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Author Topic: Esso-teric: soylentOrange's Fanfic Thread  (Read 26643 times)
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Bending Unit
« Reply #40 on: 02-22-2008 20:15 »
« Last Edit on: 02-22-2008 20:15 »

Neat! Impeding death by suffocation!   wink

Seriously though, this is great stuff. I'm interested to see what other knock-on effects there'll be to Fry not being part of the PE team.   smile


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

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Urban Legend
« Reply #41 on: 02-22-2008 21:38 »
« Last Edit on: 02-22-2008 21:38 »

Nixon: Fry, I am your father!
Fry: Meh.
Nixon: And Leela is your sister!

best fanfic idea.  EVER.  I kid, I kid.  No, seriously, that was a joke.  PUT DOWN THE PITCHFORKS!

Space Pope
« Reply #42 on: 02-23-2008 01:17 »

Heh, yeah, actually it was very generous of JN to just give you that top-quality idea for free. Maybe he should've kept it for his own fic.

Cliffhanger! This is highly enjoyable; I think the sinister purple moss is a great idea. Good description of the planet.

"Fry threw you out of his apartment?! That's so out of character for him!"
  laff  Love it.

Bending Unit
« Reply #43 on: 02-23-2008 15:06 »

Liking it SO!! It is nice to see a version of Fry that will stand up to miss big hips! Also looking forward to the darker turn <g>

Urban Legend
« Reply #44 on: 02-24-2008 01:56 »
« Last Edit on: 03-25-2008 00:00 »

I got fed up with my homework after 6 hours, so I decided to try my hand at drawing again.  This is what I've got so far.  It's not finished (Leela's chest isn't right, for one thing) but it's close:

[image deleted due to suckage]

« Reply #45 on: 03-07-2008 17:59 »
« Last Edit on: 03-07-2008 17:59 »

Wow this was excellent, I just read all of it tonight. In particular I loved this section...
originally posted by Soylent orange:

Part Two: Deep Space, June 5th, 3002
“… and that’s why I changed from pink fingernail polish to yellow fingernail polish.”
“Uh-huh.” Leela just kept staring out the front viewport, completely lost in her thoughts. Amy got up from her seat at navigation and waved a hand in front of the cyclops’ face to make sure she was even awake……………….
………………“Besides,” Amy added cautiously, “doesn’t he have a point? We did kinda take him for granted. Remember how on each delivery we used to fly a quarter mile farther away from the place where Fry had to deliver the package, just to see how far he’d walk before he started to catch on? We haven’t exactly been very nice to him, especially Bender. And then you went and did something that made him feel betrayed-“
“Betrayed?!” Leela growled, real anger flashing in her eye. “What right does he have to feel betrayed? It’s because of him that I lost my job in the first place. Farnsworth fired me because Bender and Fry stole the ship. I mean, what the hell? How can I get canned for someone else’s blunder? But did Fry stand up for me? No. He let me take the fall with him, as if it was all a big joke. I mean, I expect that kind of crap from Bender, but I thought Fry and I were friends. Fry betrayed me, not the other way around!”
Amy’s response was a tiny, intimidated squeak. “Oh.” She said. The bridge fell into silence, a silence that the intern was too scared to break until the ship reached its destination.

The tension in that bridge scene was immense, that was some seriously good writing SO. Your depth of understanding of Leelas defensiveness is well outlined here too, that she would turn it around in her head that Fry had betrayed her, that totally fits with the understanding I have of Leela. Most people who have been wronged throughout early life liker Leela do tend to adopt such defenses, but its just so well written!

When will there be more? and it must involve Fry in some way in terms of securing their salvation!???
Ohh and I agree with Kim (KM73) that the description of the planet is very well articulated, thinking of the the purple moss, did you ever here of the red weed in  Jeff waynes musical version of the war of the worlds??

Urban Legend
« Reply #46 on: 03-07-2008 20:23 »
« Last Edit on: 03-07-2008 20:23 »

@gaschief: No, I'd never heard of a musical version of War of the Worlds.  Sounds interesting.  Thanks for your comment on the bridge scene.  Truth be told, Leela is incredibly easy for me to write.  All I have to do is think to myself, "how would I act in that situation?" and then give the result a female voice.  I suppose that's probably not saying much good about the health of my psyche...

When will there be more? and it must involve Fry in some way in terms of securing their salvation!???

Oh wait, hold on a sec.  I completely forgot, I posted an update on unPEEL while PEEL was dead. 
_____________________________ ________________

Part 2
Chapter 3:

“Hey meatsack, think you could overclock your CPU for a minute and find a way out of here?  You know, before I die of boredom?”

Leela ignored the robot.  She had been stuck in the moss for two hours now.  Her legs were cramped, and her right cheek was sore from being pressed up against the side of her suit’s faceplate.  It was maddening to be held prisoner like this.  She desperately wanted to pound her fist into something, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make the suit’s arm budge an inch.  How the moss could be so soft when she walked on it and yet so completely unyielding when she was laying in it, she had no idea. 

Frustrated, but not giving up hope, Leela mentally reviewed her options yet again.  Could they somehow cut themselves loose?  The answer was still a disappointing no.  In order to do that, one of them would have to be able to move an arm.  Maybe the moss would let go of them if they inflicted enough pain on it.  How about shocking it somehow?  Not likely.  Both of the spacesuits were heavily insulated, and Bender couldn’t risk using himself as a ground without potentially frying his circuitry.  What about burning?   

Leela sighed.  Nope, no way- hey, hold on a minute.  “Wait.  That’s it!  Bender, I need you to give us the biggest flaming burp you can come up with.”

The bending robot was delighted.  “You got it, big boots!”  He then proceeded to let out a mighty belch.  The moment a lick of flame touched the amorphous purple moss that had collected around the robot’s mouth, it started to sizzle.  Nothing else happened. 

Amy’s anxious voice floated into Leela’s ears over the suit radio.  “Well guys? Did it work?”

“N-” Leela began, but then there was a brilliant flash of white followed by a noise like two planets colliding.  The two humans and the robot were flung into the air like rag dolls.  Or at least, Leela thought it was the air.  It looked more like she was tumbling through the interior of the sun.  All she could see was a wall of light.  The heat was so intense that she could actually feel a little warmth through the high-tech fabric of her spacesuit.  Even with her visor at full opacity, the glare was enough to make her eye water.  Abruptly, her flight ended in a collision with the ground that took the breath out of her.  She bounced once and then rolled a few meters before coming to rest on her back.  Stunned, she could only stare blankly as the light turned from white to orange, then to red, and finally to black.  She just stared up into the sky, completely unable to function.   Time passed.  Maybe it was a few seconds, maybe a few hours. 

A savage blow to the side of her helmet finally broke her out of her daze.  She blinked and labored to get her eye to focus again.  The hazy gray blob that stood over her finally coalesced into Bender, apparently unharmed, idly smoking a cigar while looking at her curiously. 

“You alright?” Bender asked, making it clear in his tone that he didn’t really care one way or the other.

“Yeah, I’m-”  Wait a minute… Leela thought.   Smoking a cigar?  The PE Captain bolted to her feet in a wave of adrenaline and snatched the Zuban from the robot.  She pressed it into her gloved hand until it smoked and died.  Then she whirled on her mechanical friend.  “What the hell are you doing?!  Are you trying to set off another explosion?!”

Bender made no attempt to hide his disdain.  “Uh, look around, meatsack.  It doesn’t take a genius like me, Bender, to see that there’s nothing left to explode.”

For the first time, Leela actually looked at her surroundings.  The landscape wasn’t quite the same as she remembered.  A light rain of soot fell from brooding clouds of grey ash.  The purple moss was gone, replaced by a black plain of scorched rock.  A thick haze of smoke cast everything in a dim murk.  Leela bent down and brushed away a thin coating of ash.  The rock underneath was smooth as glass, which was exactly what it was.  The fireball that Bender had set off had been hot enough to flash-melt solid rock.

“Well, looks like you really screwed this one up,” Bender said brightly in the background.

 Leela stood and turned to face him, putting her hands on her hips.  “Hey, now hold on a minute.  This wasn’t my fault.  How was I supposed to know that purple alien moss is as explosive as darkmatter oil?”

The robot shrugged and a layer of ash that had accumulated on his shoulders cascaded to the ground.  “Beats me.  But Fry isn’t here so we can’t blame him, and we certainly aren’t going to blame me, Bender.  That leaves you or Amy, and since Amy’s dying…” The bending robot trailed off.

“What?!” Leela grabbed the robot by what probably counted as his neck.  “Why the hell didn’t you say something?!  Where is she?!”

Bender regarded his Captain for a full three picoseconds before his processor decided that the threat of bodily harm was high enough to activate his self-preservation program.  His CPU immediately ceased running in its default ‘wiseass’ mode and executed an emergency ‘whiny coward’ subroutine.  “Over there.” He squeaked, and pointed in the direction of a small boulder.

Leela looked closer.  No, not a boulder.  A body! “Amy!”

The PE Captain ran the few dozen meters to her fallen crewwoman and dropped down beside her.  Amy was lying splayed out on her stomach.  She wasn’t moving.  Leela grabbed hold of the right arm of the intern’s charred spacesuit, meaning to roll her over.  She was cut short by a piercing scream that came blasting in over the suit radio, followed by a string of rapid-fire Cantonese curses.  The PE Captain let out a breath that she hadn’t known she was holding.

“Amy, are you all right?” Leela asked. 

The cursing died away.  “Yeah, I think so.”  The intern said.  “I must have been knocked unconscious when I hit the ground.  I woke up when you yanked on my arm.  It hurt like a-” The last word was in a language that Leela didn’t speak.  “I think my arm’s broken.”

“We’ll get that patched up when we get back to the ship.  Do you think you can stand?”

Amy nodded, and Leela helped her as she unsteadily got to her feet.  At that moment Bender sauntered up to the group.

Leela looked at her two subordinates in turn.  Amy was injured, in pain, and probably in shock.  Bender was, well, Bender.  Nothing ever seemed to affect him the way it ought to, emotionally or physically.  Regardless, Leela knew that it was time for her to take charge.

“Alright.  The first thing is to get back to the ship.  Bender, when we’re there I want you to get the ship ready for takeoff while I take care of Amy.”  She turned to the intern, her face set in the familiar look of command.  “Amy, are you set to walk?”

The intern nodded.

“OK, good.”  Leela pressed some buttons on the computer that she wore on her wrist and squinted to see the dim screen.  “According to my wristo-whatsit, the ship is that way.” She pointed off over Bender’s shoulder. 

Bender made a grand show of stepping aside to let Leela pass.  “Meatbags first” He said, gesturing. 

Leela rolled her eye at the robot and started to march into the gloom.  Her two companions followed close behind.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _ _____________

Without the moss to slow them down, it only took a few minutes to get back to the ship.  The Planet Express Ship seemed to have been unaffected by the firestorm that had engulfed it a short while earlier.  The purple moss that had covered it had all been reduced to a fine ash that settled around the vessel’s landing skids.  It’s bright greens and reds stood out in sharp contrast to the grays and dark browns of the surrounding landscape.  Leela had expected the ship to survive- it had been designed to handle the fires of re-entry, after all- but she still felt a wave of relief wash over her when the airlock light turned green and a hatch opened to welcome them aboard.

Leela removed her spacesuit and helped Amy out of hers.  When Amy finally got a chance to look at her right arm, her face went green.  The flesh was bruised and swollen, and the arm itself hung at an unnatural angle.

Bender’s eyes zoomed in on the wound.  “Neat!” He said, and began rummaging around in his chest cabinet.  He first pulled out the package, which had managed to survive intact inside the robot’s metal body.  Making an irritated noise, Bender dropped the box and continued to dig for what he was looking for.  His hand finally reappeared with a digital camera.  He snapped a picture of Amy’s broken arm and the camera disappeared back into his chest.
Leela bent down to examine the wound.  “Don’t worry.” Leela said in her most reassuring voice.  Straightening, she smiled at the intern and said  “One of the Professor’s nannite suppositories will fix that right up.  I’ll go get you one from sickbay.” 

Amy nodded, and Leela walked off into the depths of the ship.  Bender, now bored, wandered toward the bridge, leaving Amy alone by the hatch.  The intern leaned against the hull and waited, closing her eyes against the throbbing pain in her arm.  Luckily, Leela was only gone for a minute or two.


Upon opening her eyes, Amy discovered that Leela was standing right in front of her.  The intern hadn’t even heard her approach.

“Huh?  Oh, right.”  With her left hand, Amy accepted the pill-shaped object that Leela held out to her.  She knew, of course, that it wasn’t a pill.  The Professor didn’t believe in them for some reason. “Thanks” she said.

“No problem.”  Leela assured her.  “Meet me on the bridge when you’re finished, uhh, taking your medicine.  Ok?” 

Amy winced, then nodded.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _ _____________

Leela had a few minutes to think while the nannites in Amy’s blood healed her arm.  While she paced up and down the length of the bridge, Bender sat on the couch and smoked a cigar, his boredom simulator executing an endless loop.

When Amy appeared, she was carrying the package under her right arm.  Leela stopped pacing.  “Feeling better?” She asked.

“Much better.”  Amy replied.  She handed the package to Leela.  “What are we going to do with this thing?” She asked.

Bender, sensing that he was in danger of being forced to do more work, spoke up before Leela had the chance to respond.  “Easy.  We toss it out the airlock and say we delivered it.  Then we say the planet mysteriously caught on fire shortly after we left.”

Leela looked troubled.  “We just destroyed everything for as far as the eye can see.  There might be animals- or even people- out there that are injured and need our help.”

“I don’t know, Leela.” Amy replied.  “We walked all around and didn’t see any people, and the only animal, or well, whatever it was, that we saw was that moss stuff.”

“Yeah, and the longer we stick around here feeling sorry for the furry animals that Leela probably just brutally murdered-” The look that Leela aimed at the robot would have killed most organic life.  “ –the more likely it is that somebody will show up and put our asses in prison.  There’s only one sensible thing to do.”  He paused for dramatic effect.  “Cheese it!”

It didn’t feel right to just leave, or, for that matter, to listen to Bender’s advice, but the truth was that the planet had seemed deserted, and there was little chance of finding anyone or anything that needed help in the smoke-clogged plain.  Leela reached a decision.

“Alright.  Let’s get out of here."  Promising herself that she would notify the DOOP of the accident when she got home, the PE Captain sat down in her chair and began to power up the ship.  The engines throttled up smoothly, and Leela put the ship into gear and pushed the throttle forward.  There was a mighty roar as the dark matter engines came to life, and the PE Ship… didn’t go anywhere.

“What the hell?” Leela checked her instruments.  Everything looked nominal.  More confused than worried, the PE Captain shoved the throttle up all the way.  The spaceship began to vibrate somewhat, but still remained anchored to the ground.  Leela cursed.

“Uhh, Leela?”  Amy called from tactical.

“Just a moment, Amy.” Leela replied distractedly.

But the intern was insistent,  “Leela, I think you should see this.”

Leela finally caught the worry in the intern’s voice.  She looked up from her console and saw that Amy was looking at something through the side viewport.  After throttling down and putting the ship back in neutral, Leela got up from her chair and went to stand next to the intern.  There was an enormous, white spaceship descending overhead.

There was a hiss of static.  Leela turned to see an image of a young man dressed in a smart-looking grey uniform glaring at her from a video screen.  The PE Captain recognized the lanky, balding figure immediately.

“Who’s in command?” The face demanded.

“I am.” Leela addressed the monitor.  “My name is Turanga Leela, Captain of the Planet Express delivery ship.”  She paused, giving herself time to plan her next words.  “We were involved in an accident, and we are having trouble with our engines.  We could use some assistance”

“Ah yes, Captain Leela.  I remember you from that whole affair with the robots.  My name is Walt, but you already know that.  There is nothing wrong with your engines; your ship is just caught in my suck ray.  Your vessel is being confiscated, and you are all now property of Momcorp, Ltd.”  Walt broke the connection.

Leela blinked a couple of times while the meaning of Walt’s last words sank into her head.  The groan of protesting metal resounded through the PE Ship, and the ground began to slowly recede from the viewports.

The PE Captain dashed for her console and threw the ship into gear, pushing the throttle to emergency thrust.  The ship began to shake violently as its engines fought the invisible grasp of the suck ray.  It was no use.  As Leela made a valiant, but futile, attempt to wrench her ship free, the suck beam drew it steadily toward the mammoth vessel overhead.  An opening appeared in the larger ship’s underside like a mouth, and the PE Ship was swallowed whole.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _ _____________
“Alright.  We’re coming out.  Nobody shoot.”  Leela took a hesitant step down the ship’s embarkation ladder.  She stopped for a moment and made a show of putting her hands on her head. 

The PE Ship had been pulled through some kind of force field and deposited none too gently on the floor of a cavernous hangar bay.  Leela’s eyes swept the compartment.  The deck and bulkheads were painted in a crisp white, and the deck was separated into a grid pattern of crisscrossing strips of red, reflective tape.  In this manner, the hangar was divided into a six by ten matrix of squares- each approximately 10 meters on a side- so that the hangar harbored a passing resemblance to a tiled floor.  Each tile was a parking space, and stubby ships of some sort occupied about half of them.  From what Leela could tell, the ships looked slow but heavily armored; they practically bristled with weaponry.  There were two dozen or so heavily armed security personnel surrounding the PE Ship.  The barrels of two laser turrets glistened in the glare of the harsh overhead lights.

A hatch opened at the far end of the hangar, and three uniformed figures began to stride purposefully in Leela’s direction.  The PE Captain recognized them as Walt and his two brothers, whose names she had forgotten. 

Walt broke through the circle of guards and strode to the bottom of the Planet Express Ship’s ramp.  Clasping his arms behind his back, he waited for Leela to descend.  The PE Captain signaled for Amy and Bender to emerge from the relative safety of the airlock, and, letting her arms drop to her sides, she began to walk casually down the ramp, hoping to appear a bit more confident than she felt.

When the PE crew had descended to the hangar deck, Walt finally spoke.  “Captain Leela.”  He said.  “You are under arrest for trespassing on private property, arson, destruction of property, and attempting to flee the scene of a crime.  Now hand over the package.”  He gestured to the box that Amy had, for some reason, thought it necessary to take with her when she left the ship.

 Amy meekly handed over the package, but Leela just crossed her arms.  “Uh huh.” The PE Captain said, not buying a word of it.  “And where exactly is it written that you have the authority to arrest people?”

Walt and his red-haired brother started to laugh.   Larry.  That was his name.  Leela remembered.  And the other one is Ignar.

“What’s so funny?” Leela demanded.

“Money.  Money gives us the authority to do whatever we want.” Walter answered.

 Larry added: “That’s right.  If we want something, we buy it.  If we can’t buy it, we steal it.”

“And if we get caught,” Walt continued, smiling wickedly, “we just buy a judge or two, and the problem goes away.”  His expression changed, and there was suddenly anger in his voice.  “Now march!” He ordered, pointing toward a nearby hatch.  With two dozen plasma rifles leveled at them, the PE Crew didn’t have much of a choice but to obey.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _ _____________

Amy, Bender and Leela were led through a maze of twisting corridors and turbolifts until they came to a compartment that was obviously a brig.  The far end of the room was divided into three smaller rooms, each of which had no door.  One of their guards motioned with his plasma rifle for the PE Crew to walk into one of the compartments.  When they were inside, the guard hit a button on a small control panel and a transluscent yellow force field sprang into existence, sealing the PE Crew inside.

Walt stepped up to the force field.  Leela turned to face him.  As she stood there, arms crossed, eye narrowed in defiance, she couldn’t help but think he looked like a giant rat. 

“You won’t get away with this.” Leela said.

Walt frowned at the threatening note in his adversary’s voice.  “We’ll see who gets away with what.”  He said in a cool voice.  “Now tell me, who hired you to sabotage the nursery?”

Leela blinked once, confused.  She and Amy exchanged glances.  Bender just stood in the corner, his system on standby, waiting for Leela to do the whole obligatory ass-kicking routine so he could get on with important Bender-related business.

“What do you mean, nursery?” Leela asked cautiously, not sure whether she should be giving away her ignorance.
“Don’t give me that!” Walt snapped.  "You know what this planet is, and what the dangers were when you accepted the mission.  The unprocessed Moss is only explosive when it is brought into contact with alcohol, and only then when there’s a strong heat source to act as a catalyst.  We warned you about this when we hired you, so there’s no way that you managed to accidentally-”

“Wait, you hired us?” Amy interjected.  “Doesn’t Momcorp have its own delivery service?”

Walt gave the intern an annoyed look.  “Well, yes, mother does own her own delivery company, but the employees kept committing suicide rather than go on a delivery to Cardena.”

“Cardena?” Amy asked.

Walt stared blankly at the Martian for a moment.  “That’s the name of this planet.” He said, obviously confused as to how someone who had just made a delivery to a planet could fail to know its name.

“Let me guess,” Leela broke in, “Mom’s employees didn’t like the idea of taking a package to a planet inhabited by carnivorous moss.”

Walt chuckled mirthlessly.  “No, they didn’t, so I decided to try another delivery company.  The old man I talked to over the videophone said that you would deliver anywhere, regardless of how suicidal it might be, so I paid you to ship the package for me.”

Leela rolled her eye.  Thank you, Professor Farnsworth, she thought sarcastically.

“So, what was in the package, anyway?” Bender asked.

“A transmitter.” Walt replied, retrieving the box from one of the guards that flanked him.  “You were supposed to land at the coordinates I gave the old man, take the transmitter out of the package, and deploy it right next to your ship.” 

Opening the package, Walt removed the tiny transmitter, which had miraculously survived unscathed.  The device was shaped somewhat like a can of Slurm mounted on a tiny tripod.  When Walt pressed a button on the transmitter’s surface, a gossamer-thin antenna emerged from the top of the device and telescoped outward.  The transmitter began to chirp, and to Leela’s surprise, the screen on her wrist computer began to flash red.   

“The transmitter was supposed to broadcast a warning on all frequencies to any ship entering the Cardenian System.” Walt explained.

As if on cue, a friendly, synthetic, female voice began to speak out of Leela’s wrist computer.  “Warning.” The voice advised. “You are now entering private space.  Trespassers will be ‘disappeared’.”  There was a few seconds of silence for the meaning of the message to sink in, and then the transmission began to repeat.  Walt pressed another button on the transmitter, and the voice fell silent.  Leela’s wrist computer switched itself off.   

When the transmitter was shut down, Walt turned back to Leela and pointed his finger at her accusingly.  “The idea was for you to activate the transmitter and then leave before the Moss started to wonder whether you were edible, or stick around long enough to get eaten.  It didn’t really matter.  But now the entire crop is destroyed!  You’ve cost Momcorp trillions of dollars in profit!”

Amy and Leela winced.  “Uhh, sorry?” Leela offered.  Bender, bored again, decided to stop paying attention until the violence started.

“I’m afraid an apology isn’t good enough.” Walt said.  “Moss is the number one ingredient in 237 products that Momcorp sells.  Clothing, mattresses, insulation, paint…  It’s even the number one ingredient in crappy foods like Bachelor Chow.  It can pretty much be used for anything, once it’s processed so that it isn’t explosive.  Without this year’s crop, Momcorp might have to use sawdust instead, and do you have any idea how much more expensive that is?!”

“But we didn’t mean to destroy the crop.” Amy protested.  “It tried to eat us, and we accidentally blew it up while we were trying to get away.”

Surprisingly, Walt shrugged.  “Maybe it was an accident.  It doesn’t really matter.  Either way, you’ll all spend the rest of your lives working for Momcorp to repay the company for the damage that you’ve done.”

Amy’s jaw opened wide, and Bender gasped.  Leela just glared.  “You won’t get away with this.” The PE Captain said.  “I’ll break us out of here sooner or later, and when I do, I’m going to kick your ass all the way to Andromeda.”

Walt laughed.  “Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that.  Actually, I’m fairly sure you’ll cooperate.” He gestured for one of his guards to bring him something.  Four other guards, armed with what looked like stun rays, took up position right in front of the forcefield.  Walt took three metal discs, roughly the size of cufflinks, from the first guard.  He held them up for the PE Crew to see.  “These nasty little devices,” he explained, “are neural suggesters.  They will implant themselves in your skulls and attach themselves to your brains with tiny electrodes.  Using this controller here-” He pulled a small remote out of his shirt pocket. “-will allow me to effectively control your minds.”

Leela and Amy were speechless.  The color had drained from both of their faces.  Bender, on the other hand, wasn’t as impressed.  “Pfft. Yeah, right.  Like you’re actually going to control my brain with that little tiny thing.  You’re full of crap, chump.”

Walt’s grin sent a shiver down Leela’s spine.  “Oh, it works, I assure you.  Here, let me demonstrate.”  He gestured to a guard that was beyond Leela’s field of view, and the force field disappeared.  The guards with the stunners opened fire before Leela had time to react.  The last thing she remembered before losing consciousness was lying on her back, staring up at Walt as he knelt over her, one of the metal discs gleaming menacingly in his hand.
_____________________________ ________________

There'll be more in the not-too-distant future. I've been on Spring Break for the last week and it's been raining, so I've been doing alot of writing.  Unfortunately, in my haste to leave school, I left my draft of the first few pages of the next update on the computer in my dorm, so I can't post anything just yet. 

oh, and @gaschief: Don't get your hopes up on Fry saving the day, at least not yet    wink

Space Pope
« Reply #47 on: 03-07-2008 21:25 »
« Last Edit on: 03-07-2008 21:25 »

Well, I already stated my opinion of this section on unPEEL (and it still stands); so I won't repeat it, other than to note again that it's especially awesome. Bender saying "before I die of boredom" is so spot-on. You really know how to craft an involving story.


« Reply #48 on: 03-08-2008 11:53 »

Surprisingly, Walt shrugged. “Maybe it was an accident. It doesn’t really matter. Either way, you’ll all spend the rest of your lives working for Momcorp to repay the company for the damage that you’ve done.”

I love the poetic justice inherent in this whole situation, given the earlier betrayal of Fry.
Keep up the good work SO.


Bending Unit
« Reply #49 on: 03-09-2008 17:04 »

Yep, it's great so far SO, looking forward to the next bit, assuming you're able to find it!  I agree with Gaschief that you've captured Leela's (and Fry's) psyche quite well!

Urban Legend
« Reply #50 on: 03-23-2008 19:41 »
« Last Edit on: 03-23-2008 19:41 »

ok, so I had nothing better to do while waiting for Bender's Big Score to start on Comedy Central than try and draw.  Emphasis on try.  This is from a future scene in my Disillusionment fic


Bending Unit
« Reply #51 on: 03-23-2008 19:55 »

Stop drawing. Start writing.

(Not an affront to your drawing skills, rather impatience because I'm jonesing for what you can produce with your writing skills.)

Urban Legend
« Reply #52 on: 03-23-2008 20:41 »
« Last Edit on: 03-23-2008 20:41 »

well, truth be told, I've got 40 pages sitting on my harddrive.  Trouble is, my betas have lives of their own, and I don't feel that it's my place to ask them to hurry up and work on something frivolous like a piece of fanfiction.  When spacey and JN have a chance to work on what I've sent them, then I'll post again.  The rest will come, but you'll have to wait.  Sorry   smile

Urban Legend
« Reply #53 on: 03-25-2008 16:10 »
« Last Edit on: 03-25-2008 16:10 »

Hooray, an update!  (And you thought I was going to post another mediocre picture!)

Part 3
Chapter 1
_____________________________ ____________________

Part Three: New New York, July 14th, 3002

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
As Fry navigated the streets of New New York, he couldn’t help but admire the fantastic architecture that sprang up around him on all sides.  He had always loved the skyscrapers of the old city, especially the majestic peak of the Empire State building, but even that old testament to the industriousness of the 1920s couldn’t compare to the towering structures of the new city.  In the midst of the smaller rectangular buildings rose pyramids and cylinders of glass and plascrete, some stretching high enough that they pierced the underbellies of the thunderheads that were slowly building to the southwest.  The lower levels shone a brilliant yellow as their countless windows reflected the evening sun.

Autopiloted vehicles of every size, shape, and description flitted between and above the skyscrapers at would have been suicidal speeds for their human drivers.  It was easy for Fry to get lost in the spectacle, and he often found himself standing in the middle of the sidewalk, gawping at the scenery while the current of pedestrians parted itself and flowed around him.  But not today.  Today he had somewhere to be.

He was supposed to be meeting Chelsea for dinner and a movie in two hours.  That gave him just enough time to get home, shower, and change before he had to head for the park where they were planning to meet.  He was tempted to skip the shower and the change of clothes, but his admittedly limited experience told him that, for some reason he’d never quite figured out, women actually care if you smell bad. 

Fry almost missed the turn onto his street.  He couldn’t help but chuckle at that.  It had been, what, ten weeks since he’d left Robot Arms, and he still found himself automatically walking home in that direction.  Turning the corner, he passed what had been Amy Wong’s favorite store.  A sign over the doorway proudly proclaimed it to be the:

Fry didn’t know what was to be found behind its convex, tinted windows, but for some reason he found himself unable to resist peering in the doorway as he passed by.

Two hours and twenty minutes later, Fry was running pell-mell down the street, shirttails billowing in the breeze, belt undone, and hair in disarray.  Startled pedestrians stared wide-eyed as the redhead clumsily dodged between them.

“Excuse me!  Pardon me!” He yelled as he barreled through a crowd of stocky, crablike Haniir tourists who were waiting for their bus.  One of the Haniir raised his trunk and bellowed back something indecipherable; Fry assumed it was an insult.  It was unfortunate that Fry didn’t speak hanii, for if he had, he would have known that what the blue alien had actually said was “Excuse me sir, but I can see your hindmouth.”

By the time Fry finally made it to the little grassy patch that was generously referred to as a park, he was panting and sweaty.  He looked around frantically, but Chelsea was nowhere to be seen.  He felt a stab of panic.  Had she gone home already, thinking that he’d stood her up? 

“Damn it!  Why did I have to turn on the TV while I was at home changing?!”  The new spin-off of All My Circuits, Battlestar Calculon, had drawn him in so thoroughly with the revelation that Monique was actually one of the Final Cylons that he had completely lost track of time. 

But then, to Fry’s infinite relief, he spotted Chelsea rounding a corner in the distance.  She was running flat out, an impressive feat considering she was wearing heels.  Fry leaned against a nearby lamppost and caught his breath while Chelsea easily threaded her way through the crowd.  The minute or so that Fry had to wait would have been an opportune time to fix his hair, tuck in his shirt, and pull his pants up to their proper height, but he found himself unable to resist watching Chelsea dodge between, under, and around the members of the crowd with a skill that might even have rivaled the PE Captain’s.  Fry noted that Chelsea was taking pains to avoid the aliens that were mixed in with the crowd.  It didn’t surprise him, really.  She was still adapting to the bizarre newness of the future.  She was having a harder time getting used to the 31st century than he had, but she’d come around eventually. 

Although she was undoubtedly of Asian descent, Chelsea was an inch or two taller than him and had striking brown, almond shaped eyes that contrasted starkly with her obsidian black hair.  Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail that flopped against her back as she ran.  She was wearing a dress of what Fry’s vocabulary could only describe as reddish-purplish that flowed gracefully around her lithe figure.  Fry thought she looked absolutely stunning, almost as beautiful as Le- He crushed the thought before he could finish it.   

Chelsea stopped a couple of feet from Fry and smiled guiltily.  “Sorry I’m so late.” She said.  “I made the mistake of turning on the TV while I was getting ready.  Did you know that Monique-”

“Is a Cylon?  I know, isn’t it awesome?!” Fry grinned.  “I got sucked into the show too.  I only got here a minute ago.”  Suddenly remembering his appearance, he turned away and stuffed his shirt into his khakis.  Fastening his belt, he turned back around.  At the questioning look in Chelsea’s face Fry smiled weakly.  “I uhh, sorta forgot to finish getting ready when I realized I was late.”  The redhead waited for Chelsea to roll her eye- err- eyes.  He was a little startled when she just shrugged.

“Whatever.  No big deal.”  She looked at her watch.  “Hey, we need to get walking.  We’re supposed to be at the movie theatre in, uhh, now.  Crap, we’ll never make it there before the previews are over.”

Fry hesitated for a second.  They were a mile from the theater.  She was right; they wouldn’t make it in time.  Unless…  He spoke up, somewhat carefully.  “You know, there is another way.” He glanced at a nearby tube station to demonstrate his point.

Chelsea blanched.  “Oh no.  You’re not suggesting we…  Oh God.  You know I hate those things.”

 Fry took her arm.  “Yeah, I know you do, but it’s the only way we’ll get there in time.  Besides, you’ll never conquer your fear unless you face it head on.”

Chelsea regarded him skeptically.  “Who told you that?  It was that Leela person you’re always talking about, wasn’t it?” 

A little embarrassed, Fry admitted it.  “Yeah, I guess it was.  She said that when she was trying to get me to get over my fear of brain slugs.”

“Brain slugs?” Chelsea asked, her tone making it obvious that she knew that she didn’t want to know the answer.

“Uhh, little green blobby things that- umm, never mind.”

Chelsea reluctantly allowed herself to be pulled toward the transport tube.  She looked at the tube’s clear flanks with a mix of distaste and suspicion.  The day she’d been unfrozen she had been wandering through the city, just walking and marveling at the sights, when she’d innocently walked into a tube entrance, curious.  She’d seen the clear tubes snaking all over the city, but since it had been midday and tube traffic was light, there was no one flying overhead to demonstrate what the things were used for.  When she’d entered the base of the tube, she’d immediately had the sensation that she’d been closed in.  She turned to leave and came up hard against an invisible barrier of some kind that blocked the entrance.  More annoyed than scared, she’d pounded at the whatever-it-was that had trapped her, hurtling obscenities at it in vain.  Unfortunately, the nanocomputer mounted in the tube wall somehow misinterpreted her words as a destination command, and before she’d had time to react she was careening through the air.  She’d felt like a bullet being accelerated endlessly down the barrel of a gun.

Fry gave the reluctant woman’s arm a soft tug.  “Come on, Chelsea.  It’s just like riding in an elevator, only faster… and higher… and without the elevator car or anything to hold you up-“

“Stop!”  Chelsea blurted, clamping a hand over the clueless redhead’s overactive mouth.  “Let’s just get this over with, alright?”  With that, she stepped into the empty tube and turned around.  She crossed her arms.  “You owe me for this.” She said, dead serious.  Then, wincing, she said aloud to the computer that was listening in, “Googleplex theatres.”  A moment later there was a puff of air and Chelsea disappeared into the sky with a whump of suction.
_____________________________ _____________________________ __________

“Man that movie was terrible.”

Fry nodded his agreement.  He and Chelsea were walking side by side, letting themselves be pushed toward the lobby by the crowd of moviegoers.  Theatres hadn’t changed much in a thousand years.  They were still dark, dirty, and smelled of old popcorn and floor cleaner.  The only significant difference was the addition of spilled motor oil to the conglomeration of popcorn, soda, candy, and who knows what else that covered the floor.  The addition was not an improvement, as it somehow bonded with the other detritus into a substance analogous to superglue.  When the movie was over, Fry tried to get up from the tattered stadium seat, only to discover that his feet were fixed solidly to the floor.  Chelsea had had to kick him free.

“Yeah, that sucked.  I forgot that most records of the past got destroyed.”

“I thought a documentary of the 20th and 21st centuries would be good for us.  It’d be like going back in time for a few hours.  Plus, I really wanted to know what happened after I got frozen.  But everything was wrong!”

Fry caught the disappointment in Chelsea’s voice and frowned.  He wanted her to be happy, and although she’d picked the movie, he felt a little responsible for not realizing what was going to happen.  “It’s ok.” He said lamely and then fumbled for something comforting to add.

“I mean, a robot with a plasma cannon screwing up the 2000 presidential election?  What the hell?  And since when were the Backstreet Boys the leading philosophers of the 21st century?”

Fry giggled, despite himself.  “Yeah.  And as if Hillary Clinton raised an army of cyborgs and took over the planet in 2012.” 

Chelsea hesitated for a moment.  “Well actually,” she said slowly, “that is somewhat true.  There really was an army of cyborgs that tried to conquer the planet in 2012.  They almost succeeded too, but their momentum started to falter after they took over the western hemisphere.  Clinton was on the human side, though.”

 “Hey, that’s right!” Fry exclaimed.  “You were there in the 21st century.  Well, for the first 12 years anyway.  You should write to the movie’s producers and tell them what really happened.”  When Chelsea shrugged noncommittally, he added, “So, what was the war about, anyway?”

Chelsea stopped walking abruptly.  When he didn’t immediately stop as well, she lightly grabbed his arm.  Surprised, the redhead turned to face her.

“Is something wrong?” He asked, afraid that he’d made some terrible blunder.  But there was no anger on Chelsea’s face.  It was studiously blank, as if in the blink of the eye she had put on a mask.  The only hint of emotion that Fry could find was buried in the backs of her eyes, something buried just a little too deep for him to read. 

When Chelsea spoke her words came out very carefully.  “Fry, the war was a tragic part of my life that I would really like to forget.  I was frozen a few months after it started, but during those few months my entire life unraveled.  I saw friends and colleagues brutally slaughtered right in front of me.  So please understand, the war is a painful subject for me, ok?”  Then, to Fry’s bewilderment, the mask was gone and there was a smile on Chelsea’s face again.  “Now, let’s go get something to eat.” 

Before Fry could react, Chelsea, who still had a light grip on his left arm, began gently pulling him along behind her as she forced a path for them through the gaggle of moviegoers.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _____________

  The night air was hot and entirely still.  Fry hated the end of July in New New York as much as he’d hated it in Old New York.  After a full day of baking in the summer sun, the pavement released its heat into an atmosphere so saturated with water that a person seemed liable to drown.  By the time he and Chelsea had worked their way through the brightly lit streets to the restaurant, Fry could feel the sweat trickling down his face in little rivulets

As they approached Elzar’s, Fry suddenly remembered his sense of chivalry.  He jogged up ahead a couple of steps and pulled open the door.  When he looked back at his date, she smiled at him, and Fry burst into a big grin.

Fry and Chelsea crossed the threshold and entered the restaurant, and a little bell tinkled as the door closed behind them.  As if on cue, a purple, four-armed alien came bursting into the room.

“Hi kids.  Welcome to Elzar’s” The owner and head chef greeted them in his distinct Neptunian accent.  “Table for two?”

“Yes, please.” Fry responded, nodding

“Alright then.  Follow me.”  The Neptunian led them through the densely packed restaurant to a table near the rear of the establishment.  Chelsea sat down facing the door, and Fry sat down across from her.  Elzar handed them each a menu. Before leaving to attend to another group that had just arrived, he recommended that they order the special of the day.  “What I do is mash together all of the food that didn’t get eaten yesterday.” He said before turning to leave.

Chelsea regarded Fry uneasily.  “Is he serious?” She asked.

Fry chuckled. “Who, Elzar?” He waved dismissively.   “Nah, don’t pay attention to him; he always makes jokes like that.  This one time he even said he forgot to cook the chicken I ordered.  Actually, come to think of it, that was only a few hours before I got that really awful flu I was telling you about.”

“Uh-huh.” Chelsea replied, not particularly convinced.

Elzar returned a few minutes later to take their orders and then vanished into the kitchen with a flourish.  He returned an hour later with their meals.  Fry and Chelsea chatted while they ate, first about their jobs and then about the future in general.  The computer at Applied Cryogenics had come to the decision that “security guard” was the career to which Chelsea was most suited.  Momcorp had been at the top of the list of suggested employers.  Chelsea had applied electronically and been hired before she even left Fry’s office.

Chelsea was eager to share her experiences since she had been unfrozen, but her whole demeanor changed when Fry innocently asked about her childhood.  She didn’t object to the question, but gave him a hasty, disjointed answer, as if it was uncomfortable even to think about it.  Sensing his mistake, Fry tried to change the subject, but the energy that Chelsea had exhibited five minutes earlier was gone. 

A few awkward minutes passed in silence before Fry found the courage to speak.  “You ok?” Fry asked.

“Hmm, what?” Chelsea asked, startled.

Fry frowned slightly.  “Are you alright?  You haven’t said anything in like twenty minutes.  You’ve been just nibblin’ at that salad and staring into space.” 

Noticing the worried look on Fry’s face, she reached out and squeezed his hand.  “Don’t worry.” She reassured him.  “I’m alright. You haven’t done anything wrong.  This has been a great night for me.  I’m just thinking about… something.” 

There was another minute of silence, but this time it lacked the awkwardness.  Fry finished off the last of his meal as he waited for Chelsea to work through whatever was bothering her.   When she finally spoke, it was with a single word.  “Religion.” She said.

Fry looked up at her.  “Huh?”

“Religion and betrayal.  That’s what the war was about.” 

The redhead put down his fork.  “Are you sure you want to talk about this?” He asked.

Chelsea shook her head.  “Nope.  But its probably good for me to talk about it with somebody, and well, if I’m going to talk to somebody about it, I kinda feel like it should be you.”  For the first time ever, Fry saw some vulnerability tug at the corners of Chelsea’s face.

A littler perplexed, and very touched, the redhead waited for her to continue.  “It all started in a town called Los Alamos.” She began.  “There was a group of people who believed that human life, even though it was the only form of life to contain a soul, was illogical, and therefore flawed.  Machine life, on the other hand, was innately logical, but had no soul.  The group believed that the perfect form of life was a combination of human and machine- a cyborg that could take advantage of the strengths of both groups, but was limited by the disadvantages of neither.  Their leader, a brilliant robotics expert working for the United States government, developed the technology to turn people into cyborgs, even against their will.  The scientist’s wife discovered what he was planning and reported him to the feds.  He was assassinated by some shadowy government agency, but one of his children secretly continued his research.  One day, just a few months before I was frozen, the cyborg cult, as they were called, came out of hiding.  They enslaved or assimilated town after town, adding armies of drones to their ranks.  It was only a few months before the military had been pushed all the way back to the East Coast.  When the cyborgs finally invaded New York, the fighting was savage.  Everyone fought.  Men, women, children who were old enough to pick up a rifle.  So many deaths…”  Chelsea trailed off as tears came to her eyes, but she managed to gain control over her emotions.  “Eventually they took over the entire western hemisphere; only patches of the American northwest and Nova Scotia were free.  Millions of people died fighting the cyborgs, and millions more died when they were converted to mindless drones and forced to fight their former comrades.”

Fry listened to all of this in silence.  The words that Chelsea was speaking didn’t scare him nearly as much as the sorrow and latent terror that laced each word.  He tried to picture what Chelsea must have seen during those few months.  He shuddered.  “W- what happened next?” He asked, hesitantly.

“The cyborgs began to stall.” Chelsea said.  “While they had been busy conquering the Americas, Europe had been preparing for them.  EMP weapons were mass-produced.  There was no way for the cyborgs to cross the ocean without being crushed by the combined fleets of the exiled American government, the European Union, Russia, and China.  Then an organized resistance group broke out in the conquered territories, and that bogged the cyborgs down even more.  The UN counterattacked and liberated the East Coast of the United States after a long, bloody trench war, but I wasn’t there for that.  I froze myself right before the invasion of New York.  Everyone thought the war would be over by then, one way or the other.”
“But what if, you know, the good guys didn’t win?” Fry asked.  “If the freezer tube hadn’t malfunctioned, you would’ve woken up to…”  The prospects made his blood run cold.

Chelsea seemed to have to think about it for a second.  “I told myself that, whatever happened, it would be better than having to live through all those years of war.  My family was dead by then- almost everyone I knew was dead.  I couldn’t watch people killing each other anymore.” 

That seemed to make sense.  “Did you ever find out what happened after you were frozen?”  Fry asked.

“Yeah.  I did some research after I thawed out.  Like you said, most of the records from back then are gone, but it looks like the UN managed to beat the cyborgs with their electromagnetic pulse technology.”

“What did they do with those cyborg cult people?”

Chelsea frowned.  “Most of them died in the war.  The others that didn’t go into hiding were executed, I think.” 

Just as Fry was about to say something comforting, he heard a familiar voice calling to him from somewhere over his shoulder.  “Fry, mon!  Is dat you?!”

Fry’s face turned white.  He began fervently trying to make himself as small as possible.

“By Jah, I’d know that hair anywhere!” The voice said a moment later, this time much closer.  A thick Jamaican hand landed on Fry’s left shoulder.

 The redhead winced.  “Hi Hermes.”
_____________________________ ____________________

Thanks JustNibblin' for making it clear that this update needed some serious work.  I just hope what I did was enough.  There were a few places where you had good points, but I just didn't know what to do in order to accomodate them.

Also, spaceCase, where are you?  Did you get stuck under that rock again?

Bending Unit
« Reply #54 on: 03-25-2008 19:34 »

I sometimes roll my eyes at the bits of ridiculous history that supposedly happened between the 20th and 30th centuries that the writers throw in the show. It was nice to see a ridiculous bit that was described in-depth and with that sort of sentiment. Keep it coming, Soylent.

Urban Legend
« Reply #55 on: 03-27-2008 09:46 »

thanks, tornadoboy.  There's a reason why I went so in-depth with that little bit of history.

Also, I get the feeling that people are losing interest in this story now that most of the PE crew have dissapeared from it.  Don't worry, things will pick up again, and I think you'll all be pleased with where I'm going with this.  Chelsea is not going to be a cliche perfect-girlfriend replacement for Leela.

Bending Unit
« Reply #56 on: 03-27-2008 10:27 »

Oh, don't you worry. I'm plenty interested. And I know I CAN'T be the only one. Just don't be stingy with the updates.  smile

Space Pope
« Reply #57 on: 03-27-2008 11:24 »

I'm still here sO!, just now got around to reading this. Nicely done as usual. "Battlestar Calculon" had me chuckling for about three minutes; I always like silly stuff like that...Likewise the "historical" stuff of the 21st century in the movie.
But that war sounds pretty serious... interesting to integrate something like that into wherever you're going with the plot.

you've been just nibblin' at that salad

Aww, you guys keep throwing in little tributes.   big grin  Cute.

Space Pope
« Reply #58 on: 03-27-2008 12:03 »

Chelsea is not going to be a cliche perfect-girlfriend replacement for Leela.

Twas my only worry.  wink
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #59 on: 03-27-2008 14:04 »

I'm still following this, I just haven't had the time to make in-depth commentary on it and felt that just saying "good stuff" lacks what I want to say. Also looking to see where you're going with Chelsea's backstory, and how this all ends up tying back into canon at the end (I assume). Hands down the best anti-ship fic ever written, and on completion should sit alongside your other masterpieces quite nicely. So yeah, I'm still here.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #60 on: 03-27-2008 15:06 »
« Last Edit on: 03-27-2008 15:06 »

SO, sorry that I haven't placed a comment.  Personal shit that I won't go into kept me from being really involved.

That said, good story but I have to wonder how you're going to manage:

1) Leela, Amy and Bender escaping the cruel cluthes of MOM, inc.  Will Fry have anything to do with their escape?  Will Walt try to take advantage of either or both of the mentally restrained females (or Bender if he's a closet robosexual)?

2) How the suddenly independent Fry is going to return to being the pitiful delivery boy that we all know and love (including Leela, if she'd ever admit it).

3) On that note, how are the two going to bury the hatchet?  They said some pretty serious stuff to each other and Leela isn't well known for being the forgiving type.

4) I'll shut-up now and just wait for the next installment.

Urban Legend
« Reply #61 on: 03-27-2008 17:05 »

don't be stingy with the updates.
<Farnsworth> "I'm writing as fast as I can!" </Farnsworth>

@km73: the war was very serious, and very important too  smile

@Archonix: Well, rest assured, it is not an issue.  I can't say more without giving anything away, but stay tuned...

Hands down the best anti-ship fic ever written
  Gack!  Careful, or you'll inflate my ego to the point that I'll float away!

@Ralph: I can't really answer those questions right now without ruining the story, but suffice it to say that those answers do exist  smile.  And no.  Walt is not a closet robosexual.  At least not in anything you'll ever see me write  big grin

Urban Legend
« Reply #62 on: 03-31-2008 19:43 »

<Zoidberg> What's this, two updates in one week? </Zoidberg>
_____________________________ ____________________

Part 3
Chapter 2

With dread pulling at his stomach like a lead weight, Fry twisted in his chair to face the bureaucrat.  The Jamaican’s broad face was grinning back at him in the manner usually reserved for unexpected letters from the DMV. His wife Labarbara and his son Dwight stood at his side.  Both of them returned Fry’s gaze with blank looks, as if they hadn’t realized yet that he was there.  Fry could see Professor Farnsworth maneuvering his arthritic frame through the maze of tables in the background.  His son Cubert, obviously frustrated by the shuffling old man, detoured around a couple of Thurians who were noisily devouring a heaping pile of mustard and olives, and, in a few quick strides, crossed the room to stand next to Dwight.  The pudgy 11 year old regarded Fry and Chelsea, and then gave Fry a skeptical look.  Fry swept the room with his eyes, but he didn’t see any signs of Leela or Bender.  Or Amy for that matter.  The weight in his stomach eased somewhat.

“Fry mon!” Hermes continued.  “It’s great to see you!  Where in Babylon ‘ave you been all dis time?!”  There was a beat as the Jamaican noticed Chelsea, seemingly for the first time.  “And who might dis be?”

Fry found himself completely caught off balance.  He fumbled for something to say, but had no idea how to react.  Should he treat Hermes as the casual acquaintance that he had been back when Fry had been a delivery boy, the coldhearted bureaucrat that had fired him, or the long lost friend that he had never been, but that, if his current enthusiasm was to be believed, Hermes seemed to think he was?  Fry was aware that he had to say something, and do it before the silence became strained.  A few confused words escaped Fry’s lips, but his brain was unable to come out with anything even remotely coherent.

Luckily, Chelsea came to his rescue.  “Hermes, is it?” She asked pleasantly, and extended her hand.  “My name’s Chelsea.  Chelsea Porter.”  The Jamaican’s beefy paw engulfed her hand, but when they shook, it was Chelsea, not Hermes, who had the stronger grip.  The bureaucrat, surprised, withdrew his hand.
“Nice to meet you.” Hermes said, then gestured for his party to settle around an adjacent table.  Hermes lowered himself into a chair and twisted around so that he could continue the conversation.

“So Fry, where ‘ave you been all ‘dis time?  I haven’t seen you in weeks.”

Fry stared at the bureaucrat for a moment.  What the heck is going on here?   “Uh, Hermes, don’t take this the wrong way, but why are you being so nice to me?  I mean, the last time we talked was when you fired me for- well, you know.”

Instead of getting offended, which is what Fry had expected him to do, the Jamaican just chuckled and made a dismissive gesture with his hand.  Ok, this is too friendly.  Fry told himself.  Something’s up.  Self-preservation instincts, dormant after months of safety at Applied Cryogenics, suddenly kicked into high gear. 

Fry noticed the somewhat heavy expressions on the faces of Labarbara, Dwight, and even Cubert.  Only the Professor seemed his normal self, although, since the scientist had fallen asleep in his chair, it was somewhat hard to tell.  Where are Leela, Bender, and Amy?

 At that moment, Zoidberg, having been feasting upon the delicious leavings in Elzar’s dumpster, waddled into the restaurant.  Elzar moved to intercept him, but the Decapodian made a beeline for his coworkers.  Satisfied that the creature was part of the Planet Express party, Elzar returned to the kitchen. 

Warbling softly to himself, Zoidberg squeezed his way between Chelsea and Hermes and sat down next to the Professor.  As the Decapodian lowered himself into his seat, he gripped the back of Chelsea’s seat with a garbage-streaked claw for balance.  In the process, the claw almost came into contact with Chelsea’s hair.  Chelsea jerked away and glared at the alien.  For a moment, Fry thought she might say something, but she seemed to catch herself.

 Zoidberg didn’t notice Chelsea at all, but upon recognizing Fry, let out a squeal of joy.  “Fry!  Good to see you, it is!”

After reluctantly acknowledging the Decapodian with a quick “Hi, Zoidberg”, Fry proceeded to follow the Planet Express employees’ example of pretending the alien wasn’t even there.  Turning back to Hermes, Fry asked “How’s business?”

Hermes was caught slightly off guard.  “Oh.  Uh, business is fine.”  He said.  “In fact, it’s running so well dat I took the whole company out to dinner to celebrate.  We’ve been doin’ so much business dat I just stamped my ten millionth form dis morning!”

Labarbara, who had until this point been silent and detached, broke into the conversation.  “Husband, stop playing games with ‘da poor boy.” She said, giving Hermes a reproachful look.  “Your ten millionth form was a letter to notify ‘de Central Bureaucracy dat three of your employees are missing.”  Turning to Fry, she continued.  “I’m sorry Phillip, but three of your friends- ‘da cyclops, ‘da robot, and ‘dat Martian girl- are missing.”

Fry felt his heart skip a beat.  He blinked twice, surprised by his own reaction.  “Missing?” He asked.

Hermes frowned at his wife, then turned back to Fry.  “Yes, I’m afraid so.” He acknowledged, with a slow nod.  “Dey went out on a delivery and never came back.  We never even got a distress call.”  The bureaucrat sighed, and then shook his head sadly.  “We lose more crews dat way…  It is a huge loss for ‘da company.”

Wondering if the loss to which Hermes referred was the lives of his employees or the expensive intergalactic spaceship, and then deciding he really didn’t want to know, Fry asked: “How long have they been missing?”

“Five weeks.” Labarbara said.

The odds that they were alive weren’t very good, then.  “Did you put up ‘missing’ signs?  Back in the 20th century, my friend’s cat ran away, so he put signs on all of the telephone poles.”

“Did it work?” asked Dwight.

“Yeah.  Well, I mean, Not really.  it turned out the cat wasn’t really missing.  It was just locked in my friend’s closet, so I guess the signs didn’t help at all.  But still-”

“No, we didn’t put up any signs.” Hermes said, cutting Fry off.  “We don’t have any idea what happened to dem, or where dey are.”  He admitted.  Strangely, there was a hint of embarrassment, or possibly even shame in his voice.  The Jamaican glanced at his wife as if for support, but Labarbara crossed her arms and pointedly looked away.

Fry sighed.  “You didn’t even look.  Did you?”

 Hermes spread his arms.  “How were we supposed to mount a rescue mission?” He asked.  “We couldn’t use a spaceship to go look for dem; the only spaceship we had was missing!” 

“You could have rented a ship, or hired someone to go look.” Fry replied.  “Or put up posters.”

“Ah, but dat would ‘ave been expensive.” Hermes replied with confidence, as if that somehow proved a point.  “It makes more business sense to fill out missing persons notices and hire a new crew.” 

“What about the Wongs?” Fry pointed out, anger starting to build in his chest.  “They have, like, gazillions of dollars to spend on looking for Amy.”

Before Fry had finished speaking, Hermes was already shaking his head.  It looked as though he’d heard the argument before.  “I can’t tell dem that Amy is missing until I receive permission from de Central Bureaucracy.  But don’t worry.  Dey’ll get back to me within a few months.”  There was a beat.  “Oh, by ‘da way.” Hermes added, his overly-friendly demeanor suddenly back in full swing.  “We happen to be hiring a new crew, and we have an opening for a new delivery boy.  Since you already ‘ave da training, and if things aren’t working out at the cryogenics lab, maybe you could-”

Hermes never got to finish that statement.  Fry exploded out of his seat.  There was a clatter of dishes as his knee crashed into the underside of the table.  His chair tumbled backwards and hit the floor with a thud.  Chelsea was startled by the sudden noise.  In a single fluid motion she was out of her seat and in a defensive position.  When her brain caught up with her instincts a moment later, she hesitated and looked about her uncertainly.

“How can you say that?!” Fry was yelling, surprised at himself, and at the intensity of his emotion.  “Leela, Bender, and Amy are people.  You can’t just let them die because of regulations and business expenses!”  The ex-delivery boy’s hands were shaking with the force of his emotion.  “And then you actually offer me my job because you need a replacement for them?! They’re- were- my friends!”

Fry looked away from Hermes and shook his head in a combination of disbelief and disgust.  For a split second his eyes met Chelsea’s, and some kind of nonverbal communication passed between them.  One of Chelsea’s hands lay casually at her hip by a slight bulge that he had not noticed before.  Her left eyebrow was raised slightly.  Something in Fry’s expression must have sufficed as an answer, because Chelsea’s hand moved away from the bulge, almost reluctantly.

“B- But I thought you would want your job back.” Hermes stammered, confused.  The other restaurant patrons, curious about all of the commotion, had been listening to the conversation.  The bureaucrat noticed uncomfortably that many of them were favoring him with hostile looks.  Obviously he had said something wrong, but all of the resources of his bureaucratic mind were unable to figure out what it was.  He looked to his wife for support, but all he got in return was a silent “serves you right”.

“I did.” Fry replied to Hermes’ question.  “But not like this.  I can’t take back my old job, knowing that I’m replacing somebody that used to mean a lot to me.  Not when you aren’t going to look for them if you can find new employees instead.  It would be like I was helping to kill them or something.”

At that moment, Elzar came storming out of the kitchen  “Hey, what’s going on here?” The Neptunian demanded, all four arms on his hips.  “Is there a problem?”

Fry was about to explain the situation when Chelsea leaned across the disheveled table and touched his arm to silence him.  Regarding the Neptunian with distaste, Chelsea said.  “No problem.  We were just on our way out.”  She reached into her purse, pulled out enough bills to cover both of their dinners, and tossed them onto the table.  Walking around Fry’s fallen chair, she put a hand on the redhead’s shoulder and began to steer him towards the door.  Fry tried to object, but Chelsea was insistent, and he let himself be led away.  At the last moment, Labarbara reached out and grabbed the hem of Fry’s shirt.  “Hold on a second, boy.” She said.  “You should know.  The name of da planet they went to was Cardena.”  With that, she smiled, let go, and turned away.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

As Fry and Chelsea walked down a narrow side street a few blocks from Elzar’s, Fry could feel anger simmering inside him.  “Can you believe all that?” He was saying.  “All that ‘Hi Fry, nice to see you again’ crap.  He just wanted to take advantage of me.”  The redhead sighed.  “I guess nothing changes.”

Chelsea didn’t answer right away.  The two of them were alone on the cracked sidewalk.  The rain had stopped some time ago, though a thick dampness still hung in the air.  A distant rumble of thunder rolled in over their heads.  The street was only sparsely lit by the soft, orange glow of the streetlights, which were further dimmed by a thick mist that was rising off the pavement.   When Chelsea finally spoke, it was in a guarded voice.  Fry tried to read the expression on her face, but they had passed into the shadow between the street lamps, and he could only make out her silhouette.

“Fry, sometimes people say or do things that other people misunderstand, not because they’re cruel, or evil, but because they believe it is right.  Even when they’re wrong, it’s not always right to hate them.  They can’t help what they’re doing; they don’t know any better.” 

“I don’t hate-” She held up her hand to silence him.  “I know you don’t, and I agree with you that Hermes was wrong to put you in that position.  It was a dirty trick to try and maneuver you into returning to Planet Express as a replacement for your old friends, but what else would you expect from someone that associates with aliens?  Remember that, whether or not he actually was wrong, he didn’t know it, and he didn’t mean it.”

“Yeah I know.” Fry said, unconvinced.  Then, frowning, he added: “Wait, what about ali-?”

But Chelsea was speaking again.  “Back in the 21st century there was someone who was very close to me that did something… unforgivable.  It took me years to understand that she betrayed me, not because she was cruel, but because she was too ignorant to understand what she had done.  I didn’t hate her; I wasn’t disgusted by what she did.  I just had to tell myself that that’s who she was.  She couldn’t help it.”

“Oh.” Fry replied, not quite sure where this new turn in the conversation had come from.  “Who was she?”

“It’s not important.” Chelsea said quickly, and there was silence between the two of them.  Fry was just beginning to worry that he’d said something wrong again when Chelsea changed the subject.  “What are you going to do with the information that Hermes’ wife gave you?” She asked.

Fry thought it over as they approached another streetlight.  They were approaching an intersection.  “I don’t know.” He said at length.

“Isn’t there some kind of search and rescue organization here in the future?” Chelsea enquired.  The two of them reached the intersection and Fry paused momentarily.  He was used to the transport tubes and hadn’t walked around this part of town often enough to recognize where he was.  Chelsea, on the other hand, seemed to know exactly where they were.  She immediately turned left.  Fry rushed to catch up, and almost got backhanded in the face as she waved at a passing trashbot.  She noticed that Fry was again at her side.  “But anyway,” she said, addressing the redhead, “isn’t there a space-coastguard or something?”

Fry had to think about it.  “Huh.  I don’t know.  I mean, I guess there ought to be.” He hadn’t really considered the possibility.  “What I meant though was that I didn’t know what I was going to do about it.”

“What, you mean you’re thinking about going to look for them?” She asked, incredulous.  “You don’t think you still owe them some kind of loyalty, right? I mean, Leela betrayed you.  You kicked her out of your apartment for lying about it to your face.”

Fry nodded, although Chelsea almost certainly didn’t see the gesture in the murky light.  Did I really do that? He asked himself.  He knew that he had, but it seemed so… strange now, like it was something he’d seen a long time ago in a half-forgotten movie.  It was true that he was still angry at Leela and Bender for what they had done, but Chelsea’s earlier words echoed in his head.  Sometimes people say or do things that other people misunderstand, not because they’re cruel, or evil, but because they believe it is right.  That didn’t work for Bender, who was undoubtedly cruel and definitely evil (Bender had once shown him his ‘certifiably evil’ card), but as for Leela…  Had she, somehow, thought that it was right to go behind his back and then lie about it?  Either way, he wondered, can I really hate them for being who they are?

“Fry?” Chelsea prodded.

The redhead snapped out of his reverie.  “What? Oh, sorry.”  He was quiet again for a moment while he collected his thoughts.  “Yeah, I’m going to go look for them.” He said.  “They were my friends; I guess I feel like I owe them somehow.  Besides, I think Leela would do the same for me.”  Fry realized suddenly that they had reached Chelsea’s apartment building.  Chelsea opened the door for him and they entered the lobby.

Chelsea mulled over what her friend had said while they waited for the elevator.  “You talk about Leela as if she was such a great friend, and yet she betrayed you simply because it was convenient.”  The elevator car arrived and they walked in.  Chelsea automatically pressed the button for the eighth floor.  “I don’t think I’ll ever understand why you think that you need to go look for her and the others.” She paused again.  “But if you really think you need to, then I want to help you.” There was a brief acceleration and then the doors opened.  Moments later, Fry found himself standing right outside Chelsea’s door.  He heart immediately began to beat faster.

“T- thank you.” Fry said, trying to concentrate on the issue at hand.

Chelsea’s right hand was on the doorknob, but her left was propped under her chin as a plan started to form in her head.  “I’ll tell you what.” She said.  “They’ve been missing for weeks; another few hours won’t make a difference.  Tomorrow morning we can rent a spaceship and go look for them at that planet that Hermes’ wife mentioned.  Does that sound alright to you?”

Fry nodded, and couldn’t quite resist sneaking a glance at Chelsea’s hand on the doorknob.  Chelsea immediately caught on.  “I’m really tired right now-” she said carefully.  Fry’s face immediately crumbled, and Chelsea put a hand on his shoulder.  When Fry looked up at her she smiled at him.  “Will you take a rain check?” She asked.  Fry’s face immediately lit up.  Men.  Chelsea thought.  So very easy to please.

Chelsea gave Fry a quick hug and waited expectantly as the redhead got up the nerve to kiss her.  When it finally came, it was on the cheek.  Chelsea opened the door and slipped into her apartment.  She waved at him as she started to close the door.

 “I’ll come by your apartment tomorrow morning at dawn.” She said, and Fry nodded.

 Right before the door clicked shut he spoke.  “Chelsea?” He asked, hesitantly.


“Back at Elzar’s, right after Hermes offered me my job back, when you gave me that look…  You weren’t about to…” His voice trailed off.

The warm smile didn’t leave Chelsea’s face, but something changed back in the depths of her eyes.  “Good night, Fry.” She said softly, and closed the door.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

Fry’s doorbell rang at precisely 5:00 am.  The redhead, who had just two hours earlier managed to slow his brain down enough to sleep, grunted, mumbled something incoherent, rolled over, and then continued snoring.  Something touched his leg.  He bolted upright, immediately awake, as his fight-or-flight, but mostly flight, reflex went into overdrive.   

His eyes locked on a dark figure that was hunched over him, which quickly focused into Chelsea.  She had a lopsided grin on her face, and her right hand was still lightly clutching his ankle through the sheets.

“Morning, sleepyhead.” She teased him.  “Ready to go?”

“Ch- Chelsea?!”  He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.  “What are- How did you- What time is it?”

“5:03.” She replied cheerfully.

Fry let himself fall back to the bed.  “It should be illegal to wake people up this early.” He grumbled.  Then, after yawning dramatically, he sat up and hauled himself to his feet.  He completely forgot to be embarrassed that he was only wearing his boxers.

Fry went through the motions of dressing, showering, and shoveling a bowl of Bachelor Chow into his mouth.  He noted somewhat absently that the Bachelor Chow didn’t quite taste the same as usual.  There was a distinctive, woody taste there that he’d never noticed before.

Chelsea was perched on his couch in the same spot as Leela had been during their argument so many ages ago.  She was staring blankly out the window, but she apparently sensed that he was watching her, because her gaze swiveled to meet his.  “All set?” She asked in a voice that, in Fry’s opinion, was much too perky for that early in the morning.

“Umm, yeah.”  Fry acknowledged.  “But uh, if you don’t mind my asking, how did you get in here, anyway?”

Chelsea shrugged.  “You didn’t answer the doorbell, so I opened the door.  It wasn’t locked.”

“Yes it was.”

Another shrug.  “Not very locked.”

Fry decided to let it go.  After all, worse things had happened to him than being startled awake by beautiful women in the middle of the night.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

The rental agency sat atop one of the larger towers in downtown New Manhattan.  The office occupied the upper floor, with the rental ships parked in neat rows on the roof overhead.  There was no line, and Fry was able to walk right up to the rental counter.  A pretty looking redhead, about his age, was behind the counter.  She was leaning against the desk and staring blankly at the countertop in front of her.  The girl seemed familiar somehow, but he couldn’t quite place her.  All that came to mind was an image of a bar, and, for some reason, the word ‘gaydar’.  He tapped the counter to get her attention and she looked up at him.

“Oh, sorry, sir.” She said.  “I didn’t see you come in.  Can I help you?”

“Yeah, we’d like to rent a ship.  Nothing big, just a…” He stopped.  The girl was staring over his shoulder, mouth agape.  “Uh, is something wrong?” He asked.

“Y- y- you!” The girl stuttered and pointed behind him.  Fry turned to follow her finger.  Chelsea was standing in the middle of the room, staring back at the clerk.  She looked around and then behind her, trying to figure out who the clerk was pointing at.  There was no one else around.  “Uhh, do I know you?” Chelsea asked, startled.  She looked as confused as Fry was.

There was panic in the rental clerk’s eyes. “Oh my god.  It is you!”  Then, to Fry’s absolute bewilderment, she screamed, vaulted the counter, and ran for the nearest exit.  In a split second she was gone.

Chelsea and Fry stared blankly at each other for a moment.  “Uhh, any idea what that was all about?” Fry managed. 

“I have absolutely no idea.” Was all that Chelsea could think to say.

Somebody cleared their throat.  Fry and Chelsea whirled to find another clerk standing at the doorway to a back office.

“Can I help you two?” he asked.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

The balding, weasel-like clerk had been less than willing to assist them.  Something about Fry that he couldn’t quite place had sent alarm bells ringing in his head.  It was only after extracting a promise that they would buy every type of insurance possible that he grudgingly turned over a set of keys.

The ship was a sporty little vessel, streamlined and elegant.  The main body was a bright red cylinder of ten meters that tapered smoothly to a point at the bow.  Four dark red fins sprouted from the aft quarter of the ship and stretched backward, extending beyond the main engine.  A tiny defensive laser sat mounted on a turret between the two upper fins.   The smoothness of the hull was broken by a narrow strip of tinted glassteel that marked the ship’s cockpit.  Inside, the ship was divided into three sections, each of which was separated by an airtight emergency hatch.  The ship’s main ramp led to a tiny airlock.  Beyond that was a corridor that connected the bridge in the bow with the engine room in the stern.  The living quarters, consisting of a head, a meager kitchen, a bed, and a couch, was situated amidships.

Fry wasn’t particularly impressed by the ship’s cramped cockpit, which barely contained enough volume for the two of them to squeeze in next to each other.  At least the controls were familiar.  He just hoped he still remembered how to fly.  It had been awhile since the last time he’d flown a spaceship, and that hadn’t ended well.  Too bad Chelsea couldn’t fly; She hadn’t had time to apply for a license yet.

Fry started to rev up the engine as Chelsea watched, fascinated.  She had not yet had the chance to travel off-world.  The roar that started to build through the deck did not have the deep, throaty undertones of the Planet Express Ship.  The quintessence engine that powered the vessel couldn’t muster the raw power of Professor Farnsworth’s dark matter engine.  Still, when Fry pulled back on the stick he could almost feel the ship’s eagerness to be airborne.  Carefully, he began to apply pressure to the throttle, and the ship leapt into motion. 

There was a jarring crash.  “Oops.” Fry said, taking the ship out of reverse.  This time, when Fry fed power to the engines, the little red ship hurtled into the sky.   
_____________________________ _____________________________ _____________ 

It took a few hours for the ship to reach the Cardenian System.  Fry kept a close eye on the sensors for some sign of a distress signal, but apart from weak synchrotron emission from the nearby Taurus star-forming region, there was nothing unusual to speak of.  One burst of radio noise briefly caught his attention, but the computer immediately disqualified it as coming from a known pulsar.

When they entered Cardenian space, Fry cut the engines and let the ship glide into the star’s gravity well.  It was a technique that he’d seen Leela employ on many occasions when she’d wanted to avoid detection.  Anyone scanning them from long range would think them just another hunk of space rock hurtling starward in a hyperbolic orbit.  Fry, on the other hand, could use his passive scanners to study the situation.

The Cardenian System seemed to be fairly ordinary.  The central star was about twice the mass of the sun and glowed slightly bluer than Sol.  Two rocky planets resided in the inner system.  One was huge by human standards.  Composed almost entirely of iron, it contained at least six times Earth’s mass.  The other terrestrial world was Cardena itself.  The outer solar system consisted of a thin ring of rocks that could barely be called an asteroid belt and three distant ice giants made of helium and liquid methane.

“Uhoh.” Chelsea said, and Fry took his eyes away from the radar.


“This ship must have some kind of spectrometer built into it somewhere, because it just gave me a report on the composition of that second planet’s atmosphere.  It’s mostly oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, but there’s a lot of carbon monoxide too.”

Fry stared at her.  He was used to future-y science gibberish from Farnsworth and Leela, but it was bizarre to hear it from someone from the past who’d never even flown in a spaceship before.   “Specter-ometer?”

Chelsea chuckled.  “Sorry.  I minored in astronomy in college.  A spectrometer looks at the light that comes from something like a planet’s atmosphere and can tell what the atmosphere is made of by what colors make up the light.”

 “And it found something bad?”

She nodded.  “Yes.  There’s enough carbon monoxide down there to kill you if you went outside and tried to breathe”

Fry didn’t like the sound of that.  Bender wouldn’t have a problem since Fry was pretty sure he didn’t actually breathe, but if Leela and Amy were stuck down there then they’d be confined to the ship.  He wasn’t even sure the Planet Express Ship could recycle the air for the five weeks that they had been missing, or, for that matter, that Leela, Amy, and Bender could live together that long without killing each other.  And if the ship had been damaged or destroyed…

The little video screen that sat on the console between the seats beeped and turned itself on.  Fry felt his heart leap, but his hopes were dashed when Leela’s face didn’t appear.  Instead, the screen began to flash “Warning!” in bold red letters.  A pleasant female voice advised them that they were entering Cardenian space and that trespassers would be ‘disappeared’.  Fry’s felt his blood freeze.

Chelsea cursed loudly.  “Well, I think we know what happened to Leela and the others.” She said bitterly.

Fry wasn’t so sure.  It would have taken a massive force to defeat Leela, and that’s if she’d been taken by surprise.  But with a warning to tell her of the danger?  There was no way she’d have been taken out.  When he said as much aloud Chelsea gave him a skeptical look but didn’t contradict him.

“Ok, then what now?” She asked. 

The question sent a thrill running through his body.  For the first time ever he was in command of an actual spaceship.  His and Chelsea’s lives, and possibly those of Leela, Bender, and Amy, all depended on his next decision.  The weight of the responsibility he suddenly felt himself cloaked with was almost overwhelming.  He wondered how Leela had always managed to handle that burden so confidently.

“I need to use the restroom,” he declared authoritatively, and rushed from the cockpit, butterflies in his stomach.  A few minutes later the butterflies were flushed and Fry crawled back into the cockpit.

Fry reached out and thrust the throttle all the way forward.  The quintessence engine roared into life and the universe itself began to stretch and deform, creating the illusion that distant Cardena was rushing toward them at impossible speed.  Huge energies poured into the sea of virtual particles that frothed against the bow of the ship, and the particles, suddenly discovering that they had become real, annihilated each other in a flash of hard radiation.  The glow of plasma heralded their entrance into Cardena’s poisonous atmosphere.  They’d just broadcasted their presence to everyone within a dozen lightyears, but Fry intended to be long gone before anyone could do a thing to stop them.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

 They circled the planet a dozen times, flying just high enough to clear the jagged mountain ranges.  Fry kept one eye glued to the sensors while his other scanned the horizon.  They were flying at many times the speed of sound, and the shockwave of their passage blasted snow, and what looked like ash, from the tops of the peaks.  Chelsea was staring out the front viewport, face pale, certain that Fry had gone quite mad, but afraid to say anything lest she break his concentration and find herself smeared across a hundred square miles of alien landscape.

In a manner of minutes Fry had surveyed the entire surface of the planet’s one continent.  Satisfied that there was no trace of the Planet Express Ship to be found, he pulled back on the stick and the atmosphere faded to the black of space.  Chelsea turned to her companion with newfound respect.  “Where the heck did you learn to fly like that?” She demanded.

Fry just shrugged.  “Meh, that was nothing.  One time, I flew all the way around the Earth at less than 100 feet in two minutes while towing the whole Planet Express Building.”  He paused.  “Well, okay, Bender actually flew part of the way.  Well, with his ass, anyway.”

Chelsea shook her head in disbelief.  “I thought you were exaggerating when you told me that.”

“It’s not as hard as it looks.  The ship’s computer won’t listen to you if you tell it to do something that’ll get you all smashed up.  And besides, Leela taught me how to fly a little back when-” Something on his instrument panel caught his attention.

“What is it?” Chelsea asked, worried by the sudden concern that clouded her friend’s face.

“There’s something funny on the radar.” He said, throttling back the engines.

“Define funny.”

“Hold on.”  He swung the ship into a wide turn, and a tiny patch of green rotated into the field of view.  Chelsea squinted at it.  It was some sort of ship.  A marking of some kind was painted on its dorsal fin, but she couldn’t make it out.

“Bad guys?” She asked.

Fry shook his head.  He pressed a few buttons and the image of the ship expanded to fill the viewport.  The vessel was spinning lazily, its lights dark and landing skids extended.  It didn’t look like anybody was home.

“No, worse.”  Fry replied, gesturing at the Planet Express emblem that was now clearly visible on the ship’s tailfin.  “The good guys.” 

Bending Unit
« Reply #63 on: 03-31-2008 20:38 »

Oh man! Looks like business business is about to pick up! I can't wait to see what has become of the rest of the PE crew, and Chelsea now seems to be one to suspicious of.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #64 on: 03-31-2008 20:48 »

Man, lots of interesting twists in this one, especially with Chelsea. I'm liking where this is heading even more now.

Oh, wait, that was another ego-boost. This is the worst story ever! How can you people keep reading this, you should quit right now, Fry and Leela should be together foreveerrrrrrr!


Space Pope
« Reply #65 on: 04-01-2008 02:36 »

Originally posted by Sine Wave:
 This is the worst story ever! How can you people keep reading this, you should quit right now, Fry and Leela should be together foreveerrrrrrr!

  evil laugh

Hey, at least you didn't call it 'turgid dreck', like I did to JN once.

No, seriously... smashing as ever. Something about Chelsea definitely inspires unease. How in the world did the rental clerk know who she was? And apparently she has a thing against aliens. Looking forward to see how this ties in with the fate of the PE crew.

Space Pope
« Reply #66 on: 04-01-2008 06:38 »

Oh it's obvious, she's XXXXXXXXXXX and really XXXXXXXXXX to XXXXXXXXXXXX for Fry's XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Huh. XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Did someone turn on a censorbot again?
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #67 on: 04-01-2008 07:55 »
« Last Edit on: 04-01-2008 07:55 »

“Umm, yeah.” Fry acknowledged. “But uh, if you don’t mind my asking, how did you get in here, anyway?”

Chelsea shrugged. “You didn’t answer the doorbell, so I opened the door. It wasn’t locked.”

“Yes it was.”

Another shrug. “Not very locked.”

Okay, Arch is obviously much smarter than me.  Since he seems to have an idea of what's going on, I'm still wandering in the desert alone.

Let's see, the rental ship attendant recognized Chelsea and ran in fear.  Chelsea managed to break  into Fry's apartment...

It freaking Chelsea Clinton! 

Levity aside, nice update.  If you let this fanfic die and not answer the questions you've started, then I shall find the fattest, filthiest transexual to stalk you for the rest of your life!

[Flexo]Naw, you're alright![/Flexo]

Urban Legend
« Reply #68 on: 04-01-2008 12:20 »

hmm, I was kinda hoping the rental clerk's recognition of Chelsea would make things a little clearer than it seems to have done.  Oh well, everything will make sense by the end of the next update.

Here's a (moderate) hint:

This is the worst story ever! How can you people keep reading this, you should quit right now

Really? Oh, ok.  Nevermind about the reveal then.  I'll just be leaving now...   big grin Naw, I kid.

But uh, yeah.  About the whole 'anti-ship' thing...  I got bored with it.  So scratch that.

And no, Ralph, Chelsea is not a Clinton.  I would have killed her off long ago if she was  smile.  Also, that may have been the single most terrifying threat that anyone has made to anyone, ever.   
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #69 on: 04-01-2008 13:51 »
« Last Edit on: 04-01-2008 13:51 »

Ignore me today, Esso, I have the headache from Hell today so my thinking are (more) impeded.  Worse comes to worse, I'll ask Arch what his onpinion is.

But it's a good thing, you have me hooked enough to wait for an update instead of not reading until the fic is finished. 

Take it as compliment - after being burned with so many unfinished fics (the two that irk me the most are Fry's Choice by Layla50 and Background Noise by Dave Vincent), I don't want to waste my time by reading an unfinnished work.  So, at this time, anything written by you, Coldangel and Archonix are the only fics that I'll read on a chapter as they come basis.

So I do remember 20th Century Chick that Fry got lucky with at The Hip Joint the night everybody got lucky (including Zoidberg) but not our little Miss-open-minded Leela (who wants people to not be judgemental of her single eye but is grossed out by Doug's vile lizard tongue).

As for the threat, believe me, I've not only seen worse, I've probably had worse done to me during the decade of my life I lost while living in the bottom of a beer keg.

UPDATE:  Talking about Trannies, take a look at this link:

 http://www.cracked.com/article_16106_april-fools-special-cracked-gets-on-jud ge-joe-brown-show.html

« Reply #70 on: 04-01-2008 19:25 »

This is awesome SO, the tension is unbearable though, this story has got to have a spazmotagorgic orgasm when it reaches its finale the way the tension is building!

Also I would hve had Fry and Chelsea have snu-snu after that tense date, but maybe I'm an old perv   flirt

Ralph: I know the clinton reference was in jest, but personally ive had a bellyfull of politics on peel and would prefer if it stayed in the relevant threads.
Particularly not in on-topic...but then who am I some self appointed god of the mods!   wink

Urban Legend
« Reply #71 on: 04-01-2008 19:58 »

Also I would hve had Fry and Chelsea have snu-snu after that tense date, but maybe I'm an old perv

I think you'll find that Fry will be extremely glad that they didnt  wink

OMFG.  When I read that, I just couldn't stop cracking up.  But unfortunately, gaschief is right, so I'll refrain from adding anymore of my own political commentary to the thread.  Although, as a side note, Hillary Clinton originally really was the leader of the cyborgs (at least in this fic).

I'm glad I'm holding your interest, Ralph.  Most everyone who posted here while I was writing Talora and The Leelazarus Effect seems to have either lost interest, left PEEL, or resorted to lurking.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #72 on: 04-01-2008 20:07 »

I'm afraid that even though we've picked up new PEELers, we've lost more and others have gone to off-topic.  I was hoping that the move to CC and the release of BBS would have bought in a larger number of new fans.

As an effort of good faith to Gassy, I'll edit my political comments.  I don't do such things for just anybody.  smile

At least we do know that a few are lurking, but the lack of responses to the writers/artist are defeating.  Without comments, constructive critisism and an occasional pat on the back, people get fed up and leave.  We recently lost a valued member in Corvus recently due to certain behaviors on this board.  I hope he returns one day.

So lurkers, make a comment, even if it's just a few words when a story is updated or a new piece of art is posted.

« Reply #73 on: 04-01-2008 20:29 »

This is a bad excuse, but its my excuse for not posting more on the fan fic threads. Iam a very slow reader and have limited time to read uniterupted with a young child in the house. This is clearly an under recognised and probably the repository of the most creative talent on this website. off topic is fun but 99.9% of what is exchanged is inane drivel, even on the more serious threads!

Ralph: Iam honoured! also my only concern is that things like that ignite flame wars and drag this very respectable section of peel into the Ball Pit with the 99.9% found in the lower realms!

« Reply #74 on: 04-01-2008 20:32 »
« Last Edit on: 04-01-2008 20:32 »

Originally posted by gaschief:
This is a bad excuse, but its my excuse for not posting more on the fan fic threads. Iam a very slow reader and have limited time to read uniterupted with a young child in the house. This is clearly an under recognised and probably the repository of the most creative talent on this website. off topic is fun but 99.9% of what is exchanged is inane drivel, even on the more serious threads!

Ralph: Iam honoured! also my only concern is that things like that ignite flame wars and drag this very respectable section of peel into the Ball Pit with the 99.9% found in the lower realms!

EDIT: I didnt know about Corvus, Ralph, that is pretty shit. I spent some time out from peel for the last couple of weeks for various non peel related reasons.

EDIT 2: OK so now I have multiple personalities, as if I wasnt crazy enough already!

Urban Legend
« Reply #75 on: 04-01-2008 21:05 »

I didnt know about Corvus, Ralph, that is pretty shit.

It certainly is.  Corvus got fed up with the 'inane drivel' as you so concisely put it, and finally left.  He had some of the best work on this board, especially considering he was writing in a foreign language...

Space Pope
« Reply #76 on: 04-01-2008 21:19 »

I know, I told him as much, about the foreign language. I hadn't read much of his stuff, but some of his descriptions were amazing.
And, ohhh, I did know it was the girl from the Hip Joint but somehow I didn't mentally connect it to how she could know Chelsea. Duh.

Space Pope
« Reply #77 on: 04-01-2008 21:20 »

Sometimes I wonder if I should get my wife and he talking, seeing as they're both Swedish. But then I'd get jealous.  big grin

[spam]Come over to my place! There's no inane drivel! Mostly because there's no body posting...[/spam]

God help me...

Bending Unit
« Reply #78 on: 04-02-2008 18:59 »

I like where this is going, SO; looks like Chelsea has quite a few demons rattling around in the ol' closet. It's going to be interesting to see what the story is with her and the clerk (who I take it is the person that betrayed her).

This is getting better and better; more please!  big grin

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

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #79 on: 04-02-2008 19:08 »

Although, as a side note, Hillary Clinton originally really was the leader of the cyborgs (at least in this fic).

I'd say you can keep that part in.  Any President can be used, but think about all the ass-kissing they did to Al Gore.  I can honestly see President Hillary being the team leader to the cyborgs that enslaved humanity.

But then that's my opinion.
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