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!

Also thanks to Sunrise over the Tango factory, Cazflibs, Cmar, Radar-fox, Cyborg-Garfield, happyhooligan2001 and Ace Trax for the reviews so far! All very much appreciated! All reviews welcome

Chapter Nine – The Red Adder

Baldrick's finger hovered over the button that would release the Gelfs to their Earth-eating destiny.

"Stop!" shouted a voice.

Baldrick turned around. There was a zipping sound as the crew of Red Dwarf, Blackadder and himself unzipped themselves from the nearest Gelf. This Blackadder had flecks of white in his moustache from age. Rimmer and Lister both had fine moustaches. Also there was a Baldrick there as well. He also had a moustache. Unlike Blackadder's his looked like a dead rat that had first passed through the digestive system of a cow.

Baldrick withdrew his hand. "What? Why?"

"Listen, you smelly moron!" Blackadder waggled a hand at Baldrick. "Not you," he said to the Baldrick with the moustache. "Although you're a moron as well with an IQ so low you can smell kangaroo feet. Try and lever this fact into your brain - incidentally calling it a brain is against the trade descriptions act - if you press that button the Earth will get eaten!"

"Oh, I remember!" said Baldrick. He backed away from the machine. "So where are you people from?"

"The future! Or rather, your future!"

While he was talking the Baldrick with the horrible moustache looked at the cute Gelfs surrounding him and his heart melted.

They would be free!

The Baldrick with the horrible moustache edged towards the button and was just about to press it when another Gelf unzipped, disgorging a Blackadder with a white beard and the crew of Red Dwarf, all with long white beards. There was also a Baldrick with them with a long white beard.


"Which one?" asked the elderly Rimmer pointing at both Baldricks.

The elderly Blackadder started pointing with his walking stick. "That one! The one who smells like he has a job collecting goat's urine!"

"Not helping!"

"The one so ugly he could turn the medusa to stone!"

Rimmer shook his head at this useless information, looked at his watch and sighed. The elderly crew crossed their arms while the elderly Blackadder squinted at the two Baldricks and put on his glasses. "The one with the moustache that looks like an elderly male cat has just vomited a doughnut covered in chicken soup under his nose."

The elderly crew glared at the Baldrick with the moustache. "Oh, that one!" said Lister. "Stop him!"

The elderly crew staggered up to the Baldrick with the horrible moustache and fell on him to stop him pressing the button. There were several cries of "me bunions!" "me arthritis!" "I'm creasing my fashionable cardy!"

The Baldrick with the ghastly white beard looked at the button and, his arthritis affecting him badly and wheezing badly, walked slowly towards it, complaining all the while about bunions the size of turnips.

The current Baldrick looked at all this with astonishment. Another Gelf suit unzipped and a positively ancient Red Dwarf crew and Blackadder and Baldrick scooted out on electric wheelchairs. "STOP HIM! THE ONE WITH THE BEARD LIKE A YETI'S ARMPIT!" shouted Blackadder. His own beard got caught in the wheels of the chair and sent him sprawling, sending his tartan slippers to the floor.

The Red Dwarf crew scooted round him with the elderly Rimmer in the lead. He realised this and immediately stopped to bravely cover the rear. This meant that Lister and Cat crashed into him. Lister's colostomy bag sailed overhead and crowned Baldrick rather elegantly with it. This sent him sprawling to the ground and stopped the elderly Baldrick from hitting the button.

The Baldrick in the wheelchair saw the button and accelerated towards the release button. His elderly face, like a prune with mould, scrunched up in concentration.

There was another unzipping sound and a sound like that of radio controlled cars and a curious squelching sound. Several brains in jars attached to crudely made electric cars with peculiar robotic limbs came rolling out. The jars spilt brain fluid as they trundled up the ramp.

"STOP!" came the robotic voice of Blackadder. "OR YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!"

The Blackadder robot stopped as he thought of this. The others trundled into the back of him, Lister's brain fell out of the bottle and was promptly run over by the Cat's brain jar. The Cat's jar was curiously fashionable with lapels on it.

Rimmer's brain jar (curious, considering he was a hologram, but try not to think of that!) trundled in front of Baldrick's wheelchair and tripped him up, sending the bearded Baldrick sprawling out of his chair.

The brain jar with Baldrick's brain in it (the only one with mould and a small family of mice living in it) laboured asthmatically towards the button.

One of the Blackadders yelled. "Why in the name of Satan's bottom do we always bring Baldrick with us! I mean wouldn't it be easier to travel back in time and kill the toad spawned dung beetle that first vomited a Baldrick onto this ill deserved planet?"

Another Gelf unzipped, disgorging the ghostly crew of the Red Dwarf, Blackadder and Baldrick.

"Stop him!" quavered the ghostly voice of Blackadder.

"Which one, sir?" asked the ghost of Kryten (and yes, machines have ghosts - that's why computers crash at annoying times like "I've just finished this chapter, a work to rival Dickens and Shakespeare and give me more money than J K Rowling! I'll just hit the save button as I'll never remember it again!" and the poor machine gets scared and erases all your work and then somehow goes flying out the window). If that won't haunt your mind nothing will!

"Any one of them, you silicon brained dunderhead who couldn't outwit a pocket calculator without batteries! Stop the Baldricks!" the ghostly voice wailed over the Gelf deck.

The ghostly image of Blackadder stood in front of Baldrick's brain jar and put out a hand. Baldrick just wheeled straight through him. "Bugger!"

"STOP!" shouted the ghostly Lister and Rimmer. They called upon their ghostly powers to turn Baldrick's brain jar over the floor.

The ghostly Baldrick (if you want to know what he looks like think of the most disgusting thing you can think of, times it by ten and you'll still be nowhere there. If Helen of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships, his would send a thousand ships back to the forest they came from) looked at the button and, like a man possessed, floated towards it.

"Bugger!" said all the Blackadders in unison.

The ghostly Baldrick pressed the button and klaxons erupted throughout the station.

The energy bars winked off releasing the might of…

Well nobody, actually, since all the Gelfs were just suits to contain ever more elderly or ghostly versions of the Red Dwarf crew and Blackadder.

"I'm not meant to talk to you," said the Blackadder with the fine white beard to the one in the brain jar.

"I know, isn't the universe meant to end or something?" The brain jar rotated round, looking at what was happening around him, which was just a large crowd of Blackadders and Red Dwarf crew.

The Blackadder with the moustache stopped sitting on one of the Baldricks and sauntered over to the crowd of Blackadders. "So, have I just wasted my life trying to stop Baldrick when I needn't have bothered?"

"Oh no, if we hadn't turned up with various Gelf suits, instead of the original Gelfs, the Earth would be eaten!"

"So what happens now?" asked a Lister.

"Well, I don't know about you, but I'm feeling hungry," said a Baldrick. "Anyone fancy a turnip?" Baldrick looked over the control panel. "What does this button do?"

There was a cry of NOOOOOO! and Baldrick was held down by at least ten separate Rimmers, Listers and Blackadders.

There was a winking sound.

"Weren't there more Rimmers here?"

"The time lines are re-ordering themselves, sir," said a Kryten. "It will be as if this never happened. We're going back to where we started!"

The beginning… again!

Commander the Lord Blackadder stomped miserably down the corridor.

Blackadder touched his comlink.

"Blackadder to Bald…" He wrinkled his nose as the smell of Baldrick emanated through the station. It seemed to be getting worse. If he didn't know better he would say there was more than one of him.

"Yes, Milord?"

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!"

"Yes Milord."

Klaxons started blaring out throughout the station.

Seconds later 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! Apart from…"

"Nothing?" Baldrick raised his fist again. "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 emotion, stomped up to them. "Lord Blackadder and …" He waved his hand towards Baldrick.

"Baldrick, your Generalship," simpered Baldrick.

"Moordrick, I sentence you to…"

Blackadder waved a fist at Baldrick. "I'll get you for this Baldrick, if it takes me the rest of my life!"

"Twelve months tour of the isles of Bali and Tahiti!" said Melchett, his huge moustache cunningly hiding a smile. "Thanks to your timely intervention with the alarm, the Admiral has cancelled his visit before he could see what a mess the place is and close us down! You have saved the station!"

On the deserted space station three million years later, Lister, the Cat and Kryten are exploring. The torchlight falls on the stasis booths. On one of them is sellotaped a postcard with a picture of Blackadder and Baldrick on deck chairs in Bali. Baldrick's chair is made of turnips and he is smiling happily as he is drinking a cocktail that looks like it was made from a hollowed turnip. Blackadder looks very happy, or at least the part of him that can be seen looks happy. Or at least it would be surprising if he wasn't happy considering the four Balinese native women that were... Well it's a family show so I can't really mention it. Suffice to say that every now and then a Blackadder and a Baldrick do live happily ever after!

The End