Red Dwarf characters owned by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor and Blackadder characters by Richard Grant and Ben Elton. With thanks to Cmar for beta reading this for me! All reviews welcome!
Chapter One – The Red Adder
Commander the Lord Blackadder stomped miserably down the corridor. Space Admiral Melchet, the man with less brain cells than he had moustaches had summoned him to his presence. This was the 23rd century, man had straddled the stars, created space ships so vast they blocked the sun and had nearly invented a non-annoying ring tone. They also had holophones. You didn't need to be in the same place as the person you spoke to.
But Melchet liked the personal touch. It was all to do with the Investors in Space people who were sweeping the Corp.
Blackadder touched his comlink.
"Blackadder to Bald…"
He didn't finish what he was about to say. A certain smell… No, it was wrong to use the word smell. Smell is too poor a word for such an emanation as was pervading the Space Station. Besides, with smell one has a source. You can say, get rid of that and you get rid of the smell! Although the smell, for lack of a better word, came from Baldrick; what part of him was something that no-one (apart from one brave Doctor who now has a statue dedicated to him in the foyer of the Medical College - well, he did; the statue got moved to somewhere slightly airier like Deep Space) has ever found.
"Yes, Milord?" For centuries, like a birthmark, or a particularly disgusting genetic disease, the Baldricks had been serving the Blackadders.
Blackadder stroked his small black beard. "Balders, what did I tell you about the underpants?"
His small monkey like face screwed up in concentration. "Eeerrrmm, to change them more frequently than once a decade?"
"Yes, also the optimum word is "under", you wear them under your space suit."
"Yes, Milord…" There was a shuffling of clothes and a screeching sound.
"Not now! Not now! For God's sake Baldrick, what is under your space suit must forever be hidden! Science, nay the universe, is not ready for such a sight!"
The tannoy blared out. "Lord Blackadder and his assistant to General Melchett please."
"Come on Balders, that's the third time he's called us in as many minutes. What have you done?"
An air of injured innocence took Baldrick. Well, injured at any rate, after Blackadder hit him. "I've done nothing, my Lord!"
"Nothing?" Baldrick raised his fist again. "Let us not forget the last time you had 'done nothing' you had in fact let that asteroid hit the Earth."
"I didn't let it hit the Earth! I sent several missiles after it!"
"Yes, Baldrick, you also missed. The asteroid, or aster grain of sand, slightly stunned a hedgehog in Milton Keynes, whilst the missiles wiped Slough off the map. Fortunately we managed to pass it off as urban redevelopment and I managed to wangle an architectural award out of it, so I'm going to ask you again. What have you done this time?"
"Not a thing!" There was a silence in which all that could be heard was Blackadder's eyebrows raising. "Well apart from…"
"Apart from what, Baldrick… Tell me now or I slice you into thin slivers and feed you to the Space Weevils."
There was a sound of many space boots on hard metal floor and they were surrounded by heavily armed Space Marines. General Melchett, his moustache quivering with rage, stomped up to them. "Lord Blackadder and …" He waved his hand towards Baldrick.
"Baldrick, your Generalship," simpered Baldrick.
"Moordrick, I sentence you to an eternity in Stasis!"
Melchett looked behind him; several wounded Space Marines came running past him, bearing the unmistakeable marks of battle. The sound of laser fire and screams was getting closer.
Melchett, still shaking, pointed a finger at Blackadder. "You have unleashed a terrible plague on mankind!"
"They're not a plague, more a creature with teeth liketh thith!" said Baldrick, putting his fingers in his mouth to show teeth. "I just thought I'd take them for a walk, they looked so bored on their own!"
A roaring sound started to echo around them, this time getting closer...
"Put them into stasis! They must never see the light of day again!"
Three million years later a dilapidated space ship was heading home. However, like a drunk man after a night on the town, it was taking the metaphorical equivalent of the long way home to get a Chinese and phone up all his friends at 2 am and then again at 3 am to apologise for calling them at 2 am. Calling a taxi. Forgetting where he lives and ending up in a part of town he doesn't know but where the Rottweilers gather in gangs for fear of being mugged.
Although Holly would never actually admit it, they were, technically speaking, lost… He had the vague idea where Earth should be but for some reason he couldn't find it. The closer they got to the area it should be, the more detritus and wreckage they encountered of man's race to the stars. This detritus and wreckage was of warships now. All gleaming metal and guns. All torn to shreds. But where was the planet Earth?
He sometimes regretted the fact he didn't have shoulders because if he did he would have shrugged them. What can you do? He got back to reading his collection of Agatha Christie novels. He tried briefly to grow a Hercule Poirot moustache but Rimmer told him it made him look like he had been drinking coffee. Out of spite he gave Rimmer a huge handlebar moustache. It took him all day to notice he had it…
Poirot was just calling everyone into the room to explain how clever he was when he heard a beep sound. That is, Holly heard the beep sound, all Poirot probably heard was his little grey cells crackling.
Holly looked at the screen.
Where was the beeping coming from? Oh yes, the stasis booths. This one had two still active! He'd better tell someone!
Where was the crew? Kryten was busy cleaning the fridge for the seventh time today, Rimmer was working to a very strict timetable and not actually achieving very much. Lister was… Even a computer could get disgusted sometimes and he turned off his viewing monitor in that room.
The screen in front of Kryten flicked on.
"I beg your pardon?" said Kryten, looking up, a little frilly cleaning hat on his head.
"Oi! What's happening in Cleaning City?"
"Well, Mr Lister insists on leaving his underpants in the fridge, he says they feel more comfortable to wear suitably cooled." Kryten removed a pair of crusty underpants from the fridge with a pair of engineering tongs. "Unfortunately, each time he does that means I have to industrially clean the fridge." He dropped the underpants into a container marked with a sign saying "Bio-chemical Waste – For God's Sake Never Open!" He dropped the tongs, which were smoking slightly, in afterwards and sealed the container. A scutter trundled up behind him with a small trolley to eject it all into deep space.
"What am I doing here?"
"I ask myself that everyday…" muttered Kryten. He assumed it was some sort of test that if he passed would allow him into Silicon Heaven.
"Signal! Signal, that was it, we're getting a signal from an old Space Station up ahead. Looks like there are a couple of people left in Stasis there."
The Cat, who was curled up on top of the fridge, opened an eye at this. "Say what, head?"
"There are a couple of people in stasis in the space station up ahead."
"People? Are they female, as in soft and squidgy?" He sat up at this.
"Dunno, the computer records are pretty patchy on the station."
In one fluid movement he stood up on the fridge and somersaulted onto the ground. "When will we get there?"
"About four hours."
"Four hours! It takes me three hours just to comb my eyebrows!" There was a yowling sound and the Cat scampered off.
"I'll tell the others," said Kryten and bustled off.
Several hours later the Starbug docked with the space station and three people dressed in space suits, armed with bazookoids, walked onto the station. Rimmer was bravely and selflessly (according to him at any rate) keeping the engines running on board the Starbug just in case he had to make a heroic escape.
The metal corridor was full of shot holes and bits of wire and cable hanging from the ceiling. Several lights were fizzling up ahead and condensation was dripping pretty much constantly from the ceiling.
There were several patches of green slime on the floor that they circled carefully.
Kryten was looking at this with lust in his eyes. This whole space station needed cleaning! And it looked like weeks of work! Possibly even months!
"What the smeg happened here?" asked Lister.
"Unknown," said Kryten, waving a small gadget in front of him. It was beeping at him, but sadly that just told him the batteries needed replacing. "Holly, what records do we have of this ship?"
"Dunno. It was ejected into deep space three million years ago for some reason. The stasis pods are up ahead, section E15."
The stasis pods were lined up in front of them. Two of them had claw marks in them and the inmates had been dragged out. Half of them were skeletonised and the other half was still alive and frozen in time…
Two pods were untouched. One said "Moordrick" and the other said "Lieutenant Commander The Lord Blackadder".