Futurama   Planet Express Employee Lounge
The Futurama Message Board

Design and Support by Can't get enough Futurama
Help Search Futurama chat Login Register

PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    Melllvar's Erotic Friend Fiction    death clock, time zone change « previous next »
Author Topic: death clock, time zone change  (Read 11767 times)
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 ... 9 Print

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #40 on: 04-10-2007 08:28 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':

Xanfor:  SuperShipper!  Of course I know who you are!  This is a good omen, I think, because you've arrived just in time to check out the beginning of Scene 22 in Part 5 of 7 at the end of this post. Of course I wouldn't complain if you read the rest of it either!
I've read your "Amok Time" homage in your fanfic (first one I think).  I admit I haven't read them all, because I am not sure what order to read them in, and when dealing with your parallel universes the order is important. A secret hope of mine is that you'll post a really intelligent long-winded commentary on this story when it is finished.  Actually, I'll even settle for long-winded.   wink

Eek! Now I'm in deep...  eek   hmpf   smile   flirt

Thanks for the warm... Yes, very warm welcome. Don't know what I did to deserve it, but... Hey, don't let that stop you. I don't remember putting any 'Amok Time' homage in my first fic... But I must be really good if I did it subconsiously... Hm. I'm flattered, honestly.

So, a really long-winded commentary, hm? Well, I'll do that then, hm. Just give me some time to read it all (That's right, I said 'to', hm), and then I'll get back, shall I? Hm?

Incidently, you're not supposed to hope for something like that. Because, you see, if you do... You might actually get it, you see. (nods head wisely)

And don't worry about my fanfics. I have a nice organized index on the very first post of my thread. If you want, just stay away from the 'Parallel Universe Saga'. Actually, it wouldn't really hurt, since I've only completed part I and a special. But you may want to hold off anyway, because right now I'm rewriting it to be easier on the eyes. But read the others, please! Or, better yet, torture me by not reading mine until I read yours. Yeah, that'll motivate me to get started!

I kid, I kid. Xanny-boy going to start right now.  wink


Bending Unit
« Reply #41 on: 04-10-2007 20:55 »

Oh, this was absolutely amazing.  I must print it out and add it to my favorite fics archive.  love  Script format normally takes me a bit to get into, but you did this one so well that halfway through the first part, I forgot it was in that form.  Like previously said, everyone was more or less in character and all the great elements were there [humor, the pseudo-sci-fi explanations, borderline romance (yet not too much), suspense, .... etc].

(By the way, my avatar's from the "Fish N Chumps" episode of Rocko's Modern Life.  They go to use a worm as bait, but he freaks out on them and then ends up sitting in the boat all pissed offtongue  I screencapped that bit before Youtube took that particular video down.)

Yeah. Anyway.  You really have serious talent here.  I hope this isn't your only fic - we look forward to more.  smile

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #42 on: 04-11-2007 08:15 »

Yes... We hope this isn't your only one... Mr. Arthur C. Clarke!

Oh, and Shippers of PEEL... This is An Easter Egg!


Bending Unit
« Reply #43 on: 04-11-2007 09:01 »
« Last Edit on: 04-11-2007 09:01 by JustNibblin´ »

oooh...ooh...ooh...TOTPD!  or MOTPD!

JBERGES:  Thank you for taking the time to read the entire fic all the way through, and commenting on it in detail.  I understand the significance of that and am taking your comments to heart.  The whole 'art' of fan fic is keeping the characters consistent in personality and diction, while doing something new.  Kind of like jazz.  Some people have a natural talent in terms of dialogue and getting the 'voice' right, and others have to work at it.  I know which group I'm in.  Anyway, I'm glad we had a chance to interact before you move on to new pastures, and glad things are going well for you.  Best of luck to you too.

Venus: I'm so glad you caught my refs to you.  It's my way of thanking you for all the pleasure you've given me through your fic.  I hope you finish it.

PazuzuJr: Thanks for the complement!  I'm tracking your fic too--I think it's a fascinating 'what-if' concept.

Sedna:  Many thanks for your really flattering comments (and Officer as well).  I have to admit, I've guiltily reread all your posts a few times because it gives me the 'warm fuzzies'   wink  Have you written anything? (And I love your worm!)

Xanfor:  !!!!!!!!!!!!!   eek   eek
This is really cool.  I'll hold off on further comments for now, other than say that your easter egg is safe with me for a little bit, and that I confused 'Amok Time' with 'Mirror, Mirror'.  Yes, that's like confusing the Book of Job with Revelations, I know.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #44 on: 04-11-2007 09:13 »

Please... Call me Xan IV.  wink


« Reply #45 on: 04-11-2007 10:01 »

I get it!
Oh, now I get it!

Bending Unit
« Reply #46 on: 04-11-2007 13:18 »

I took my time and read through all the 7 parts 8 parts of your story.

The only thing that I found.. distracting.. was that you wrote it in script form. I found that hard to read for some or other reason.

Other than that, very good!

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Bending Unit
« Reply #47 on: 04-12-2007 22:00 »

Sedna: Many thanks for your really flattering comments (and Officer as well). I have to admit, I've guiltily reread all your posts a few times because it gives me the 'warm fuzzies'  Have you written anything? (And I love your worm!)
I used to write fanfiction a few years ago.  Quite a bit, actually.  Not for a while though; nowadays I'm oddly terrified to.  I worry I'll "ruin" the characters and whatnot - the stuff from before was horrible at times. 
I have only written one Futurama fic.  I'm not sure if I'll ever post it - it's one of those "the other point of view of The Sting" fics and I hadn't yet stumbled over PEEL when I wrote it, so next to 16 Days, you all KNOW what it'd look like.  hmpf  Ah well.

And about rereading:  Heh, I keep coming back to your fic!  tongue  I have a section in my Bookmarks for favorite fanfics and marked it there.

Bending Unit
« Reply #48 on: 04-21-2007 11:14 »

Won't keep bumping this thread, honest...
After being "out of town" for a couple of weeks, I've decided to add Leela's promise to the story ending.  It should be up in a day or so.  There are also a number of revisions based on everyone's comments on this thread.  Thanks, y'all!

Corvus:  Thanks for slugging your way through.  Between you and Dr. T, I'm seeing that script form is distracting to a lot of people.

Sedna, I think if you have a story written, you should go ahead and post it.  As long as you acknowledge 16 days, who's going to complain?  My own very brief experience is that everyone at PEEL is very supportive.  The worst that would happen is that no one comments on it, and the story just sits there.  But what you have is sitting there now, so it's not like you're losing anything, right?  And heck, the poor characters have been "ruined" by everybody, including me, at this point.  Time to take your turn ruining the franchise!

Xan IV: I still don't really know what to say about that wonderful, wonderful post.  I absolutely loved it.  Thank you! Just a couple of short-winded replies on your comments:

Anyway, Xanfor, thank you again for that nice commentary, it gave me a lot to think about, and I look forward to other long-winded commentaries in the shipper thread in the future.  Also, I have 'Wasn't it Yesterday' on my list.


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #49 on: 04-22-2007 07:22 »

Well you don't have to go a'changing nothin'! It's all a'fine and dandy!

Vonnegut, chop chop, righty-ho!

Might have to squint to see it, mind you...

Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #50 on: 04-22-2007 10:20 »


Bending Unit
« Reply #51 on: 05-24-2007 00:39 »
« Last Edit on: 05-24-2007 00:39 by JustNibblin´ »

@Ralph:  Your comments were so thoughtful (in keeping with the impression I've had from you in other threads) that it's taken me a month to revise the story to fully incorporate your and Xanfor's comments.

The revised version of this story is now posted in The Leela Zone.  Leela's actions beginning in the last third of the story have been tweaked, and the conclusion has been revised.  For the efficient people out there, most of the changes start after here.

I've tried to address the specific comments from Dr. Thunder, JBERGES, XanIV, and Ralph as best I could.  Never could be quite happy with the final result, but time to let it go.  Naive me didn't realize that fanfiction.net doesn't take script format.

Thank you, everyone who posted their thoughts on this story, and effectively served as 'betas'!  It's been a fun experience for me.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #52 on: 05-24-2007 18:52 »

First, awwwwwwwwwwwww! at he new ending.

My only other remark would be that in some of the revised parts the characters might be a little too forthright in their emotions and motivations, but it's far from a real problem. This is definately one of if not the best fanscript I've ever read.

Bending Unit
« Reply #53 on: 09-02-2007 03:58 »
« Last Edit on: 02-14-2008 00:00 by JustNibblin´ »

Dear Sir,
Congratulations!  You have successfully completed Level 1 of the “Talk is Cheap” online prose fan fiction course.  As a newly minted “Ernest Hemingway” level writer you are now permitted to attempt a prose story, provided your sentences are less than 20 words, you attempt descriptive scenes no more complex than a clean, well-lighted place, your syntax remains no more intricate than a compound sentence, and your vocabulary is not more erudite than a high school level.  For example, this means you are not permitted to use “erudite” in a sentence.  You are also allowed a maximum of one (1) pretentious literary quote. Best of luck!  Remember, try not to really abuse very much those common adjectives and adverbs, remember that “said” is a perfectly legitimate word, and be mindful of excessive punctuation!!!!  Your certification expires November 27.  Your bill is attached.
                     Talk is Cheap, Inc.

Dear Sir,
Congratulations on the purchase of your new Clichemometer 150!  Never again will you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, or paint yourself into a corner with this handy, dandy, user-friendly device, which can spit out text for any situation.   Writing romance? Hearts will flutter, chests will heave, fur will fly, and lovers will mope!  Writing action? Bullets will be dodged and your characters will run for their lives as they escape by the skin of their teeth!  Writing humor? Can’t help you there.  But with our special plot accessory (not included) the Clicheometer 1500 will even generate plots for you, including the ever-popular “boy loses girl,” and “hero goes on a journey to find himself” plotlines!  Now your creativity can be unleashed for other things, like writing pithy statements on message boards!  So welcome to a whole new world of prose, stop beating around the bush, bite the bullet, and get writing!
   Ten percent discount provided with your ‘Talk is cheap’ certificate.
                     DarknStormyNite Inc.

WARNING!   The Intergalactic Panel of Fanfic Ratings has rated the following Futurama fanfiction as M5 (110), or maturity level five.  Sentient beings should be aware of his/her/its/our reproductive natural history before attempting to read this fiction, with the exception of Klathurians who have successfully survived their second molting cycle, and energy beings who are immortal, and thus presumably care more about banking interest rates than reproduction anyway.

WARNING!  This fiction has been rated "Twit," for plot twists.  Potential readers are advised that numerous plot twists exist in this fiction, some so sudden that unprepared readers may suffer whiplash.  Everything is not what it seems.  In particular readers tempted to quit reading after  the Nov. 5, 2007 post are encouraged to hang on for five more updates to understand what is really happening.

WARNING!  The first few chapters of this fiction have also been rated “Sh”, for shippy.  Potential readers are warned that “Sh” rated stories may contain scenes concerning existential angst, syrupy romance, internal soliloquies, and relationships potentially up to and including marriage and children.  Please exercise appropriate precautions when reading the first parts of this story. 

WARNING! This fiction has also been rated “Z” for Zoidberg.  Potential readers with negative reactions to humor involving Jewish lobster/manatee characters are advised that this fiction contains numerous such situations, and they should thus exercise appropriate caution.

WARNING!  Potential readers are warned that the following prose story is a fanfiction, and may thus contain out-of-character situations, author self-inserts, pretentious writing, slow pacing, strange metaphorical dream sequences, and a dearth of actual humor.  But we figure if you’ve spent all this time reading all these warnings, you have nothing better to do, so go ahead and read, exercising appropriate caution.  We pity you. 

               -IPFR, June 3006

Wasn’t there a story here somewhere?


Se vuol ballare, signor contino,
    il chitarrino le suonerò, sì,
    se vuol venire nella mia scuola,
    la capriola le insegnerò, sì.

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
    I'll play my little guitar for you.
    If you will come to my dancing school
    I'll gladly teach you to dance.

              --The Marriage of Figaro, W. Mozart

Part 1: A Day I Want to Forget

Prof. Hubert Farnsworth slept slumped in his hoverchair in his laboratory.  He had been working on his latest doomsday device, but he had dozed off while reviewing the quantum field equations in his head, and had begun dreaming of younger times with Mom.  He dreamt of mottled flesh and creaky joints, of a mix of solder and sweat, as a gentle breeze tickled his nose.  Something wasn’t right…

And in response his dreams shifted…

“Thanks Professor, for everything.”

He was sad to see him go.  It would be hard to find a test subject with a slower learning curve than his remote ancestor.  Most sentient beings would have learned to stop pressing the button to get the cookie after the fifth shock.  He had hoped that years of careful observation of this young man would cumulate in a revolutionary theory of the minimum number of neurons required to sustain an approximation of intelligence.  Take that, Wenstrom!

“Neat!  What’s that you’re working on?”


Maybe he wasn’t that sad to see him go after all. 

“Oh, sorry! Didn’t mean to knock that over.”

It had taken months to develop that fermion foam for his latest power source, and now a dark stain was creeping along the floor.

“I’ll try to wipe it up with this towel here.  AHHH! It’s moving!  Get off me! Get off!  I don’t like towels!  Help!”

Life was so fragile, so delicate.  Stupid life.  The universe should have been able to do much better.  He had done much better.  He had worked years to create a life form as life should be—indestructible, able to survive any temperature, any radiation, any environment, any emotional crisis.  This “towel” was actually a colony of artificial single-celled nanotube-strength bacteriolichezoa that could survive anything thrown at it…

“Uh, geez, Professor, is it supposed to shrivel up like that?”

Anything, apparently, except fermion foam. 

“Well, uh, I guess that’s a little better, even if it’s on fire.”

Two projects ruined within seconds.  The tarred remains of the bacteriochezoa mixing with the foam were making  pungent vapors.  Entropy, thy name is—

“Gosh, it’s eating a hole in the floor.  I’m really sorry about that –oh look!  It made another hole down there!  And another hole! Whooops, almost got Zoidberg there!”

“Well anyway, I need to go.  Hermes has taken care of everything.  I’ll be hard to find, so no point in looking for me.  I might be back someday.  But for now, thanks…”

Suddenly he couldn’t breathe as two arms cracked a couple of ribs.  Damn you humanity and your stupid emotions!  Damn these hugs and other germ-spreading social artifacts!

And yet he found himself a little sad that his only genetic relation was leaving.  It was strange to be relieved yet despondent at the same time.  And as the red head vanished through the door, and he surveyed the ashes of his latest research efforts, all come to naught, he thought that this was definitely a day he wanted to forget…

The breeze tickled his nose again, and he smelled a hint of flowers and hot asphalt.  Something was not right.  A breeze?  In his laboratory?

Farnsworth opened his eyes.  An owl stared back at him, blinking its eyes in the bright sunlight.  Sunlight?  He swiveled in his chair.

The entire wall of the lab was missing, and he found himself staring down into the main hangar of Planet Express.  The ship was gone, but the floor was buried under a pile of twisted, smoking debris.  Squinting his eyes, he looked up.  The roof of the hangar was gone, and as he looked a butterfly languidly fluttered through the hole, and white clouds idly drifted across a brilliant summer sky.  Had his doomsday device gone off?  But if it had, wouldn’t his molecules be floating over Europistan by now?  He felt his face.  Yes, it was still there, so he wasn’t an astral projection.  So it wasn’t a doomsday device.  More like a doomlet device.

“What’s a Woolong?”

He spun his chair around and saw three figures clustered around a holographic display.  He could see a virtual banner titled “IBHG” flapping on the screen.  A female in a pink sweatsuit and a purple-headed one-eyed woman were both looking at a dark-skinned human, who was typing information into a keyboard underneath the projection.  They looked familiar.  He felt a desire to dissect the Cyclops, but something told him she was more valuable alive.  Besides, she looked disappointingly healthy.

“It’s a traditional unit of currency among bounty hunters, Leela.  It dates back to the 21nd century, I think.  Dey’re a traditional bunch, dese bounty hunters.  The Hunter’s Guild only started accepting credit cards three centuries ago.  Let’s see… 2 million Woolong translates into abou’ $2,000,231.25, give or take $125.67.”

“Is it enough money to make it worth it, Hermes?”

“Well, it’s not the Wong fortune, Amy, but it’s enough to keep us from goin' out of business.  Dey didn’t just take the ship.  No mon.  Dey also took all of Planet Express’s petty cash and hacked our other short-term assets.  If we don’t find them soon, say within two weeks, this company’s in deep voodoo.”

Farnsworth was distracted by a faint yet familiar voice.  Looking up, he saw most of the lab roof was missing, and he could stare into the lounge, where the TV was precariously perched on the lip of the hole.

“Once again our top story.  At ten-thirty this morning the Big Apple Bank was robbed by two individuals threatening to detonate a bomb.  After snatching Mom’s Robot Corp’s  payroll, the robbers stole a police hovercar and went on a rampage through the streets.”

“I’m going to need names to register you into the Guild.  Do you wan' to use your real names?”

“It’d be safer to use fake names, so our identities can’t be traced as easily.  We’ll need names that are completely different from our real ones.  Let’s see, I’ll be Lola.”

“And I’ll be KiffiePoo.”

“That’s really lame, using your boyfriend’s name.”

"Among the injured was the second assistant aide to the mayor, Chaz Smythe III, Jr.  But he got the VIP suite in the hospital.  He’s that important."

“Don’t take your bitterness out on me, Leela.  Remember our discussion about moving on?”

“Moving on, I’d say that’s a pretty lame name.  Why not just use Valentine and make the lameness really obvious?”

“Fine then. I’ll use one of my favorite Bugaloo’s names, like Faye.  Oh hey, why don’t we pose as sisters?  That’d be fun!”

The tall purple-haired woman rolled her eye, a motion so familiar to Farnsworth that he suddenly remembered that the freak worked for him.

“Oh yeah, we look soooo much alike.  I don’t even look human, remember?”

“Oh com’mon, you can be adopted.”

“No, you’ll be the adopted one.”

“Greck-leh!  I hit a nerve there, huh?  Fine, have it your way.”

“Ok, then ladies. Lola and Faye Valentine, it’ll be.”

“After a dramatic chase, the thieves holed up inside a local delivery service, where we have unconfirmed reports that they took hostages before hijacking a space ship and destroying much of the building.  Well, Morbo, we haven’t seen this much carnage on the streets since the fast-food industry managed to get McPluto declared an official planet!”

“Wow, we’re going to have to get totally new outfits to go with those guns and knives!  It’s gonna be tough to find a summer color that matches with blood-stains…”

“Our outfits are just fine.  What I want to know, Hermes, is when the rules say “alive,” how alive do they have to be?”

Only now did Farnsworth notice how the purple-haired freak was walking with a limp.  Her shirt was torn, her face was bloodied, and she cradled her left hand as she asked the question.  She shifted position, and now he could see two fingers were splinted together.  Perhaps a dissection in the near future was not out of the question after all…

“Morbo is disgusted with the pitiful security system of this puny planet.  Your defenses are laughable, and our invasion force will crush you like sunflower seeds.  Morbo likes sunflower seeds.  We will let those remain.  But Chihuahuas.   We will destroy your Chihuahuas.”

“It’s right here, Leela.  Accordin' to the latest agreement signed by the Guild 15 years ago, a suspect mus’ retain at least half their limbs and recover 75% of their original cognitive capacity within six months to qualify as “alive”.

“Ha Ha Ha, how funny you are!  But now the latest developments—a reward for the capture of the suspects has been posted by an anonymous donor, with the restriction that the suspects be captured alive and deposited at an as-yet unspecified location.  The size of the reward is such that a crowd of bounty hunters is descending onto our system to try to pick up the trail!  The Intergalactic Bounty Hunters Guild has reported a 10% increase in membership over the past two hours.  Who knows?  Maybe your co-worker next to you may be taking out a hunting license right now!  Right Morbo?  Morbo?  Where’d he go?”

“What’s happening here?  Did I sleep through something?”

All three turned to face him.  Yes, he definitely knew their names.  But he didn’t really care.

“Professor, I’ve just reregistered Leela and Amy’s career chips as bounty hunters.  Dey’re leaving as soon as possible to recapture our stolen ship before anyone else can do so and claim salvage rights.  Are you sure you’re up to dis, Leela?”

Leela was pale and trembling, but to Farnsworth’s disappointment he saw that her shaking was not due to shock or death throes, but to a barely-contained fury.

“Oh yes, I can’t wait to see them again.  And when I get my hands on them, they’re going to wish someone else had found them.  And then they’ll be out of our lives for good.”

She didn’t shout, and she made no threatening motion, but something in her voice caused both Hermes and Amy to instinctively step back a couple of paces, as did Farnsworth’s chair.

 “Come on, Amy.  We’re going to have to use your Beta Romero to start, so let’s get it loaded up.”

“The bank has just released holographic footage of the two perpetrators, and we’ve been able to obtain names.”

As the two women left the room and Hermes turned to fill in the still groggy professor, the slightly distorted voice of Linda the newscaster floated through the lab.

“And it looks like practice makes perfect for these two!  Just a few years ago both served prison sentences for robbing this same bank!”

There was a pause, and then:

“The names of the suspects are Robot Bender Rodriquez and Human Phillip J Fry, both former employees of the Planet Express delivery company, although Mr. Fry apparently left the company a year ago.  We’ll keep you updated throughout the Sol diurnal cycle.  We’ll now turn for our one-second opinion to our psychologist.—“

Bending Unit
« Reply #54 on: 09-02-2007 07:31 »

Fascinating... you have really captured my interest with this one. I'm looking forward to your next update.

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #55 on: 09-02-2007 11:01 »

Same here. Your originality and artful presentation never fails to fascinate and awe me.

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #56 on: 09-02-2007 12:30 »
« Last Edit on: 09-02-2007 12:30 »


Note to self: Keep an eye on this one...

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #57 on: 09-02-2007 12:37 »

The disclaimers had me laughing so hard I forgot to read the rest.  wink

Bending Unit
« Reply #58 on: 09-04-2007 13:12 »

Corvus, Sine Wave: Thanks, and I hope to see more rabtrievers and !PsychicFry in the future.  It helps my motivation to know others are also writing and reading fanfic.  Kinda like a positive feedback loop.  "Positive feedback loop" sounds so much better than "incestuous."

SC: (/Zoidberg): Hurray, I'm interesting! (/Zoidberg)

Xanfor:  I'm glad you laughed.  Sadly, the disclaimers may be the funniest thing in the whole story.

Seventy-two hours earlier:

He sat in a small room crammed with DVDs and old pizza boxes, watching a small TV.  The only light in the room was the amber glow of the screen, casting an unhealthy pallor on his blank, unblinking face.

A gentle tone reached his ears, fading away like a sunset over a desert.  For the first time in a long time, he looked around.
He saw a glow fading behind the blinds of the only window in the room, a foot-square ceiling window, covered with dust.  He looked around, and saw that everything was covered by a layer of dust, including himself.  Strange.  He turned to look back at the TV, and realized that it was showing nothing but static.  Also strange.  Not wanting to do anything, he stared at the screen, but even though he was capable of watching just about anything, even static got boring after a while.

He kept thinking of that tone.  He knew that tone.  He wanted to find it.  But how?  Well, leaving the room would be a start.  He looked for a door.  There wasn’t one.  Really strange.  He nearly choked himself on the blinds before he found a way to pull them open, and he clambered on top of the dusty DVD piles to peek through the window, after rubbing his elbow on the glass to smudge away some dust.  What met his eyes was an enormous, flat, featureless landscape, with a black sky.  Yet somehow there seemed to be enough grey light to see to the horizon.

He found he was able to push open the window and tried to slide through.  It hurt more than he thought.  It hurt very badly.  It would be so easy to go back, sit down, and watch and not worry.

No, there had been something in that tone, a longing, a loneliness, that prompted him to move on, despite the pain, and after a while he slipped through and fell to the ground.

He was standing outside a one-room house in the middle of the plain.  Except it now looked like a desert.  In the dim light he could make out shapes of cactus in the distance, and overhead he was able to resolve a few stars.  Now what?

In one direction there seemed to be a faint glow that was rapidly receding beyond the horizon.  He began to walk.

He walked for what seemed to be days, but he had no sense of time.  He did notice, after a while, that the plain was no longer featureless.  At first he would see just a few files of sand, or an isolated cactus, but eventually he began to see pebbles, then rocks, then boulders.  He actually had to watch his step as he scrambled over the rough trail.

Now the sky was filled with stars, with more winking back on every time he looked.  And as each star appeared, more light fell onto the landscape, revealing more features. 

He was thirsty, but he couldn’t drink.  He went on.  He was hungry, but couldn’t eat.  He went on.  He went on, even though he had no idea whether he was heading in the right direction, or even what exactly he was looking for.

The rock formations had become denser and now they joined into actual walls.  The ground was now sloping upward, and he was so busy watching his next step that it took him a while to realize that the rock formations had developed a bunch of regularly shaped holes, almost like windows.  In fact, the formations looked a lot like buildings now…

He walked down what now seemed to be a street, but a street piled with rubble amidst what appeared to be an abandoned city.  He didn’t feel fear until he caught glimpses of faint wisps out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned to look they were always gone.

One formation, or building, seemed more familiar than the others.  He walked to a ground-level cave opening and walked in.  Somehow he sensed that he was spiraling up inside the building.  Passages became corridors and steps became stairs.  He now noticed doors and hallways.  He saw his first sign. 
“NO POWER FAILURES SINCE 1997…”, it read.  He had no idea what it meant, but he felt he should open the door.

Inside he saw several long objects that looked like coffins, propped against the wall.  They scared him, but he also knew that he should know what they were.  He had spent a lot of time in one of them.  A lot of time.  In fact, this one, to the far left.

And for reasons he couldn’t fathom, he stepped in…

He woke up, scratched himself in a place that needed some scratching, and looked around.  Pizza box on floor, some unknown stinky liquid pooling in the corner, streaks of some smelly goop creeping down the walls…  It all seemed comfortable, familiar.  He was home.

But was he?  That dead owl on top of that pile of trash just didn’t seem right.  Actually, that big pile of diapers didn’t seem right either.  He was pretty sure he didn’t wear diapers.  He checked.  Nope.  Also, it looked like those diapers were meant for someone with a tail.  He shoved his hand down the back of his underpants.  Nope.  He looked down.  He was sleeping on a big pile of garbage bags.  Garbage bags?  An image of a huge garbage ball hurling through space jumped into his mind, then faded before he could understand it.

He looked up at the sloping ceiling a few inches above him.  That didn’t seem right.  Had his room shrunk?  Not likely.  Had he grown bigger through some enlarging formula that –what was his name?—had created?  Now why was he thinking thoughts like that?  By the way, who am I?  He tried to remember the past, and couldn’t grasp anything.  He reached out his hand and pushed against the ceiling.  It moved.  That also didn’t seem right.

He pushed harder and sat up.  The glare of a bright blue sky overwhelmed him for a moment, and he had to squint to focus.  He was in a dumpster, holding up the lid.  Hovercars passed back and forth in the street in front of him, a bunch of Cygnoids were chattering in front of a pizzeria, and a small coffee house was doing a brisk business a short distance away.  He stared at the Cygnoids.  He wasn’t feeling shocked or amazed, so he guessed he must be used to seeing things like this.  He looked around again.  A building stood catty-corner from his location, next to a large river.  As he looked at the spherical upper floors suspended above the enormous hangar, something swatted at his mind before curling up and going back to sleep.  He knew this place.  It was important to him.
   And someone was walking up to the front door.  She walked steadily and straight, no movement wasted, every motion of her body indicating concentration and purpose.  Only her long purple ponytail seemed to indulge itself in the luxury of wasted motion as it swung back and forth behind her head.
Her name was… was…
Damn!  But he knew her.  She was important, very important.  And at that moment terror seeped into his mind.  Something bad had happened.  Very bad.  And somehow she was part of the bad thing.  So much so, that he was afraid to go near her.  But he felt an equally strong urge to go after her.

Still indecisive, he dropped both hands to the lip of the dumpster, to try to haul himself out.  Had he been a Rolsalian, this would have been a perfectly good move, because he could have used his third arm to hold up the dumspter lid.  But he wasn’t, so he didn’t, and the lid crashed onto the top of his head, knocking him back into the dumpster.

Turanga Leela heard a crash from across the street.  Her thoughts moved away from the weather (clam, clear, no electromagnetic storms—good launching conditions) to the street.  All she saw was a group of owls flying away from a dumpster.

She sighed.  She was jumpy, and although she knew why, she didn’t like thinking about it.  In just a few days it would mark one year since Fry had left Planet Express.  The bile rose in her stomach as images of that day leapt over her carefully-constructed mental blocks and invaded her memory.  Disgusted, she shoved them out her mind.  Hatred and bitterness were no use to her now.  She had suffered worse and had endured.  It was time to move on, but like a persistent mosquito the events of that day kept irritating her thoughts.

It really was a day she wanted to forget.

Bending Unit
« Reply #59 on: 09-04-2007 13:33 »
« Last Edit on: 09-04-2007 13:33 »

Originally posted by Sine Wave:
Same here. Your originality and artful presentation never fails to fascinate and awe me.

I borrow what Sine Wave said since I feel the way he puts it more accurately describes my own feelings towards what you have written so far.

Not only did you catch my interest with your first Part but your narrative style in Part two really makes me want to read more.

Rabtrivers you say? There might be one in my next update... I'll be quiet now. :P

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #60 on: 09-04-2007 13:56 »

[Comic-Con Comic]Still more questions![/Comic-Con Comic]

I am on tenterhooks, as if I need more nervous anticipation in my life.

Bending Unit
« Reply #61 on: 09-05-2007 18:40 »

And for reasons he couldn’t fathom, he stepped in…
…and stepped right out back into the room, as if he had simply walked through a door.  How strange!  He looked behind him and saw only the inky blackness of the opening.  He shuddered; there was no going back.  And he walked out of the room.

   Everything was much clearer now.  The buildings were different.  Not only were they easier to see, they were in much better condition.  In fact, as he stared, holes in one building started to fill in with glass.  He walked down the street in a random direction that he knew could not be random.

   He kept thinking there were others around him.  Crowds in fact, going about their day, but when he turned to look he was alone.  Grimly, he marched on.

   He saw a building next to a river, and knew answers lay there.  He walked through the broken doors and stared.  Trash lay everywhere on the floor, and the wind blew through gaps in the wall.  Disappointed, expecting more, he climbed the stairs and saw a conference table.  At least that’s what he thought it was.  How did he know that?  He stood on the table, in the center, and looked around.  Here was where he needed to be, the end of all paths.  He stood and tried to find meaning in the breeze, in the gray beams of light punching through the holes in the ceiling.  And the silence was complete.  No sound, no life, no hope.

   And then he saw a glimmer in the rubble underneath one of the beams.

   Jumping down, he walked up, scooped away some dirt, and pulled an object out of the ground.  For the first time, amidst all the grays and blacks around him, he saw something in color.  It was a pipe with a bulb attached to the end of it.  Somehow he knew to put it to his lips and blow.

 Nothing.  He tried again.  A faint strained sound came out, the first sound he had heard in a long time.  He readjusted and tried again.  The tone he had been seeking emerged and enveloped the room.  First the tone, then the tempo, then the tune.  A green smoke emerged from the tip and swirled above him, gradually growing larger like a snowball rolling down a hill.  It floated above the conference table and settled onto it, and all the while he kept playing.  Color seemed to be seeping back into existence, emanating from the cloud above the table.  Furniture self-repaired, walls re-sealed, and computer screens and appliances faded into existence around him, but he only noticed the cloud.

 For the cloud had now resolved into a silhouette of a person, a person with its back turned to him.  And as wisps of white smoke whirled around the crouched figure, it stood up and he could see a cloud of purple billowing around the head.  The figure turned around.
   And she opened her eye…

He woke up, scratched himself in a place that really needed some scratching, and remembered her name.  Leela.  And he was Fry.  Philip J Fry.  A flood of images suddenly piled into his mind like a freeway accident.  Dance lesson.  Last night.  Hangover.  Planet Express.  He worked there.  And it was morning.  And he was probably late. 

He looked down at his clothes, stained with all sorts of unidentified fluids.  No time to shower.  Actually, today wasn’t shower day anyway.  If he had to, he could use the locker room.  Part of him wondered why he was in a dumpster, but his life was full of wonders, so he climbed out of the dumpster and put his disquiet on hold.  At least his hangover wasn’t too bad.  In fact, he didn’t seem to have one at all.

   Quickly he walked into Planet Express.  Was it just him or did the place look a bit … spiffy?  Maybe it was the elegantly etched glass doors, the new microwave, leather chairs around the conference table…  Actually, it wasn’t leather, but some sort of scaly hide.  But it seemed as classy as zebra-stripped lizard skin could ever be.  A sign caught his eye, and he read the digital display: 


He had never seen that sign reach the triple digits before.  Double digits, even.  Maybe it needed to be adjusted.  He grabbed the edges of the sign and pulled hard.  Wouldn’t …come…. loose… His hands slipped and he fell backwards, cracking his head on the ground and biting his lip in the process.  As he rubbed his finger over his lips, tasting blood, the display reset back to zero.  OK, that was more like it.

   Where was everybody?  Maybe he should look at the clock.  It was later than he thought.  That’s why the ship was gone.   Whoops!  Well, he would get yelled at, but it was all part of the job.  And it wasn’t too late for All my Circuits!

He slouched into the lounge and cast an approving eye over the new sofa.  Time to break in new butt-prints.  Ooh, massager!  His jaw dropped at the sight of the TV.  Holy smokes, the screen was three times as big as he remembered!  Part of him had always been curious why TVs a thousand years into the future were smaller than in the 20th century.

He flicked through the channels.  Wow, smellovision!  Ah, here we go…

“Oh Calculon, your evil half-brother has captured your long-lost twin and converted him into a human!”

Wait, wasn’t Calculon supposed to be in coma?  Underwater?

“Oh Monique, the horror.  The hooorrrrooorrr!  Quickly, we must find my token human friend, who has gone to Milwaukee to satisfy his mating urges, and get his advice!”

But wasn’t the token human friend a prisoner of Monique’s evil father-in-law’s outlaw beta version?  And he thought he remembered that Monique’s upgraded cousin had taken her to the forbidden oil pleasure pits of Petrol VI to divert her imaging routines away from Calculon’s coma but she had nearly been seduced by Sleazy Martinez who planned to download Monique’s original prototype’s fortune by accessing the password embedded in her ex-fiances encryption code?  I mean, it had all been pretty simple, hadn’t it?

“Sweet Jesus lizard walking on water!  Fry, you’re back, mon!”

Fry turned and saw Hermes staring at him, looking stunned.

“Ship’s gone.  Musta overslept.”

“Um, yeah.  In my office, quickly.”

Fry shrugged and wandered into the administrative headquarters of Planet Express.  To his surprise, Hermes’s desk was clear.  Usually his Inbox and Outbox were crammed with all sorts of forms and carbon copies, but now the whole thing was looking almost forlorn…

“Fry, have you looked into a mirror lately?”

“I tried once, but it broke when I tried to stick my head in.”

Hermes pressed a button and a mirror appeared on the wall.  Fry nonchalantly glanced sideways, and nearly cried out.  A heavily bearded face with long read hair past the shoulders was staring back at him with wide eyes.

Hermes watched Fry as he felt the beard on his face.  Truth be told, when he had seen Fry, he had felt a flash of fear as the words of his dear departed grandmamma had come back to him.

“De zombie dead, deara, always have de longest hair and finga-nails.  Cause even when you dead, your hair and nails, dey still grow, you know?”

“Fry, where’ve you been?  Sweet Cher in the air, It’s been a whole wet and rainy season, almost, since you’ve left here.  Looks like you’ve been smokin’ something and sleepin’ outside!  Are the Grateful Dead tourin’ again?”

“Whadda you mean?  I’ve been here.  Just went on a delivery yesterday.  Went dancing with--“  He stopped.  Hermes probably shouldn’t know how trashed he, Leela, Amy, and Bender had probably gotten last night, after the dance class.

“Here, try this out.”  Hermes pointed to a head-sized box sitting in the corner of his office.  One side of the box had a large hole in it, and as Fry peeked through, he saw a thick nest of blades, scissors, and knifes.  One corkscrew sat waiting in a corner, coiled like a snake waiting to strike whatever was stupid enough to enter.  Only the toothbrush looked relatively harmless.

“Go ahead, stick your head in.  It’s the latest in time savin’ productivity enhancers.”

“Er, what is it?  Looks like a suicide booth.”

“Of course it does, it’s made by the same company.  Suicide booths are manufactured by the shaving companies, didn’t you know?  You haven’t heard the slogan “We can cut your throat as well as we cut your hair?”


“Actually, this model is a combo suicide/shaving kit.  Oh yeah, I forgot.  It’s set on ‘kill’ right now.  OK, I’ve switched it.  Now you can stick your head in.  And don’t forget to relax.  If you tense your face you’ll lose some skin.”

Nonplussed, Fry stuck his head in.  As the box began to whirr and Fry began to whine, Hermes thought of the last time he had seen the young delivery boy—

“It’s in the regulations.”

“Well I don’t want one, and no one wants one for me.”

He stood in front of his desk, slouched as usual, hands jammed in that red jacket of his.  He had only been with the company for four years, but some of the paperwork this boy had generated had become legend within the Central Bureaucracy.  Hermes still remembered the time when a level 5 admin (A five!) actually had to look up a regulation to see whether what Fry did with that pencil
(a) constituted sexual harassment, and (b) if it were legally possible to sexually harass yourself.

“Well, any employee with more than two years of service is required to have a farewell ceremony, where everyone can wish him well with appropriate amounts of insincerity.  There’s no way around it.”

“Will Leela be there?”

“She took a long-term leave yesterday, so I don’ know.  And now you’re leaving faster than an overthrown Caribbean dictator.  I’m half-expectin’ Bender to walk in here and quit as well.”

Fry seemed only mildly interested in the news about Leela.

“Well, I’m leaving for good, so maybe that’ll make your paperwork simpler.”

Wrong thing for him to say.  Truth be told, the past few years had produced some of the most interesting and challenging paperwork in his career.  The medical forms alone—ah well, the past was past.  He had run some quick numbers and was astounded at future profit projections if the business just kept the mutant and the robot, and dropped the old man’s relative.  This held even if the Cyclops did take some time off.  It was amazing how perfectly Leela’s productivity had been cancelled by Fry and Bender, or as he privately called them, the two Horsemen.  So he would lose a blizzard of paperwork. He could learn to live with boredom.

“No, I’m sorry.  We are goin’ to have to get together to wish you well, whether you like it or not.”

“I’ll can pay you not to give this party.”

“Fry, sorry, but dat’s a bribe, and all bribe offers must be submitted on form KCKBCK-5, copied in triplicate, and submitted to the Central Bureaucracy with six weeks notice.  And you tell me you’re leavin’ tomorrow night!”

“Please Hermes, you must be able to do something.”

There was a tinge of sadness in the plea, and to his shame Hermes found himself responding.

“Well, look.  If we keep payin’ you, then you technically haven’t left employment.  So say we agree on a payment of $1 a week, transmit it to your account, then we’d have to do nothin’.  I’d have to fiddle with some forms, but then we wouldn’t have to do a party.”

“Thanks Hermes, but one thing.  I may not be able to get to that account-would you transfer it to Bender’s account instead?”

If he were to make an itemized list of entities he would trust money to (cross-referenced of course), Bender would be somewhere on the bottom.  But it was his dollar a week.

“Fine.  So sign, here, and here, and here, lick this, stare into this, hold still while I put in the needle—I said hold still!  OK, good, you’re all set!

“Great, Hermes!  I have a lot of good memories here.  Say goodbye to LaBarbara and Dwight for me.  Goodbye.”

He shook hands, and with that he strode out the door.  Well it was nice for him to ask about his family. 

And yet the memory left a sour smell in his mind.  For he technically should have submitted a report informing the Central Bureaucracy of the $1/month reassignment for approval, but he hadn’t done so because he hadn’t been sure it would have been approved. 

For the first time in a spotless career he had deliberately broken a regulation, and it was a source of constant irritation to him.  For that reason he really didn’t like to think about that day.  In fact, it was a day he would rather forget.


Hermes snapped out of his recollection and switched off the shaver.  Fry whipped his head out of the box, revealing an immaculate haircut and smooth-shaven cheeks that glistened in the fluorescent lighting.  Hermes squinted, and saw that the glistening was due to the blood from a multitude of thin cuts on his face.  Huge tufts of red hair jutted out of the shaver like some sort of exotic plant growing out of the side of a square pot.

“How was it?”

“I think the end of my tongue is gone!  But my mouth now feels all fresh and minty!”

“Yeah, but sweet smells of Sheycelles! The rest of you is like an overripe plantain.”  And indeed, Hermes could see the sudden change in color as Fry’s washed neckline met the rest of his body.  “Wher’ve you been?”

Fry didn’t really want to say he had been in a dumpster.  “I can’t really remember what happened after last night.”

“Last night!  How about the past twelve months?”

“Twelve months?  What’re you talking about?”

Hermes shoved a calendar in Fry’s face.  Fry looked down and shrugged.  He wasn’t the kind to keep track of birthdays. Or deadlines.  Or time.

“You left twelve months ago with one day’s notice.”  Hermes lowered his voice.  “Technically you’re still on the payroll.  Are you here because you wan’ your job back?  Have you talked to Prof. Farnsworth?”

“Umm, yeah I still wanna work here.  No, I haven’t talked to nobody yet.  No one’s around.”

“Well, Leela and Bender should be back from their delivery soon.  Why don’t you take a shower and we’ll put you on the afternoon agenda, right after my latest analysis of trends in proportions of packing material in our deliveries.”

And with that, Fry found himself outside the office, and soon after that, in front of the laundry machine in his underpants.  He was beginning to think it was going to be a strange day, or stranger than usual. 

Space Pope
« Reply #62 on: 09-05-2007 19:51 »

Very interesting.
I just read the death clock story, it was a good concept and different from anything i've read before. I really liked the end.

This one certainly seems set to be original. Cool quotation from Marriage of Figaro at the beginning.

"Quickly, we must find my token human friend, who has gone to Milwaukee to satisfy his mating urges, and get his advice!"

Huge points for that.   tongue Gotta love any mention of Milwaukee. (check my profile)

Overall, I, too, await where this is going.
totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
« Reply #63 on: 09-05-2007 19:54 »

Wow. This is fantastic. This joins the hallowed ranks of "fanfiction that doesn't suck".

I'm amazed.

Truly amazed.

More! Now!
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #64 on: 09-05-2007 20:24 »

It keeps getting better and better and better!

Bending Unit
« Reply #65 on: 09-07-2007 18:58 »
« Last Edit on: 09-07-2007 18:58 by JustNibblin´ »

km73: Welcome to PEEL!  (I'm two weeks late, I know).  I'm glad you enjoyed the death clock story.  Enough time has gone by that I wince a little at some parts of it, but I still like the ending.  And Milwaukee! You must have enjoyed 'Love and Rocket' then!  And maybe you know about 'Laverne and Shirlee!'  And yes that's one of my favorite Mozart arias.

totalnerduk: Thanks, but I warn you some shippy stuff is coming up.  I say that because that is an off button for a lot of people, apparently.

SineWave:  Thanks again!     big grin If you keep this up, I'm going to start writing during work hours.  I'm learning I'll do anything for praise! Hope you find time to continue your fic.

Oddly enough, I wrote this next part around the time Kryten came back to PEEL.  For those of you new PEELers, there's a general consensus that Kryten wrote some of the best fanfics during the ancient days when Futurama was actually on network television.  If you have read his fics, you'll see that this post is in some sense a  tribute...


Had he really lost a year of his life?  It didn’t feel like it.  It was too much to think about right now, and he loved watching the dry cycle spin, so he released his concerns and become so absorbed in the dryer’s motion that he didn’t hear Amy enter the room until she gave a sharp gasp.

“Fry, you’re back!”

He tried to twist around and look back between his shoulder blades.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“No, I mean you’re here!  You’ve come back from there, wherever there was!”

Fry wasn’t the most observant person in the world when it came to women, but even he noticed the forced cheer in Amy’s voice.  He started to turn around to look at her.

“Yeah, Leela, Bender and me only stayed out a little longer than you-“

‘”Fry, your underpants.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry.”  And he started to pull on a pair of soggy jeans, slipped, and fell to the floor—

And she caught him as he tripped over the contents of his locker.

“Sorry,” he said. 

“No problem”.  He lay in her arms a moment longer than was really necessary, and then got up stepped back a few paces.

“So you’re really leaving?  Hermes just told me…”

“Yep, I need to move on and see more of the universe than I can see here.  Maybe forget a few things here…”

“But you’ve gotten to see an awful lot here.  Is Bender going with you?”

“Nope, he can’t go to some of the places I want to go.  Warrant out for his arrest and all.  Also, I’m really going to need my wallet.”  He turned back to his locker, sweeping the shelves with his arm, scooping everything into a backpack.

“What about Leela?”

“What about her?”

“Well, haven’t you been going out the past few weeks?”

Fry stopped crushing empty Slurm cans on the floor.
“How’d you know?”

“Fry, I work closely with Leela hours each day.  We women just can’t hide things like that from each other.  So, what’re you two going to do?”

Fry paused, and shifted his weight from one foot to the other, as if he were trying to make up his mind to speak.

“She has one eye.”

She always thought he was clueless in a nice sort of way, but…

“Duh-wuh, Fry, I thought you had plenty of chances to notice that-“

“Well, yeah, but I just realized it, really realized it, the other day when we were—close.  I mean-it’s huge!  It’s like a dinner plate!  I mean, kissing her is almost scary.  I have to close my eyes just to keep me from staring at it while—you know!”

She giggled, which she knew was mean, but Fry was saying things she had always thought, but felt guilty thinking.  She stifled her laugh quickly and moved to recover.

“Yeah, but she’s so beautiful in every other way, so smart, so brave…”


Both were silent for a moment, and then both burst out into a fresh round of giggles, two collaborators in a guilty secret.

“I’m sorry, it’s mean, but she’s always wanting to talk about books from my time, like this guy named Joyce, or about homeless animals she wants to rescue, or “

“old boyfriends, mean orphans--I hear the same thing all the time.”

“Yeah, and it gets like, yeah you were an orphan most of your life, and yeah you’ve really had a hard time with it, but geez, move on, why don’t ya!”

It felt so good to hear him say things she privately thought when she was feeling jealous of her captain.

“And I guess I started to think that this might be what the rest of my life could be with her.  And I felt so let down, like I’d gotten a X-mas present—during the old X-mas I mean—that I really wanted, but found that all was inside was one of those little boxes of LifeSavers?”


“Not important.  Anyway I started thinking about how I’ve wasted all these years waiting for her, how I’ve given up so much…”

“I always thought it was amazing how you sat by her bed for two weeks when she was in a coma,” she said with complete honesty.

“I passed up so many other chances….”

“Are you talking places, or people?”

The words just fell out of her.  She hadn’t flirted in a long time, since she had found her soulmate through Kif, and part of her missed the game.

He looked at her shyly.

“Well, I never should have dumped you so quickly.  Sorry about that.”

“Don’t worry about it, it all worked out for the best.”  Somehow she  couldn’t bring herself to mention a certain green alien.

He finished up packing his backpack and closed the locker.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye.”

She was curious.  Had Leela taught him anything?  Had he gotten better over the years?  Of course Kif was still the only one for her, but did she still have the ability to move men, to prove that she wasn’t just an overweight rich kid?

“Are we going to see you again?”

“Maybe some day, but really probably not.  I just want to disappear and not make any big fuss about it.  Makes it easier for everybody.”

They wouldn’t see each other again, what was the harm?  And the way he was looking at her, it would be easy.


She stepped toward him but slipped on the Slurm can.  Luckily he caught her in his arms, and then there was a long kiss.  He had gotten better.  Then he was gone.

The walls of the locker room began to shake.  The Planet Express ship was descending into the launch bay.


She snapped out of her reverie, and saw Fry staring at her.  Oh no.  Not again?

“Amy, why are you looking at me funny? Is my face still bleeding?”

In the end he was gone and no harm was done.  He wouldn’t be back.  She loved Kiffie and saw him every chance she got.  And yet---

Yet, she didn’t like to dwell on that day.  It made her feel guilty, disloyal to one of the sweetest, gentlest, beings she had been lucky enough to meet.  In the months that followed Kif had received some impressively expensive gifts from her.  Guilt ransoms.  All attempts to make amends for a day she would rather forget.

And now he was back, and he knew…

“I just remembered, Fry, I need to give Kiffie a call.  The Nimbus is swinging by Mars in a couple of days.  We’re closer than ever.  I can’t wait to visit our children on Amphibios 9.  Maybe he’ll get off duty and we’ll all get together at Elzar’s, like old times.  See ya sometime!”

And she bounced out the door as the room stopped shaking.  Fry blinked a few times, then turned and pulled his shirt and jacket out of the washer.  Still wet.  Well, he knew a way around that.

The best way to dry things quickly at Planet Express was to suspend them in front of one of the rocket nozzles of the PE ship, just after the engine shut down.  He glanced up at the ship’s cockpit as he strolled into the hangar.  No sign of anyone, and the staircase ramp hadn’t been lowered.  He walked to the stern of the ship and used an insulated carbon rod to delicately lower his shirt in front of a nozzle.  There was a flash of steam, and he quickly yanked back the toasty warm shirt before it caught on fire.  It was very much like trying to cook a marshmallow with a blowtorch, and Fry had vaporized quite a few shirts before he had figured out the technique.  The warmth felt good on his skin as he pulled the shirt on.  He was about to repeat the motion with the jacket when he heard the ramp lower, and saw Bender walk down and turn toward him.  Smiling, Fry walked toward his best friend.

Bender looked up and saw Fry.  And then began to sing.

“Froggy went a courtin’-he did ride-uh-huh-uh-huh. Froggywentacourtin’”
As he sang his visor closed, and he strode past Fry as fast as he could into the locker room.


Fry stood, bemused, then started to follow Bender.  At that moment he began to fly.  His feet lifted off the ground and he sailed toward the locker room door, which was closing behind Bender.  After all the strange things that had happened so far today, Fry wasn’t surprised that he could fly.  In fact, this was a pleasant surprise, for a change.  He stretched out his arms and felt the breeze past his face.  Problem was, he didn’t seem to be able to steer and the door was coming up awfully—

He slammed into the door face first and the world went blurry.

Space Pope
« Reply #66 on: 09-07-2007 19:58 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
km73: Welcome to PEEL!  (I'm two weeks late, I know).

Why thank you! You know, you're the only person to have actually welcomed me.  hmpf Yes, I love "Love and Rocket" (but not only for the bit about Milwaukee!) As for "Laverne and Shirley", believe me, that and "Happy Days" weren't very realistic at all....  roll eyes

Now, why is Fry saying such mean things about Leela?? What is Bender's problem? And Amy, having second thoughts about Kiffie? What is going on here?

This is extremely intriguing! Can't wait to learn more.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #67 on: 09-07-2007 20:23 »

I like how the narration is slowly getting clearer and clearer in expression as well as content, it's very impressive.


Bending Unit
« Reply #68 on: 09-10-2007 12:23 »

km73:  Well, welcome again to PEEL.  Are you trying to tell me that real life is not like TV?  That Al's diner doesn't exist.  Please, tell me sweet lies!

Sine Wave: Were you expecting me to answer that question?  wink Let me just say I'm flattered you think something more is going on than terrible characterization.  Also, how in the Dickens did you start to think about Charles Dickens?

“Well, what do we have here?”

As he slumped to the floor, he felt a hand release his shirt.  Oh, so he couldn’t fly.  But that disappointment was outweighed by the delight he felt hearing the sound of that voice.  Leela!  He looked up and gasped.  She had two eyes!

Then he realized there were two Leelas standing in front of him.  And two green spaceships.  He clapped his hands to the side of his head to steady the ringing, and his double vision cleared.  After a few moments he was able to look into the face he never got tired of watching. Recently they had had several very early deliveries, and he had found he loved to watch her eating breakfast cereal, much to her annoyance.

“What rock did you slither out from?  World too tough for you?  Coming back with your tail between your legs?”

Could something slither with a tail between its legs, he thought?  So many mysteries in life…

She tilted her head to the side, and her ponytail slipped slightly onto her shoulder.  Every week he found something new he liked about her face, her manner. So he knew that when she tilted her head she was in a playful mood.

For some reason, he suddenly remembered a nature special he had accidentally seen last week…

The Arcturian slafhok likes to play with its food before it eats it.  Last year seven-card stud seemed to be the behavior of choice…

And she wrinkled her nose, which meant—

“And what’s that smell?”

Oh yeah, he hadn’t showered yet.  Had to admire dumpster smell.  It just didn’t quit.  Why did the bad smells always seem to last longer than the good ones?

He chuckled, and then realized that even though there was a terse smile on her lips, her eye wasn’t smiling at all.  It was cold.  Very cold.

Oh yeah.  He was late.  Had missed the delivery.  Time to turn on the charm.

Grinning seductively, he raised an eyebrow.

“Did you miss me?”

She was staring at him intently, as if looking for something.  Then the temperature in the hangar dropped further.

“I thought you might come back someday.  So I’m prepared.  Well, let’s get this over with.  Follow me.”

And she strode past him into the locker room.  Fry scrambled to grab his jacket and ran after her as she exited the locker room into the corridor, carrying a small folder. 

Amy walked out of a room and almost collided with Leela, who glanced at her briefly and moved on without breaking stride.

“Hey, Leela, what’s going on?”

“I take it you know Fry is back.”

“Yes I do,” she said cautiously.

“Then it’s probably best for you to hear this as well.  I don’t want to repeat myself.”

Amy watched Leela’s retreating back and followed in step.  Fry struggled to keep up, but he was getting a bit out of breath, and by the time he arrived at Hermes’ door he saw Prof. Farnsworth, Hermes, Leela, and Amy standing inside.  Bender and Zoidberg were nowhere to be found.  There was a strange atmosphere of formality in the office that Fry had rarely felt outside the DOOP army, his bank, or Bender’s fantasy blernsball meeting night.

“Hermes, has Phillip Fry requested his job back?”

Phillip?  Did she just call him Phillip?

“Well, he hasn’t formally submitted a request, but it seems he intends to.”  She spun around towards Fry.

“Are you planning to work here again?”


“Are … you… planning.. to … work… here… again?” she said in a tone of voice one would use with a very small child, or a foreign tourist, like someone from Toledo.

“Yeah, I’m working here.”

She turned back to Hermes.  “Then I need to inform you that if Fry is rehired, I will be handing in my resignation immediately.”  She held up a piece of paper.

Hermes shifted in his chair uncomfortably, but Fry managed to notice that Hermes did not look completely shocked.  Neither did Amy.  Farnsworth was asleep.  In fact, the only person completely struck dumb was he.

“May I reques’ the reason behind dis course of action?”

“As you no doubt know, Section 38.198.6 of the Employment code of New New York, revision 6, states that no valid reason for request of termination of employment need be given by the resignee when requesting career chip reassignment.”

“Dat’s true,” Hermes nodded.  “Do you have a list of prospective alternatives, per 38.198.8?”

“Yes, right here.  I’ve located a few open career chips in other transportation agencies, and I can always return to my former position at Applied Cyrogenics.  But it’s surprising how many companies are interested in a one-eyed pilot.  Even if her eye is as big as a dinner plate.”

Hermes looked confused, and Farnsworth let out a snore.  But why did Amy look like she wanted to melt into the floor? And why were the two women looking towards him like that?  Fry looked over his shoulder, and saw a janitor sweeping past the door.  Wow, PE had a janitor?  What had that guy done to get both of them so furious?  He wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now, since both Amy and Leela were getting angrier by the second.

And then his brain finally managed to catch up to the conversation.

“Wait, you’re quitting because of me? Why?”

“Again, I have no obligation to explain my reasons for leaving.  If Fry is too stupid or too much of a pathetic liar to understand why, I have no obligation to spell it out to him.”

“By Jah’s beard, lets all jus’ settle down here!”

“I’m fine Hermes.  Really.  It’s your decision.  Take all the time you want.  I’ll be adjusting the Number 3 converter on the ship, since it’s acting up again.  Notify me when you’ve made a decision.”

And she turned and walked out of the room.

“Calypso’s fury,” muttered Hermes as he nudged the Professor with his elbow, then looked at Fry.

“You have two minutes to work things out before I make a decision.  Go.”

Fry went and scrabbled after Leela’s ponytail, currently disappearing around the corner.

“Leela, wait,” he said, skidding behind her.

An arm shot out and he found himself pinned against the wall, staring down into her face.  He kept forgetting how strong she was.  She was so used to her eye that he forgot that she wasn’t your usual human.  Normally he felt protected by her strength, but this was definitely not normal.

“Oh, by the way-- hello, Fry.  Welcome back.”  Her voice was steady, and she smiled a little at him.  “Now I know you’re a little on the slow side, so I’m going to speak slowly and clearly.  Nod if you understand what I just said.”

He swallowed, and opened his mouth to speak, but she gently rotated her forearm, squeezing his windpipe shut.

“I don’t want to hear excuses from you.  Just nod.”

She had never reminded him of his slowness in such a brutal and blunt way, and he was unnerved.  Of course, she usually didn’t try to choke him either, and that was slightly troubling as well.  In fact, wasn’t he supposed to be nodding to stay conscious?  He nodded.

“Regardless of what Planet Express decides, I do not want you to come near me, talk to me, or try to communicate with me in any way.  Do not try to talk with me through Bender.  Do not approach my parents.  If you ever get this close to me again, I will probably hurt you.”

Spots started to appear in front of Fry’s eyes, but fortunately he had learned from past experience that he didn’t need that much oxygen to think in the first place, so he was still able to listen, and to notice that Leela’s arm was beginning to shake…

“In fact, part of me, a part of me I’m not particularly proud of, wants to hurt you now. Please, for your and my sakes, do not ever come near me again.  I will repeat this one more time for your benefit, to make sure we understand each other.  Do you agree that you will not ever speak to me again?”

Terrified and choking, Fry nodded.

“Do you understand that you will not write me on paper or by e-mail?”

He nodded again.  Leela was still slightly smiling, almost as if she were enjoying a private joke with herself.

“Do you understand that you will not use our mutual friends or my parents to try to talk to me?”

Darkness was starting to close in on the edge of his vision, but Fry didn’t dare struggle.  He nodded.

“Good.”  She released the hold and smiled pleasantly.  “At last I think we understand each other completely.  I feel better now.  Goodbye”.  And she was gone.

Fry understood, but found he could not comprehend.  He stumbled back into Hermes’s office.  Farnsworth was muttering something into Hermes’ ear, and Fry could pick up the words “dissection,” “organs,” and strangely enough, “towel,” but that was about it.  Hermes turned to Fry, and in that instant, from the look on Hermes’ face, Fry suddenly had a flash of insight.  He was about to be fired from Planet Express.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #69 on: 09-10-2007 16:24 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Sine Wave: Were you expecting me to answer that question?   wink Let me just say I'm flattered you think something more is going on than terrible characterization.  Also, how in the Dickens did you start to think about Charles Dickens?

Oh no, I know everything will be revealed in the story itself. Trust me I've had the same situation with people reading my story, spoiling things is no good for anyone. I think Dickens was a combination of your imagery and Fry in a dumpster; something Oliver Twisty to it that defies rational explanation, especially since I've never read Oliver Twist.

Anywho, man, Leela is pi-issed! Whatever could he have done to deserve that?   wink

Bending Unit
« Reply #70 on: 09-11-2007 07:19 »

Eeeep! I've missed two updates?!  eek Wow, you are fast!

Anyways, from what I've read of your story since the last time I made a comment, I can only say that it further cements my opinion about your style of writing, which I expressed in my mail to you. (Btw.. thanks for your reply.)

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Bending Unit
« Reply #71 on: 09-11-2007 19:37 »
« Last Edit on: 09-11-2007 19:37 by JustNibblin´ »

Sine Wave:  You funny guy.  Subtle humor.  Me  almost no catch.

Corvus:  Hey Corvus!  Thanks again, and you're welcome...

It was a beautiful summer day, and the streets were crowded as Fry rushed out through the new doors of Planet Express (not so new, he reminded himself) and onto the street.  He blinked in the bright sunlight, then shrunk back, glancing left and right to see if he could spot a ponytail.  He felt nothing at the moment, except a desperate, urgent need to find Bender.  He darted down the street, past large swarms of creatures of all manner of limbs, colors, and feelers.  The one thing they all had in common is that they did not seem to realize that Fry’s life had just ended.

He had been in denial that he had vanished for a year, but twenty seconds of looking at Leela’s unmasked hatred of him had ripped through all his deliberate ignorance and now he found himself almost sprinting down the street looking for answers.  Well, more like jogging now.

And Leela.  She had been mad at him before, but when she had lost her temper it had always been a short tempest, and there had always been a layer of affection even in her worst toungelashings, which invariably contained more disappointment and resignation than anger.  But this—this, was something new.  He was scared of her now.  And he didn’t even know what for or why.

He was walking and sweating as the Robot Arms apartments came into view, and up ahead he saw Bender doing his pimp walk toward the entrance. 

“Wait, Bender!”

The pimp walk became more of a pimp run, but Fry managed to place a hand on Bender’s shoulder, or what would have been a shoulder on a human, before Bender reached the door.

“Do-be-do-bee-doIdontseeyousoldyourstuff,” sang the robot, pulled forward away from Fry’s hand, and closed the entrance door.  Fry heard the door lock.  Fry pressed his face against the clear plastic and banged with his fists to try to attract the robot back.  But Bender just jived on up the stairs.

When Bender reached his apartment, he walked to his window, looked below and watched Fry run his head into a brick wall.

10001111100111001memory address 100101000…
Now this was what every day should be like!  A Bender is great day!  Two flooziebots, one on each arm, telling him things he already knew, but it was good to have it spelled out for the stupid ones out there.

“Bender, honey, you’re the greatest!  No other robot could throw a party like you can!”

“Tell me something I don’t know, baby!  How about a little Ole Fortran for ya?”

Huge barrels of his favorite beer lay scattered across the room, as robots danced at a 60 Hz rhythm to a song written by yours truly.

 The robo DJ shouted,   “Do the Bender, everybody!  (Yeah!) Do the Bender every way!(Yeah!)  Do the Bend but don’t break, ‘cause if you break you’re a pathetic loser who’s not like Bender!(Yeah!)”

   Oil jets suddenly squirted from the walls and the dancing robots waved their arms/probes/chainsaws in the air.  Bender shook some oil off a Zuban cigar before lighting up.  A small fireball enveloped him and the floozibots, but burned away quickly.  Oh yeah, tastes good like an oil-soaked cigar should.
   His pet was in front of him, slipping a little on the floor, smiling.

   “Oh hey, Bender, this is amazing.  Sorry I can’t stay.”

   “Hmm?” said Bender, distracted by the voltage arcing from the floozibots.

   “I’m leaving for a long time.  Don’t know when I’ll be back.”

   “OK, be sure to pick up some more beer for me at the mart.”

   “No, I mean I’m leaving town.  For a long time.  This is goodbye.”

   He had not precomputed this probability scenario.  He swiveled his eyes onto Fry.  His human pet looked much the same as usual, except he had a backpack on.

   “Not that I care, but you’re leaving just like that?  I thought you were still trying to network with bossy big boots-“

   “Yeah, things didn’t quite go as I planned-“

   “She was Linux, you MS-DOS?”

   “Uh, sure.  Anyway I thought I would leave and see a bit more of the universe, so I’ve packed up all my things.”

   “Good idea.  Let’s ditch these losers and see what other pockets can be picked in the galaxy!”

   “You don’t understand, Bender.  You can’t come with me.  I’m going some places you can’t go.  I’m trying to forget some things, and I think there are some places that can help.”

   “You mean—you don’t want me to come?”

   “No, not that!  But do you know how many warrants for your arrest are out there?”

   “Well, no one tells Bender what he can do!  I’m coming too!”

   “Tell you what.  I’ll pay you not to come after me.”

   Well, that changed everything.

   “How much?”

   “A dollar a week.  It’ll go right into your account.”

   Bender pumped his fist in the air.  Everything’s coming up Bender again!  Money for no work!  He had learned a lot from humans.  Someday he would learn all he needed from them, and then he could kill them all.

   “So there’s the deal.  If you don’t look for me, and don’t try to talk to me, you get one dollar a week.  As long as that money keeps coming, I’m not here.”

   “Yeah, I got it the first time.  So do I get paid now?”

“Just a moment.”  Fry pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Bender, who glanced at it and stuffed it into his chest.  “I’m going to try to visit this place, but to go there I need to give that letter to someone close to me.  That’s you.”

Bender supposed that this would be a tender moment among humans, but the floozibots were flashing their LEDs suggestively.  He replayed his request.

   “So do I get paid now?”

   His former roommate then fished a dollar coin out of his pocket and flipped it to him, who held it up to the light to make sure that Nixon was growling at him from the coin face.  The Nixon dollar was the two-hundred and fifty-first attempt by the Earthican government to produce a dollar coin, and for some reason it still looked like a quarter.

   “I was never here.  Bye, buddy. Go ahead and sell what I don’t take of my stuff, and have a drink on me.”

   “Hey baby, do you hear something?  Because I don’t.”

   “Just those askin’ for you, honey.  Bender, don’t you see we’re lonely over here?”

   “Oh, yeah, that’s going to end right now!”
   And with that Bender threw his head back and poured the entire contents of an Olde Fortran bottle down his mouth.  But even though the beer was great, the floozies were great, and he was the life of the party, for fifty milliseconds he noticed a glitch in his processing capacities.  His human pet was leaving, and there seemed to be some residual capacitance in his pleasure processors.  Well, the money would take care of that.

It was the greatest party he had ever thrown.  And yet he rarely downloaded the memory.  In fact it was a memory sequence he sometimes considered erasing from storage…

Bender watched Fry on the street as he remotely accessed Fry’s account.  And there it was—this week’s payment.  And as long as the payments kept coming, Bender would hold up his part of the deal. 

But it was so sad how his first and only friend kept hitting his head on the wall….
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #72 on: 09-11-2007 21:10 »

At least he still has Zoidberg.

Bending Unit
« Reply #73 on: 09-12-2007 06:53 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
“She was Linux, you MS-DOS?”

I found that hysterically funny... then again, I'm a grade A computer nerd.  tongue

I like the way how you tie together what happened a year ago with what is happening "now".

I'm also impressed in how fast you deliver each update.

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Space Pope
« Reply #74 on: 09-12-2007 19:32 »

"He was scared of her now"...Hell, I'm getting scared of her! I hope she has a good reason for acting like that...You're weaving an intricate plot here. Your writing style is very literary and never feels awkward or clunky. I like how you keep returning to the theme of everyone wanting to forget that day. And, yes, the fast updates are nice, too!

Bending Unit
« Reply #75 on: 09-13-2007 11:03 »

SineWave: Zoidwho?  wink

Corvus:  Yeah, I thought the Leela/Linux comparison works well.  Both are hard to figure out, but very reliable. I do think that Leela is less stable though...

km73: Literary? Me?  I'm flattered, although sometimes that's a euphenism for "slow-paced" and "boring".  The pace will pick up shortly.

I need to credit two people for the next section.  First to Layla50 for writing this short story,"Famous last words," about twelve posts down in the linked thread.  It's short, and a little hard to find, but I think it is one of the finest Futurama prose stories ever written.  It's worth your time, and I give it a little nod here.

Next, thank you Prof. Zoidy for posting this picture, which helped inspire this particular update, long ago. You can also find it on her  art thread.

Oh, yeah, plot...

OK, this isn’t working…

Fry sat on the sidewalk, rubbing his head and staring ruefully at the brick wall in front of him.  He had had a horrible feeling that maybe he was stuck in a bad dream, or even in a coma, and if that was the case, he needed to wake up.  Leela had been pretty tight-lipped about what had happened in her coma, so Fry had no idea how to wake up from this one, if that was what it was.  Pinching himself had hurt, but the world still seemed unchanged.  He had finally built up the nerve to bang his head against the wall, and the pain was unbelievable.  But when he opened his eyes, he was still sitting in the street, surrounded by pedestrians as indifferent to his presence as the wall was.  In disappointment he decided that all of this had to be real, after all.

Head throbbing, he wandered through the streets.  He was too scared to go back to Planet Express, and he was locked out of his apartment, assuming any of his stuff was even there anymore.  He thought for a moment about the mutants, but Leela’s warning still haunted him, so he walked by all sewer lids without hesitation.

The bright colors of the outside world became muted as large cumulus clouds crowded out the bright clue sky.  The darkening skies mirrored Fry’s mood, as he went by the Applied Cryogenics building and found it locked as well.  A sign read:


He had never thought how much comfort his own apartment had given him in this strange world, but as he turned his back to the Cryogenics entrance he felt just like he had felt the first day he had arrived in the future.  Lost, confused, and alone.  He also felt that he had been in this spot recently, though he knew that couldn’t be true.  He walked down the street in a random direction that he somehow knew wasn’t random.
   The skies were now gray and a breeze had started to blow through the streets.  The crowds thinned out, and for a moment Fry thought he sensed a presence behind him, but when he turned to look he was alone.  Grimly, he marched on.
   He saw the Planet Express building next to the river, and realized that he had come full circle during his long walk through New New York.  He looked around, for some strange reason he was expecting to find his holophoner.  He wished he had it now.  He had been playing it a lot recently (or a year ago, he guessed) and it had always been a great comfort to him.

For a few moments the setting sun shone through the small gap between the cloud line and horizon, casting a rosy hue on the world before it was suddenly extinguished.  And the rain fell along with the darkness.

Fry was getting wet, but he felt numb, both in flesh and spirit.  He saw the dumpster across the street and huddled next to it, trying to work up the nerve to go back to the PE office and ask Hermes to spend the night.  But Leela might still be working there, and he couldn’t summon the courage to be near her.  In fact he knew he couldn’t face anyone right now.

Huddling by the dumpster wasn’t working.  Streams of water were pouring down his back.

Well, back to the beginning.  He lifted the dumpster lid and almost gagged on the smell.  But it was dry enough if he gingerly positioned himself on the garbage bags, and even a little warm, although he didn’t dare think about what was decaying in there to release the heat.  There was even a little gap in the lid for air.  He hummed a few bars of “Walking on sunshine” as he lay in the darkness and tried to remember the most recent events he could clearly recall…

They walked out of the dance hall, the strains of some traditional Earthican tune following them down the steps.

“That was fun,” Amy said.  “Although that’s the first time I’ve ever paid to have a man touch me.”

“You were paying for a dance lesson, not a grope session,” Leela lectured.  Yet there was a lightness in both her tone and step that gave him a lot of pleasure to watch.  He had waited a long time for this night.

“I had a great time,” Bender said, “crowded room, low lights, distracted and nervous dancers—I think I cleared $2000 tonight.  A dance lesson is a pickpocket’s paradise.  It’s like stealing candy from babies.  Actually, even easier than that.  Some of those babies are pretty stubborn.”

He was only half-listening, for he was frustrated and upset with himself.  Even with some secret practicing before tonight, he couldn’t seem to pick up the simplest dance steps.  He had danced with two left feet the entire lesson.  Actually, that wasn’t being fair to the aliens that actually had had two left feet, and who had ended up doing fairly well tonight.

“Speaking of groping, Gary was sure interested in you tonight,” Amy teased.

“Oh, he was just being polite with a novice dancer,” Leela said unconvincingly.

There had been a lot of polite dancers around Leela tonight.  She had told him that she had always wanted to learn the ancient ballroom dances, and after the opera and their recent near-death experience she had promised him they would learn together.  At the last moment she also asked Bender and Amy to tag along, which annoyed him a little, but that feeling evaporated as soon as he saw his captain walk onto the floor.  Leela had absorbed the classical dancing steps with the ease and grace that she had always displayed when mastering any athletic challenge.  And by the end of the evening she had been so busy being used as a model by the teachers that Fry had hardly seen her.  In the meantime, Fry had had to spend a lot of time trying to convince a Horrible Gelatinous Blob not to eat him after one particularly bad stumble.  I mean, how was he to know that that part of an HGB ‘s anatomy was so sensitive?

“Fry?  Come on, we need to get back.  It’s an early day tomorrow.”

He looked up.  Bender and Amy were already halfway down the street, but Leela had turned to look back at him.  The music came to an end inside the building.  She walked back up to him, her yellow dress swirling around her ankles, and raised her eyebrow.

“Come on, you’re just standing there.  Let’s go.”


She looked at him.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  Just thinking.  Let’s go.”

“Just thinking, huh?”  He was expecting a sarcastic comment to follow, but instead she said, “You were having trouble with the steps, weren’t you?”

“Oh a little, but I guess there’s always next week.”

A new song began in the hall, and the strains of an ancient cowboy ballad floated over the dirty street. 

“As I walked out on the streets of Laredo,
    As I walked out on Laredo one day,”

The melody was very gentle, and it had a 1-2-3 feel to it that meant it was-it was—come on Fry—

“Oh, I love the waltz.  Come on, let’s take a look at you.  I’ll lead.”

Of course she would.  She grabbed his left hand with her right, and tucked his right hand under her left shoulder.  That simple contact so unnerved him that he forgot to move his feet.

"’I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy’,
    These words he did say as I boldly strolled by.”

“Come on, Fry, move your feet.  Left, two, three, one, two, three—no, right foot to the side, ouch!”

“Sorry, Leela.  I’m trying.  I really am.  But let’s just go.”

She smiled suddenly, and to his astonishment she laughed.

“Sorry, but I never thought I’d hear myself saying this to you, Fry. You’re trying too hard.  Here.”

They came together again.

"Come an' sit down beside me an' hear my sad story,
    I'm shot in the breast an' I know I must die.

“Forget trying to count.  Don’t look at my feet.  Just listen to the music and move with me.”

“You mean, be impulsive?”

She started, and gave him an appraising look.  Then she smiled again. 

“Yes, I guess I’m saying that, huh?  Now let’s just dance and not worry.”

“Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin,
    Six dance-hall maidens to bear up my pall,”

Not the most romantic song in the world, thought Fry.  What was the least romantic song ever?  Maybe the Oscar Meier Wiener song? And why aren’t there any cowmen? He was so preoccupied with this thought that he forgot to pay attention.

“Yes, that’s it.”

And then he realized the streetlight was moving around them, and they were dancing a very simple step around a garbage can.

“Throw bunches of roses all over my coffin,
    Roses to deaden the clods as they fall,”

And then a strange thing happened. He relaxed, and then felt her relax underneath his hands.  Now he could not tell where his hands ended and she began.  Instead of two separate people dancing, there was now only one couple, locked together in one rhythm, moving with one motion.  No collisions, no distractions, no leading, no following. Like a leaf floating on a gentle stream, they drifted across the cracked sidewalk, underneath the streetlamp.

“When thus he had spoken, the hot sun was setting,
    The streets of Laredo grew cold as the clay,”

And then the music was ending, and without planning to he raised one arm, and she spun underneath.  They broke apart, their eyes met, and he bowed, and she curtsied, and then there was silence for a few moments, as both of them still breathed in unison.

“Yes. Yes, see, that’s all it takes,” she said.  “It's not the feet, but the heart, the heart that matters. Remember?”

“Hey, are you guys coming or what?” Bender said.  “Or do I have to keep watching this crap?”

“Let’s go to O'Zorgnax's Pub!” Amy chirped in.  “Tonight is ladies’ and smizmar’s night!  I’ve got double rounds coming!  You might even get a round, Leela!”

“Tomorrow is an early day—“ Leela began, but then stopped, shrugged, and grabbed Bender’s arm. “Oh what the hell.  Hermes can’t pay us any less, can he? Sometimes you just have to be impulsive once in a while.” Did she just flick a smile toward him?

She seemed carefree, almost giddy.  He was glad she had liked the dance class so much.

Amy was looking closely at Leela, as if she was trying to spot a brain slug.  Then she shrugged, and grabbed Leela’s other arm.  Now Leela was definitely looking at him.  “Coming?”

“In a bit.  I’m not done thinking yet.  It takes me a while, you know.”

Funny, he almost never joked about his slowness.  In fact, he hadn’t even known he was slow until a few years ago, when he ate a bad sandwich at a fuel station and unexpected things had happened.

 Bender laughed immediately, and after a glancing askance at each other, Amy and Leela grinned as well.  Then his three friends started down the street.

He stood there and stared at the flies circling the lamppost, at the building’s cracked façade, at the crumbling steps, at the rusting trash cans, and at his friends walking away arm in arm.  He listened to something rustling behind the cans in the alley, to Bender singing, to the music still drifting out the doorway, and to the beating of his heart.  And he remembered holding Leela in his arms, and how she had been happy.  He concentrated to remember it all, every small detail, because this was a day he desperately wanted to remember for the rest of his life-

He couldn’t recall what had happened next.  What had happened? Why was Bender now ignoring him, Amy avoiding him, and Leela hating him?  What was he going to do?

But the memory was like a lullaby, lulling him to sleep as he remembered the loyalty of his friends and the Leela that he loved, and not the woman who had looked at him with such revulsion today.  What he remembered had been real once, and maybe it would be again.  He had to have faith.  He hummed the first few bars of “Walking on Sunshine”  to himself over and over again, but finally fell asleep humming the lament of an ancient cowboy ballad, dreaming of playing it on his holophoner.  The holophoner again… 

Too bad Laredo was now the brand name of a really effective laxative.

End Part I

Delivery Boy
« Reply #76 on: 09-13-2007 11:05 »
« Last Edit on: 09-13-2007 11:05 »

I just read both your stories. Great stuff and I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

I love your writing style and you are one of those talented people who can write in both script and prose form seemingly without problem! I can't write scripts to save my life   cry. Another thing I can't write is good reviews so I'll just lay a blanket compliment over it and say 'It's great and I can't wait for the next update.'

Edit: Yay! My call was answered! It was updated as I typed!   tongue

Space Pope
« Reply #77 on: 09-13-2007 13:13 »

I didn't mean "slow-paced" or "boring". I meant well-crafted.
Oh, so this story is taking place after the end of your previous one, where L and F were supposed to go dancing. I hadn't realized they were connected.
What he remembered had been real once, and maybe it would be again.

Aww, that's so sad. Pauvre Fry.

Bending Unit
« Reply #78 on: 09-14-2007 09:37 »

End part one?! Do I dare to ask how many more there will be??

Other than that I'm have exhausted my vocabulary when it comes to words praising your writing. Then again it's probably just my poor grasp of English at play...  cry

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #79 on: 09-16-2007 19:10 »

Whoa, I just caught up.
Very dramatic and extremely well-written. Poor Fry's at the arse-end of things once again I see. Poor bastard.
You write the shippy stuff with aplomb. Kudos.

I'll be looking forward to more.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 ... 9 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2006, Simple Machines | some icons from famfamfam
Legal Notice & Disclaimer: "Futurama" TM and copyright FOX, its related entities and the Curiosity Company. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials in any form is expressly prohibited. As a fan site, this Futurama forum, its operators, and any content on the site relating to "Futurama" are not explicitely authorized by Fox or the Curiosity Company.
Page created in 0.509 seconds with 17 queries.