Andy Roos - "Going down?"

With a sigh and a click a small light brightened on top of the large
steel door of the horizontal shaft. Crossing his legs and arms Andy
leaned against the side of the entrance of the express-lift. Eyeing
the fast moving lift, buttons lighting up and falling dormant as it
passed the sections, he gave a heavily sigh as he waited for
something to happen.
<End Snip>
Who: Andy, Seymour
Where: Blue Dwarf, Express-lift
When: Year 2107
Andy's eyes followed the Buttons of the lift as they lit and
extinguished themselves one after another. He'd seen this sight day
after day, to and from work (which could honestly be anywhere). Yet
never did it seem as slow as it did right now. He felt as though the
ultra-high technology of the lift was replaced with a team of fifteen
trained sloths.
Then that image suddenly managed to stick into his head without
reason. Just the mental picture of the pack of simians rigged up to
the lift along with blinders. All the while Holly occasionally
ordered them to move faster with a crack of the whip (which somehow
the AI was operating) in his signature monotone voice. The cleaner
quickly shook his head, the concept was impossible. Where were they
going get THAT many sloths way out here?
Andy blinked his way back to reality. Turns out that bizarre fantasy
managed to pass the time reasonability enough. Only a single floor
away, his eyes panned back down to the large steel doors that
separated him from his ride.
A dull, synthesised `BOOP' sound emanated from the top of the lift.
Tiny motors in the sides of the walls pulled the hulking steel doors
away. However unlike what he had previously suspected, the lift was
far from unoccupied.
Behind those doors was quite possibly the most over-dressed man he
had ever seen.
Unfortunately the over-dressed man seemed far from pleased to see
him. Indeed, from the pale white his face was turning it seemed to be
rather the opposite from pleased. It was the face of stark terror.
Andy's head tilted slightly as the occupant of the lift's mouth
twisted into a curious `O' shape.
Then let loose a piecing, high-pitched scream that was quite possibly
capable of blowing through solid steel.
Andy's face grimaced under his insectizoid mask, his muscles slowly
contracted all the while his ear drum danced the jig to the man's one
tone song. After approximately 30 seconds of constant yelling the
man's voice wound down and Andy's ears managed to finally understand
what he was screaming about. Fortunately, just in case he missed it
the first time, the man sucked in lung full of breath let lose
another scream of "GEEEEEELLLLLLLLFFFFFFFF!!!!"
The cleaner's hands placed themselves on the Bazookoid's controls. He
gave a long look over his shoulder for the GELF in question but saw
nothing but black and flickering red emergency lights. "Uh… I don't
see any…" Andy mumbled under his breath. When he turned back he found
the man hunched in frenzy at Express-lift's controls. His finger tips
rapidly mashing where the `open door' button should be located while
his chanting "no-no-no-no-no-no-no-" endlessly in a increasingly
strained and high-pitched voice. Quite soon the Australian man wasn't
sure what he was doing faster.
Andy shrugged. The well-dressed man didn't seem to be responding to
any external stimuli, none that he could see anyway.
Soiled gloves reaching out for his faithful trolley along with its
precious cargo atop of it, he shifted momentum for entrance of the
lift. Completely absorbed with closing the lift the lift's other
occupant ignored him and seemed engrossed with keeping the door open.
Well, he could screw around with the elevator at the next stop. Andy
thought as his brown and green glove reached over and clicked the
correct button over the man's shoulder.
The second his `companion' saw his hand the well-dressed man froze in
his hunched position while the doors closed into their locked
To be honest it was a bit of a tight squeeze in the lift. This being
worse while stuck next to a man covered in human refuse. All up,
hardly an enjoyable experience. He had once been trapped in a lift
with Captain Jed who, at a distance, seemed pleased at the boy's
current predicament but not so much when he realised that they were
hitching the same ride. The Captain promptly tore off the cleaner's
mask and explained that `If I gotta ride the outhouse express, so
does ever' one else!' But c'mon, huddling in the corner in the foetal
position was alittle be far!
After a few minutes the well dressed man sucked in a deep breath
(promptly gagged) then stood up in a bold, dignified poise and turned
to him.
"So… are you going to k-… execute me?" The man's voice was regal and
unforgivably British. Vocal cords formed like Queen Victoria's and
Dick van dyke's illegitimate love child.
"Pardon?" The cleaner asked in his ever respectful yet passive tone.
"Well! I won't beg. You might as well k-… execute me now! I won't
talk! I won't negotiate!" Andy blinked uncertainly; this guy
certainly had a weird way of asking to die. Seemed like the
term `execution' was all the rage among assisted suicides these days;
and what that was about begging and negotiation?
"…Pardon?" The cleaner prompted once more.
The well-dressed man reeled slightly. "You… you're not a GELF?"
"… Last time I checked… no…"
A strange expression crossed over the man's face. A mish-mash of
relief, frustration and sheer embarrassment sent his mouth and eye
brows flickering. All that they had in common was the stark red face.
"Well then, if you're not here to blow my head off with a Bazookoid
who the hell are you?!" His dignified tone immediately evaporated.
"I'm Andy, the cleaner.-" The Australian didn't feel the need to tell
everyone that he was frozen in the `ought fifties and was somehow
jettisoned from the Red Dwarf. He introduced himself to everyone in
the exact same way he saw himself; the completely normal dunny guy.
That was the way he liked it. Wait, speaking of frozen… his eyes
quickly flicked down the base of his right hand. *Phew*; the timer
was as schizophrenic as usual, jumping from fifteen to five minutes
intervals at a time.
"-why? Didn't you see the Blue Dwarf logo on the side of my suit?"
"What logo?" The man mimicked unintentionally.
Andy's eyes dipped down to the side of his suit and found a
particularly large glob of refuse covering up the normally stark
insignia. "Ah, that's the problem." His left hand lifted up and
slowly swiped off the debris. The British man made varying noises of
disgust and horror as the brown blob slopped down onto the ground.
"There we go. Good as new!" Andy stated chirpily, the Scutters should
take care of that mess. The cleaner flashed the logo to the other
occupant who didn't look at it. Instead involuntarily kept his eyes
pinned on the object that only just recently slid off it.
Suddenly the man reared up and puffed out his chest in a vain attempt
to make him look larger than what he really was. "I-…-" The man began
to answer an unasked question. "- Am Seymour…-" He seemed to pause in
a bizarre attempt to make his two word name longer "-…Niples…. Royal
AMBASSADOR…-." He spat out his position like a Victorian era
cannon. "-…to the Queen." Seymour rolled `Queen' over his tongue as
though it thirteen syllables larger than was it really was.
There was a lengthy pause as Seymour remained in a half-bow while
Andy stared at the man. Suddenly snapping back Andy gave an un-
noticed smile under his mask. "Right; pleased to meet you Seymour!"
The cleaner replied in earnest, his gloved hand shot out for a hand
shake. The Ambassador wrinkled his nose at the sight and left man
hanging until he got the picture.
Another `BOOP' noise wrung through the cabin, followed by Holly's
voice… which was suddenly cut off before it could even fully
utter `Science'. Express-lift suddenly made a dangerous lurch. Andy
was pushed into the wall as Seymour fell face-first into the trolley.
A wordless expression of shock came over the man as he recognised the
beaten-up skutter that lay a-top. Another lurch and this time the
lights extinguished and the red emergency light flashed in its place.
Andy's mind was sent into overdrive. This Express-lift had finally
had enough. Its CPU had crashed and now it was going to fling itself
far into the unknown- killing all its occupants. A crack of the
bazookoid and he cleaner blasted the door control panel. In
hindsight, this was as likely to kill him as save but everyone knows
that God loves idiots.
A metallic slam and the steel doors where wrenched open. Seeing his
chance, Seymour crawled through on all fours. Andy wasn't ready to
leave yet.
Turning back Seymour saw something that stirred up something in him.
He wasn't sure what it was, stroke, insanity, or even last night's
chicken vindaloo. Perhaps it was latent paternal instincts that drove
him, perhaps the last vestal efforts of the personality change or
even all of the courage in his life saved up for this singular
moment. He didn't know- he couldn't- he simply felt the adrenaline
course through his veins. Time slowed down to a crawl as he beheld
hand Andy, the crap monger, descending upon at the inactive Skutter
and desperately pull it free from the trolley. The lift was shaking
like a hypothermic five-year old that suffered from ADD in its spare
time- it wasn't going to last long.
It was somewhat surreal as Seymour felt his body leave the floor and
dash to the struggling man. What was even more bizarre was that he
just wrapped his spindly arms around his fit waist, which was
approximated to hugging a leaky sewer pike, and wrenched back.
Seymour blinked. The temporally, last few moments where wiped from
his waking mind. Across from him and laying up against the wall not
like himself was Andy. Huddled in the man's arms like a new born babe
was the damaged robot. As Seymour looked over to him, the cleaner's
wide and confused eyes made contact. "…you…" The Australian mumbled,
as though he was saying it more to himself than the Ambassador. "…you
just saved my life…"
<tag Seymour or anyone else>

< Prev : Efof + Ingen "What lies under the toilet" Next > : FlashBacks and nightmares