Author's Notes: As has been noted before, the situation for Red Dwarf at the end of Series VIII and the beginning of Back to Earth is radically different. I have thus written what I would assume happened next after Rimmer kneed Death in the groin and fled.
...THE SMEG IT WAS!
There is silence all around.
There is total blackness in the world.
Then a screen clicks on, and after a moment's interference, Holly's bored visage appears. His bald head and London twang read true.
"This is a distress call from the mining ship Red Dwarf. The crew have abandoned ship. The only remaining crewmembers are: Dave Lister, the last human being alive, Kristine Kochanski, his ex-girlfriend from a parallel universe, a creature who evolved from his pet cat, Kryten, a service mechanoid, and Arnold Rimmer, a nanobotically resurrected version of his old bunkmate. Plus me, Holly, the ship's computer, who once had an IQ of six thousand; the same IQ six thousand White House interns."
Holly's visage vanished and was replaced with a picture of Red Dwarf's insides, currently being savaged by flames and falling debris.
"Red Dwarf was recently savaged by a chameleonic microbe that was destroying it from the inside out. The only hope of saving the ship was Arnold Rimmer, who had transverse over to a mirror universe to retrieve the antidote. Unfortunately, by the time he had returned, Red Dwarf had nearly been totally consumed by the virus, and even worse, the antidote that he'd received had changed back into it's opposite when he returned to his home universe. Adding to that, one of the vending machines has a vendetta against him, so it shot a full can of soda at him and knocked him to the ground. Rimmer was literally at Death's feet."
Footage of Rimmer appeared now. He was tired, sweaty and delirious as he slowly looked up at a dark figure standing over him. The dark figure was holding a scythe and wore a black hooded robe.
"Arnold Judas Rimmer… Your life is over… Come with me…"
The figure helped Rimmer to his feet.
"We shall travel to the River Styx, where you will place a coin in the…"
"Not today, matey!"
Rimmer brought his knee up hard into Death's crown jewels.
Death dropped his scythe and bent over in agony.
"Remember, only the good die young," Rimmer quipped, pleased with such a witty line, and he fled.
"That's…never happened…before," Death gasped, finally collapsing onto the floor.
The clip flickered and was replaced with Holly once again.
"That was exciting, wasn't it? Frankly, I haven't been this impressed since my collection of singing potatoes formed a close harmony quartet. Anyway, it's only just beginning, so get ready for the rest…"
Holly's image flickered away, and was replaced with what was really happening.
Rimmer was running as fast as he could down the corridors as they erupted with fire-filled explosions and hot electric sparks. He wasn't sure what had just happened with the Grim Reaper and whatnot, but he decided his brain was so panicked that it made Death appear, and him kneeing him in the bollocks was him finding the strength to resist.
But enough of the metaphysics, he decided. He had to find the science lab. The vending machine's plan to destroy him had backfired. It didn't know it, but that can of soda had jogged Rimmer's memory to earlier in the year, just before they'd been incarcerated in the Tank. He remembered that Captain Hollister had confiscated the Luck Virus he'd found in Starbug's wreckage. He ran determinedly through the ship towards the correct corridor.
But when he found the corridor to the science lab, he got a nasty surprise when he saw that the path had already caught fire. There was no way he was getting all the way through there without getting himself killed.
"Smeg, smeg, smeg, smeg, sme-e-e-e-e-e-e-eg!" he hissed through his teeth, lightly bouncing on his toes.
Looking around, he tried to find an alternate route to take. He saw another corridor just a good run away. He geared up and bent slightly, preparing to shield himself with his arms as he made a mad dash through the disintegrating corridor.
As flames kicked up around him and bulkheads from the ceiling fell around him, he ran frantically around, trying to find another corridor that could take him around to the science lab.
Within his panicked mind, Rimmer thought back to what had happened earlier that day. He was a little fuzzy on the details that had led to the creation of the mirror-machine. All he knew was that Kryten had jumped up a laser to shoot through a prism that then made a mirror go all weird.
Deciding that that was a mystery for the ages, he ignored the wondering and looked around. An explosion went off next to him, causing him to dive forward like a swimmer, but lacking the comfort that there was ten feet of water for him to land in. He crashed into the metal floor with a crash.
Rimmer sniffed at the air, trying to get a handle on the situation, but the air was heavy and thick with smoke, and it sent him into a coughing fit as his lungs struggled to locate the precious oxygen he needed to continue onwards.
So many reasons to survive were trying to dominate his unusual determination. He felt each reason flit through his mind at rapid speed.
First off, he'd die. Bit of a problem, and it needed to be rectified.
Second, what would happen if the others found their way back to their home universe? They'd just walk out into the burning husk of the ship, and probably die in the vacuum of space as a result.
Third, he'd die. That was such an important objective it was worth mentioning twice. He'd heard stories from Lister about his predecessor, the original hologrammatic Rimmer that'd lived on Red Dwarf prior to his resurrection. It was a frustration that Lister seemed to speak of this previous him with an affection. It was like living in the shadow of his brothers all over again. He tried to convince himself that things had improved whilst in the Tank.
Life in the Tank had had a profound affect on Rimmer. In some ways he felt he was better for it. He'd learned from Lister and the others that there was more to life than trying to become an officer. Sure, it was still an important part of his life, but he knew now that there was more. He'd never actually had people on his side before. He thought back to their trial, when they were trying to convince him to come along with them. They had tried to convince him to join their posse. It had been a strange experience to sit there and listen to them sell him on this point.
It had made him feel wanted.
So imagine how he felt when it all went tits up.
But once they'd been in the Tank for a few weeks, he found himself being convinced by Lister to join him in a prank on Ackerman. They'd put found his glass eye soaking in a glass of water, and they'd dropped food coloring in it, making it turn a nice shade of blood red. He went around looking like they always figured he should've looked: like he'd burst a blood vessel.
And it'd snowballed after that. Rimmer and Lister were constantly being brought before Ackerman, and after they started to get worse and worse, they were being brought before Captain Hollister as well. The Walk of Shame was what they called it.
Rimmer remembered how much he'd enjoyed it. How much fun it'd been to cut loose and humiliate the guards and the officers. He could take revenge on those that'd never given him a chance.
Thinking about all this only spurred Rimmer on to find a way to save the ship.
Struggling to get up onto his feet, he looked off to the side and saw the air grate in the wall. It was a fairly large one that would hopefully offer him access to a safe route through the ship. He felt a small smile slide across his face. He'd learned how to use the ducts for his own devices while in the Tank, so he immediately unhooked the grate and opened it up.
The metal walls inside the ducts were hot and muggy, and it was very dark. But Rimmer trusted his instincts and crawled through the ship's inner workings.
The heat reminded him of opening his car door on a hot day, finding that he'd left the windows up, and so the heat felt like a murky substance that he had to swim to before he sat down. He loosened his tie as he crawled. He pulled himself forward on his elbows, not letting his bare hands touch the hot metal. The sweat was pouring down his face.
He finally found a hatch in the path ahead that looked ideal. Relief tugging at his features, he unhooked the grate and let it drop to the floor, and then he crawled over the opening and let himself drop inside, landing on his feet in the science lab.
The once pure-white room was melting. Dangerous chemicals were spilling on the floor. Steam was hissing out of another room.
Fear began to take control, but Rimmer struggled with it and looked around the room. He found himself getting into an argument with his own mind.
Where is it?
What are we looking for?
The Luck Virus!
Well, let's think about this…
Think? Now of all times?!
Settle down, smeghead. I'm trying to help you.
Oh for pity's sake…
Now then, let's think.
When was the last time we were here?
We've never been here!
Then why does this room look familiar?
The mirror universe! This is where we met Professor Cat! Ugh…
Never mind that. You've been here before. Now what do you remember about it?
Come on, think!
The Mirror Cat came out of that door over there. That must be his office.
Is that significant?
I doubt he'd keep important viruses in his own office. Health hazards and all that.
True. Keep thinking.
We've been in the Tank for a year now. They've probably examined it by now.
So what did they do with it?
Let's look around a bit.
Okay, what do we see?
Well, there's some x-rays of the chest area.
Underneath that, there's a set of drawers.
Maybe one of those drawers holds the Luck Virus.
Good enough for me. Hurry!
Rimmer dove forward and grabbed onto the handles of two drawers and wrenched the open. Empty test tubes in one. Rubber gloves in the other. He moved over and pulled another one open. Just some old papers.
Then he saw a cabinet door. He wrenched it open.
A revolving holder filled with full test tubes.
"It's a Lazy Susan of formulas!" he exclaimed.
Okay, we're on to something. What color was the Luck Virus?
I think it was a greenish color.
We have no way of knowing. Just find one like that.
I think we may have another problem.
Did just get a little warmer in here?
Rimmer's head swiveled round and looked at the area behind him. He saw that a fire had started, blocking his only exit. He let out a squawk of terror and faced the test tubes again.
"Okay…," he whispered through his clenched teeth.
He spun the rotator around and found a green vial. He grabbed it and ran his finger around the rim of the tube. He didn't feel anything. He quickly jabbed his finger inside and got some of the formula on his finger and brought it to his mouth.
What am I doing? I don't know if it's safe!
If it's not, the Luck Virus will save you. Now hurry!
Deciding that he needed to trust his own antibodies, Rimmer took his finger and put it in his mouth, taking a minute dosage.
But his eyesight dimmed a little bit.
You've most likely only got a few minutes to live left. What the hell?
Rimmer nodded firmly and spun the rotator again. He found another green-y liquid and immediately grabbed it, uncorked it and took a small swig.
The flames were still coming for him.
And his right eye was twitching now.
Only a few left. Hurry up, smeghead!
Rimmer growled and spun the rotator again. He found the next green one and snatched it, and he took a small swigette from it.
And now his right leg was jiggling profusely.
"Oh for smeg's sake!" he yelled.
Don't give up! Do it for them!
Heaving an agitated sigh at being reminded of the only people who were willing to be associated with him as a "friend", Rimmer returned to the rotator, ignoring the flames kicking up furiously behind him.
He found one last green-filled test tube. This had to be the Luck Virus.
"Please, please, please, please!" he wailed, uncorking it. He took a small swigette to see if it would work.
There was a pause.
Nothing was happening.
Rimmer cursed basically everything in existence and turned to face what was coming towards him.
The huge wall of orange flame was almost upon him.
But then whatever symptoms Rimmer had contracted from those other vials were suddenly gone. His eyesight was restored, his right eye stopped twitching, and his right leg sat perfectly still.
Feeling confident, Rimmer took a slightly bigger sip of the Luck Virus.
But the flames still came.
He looked around and saw something on the wall.
IN CASE OF FIRE
Rimmer got up and pulled on a chain.
A door in the ceiling opened up and a small nozzle was lowered down into the room, creaking slightly. It rattled slightly, making a strange gurgling noise. Then it began to pour water. Water cascaded down onto the fires, slowly putting them out.
Rimmer felt himself get soaked in the wonderful water. It seemed to renew him. It seemed to strengthen him.
Get up! Run! Vamoose! You've got work to do!
What do we do?!
Look around! Find something useful!
Rimmer got to his feet and ran across the room towards the exit. He kicked the door open and headed headlong into the corridor. He ran as fast as he could, hoping to get find some place to go. He ran almost blindly along towards a destination.
Finally, he found himself running along a corridor that would lead him to one of Red Dwarf's restrooms. He scurried inside and looked around. The room was still relatively intact. No flames or anything. Just some smoke, an eerie orange glow coming from the doorway, and lots of heat.
But he noticed one important factoid.
There was a large mirror hanging over the sinks.
Rimmer gulped nervously and quickly took another swig of the Luck Virus.
There was a silence that was only broken by the distant explosions and roars in the corridors.
But after a moment, the mirror began to ripple.
"Yes!" he cheered, pumping his fists in triumph.
Then he saw a familiar stud-gloved hand reaching through. Taking comfort that he was in a restroom where he could wash up later, he hurried forward and leaned over the sink, grabbing the hand and giving a solid tug.
The hand was followed by an arm, and the arm was followed by Lister, who looked very surprised as he suddenly went tumbling over the sink and crashed onto the floor at Rimmer's boots.
"Get up, you brummy git!" Rimmer ordered, leaving him where he was and heading back over towards the mirror.
"Rimmer…?" Lister asked, rolling over on the tiled floor to look at this bunkmate.
But Rimmer ignored him and put a hand through the mirror, waiting for someone to take it. He motioned for someone to come on through, knowing it would be a slight struggle to get up over the sink.
Finally, he felt the warmth of someone's hand grabbing his. He gave a solid tug and felt something pull against him, as if someone were crawling across the sink on the other side before finally allowing him to pull them through. He was pleased when he found himself getting a face full of Kristine Kochanski.
"Rimmer?!" she cried as he helped her down from the sink.
"Right this way, ma'am," Rimmer replied calmly. He was so pleased with himself that his usual snideness had died down slightly.
Kochanski joined Lister over by the stalls while Rimmer went back to the mirror, but he found himself backing away as he watched the Cat suddenly leap through the mirror and somersaulted in the air before landing neatly on his feet, and he glided across the floor, clearly pleased with himself.
"Hooo-weeeee! Yeah, yeah, yeah!" he cheered.
Rimmer sighed to himself and looked over at the mirror. He saw something was making its way through its rippling surface. He saw that Kryten's rubbery hand was reaching through, and its grasp was a goopy white substance in a test tube. Pleased to see the antidote, he took it and handed it over to Lister, who was still rather bewildered.
"Rimmer, what the smeg is going on?" he demanded.
"Sheer luck," Rimmer replied smugly as he grabbed Kryten's hand.
After a moment, Kryten climbed through the mirror, crawled over the sink and landed safely on his feet in the restroom.
"Oh! Mr Rimmer, sir! You're okay!"
"Rimmer, how'd you know we'd be here?" Kochanski asked.
Rimmer reached into his pocket and pulled out the vial of the Luck Virus, waggling between his fingers.
An impressed grin spread across Lister's face. "Brutal. Nice work, man."
Rimmer low-fived Lister and grinned proudly.
"Indeed, sirs," Kryten said. "Now suggest we get the antidote to the virus and stop this microbe."
"How do we do that?" asked the Cat.
"We need to locate its source. We need to know where it all started."
"It was in the Landing Bay," Rimmer stated. "It came on the escape pod."
"Then we must get there quickly, sir!"
"To the Bat Mobile!" Lister exclaimed.
And they fled the restroom and headed for an exit.
Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kochanski watched from the gantry above the Landing Bay as Kryten went to apply the antidote to the virus.
The mechanoid was walking gingerly through the flaming hangar, watching explosions go off around him as petrol and fuel cells exploded. Keeping his Anxiety Chip in check, he meandered bravely over towards the escape pod, which was half gone by now, having been eaten away at by the microbe.
Kryten finally made it to the escape pod. He watched as flames roared around him and sections of the ceiling collapsed. He knew that the cargo bay doors could be ripped open at any point and he'd be sucked into the blackness of space. He wouldn't even have a chance to iron some clothes before he was taken.
The middle of the escape pod bubbled and boiled with some sort of evil-looking substance. Kryten steeled himself and held up the test tube so it was level with his optical receptors. Slowly, he tilted the tube forwards and watched as the white glop that was the antidote (aka: Cesiumfrancolithicmixyalibidiumrixydixydoxydexydroxide) poured out and splattered onto the center of the microbe's origins.
After first, there was nothing.
Kryten stared at the spot intently.
Then the white-colored antidote began to dissolve. Then the microbe began to reveal itself. It was a sort of red color that glowed lightly against everything else. It was like some sort of twisted spider web that was covering nearly all of the Landing Bay.
Lister, Rimmer, Cat and Kochanski watched as a bunch of glowing red lines started to jut and zigzag all over the Cargo Bay.
"Smeggin' 'ell," Lister breathed, craning his neck to watch.
Kryten stared down at the red blob in the middle, indicated the microbe's central nucleus, and he watched as it suddenly dissolved and vanished, cutting itself off from the several little lines coming off from it. Then the little lines vanished as well.
Everyone watched as they noticed the fires were miraculously put out. And then, just as amazingly, several bits of debris began to rise up into the air. It was if someone had taken some stock footage of a room collapsing and was simply reversing it. Fallen wires snaked back into their walls. Pipes consumed their spilled fluids and regrew their own walls. Fallen gantries rose into the air and connected with sticks of twisted metal, joining back together. Loose sections of metal plating rose like balloons and reconnected with the ceiling. Even the escape pod seemed to grow back like a flower.
Kryten's features shifted into a plastic smile, pleased that the antidote had taken.
Upon seeing their success, the remaining Dwarfers all heaved sighs of relief.
"Phew…," the Cat said. "That was a six-change-of-underwear moment right there!"
The Dwarfers wandered slowly and wearily into the Drive Room. They found themselves surrounded by the huge computer banks, huge screens and the large viewport window that doubled as Navicomp screen.
Lister took out his wrist watch and aimed it a set of computer banks, hoping the signal would reach a target. He was satisfied when Holly's goofy face appeared on the large wall monitor.
"Alright, dudes?" he asked.
"Hol, what's the news? How's the ship?"
"Well, first off, the other version of me seems to be gone. They must've downloaded backup version of him and taken him with."
"So you're in command again?"
"I'm back on top, and I'm kicking bottom."
"Has everything been made safe again? What about the supplies?" Kochanski asked.
"All checks out. Everything's okay. Food stocks are safe. The Skutters are still at work. The machines are functioning. The engines are operational. Oh, and the karaoke bar is still in one piece."
"That's great, Bald Bud," Cat said, "but there's one thing I need to know about. It's imperative I know about this." He paused for effect. "Did my suits survive?"
Everyone rolled their eyes.
"Yes, the cargo bay is full of your suits."
"AOUGH! Yeah! I can finally get out of this beautiful zebra suit! I swear it's been like my only outfit for too long."
"What about the prisoners in the Tank?" Rimmer asked unsurely. "What became of them?"
Holly's face sagged slightly. "Yeah, bad news, I'm afraid. The microbe made it to the water tank above Floor 13. They were drowned before you all came back from the Mirror Universe."
Everyone went quiet after that. Even Cat was respectfully silent as he stopped dancing with glee because of his suits.
"So…now what?" Rimmer finally asked.
The Dwarfers turned to Lister expectantly. Although none of them were really willing to admit it, they all knew that Lister was their de facto leader, and they were ready to follow his instructions.
Lister looked amongst their questioning looks unsurely before turning to Holly's giant screen.
"Holly? Plot a course for Fiji! Tonight, we celebrate our survival! We're taking our ship back!"
Captain Hollister strode dutifully through Blue Midget's Mid-Section. He was feeling damn proud of himself. He'd seen to it that all crewmembers had abandoned ship and all twenty ships had escaped the inferno that Red Dwarf had become. He entered the cockpit and saw four fellow officers working away.
"So what have we got so far?" he asked the closest officer.
"We should be able to locate an S3 planet within the next two weeks," the female officer said.
"Excellent. We're good for supplies, right?"
"We're overstocked on Choco-Crunch Bars, sir."
"Excellent! Keep up the good work."
Just then, the non-senile Holly appeared on the monitor overlooking them all.
"Captain," he said.
"Hmmm," Hollister said, not really listening as he went through some directives.
"My sensors indicate a change in the Red Dwarf situation. It would appear as though…," Holly trailed off as he saw that Hollister wasn't listening to him. "Frank!"
"What?!" Hollister demanded, glaring up at him.
"Red Dwarf's fixed. The microbe is gone."
"Yes, I've hacked into the mainframe and it turns out Lister and his cohorts were able to save the ship by creating the antidote. All the other prisoners have perished, but they've managed to get control of the ship."
"They what?" Hollister asked, gaping.
"Created the antidote? Frank, why didn't we do that?" the female officer asked.
Hollister hastily ignored her. "How'd they get control of the ship?!" he demanded.
"I've shaken hands with the mainframe. Charming fellow," Holly said with a sly grin.
"What are you talking about?!"
At that moment a second Holly appeared on the screen. Unlike the intelligent Holly, this new one had a smaller forehead and had a more easygoing look about him.
"Hey, Frank. Long time, no see," he said cheekily.
Hollister stared in bewilderment at the new Holly.
"Tell you what, mate," Holly continued. "I'll pop back over and check in with the others and ask if they want to stop for you. We were about to jet off back to Earth."
And the second Holly disappeared from the screen.
"Charming," the non-senile Holly said brightly.
The Karaoke Bar on C Deck was blaring a fast-paced break music. Lights were flashing and swirling around the giant room. The dance floor was lighting and flashing. A disco ball hung from the ceiling for that retro feel.
Lister and Kochanski were grooving to the music on the dance floor.
The Cat was wearing a great new suit and was dancing brilliantly around the room, strutting proudly and hanging from the ceiling sometimes.
Kryten was off to the side mixing drinks at the bar happily.
The Skutters were carrying trays all over the place.
Even Rimmer was sitting proudly atop his barstool, chewing on a chocolate cigar.
Just as the latest song was winding down, a giant screen came down from the ceiling with Holly's visage on it.
"Oi," he said in a very un-computer like fashion. "Just thought you lot should know we're being hailed by the crew."
"Are we?" Lister asked, lifting his sunglasses up off his face.
"Yeah. They wanna know if they can come aboard or not."
Rimmer felt a grin come across his face. "Put them on. We'll speak to them."
The screen crackled with interference for a few moments before Captain Hollister's angry face appeared on the screen, flanked at both sides by at least two officers.
"So you're having a party, are you?" he asked in remarkable calm.
"Yeah, we're just having a good time now that we're not in the Tank anymore," Lister said with a grin.
"Wonderful. Now I'm ordering you to cancel your party and slow the ship down so that we all may board."
There was a silence.
"You're ordering us, sir?" Kochanski asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Yes, I'm ordering you," Hollister snarled. "I am your captain."
The Dwarfers felt taunting smiles creep across their faces. They began to chuckle evilly as they cleared the way for Rimmer to stand in front of them and address Hollister himself, using a German accent that would be used by any Indiana Jones villain.
"Ah, Captain Hollister, so you need me and I have all ze power. Once again you see zere is nossing you can possess which I cannot take away. Too bad. Ze Hevidos could have warned you…if only you spoke Hevidos. Hokandamatusu! Hawugi!" And he sliced the air with his chocolate cigar as if it were a blade.
The Dwarfers cackled mockingly as Hollister stared at them in bewilderment.
"Mr Rimmer, you are out of line here! I am your Captain, and you will obey me!"
"Hey man, I'm a cat! I don't obey nobody!" the Cat said sternly.
"You will do as you are told. Now slow down that ship or you will suffer the consequences."
"I wouldn't threaten us if I were you," Rimmer said slyly. "For I know something you don't."
"Like what?" Hollister sneered.
"I've seen the confidential files. I know all about you. I can bring you down with just a few words."
Hollister's eyes widened in alarm. The officers surrounding him began to look at him questioningly. "Are you threatening me, Mr Rimmer?"
"Cheating, lying, blackmailing…," Rimmer said, checking off each item on his fingers.
"Rimmer, I'm warning you!"
"I'm going to say it."
"Don't you dare!"
"Just watch me!"
"Just a few words…"
Rimmer paused impressively.
Everyone held their breath.
The tension was so thick… Well, you know.
Finally, Rimmer spoke.
"Whatever happened to Dennis the Doughnut Boy?"
Hollister's face shattered.
Lister's face broke out into a surprised chipmunk grin. Kochanski covered her gaping mouth with her hand. Cat busted out laughing. Kryten double-took at the screen.
All the officers surrounding Hollister were looking very confused.
Holly's voice came over the loudspeaker. "Shall I slow down the ship, Arnold?" he asked in voice that verged on mocking.
"Full ahead, Holly," Rimmer replied. "I see no ships."
And with that, he gave a very mocking Full Rimmer Salute to Hollister, who was seething at the screen. The others mock-saluted as well, whereas Kryten sheepishly waved goodbye and walked away.
Hollister stared at the dead screen, very aware of several penetrating eyes boring into the back of his skull.
"They…they…," he said shakily. "They'll stop for us. They will… Any minute now…"
Just then, Red Dwarf's engines roared and the mighty red mining ship blasted off away from them, leaving the twenty ships behind.
Everyone stared through the Plexiglas view screen.
Hollister chuckled nervously. "I'm sure they're just kidding. They'll be back…"
"Any second now, they'll come back. Just you wait… Any second now."
Nothing happened again.
Nothing happened yet again.
Hollister sighed. "Well, at least things can't get any worse," he muttered.
Just then, the radio at his station crackled. "Starbug 5 calling Midget 1. Come in, Midget 1. Over."
Hollister held down a button. "Midget 1 responding. Over," he said.
"Captain, this First Officer Toddhunter, sir. We just saw a most interesting transmission over here, sir. Over."
Hollister felt his blood run cold. "What of it, Toddhunter? Over."
"Sir… What did happen to Dennis the Doughnut Boy?"
The party was over, and Lister and Rimmer were on Level 547, scouting out a new location for their Sleeping Quarters. They were carrying several boxes of their things, and they were being followed by several skutters who were towing along more boxes on skateboards.
The double doors to the room ahead hissed open and they stepped inside. As they took in their surroundings, they saw the room had a light blue look to it. Dominating the room was a circular table that sparkled with flashing lights and reams of data from the Drive Room. Next to the bunks was a special screen that was Holly's link with the room. There was a shower in the corner, and there were bookshelves that lined the leftover walls. A huge window took up the fourth wall, showing the great panoramic view of deep space.
But most importantly, there were two bunks hollowed out into the wall.
Smiling tiredly, they made their way towards them, each setting down their own items in their own respective bunks: Lister on top and Rimmer on the bottom.
"Brutal," Lister said, looking around. "Pretty posh digs."
"Right…," Rimmer said, looking around the room quizzically. "Help the skutters. I'm going to go get some more things."
"Sure, man. C'mon, Bob. Let's get to work."
As Lister helped Bob and Madge to move some the other boxes towards their proper places, Rimmer left the room and walked along the corridor. On his way, he passed a vending machine that had the advertisement Leopard Lager emblazoned on top of it. He paused to inspect it.
"You don't talk, do you?" he asked suspiciously.
There was no response from the machine.
Rimmer's face split into a weasel-like grin. "Excellent."
And he paraded away.