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By Simon Grayson

My name is Simon Grayson. I'm a 17 year old (at time of writing; 23rd August 1998) boy who lives in London.
You can contact me via E-mail this address:
For all your Red Dwarf wants on the 'net, go to this address

You'll enjoy it a lot more if you've seen some of the episodes of Red Dwarf. If you haven't seen them all, there'll be some jokes in here that you won't get. My advice: go and watch all the episodes. If you've watched them, but forgotten them, they've been re-done (or "re-mastered") now, so you've got a good excuse to watch them again.

Legal bit: Almost everything here is copywrite by the BBC. The rest of it is copywrite me, Simon Grayson. You can distribute it anywhere you want, including the web, fanzines, etc. but you MUST keep all this info at the top with it. Also, if you put it somewhere where loads of people are going to read it, I'd appreciate it if you could E-mail me to let me know.

This whole story takes place on Starbug. The crew are away from Red Dwarf for a few weeks so that they can improve on their battle skills.

"That's a new record, 53 minutes, 12 seconds." said Kochanski, "At least we're improving, I suppose. The simulated GELFs only destroyed the ship... 51 minutes ago."

The five of them sat in the cockpit of Starbug in their ready positions. Well, almost in their ready positions. Kryten was there without a head, as he had been recharging it when Kochanski had sounded the drill, Lister was wearing nothing but a dressing gown (even that had only been put on after complaints from Kochanski), and Cat was fast asleep in his chair.

Rimmer and Kochanski, on the other hand, were both looking spotless and ready for action. Kochananski had known about the drill (she had decided on it), so she had made sure to be ready in advance, and Rimmer's hologramme had been put through 4 hours of simulated sleep in the first few seconds after the Alarm had sounded, as it would be in a similar real situation.

Rimmer felt a mixture of pride at the fact that they were getting better (even if they were still no where near as good as the times that they *should* have been aiming for), and bitterness that it had taken Kochanski's presence to improve the times. "I've programmed the ship's mainframe system to simulate a Red Alert situation at a random point in the next week" continued Kochanski, "so this time, even I won't know about it." In her own universe, Security Officer Cat had used Holly for this purpose instead of the mainframe, but when she had tried to copy the idea here, this unvierse's Holly hadn't been able to contain his exitement, and had told everyone when it would be.

Unfortunately, this meant that she would have to sleep fully clothed for the next week, or risk looking worse than Lister or Kryten!


"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!" came Holly's voice.

Lister leapt out of bed, raced down the corridor, with Cat only inches behind him. They jumped over a simulated burning bulkhead, turning a corner almost before they had hit the ground again. As they ran down a second corridor, Rimmer appeared alongside them, and Kryten exited a doorway to join them. "Red Alert!

Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

They climbed the stairs to the upper section of Starbug 2 at a time. From her seat in the rear, Kochanski could see them coming in and sitting around her. They sat down in their ready positions and blew the simulated GELF ship in front of them to Kingdom Come!

Perfect! They had done it in only 57 seconds! That was over half a minute faster than Space Corps regulation time!

Rimmer turned to say something to her.

"What?" she asked.

"I said wake up." said Rimmer, sitting in the cockpit of a somehow different Starbug, "I think the other two are almost ready. Look, here they come!"

Lister sat down in his chair with a can of Lagar still in his hand. Cat decided against his chair, and climbed onto Rimmer's desk of read-outs instead, where he fell asleep.

."Oh very good, sirs!" proclaimed Kryten, genuinly impressed, "Only 46 minutes 3 seconds! You must be very proud!"

"Can we go back to bed now?" asked Lister.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

Kochanski jerked up out of bed when she heard Holly's warning. This time it was no dream, this was very real. She looked at her calandar. There shouldn't have been a drill this week! She had very specifically left this week blank so that they could work on planned attacks rather than attacks where *they* were the ones being attacked!

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

It must have been Rimmer! He had told her that he thought that there should be another drill this week so that the crew could work to get under the three quarters of an hour mark..

Well, she had to admit that he had done a good job. Even she wouldn't be prepared if there was a real attack on the ship, so this was probably a good thing.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

She couldn't sit around like this! She got out of bed and started towards the cockpit. She knew that she would pass Lister and Cat's room on the way, and she knew what she would see when she looked through the door.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

Sure enough, when she got there, she could see Lister and Cat fast asleep. Cat could sleep through any noise, so the drill had no effect on him. And Lister had been sleeping with ear-muffs on since they had started living on Starbug again ("You won't be able to hear the alert warnings with them on" Kochanski had told him, to which he had answered "I know. They're great, aren't they?"), so she would have to wake them.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

Rimmer appeared in the room, looking as alert as he would if he had woken up at lunch time to be given breakfast in bed. "Get a move on, you two! The GELFs are firing at us, we'll have to get there quickly!"

The ship lurched as the simulated hits struck the ship. This was good, thought Kochanski, Rimmer must have changed the settings so that the attack would seem more realistic.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

The two woke up, but stayed in bed. "You said that there wouldn't be a drill this week" said Lister.

"Do you think that the real GELFs and simulants will give you a week's warning before they attack us?"

The ship lurched violently, as the simulated ship fired again. Maybe Rimmer had gone a little too far with the settings, thought Kochanski.

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All hands on deck!"

Lister realised that he wasn't going to be able to sleep with all the movement, so he started to get out of bed. Just then, Kryten walked into the room. He was walking backwards, but his head was backwards as well.

"What the smeg is wrong with you?" asked Rimmer.

"I couldn't turn the F-Screw! Someone's taken the key!" answered Kryten.

"Uh... that was me." admitted Lister, "I used it to pick all the dirt out from under my nails. I was going to return it before you needed to put your head back on."

"There's a smegging Red Alert situation!" shouted Rimmer, "Are you going to stop talking about your nails?"

"Come on, let's roll." said Lister. Cat followed him out of the room. Rimmer disapeared, re-appearing in the cockpit, and Kochanski followed Kryten, who walked backwards out of the room.


The ship lurched even more violently as the crew entered into the cockpit.

"That was smegging good!" said Rimmer, "We managed it in only 26 minutes 14 seconds. We would have managed it even faster if it hadn't taken you 4 over quarter of an hour to get from Lister's quarters to here! What happened?"

"We were kind of delayed" said Lister, "Cat decided to go to sleep in the middle of a corridor, and Kryten tripped over him"

"I'm sorry, sir, my sensors don't expect me to aproach things backwards."

"By the time I'd managed to get Kryten standing up" Kochanski said, "Lister and Cat were playing catch with a ball they had found... the simulated ship is still there!"

The four of them looked at the viewscreen, and could see that she was right, the ship filled up most of the view.

Cat started firing at the ship, and Lister joined in. As the GELF ship returned fire, warning sirens started to go off.

"This is good!" said Kochanski turning to Rimmer. She had expected something special of him when the ship had first started to rock with every simulated shock, but she hadn't expected Rimmer to go for a full battle scene!

"No need to show off" said Rimmer, kurtly.

"Show off? I'm complimenting you!" said Kochanski.

"Me? You're the one who set this up, aren't you?" asked Rimmer, with a touch of panic. The two of them stared at each other for a few seconds before Rimmer said "Erm... excuse me, Gentle-men, but I don't suppose any of you know why this drill is taking place, do you?"

"That's what we've been asking all along" said Cat.

"No, I mean who set up this drill?"

"Officer Bud Babe?" asked Cat.

"You?" asked Lister.

"The Gegegegegegege" said Kryten, his panic chips taking over, and his fatal stutter taking over. He slapped himself on the side of the head, "The GELFs?"


"This is a really realistic simulation" said Cat.

"It's not a simulation!" said Lister for the fourth time.

Lister couldn't believe that this had happened! If he'd known it wasn't a real drill, he would have moved faster, and they would have sorted out the problems. He swore to himself that next time Kochanski and Rimmer started a drill, he'd go along with it properly, and he'd try to be as fast as he would under a real attack.

If there was a next time.

The four of them were chained up around a circular table, with their faces held in position by dog leads. This meant that Lister had no choice other than to look straight ahead, right at Cat's face. Next to him sat Kochanski and Kryten, who were also forced to stare at each other.

"I still can't believe that Smeg Head could abandon us like that!" said Lister, "turning into soft light the moment the GELFs boarded us! It's just not fair!"

"Why would Mr. Rimmer sacrifice himself? He couldn't have done anything to help us by getting himself captured" pointed out Kryten.

"He might have been able to do something if he was here now. He sure as hell can't do anything when he's not anywhere near us!"

The door opend behind Kochanski. All four of them tried to turn their heads, but all of them accept for Kryten failed to see who had come into the room. A key turned in their collars, and their heads were free to move again.

"Khahahakhhh! KLhakhakrock akhakha rokhack akhakha!" said the shorter of the two GELFs who had come into the room, addressing Lister.

"What did he say?"

"It's a she, sir, and she says that she's going to kill you for abandoning her great grandmother."

"Her what?"

"Her great grandmother, sir." said Kryten, "You see, during the past 2 years, over 400 years have passed in real time. The average age of conception with the GELFs would is 120 years, so it seems likely that this... lady is 3 generations down from your wife."

Lister could see Kochanski and Cat smirking at a mention of Lister's marriage. "Tell her that she should be thanking me!" he said, "Her Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother couldn't have gotten together if I hadn't left!"

"Assuming that it wasn't you" said Cat.

Just then, Ace Rimmer burst into the room.

"Sorry to break up the party, guys, but I'm going to have to..." he paused for a while, "but I'm going to have to break up the party!"

The bigger of the two GELFs grabbed him by the shoulders and sat him down between Lister and Kryten, chaining his feet to the table.

"Oh smeg" said Rimmer, "I was sure that would work".


"We've got to break out!" said Lister. They had untied them, and they were free to move about, but they were still locked in a room that was too small for Lister to be comfortable with as a bathroom!

"We could try the bars on the window," said Kryten, "I think I could convert my arm into a cutting tool.

"Do it!" said Rimmer. Unless they could get out within an hour, the GELFs were planning to hang the 5 of them in the main market square. He didn't know what would happen when you tried to hang a hard light hologramme, but he was pretty sure it wouldn't be very nice.

Kryten spent about 5 minutes working on his arm, and then started on the bars on the window. In no time at all, the window was ready to climb through. Lister went first, followed by Cat, Rimmer, Kryten and finally Kochanski.

They stood on an outside window sill, about 6 inches wide, and started to edge along it. They approached a corner, and Lister went around it with no problems at all. Unfortunately, around the corner was the main market square! He could feel Cat pushing against him, so he carried on moving until all 5 of them were standing on the sill, 6 stories up, with over 2000 GELFs staring up at them.


About an hour later, the 5 of them were standing in a line, with their necks in nooses. They had chairs beneath them that they knew would be kicked out of the way in under 2 minutes, leaving them to suffocate.

"I want you to know something, Arnie" started Lister.

"I know" he said, correctly guessing what he was about to say.

"Listen, Rimmer... Arnold" said Lister, "I want you to know something as well. Of all my friends on the ship, you were... well, not really my best friend, in fact, not even one of my friends, but you were the one who I had the most difficulty getting away from."

"Thanks, Dave, that means a lot to me. And can I just say that you're not a slob or a smeghead at all."

"You really don't think so?" asked Lister.

"Well, I do, but we're about to die, so I may as well be nice to you."

"Khah" said a guard from behind them.

"What was that?" asked Lister.

"Nononononono" stuttered Kryten, "it means "now"".

The chairs were kicked away from beneath their feet. Lister could feel his neck begin to hurt. So this was it, he was really going to die. He began to wish he had drawn in a deep breath before this had started, so that he could have made this last for longer. Did he really want it to last for longer, though? Wasn't 1 minute of agony enough.

So, the centre of the universe will disapear, though Cat. He couldn't comprehend the idea of death, so he started to think about Wilma Flintstone instead.

I wish My Dave was here, thought Kochanski. Him and My Cat wouldn't have let this happen. They would have sorted out the GELF ship, instead of being useless smeg... her thoughts drifted to her childhood. Oh great, she thought, now my life is flashin in front of my eyes.

Lister's field of vision began to become cloudy. This was the end... this was it... this was...

Suddenly, air flowed into his lungs again! The noose was no longer around his neck!

"Wheeze of the week." said the GELF in front of them.

The scene around him faded, and suddenly the helmet he didn't know he was wearing was lifted from his face.

"What?" he asked, as he saw his 4 companians around him, their helmets also lifting.

"Joke of the centuary!" said Holly from a monitor near the top of the room.

"You what?" asked Kochanski, jumping to her feet.

"I've just been looking through the mainframe records," said Holly, "And I noticed that you decided to set up a drill without telling me. Why was that?"

"Well..." said Kochanski, reluctantly, "I wasn't too sure that you could keep a secret properly. You know what happened the last time we told you about a drill."

"I managed to keep this one a secret without any trouble!" said Holly, with a grin.