…for andimeantittosting. May expand on this, but for now:
"…which means we should reach it by fourteen hundred hours, ship’s time, tomorrow. Good." Kochanski looked down at the notes she’d made on what had to be an ancient crisp packet. Needs must, she supposed, but this was not a need she had ever expected to ever - well - must. Never mind; they would be a the derelict in good time before their water filters ran out; there were bound to be replacements on a ship that size. A load off her mind.
"A ‘thank you, Holly’ wouldn’t go amiss," a voice grumbled. Kochanski looked up at the screen. The Holly construct was still there.
"I said, a thank you wouldn’t go amiss." The face on screen actually sniffed.
Kochanski rolled her eyes and turned to Lister, who was dozing quietly in the pilot’s chair. “You realize you can turn that off, don’t you?”
"Eh?" Lister started out of his half-asleep state with a snort. "Turn what off?"
"The artificial personality. Saves on runtime. It’s clearly corrupted, anyway."
"Says you," the construct exclaimed. Kochanski patiently ignored it.
"What, Holly? Why’d we want to turn her off for?"
"Not the computer, the personality. I get that you’ve grown attached to it-"
”-attached to it?" Kochanski kept ignoring it.
"-but it’s really very counter-productive to keep it running, as things are."
Lister didn’t reply. Kochanski always got a little nervous when he looked at her that way; it reminded her, perhaps, a little too much of her own Dave. “Why do you do that?”
"Act all macho and in charge like that. No one cares, you know."
"I’m sure I don’t know what you mean."
"No one cares that yer a girl."
"You heard. Yer trying to be all in charge and commanding, like a man-"
"David Lister, the next syllables out of your mouth had better be ‘nequin’" He looked so calm! So smegging sure of himself! What the twonking hell did he know!
"All I’m saying is, ye don’t have to keep up a macho act to make us-"
"-stop sniffing my underwear?"
"That was the Cat. One time. And to be fair, he does that to mine too."
Kochanski highly doubted it, given that the feline still had a working sense of smell. “Look, Dave, I’m not sure what you’re trying to do here, but I suspect you think you’re trying to help…”
"My Kris didn’t talk to Holly like that, is all."
Kochanski narrowed her eyes, all ready with a stinging retort, but Lister’s eyes were dull and far away. And come to that, how often did she say the same thing. She hardly noticed when he left, though she took his seat, leaning her chin on the steering column.
"Don’t let it get to you. They didn’t realize I was female for years. Though, to be fair, neither did I."
"I’m not trying to be anything. I’m just trying to be me."
"And there’s no place for you here."
Kochanski shrugged. She suspected there was. She just didn’t have the right shape to fit into it. “Maybe.”
"Anyway, he was wrong, wasn’t he?"
When there was no reply, Kochanski had to look up again, which made her acutely aware of what she was doing. On-screen, the blonde, smiling face that was Holly seemed to giggle.