BRAD MAJORS Science Fiction Story
by Bill Brennan

  The following is dedicated to Grant & Naylor, the cast and crew of Red 
Dwarf, all the "Lister and Kochanski's" out there, and of course, to my 
fellow smeg-heads. Infinity welcomes careful drivers.

   Eddie sat in the taxi cab he had stolen, waiting for a fare. he looked up 
into the bright, swirling Mimas sky. It was a disgusting blend of orange and 
yellow and brown and tan and all mustard-puke colors in between. Eddie looke 
dout of the window: busy traffic, swiling sky, and smog. In the middle of it 
all was a dirty bill-board with the scrawled logo "Denton, Home of Happiness".
  "Nothing smeggin' happy about it," said Eddie Lister to himself. You see, 
Eddie wasnt on Mimas of his own free will. he just sort of woke up there one 

  It all started on his birthday. Eddie was a punk boy who had recently left 
home, on the very day his mother died, as a matter ofb fact. He sort of 
bummed around and supprted himself as a delivery boy. He and his mates 
started bar hopping at sunset of his birthday: They had beer at Moes Tavern, 
vodka at a pub called "Hetzers", whisky at O'Briens, Italian wine at Piro's, 
and so on. Eddie drank and drank, and soon he found himself flat on his ack, 
opening his eyes.
  And the sky was a different color. Not the black or blue or polluted grey 
of earth, but a swirling mish-mash of tan and brown.
  "Uh oh," said Eddie as he sat up. He was in a dumpster in the spaceport, a 
crumpled ticket from Earth to Mimas, one way, was in his closed fist...a 
drunken joke from his friends that got badly out of hand.

   From there on Eddie put things together: his friends had gotten drunk, he 
had gotten drubnk, and somehow or other they chipped in and bough him a 
ticket to one of the outer moons and there he was, on Mimas, flat broke and 
out of ideas.
  He was, after all, a low down cheap little punk, but he knew a thing ior 
two about vehicles. Eddie had taken tio stealing a taxi cab every day, 
driving it all night, and returning it near the cab depot in the morning. he 
didnt want to really steal the cab, just use it, so he always returned it. he 
wasnt a criminal, but he had to earn enough money for a ticket home, and that 
was expensive..more expensive than he though. Everything costmoney here: the 
small mail locker that he called home at the moment, food, air, water, and 
especially beer. eddie was drinking more of his profits than he should,but 
what else was there to do in this one horse town???

  So there he was, sitting in his cab humming an old Buddy Holly song, when 
he saw the man: he raised his hand, and haoled him. A fare! Eddie pulled 
over, and the man got in.
   "Corner of Quinn and Campbell," said the man. Eddie smiled. That was the 
very center of the Mimas red light district. The man was on his way to a 
whore house.
   "Gonna get a little action, eh?" asked Eddie with a smile. The man in the 
back seat looked up. he did not smile.
   "No. I dont associate with such riffraff. Lifes pretty cheap to that 
type," said the man. He had glasses, black hair, and a uniform on. The name 
tag said Brad R Majors.
  "Space corps?" asked eddie, indicated the uniform.
   "Jupiter mining Company. Now mind the road." Eddie didnt like the man at 
all, but he wanted to be friendly, every little tip counted.
  "So where ya going to,mate?" Eddie asked.
   "Dr. Scotts Refresher Course, if its any of your business," said "Brad R. 
   "Mining comapny, eh? Where you headed?"
   The man sighed, showing his annoyance.
   "My ship-the Red Dwarf-has a final destination port on Earth."
   "EARTH?" Eddie said and slammed the cab to a halt. Brad R Majors was 
slammed foward, then back into the seat.
  "How do I join?" asked Eddie with all seriousness.
   "What?" asked Brad.
   "the Red Dwarf, Jupitor Mining, how do I join?" Eddie begged. Brad was 
  "You just go to the space port and sign up, but.." Brad was slammed back 
into the seat again as Eddie put the car into gear.
  His mind raced-this ship, the Red Dwarf, was going to earth! All he had to 
do was sign up, join the crew, and jump ship as soon as they made it home! He 
would get a one way trip for free! He raced to get this Majors guy to his 
Refresher Course, and then he would get down to the space port and sign up!
  The car came to a half in front of a delapidated old building. Hookers and 
pimps walked the streets or stood in the doorways. An especially tough 
looking pimp with a nukber of slutty looking ladies stood directly under the 
sign over the door that said "Dr. Scott's Refresher Course."
  Brad got out of the car, and Eddie saw Brad speak to the pimp, who then 
walked him in. he had no doubt that the pimp was Dr Scott himself.
  But no time to laugh, he had to get to the port, he was going home!!!!!

   Dr. Scott and the rest of the scientists, government officials, tech crew, 
and various other base personalle waited by the landing field. The "Long 
Reach" was first detected when it hit Mar's orbit on its way back from 
another star. Neither Ralph Hapschatt or Brad majors, the two men to ever 
travel to another star, had radioed in, and wouldnt answer calls. Everyone 
wondered why.
   "Ach," said Dr. Scott as he saw the bright pin-point in the sjy that was 
the ship. It was equipped with an experimental transit beam-stolen technology 
from an "undisclosed source" and was man kinds first step into the rest of 
the galaxy. It was votally important that this, the first mission, succeed.
   The :ong Reach came closer...closer...and made a perfect, gentle landing. 
The metal of the ship was glowing red near the bottom even as everyone 
gathered around it. After a few moments the large cargo bay doors opened, and 
a gang-plank was lowered. One man appeared at the door-tall, blond, 
slim-Ralph Hapschatt. But...where was Brad?
   Ralph started to walk down the plank...his hair was a mess, his face was 
unshaven...and he looked not at all happy.
   "Ralph..where's Brad? Vot happened, why didnt you answer..."
   Ralph payed Dr. Scott no kind and kept on walking, much to everyone 
suprise...past the crew and troops. He only stopped when the two guards atb 
the entrance way barred his path. They didnt know what was going on, but they 
knew that the dishevelded man in front of them was NOT what was supposed to 
land in that ship.
   "Ralph..."said Dr. Scott as he wheeled himself up. "Vere's Brad? I demand 
an answer!"
  "Dead," said Ralph. "Lets go to your office, I need a shot of your scotch," 
said Ralph dully.
  Just then confusion and panic broke out-the ship was turning redder, not 
less red.