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Author Topic: Uh oh, newbie fanfic!  (Read 15068 times)
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Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« on: 10-05-2004 21:08 »
« Last Edit on: 10-08-2004 00:00 »

Hi! Be gentle, I'm new and frightened. Long time lurker, first time poster. (Don't worry, I've read the rules!

Anyway, I'm writing a Futurama fanfic and I'll never finish it without feedback, even though I have a good idea of what's going to happen. Keep in mind, eventually I'm going to get into Fry's past a bit, and I don't think this is canon, I just offer it as a bit of a character study. So anyway, here's part one, a little dreary, but it should be sweet despite the occaisional dark moments.

Oh, and beware, I'm a hopeless shipper (but this won't be too saccarine I hope.) Comments are begged for with sugar on top!

          Fry’s Choice (working title):

   The feeling of dread was heavy in the air in the silent room. Silent that is, save for the unceasing beep of the heart monitor. If things were different, she could have laughed. Leela doubted that Fry had ever gone so long without saying something utterly foolish, excepting of course his long sojourn across time. A thousand years of frozen sleep. It was such an incredible happening, a miracle really, that he had not been disturbed during all that time, that he had survived that entire perilous millennium one icy breath away from death. If he could make it through that, surely, this sleep was no different; surely, he would open his eyes again, and peer at her from under his astonishing red hair. Then he would beg her for a date, or go looking for an adventure, either in space or on earth. Home was nearly as strange to him anyway. But it was home. Leela let go of Fry’s hand briefly to run her fingers through his hair, by way of comfort. She would never permit herself such familiarity if he were awake, not wanting to give him any ideas. Nothing she did stopped him from having ideas, but it was a cruel tease, and Fry was dear to her. Leela didn’t want to hurt him.

   “But nothing can stop me either, can it?” She spoke aloud, not intentionally but it generated a reaction.

   “Hmm… what?” Amy stretched sleepily in the rickety chair she had been curled up in. Amy had quickly volunteered to stay and keep watch with Leela when the others had scattered to find answers. It was a kindness Leela appreciated, an unaccustomed comfort on a long sad night. The women did not always see eye to “eyes”.

   “Nothing, sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” Leela said softly, sparing a quick glance for the Asian woman in apology before gazing again at Fry’s pale face. Somewhat paler than usual, but otherwise unmarked by the trauma he had undergone, she could almost believe he merely slept.

   Fully alert now, Amy watched the cyclops with concern. She axed the stupid question, “Are you okay?” knowing the response, but not knowing any answers.

   Leela snorted skeptically, rolling her eye spaceward. “Oh, I’m just fine. Nobody did any twisted experiment on me, you know. Didn’t get the chance.” Amy bit her lip anxiously.

   “It was an accident, Leela. Just an accident. It wasn’t anybody’s fault.” Amy tried to diffuse Leela’s bitterness towards the Professor. Then she tried to diffuse Leela’s real anger. “It wasn’t your fault either. Sometimes things go wrong for no reas-”

   “Don’t.” The word was softly spoken steel, an order. Leela tried to relax the muscles that had reached new levels of tension. “Please don’t start, Amy. I heard it from Hermes. I heard it from LaBarbara. I even heard it from Bender, if you can believe that. I don’t want to hear it from you.” The violet-haired woman did not have to look at Amy to know she had capitulated. The anger that had risen in her so suddenly switched abruptly to grief. She closed her eye against the tears welling up and rested her head gently on Fry’s limp hand. “I’m sorry, Fry, so sorry. Please, please wake up.” It was useless of course. Fry was locked inside his own mind and her soft plea could not release him. 

----

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #1 on: 10-05-2004 21:37 »

"Sojourn"?! "Sojourn"?! Something tells me I'm going to enjoy this.

Excellent work Layla.  If there's one thing I like, its an uproarious comedy, but a well written drama is a very close second.  You have a nice style and a way with words. I hope to see more.  Welcome to PEEL.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #2 on: 10-05-2004 23:06 »

Me like. More soon?
Kloudes

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #3 on: 10-05-2004 23:09 »

A hopeless shipper?  I like you already.

Anyway, this is hands down the most intriguing intro to a fanfic I've read.  And, uh... I was in tears after eight paragraphs.  Without even knowing the plot. 
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #4 on: 10-05-2004 23:28 »

Holy Shit! Layla50, that was..... Great, I mean Fan-bloody-tastic. I loved it!

I read that three times, it was that good. I can't wait to see whats next.

Keep up great work.
JDB

Professor
*
« Reply #5 on: 10-06-2004 02:31 »

Pretty cool story Layla! Keep writing like this and you'll have one very cool fanfic! Keep up the good work!
Zmithy

Professor
*
« Reply #6 on: 10-06-2004 08:43 »

Im hooked, that intro is top-quality prose, are you an author or doing a creative writing degree?

One of the things I like about it is that someone who knows nothing about Futurama could still enjoy it, as you hit on some background information and character description without breaking style.
Shaucker

Professor
*
« Reply #7 on: 10-06-2004 09:32 »

That's good, very nice prose. My only nitpick is that you don't need to capitalize "cyclops" any more than "human".
Benderfan 1230

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #8 on: 10-06-2004 09:38 »

Wow, this is really good so far! Keep it up.I cant wait to read the rest smile
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #9 on: 10-06-2004 13:15 »
« Last Edit on: 10-06-2004 13:15 »

Oh, thank you all for your kind responses! I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it!

JBERGES:Thanks so much! It's an honour to be welcomed, and to have you comment, especially since I really enjoy your fanfic. I'm not sure I can manage comedy, so be sure to let me know if the lighter parts work. (Glad you like the vocabulary!)

Venus: You like? More today! (Incidentally, please tell me you're still writing the "The Sting" fic. It's great!)

Kloudes:Tears? Already?! You're too sweet! I haven't even gotten to the sad parts yet.

DogDoo8: Heehee! I made you swear with enjoyment!     smile Thanks a lot! I just hope I can keep writing something you enjoy. Ah! pressure!

JDB:Thanks so much! I hope I can...

Zmithy:Wow, no I'm not an author or getting a creative writing degree, but I'm honoured that you asked. I like to slip things in without bludgeoning people with them.

Shaucker: Thanks for the nitpick! I'm glad I can blame it on Microsoft Word. Please, keep nitpicking!

Benderfan1230:You've made my day. I will keep writing. There should be another part up today.


 Okay, here's the next part. Let me know what you think!

Part 1:
Several days earlier:

“I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oh!” Fry was jubilant. Not for any reason in particular, simply because the air was fresh and life was good. Yesterday, he had gone into space, today he was going into space, and tomorrow- well, tomorrow was maintenance day and he’d be scrubbing the Planet Express ship, but the day after that, he’d be going into space. The future was beyond his wildest childhood dreams, and the future was today.

“Heys, watch its!” A heavy set, rough shaven, ogre of a man shoved him off the sidewalk. Startled out of his reverie, Fry staggered into a muddy puddle, which offered to give him an unpleasant bath as he skidded for a heart-stopping second. He spread his arms out for balance as he caught his breath, having managed to avoid the fall. It had been pouring rain for three solid days in New New York and the pools of water were rather threatening at this point. Fry had never learned to swim.

       He brushed his sopping hair out of his eyes and tried to burrow deeper into his ancient red jacket. At times, it seemed almost alive to him, a long-term friend from a time gone by. Philip Fry shrugged off the near miss, as easily as he shrugged off most difficulties. Life was just too good to get uptight.
----
Leela tapped the top of the large round table in growing irritation. It helped that no one else at the pre-delivery meeting looked any happier, except Zoidberg. He was regaling them with yet another unwanted tale about his latest meal. Perhaps one of the reasons for his lack of popularity among the staff was the relentless cheerfulness that always cropped up when everyone else wanted to be miserable in peace. Hermes looked ready to murder the good doctor when he wrapped an affectionate claw around his shoulders. Personally, Leela thought he did it on purpose, just to needle the bureaucrat. The Jamaican ducked out from under Zoidberg’s arm and glanced at the clock, then at the door, muttering frustrated colloquialisms under his breath. Bender was eying Amy as she idly filed her nails, or rather; he was eying her purse. However, he couldn’t try anything with everyone else so fidgety. His favorite distraction was late, making him fidgety too.

The professor was not making things any better for anyone. He tottered around the room, slowly, but with great energy, staring at each of them in turn, as if he wasn’t sure who was missing. He seemed to glare at Leela the longest, unnerving a woman not often unnerved. From time to time, he peered under the sheet draped over his latest invention, which stood tall and mysterious next to the hoverdolly that had moved it. Leela was tired, more tired than she should be; the weather was getting to her, and that blasted clock was driving her mad.

Tick. Tick. Tick.   

Just as Leela stood up, an excuse for leaving on the tip of her tongue, she heard footsteps sounding under an upbeat tune. Their delivery boy had finally showed up, drenched to the bone and grinning from ear to ear.

“Hey, what up?” Fry’s smile faltered as he was greeted with barrage of angry glares. It wasn’t all that unusual a sight, but there was a little more heat in the myriad faces than usual. He opted for the safest way out. “Um… sorry?”

It didn’t cut it. Leela took a deep breath and launched into a critical tirade against the rueful redhead. Hermes and the Professor were quick to join her. Fry backed up a step, warding his angry co-workers off with his hands, and trying to slip an excuse in edgewise. Bender came to his rescue.

“Oh Fry, look at you! He looks like a drowned owl, doesn’t he?” The robot shimmied between his best friend and the mob, trying to look pitiful, fluid leaking from his eyes. “He looks so cold! So wet! So rusty!” Fry glanced down at himself, trying to find the rust. “He’ll be destined for the glue factory for sure if Amy doesn’t get him warm and dry!” Amy looked up from her nail filing. 

   “Hmm? Oh, okay.” She left her nail kit, and her purse, unguarded to grab a device shaped like a miniature hairdryer from a creaky metal storage locker.  As everyone else drifted resentfully away from Fry, and Bender drifted eagerly towards Amy’s purse, she pointed the dryer at him and flicked a switch on it. The resultant wave of hot air slammed him into the nearest wall and onto the floor, but he was warm and dry in a split second.

   Mildly satisfied by Fry’s impact, Hermes called the meeting to order while the Professor checked on the still hidden invention. If it worked, their financial problems would be over for good. There would be no more worries for Planet Express.

I might actually get to the plot eventually!
------------------
Don't hit me, I'm brittle!
Kloudes

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #10 on: 10-06-2004 15:26 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
Kloudes:Tears? Already?! You're too sweet!

*worries*  Maybe I should get sweetness reduction surgery...

Anyway, after that obvious joke... You'll be happy to know I'm not crying anymore, but I'm still deliciously interested.  I liked Bender's little distraction...
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #11 on: 10-06-2004 15:40 »

Hmm...another shipper, eh? Well, let's just throw him into the pile with the other ones.

Just a little joke (I, too, am more of a shipper than I'd like to admit). Anyway, this is great so far. Of course, like JBERGES, comedy interests me more than drama, but this is still very well-written and intriguing (as for the plot kicking in "eventually", believe me, I know the routine). Looking forward to more.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #12 on: 10-06-2004 17:18 »

I guess i'll be the first one to go against the grain and admit that i actually like drama more than comedy. But not by much.

In any case love the story Layla! May the shipper god look down on you in shippy glory.


 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
Venus: You like? More today! (Incidentally, please tell me you're still writing the "The Sting" fic. It's great!)

Yeah i'm still writing it. But it's incredibly slow going. I'm in the middle of a move and i have a horrible and time consuming job. It'll be a fairly long time before i get done. You have no idea how freaking long this thing is getting!
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #13 on: 10-06-2004 22:00 »

Gah!  You used "myriad" correctly, without a preposition!  You're awesome!  Great stuff, I’ll say again that I really like your writing style; it is both intelligent and graceful.  Can’t wait to see what happens.

An honour, eh?  You're too kind.  Let’s just both be glad we're entertained by each other’s work. 
Philp_J_Fry

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #14 on: 10-06-2004 22:08 »

Great writing,I really like your writing style.
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #15 on: 10-06-2004 22:37 »

I agree with Venus I like drama but I like comedy just as much and thriller and alot of other things.

The one thing that I love most about how you wright is that you do it like a novel not a script, it allows you to delve into the charicters and bring out a lot more things that would other wise go unnoticed. We all now bender thinks of fry not just as a friend but also as a son. And the great thing about you style is that you bring that out more when bender comes to Frys rescue.

Anyway I could go on but I wont. All I can say is, Keep up the good work.
Benderfan 1230

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #16 on: 10-07-2004 08:46 »
« Last Edit on: 10-07-2004 08:46 »

I just love your writing style,Layla! You use so much detail that I feel like I'm there. I,like Gorky, am more of a shipper than I'd like to admit  wink Anyway, keep it up and I'm glad I made your day
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #17 on: 10-07-2004 16:58 »

I don't even know what to say. Thanks for the support, really. It means so much to me.

Venus, I am soooo glad you're still writing it. (Shhh... it's a large part of my decision to post this story.)

Please, please tell me if I get too wordy. I think I run on too much sometimes. I definately prefer writing prose to script format. But, that's just the style that works for me. Others do the script format very well.

All this praise is turning me into a warm ball of mush, so thank you all. I have to be careful about reading your comments before I go to bed. I get excited and have to write more in order to sleep.

Speaking of which, here's another update.

Part 2:

   Professor Hubert Farnsworth suddenly laughed with maniacal glee; for a scientist whose genius skipped merrily along the path to madness and whose advanced age had settled him into a pleasant senility, he was quite childlike in his enthusiasm. He was an altogether disturbing person, but with a certain strange charm that endeared him to his employees.

   When his mirth showed no signs of abating, said employees exchanged glances. It was a long practiced ritual, a power struggle: who would intervene? Five pairs of eyes rested on Leela and the silent election was over. 

   “Uh… Professor? Care to fill us in?” The rickety scientist took no notice whatsoever. Leela stood and waved wildly trying to get his attention, feeling like an exhibitionist. “Professor!” It worked.

   “Huh-wha?” he muttered incoherently, peering at her through his impossibly thick glasses. Medical technology was more than a match for myopia these days, but the scientist either liked the affectation, as many of his colleagues did, or distrusted the doctors… or both. Suddenly, his mind returned from wherever it had been adventuring. “Oh! Yes, yes, Leela I see you, now stop interrupting. This is important, and it concerns you in particular.”

   “Oh goody,” the exasperated woman growled as she sat down again at the table. “Will the scars be temporary or permanent, physical, mental or emotional?” Leela tried to ignore the flash of anxiety on Fry’s face. This protective phase he was going through bothered her no end. More often, she was the one to do the rescuing when he carelessly blundered his way into trouble. His recklessly good intentions caused more problems than they prevented. In any case, she could take care of herself. Growing up an orphan had forced her to learn independence early, and finding her parents could not erase those long, lonely years. Before Fry could give voice to the sentiments racing behind his eyes, the Professor had Hermes yank the sheet off his invention. 


It was… a chair.


Now, chairs were not new. In the universe, there were an uncountable number of chairs of all shapes and sizes. Simple chairs, strange chairs, chairs made purely as decoration, chairs for robots, and robots for chairs. The PE crew stared at it for a moment in uncomfortable silence.

   “Um… wow.” Amy offered.

   “Neat!” said Bender, snapping a picture.

   “Sweet… chair.” Hermes looked perplexed.

   “Smells delicious!” Zoidberg moved toward it, but Hermes swatted him with a pointer.

            “It’s a nice chair, Professor, but why-” Leela was cut off by the scientist.

   “You fools! This is no ordinary chair!” And it wasn’t. For one thing, it had a high back, which is what made it so mysterious-looking under the sheet.  For another, there were thick restraints to hold an unwilling vict- er, subject on the chair.  For Fry, it was eerily reminiscent of an electric chair, but in place of the head connection, there were assorted lengths of wire, each with a small clear suction cup on the end. The professor continued his diatribe, “Do you really think the president of earth would be interested in a mere chair? Even one so tall as this? No, of course not!” His voice abruptly dropped into the realm of unholy glee. “This is a mind reader and control device.”

   Fry blinked, confused. “Aren’t there hundreds of those on the market?”

            His nephew a thousand years removed nodded, “Yes, but not like this! This one is specifically designed for mutants.” The collective gasp echoed around the room. Leela leapt to her feet.

   “You can’t do that! Their lives are miserable enough without giving Nixon the power to enslave them! You’ve gone too far, Professor.” Beneath the outrage, there was a very real current of fear in her voice. Earlier presidents had tolerated, or completely ignored the mutants, but the head-in-a-jar maniacal leader was from an earlier time, much earlier. Nixon was a control freak, and the idea of a society living on “his” planet completely out of his power infuriated him. The mutants were peaceful for the most part. They stayed off the surface and out of the way of the general population. They paid no taxes, and enjoyed no aid, or interference from anyone. It wasn’t an easy existence, but it worked.  She had always had a certain respect for their independence, but now, now her interest in the mutant population was much more personal. They were her people. Two of them were her parents. Images of the leaders being rounded up and persuaded to pledge allegiance to the president flashed through her mind. Nixon was devious and ruthless. The people themselves meant nothing to him and he would not hesitate to use brainwashed victims for suicide missions on other worlds. Not for the first time, Leela fiercely regretted forgetting to vote in the last election.

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #18 on: 10-07-2004 17:06 »

Holy Hell i influenced someone?!?! WooHoo! What a satisfying substitute for human contact!

On topic, i'm loving the inclusion of the mutants in the plot. I hope we get to see Leela's parents in this story. My story included theres very few stories that really use Morris and Munda. More soon?
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #19 on: 10-07-2004 18:02 »

What can I say? Your word choices are perfect, and paint a vivid picture in my mind (one of the advantages of writing in prose...although I prefer script format most of the time), and your story is really starting to shape up. Awaiting some more...
Crash_7

Professor
*
« Reply #20 on: 10-07-2004 19:45 »

This is great stuff, Layla50.  I eagerly await the next part.
Ol´coot

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #21 on: 10-07-2004 20:32 »

Great stuff Layla! Your prose is excellent and your pacing is also! I agree with ZSmithy that your opening would hook a non - fan (yes, there are such people!) Please don't stop!
becky

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #22 on: 10-07-2004 21:17 »

Wow! This is GREAT! I like it, no, love it, and I'm hooked... Your writing style is very good, and I can't wait for more!  big grin
DogDoo8

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #23 on: 10-07-2004 21:40 »

I agree with everything, everyone else said.
With that said. I cant wait till the next part.
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #24 on: 10-07-2004 22:34 »

You guys sure are great self-confidence boosters I'll give you that! I'll be updating again tommorow. (What can I say, you're keeping me going!) I just wanted to comment of a few things.

DogDoo8, once again, thank you for the kind words. I'm really glad you brought up Bender and Fry's relationship because I really love that strange friendship they have and I plan to touch on that in this story.

becky, I'm glad I've hooked you and I hope I can reel you in.  smile It's going to be a looong story so I really hope I can keep your interest.

Ol'coot: Thanks so much for the support. I'm relieved you like the pacing, since I worry it's too slow. I have miles yet to go before I sleep in this fic.

Crash_7: Thanks! It's coming soon!

Gorky: You've touched me. Thank you. I like your script format stories. They suit you and always make me laugh. I look forward to your next update.

Venus: LOL! Yes, you influenced me.  smile So keep writing that fic! I'm glad you brought up the mutants. I've always wanted to read a story that explores Leela's becoming accustomed to her parents and her mutant heritage. I haven't really seen it, so I might just write it myself. Morris and Munda will have at least a small role in this, and I'll give more weight to the mutant story than I was intending to. Thanks!

JBERGES, you crack me up. I almost cut myriad you know, thinking it was a little odd sounding. I'm glad you liked it and I'm delighted by your kind comments on my writing style. (I'm looking forward to your next updates too.)

Philp_J_Fry, Benderfan, and anyone I missed, thanks so very much. I hope you keep reading and commenting.

Uh... and thanks for forgiving my shippy heart that turns to mush as I watch Love and Rocket, The Sting and all those other special moments.

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
Shaucker

Professor
*
« Reply #25 on: 10-07-2004 22:46 »
« Last Edit on: 10-07-2004 22:46 »

I've been quiet (read:busy) for a few days and I finally got around to catching up. I really like it. Leela-centric things are great. Along with Venus, I demand Leela's parents be thrown in. A lot.

One nitpick.
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
It had been pouring rain for three solid days in New New York and the pools of water were rather threatening at this point
Quote

Rain doesn't "collect" quite as much as you might think in NYC. Lotta sewer grates, lotta heat from the subway systems.
it's all cool though. I can see from your spelling that you're one of those Euro-Austrailians here. Just something from a former citizen/current visitor.


------------------
Shaucker: She's not stupid, she's advanced.
Shaucker

Professor
*
« Reply #26 on: 10-07-2004 22:48 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Shaucker:
I've been quiet (read:busy) for a few days and I finally got around to catching up. I really like it. Leela-centric things are great. Along with Venus, I demand Leela's parents be thrown in. A lot.

One nitpick.
 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
It had been pouring rain for three solid days in New New York and the pools of water were rather threatening at this point

Rain doesn't "collect" quite as much as you might think in NYC. Lotta sewer grates, lotta heat from the subway systems.
it's all cool though. I can see from your spelling that you're one of those Euro-Austrailians here. Just something from a former citizen/current visitor.


Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #27 on: 10-08-2004 06:53 »

Layla, thanks for the compliments (and believe me, people who comment on my work are what usually motivates me to keep writing, whether their comments are good or bad, so I can see where you're coming from).

Oh, and regarding the Morris and Munda stories, I agree that there should be more (I'm working on formulating a sturdy plot for one as I type this, because the two are really underappreciated characters in the fic world). Nice to see that yours will at least include them, and will probably enhance your already amazing work. Again, I must say, I'm awaiting more.
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #28 on: 10-08-2004 06:57 »

Ah... you caught me. I'm Canadian actually. :-) So I'm a bilingual speller.

Thanks so much for catching that. I wondered about the puddles, and then decided to let it go. I'll have to rework that little scene. I'm using you guys as collective beta readers, so these sorts of tips are very helpful. Do you think maybe I can sort this out by having him walk through that giant park... does Central Park still exist in New New York?

I'm definately thinking more about the mutants and Leela's parents. You guys are giving me some great ideas. I'd hold off on calling it Leela centric though. Despite all this opening, this story is really about Fry, and how he affects the people around him. (Of course, I didn't expect you to know that. :-)
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #29 on: 10-08-2004 07:04 »

central park does still exist.
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #30 on: 10-08-2004 17:40 »

Thanks Venus.

Gorky, thanks a million! I'll be reviewing your work too next time you update! I hope I can do Morris and Munda justice.

Here's another update. I don't know. This one feels a little weird to me. Let me know what you think, it's much appreciated.

Part 3: 
     
   “Oh now, what’s all the kerfuffle about?” Farnsworth gestured for the agitated cyclops to sit back down. Leela remained stubbornly standing, arms folded in a study of defiance. “There’s nothing to be upset about, Leela. Honestly, the conclusions you jump to. Just because President Nixon- a crazed, power mad, mutant hating dictator, asks a simple scientist like myself to build a device, the only practical purpose of which is to enslave the will of mutants, you think he’s somehow evil? Oh, fuff.” He shook his head sadly. “I’m very disappointed in you.” Leela groaned in frustration and slumped into her chair.

   Fry spoke up. “So, why did he ask you to build it then?”

   “I don’t know for sure,” the professor smiled, utterly at peace with his decision. “but he assured me that it’s for purely benevolent reasons.” He paused thoughtfully. “Of course, when I heard that, I wasn’t sure I wanted to build it, but then he told me about the reward.” He looked at the invention dreamily and completely lost track of where he was. “Oh, yes. My own research lab, bigger than Wernstrom’s… Wernstrom! With my own army of mad grad students who know their place. Not an uppity one in the bunch… and enough money to win Mom back with an incredibly showy romantic gesture. Perhaps I’ll move the stars themselves to-”

Fry jerked to attention as if Bender had gone to town on him again with a lit cigar. He spun to stare at Leela who was seated on his left. “That was my-!” Leela was looking at him. Fry’s brain caught up with his mouth. “-favorite movie in high school.”

The object of his affections furrowed her brow. “What was?”

“That movie I was just thinking about.” He cringed as he said it. Leela rolled her eye.

“Well, glad to know you’re paying attention, Fry,” her voice was laced with sarcasm, “considering how important this is.” Fry went silent, looking away from her.

She turned back to the professor. “And you really think that justifies a crime against humanity?!”

“Well, actually, Leela,” Amy began, “it’s a crime against mutants.”

“Amy! They are human! Just genetically different that’s all.”

“But-“

“They’re people, Amy.” Leela made it personal. “Or am I no longer a person, because I’m a mutant?” The crew exchanged awkward glances. Fry had taken the discovery of Leela’s true nature in stride. Alien, mutant, it was all the same to him. She was Leela; nothing could change that. But for the others it was more difficult. Aliens were equals, or superiors. Mutants were… not. It was not easy to come to terms with what was to them a fundamental shift in identity in a person they respected. “What if it were me?” She was whispering now, a rarely heard vulnerability in her voice. “Would it matter to you then? Would it still be okay?”

Amy’s voice broke as she choked out the words: “I’m sorry, Leela. I didn’t mean it like that.” Amy’s fellow woman relented, running a tired hand through the purple locks that fell over her eye.

“I know.”

Looking for a way to break up all this *feeling* Bender feigned interest. “Why would Earth’s head honcho axe the owner of a nearly bankrupt delivery business to build this thing when he could just get one of his own mad pansies to do it?”

“As a respected doctor, I believe I can answer that question.” Dr. Zoidberg began, feeling left out of the conversation.

Before he could continue, Hermes jumped in. “No, you can’t you dumb sandal jockey, cause the reason is bureaucracy, and that’s my job!” Hermes stood, holding the pointer he had brought specifically for this purpose. The accountant tapped a few buttons on a console and a holographic chart appeared to hover over the table. He gestured to the chart tracing a sharply descending red line that leveled off just above the bottom of the graph. “Now, this shows the financial status of our government since Nixon got elected, don’t ask how I got access to this.” They didn’t. “As you can see, it’s not good. Currently, all government paid researchers are working on designing the president a bigger, shinier robot body or creating new flavours of the liquid for the head jars. In order to expand their efforts into including the development of a mind control device for mutants, they would have to hire more scientists, and that can be very expensive.”

Bender simply had to point out the obvious flaw. “But hasn’t Nixon promised the professor all sorts of money when he finishes that thing?” A devious expression crossed his face. “You know, what he should do is hire a great bending unit to finish the job and pay him in booze and circuit diagrams.” Now it was Bender’s turn to look dreamy as he considered the possibilities.

The professor stabbed a bony finger towards Bender’s face. “That’s ridiculous! He’s not going to do that, that’s why!” The old man suddenly mellowed. “We have a verbal contract already. That lab is almost mine!” He chortled with avaricious joy.

Hermes stared at him, suddenly disturbed. “Verbal…?” He continued in an unsteady voice. “Excuse me. I have to requisition some forms to de-requisition the requisitions I sent out this morning.” The Jamaican man made record time as he bolted out of the boardroom for his office.

Uncomprehending Hermes panic, Fry nodded wisely. “Yep! Those verbal contracts are great. They save you the trouble of signing you name and figuring out what date it is.”   

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #31 on: 10-08-2004 17:50 »

Nothing seemed off about it to me. Another awesome chapter in my opinion.
becky

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #32 on: 10-08-2004 18:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
becky, I'm glad I've hooked you and I hope I can reel you in.  smile
Well, you sure did!

 
Quote
It's going to be a looong story so I really hope I can keep your interest.
I love long stories! Especially stories like this. Your descriptions are very detailed, and it gives me a clear image of what’s going on. I also like the way you go from seriousness to funnyness, and everyone is so in-character, it's almost as if I'm watching an episode from the show!  big grin Keep up the excellent work!!
JBERGES

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #33 on: 10-09-2004 02:14 »

Damn your literary devices Layla! We know something bad is going to happen, and it hasn't happened yet! You do an excellent job at pacing, such that you're not rushing through everything but are still keeping it interesting. Characterization is very good, and the little jokes keep it light. So, kudos on the keeping me engrossed.

Uh... my update?  I'm... getting to it. Schedule conflicts. 
(picks up potato chip. 
...
...
Slooooowly eats said potato chip)

Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #34 on: 10-09-2004 08:22 »

What they said. Nothing off that I can see. Characterization and plot are great as always, and the little jokes, like JBERGES said, keep this story from sinking into a nice little tragic rut. Well done.
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #35 on: 10-09-2004 10:28 »

Thanks everyone! I guess I'm just being paranoid. (Shh... it's cause they're all out to get me.)

Venus:It's always nice to have you comment, oh queen of inspiration!

Becky:Thank you! I'm so glad you like long stories! I do too, really. I'm also glad the descriptions aren't getting too cumbersome. The mood switches are fun to write cause I don't worry that it's turning into a farce or a tragedy... yet. And I'm so flattered you feel I'm writing in character, because that is my number one fanfic gripe, when the characters aren't themselves.

JBERGES: Heehee, am I driving you crazy? Good, cause I'm driving myself crazy too! I'm really looking forward to certain moments that I want to write, but I can't get there yet. As a consolation, I think by the next update, you should be able to guess what's going to happen to Fry. Thank you for the kind comments on pacing and characterization. Pacing seems to come without too uch effort, but I do think alot about these charachters. After all, they're not mine! And I love them so... smile

Do we have to do a Scruffy exorcism on you?;   wink

Gorky, thanks so much for taking the time to encourage me. I know you have your own story to write.  wink Let me know what you think of the real plot once I get to it. (Should be soon I hope!)

I'm off to type an update!

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #36 on: 10-09-2004 17:11 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Layla50:
Venus:It's always nice to have you comment, oh queen of inspiration!

Queen? Oh Crap! That's like a big responsibility. I can't take the pressure! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH  *crumbles into the fetal position*

I love long stories too. The longer the story the more character development you can fit in. So don't be afraid of length. Kif White's Universe of Malice is like 25 chapters long, but it has character development coming out the wazoo. And my fic's currently around 80 something pages and hopefully has a fair amount of character development.
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #37 on: 10-09-2004 17:21 »

Ah, you can handle it I'm sure, Venus!

I've never read Universe of Malice. I will one of these days. And I'm telling you, 80 pages of what you've given us hints of is enough to start me drooling. *slurp*

I had a hard time with this update, but after this the plot should start to take off, I hope.

Part 4:

   Amy shook her head as the others stared after Hermes retreating figure. “Professor, the mutants have been down there forever. Why hasn’t anyone built one of these things before?” The crew turned their attention back to the doddering scientist and his chair-shaped mind control device.

   “Oh, it’s quite simple.” He laid a hand lovingly on the back of the invention. “It’s not simple at all! You see, most species are reasonably uniform in terms of their brainwave patterns. Knowing how their brain works, it’s just a matter of designing one device that would work on any member of that species.” He returned to the table and brought up a plethora of holographic ads of all shapes and sizes advertising mind control. “Notice that each one of these is specific to a certain race. Energy beings, decapodians, humans, etcetera.” His voice darkened dramatically. “The consequences of using one of these controllers on the wrong species would be dire indeed! Oh, yes.” Farnsworth took on a more conversational tone. “But mutants, mutants are different.”

   Leela couldn’t help herself. “They’re still people!”

   “Yeah!” Fry supported her, trying to get into her good graces. The professor waved his hand dismissively.

   “Yes, yes. Settle down, Fry.” Pressing a few more keys, he closed the ads and called up several diagrams of mutants’ brains. They were vastly different. One was divided into a multiplicity of parts, another was whole, and smooth like a beach pebble, and another had a heart nestled in its folds. “Each one unique, thereby requiring an entirely new piece of brainwashing equipment. For mutants, it’s entirely impossible for one such device to reprogram them all.” He nodded decisively.

   “So if it’s impossible, how did you build the chair thingy?” Zoidberg asked.

   “Well, I added a brain scanner that directs the hypnostatic waves to target the areas of the brain used in judgment and independent thought for the specific target. It’s all rather complicated. It would take a scientist to explain it, so stop bothering me.” He glared at the talking crustacean before continuing. “Of course, it still needs to be tested, but that’s the easy part.” Farnsworth smiled at Leela. “Not every genius has a mutant on staff. It’s really very convenient.”

   The Planet Express crew gasped in shock, including Hermes who had returned with an armload of forms. Leela was still trying to gather the words to tell the Professor exactly what he could do with his invention, when Fry leapt to his feet utterly dismayed. “You can’t just try out some weird experiment on Leela! What if it goes wrong? She’s not just some hanger-on you can do anything you’d like to, like Zoidberg! I am not going to let you hurt her!” Fright warred with fury on his young face as he pulled Leela out of her chair and backed her away from the perceived danger. He managed to drag the stunned cyclops several feet and position himself in front of her before she regained her senses.

   Not appreciating Fry’s dragging her around, Leela yanked her hand from his and shoved him none too gently out of the way. “You can’t really expect me to go along with this, Professor! Even if it wasn’t dangerous, I’m not about to help Nixon to enslave those poor people!” She glanced around the room, looking for support but no one would meet her gaze, except Fry, and she did not want to see the emotion reflected in his eyes. Feeling a little betrayed by her colleagues, she strode back to the table and slammed her palm onto it in frustration. The holograms sputtered and faded out. “I won’t do it.”


------
My big question here is: Is Leela too upset about this? She can get pretty violent at times on the show, but am I taking this too far?

I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they fly past my head. Douglas Adams
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #38 on: 10-09-2004 17:32 »
« Last Edit on: 10-09-2004 17:32 »

i don't believe so. For someone whose wanted a place to belong more than anything in the world it stands to reason she would take the perceived threat to her people as well as her family very very personally. But i am surprised that she's not taking Fry's support on this one. So far he's the only one on her side here.

EDIT: Oh, and for my own curiosity, how long have you been a lurker Layla?
Layla50

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #39 on: 10-09-2004 17:47 »

Oh for a while now, since early August I guess. I just went back and tracked down the all the bits you posted. Lovely.

Her reactions right now are very heat-of-the-moment. She'll be connecting with Fry and appreciating that support in a quieter moment that's coming up... if I ever get there.
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