Categories > TV > Red Dwarf0 Reviews
Rimmer's thoughts as he fights the knight in Stoke Me A Clipper.
I'll be ready if I can fool the bog-bot, the brainless pussy, and the bum into thinking I'm some nancy space-swinger? Ready for what? Scratch that. I don't want to know. But if it involves being polite to Kryten again, I'm never going to be ready.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever done, apart from that time I tried to teach Lister to starch his underwear. The glasses don't fit, the wig doesn't fit, and the flightsuit is just too tight in... certain places. I look around to make sure nobody is in the vicinity, and shift it slightly, but it never finds a pleasing place to sit. I have to give it up as a bad job. Why the smeg am I doing this? I don't like the git, and I'm no space hero. I'm good old Iron Balls, Arnie J., not... Ace.
I do know the answer to that one. Because Lister didn't think I could. My mother was always terribly disappointed whenever I did not live up to her expectations, which was always. I did eventually learn to take a certain perverse pleasure in letting her down, much as I wanted to satisfy her with something done /right/; if I could somehow always manage to smeg things up, this made her even more of a smegup for raising such a smegup, didn't it? But Lister - he never expected me to do anything right. He was never surprised when I managed to smeg something up royally. I can stand it less and less as time goes on, and now - him assuming that I can't even live up to my own example?
Steady on, Arnie. You're going to give yourself holo-heartburn. Take a deep breath. All you have to do is convince Lister that you're Ace. How? Prance? Give him a big wet snog? Lord only knows what he and that other Ace got up to. Teaching Cat to play the piano, indeed. He taught Lister to play the skin flute, I'll bet my Reggie Williams CDs.
Smoke at the end of the corridor is definitely not normal. Black, roiling smoke is, after Lister's tried to cook something, but white smoke? With a knight in the middle? Maybe I have cracked. No, no - it's psirens, GELFs, some life form trying to suck our brains or steal our valuables. It will be terribly disappointed, either way. I should turn tail and run, but that wouldn't be very Ace-ish, and I'm supposed to be him, now, right? Oh, who the smeg cares? Nobody is looking! No, but Lister will know, he just will. He'll look at me, and I'll have to admit that I buggered out of there fast enough to leave a vapor trail - again. So I stay.
"I bid you good day, my lord. I come in search of the knave called 'Lister of Smeg'."
Oh, he... it... wants Lister, eh? Better and better. Look for the grotty bum swilling lager in the midsection. Have at him. I open my mouth to say that, but... he'd /know/, damn it!
"Now wait a minute, old friend; let's just stay calm, shall we?" Even I'm cringing at that. It somehow strikes the perfect balance between Ace and me; the one where it is as gittish as he is without being heroic. For smeg's sake.
"Are you one of his household?" the knight asked. He emerges enough for me to see that he was carrying two large swords. Denial time, Arn. He'll serve up Arnold julienne for dinner. You're no fighter. Tell him Lister is up in the midsection, then hightail it. Take that DJ ship, maybe, and leave this smegging bunch of losers to their fate.
Yes, that's just the kind of thing my future self would do, isn't it? Sell out the rest, then drag his fat arse to another dimension to gorge his way through eternity. I blasted that time-drive because I didn't want to be him. But what makes him who he is has nothing to do with a time-drive, does it? No, it's about... nothing but him mattering to him. Nothing but me mattering to /me/.
But damn it, I do matter to me! Maybe smegging Ace could stand up to this apparition with his hands on his hips and say something that would make women swoon, but I can only press myself against the wall and mutter, "Errr, in a manner of speaking..."
"Then prepare to die!" the... thing barks, tossing one of its swords at me. Thank space, I have a weapon! A smegging heavy weapon. I catch it by the blade and almost drop it. I don't cut myself, though - it looks somewhat blunt, much like the one the knight has. Lovely. Well, at least it isn't one of those swords that's so sharp that it lops off your arm and you don't even notice.
I've never held a weapon before; I've never even held a steak knife in an aggressive manner. It's all I can do to bat away the swings that this thing is taking at me. I have never been so frightened in my life (or death); someone is actually trying to kill me with a very unquick and messy weapon! My fear gives me some kind of manic power, and I knock away the sword again and again, and even manage to make a few swings of my own.
But it's no good. I'm not used to this. My arms are on fire from swinging this smegging thing, and I know I'm going to fall again, and I won't be able to raise the sword, and I'll have smegging failed again, and Lister will just give me that look that I want to punch.
/Bazookoid in wall bracket/, some part of me remembers. Is Ace the type to blast to bits someone who's armed with only a sword? Smeg him. This thing is trying to kill me! It goes down, though, as I blast it several times and once for luck, and I try to calm myself down as I watch it stop twitching and fall flat on its back.
That's when it hits me. I did something right. Fuck me up the arse with a rabid porcupine, I did something right! I didn't turn tail and run, and sell out Lister. I did something my clones would not approve of. I did something my mum... to hell with my mum. I did something right.
I'm still giddy with that thought when I run in and babble about it to the other Ace - somehow, it's harder to hate him with the wig off, when he's looking so much more like me - but when he grasps my hand and I run out of words, it hits me. Why isn't he surprised? I watch him fade to nothingness, leaving only a little metal ball, scorched and scarred, behind, and I can only think - he wasn't surprised. He knew what had happened. How? How had he set up... an attack by a just one single enemy, one he knew I could defeat?
I hope you still have that 800 number somewhere, Listy. I might not be mad, but I am dense. Unforgivably, stupidly, smegging goitedly dense. You're not surprised to see me, dressed like him, sitting next to that dead light bee; you spit out that rubbish about an AR knight as if you expect it to convince anyone with two brain cells to rub together. You stare at me, so intently. You tell me I'm dead.
I remember that the knight was just that little bit shorter than I am. I'm guessing that we won't find his corpse when we step out into the corridor. No, I might find some armor tucked under your bunk - and just where did you get that from? Is that a kink? No matter. I can see what your stake is in this. A deathbed promise to your flight-suited boyfriend? Or just a terribly convenient way to get rid of the bunkmate who's been a pain in your rear for far too long? Death never stopped me from treading on your heels; maybe Ace will.
What a guy he is, after all. Git.