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This story was typed by ME and is copied word by word from issue #16BETTER THAN LIFE

By Ben Evans

Lister entered the quarters, with half a dozen posters under his arm. Striding across to the bunk, enjoying the open space which was in such contrast to his old quarters, he jumped up onto the top bunk and unrolled his favourite picture of zerogee football star Jim Bexley Speed.

“What a guy,” he said, and pressed the corners of the poster to the wall. It slid off.

Lister picked it up again and turned it over. The Blu-tac was gone. Rimmer- he must have taken it.

“Rimmer!” Lister yelled, jumping down and running to the door. “Rimmer!” There was no reply. “Holly, where’s Rimmer?”

Again, no reply. Not that that was surprising, however since their brief return to the parallel universe to drop off Lister’s twins, Holly hadn’t been the same. He’d gone and fallen in love with Hilly, his female counterpart. What a twonk. Lister rubbed his belly, feeling the stitches where he’d been cut open to let his sons out. “I can still talk,” he said to himself. He was probably the only man who’d ever lived who knew what it was like to give birth-and he’d had probably the fastest pregnancy in the universe, lasting only nine weeks.

“Rimmer!”, he cried again. “Holly!, come on you’re supposed to be helping me move, so where are you?”. After another minute of silence, he sighed and sat down. It was a miracle Holly had even remembered to get the skutters to de-contaminate the officer’s quarters in his present state, expecting him to actually do anything himself was a bit optimistic.

“Heyyyyyyy!” screamed the Cat, gliding in. “How’s it goin’ bud?”

“Alright, except Rimmer’s got my, well, his Blu-tac. You haven’t seen him have you?”

“No, but I can smell him out!” Cat started sniffing the air, as if trying to pick up a scent.

Lister looked on in bemusement. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m smelling for goal-post head.” Cat ran his nose along Rimmer’s bunk.

“What are you talking about? Dogs are the ones with the noses, not cats!”

Cat stopped and turned on Lister, jabbing a finger at his face.

“Hey buddy, don’t ever compare me to that flea-bitten, no style gimbo!” Cat had insisted that he would not go onto the other Red Dwarf while Dog was there. “I can sniff anything he can sniff, including Rimmer!”

“Oh yeah. Where is he then?”

“Coming down the corridor right now,” Cat said, taking another sniff,” and he’s….different.”

“What are you talking about? He’s a hologram. Holograms don’t change.”

“That’s where you’re wrong bucko.”

Lister, startled, turned to the doorway to see Rimmer standing there, dressed in green.

What the smeg are you wearing?” asked Lister, the Blu-tac momentarily forgotten.

“Well at least it’s better than that old thing used to wear,” Cat said, looking around Rimmer. “I may allow myself to be seen in you company.”

“I found the uniform down in the tailor’s shop,” Rimmer said, standing erect and striding over to the mirror to inspect himself. “Apparently, they were going to phase out the old one. I had Holly change it for me.”

“Speaking of Holly, where is he?”

“Ahem…..fellas?” The Dwarfers spun around at the sound of an oddly familiar female voice. “I’ve just located a homing signal Dave. I think it’s coming from what’s left of Kryten.” Three jaws dropped so low that they almost scrapped the floor.

“Well say somethin’!”

Rimmer was the first to recover. “What the smeg is going on?!”

Holly shook her now female hair and tried to look hurt. “Well, I missed Hilly so much, I thought looking like her might help.” She looked defiant. “Waddaya think?”

Lister shook his head and sat down again.

“Things sure have changed around here,” he said.