Prologue: An Englishman Walks Into A Bar ...
I created none of these characters nor their continuities, though I did take liberties with them, as we'll soon see.Author's Note:
This all started with another fic named Clipper,
which went out last week in a huge blaze of no publicity. As Douglas Adams once said, "Bats heard it. The odd dog barked."
Those brave souls who did admit to reading it said, "it's nice, but it should be bigger.
" If by that you mean, "take the concept to its most irrational extremes," then this is the story for you. And with that, we begin our tale ...
Spike loved telling this story. Especially while drinking. And most especially to a pair of his countrymen.
“So there I am, wearing this Don Ho reject of a shirt, G.I bloody Joe himself right in front of me,” he said, pausing for another swig of Guinness. “I can’t hit him, what with the bird there. So I put on this wanker accent: ‘No, sir. I’m just an old pal of Xander’s here.’ And the blighter buys
it! Lets me walk right off!”
His new drinking buddies– and sort-of co-workers, he just learned – laughed right on cue. At least one of them did. Decent enough, this Lister guy, even if the dreads made no sense. The other, the man of the hour, was still whining about being drunk. And all he’d had was two beers. American, even. Typical, he thought. But what do you expect from somebody from Berkshire?
Dave Lister was also having fun, even if his roommate and now supervisor in the Wolfram & Hart mailroom said his stomach was pulling a Mary Lou Retton. This other guy was alright. Still, what kind of a name is friggin’ Spike? Must be a London thing, he surmised.
“So what ever happened with you and the girl?” Dave asked his slightly pale new friend. “She sounds pretty together.”
Spike knew this question would come, but wasn’t looking forward to it. He took a deeper pull of his drink before answering.
“Ah, we’d be here all night before I could finish that story,” the vampire said. “The short version is, Love is sadness and hate and grief. And then you need a drink. Speaking of which, another round?”
Lister raised his glass before answering: “We still have to toast Mister Office Assistant, Second Class here.” He shook his friend in an effort to rouse him.
“Please, Papa, jushht ten more minutshh,” Arnold J. Rimmer slurred, as Spike returned with three tequila shots.
“Time’s up, Skippy,” Spike said while handing out the glasses. “Tonight we make a man out of you. Go on then, make your toast.”
“Veddy well,” Arnie said, barely standing. “To Mishhter Short Shircuit himself, whosh passing made thish honour possible …”
“Short Circuit?” Spike whispered to Lister.
“You know, Number Five,” Dave replied. “That Mucha Lucha-looking guy who went missing awhile back. Rumour is the boss offed him in a bloody cemetery!” He looked at his rambling roommate. “Rimmer, are we drinking or what?”
Rimmer lazily looked at his friend and took a whiff of the Cuervo in front of him.
“Fine,” he slurred. Pinching his nose with his free hand, he led the trio in a shot. And promptly fell back in his seat.
"Reminds me of Percy, this one," Spike said with a smirk, moving to pick him up.
“Guess I’d better get him home,” Lister said, grabbing Rimmer’s other arm. “We should do this more often, yeah? I know this place with great vindaloo, and Sunday they’re gonna show Liverpool toss around those Man U wank-“
Spike was about to defend the honor of his beloved Red Devils when he heard the crackling sound coming from behind the bar. The next thing he knew, he was knocked against a wall. He looked to his right and saw Lister and Rimmer lying nearby. Ahead of him, he first thought, was a demon. No, it smelled human. Looked like Elvis, though. No. More like … the boy?
“Give him to me and everyone else can live,” the other Rimmer said, pointing at his prone double.
“And who the hell are you?” Lister said, himself in shock at the sight of the visitor.
“Sonny,” the stranger said behind a puff of cigar smoke, “You’re looking at a goddamn Ace.”