Return To This Universe By Raven Reimiss

Over the past year, I have joined the large number of people across the globe who follow this little space comedy known as Red Dwarf. I have totally immersed myself in knowledge about the show, and have probably read every single piece of fan fiction out on the internet that people have to offer. After seeing series VIII, I began to be surprised at the lack of new fan fiction coming out, especially in the fact that no one had written one that pertained to events after the resurrection of the crew. All these stories are fine and good, but I really started thinking, "what happens next?" after series VIII, but no one else on the internet seems to want to offer me an answer. Therefore, I started thinking up things that could have happened, and this idea popped up, so I sat down and started writing it. This fanfic is in no way finished, and has barely been given a revision in its parts. Updates will hopefully appear every now and then until the story is complete, when it will be replaced by a complete text. I'm not an author by nature, so the story is put in a weird, script/book format that made sense to my brain at the time and still does. I'm much more of a screenwriter than a book author, so except the insanity and read on!

Prologue

(We see a capsule floating around in space. As the capsule comes closer to us, we can see on it a view screen with the fading out picture of a middle-aged balding man's head. The screen flashes to life just a few seconds later, the disembodied head returning.)

Holly: This is an SOS distress call from the mining ship Red Dwarf. The crew are dead… hang on a mo', that's not exactly right. Actually they've been resurrected, and are currently in a mirror universe avoiding the catastrophe on board ship. The buggers leave poor ole me 'ere to ask for help. Anyway, all the ones that managed to escape of the 1,169 member crew are gone, and the remainder still aboard the Dwarf is dead overall. The ship has been plagued with a chameleonic microbe that is eating away at all the bits that keep her together. At the time this message was shot off, the microbes were close to the reactor core, and were getting closer. The only known living member aboard ship is Second Technician Arnold Rimmer, but things obviously don't look too good for him, see attached.

(Screen fades out, then in again showing us Rimmer being knocked unconscious by the can of the vengeful dispenser and Rimmer's talk with Death. Tape continues as Rimmer runs down the corridor. Finally, he collapses from all the smoke in the air. The view pans down a few floors and stops on a door marked "ENGINE CORE", around which the walls look quite corroded. Fade out.)

Holly: This message will repeat after the bleep. Bleep.

Chapter 1

We see a view of space. Out of the left-hand side of the screen, a ripple in space occurs, and from the ripples emerge a number of Blue Midgets and Starbugs. Zoom in on Starbug 3's cockpit, where we see our diligent Dwarfers (Lister, Cat, Kochanski and Kryten) in their normal cockpit positions.

Lister: Y'still remember it, Krytes?

Kryten: Yes, sir. The antidote for the microbe will be ready by the time we return to Red Dwarf.

Lister: Good. That mirror universe was weird.

Cat: Weird with a capital WE, bud!

Kochanski: I couldn't believe how ditzy that other me was!

Cat: Self, self, self, self, self! What about that outfit the other ME was wearing?! The Duke of Dork had better dress sense. At least he colour-coordinated! Lab coats and bow ties?! I'd rather die!

Kochanski: Who else is out there, Hol?


Holly: 3 Bugs, 4 Midgets. Starbug 5's filled with inmates who escaped from the Tank, Midget 4's got all the executive officers, and the others've got motley crews each. 'Ang on, we're getting hailed. Lobbin' it up.

(View on screen switches from Hol to Hollister)

Hollister: Lister?! How the hell did you get a Bug?

Lister: What do you want?

Hollister: The ships are going to land on the red planetoid about 5 clicks from here. We'll regroup there and figure out what to do next while the Dwarf is fixed. Got it?

Kochanski: Yes sir, we'll be there.

(Exit Hollister)

Kryten: Shall I set a course for the planetoid, sirs?

Lister: Yeah, we'd better stick together 'til we know what's going on.

(Fly-by shot of Starbug 3 veering off towards the planetoid, trailing behind the other ships.)

(Focus view on airlock door; opens, allowing Dwarfers out. Walk down to the already-assembled group of astros.)

Todhunter: (approaches) We've made a list of survivors. Was there anyone else on board with you?

Kryten: No, sir. Just the four of us.

Lister: Hey, lemme see that list. (takes the clipboard from Todhunter. Looks at list) Is this everyone?


Todhunter: Everyone except for you lot.

Lister: Oh smeg. (starts running back to the Bug) Come on, guys, we're going back to the Dwarf.


Cat: Why bud?

Lister: We gotta find Rimmer. (Runs through the airlock doors)

Cat: Once again, why we going back, bud?

(The Cat throws up his hands in confusion at the others. The others simply shrug a response and begin to board the ship.)

(Starbug 3 blasts off and heads back to the Dwarf)

Starbug Cockpit

Kochanski: Why are we going back to find Rimmer? You hate him. A person would think you'd be happy with the thought that he's dead again.

Lister: I know it doesn't make sense. I do hate Rimmer. But I owe him. Well, not actually him, but the other Rimmer, and seeing how he's not around anymore to pay him back, this one'll have to do.

Kryten: Owe Mr. Rimmer, sir?

Lister: Yeah. Remember when the emohawk attacked us as a grenade? I know he wasn't exactly in a normal frame of mind, well, for him anyway. But he did save our lives, and he deserves the same from us.

(Cut to Outside Shot: Starbug 3 approaches Dwarf, veering around scoop and heading for shuttle bay when the crew notices…)

Holly: Uh-oh.

Chapter 2

Cat: Well, that big gaping hole sure doesn't go with the rest of the décor. The little floating bits of metal look nice, though.

Kryten: (Morosely) Those aren't floating bits of metal, sir.

Cat: Then what the hell is it?

Kryten: (More morosely) Human remains.

Kochanski: What could have caused this? And why were so many people still here?

Kryten: It appears an explosion occurred here, ma'am. And from the location of the hole on the ship's side, I think it's safe to say that the remnants are those of our fellow inmates who were unable to escape the ship. The massive vacuum of space ripped them from their cells and into the empty beyond.

Lister: Smeggin' 'ell. D'you think it's safe for us to go in, Hol?

Holly: Should be. The safety systems were able to seal off the rest of the ship from the vacuum, but I'm pickin' up a little background radiation. It should be okay if you wear a suit, though.

Kryten: Suggest only two of us go now, sirs. One can search for Mr. Rimmer, while the other, namely myself, goes and administers the antidote to the microbe.

Kochanski: Well, Lister, this is your game. Go suit up.

Lister: (Sarcastically, as if I had to tell you) Shall I go and pack up me books for school, too, mum? Of course I'm going. (Kris shakes her head and rolls her eyes) Cat, take over the controls, man.

Cat: Sure thing, bud.

(Exit Lister and Kryten. Ext. shot of Starbug landing in shuttle bay. Hatch opens, Kryten and a fully-suited Lister coming out.)

Kryten: The psi-scan is picking up a life sign, sir, but it's very weak.

Lister: Smeg. Look at all these bodies. D'you think the radiation killed 'em?

Kryten: No, sir. It appears that they were trampled to death in the chaos. The radiation has not yet reached a fully lethal level.

Lister: What do you mean fully lethal?

Kryten: The radiation would not kill anyone immediately on contact, but if one was exposed for a long enough period of time, the radiation would cause that person's death.

Lister: Where's the signal coming from?

Kryten: Five floors up, sir. In a corridor near the Captain's office.

Lister: Okay, I'll go check it out, you spread that antidote before it attacks the Bug.

(Lister walks off towards a lift. As the doors close, we hear him say, "God this suit is smegging hot. Just think about wide open spaces and you'll be okay." Switch to CGI shot of lift accelerating upwards towards its destination.)

(Lift arrives and Lister walks out into the corridor. The entire area is filled with hazy smoke and red warning lights flash sequentially. Camera shot pans around as if through Lister's eyes, scanning the area. The place is definitely a mess from the mad rush of a few hours earlier, and the microbe has eaten away at sections of the walls. Lister continues walking down the corridor and comes to the end where a railed walkway continues in two directions. Switch back to the panning eyeshot and look down each way, left, then right. A big lump of something human-looking is spotted on the right-hand side. Lister decides to investigate. Switch back to normal shot.)

(Lister cautiously approaches the lump, which is now clearly a human body. He decides to roll it over with his foot to see who the probable corpse is. It's Rimmer, but it's not clear whether he's dead or alive. He tries for a pulse, then picks up Rimmer's arms and drags him off to the lift.)

Kryten: (seeing Lister dragging a body out of the lift) You found him, sir?

Lister: Yeah, but I couldn't tell if he was dead or not. The smeggin' lead-lined glove was too thick t'tell.

Kryten: The life sign is coming from him, sir.

Lister: (a look of anguish playing across his face) Smeg. Well, let's get back to the planetoid.

(Kryten picks up Rimmer, and the Dwarfers walk back to the Bug. Cut to Starbug going into orbit around the planetoid.)

Starbug Cockpit- Cat, Kochanski, and Lister present

Kochanski: Oh my God.

Lister: What is it?

Kochanski: The entire planetoid is covered in molten lava. There was a major volcanic eruption. Why didn't they see it coming? They should have known.

Cat: Maybe they were sleeping. I always have things creeping up on me when I'm asleep.

Lister: You don't think a volcanic eruption would wake you up?

Cat: Hell no. I sleep fine in noise. The lava would probably be nice and cozy for me to sleep in. (Sighs and shakes of the head by Lister and KK.)

Kochanski: Well, we can't land here, where to?

Lister: We may as well go back to the Dwarf. Eventually it'll be fixed and we can go back on. Hol, d'you think anybody got off in time?

Holly: I'm not picking up any sort of crafts in the area other than this one and Red Dwarf. Looks like we're on our own again, dudes.

Lister: Smeggin' hell.

(Cut to shot of Starbug flying through space)

Chapter 3

Medi-unit: Kryten present- Enter Lister

Lister: How's he doing Kryten?

Kryten: The outlook is bleak, sir. Mr. Rimmer was exposed to the radiation for quite some time. I don't think he'll last longer than a month. He's awake now, but if you go in there, be careful.

Lister: What, I need to watch out for objects being thrown at me because he's in pain?

Kryten: No, I suspect he's probably too weak to hurl anything at you, Mr. Lister, sir. Nor is he in pain. The radiation shouldn't cause any pain until near the end, when the poisoning begins to shut down his internal organs. I urge caution not to touch him, as it will contaminate you.

Lister: Okay.

(Lister enters the Obs. Room. Rimmer is lying in one of the bunks, looking pretty shagged out and hooked up to an IV, but otherwise okay. He's awake, and grimaces as he sees Lister.)

Rimmer: About time someone showed up. That neurotic droid kept whining and trying to explain what happened. If I hadn't been there, I wouldn't have understood a smegging bit from what he told me.

Lister: You could be a little more grateful. We did save your life, y'know.

Rimmer: Yes, you saved my life when it would have been much better to have left me to die.

Lister: You what?

Rimmer: Well, I'm still going to die, aren't I? If I had been left there, I would have died quickly and painlessly, because I would have still been unconscious. Now I'll die wherever the hell we are and fully awake and in pain.

Lister: You never know, maybe you'll die in your sleep.

Rimmer: You would say that, you chirpy little optimistic git. But I will die, right?

Lister: (nods) Yeah, Kryten says you've got about a month.

Rimmer: A month?! You mean I have to suffer like this for a month? Can I never get any breaks ever? I can't even manage to die quickly.

Lister: Hey, that's a whole month left to live. A whole month left to do whatever you want. And you know when it's coming, so you have time to do what you feel needs to be done before you're gone.

Rimmer: (staring up at the ceiling) I'd need more than a month to do that. Besides, I can't do whatever I like. The captain won't allow that. I'll be stuck in bed the whole month and wind up being miserable until I'm dead. And then I'll be gone, and life will continue as per usual, with the added bonus that I won't be around to smeg it up.

Lister: Uh, not exactly.

Rimmer: (snaps his head to the left to look directly at Lister) What do you mean, not exactly?

Lister: (really looking like he hates saying this) Uh, well, the crew won't be coming back, y'see.

Rimmer: (brightening up) You mean we managed to escape?! Maybe things are looking up...

Lister: Not so much as escaped, no. It's a bit of luck really.

Rimmer: Huh?

Lister: We sorta rendezvoused with the other ships on a planetoid, then the four of us came back to the Dwarf for you, and while we were gone, a volcanic eruption destroyed everything on the planetoid. So, as far as we know, you and I are the only living humans left from this reality.

Rimmer: What about the woman? Didn't you bring her along? Didn't think you'd leave her, the way you lust after her like a horny wildebeest.

Lister: Kris did come with us, and I told you before, Rimmer, she's not from this reality. You just don't want to accept anything I've told you, do you?

Rimmer: Why should I? None of what you've told me makes any sense. Mutants, killer robots, people from other dimensions? Just how stupid do you think I am?

Lister: (frustrated) Fine smeghead, believe what you want.

(Exit Lister. Cut to shot of Starbug approaching Red Dwarf yet again.)

Chapter 4

(Shot of Red Dwarf, now fully repaired. Caption reading "2 weeks later".)

(Starbug in shuttle bay, with crew walking away, Kryten carting Rimmer in a wheelchair.)

Cat: Home sweet home. Time to reunite with my wardrobe!

(The group calls a lift and gets in. Lister, Cat, Kochanski, and Kryten each press a different button on the lift.)

Lister: Where're you two goin'?

Cat: My wardrobe needs me, you silly monkey.

Kochanski: I just want to go to my quarters and get out of these horrid clothes. I'm tired of having such little choice of apparel.

Cat: I know what you mean, Officer BB. I only had 100 suits on Starbug. I had to wear things more than once!

Rimmer: (to himself) Thank God the feline doesn't come and bother me in hospital.

(The lift comes to a stop at Cargo Bay Level 5. The doors open and Cat walks out with a broad Cheshire-style smile lighting up his face.)

Cat: Daddy's home, babies!

(A chorus of groans and sighs is emitted from behind the Cat, who is totally oblivious to it. The lift doors close and it starts up again. Switch to CGI of lift going up a very high shaft.)

(Show outside the lift as it arrives. Flash on the screen "1,694 floors and 2 B-movies later…" The doors open, revealing a very weary and bored group of Dwarfers. Even Kryten looks out of sorts. Kochanski is the only one who looks pleased.)

Kochanski: Ah, peaceful sleep and clean clothes at last! See you in the morning, guys.

(She walks off purposefully down the corridor on her way to her quarters. The lift closes and goes up five more floors before letting out Rimmer and Kryten. They head off to the medi-bay. Lister is left alone on the lift as he heads back to his quarters.)

(The lift makes the final trek. The doors open, letting out a relieved and contented Lister.)

Lister: That was a brilliant episode of The Flintstones. That Grand High Pubah bloke is so hilarious.

(Lister walks into his old quarters)

Lister: Lights. (lights turn on) Smeg, somebody nicked me clock! Hol, what time is it?

Holly: 11:50 p.m. ship-time, Dave.

Lister: Good. Not too late yet. (Walks back out into the corridor and heads for a food dispenser. Two skutters playing Cowboys and Indians pass by.) Hey guys, y'wanna come watch a movie with me? (They shake their heads) Y'sure? It's True Grit. (The skutters look up with a jolt and then pelt down the corridor, presumably in the direction of the cinema.) (Yelling) I'll see ya in half an hour, then!

Lister: (Lister finally arrives at the dispenser) Chicken vindaloo, six-pack Leopard Lager, and some poppadoms. (The dispenser obliges with the aforementioned food-stuffs.) Ye-es! (Walks off down the corridor in the direction of the skutters)

Chapter 5

(Medi-Unit: Rimmer is in his bed, looking depressed and grumpy as ever. He peers around the room, searching for anything at all interesting to do or at least look at. He gives up his search and allows himself to fall back onto his pillow.)

Rimmer: There has got to be something to do around here. I'm going mad, being left in here alone all day, only seeing someone when they bring me a meal. Brilliant, now I'm talking to myself as well. You spend a few days in a medi-unit by yourself, and what happens? You start cracking up, that's what. I'm sick of these hospital clothes. If I'm going to die, I may as well do it in something comfortable.

(Rimmer shrugs off the bed sheets, swings his legs over the side of the bed, and lifts himself up. He stands for a couple of seconds, trying to get his bearings, and abruptly falls down with quite a crash.)

Rimmer: (grunting as he lifts himself back up) Guess I'm weaker than I thought.

(He gets up and stumbles over to the trunk next to the back wall of the room. Pan across the room to the observation window, where we see Kochanski walking to the door with a tray of food. Oblivious to Rimmer, she enters. She walks in a bit and sets down the tray. Peering over the bed, Kochanski spots him bent over the trunk, his hospital gown fully open except for a small tie at the top.)

Kochanski: Nice pants. Did your mother buy them for you?

Rimmer: (turning round, looking quite flustered, red, and startled) Kochanski! I, um… (finally managing to get his bearings and quickly moving to his normal defensive mode) Have you forgotten how to knock? It is a common practice in our time to knock before one enters someone's room.

Kochanski: Sorry, I just came to bring your dinner. (points to the tray on his bed)

Rimmer: Oh. Fine.

Kochanski: I don't know if I'll be seeing you again before I leave, so I thought I'd say good-bye now.

Rimmer: Leave? What are you talking about?

Kochanski: I was able to establish another linkway with my dimension. I'll be leaving as soon as we arrive at it, which will be a while, but I still have to pack up my things. Dave did tell you I wasn't from this dimension, right? You look sort of shocked.

Rimmer: Yes, Lister told me, but he's also told me lots of other odd things that aren't entirely believable.

Kochanski: Well, I don't know everything he told you, Rimmer, but whatever he told you about where I'm from is the truth. I'll be back there as soon as possible. I'll… leave you to your dinner now. Bye. (Exit Kochanski; Rimmer pulls some clothes out of his trunk and goes to his dinner.)

(Shot of Red Dwarf whizzing through space towards a familiar-looking flaming tear that's moving faster than a copy of Hello in a nunnery. Switch to Landing Bay, all Dwarfers present except for Rimmer. Even Holly is there on his cart monitor. Lister and Kochanski are off to the side.)

Lister: I guess this is good-bye.

Kochanski: Yeah.

Lister: Erm… I, uh, I want you to have this. (hands her a small tube) I know it didn't work out right the first time, but now you've got the chance if you and your Dave ever want to try again.

Kochanski: (smiling) Dave, thank-you. You know, I still don't think you hold a candle to my Dave, but I doubt he could hold a candle to you, either.

Lister: Well, erm, if you ever see another linkway, don't you guys be strangers, all right?

Kochanski: (nods) You bet.

Cat: Yeah, Officer Bud Babe, we're gonna miss you, especially me. Now I don't have anyone to design for but myself again. (to himself) Damn, and her figure was so perfect, too. I coulda designed things like that for ages.

Holly: Been good knowin' ya.

Kryten: (overly cheery) Au revoir, Miss Kochanski, ma'am! Many pleasures to you in your dimension!

Kochanski: (nodding and trying to not roll her eyes) Uh-huh. I'll miss you, too, Kryten. Well, I guess this is it.

Lister: You sure you don't want us coming with you to the linkway?

Kochanski: Yeah, the linkway is easier to navigate through in a smaller craft, and if we don't have anyone else aboard that has to be left behind in this dimension, it'll make things a lot simpler for the trip home. Bye, everyone.

The Boyz respond with a chorus of good-byes.

(Wide shot of landing bay. Kochanski enters Blue Midget while the boys rush to get out of the bay before the vacuum of space comes in to pay a visit. They peer through the airlock windows as Blue Midget runs down the landing strip and hurtles into space. Switch to external shot of Midget flying towards the linkway, going inside and shaking a bit, then finally disappearing in the blue light.)

Lister: Bye Kris.

Kryten: (sporting the biggest smile in the world) Shall we go and celebrate in the officer's lounge now, sirs? The champagne and appetizers have already been prepared and await consumption!

Cat: Great, bud! It's about time I got my next meal. Hell, doing this 'Bye, Bye, Bud-Babe' thing's put me way off schedule. It's almost a quarter till my next nap!

Lister: I'm not up to it right now, maybe later, Krytie.

(The boys start walking down the corridor, Holly going along behind them on the cart)

Cat: Hey, wait a minute. This champagne, it isn't gonna be more urine re-cyc, is it?

Chapter 6

(Sleeping quarters. Lister present. We see him staring, with a poignant look of boredom on his face. Pan over to show what he's staring at---a female mud wrestling match)

Lister: God, I just can't seem to get into this tonight. Hol?

Holly: (coming on screen) Mmm?

Lister: D'you think something's wrong with me? I mean, normally, I can always get into watching a good fight vid, but lately, not even this is helping with the loneliness of life out here. What do you think?

Holly: Personally, I think it's because you've seen this vid 483 times in the last 8 years. Any bloke who's seen the same mud wrestling match 483 times is going to get bored of seeing it.

Lister: That's not what I meant. Maybe annoying Rimmer will cheer me up. What's he up to?

Holly: Reading in his medi-bay quarters, Dave.

Lister: Good, I'll go and bug him then.

(Cool CGI of lift again. Rimmer's room, Rimmer present, reading The Definitive History of the Napoleonic Wars. There is a knock on the door.)

Rimmer: (annoyed) Who is it now?

Lister: Smeg Off Delivery Service. If it isn't here in thirty minutes or less, you can smeg off and forget about it ever getting there. (pokes his head in and then enters)

Rimmer: (highly annoyed, nostrils in full flare) What the hell do you want?

Lister: Just trying to give you some company, is all, you ungrateful smegger.

Rimmer: I'm busy. Go away.

Lister: (noticing a piece of paper beside Rimmer on the bed) Hey, what's that?

Rimmer: None of your business, not yet.

Lister: Come on, what is it?

Rimmer: If you simply must know, it's my will. But it's not finished yet.

Lister: What do you need a will for? No one here would want your stuff anyway.

Rimmer: Well, it's more of a last will and testament, really. Says how I want my funeral done, what I want to happen to my things, stuff like that. Now go away, all I want to do right now is be alone and read my book in silence.

Lister: But I'm bored, and there's no one else to talk to. Cat's down in the cargo bay sewing a new wardrobe, Kryten's doing laundry, and Kris left this morning to go to her own dimension.

Rimmer: Good. It's about time that snooty little cow bogged off back where she belongs.

Lister: (defensive) Hey, don't you call her that!

Rimmer: I'll call her whatever I damn well please, thank you very much!

Lister: I can't believe I'm stuck with you as the only form of human communication again. This is totally unfair.

Rimmer: Well, that won't be true soon enough. Then you'll have no one. And the world will be a happy place again, especially after you've totally cracked. (smug smile, then sadness) Too bad I have to die for that to happen. I would've liked seeing that.

Lister: Oh, Rimmer, do you have to keep whinging on about your impending death?

Rimmer: Yes! I am about to die! Me! There's less than a week left by Kryten's calculations. There're so many things I haven't done, that I'll never get to do. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't be whinging, other than the fact that it annoys the smeg out of you.

Lister: It doesn't have to be over.

Rimmer: (suspicious) What are you talking about? Of course it has to be over. That's why it's death---it's the end of all things.

Lister: Death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days, y'know, Rimmer.

Rimmer: Of course it is, unless you're lucky enough to…(looks at him) Are you suggesting what I think you're suggesting?

Lister: If you think I'm suggesting you becoming a hologram after you die…yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting.

Rimmer: (eyes narrowing to slits) You're up to something, Lister. Why would you give me that option otherwise?

Lister: Look, I'm just feeling really bad lately. I mean, you risked your neck for us by trying to help us escape, but did you get what you were promised? No. Instead of watching and laughing as the rest of us got carted off to the Tank, you got dragged along for the two year ride. And now that we're finally out and on our own, you're still not gonna get what you're promised, unless you're still around.

Rimmer: Like I'd be able to do anything. Holograms can't touch anything, you modo. I'd just be sitting around doing nothing.

Lister: (frustrated with the smeghead) I told you, the other Rimmer got a hard light drive after a few years. He could touch things. There are a few spare light bees on the Dwarf, I'm sure Krytie could convert one of them to hard light for you. You'd never have to lose that like he did.

Rimmer: Why are you offering this? And why should I accept? Sure, I haven't gotten to do much in life, but why should I want to spend my death here as well? (pause) No, the better question would be why you even suggested it. (His eyes become slits) Why?

Lister: Look, when I came out of stasis all those years ago, Holly brought the other Rimmer back as a hologram to keep me sane. It worked. When he was gone, all I had to keep me sane was Cat and Kryten. That worked okay, but it wasn't the same. I didn't share a past with them. They didn't know me. Sure, you hate me guts and I yours, but at least we had a common tie, a common past before the accident. I was about to go totally spare when Kris got stuck here. Now I'm gonna be alone with them again, unless you stay. It worked well enough before, and you've got an advantage over the other Rimmer. What d'you say, man?

Rimmer: Fine, I suppose I'll do it. But you have to promise that I can turn myself off if I want to. One can only stand so much of this life, this existence with you lot.

Lister: You got it.

Rimmer: Okay, deal.

Lister: See ya later, then. Or not as the case may be… (exit Lister)

Rimmer: Oh, har, har.

Lister: (walking down corridor) Smeggin' hell. Why did I do that? I coulda had Krissy Kochanski's hologram! Smeg! (kicks a skutter) Oh, eh, I'm sorry Madge. Smeg! Now I'm gonna be stuck with Rimmer! This one's worse than the first. Cat and Krytie are not gonna be happy about this.

Chapter 7

(Drive Room- Cat, Kryten, Lister, Holly (on monitors) present)

Cat and Kryten: YOU WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!

Lister: I was feeling sorry for him. I was drunk! I drank eight 6-packs watching that vid before I went to see him!

Cat: And that's your excuse for us bein' stuck with Toilet Brush Hair as a goalpost head again? Are you sick or something, Dormouse Cheeks?

Kryten: Oh, sir, we could have been rid of that annoying little smeeeee heeeee once and for all! Why did you do it?

Holly: Well, he did have a valid point in doing it, actually.

Lister: I did?

Holly: Yeah, well, all that bit about me bringing him back originally to keep you sane. That's true. Plus, he is the only remaining bond to Dave's past before the accident, even if it is a smeg-awful bond.

Cat: But, Head, this is Grand Canyon Nostrils we're talkin' about here. Anybody would be better than him!

Kryten: Precisely. I know saying this goes beyond all of my morality chips, but, sir, can't we just turn on someone else once Mr. Rimmer's dead?

Lister: Kryten! A promise is a promise, even to a smeghead like Rimmer. Look, I don't want to talk about this anymore, can we please drop it? (storms out of the room)

Cat: He's lost it, hasn't he? (Hol and Kryten nod their heads in agreement)

Kryten: Perhaps I should give him a medical tomorrow, not that it would help at this point. (exit Kryten)

Chapter 8

(Cut to external shot of Red Dwarf flying through space. It passes a few planetoids, a nice little asteroid belt floats idly below the massive ship as it passes by. Play music to symbolize the passing of time)

Holly: (VO) Emergency, emergency, there's an emergency going on. Will all crew please report to the medi-unit immediately. This is an emergency announcement.

(Drive Room-Kryten is present watching the screens)

Kryten: Oh, Mr. Rimmer would pick now to die when I'm studying the scanners. Hmm, that's odd. Something appears to have suddenly popped into existence not far from here. I don't have time now to investigate. I'm sure it's nothing important. (runs off to the medi-unit)

(Medi-unit; Rimmer in bed, sounding like he's coughing up his lungs, Lister sitting in a chair next to his bed, watching intently, Cat curled up on one of the scanner tables getting an early afternoon snooze. Kryten is buzzing about, fiddling with medical equipment. Holly is on the wall monitor watching everything unfold.)

Rimmer: Kryten, you blockhead, I thought you said the radiation poisoning wouldn't hurt much! I've never been in so much pain in all my life, and I was tortured as a child!

Kryten: No, I said that the radiation would not cause much pain until the very end, in which case the pain would be quite severe.

Rimmer: Oh, brilliant. I really should have been left here to die, I really should've been.

Lister: Rimmer, look on the bright side, at least it'll be over soon enough.

Rimmer: Yes, it'll be over and I'll be dead. That's not a bright side, miladdo.

(Rimmer screams out in pain, clutching his abdominal region tightly and curling into a fetal position)

Rimmer: What the hell was that? I feel like something just blew up inside!

Kryten: That would be because something did just blow up, sir. Your kidneys failed and ruptured. I think the liver will go next.

Rimmer: Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (clutches more tightly)

Kryten: Yep, that was the liver. The acids must be really building up in your body now, sir. It can't be much longer before the entire system fails.

Rimmer: (whisper) Lister.

Lister: (leans in) Yeah, man, what is it?

Rimmer: (continues whispering) The will, it's under my mattress. Make sure everything is followed to the letter. I'll be watching the vid later to see how it went.

Lister: I'll do what I can. (leans back in his chair) Hey, have you thought about your last words?

Rimmer: (breathless and indignantly) I beg your pardon?

Lister: Well, I was just thinking, it'd be nice to have planned them out, y'know, seeing how you know when you're gonna die and all that. Just don't make them be 'gazpacho soup', alright? Those were the other Rimmer's last words, and you wouldn't want to be a copy cat, now would ya? (smiles)

Rimmer: Dry up, Lister. And how the hell do you know about that?

Lister: I told you that story already, and I'm not gonna explain it again right now.

Cat: (groggy) Could you two keep it down? Some people are trying to get important snoozing time here! (drops off back to sleep)

(Cut to a quick shot of a familiar red ship in the landing bay. Switch to shot of shiny boots walking down a corridor. Switch back to the medi-unit)

Kryten: Heart failure is imminent sirs!

Lister: Well, see ya around, smeghead.

Rimmer: Smeg off. (Clutches his chest and gasps in pain)

(As Rimmer is squealing and thrashing, Lister looks at everything and anything else in the room---he's not comfortable with watching a man die, even when it is Rimmer. As he glances at the observation window, he notices…)

Lister: (whisper) Rimmer?

(Ace Rimmer stands in front of the observation window, believing himself oblivious to people inside. All he can see in that room is the other him. The look on his face is one of sorrow, anger and disbelief. Halting no longer, Ace takes off down the corridor. But this man is not who he seems…)

Ace: (tugs on his collar communicator; w/weasel voice) Computer, I thought you said this was the right dimension!

Computer: (VO) It is, Ace, trust me it is!

Ace: Oh yeah, then who the hell was that on the bed? Certainly looked like another version of me, that's for smegging well sure!

Computer: I don't know about that guy, but this is definitely the right dimension. I checked the coordinates 20 times! I made it a point not to stare at you so that I wouldn't get distracted and screw up the calculations. It has to be right!

(Cut to Medi-unit)

Lister: Is he…?

Kryten: Yes, sir.

Lister: (pulls the will out from under the mattress) Here, take this and follow it to the letter. I gotta go check something. (bolts out of the room after Ace)

(Cut to corridor shot; Ace is pelting down the corridor, running back to his ship; Lister is following, gaining ground on the hero)

Ace: (thoughts) There's no sense in staying here, it's not the right place. God, I hope no one saw me.

Lister: (shouting) Ace, man, wait up!

Ace: Smeg! (quickens his pace)

Lister: Ace! Ace, come on, man, gimme a break here! (no response) Ace! (still no response) Rimmer, STOP!

(Ace stops dead in his tracks. On his face he wears a look of astonishment)

Ace: (to himself) 'Rimmer, stop'? Why did he say that?

(Slowly Ace turns round to face his pursuer. Lister has stopped about 20 feet down the corridor, bent over with his hands on his knees, trying desperately to catch his breath after a long chase with the hologrammatic hero.)

Lister: (breathless) Rimmer? Is that really you?

Ace: (to collar) Are you certain, Computer?

Computer: For the thousandth time, YES!

Ace: (normal voice) Listy?

(Lister's face lights up. He manages to find an extra burst of energy and rushes over to the crewmate he had long ago accepted must be more than dead.)

Lister: I can't believe it's really you! How the hell did you survive out there? It's been two and a half years since you left, man! (pause) I am safe to assume that you're the Rimmer I know, right?

Rimmer: I think so this time. That's what my ship's computer keeps telling me at least.

Lister: Eh?

Rimmer: Nothing. So, you found Red Dwarf, then?

Lister: Yeah. You'd never believe where we found it, though.

Rimmer: Where?

Lister: My laundry bin.

Rimmer: Your what?

Lister: Yeah. Y'see, Krytie's got these little robots that fix him up called nanobots. During our battle with the Despair Squid, they rebelled on him while we were on Starbug. They took Red Dwarf, turned most of it into a planetoid, and turned the rest into a microscopic version of the ship. (shows tiny size with his fingers) Smaller than that, man! To them, me laundry bin was a whole other universe. They explored strange new worlds in me dirty clothes all the time we spent searching for them.

Rimmer: You know, with all the bizarre things the universe has churned up as obstacles for us over the years, that story actually makes sense. So, I see for some reason that there's another me here, anything else odd happen while I've been away?

Lister: Well, let's see, erm, Krissy Kochanski came from another dimension and got stuck here a little while, I lost me arm… (Rimsy puts on a confused face as he looks at Lister's arms, trying to see if one is fake) That's how we got Red Dwarf back, actually, we were looking for the nanos so that they could build me a new arm. Then we had them rebuild the ship. Unfortunately, they also resurrected the crew. I still don't understand that, but they did. Anyway, then we got stuck in prison on the Dwarf cuz they thought we stole the Bug that we crashed on the way in, then used classified info to try to escape. We spent two years in the Tank, and were doing probation when this weird corrosive thing came and tried to melt the ship. After that was sorted, we were sorta on our own again, because the crew abandoned ship and wound up dying on this volcanic planetoid. Just that sort of stuff, y'know. Story of our lives. How about you, then?

Rimmer: (confusion playing across his face) They resurrected the crew? You mean that me I saw in there---was alive?!

Lister: He was, but now he's not. He died just as you showed up. He got stuck on the ship after the evacuation and was exposed to radiation.

Rimmer: (still looking quite confused)

Lister: Look, don't worry about it right now. So how about you, did ya have fun, then, Ace?

Rimmer: Well…

(Coming upon the medi-unit; Cat and Kryten are exiting the unit with a stretcher)

Cat: Ace, buddy! You come to the 'So long, smeghead' party?

Rimmer: (in perfect Ace voice) Good to see you, Cat old friend. You too, Kryters. Just popping in for a visit, actually. Though if you're having a party, you know I'd not miss it for the world. (turns towards Lister and speaks normally but in a whisper) You didn't tell them, I take it.

Lister: (whispers back) D'you think they would've believed me if I did?

(Ace/Rimmer shrugs a 'guess you've got a point there'-type response)

Kryten: It's always a pleasure, Mr. Ace, sir.

(At this point, Rimsy notices the stretcher, and more importantly, what's on it. He pulls off the cover cloth, revealing the corpse of his doppelganger. He gapes slightly for a couple of seconds, then stretches out his index finger to touch the body. He makes contact, gasps ever so quietly, and gives himself up to unconsciousness. Kryten looks confused, as does the Cat, who glances repeatedly between who he takes to be Ace and the second Rimmer's cadaver. Lister just puts his face in the comfort of his hand and shakes his head.)

Cat: Now there's something you would not expect from that dude.

Kryten: Indeed, especially since he's witnessed the death of the first Mr. Rimmer.

Lister: Krytie, get that thing outta here! I don't want to see that body again unless it's in a casket or something!

Kryten: But what about Mr. Ace? He needs attention as well, and Mr. Rimmer's corpse definitely isn't going to walk off.

Lister: I'll deal with Ace, you get that out of here. Cat, you go, too.

Cat: Me? What did I do? Wouldn't it be better for Ace to see a pleasant face when he gets up, instead of your upside down, inside out one?

Lister: Go.

Cat: Okay, okay, I'm flannel.

(Cat makes a nice little spin accompanied by some characteristic howls and then slinks off down the corridor. Kryten follows soon after with the stretcher in tow. Lister drags the still-unconscious Ace/Rimmer into the medi-unit and puts him in a chair, making certain to close the door before doing anything else.)

Lister: (rummaging in a drawer) I hope smelling salts work on holograms, cuz there is no way in hell I'm staying here keeping watch for 'im to wake up.

(He finds the phial containing the noxious substance known as smelling salts and proceeds to put it directly under Ace/Rimmer's nose. The smell invokes a look of utter disgust and a few weasely mutterings of 'How absolutely putrid!' from the shiny-suited smeghead before he opens his eyes and fully regains consciousness.)

Lister: Good thing the others aren't in here, Rimmer, they would've heard your voice.

Rimmer: (rolls his eyes) Well, what do you expect me to do? I'm still me, you know. When you're half insensible, you tend to go towards natural instincts rather than a façade.

Lister: How'd you do that anyway?

Rimmer: How did I do what?

Lister: The voice, how did you do the voice?

Rimmer: Well, I have had two and a half years' practice, haven't I? When you play the part that long, it becomes second nature. Second nature, mind you, but it does come. I didn't expect to fall that far back into old ways when I saw that corpse, though.

Lister: So, erm, why are you here, you never told me.

Rimmer: I've gotten tired of being Ace. Not actually boring, the job, more like, like…

Lister: (grimaces, pondering if this is another horrid nightmare) Samey?

Rimmer: Yes, that's it! It's gotten samey. I just want to have a little time to relax and not have to portray that insufferable, tight-wad, jumped up little git anymore. I want to stay here where nothing anywhere near exciting happens.

Lister: What d'you mean, nothing near exciting? Weird stuff happens here all the time! Besides, y'can't stay, you're supposed to do it 'til the end.

Rimmer: Two and a half years is a lot longer than most Aces have to do this job. If I can find a replacement, I can stay in my own dimension. We can say that we brought back the other me that's just died as a hologram. He is me, after all, they won't know the difference.

Lister: But we're already supposed to be bringing him back.

Rimmer: Well…then we'll tell them the truth, and we'll both stay!

Lister: Rimmer, y'know that'd never work. It didn't work before, and it sure as hell isn't gonna work now. It was horrible for you and us, and I don't want to go through that kind of double torture ever again in me life. No way.

(Ace/Rimmer gets up and paces round the room. Abruptly, he stops. You can practically see the light bulb above his head.)

Rimmer: I need to talk to him.

Lister: Who?

Rimmer: That other me. Who do you think, the Pope? I need to talk to him now.

Lister: He's not getting switched on until after the funeral, though.

Rimmer: NOW!

Lister: You're so tetchy, y'know that? You'd think going out an' bein' a hero would make ya lighten up a bit.

(Ace/Rimmer just stands there, arms crossed, nostrils in full flare, glaring horribly at Lister. Fade out.)

Chapter 9

(Exterior shot of Red Dwarf flying past planetoid, overlaid with funereal-sounding music)

(Chapel. All present, including Holly on main monitor and corpse of Rimmer (mark II) in futuristic-looking steel casket. Even Talkie Toaster (patent applied for) has shown up for the event. Rachel, however, has obviously decided that it was best to not attend a second funeral for her beloved.)

Author's note: I think, since this is the first time a chapel has ever been mentioned in the ship, that I should give you an overview of what it contains and where it is located. Remember the Blue Midget Dance scene from BITR part 3? Remember the bit where the windows all shattered? The bottom deck level of shattered glass has a walkway that traces the perimeter of the landing bay, and has steps leading down to the shuttles. The chapel is represented by one of these shattered windows. Inside, the chapel is arranged in sections for various religions. Upon the walls hang crucifixes, Stars of David, Arabic writings, eternally unrolled scrolls, etc. Statues of Jesus and Mary, Buddha, and other religious figures stand in their respective spots in the room. Apparently even the Cats have used this chapel, as a statue of Cloister the Stupid and a painting of him 'frozen in time' grace the room. In the very center of the chapel is the podium for the religious leader of ceremonies, and above it is a monitor upon which the current religion who is meeting has their religious symbols placed upon. Just a thought here, what the hell are all these people doing having a funeral for a self-proclaimed atheist in a chapel for? Now read on!

Kryten: (wearing his priest's outfit and standing at podium) We are gathered here today to give our final, last and only respects, yet again, to Mr. Arnold Judas Rimmer. Over the years we have all come to know, and to some extent, understand him.

Talkie: (to himself) Don't remind me of that awful day. Boy am I glad I never have to worry about going through spaghettification with him again. (the others shush him)

Kryten: In order to honor his memory, will you come up now and say a few words, Mr. Cat?

Cat: (dressed immaculately in tight black rubber top, black leather trousers, and a black leather jacket; sighs) If I gotta, bud. (walks up to the podium; clears throat) What to say about Smeghead? Well, he always took interest in my shiny things, and I've had to try to eat him on many occasions, and he basically smegged me off every five seconds when I wasn't napping, eating, or investigating. But other than that, there's not much to say except that he was a total dork and I'm glad he's gone. Too bad that won't be true for much longer. (Gives a smile of satisfaction to his audience, bows, and takes his seat.) (to Lister) I think that went pretty well!

Kryten: And now, Mr. Lister, if you'd come up and say something?

Lister: (at podium) Ya never figure on speaking at a bloke's funeral twice, eh? I used up most of the better lines the first time, but I think I've come up with something that'll work. When I first met Rimmer, it wasn't in the best of situations. The rest of the time I knew him, things were worse. I've known quite a few people now whose name is Arnold Rimmer, and each one has been different. But I think that this one I was used to most of all. I knew him best over all the others. When I got to know this Rimmer, I already knew a lot about him, and it helped me know how to deal with him. I think it made our lives a little bit easier, despite all the bickering we did anyway. Getting to know this one also made me realize how different the others were from the one I had spent my time with out here in deep space. Ace, of course, is a totally different bloke, but until I saw this Rimmer, Rimmer the way he had been before the accident, I'd never known how much the other Rimmer had changed over the years. So smeghead, this one's for you. (performs a fairly decent and respectable triple-Rimmer) See ya later, man. (steps down and returns to his seat)

Kryten: We shall now transport the casket to the landing bay and blast it off into space.

(Kryten presses a button on a remote. The casket begins to hover as the glass window/airlock ascends into the wall. The casket then takes off and proceeds to go down the bay towards the doors. The airlock goes back into place as the landing bay doors open and allow the casket to gracefully glide into deep space. All capable of standing at the window are now doing so, including two skutters who have wandered in during the service. Unbeknownst to the others, the couple gives the casket a two-fingered salute as it sails away into the darkness.)

Ace/Rimmer: (in Ace voice) Well, I guess I'll be off then as well. Got universes to explore, things to see, people to meet, you know the drill.

Holly: Bye, dude.

Cat: See ya, bud.

Kryten: Good-bye Mr. Ace, sir.

Lister: See ya, man. Good luck, you'll need it out there.

Ace/Rimmer: As if I didn't know that already. (With a smile and flip of the fringe, he walks down the walkway and down to his ship. From his cockpit he yells to them) Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast!

(The cockpit roof closes and the ship takes off into the black abyss that is space. The remainder of the crew watches the dimension jumper travel into the depths and suddenly flash as the hero leaves again to do his duty. Back in the chapel, the gang packs it in and heads out into the corridor.)

Chapter 10

(Disco. Shot of clock in neon lighting gives the time as 22:47. Pan down and out to reveal our boys dancing merrily under a sign that reads, 'So Long, Smeghead! - by I', the handprint signifying that Cat is the artist behind the masterpiece. Holly is seen wearing a party hat and has a blower tucked behind his ear, his head waving to the sounds of Rastabilly Skank. Even Kryten is dancing--The Robot, of course. Lister clambers over shakily to the bar and picks a half-empty pint from the 12-15 empty pints that surround it. He is quite physically pished.)

Lister: Hey, wouldn't it be a laugh to bring Rimmer back right now? Y'know, torture 'im a bit with the party?

Cat: That's brilliant, bud! We should definitely do that. Hey, Mr. Clean, bring the smeghead on so that we can mess with him! (cheers from Lister)

Holly: Do I have to turn him on? Gordon Bennett, we've had him round forever. I say we get some other poor sod to fill his hologrammatic boots.

Cat: Even better! You not so stupid as I thought you was.

Kryten: I know this probably isn't the best time, but I feel I should stand as the voice of reason in this situation. Mr. Lister, you yourself said that we must follow the wishes of Mr. Rimmer as stated in his will to the letter. As much as it pains me to say it, in the will is stated that we must regenerate him as a hologram.

Lister: Oh, we will, Krytie, we will. But not 'til the mornin'. I want to have a clear mind for that.

Cat: What the hell for? You want to realize the kind of agony you're putting us through by listening to him? Monkey, the head may be smarter than I thought, but you're dumber than I thought!

(Cut to shot of Dwarf going through space---what else would it go through, jello?)

(Drive Room. Following morning. Cat, Kryten, Lister, and Holly present)

Lister: Alright, everybody, ya ready for this?

Others: No.

Lister: Me, neither. Too bad for us, then. But a promise is a promise. Holly, start it up, man.

Holly: Alright, if I have to.

Lister: Gentlemen, please allow me to reintroduce First Officer Rimmer!

(The light bee hovers off the floor and begins to pixelate)

Kryten: But sir, surely you mean to say Second Technician. We didn't promote this one!

(The light bee has finished doing its show and now Rimmer stands in the room, sporting his smug 'you're in deep smeg, laddie' smile and wearing that blue uniform)

Lister: No, we didn't Krytie, but y'see, this isn't the one that just died.

(A look of absolute terror and astonishment plays across Kryten's face---he has gotten quite a good grip on those emotions!)

Cat: Huh? What are you talking about, bud? If he's not the one who annoyed the smeg out of us in the Tank, who the hell is he?

Rimmer: I would be the one who annoyed the smeg out of you the other years that you've known me, you stupid gimboid.

Cat: (the terror now striking his face) Goal…post…head?

Rimmer: In the hologrammatic flesh, git.

(His brain having flown a little white flag, Cat now takes this opportunity to introduce himself to the floor of the Drive Room)

Kryten: But how is that possible? Mr. Rimmer was killed by an AR knight. Mr. Ace witnessed it himself!

Lister: Erm, that's not true, actually. I made that up, and Rimmer went along with it.

Kryten: (intelligence circuits are clearly having quite a field day) What? How can he go along with something if he's dead?

Rimmer: (starting to back away) So, what quarters are we in now?

Lister: The old ones.

Rimmer: The old ones? How revolting! Why the hell are you staying there?

Lister: Just where d'you think you're going? You've got to explain all this!

Rimmer: Me, why?

Lister: It wouldn't have to be explained if you were still out there, y'know.

Kryten: Out there where? Could someone please tell me what is going on? Sirs?

Rimmer: (frustrated) Oh alright, I'm coming! Fine, this is how it all started, so pay attention…

(Fade out. Fade back in.)

Lister: So now the other Rimmer's out there as Ace…

Rimmer: And I'm back here. Have you got it, now?

Kryten: (dejectedly) I think so sir, yes.

Holly: Well, I guess I have to give up my title now.

Lister: What do y'mean, Hol?

Holly: You two just put up a bigger jape than me! Even I was fooled! (shakes his head in shame and flicks off the monitor)

Lister: Don't feel too bad, man, you weren't here when the first switch happened.

Kryten: I suppose I should try to revive Mr. Cat now.

Rimmer: (to Lister) Now do you have any objections to my getting the smeg out of here?

Lister: Nah. See ya later, man.

(Exit Rimmer)

Chapter 11

(Cut to shot of Red Dwarf flying through a gas nebula. The gas is red, making the mammoth ship seem even larger. Pan in closer to the portholes and switch to shot of the sleeping quarters. It is night, and the deep space equivalent of the odd couple are reclining in their respective bunks.)

Rimmer: (sighs) Dwarf, sweet Dwarf at last.

Lister: You that happy to be back 'ere? You got some sort of holovirus or something?

Rimmer: No. I'm not all that happy that I'm here, just that I'm not out there anymore.

Lister: What was it like? Y'know, jumpin' dimensions, seeing what could've happened if things had happened differently here? Did you get to play hero much?

Rimmer: More than I would've liked… You know how Holly decided that this was the cock-up universe?

Lister: Yeah.

Rimmer: Well, I've decided that ours is the cock-up dimension of the cock-up universe.

Lister: (gets up and leans over the edge to look at his bunkmate) Eh?

Rimmer: Every single dimension I visited, the other versions of us were better off. Even the ones that were stuck out here in deep space, three million years from home had some little feature that made their lives just a gnat's more bearable than ours. Be it a different crew member, or one of us was actually useful or something, but there was always something that made their dimension better.

Lister: We cannot be the cock-up dimension, Rimmer.

Rimmer: Yet we are, I'm sure of it.

Lister: Think what y'will. (leaps off his bunk and moves to the table) Though if I could just get me hands on Kochanski, this would be a much better dimension. The other one wasn't interested.

Rimmer: Then what makes you think this one would be?

Lister: Two reasons. One, because that Kochanski was in love with the Lister in her dimension. She went back so she could be with him. And two, I'm supposed to marry the one from this dimension, remember?

Rimmer: Then shouldn't that've happened three and a half years ago? The other you said in five years you'd find another way to come back. It's been eight and a half years.

Lister: (deflated) Yeah...but maybe that doesn't matter! Maybe the other me was lying, and he was me now! Or maybe he meant that we'd find the thing that lets us go back in time in five years, not that we'd go back in five years. And we did get that time drive three years ago...I'll bet it's still in Starbug's salvage! (rushes out the door; a few seconds pass before he comes back in) Oh, by the way, welcome back, smeghead. (rushes out again)

Rimmer: Wonderful. The moment I come back he starts his idiotic plans about Kochanski again. Can he never give it a rest?

Starbug salvage-Lister present

(He's rummaging through some equipment as Kryten pops his head through the door)

Kryten: I found it, sir.

Lister: Brilliant, Krytes. (Lister follows him out)

(Cut to the duo coming round a corridor, Kryten with the time drive in hand. Lister sports the broadest of broad grins. They enter the sleeping quarters.)

Lister: Lights. (the lights come on) Rimmer, man, you awake? (no response from the sleeping form; Lister approaches him and shouts in his ear) RIMMER MAN, WAKE UP!

Rimmer: (jerks his head up with a snort from his super-sized nostrils; still in a daze from his dreams he springs up and salutes, Full-Rimmer-style; shouts) YES, SIR, DRILL SARGEANT! (to himself) Wait a minute, this isn't cadet school...oh, it was just a dream. What the hell do you think you're doing, you goit, some people are trying to sleep around here!

Lister: We found the time drive. I'm going back, you wanna come with me?

Rimmer: Back to that smegging time to see those smegging people so you can try to marry that smegging woman and send my past self into insanity? Smeg off, Lister. (heads back to bed)

Kryten: Shall we take that as a no, then, sir?

Lister: Cat's comin', and if you don't, that leaves you alone with Hol, who has the power to do whatever the smeg he wants with your physical form, and no one will be around to stop him.

Holly: (coming on screen) Oi, don't remind 'im of that! I was gonna have some fun!

Rimmer: Well, that settles it. I am not staying alone with him. (goes to the closet)

Lister: What're y'rummagin' around in there for?

Rimmer: My old uniform, and so should you if you want to look inconspicuous.

Lister: Oh, so now I've got you scared of letting Holly do anything to ya? Yeah, I guess I should find me shirt as well. (begins to search through his laundry bin for it) Aw, smeggin' 'ell. Krytie, you've got to do something with me clothes. They smell like a pack of skunks had a rave and got caught by the cops in 'ere! (an explosion is heard; Lister takes his head out of the bin) What the smeg was that?

Kryten: (odd voice that can only be described as how one would sound if his nose just exploded) My nasal receptors couldn't take the stench anymore, sir. I'll clean the bits up immediately. (runs off to find the correct groinial attachment)

Chapter 12

Drive Room - Kryten, Lister and Rimmer present. The latter two are dressed in their old ugly khaki uniforms. Lister is tie-less, his shirt half open, revealing a London Jets t-shirt underneath. Rimmer looks like he could clean the gunk out of chicken soup nozzles forever, apart from the fact that the H gives the impression that as a stiffie, he shouldn't be able to do so. He holds a device that looks like a remote control in his hand.

Rimmer: How much longer are we going to wait for that idiotic cat? He told me fifty minutes ago that he'd be ready in ten.

Lister: Just give 'im a few more minutes. He's been putting together a disguise for himself.

Kryten: Didn't you give him a boiler suit, sir? That's worked before.

Lister: Yeah, but he said gray made him look ashen, so he decided to make a better outfit.

Rimmer: If he comes in here wearing anything remotely shiny, he's staying. I am not waiting for him to go change again.

Lister: Okay, okay. What's that for?

Rimmer: What?

Lister: (points to the remote) That. What is it?

Rimmer: Light bee remote. Watch. (he presses the top button of three; his H disappears; he presses it again and it comes back)

Lister: Brutal!

(The boys look towards the door as they hear Cat say "Here I come, fellas, ready or not!" He purposefully strides down the corridor to the drive room, the sound of his Cuban heels clicking on the floor. As he enters, pan from the shoes up, revealing his disguise.)

Rimmer: Oh, God, the Duke of Dork returneth. (folds his arms and rubs his H in true Rimmerian fashion)

Cat: Okay, monkeys, let's go!

Lister: (trying not to laugh) Cat, why Duane Dibbley? I thought you were gonna go after girls while we're there!

Cat: You think I'm gonna stay in this, bud? Hell, once we get to the disco, this unspeakable outfit is history!

Lister: Well, Hol, hold down the fort for us, man.

Holly: Okay, Dave. Have fun, dudes.

Kryten: Keying in the time and place now, sirs. Are you ready for me to activate the time drive? (he gets a general yes, including a "Hell yeah!" from Cat; Rimmer turns off the H) Alright, here we go! (Kryten presses the activation button. The usual time-travel sfx occur; The group reappears in the sleeping quarters. It's dark.)

Rimmer: Lights! (lights obey) Well, did the stupid machine work this time?

Kryten: (checking psi-scan) Well, we're in the right position, sir, but not the right time.

Cat: So what time are we in, motherboarder?

Kryten: We are just a day out from the date of the accident, sirs.

Rimmer & Lister: What!?!

Kryten: (whining) Oh, sirs...I just don't know what happened! Now the time drive's frozen again! (hits the time drive) Stupid piece of temporal junk!

Lister: Kryten! Don't hit it! If that thing breaks we'll be stuck 'ere!

Rimmer: And quite personally, I don't feel like witnessing the deaths of every single crewman aboard this ship! Fix it now, you stupid goit.

Kryten: We'll have to wait for it to unfreeze again.

Lister: But God knows how long that'll take!

Cat: What's everyone so worried about?

Lister: By this time tomorrow, everyone on board will be dead except for the past me and Frankenstein.

Cat: So what does this have to do with us, bud?

Lister: If we're still here, we'll die, too.

Cat: Oh. We can't let that happen! I am not dying in this crappy outfit!

Rimmer: How long was it before the accident when we came through that stasis leak? (peering at something off-screen)

Lister: Three weeks. Why?

Rimmer: (pan over to see him staring at the mirror) Do you think the leak might still be here? (looks at Lister)

Kryten: Well, let's find out.

Cat: (spotting mirror) Hey, I could sure use a nice mirror right now. Outta the way, monkeys. (pushes them away and looks in mirror) Ew, this is uglier than I thought! (adjusts his teeth and wig)

Lister: Okay, I'll go check the shower room. (exits; re-enters) Oh, yeah, remember guys, we gotta look incognito. (receives nods of agreement from Kryten and Rimmer; Cat just keeps preening; Lister re-exits)

Rimmer: I remember one of the future mes coming out from this mirror. I wonder if I just went through the wall, or if there's another leak here.

Kryten: (lifting psi-scan up to wall) I do detect an anomaly in the wall. It must be a stasis leak.

Rimmer: I wonder where it goes. (Cat moves to sit on Rimmer's bunk; Rimmer goes up to mirror and sticks his head in)

(Cut to corridor on the Dwarf; it is empty. We see Rimmer's head poke through; he takes a look around and exits. Switch back to the sleeping quarters)

Rimmer: It's Red Dwarf, but no one's around. It must be some time after the accident.

(Kryten goes up to the mirror and sticks his psi-scan in. He pulls it out after a few seconds and reads the results)

Kryten: The date on the other side is the 29th of Geldof, 4928. We must keep Mr. Lister and the Cat away from the leak. The radiation levels are off the scale.

Chapter 13

(Lister is wandering through the corridors, staring in awe at all the people that he hasn't seen in a while, due to the fact that he's been in the Tank since they were resurrected, and that they've all been dead once again for over a month. He spots Selby and Petersen, and calls out to them, but he can't get to them through the crowds. He continues on and enters the showers. He goes into the end stall and slowly extends his hand towards the wall. It goes through, so he decides to investigate. He steps through the wall and looks around the corridor. It's empty, but he hears Rimmer yelling at some skutters down one of the corridors.)

Rimmer: (in green uniform (circa series III)) Not ocean gray you stupid gits, military gray! Are you mad? (the two skutters put down their brushes; one gives the two-fingered salute, the other flips him the bird) Fine, if you're going to be like that, I'll leave! (storms off in Lister's direction; the skutters wave good-byes)

Lister: Yo, Rimmer...

Rimmer: Shut up you goit and leave me alone. I'm in no mood to talk to you right now. (continues walking off down the corridor)

Lister: D'you know what day it is?

Rimmer: (stops, turns round, looking quite pissed off) Of course I know what day it is, why do you think I'm so mad?

Lister: Would ya just tell me what the date is?

Rimmer: Why don't you ask that brain-dead computer what smegging day it is! (leaves, turning the corner)

Lister: Fine. (walks up to a monitor) Hol?

Holly: (female version) Yeah, Dave?

Lister: What's the date today?

Holly: November 25, 3,002,183. Gordon Bennett, you're gonna make me play talking calendar now, are you?

Lister: No, but thanks anyway.

Holly: (smiles) Well, that's nice. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to my novel.

Lister: What're you reading?

Holly: Not reading, writing.

Lister: You what?

Holly: Yeah, I've gotten tired of reading things. I've read every single book ever written about five times, and all the Agatha Christie novels about 300 times. So I decided I'd write some of me own.

Lister: Brutal! So what's it about?

Holly: Us. Our journeys. That sort of thing. You know, if you take the best bits of our adventures out 'ere, I'll bet we could make a movie or something.

Lister: Get outta town! Who'd want to see us on the big screen? A bunch of blokes in space trying to get home. Who would willingly sit down and watch that for a couple of hours at the cinema?

Holly: I dunno, but it'd be a laugh, wouldn't it?

Lister: Well, go to it, man.

Holly: See ya, dude. (flicks off)

(Lister walks down the corridor and goes back to the shower room)

(Disco. The music is pumping and the room is so packed that there's barely enough room to stand let alone dance. Pan over to the tables. Lister (working on some lager), Cat (now back in his own apparel) and Kryten are seated.

Cat: Do I have to, bud?

Lister: Yes. Y'can't let anyone see your fangs.

Cat: But keeping these teeth in while wearing my normal clothes? I can't even close my mouth wearing these things! How'm I supposed to get a girl looking like the child of a horse and a supermodel?

Kryten: Sir, we cannot risk it.

Lister: Where the smeg is Rimmer? He was supposed to be here 5 minutes ago. (spots Rimmer struggling through the mass of dancers) Ah, there he is. You're late, Mr. Punctuality.

Rimmer: (sits) Sorry, but I had to make a diversion to avoid ourselves. They were in the corridor I was going down to get here, complaining about pipe cleaners. So, have we gotten it unfrozen yet?

Kryten: No.

Rimmer: Then what the hell are we going to do? The accident is less than twelve hours away!

Cat: Dance with some girls and live it up till we die? If I can manage to have some sex, I'll be set for death, buds.

Lister: None of us are going to die, alright?

Rimmer: We've got to get out of here!

Lister: Well, the leak in the men's showers is still there, but the time it goes to has moved. Now it goes to 3 million 2183. We could go there and hide out for a while till the time drive unfreezes.

Kryten: We could probably avoid being seen by our past selves there, but what about Holly?

Rimmer: With his IQ, I don't think slipping past him will be much of a problem.

Lister: Nah, Kryten's right. Hol'd find us. That could cause problems. There's gotta be another way out.

Rimmer: We could steal a shuttle!

Lister: We tried to escape from the Tank like that. It didn't work well, even though it was a computer simulation.

Cat: Yes it did! Man, I'd kill to see that ground controller again. (gazes off with a grin on his face; sighs)

Rimmer: Well there's got to be something we can do.

(Everyone sits and thinks for a few minutes. Suddenly, Lister looks up and snaps his fingers)

Lister: I got it! When the accident happened, I was just gettin' back from shore leave on Miranda, right?

Rimmer: Yeah...

Lister: So maybe one of the shuttles from Miranda is still on board! We could hitch a ride back down to the surface and wait for the time drive to unfreeze there!

Rimmer: If a shuttle from Miranda is still here.

Kryten: Well, I say we not leave it up to chance and go find out!

Cat: (back from his reverie) You mean we're leavin'? But I haven't gotten to dance yet!

Rimmer: Would you rather escape from the ship and live to dance another day, or stay here, dance your heart out, and then snuff it in less than half a day's time?

Cat: That doesn't even deserve an answer. But I know you monkeys won't let me stay.

Lister: Damn right we won't.

(All get up and start to make their way through the masses)

Chapter 14

(Landing Bay- The Boyz are sneaking around boxes, avoiding detection. Kryten spots a white shuttle with the words "Miranda's Miracle" written on the side and waves to the others to come over. They group together and head towards the craft.)

Ship's pilot: Hello there, gentlemen. You looking for a ride?

Lister: We sure are. You headed to Miranda?

Pilot: Yeah, but not first thing. Gotta go hit Io and pick up an order. But if you'd like to ride with me, I'd enjoy the company out there, assuming the price is right, of course.

Kryten: How much will it cost for the four of us?

Pilot: Well, you'll be free, my friend. Mechs don't cost much for board. The others'll be 300 dollarpounds each.

Rimmer: Nine-hundred for three people?! That's insane!

Pilot: Maybe so, maybe so. But if you folks wanna leave anytime soon, it's either ride with me or try to steal a ship. My baby here's the only craft scheduled to leave the Dwarf for four months.

Lister: Alright, we'll pay.

Rimmer: (to Lister) What? That is way too much to pay for a ship. Even trying our luck at the stasis leak would be better!

Cat: Bud, we cannot go on that thing.

Lister: What are you on about? That's our ticket to safety.

Cat: Yeah, but have you looked inside that thing? The little bit I managed to get a peek at was olive green. Green? With this suit? (spins around, showing off his pink suit) I am not boarding anything that makes me look like a watermelon!

Kryten: Mr. Cat, sir, that ship is our only reliable chance of escape. We must use it.

Cat: Fine. But you people'd better appreciate the sacrifices I make for you!

Pilot: Excellent. (Lister hands him the money) Pleasure doing business with you, fellas. We leave at noon tomorrow. (walks back into ship; closes airlock door)

Rimmer: Noon? That's too late! The accident happens tonight!

Lister: Smeg! What're we gonna do?

(Sleeping Quarters- Dwarfers present; It is a little later that evening- Rimmer paces the floor, his hand on his head, Cat is seated on Rimmer's bunk, Lister lies on his own, and Kryten stands in the corner by the banana.)

Rimmer: We've got to think of something.

Lister: (sits up) What if we nick the shuttle? I mean, it's already cleared to leave, right? So why can't it leave a little early?

Cat: If we're gonna steal something to leave in, why don't we steal something nicer, preferably in white or black. Those colours go with anything in my wardrobe.

Kryten: But only Miranda's Miracle is scheduled for take-off. All the others are not, sir.

Cat: What's your point, Trophy Stand Head?

Kryten: Due to the lack of a better plan, I say we go with Mr. Lister's.

Cat: Still missing your argument, bud. (Krytie gives up trying to reason with the feline and returns to the banana corner)

Lister: Brutal! Alright, everybody, this is how it's gonna work…

(Even later that evening, the Boyz are venturing down some corridors on their way back to the landing bay. As they pass one of the doors in the corridor, Lister stops in front of it)

Lister: (to door) Well, sorry I couldn't make it in time again. (puts two fingers to his lips and then reaches that hand out to a sign next to the door that reads "Navigation Officer Kristine Kochanski." Goes on and catches up with the others)

(The group reaches a lift and gets inside. They go down a few floors before stopping. Kochanski enters the lift)

Kochanski: Hi Dave.

Lister: (flustered) H-hi, Krissy.

Kochanski: (pushes her floor button) Landing Bay? Why're ya headed there?

Lister: Uh…we were…(shifts eyes and turns to look at the other Dwarfers; whispers) A little help 'ere!

Rimmer: We were going down to make some repairs.

Kochanski: And they're gonna let Z Shift do it? (smiles) Must be because the engineers are on that field trip. (Lift stops; opens) Well, here's my floor. See ya later, Dave, and hopefully not you, Rimmer. (the doors close behind her)

Lister: (sadly) No, you won't.

Cat: Hey, Goalpost Head, you're right! She does make your name rhyme with scum!

(Landing Bay- wide shot from above; pan to the right, where we see the Boyz sneak across to the shuttles, then scurry between each craft as they make their way to Miranda's Miracle. They reach the ship and halt)

Kryten: (holds up his psi-scan to the craft) The ship's protective lining is preventing me from detecting life-signs. Mr. Cat, can your smell detect anything?

Cat: (sniffs the air) Yeah, I smell him. I wish I didn't. He's got a scent that could put a sumo wrestler off his food! He's over there, (points) on the other side of the ship.

Lister: Okay. (Lister slowly goes around the nose of the ship and peers to the other side. The pilot is seated, leaning against one of the ship's legs and is nursing a bottle of Glen Fugiyama whiskey. He's singing in the most horrible voice between swigs)

Pilot: Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little…Little Jack Horner, sat in a…wait a minute, that's not right, is it? (belches) Oh, that's so much better! Right! Mary had a little…lamb! That's what it is! (gets up, smashes bottle on ground) Enough mind-rotter for me tonight. Time to strut my funky stuff! (gets up and starts dancing to a tune in his head)

Lister: (coming out into pilot's view) Hey man, if y'wanna dance, why don't ya go do it with some girls up in the disco?

Pilot: (still swaying) That's a brilliant idea, Pig-tail Head Boy! I think I'll go do that now. (peers at watch) Hmm, only 8:13. Plenty of time to find some lovin.' (struts off as if hearing 'Stayin' Alive' in his head; tumbles and gets back up; keeps walking away)

Lister: (shifts back to the other side of the ship) Okay, guys, coast is clear.

(Everyone follows him around the ship to the airlock doors. The Miracle is pretty low to the ground except for few Starbug-like stanchions to hold it up, and there's a set of steps leaning against the door to allow entry to the vessel. Thankfully, there is no code to unlock the door. They climb the steps and board the ship. As the Cat stated before, the interior of the Miracle is olive green. The walls of the midsection are bare save for one or two safety procedure charts near the airlock door and a cabinet attached to the wall that contains an emergency space suit and the escape pod key. The only furniture in the room is a table off to one of the sides in the back and some foldable chairs that surround it. The Dwarfers, not amused by their boring surroundings, head on to the cockpit. Unlike the midsection, the cockpit is filled with equipment and 1 pilot's seat. Kryten sits down at the controls and begins the start-up sequence. The others stand behind him.)

Rimmer: (highly agitated) Kryten, hurry up, we don't have much time!

Cat: Yeah, Rubix Cube Head, I have no intention of letting a nuclear explosion get all over this suit!

Kryten: I'm going as fast as I can, sirs.

Rimmer: Well go faster, then!

Lister: Guys, would ya relax? No one's getting out of here fast if we waste time arguin'. (goes out to the midsection)

Rimmer: Says you.

Kryten: This is Miranda's Miracle to Ground Control. We are ready to take-off. Please respond.

Ground Controller: This is Ground Control. We read you, Miranda's Miracle. You may be ready, but you're not scheduled to leave till tomorrow. Is there a problem?

Cat: (seeing a very pretty Ground Controller, steps in front of screen) Not a chance, baby, not unless you're married. I gotta go right now, but maybe we could go out some time? (flashes her one of his trademark grins)

Ground Controller: Sorry, but I'm taken. (brings up her hand and reveals the rock on her finger)

Cat: Damn. (sorrowfully slinks to midsection)

Ground Controller: You are clear for take-off. Opening bay doors now. (cut to outside shot of doors following her command) Ground Control out.

Kryten: Thank you. Miracle out.

Rimmer: Let's get the smeg out of here.

Kryten: I'll go for that. Lifting off.

(Cut to shot of Landing Bay. We watch as the Miracle glides out into space. Switch to shot of ship flying away from the Dwarf.)

Chapter 15

(Ext. Shot of Miracle flying past Saturn, heading towards Jupiter. Zoom in on the ship as we hear strains of an upbeat song on a Hammond organ. Cut to some sleeping quarters, the equivalent of sticking a couple of cots in a kitchen. Rimmer and Lister present. Rimmer is quite enjoying himself with the music, acting as though he is conducting the 'masterpiece'. Lister looks like he's in as much agony as if he was giving birth. He holds both hands over sock-stuffed ears.)

Lister: Rimmer, turn that smeg off!

Rimmer: Nope.

Lister: Yes.

Rimmer: Nope.

Lister: Yes.

Rimmer: No.

Lister: (gets off his bunk, glaring at Rimmer; through gritted teeth) YES.

Rimmer: (smug smile on his face) Nope.

Lister: (really getting steamed now) YES!!!!

Rimmer: NO.

Lister: (gives up with a sigh, falling down on his cot) Why do you always have to torture me?

Rimmer: This isn't torture! This is mood-appropriate music!

Lister: This?

Rimmer: Yes! It's joyous, and so are we. We've escaped death, and I'm on my way home.

Lister: Well I was happy, but now I'm not.

Rimmer: Why not?

Lister: Because your smeggin' music is drivin' me nuts! (takes off one of his boots and throws it at the stereo, thus stopping the music)

Rimmer: If that tape is broken, Lister, you're in deep smeg, miladdo. (goes over to the machine and takes out the disk; puts it away)

Lister: Besides, just because the pilot was planning to stop at Io doesn't mean we are. Once the time drive unfreezes, we're going back to the Dwarf.

Rimmer: Why? There's nothing there for us. We'd be better off staying in this time. At least here in this time we know there's an Earth and an Io to go back to.

Lister: Yeah, but what about Kryten and Cat? They don't fit in here. Cat especially.

Rimmer: So what? I'm tired of being out here with you psychopaths and morons. I want to go home, and I'm getting my chance right now. The navicomp has us headed straight for Io, and I intend to stay.

Lister: Stay? And do what there? Ya hate your family, so you can't stay with them, and the only job you could possibly get would be aboard another Space Corps ship cleanin' the gunk of chicken soup nozzles. Same job situation with me until I get enough money for me plan.

Rimmer: At least in this time I can be around other people, normal people.

Lister: This from the neurotic mess of a man that is Arnold Rimmer. You know, from what I've seen of you since you got back, ya haven't changed one smegging bit.

Rimmer: You sure about that? Other Listers I came across didn't share that opinion.

Lister: Yeah. I mean, you're still the weasely little smeghead that left Starbug. Besides, I'm not those other Listers. And who knows what the Rimmers from their dimensions were like anyway. If this really is the cock-up dimension, Rimmer, wouldn't it figure that you're a lot different from their Rimmers?

Rimmer: Not really. The Listers I'm talking about had Rimmers that split off from me after I left.

Lister: Really? (Rimmer nods) So, what did they think was so different?

(Rimmer lets out a gush of air and opens his mouth to start when Cat rushes in)

Cat: Hey guys, we're almost there! (heads back out)

Rimmer: Yes! (rushes out after him)

(Cockpit-Kryten present; enter Cat, then Rimmer close behind)

Rimmer: (stares out the view screen at his home moon) How much longer before we get there, Kryten?

Kryten: (checks a scanner) Estimated time to arrival…37 minutes. But sir, we have no intent of landing on the moon's surface.

Rimmer: You may not, but I do.

Kryten: Sir?

Rimmer: You heard.

Kryten: But sir, have you even thought of all the complications your staying here would imply? Red Dwarf has been gone from the solar system for over two weeks. As a member of that crew, you will be missing and presumed dead. If you just pop up out of the blue on Io, sir, you may have a lot of explaining to do.

Lister: (entering an already crowded cockpit) Yeah, man. And what about yourself? I mean, you're a hologram. You've gotta recharge your light bee sometime. What if someone found out you were a hologram, man? They don't know about Legion or anything.

Rimmer: (mutters) Leave it to Lister to pick out the fatal flaw in my plan. (to the others) Look, can't I at least have one last peek in at the place I called home all those years before Captain Bogbot gets the stupid time drive working again?

Cat: Yeah, we should definitely go down there, buds.

Rimmer: (surprised) You're agreeing with me?

Cat: Hey man, that place is filled with chicks. You think I'm gonna waste a chance to party with some sexy women? That's a really stupid thought, Bad Hair Day Man. (to Kryten) You said 37 minutes? (Kryten nods) Then I'm gonna go do final prep work. (twirls; begins slinking out, singing) I'm gonna get you little chickies, I'm gonna get you little chickies, I'm gonna get you little chickies, cuz I like having sex! Owww! (exit Cat; fade)

Chapter 16

(Shot of Starbug on a launch pad. A ladder has been put against the airlock. Our Dwarfers step out. Rimmer comes first, sporting a genuine smile for a change. Next follows Lister and Kryten (psi-scan and time drive in tow in a satchel), and Cat, wearing a very flashy suit with lots of spangles and toting a hand mirror.)

Lister: Okay, guys, remember the stories and names we're givin' out. We don't want to make anyone suspicious.

Rimmer: Shut up.

Cat: (to himself) Hi, baby. (more macho tone) Hi, babe. (brings up the mirror to take a gander) Ooh, I'm lookin' so dangerous, you'd need a license to legally possess me!

(A group of men approach and meet them about 100 meters from the ship)

1st Man: Commander Franklin (shakes Rimmer's hand), on behalf of the Space Corps we welcome you and your crew to Io. (Rimmer nods) Now, there are a few questions we'd like to ask you, so if you'd all please come this way, we can proceed with the interrogation.

Rimmer: Interrogation?

2nd Man: It is routine procedure that crews of all new supply ships that land at Io Docks undergo interrogation and the ship's stores be investigated. Too many looters and thieves, you understand.

Kryten: Yes, of course, sir.

3rd Man: Oi, who was talkin' to you, mech?

Lister: Hey, leave 'im alone. Let's just get this over with so we can go on our merry ways, shall we?

(Group and the Boyz start walking towards the spaceport)

Lister: (to Rimmer) Commander? (Rimmer rolls his eyes and quickens his pace)

(Interrogation Room: There is a table with two chairs on either side. In one chair sits a slim woman with fiery red hair in a bun, wearing a tan sweater-shirt and black slacks. This is the interrogator. In the other chair sits Rimmer.)

Interrogator: Surname?

Rimmer: Ri…Franklin.

Interrogator: (looks up from her paper, suspicion playing across her face like a harp) Name?

Rimmer: Mark.

Interrogator: Rank?

Rimmer: Commander.

Interrogator: Date and planet or satellite of Birth?

Rimmer: March 29, 2149 on Io.

Interrogator: Io, really? Surprised you haven't gone through this before, then, commander.

Rimmer: I was born here, but I was raised on Callisto.

Interrogator: Ah. Any criminal record we should know about before putting your name through the database?

Rimmer: No.

Interrogator: Marital status?

Rimmer: (sighs) Single.

Interrogator: Alright, then. All that's left is a drug test and then you can go.

Rimmer: (worried) Drug test?

Interrogator: It's all standard procedure, Mr. Franklin. Just fill this up (hands him a cup) behind the screen and you're free to leave.

Rimmer: Uh, isn't there some other way you could do it? It's just that I…really don't have to go right now.

Interrogator: Well, there is the hair analysis technique, but that takes longer to analyze. If you do that test, we'll have to detain your ship here a few days longer than with urine testing.

Rimmer: I'll do that one. Believe me, I'm in no rush.

(Later)

Interrogator: Surname?

Lister: Ross.

Interrogator: Name?

Lister: David.

Interrogator: Date and planet or satellite of birth?

Lister: October 14, 2155, erm…on a shuttle in space. But me parents were from Earth, so that's where I normally claim residency.

Interrogator: Right. Any criminal history?

Lister: Not that I'm aware of.

Interrogator: Marital status?

Lister: Erm, engaged, sort of.

Interrogator: What? How can you be 'sort of ' engaged? Either you are, or you aren't.

Lister: Well, I guess you could say we're 'betrothed' more than 'engaged.'

Interrogator: Okay. Just go behind the curtain, fill this cup up, and you can go.

(Later still…Cat takes his turn at interrogation)

Interrogator: Surname?

Cat: Well, you don't have to be that formal with me, do you? Sir, name? I mean, come on, bud.

Interrogator: (frustrated; keeping her eyes on her papers) Last name?

Cat: Richardson.

Interrogator: Name?

Cat: I told you, already, Richardson!

Interrogator: (sighs) Your first name.

Cat: Oh! Alex, but most people call me Cat.

Interrogator: (finally looks up at him) Why's that?

Cat: (smiles, revealing his fangs) Why do you think?

Interrogator: O-kay. Date and planet or satellite of birth?

Cat: I dunno.

Interrogator: What do you mean, you don't know?

Cat: Does anyone know when the universe was created?

Interrogator: Huh?

Cat: Well, I am the center of the universe. (looks himself over in a mirror)

Interrogator: (starting to lose it) Look, Mr. Richardson, I don't have time for jokes. Just tell me when the hell you were born and where you were born so I can get to the next person, and hopefully before the next ICE AGE!

Cat: Okay, okay, keep your hair in a bun! Though actually, you should probably let it down. You're pretty hot, you know that?

Interrogator: Would you just answer the question?

Cat: I was abandoned, alright? I lived on the streets.

Interrogator: Any rough idea as to when you were born?

Cat: Nope.

Interrogator: Fine. Next question. Marital status?

Cat: What's that?

Interrogator: Are you single, married…

Cat: I'm definitely single, baby! I ain't getting married 'til I find the seven or eight girls who are just right for me.

Interrogator: You know what? Just forget this entire thing and get out!

To be continuumed...