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(Red Dwarf) Quintessential Quarantine (M) Rimmer


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So I know that I have a bunch of other fics on her that I should be continuing. But I abruptly got sucked into this old, ridiculous sci-fi comedy show: Red Dwarf. I have no idea whether anyone here will know the series. I will not be surprised if this gets no responses because no one knows the show.

I also apologize that there aren't many sneezes in this one. Unlike some of my other stuff, this one will probably have less physical description. It'll be angled more toward feeling like the series and less like a full piece of writing.

But incase anyone wants to read who doesn't know the series,

Plot of the Show:

There is a ship called Red Dwarf. (oh surprise!) A radiation leak killed all of the crew except for Lister, who was in suspended animation at the time.

Now he's on the ship with:

Rimmer - the hologram of his dead roommate. A neurotic, cowardly, pretentious, finnicky, bossy, lonely control freak.

Cat - a humanoid who evolved from Lister's pregnant cat who was left in the hold over the 3 million years that Lister was gone. A super high fashion dude.

Kryten - a service mechanoid that they picked up, who Lister has been teaching to break his programming and do things like swear, lie, and think for himself.

Plot of the episode that this is based on:

This segment happens after season 5 episode 4. In this episode Lister, Kryten, and Cat respond to a distress call from a holographic scientist. When they get there she's become infected with some terrible holo-virus and has gone insane. When they come back Rimmer puts them all in quarantine as revenge for them disrespecting him, and makes their lives as miserable as possible. Despite putting them in quarantine, Rimmer catches the holo-virus. Lister, Kryten, and Cat have to cure him. At the end Rimmer wakes up in quarantine himself.

For image references:





(with the virus XD )






And now to the actual fic XD

Quintessential Quarantine

Lister had won the game of rocks-paper-scissors, and so it was him who had gone to check in on Rimmer where he sat in his second day of quarantine. If Lister were honest, he would have to say that those past two days had probably been the best he’d had in all the time since he’d woken out of stasis.

“Oy, Rimmer. How’re ya getting on in there?” Lister asked as he pressed his foot into the panel that allowed Rimmer to see him on the screen. Rimmer was hunched over the desk. He spun on his heel to face Lister the moment his voice came on.

“Lister! Why won’t Holly speak to me?!” he snapped. “This place is absolutely filthy, I mean—you were just living here. And I can’t touch anything to tidy it up! According to space core directive 599, all those peoples who face a physical disability will have their needs provided for. The state of this room is deeply cutting into my psychological well being, and I can’t tidy it, in direct violation of the aforementioned directive!”

“Mate, we already cleaned up our shit.”

“You call this clean, do you?” Rimmer huffed. Planting his hands on his hips, he did a full turn around the desk. “I can clearly see five scratches on the desk that weren’t there before your unruly residence. There is a line of grease at the edge of the bed, and a layer of dust on the cabinet. If you’d presented something like this for inspection in your preliminary examinations they would fail you faster than you could say Benghazi serpentines.”

“I’m sorry it doesn’t meet your standards, princess.”

“And I,” Rimmer continued, paying little heed to Lister, “am offering, quite selflessly, to clean it up for you. Except, oh, wait, I can’t touch anything because I died a terrible, untimely death. Now if you’ll stop psychologically abusing your fellow shipmate and superior officer, I demand to speak with Holly under the authority of space core directive 561, which states that any officer when placed in quarantine will be afforded a supporting counselor of their same species. And at the moment, Holly is the closest thing we have to a hologram.” Lister was starting to get the feeling that the only thing within that room that Rimmer could touch was the Space Core Directive Manual.

“You can’t, Rimmer.”

“Why not?”

“Look, you can talk to Holly if you really want. I can have her appear on this screen. But she can’t touch anythin’ in your room.”

“Oh that’s poppycock!”

“Rimmer, you’re in quarantine mate. In quarantine with a holovirus. We can’t risk whatever you got getting into Holly and making her go off on us.”

“Oh! I see! That’s the way it is, is it?” Rimmer snapped. “It’s all by the book until Rimmer’s the one put up on the slab. Then it’s piss on the rules, let’s watch Rimmer go bonkers!”

“Been there, done that mate.”

“Oh hush up.”

“He’s not going against the rules, sir.” Kryten appeared on the screen beside Lister. Rimmer whirled on him.

“Oh, so you’re calling in the back up, are you? What are you doing here? Come to laugh at me too?”

Kryten frowned. “No. I just happened to overhear some of your conversation, and I wanted to give a few points of information. You see. Nothing goes in or out of quarantine. It doesn’t even share the same electrical circuits as the rest of the ship. You’re running completely on separate, emergency, back-up power. Holly couldn’t move objects in your room even if we told her to. She’s cut off from entering quarantine the same way that you’re blocked from just walking through the walls and leaving. And space core directive 564 clearly states that a counselor will be provided to the quarantined officer only so long as it does not put the other of others in jeopardy. Which in this case it most certainly would.”

“Oh come off it!” Rimmer snapped, color rising to his cheeks. “I’ve been in here for days! You saw the virus break! I’ve been entirely fine since the muffin men uprising vanquished the potato king and returned the rightful heir to the throne!”

There was a pause. Lister blinked. “Oy, mate. Quit havin’ me on,” he said with a half laugh. Beside him Kryten’s expression had gone wide-eyed in mechanoid-overplayed surprise. Before Rimmer could respond his eyes fell out of focus and he pitched forward into the crook of his arm.

Hiit—ttchhhh!” Rimmer stumbled back, and blinked as the colors of his holographic projection wavered and hummed.

“Oy, mate, are you alright?” Lister asked, suddenly stepping forward, as if there wasn’t a screen between them.

Rimmer’s colors settled back to normal, but the officer was left casting his head from left to right as if he expected something to jump out from either side.

“What in the blazes was that?” he gasped out.

“I dunno. Is it normal for that to happen when a hologram sneezes? Hell, is it normal for a hologram to sneeze?” Lister asked, turning to Kryten. Kryten was frowning.

“That’s strange. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. You’ll have to give me a minute to check my stored data banks for any relevant knowledge.” Kryten went suddenly rigid, and his eyes began darting back and forth like a kid in a demonic horror film. Lister turned back out to Rimmer who was staring up at them in horror.

“That thing you said just before you sneezed and your holoform went all wonky. Was that a joke?”

“What do you mean was it a joke? What part of it?” Rimmer asked.

“The part about the muffin man uprising.”

“The part about the what now?” Rimmer raised an eyebrow so high it was in danger of separating from his brow and taking off into the air. He threw a hand up dramatically to indicate Lister. “Do you hear that? ‘Muffin man uprising’! And I’m in quarantine?”

“You don’t remember saying it?” Lister asked.

“Of course not. Because I didn’t!” snapped Rimmer.

“What’s the word Kryten?” Lister asked, turning to the mechanoid as Kryten’s eyes slowed and returned to a normal stare.

“Well, I have a few theories I could work off of, but nothing solid.”

“Well, what’s the theory?” asked Rimmer. Kryten shook his head.

“It’s not good to speculate early, sir. I’d prefer to see if it happens again without informing the process by listing possibilities.”

Rimmer scowled.

“You’re more useless than a cotton candy bucket. If you don’t give me some straight bloody answers soon, Mr. Flipple is going to be very angry—Haahh—ttttcchhhhh!” Rimmer stumbled once more, and once more his entire self dimmed and brightened, and then settled back. When it did, Rimmer was trembling slightly.

“Is that good enough for you?!” he snapped. “Is that good e-bloody-nough for you? Or do you want to gather more data? Maybe you should just leave me like this for a few months to see what happens, hm? Oh my god- Please don’t let that happen again!”

“Extraordinary,” Kryten commented in his thoughtful, but intruiged tone.

“Did that fit your theory?” Lister asked.

“I think it does. Allow me, if you will, to make one final test before I reveal my hypothesis.”

“Floor’s yours,” Lister replied.

“Mr. Rimmer,” Kryten said. “Would you kindly repeat after me. ‘The muffin men have overthrown the king of the potato people, and Mr. Flipple is very unhappy about this.’ ”

Rimmer scowled. “Does this look like a joke to you? Is everything a bloody joke to you?” he snapped.

“This is not a joke. Kindly do so, sir.”

“I will not.”

“What’s the big deal? You just said those two things already,” Lister commented.

“No, I most certainly did not!” Rimmer snapped.

“You did mate, you absolutely did. Do you really not remember?”

“Look, I understand that the two of you feel that this behavior is warranted revenge. But I would ask you to please understand the gravity of the situation here and knock it off.”

“Alright. If you’re going to refuse to cooperative, we’ll just have to extend your quarantine indefinitely until we can figure out what’s going on with you without your help.” Lister shrugged. “I promise we’ll get on it, right after evening curry.”

“What? Wait- no! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Don’t you turn that monitor off Lister! Don’t you dare! You can’t leave me like this! I could be dying! That goes against space core directive- directive- Well it goes against common decency!”

“Oh? Did you finally get the manual for that too?” Lister asked.

Very funny.”

“Listen, sir,” Kryten said. “If you won’t cooperative with our tests, then there’s nothing we can really do to help, is there?”

“Well what kind of test is that? How do I know you two haven’t gone off the rails, and now I’m trapped in here under your maniacal rule?”

“For God’s sake, just say the blood line Rimmer,” said Lister.

Rimmer huffed, but straightened up, took a deep breath, and grumbled out, “The muffin men have overthrown the king of the potato people, and M-Mr. Flipple is very angry about this.” Flipple came out half as loud as the rest of the sentence. Rimmer glared at the two of them. “Happy? Had your bit of fun?”

“Kryten?” Lister asked.

“It’s much as I suspected. My theory is that Mr. Rimmer’s programming is currently weeding through the damage that the virus caused to his internal drive.”

“But the virus is gone!” Rimmer objected. “It’s definitely gone!”

“Yes, I think it is. However during the time that it spent in Mr. Rimmer’s body, it warped your internal drive. Much like how rabies will change the neurochemistry of the human brain to hijack the anger and violence responses and thus leave the brain altered even when it’s gone. Similarly, this virus has corrupted some parts of Rimmer’s holomind.”

What?” Rimmer squeaked. “Are you trying to tell me that I have brain damage?”

“I can’t say for sure at the moment,” Kyrten replied. “My guess is that your programing has a back up that is not in use by you, but that it can check against the mind that you’re currently using. At the moment your mind is running a comparison between your mind and the back up. When it comes across a discrepancy, your programming glitches while it fills in the corrupted data file with a clean one from your back up. It’s possible that you will make a full recovery, sir!”

“Possible?” Rimmer spat out. “Possible? I might have brain damage that may never full heal, all because you lot wanted to bring a new, rabid hologram off the streets onboard to replace me!”

“Oh come off it mate. I’m sure you’ll be fine. And even if you aren’t, no one will really notice the difference.”

My mind was all I had left! I don’t have a body! I don’t have a future! I don’t have a life! I don’t have a passion! And I don’t have any friends! My mind was all I had! And now I might have just lost that too, thanks to you!” Rimmer turned on his heel. “Can I have a moment of privacy? Or are you going to take that too?”

Noiselessly, Lister and Kryten vanished from the screen.

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OMG I never thought about reading sneeze fic of Red dwarf :) You make me really happy. And I can definitely hear it in their voice :D

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That was awesome, I love that show! I remember the episode in question and it was hilarious.

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