Lester finds himself
Who: Lester Seventeen-Dot-Phelps and... Lester Seventeen-Dot-Phelps
Where: Our Blue Dwarf
When: An hour after being shot.
(With apologies to the Lolworth P Lollington, hope you don't mind me borrowing
The Space-bike should have been utterly destroyed on impact. So, in accordance
with physics, it was.
Small enough to go unnoticed by the Hymenoptera ship and its fighters the bike
had made a bee-line straight for Blue Dwarf Prime, opened a landing bay and
skidded to a shuddering halt across the landing deck, sending its single
Lester Seventeen-dot-Phelps whirred and clanked out of the mangled wreckage and
over to the lift. Around him people were raising blasters and bazookoids and he
stood, shakily, in their line of sight. Slowly, cautiously, he removed his space
helmet and let it fall to the deck.
An eternity came and went. Then Lester managed a lop-sided grin.
"Take me to your doctor," he said and fell forwards. There was a grinding
snapping sound and the spare bits of Kryten soldered to his body cracked in two.
Blood began to pool on the deck.
Lester opened his eyes and frowned.
"I'm dead then?"
"In so much as our lives are naught but a merrie play unto death, that you hath
found great toils to be your undoing and all thy labour's work undone."
"I hate Shakespeare," Lester sighed.
"Tis so and ever, that they whom depend upon such charity give 'aught charity in
"No really, bugger off. If I'm dead, then this is hell and I've got lots of
people to find down here," he frowned, "I think."
"Such a hatchet job, as someone who in need of haste doth," Shakespeare stopped,
went cross-eyed and seemed to be holding his breath.
"I'm not dead am I? Just nod or shake your head."
Shakespeare shook his head.
"I'm in the medi bay on Blue Dwarf?"
"Can you help me, while being absolutely silent?"
Shakespeare seemed to consider this, then hissed in pain and nodded hurriedly.
"Then I'll let go," Lester's metal gauntlet released Shakespeare who hobbled in
a sort of crouch to the medical equipment.
"You'd be a security guard then?" Lester asked the shadow above him. "Shouldn't
you be out killing Hymenoptera? Quiet type huh? Strong but silent?"
Shakespeare returned to him and, somehow forgetting the pain to his lower
"Take thou this vial, being then in bed,
"And this distilled liquor drink thou off;
"When presently through all thy veins shall run
"A cold and drowsy humour, for no pulse
"Shall keep his native progress, but surcease:
"No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest;
"The roses in thy lips and cheeks shall fade
"To paly ashes, thy eyes' windows fall,
"Like death, when he shuts up the day of life;
"Each part, deprived of supple government,
"Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death."
Lester glared hard at him. "Anaesthetic, you're going to give me anaesthetic.
Shakespeare nodded: "Thou shalt continue two and forty hours,/ And then awake as
from a pleasant sleep."
"Two damn years, all your worst plays," Lester murmured as Shakespeare applied
the drugs... "hated every word.. damn.. blasted..."
Lester stood in front of Lester Seventeen-Dot-Phelps and sneered, "oh it's you."
"Stop being so pathetic," he growled and took a step towards the cyborg, who
shrank away in fear. "It's not even real fear.
You're programmed, like some sort of sub-standard hologram. You make me sick."
"Why are you here?"
"I I d-don't know. I suppose you need s-someone to talk to and as we're both
here..." Drudge Unit Seventeen trailed off.
"How long? How many years have I actually been you?"
"Not sure," the cyborg managed a smile. "I always felt real... I don't know how
much of it was pre-programmed, or actually experienced."
"How long am I going to have to sit here talking to you?"
"I don't know but... we're not the only ones in here. Did you know that?"
"What? It's going to get crowded in here. Who else can there be?"
"You don't know? But there's loads of... oh... bye."
"And lo the light through the windows of his eyes doth gleam and... urk..."
Lester looked around, his eyes adjusting to the familiar medibay, beside him,
Dr. Shakespeare was rolling gently on the floor. Lester's hand unclenched and he
tried to sit up.
"Where are the stitches, or the bandages?"
"They uh, they weren't needed," said a Nurse safely out of arm's reach, "we
started to suture and found well... you were already closing up."
"What? How?" Lester asked, prodding at his stomach where, indeed, there was no
sign of a wound. "Well I was trying to tell you," he continued, "we've got
hitchhikers. From the Series 4000 you used to repair me, us. You. What the smeg
do you think you're doing you blasted geek? Me? I think I'm leaking through the
damage to your neural interface. This is fascinating. It's like riding sidecar
with you on a motorbike. I wonder if I have any bodily control. Apart from the
mouth you mean? Yes, apart from the mouth. Gosh, this will get confusing won't
it? Shut up! What? I said shut up! Sorry. Shutting up now. Sorry." Lester
paused, his eyes going left and right, as if trying to look in his own ear. The
Nurse simply stared in quiet shock.
"So we're sharing?" Lester asked, "yep, like roomies. Gosh. That's a bit wierd
isn't it? Maybe we can work out a timeshare? Shut up. We're not even talking
about this. Sorry. OK. Tell me about the hitchhikers. Oh them? They're the
nanites from the remains of the series 4000 Justin killed. Clearly they've
latched on to our cybernetic implants and set up home in our body. It's not our
body, it's my body. Well be fair, we're both here and there's no shifting me.
We'll see, I'll just find a really big magnet and wave it around my head. So the
nanites are working in us, me, whatever? Yep. That's about the size of it."
Lester stood up, feeling a draft around his nether regions, "can I have some
clothes please? Something with pockets? Shut up! I need pockets, I can't do
clothes without pockets. You're not having those stupid overalls... look, just
be quiet, let me get us dressed. Lester? What now? Are we a team now? Yes..
fine. We're a ... team: a team of one man and his rogue personality program.
Whoop de do." The Nurse by now had run away. Lester decided to find his own
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