"How much more weight do we need to lose, Orac?" asked Vila.
"Seventy kilos." said Orac.
Vila looked at the stripped shuttle. There was virtually nothing left to throw out. "We're doomed." he said. He took off his boots. Not exactly 70 kilos, but they were a weight he didn't need.
Avon came in. "How are we doing?"
"We're getting there." lied Vila, seeing no reason for both of them to know how desperate things were, "Get your boots off. In fact, get everything off."
"Have you gone mad?"
"Which matters more? Your leather or your life? Come on, Avon, all that stuff must come to quite a lot!"
"And what are we to wear?"
"Smug grins, when we get out alive." said Vila. Avon hesitated a moment longer, then stripped. Vila was already pulling his own clothes off. They ran to the airlock and threw them out. "Gun too." said Vila, "It's no use to us now." Avon nodded and fetched it, jettisoning that too.
"What else?" said Avon, "What is left?"
"Orac." said Vila, glad he had disposed of the gun before suggesting that.
"Orac? Without Orac ... "
"Without Orac, we may survive."
"But Orac is ..."
"I know, but if it's us or the computer, there's no contest. Be rational!"
"We need Orac."
"We need to dump something big. Unless you're volunteering, it's Orac."
Avon shook his head. "There has to be another way. Let me think!"
"Think fast." said Vila.
They both thought, then they looked at each other. "We'll deactivate him. He won't feel a thing." said Vila.
"It's just a machine." said Avon. They went back to Orac. Vila stood back. Avon put his hands on the casing. "Orac, logic demands that we dispose of you."
"I am more valuable than other members of the crew, and more useful." said Orac.
"But Tarrant isn't here." said Vila, "I'm sorry, Orac, but you'll have to go."
"If I fall into the wrong hands... " Orac began.
"Perhaps we should destroy you first." said Avon.
"No!" said Orac.
"Keep the key, at least." said Vila.
"Wait!" said Orac, "I have been analysing the load on the shuttle. The greatest weight is focused in a small area."
"Meaning?" said Vila.
"Location?" said Avon.
Orac told them. They ran to investigate. A clear cube lay on the ground. "It's too small." said Vila.
Avon bent and tried to move it. "Help me, Vila!"
"It can't be that heavy." Vila protested.
"It can. I'll explain later. Let's just get it off the shuttle."
They managed to get it to the airlock and eject it. immediately, the tone of the drives changed. "We did it!" said Vila. They returned to Orac.
"A pity we didn't find it before we got rid of our clothes." said Avon.
"If we hold Orac at the right level, we can keep our dignity."
Orac hummed in irritation. "I am beginning to wonder whether the airlock might have been better."
"It's never too late." said Vila with a grin.