Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. Red Dwarf and associated characters are owned by the BBC. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
Original characters and plot copyright Richard J. Lobinske. 2008.

Richard Lobinske

A Legend of Rebirth

Hearing what she thought was crying, the veterinary technician opened the door of an exam room and was surprised to see her boss sitting inside, crying, with a deceased in her lap. The cat was black, peppered with gray and had a white snout and paws. "Dr. Adler? she carefully said. "Did something happen?"

Karen Adler looked up, wiped tears from her eyes and unconsciously stroked the cat's fur. "Sorry, Jennifer. I've known Bump for almost eighteen years and her owner was my college roommate."

"Oh, so this was personal."

"Very." The veterinarian rose and reverently placed the cat's body on the exam table. "I'll take care of everything. It's the right thing to do, she was a good cat."

"Yes, ma'am. Mrs. Little is in Exam Room 3 with her whippet, Felicia. I'll tell her that you'll be slightly delayed and keep her busy while I do the prelims on her pet."

"Thanks, Jennifer." After her technician left, Karen looked at Bump for several seconds and worriedly rubbed her neck. "Daria took that as hard as I expected. Despite her protestations to the contrary, Bump was like a daughter to her. I wish I could do something." Following an idea formed in her mind, Karen grabbed a hypodermic needle from the supply cabinet and a vacuum vial for blood samples. She inserted the needle and pressed the vial in place, the vacuum drawing out a couple of milliliters of blood. The vial was marked and pocketed, the needle deposited in the biohazard sharps container and then Karen completed preparing the small body for cremation.

Daria was pleasantly surprised to see her old friend Karen and her husband Derek at the door, but more than a little disturbed by the small pet carrier that Karen held. "Hi, come on in," she still politely said. Inside, she turned and said, "Michael, Karen and Derek are here."

Daria led her guests into the living room of her home and said, "I hope that you're just carrying work with you today."

Karen sat down on the offered sofa and placed the carrier on her lap, the door facing Daria. A soft meow escaped from within as Karen said, "In a way, yes, but more than that."

Daria held up her hand. "Karen, please don't say anything more. I miss Bump too much to consider another cat yet."

"We know you miss her," Derek said. "That's why we're here."

Michael appeared from the kitchen and moved behind Daria. "We appreciate the thought, but...now is really not the time. It's only been five months."

Karen said, "If we were doing something ordinary, I'd agree. But, give me a few moments." She opened the carrier and brought out a kitten with black fur, a white nose and white paws.

Daria gasped at the kitten that looked like Bump had that October night years ago when they'd adopted each other. "How did you find a kitten that looks so much like...?"

Karen gave Derek a quick glance. "Not 'so much like Bump.' Exactly like Bump."

Daria looked up, not exactly understanding, but already falling for the kitten that her friend had placed in her hands.

Michael looked at his friend. "You cloned her."

Derek nodded. "I used a blood sample Karen took just after you left the clinic, Daria."

"Cloned?" Daria asked, bringing the kitten to her chest.

"An exact genetic copy. Though her personality may be different since this kitten was brought up by a surrogate mother at my clinic and didn't have to forage on the campus of BFAC."

Daria looked down at the kitten, which looked up at her. Daria said, "Night. That's what I'll call you."

Karen slyly said, "So it looks like she's a keeper."

"You know me too well," Daria replied.

"She has all her shots. When she's old enough, you can bring her by the clinic to be spayed."

"This time, I don't thinks so," Daria said. "I'll be careful to keep her inside, but I think I'll want her to pass on her genes...since you've gone to all the trouble to preserve them."

Cat sniffed his nose along the last page of the sacred book. "And thus for the Chosen One, The Friend of Many Animals and her mate, The Crafter of Ladders, caused the Sacred Matriarch to be reborn; insuring the lineage of the Holy Mother, Frankenstein."

Lying on his bunk, Dave Lister washed his chicken vindaloo down with a can of lager, belched and said, "And you say this all came down to your people from stories told to my cat, Frankenstein."

Cat shrugged and said, "That's what the book says."

At the door to the bunk room, Arnold Rimmer sneered. "Don't tell me that you really believe that. First the cats have a virgin birth story, now they have a resurrection. What else are they going to copy from us?"

Lister swung his legs over the side of his bunk and sat up. "Hey, the cats were right about what I told Frankenstein about Fiji. Maybe they were the chosen people."

Cat took a small mirror from his coat pocket and smoothed a single stray hair back in place. "Would we look this good if we weren't chosen?"

February, 2008