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Author Topic: Somewhere between Fleet Street and the Embankment...  (Read 1406 times)
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DOOP Secretary
« on: 12-18-2007 14:29 »
« Last Edit on: 01-02-2008 00:00 »

I feel obliged to tell you, my dear colleagues, that my first fanfiction works were never meant to be displayed publicly. In my pre-PEELing years, I'd spend small amounts of miscellaneous time congealing up things I'd wish would happen to Fry and Leela (and somewhat Bender.) Then, I'd construct a protofic by overloading it with ridiculously obscure sci-fi references (really, who knows who supermodel Lita Cordova is?), and plagiarising other fanfiction works to epoxy it into a working mishmash. Nothing malicious, of course. I just never really meant for anyone else to see it.

Then I joined PEEL and posted what I thought was the best of it up, as n00bs are wont to do.

But now, given JBERGES shamelessness in renovating his old works, and the premiere of renewed 'Futurama', I too have started revamping my (much less numerous and much younger) works with much (more)-needed redoing. Translated my horrid and most startlingly disproper script style into prose, that sort of thing. Made it all original me content, no piracy in them now. (Although I still want to thank Officer 1BDI most profoundly for writing stories so well that made me want to write my own.)

In this thread, I shall be posting them, along with new ones which happen to befall me. My fics about which I can say, "I wrote this, and I did it for all nerdkind! And internet geeks everywhere on Earth! And certain other planets with exceptionally receptive wireless internet nodes!"

I'll start here with this one, which didn't really need many edits except for a revised proofreading. In multiple parts as well, so you don't have to devote large amounts of your precious time. And do feel free to comment and tell me what you like and don't like so I can more adequately suit your fanfiction needs in the future. It's a public service, innit?

   (Life is but a Dream)
   (written by the erstwhile geekily-ranked Xanfor)

This fic is dedicated to everyone who has ever aspired for a dream. And to Shiny, whom we all miss dearly.

part 1 of 3


   Leela awoke suddenly, at three in the morning, sweating. She glanced around herself nervously. Her breathing was deep and heavy, and her body was tensed in a position of awkward surprise. She endeavoured to recall the dream. Once again, as she had every other night this week, she failed. She anxiously glanced around her again. Surely it was nothing to worry about, she thought. She rolled over and went back to sleep.


   Fry awoke suddenly, two hours later, sweating. He glanced around him with a panicked look on his face. Gradually he calmed down. It was just a dream, he thought. A scary dream, it must have been, but just a dream nonetheless. The fact that it had been occurring repeatedly for the last week seemed insignificant to him. It was nothing important. He rolled over and went back to sleep.


   Bender awoke suddenly, two hours later, not sweating.

   “Stupid alarm!”

   He rolled over and went back to sleep.


   The Planet Express building was of no particular importance when it came to the whole of New New York. The city continued on, oblivious.

   Inside the building, there was an angry old man. Not angry in the sense of 'anger', but more along the lines of 'mad'. In fact, he was mad. Not a 'kill everybody in rage' madness, but more of a 'take over the world and hand over the responsibilities to someone else' sort of thing. He was actually quite nice.

   Not today. Farnsworth had finished a rather disappointing experiment about thirty-five days ago and had just discovered that he had left it running in the wastepaper basket all month. It had consumed a lot of power. And not cheap recyclable electrons and baryons and such, no, this machine used tachyons and hypersonic photons! He cursed to himself and stalked away.

   By the time he had gotten to the conference table, he had forgotten everything. Literally. But that was of no concern, because Hermes was the one who was reading off the assignment list.

   “You have sixteen tons of instant concrete to deliver to the planet Sciron in the galaxy of Andromeda, a KDE-class package for an asteroid in the Knoppix sector, and a trojoid horse for a Windows machine in Bill Gate's private galaxy garden.”

   The crew were on their way.


   After a pleasant stay on Tux Five in the Knoppix sector, and a mild skirmish involving several thousand Scotsmen on a planet of Blancmanges, the three members of the crew were on their way to the opposite side of the universe. Not the side closest to Earth, of course. The other side. The side with The Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe and Ramandu's Pub. Bender, needless to say, was quite excited.

   “What do you mean, we won't get back until tomorrow?!?”

   Leela sighed. “Look, Bender, I'm about as happy with it as you are. But it'll take us all of tonight to get there, and all day tomorrow to get back. So unless you plan on staying awake, you're going to have to sleep.”

   “Say, do you have any idea what happens in a robot's sleep?”

   Leela tried not to show it, but for some reason, she was instantly hanging on to every word Bender said.

   “No...” she replied slowly. “What happens?”

   “Well...” Bender began, with the air of someone about to give a literary interpretation of 2001, “... Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”


   “Even advertisements.” Bender sighed, almost guiltily, “... I haven't even had any advertisements lately. Must be because I'm so great and all!”

   There was an almost comical silence on the bridge. Stupid question to ask Bender, stupid! Leela thought. Why am I so concerned?

   She shook her head. She was very tired.


   Fry would have found this exchange on the bridge hilarious, had he been there. He wasn't. He was in his quarters, and quite excited. He had just gotten to level forty of Bender's video game, ‘Pong Farr’, and he was in no condition or mood to be distracted and miss out on making the high score.

   Fry never remembered what he dreamed. Either what he dreamed was too far out of touch with reality and not worth remembering, or he merely thought that it was too far out of touch with reality and not worth remembering.

   Yes!, he thought, completely obsessed. Level forty-two!


   Later that night, the Planet Express ship was quiet. Very quiet. Bender had set his automatic reset timer, Leela had locked her door and Fry had saved his Mercurian escapades for continuation later. It was very quiet...


   Fry turned over in his hammock. Something was wrong...

   Time cartwheeled... Back, forward, sideways...

   Dreams... All dreams...

   No... The dreams weren't real...

   He was speeding down a large tunnel.


   Leela rolled over in her bed. Something was drastically wrong...

   Dreams... Elusive wisps of vapour...

   They coalesced into a shining light... Opposite the other one...

   She turned around, confused. No, no, this one was the dreams...

   She ran away as fast as she could.


   Bender rolled over in his cot. Something was wrong...

   He ignored it.


   “Fry, Fry, wake up!”

   Fry shook his head wearily. “What?...” he replied, sleepily.

   “Bender needs us! He says he had a idea!”

   Fry understood. That didn't mean he approved. “Oh... What time is it?”

   “Very early,” replied Leela.

   Fry hopped out of his hammock quickly and tense. “Why does he always call us in the middle of the night?”

   Leela got up off of her hammock and walked over to the door. “I have no idea. But I do have an idea of what will happen if we're not there.”

   Fry did too. He let Leela lead the way.


   Bender was not in a good mood. He had a cunning plan to plan. How pathetic that he had to rely on these... Carbon-based things. But still, it was a worthy cause. He saluted himself inside.

   Pathetic, pathetic!

   He swirled around to face the door to the bridge, his long, black cape draping behind him. His motion was not wasted.

   Leela and Fry entered the bridge at that moment. Leela stood up smartly in the presence of their employer. Fry was still sleepy, but still knew that there was some respect due. He decided to listen smartly.

   “Ahh, you're finally here!” he sneered. “Listen up.”

   Leela listened up. Fry listened up.

   “We're headed for the edge of the universe, correct?”

   “Yes, Captain.”

   “We are headed there because we are fleeing from the Earthican fleet hell bent on destroying us.”

   “I thought they wanted to destroy you?”

   “Aww, and you're so young! Yes, they are, but they think they're chasing my archnemesis! Clever, huh?”

   Bender stood up straight like child waiting to be congratulated. Leela thought that conveyed pretty much all the 'cleverness' in his plan.

   “So,” said Leela slowly, “We could go back at any time?”

   “Any time?” laughed Bender deviously, “We already are!”

   This, of all things, should have shocked Fry awake. And shockingly, it did.

   “We're going back?” he asked.

   “Of course! The fleet is gone, chasing after a prey as nonexistent as an equiangular right triangle! Earth is bare, like a certain lobster without a shell...”

   He turned and stared at both of them in the eyes. Leela attempted to keep her composure. Fry did as well. Both of them knew what could happen if the vaingloriously narcissistic robot caught even a whiff of perfidiousness. Bender continued staring. Leela felt very afraid.

   Fry felt very afraid.

   Finally, Bender turned away. “You may now go back to your room to plan your preparations for the invasion of Earth! Death to all humans!”

   “Death to all humans!” replied the crew, returning Bender's Nazi-like salute.

   “Cyclops; Vulcan: you are dismissed.”

   And with that, Bender turned and faced away. His cloak billowed out behind him as he did. Fry and Leela left the room quickly.

   “You know there's no such beings as Vulcans, Fry!” Leela muttered.

   “Shh! Bender doesn't know that!”


   Bender walked out into the corridor a few seconds later. He saw it was empty.

   He whistled, twirled around, and headed off to his room to prepare his attack.

   Meanwhile, in their quarters, Fry and Leela suddenly felt very cold. Very, very cold...


   Leela jerked awake, drenched in sweat. She remembered it this time! There was her, and Fry... And they were the same... Rank, was it? No, I don't think... Status? No... They shared a room, didn't they? Oh, and Bender! He was Capt-... He was the-... Something...

   Crud, she thought. I forgot again!


   Fry jerked awake at the same instant. He glanced around, as though expecting to see someone behind him. He looked. Nobody but the wall. Above him, Bender was muttering as usual. Fry sighed once again and leaned back on his pillow. He tried to get back to sleep, but for some reason, tired though he was, he found it impossible.

   Bender continued muttering. “Kill all humans...”


   The next day was uneventful. The trip past the firewall was surprisingly easy, but the sector's registry was becoming progressively bogged down, and turned out to be an extreme waste of resources. Leela was exceptionally lucky to get Fry and Bender out before they discovered the module of Solitaire. You know, a normal day and all.

   Except for Bender, they were all very tired. Neither of them showed it, however. Leela didn't because she needed to remain a role model for the crew, and Fry didn't because he knew Leela wouldn't.

   The ship soared over the city of New New York. It would have been easier to simply fly against the Earth's rotation, thus coming in over the water, but water had never been very scenic, even in the thirty-first century.

   The first thing they heard upon disembarking was the angry ranting of the Professor. Apparently, he had invented a device that had an instinct for self-preservation, even more so than that splash screen they had rammed through on the way back.

   “Fascinating, absolutely marvellous!” he exclaimed. “I unplug it, it plugs itself back in!”

   “Yeah, well, so do I, and I don't use up half my paycheck doing it!”

   “Well, then there's no need to worry, because this machine will use half your paycheck for you! I plan to present it to the Nobel Prize committee this Saturday, at their new office on the Silent Planet. Get it, 'No Bell'? Hee hee heh...”




   “You stink!”


   The Professor entered the lounge later that day. Three people were present.

   “Good news, everyone!”

   No one dignified him with an answer. Except Bender.

   Farnsworth ignored him.

   “I've just unplugged my miracle device! And I calculate that it will plug itself back in... In twenty seconds!”

   There was silence in the room. Everyone braced themselves.

   More silence.

   The door by the couch opened. Zoidberg walked in.

   Nobody cared.

   “Hello friends!”

   Nobody cared.

   “What is everyone bracing for? Is it Howdy Doody time?”

   Nobody cared.

   Zoidberg started to leave the room.

   Suddenly, and without warning, nobody continued to care.

   Zoidberg gave up and left the room.

   And then, right on the Professor's mark, all the lights at Planet Express flickered. In fact, all the lights in New New York flickered.

   Leela sighed. As soon as this show finished, working hours would be over, and she could finally get some rest in her own bed.

   Fry sighed. He had been planning to try and solve a Rubik's Tesseract with Bender that night, but now all he really wanted to do was sleep.

   Bender didn't sigh. He was too busy watching the show.


   Fry awoke in the middle of the night. At least, he thought he did.

   “Fry? Fry, are you Ok?”

   Fry looked around, confused.

   “Where... Where are we?”

   “We're on the ship, remember? And we're headed back to Earth?”

   “Oh...” It was all coming back to him now.

   “You fell asleep the instant you sat down.”

   “I did? Oh, sorry about that...”

   “It's all right, I don't blame you.” she said. “I've not been sleeping too well lately, either. All this week I've felt kinda like I've been awake all night. Maybe it's the stress.”

   “Yeah,” admitted Fry, “Me too.”

   “Well, don't worry, I've almost got a plan here to save Earth.”

   “Good!” exclaimed Fry as he got up from his bed. “You know, you're good at this sort of stuff, Leela. I never could do anything like you can.”

   Leela looked flattered. “Now, I'm sure you could.”

   “Well, at least not under these conditions. And these dreams... They're not helping my concentration.”

   “You've been having dreams? About what?”

   The tip of the pencil Leela was writing with suddenly snapped.

   The pencil grew another one.

   “Well, I don't quite remember...” he said slowly, “But I know that we were... We were still working on Earth. And the Professor had a body... And Bender... Bender was a bender.”

   Fry glanced up at her. “Just the normal drivel. But there was this feeling about it... Like... Like everything was going to be all right. Like there was nothing to worry about.”

   He smiled ironically. “Like we had nothing to worry about.”

   Leela looked worried.


   Bender's reset timer was surprisingly accurate. It usually went off, and it usually reset him while doing so. It was a very precision device. Then again, it also concerned a very small percentage of his life.

   “What do you mean, we can't return to Earth now!? Is this some kind of a May Day Fools' joke?”

   “No sir,” replied Leela over the ship's instant voice messaging system, “The engines have a failure in their propinquity valve. Unless it can be repaired, we'll need to come to a complete stop.”

   “Oh, very well. But we must be complete before that fleet returns to Earth!”

   “Understood sir.”

   Bender sighed. Pathetic, pathetic!

   Suddenly, he felt very cold...


   Down in the engine room, Leela cut off the connection.

   “There. Hopefully, if those schematics we've got off the computer are accurate, I can sabotage the engines. That should at least delay us long enough for the Earthican fleet to return.”

   Fry nodded in agreement. But something was nagging at him...

   “Leela, if we don't survive this... There's something I've been wanting to tell you...”

   Leela turned around, concerned.

   “What, Fry?”

   “Well...” he started, “I-...”

   Suddenly, he felt very cold...



   Fry was thrown out of his slumber by said loud noise. So was Bender.

   “Stupid clock!”

   Bender charged out of his 'room' and across the closet to Fry's nightstand, where he then proceeded to do something to the alarm clock that most working people in the world can only dream of.

   Fry stared down at the pieces. “You didn't have to smash it,” he said.

   Bender answered by waving his hand in a very nonconcerned way and returning to his room.

   Stupid humans, he thought. Why can't they set alarms to the proper time, seven AM? Or, better still, seven PM!

   Fry glanced down at the shattered remains of the timepiece, who's hands were still showing the time as two fourteen. That was the probably last remaining analogue clock in the universe, Fry thought. And yet it's still accurate, even in death. He gave a small chuckle, but stopped almost instantly. For a brief moment, he had felt as though he were just about to do something very important...

   Something he couldn't remember...


   Leela stared at Fry's sleeping form. Poor guy, she thought. She smiled at him. He looked so cute when he was sleeping...

   She decided to let him rest. After all, she could handle this job alone, and he really needed the rest. Besides, Fry was the kind of person who did his best to return a favour, and Leela knew she'd need a nap too, sometime in the near future.

   She finished tightening the final bolt on the engine panel. There, she thought, That ought to slow us down a bit. She stood up and walked as slowly as she could over to the intercom.


   There was no response.

   “Captain Bender?”



   Leela walked out of the engine room and down the corridor towards the bridge. When she got there, she found it empty.

   The same for Bender's quarters, the cargo deck, the laundry room and the movie theatre.

   She had just finished checking her and Fry's quarters when she heard a voice.

   “Leela? Leela?”

   “Yes, Professor?”

   Leela walked up to the bookshelf at the far end of the room and pushed the Encyclopaedia Galactica aside. Behind it, she found the Professor's head. In a jar.

   “Professor? What is it?”

   “I was getting lonely,” Farnsworth said. “Nobody ever comes and talks to me anymore.”

   “Well, we've been really busy,” replied Leela. “He's finally turning us around to conquer the Earth. We're the only people who can save the planet, and we're half asleep most of the time!”

   “Oh my...”

   “And we can't talk to you when we think Bender might be near. He thinks you're dead, remember?”

   Farnsworth nodded.

   “In fact, I shouldn't be talking to you now! I have no idea where he is!”

   A brief second later, due to slow footsteps outside the door, she had a general idea.

   She quickly pushed the Professor's jar behind 'The Fall of the Wholly Romulan Empire' and turned to face the door. Just in time, too. Bender surveyed the room quietly.

   “I presume you are finished with the engine repairs?”

   Leela nodded quickly.

   “Very well.”

   Bender left the room.

   Leela sighed. He must be in a good mood.


   Far from it. Bender was not in a good mood.

   He couldn't understand it. Robots were never supposed to fall asleep spontaneously.

   He suddenly felt very cold...

   Robots weren't supposed to do that either...


   “Good news, everyone!”

   Twice in one week, the crew thought, He must be happy.

   “I've performed three more tests just this morning! And they all worked!”

   The crew found it hard to get excited. All this meant to them was that they'd probably have do more work.

   Indeed it did.

   “Your task for today is to deliver it under maximum security to the Nobel Peace Conference on the planet Khitomer Three. Dr. Zoidberg will accompany you.”

   “Hooray! I'm accomacomniapying!”

   “Why are you presenting it at the Nobel Peace Conference, Professor?”

   “Because if I don't do it now, I'll have to wait a whole year until the next one! Why do you think? Now get!”


   Amy being absent for the semester, Fry and Leela were forced to load the quadruply sealed package onto the ship by themselves. It was not easy.

   “Watch it!”


   The large package slipped out of Fry's hands. Luckily, Leela was still holding onto it.

   “What's the matter with you today, Fry?”

   Fry winced slightly at the comment. “I don't know,” he replied shortly. “But the alarm went off at two in the morning today and I wasn't able to get back to sleep.”

   Ahh, thought Leela, That could explain it.

   “Oh.” said Leela, who decided to walk over and put the box on the hover dolly herself. “Well, don't take it personally. I haven't slept too well for a long while either. Maybe it was something we picked up on one of those planets we visited.”

   “Hmm... You mean, like, something that makes us sleep not good?”

   “That's the basic idea.”

   Fry helped Leela to get the dolly onto the ship's platform. “So... What do you think we should do about it?”

   The platform raised itself up into the cargo bay.

   “Well, let's see... We both know this invention won't be winning anything, right? Maybe I could sabotage the engines so we'll travel really slowly. That way we could catch up on our rest, and also spare the Professor embarrassment in front of his colleagues.”

   Fry successfully lifted the package off the dolly and into it's respective pile.

   “That,” he said, yawning, “is a good yet devious yet thoughtful idea.”

   “Yeah...” replied Leela, smiling, “It is...”

   But where did it come from? she thought.


   That plan was immediately dashed. Farnsworth decided that there was no point in having his crew take the invention to the conference, only for him to pay the bus fare to arrive there late.

   Leela thought about sabotaging the engines anyway. I mean, it's not like anyone would know... No, I won't. She shook her head and pushed the idea out of her mind. Just because Fry gets to sleep on the way there doesn't mean you are free from your responsibilities.

   Leela sighed. She tried to clear her head of these many confusing thoughts. The sound of Farnsworth's snoring next to her did nothing to help. There's no need for drastic measures, she reasoned. You're just tired! It's not like the Earth is about to be attacked or something.

   She felt uneasy.


   Noises... Shapes... Colours...

   No... Not... Real...

   Phone... Home....


   Fry shot up straight in his bed. Oh wait... This wasn't his bed...

   I was just there, wasn't I?

   No, he couldn't have been... He had just been with Leela... She had just told him how she couldn't sabotage the engines with the Professor on board...

   But wait... She already had sabotaged the engines, hadn't she? Yes, she did... And Farnsworth was on their side... That didn't make any sense...

   He shook his head and glanced around the engine room. He was alone.

   Leela must've let me sleep, he thought.

   He knew that this was all the more reason he had to tell her...


   Leela suddenly felt very tired. She glanced at the Professor sleeping next to her.

   “Professor? Professor?”

   Farnsworth awoke slowly. “Wha...?”

   “Are you tired?”

   “What? Of course not! If you're tired, sleep! It's a straight path for three hours! Leave me alone!”

   And with that, the snoring resumed.

   Leela smiled, laid back in the pilot's chair, and closed her eye. Surprisingly, she couldn't sleep. She sat there for about five minutes.

   Suddenly she heard someone call her name. She tried to turn around and answer, but instantly fell into a slumber.


   Fry walked into his quarters. “Hi, Bender,” he said to the sleeping figure in the lower hammock. He then paused in surprise. It was Leela.

   Why the heck did I expect Bender to be there? he thought. I must be going space crazy...

   He walked over to Leela. She was sleeping soundly.

   “Fry? Fry, is that you?”

   Fry walked over to the shelf and pushed away the copy of 'A Tale of e Cities' to reveal his nephew.

   “What up?” he asked

   “Who were you talking to?” inquired Farnsworth. “You woke me up.”

   Fry shook his head. “I don't know, Professor. I just... Expected to see Bender in the lower bunk for some reason.”

   “Fry,” said the Professor, sounding concerned, “that doesn't make any sense.”

   “I know, I know! Why would Bender sleep in this room? It...”

   ...Seems familiar...

   “Fry, have you been feeling Ok?”

   “No! I keep having these feelings like... Like some things don't belong! Before I came in here, I was looking for Leela, and I found myself outside Bender's door! It's like... I'm... I'm out of place! Or everything else is, I don't know...”

   Leela murmured and rolled over in her sleep. Fry stared at her for a second, lost in thought.

   “I'd better go so I don't wake her up...”

   “All right, then...”

   Farnsworth watched Fry leave the room. Something bothered him. Lately, he had become obsessed with a certain invention he had invented over a month ago. He was worrying about whether or not he had left it plugged in. Sure, it was natural for heads in jars to end up obsessing over things, but a failed experiment?

   Furthermore, that machine had emitted tachyons. Farnsworth had a theory regarding tachyons. And now Fry was acting as though he didn't fit in, and Leela said they were both suffering from lack of sleep. Heck, even Farnsworth seemed to be having thoughts put into his head. All these events seemed to interlock...

   “Leela... Leela, wake up!”

   Leela leaned upwards and rubbed her eye. “What? What is it, Professor?”

   “Does that thing on your arm have Internet access?”

   “This?” Leela yawned, “Of course.”

   “Can I borrow it? I need to do some important research.”

   “Well... Sure...”

   Leela was confused by this request, but saw no harm. It wasn't like she would have much use for it after she died. And she was pretty sure that she wouldn't be leaving this mission alive.

   But it would be for the safety of Earth. Her homeworld.

   Wait... How did I know that? I'm an alien... Aren't I?...

   Instinctively, she knew that she wasn't. And yet she had no memory of ever learning otherwise...


   Leela left her quarters and wandered along the corridors. The ship had almost reached full speed by now. She hoped her 'malfunction' had delayed them long enough. Long enough for Bender to mindlessly attack the returned fleet, revoke a retaliation and be utterly destroyed. Sure, self-destructing would be easier, but then Magic Voice would chant that loud countdown which would be heard all over the ship. Bender would have found it and shut it off. The effort would have been wasted.

   As she walked past Bender's locked door, she heard him snoring. She suddenly had a very depressing feeling. She knew that if they were to save Earth, they had no chance of survival.

   She knew that if they were to save Earth, they were going to die.


   Fry sat on the couch on bridge. He fiddled with a small, golden ring in his hand. He also felt that they were going to die. He couldn't rationalize it as well as Leela, but the feeling was still there.

   He sighed. He knew he had to tell her.

   He thought back to how they had met...


   Fry had gone into a suicide booth with Bender. Not that he knew it was a suicide booth, of course. He thought it was a telephone. Fry had managed to save himself from the ghastly blades, but Bender had received a deadly gash across the head. Fry dragged him out into the street, and decided to go to the only person he thought would be able to help: His nephew.

   When Fry arrived at the door with a request for help, not only did the Professor comply, but also offered him a job. He already had a captain, all he needed now was a delivery boy. For delivering the bombs, yes. For Planet Express was a top secret company who's main mission was delivering doomsday weapons to planets the military decided it wanted eliminated. Which was why the company had to hire anyone who found out that they existed.

   When Bender was repaired, he was less than sane and he loved the place.

   When Fry met Leela, he was less than rational and he loved her.

   Fry wandered down the corridor where the Professor said his coworker was working. He cautiously walked up to the door. It opened.

   His first impression of her was an impressive one. He could find no sign of the 'physical peculiarity' Farnsworth had spoken of.

   She turned to face him.


   Not that it bothered him. He had always wanted to be friends with an alien. And this alien... Maybe more than friends...

   “Oh, hi... I'm Fry. I've been assigned to work with you.”

   “Oh really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me.”

   If only they'd been keeping an eye on Bender. If only they'd listened to what he had been planning...


   Fry was suddenly jerked out of his reminiscing.

   He was very cold...



Space Pope
« Reply #1 on: 12-18-2007 16:06 »
« Last Edit on: 12-18-2007 16:06 »

Genuine tension from start to cut-off. It's hard to maintain something like that. I tip my hat to you, sir.

Interesting alternative premises too...

and a mild skirmish involving several thousand Scotsmen on a planet of Blancmanges

Any tennis matches involved?

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #2 on: 12-18-2007 19:04 »

This is great. Reminds me of 'Mirror, Mirror' from TOS.
I especially loved all the sci-fi references. ‘Pong Farr’ had me laughing, and the dialogue at the end taken from the pilot episode of The X Files made me squeal like a schoolgirl.

Can't wait to see where this goes.

Space Pope
« Reply #3 on: 12-18-2007 22:43 »
« Last Edit on: 12-18-2007 22:43 »

Great story so far Xanny! I love it. I a gree with coldy about it being a little "Mirror, Mirror"-esqe, I was laughing so hard at "Pong Farr"   laff and I love the sci-fi references. Can't wait for more.

Bending Unit
« Reply #4 on: 12-19-2007 11:56 »

What?  It's not finished?

Can't wait to read more.  I love the subtly unsettling feeling present through the whole thing.  You're slightly on edge but you don't know why.

Suddenly, and without warning, nobody continued to care.
I love that.   smile

Space Pope
« Reply #5 on: 12-19-2007 18:04 »

I can see I'm not going to get some of the sci-fi references, but I liked the 'Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe' one and the use of 'Level forty-two' (neat to use a band name in a different context, instead of having Leela say it). Anyway, this certainly kept my attention. Looking forward to reading some more of your work, besides the RD crossover that I've already read.

Urban Legend
« Reply #6 on: 12-20-2007 00:50 »

good job xanfor

Space Pope
« Reply #7 on: 12-20-2007 12:28 »

Originally posted by km73:
I can see I'm not going to get some of the sci-fi references, but I liked the 'Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe' one and the use of 'Level forty-two' (neat to use a band name in a different context, instead of having Leela say it). Anyway, this certainly kept my attention. Looking forward to reading some more of your work, besides the RD crossover that I've already read.

Didn't the band name itself as an H2G2 reference?
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #8 on: 12-20-2007 13:31 »

(Although I still want to thank Officer 1BDI most profoundly for writing stories so well that made me want to write my own.)

... *sniff*  Excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

(Hearing that I helped inspire someone else to write is one of the greatest compliments I could ever receive, so thank you. ^_^ )

What little you've posted so far is awesome.  I love all of the references, and I love the humor and how it seems so effortlessly woven into the writing ("Suddenly, and without warning, nobody continued to care," is a particularly favored line of mine).  You have a very distinct style (it shows in a lot of your long posts here), an almost casual and bemused narration of some of the most screwed up scenarios one can imagine, and I can't help but adore it; it reminds me a bit of Douglas Adams.

I did see one minor typo, though:
This, of all things, should of shocked Fry awake. And shockingly, it did.
That should be "have" instead of "of."
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« Reply #9 on: 12-22-2007 16:54 »

It's great to see you back, and with a fanfic and a spiffy new avatar no doubt.  big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #10 on: 12-22-2007 22:07 »

“Oh, hi... I'm Fry. I've been assigned to work with you.”

“Oh really? I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me.”

I just read that somewhere else...where the hell did I read that! Oh man that's gonna bug me. I swear I just read something very very similar today. *Brain on the verge of explosion*.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #11 on: 12-22-2007 22:44 »

X-Files, episode one, season one.

Very nice, Xanfor. I can't wait to see the rest of all your things updated (and new things, too!).

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #12 on: 12-23-2007 17:33 »

@coldangel; Bendersfan: You can thank a mono black and white TV with a four-inch screen for that paronomasia. You can also thank that same TV for me not noticing Leela had one eye until season two!

@Sedna: It was fun to finally use that somewhere.  smile

@km73; Kryten: Double reference with that line. Although I have to admit, it's quite definitely been pwned by coldangel's 'Einstein-Rosen Bridge'. (If you think that's rusty German, you've got an error in the system!)

@1BDI: Problem fixed. And may I say, being compared to Douglas Adams is the best review I could ever possibly hope to get?

@Student Zoidy: Back? You left me!  cry

@Spacedal: Driving you crazy, am I? Glad to be of service.  wink

The next fic I'm planning to post is the one you commissioned, with Ren and Evan. If you want, I can send a revised beta to you and we can make it a more mutual effort. You're good at drawing, maybe we could make it illustrated...

@Sine Wave: I'll have part two up soon. I hope you like suspense...


Space Pope
« Reply #13 on: 12-23-2007 19:48 »

Hey! I'm still racking my brains over that. I've never watched an episode of the X-Files in my life! NARFFFFDF! Insanity! *Gonna eat a pillow out of spite!*.

Illustration you say Xanfor? Tell me where the fuck those lines came from and I'll succumb!

Crazy foaming dog!


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #14 on: 12-23-2007 20:33 »

No, not that! Anything but that! This where I took it from, I swear!

The X-Files, "Pilot":

Scully: Agent Mulder. I'm Dana Scully. I've been assigned to work with you.
Mulder: Oh, isn't it nice to be suddenly so highly regarded. So who did you tick off to get stuck with this detail, Scully?
Scully: Actually, I'm looking forward to working with you. I've heard a lot about you.
Mulder: Oh, really! I was under the impression that you were sent to spy on me.

I would've made the ripoff more obvious, but I wanted to keep it as minimalistic as possible...

Spare me! Please!

Space Pope
« Reply #15 on: 12-23-2007 21:15 »

Le gasp. That is where I read it. Total boredom on IMDB and Wikipedia can do that to me, I'll just look up the most random things and then forget about them.

Ok it's a deal. Email me your ideas for illustrations.

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #16 on: 12-23-2007 23:57 »

Fanfic was as always, excellent.

Space Pope
« Reply #17 on: 12-24-2007 10:31 »

Originally posted by Spacedal11:Total boredom on IMDB and Wikipedia can do that to me, I'll just look up the most random things and then forget about them.

I do that all the time looking stuff up on Wiki or just random place on the Internet.

Xanny get part 2 up soon! Like NOW!!
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« Reply #18 on: 12-24-2007 20:58 »

I'm quite sorry Master Xanfor. I know I don't often visit the shippy thread and I really should since there's new material to discuss... Forgive my my liege.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #19 on: 01-03-2008 10:39 »
« Last Edit on: 01-03-2008 10:39 »

   (Life is but a Dream)
   (written by Xanfor)

part 2 of 3


   Eureka! thought the Professor upon awakening. This was immediately followed by a puzzled frown. What had he just discovered? Something involving his new machine, he thought. And tachyons... Yes, tachyons were in it too...

   His new machine! He had to go check on it! All other thoughts were driven out of his mind as he leapt from his chair, past a sleeping Leela and out into the corridor, just barely avoiding a slightly dazed Fry.

   Fry had a good reason to be dazed. This time he remembered his dream. And he was quite sure that's what it was, too, because he had dreamed that he and Leela had met as secret doomsday agents. The thought that he was back to nonsense in his head instead of cyphers was a comforting one, and thus he was rather exuberant in his manner of entrance into the bridge despite the fact that he was still slightly sleepy.

   “Hello, Leela!”

   “Fry...?” Leela opened her eye slowly and held her hand to her head. “Ow...”

   “What's wrong?” asked Fry worriedly, “Did you have one of those karma dreams?”

   “No...” replied Leela, closing her eye for a second. She yawned. “I... I dreamed I... That I was talking to the Professor's head...”

   “Oh. Depending on what you talked about and or what you mean, that could be worse.”

   “And then... Oh... It seemed so real...”

   “So? All dreams seem real until you wake up. Remember Newhart?”

   “And then... I can't quite recall... But there was this feeling, like I was... Like we were going to die...”

   “Are you sure that's not just a normal side effect of not knowing where Bender is?”

   “Perhaps... But I'm still worried.”

   Leela sat up slowly and returned to piloting the ship.

   Fry didn't say anything, but he now was worried again.


   Bender, as a matter of fact, was not up to anything. Actually, he was doing his job, which was standing pointlessly beside the package. Sure, he was actually sitting on it, but this was defined as the same thing by Planet Express policy. And Planet Express honoured it's policy, despite the fact the Zoidberg ate it thinking it was a lawrencekrauss sandwich.

   Bender was not particularly sleepy. But that wasn't to say he wasn't disturbed.

   He had these strange sequences of code streaming through his processor. He had tried deciphering them, but currently to no avail. He would sooner crash than let it be known, but he was worried.

   A random sequence was suddenly decoded. Why did a malfunction have to happen now? it said. Humans... Pathetic, pathetic!

   Bender stopped in surprise. He analysed the sequence again. No, it was just random numbers, gibberish.

   Then where did those words come from?, he thought.

   I am not tired. Robots do not get tired...

   Not that he had to worry. Farnsworth ran in at that very moment.

   “Hey, oldsack.” Bender said, happy for something to distract him. “Whacha doin' down here?”

   “We're almost there! Also, I wanted to see if the device's repluggablity extended to encasement in semi-permeable recycled paper constituents!”

   “You mean... Would it work in a cardboard box?”

   “I believe that's what I said.”

   Bender felt something pulling him down. It was very slight, but still...

   Wait... They must be approaching a planet. Usually, the ship's artificial gravity compensator was a little slow on easing off when they came in to land. Bender, being the ultra-sensitive robot he was, could usually detect when it happened.

   The fact that it took him a while to realize this disturbed Bender. His system was very bogged down, and not spyware bogged down, either.

   He felt like he was running some proprietary virtualisation platform.


   Khitomer Three was a pleasant little planet. Not 'copyrighted' pleasant, not quite 'trademarked' pleasant, but sort of pleasant for the trees and birds and such. Actually, the absence of trees and birds and such. Khitomer Three was a desert planet.

   Not all desert planets are bad. You see, nobody wants desert planets, so people are free to do whatever they want to them. This particular one was being rented by the Nobel Peace Committee at the moment, and they were seriously considering banning Farnsworth from attending. But, in the interest of intergalactic peace, he received a special invitation, complete with pre-reserved parking spot, only four miles away from the resort where the conference would be taking place.

   Bender pushed the hover dolly across the burning landscape. He was far too preoccupied to protest against the extra labour. Farnsworth carried a large umbrella to shield himself against the hot blue sun. Fry, Leela and Zoidberg brought up the rear, trying their best to stay in Bender's shadow. It was very early in the morning.

   Inside, there was air conditioning. Zoidberg wandered off to check the water conditioning, while the Professor took the hover dolly himself and pushed it off down a side corridor, leaving Bender, Leela and Fry alone in the lobby.

   Bender stomped over to the receptionist's desk. He glanced over it, as though looking for something. Finally, when he finished, he unscrewed his head and placed it on the surface. He then started pumping his antenna rapidly.

   Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding-

   “I'm here, I'm here!” cried the receptionist, who turned out to be merely an amplified bitraversing auditory data disseminator. It looked a bit like a large speakerphone. “What is it?”

   “One:” replied Bender, returning his head to it's proper location. “What time does this convention start tonight? And two: Where do you keep your safe deposit boxes?”

   “Hmm...” muttered the small device, still rattled by the echoes. “Ok... The conference starts in... Three hours.”

   Leela walked up to the desk. “Oh, don't mind him, he's like this sometim-... Most of the ti-... Ok, he's just like this, period.”

   Bender grunted in a vaingloriously narcissistic way.

   Leela ignored him and continued. “We have reservations under the name 'Mr. Farnsworth'.” she said.

   The modem connected from the phone to the main computer started flickering rapidly. This was accompanied by a stereotypical dailup tone. Bender covered his ears, flinching.

   “Oh, yes... The deluxe suite. Do you have your card, Mrs. Farnsworth?”

   Leela pointed at Bender.

   Bender took a credit card out of his compartment. His finger strategically covered the Professor's hologram.

   “Just slide it through the slot, please, sir.”

   Bender's eyes widened at this. “Oh, I will.” he promised.


   Farnsworth pushed the dolly onto the backstage. He took his fancy device out of it's box and carefully placed it on a nearby counter, next to an outlet. He then smiled with glee to himself and walked back towards the door. The door opened before he reached it.


   “Ahh, Professor Farnsworth...” wheezed the graying scientist, “Or should I say, Farnsworthless! Tell me, have you come to present something totally inappropriate or are you just here for your acetylcholine injections?”

   “Ahh, and I suppose you're here to present an entire new political system that would result in universal peace! Bah!”

   “As a matter of fact, I am.” said Wernstrom, “But don't worry. These people are very 'peaceful'. They'll let you show your lethargic little contrivance. And they'll even be polite about it.”

   “I should hope so!”

   “But just remember: In the end, I shall be the one in the back, laughing.”

   And with that, he turned and laughed all the way out the door.

   “Oh, you just make it so easy now, Professor!”

   The door closed in Farnsworth's face. A wave of tiredness came over him. He glanced at his invention, and then at the clock hanging over it. Three hours left, he thought. Just enough time to sit down for a sec...

   He sat down in collapsible lab chair nearby. His eyes instantly closed.

   Ow... Ow... Ow...


   Fry, Leela and Bender walked into the deluxe suite. It was deserving of it's name.

   “Wow...” Leela remarked, “It even has an ocean-side window...”

   “Over the largest ocean on the planet!” exclaimed Fry, his nose stuck in the brochure. “Wow! Let's see what it looks like...”

   He pulled back the curtains. Nope, nothing... Oh, wait.

   Leela pointed at the fish pond three stories below. “There it is.”

   Bender wandered back over to the door. “Well, I'm gone places. See ya at the conference thingy!”

   “Yeah, you too.”

   Bender turned to leave, but then glanced backwards. “You guys Ok?” he asked.

   “What? Of course.”

   Bender looked suspicious. “What are you guys going to be doing while I'm gone?” he inquired.

   “Uh...” stammered Fry, “We'll be... Watching TV.”

   “Oh yes,” added Leela, walking over to sit on the couch in front of the incredibly large screen. “There's a special on called... Uh... 'Death to all Humans'!”

   Why did I choose that? she thought.

   “Sheesh, fine, no need to be so touchy! Geez, I have pretty much every inspirational film on tape already...”

   And so he left.

   Leela immediately stood up and walked towards the bedroom.

   “Where are you going?”

   “I,” explained Leela, “am very, very tired. So if you don't mind, I'm taking a nap.”

   Fry yawned unintentionally. “You know, I think I will too. Is that Ok?”

   Leela sighed. “Sure, all right. But no muttering!”

   As they walked into the room, Fry let out a small snicker. “What do you know? Only one bed.”

   Leela flipped a multiple-choice switch on the wall, after which the bed promptly divided in two.


   “I call top bunk!”

   “Hey, no fair!”


   Leela sat up straight. She rubbed her head. Why did I just collapse like that?, she thought. Did anyone see me?...

   She glanced around her. No one had, apparently, so she got up off the floor and brushed herself off.

   She didn't notice the chronometer reading. She didn't care. She continued wandering aimlessly.


   Fry sat up on the couch wearily. He glanced at the clock. That doesn't make any sense, he thought. How can I sleep for several hours and still be tired?

   He glanced out the windshield. He watched as the autopilot manoeuvred past comet nuclei and asteroids. Up ahead, the sun was merely a bright star among thousands.

   They were almost there.

   The ship carefully passed Pluto, giving Fry a clear view of it's partner, Charon, and their two moons, Nix and Hydra.

   Just like a family, he thought. A pang of sadness passed though him.

   He knew he had to tell her.


   “Ow, ow, ow, ow...”

   Farnsworth's head was banging up against the side of his jar. Slowly, he was sliding across the shelf. He had to get to the intercom...

   He took a deep breath and continued.

   “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow...”


   Leela wandered onto the bridge. Fry turned around to face her quickly.

   “Oh... Hi, Leela.”

   “Hey.” replied Leela, sounding depressed. “What are you doing up here?”

   “Just looking out at the stars, and stuff. Listen... There's something I need to tell you.”

   Leela glanced at him. “Really?”

   “Yes... Could you come sit down, please?”

   Leela nodded and walked over to the couch. It surprised her how every movement she made seemed to have absolutely no significance. She sat down slowly.

   “Leela,” Fry breathed softly, as though he couldn't say it, “I... Haven't said this before... And I know it may be a surprise... But since we may not survive this, I just had to tell you.”

   Leela noted the sound of his voice and leaned toward him, concerned. “What... What is it, Fry?”



   “I... I love you!”

   Leela stared at him for several seconds before she was able to comprehend the meaning of those words. When she finally did, she was speechless.

   She didn't know what to say, or even what to think.

   “You... Do?”

   “Yes... And I guess I always have. And I just wanted to tell you, before we got to Earth and... You know.”

   Leela nodded. She knew.

   Fry continued on suddenly. “And... I wanted to give you this.”

   He held up the ring he had been fiddling in his fingers. Leela stared at it, confused.

   “What... What's it for?”

   “I found it when we went down to the ruins of Old New York.” Fry explained, trying not to show his tears, “And don't worry, it's not for a commitment or anything. I understand if you don't feel the same way. It's just... One of us may survive this... And if it's you... I just wanted you to have something to remember me by.”

   He turned away so she wouldn't see him cry.

   Leela stared at the back of his head, and then at the ring she now held in her palm. She had never thought anything like this would ever happen. She had no idea how to respond at all...

   Her mind was a blank.

   She could hardly concentrate.

   Whieee-ooo whistled the intercom.

   She took advantage of the sound and stood up quickly to answer it.

   So had Fry, and they both arrived in front of the panel at the same time.

   He turned away. Leela felt sad and empty inside. She didn't want to hurt him.

   Why can't I say anything? she thought.

   “Leela here, Captain,” she answered.

   “Leela?” said a whispering voice, “I need you and Fry down here right now!”

   “Yeah, all right...” replied Leela, distracted. “We'll be right- Professor!? What are you doing?”

   “I need you two down here, now!”

   Leela glanced over at Fry. He was pretending to listen to what Farnsworth was saying. Leela looked away.

   “Well... We're kind of busy right now, trying to... Uh...”

   “Save Earth?” suggested Fry.

   “Yes, save Earth. We're trying to save Earth.”

   “Well, save it later! I have to tell you something now that could save the universe!”

   Fry glanced up at Leela. This must be important.

   Leela was thinking the exact same thing. “We're coming, Professor.”

   Fry left the bridge first. Leela followed him, but not before she had the chance to slip the small, golden ring into her pocket.


   Farnsworth was not happy with himself at all. He turned back and forth in his jar, the head equivalent of pacing in a worrisome manner. He turned quickly when the door opened.

   “Fry! Leela! It's about time you got here!”

   The first thing Fry noticed was Leela's wrist thing sitting next to a copy of 'DIY: Proctology'. There was some black and white spinning diagram on it's display. Fry looked closer at it, but averted his eyes when he started feeling dizzy. Next to it, he then noticed, was his nephew's head, glasses crooked. Fry walked over to straighten them.

   “Not now, not now, Fry! Listen up, both of you! Have you been having strange dreams lately?”

   “Professor,” said Leela, “Now is not the right time...”

   “Yes, it is! Tell me!”

   Fry and Leela glanced at each other, shocked.

   “Sure, a few. Nothing important.”

   “Same here.”

   “Hmm...” replied the Professor, “What about... Thoughts you can't explain?”

   Leela's eye opened wide.

   “Yes...” she said slowly, “How did you know?”

   “I deduced it. Fry came to me earlier, thinking this was Bender's room.”

   “That's not-”

   “Shh! And you both have been very tired lately-”

   “Professor,” interrupted Fry again, “Not that it's any of our business, but why are you making us waste time here? We're passing Saturn right now!”



   “Oh, oh, I've heard of those! They're, like, glue particles or something?”

   “No, you idiot!” exclaimed Farnsworth, “A machine of mine back on Earth emits tachyons!”

   Leela and Fry glanced at each other again, as though concerned for the Professor's remaining sanity.

   “Don't look at yourselves like that, for a reason you both know perfectly well! Now listen to me!”

   Fry and Leela listened.

   “My research has lead me to believe that tachyons are the elementary unit of thought. Since this machine emits them, they can have an adverse affect on our minds!”

   He paused to take a breath.

   “I've been examining the effect of this particular Greek flavour of tachyon, and have discovered what it has been doing! You've both felt very tired lately, right?”


   “Hmm hmm.”

   “That's because you haven't been getting any sleep!”

   His audience was confused. “Sure we have,” said Leela, “Or else what have we been doing every time we close our eyes for several hours?”

   “You've been drifting into a mental reality!”



   “Every time you fall asleep in this reality, you're waking up in a similar mental 'reality'. You have a whole new set of memories, and everything that ever happened to you in this 'reality' becomes either forgotten or reduced to the status of a dream!”

   “And... In what way does this concern the whole universe?”

   “It's been affecting the entire universe! Do really think the Earthican fleet fell for Bender's little deception trick? No, idiots! They've reconvened at Earth. They have a Class Zayin medical alert in progress!”

   Leela reached out and put her wrist accoutrement back on. She was still listening thoroughly.

   “If we don't get back to Earth and turn off that machine, soon, everyone will be pulled into the second reality, and the real one will disappear! And since the second one is dependent on the real one, they will all disappear! Forever lost... And gone too, come to think of it...”

   “Crud.” said Fry. “Well, at least we're the real one, and we still have a chance to save it.” He looked over at Leela hopefully. “Right?”

   Leela sighed. She nodded because she knew it would cheer him up.

   “Not necessarily!” cried Farnsworth. Leela withered inside.

   “It is possible that this reality is the dream one! In that case, all of this is an illusion!”

   “You mean... All this could be... Not real?”


   “Hear that, Leela? This whole world could just be a dream! None of this may actually exist! The dreams could be real!”

   “In which case,” the Professor informed them, “It will be your alternate selves who must turn off the device.”

   “So in other words,” Leela muttered, in a state of abject disappointment, “If all this is real, we have to save it by turning off your contraption. And if this is all a dream, then our 'other selves' must turn it off.”

   “There are no 'other selves'!” exclaimed Farnsworth, sounding slightly nettled. “All there is is you! Whenever you cross over between the realities, the only thing that changes are your thoughts and memories. And even some of those seep across, if they're really emotional. Your feelings, your underlying sentiments, your soul... All of them are exactly the same!”

   “Uhh...” asked Fry slowly, fully aware of how stupid he sounded, “Why?”

   “Because only memories are physically contained within our brains, and are thus stuck in whatever set of physical laws in which they happen to be residing. But the essence of what is really you, your spirit, your katra, your emotions... are all relatively unconnected to matter and are free to convey themselves over the interdimensional emotionally psychologic pathways!”

   Farnsworth leaned forward in his jar. “Listen to me. You must get down to Earth and turn off that device. It is critical. While you do that, I'll fall asleep and see what I can do to shut it down on the other side.”

   “But what about Earth? And stopping Bender?”

   “Forget about Earth! This is about saving the universe! Now, the machine is located...”


   Bender snuck back into the room, his chest compartment full. Not that he couldn't steal any more, oh no, he could. He just had to make some room.

   He walked over to the couch and sat on it. It creaked and bent under his weight. He took a quick breather, then tried to stand up again.

   He couldn't. He was suddenly tired.

   Well, he thought, Maybe I can catch the last few minutes of that 'Kill All Humans' show...

   He was suddenly very tired...


   Farnsworth watched Fry and Leela pack up the few things they'd need. Leela got herself a laser pistol and hung a spool of clear wire on her belt. Fry ran quickly around the room, logging off the computer, hiding confidential documents, the like. Finally, he came to the bookshelf.

   “Goodbye,” he said sadly.

   “Don't worry,” replied the Professor, trying to smile, “If this really is a dream reality, I'll just see you when I wake up.”

   “Are you sure that we shouldn't be working in the other world?”

   “Of course! Fry told us that in the dream, I had my body. That means I can be of some use there. This scenario I've laid out allows us to most efficiently utilize our manpower.”

   Leela stared at him.

   “And womanpower.”

   Leela smirked.

   “Don't worry, Professor. We'll take care of it.”

   “Yes, yes, now go! I know that the more emotional this moment is, the more I'll remember it when I get over there, but seriously, this is bordering on mawkishness!”

   Fry smiled as he pushed 'The Nutshell in a Universe' in front of the jar. He then turned to follow Leela out into the corridor. He was almost there when he stopped and turned around.



   “Don't do anything stupid, Ok?”

   Fry could practically hear the smile spread across Farnsworth's face.

   “Likewise!” he replied. “Allons-y!

   Fry followed Leela out into the corridor. The door closed behind him.


   Bender sat down on the bridge. He watched the rubble and debris of the asteroid belt appear to scatter as the ship manoeuvred around it.

   Slowly, he got an idea. He stood up and walked over to the window. He got a firm grip on the frame, and then opened it.

   The air blew past him and out the window in a maelstrom so tempestuous it made reentry into an atmosphere look like the gust of wind caused by the flapping of a butterfly's wing.

   But even just the flap of a butterfly's wing is enough to trigger a hurricane, he thought.

   This complete disregard for the nuances of chaos theory showed just how insane Bender was. He stuck his head out the window to get a better view of the approaching blue dot which was Earth.

   That's when the rock hit him. He didn't see it coming at all. He was delusional.

   And that bang to the head sure didn't help matters.

   “Why you...!”

   Bender grabbed the ball of stone and ice and commenced trying to strangle it.

   He didn't see the shuttlecraft leaving the cargo bay. He didn't see it adjust course and head off towards Earth. He didn't see anything.

   Pathetic, pathetic! he thought.


   Pathetic, pathetic! thought Bender as he shot up off the couch. This abrupt motion caused his metal door to open, and triggered an avalanche of stolen goods.

   After about five minutes, everything was on the floor.

   I'll pick it up later, he thought.

   He walked around the pile, and up to the bedroom door. He opened it.

   “Well, well, well, what's been going on here, then?”


   Farnsworth awoke suddenly. He had something very important to do. He looked upwards and noticed the clock.

   Good Lord! he realized, It's almost time for the conference to start!

   He stood up quickly and turned to his invention, which had once again plugged itself into the wall.

   So... Why exactly was Zoidberg's hand on the cord?

   “Zoidberg? You've been plugging it back in?”

   Zoidberg flinched. “Was I not a'spposed to?”

   “Why you stupid red-shelled excuse for a scallop! I don't know why I even rescued you from that kennel in the first place!”

   He raised his hand back to slap Zoidberg with rage. This took a while.

   Don't do anything stupid, Ok?

   Zoidberg started trying to creep away. The Professor didn't notice. He was... Distracted.

   Don't worry, Professor. We'll take care of it.

   Forget about Earth! Now, the machine...

   All this could be... Not real?

   You've been drifting... A mental reality!

   Zoidberg was almost at the door.


   Emits tachyons!

   I'll see what I can do to shut it down on the other side...

   Reduced to the status of a dream!

   “Zoidberg, you're a genius!”

   Zoidberg stopped. “I know!”

   “You've reminded my of something I need to do!”

   Zoidberg put on his best Harrison Otis Carter look. “Well, I try my best...”

   Farnsworth stomped over to the desk where the gadget was resting. He stared at it for a second, before forcibly yanking the plug from the wall.

   “I can't present this!” he exclaimed, “It doesn't do anything! It was all you!”

   “Well, us geniuses do try to help, we do...”

   Farnsworth saw that the battery gauge was still pointing at 'full'. He reached out to flip the 'off' switch.

   Then he stopped.

   These batteries do need to be conditioned... he thought. I should let them run down...

   No! It's been affecting the entire universe!

   You must turn off that device...

   Everyone will be pulled into the second reality, and the real one will disappear!

   No! That was just a dream...

dreams could be real!

   The Professor shook his head. No, that was just a dream! He didn't have to do what a dream said!

   Don't do anything stupid, Ok?

   It's stupid to do what a dream tells you to do!

   Farnsworth neglected the device and turned around to face Zoidberg with a look of determination in his glasses.

   “Zoidberg!” he called.


   “Let's go laugh... At Wernstrom!”

   “Aye aye, sir!”


   Leela led the way down the corridor, followed by Bender, who was followed by Fry.

   “For the last time, nothing happened!”

   “Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. You were in the same room, together, period. That's all I need to know.”

   “We were in separate beds!”

   “So you had a fight afterwards. I know how it works, I watch the Animal Channel!”

   “Bender,” Fry interjected, “Nothing happened.”

   Bender turned to stare slowly at Fry. He was stunned silent.

   “Oh dear, Fry!” he exclaimed, looking concerned, “You've been waiting so long, and now something of this magnitude happens, and your mind blanks it out! Oh dear...”

   And... I wanted to give you this.

   Fry stopped walking suddenly. Nobody else noticed, because they had stopped too.

   “Ok,” said Leela, “According to the Professor's instructions, which I found written on the back of this business card for a company that makes business cards for writing instructions on the back of, the conference room is right behind this door.”

   She reached out and opened the door. The room inside was a huge ballroom, with crystal chandeliers and everything. It was outfitted with at least seventy or eighty tables set up across it. On the stage, Jerry continued with his monologue.

   “And so then, the guy says to me 'Hey, look pal, if you didn't want to get on the train, why'd you buy the tickets in the first place?'”

   Leela closed the door. “Oops. It must be in this other room, right next to the one we just looked in.”

   Leela opened the next door. The room inside was exactly the same size and layout. Around it, ambassadors and dignitaries of all different species were gathered, each participating in some emotional spectra of palaver. Bender rushed in with glee and walked up to two lizard-resembling creatures dressed in what appeared to be cloaks made of woven gold.

   “Pardon me, kind sirs, but I couldn't help but notice that your pleasant exchange of viewpoints is being continually pierced with high-volume interjections. Perhaps you are merely overburdened by the weight of your loose metal outer garments. Would you like me to take them for you?”


   It didn't take long for the Professor to find them. He rushed from where he had been, standing beside the entrance, to where they were, which by now was a good deal away from the entrance.

   “Good news, everyone! I've decided not to present my invention!”


   “Well... Why not?”

   “Zoidberg convinced me.”

   “Yes, Zoidberg was right! 'Twas a noble act, a noble act it was! Full of courage and bravery, and...”

   Farnsworth leaned over to the other two. “Let's ditch him and take a seat!”

   He led them to one of the smaller tables, with enough chairs around it to seat five people. After they'd sat down comfortably, the crew winced as they heard the Professor say one word that was sure to foreshadow any coming violence.


   But it wasn't spoken with the usual hatred. Instead, Farnsworth's voice was vibrant, happy, and strong. Needless to say, it got Wernstrom's attention.

   “Well, well, well, if it isn't-”

   “Yes, yes, I know the speech. Now sit with us!”

   “Hmm... It would be most entertaining from my point of view... And since I can't prove that I'm not the only point of view that exists... Very well.”

   An evil smile curled on Farnsworth's lips as Wernstrom sat down. Leela leaned over towards him.

   “Professor, if you're not presenting your machine, then what are you going to do during your allotted speaking time?”

   “Ahh...” whispered the Professor, “You see, I've hired some top-quality intergalactic-style entertainment! Since half the people are bored to death here, like those...”

   He pointed to several people at the next table, who weren't moving and looked extremely bored.

   “It'll be a relief for everyone to have a short interlude of rest! If you check the schedule, you'll see that none have been planned.”

   “Um... Professor? The schedule has your time marked as the lunch break.”

   “Ahh, dinner theatre! Excellent!”

   Silence spread throughout the room as the last of the people took their seats. Up on the stage, what appeared to be a large metallic spider attached to a jar crawled up onto the podium. Actually, it was Robert Oppenheimer's head.

   “Hello, everyones! I'd like to welcome you to the Twenty-Seventh Annual Intergalactic Nobel Peace Conference. The 'annual', of course, is measured in Annualian years. The committee would like to thank them for being the only planet ignorant enough not to copyright their calenders; and also Al Yankovic, for not copyrighting the number.”

   Over at the Annualian table, the Annualians started arguing in a confused and disjointed way. Al just smiled and began humming some tune by the Talking Heads.

   “Also, I'd like to thank Professor Wernstrom for building me this new system of transportation.” Oppenheimer waved one of the robotic insectiod legs in the air. “It'll come in handy, as the conference is occurring on Metebelis Three next year...”

   Farnsworth leaned over to his colleague. “This isn't a contest, you know.”

   Wernstrom turned to stare at him. He looked confused.

   Farnsworth fought to keep himself from smiling. He failed.

   Wernstrom slowly looked away.

   “...And so, to kick off this colloquy, we have renowned physicist Newt Rino, on the economic collapse of the Bohr Galaxy's wavefunctions.”

   Oppenheimer scuttled away as the professor approached the podium and began lecturing on about something called a Keynes tauon. The entire room muttered in agreement.

   Bender walked up to the table and sat down. “Did I miss anything?” he whispered.


   Bender put his legs up on the table while stashing his fancy gold cloak in his chest. He then promptly proceeded to fall asleep.

   Wernstrom grimaced.


   The Professor is insane, Bender thought. No one's gonna think he's a hero. He's delusional, that's what he is...

   Bender shot up straight in his chair.

   Stupid malfunctions! Pathetic, pathetic!

   Bender grabbed the steering wheel and turned the ship back to face Earth. I swear, if the engine errs again, I will take this rock and shove it up somebody's tailpipe!

   He glanced down at the basketball-sized planetoid he still held in his hand.


   Earth was going to pay.

   Bender sat down and zoomed his eye focus. He picked a point on the blue planet's surface.

   Metal to the pedal to the artificially coloured floorboard imitation plastic...



Space Pope
« Reply #20 on: 01-03-2008 11:10 »

Ohh nice... I was wondering about how you'd handle this dreams thing. That's a very creative way of doing it.

I just wonder how Fry would know the names of Pluto's many and varied orbital partners...  smile

Bending Unit
« Reply #21 on: 01-03-2008 21:25 »

Hmmm...and we race toward the exciting conclusion...what will happen next?

This is looking great; roll on Part 3!  smile

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Urban Legend
« Reply #22 on: 01-03-2008 23:15 »

nice job Xanfor

Space Pope
« Reply #23 on: 01-09-2008 23:59 »
« Last Edit on: 01-10-2008 00:00 »

Impressive. This is a good read, naturally.
I actually laughed out loud a number of times. For example the "only-four-miles-away" parking spot and "Farnsworthless". Love the dream/reality dichotomy too.

"Don't look at yourselves like that, for a reason you both know perfectly well!"

That is so something the Professor would say.

One thing though: Bender's chest compartment was full?? Really? When does that ever happen?

Utterly absorbing.


Liquid Emperor
« Reply #24 on: 02-01-2008 20:06 »

Ooooh, very nice Xanny, the description is superb as always and I love the plot line. Tis all very complex and absorbing, sweet in the right places, dramatic and absorbing. I like it
Futurama Llama

Starship Captain
« Reply #25 on: 02-01-2008 20:42 »

Xanfor, most of the time, like many of the others who have posted, your fanfic makes me feel unsettled, but on a level I do not hate nor comprehend. Whatever happened to you to inspire this fanfic, bless it.

Bending Unit
« Reply #26 on: 02-01-2008 23:27 »

Hi Xanfor,

This was the first fic of yours I ever read (in your old thread), and it just made me want to read more of your stuff.  Like jle1993 said, this is a great plot!
Futurama Llama

Starship Captain
« Reply #27 on: 02-02-2008 23:34 »

So when is the next installment coming, Xanfor?

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #28 on: 02-05-2008 18:26 »
« Last Edit on: 02-05-2008 18:26 »

   (Life is but a Dream)
   (written by Xanfor)

part 3 of 3


   “Fry... Fry, wake up!”

   “Eh... What?...”

   “We're almost there.”


   Fry sat up straight and glanced around the empty shuttlecraft. The empty, small, shuttlecraft. Leela deactivated the autogo system and took hold of the wheel.

   “Now, remember, according to the government, the building doesn't officially exist. Not only that, it's also extremely well protected. So we have to enter precisely as the Professor told us, or else we'll be swarmed by Earth authorities. Got that?”

   Fry rubbed his head as he sat up. “Got it.”

   “Good. Now get ready. I'm bringing us in to land in front of the back entrance.”

   Fry nodded. He was already ready, so he just stood there, watching the city approach.

   Leela glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. She had thought about it, and now she knew what she had to do.

   She knew she had to tell him.

   The ground approached faster than she thought. She eased on the suspension and the ship slowly came to a stop. She piloted it down behind the Planet Express building, under the power lines. As far as electromagnetic detection devices went, they were now invisible.

   Leela tiptoed over to the airlock and opened it. She stepped out onto the ground, and motioned for Fry to follow, very carefully. The land mines would go off at the weight of a vibrissa...

   They finally reached the back entrance. Leela motioned for Fry to go first.

   “You're the one who knows the combination,” she said. Fry nodded and walked up to the door's security panel. He typed in a sequence of numbers.

   A red light flashed.

   Fry frowned and punched it in again.

   The red light flashed.

   Leela stared at Fry as he reached out to type it in again. She was distracted, yes, but something about this wasn't...

   “Fry, stop!” She reached out her left hand and grabbed his, just before he had the chance to press the carriage return.

   Fry looked up at her. “What?” he whispered.

   “You'll set off the alarm if you enter the wrong code in more than three times!”

   Fry suddenly remembered this with a shock. He yanked his arm out of Leela's as fast as he could.

   But not before he noticed the glint of the small, golden ring on her finger.


   They crept around to the front of the building, towards the main entrance. Hopefully, they'd find some way to break in there.

   “Now, keep your eyes open for any cracks in the glass,” Leela said. “We might be able to use those to-”

   Fry jumped back into the dumpster as the front doors suddenly opened. He landed on top of Leela, who was already there.

   “Somebody must've beat us here...” she muttered, as Fry quickly stood up again. “I don't know why, though...”

   She caught Fry staring at her hand. He quickly turned away.

   Leela knew she had to tell him...

   She quickly stood up. “Come on, let's see who's in there.”

   They crept up to the door, which once again opened automatically. They walked carefully into the foyer. Leela put her hand in front of Fry, blocking him.

   “Shh!” she whispered. She could hear a faint noise coming from behind the door to the hangar. She removed the laser from her belt and crept across the large round antechamber. Fry followed her in a crouched position.

   She finally reached the door, and motioned for Fry to stand on one side, while she stood on the other.

   Her plan had no need for words. “One... Two... Three!”

   She twirled out into the doorway as it opened, laser aimed and ready to fire. And down at the end of the hallway leading straight into the empty hangar, there was a very familiar-looking robot...


   “What are you doing here?”

   Flexo came down from the hole in the ceiling he had just unwittingly made and walked up to them, glancing around nervously.

   “I'm hiding,” he whispered.

   “From who?”

   “The Earth authorities, that's who! You know Bender framed me!”

   “Of course...”

   “Yes! And this building doesn't officially exist, so I thought it would be the safest place. What are you doing?”

   “We're on a mission. You can stay here if you don't interfere.”

   Fry followed Leela out into the hangar bay. It looked empty without the ship in it. Suddenly, he felt someone grab his arm.

   “Please let me help!” pleaded Flexo. “I don't wanna be alone!”

   Leela turned right and walked over to the door that led out onto the waterfront patio. She reached out and entered the combination that opened it.

   It opened.

   “All right then,” she said, “If you want to help, guard this door for us. Fry, come on!”

   “Coming!” said Fry.

   “Aye, Captain!” said Flexo.

   Now why did I just call her 'Captain'?

   Out on the balcony, Leela led Fry across the walkway and out onto the open area. They then walked up to the railing.

   “So... Now what do we do?”

   Leela pointed down at the glass-roofed chamber that projected from the wall underneath their feet. “That,” she said, “is the Professor's secret laboratory. We'll have to break in just as he told us.”

   Leela pulled the unbreakable diamond filament off the clip on her belt. She passed one end of it to Fry.

   “Hold this.” she said.


   Bender pressed the acceleration even harder. The pedal started to bend.

   Earth filled half the front window. Bender cackled evilly. Outside, air displacement, and to a smaller extent air friction, was warming the ship considerably.

   Bender adjusted the course slightly. All he had to do was hit the building square on. Hopefully, he would penetrate deep into the planet's surface, down to the subterranean chamber where the lab coat guy kept his doomsday devices.

   Goodbye, Earth!

   At that moment, the engine overheated.


   Wernstrom glanced over at the four people he was sharing the table with. The boring drone of the speaker continued.

   The cyclops, the red-haired guy and the robot were all asleep. Wernstrom didn't blame them. He was bored too.

   He glanced at Farnsworth. Farnsworth was still awake. He looked tired, but he was still awake.

   His head slumped downwards suddenly. He then immediately jerked awake again.

   Wernstrom wondered if Farnsworth still remembered whatever it was that he had planned.

   Farnsworth wondered why he felt so hot...


   Farnsworth woke up suddenly. He glanced around quickly. It was dark.

   He banged his head up against his jar, knocking over the copy of 'Catch-47'. Sure enough, the window was red.

   Oh dear, he thought, Bender's going way too fast through an atmosphere! He's gonna blow the engine!...

   Farnsworth slowly turned around. The wall behind him was very hot...


   The engine of the ship exploded. Normally, the engine would have been detached from the vehicle in time to avoid catastrophe, but in this case, the pilot was insane. The force ripped the tail fins off with ease.

   The heat ignited the main fuel line, which extended from the thruster at the back, all the way up to the front landing leg extension.

   The explosion proceeded accordingly.

   Outside, the first thing to go was the window to Fry and Leela's quarters. All that remained was a long plume of flame, smoke, and debris.

   Then the window next to it went. Then the next one. Then the next one.

   When the flame and heat contacted the contents of the cargo bay, the entire body of the ship expelled it's contents and constituents outwards in a long lasting fireball that would have made the Robot Devil jealous.

   The flaming chunks of metal continued on their planned course. Ironically.

   Up on the bridge, Bender heard the explosion approaching. He jumped out of his chair in surprise, and made a run towards the windshield.

   At that moment, the main fuel tank was touched by a flame.

   Some brighter supernovae have been seen, but not by reliable witnesses.


   Leela slid down the wire, and landed on one of the squares of glass. She tested her weight on it.

   “All right, you can come on down!” she said.

   Fry slid down in a heap.

   “Now, the Professor said the third panel to the right was the only one that was unguarded.”

   “Are you sure?”

   “Lemme check...”

   Leela smashed the window. Nothing happened.

   “Yep, I'm sure.”

   She took the spool of wire and dropped it down the opening. She then grabbed it and slid down.

   “You coming?”


   Fry slid down, this time managing to hold on securely. Then he saw the inside of the room. Then he fell down.

   There was only one way to describe this room: Beautiful. The only lighting came from the glass-paned arched ceiling, and it caused the half-finished inventions scattered across the lab to cast very artistic shadows. The ceiling didn't stop there, though. After a small space for a supporting beam, the glass panes continued down, underneath the water. Blue light streamed in from those windows, and the fish that swam by were so colourful that they seemed illuminate even the darkest corner of the room. Fry stared around in shock.

   Leela was also shocked, mostly by the fact that life could live in the surrounding waters. But no matter. She helped Fry off the floor. “Come on, now. We have to find that invention, then we can stare!”


   Leela turned to face Fry. She looked at him for a second, and then smiled. Tell him...


   Fry stared at Leela, before being distracted by something.

   He pointed at one of the lowermost planes of glass that showed the sky. “Leela... What's that?”

   Leela turned to look.

   In the sky, like a bright star, there gleamed a flickering, refulgent point of light.

   “Oh my... Bender must have activated the self-destruct or something!”

   They stared at it for several seconds. It didn't move.

   “Uh... Leela?”


   “Why is it not leaving a trail?”

   Leela stared at it. Now that's a very good question...

   “Oh no...”


   “It's headed right for us. Come on, we need to find the machine and get out of here!”

   “Aye aye, Captain!”

   Why did I call her 'Captain'?


   The Professor wiped the sweat off his forehead. For a second there, he had felt very hot.

   Next to him, Bender muttered something about engines being pathetic.

   His attention was brought back to the conference when the metal spider once again approached the podium.

   “Yes, thank you very much for that temper tantrum on the dangers of travel by telegraph, Miss Lita Cordova. Very... Alarming. Now, everyone, it's time for our four-minute lunch break. Since some of you have presumably forgot to bring with you some form of sustenance, you may find some sugar-coated tokamaks and dearest walter with hard-boiled egg over at the refreshment table. Please note that the council is not responsible if the provided pabulums are not compatible with your biology.”

   Several species grumbled.

   “Now, during this lunch break, we have some musical entertainment, brought to you by previous award winner, Doctor Hubert Farnsworth!”

   “Hear that? He said 'Doctor'!”

   “Allow me to present... Mr. Frank Sinatra's head!”

   This followed by polite applause. Except from Wernstrom. He leaned over towards Farnsworth.

   “How the hell did you get that guy?” he asked.

   “Well,” replied Farnsworth with a smirk, “It's easy when the Robot Mafia owes you money. Oh my, yes, anything is easy then!”

   The jar with legs slowly pulled a rolling platform out to in front of the microphone.

   “Hmph, and I thought I was retired... Ok, play it, Sam!”

   The Synthesizer of Auditory Music started up.

   “I've got you, under my skin.
   I've got you, deep in the heart of me.
   So deep in my heart, that you're really a part of me.
   I've got you, under my skin...


   The front landing leg extension was, by far, the strongest part of the Planet Express ship. When delivering a package, it usually had to carry the brunt of the weight. But it also had a built-in safety feature. Should the pilot notice that the fuel tank within it was about to be ignited, the extension could be jettisoned. And when the fuel finally did explode, the leg itself would not be blown to bits. Instead, the flames would be forced out the stairway's only opening, at the top, thus propelling the dangerous projectile away from the ship.

   That's basically what happened this time. The hunk of metal soared downwards towards the Planet Express building ahead of the rest of the debris, and quite faster as well. Closer, closer...

   It missed.

   At a nearly inconceivable velocity, the leg crashed into the Hudson Hornet River.

   And skipped.

   The flaming object skipped off the water, leaving behind it only a large trail of steam, and a large expanding wave.

   It hit the water again. This time, it tripped over itself and went into an uncontrolled splashdown.


   “Leela, I found it!”

   Leela ran over to the table where Fry was standing.

   “Well, flip it off!”

   Fry did so.

   “Why are we still here?”

   “Try unplugging it...”

   Fry did so.

   Nothing happened.

   Leela sighed. So this is the real reality. Figures.

   I tried so, not to give in,

   Maybe I should tell Fry now...

   I said to myself this affair, it never will go so well.

   Leela opened her mouth to say something, but then bit her tongue. Fry's head was bowed. Apparently, he had thought there was a better place out there.

   But why do I try and resist, when baby I know, so well,
   that I've got you, under my skin?

   “Leela, look out!”

   Fry jumped and pushed her down to the floor, just as all the glass panels shattered.

   Leela realized what was going on, and quickly yanked Fry underneath a nearby desk.

   I'd sacrifice anything, come what might,

   Outside, the front leg extension had slowed down considerably. However, it just barely made it to it's target. It smashed directly into the Professor's secret laboratory.

   Inside, the emergency forcefields gave way underneath the weight of the stairs, causing more shards of glass to rain down upon the floor. As the colossal, steaming fragment of metal slowly sank beneath the surface, carrying along with it several hundred dollars worth of interior design, the lab immediately started filling with water at an alarming rate.

   for the sake of having you near, in spite

   Leela and Fry jumped up and made a mad dash towards the point of their entrance, when suddenly, another flaming projectile rammed straight into the far overhead balcony, setting the unbreakable diamond filament on fire.

   At least it didn't break. The fiery several hundred pound mass rolled across the patio, crashed through the wall and knocked both it and Flexo down in an enormous heap.

   Bender stood up as the metal ceiling sagged, now being held up on only three sides.

   of the warning voice, that comes in the night
   and repeats, repeats in my ear...

   “Pathetic, pathetic!” cried Bender.

   “You!” cried Flexo.


   Seconds later, they were at each other's throats...

   Don't you know, you fool,
   you never can win...


   “Fry, grab something!”

   Fry grabbed onto a large nearby machine that looked half-finished and was about six times the size of Deep Blue. A bucket of glowing green noses poured on him.

   Suddenly, the deluge of water nearly swept him away. He held on tighter as Leela grabbed onto him, trying to keep herself from being pulled under.

   The machine slid slowly across the floor, forced sideways by the current.


   Fry turned his head to check on her.

   As he did, he saw a large wave coming in from the river.

   “Leela, brace yourself!”

   The wave hit, causing Fry to lose his hold. They were both slammed up against the wall.

   Use your mentality...
   Wake up to reality...

   Leela felt around. She didn't dare to open her eye. All it would take would be one loose bolt from one of these contraptions to hit her...

   She felt the water line recede. That meant another wave was coming. Quick, find something! she thought. She felt around the wall frantically. Wait... She felt something... It was a doorknob! She opened it as fast as she could.

   The water carried them out into a long hallway. Most of the flow was then suddenly blocked off as the wave whammed the large green nose machine straight into where they had just been several seconds earlier.

   Leela hopped to her feet immediately. Fry was a little dazed, but he too stood up and helped her push the door closed.

   Finally, after one herculean shove, it clicked closed.

   But each time I do, just the thought of you,
   makes me stop, before I begin...
   'Cause I've got you, under my skin...

   Meanwhile, inside the lab, several machines started short-circuiting from the water.

   Sparks started flying...


   Flexo leaped back onto his feet. Bender clenched his fists, his black cloak still burning wildly. They stared at each other.

   Suddenly, Bender rushed forward, waving his fists in a coordinated manner. Flexo dodged out of the way, and stuck his foot out to trip him.

   Bender had predicted this. Sadly, however, he had predicted that Flexo would step in the opposite direction. Bender flipped over in a most undignified manner. His cloak set some of the rubble from the collapsed wall on fire. He took advantage of this by kicking the smoking dust up into Flexo's eyes.

   Let those infrared sensors do their work now! he thought.


   Fry and Leela leaned back against the door, breathing heavily.

   Fry felt his shoes getting cold. He looked down.

   “Leela, look! The water's coming in over the threshold!”

   “Yes, I know!” said Leela hurriedly, “We have to get out of this building. The alarms are gonna go off any second!”

   She glanced both ways down the dark hallway. To the left, it slanted upwards. To the right, it slanted downwards.

   “Ok, if we turn right, we go down, possibly to some subterranean chamber. If we go left, we'll probably get back to the surface.”

   “Let's go then!”

   They started to take off down the passage, but the door behind them suddenly sagged.

   “That door doesn't look like it's going to hold...” said Fry.

   Leela reached out and pressed a button on the wall. A small forcefield appeared behind them. “There, that ought to hold it for a while...”


   A large crashing sound shook the entire room.

   “Let's get out of here!”


   The main fireball that had previously been the Planet Express ship also missed it's target, slamming directly downwards into the river.

   Water was thrown upwards in a flash of stream and flame. The ensuing wave flooded the buildings near the shoreline.

   As the burning corpse underwent this tragic collision, it literally exploded once again. Not having enough time to get out of the way, the water propelled a good deal of the debris upwards once more, trajectory slightly modified by the expanding red-hot air. Some of the debris shot straight down through the water, vaporizing it from the intense pressure. A large amount broke up into tiny flaming fragments that soared across the city like the dust from a newly made crater.

   Fires that had been extinguished by the flooding were reignited.


   Fry and Leela rushed up the slanted hallway. By now it had become pitch black. Fry ran straight into a wall.


   Leela felt around.

   “Quick, Fry! The corridor turns right here!”

   Fry rubbed his sore nose and turned to follow her.


   Leela ran straight into another wall.

   “My eye!”

   Fry felt around the wall this time, and on the right side, he found something.

   “Leela, look! It's a door!”

   Leela stood up. “Well, open it!”

   Fry did so.

   Leela gasped.

   Fry gasped.

   The door led straight out into the hangar, which was in flames. As the streetside wall burned, the metal roof sagged down even more. Seemingly unaware, Bender and Flexo continued their meaningless self-avengence.

   Leela and Fry retreated slightly into their little alcove.

   “Ok, here's the plan,” Leela said. “If we can get over to the opposite side of the hangar, we can get into our shuttlecraft and-”


   The two humans glanced out at the two silicon... Creatures. One was now even angrier.

   Bender stood up slowly, his pupils now glowing red with hatred. Flexo was still staggering about from the punch he had just delivered, and trying not to fall on his back.

   Bender slowly reached into his chest compartment.

   “Bite my shiny metal asteroid!”

   The rock glanced off Flexo and sent him flying to the ground. It continued across the hangar bay, clear through the opposite wall.

   Into the minefield.

   First there was one explosion. Then another. Then another.

   The one of the mines near the shuttlecraft went off, destroying both it and several of the built-in self defence missiles.

   Sparks flew from the power lines as the entire wall collapsed. The ceiling fell too, held up like a tent by the remaining two walls.

   Fry was the only person foolhardy enough to be looking upwards. He watched as the ceiling bent down. As it did, it ruptured the supporting braces for the overhanging platform, formerly known as the conference room.


   Fry grabbed Leela, pulling her out of the alcove and into the middle of the fire-illuminated rubble. Two seconds afterwards, the place where they had just been standing was crushed by the onslaught of the above floor. And the rubble continued falling.

   Leela just managed to duck out of the way of another flaming projectile, this one thrown by Flexo. “Great idea, Fry! Now we just wait for the debris to crush us here!”


   The virtually indestructible conference table crashed to the ground, miraculously landing right side up. Leela dropped as fast as she could, and rolled underneath it.

   Because that's where Fry was.

   “Fry! Fry, are you Ok?”

   Fry didn't answer. The table had hit him hard.


   The tail fins of the Planet Express ship had quite interesting fates.

   The main tail fin came in at an angle and soared directly up and out of the atmosphere, where it crashed into a comet, shattering it into a trillion icy fragments. This particular comet had been appearing in the sky of Mars once every hundred years for the past five millennia, and by them was considered a sign that the gods wanted them to go to war. On Mars, thousands of troops stood at the ready, straining their eyes for this omen of bloodshed.

   This year, it didn't come.

   Instead, they were greeted with a meteor shower, the intensity that of which the inner planets hadn't seen since the Öpik-Oort cloud fell off the Kuiper Cliff.

   In joy, they all threw down their weapons and celebrated.

   The other two tail fins had worse fates. One floated down gracefully, like a dead leaf, landing with a soft yet loud splash. The wave created by the rest of the crashing debris caught it and carried it westward.

   The other fin spun like a boomerang and intended to strike precisely where Bender had told it too.

   I'd sacrifice anything, come what might,


   Leela held Fry tightly against her as the floors overhanging the hangar crashed downwards.

   for the sake of having you near, in spite

   Flexo landed another blow on Bender, who hardly felt anything. Bender reached up and started trying to choke him.

   of the warning voice, that comes in the night

   Leela could see the approaching wave. On the crest of this wave, she saw the lower right tail fin of the Planet Express ship. Sobbing, and hardly caring what happened to her anymore, she leaned over Fry's body, shielding it from the view.

   The wave hit the building hard. Seconds later, another explosion shook the ground.

   More rubble fell from above, completely covering the conference table.

   and repeats, how it yells, in my ear!


   The wave hit the building hard, sending hundreds of gallons of water surging into the Professor's secret laboratory. Two sparking machines were hurled together forcefully. The explosion shook the entire building.

   Out in the hidden corridor, the door gave way, the flames forcing their way left and right. To the left, they were blocked by a forcefield. To the right, they were forced downwards.

   The flames followed the path as it started to spiral. Faster and faster and faster...

   Had flames been able to read, they would have seen the dolomite-reinforced door labelled 'Doomsday Device Lab'. But they couldn't. They hit the door and were deflected backwards, carrying with them as much rubble that could be scraped and burnt off the wall as possible.

   They came upon that same forcefield again.

   'Twas a shame how weak it was...


   Bender staggered backwards, trying to keep from falling onto the palpitating ground. Flexo saw this as his chance. He quickly unscrewed the sphere on his antenna, leaving only the diamond-tipped point. He then gave a large theatrical bow, and rushed forward as quickly as possible.

   Don't you know, you fool...

   The tail fin carried in by the wave shot out of the water, across the waterfront terrace and speared Flexo right through the chest. His eyes flickered for a second.

   “Et tu, Brutè?” he asked. “Then fall, myself!”

   And his eyes flickered out permanently.

   There ain't no chance to win.

   Bender stood up slowly. A slow smile spread over the area of his face which was programmed to do so in the event he was very happy.

   “Tyranny; Liberty, Freedom is dead! Run hence, Bender, cry it about the toll roads!”

   Bender felt a draft at his back. He turned to face the alcove behind him.

   Why not use your mentality?

   Just as the flames and steam and debris shot out from it.


   Wake up, step up to reality.


   Leela held Fry close to her. He was still breathing.

   Dust and dirt and rubble completely covered the table. She doubted that anyone would hear her even if she were able to cry for help.

   She pulled him even closer.

   And each time that I do, just the thought of you,
   makes me stop just before I begin...

   “I... Love you too...”

   'Cause I've got you, under my skin...


   The other tail fin spun towards the now quiet Planet Express building.

   The very quiet Planet Express building.

   Slowly, the metal hangar ceiling lost it's hold on the two remaining walls, and crashed downwards. The main tower section shook.

   And then also collapsed downwards in a slow heap.

   The Planet Express building was of no particular importance when it came to the whole of New New York. The city continued on, oblivious.

   The tail fin spun downwards rapidly, crashing clear through the ground and penetrating deep into the subterranean chamber where the lab coat guy kept his doomsday devices.

   And so the entire universe ended.


   Zoidberg glanced around the room. He then peered closer at the machine he had just turned off.

   Oh, the Professor's going to be so proud, he is! Proud for Zoidberg!


   Leela walked up the stairs towards her apartment. She was very tired.

   She cradled Nibbler in her arms. Apparently, he was very tired too.

   After the peace conference had ended, the Professor had gone into this long rant with Wernstrom about who was more popular. Let's just say that the ensuing argument had left no doubt.

   Leela shook her head. Her and Fry would have done something, but they had just started getting some real sleep for the first time in what felt like a month. Right now, Leela felt as though she could go into hibernation.

   She smiled to herself as she remembered Bender's mad dash to return the Professor's credit card. Heh, that had been fun.

   Bender... Mad...

   Finally, there would be no more disturbing dreams. Leela didn't quite know how she knew this, but she did. During the rest of the conference and the entire flight home, she had felt distinctly peaceful. But still, she had this one lingering feeling, this one loose emotion... As though there was something she needed to tell someone...

   She reached the door to apartment 1I. She stared at it for a second, lost in thought.

   She shrugged, trying to be unconcerned. She repositioned Nibbler in her arms, and reached out her left hand to enter the door code.

   Suddenly, something caught her attention. Something shiny...

   On her finger, there was a small, golden ring.


   The End

Inspired by 'Killing Time' by Della Van Hise and 'Spock Must Die!' by James Blish

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #29 on: 02-05-2008 19:02 »

That was wild.  smile
Excellent work. What a fantastic and epic tale. Shame about the other Universe ending.
Futurama Llama

Starship Captain
« Reply #30 on: 02-05-2008 19:56 »

Indeed. I liked that very much, Xanfor. Thanks for making it.

Space Pope
« Reply #31 on: 02-06-2008 04:21 »
« Last Edit on: 02-06-2008 04:21 »

Yes, quite spiffing.

I'll have more to say when I've read it again.

Bending Unit
« Reply #32 on: 02-06-2008 20:37 »

Yes, I'd say Xanfor is channeling a bit of Doug Adams at certain parts.  That's a good thing, by the way.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #33 on: 02-06-2008 22:25 »

Impressive Xanfor, most impressive. Lot's of really good detail. I think "dream Bender" is kind of like what Bender might have become had they actually been flying towards Earth at the end of "APTR".

Bending Unit
« Reply #34 on: 02-07-2008 16:28 »

Xanfor, that was very impressive; action-packed, and with a hell of a hook at the end. Congrats!  smile

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Space Pope
« Reply #35 on: 02-09-2008 01:47 »

An interesting end to a gripping story.
I could visualize the evil Bender, in his cape, very well. I had expected perhaps some more overt declaration by Leela in the remaining universe, but probably better this way.

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Yes, I'd say Xanfor is channeling a bit of Doug Adams at certain parts.

Just a little bit...
The influence struck me more during the first part, though.


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #36 on: 02-23-2008 21:20 »

Aww, people like.  big grin

In other news, a friend of mine upgraded her scanner and gave me her old one. So I thought I'd draw a little sketch...

And the same only a little smaller and a little less fuzzy...

Needs some work, but hey, it's recognizable, innit?  wink


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #37 on: 02-23-2008 21:27 »

Originally posted by Xanfor:
Needs some work, but hey, it's recognizable, innit?   wink

No. He's got his hand over his chin so it could be Bender or Flexo.   big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #38 on: 02-23-2008 21:53 »

Good work Xanny. Now I'm off to reread the story so that I can review teh goodness.

Zim- Why is there bacon in the soap?!?!

Gir- I made it myself!

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #39 on: 02-24-2008 11:10 »

Originally posted by Frisco17:

No. He's got his hand over his chin so it could be Bender or Flexo.    big grin

I'm not sure whether you owe me points or I owe you points for that.  wink

Anyway, I drew it while I was in the hospital a few weeks ago, that's why the edges are all shaky. Some editing oughta clear it up, though...
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