From...Wait For It!
The Alternative Red Dwarf
On Red Dwarf!
by Marie Birch
Kryten carefully carried the breakfast tray to the Science Room. If you were to look carefully at the tray, you would see, that this was certainly a tray carefully laid out for a Princess. Well in fact, this was a tray carefully laid out for a Princess, and this Princess, was the young Princess Argana, who was the most recent addition to the crew, on the Dwarf,ever since they had answered her distress signal from her space ship, The Excalibur, about a month ago. Oh my, thought the Mechanoid, things had certainly livened up on board, since the beautiful Princess Argana had burst into their lives! He was not used to serving breakfast at 0800 hours. He was so used to serving Mr Listers' breakfast at 1500 hours, every day, over the past five years, that it had more or less become like second nature to him, by now. Lister had long since drilled it into him, not to serve the Cat, with his breakfast, because he knew that his sturdy metal frame, would have fitted down the cargo pipes with great difficulty, and he had long got accustomed to the fact, that Mr Cat, was indeed a law, unto himself, and Holly and Mr Rimmer, had hologrammatic meals anyway, and even if Mr Rimmer was alive, Mr Lister would soon have drilled it into him, to let him get his own smegging breakfast! However, her Royal Highness, the Princess Argana, was completely a different kettle of fish, and she had strictly informed him, and even Mr Lister, that if the Creature Feature, which was the name, that she had chosen to christen the Cat, within the space of just one hour of her arrival on the Dwarf, and you, young man, which was the name, that she had chosen to christen Lister, chose to wallow their time away, pointlessly, most of the day, then that was their problem, and not hers, and if the Mechanoid, which was the name that she had chosen to christen Kryten, didn't like it, then that was too bad!
The Mechanoid, as he seemed to think of himself nowadays, since Argana had come on board the Dwarf, decided that it would be better, for one and all, that he would like her orders. After all, he liked her, anyway. Well, when he really thought about it, it was not a question of not wanting, to not like her. She was a Princess by birth, and she was of the elite, and he knew that it would be better, for all concerned, if he did like her! After all, it wasn't as if she was a hard task really. She was courteous and polite really. But she was rather cold and indifferent. He could not deny that, at the end of the day, and what hurt the most, was the fact that she was cold and indifferent to Mr Lister, who loved her beyond a doubt! But what Kryten couldn't comprehend, was the obvious fact, that of course Mr Lister loved her, she was the only woman, that he had seen for three million and five years, and ever since her Royal Highness, the Princess Argana had come on board, he had thought that it was his Birthday, Christmas and Easter all rolled into one, but Kryten supported Mr Lister wholeheartedly with his love of her Royal Highness, the Princess Argana of Angelica, and more importantly, he even supported Mr Lister, playing those love songs, that he had composed, especially for her, on his guitar, even if they did sound like a cats chorus, when he played his guitar all night long!
Kryten spoke into the voice panel, which was on the left hand side of the Science room. He knew that he had to do this, before he entered any room that the young Princess, might be occupying at the time, otherwise, he knew that he would certainly get it in the neck, if he didn't! Once he heard the command - "Come in!, the mechanoid entered the room.
As per usual, Argana was hunched over her drawing board, with that confounded gigantic foolscap piece of paper on, where she was drawing all the little stars in devotedly, and she was also colouring them in orange, with a painting brush. I will go on to explain the purpose of this pointless exercise in a moment. She gave the mechanoid a weak smile, and she said - "Ah, Good morning Mechanoid! I see that you have bought my breakfast, thank you!" "Yes Maam, and good morning to you. I trust that you had a peaceful night in your quarters?" Argana looked at the mechanoid thoughtfully, as she decided to break from her work, to partake of her breakfast. She had to admit that she couldn't help liking Kryten really, when it actually came down to it. He had been kindness in itself, ever since she had become a member of the crew, over the past month, but she really couldn't bring herself to be friends with him. In fact, she just could not understand his illegitimate Father like son, relationship with Lister. No, she still couldn't fathom that one out. She had tried explaining to Lister, that he was a Mechanoid, an android for Goodness sake! And that he was programmed to serve! Why oh why, couldn't that young man understand, that he was interfering with his programming?! The word FRIEND did not exist in his programme files! But whenever, she had tried explaining this to Lister, he just gave her a chirpy smile, and said that he could always make the word FRIEND exist in his programming, and what was the harm in it, anyway?! It was only a bit of fun, and it wasn't as if DIVA DROID, were going to come and tick him off for it, were they?! Argana shuddered, whenever that young man, mentioned the word FUN in a general conversation! She had told him time and time again, that there was no time for laughs, and it was about high time, that he grew up, and that he truly realised the gravity of his situation. And while she was trying to think of a quicker and more convenient way of getting them back to Earth, that the time for having a bit of a laugh, was when they got back to Earth! There was no time, for that kind of nonsensical behaviour, and the sooner he realised it, the better, and she was forever thankful, that Arnold J. Rimmer, had had the decency to acknowledge that fact! Oh, he sure knew about responsiblity alright, and she was sick and tired of Lister making fun of him, for not knowing, how to let it all hang out! She knew that if Rimmer had passed his astro-navigation exam, that he would have definitely have become an officer, first class, and that he would have been more than entitled to kick Listers' ass around! She sighed, as she dipped her knife into the honey pot, and spread it on the white bread, that Kryten had carefully and thoughtfully prepared for her, and the reality sunk in. Rimmer wasn't an officer, just a Second Technician, and not entitled to kick Listers' ass about, but she smiled and she knew, that as she was a Chief Science Officer, and acting Commander of this vessel, she was certainly entitled to kick that boys' ass, whenever she got the chance! He didn't know what she was truly made of, but the Mechanoid certainly did! She felt sad, whenever she gazed into his blue eyes, which reminded her so much, of her Fathers' blue eyes. Her Father, the late King Krystien, murdered by those evil Devillgillians' had been a wise and good man, and Argana had had to blink back the tears, whenever she thought back to all the good times, that they had had together, and worse even still, Kryten, who had originally hailed from the United Nations Nova Five Research vessel, the Series 4,000's kindness, sweetness and wisdom, was a constant and heartbreaking reminder of her Father, and that was one reason, that she couldn't feel it in her heart, to be friends with him, and the worse thing was, that the mechanoid knew about her Father, and he had had a very high intelligence rate, which had enabled him to be aware of the fact, that he reminded her of the young Princesses Father, and that was one good reason, why she had been rather hard on him, during her time on the Dwarf, and Argana shuddered, because she knew that he had informed Lister, of that fact also, and even though Lister had never told her, what had been discussed, the sadness in his eyes, whenever he looked at her, tore right through Arganas' heart, and the last thing, that she wanted off Dave Lister, was his sympathy.
Argana answered Krytens' question. "As a matter of fact, Mechanoid, I did not have a very good night". Kryten seemed rather perturbed by this, and said - "Oh, I really must apologise, Maam. Wasn't the bed comfortable enough for you? After all, I insisted, that you have the very best bed linen, that there is. I know that you are accustomed to silken sheets, but..." Argana cut in, and said - "I am not talking about my sleeping arrangements, Mechanoid! I am talking about that infernal racket, that I keep hearing from the Officers quarters, which I might happen to add, are at least three floors, below my penthouse suite! What the devil is going on down there? I keep thinking that, we're under attack from some unknown alien lifeforms! And you know full well, that I have been trained to be always on my guard, when I had my basic training in my Planets' base of the Space Corps!" Kryten seemed to be reluctant to answer Arganas' question, but Argana was having none of it, and she exclaimed - "Don't worry Mechanoid, I don't want to get you into trouble! But my curiosity is getting the better of me. Please do tell! Is that young man and Creature Feature, having a good fight for some reason, that I just can't work out? Look, I am a Doctor as well, you know, and I feel that I have a responsibility to know, if somebody is getting hurt, and as much as I despise your fair weather friend, I wouldn't really want any harm to come to him, when it actually comes down to it! And I have got a bit of time to spare for Creature Feature, but if he has a serious accident, his anatomy may be rather different to Listers', and you know full well, that I am not a medical specialist! So, do tell!" Kryten knew that he had no choice, but to tell the young Princess, what was really going on: "Well, you see your Highness, it is like this, well, er-". "Come on, speak up! I haven't got all day!" Krtyen decided that she might as well know, what was really going on - "Well, it's really quite simple Maam, Mr Lister is practising on his guitar!" Argana shook, after he had told her that, and said - "Hmm, I might have guessed! Well, Mechanoid, it just isn't good enough! I am afraid that I am going to have a word, with your Mr Oh My God Lister! Now will you kindly tell him, that I wish to see him, at 0900 hours. I have one or two things, that I wish to discuss with him". Kryten bowed and said - "Certainly, Maam, but Mr Lister, was going to come and see you, anyway, because there are one or two things, that he wishes to discuss with you". Argana remained expressionless. What on earth, could that young man, have to say to her, that may be of some use to her projects? Why, is was a complete and utter waste of time, having an intelligent conversation with him! She had tried, she really had, and she had indeed asked him, whether he liked classical music, and when she had mentioned her love of Handel to him, she shuddered whenever she thought back to his response - "A handle is for opening a door, that's what I always thought, babe!", and ever since then, Argana had been rather reluctant to have a serious discussion, with him, ever again. Argana was desparate to carry on with her work now, and she said - "Well by all means, but you tell him mechanoid, tht he comes at the appointed time, or else! And tell him to have a good wash behind the ears, would you?" "Why, of course Maam"Kryten answered, and with that he left the Science room. He was really pleased that everything had gone quite smoothly, for once with the young Princess, and that she seemed to be in a fairly good mood, this morning. However, his illusions, on that rare hope, on that particular day, were going to be anything, but smooth, were soon shattered, when he heard the cry:
Kryten knew instinctively, that there was something very wrong, and without a moments hesitation, he re-entered the Science Room. For the life of him, Kryten could not see that there was anything wrong. All he could see, was her Highness, standing by the printer, minus it's holder, of course, and she was fuming! Kryten thought it best to pacify her, and he said - "Yes, Maam, you called? What seems to be the problem?" Argana wasn't listening to him. He didn't know, whether it was his imagination, but he couldn't understand, for the life of him, why the young Princess seemed to be addressing the wall, but then humans had always baffled him, but the young Princess, wasn't really what you would call, one hundred per cent human, anyway, but she had never seemed to him, so human, at that present moment, as she carried on, addressing the air around her - "Why oh why is it, no matter how hard it is I try, to drum a sense of discipline into this rag tag band, and whenever I feel that there may be just one tiny breakthrough, and a sense of light at the end of the tunnel, that it soon closes in on me, as if to spite me?!" "Maam?"Kryten asked her, obviously not comprehending her sense of frustration, but then he wouldn't, would he? she thought to herself. He was programmed to obey, no matter what, and that was the one great difference between Kryten and her poor Father, who was no longer, of her world, come to that. Now if her Father had witnessed her being in a temper like this, he wouldn't have put up with it, for one moment! Why he would have shook her by the shoulders, until she had calmed down, and then once they had had a reasonable and controlled discussion, filled with logic, which this mechanoid, was certainly filled with, then they would have just laughed it off, as per usual. But Kryten wasn't her Father, and he didn't know how to calm her down. It was ironic really, when Argana thought back to when she had first arrived on board this dilapidated old mining vessel, which needed more repair jobs on it, than the Mir Space Station! But she had really admired the mechanoids logic and reasoning, and she had thought him so clever, that he was a top Astro-Physicist, Chief Scientist Mechanoid, and that they would have a great deal in common, and discuss research profiles together, but it wasn't as simple as that, Rimmer was soon quick to inform her, that Kryten was a Sanitation Mechanoid, and even though he thought that he was a mechanoid, who was far too crafty and clever for his own good, because of Listers Advanced Courses in Rebellion, the fact still remained, that he was a Sanitation Mechanoid, and he certainly did have a title alright - Captain Bog Bot! To be fair to Argana, she did think that Rimmer, was being a bit unfair, and Kryten did seem genuinely interested in her work, but at the end of the day, Rimmer was right, Kryten was rather limited outside his sanitation core program, and even though, she had mentioned her scientific studies to him over the past month, he would only listen to her, about it, and he would never dare to venture his own opinion, where that was concerned, and even though that was the only thing that Argana admired Lister for, for getting the mechanoid to break his own programming, and be his own person, she knew that he would always be a Sanitation Mechanoid at heart, and it almost broke her heart, one day, when she was telling him, about her planets structure, when he suddenly drifted off, and started to dust around her, and she would end up losing the thread of what she had originally been discussing. Even when she showed him, his favourite rock samples in the Geological Museum, you could tell, when his cleaning chip, was springing into action, when he would not seem, to listen to what she was saying, and once he started to lift the lids of the glass cases, where the rocks were stored, and he would insist on giving them a flick with his feather duster, Argana knew that she was fighting a losing battle, with him. It was as if a part of him wanted to be like her Father, but he knew full-well, that he couldn't do it, but he was the closeset link to her Father, that she had left, when it actually came down to it, and that was why she was taking her frustrations out on him, now! "I'll tell you what the problem is, Mechanoid! The printer seems to be minus it's support holder! Where in Satans name, is it, may I ask? I think that Little boys, have got something to do with this, am I right?" Little boys was another name, that Argana had chosen for Lister and the Cat, but Kryten knew full well, that her Royal Highness, the Princess Argana, had really chosen it for, Mr Lister, because in a sense, she knew that 'Little Boys' encouraged Creature Feature, to misbehave to a certain extent, because when you think about it, most animals misbehave, if they are given plenty of encouragement, by their owners! "I am waiting mechanoid"she said, indicating , that she was determined to know what had happened to the print holder, no matter what. "Well Maam, just because the printer is minus it's support, does not mean...". Argana sighed, she was getting a little bit tired, of the mechanoid questioning her orders. She knew without a doubt, that was a trait of Little boys advanced course in rebellion. Argana cut in - "Mechanoid, I am fully aware of the fact, that the printer will operate without it's holder, but you know full well, that it makes it look rather untidy, just squatting on the floor like that! And because I happen to be one of these people who like their affairs to be in order, whether it be for business or for pleasure, I think that I am an entitled to an explanation, don't you? It isn't an unreasonable request, when it comes down to it really" Kryten was still determined not to answer her question, if he could get away with it. After all, he wasn't a defiant mechanoid, when it actually came down to it, and it hadn't been his fault, that the reaction to the Dove programme, which had corrupted his etiquette cache files, when they had put Mr Lister in that game, to help him get over the fever which had nearly killed him, after Mr Rimmer had destroyed the time drive, to save them from their future selves, had more or less upset the game! But that was all in the past now, Kryten knew that he had fully conquered that virus now, and he was back to his old sweet self once more, but some of Listers' training had teached him to be, what was the saying in his binary code - Ev000enig u r, which was very similar to an email message from people, who used the Internet, who could not be bothered to type them out properly, to mail messages to their friends. Well roughly speaking, that saying translated in English, American(which he was more fluent in, than some English people were, come to that!)or standard, was: To be Evasive. To narrowly avoid the truth. Mr Lister, hadn't quite put it like that. His translation was: To get round all the tosspots, if you could get away with it! But the general meaning was the same, and while he thought that he could get out of it, while he had the chance, he said to Argana "But while you are drawing your star charts Maam, until you have completed that task, you do not need direct access to the printer. If I might add-" But Argana, was not to Ev00enig u ared(Not to be deterred!) She said to him in her usual icy tone - "You may not add anything Mechanoid! Now will you PLEASE tell me what has happened to the printer supporter, before I decide to roast you over the fires of silicon hell!" Put like that, Kryten knew that he had no choice, but to tell Argana the truth - "I am afraid Maam, well it is like this er, well er, Mr Lister and Mr Cat had decided to use the printer support, for their recreational facilities, this morning. I did urge them to take care of it Maam, I really did, and as Mr Lister does respect your work so highly, he did promise to bring it back". Argana knew only too well, what their recreational facilities meant, since she had been on this hell hole of a ship, during the past month. She knew full-well that life for little boys and especially Creature Feature, was one constant aim of recreation! She had long understood the Cat's need for recreation, and she had long given up trying to educate him, even though it had been heart breaking for her to do so, as he reminded her so much, of her dear old flight instructor and friend, Curt. But Argana knew that it was in his blood to be like that, and she spent enough time on England to be fully aware of a cats selfish traits! They were a law unto themselves, but it was an entirely different matter in Lister's case! Why, he just did not understand the meaning of responsibility! And she could not understand for the life of her, why he seemed determined to make it part of his long-lived ambition to slob around, and clown about, and basically find more and more ways of making each and every day so unproductive, and Argana could never get over, how he managed to find so many ingenious ways, of just wasting time! She could see no logical reason for it! Why it was unforgiveable! It was well, just so irresponsible, when it actually came down to it! And she knew that she was going to have a serious word with him, about his behaviour. It was inevitable really. Argana forced her thoughts back to the present, and she said to him in a rather petulant tone - "That is not answering my question, Mechanoid!" Kryten shook. In fact he always seemed to shake, when Princess Argana was been rather uppity with him, which seemed to be rather frequently these days. Kryten decided that he would tell her without any further delay, about what Mr Lister and Mr Cat had really done with the printer holder. "Well Maam, Mr Lister and Mr Cat have decided to use the printer holder, for their game of soapsud slalom on the cargo ramps. It-it seems, that they wanted something that was a bit more riskier to use, than a normal sled!" Once he had told her what had happened, Arganas' face seemed to turn a very bright shade of red, which worried Kryten extremely. In fact, the young Princess, looked as if she was going to explode. Well, as a matter of fact, Argana did explode - "They have done whaa--aatt?! How dare they treat this science room, like a recreation room! Have they got no dignity?! Have they got no consideration, for others who are working in here?" Kryten suddenly started to look around him, for the other people who were working with the Princess. Argana sighed and thought to herself - Why, oh why, did that mechanoid, have to take everything so literally? No wonder, she could never achieve anything with her projects! How on earth, was she expected to work so diligently, with all these distractions?! "I apologise for Mr Listers' actions, Maam. I'm sure that he didn't mean to disturb you and the others in here". "Why didn't you tell me about this, Mechanoid?"Argana asked him in a more calmer tone. By now, Kryten was trembling, as he was trying desparately to think up a suitable explanation, but at the end of the day, he knew that he couldn't really come up with one. So, he merely said - "I-I d-didn't think that it would do any harm maam--". By now, Argana, had had just about as much as she could take, and she exploded once more - "You didn't think that it would do any harm!? It's only caused me to worry about the printer holder for five minutes, Mechanoid! Now, will you please get out!" Kryten looked flabbergasted, and he knew that he had failed, once more, in trying to get the young Princess, to succumb to Mr Listers' charms. "Why are you still here, Mechanoid? What did I just tell you?!" Kryten forced himself to say - "D-Does that mean that you don't wish to see Mr Lister, at the appointed time, then, Maam?" Argana sighed, and said - "Of course I still want to see him Mechanoid! And do you know, why I want to see him?" Kryten shook his head. This was really beginning to confuse his cache files. "Because I jolly well want to give him a piece of my mind, Mechanoid! Now will you kindly get out, while the going is still good!" Put like that, Kryten knew that he had no choice, but to leave the young Princess to her own devices, while she was in this bad mood, and with a single - "Of course Maam", and he left the Science room, without any further ado.
After he had left, Argana felt really drained. Oh, why did that young man, get under her skin like this? And all over the printer holder as well! However, Argana knew that it wasn't just the absence of the printer holder, that was making her so angry. In fact, it wasn't the first time, that he had made her angry, anyway, and she felt her skin crawl, when she thought back to all the other incidents, that he had caused, that had made her feel so depressed and dejected. She thought back to the very first time, that she had met him, when she had first felt well enough to venture out of the medical bay, because she had been too ill to receive many visitors, at first, and at the mechanoids concerned insistence as well. She thought back to that very first day, when she had met him in the corridor, on the way to her quarters. Why, she had never known such defiance, in all her born days! Even the overalls, that he had on, were filthy, and his face was very grubby looking. She wouldn't have minded so much, if he hadn't greeted her with such a chirpy and cherubic smile, which was really attributed to downright irresponsibility in her opinion! Why, he hadn't even bowed! Didn't he know the correct way of greeting a Princess! And she had felt disgusted, when he had grabbed her hand, and had administered it with such a slobby kiss, which had almost left a teeth mark on it! And not only that, he had also been very reluctant to let it go as well, and after about five minutes of him licking her hand, she had had to order him, in a very chilly and icy tone, to release his hold of it, and she had been vastly relieved, that he had had enough sense to obey her orders, and know, that she meant it! However, it wasn't that little incident, which had disgusted her so much. It was his well meaning offer, of fixing up a sandwich for her, now that she more or less admitted to herself, that now that she had got over that knock on the head, she felt somewhat peckish. Lister had seemed determined to do his best to make her happy, and to win her trust, he offered to fix up a sandwich for her, because Argana did not really feel like a full blown meal from the dispenser, and Kryten had informed her, that Mr Lister, was really good at fixing up sandwiches, and he went on to say, that he was a real expert, where that culinary skill of his was concerned. However, Argana concluded that the mechanoid, did indeed have a connection loose somehow, after she had had her sample taste of Oh my God, Mr Listers' culinary skills! She had actually spat out the contents of the sandwich, with disgust, when she discovered that it was a sugar puff sandwich, that he had insisted would be to her taste, as he said in such a charming way, that he thought she was of such a sweet nature, that it would certainly suit her! Argana could not for the life of her, understand, why he had looked so hurt, when she thrown the offending object on to the floor. At first, she had thought that he had done it to get back at her, for been so cold and distant with him. In fact, she wouldn't have minded so much, if he had done it to get back to her, but she could tell that he had been really serious, about dreaming up, something, that he thought would be to her liking! Argana was incredulous with disbelief, at the young mans obvious lack of intelligence, and she shuddered, whenever she thought back to that little incident, just over a month ago. Argana remembered when a consignment of sugar puffs had been delivered to her planet, about five years ago, or was it five years ago? After all she had only been in stasis, for over three million years and twenty four years, and she now knew that time was irrelevant, but it only felt as if it had been three seconds, that she had had in stasis, but Hab had told her, that it didn't work like that, when you were outside the stasis booth, but Argana decided to look back to that particular incident, with regard to the consignment of sugar puffs, which been delivered to her planet, by the Space Delivery people, as if it was yesterday, and she remembered, that after a period of only two days, that the people of her planet, had been so disgusted, when they had had the sugar puffs for breakfast, that they would not allow another consignment to be delivered, by the Space Delivery man, which was actually countermanded by her Father himself. In the end, her Father decided to use the remaining sugar puff consignment for animal feed for the farm, which was in the domed city of Calpurnia on the planet Angelica. But even that, was a complete and utter waste of time, and the vet had to be called in, once the pigs were so violently sick, after just one feeding, but they were declared alright, by the vet. Fortunately, it was just a bad reaction, he had assured the Farming team, but after that, her Father insisted that on no account, was any animal on the community farm, to be given sugar puffs as animal fodder, but it did have it's uses, which Argana had discovered herself, via her duty as the planets Chief Scientist, and she soon found, within the space of just one hour, that the sugar puffs made excellent rocket fuel, and as they had a consignment, which would have kept her people going for at least six months, once watered down, the sugar puff fuel lasted for about a week. It was vastly uneconomical as a regular rocket fuel of course, but in an emergency, it would have come in very handy!
Argana forced her mind back to the present, and decided to concentrate on her work, while she had the opportunity. Argana had quite a lot of responsible jobs to do, in this Science Room, and she wished to high heaven, that the crew of this ship, would try and be aware of that fact!. She had to find out, once and for all, whether Hollys' course for Earth, was one hundred per cent right, but she still hadn't got round to asking her, for her course co-ordinates. She also understood that Lister had very good engineering abilities, and that was one thing, that she wanted to discuss with him, anyway. She wanted him to repair the time drive, that Rimmer had destroyed, so that he could save them all from their future selves. She knew without a doubt, that now they were all safely ensconced back on the Dwarf, that there was a very remote possibility of that happening, again, because in her opinion, she knew that they had only interfered with their future in the first place, because they had got nothing better to do, but now they were back on the Dwarf, and they had more than enough things to keep them occupied, well Argana certainly had anyway. She was always a person who found things to do, even if the others couldn't. She just could not understand for the life of her, what with such a well stocked library, that this ship had, especially the computer library, why the Boyz, couldn't be bothered to even search for a book, let alone read one Wy it was absolutely disgraceful! She thought back to what she had said to her Father, about peoples ignorance on Earth, and she had informed her Father of that fact, and she had stated -"If I had my way, reading books would be compulsory! Why, I think people deserve life imprisonment, for depriving their minds of such culture!" But her Father had gone on to say, that there were a lot of good people about in life, who didn't read books, but they still got on in life, and as long as they were kind to others, and offered humanity, didn't that really count, at the end of the day? And he had also stated to her quite emphatically - "Argana, you have got to remember, that you cannot bend others to your will, and not everybody, wants the same things out of life as you do, and you cannot force knowledge down peoples throats like that! Oh, I admit, that been forced to read a book isn't an unpleasant form of torture, like the thumb screws and tortures, of planet Earths' middle ages, etcetera, but it is still a dictatoral term, and if a law like that, were passed, you would be amazed at how many people would defy it, and even some of the intellectuals themselves, would soon get bored, with everybody trying to be more intellectual, than they are! No, Argana, people must have the right, to choose what they want to do with their lives! Now, what if your Mother and I, had forced you to remain a Space Doctor, instead of becoming a Scientist, now how would you have felt about that, hmm?" Argana had realised that her Father had been absolutely right, with his wisdom and his logic, once more, and it pained her to think of him, in comparison to Kryten, and once more, she turned her thoughts back to the present. With regard to the time drive, she was one hundred per cent certain, that their future selves wouldn't come back, now that they were outside their influence, but she wanted the security of it being repaired, just in case they did get back to Earth, and the human race was extinct, but she had utterly refused to believe, that there were no human beings alive, despite what Lister, Holly and even the Animal had said. Well come to think of it, even her own computer, from her ship the Excalibur, Hab, thought that with the exception of Dave Lister, mankind was extinct, and she shuddered whenever, she thought that there was an ultimate possibility of him, being the last man alive. But if they did get back to earth, and the human race, had been wiped out, then they could use the time drive, and go back to a time, possibly just after the radiation accident, which had wiped the crew of Red Dwarf out, when man would definitely, have still been alive. It was as simple as that, but Argana had prayed to dear God, that it wouldn't come to that, and the reason why they hadn't come across any other humans, for the time being, was due to the very good reason, that they were out in uncharted space, and just because they hadn't come into radio contact, with the last ship, which Lister had "Swiped". Argana felt disgusted, whenever they went on these little trips, to see if there was anything of salvageable value, but her curiosity had got the better of her everytime, and she was so desparate to see any possible signs of humanoid life, that she had to go along to offer what medical assistance she could, in case any personnel was seriously injured, and it was her insatiable curiosity to find signs of life, on every ship, that the Boyz had swiped, which really worried Lister, and he was incredulous at her disbelief and naivety, every time, she came across a dead skeleton in the ships, that they visited, but Lister never seemed to mind her leaping into his arms, for comfort, every time, that she was really scared at seeing the remains of the dead crew. In fact, it was usually Lister, who offered her medical assistance, nine times out of ten, whenever she felt faint, but she hadn't received the kiss of life, off him yet! But she had also comforted Rimmer, when he had been even more shocked than she was, and when he did actually faint, when a skeleton confronted him, as well! She did have to use the smelling salts on him, quite often, and she did think it rather odd, that as he was a hologram, in his hard light form(which he could only use on Starbug), that he suffered these panic attacks, but she put it down to a possible flaw, in his software, rather than him being a downright coward, as Lister and the Cat, had insisted to her, time and time again, that was the real reason, why he suffered these panic attacks, and she just accused them of being jealous, and very immature. As for Kryten and the Cat, they never had panic attacks, when they were on their ' shopping trips', because it was against Krytens' programming to be scared, and it was against Cats coolness, to be scared, and as for Lister, he was a law unto himself, anyway. Argana had also believed, that just because there was no radio contact between any vessels, that were in the vicinity, that didn't mean that the crew was necessarily dead, and she just assumed that they were having problems with their radio, that was all, but she had to admit, the fact, that she did find it a bit odd, that when they had been contacting a nearby vessel, within radio range, just before they went on their so called missions of mercy, and there was nobody answering them, that the radio was out, and when they did get on the ship, where all the crew were in a motionless state, which was so often the case, that when she went to check their radio, just before they made their exit, that the radio was in perfect working order, which was always nearly the case, but she would not let that get to her. She was determined that they would find a humanoid crew which was alive one day, and every ship, that they had come across, so far, had been messing about with DNA experiments, and therefore, what the hell did they expect! In some cases, they deserved what they got, but Lister had been firm with her, whenever she made that statement, and he reminded her that she was half gelf herself, and part of a DNA experiment, which had gone wrong in later years, and that was why, she was still about herself, to a certain extent, as the life that they had come across, before they had made her acquaintance was gelf, and Argana shuddered, whenever he reminded her of her ancestry, and she had informed him that she was more human than gelf, and she refused to believe that the Gelfs had taken over the Universe! But the main reason, that Argana had still got hope in her heart, of mankind still been alive, was due to Arnold J. Rimmer himself. He had told her time and time again, that the human race wasn't extinct, whenever she had her doubts, about that, and she was not to take any notice of Lister. He was just telling her that, to annoy her, to get the better of her, just because she had got effective command of this ship. After all she was a real Commander, when it came down to it, and he also informed her, that Lister had always hated people in authority, because they made him work, and he didn't know the meaning of work, and that he was a crafty little devil, who could wrangle out of things, just by clicking his fingers, yes indeedy! And he had said - "You stand up to him, Argana and don't you take any nonsense from him! He's only trying to take adavantage of your better nature, that's all! He's only telling you, that there is nobody out there, so that he can get away without doing a days work, and idle his time away, for as long as he pleases! Well, I am afraid that will soon change, when we get back to earth! I have got a list of all his mutinous deeds in my head, Argana, but I can't write them down, but you can if you wish, now here is the very first deed..." Quite surprisingly, Argana cut him off and said - "No thank you Arnold, I've got more than enough to do as it is, but you can always record his misdemeanours in the Hologram Projection Suite, you know. There is plenty of suitable equipment there for you to touch, that will be more than sufficient for your needs". Rimmer had smiled evilly to this, and said - "Now why didn't I think of that?! Of course, I will set to it right away", and with that he left her to her work, and she hadn't seen him for the past two weeks, and she sighed and she realised, that it would take him all that time, and possibly even more, to recall every single mischief, that Lister had incurred, before she had arrived on this ship! It will probably take me another two years, the way that I am going, with all these distractions, to do these confounded star charts, Argana thought, as she unfolded the giant foolscap of paper out, onto her drawing board. She sighed, as she thought of her other menial task, after she eventually got round to working out the course co-ordinates for Earth, and that was constructing the light speed drive, because that was what was needed to get this ship back to Earth, at a more speedy pace. She did not fancy going into stasis again, and lose more years from her life, even though Lister had informed her time and time again, that he didn't really give a toss, about how much time had passed, as every day was virtually the same anyway, and it didn't really matter what day of the week was, when you were in space, and that time was irrelevant. Argana felt that was a very immature and irresponsible attitude to take, and she had quoted from - "Alice In Wonderland" - I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date", and she had given a lecture to him, that time had mattered to the great authors of their day, and what white rabbit had said that? She had nearly collapsed on the spot, when Lister had answered - "Bugs Bunny!", and then Argana had told him, that he well and truly deserved to be a guest at The Mad Hatters Tea Party! And the Cat, who had been listening to this debriefing in the Science Room. Well he wasn't listening as such, actually. He had just woken up, from a snooze on one of the desks. Argana had got to the stage, where she was getting past caring, about the animals sleeping arrangements, but it had really disgusted her, about three weeks ago, when his reply to that, particular statement at Lister, had been - "Hey Lady, does that mean, I am invited as well? It means that I will need at least a week to design my new outfit!" But Argana, had been too incredulous with disbelief to answer him.
With regard to the light speed drive, however, Argana wasn't very confident, where that was concerned. She was a scientist, not an engineer, and even though she knew, that she had got more than what it took to design one, her knowledge was rather limited, to getting it connected to a power point, in the cargo decks, and she also felt that Holly did not have the necessary to run the system, and it would need one hell of a lot of back up, to give it the power, that it would need to get this craft back to earth, but she would worry about that, after she had completed these confounded star charts, and even though Lister had been quite interested and enthusiastic, about her designing this light speed drive, Argana knew that he wasn't in that much of a hurry to get back to earth, when it came down to it, and he had told her to take all the time, that she needed to get all these back breaking tasks done, and she still had to complete her most important task to date, and that was, another job, that this idle computer, should have done, from day one, after the radiation leak, yes sir! And that was, wait for it: The A to Z of the Universe, with all it's Post Offices and Steeples, and every known asteroid, planetoid, star, gas giant, and every single planet, that they had passed, or been to, from the moment that Lister had gone into stasis! Why, it was an absolute disgrace, Argana had told Holly at the time, that no star charts had been created! Why, it was unforgiveable! And Argana, was determined to report this idle computer to the Space Corps, once they got back to earth! After all, it wasn't as if she had had a great deal to do, while Lister was in stasis! Anything would have been more preferable to reading - "Football, It's A Funny Old Game", by Kevin Keegan! Holly had explained that he(which she had been at the time), had made a start on it, but it had got a bit boring after a time, but she had printed off, his (when she, had been a he, that is!)first star chart, at Arganas' insistence, which she had been quite impressed with, which almost made her forgive her, and Argana had told her, that she was an AI 6,000 hologrammatic computer, and by rights, she shouldn't know what it was like to be bored, let alone have feelings! When she had told Lister about that at the time, he had been rather firm with her, and he had told her, that computers had a right to their feelings, as much as any human, and that Holly did feel, and he did insist to her, that having been on his own for three million years, without the necessary computer personnel, to prevent him from having feelings, wouldn't have done his personality cache, much good, and for once Argana had agreed with Lister. After all, she should have known better, with her computer training, to have taken it out on the computer like that, and she duly apologised to Holly and to Lister, and to be fair to Holly, Argana had discovered the fact, that Holly had indeed resumed his/her star charts, once Lister was out of stasis, and had recorded every planet, that they had visited, or bypassed, so there was some hope, after all, and by analysing the star charts on a spare terminal, Argana more or less thought, that once she gave her the co-ordinates for earth, that the course that she had plotted to Earth, would be ninety eight per cent correct, but Argana wanted to be one hundred per cent certain, that the course was right, and she was determined to ascertain, with Holly's memory banks, over the three million year gap, that she hadn't bothered to do the star charts, and not only that, Argana was in the continual process of having to design the star charts, that should have been done in the first place, and once they were completed, Holly could print the charts out, that she had collated over the years, for reference purposes, so Argana could match the co-ordinates, with the course on the star charts, but Argana had got to do the three million gap, star charts by hand, because Argana knew, that it would be far too much for Hollys' memory banks to take, and as the pieces of paper were so gigantic, Argana knew that she could record every single detail by hand, with more than enough space to spare, without having to interfere with her memory banks. It wouldn't take three million years, for Argana to do the star charts, thank goodness, because according to the data, that Holly had kindly supplied Argana with, they hadn't really passed any significant space marks, and the majority of the planetoids and asteroids, were unnamed, anyway, but Argana, was determined to draw every single gas giant and planet, that they had passed anyway, so that she could definitely be sure, that they were on their way back to earth, once and for all. All in all, Argana estimated that she had got to do about five more charts, to catch up with Hollys' star charts, where the planets started to get more significant anyway. That wasn't the problem. No, the problem for Argana was, where this was concerned, was getting the gigantic piece of paper to stop folding up, every time, she spread it out, but Kryten had been kind enough to solve that problem, by finding some special clips for the drawing board, which worked like a charm, but it wasn't as simple as that. Even though Argana, knew more than enough about designing star charts, thanks to her training at Oxford. She did not really specialise in that scientific field, and the star charts that she had designed at Oxford, had indeed been designed by computer, and not by hand, which was what she was doing now, and Argana wasn' t an artist, by any means! Admittedly though, one could not deny, that she had indeed done her best, where this job was concerned, and she was well on her way to completing the first chart, which had taken her the best part of three weeks so far, and she knew that she was going to need another three weeks to complete this one, and then it was on to the next one, but Argana knew without a doubt, when it actually came down to it, that she had, just not got the necessary patience needed to complete this task, and she was pretty near breaking point, by this time, and it wasn't so much the designing of the little gas giants and planetoids, asteroids, etcetera, which she minded, so much. It was the stretching of her arms, to get them properly positioned, that she hated, beyond a doubt, and not to mention all the colouring in as well, which she was doing at this moment, and she had got to do it, otherwise it wouldn't look right. Perhaps Listers' ex-grilfriend Christine Kochanski, would have been better at this, than I am. After all, she had actually specialised in astro-navigation, and I have only done the basics! she thought. Argana did think it strange, that Lister had hardly mentioned her, since her arrival on board, and she had often wondered, what it was, that had caused them to split up in the first place, and then it suddenly came to her. Perhaps once the novelty of going at with a bit of rough, must have lost it's appeal, after a while, which wasn't that surprising really! And her instincts told her, that Kochanski must have been a bit of class herself, and in a way, Argana pitied her, for been taken in by his false charms, and she put it down to her, having a bad bout of space craziness for going with Dave Lister, which must have driven her to having fantastic sex in his bunk, and eating those revolting curries of his, into the bargain! Well, Argana had had a taste of one of his curries, one day, just out of curiosity, really, and after just one taste, she had vowed never to go near them again! She had thought for one godawful moment, that she was going to need a fire extinguisher for her tongue! Argana cast up a silent prayer, for not going that space crazy herself, when she had been on The Excalibur, and heaven help her, if Lister had been there with her! Why, it didn't even bear thinking about really! In fact, the more that she put Lister out of her mind, the better! In a sense, she did wish that Kochanski was here, sometimes, and could keep him in line, and out of my hair! Argana thought. But Kochanski was, for the time being, not around, and the game that she had appeared in, which had been part of a special medical programme, which had been aimed at saving Listers' life, had got corrupted, once and for all, and even though Argana, had only had a basic knowledge of it, courtesy of Kryten, on the second day of her arrival, she sure felt its' loss, when it actually came down to it! But for the moment, she put all thoughts out of her mind, about what could have been, and she concentrated on the present, and one of her present prioirites, was to have her morning conference with Holly. She turned round to face the monitor, and if you could read her expression, she would have been able to tell, that it was an expression of sheer disgust. She exclaimed - "Hab, what is the meaning of this! How dare you appear on this monitor, together with her! You know full-well, that you are not supposed to have a link up, without my permission!" Hab, was looking rather sheepish now, and Argana knew at once, that he had been up to no good, especially when she saw the bright scarlet marks on his face! Argana sighed, and she knew that she was more or less powerless to stop the two of them, getting together, and even though Hab had irritated her most of the time on her journey to the Dwarf, on the Excalibur, she knew deep down, that she hadn't really got the heart to disconnect him. Well, she couldn't, he was essential to the running of her ship, and all systems, would terminate immediately, forever more, and she could not afford to let that happen, in case she ever needed to use her craft again, and besides, it would kill him, anyway. And no matter how hard hearted, Argana seemed at times, she knew that she wasn't and couldn't be, that merciless. When it came down to it, Argana knew that she wouldn't have minded Hab, falling in love with Holly, if she hadn't looked like the spitting image of her Mother, Queen Nerrie, who had been a very clever woman, in her time. Why, she had been such a brilliant Mathematician, that she had equalled the likes of Buzz Aldrin! Argana wouldn't have minded so much, if Holly had retained her i.q, but sadly, that just wasn't to be, and even though Argana knew, that she couldn't help her senility, and didn't really mean to be so ignorant, it really tore her up, when she couldn't even work out the most simplest of equations, but then again, the likes of Lister and the Cat, didn't really appreciate it, and Kryten, was totally out of it, anyway, but it sure as hell, mattered to her, and she wouldn't have minded so much, if her computer Hab, had been a lot better looking! In fact she had been disgusted, when her Father, had introduced her to him, on that last but one fateful day on her planet, and she had actually laughed, when she had discovered, just how ugly, he was, and that awful cockney working class accent! Why, it was terrible! It was worse than Little Boys Liverpudlian accent! But her Father, ever so wise, and anxious to control his headstrong Daughter, as per usual, had taken her aside, and he had reprimanded her most severely, and he had informed her, that Hab's(which stood for a Holographic advanced based computer)image and voice, had been copied, from his dear friend Albert Berkstein, who had also been a brilliant advanced Earthquake Seismologist specialist of his time, and it hadn't been his fault, if he had originally hailed from Londons' East End! Argana had been genuinely interested in Dr Berksteins' academic abilities, at the time of course, and she had to admit, that she had great respect for him, but to have him, as the onboard computer on the evacuation craft, The Excalibur, was downright unforgiveable! But her Father had insisted that was the best that they could come up with at the time, and The Excalibur was only an emergency evacuation craft, when it came down to it, and it would only be used as a last resort, anyway, but unfortunately it HAD come down to it, and poor Argana had been stuck with Habs' ugly mush, for the best part of three million and twenty four years, and three months, and she knew it was because of that reason, that she had had to go into stasis, at the end of the day! However, Argana decided not to dwell too much, about her time on The Excalibur, as it had been a very painful time for her, as well as an extremely boring time, and she decided to concentrate on the present, once more. "What are those red marks doing on your face, Hab?" Argana demanded of him. "Oh, it's just a computer rash, Argana"he answered, in his somewhat sheepish tone. Argana decided not to have a debate with him, and she said to him - "Get back to your monitor on the Excalibur, at once!" Hab looked rather put out, and he said to her - "But it's boring on there, and it isn't as if I have got a great deal to do...". By this time, Argana had had enough, and she cut him off - "Well that is not my problem, is it, Hab?! Now, will you kindly find something to do, or I will seriously consider pulling the plug on you!" Habs' computer rash, had suddenly disappeared by now, and she noticed that his face, had taken on a very white expression, but she knew that she had won, because he merely said - "Yes Maam, and he disappeared off the monitor, without any further ado. Argana cast a scathing look at the computer, whose image was so reminiscent of her Mothers' face, that it nearly tore her apart, but she decided not to dwell on that, and she thought over the reasons, why Holly had been attracted to Hab, which had been: Holly had fallen in love with Hab, because she had reminded her so much, of when she had originally been a he, before the head sex change operation, after the Boyz encounter, with the parallel universe, and when he had originally been a he, he had gone and fallen in love with the female computer, called Hilly on the Red Dwarf, in the parallel universe, and that female image, had had very similar characteristics, to the present Holly on the Red Dwarf in the present day universe, and if anybody, who is reading this, who can make more sense of this, than I can, then they deserve a medal! Argana decided not to mince words with Holly and she said - "Have you come up with any significant planets, asteroids, planetoids and gas giants, over the three million year period, Holly?" Holly looked rather vacant, and Argana sighed, she knew that it was going to be one of those days! Holly shrugged and said - "It's thirty five minutes past, eight '0' clocks ship time, Argana". "So? What are you blithering on about, you godamn stupid computer?" Holly looked rather cut up, over Arganas' remark, but she had crossed her one time too many, and she had thought better of it, and she answered - "Which roughly translated means: It's a bit too early in the morning, for me to go accessing my memory banks, for any new information!" Argana felt disgusted and exclaimed - "Lord love us! I have never known such an indolent computer in my life! I wouldn't mind, but it isn't as if you've got a husband and family, to cook and clean for, after you've done a decent days work!" Holly looked quite offended for once, and she said to Argana, in a somewhat chilly tone - "Look, I have got the general day to day running of this ship to see to, which also includes the safety of the crew, which has to come first, before all of your demands, and constant rules and regulations! Look, I will do what I can for you Argana, where those precious charts of yours, are concerned, I promise, but I have to insist, that I am more than capable of giving you the correct course co-ordinates for our journey to earth anyway, and I don't think, that what went on during the three million gap, will make an awful difference, to the final print out of the co-ordinates, which you will be requesting, after you have finished these star charts. But have it your own way, you usually do! I've got to offline and have some relaxation, sometimes, you know! I do wish you would try and understand, that I'm not as senile as you think I am, and trust my judgement a little bit more, instead of careering around, like a bull in a china shop!" Argana felt the tears come to her eyes. She had to admit that she felt rather ashamed of herself, but Holly had made her look small, and she knew that she was been rather immature taking it out on a machine, but she had taken her loneliness and frustration out on Lister, more than enough times now, but it never seemed to get through to him, and in a sense, that was why Kryten and Holly, got the brunt end of it, and she said to her, in a somewhat childish voice - "Oh do what you like! And I certainly know what your offline relaxion is, you haven't got to tell me!" Holly looked at her in disgust and said - "I will sort out some significant planets, when I think you've grown up a bit, and not before, do you understand, your most Imperial Majestic Highness?!", and with that, she turned herself off, and once her image had disappeared, Arganas' face had gone very red, and she started to colour in her chart, furiously. She almost missed the Cat entering the Science Room, without asking Kryten to announce him, as per usual. It had really got on her goat, the way that the animal sauntered into any room or area, on this ship, as if he owned the place. Argana had asked him at least a hundred times, to show her a bit of courtesy, but it had become rather pointless after about a week, that she had long given up, making the effort. "Hey, lady, you still working out, how to re-design the Universe?!" Argana sighed at his obvious lack of interest in her work, which she considered, really essential to their well being! At least Lister, did show a bit of interest, where that was concerned, she had to give him credit for that, but it was an entirely different matter, where the animal was concerned! Why, he didn't even address her properly! He kept on addressing her as 'Lady', which made her feel, as if she were on a street in New York, and when she had tried to get it through to him: "It's your Highness, animal! Your Royal Highness, animal!" The Cat just smiled at her and flashed those white fangs of his: "Why, thank you Lady, it's nice to know that somebody knows my real name! Why, you're my friend for life!" and with that, he slapped his hand on hers, and left the room. At that point, Argana had broken down and cried, because his gesture, the slapping of her hand, had been so reminiscent of her dear old friend Curt, who had also been her ex-flight Instructor, but in Curts' case, more often than not, his hand had had grease on it, from an engine, that he had been working on. A greasy grubby hand, that knew what the word WORK truly meant! And it disgusted Argana to have her hand slapped with a manicu , by a vain and egotistical creature, who reminded her so much of her dear dead friend, who had saved her life, who had saved her from being slain by that evil machine fire, from those evil Devillgillians, and had lost his own life, into the bargain! Why this creature, only looked out for himself! But there was something about him, Argana thought, and he was always there, whenever they encountered a derelict ship, and she could not deny, that he made an excellent co-pilot and she had been amazed to discover, that he had been very keen to learn all he could, about space aviation. However, Argana had been bitterly disappointed to discover that he had only taken an interest in it, because there were a lot of nice shiny things for him to play with, and he soon got bored, after about an hour or two, and she had to take over herself, at the wheel, before she felt like it, to assist Lister, and she didn't really trust Kryten, or even Rimmer, where that was concerned, and she didn't dare say to Lister, that she didn't really like been at the wheel, and it didn't hold that much interest to her, but she had had six months training by a dedicated pilot and a good friend, and she vowed that she wasn't going to waste six months training, or let his memory down, just because she didn't feel like it, yes sir! She was not going to show Dave Lister, that she had lost her sense of discipline, where her pilots training was concerned, and she had also vowed, that she would not lose face in front of him, ever! Even if it killed her! However, the Cat brought her thoughts back to the present, and she merely cast a disgusted look at him, which he didn't seem to notice, and even if he had, she knew that he wouldn't have cared anyway, and she merely said - "Can't you even say Good morning, before you make a general comment, about my work on this ship, Creature Feature?" The Cat, merely flashed her another smile, which again reminded her of her dear friend Curt only too well, but only when he teased her, about him taking an interest in his appearance, which had never really been his thing, and Argana had long since regretted criticising him about that, and she felt that ever since, she had first made acquaintance with the Cat, that she had been cursed forever more, by getting on to Curt, about his appearance in the first place! At first, Argana had been impressed by the way, that the creature wore his clothes, and how well his suits were made, and when the Cat, had given her the rare privilege of seeing inside his wardrobe in his quarters, for a few minutes, she was so impressed by the quality of them, that she had thought that she was in a branch of Guccis' or even Bloomingdales, or Libertys of London, or Dior of Paris, etcetera, and she hadn't been able to help her curiosity, about the contrast between him and the Cat, but like the saying goes, Curiosity had indeed killed the Cat, only too well, and Argana had certainly discovered, that his looks, and his clothes, were all that he really cared about! He was certainly a vain and selfish creature, where that was concerned, and he had even criticised her own appearance, with regard to the long white Grecian gowns, which were a typical everyday traditional aspect of Arganas' people, and his comment - "White against white skin! Hey Lady, you truly are lacking in dress sense! Why, you are certainly in desparate need of bringing a little bit of colour into your life!"and he didn't even realise that he had offended her! Argana wouldn't have minded so much, if he had been aware of that fact! After that incident, Argana had done her best to avoid the Cat, whenever possible, but that wasn't a very easy task, really, because he always seemed to crop up, when you least expected him to, like at this particular moment. However, there was another thing about the Cat, that she did respect, and that was his strong sense of smell, and his instincts, of knowing, when there was something not quite right, when they went on their 'shopping trips'. And Argana had a feeling, that might come in handy one of these days, but not at this present moment, especially when he said to her - "Hey Lady, I didn't come to have a debate about etiquette, I just came in here for a nap!", and with that, the Cat climbed on to the Science Rooms' debriefing table, without so much as even asking her permission! Well, as if he would, anyway! Why, she wouldn't have minded so much, if he had offered her that courtesy! But as per usual, he hadn't, and Argana didn't feel like having a debate with him, but she wasn't going to let him get away with his indolent nature, if she could help it! And she said - "I would hardly call the phrase - "Good Morning", a whole terms work at a Swiss Finishing School, animal! It's just a common courtesy, that some people are used to hearing about the universe, that is all! It isn't too much to ask! Now if you don't mind me cutting in on your main vocational task of the day, for a few seconds...", "I'm all ears, Lady!"the Cat smiled, curling his body, into his usual curled up position. "Why on earth, do you wish to sleep in such an awkward position? There are plenty of sleeping berths on this space craft, you know! I just can't see the logic of you just napping anywhere, that just takes your fancy. Isn't a bed, good enough for you, then?"she asked him with her usual caustic sarcasm, which the animal always failed to miss, everytime. He smiled at her, before he laid his head down for the final count, and he explained - "Why, this table is nice and cool, Lady! Can't you tell?! And I want to be one cool , today! I'm in that kind of a mood!" Argana sighed, and for once, she was too exhausted to answer him. Any kind of conversation with him, wore her out, and she didn't know why Lister put up with him, and she just couldn't get over the way, that he saw himself, as his 'Daddy'. As if he had sired and given birth to him, himself! It was quite incredulous, really! So, Argana, set herself to her work, once more, and she ignored the sleeping creature behind her, and tried to pretend that he wasn't there, and to be quite honest, that wasn't very hard to do, she had to say that for him. He did at least let her carry on with her work, and he didn't really disturb her, and Argana knew that she didn't mind his presence, when it actually came down to it, and she didn't hold it against him, for being as vain and conceited, as he was. After all, he was descended from cats, and he couldn't help what he was, when it came down to it, and in a sense he did remind her of the College cat, Sophie, at Magdalane College, Oxford, who had often sat on Arganas' lap, when she had felt like sitting in the quadrangle, whenever the weather was nice, and she was either reading a book, or just relaxing, and Argana knew that she wouldn't have minded so much, if the Cat, hadn't been the spitting image of Curt. Krytens' voice over the intercom cut into her thoughts - "Mr Arnold is outside, Maam, would you like me to send him in? He would like to have his morning conference with you". Argana sighed. Why was it, whenever Rimmer was due to see her, that she felt like she was having a meeting with the Governor General of The United Nations? Even though she liked Rimmer, she did find him a bit over bearing at times, but she knew that he meant well, and she didn't have the heart to say that nine times out of ten, that she hadn't really felt like it lately, over the past couple of weeks, but the moment, she looked into those blue eyes, which reminded her so much, of her dear dead brother Argon, she knew that she didn't have the heart to say no, when it actually came down to it, but it had been getting a bit much lately, and there was no way, that she was going to deny that! Argana spoke into the intercom, and said - "Yes, thank you Kryten, you may, but would you be so kind as to inform him, that I have only got about five minutes, as it won't be very long before Oh My God Mr Lister, makes his debut". "Of course, Maam"Kryten answered her, and within a few minutes, Rimmer entered the Science Room, and Argana cast a silent prayer up, because she was thankful, that he hadn't got his full Admirals uniform on, which had been niggling her a bit lately, because she could not understand for the life of her, why a Second Technician, had access, to a uniform like that, and to a certain extent, it was beginning to irritate her, a little bit. Rimmer was in his soft light form, because he could not be in his hard light form on the Dwarf, only on Starbug. There was one simple reason: The hard light form, developed by Legion, was a couple of centuries, ahead of it's time, and Holly had not got enough power to initialize him that way on the Dwarf. But on Starbug, that was a different case, as Holly wasn't really needed to power that ship, and his power source, was an independent to the one on the Dwarf, and Holly found it hard enough to find enough energy, to keep him going in soft light form, let alone hard light form! But that wasn't necessarily the case, Argana knew that he needed a special link to the Hologram Projection Suite, before Holly could even begin to project him in that form, and it wasn't so much, that the ship was too old to do the job, but Red Dwarf had belonged to the twenty third century, and not the twenty fifth century, where Legion had belonged, but Lister had informed her, that if they could 'salvage' the special link, that was needed for the task, from a craft, which hailed from the twenty fifth century, and if they were to cut down some unnecessary power sources, then they would be able to run him in hard light form, on the Dwarf, as well, but for the time being, it was advisable, for him to stay in soft light form, but in some ways, Argana was relieved that he couldn't touch her, on the Dwarf. She felt rather guilty, whenever she thought about it, but she just couldn't help herself, but there were times, when he made her squirm, and she tried not to think too much of the times, when he had touched her on Starbug, and she had felt a little bit wary of him, especially when they were checking data, in the scanner room, and sometimes he would sit, that little bit too close to her, for comfort, and it was rather embarrassing, when he would put his arm around her, so they could check the supply lists, but he did tell her, that he was having problems with his eyesight, and that he couldn't see the text, very well, and that it was a lot easier, that way, but Argana couldn't help worrying about the moments, when he had accidentally brushed her knee, with his hand, and the way that he had patted her hand, was a bit too disconcerting to say the least! And she was particuarly wary, when she noticed that he was staring at the bodice of her dress, and she felt her face, become a very bright shade of red, and what was worse, she was beginning to feel that she liked him touching her and staring at her, with lust and longing in his eyes! But Argana knew that it was wrong for them to feel like this, about one another. For one thing, he was a hologram, a dead man, but even worse than that, he was the spitting image, of her dear brave kind hearted Brother Argon! But they had also had very similar feelings for one another, but it was a very different case with Argon. For one thing, Argon was an officer and a gentleman, and he had never felt her up, on the sly, and Argana knew, that she could not deny, that Rimmer had done that, and Argon had expressed how he had felt for his sister, with a brief illicit kiss, outside her quarters, but she knew that he would never have taken his feelings for her, any further, and she knew that he had been resigned to that, without a doubt, but Argon was an entirely different matter to Arnold Judas Rimmer, anyway. It had been perfectly alright for him to express his frustrated pent up feelings of love for her, because he had always been her second hero, ever since she could walk, especially after he had saved her life, by giving her immediate mouth to mouth resuscitation, after he had dragged her little frame out of the cockpit of the little aeroplane in the planets' park garden, which had been a birthday present from the United Nations. It had only been a prototype of a childs' electronic aeroplane, which would be available on the toy market, if Argana, the King and leaders' Daughter, had no problems with it, but unfortunately, that was just not to be, and when the little girl had only done just one circuit of the domed park, she had heard a whirring sound in the engine, which her instincts immediately told her, that there was something wrong. The little girl had done her best to control the plane, as swiftly as possible, but she had known from such an early age, that Argon, at the tender age of fourteen years, was a far better pilot, than she would ever be in a lifetime! In the end, Argana had had to make a crash landing, but she hadn't been able to land the little plane smoothly, unfortunately, because she had been flying over some trees, and she had known that it would have been impossible to land the plane on them carefully, even though she knew that her Brother would have managed it, perfectly easily, but this had been only the second time, that she had flown in a toy craft, and her Brother had done that, over a hundred times already, and her flying skills were pretty amateurish, compared to his! But Argana had managed to land the little craft in a fairly lowish bush, just before she passed out from the fumes, that were already beginning to fill the cockpit, and she had remembered no more, until she came to, at the childrens hospital, and when she had found the strength to thank her Brother for saving her life, he had merely shrugged his shoulders and said - "Oh, it was only a skill, which I had drummed into me, at my life saving class, that's all, Princess!", and his attitude, had been more or less the same, when the United Nations, had insisted on presenting him, with a medal for saving his sisters life, and barely thinking of what the consequences could have been to his life, especially after the little plane, had exploded, the moment that he had dragged his sister a hundred yards, away from the impact scene. But then, her Brother had always been a modest kind of person, Argana thought, and that modesty of his, had always been a familiar trait, that she had loved, and kept within her heart, and it couldn't have been more apparent, when he had come back, from his first space jaunt, where he had discovered a new galaxy, which had consisted of ten planets, complete with a new solar system, which would eventually be terraformed by him and his team, over a period of six months, and they would be used for research purposes, by the Angelican Scientific research team. Only that had never come into effect, because it would have taken another ten year to get colonies set up there, and the United Nations, were never really keen to pay out, where colonisation was concerned. Argons' modesty had also been apparent, when he had saved his Co-Pilots life, on a return mission, because their craft had been hurtled into the path of an exploding nebula, and they had almost been hurtled into it its path, and his Co-Pilot, Timothy, had collapsed of a stroke, at the wheel, and Argon had had to cope, with steering the craft, out of the nebulas impact drag, and offering resuscitation to Timothy, at the same time, and he had to do the return joruney to Angelica, without a Co-Pilot, and that had taken an extra two months, into the bargain, and his family had feared for him, because the impact of the exploding nebula, had interfered with the radio communications set up, and technically, once all radio contact, had disappeared, off the face of Angelica, Argon and Timothy, and all the contents, of the ship, were more or less, classed as officially dead, but with only a weeks worth of supplies left, Argon had managed to conserve all supplies, for the best part of two months, and he had gone without food, for the best part of a month, before they finally got back home, but Timothy had had more than enough to eat, and even though Argons' chances of survival were very thin, as they wheeled him away to hospital, Argana felt her instincts tell her, that he was going to make it, and at the awards ceremony two months, later, Argon had had to force himself to conduct another embarrassing speech, but that was only a couple of the brave deeds, that her Brother had fulfilled, during his oh so short life, which had been whisked away, by those evil Devillgillians'. Argana did try to think of the brave deeds, that Arnold Rimmer had done, and she realised that she was finding it very hard to come up with some, but there was the blasting away of the time drive, which had been absolutely necessary to save the others, from their future selves, but the time drive, hadn't been damaged totally beyond repair, Argana thought, and she knew that Lister would repair it sooner or later, now that the threat of their future selves had disappeared forever more. So, she knew that Rimmer wasn't entirely beyond hope, just yet, but she still couldn't recall many other daring deeds, that he had done, during his lifetime, and deathtime, but she could not deny, that he had always behaved like a gentleman, and that he had treated her with the utmost courtesy, during the entire month, that he had made her acquaintance. There was that, at the very least, and she decided to put those incidents of his, been rather a bit over familiar to her, when he was in his hard light form, on Starbug, to one side, for the time being. After all, he had been educated at a Public School, and God only knows where Lister had been educated! "Good morning Argana, and how are we getting along with the charts?"he asked her politely. Argana smiled back, and said - "Good morning Arnold! They are coming along just fine, thank you, but I think it may take the best part of two months, before I can even begin to catch up with the printed out star charts". Rimmer beamed at her, with his usual flared nostril smile, which irritated her a little, and for the life of her, she just couldn't understand, why this was so. Argana had insisted on Rimmer addressing her, by her first name, because he had been polite enough to address her, as "Maam, or Your Highness", in the first place. What was more, he was Public School educated, after all, and Argana didn't really care, that he was a Chicken Soup Operative, which Lister always seemed to refer him as, which had offended her, quite deeply, and she had drummed it into Lister, time and time again, that Arnold J.Rimmers' Official rank, on this ship, was - "Second Senior Technician", and that he must be treated with the respect, that he deserves, and even though Rimmers' obvious failure of not acquiring the necessary exam, which would have made him an Officer, had been quite a considerable shock to her, at first, because she had assumed that he was an officer, when she had first made his acquaintance, because of that military get up of his, and as she had had a bad knock on the head, she kept addressing him as Field Marshal, which had seemed to impress him, no end, and Lister had been pretty quick to shatter her illusions of Rimmers' rank, on this ship, which she had thought rather mean, and that had intensified her dislike of Lister immediately, and she had felt particularly upset about that little incident, because her dear Father, had brought her up to respect, every persons' authority on the planet Angelica and Earth, and even beyond the known universe, when it actually came down to it, and he had drilled it into her, whether she was introduced to a King, a Prince, or a fellow Scientist, a Space Corps Test Pilot, an Actress, a Bishop, a Technician, or a man or woman who cleaned the Planets Lavatories, she was to treat them as if they were a King or Queen, themselves, and that everybodys' job in life, was important, no matter how high or low it was, and that everybody was created equal, and if she were ever to treat the menial workers on this planet, like dirt, and he got wind of it, he would be very angry indeed. But Argana hadn't needed to be told more than once, and even if she hadn't been made aware of that fact, she would have still treated every person she met with equal respect, and it was in her blood, anyway, but during her time on the Dwarf, Holly, Hab, Lister and the Cat had really tried her patience to it's limits, to the utmost, and she wouldn't have minded so much, if Lister hadn't laughed, when she had tried to make him understand that fact, about how it was with her people, and his comments - "If you think I'm kow towing to that Smeghead, then you've got another think coming, Babe! I would rather address the Skutters, with more respect, than him!" And that was that, Argana decided. Dave Lister was a man, who was so ignorant, that it wasn't worth giving him the time of day, and it was a complete and utter waste of her resources, trying to train him, and yet she didn't know why, but she felt that there was something about him, and she knew that it was the deep spark of his defiance, that held some hope for her, and she had a feeling, that he was far more cleverer than he cared to admit, when it came down to it, but Argana realised that he was far too crafty for his own good, and he always seemed to get the better of, her better nature every time, and she was getting to the point, where she had decided, that she was not going to take any more nonsense from him, yes sir! However for the time being, she brought her thoughts back to the present, because she didn't really have much time to spare, for Rimmer this morning, and she let him make his usual offer - "Are you ready for our morning stroll around the diesel decks, then, Argana?" For the past month, Rimmer had had the courtesy of giving Argana, the one hundred dollars worth tour of Red Dwarfs' Engineering Room, and what it consisted of, and Argana was one hundred per cent sure, that he was determined to show her every diesel engine on this ship, before they got back to Earth, and at the rate that he was going at it, she knew that he might not acheive his aim! She could not deny, that it had been fun, at first, and very entertaining, and besides, she had got to familiarise herself, with the Dwarfs engine works, to a certain extent, anyway, so she would be able to find a certain bay, which would be suitable for her to link up the light speed drive, which she would eventually design, once she had finished her star charts, and had got her course co-ordinates, together, at last, so it wasn't a great inconvenience really, but she could not help denying, that she was getting a little bit restless, where Rimmers' guided tours were concerned lately, and once you had seen one diesel engine, you'd seen them all, when it came down to it, and she was really quite amazed at Rimmers' integrity, for finding the difference, between the Cameron Macintosh 500 diesel engine, and the Cameron Macintosh 501diesel engine, and there were times, when she really felt her head spinning, but Rimmer was pretty good, and quite understanding really, when she confessed, that usually after about one hour, that she was beginning to find it mentally uplifting, but it was a little bit tiring on her feet, and she did have some urgent business to attend to, but Rimmer, ever the gentleman, was always kind enough to excuse her, and that they would carry on, from where they left off, the very next day, and Argana never really had the heart to say no, to his guided tours, but she always felt, whenever they started the tour again, that they hadn't really advanced very much, from where they had left the last time, and Rimmer kept smiling to her and saying - "Only another fifty five thousand and thirty diesel engines to go, Argana, only another fifty five thousand and thirty diesel engines to go!", and Argana always felt a bad headache coming on, after he had said that. So, without any further ado, Argana smiled at Rimmer, and said - "Thank you Arnold, but I am afraid that you will have to excuse this mornings excursion, but to make up for it, we can discuss the next expedition, tomorrow morning, but I am afraid that I am a bit tied up this morning, so if you will accept my apologies...". Rimmer looked a bit put out, but nethertheless, he regained his composure, and he said - "Of course I will Argana, but would you mind just putting me in the picture?" "I am afraid that I have got to see your colleague, Mr Lister this morning. I wish to put him right on a few things...". Argana gritted her teeth, and he said - "What, again?!" Rimmer didn't looked too surprised at this information, and he asked her - "What's the little gimboid done now?" Argana couldn't help feeling rather angry at the way, that Rimmer had just addressed Lister, and she honestly didn't think that he was giving Lister much of a chance. In fact it almost seemed to Argana, that it was as if Rimmer wanted to prove Lister guilty, before being innocent, but she merely answered him - "The young man in question, has decided to use my printer holder, for a sled, which he seems to find particularly useful, for a game of soapsud slalom, with Creature Feature here"she pointed her finger at the Cats' sleeping form. "The mechanoid was forced to give me the details, about this. I take it you know about the games that Little Boys like to play on this ship?"she asked him in a reasonable tone. "Oh, I know about them alright, but there's not a lot you can do to stop him Argana, and being a soft light hologram onboard ship, doesn't exactly help matters, but I have made plenty of notes, about Listers' behaviour in my report book in the hologram suite, so when we get back to Earth, all of his misdemeanours will be taken into account. What are you going to do with him, then, Argana, are you going to have him put in solitary, for the rest of the voyage? As you have got the official rank of Captain, on this vessel, you are entitled to that privilege". Argana smiled, and said - "It may come to that yet, Arnold! However, I only think it will make the lad rebel even more, if I deprive him of all his privileges, but I don't think that is really the answer. No, I am going to give that young man a piece of my mind, and try to make him see the sense of having a disciplined mind and body! No, there is no room, for clowning about on my ship!" Rimmer sighed to this, and said - "Hmm, I see your point of view Argana, and I do respect your disciplinary methods, and from what I have heard, your Father was a very good and fair man, and who knew what was what, but I honestly think that you are wasting your time, being soft on Lister. You know what they say, spare the rod, and spoil the child...". Rimmer suddenly paused, because he didn't know whether he had imagined it, but he couldn't help seeing, that there was a glint of anger in Arganas' eyes. After a few seconds had passed, he decided that he hadn't imagined it, and he thought it best to make amends immediately - "But far be it from me, to cast a dark cloud over your sense of judgement. You do what you feel is right, over young Listys' education, but if you feel that you can't do any good, where that is concerned, you know that you can always come to me, for advice, when you need it". Argana had guessed that he was sincere, even though she was still fuming inside, but she said to him courtesly - "Thank you Arnold, I will bear that in mind, now if you will excuse me, I have got some work to attend to". Rimmer smiled at her, with a creeping smile, which she still failed to miss, but it would come, sooner or later, that was quite inevitable really, and without any further ado, he left the Science Room.
After a few minutes had passed, and Argana had hardly acheived anything with her star chart, which seemed to be a usual happening on this ship, Kryten announced, over the intercom, that Mr Lister was ready to see her, at last, and she gave him, her permission, and Lister entered the room. Argana didn't bother to turn round right away, but she knew that she would have to face his nightmarish appearance sooner or later, but while she had the chance to avoid it, she sure as hell, would take advantage of it! He didn't even ask for her permission to speak, and he said to her in that teasing way of his, which had annoyed her from day one - "Wow, you're really serious about getting these charts done, down to the last detail, aren't you Princess? The way that you're going, we'll be able to have an exhibition in the gallery, before the end of the month, and you've still got to get the other five done, but the way I see it, that one will be more than sufficient to take everybodys' breath away, by just pinning it up on one wall!" Argana sighed. He had no idea about etiquette had he? "I beg your pardon, young man? And since when have you been capable of offering an opinion on the art world?! I would hardly think it is your forte, really, after you've finally forced yourself to burrow out of your cess pit, first thing in the afternoon!"and with that, Argana forced herself, to turn round to take in his appearance, and it nearly tore her heart in two, to take it all in. Why, he looked worse than ever! In fact he looked like he'd come out of the black latrine! As per usual, he was wearing his deer stalker hat, complete with torn up leathers, but it wasn't that so much, that was making her feel a little bit pitiful for him. She was used to them, by now, to a certain extent! No, what was really making Argana a little bit dismayed at Little Boys appearance, was the fact, that his trousers, were thick with mud! Why he was a disgrace to his race, and what was more, his podgy little face, was complete with his usual chirpy grin, and he was holding up a bunch of the most beautiful pink and blue flowers, that she had ever seen! But what had relly upset her, was the fact, that he had addressed her as Princess, in that teasing way of his, while she had her back turned, and that teasing way of hers, was the way that her hero Prince Crispian, had addressed her in her fantasies, many many times! When Argana had first made Dave Listers' acquaintance about a month ago, it had broken her heart to discover, that the last human being, the last man(if you could call him that), was the spitting image of her screen hero, the dashing Prince Crispian! In his films and in her fantasies, the dashing Prince Crispian, had rescued damsels in distress(in her fantasies, she had always been the damsel in distress!)He could write poetry, he was the leader of his people in the Castle of Portia in the land of Xanadu! He had a magnificent Library stocked with every known classic, under the sun, and he could play the guitar! Why, he could even quote from Shakespeare! But worse even than that, the young Princess had fantasised, that she had married Prince Crispian, and that he was a wonderful lover, and Father to their twin boys, James and Benjamen! And it made her shudder, with disgust, that Dave Lister, who was supposedly, the last remaining human being, whom she loathed with disgust and dread, resembled him in appearance, but not in character, even though he did have a certain charm about him, which she found quite appealing at times, and she knew that she couldn't deny that, but it was that streak of defiance of his, that really irritated her, that not wanting to conform. He was everything that Crispian wasn't, and she had never heard of a Prince in any of the fairy tales who smoked, who drank lager, who ate curries, who had no dress sense, whatsoever, who played virtual reality games, and read books with flaps on! Argana had seen Little Boys book collection in the sleeping quarters, and she had gone very white, indeed, when Lister had proudly showed her his Beano pop up book! That was more than she could take! And she wouldn't have minded so much, if he could have made Starman by David Bowie, recognisable on his guitar! And there was the question of the sugar puff sandwiches! Why, she could have forgiven him, for everything else, but that was unforgiveable, really! And there was the question of addressing her in the correct manner. Why, that young man knew absolutely nothing about the correct form of protocol! Argana had nearly passed out with shock, on that very first day, when he had addressed her, as - 'Argana', and she had lashed into him, with all the authority of her birthright, without any regard for the consequences, and surprisingly, he had looked rather hurt, rather like a child, but the defiance, had not left his eyes, and in a sense, she had almost admired him for his willfullness, but she merely explained to him, that the correct form of address was: "Your Highness, or Maam, and don't you forget it, young man!" But Lister had merely smiled back at her and answered her cheerfully - "Why, I'm sorry Argana, Maam, but I didn't realise your Highness!", and after that, he would still address her as Argana, if he could get away with it, but he would always add the Maam on, if he absolutely had to, and Argana knew that she would just have to leave it at that. As long as he made the effort, that was all that really mattered, at the end of the day, but the way, that he had been addressing her as Princess, lately was getting to be a bit disconcerting to say the least, and she couldn't help wondering, if he knew about her love and admiration for Prince Crispian, and she still loved her Crispian, he wasn't going to take that away from her, but Argana decided to put that out of her mind, for the time being, and she came to the conclusion, that would have been a little bit too intellectual for the likes of Dave Lister, and she forced her mind back to the present, and Lister answered her question - "I went to Art College, you know!" Argana smiled at this, and she said to him sweetly - "Oh don't I just know it! Tell me Lister, what did you learn about art in those ninety seven minutes?! You know something, I could not live without this knowledge, but was the work of art you did, in that extraordinary length of time, modern art, by the way? Oh my, why on earth am I asking such a question, ninety seven minutes, is more than a sufficient time for anybody to create a modern work of art, especially, if it was something you created - "A Picture of Suffering", which would merely consist of a large piece of foolscap paper, the remains of a curry, flat lager, and every stain of yours, that you have made over the past twenty eight years of your life, that I can recall to mind!" Lister looked quite serious for a moment, and he merely said - "Including my blood? Is that a stain that you would like to see again, Princess?" Argana knew that he had touched a part of her, again, and she flinched, and she thought back to the time, when Lister had had that serious accident, with Rimmers' electric carving knife, when he had been trying to cut his toe nails. Kryten had come to her one morning in the Science Room, and he had asked her, if she would be so kind to come to Mr Listers quarters, because he had had a bit of a nasty accident, and could she assist him, as best as possible, please? Argana at the time, had had to admit, that she didn't like the sound of that, and she followed Kryten to Listers' quarters, with her medical kit, and once she had reached his quarters, she had nearly passed out, at the sight she saw there. Lister had slipped into unconsciousness, but it was the blood, that had shocked her more, the human red blood, which was so unlike her greeny yellowy blood, which indicated the half of her, that was gelf, and always would be, but she was trained to be a Doctor, and she had got to offer what assistance that she possibly could, to the young man, who had never looked so vulnerable, and so much like Prince Crispian, than he did at the moment, but you had to ignore, those awful boxer shorts, and those awful dreadlocks, but she wasn't very pleased to discover the Cat could have ripped off a shirt or even his jacket to stop the blood, flowing out of the part of Listers' leg, where the electric carving knife had slipped, and Kryten had gone into panic mode to find her, as quickly as possible, which was more important, and she couldn't really blame him, nor could she blame Rimmer, for lying flat out beside Lister, because he was in soft light form, and he couldn't have done a great deal for him, anyway, and the Cat, had really disgusted her, when she demanded that she give him his jacket, to stop the blood, which was by now, flowing out of Listers' leg, at a very fast rate, and if she didn't do something to stop it, as soon as possible, he would be in serious trouble, but the Cat, selfish and stubborn to the last, had informed her, that there was no way that he was using one of his not so favourite jackets, as a dish mop, just to clean up the Monkey, and it wasn't his problem, if he had decided to advertise himself for the meat shop, and in the end, he just stormed out of the sleeping quarters, and in the end, Argana realised that she had no choice, and she got Kryten to rip away the bottom half of her dress, which would be more than enough material, which was of the utmost necessity, to stop the blood spurting out of Listers' leg, and she had succeeded, and Kryten was quick enough to congratulate her, but he wasn't out of the woods yet, and they would have to get him down to the Medi Bay, as soon as possible, where she could administer him a tetanus jab, and nurse him back to recovery. All of that wasn't a problem, but it had been a very emotional and stressful time for Argana of course, and the moment that Lister woke up, he was very emotional himself, and could not understand, for the life of him, what had happened, and Argana had had to explain to him, what had happened, and when he realised, what he had done, and the pain that he was in, he sobbed like a baby, and Argana had not been able to help herself, and she had taken him in her arms, as best as she could, and had soothed him, as best as she could, with Kryten looking on sympathetically, and she had called him Dave, and she had stroked his hair, and gently kissed his forehead, and she had told him, that he wasn't to worry about a thing, and that everything was going to be alright, and give or take a few days, he would be back on his feet. He hadn't lost a lot of blood, of course, he was just suffering from shock, that was all. Once Lister had calmed down a bit, and was sleeping like a baby, Argana had been in a state of shock herself somewhat , and for some reason, that she could not understand, she felt very guilty herself, but Kryten had tried to reassure her, that she was doing nothing wrong, by comforting a fellow humanoid, and that she had been trained, as a Doctor after all, and she had a duty, to offer comfort to those who were in need of it. Argana had tried to take it all in, of course, but she knew deep down, that there was much more than that, to the way, that she had offered comfort to Lister, and that some kind of a bond had formed between them, and she also felt, that she didn't want to feel like that, and she would not have minded so much, if it had been the other way round, and Lister had saved her life, like Crispian would have done, but somehow she knew in her heart, that given the chance, some day, Lister would have saved her life, and in a sense, because of those feelings, she took it out on Lister, the very next morning, while he was sitting up in bed, and she had given him sheer hell for messing about with electronic equipment, in a senseless and pointless way, and that it could have cost him his life, if she hadn't been onboard, and that he was to give her his word, that he was never to do that again. For once, which was quite surprising, really, Lister didn't come up with a crafty reply, and he listened to Arganas' every word, and he merely answered - "Yes Maam, of course Maam, I fully understand Maam, and I promise you, it won't happen again", because he realised now, that the woman he loved to distraction, had saved his life, which proved she did give a damn about him after all, and that he had been worth saving, and as she so obviously knew her stuff, she was more than entitled to give him hell for it, and whatever you could say about Dave Lister was, that hedid keep his word, and he knew only too well, that he had behaved rather childishly indeed, and he thought that she had lovely legs, because Argana had been too much in a state of shock, at the time, to change her ruined dress, and it hadn't really occurred to her, that Lister would be in a fit enough state to notice them, but unbeknownst to Argana, he was more than capable of noticing them, and after her lecture, and while he was still in his weakened state Lister knew that he might not get the chance for quite a while, and without any further ado, he grabbed Argana by the hand, hard enough to make her sit down on the bed, and entwine his arms round her waist, and give her a really hard kiss, which he claimed, after she had forced herself to pull away from him, with complete and utter bewilderment, that he had wanted to thank her in the only way he knew best , for saving her life, and Argana had been too much in a state of shock, to reprimand him for it, and after all, she decided, he had been through sheer hell, the other evening, and if he wanted to thank his Doctor, in a way that was significant for him, she knew that it would hurt his feelings deeply, if she had given him a piece of her mind for it, and she wanted him to get back on the road to recovery, as soon as possible. Kryten had nearly dropped the tray of insturments, that he had been carrying into the hospital ward, when he had seen Lister take advantage of the young Princess, like that, but it was fully drilled into his software, to retain his composure, and he just smiled, and put the tray of instruments down, and he had left the ward, as quietly as possible, but Rimmer hadn't been very pleased, when he had heard about the incident, and when he next had the chance to speak to Argana, he informed her of the fact, that he thought that the man, was like a monkey who had been locked in a cage, in the Zoo, for years and years, and that he could not control his baser instincts, but Argana, had merely brushed his concerns off, and explained to Rimmer, that Lister was still not quite himself, and he had had a nasty shock to his system, and after all, she had been trained as a Doctor, so she should know, and she also informed him, that the poor injured soldiers in the First World War, would probably have fallen into the arms of a pretty nurse, whenever they got the chance, and that had been a very nasty bloody war, but Rimmer did try to tell her, that the only wars, that Dave Lister knew, were pub brawls, but Argana still wouldn't let him have his own way, where his attacks on Lister, were concerned, for once. After all, he was her patient, and she was his Doctor, and she knew best, and besides, Lister would be more than ready to leave the hospital ward tomorrow, and he would only have to have his stitches removed, and after that, there would definitely be no more cosseting, and that he would be on his own once more, and that would be the end of that, and once again, Rimmer knew that it was better not to argue with her opinions, where Listers' health was concerned. After all, she did know best, when it really came down to it, and he did feel that it was best not to take the matter any further, because Argana had been kind enough not to mention, his own little reaction to the situation, and he agreed with her, wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, however, it wasn't quite that simple. Even though Lister, didn't attack Argana like that again, which she certainly had to give him enough credit for that, and therefore, the incident was never mentioned again, Lister did keep fawning all over her, with his gratitude for saving his life, and if he could find a way to repay her, for her kindness to him, he would certainly find a way, but Argana was considerably embarrassed by that gesture of his, which was quite understandable really, because she had never thought of herself as a heroine, when it actually came down to it, and she wouldn't have minded so much, if Lister hadn't kept coming to her afterwards, for medical attention, and what really irritated her the most, was his telling her, that she was his all time Doctor! And she could not believe it, when he broke down and cried, when he had cut his finger, one day, and he had wanted another cuddle, which she had had to give to him, because she knew it was the best way of getting rid of him, when it came down to it, and she didn't really have much else to do, when she really thought it through, on this ship, and designing those confounded star charts, did get her down, somewhat, and there were times, when she more than welcomed a break from them, although she never would have admitted it, to this lot, in a million years! However she decided to force her thoughts back to the present, once more, and she said - "Oh do grow up Lister! Of course I don't want to see you in genuine distress! I just want you to have a bit more consideration, that is all I ask of you!" Lister smiled and said - "I do wish that you would call me Dave, Argana, Maam! You haven't got to be so formal, onboard this ship!" Argana felt a shiver run down her spine, and she exclaimed - "Well, I am afraid that you will just have to go on wishing, won't you Lister?! Lister suits me just fine, and anyway, that is beside the point. I haven't asked you to see me about nomenclature, this morning!" Lister looked rather confused, and she knew that she had bewildered him again, by her insistence of educating him, with words he had never heard of in the English Language, and he smiled at her, and said - "I didn't know that we were going to have a discussion about Dutch philosophy, Princess! Why, you ought to know me by now, English is the only language, that I speak!" Argana sighed, and said - "Young man, I will have you know, that Nomenclature is a Latin word, which is a general term, of addressing someone! You haven't got to speak a Language, to work out your Latin quotations! It's quite easy, when it comes down to it! What I meant to say, roughly translated, is why are your trousers dripping mud, onto the floor, and where on earth have those fair blooms come from, that you are holding in your hand? Now, if you have messed about with some of the flower arrangements, in the art gallery, I won't be very pleased with you!" Lister smiled at this, and he said - "I was walking around the botanical gardens, Princess, and I saw these flowers, in the little island on the lake, and I couldn't resist picking them for you, but there wasn't a bridge, and I had to trudge through the mud, and the water to get them for you. So, may I compare thee to a Winters day, which is of our discontent, and enclose the darling buds of September!" Argana couldn't resist it, and she smiled back at him. He wasn't as accurate as Prince Crispian was, with his Shakespearean quotations, in fact, he was fairly inaccurate, with his Shakespearean quotations, but the fact of the matter was, Little boys, had made an effort, and Argana couldn't really knock him for that, and she said to him, with a certain amount of embarrassment - "It's may I compare thee to a Summers day Lister, but you were only two seasons out, and your other two quotations are from two completely different sources altogether, and it is the darling buds of May! But then again, you were only four months out, but that said, you did make an effort to look them up, in your pop up book of Shakespeares sonnets, and it was a very kind and thoughtful gesture, where the flowers were concerned...". Argana had also been reminded of Tom Jones gesture, when he had come across, some beautiful flowers for the woman of his dreams, Sophie Weston, who had also been an unobtainable woman, but nethertheless, when Argana had read that book, that romantic gesture had really touched her heart, at the time, and Tom had been in quite a rather bad state, afterwards, as well. Argana thought it best to force her thoughts back to the present, for the time being, because she felt a bit flushed, but Lister merely smiled, and went to put the flowers in a vase for her. Well, actually to be more precise, it wasn't really a vase, he put them in, it was a urine specimen bottle, and as he put them beside her, he noticed her shocked expression, and he thought it best to make amends. "It was the nearest thing to hand, Argana, maam". Argana sighed. The young man in question, had a desparate lack of knowledge, about culture, and he could have put himself out, a little bit, to try and find something more substantial, than a urine specimen bottle, but she thought it best not to look for faults in him, for the moment. At least he had made more of an effort, where his Shakespearean quotations were concerned, there was that, at least. Argana informed him, of what she had been meaning to ask of him, for quite some time - "By the way, young man, I meant to tell you, that when we finally get back to Earth, you can go back to wherever you hang out in Liverpool, and you can drop me off, at Oxford, so I can have a bit of peace and quiet". Argana was rather surprised when Lister didn't answer her right away, and for one awful moment, she felt a bit of panic come over her, but he finally spoke out, and he said to her in a very firm and serious tone, which he had never used before - "We are not dropping you anywhere, on your own Princess, and that is final". Argana was suddenly aghast, and she lashed into him - "How dare you question my authority! What gives you that right to question my judgement?! Look Lister, understand me once and for all, I do not want to spend the rest of my days, with your cronies, in low down drinking establishments! At Oxford, I will have access to all kinds of culture, and with the Newer Bodleian Library, I will have access to every known piece of classical Literature, under the sun! Forgive me if I am wrong, but I hardly think, that you will fit in at Oxford!" Once again, Lister was silent, and she felt herself shudder, when she saw the defiance in his eyes, and especially, when he exclaimed - "So, Liverpool isn't good enough for you then? We do have educational establishments there, you know? Why, we even have a University, as well, which I was going to suggest that you use, so I can keep an eye on your safety, but as you are so determined to not even give Liverpool a chance, I don't know what I can suggest really" Argana was surprised to discover, that Lister looked hurt, and for the first time, she felt ashamed. She had taken advantage of his better nature, and he did mean well, when it came down to it, and she desparately tried to make amends, but she was still determined to get the better of him, while she had the chance. "Look Lister, I didn't mean to sound as if I was knocking your background..."Lister cut in, and said - "Well, you seemed to be making a pretty good impression of it, just now! Is that how you see me Argana? Do you seriously think that I spend all my time in low down drinking establishments? For once, Argana decided not to tick him off, for just addressing her as Argana, but Argana was determined to get her point across, and she said - "Well you have certainly given me a very good impression, over the past month, where your recreational activities are concerned! I don't understand you at all, Lister!" Lister laughed and said - "Does it ever occur to you, that I don' t understand you either, Maam?"and Argana shivered, when he added the word Maam, onto the end of that sentence, in such a defiant tone, and she said to him, quickly - "Look Lister, I have been to Liverpool, on a day visit, during my time on Earth, and I have to admit, that I did find it a very interesting place to visit, now can you please understand my point of view, where that is concerned?" Lister looked at her thoughtfully once more, and he said - "I know what you mean. It's good enough for you to visit, but not good enough for you to live there, is it?" Argana couldn't answer him, and he went on - "Now, just because I didn't get the breaks that you got, where your education is concerned, does not give you the right to knock my background and my accent!". That was it! He had gone too far, this time, and Argana decided that she would tell him once and for all, and she suddenly exclaimed to him, in what she thought was quite a reasonable tone - "For heavens sake, young man, I am not knocking your background, or your accent, if you really want to know! In fact, I have to say this, but your accent is not that broad really! I've heard worse Liverpudlian accents, than yours! And I think, with a bit of training, and if you really cared to make the effort, I certainly am enclined to think, that eventually, over a short period of time, you could speak with a clear standard English accent!" Lister felt his heart melt, once more. She had touched him again. Why, she was a real lady, and that was what had made him fall in love with her, and he asked her in a more confident tone - "You think?" "Yes I do think, Lister!"she exclaimed to him in an exasperated tone - "But the point is, you don't take the time and trouble to work these things out! You could have bettered yourself, you know! But you didn't want to, did you! You just wanted to drop out, of life and slob around, didn't you?!" Lister nodded to this. He didn't say anything, because he knew that she was one hundred per cent right, but she carried on - "All you had to do, was give it a go, and it is never too late, you know!" Lister had suddenly gone very white, and she sighed, when she noticed, that he was starting to move over to the cupboard, where he kept his beer cans. He got one out, and started to swig from it, and Argana felt disgusted, that he couldn't find the energy, to look for a glass, or even keep one, in the cupboard! It was as simple as that really! He just did not understand what etiquette meant! Argana shuddered, when he offered her a swig, from his can, but she was polite enough to say - "No, thank you". She didn't feel like offending him, once more, but she did feel like she was fighting a losing battle, trying to educate him, in the arts, and she did so want him to represent Crispian, in personality, as well as looks, and she knew that she would have fallen in love with him, instantly if that had been the case, but it wasn't the case! It just wasn't fair was it? Why, the man was like an overgrown child! And she was getting a little bit bored, with having to talk to him, on the level of a small child, as well, but she still had some unfinished business, with him first, and she was still determined to get her own way, about been dropped off at Oxford, and she said - "Don't get me wrong Lister, I am sure that Liverpool has a fine University, but I do not want to sound superior, but Oxford does have more to offer, with it's educational facilities, and believe you me, I should know, I was educated, there! And it was my home, when I did live on Earth for four years. In a sense, you have got no right to deprive me of my heritage!" Lister was looking at her thoughtfully, once more, and he said - "I'm not depriving you of anything babe, believe you me, and if I feel that Oxford is safe enough for you, you can have it your way, but..". Argana cut in, and she was getting a little bit exasperated with him now. As far as she was concerned, she couldn't see a problem, and she said - "I beg your pardon Lister! Why on earth, do you keep questioning my orders? You know I am in command of this ship, and when I give you a command, I expect you to obey it! Now do I make myself clear?!" Argana didn't know it, but she was beginning to exasperate Lister, as well. Lister did not deny Argana her authority, but he sure as hell, didn't like the way, that she flouted it over everybody as if it was her God given right, and he did think that she was going a bit over the top, with it, which was what having power did to you after a time, and there were times, when he felt like grabbing her off her seat, and getting her across his knee, to deliver her a good spanking, which he thought she was truly asking for! For a woman, he felt that she was more merciless, than Hollister had been to him, over Frankenstein. After all, he had given him a choice, where that was concerned, which was only fair really. After all, he had been the smegging Captain! Argana was only a top scientist, who had been trained in the Space Corps, as a Doctor and a basic astro-navigation pilot, and he hated to admit it, but he did think that her knowledge, was rather limited really, and he knew that he was a better pilot, well in fact, he also hated to say it, but the Cat, was an even more disciplined pilot, than the two of them, put together, and he knew all about Curt! Kryten had informed him, on a few facts about her background, during the past month, of her arrival on this ship, and in a sense, he thought that with her limited training, she really did not have the proper authority to take over this vessel, when it actually came down to it! He thought back briefly to that game, which had saved his life, when Kochanski, well hadn't really been Kochanski, but he didn't really want to think about that at times, but even in her worst moments, she had never dared to question anybodys' authority, and she had done what she had to, but Argana, was a completely different matter, and even Rimmer, had been too frightened of her wrath, to question her reasoning, and Kryten, couldn't say boo to a goose, anyway, and as for Holly, she was too much in love with Hab, Arganas' onboard computer, who hailed from the Excalibur. Lister was determined to get his point over to her, in a reasonable manner, and he said - "Put yourself in my position, Argana, Maam...". For one moment, Argana looked confused, and she didn't dare to challenge him for once, because her curiosity, was getting the better of her. Lister went on - "What if I were in charge of this vessel, and you were in my position?" "Well, you are not in my position, and I am not in yours, thank heaven!" Lister was determined to make her see sense, and he carried on - "Well, let's just pretend that I am, for once, can we?" Argana was baffled now, and she realised suddenly, that he was trying an experiment in craftiness, but she thought it best to let him have his say, as she reasoned that it was doing him some good, to get the rusty cogs in his mind working, and she said to him in an authoritative gesture - "Very well, Lister, I will hear you out, but it doesn't mean that I have got to adhere to your suggestion" Lister nodded, and he almost cast a prayer heavenwards to thank God, that she had calmed down a little bit - "So, I am Commander Princess, and you are an instubbordinate lesser member of the crew" "Go on"offered Argana, amazed that he had said an incredibly intelligent word, and she could sense, that he knew full well, that he should have said insubordinate! Why Dave Lister, was been sarcastic to her! Perhaps there was some hope for him, after all! "We will just assume, that there is no human life about, despite what a certain smeg-er-Mr Rimmer, has led you to believe, shall we?" Argana smiled, and said - "Fair enough" Lister carried on - "And that the entire Universe, and even Earth, is swarming with Gelf life, be it good, intelligent, or better still, evil to its core?" Argana gulped, and she suddenly realised what he was trying to say, and she knew once and for all, that he was genuinely concerned for her safety, and he had genuinely no intention whatosever, of undermining her authority, but he carried on anyway - "And if I were in a position to command this vessel, I would not drop you off in any city, in any country on the Planet Earth, until we ascertain, one hundred percent, that there is human life, that is ruling the scene, as apposed to evil Gelf life, which may be concerned about your settling down on your own in Oxford! And I know, full well, that if it was me, in your position, you would try and understand my reasoning, and as Commander of this vessel, I would have assumed, that you would at least have looked into safety procedures Maam, unless you are the sort of Commander, who doesn't do everything by the book, like a certain smeghead, on this vessel?!" Argana had realised, that she had made a big mistake, by being so pig headed, not to see a fellow humanoids' point of view. In fact, she felt ashamed, by what she had just done, but Lister, didn't make fun of her. He just took another swig from his can of beer and he said to her gently - "At the end of the day, it is up to you, to decide what you want to do with your life, when we get back to Earth, but I think you should at least consider my suggestion" Argana nodded and smiled - "I will definitely consider your suggestion, young man....". Arganas' voice suddenly drifted off, because Lister was suddenly kneeling on the floor beside her, and he did something quite totally unexpected, he went and took her hand in his, and said four simple words - "I love you Princess". Argana was completely taken aback, and she couldn't help it, she started to giggle, but Lister was a little bit wary of that giggle of hers by this time, and even though it didn't sound that scary really, it did seem to have the tinkling of sleigh bells of the wind in it, and those bells, did sound in Listers' mind, like warning bells... In fact, Argana was amazed, that Little Boys, didn't have enough sense, to smell the danger... Over the past five minutes, while Rimmer, was having his facilitation meeting with Argana, he was outside, having a little talk with Kryten, and he had brought up the subject of declaring his love for Argana. By now, Lister, had had enough of waiting around, and he had sensed that she loved him as well, and he did think that her being high and mighty was just her Princess act, and that she had been trained to be sarcastic and flippant, and of course, it was probably for the best, if she did put on an act, to fool the rest of the crew, that she didn't feel the same way, that he did, about his love for her. Yes, that was why she kept on calling him young man, which he did find a bit odd, from time to time, as he was two or three years older, than she was! But he decided that he had got to take a chance where his feelings with her, were concerned, and that she hated putting on the act, as much as she did, and he was pretty sure that it had got to be an act, especially, when she had informed him - "That Rimmer is one heck of a guy, Lister, and you have got no business, to describe him as a smeghead! How dare you! if anyone around here, is the Smeghead, then it is you! As for Creature Feature, he is a law unto himself, anyway, I came to that conclusion on my very first day, on this craft, so don't you dare get on your high horse, to me, and you will learn to respect your betters, if it is the last thing that you do, do you understand?" Lister had merely shrugged his shoulders, and Argana had assumed that he had fully understood, but he hadn't, and Lister thought back, to just before he had entered the Science Room, and he had asked Kryten, would it be the right time, to declare his feelings for her, but Kryten had seemed rather evasive, he had had to admit - "Oh sir, I really can't say, I think that the young Princess is a bit down in the mouth, this morning, because-". Lister didn't let him finish, and clapped his hand on the Mechanoids - "Oh, that's alright then, Kryters me old pal! Of course I'll tell her how I feel then! She's obviously a bit down, because she's probably admitted to herself, that she's fallen for my heavenly charms! But I am not going to let her suffer in silence, anymore! I have a duty, to set the ball in motion, and there's no time, like the present, is there?!" "But Mr Lister sir!"Kryten pleaded, and with that, Lister went into the Science Room, before the Mechanoid, had the chance to finish his sentence, about the young Princess, being a bit down in the mouth, about him, clowning about with the printer holder! Lister did think it rather strange, when Argana reached out, and gently took one of his locks in her hand, and gently caressed it. Now, in all his wildest dreams, that he had about her, over the past month, he had never dreamed that she would do that, but suddenly his wildest dreams, were about to become a nightmare scenario, as Argana looked into his eyes, and she let out her sleigh bell giggle once more, and the smile on Listers' face, suddenly changed to one of complete dismay, when Argana tugged the lock, very hard, and she came out with - "Do not come that cherubic and seraphic choirboy innocence with me, Lister! Do not think that you can get round me, like that, so you can get out of a good rollicking, for using my printer holder, as a sled for the next Space Winter Olympics!" "You whaaa--aaattt!!!"Lister yelled, screaming out in pain. By this time, Cat had finally arisen from his slumbers, and he was watching the proceedings with quite some considerable interest - "Hey, Lady, what's going on? Are we having cabaret, round here?!" "For Gods' sake, shut up!! Shut up!! I'm sick and tired of the lot of you!!", and with that, she let go of Listers' lock, and he sprawled onto the floor. He was by now, in a considerable state of shock, at Arganas' sudden outburst. "You will re-assemble that printer holder young man, and if I come across you, with your grubby little fingers on it, with regard to your recreational facilities, I swear that I will pull a certain part of your anatomy to shreds, and don't think I'm toying around with you!" Lister seemed rather worried, by what she had just said, which wasn't surprising really! "The next time, you defy me, I swear that I will pull one of your arms, out of it's socket! Now do you understand?" Lister nodded to that, and Argana could not understand for the life of her, why he seemed so relieved all of a sudden, but she carried on with her attack on him, regardless - "Now I want to see that printer, re-assembled in the next fifteen minutes! I have got a job of work to do round here, Little boy, and it is about time, that you realised it, now! N-O-W spells now, which doesn't mean tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or even next year! Do you understand me?!" Argana was by this time, taking advangage of the fact, that her foot, was clasped, quite sharply on Listers' thigh. He seemed to be gasping for breath, but fortunately, he managed a brief - "Yes, Maam". Argana smiled and released her foot off his thigh, and she said - "Good, I am pleased that we finally understand one another, at long last! I think that I will take that stroll with Rimmer, around the diesel decks, after all, and in my reckoning, I think that the next fifteen minutes, will surely, fly by! I think that he is one heck of a guy, Lister, and you should look up to him, and follow his example! At least he doesn't shirk his responsibilities!", and without even so much as a backward glance, Argana left the Science Room, and the tears started to pour down Listers' face. Why, the woman, that he had been, and still was determined to conquer, had the looks of Helen of Troy, but she sure as well had, the personality of Attila The Hun, Boadicea (also spelt Boudicca)and Catherine The Great, all mixed into one! The Cat got up, from his table, and he cast a heartless glance at Lister - "I think your Lady Love has certainly got one on her, boy!" After he had gone, Lister was still in agony, while Kryten entered the room. He helped Lister up, and said - "I will get the printer holder, from your quarters to re-assemble sir! Oh Sir, I did try to warn you, that her Highness, had got one on her!" By this time, Lister, had got his breath back, and he had managed to locate a magnetic device, which Argana had found, and as she was a highly advanced scientist, she had found a way of making a certain mechanoid very sensitive to it, and Lister knew that she had enhanced and developed it, to keep Kryten in line, whenever he got out of hand, and the thrusts that he had got from it, when the Cat had accidentally stumbled across it, had been equivalent to a kick up the backside, so to speak, and if one were to hear the gasps and screams, coming out of the Science Room, it would certainly have taken ones breath away!
The End, for now................