parts in the plan correctly...

KOCHANSKI: Since you devised it, I'm sure it will work.

LISTER: Yeah. But, well, I'm still allowed to get jumpy, huh?

Scene 10: Space. Starbug is seen, positioned in front of the Simulant ship.

Scene 11: Starbug Cockpit. KRYTEN, CAT, ACE and HOLLY present. KRYTEN is sitting at the control panel, which shows HOLLY on a monitor, and CAT and ACE are holding several guns which all appear to be wired up to a matter paddle for some reason.

KRYTEN: [Looking back at CAT and ACE.] So, are you two absolutely clear on what you're both doing?

ACE: Krytie, old boy, we are so clear on it that if we were any clearer, we'd be transparent! Let's go!

CAT: Yeah! Let's go kick ass! By the way, does this suit look like something a Simulant killer would wear?

HOLLY: It looks fine, Cat, my man. Look, let's just get going with this!

KRYTEN: Of course. [Pushes several buttons on the console. Cat and ACE vanish.]

Scene12: Simulant Corridor. One SIMULANT is present. Suddenly, CAT and ACE materialise out of thing air.

SIMULANT: HUMANS!!! DIE!!!!! [Pulls out gun.]

ACE: Here goes nothing! [ACE fires a bazookoid, the blast of which suddenly disappears and the SIMULANT all of a suddenly begins to spark and fizzle like a firework, suddenly exploding.]

CAT: Hey, Gerbil-Face's idea worked!

ACE: Well, it was one of Davey's best, Cat my man! Combining bazookoids and matter paddles was the work of a genius!

[The two of them run down the corridor, brandishing their guns and CAT appears to be holding a communicator.]

Scene 13: Starbug Cockpit. KRYTEN and HOLLY present.

HOLLY: So, Kryten, you sure this plan will work?

KRYTEN: Oh, assuredly it will, Holly. What could be easier? I mean, Mr Lister appears to have covered every- [Suddenly, HOLLY's face vanishes from the monitor, to be replaced by the face of the SIMUALNT CAPTAIN.]

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Oh, so this is all they have to crew their attack ship. A sanitation mechanoid. What are you going to do, hit my ship with all the sewage that you've cleaned up over the years?

KRYTEN: On the contrary, sir. Another crew of Simulants once updated this ship to give them more sport, and we kicked them straight to Silicon Hell! You'll meet their fate as well, see if you don't!

SIMUALNT CAPTAIN: Oh, and you'll stop us? Have you forgotten something? YOU'RE PROGRAMMED NOT TO KILL!!!

KRYTEN: True. However, in this case, I'm at liberty to shoot at your ship for a very simple reason, ever since Mr Lister pointed out the loophole in my programming. If I damage your ship, you shall be thrust out into space and eventually freeze to immobility. It is space that shall kill you, not I.

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: Really? Well, that's good and all, but for one problem.


SIMULANT CAPTAIN: We're changing your programming. [He suddenly pushes several buttons on the console, and black lighting sparks up from the console and surges around KRYTEN.]

Scene 14: SIMULANT Ship Command Deck SIMULANT CAPTAIN present, watching KRYTEN in a monitor.

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: In a matter of minutes, you'll be as willing to kill people personally as was Jack the Ripper. And you'll do a better job of it, too.

HOLLY: [Appearing on the Stimulant ship.] I doubt it, Captain! For one thing, nobody in the crew's a Victorian prostitute, and secondly, your computer just lost its grip on Kryten!

SIMULANT CAPTAIN: WHAT???!!! [Dashes over to a monitor and looks at it. As he leaves his original monitor, we notice that KRYTEN is no longer sparkling with energy.] What the...our computer's gone thick!!!

HOLLY: Quite accurate, that. I transferred onto it some of my programming, and thus it contracted some of my computer senility. Also, I had it lose some IQ points to me, so now I'm at least a third as smart as I was before. Translation; I now have an IQ of 2000

STIMUALNT CAPTAIN: WHAT???!!! Our state-of-the-art ship outsmarted by a SENILE COMPUTER??!!

HOLLY: Basically, yeah. 'Bye, and BOOM!!!!

[No sooner has HOLLY vanished than the monitor the SIMULANT CAPTAIN is looking at explodes in his face, blowing said face to pieces.]

Scene 15: Starbug Cockpit. KRYTEN present. He appears shaken by the energy, but apart from a slightly blackened face he appears normal.

[HOLLY appears on a monitor and grins at KRYTEN.]

HOLLY: You OK, Krytes?

KRYTEN: Very well, thank you Holly. Now then, shall I shoot at them?

HOLY: Please. Just avoid the lower halves of the ship- that's were Dave, Cat, Kriss, Ace, and the other guy are.

KRYTEN: Of course. [Starts to push buttons on the control panel.]

Scene 16: Space. Starbug is firing at the Stimulant ship, which is smoking slightly where the control deck formerly was. The Stimulants appear unable to retaliate, since KRYTEN is obviously hitting them too fast for them to organize themselves, especially with their now considerably-thicker computer.

Scene 17: Prison Deck LISTER, KOCHANSKI and MCGRUDER present. LISTER appears to be helping KOCHANSKI get her chains off, while MCGRUDER does the same for LISTER.

MCGRUDER: Not that I'm against the idea, but what use will chains be against the Stimulants?

LISTER: Well, we'll never know unless we try! [LISTER attempts to demonstrate by swinging the chains around his head, but accidentally hits himself on the head- lightly, but he still collapses.]

KOCHANSKI: Oh smeg...[Suddenly brightens up.] Good thing Holly prepared for this! [Pulls out a syringe and injects LISTER with it. Instantly he jumps up, looking perfectly healthy again.]

MCGRUDER: What the...?

KOCHANSKI: Holly developed a synaptic enhancer to jump-start anyone who gets knocked out before we can escape. Works wonders in a battle.

MCGRUDER: Ah. I see. Very useful. A suggestion of my fathers, no doubt?

KOCHANSKI: What? Oh, yeah, yeah, sure it was.

MCGRUDER: I always knew he was inventive! I just can't believe- [What he can't believe remains unknown, as at that moment the door of the cell in blown in and CAT enters it, grinning.]

CAT: And the crowd goes wild as the best-dressed guy in all six Universes bursts straight to the rescue of the last members of the human race!

LISTER: Cat! Great timing, man! I was getting worried that you weren't going to show up!

CAT: Hey, no sweat Gerbil-Face! Get captured anytime, that weapon you developed is really excellent!

LISTER: Thanks, man. [Indicates MCGRUDER.] Well, here's the guy we came here to save. Time to move on out, eh, Cat old man?

CAT: [As MCGRUDER and LISTER head out the door.] Hey, how come he looks like Go-[KOCHANSKI jams her hand over his mouth and whispers angrily at him.]

KOCHANSKI: Don't call Rimmer Goalpost-head right now! Dave and I'll explain things when we're back on Starbug, OK?

[CAT nods. KOCHANSKI takes her hand off his mouth and the two of them charge out of the cell, KOCHANSKI brandishing her chains.]

Scene 17: Simulant Ship Corridor. ACE present, facing several pissed-off looking Simulants who are all armed to the teeth. He is firing his new 'Matter Gun,' for lack of a better word, rapidly in all directions as Simulants charge at him, barely able to keep all of them back.

[Enter LISTER, KOCHANSKI, Cat and MCGRUDER. They appear to have raided a weapons locker, since LISTER, KOCHANSKI and MCGRUDER are all wielding guns.]

ACE: Ah, there you are, Skipper! Good thing you got here now, these guys were about to ruin my best top!

LISTER: No sweat, Ace! [Reloads his gun and points it at the Simulants.] Open fire, guys! Let's show them what the Boyz from the Dwarf are made of!

[The crew fire their guns at the Simulants with everything they've got. Despite the fact that CAT and ACE appear to be the only people with any truly damaging weapons, LISTER, KOCHANSKI and MCGRUDER do a fair job in their attack. Suddenly, one Simulant blast destroys CAT's Matter Gun.]

CAT: Ah, smeg! He got dust on my suit! Look! It'll take an hour before this is back to normal!

LISTER: Look, Cat, the suit is a worry, but if we don't hurry up, you'll be bleeding all over it!

CAT: NO!!! [He grabs a gun from a dead Simulant and begins firing it at the Simulants.] NOBODY gets red on THIS suit! I'd be the laughing stock of all catkind!

[Suddenly, the SIMULANT FIRST OFFICER appears, brandishing a gun so big it appears to stretch from one end of the corridor to the other. The Dwarfers put their hands up.]


SIMULANT FIRST OFFICER: Two male humans, one female human, a hologram, and a highly evolved cat. I was thinking I'd get more than this.

LISTER: Hey, your captain said the same, and now I think he's deader than me shirt, the curry stains on it included!

SIMULANT FIRST OFFICER: Really? Well, unluckily for you, I mean it this time. Crew, first five at those guys get to torture them as much as they want until they're dead!

[Just as the Simulants are about to charge, two things happen. First, the crew start to vanish, and secondly, ACE is seen to start to turn back into RIMMER just before he vanishes from sight along with everyone else.]

Scene 18: Space. Starbug is still firing at the Simulant ship. Just as we see a red burst of energy burst from the Simulant ship and head towards Starbug, Starbug fires one final shot that strikes the ship's engines. The explosion starts off a chain reaction that vaporises the Simulant ship after about ten seconds.

Scene 19: Starbug cockpit. HOLLY and KRYTEN present. The two of them smile at each other, and HOLLY extends an arm from the wall of the cockpit and gives KRYTEN a high five.

[Enter LISTER, KOCHANSKI, CAT, MCGRUDER and RIMMER, instantly appearing out of a burst of red energy. They appear shaken and covered in dust, but otherwise fine.]

KRYTEN: Ah, there you are. Well, did we save him?

LISTER: Yeah. This, guys, is Space Corps Marine Michael Richard McGruder. [To MCGRUDER.] C'mon, man, you've gotta meet the crew. [Indicating HOLLY.] This is our computer, Holly.

HOLLY: Alright, dude?

MCGRUDER: Fine, thanks Holly.

HOLLY: Call me Hol.

LISTER: This is Kryten, a Mechanoid 4000. He's broken his programming, so treat him like a human, OK?

KRYTEN: Greetings to you, sir.

MCGRUDER: Thanks. Same to you.

LITSER: This is the Cat. He's a highly evolved Cat.

CAT: Yeah, and the best-dressed entity in every single known Universe!

MCGRUDER: Um, right.

LISTER: Don't worry, you get used to it after a while. And, um, McGruder, this is Arnold J. Rimmer.

[MCGRUDER stares at RIMMER, smiles at him sweetly, and faints.]

RIMMER: What a wuss. Says he's a Marine and he goes and collapses like a little girl. Who is he, again?

LISTER: [Swallowing.] His name is Michael McGruder. He's your son, man.


LISTER: He's your son.

RIMMER: My son?!


RIMMER: My son?!


RIMMER: My son?!


RIMMER: [Clears his throat and brushes some dust off his suit before speaking again.] Who is he?

LISTER: He's your son, Rimmer.

RIMMER: My son?


RIMMER: That man there? The one who just fainted?

LISTER: The one who's your son, yes. That one. He's your son.

RIMMER: Wait. It's terribly important that I get this clear in my head. Let me tell you what I think you're saying. [RIMMER coughs to try to clear a dry throat.] You're saying that this man, this man, here, who is my son, is in fact, my son.

[RIMMER's eyes roll and he instantly joins MCGRUDER lying on the ground. LISTER indicates that he and CAT should get RIMMER out of the cockpit.]

Scene 20: Starbug Medi-bay. LISTER, RIMMER, and MCGRUDER present. LISTER is sitting at RIMMER's bedside, and RIMMER appears to be regaining consciousness, while MCUGURDER is still out.

LISTER: [Shaking RIMMER's shoulder.] Rimmer, man, wake up! I have to tell you something!

RIMMER: [Waking slowly up and babbling vaguely.] I'm a father. Me. He barely seems older than me. And his mother...Yvonne McGruder. [Suddenly looks alertly at LISTER.] Can you believe it, Lister? Yvonne McGruder decided to have my child. If it hadn't been for the radiation leak, we could probably have gotten back together. Yvonne McGruder... she was really together and incredibly, brilliantly attractive, and she had my son!

LISTER: Yeah, well, that's great man, but you have to listen to this, because it's really important.

RIMMER: What is?

LISTER: Yvonne McGruder- she's been bottle-feeding him warm bull since the day he was born, and he still believes it.

RIMMER: What are you talking about? She hasn't done a bad job with him. She's done a fantastic job. He's a Space Corps Marine; an SCM- there isn't a finer soldier!

LISTER: No, I mean about you. She's given him the impression that you're some kind of...hero. His entire life has been a search for this father figure who's Patton, Nelson and Ulysses all in one, and saves lives on his coffee break. Kriss and I played along with it, since we didn't see the point in telling him otherwise, but now you're here, he'll know in two seconds that you have less backbone than a piece of custard. You should tell him; he might admire you for it.

RIMMER: Why would Yvonne tell him all that?

LISTER: What was she meant to say? She'd just been hit on the head with a wrench and got herself up the duff by a guy who cleans chicken soup machines?

RIMMER: She wasn't concussed!

LISTER: Look, the point is that she left the ship at Miranda, and the nanobots only resurrected her by accident. As far as she knew the ship was lost and who was going to tell her son otherwise?

RIMMER: Well, maybe I could pull it off. I mean, Arnold J. Rimmer, swashbuckling space adventurer- think it would work?

LISTER: Rimmer, that's a stupid idea, and even if you manage to pull it off, which I doubt, at the very least, Cat's going to let McGruder know- he wouldn't be Cat if he didn't.

RIMMER: [Thinking a little before replying.] You're right, Listy. I have to face up to my first duty as a father. I have to tell my son I'm a worthless piece of crap.

Scene 21: Space. Starbug is flying towards the massive form of Red Dwarf.

Scene 22: Starbug Cockpit. LISTER, KOCHANSKI, KRYTEN, CAT and HOLLY present. As CAT flies the ship, LISTER and KOCHANSKI are seen just to the edge of the screen, kissing a lot.

KRYTEN: [Ignoring LISTER and KOCHANSKI and talking to CAT.] Ah, sir, how soon will we be landing be landing at Red Dwarf.

CAT: Well, at the moment, that would be in about 847 hours, poppadom-head.

KRYTEN: Sir, that's the timer that shows how long it'll take me to clean Mr Lister's clothes from last night.

CAT: Oh. Well, in that case, [Looks at another panel.] It's about fifteen minutes.

KRYTEN: Ah, perfect. It allows Mr Rimmer time to tell his son that he's a smeee heee.

CAT: That he's a what?

Scene 23: Starbug Viewing Room. It is a relatively empty room apart from a large window above several seats, which is currently showing the sun being over shadowed by Red Dwarf. MCGRUDER present, looking at the view.

[Enter RIMMER, who sits beside MCGRUDER.The two of them just sit for a while before MCGRUDER breaks the silence.]

MCGRUDER: Beautiful view, isn't it? Or is that sort of thing-beautiful views, you know- not really interesting to you?

RIMMER: Hmm? No, no, it's, uh, beautiful. Very beautiful.

MCGRUDER: Sorry about making an ass of myself back there, with the fainting and all that. Needed a little time alone to regain my composure. [RIMMER casually brushes a little more dust off his suit.] Don't suppose you've ever fainted, sir? Not really on, is it, for a man?

RIMMER: [Changing the subject.] Understand you're a Space Corps Marine.

MCGRUDER: Yes, sir. I battled the Simulants when they went rouge on Saturn. Drove about a quarter of the forces that were killed into their graves myself.

RIMMER: Space Corps Marines... Aren't you the guys who always say 'Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast' before blasting their way into certain death?

MCGRUDER: It's just space jock talk, sir. Really, though, I've tried to base my life around everything my mother ever told me about you. I owe everything to you.

RIMMER: Ah, about that. Well, look, uh...Mind if I call you Mike?

MCGRUDER: I'd be honoured, sir.

RIMMER: Thanks, but, well, can you not call, er, 'sir'? Just call me, uh...Father, or Dad, or whatever.

MCGRUDER: Really, sir?

RIMMER: Really. Well, anyway, your mother, uh...She was a woman. A very remarkable woman. It can't have been easy bringing you up, getting you through college and the Academy on a boxer's wages. Some people, and formally I was proud to be one of them, think there's a class system which means people like you can't get into high-ranking locations like this. Your mother went and showed that that's all crap. Yvonne got you through college, into Star Fleet, and now you're an SCM. She was a remarkable, courageous woman.

MCGRUDER: It's you who were my inspiration, sir.

RIMMER: No. Your mother was your inspiration. Look, this isn't easy to say, but it has to be said. The thing is, I never really knew your mother. It was...[He stops himself and changes the subject.] What I'm saying is, I'm not who you think I am. I'm nobody special. Actually, you're everything I every aspired to be. I'm a nobody, Mike. I could have, even should have been, but blamed all my shortcomings on my parents, and thus created a blame well that never runs dry.

MCGRUDER: She always said you were incredible modest, sir.

RIMMER: [Shaking his head.] I'm not modest. I'm not an officer, either. It was always my greatest wish, but the best I ever did was when I wrote down the same four words five hundred times on the answer sheet, all of them the same four words. 'I AM A FISH.' I'm sorry, but your mother invented a father figure for you, so you'd have something to live up to. I'm just a Technician, and a Second Technician at that. I'm also a professional coward. Actually, apart from fighting homicidal cowboys in an AR game inside Kryten's mind, which wore off when I lost my skills, telling you all this is the only gutsy thing I've ever done in my life.

MCGRUDER:[Staring at RIMMER for a while before speaking.] You're a Second Technican?


MCGRUDER: A Second Technician? That's beverage maintenance, isn't it?

RIMMER: I know.

[MCGRUDER glares at his father with an expression that could curdle milk before storming off towards the door. RIMMER looks after him and groans.]

RIMMER: Oh, smeggy pudding. That didn't go that well, did it?

[HOLLY appears on the screen.]

HOLLY: No, it didn't.

RIMMER: Smeg off.

HOLLY: OK. [Shuts himself off.]

Scene 24: Red Dwarf Control Deck. LISTER, CAT and HOLLY present, LISTER relaxing in the Captain's chair while CAT pilots the ship. HOLLY informs LISTER of any damage they sustained while facing the Simulants.

HOLLY: It could've been worse, Dave. Starbug took as much damage as a cockroach if the world went nuclear.

LISTER: Meaning...?

HOLLY: Apart from some dust, otherwise it's fine.

LISTER: Well, that's all right then. Cat, how're things up at your end.

CAT: Hey, they're great, monkey man! We got so much engine wallop at the moment, if we went any faster, we'd be breaking the light barrier again!

LISTER: Don't go that fast, man. I can't deal with seeing meself again.

CAT: You got it, buddy.

[Enter MCGRUDER, looking very hot and very angry.]

LISTER: Oh, McGruder. How'd things go between you and Rimmer?

MCGRUDER: Badly. I want off this ship!

LISTER: What? Why?

HOLLY: Yeah, we're not that bad. I do a moon impression that many would kill for, and can kill updated PolyMorphs easily.

MCGRUDER: Yes, yes, yes, you're all great, apart from my bloody father!

LISTER: Ah. He told you about the fact that he has less backbone than the Cat has totally tasteless suits.

MCGRUDER: Exactly. I want off.

LISTER: I'm afraid that ain't possible, man. As far as we know, we're the only life forms left in this part of the Universe at this part of time who won't instantly try to kill you, erase you from history, drain your brains, hold you prisoner, drain your emotions, and so on.

MCGRUDER: You've encountered creatures that do all that?

LISTER: They can't do all that- well, not just one creature anyway- but yeah, that's basically it.

MCGRUDER: [Groaning.] Get me some quarters, please.

HOLLY: Check. We've got great ones located near the ship's latrines. Quite safe, but the smell's not great.

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