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Author Topic: a noob's first attempt at literature  (Read 10190 times)
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soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« on: 10-02-2005 13:49 »

Ive been working on this fiction for awhile.  It starts off fairly awful in my own opinion, but slowly gets better as I get a feeling for the characters and discover what it is exactly that Im writing about.  The first few sections are just 'meeting the characters'.  I'll post them rapid fire so everyone can see that yes, there IS a story here.  smile
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #1 on: 10-02-2005 13:51 »
« Last Edit on: 11-22-2005 00:00 »

Part 1: A Dangerous Cargo
Chapter 1

It was another normal morning, or at least, as normal a morning as a man that lives in a robot’s closet ever sees.  Phillip J. Fry awoke with a start to the sound of loud, off-key singing.  He looked at the clock on his wall and groaned.  “4am.  That stupid robot is singing at 4am.”  Fry flopped back down on the bed with a groan, red hair smashing up against his face.  The young man tossed and turned in the hope that he could somehow block out the noise and eventually get back to sleep.  It wasn’t working.   

Finally Fry gave up on getting any more sleep and struggled to extricate himself from the blankets, which had a death grip on his legs.  Tripping over some unknown article of food left over from who knows when, he worked his way over to the light switch which, in a shower of sparks, informed him that the owls had gotten into the building’s wiring again.  They tended to do that during the winter.  Fry thought it had something to do with them hunting out warm roosting places. 

When Fry had woken up in the year 3000 from his millenium-long cryogenic sleep, he had expected a cliché futuristic utopia, only to find that technology was just as unreliable as ever.   That had been quite a day, the still-groggy redhead thought to himself.  Fry was originally from the 20th century, but in a freak accident he had fallen into a cryogenic freezer tube in the very first moments of the new millennium.  The next time he took a breath was 1000 years in the future.  For most people such an occurrence would have been a nightmare, but Fry soon realized that it was his one big chance to get a fresh start; to make something of himself. 

“And I did make something of myself” Fry thought to himself.  “I’ve got a low paying job as an interplanetary delivery boy.  I rent my own room from a crazed, egotistical bending robot.  I even have a few normal friends!”  Being Fry, the irony of everything he had just said passed approximately forty-six feet over his head. 

Having by this point found his clothes, and having properly put most of them on, the delivery boy worked his way to the door.  The loud singing coming from the adjacent room had stopped a few moments before, so when Fry opened the door he was not surprised to see that Bender was no longer there.  There was still four and a half hours or so until the start of work.  “Good old Bender,”  Fry thought to himself, “not even 5am and already out on the town trolling for swag.”   

Fry was by this point completely awake.  “I guess I’ll head on down to Planet Express.  I can watch television for awhile and then clean myself up in the chemical burn shower.”  After ducking back into his room to snag a jacket and the remains of a donut he had spied lying under a chair, the red head took one look around the apartment for things his robotic roommate had stolen from him during the night, and headed out the door.
Kryten

Space Pope
****
« Reply #2 on: 10-02-2005 14:04 »

Nice start... love to see where you're going with this.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #3 on: 10-02-2005 14:11 »

and here comes a massive chunk...  Oh, and thanks for the comment Kryten

Part 1
Chapter 2

Unlike Fry, Leela was used to getting a full night’s sleep, and this last night had been no exception.  At exactly 8:07 the alarm clock robot next to her bed activated.  The sudden noise invariably startled the sleeping woman, resulting in a savage blow aimed at the poor mechanical thing.  This new alarmbot was a tad smarter than its unfortunate predecessors however.  As soon as it sent out its alarm pulse it hurtled itself under the bed, with only milliseconds to spare.   

Leela had been Fry’s second friend, and first enemy.  During the hapless defrostee’s first few hours of life in the 31st century it had been Leela’s job to implant him with his career chip, a process that included a needle the size of a large ice-cream cone.  Needless to say, the idea hadn’t gone over that well with Fry.  In fact, Leela spent a good deal of her New Year’s Eve afternoon chasing Fry through the streets of New New York.  When she finally did catch up to him, she had suddenly realized that she couldn’t go through with the process.   Turanga Leela’s life had changed irrevocably at that moment.  In a sudden epiphany she had seen the injustice of the chip system.   Instead of installing Fry’s chip, she removed her own, a crime punishable by death.  Jobless and penniless, Leela, Fry and Bender (the robot ha become fast friends with Fry while the redhead was being chased through New Manhattan), had played the one card they had: Fry’s one living relative, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth.

The professor had taken them in and given them jobs as the crew for his interplanetary delivery business.  This had promoted Leela from the belittling job of cryogenics councilor to pilot of an intergalactic spaceship.  It had also made her financially well off enough to buy her own apartment, not to mention an endless supply of replacement alarmbots. 

 The first thing Leela saw this particular morning was her pet Nibbler flying at her face at what seemed like a significant fraction of the speed of light.  He had gotten off the bed at some point during the night, and having sensed his companion stirring, wanted back up.  Now, Nibbler could not actually fly, although he was a rather good jumper.  Neither was he particularly close to Leela’s face. Leela had never been very good with depth perception for a blatantly obvious reason.  The first thing anyone ever noticed about Leela was her face, or more accurately, her eye.  Where you would usually expect two see two eyes separated by the bridge of a nose was one large elliptical orb.  It wasn’t at all unattractive mind you, but also definitely not normal.  It was also very sensitive, and Leela started to hold up her arms in protection, only to find Nibbler inexplicably 3 feet away at the end of her bed.  Leela had been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, and had grown up with the assumption that she was an alien.  It had not been until just recently that she had discovered her true heritage. 

The purple haired cyclops was actually a human mutant, a class of beings that were not tolerated well by society.  Leela had to be very careful to hide her nature from the public

She sighed.  Her eye was a constant source of anxiety for her.  Everyone she happened across either stared at it or pointedly ignored it, which was just as bad.  “In fact”, her mind silently said to itself, “The only person I’ve ever met who doesn’t mind my eye is Fry.”  Ever since their first meeting Fry and Leela had been good friends.  No, friends isn’t quite the right word, thought the cyclops.  She knew that Fry had vastly deep feelings for her.  “Love?” she wondered idly to herself as she slid out of bed.  Unfortunately, Fry’s feelings for her were the only aspect of the delivery boy’s mind that could be described as ‘vast’.  Most of the time Fry was dull, and sometimes he was a down right idiot.  “And he’s so childlike.  I love his boyish charm, but I cant stand his childishness.”  “Oh well“, she sighed.  “It’s too early to be thinking about this.”

The cyclops pushed her thoughts down and away from herself.   It only took five minutes to get ready for the day.  She took a quick shower and forced her violet hair into its customary ponytail.  Nibbler was familiar with the morning routine and waited patiently by the door for the ‘its time to go out’ signal.  As soon as Leela shoved a foot into one of her large black boots however, the fuzzy 3-eyed creature went into a frenzy.  “I’m coming Nibbler, sit still for a minute will you?” said Leela.  Cute little gibberish noises were the only answer she got.  Boots on, Leela walked briskly over to the door, snatched up the leash that was hanging from the brass doorknob, and smiled down at her furry black and white friend.  “Who wants a walk?” she asked.  Nibbler made it pretty obvious what the answer to that question was.  In one fluid motion, oddly accurate for a woman who couldn’t judge a foot from a furlong, Leela had the leash attached to the fuzzy creature’s collar.  Warbling with glee, Nibbler waited for his moment, and when Leela had the door open sufficiently, he went barreling off down the hallway.  Or at least, he tried to go barreling off down the hallway.  The leash stopped him after the first couple of feet.  Laughing at her pet Leela bent down and cooed: “Aww poor schnoockums hurt himself on his mean leash.  I’ll tell you what, you adorable thing, on the way to work we’ll stop by the ham stall and…”  The rest of Leela’s statement died in her throat as she was forcibly dragged out the door by her ecstatic pet, who had understood the word ‘ham’ and would not stop running until he had eaten one.

“Stupid humans, what do they make these things for anyway?”  Bender B. Rodriquez had not been having a very good day so far.  In fact, it down right blew.  “All I wanted was to loot a business or two, and maybe mug a few orphans before work.  Is that really too much to ask?”  Sitting next to a human toilet, as he was doing at the moment, flushing hundreds of dollars in merchandise was definitely not in his plan for the day.  He had woken up to his meat-bag roommate Fry snoring.  Fry was his best friend true, but the snoring thing really got under the bending robot’s nerves.  Well, technically robots don’t have nerves, but still, if Bender had had nerves snoring would have gotten under them.  With his sleep simulator deactivated, Bender decided to go out for an early morning walk, by which he meant pulling a heist.  The robot got his burglar’s kit in order while singing quietly to himself. 

“Who’s great? B-e-n-der!”
“Who’s awesome? B-e-n-der!”
“Who’s better than you? B-e-n-d-e-r!”
“oh! Yeah! Bender!!”
 
He had gotten about halfway down πth street before he found a target.  It was a small two storey brick building.  The darkened sign read “Qzork’s Friendly Appliance co.”  It sold your standard ware: televisions, microwaves, carbon nanotube circuitry for various computerized gadgets.  More importantly however was what it didn’t have, a good security system.. 

It was easy enough to get in.  Then again, Bender was an expert at such things.  The door was obviously a Ronco, which any amateur knew was prone to resonant oscillations.  Grabbing the doorknob with both hands the robot started to vibrate at a frequency of 359 megahertz..  One of many things within a quarter mile to fall apart was the shop’s locked door.   Stage one complete, Bender walked through the door and began to whistle calmly to himself. He strutted through the store to the beat of the little tune, pilfering as he went.  Then suddenly things took a turn for the worse.

Bender was too distracted by his own greatness to notice the brown form meander out from between two shelves.  A small mewing noise alerted the self absorbed manbot  “Huh?” he muttered as he looked down toward the source of the noise.  A shaggy tabby cat was staring quizzically up into the glass cylinders that served as Bender’s eyes.  “Aww how cute”, said Bender, as he reached down to touch the cat.  The adorable little creature purred and leaned toward the robot’s outstretched hand.  Then it bit him.  HARD.  More startled than injured Bender let out a loud girlish squeal and started to flail about the room.  “Get offa me you stupid mammal! Get offa me!” He wailed as his arm sailed through the air, pulling the cat around with it.  Things crashed to the ground as he careened around the dark room desperate to get this thing off of him.  Eventually Bender happened to crash into the checkout counter, sending bits of wood, plastic, and cash register flying amidst curses and unhappy cat noises.  At this point the tabby decided this just plain wasn’t worth his trouble and let go with a hiss.  Before the disoriented manbot could recover his dignity, his assailant was gone.

Meanwhile, the janitor in the adjacent building was calling the cops.  Sal had been a janitor at this particular place for only a week, but he knew enough to realize that the noises he was hearing through the wall should not be coming from a closed appliance store at 5:30 in the morning.

Bender got up and brushed himself off.  “Stupid jerk” he complained at the long-vanished cat.  “If I caught him robbing my owner’s store in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t have bit him on the hand.”  Bender was too distracted by his unjust treatment to notice the sirens that had been steadily getting closer, and so he was completely oblivious of officers URL and Smitty of the NNYPD who were walking from their hover squad car to the hole that had once been a shop window.  “Freeze Baby, Oh yeah”, Ordered URL. 

Bender’s arms pin wheeled in alarm.  Smitty eased himself over the window pane laser at the ready.  “Alright punk, turn around.  We don’t want any trouble.”  The grey robot turned obligingly, but instead of putting his hands and surrendering, bender made a break for it.  He pushed Smitty out of his way and ran through the open doorway.  URL was too surprised to remember the laser pistol holstered to his waist.  For the next hour and a half Smitty and URL chased Bender through the city.  At first Bender had hoped to get away but that had proven impossible.  A different tactic was in order.  The robot ducked into a bakery that had just opened for business.  After barreling past the startled shopkeeper, Bender made straight for the bathroom.  Unlike humans, robots do not all look differently.  If he could get rid of the few items he had managed to swipe before his bout with the deranged tabby, Bender could simply walk away from this heist-gone-wrong.  The cops would have no way to prove he was the robot they’d found at the scene. 

Muttering to himself about the unfairness of it all, the manbot opened his chest cavity and pulled out the swag.  One by one he flushed high-priced electronic gizmos down the toilet.  “I don’t have any idea what this toilet thing is for, but that hole is too small to flush anything I can think of.  Good thing I didn’t have time to swipe that tv.”

Finally the last of the loot was down the crapper.  Done with his task, the robot swaggered haughtily out of the bakery, leaving behind a very confused baker to wonder what a bending robot would possibly be doing in a bathroom.   
IDIOTSVILLE

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #4 on: 10-02-2005 14:23 »

Good Stuff
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #5 on: 10-02-2005 14:23 »

 eek Really good! I can come up with about a third of that, and less elaborate... This should be a freaking book.
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #6 on: 10-02-2005 15:23 »

Damn man, that's... good. That's really good.

As a fellow newbie, you have my utmost respect in beginning your own (pretty awesome) fic, which I'd certainly love to do, but don't have your skill or confidence. Like Kryten, I'd also like to see where you're gonna go with this.

 
Quote
The door was obviously a Ronco, which any amateur knew was prone to resonant oscillations

Loved the way you dropped in this more subtle episode reference.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #7 on: 10-02-2005 20:04 »
« Last Edit on: 10-02-2005 20:04 »

Part 1
Chapter 3

The ham stall was about a half mile run from Leela’s apartment.  Nibbler nearly got there fast enough for the people he passed to experience a sonic boom.  Leela couldn’t remember if she’d run behind her pet or been dragged, but if the bruises on her butt and legs were any sign, it probably wasn’t the prior.  Knowing that her pet wouldn’t settle down until he had his treat, Leela dusted herself off and walked up to the man behind the counter.  The large man gave her a grin and asked, “You mentioned ha… err… that word again didn’t you?”  “Yes.  You’d think I would have learned by now”, replied the cyclops with a sigh.

 “Go ahead and give me a medium.”
 “You want cheese on that?” was the response.
 “huh, wha? Uhh no that’s ok” said Leela, more than a little confused
 
The man laughed and started to hand her a raw dripping chunk of meat.  Before Leela had a chance to accept it however, Nibbler jumped up and locked his teeth around the squishy red mass.  It was gone in one swallow.

A few minutes later Leela and her pet arrived at Planet Express.  First assuring that the security system was off, Leela walked through the door.  She took off her coat and threw it onto the couch in the lounge.  She let Nibbler go.  He could he trusted to take care of himself during the day. 

As she was walking through the building she caught the sound of gurgling and bits of a song.  “gggarrrgle-king on sunsh-garrgllle” said a disembodied voice.  “Well, Fry’s here.”  Leela thought to herself.  “Bender must have forced him out early this morning.”  Sure enough, the chemical burn shower was occupied.  The cyclops could see the outline of a body with Fry’s haircut.  The hair was always a dead giveaway. 

Leela walked out of the room to give the delivery boy some privacy.  Silently she hoped that Fry wouldn’t try and dry his hair with the spaceship’s rockets again.  The radiation was bad for him true, but Leela was thinking about the hours of engine calibration that it would cause.  The cyclops shuddered. 

Leela set off to look for Professor Farnsworth, who was bound to be sleeping somewhere in the building.  Captain Leela liked to find out the destination of the day’s package as early as possible so she had as long as possible to come up with a flight plan.  The professor always provided a flight plan of his own, but the old genius tended to try anything to cut down on gas expenditures during flight.  Invariably this led to flying through quadrants of space like “the nebula of despair”, or the “zone of no return” in order to save a quarter on dark matter fuel.

Eventually Leela found the professor asleep in the smelloscope room, bent over his universal translator.  The translator could understand any form of verbal communication.  Unfortunately, for some reason its ancient inventor couldn’t discern, it only gave output in an incomprehensible dead language.  It looked like Farnsworth had been up late working on his invention, so Leela decided not to awaken him.  Professor Farnsworth was famous for having an awful temper if not allowed a full night’s sleep.   It would be better to let someone else wake him up.  Leela closed the smelloscope room’s door and headed back down to the meeting room. 
 

By this point, Fry had finished his shower and started on breakfast.  If there was one thing the future had that Fry was glad of, it had to be Bachelor Chow.  It tasted suspiciously like dog food, but somehow Fry just couldn’t get enough of it.  Hermes, the staff accountant, didn’t much like Fry eating the stuff in the building what with it attracting owls, but, as Fry thought to himself smugly “Hermes isn’t here is he?”  That was a mistake.  Fry had never been good at thinking, but trying to think and eat at the same time was just too much processing for his mind to handle.  The cereal spoon in Fry’s left hand slipped from his grasp and fell to the table.  Instinctively, the delivery boy snatched at the rogue silverware, missing the spoon but succeeding to knock the bowl containing his cerealesque breakfast over onto his lap.

Of course, this was the precise moment that Hermes walked through the door.   “Fry mon, wot did I tell ya about eatin that stuff in here?  Clean yourself off and git your butt into the meeting room. “ Hermes yelled in his thick Jamaican accent.

“Sorry Hermes” said the guilty party

“I said git!” was the reply
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________

When Fry walked into the meeting room there were only two other people present.  The professor’s engineering student Amy Wong sat hunched over to Fry’s left.  Amy’s parents were some of the wealthiest humans on the planet and owned an entire hemisphere of Mars.  Leela was sitting to Fry’s right.  The meeting room had always been Fry’s favorite part of the Planet Express building.  It was on the second storey, overlooking the sleek Planet Express Rocket ship.  The employees sat around a rather unremarkable black table.  Imbedded in that table, however, was a hologram projector right out of Star Trek. 

A giant yellow green ball was currently displayed over the table.  Leela and Amy were staring intently at the image of a distant planet, completely mesmerized by the shifting yellow clouds of sulfur-dioxide.  Fry sat down next to Leela and waited for Hermes to fetch the professor.
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #8 on: 10-03-2005 07:21 »

 
Quote
The radiation was bad for him true, but Leela was thinking about the hours of engine calibration that it would cause. The cyclops shuddered.
  smile

You've got Leela's characterisation down to a T (what the hell does that mean anyway?)

All set for plot development - looking forward to what comes next.
Mooman135

Crustacean
*
« Reply #9 on: 10-03-2005 17:07 »

Ooo, I like I like.
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #10 on: 10-03-2005 17:22 »

I'm loving it! Keep it coming! Though I thought the table was a green color & Amy's Parents are living on Mars  wink
Benders_Fan

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #11 on: 10-03-2005 17:48 »

You really know how to write a story,write some more.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #12 on: 10-03-2005 18:38 »

I really like this story. It's got great potential. My only advice is don't go overboard on the episode callbacks. A few are good but make sure you don't use to many cause it'll start to look like your just rehashing old eps.

Also with fanfiction you really don't need to introduce your characters. You mentioned that the story starts off slow, and i really think this is because of all the time taken to introduce characters we all already know. With fanfiction everyone who reads it is already a fan of the show, otherwise they wouldn't be bothered to read it in the first place. Which is handy since it allows you to skip introduction and get directly to the story itself.
Benders_Fan

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #13 on: 10-03-2005 19:22 »
« Last Edit on: 10-03-2005 19:22 »

Hey Venus where did you get your icon I really like it?  smile
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #14 on: 10-03-2005 19:24 »

Someone, i think it was GFF made it for me based on a picture of Amy Lee from Evanescence.
Benders_Fan

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #15 on: 10-03-2005 19:26 »

I thought she looked like Amy Lee,Evanessance is my Favorite Band.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #16 on: 10-03-2005 19:45 »

Hmmm...this earns my own Seal of Approval (not that that means anything to anyone else,) for the timebeing.  A bit simple and it hasn't really gone anywhere yet...and as Venus said, that's quite a lot of detail taken from individual episodes.  You've also put in a quite thorough collection of background information, which is unusual in a Futurama fic (or any fanfic, really) but not necessarily a bad idea, because eventually someone who hasn't seen the show could stumble upon a fanfic collection, and this could potentially bring them up to speed rather quickly.

I'll be watching to see how the story develops.  You've got a fairly good (though slightly simple) technique, and this really could go places.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #17 on: 10-03-2005 20:15 »

Leo: thanks for the praise.  I've always been good at characterizing leela, probably because she's closest to my personality.  Also there's the random fact that I also have only one working eye :-)

Prof. Zoidy:  Umm, oops. yeah its green alright.

Venus/Ner-o-rama: the episode callbacks die off very quickly hereafter. 

this seemed so much longer when i was writing it...

Part 1
Chapter 3

Some time later Farnsworth shuffled into the room with Hermes in tow.  “Good news everyone!” the old man said.   This was immediately met with a collective groan.  The professor’s had some unusual ideas about what could be considered ‘good’. 

Professor: “Our government has instituted a tax on doomsday devices.  Now, I have several dozen instruments that could conceivably bring about the apocalypse, and I cant afford to pay the tax.  Therefore I am cutting all of your salaries.”

Leela:  “Umm, professor, wouldn’t it make more sense to have us ship some of your extra devices off planet?   That way the government cant tax you for having them”

Professor: “Huh-wha?  Oh ok if you want.  Either that or cutting your pay.  It doesn’t matter to me.  What do you think Fry”

Fry:  “Hmm, its tempting but I vote we move the doom-thingies.  After the last time you cut our salaries I didn’t have enough money to pay Bender my rent so he made me give him my spleen.”

Amy: “But, I thought you couldn’t live without your spl…”

Farnsworth: [cutting in]  “Anywho, this will be the planet that you will be delivering my doomsday devices to.”  The professor gestured to the rotating hologram before him.  The sulfur planet shimmered and was replaced by an orb of striking greens and blues.  Wherever the crew was headed, it was definitely habitable.  “The planet’s name is Isat 6, the public storage planet.  It’s way on the other side of the universe in an area of rather shallow space-time, so it will take awhile to get there.  Plan on a week each way.

Leela:  “But professor, is all of this safe?  Some of those machines of yours look pretty volatile.”

Professor:  “Oh my, you’re right.  Amy, you’d better go along and make sure nothing gets damaged.”

Leela:  “I was thinking more about us getting damaged, but… oh never mind.”

 
Hermes:  “Alright people, you heard da professor.  Fry, you go find Zoidberg and tell ‘im to get his lazy ass in here.  I think he’s out eating garbage behind da pizza place across da street.   Amy, you help da professor load his death rays while Leela gets the ship ready.

Fry:  “What are you going to be doing Hermes?”

Hermes:  “I ‘ave to requisition da professor some permits for da devices he don’t want to git rid of.  Then I ‘ave to stamp dem, collate dem, loose dem, find dem again, notify the bureau of requisitions of my intent to send dem, and den finally send dem in several days late.  Ahh the cycle of bureaucracy…”


The robot member of the PE crew finally got to work about half an hour after the staff meeting.  He had had no trouble with the police since he had flushed the loot.  Smitty and URL had lost track of their suspect when he ducked into the bakery.  Dumping his loot had been unnecessary after all.  There was really no particular reason that Bender wasn’t at work on time.  It just never occurred to him to not be ‘fashionably late’. 

Fry was sitting in the employee lounge watching cartoons, and from the two empty beer bottles sitting next to him, had been doing so for quite awhile.  The delivery boy had found Zoidberg almost immediately after the meeting had broken up.  Planet Express’s alien doctor had indeed been digging in the garbage.  The man-sized lobster-like creature had never made any money in his profession mainly due to his complete incompetence.  Once back at the PE building Fry had tried to make himself useful, but just managed to get in the way.  Finally he’d given up and plopped down on the couch.

“Yo chump, where is everybody?” asked Bender.

Fry shrugged “Leela’s in the ship.  She ran out of things to do to keep herself busy so now she’s watching the autopilot’s hard drive defragment.  Amy and the professor are loading the ship, and Zoidberg’s around here somewhere.  What have you been up to all morning?”

“Oh nothing.”  Bender flopped down on the couch next to his friend.  His body fit snuggly into an indentation the size and shape of his body.  It was pretty obvious the robot did a great deal of sitting on that couch. 

The robot didn’t have long to relax however.  Leela came strolling through the door with her hands on her hips.  “Are you guys going to sit here on your asses all day?  We have a job to do.”  Fry put down his third beer and stretched.  “Ok captain we’ll be right there.  Come on Bender, time to get to work.”


Fry followed Leela and Bender into the hanger.  The Planet Express Ship never failed to take his breath away.  It had always been a secret dream of his to be an astronaut back in the 20th century, but he had never had the grades or the stamina.  Every time he saw the ship’s sleek green body it was like witnessing one of his dreams materialize in front of him.   Fry only wished that his jaded coworkers could understand his feelings about the machine.  To them it was just another boring tool.

Amy and Farnsworth were resting on the ship’s cargo elevator, which descended out of the vehicle’s undercarriage.  Several large wooden crates occupied most of the elevator.  Large hazard labels adorned the crates like ornaments.  An eerie green glow emanated from a crack in one of the crates; another one emitted a low hum.

Leela: “Is everything ready Amy?”

Amy:  “Yes captain, we’re all set.”

Fry smiled when he heard Amy’s voice.  He had always liked the native Martian.  The two of them had even started dating at one point, but the relationship quickly fizzled out when Amy had started to cramp what Fry generously considered his ‘style’. 

 Fry shook his head to clear it.  He could daydream about past romance during the  trip. 

Farnsworth stood up and shuffled over to face Fry and Leela.  “Now, I want you to take good care of my precious inventions.  If anything is damaged it will be coming out of Zoidberg’s pay, got it?”  There were no objections.  “And Bender, you stay out of those crates.  There isn’t anything worth stealing in there, and if you were to accidentally set something off you could destroy an entire galaxy cluster.  Now you’d better get going.  The HOV lane between Mars and Jupiter changes direction in an hour, so if you don’t hurry you’ll end up stuck in beltway traffic.”  With that he turned around and shuffled off.


Fry wandered over to the cargo elevator and hit the button to raise it.  The rest of the crew boarded the ship.  Zoidberg appeared out of nowhere and gave a dejected look at the delivery boy, who was probably the closest thing the doctor had to a friend.  “Why didn’t anybody tell Zoidberg that we were about to take off?”  asked the crustacean.  “I dunno, maybe they didn’t want you to come.” shrugged the red head.  Zoidberg visibly slumped. “Aww…” he moaned.  Fry couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor creature, so he pushed the elevator button again. Zoidberg climbed onto the descending platform with a warble of joy.   


The captain of the Planet Express Ship went through her preflight.  Normally the process only took a few seconds but a long trip such as the one they were about to embark on required combing over every subsystem in the ship.  It could take days for a tow truck to reach the PE ship if she were to break down in interstellar space.   Spending several days on a drifting ship in the middle of nowhere was not an idea Leela relished, even if she happened to be stranded amongst friends.

Her check complete, Leela took one last look around to make sure nothing, and no-one, was forgotten.  Nibbler had figured out that a mission was underway long ago and was currently curled up on Leela’s bunk.  Fry had just boarded the ship a moment ago and had joined Amy on the bridge.  Bender was in the crew cabin.  That took care of people.  The ship’s stores were also in order, although the supply of olives was low again.  All in all, good enough.  The single open crate in the cargo bay containing a certain red lobster went unnoticed.  Leela returned to the bridge and sat in her chair.  She gave Fry a nod.  Her friend had always enjoyed doing what he called the ‘countdown’.  Counting backwards from 10 seemed to be an ancient 20th century ritual of some kind, but what it was supposed to represent was a mystery to the purple haired captain. 

“Ten…  Nine… Eight…

Leela put the ship into gear and a low hum gradually permeated the cabin

“Seven… Six… 

The hangar doors above the ship opened, exposing the bright January sky.

Five… Four…

Both engines started to pick up speed.  The low humming became a dull roar.  The air began to vibrate with expectant energy.

Three… Two… One…”
“Blastoff!”

The delivery ship surged into the waiting void.
_____________________________ ____________________


Mooman135

Crustacean
*
« Reply #18 on: 10-03-2005 20:30 »

I feel like I'm actually watching an episode! It's kinda creepy actually...  hmpf
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #19 on: 10-03-2005 20:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by soylentOrange:
Then I ‘ave to stamp dem, collate dem, lose dem, find dem again, notify the bureau of requisitions of my intent to send dem, and den finally send dem in several days late. Ahh the cycle of bureaucracy…”


BWAhahahahaha!!! That's hysterical!
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #20 on: 10-03-2005 21:50 »
« Last Edit on: 10-03-2005 21:50 »

 
Quote
Now you’d better get going. The HOV lane between Mars and Jupiter changes direction in an hour, so if you don’t hurry you’ll end up stuck in beltway traffic.
I dunno, Venus...this is more my cup of tea, especially if the bad pun was intentional.

Good to see the humor and plot both picking up.
blug

Crustacean
*
« Reply #21 on: 10-04-2005 00:07 »

Wow, your attention to detail is incredible and you are really in-tune with the characters. Update update update!   big grin

"Why am I sticky and naked? Did I miss something fun?"

"Hey, wait! I'm having one of those things. You know, a headache with pictures."
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #22 on: 10-04-2005 03:20 »
« Last Edit on: 10-04-2005 03:20 »

Despite my lack of seals of approval, I agree with Nerd-o.  That was the best joke in what is turning out to be a very good story.

Venus had it right earlier on with the callout on the callbacks, and you seem to change format without a clutch, but it's very, very entertaining so far.
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #23 on: 10-04-2005 03:36 »
« Last Edit on: 10-04-2005 03:36 »

 
Quote
The low humming became a dull roar. The air began to vibrate with expectant energy.

Just demonstrates your attention to detail and quality of the vocabulary you have to work with - either you're a talented writer or you're using a thesaurus!  smile

Oooh, oooh! I'm 19 today, so if you could update on my birthday, well then that would just be great.
------------------
There's a million fine looking women in the world dude, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #24 on: 10-04-2005 18:26 »
« Last Edit on: 11-22-2005 00:00 »

heh-heh thanks for the compliments guys.  Here's the next chunk as Leo requested.  Happy birthday man!  Just to warn everyone, the story gets a bit darker now that the characters are away from Earth.  Dr. Thunder, what do you mean by 'changing format without a clutch'?  Id love some critiqueing of my style!  Oh, and kudos to anyone that knows where the Snark reference came from.

Part 2: Pursuit
Chapter 1

It was still there.  Fry watched the bright speck of light that was currently positioned 2 AU behind the Planet Express ship, and about twice that distance from the binary star system the PE ship was currently passing through.  Amy had first spotted the white dot, or the Snark as its discoverer had termed it, as Leela was piloting their ship through the Kuiper Belt.  At first everyone had  assumed they were only seeing the nucleus of a particularly reflective comet.  It had the same grayish color through a small telescope and was drifting in a stable orbit that would take it around the sun once every few hundred years.  But then it had started to move.  As the Planet Express ship left the solar system, the point of light had followed them.  It had been tailing them for almost four days now, and Fry was worried.

“This isn’t right” he though to himself.  “We should be doing something about this.”  The delivery boy slumped his shoulders and rested his chin on his hands.  He was in the laser turret, which was mounted on top of the ship’s hull and reached by a long ladder.  The Planet Express ship was designed for speed and cargo capacity rather than and so it did not boast a large armament.  Still, the ship was not defenseless.  The turret that Fry currently occupied contained a medium range neon-cadmium laser.  It could cause some serious damage up close, but had a rather awful rate of fire.  The ship’s only other defensive option lay in the two class-B torpedo tubes mounted under the bridge.  Unfortunately the ship only had three torpedoes.

Fry had been the first to notice that the ‘comet’ was not behaving as a mindless ball of rock should.  He had mentioned it to Leela, but the captain had simply shrugged and said:  “The ship’s computer probably got the orbit wrong.  Don’t worry about it Fry”.  Leela had always known more than Fry about practically everything so Fry had taken her advice and forgotten about the icy dirtball entirely. 

When Fry woke up on the first ‘morning’ of their trip he put on his clothes, took his shower, and joined Leela on the bridge.  The captain had been awake since takeoff almost a day beforehand.  Normally an interstellar vehicle would be controlled by the autopilot for most of the trip, but the PE ship’s autopilot was an infamous drunk.  No one trusted it behind the controls unless it was an absolute necessity.

Fry felt sorry for Leela.  Since he had nothing to do anyway he might as well be piloting the ship.  “Hey Leela, why don’t you take a break?  I can handle the ship for awhile.  I’ve been practicing.”  Leela started.  Presumably she had been dozing off and had not heard Fry enter.  She turned around to look at the delivery boy.

Leela: [unconvinced] “Are you sure Fry?  The last time I let you take the controls you piloted us right into that flock of space-chickens.”

“This from the woman that crashes into half a dozen billboard signs a week”, thought the red head.  What he actually said was “I’ll be good, I promise.  Please Leela?  You look like you need some sleep.  There’s no reason for you to torture yourself in the pilot seat for the whole week.  If you don’t want me to drive, at least let me get Amy in here.  She can fly the ship as good as you can.”

Leela smiled and said:  “Maybe you’re right Fry.  I am a little tired.” In fact she looked like she was about to collapse.  “Thanks for trying to look out for me.”  Leela stood up with a stretch and squeezed Fry’s hand.  “I’ll be in my room if you need me”.  Then she was gone.

Fry slid into the chair that had recently been occupied by his captain.  Leela’s scent still clung to the air near the console. As Fry went through a quick system check he thought about his recently departed friend.  “She’s so great.”, he thought to himself.  “If only I could express my true feelings for her.”  In fact, Fry had been successful in showing Leela how he felt toward her on several occasions.  One time he had been infested by intelligent tapeworms that had overhauled his entire nervous system.  Leela had fallen in love with the new him, but Fry had soon realized that she was really in love with what the worms had made of him, and he had disposed of the parasites.   Another time Fry had made a deal with the robotic version of the devil to win Leela’s heart.  Fry had been practicing the holophoner (a flute like instrument that emits a holographic projection tuned to the player’s mind) since soon after he had moved in with Bender.  The delivery boy and beelzebot had literally exchanged hands.  With the new robotic hands Fry was able to express the incredible music talent that his slow hands had kept bottled up inside of him.  During the following months it had finally dawned on Leela that there was more to her friend than met the eye.  Unfortunately for Fry, the robot devil had not been so happy with their trade, and had forced the delivery boy to take back his horrible hands.  Fry was understandably devastated.   He expected Leela’s new affection for him to immediately evaporate.  To the red head’s surprise, however, it hadn’t.  Leela by no means felt as deeply for Fry as Fry felt for her, but it was a start, and there was hope.

The next few hours passed quickly.  Fry loved being alone on the bridge.  Only alone could he truly appreciate the silent majesty of the universe that he was sailing through.   The delivery boy daydreamed while monitoring the controls.  There really isn’t much to piloting a spaceship.  The truth is that space is BIG.  It is so unbelievably, mind-numbingly big that the chances of hitting anything are too small to express with any human language.  The main concern for the pilot is monitoring the engines and the ship’s trajectory.  The ship could easily meander off course if the dark matter engines were to fail.  Even worse, power could be lost.  Without power there is no life-support or communications.  That is the other consequence of the vastness of space.  The chances of coming across a ship that has drifted off course and cannot send out a distress signal are depressingly slim.  A pilot then is more a damage control officer than anything else.  He must be ready to respond to a crisis aboard his own ship and fix it before it gets out of hand.

Suddenly Fry was aware of another presence in the room.  Fry whirled his head around to see Amy smiling at his from over his shoulder.

“Hi Fry, watcha doin?” asked the intern.
 “Oh Hi Amy.  I’m flying the ship.  Leela looked tired so I gave her a break a few hours ago”, said Fry.

 “Oh Ok.”  Amy fidgeted.  After a few moments of awkward silence Amy asked:

“So has the ship tried to send us a message yet?”

 Fry was confused.  “What ship?”, he asked.

 Surprised, Amy said “You haven’t seen it?  Its been following us all night.” 

In a sudden leap of insight that was rare for the red head, Fry realized what she was talking about.  “You mean that comet that I said looked like it was following us yesterday?  Leela said not to worry about it.”

“Yeah but its not really a comet.  Comets either orbit a star or move in a straight line between stars.  The thing that’s behind us is following us.  It must be a ship”

“Why?”

“Because we’ve been turning upward for the past hour, and that thing behind us has been turning with us.”

That bit of information gave Fry a scare.  He had had a bad premonition about the thing when he had thought it was a comet.  Now that Amy had told him it was a ship, that premonition was back more insistent than ever.

“What’s wrong Fry, you don’t look so good.”, said Amy.

“Ohh, umm its nothing.  I just need to go check something.  Will you fly the ship for awhile?”

Fry didn’t wait for an answer.  He had to see their stalker for himself.


At first Fry didn’t see what he was looking for.  The only rear facing window on board the Planet Express Ship was the laser turret bubble, and Fry had rushed straight there.  The delivery boy had spent several minutes scanning the space behind his ship, but there was nothing there.  “Maybe the ship isn’t behind us anymore”, thought Fry.  He swung around in his seat to look over the bow of the ship, and gasped.  A gigantic cloud of interstellar gas swept into his view.  Somewhere on the other side of the cloud was a bright star, for the dust was lit throughout with reds and yellows.  Filaments of hydrogen and other light elements spread out from the cloud in all directions like smoke in a breeze.  As Fry sat mesmerized by this view he saw that the ship’s upward turn was taking it on a course through the nebula.  In a matter of seconds, the outer bands of dust enveloped the ship like a terrestrial cloud would swallow an airplane.  A low whisper filled the ship as trillions of charged particles slid across the smooth hull.  For the next minute Fry could see nothing but a dimly lit brown murk outside his window.

 Slowly the light began to increase and the haze grew thinner.  A bright circle appeared near the bow of the ship and the delivery boy turned just in time to prevent his eyes from being blinded by a large white star.  Fry was too awestruck to move for a long time..  Thoughts of the sheer beauty of what he had just seen drove everything else out of his mind, and finally he began to head back down the ladder.  While on the top rung however, he happened to take one last look at the nebula that had so moved him, and his spirits suddenly fell through the floor.  Between himself and the nebula was a bright white dot.


The silent grey vessel had been following the Planet Express Ship all along.  The reason that Fry had not seen it was very simple, no light had been reflecting off of the Snark for Fry’s eyes to see.  When the nebula had been in front of the PE ship it had blocked most of the light coming from the nearby stars on the other side.  If Fry had stopped to think about it he would have realized that someone on the Snark looking back at Fry would not have been able to see him either.  There simply wasn’t any light.  When both ships had cleared the nebula however, the light from the nearby stars was no longer blocked out, and the presence of the ship that was following Fry and his friends was revealed in a burst of reflected electromagnetic radiation.  “And” thought, Fry, “If this thing is as bad as I think it is, we just lost our one good chance to get away from it when we left that nebula.”


Leela had been in her quarters since Fry had relieved her and so was oblivious to the nebula and Fry’s reactions to it.  She was sitting at her desk calmly writing in her diary when the delivery boy burst into her room.  More annoyed than surprised, Leela turned to face her friend and asked dryly, “Don’t you ever knock?”  Fry looked confused.  There was obviously something bothering him. 

“What is it Fry.  Is everything alright?”

“Somebody’s following us!” exclaimed Fry

“What? Who?”

Leela would have had no way of knowing about their pursuer.  The PE spaceship did have radar, but it generally only sent out pulses in the forward direction as an attempt at energy saving.  The only way an object that was following the ship could be spotted was visually, and, having assumed the Snark was a comet of some kind, Leela had not seen a reason to look.

“That comet I saw yesterday!  Only its not a comet it’s a spaceship and its been following us since yesterday and I saw it through the window a minute ago and its so bright and close and…”  Fry was left gasping for breath.

“Slow down Fry.”  Leela said gently.  “That comet you saw yesterday is still back there?  Hmm, it must be a ship then.  And you said it’s close to us?”

Fry nodded

“That is a bit strange”

“I don’t like it Leela.  There’s something about that ship that just gives me the shivers.  Its up to no good, I know it is.”

“Now don’t go overreacting.  Maybe they’re just going to the same place we are.  Still, if it’ll make you feel better I’ll call them on the vidphone, ok?”

The red head nodded again.

Fry and Leela worked their way through the ship to the bridge.  Amy was still at the controls, and Bender was sitting on the couch at the very bow of the ship.  Putting on her most convincing air of command, Leela walked over to the video phone near the pilot’s seat.  She set the transmitter for all bands, all frequencies and began to speak.

“This is the Earthican space ship Planet Express Ship to the vessel that is positioned…”  She paused and looked at the radar screen, which Amy had switched to rear-sweep only a second ago.  “…  180 million miles to our stern.  Please identify yourself.”

The only answer was static.

Leela tried again.  “This is the Earthican space ship Planet Express Ship to the vessel that is following us.  Please identify yourself”

Still, there was no response.

The Planet Express Ship’s captain tried several more times to reach the ship, but the response was always the hiss of interstellar space.  Whatever this thing was that had followed them from Earth, it had no intention of talking to them.
Arkan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #25 on: 10-04-2005 19:50 »

Great story soylentOrange, it's really getting interesting now! Keep it up!
DrThunder88

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #26 on: 10-05-2005 03:51 »

The intrigue is intriguing!

What I meant about switching formats is you seem to bounce back and forth between straight prose and script form.  I'm not sure why, and it really doesn't matter, but that's what I noticed.  Also, you didn't tell us what the PE Ship wasn't built for (I presume "war" or "combat" ).
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #27 on: 10-05-2005 05:16 »
« Last Edit on: 10-05-2005 05:16 »

Wooo! soylentO posted on my birthday! I'm popular!

Kinda sinister dude. The tension begins to increase towards the end and I can only hope that it doesn't break too soon and continues to build.

Is the snark a reference to the poem 'The Hunting of the Snark' by Lewis Carroll, the same guy who wrote 'Alice in Wonderland'?
And as an afterthought, 'Jabberwocky' also?

Or have I just shot severely wide of the mark there?
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #28 on: 10-05-2005 19:34 »

DrThunder:  Oh that.  I'll try and work on it.  Oh, and the PE ship isnt built for war.

Leo: Nope.  way off.

No update tonight, sorry.  I needed to rewrite the next section to keep it consistent with the part Im writing now.
PumaGirl

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #29 on: 10-06-2005 03:00 »

I very much like it, and I think it keeps improving. The first part does have a lot of references to shows etc. which is not as interesting for people who have already seen the show.

Also I think you should stick to writing prose because some of the best parts of your fanfic for me  are when you let us know what goes on in your characters heads. And you can't really do that with scripts!
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #30 on: 10-06-2005 05:22 »

True, but when there's a lot of dialogue it's much easier to read in script form. But then again, prose flows much better than script and seeing as you write very descriptively solylentO, I would say that writing in prose would suit your story best.

 
Quote
Leo: Nope. way off.

Crap. In that case then, I have no pissing idea what a snark is. (And I thought I was being clever.)

There's a million fine looking women in the world dude, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #31 on: 10-06-2005 06:31 »

Well, in Dave Vincient's 'Background Noise', the PE Ship is a 'Snark class' starship/warship stripped of most of it's armament.

Wrong answer, huh?
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #32 on: 10-06-2005 09:50 »

I'm sure it's closer than my Jabberwocky nonsense, Ralph. This is gonna bug me 'til someone knows or soylentO tells us.

There's a million fine looking women in the world dude, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you.
Arkan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #33 on: 10-06-2005 13:07 »

Yeah, I was just gonna mention Background Noise. If it's not from that, I don't know what the hell it is.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #34 on: 10-06-2005 13:52 »

wow, i guess I'm the only one here that reads Gregory Benford novels... 
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #35 on: 10-06-2005 14:29 »

Ahh, the science fiction writer. Heard of him but never read any of his books - the only one I've heard of is Timescope... or something. (Written around same time as Hitch-hiker's Guide? Or am I spectacularly wrong again?)

There's a million fine looking women in the world dude, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #36 on: 10-06-2005 15:00 »

yup, that would be Timescape.  The snark comes from his galactic center series. 

edit: Well, I'll be damned.  I reread the part of the book where the Snark is introduced, and guess what?  He used the name 'snark' as a reference to that poem you were talking about.
Leo

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #37 on: 10-06-2005 16:12 »

Wow, small world. At least when it comes to Snarks.

Anyways, eagerly awaiting your next post (which is becoming customary).

There's a million fine looking women in the world dude, but they don't all bring you lasagne at work. Most of them just cheat on you.
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #38 on: 10-06-2005 16:27 »
« Last Edit on: 10-06-2005 16:27 »

Yey, people are actually looking forward to my stuff!  I feel so special!

Part 2
Chapter 2

That night dinner was tense.  Fry, Leela and Bender ate their meals without saying a word.   Each of them was thinking about their friend the Snark.  Even Bender was relatively subdued.  After 20 minutes of silence Fry had had enough.  “So what are we going to do about it?” he asked.  Leela sighed.

 “I don’t know”, she said.  “It hasn’t done anything yet, and we don’t know what it wants.  Maybe it will just go away” 
 Fry rolled his eyes and replied angrily: “But what if it doesn’t ‘just go away’?  It could be waiting for a chance to catch us by surprise.”

 Leela sat back and crossed her arms. “But what would you have me do about it?  We’re flying through a channel of normal space between clusters of giant stars.  If we change course now and try to loose it we’ll end up flying into a well of space-time.  Time will slow down so much that when we finally make it home hundreds of years could have passed.  None of us can afford to pay three hundred years of back-rent!”

Fry just stared blankly at Leela.  He hadn’t understood a word she had just said.  “So, umm, that’s bad right?” 

The cyclops just ignored that.  “What do you think Bender?  What should we do about this?” asked the captain, gesturing in the robot’s direction. 

Bender took on a haughty air:  “I was wondering if you were going to ask for my opinion.  Stupid humans, always ignoring the robots.  I don’t see the problem.  Don’t we have several hundred pounds of doomsday device onboard?  If they start shooting at us or whatever, we can launch one of the professor’s little toys at them.”  Bender pictured the resulting explosion to himself.  “Whuahahahaha.” 

Suddenly a high pitched warble was heard throughout the ship.  Several seconds later Dr. John Zoidberg came running into the room accompanied by a series of strange noises.

Leela jumped to her feet at the sounds, but immediately relaxed when she saw the red lobster in the doorway.  “Dr Zoidberg?!  What the heck are you doing here?  I thought we left you, I mean, I thought you staid back on earth?”, asked the cyclops, adrenaline still coursing through her. 

“No, Zoidberg came on this mission, no thanks to you!”, responded the space-crab.  He waved a claw at Leela, Bender, and Amy.  Leela noticed that Fry wasn’t singled out, but let it slide. 

Fry asked: “So what’s wrong Dr. Zoidberg?  Why all the screaming?” 

The red alien paused for a minute to think.  All of the commotion had pushed everything out of his head.   “Well, it’s a long story, but since you’re all sitting here with Zoidberg standing in the only escape route, I’ll tell it anyway”

Zoidberg started in on what everyone present could tell would be an unnecessarily longwinded speech which had aimed at keeping it’s speaker at the center of attention for as long as possible. “After my good friend Fry let me climb on board the ship, I hid in the cargo bay.  I knew that anybody saw me for the first few hours that you’d turn around and leave me behind.  All was well for…”

Bender cut him off before it could continue any longer.  “Shut up you stupid lobster.  We don’t want to hear your damned story.”

 “Awww…”  The dejected red creature sighed and started to walk mournfully out the door. 

“Wait Zoidberg!”, cried Amy, “Why were you screaming just now?” 

Zoidberg perked up when he realized he was still the center of attention.  “Well, I haven’t eaten any real food in two weeks, so I was digging in one of those food crates that are in the cargo hold and…”  The monologue was cut off before it could continue further with a loud “WHAT?!” from Fry, Leela, and Bender.

Leela gave the doctor a disgusted look.  “You idiot!  Those aren’t food crates, those are weapons of mass destruction!”  A confused “Huh?” was all she got from Zoidberg. 

Amy’s voice piped in to help clarify.  “You know, atomic bombs, nerve gas, chemical weapons.  Like the ones that weren’t in Iraq?”  Some legends managed to survive for more than 1000 years. 

“Oh…  Well then that would explain this.”  The lobster reached into his lab coat and brought out a large biohazard sign.  He had ripped it off of one of the crates.

By this point, the robotic member of the crew was thoroughly tired of this discussion:  “If you don’t tell us why you were screaming in the next sentence you speak, I am going to shove this fork up your crustacean ass.”   Zoidberg squealed.  There was no doubt as to the sincerity of the robot’s threat.

 “Ok Ok, please don’t hurt Zoidberg!”, the alien pleaded.  “I was eating out of a crate, when this thing made a horrible noise and bit me.”

Leela and Amy exchanged glances, and Amy said icily:  “So you broke one of the professors doomsday devices?” 

Zoidberg nodded.  Then Leela spoke up, following Amy’s train of thought.   “And this device, which has the ability to vaporize a significant chunk of the universe, has been sitting, for the past few minutes, damaged in the cargo bay next to other devices that could also destroy significant chunks of the universe?”  Again the lobster nodded.

The whole crew stared at each other while this information sank in.  Then, as one, they all jumped up and bolted out of the room.

Amy was the only one of the group that new enough about Farnsworth’s inventions to assess the damage.  The rest of the crew had to wait nervously while the engineering intern looked over the broken piece of machinery.  After a quick inspection Amy stood up and chucked.  The tension in the room evaporated.  “Its ok,” she said.  “Zoidberg didn’t do any real harm.  He broke some wires and the short circuit zapped him.  Its not going to explode or anything.” 

“Ok good,” said Leela. “But can you fix it?”

The intern shrugged.  “I dunno, maybe.  I’ll have to call the professor to make sure I have all the tools I need.”

Leela nodded and started to dress down the guilty lobster for causing such a panic.  Amy headed off to the bridge to call Farnsworth.  It was not long however, before the intern was back.

 “So,” asked the cyclops, “what did the professor say?  Can you fix it?”

Amy looked puzzled.  “I don’t know.  I cant get ahold of him.  Every time I try and call him I keep getting this weird noise.”

Leela wasn’t particularly worried.  Amy was known for being a bit absent minded at times and probably didn’t have the vidphone set right.  The cyclops gestured to Amy to follow her up to the bridge.  The rest of the crew, sans Zoidberg, followed the two women.

Leela watched as Amy placed the call.  As far as the PE ship’s captain could tell Amy was doing everything right, but instead of the normal ring tone, a high pitched squeal blasted out of the speaker.  All of the humans covered their ears.   Fry dashed over to the machine and turned it off.  The audile assault immediately died away, leaving echoes in the crew’s ears. 

Fry cried out in a pained voice:  “What the hell was that?!”

The PE captain visibly slumped.  She walked over to the pilot’s seat and slowly eased herself into it.  The cyclops held her face in her hands for a moment.  When she finally looked up at her crew there were deep lines of worry in her face.  “That, my friends, is a the noise a vidphone makes when it is being jammed.  I’m afraid out friend the Snark doesn’t want us making any phone calls.”


edit: <Fry>  Whahoo!  I'm a delivery boy! </Fry>
PumaGirl

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #39 on: 10-07-2005 12:10 »

Couple of typos (stayed not staid, our friend the Snark...) , but very good again. Can't wait to find out what's happening next.

A little thing also: "all of the humans covered their ears" - what about Zoidy and Bender? Bender isn't deaf or anything and has been seen to cover his ears before?!
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