Act II: Our Father's Sons
Wesley imagined he looked frustrated, arms crossed and leaning on his desk. He didn’t mean to. He just expected it to be a slow day.
He sat on the front of his desk and took another look at this strange visitor laying on the couch. In sunglasses, even. Fred was standing by Wes’ side, which was nice. And for some reason, Harmony was sitting on a nearby chair, holding a notebook but not actually using it. He had other things to figure out first, however.
“Could you explain it to me again?” Wes asked Ace as nicely as he could. “You say you’re looking for yourself?”
“Sort of,” Rimmer said, adjusting a throw pillow behind his head. “I was looking for the next Ace Rimmer when I got sucked into that … what’d you call it again?”
Fred fielded the question. “A stasis leak. From what we can tell, you were at the wrong place at the wrong time in that dimension you mentioned, and ended up getting pulled into our time.” Ace took the news in for a second, then hopped back to his feet.
“Too early in the morning for that Star Trek crap, honey,” he said, winking and making his way to her and Wesley. “Just point the way and I’ll be getting back to my duty.”
“Not that easy, Mister Guardian of the Universe,” Fred replied. “But we’re working on it. You relax and I’ll go check how Knox is doing. Wes, do you mind keeping him company?” Not if you’re asking,
Wes didn’t say. He nodded no and watched her walk away. Again. Yet Harmony was still there, smiling.
“Harmony, you’ve been chomping at the bit since Ace got here … what do you want?” W&H’s arcane head asked the secretary. Her quick dash to Rimmer's side reminded Wes she was still a demon. Albeit one who still behaved like a schoolgirl.
“An autograph, silly!” she half-shouted. “Is everybody this cool in your world, Ace?”
“Then it wouldn’t be as cool, sweetheart,” he replied as he finished signing her notebook.
The vampire looked down and wouldn’t stop giggling, even as Wesley led her out the door. Still, she was confused, and not just by Ace's handwriting: What did Smoke Me A Clipper
mean? …. Wes closed the door behind her.
“I’ll bet you anything she doesn’t know what that means,” he said to Ace, chuckling.
“Are you sure? They speak English here, right?” Rimmer replied.
“Not really. We’re in America. Los Angeles, specifically.”
The pilot nodded. “That explains all the lawyers. No offense, of course.”
Wesley poured them each some brandy before sitting on his desk again.
“None taken,” he said and took a sip before continuing. “We do a lot more than the usual law firm, but it’s for the greater good. So, you say you’re the only guardian of your universe?”
“Of every universe,” Ace replied. “There’s billions of Ace Rimmers, spread across all the dimensions. I was just on my way to look for another when I ended up here.”
“Fascinating. Can I ask you something else?” Ace held up his glass as an answer.
“How did you get started?” Rimmer actually paused before taking another drink.
“Nobody ever asks that anymore,” he said, finally taking off his sunglasses. “I just kind of fell into it. Started with my father.”
Wes pulled up a chair and sat closer. This was something he could relate to even better than inter-dimensional travel.
“He held me back a year at school one year,” Rimmer continued. “I was the tallest kid in my grade by a clean foot. I hated him so much for that. You know what I mean?”
“More than you’d expect,” the son of Roger Wyndham-Pryce said after a longer taste of his brandy. “Never was quite good enough for mine, though. How did you deal with it?”
Ace smiled and leaned back. He was enjoying this conversation.
“By just …. Doing. My best, that is. After school, I joined the Space Corps, and then this guy – another one of the Aces – told me what my calling was. And here we are. Nice to have a calling, you know?”
“Yes, it is,” Wesley said. “But a good drink doesn’t hurt, either.” They shared a laugh.
As usual, Harmony poked her head in the room before she finished knocking.
“Yes, Harmony, what is it now?” Wesley asked. He hoped he sounded irritated this time.
“Just a heads-up -- Acey's bike is gonna be ready soon,” she said, a slight trace of disappointment in her voice. “Oh! And that condom company we took over just called to thank us. They say their shares have gone through the roof today!”