Categories > TV > Red Dwarf > Forwards0 Reviews
Something is wrong with Rimmer's projection. Good thing they have a computer with an IQ of 6000 around.
Rimmer jerked awake, his head passing through the bunk above him. He staggered out of the bunk, grabbing his head. Hell. That had been one smegging strange dream. He had actually felt something. He dreamed in sight, mostly; strange dreams where he was a disembodied presence who could not stop amorphously terrible things from happening. Sex dreams with no sensation and no satisfaction, as well. But he had definitely felt something in that one, a twinge like an electric spark. He took a deep breath, standing in the middle of the room, and looked at the blood-red light of the clock. Three a.m. He didn't have to sleep longer, but the ship was eerie at night. He walked back to his bunk.
He stumbled back. That hadn't been a dream. Something had happened in his arm, something that sent a teeth-rattling squirt of energy through him. Smegging hell! His light bee must be malfunctioning! "Lights! Lister!" he yelled, in a panic.
The lights came up to reveal Lister, curled up in his bunk, one dreadlock curled around into his mouth, chewing on it absently in his sleep. His liquid snores paused with a snort, and he opened his eyes, blearily. "Whu?"
"Something's wrong with my light bee!"
Lister sighed. "Whu?"
"I don't know! It's just..." Rimmer waved his arms, irate that he could not express himself better. "It's thwippping!"
Lister furrowed his brow. "Whatinhell is twiping?" he slurred, still half-asleep.
"How should I know, you grotty space-bum?" Rimmer yelped, dancing as his leg thwippped. "It just is! Get Kryten!"
Lister sighed, plopped out of bed, scratched his head, scratched his crotch, and stumbled towards Rimmer with his hand outspread. Rimmer backed away. "Wash your hand before you touch my bee!" he shrieked, watching that hand descend. Lister paid no attention and grabbed the bee, opening the door and walking down the corridor, his hand swinging at his side. Rimmer found himself half-sunk into the floor, thrashing helplessly. "You smegging bastard!" he yelled.
Cat ran out into the corridor behind them, his hair in rollers. "What's with the damn racket? I need my beauty sleep!"
Lister turned to answer. That meant that both he and the Cat were facing Rimmer when the next thwippp happened. A burst of yellow sparks came out of his chest as he twitched. Cat frowned and cocked his head. "What's up with alphabetti-spaghetti head?"
"I dunno. I think something's wrong with his light bee." Oh, you think, Rimmer thought irately. Maybe because I smegging told you. Lister took no notice of the glare Rimmer shot him. "I'm going to track down Kryten and see what he thinks."
"Nothing wrong with you, though, bud?" Cat asked. Lister shook his head. "Good. If you need me, don't bother looking, because I'm going to nap." Cat headed back to... wherever he slept. Rimmer had no clue. He didn't give a good swut, either.
"You stuck-up, prissy twonk of a dumbass pussyfooting empty-headed smegging cat turd!" Rimmer yelled as Lister dragged him up the corridor. "Your ten thumbs would only screw things up more, so good riddance!" he shrieked around the corner that Lister doggedly turned.
Kryten looked at the diagnostics readout on the computer. Rimmer's light bee dangled from a cord attached to it - just as the other Rimmer's had dangled, Lister thought, smoking and half-melted. He felt vaguely ill.
"Diagnostics - check," Kryten said, his face expressing as much puzzlement as a face molded on a half-complete Tetris game can. "There is nothing wrong with Mister Rimmer's light bee." He detached the bee from the cord and switched it on as he tossed it away. Rimmer reformed around it.
"There must be somethin' wrong," Lister said, his brow furrowed. "He was thwipppin' and all while Cat and I were watching."
Rimmer straightened his already-straight uniform. "Yes, I have been," he looked irately at Lister, "thwippin'." What are yeh mad at me for, Lister groused internally. I'm just tryin' to help, you sodding ungrateful bastard. Rimmer turned his glare on Kryten. "If everything's tickety-boo, why /that/?"
Kryten tapped at a keyboard, his eyes on the monitor above rather than on Rimmer's glare. "We seem to be heading through a muon storm. Some local high concentration."
"So?" Rimmer asked, crossing his arms, then wincing as his forehead thwipped, right through the H. It was too comical - Lister could not help giggling. If glares could kill, he would have dropped dead on the spot - but Rimmer's, at least, couldn't, and he didn't.
Holly sighed. "Muons decay to form electrons and positrons, don't they?" she interjected from the monitor from where she had been watching, her tone bored and condescending. Lister didn't mind much - the computer certainly had more knowledge of physics (if not partying, lying, and insulting, which Lister was happy to make his own specialty) than anyone else in the room, but Rimmer looked even more irate. Lister wondered if he had an upper limit. "Your projection seems to enhance that decay. Then the positrons annihilate with the electrons in your projection. Simple as that."
Kryten nodded. "Annoying, but not harmful to you, in the long run."
"Thanks," Rimmer spat, "was that from Particle Physics for Dummies?" Holly looked vaguely abashed. "Yes, it is smegging annoying!" Rimmer barked. "What do I do?"
"Wait," Kryten said, with a square smile. "We can either turn you off, or you can deal with the sensation."
"You are not smegging turning me off," Rimmer growled.
"Fine, then. This party is over," Lister interjected quickly, stifling a yawn. Nobody was in danger, and Rimmer had made his choice of how to wait it out. He was tired. "I'm going back to bed." He walked back to their shared quarters, Rimmer tagging behind, and tried to ignore the hologram's grousing and swearing.
Rimmer jerked like a fish on a line. The storm had only become thicker, and for the last two days, the muons had been hitting his projection almost nonstop. His naturally unsunny disposition had only been exacerbated by the constant thwipping and lack of sleep. "I am smegging tired of this crap!" he yelled.
Lister and Cat sighed and focused very pointedly on their game of draughts. Rimmer spun, looking at Kryten. The mechanoid raised his eyebrows. "There is another option. I don't think you'll like it, though." He did not pause in his careful dusting of the central console.
"Spit it out," Rimmer growled. Worse or better - it almost didn't matter. It would be a change from this bloody thwipping.
"I spoke with Holly. There are experimental projection devices in the ship's lab," Kryten said, coolly. He put down the duster and pulled out a soft chamois, using it to apply wax to the console keyboard. "Some of them are for solid-light projections. They might be immune to this effect. The downside," Kryten sighed, wiping off excess wax with one edge of the chamois, "is that you would be corporeal."
Rimmer stood stock-still, not even jerking as three more thwippps went through him. Something that felt like what he vaguely remembered ice water to be like was trickling down his simulated spine. "I would - /what/?" Rimmer asked, very quietly.
Rimmer dashed across the room, standing right in front of Kryten - vaguely aware that he was up to his waist in console, and that Lister and Cat were staring. "I would smegging /what/?" he screeched.
Kryten sighed, buffing the keyboard with a fresh chamois, including the keys that Rimmer's projection overlapped onto. "I know. I thought you wouldn't be interested." thwippp
"I w... w..." Rimmer could no longer speak. He could have been solid, real. All this time. He could have eaten and drank and felt and tasted and been fucked by his Lister, and he hadn't, and the means were here, they were here, and he hadn't.. Kryten hadn't.. no... Rimmer swung a fist through the mechanoid's head, uselessly. "You smegging goddam get of a bogbot and a tabloid publisher..." Rimmer felt like he was foaming at the mouth.
"Em, Kryters," Lister's voice said, calmly, "I think he wants that."
Rimmer spun to face Lister, staggering out of the console. thwipppthwipppthwippp "You think? You smegging /think/?" he bawled.
"Hmph," Kryten said. Rimmer turned to face him, seething, as the mechanoid folded the chamois neatly.
Holly blinked in and shook her head. "If only he had mentioned that, what?"