Fry returned to the Planet Express building hauling a bag full of rocks to weigh. When he entered the lab he found the Professor covered in green ooze standing over the mutilated body of what appeared to be a giant spider.
“You had a party?” Fry asked, frowning in confusion.
“No, you idiot!” The Professor lifted a vial of purple glowing particles and gazed into it. Pure condensed time swirled around in the form of Chronitons.
Fry stared. “Hey, are those…?”
“No they aren’t!” Farnsworth snapped. “They’re Chronitons!”
“But that’s what I was gonna say.”
“Who cares?!” The Professor moved over to a spectral analyser and placed the vial inside. “Good news, you nobody!” he announced. “With these time particles, I can now construct a device capable of transporting a person backwards and forwards in time… but not sideways, oh my no…”
“Great!” Fry said delightedly. “When will it be finished?”
“Well I still need to devise a method of gravitational triangulation to counter the Earth’s motion so you don’t end up appearing in deep space. At the current rate, it should take about seven years.”
Fry’s face fell dejectedly. “Seven years?” he repeated. “I can’t go seven years without seeing Leela.”
“Oh fuff!” Farnsworth waved Fry’s concern aside. “Why don’t you just find a normal woman and poke one of her eyes out? Or better yet…” The Professor took out a notepad and began scrawling down the exact time and date. “Since it’s a time machine I’m building, and given that I have reasonable confidence in my ability to construct said time machine, I’ll just leave a memo for myself to send it back in time to this exact moment as soon as I finish building it.” He finished jotting down the time to the second and pinned the note to the message board.
Fry and the Professor stood quietly for a moment, looking around expectantly.
Suddenly the air in the centre of the room twisted in on itself and an incandescent crackling ball of white light materialized. Fry gasped and took a step back, shielding his eyes. As rapidly as it had appeared, the disturbance faded, and sitting on the floor in its place was a device the size of a 1980s mobile phone; a handheld unit with a disk and a ball protruding from the top.
“Success!” Farnsworth said. “There you go, I built a time machine – I’m the greatest scientific mind on the planet apparently…”
“Wow…” Fry picked up the device and sniffed it. “What will happen now if you don’t build it?”
“I have no intention of building it,” the Professor replied. “Why would I need to? It’s already built.”
“But…. Ahh…” Fry’s brain struggled valiantly to comprehend the concept that had just been presented to it, causing him some degree of physical pain. “But you… have to build it, right?” he said. “Otherwise how could it be here?”
“I did build it,” the Professor replied, glaring at the moron.
“But… you haven’t yet.”
“And I never will.”
“Ahh…” Fry’s eye twitched and he suddenly developed a nosebleed from the heavy thinking.
“Quit bleeding on my spider carcass you nitwit,” Farnsworth snapped. “Just try to wrap your brain around the idea that in an alternate future reality, I created this device, sent it back in time, where its presence altered the course of history thus erasing the initial future reality and setting in motion a NEW reality.”
“…What?” Fry tried to staunch the blood from his nose by wiping it on the time machine.
“It’s the same thing that YOU will soon be doing, you stupid fool!” the Professor said, exasperated. “When you prevent Leela’s death you’ll create a future where you will never have a cause to travel back in time – but that isn’t a paradox; there’ll just be a new future, a new you… and more importantly - my ship will never have been destroyed.”
“A new me?” Fry wiped the last drops of blood onto the time machine and raised an eyebrow at the Professor. “So there’ll be two of me?” he asked.
“Then that means I won’t be able to… return to my life with Leela… the other me will be there and he’ll…” Fry trailed off.
“Yes! What the hell did you expect?” Farnsworth threw up his hands and stormed away. “If you need me, I’ll be in the angry dome!” he shouted as he went.
Fry stood for a moment in quiet contemplation. Unbeknownst to him, a trickle of his blood found its way beneath a panel on the time machine, and a circuit quietly flared and burnt out.
“Well I don’t care,” Fry said to himself at last. “I don’t mind if I can’t be with her… as long as she lives.” He looked at the dials on the time machine, wondering which one he should turn. The array seemed to be configured for days, months, and years. Gingerly, he turned the dials to negative one month, and paused with his finger hovering over the red button.
“This is it,” he told himself. “I’ve got time to kill.”
Bender picked the lock on the Planet Express building’s main door and wandered inside. He had a twelve-pack of löbrau under one arm and a bunch of movie cartridges under the other.
“Hey Fry, you in here?” he called, clumping noisily through the rooms. He’d decided that he was going to cheer his friend up, even if he had to break both the kid’s legs to do it. He made his way to the lab and barged through the door.
“Hey, you sack of crap – I’m here to put a smile back on your ugly…” Bender stopped, noticing Fry standing in the middle of the room holding a strange device. “Hey, meatbag, what’s with the…”
Fry was suddenly enveloped in a sphere of brilliant light that radiated outward, and for a time the Universe ceased to exist.
Fry seemed to fall, formless and fluid, for an eternity that lasted less than a microsecond. Eons passed in the blink of an eye… or did it take eons for the eye to blink? The innards of the cosmos were laid bare, spilled before his eyes; a kaleidoscope of celestial entrails.
It smelled purple.