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Author Topic: Esso-teric: soylentOrange's Fanfic Thread  (Read 26605 times)
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Space Pope
« Reply #480 on: 07-03-2009 04:44 »

Well I guess I meant that since he mentioned the sporadic bouts of melodrama, he must intend them as a means to an end.
I suppose.
Yeah, though, about the left turn and the "something blowing up", he's built it and set it up, it's obviously leading towards something.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I liked the depiction of the spinning-on-a-chair game you used to describe Leela's reaction to the news, sO; we used to do that on the tire swing at our grade-school playground, heh.

totp radical explosion, or something.

Urban Legend
« Reply #481 on: 07-03-2009 07:51 »

Well I wouldn't put it quite like that. The Leela/Tura stuff is dramatic, but it's cute and well done (natch) and I've enjoyed / am enjoying it. That said, also looking forward to this radical left turn (lol politics) that is apparently coming. Explosions fock year.

Glad to hear you guys are still enjoying this.  Seems most everybody else lost interest...

Space Pope
« Reply #482 on: 07-03-2009 10:04 »

Still here, just not saying anything. smile
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #483 on: 07-04-2009 10:34 »

An update...! Aww, so dark themed, enough with the sub genre of 'black shippyness' if it may so be called.

Urban Legend
« Reply #484 on: 07-04-2009 18:59 »

I really don't think this qualifies as 'black shippyness', if such a category even exists.  A lighthearted fic that lasted this long would have gotten boring (p)ages ago.

Space Pope
« Reply #485 on: 07-04-2009 20:06 »

Yeahh, don't mind him too much;
at any rate, write what you feel the need to write.    Calling it that makes it sound as if it's goth or something.
Which it assuredly is not.

Also, from some other thread: "navy brat heritage"?

Urban Legend
« Reply #486 on: 07-04-2009 20:58 »

goth Futurama?  Now that would be a sight... 

Yep, I'm a navy brat.  My dad was in the navy for most of my childhood, so I got to live all over the place- including Japan.
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #487 on: 07-05-2009 01:11 »

Yeahh, don't mind him too much;
at any rate, write what you feel the need to write.
Oh, mind me much. Just not too dark all the time, light here, light there, bit of dark in between, r u getting it?

Urban Legend
« Reply #488 on: 07-05-2009 01:40 »

am I getting it?  Buddy, I'm all for constructive criticism, but you are really pushing it.  If you have some comments about how I could improve certain aspects of the story, then I'll be glad to hear them.  Just don't come in here and presume to tell me that my writing style is wrong and that I need to follow your advice in order to fix it.  Archonix, Sine, JN, and a handful of other writers that you havent even been around long enough to know about can get away with that because they are as good (or better) than I am.  You sir, are not.

Are you getting that?
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #489 on: 07-05-2009 01:43 »

You don't need to follow my advice. In fact, you can simply ignore it like every other time.

Space Pope
« Reply #490 on: 07-05-2009 08:09 »

Thank you for informing him that he's allowed to do that.
I'm sure he probably will.

This guy cannot be seriously for real...

am I getting it?  Buddy, I'm all for constructive criticism, but you are really pushing it.  If you have some comments about how I could improve certain aspects of the story, then I'll be glad to hear them.  Just don't come in here and presume to tell me that my writing style is wrong and that I need to follow your advice in order to fix it.  Archonix, Sine, JN, and a handful of other writers that you havent even been around long enough to know about can get away with that because they are as good (or better) than I am.  You sir, are not.

Are you getting that?

Quoted for 99%-Awesomeness and majority veracity.

He got told.

Yep, I'm a navy brat.  My dad was in the navy for most of my childhood, so I got to live all over the place- including Japan.

:O       Cool.    You actually lived in Japan?    That's intriguing...    Never knew that.    That must've been something.
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #491 on: 07-05-2009 10:12 »

I'm sure he probably will.

Kind of meaningless, because even you guys would know my advice would never be taken seriously. Stop stating the obvious and leave us to our dull lives, please.

Urban Legend
« Reply #492 on: 07-06-2009 01:02 »

Yes Japan was certainly... something.  I learned two things from my time there.  First, Japanese culture is nothing like Americans think it is.  And second, I will never have any reason to be ashamed to be an American. 

Oh, and here's some more GSR. 

_____________________________ _____________________________ _______

Amy’s been in there a long time.  Leela thought to herself.  The intern had retreated to Leela’s bedroom- the nearest room with a door that offered any semblance of privacy- in order to talk to Kif.  Even with the door, the plywood walls weren’t particularly soundproof, so Leela had stood guard outside the door to keep the others- by which she meant Bender- from eavesdropping.  Of course, she couldn’t be blamed if she happened to overhear some of the conversation in the process.

When Amy finally emerged from the bedroom, her expression was impossible to read.  There was a hint of moisture at the corners of her eyes.

Leela wasted no time.  “So, what happened?  What did he say?”  She asked.

“He’s going to try and help.”  Amy said.  Her voice caught, just for a moment, as she said it.  “I told him about what’s really been going on.  Not the parallel timeline stuff, but the rest of it.  He promised to try and help, but he doesn’t think he’ll be able to stall Zapp for very long.”

“How long does he think he can give us?”

“He… didn’t say.”  Amy replied.

Leela regarded her friend for a long moment.  Amy tended to be such a ditz; Leela almost never got to see this side of the woman.  It had taken a deep pool of courage and strength to face Kif, and then to ask him to help circumvent the very DOOP military that he was sworn to serve.

“That’s okay.  We’ll take whatever he can give us.  Thanks for doing this Amy; I know its hard for you after the troubles that you two have been having.  It took a lot of guts to ask him to- hey, wait a minute.”  Leela raised an index finger and pointed It in the intern’s direction.  You’re Amy, not Aimee.  Which means that that wasn’t your Kif that you were talking to.”

“Yeah, so?”  Amy replied defensively.

“So why were you crying?  You got that emotional over someone that isn’t your boyfriend?”

The intern immediately put a hand up to her left eye.  Apparently she hadn’t realized that her previous weakness was plainly visible for all to see.  “What?  Oh.  No, I wasn’t crying about Kif.”  Amy replied in that faux-innocent tone of voice that Leela new all too well was just camouflage netting for the loaded howitzer underneath.  “I was crying because I realized that, if we go hide in Old New York, I wont have any clothes to wear.  I’ll have to borrow stuff that you brought with you when you snuck back to your apartment to get Nibbler!  It’s like, fashion suicide!”

Leela stopped herself from decking the intern.  She’d provoked that biting critique of her fashion sense by asking a question that she’d had no business asking.  Still, she couldn’t prevent herself from giving Amy a caustic look.

“And you’re one to talk about getting emotional over someone that isn’t your boyfriend.”  Amy continued lightly, before pushing past Leela and heading for the stairs.  She stopped on the landing and turned around to smile sweetly in Leela’s direction and, seeing Leela’s look of unease, giggled.  “Just kidding, Leela.”  She said.  “I can’t be mad at you anymore.  We’re like sisters now!”

As Amy turned away and headed down the stairs, Leela was wondering if, just maybe, letting herself be carpet bombed by Zapp Brannigan wasn’t such a bad option after all.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ____________________

It wasn’t so hard for Leela to figure out what Amy had been getting at when she’d teased Leela about getting emotionally tied up with someone. 

Fry’s date with her twin had her steaming mad.  She was mad at Fry, mad at Tura, mad at herself for wasting time being angry when she had so much else to deal with, and, now, she was mad at Amy for bringing it all to the front of her mind again.  I can’t afford to be thinking about this right now. The PE Captain told herself.  I’ve got work to do! 

It was a losing battle.  There was activity all around her.  Mutants were running to and fro like chickens with their heads cut off to follow the sudden evacuation order, but all Leela could do was stand rigidly in the middle of the boardwalk street with her arms folded, and scowl while her brain came up with all sorts of scenarios for what could be going on at that moment in the other time line. 

I’ll kill him if…  The thought trailed off.  If what?  This was Fry that she was thinking about; he wasn’t going to try anything.  He’d be too afraid that Tura would turn around and break every bone in his pudgy little body, as Leela had always threatened to do.  If anyone was going to do anything, it would be Tura. 

The idea of Tura kissing Fry- her Fry- was enough to make her lip curl.  If she thinks that she can get back at me like that, she’s got another thing coming.  Leela thought.  If I find out that anything happened, I’ll make her wish she’d never been born.

There were all sorts of ways that Leela could get her revenge, if need be.  The most obvious one was sitting on her parents’ front porch, about twenty yards behind her.  The last time she’d looked, he’d been blissfully picking his nose.  Me, date Phil? It seemed completely ridiculous.  How was she supposed to have a relationship while cowering in a pile of rubble in the old city?  Where would they go on their first date, the crumbling ruins of some restaurant that had been abandoned eight centuries in the past?   

Under different circumstances, she might have seriously considered asking Phil out.  After Fry’s opera of many years earlier, she’d finally begun to admit to herself that she had strong feelings for him.  She’d kept those feelings hidden from him, of course.  If she ever let something happen between the two of them, her judgment as Captain would have immediately been worthless.  Making a decision in an emergency based on emotional attachment was a great way to get everyone killed.  As long as she was Fry’s Captain, she could never let him know how she felt about him.   But Phil… Phil was a different story.  He wasn’t part of her crew. 

If only I hadn’t screwed everything up.  Leela looked over her shoulder at Phil, who tried to look like he hadn’t been watching her.  She turned back and looked into the crowd of mutants rushing down the street toward Undercity Hall. 

Her reaction to being told about the date hadn’t been one of her prouder moments.  She remembered getting enough of a hold on herself that the room stopped its spinning, and then trying to make an escape for the stairs before she could do anything that she’d regret later.  Whether that thing that she would later regret would have been crying, admitting her feelings, or hitting him, she wasn’t sure; she just knew that she had to escape. 

Once she’d gotten to her room, she’d closed the door, mechanically undressed herself, and then spent the next three hours alternately crying and cursing into her pillow.  Earlier, she’d made the observation that she doubted her ability to summon her anger.  Unfortunately, she’d been right.  Anger was like a shield for her; it allowed her to isolate herself to some extent from things, and provided a well of strength that she could use to move on from whatever had happened.  Without anger, her mind wasn’t distracted, and she couldn’t help but face the reality that she might have just lost Fry to someone else.

I could never date Phil.  Leela realized.  Not even to get back at Tura.   Maybe before I found out that Fry and Tura are together, but not now.  Even if we weren’t facing imminent death and we could have a normal relationship, it’d just be a constant reminder that, somewhere, Tura and my Fry are doing the same thing.

The flow of mutants down the street had started to ebb.  It had been two hours since Amy had gotten off the phone with Kif.  That gave her half an hour before she had to be at Undercity Hall to join the march out of the village.  Most of the mutants that were going to heed the evacuation order were no doubt gathered by now, waiting nervously to be told what to do.  Hopefully those that ignored the order would reconsider before it was too late.

A loud clang resonated through Tura’s parents’ house.  Leela turned again and looked at the ramshackle structure.  Morris and Munda were still somewhere inside, busily cramming treasures into a burlap sack.  Amy, the Farnsworths, and the Conrads were already waiting at the assembly point.  Raoul had gone off to try and convince people to join the evacuation, and Vyolet had, under protest, agreed to use the network of spotters that she’d developed to spread the message to other settlements.  Vy was fuming mad when she’d left the Turanga household; she’d hated the idea of running away.  There was no other option though, and, if the mutants were going to survive, then everyone had to hear the word.  Get out now, before it was too late. 

Phil, like Leela, had had the intention of helping the Turangas with their emergency packing, but Fry’s clumsiness and Leela’s assertions that they could only afford to take what they absolutely needed had worn out their welcome in no time flat. 

With a sigh, Leela left the street and went to go sit at Phil’s side.  The delivery boy looked over at her and started to say something, but then stopped himself.

“What is it, Phil?”  Leela asked.

Phil gave her an uncertain look.  “Umm, nothing, Leela.”  The delivery boy crossed his arms and looked away.  “Well, it’s just…  I’m sorry for what that other Fry’s doing.  It- it’s not fair.”  He frowned, which Leela recognized as the look he got when he was trying his best to think.  “It’s like that time I downloaded Lucy Liu into a robot, and dated her without the real Lucy Liu’s permission.  Only, this time it’s worse, because my Leela isn’t a robot.  She’s real.”

Leela stared at him, amazed.  The woman that you’ve been chasing for years uses your duplicate as a tool to get back at me, and you’re apologizing to me because Fry is going along with it?!  “What about what she’s doing to you?”  Leela asked.  “She asked Fry out, not the other way around.  She knows how you feel about her, and she repaid you by doing this.  You don’t have anything to be apologizing to me for.  Tura is the one that should be apologizing, and she should be apologizing to you.”

Before Phil could reply, the screen door opened behind them, and Morris came trudging out onto the porch.  Leela and Phil both stood.  Morris was carrying Leela’s antimatter rifle in one hand.  His other hand held the lip of a filthy burlap sack that he had slung over his shoulder.  Munda appeared a moment later, clutching a bag protectively under her arm.

Morris handed Leela the weapon.  She took it reluctantly, for once not in the mood for gratuitous violence.   Unfortunately, chances were good that she would need to use the weapon in the near future.  She’d given her small pistol to Amy, who, despite being a clutz, was, ironically, the only other person Leela trusted to handle it.  Together, the pistol and her rifle comprised their entire arsenal.  I guess the good news is that, if I have to use this, I won’t have to use it for long.]/i]  Leela thought darkly.  I doubt we’ll make it thirty seconds in a fire fight with a squad of DOOP soldiers.  Of course, she wasn’t about to tell anyone else that.

“You guys ready?”  Phil asked. 

Morris and Munda looked at each other, then at their house, and then at Leela.  Amazingly, Munda wasn’t crying.  It hasn’t sunk in yet.  Leela thought.  It probably won’t feel real to them for days.

“Yeah, let’s go.”  Morris said.

With one final glance at the rotting conglomeration of plywood and sheet metal that had been the only home the Turangas had ever known, the four of them marched single file down the dirt path that connected the house with the street and joined the handful of other mutants that were still heading in the direction of Undercity Hall.
_____________________________ _____________________________ __________________________

Time passed; Fry wasn’t sure how much.  The bloated white disc of the moon, only a couple of days past full, was climbing its way over the tops of the city’s taller buildings, casting the view from the apartment’s new window in an eerie, almost sickly pallor.

 Tura stirred and, just as Leela had done the night before, seemed to grow suddenly self-conscious.  Fry removed his arm from around her shoulders and watched her draw away from him.  She didn’t look at him.  Instead, she just wrapped her arms around herself and stared into her lap. 

If the way Leela had acted the night before was anything to go by- and it seemed to Fry like it ought to be- then Tura probably wasn’t angry with him right now.  Fry remembered that Leela had apologized to him for letting him see her so upset. 

“Do you remember what I said that time on the ship?”  Fry said quietly.

Tura didn’t respond, but Fry could tell she was listening.

“It’s okay to let other people see you when you’re upset.  It shouldn’t make you feel embarrassed.”

Fry knew instantly that he’d guessed correctly.  Tura went rigid, and she turned to him with a look of shock.  No doubt she was wondering how the delivery boy had read her so easily.   

“I know you sorta think that everyone’s counting on you to be tough and strong all the time.” Fry continued.  He’d had a long time to think about the conversation that he and Leela had had the night before.  It always felt like he was never quick enough to say the right thing when he really needed to.  Now he was getting a second chance.  “I mean, if it weren’t for you being strong, Bender and I would have died a hundred times by now, but nobody can be tough all the time, Tura.  That’s part of what makes us human.”

Tura looked away.  “Yeah.”  She said.  “human…”  With her right hand, the cyclops reached out and lightly gripped her drink.  Fry’s drink remained where he’d left it, forgotten, at the far end of the table.  Tura brought her glass up to her eye and watched light glint off of the crystal.  “You know,” she said as she played with the glass, “I spent most of my life secretly wishing that I was human.  I was proud to be an alien- of the people I thought I was a part of- but I always knew that the first thing anyone here on Earth ever thought when they met me was ‘she isn’t one of us’.  Then, that day in the sewers, I discovered that I wasn’t really an alien after all, and it was a dream come true…  until I realized that it didn’t matter.  I still wasn’t human.”  With a sudden movement, Tura drained her glass and set it down on the table.

“But, Tura, you are human.”  Fry protested.  “Your ancestors were perfectly normal, un-mutated people!  The mutant’s high-school history teacher mutated from my neighbor, remember?”

“So what?”  Tura said desperately.  “None of that matters.  Before, when I was an alien, people just gave me funny looks.   Now, if I go back home, anyone that sees me will think I’m some sort of monster.”

Fry frowned.  “I dunno, Tura.  I mean, sure, people are a little nervous about the idea of mutants living in their sewers, but I don’t think anyone sees them as monsters.”

Tura actually laughed.  “Fry, do you know what we used to do at the Orphanarium when I was little?  At night, after warden Vogel had gone to bed, we’d sneak into the gym, and the older kids would try to scare the younger kids with stories about how evil sewer mutants would climb out of the sewers and snatch little children from their beds, and, if you listened very carefully, you could hear their tentacles reaching through the water pipes for their victims.  I remember being good at coming up with those stories.  It was one of the few things that made the other kids like me.”

“But, kids do stuff like that all the time.”  Fry countered.  “Back when we were both in elementary school, my brother and I used to try and scare each other with stuff we made up about a monster that lived in our basement.”  The delivery boy chuckled at the memory.  “Neither of us would go down there with the lights off until we turned seventeen.”

“Uh-huh.  And how do you think you’d react if that monster you thought you’d made up walked up to you on the street and said hello?”

“Well,” Fry said, “I’d probably run away screaming like a little gir-  Oh.”

“Yeah,” Tura said drily, “’oh’ is right.”

“Well, then we’ll just have to show everyone that you’re not monsters.”

 “And how are we going to do that?”  Tura asked.  “Face it, Fry.  I’ve got one eye and purple hair.  My mom has tentacles, for Asimov’s sake!   We’re right out of a bad horror film from a 2940’s black and white holodisc!”  Tura sighed and looked back down at her lap.  “How are we going to convince everyone that we’re not just a bunch of revolting monsters?”

 On impulse, Fry reached out and put a hand on Tura’s shoulder.  “You don’t have to convince everyone you’re not a revolting monster.”  He said gently.  “I already think you’re the most beautiful, wonderful human being that I’ve ever met.” 

When Tura turned back to face him, the delivery boy smiled at her.  She reached out and took his hand, and then smiled back at him.  The two of them stayed like that for a moment that lasted forever, and Fry thought it was the most magical moment of his life.  He didn’t even notice that Tura’s face had drawn closer to his until her eye was mere inches away.  Then she was kissing him, and nothing else mattered.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _______

And now things fall apart...

Space Pope
« Reply #493 on: 07-06-2009 01:32 »

As Amy turned away and headed down the stairs, Leela was wondering if, just maybe, letting herself be carpet bombed by Zapp Brannigan wasn’t such a bad option after all.


Yeah, as good as the previous part. big grin

Urban Legend
« Reply #494 on: 07-06-2009 03:16 »

As Amy turned away and headed down the stairs, Leela was wondering if, just maybe, letting herself be carpet bombed by Zapp Brannigan wasn’t such a bad option after all.

huh... you know, out of context, that doesn't sound nearly like its supposed to...  LOL  laff
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #495 on: 07-06-2009 04:18 »

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
I’d like to kiss you, I’d love to hold you
I ain’t got no time for that now

Hey! You're starting to update regularly again. Now I'm going to start feeling even lazier, again.

But this part is as good as always. Maybe a little direct with Leela's internal thought/monologue section, but I can't think of a better way to do it so I don't really have room to talk.

And yes, "going to fall apart" indeed. I don't think the events in either timeline have a chance of ending well.

Space Pope
« Reply #496 on: 07-06-2009 06:38 »

"This ain't no fooling around", for sure.  Disco lyrics notwithstanding, they're boned. The mutants are boned, Fry and Tura are boned, everybody's probably boned.  I concur about the 'directness' of Leela thinking and pondering to herself about what Fry and Tura might be doing and how she might get her revenge on them, and perhaps her train of thought is just a touch long, but on the up side you sure do know how to describe her emotions and
feelings...   when you balance it with passages like this:

Her reaction to being told about the date hadn’t been one of her prouder moments.  She remembered getting enough of a hold on herself that the room stopped its spinning, and then trying to make an escape for the stairs before she could do anything that she’d regret later.  Whether that thing that she would later regret would have been crying, admitting her feelings, or hitting him, she wasn’t sure; she just knew that she had to escape.
and -

Anger was like a shield for her; it allowed her to isolate herself to some extent from things, and provided a well of strength that she could use to move on from whatever had happened.  Without anger, her mind wasn’t distracted, and she couldn’t help but face the reality that she might have just lost Fry to someone else.

..those are very good.   Liked "for Asimov's sake!" as well.

And fairly characteristic that Phil would apologize to Leela.

Definitely awaiting to see the left-turns and falling-aparts and where it goes from here.

Urban Legend
« Reply #497 on: 07-07-2009 02:00 »

Maybe a little direct with Leela's internal thought/monologue section
  Yeah, I'll agree that I was a little more direct that usual with Leela's monologue this time around.  There were really two reasons for that.  One, it occured to me when I was writing this part of the story that, if I didn't do something to truncate Leela's internal battle to come to terms with, and reach an opinion about, this whole mess with Tura and Fry, the fic was never going to end.  I've already broken 150 pages...  Second, ITWGY went and kicked the rug out from under me by having Leela admit to Fry that she loved him mad  Originally, the idea that Leela could never acknowledge feelings for a crewmember was going to play a pivotal role in the fic.  And since I always try and write in canon, the plot had to suddenly change to allow for ITWGY.  Some of the holes weren't patched perfectly.  tongue

But yes.  Everybody is boned.  There'll be a little more description of the mutants evacuating their town (with some pointless violence involving Leela and some poor mutant's house that is only even there because I was tired of dialogue), including a scene that I rendered with 3DS max a few weeks back.  Then Fry has what may or may not be a dream, and then all hell breaks loose.  I haven't actually written it yet, but I fully expect to start killing off important characters in the near future.


Bending Unit
« Reply #498 on: 07-08-2009 15:18 »

Hi SO,

Glad you've posted, sorry for my delay.  I really like what I've read and what is coming up, including the dream sequence.  Yep, a lot of *** is about to hit the fan, but in a good way, if ** hitting the fan can ever have a good way.

Urban Legend
« Reply #499 on: 07-15-2009 21:09 »

@JN: Wait, you posted something?  On the 8th?  I really need to poke my head in here more often...  Thanks for all the help beta-ing btw. 

I've got a free moment (well, actually I don't, but research can suck it for the next few minutes.  Hear that, physics?  I said suck it!)  so I'll post the next chapter.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _______

Undercity Hall was a zoo.  It looked like most of the village had gotten the message, and had decided to listen to it.  Leela had to admit that she hadn’t expected to get the town mobilized so quickly, but she’d apparently misjudged these people.  I’m thinking like a surface dweller still.  Leela admonished herself.  How long does it take to collect your most prized possessions when you have no possessions to collect?  It wasn’t material things that mattered to the mutants, it was their history, their culture.  It was this place that mattered to them, this city of rotting buildings that they’d pieced together bit by bit over the course of their entire lives.

Leela was standing at the top of the stairs that led up to Undercity Hall.  Phil, Bender, and Amy flanked her, with the rest of the refugees from the surface, Raoul, the Turangas’, Dwayne, and Leg Mutant standing behind her.  Before her were mutants packed shoulder to shoulder- or equivalent- dozens of rows deep. 

“People, please!  Quiet down; let Leela talk!”  Phil called desperately into the crowd, but the nervous chatter of the mob easily drowned him out.  He’d been trying for a few minutes to get their attention; Leela was getting impatient.

With a little noise of irritation, Leela snatched her pistol from Hermes and fired one quick shot into the air.  The little weapon let out a loud crack and a fierce blue-hot ball of plasma screamed away into the distant ceiling.  When the echoes from the shot died away, the crowd was silent.  Leela thrust her weapon back into the Jamaican’s hands.

“Everybody listen up!”  Leela’s voice rang out across the square.  “The DOOP could show up at any time.  You’ve all seen the news reports by now.”

A nervous grumble rolled through the crowd.  Leela cut it off by raising her hand.  “We can’t afford to be here when they arrive.  We have to leave.”

“Where will we go?”  someone called out.  “They’ll capture us if we leave the city!”  There were a few mumbled words of assent from a handful of mutants.

“For now, we’ll head for the old city.”  Leela replied confidently.  “Fry used to live there; he knows his way around.  With his help, we’ll be able to hide from the DOOP long enough to find a better solution.” 

“You want us to hide in a hole and wait for the Army to get us, one by one?  Someone else yelled. 

“We should stay and fight!”  A third mutant added.  The statement was met by cheers from a group of mutants at the back of the crowd.  Leela recognized some of them as being a part of the ‘communications network’ that Vyolet had put together.  Maybe I should have paid more attention to what that group actually does.  Leela thought.  And where is Vy, anyway?  Is she still managing the effort to get the alarm out to the other mutant villages?

“We’re not leaving our homes!”  The first mutant yelled.  “We’ll fight them with our bare tentacles if we have to!”  Some of the mutants cheered.

Soon, the whole crowd was yelling.  Some of the mutants were urging others to listen to what Leela had to say; others were demanding that they all stand and fight for what was theirs.  The situation soon threatened to get out of hand as a few punches were thrown on both sides.

Phil shot Leela a nervous glance, and Leela turned to him. 

“Looks like I need to get their attention again.”

  Almost nonchalantly, she hefted the antimatter rifle that she had slung under one arm.  With a casual flick of her wrist, she turned the weapon’s gain to high and aimed it at an old, abandoned dry cleaners down the street.  A rending torrent of antiprotons tore their way through the air, illuminating the entire cavern in a harsh, violet glare that matched Leela’s ponytail.  The blinding beam of light collided with the exterior wall of the drycleaners and hungrily annihilated itself in a blast of gamma radiation.  The entire building vanished in a flash of bright white.  A huge concussion swept through the crowd, knocking a handful of mutants off their feet.  A moment later, the light had vanished, leaving only a smoking crater where the cleaners had been.

Again there was absolute silence.  Leela raised her rifle over her head and waited for every pair of eyes in the crowd to swivel toward it.  “This,” Leela proclaimed, “is an antimatter rifle.   “Each DOOP soldier will carry something this powerful.”  The PE Captain nodded at her newly excavated piece of real estate.  “That is what the DOOP will do to this entire village.  What match are you with your pitchforks and two-by-fours against something like that?”

This time, no one challenged her.  Funny, I wasn’t in the mood for violence half an hour ago.  Leela thought to herself as she lowered her weapon.  Looks like I’m starting to warm up to the idea again.  She had always really liked the rifle.  It was sleek, powerful, and had a nice heft to it.  Also, it matched her hair when she fired it. 

Sensing that Leela had finished, Raoul squeezed his way between Phil and Bender and addressed the crowd.  “We’ve got a long walk ahead of us.”  He said.  “You all know the route to the Old City.  Once we’re there I'll fill you in on exactly where we’re going.”

It had been decided earlier that their exact destination would remain a secret until the mutants had gotten as far away from the village as possible.  There was a chance, however unlikely, that Poopenmeyer- or the DOOP, for that matter- had somehow managed to put listening devices in the sewer system.  It was something they couldn’t risk, even if it meant that other mutant villages, as well as stragglers from their own village that didn’t heed the evacuation order in time, wouldn’t know how to find them.  The runners that had gone out to the other villages had been instructed to tell anyone that would listen to take shelter wherever they could find it.  It would be up to the leaders of the other villages to decide whether the best shelter was in New New York’s sewer system, the old city, or the old city’s sewer system.  After a few days, and every few days after that, members of each community would meet in a predetermined location to strategize and exchange news.  No one group would know the current location of any other group.  That way, no one could give them all away if they got captured.

“I will lead the group.”  Raoul continued.  “Everyone else should follow as they can.  “Leela and her crew will take up the rear, making sure that no one that wants to go gets left behind.”  The part where Leela and Hermes had the only weapons, and were the mutants’ only protection if the DOOP caught up to them went unsaid.

Without another word, Raoul descended the steps and started to work his way to the edge of the crowd.  Dwayne and Leg Mutant followed him.  A buzz of anticipation started to build through the mutants as Raoul made it to the head of what was slowly becoming less a mob and more a column. 

Leela realized that the eyes of her parents, her coworkers, and their families were on her.  Raoul was the leader of the mutants, but she had her own band of people that were expecting her to take the lead.  The PE Captain looked at each of them in turn.  Dwight and Cubert looked scared; Leela hadn’t considered the effect that firing off her rifle would have on the children.  The adults, though grim-faced, had an air of determination about them.  Well, all except Bender, who was clearly bored.   But Bender was, well, Bender.  He didn’t count.  Even Labarbara, who had stood unflinchingly next to Dwayne for the last fifteen minutes, seemed to be with her.  Leela had always liked the woman; now she understood why.

“You guys ready?”  Leela asked. 

“Always.”  Phil said instantly, and Amy nodded her agreement.

“We’re with you, dear.”  Munda added.

“Can we just do this, please?”  Bender snapped.  “The only reason I’m even going with you is that Phil thinks there might be some old, abandoned liquor stores down there in Old New York.  The sooner we get there, and the sooner I don’t have to listen to all you meat bags jabbering on at each other, the better.”

Despite herself, Leela laughed.  Bender’s ability to be un-phased by absolutely anything usually was enough to make her grind her teeth together.  Right now, it was a welcome glimpse of a time before things had gone spinning out of control. 

Leela turned and led her friends down the stairs.  A ripple was starting to move through the column as the mutants near the front started to follow Raoul away from Undercity Hall.  Leela and her crew waited at the bottom of the stairs for the mutants to pass, and then slid into place at the rear when the last of the mutants finally went by. 

The column worked its way down the town’s main street and toward the yawning mouth of one of the sewer pipes that emptied into the cavern.  Here and there, a mutant stood by the side of the boardwalk and watched them pass.  Leela regarded these few, hard-eyed mutants with sadness.  She could only hope that they would follow their fellows into hiding before it was too late.

The column followed the boardwalk out of the town and around the edge of the lake.  Eventually, the boardwalk ended and was replaced with the bare cavern rock.  Up ahead, the sewer pipe jutted out of the wall like an obscene mouth.  The bottom lip of the pipe was a good fifty feet above the floor of the cavern, and a moderate flow of greenish water cascaded from it into the edge of the town lake. 

At the base of the falls, the column crossed a footbridge and began to snake its way up a series of rickety, wooden ramps.  When Leela reached the top of, she turned to look out over the town.  The decrepit buildings, now mostly empty, seemed to huddle together for support.  The town water wheel, which provided the mutants with their electricity, was visible on the other end of the lake, still slowly turning.  The town was a wretched place.  Leela had always thought so.  A wretched, horrible place.  But it’s all that the mutants had, and, now, it was being taken away as well.

Someone touched Leela on the shoulder.

Leela turned to find Amy and Phil standing next to her.  “Now?”  The PE Captain asked.

“Yes.” Amy replied. 

Leela nodded.  Kif had called Amy a few minutes earlier to warn her.  He couldn’t distract Zapp any longer; the DOOP was coming.

“Do you think they’ll be okay?”  Phil asked.

The PE Captain didn’t say anything, but just continued looking out at the town.  The rear of the column had disappeared into the pitch darkness of the tunnel behind them, leaving the three of them alone. 

Shafts of light suddenly sprang into existence in the ceiling over the town.  Searchlights, Leela realized, coming from the manholes.  Long ropes were now unrolling from a dozen entry points, and, moments later, streams of tiny figures were sliding down them.  No more than ten seconds after the first figure reached the ground, the lights went out in the town.  The entire cavern was thrown into a blackness, now only punctured by light streaming in from the manholes.

For two minutes, Leela stood at the lip of the sewer pipe and watched, mesmerized, as more and more DOOP soldiers poured into the mutant village.  Then Phil grabbed her wrist.  In the dim light from the distant searchlights, she could just barely make out his expression.

She nodded.  “Let’s go.” She whispered.  Before the shooting starts.


Space Pope
« Reply #500 on: 07-16-2009 07:24 »

Ah, I recognize the scene from your 3DS max representation.  Also, Leela might have wanted to make maximum-sure no one was near that dry cleaners, before annihilating it...
Still think something might be up with Vyolet.

Bender's ability to be un-phased by absolutely anything usually was enough to make her grind her teeth together.  Right now, it was a welcome glimpse of a time before things had gone spinning out of control.

Yeah, I can imagine how that would be the case.
(Should be "unfazed", however).

The column followed the boardwalk out of the town and around the edge of the lake.  Eventually, the boardwalk ended and was replaced with the bare cavern rock.  Up ahead, the sewer pipe jutted out of the wall like an obscene mouth.  The bottom lip of the pipe was a good fifty feet above the floor of the cavern, and a moderate flow of greenish water cascaded from it into the edge of the town lake.  

At the base of the falls, the column crossed a footbridge and began to snake its way up a series of rickety, wooden ramps.  When Leela reached the top of, she turned to look out over the town.  The decrepit buildings, now mostly empty, seemed to huddle together for support.  The town water wheel, which provided the mutants with their electricity, was visible on the other end of the lake, still slowly turning.

Excellent description.
Panache and aplomb, et cetera.           :P

Looking forward to Fry's imminent dream sequence.

Urban Legend
« Reply #501 on: 07-29-2009 07:01 »

The morning after their date, Fry found himself sitting in a chair in the Planet Express conference room, trying as best he could to ignore the stares of Aimee, Hermes, Zoidberg, and one of the Benders.  Tura had left to go find the Professor a few minutes earlier, and Fry wished with every fiber of his being that she’d hurry up and get back.  With her gone, his coworkers knew that it was only a matter of time before their stares caused him to crack like an egg in vacuum.

Fry was able to avoid making eye contact with anyone by keeping his eyes glued to the edge of the table immediately in front of him.  Eventually though, he had to look up to see if he was still being watched, and his eyes locked with Aimee’s.

The intern started to speak, then stopped.  She frowned, unable to come up with the right way to ask the question that was written all over her face.  Over the next few seconds, a handful of halfway-coherent syllables escaped from her mouth before she finally gave up, defeated.

“So.  Did you two do it?”  Bender asked, exhaling a cloud of cigar smoke.

“Bender!”  Aimee yelled, dismayed.

Fry wasn’t nearly as offended as he would have been if it had been anyone else that had spoken.  After being the robot’s best friend for the majority of a decade, nothing Bender said was enough to get to him anymore.

“Uh.”  Fry said cautiously.  “Tura asked me not to talk about it.”

Bender slapped the table.  “Hoo-yeah!  Way to go, sausage link!”  The bending unit turned to Hermes.  “You owe me five bucks, Hermes.”  Turning back to Fry, he continued.  “I knew you two must’ve been going at it when you didn’t come home last night.”   

Aimee looked a little puzzled.  “I don’t know, Bender.  He’s not blushing.  He’d be bright red if they’d done it last night.”

All eyes turned back to Fry, who looked away again. 

After awhile, Hermes spoke up.  “Fry, mon.  You’ve got to tell us!  I don’t want to have to give dat alcoholic tin can any of my money!  He’s stolen enough of it as it is!”

The Jamaican’s plea elicited a wince from Fry.  “Sorry, Hermes.  I can’t.  She made me promise.”

“They so did it.”  Bender said confidently, taking another pull on his cigar.

“Why would Tura make you promise not to-”
“Because it’s none of your business.”  Tura replied.  The cyclops was standing with the Professor at the entrance to the lounge; no one had heard the door swish open.  Hermes, Aimee, and Bender all jumped in unison at the sound of her voice.  Bender’s cigar tumbled to the floor and went out.

Tura crossed the few feet to the conference table and took a seat next to Fry.  She returned her coworkers’ stares with a look of cool indifference while the Professor shuffled his way to his padded armchair.  Fry, meanwhile, let out a very loud sigh of relief.

That’s twice today I managed to keep my mouth shut.  The delivery boy thought to himself.  The Leelas would be proud of me, if they weren’t both on the list of people I have to keep my mouth shut around.  Leela would probably kill him if she found out about what had transpired between him and Tura the night before, and then Tura would probably try to kill Leela if she heard about what was going on in the other timeline at the moment- whatever exactly it was that was going on.

Sometime in the early hours of the morning, Fry had awoken in the beta timeline.  Rather than finding himself staring at the mildew-stained ceiling of the Turanga’s extra bedroom, he was, for no logical reason that his brain could deduce, standing in the dark with what felt like hundreds of other people, shuffling down a narrow trail.  On one side of him was broken rock of some type, or maybe concrete.  On the other side was a drop-off that had no visible bottom.  It had taken awhile for the delivery boy to convince himself that he wasn’t just having a very strange dream.  But then he’d tripped on something loose, and the abyss loomed large in front of him.   He toppled over, and he had just enough time to think to himself that this is when he should be waking up before an arm came out of nowhere and he was hauled upright.  Leela had, by sheer good luck, been only a few feet behind him and had reacted.  The reality of the situation had hit him like a blow to the chest when he saw the terror that was written all over her face.

When the fear and adrenaline that had come with the recognition of his near brush with death had ebbed, Fry had tried to speak.  The instant he’d opened his mouth, Leela had put a finger to his lips, silencing him.  It had occurred to him then what had really convinced him that he was dreaming in the first place.  There were people everywhere; he could see them in the pale light that was barely illuminating the landscape.  He was near the end of an enormous column.  Hundreds of people, and they were all being perfectly silent.  Now that he knew this was all real, a little chill went down his spine.  Whatever was happening, it couldn’t be good.

The line of people had continued moving while Fry had gotten his bearings.  Fry and Leela had to hurry to catch up with them.  Running along the narrow trail had seemed a bad idea, but something was telling Fry that there was something bad behind them, and time spent exposed on this cliff face was something to be kept to a minimum. 

The column soon reached the bottom of the cliff- which was not nearly as large as Fry’s brain had made it in the dark.  There it turned to the left, and entered a long, narrow canyon.  In the darkness, Fry was completely clueless as to where he was.  That is, until the passed a sign for 110th street.  He’d been right in the middle of realizing that he was walking through the ruins of Old New York when, ‘pop’, he was back in the alpha timeline.  The whole time he’d been marching, no one had said one word to him to explain what was going on.

Whatever the case, telling Tura about it would just ruin the good mood she was in.

All the while Fry had been remembering the weirdness of the night before, Aimee had been sitting across from him, trying to wrestle something out of Tura.  Tura, by this point had exhausted her tiny supply of patience, and finally cut her off.  “Enough, Aimee!  Just drop it!”

Tura’s outburst elicited a raised eyebrow from Hermes.  Amy and the Jamaican exchanged a smirk.  Tura rolled her eye dramatically and looked toward the ceiling, as if imploring the Almighty to save her from the tide of stupidity in which she found herself adrift.

Zoidberg cleared his throat, sensing a way into the conversation.  “Friends, if, as the only one present who is an expert on humans, I might make an observation-”

“No.”  Bender cut in.

“In the last stage of the human mating cycle, the female devours the head of the male, which takes at least one week to grow back.  Fry’s head is still clearly attached to his sternum, so he and Tura couldn’t have been spawning last night.”

 “Zoidberg, you idiot.  Wipe that Jah-damned smug look off your face.”  Hermes spat.  The bureaucrat made it a point never to miss an opportunity to rag on the Decapodian.  I’ve eaten lobsters that were bigger experts on humans than you.”


Fry was just about to say something- not to defend Zoidberg of course, which was always tantamount to committing social suicide- but to at least shift the group’s attention away from the poor creature, when Professor Farnsworth’s agitated voice cut him off. 

“That’s enough!”  Farnsworth’s voice was soft and shaky, but it still managed to command almost instant obedience.  Having a reputation for being a mad scientist had its upsides.  “We have a delivery to make!  If you don’t all shut up so we can start the morning briefing, I’ll send you all back to the other timeline and leave you there!”

 Quiet descended upon the room as if a switch had been thrown.  Somehow, in a way that Fry couldn’t have even begun to explain, the abrupt silence seemed even louder than the yelling that had preceded it.

“You’ve found a way to send us home?”  Tura finally asked.

“Huh, what?”  The Professor suddenly grew flustered.  “No, of course not!  What makes you think-“

“We all heard you say it, Professor.”  Aimee said.

Farnsworth’s eyes swept the table.  Each of his employees was staring intently back at him.  The senile old inventor nervously licked his lips, made a few halting attempts to speak, and then, resigned, slumped deeper into his padded armchair.  “Very well, then.  Yes, I’ve discovered a way to send Tura and Aimee back to their timeline.  After watching the video feeds from the spacesuits you were wearing when you went to explore the derelict space station, I’ve discovered how the device you found there worked, and I can build a machine to imitate it.”

“Professor, that’s terrific!”  Aimee exclaimed.  The intern beamed a smile in Tura’s direction.  “Did you hear that, Tura?  We can finally go home!” 

Tura didn’t return the smile.  She sat with her arms crossed, frowning, and carefully watched the Professor.  Fry thought he knew what she was thinking.  If he’s found a way to send them home, then why was he so hesitant to mention it?

“So what was da blasted piece of junk supposed to do, then?”  Hermes was asking, referring to the blue device on the station that Bender had activated.

“It’s quite simple.”  The Professor replied.  “The device was designed to allow travel between our timeline and one of an infinite number of parallel timelines.”

“Well, it worked then.”  Tura commented drily.

“Yes it did, but not in the way it was supposed to.”  The Professor continued.  “When Bender activated the device the first time, I believe it successfully sent Fry, Bender, Leela, and Amy into the other timeline.”

“Into our timeline, you mean?”  Aimee asked.

“Yes.  But sending a person into a parallel timeline isn’t as simple as, say, sending him to a parallel universe through one of those boxes I keep hidden in the storage closet.  Superdupersymmetry requires each timeline to have exactly the same amount of mass-energy.  You can’t take mass-energy from one timeline and put it in another without taking the same amount of mass-energy from the second timeline and putting it back in the first one.”

“Is that why we keep jumping back and forth?”  Tura asked.

The Professor shook his head.  “No.  That’s different.  When your consciousnesses switch from one timeline to the other, your bodies don’t.  That’s why you can be in the spaceship, halfway to another galaxy one moment, and then jump to the other timeline and be back on Earth.  If your bodies were travelling back and forth, you’d jump from the ship to that exact location in space in the other timeline.”

“So, if the ship didn’t happen to be in the exact same place in the other timeline…” Tura trailed off as the implications set in.

“Precisely.”  Farnsworth nodded.

“But wait, if the machine sent us to the other timeline before it exploded, then how did some of us get back?”  Fry asked slowly.  He looked from one coworker to the other, trying to read in their expressions whether his question had been a stupid one.

“It malfunctioned.”  The Professor replied.  “When the device sent the space station into the parallel timeline, it had to also act as a conduit for all of the mass-energy flowing from the parallel timeline back to ours.”

“Where did all the mass-energy come from?”  Aimee asked.   

“ The space station was sitting in an emission nebula, doy!”  Farnsworth slapped his forehead, and the intern broke into tears.  “Anyway, the station was in such disrepair that it probably couldn’t handle the strain of channeling all that energy, so, when the device tried to send my crew back to our timeline, it gave out, much like my bladder did after breakfast this morning.”   

“So, that’s why it exploded?”  Fry asked after he was finished making a disgusted face.

“Indeed.  The moment the device began to send the station, the ship, and my crew back to our timeline, all the mass-energy that was flowing backward from our timeline into the beta timeline was released, causing the whole station to be destroyed before it could finish the transfer.  Fry, Leela, Bender, and Amy were most likely stuck in some sort of higher-dimensional limbo.  For several seconds, they occupied both timelines at once, and their quantum states became entangled with their counterparts from the beta timeline, causing all of you to randomly jump back and forth between the realities.”

Hermes, who had been dozing off, suddenly looked up at the mentioning of the word ‘limbo’, but he soon realized that it was a false alarm and his eyes immediately glazed over again.

“Fascinating.”  Tura said, less than enthusiastically.  “But what does any of this have to do with sending me and Aimee home?”

Farnsworth shot Tura a fiery look.  “I was getting to that, damnit!”  He yelled.  “Once I realized that the device sent actual, physical matter across the barrier between timelines rather than just altering the quantum states of people’s individual consciousnesses so that they jump back and forth, I was able to come up with a way to do it myself.  I’ve already sent two mosquitoes to the other timeline.”   

There was a burst of excited chatter.  “Professor, that’s great!”  Fry exclaimed.  “We can bring Leela home!” 

Tura looked at the delivery boy in surprise.

Farnsworth shook his head.  “Alas, it’s not that easy.  I may be a genius, but even I can’t deduce an entire theory of inter-reality travel based on grainy images taken from a spacesuit holo camera.  So far, I’ve been unable to build a device capable of handling the strain more than once.
I can send Tura and Aimee back to their timeline, but the device they use to get there will then be too damaged to bring anyone in the other timeline back here.”

Tura shrugged.  “So then we’ll bring a spare with us to the beta timeline.  That way, your crew will have a working one for the trip home.”

“Precisely.  Which reminds me.  Everyone that is experiencing the reality jumps will have to accompany Tura to the other timeline.  Getting into close proximity with your duplicate should cause the body-swapping to stop.”

“Why would that matter?”  Aimee asked.

“Because I said so!”  Farnsworth snapped.  “I’m on sabbatical; I don’t have to derive abstract theory for graduate students!”  There was a beat.  “Anywho, I’ll need an hour to prepare two devices, and then we can get started.  Aimee, I’ll need your help with the Styrofoam cutter.”

“Right, Prof-”  Aimee started, but Tura cut her off.

“Wait, hold on a minute.”  The cyclops said.  “Aren’t you forgetting something, Professor?”

“Huh-wha?”  Farnsworth scratched his head.  “Well, I can’t seem to remember who that lad with the red hair is, and I seem to have forgotten where I am, but other than that… no, I don’t think so.”

Tura sighed in annoyance.  “It’s pretty obvious that you’ve been hiding this invention of yours from us.  You only told us about it just now because you misspoke and we caught you.  I’m guessing there’s something wrong with it that you haven’t mentioned.” 

The Professor frowned at the PE Captain.  He thought for a moment before replying.  “Hmm.  Yes, that does sound familiar.  Do you happen to remember what it was that was wrong?”

“Ugh.  If I knew what it was, would I be asking you about it?”

“No, I suppose not.”  The scientist paused.  “Ah, yes.  That’s right.  Of course!”  Farnsworth brightened.  “Yes, there is a small problem with the devices; nothing terribly important.”

Suddenly, everyone in the room was on guard.  On a scale of one to ten, a problem with one of the Professor’s new inventions that the senile old inventor deemed ‘not very important’ generally ranked at least an eight.

“So, umm, what exactly is the catch?”  Fry asked. 

“Oh, nothing to worry yourself about, whoever you are.  I simply haven’t found a way to channel the energy coming from the other timeline yet.  A single mosquito sent into the other timeline transfers as much energy into our timeline as is given off when a spaceship hits a mountain.  With my current equipment, I could barely keep my experiment from blowing up Planet Express.  If I send a person, it will destroy a big piece of New Manhattan.”

Fry, Aimee, and Tura exchanged looks of shock.  Bender and Hermes didn’t react.  For the robot, blowing up a city wasn’t any cause for alarm, and the bureaucrat had long ago given up on the conversation and started stamping paperwork that had seemingly appeared out of thin air.

“Professor.”  Tura said at last.  “I’m pretty sure that blowing up the city to stop the reality jumps is not a viable option.”

“Why don’t we just move the device to some asteroid?”  Aimee piped in.  “No one will care if we blow up some ugly rock in the asteroid belt.”

“Hey, now that’s not a bad idea.”  Tura replied excitedly.  “Or better yet, skip the asteroid altogether.  We can just put the devices in the ship, fly somewhere far enough into space that we won’t blow anything up when we turn the device on, and then- hey, wait.  Professor, you’re smart enough to have figured this out already.  Why didn’t you come up with this plan on your own?”

The Professor was frank.  “I did.”  He said.  “But I didn’t want to risk you blowing up my ship if the device doesn’t work correctly.  I have no way to know if the device works until someone comes back from the other timeline and tells me.”

 Another volley of nervous looks crisscrossed the table.  The company motto played itself unbidden in Fry’s head.  Our crew is expendable; your package isn’t.

“Uhh, Tura, maybe we should wait until the Professor has a chance to test this invention some more.”  The delivery boy said uneasily.

Tura shook her head vehemently.  “No.  We’ve been sitting around long enough, waiting for a way to fix this mess.  It’s time to take action.  I have faith in the Professor; his invention will work.”

Yeah, well, let’s hope it works better than the last one did.  Fry thought darkly.  He wished he wasn’t too much of a coward to say it aloud.

Space Pope
« Reply #502 on: 07-29-2009 11:18 »

Fanfic is always better with the application of Science! And real science, not the mumb-jumbo hollywood science I always use. big grin

Can't wait to see how Tura reacts to events in her own timeline. Assuming she isn't turned into lepton soup.
Future Shock

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #503 on: 07-29-2009 14:25 »

Ah, just let them destroy New Manhattan. It'll earn you suspense and story continuation points, and lets face it, the imagery will be AWESOME.

Urban Legend
« Reply #504 on: 07-29-2009 17:00 »

real science?  Haha, no.  I just invent whatever physics I need to continue the story.  It's a crock, I promise smile

Space Pope
« Reply #505 on: 07-30-2009 01:37 »

I. love. your sciencey stuff.  Your portrayal of the Professor and his scientifical explanations is several kinds of amazing.  First-rate characterization combined with speculative quantum mechanicking.             Fry's not-dream inspires some unease too.

It would be good if more fics remembered science and humor and not dragging on about things which have nothing to do with the Futurama universe.  [Using 'fics' in the abstract].  I like this line also -

I've eaten lobsters that were bigger experts on humans than you.

You did use "senile old inventor" twice, however.     Lately I think you've gotten much better with not repeating phrases too often.

Very entertaining section.   'Deriving abstract theory' is something at which you are good.

Bending Unit
« Reply #506 on: 07-30-2009 02:30 »

Yay update!  Confrontation between Leela^2 looming!  And mad science!  Almost sounds like you know what you're talking about...

Urban Legend
« Reply #507 on: 07-30-2009 17:50 »

You did use "senile old inventor" twice, however.     Lately I think you've gotten much better with not repeating phrases too often.

Very entertaining section.   'Deriving abstract theory' is something at which you are good.

Oops, I missed that double use of 'senile old inventor'.  I added some things at the last minute to make the whole revelation that Farnsworth can send Tura and Aimee home seem a little less gratuitous, and that second usage of the phrase slipped in there. 

Yay update!  Confrontation between Leela^2 looming!  And mad science!  Almost sounds like you know what you're talking about...

Hey, you're back!    People have been wondering if you'd dissapeared for good.

Space Pope
« Reply #508 on: 07-30-2009 18:27 »

I had 5 to 1 on him being swallowed whole by a whale. Guess I lost.

Bending Unit
« Reply #509 on: 07-31-2009 06:02 »

I had 5 to 1 on him being swallowed whole by a whale. Guess I lost.

Nope, just my big toe.  Some interesting results.  My colleagues tagged a sperm whale
off southeast Alaska in mid-June with a satellite tag.  Two weeks later it was off Monterey--2500 km in 18 days!  Now it's off Cabo San Lucas.  Man, these guys can travel fast when they want to..

Space Pope
« Reply #510 on: 07-31-2009 06:48 »


big grin

That is all.

(I hope you are not missing your toe too much).

Oops, I missed that double use of 'senile old inventor'.  I added some things at the last minute to make the whole revelation that Farnsworth can send Tura and Aimee home seem a little less gratuitous, and that second usage of the phrase slipped in there.

Yeah, it's hard to always keep the writing diversified. One thing I haven't really pointed out is how you do seem to have a lot more variety in your descriptions lately, you've really increased your descriptors for the diverse characters.  I would say that's one area in which you've improved.

And overall the entire explication doesn't come across as gratuitous at all, but I'm not entirely clear on the whole mass-energy aspect - is that part based in real physics, or did you make that up too?   Is that "a crock"?
Plus what's an emission nebula?

Urban Legend
« Reply #511 on: 07-31-2009 07:22 »

@JN: 2500km in 18 days?  *does the math* Wow.  that's... fast.  A whale certainly isn't an animal that I picture moving anywhere in a hurry.  

@kim: It doesn't seem nearly as gratuitous as it used to.  Originally, the Professor just sort of showed up to the meeting and announced that he'd had a way to send everyone home for the past week...  

The whole mass/energy thing is (very loosely) based on conservation of energy.  If the universe has x amount of energy, then it will always have x amount of energy, no matter what you do.  I extended that to say that each timeline should have the same energy (because it was a great plot device), and that's why putting something into another timeline causes an equal amount of mass energy to flow back the other way.  Mass-energy equivalence is real physics, though, and that bit about a mosquito having as much energy in it as gets released when a spaceship (I think it was a Boeing 747 in the example in my intro physics book) hits a mountain is accurate.  E = m*c^2, and c = 3*10^8 m/s, so even a tiny mosquito packs a huge amount of mass energy.

an emission nebula is a cloud of hydrogen and dust that is hot enough to be emmitting radiation.  It's where stars are born.  I'm sure you've seen pictures of the Orion Nebula, or the Eagle Nebula.  Those are some of the most famous emission nebulae.

Space Pope
« Reply #512 on: 07-31-2009 09:20 »

Thank you, understood, begrepen, got it, love your teachings.  I knew that the universe always has/retains the same amount of energy. And I semi-knew that that relates in some way to what you were talking about.

A whale certainly isn't an animal that I picture moving anywhere in a hurry.

Oh, they can be pretty streamlined.  Apparently they are also the closest living relatives of hippos.. - I am now envisioning a hippo lumbering its way towards Cabo San Lucas...

It would probably make quite a splash.
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
« Reply #513 on: 08-01-2009 21:06 »

Still here, just not saying anything. smile

Second. [/Scruffy]
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #514 on: 08-02-2009 05:43 »

“ The space station was sitting in an emission nebula, doy!”  Farnsworth slapped his forehead, and the intern broke into tears.  “Anyway, the station was in such disrepair that it probably couldn’t handle the strain of channeling all that energy, so, when the device tried to send my crew back to our timeline, it gave out, much like my bladder did after breakfast this morning.”

More. Of this. kthnx.

Also, it sounds like that sperm had a whale of a ride! [/ohgodstartingthisagain]

Urban Legend
« Reply #515 on: 08-03-2009 05:27 »

thanks for the comments guys :P
_____________________________ ____________________________

It took so little time to get the Professor’s inventions loaded into the ship and then to get the ship a safe distance into space that Fry was feeling a bit lost.  Not an hour earlier he’d thought getting Tura home was going to take months, if it happened at all.  Now, somehow, he was standing on the ship’s bridge, staring at the box that was Tura’s ticket back to her timeline.

“Stupid old man.”  Tura was grumbling.  “He’s had these things sitting in his lab for a week, and he waited all this time to tell us.”

“Well, he did say that he wasn’t sure that it would work.”  Aimee replied.  She was favoring what they were all quickly getting into the habit of calling ‘the briefcase’ for its size and shape with a decidedly nervous look.

Tura caught the worried tone in the intern’s voice and turned to face her.  “Look, I’ve got a few hang-ups about doing this too.”  She admitted.  “But you heard the Professor.  The only way to prove that this thing works the way it’s supposed to is for someone to use it”

“Yeah, relax Aimee.”  Fry added in an attempt to make her feel better.  “If it blows up, none of us will probably ever even know.”

Tura glared at the delivery boy for his stupidity.  Bender just laughed in the background while Aimee’s face turned several shades whiter.

There was a hiss of static, and Hermes face appeared spontaneously on the overhead view screen. 

“Alright, den.”  The bureaucrat said.  “The Professor says you should be far enough away from da planet by now to activate the device.  He also wanted me to tell you to record the jump to the other timeline so that he can study it later.”

“How sure is he that this’ll work, again?”  Aimee asked.

“Oh, don’t you worry.  He thinks everything will be just fine.”

At that moment, Farnsworth, somewhere off camera, called to the Jamaican.  “Hermes, stop whatever you’re doing and find me the box of new employee applications.  I’d do it myself, but I’m busy designing a replacement spaceship.”

“Ah, right away, Professor.”  Hermes looked into the camera and coughed.  “I, umm, have to go,” he said, and the screen went blank.

A few moments of tense silence passed on the bridge of the Planet Express Ship.  Finally, Bender sauntered over to The Briefcase and, giving it a light kick to show his disdain for the whole enterprise, gestured at Tura with his cigar.

“So, are we going to do this, or not?  I don’t care either way, but the sooner we get this over with the sooner I can get back to Planet Express and steal Hermes’ latest anniversary gift to his wife from his office.”

“Bender’s right.”  Tura announced at length.  “I mean, about the first part.’ She quickly added to correct herself.  “Not the other part- you know what I mean.”

Tura bent over the device and started flipping switches.  Fry watched her, curiously.

“Do you know how this thing works?”  He asked.

Tura nodded.  “The Professor showed me.  The briefcase only has two settings: ‘current location’ and ‘destination’.  I flipped the one switch upward to tell it that we’re in the alpha timeline, and the other switch downward to tell it that we want to go to the beta timeline.  Then I just have to press this little button here, and we’ll either get sent to the other timeline or be blown into tiny pieces.”

Aimee winced, but Bender’s eyes actually literally lit up.

“Ooh, let me press the button.”  The robot said eagerly.  “I want to be able to say I killed all humans- even if it was just in my general area- when I get to robot heaven.”

“Bender,” Tura retorted, “if there’s one person in this universe that shouldn’t be trusted with a device that could unleash enough energy to destroy a city, it would be you.”

Bender started to protest, but Tura just talked over him.  “The Professor said that we should experience a smooth transition into the other timeline, but experience tells me that we should all be buckled into our seats before I press this button.” 

Aimee and Fry nodded in assent and went to strap themselves into their duty stations. Bender just fumed silently, until a dangerous look from Tura convinced him it was wise to do the same..

As soon as Tura was safely strapped into the Captain’s chair, she set the briefcase down by her left knee.  She took one last look around her, waiting for Aimee and Fry to confirm their readiness with a nod.  Fry thought Tura’s eye had lingered in his direction just a moment longer than necessary, but he didn’t have time to say anything to her before Tura bent down and pressed the button.

The transition was, in fact, just as smooth as the Professor had predicted.  The briefcase had let out a hum, which had grown in volume until it had made Fry wince.  Then there had been the same blue-white light that had enveloped them at the wreck, followed by the familiar popping sound, and the light and hum vanished.

Judging that it was safe, Tura unstrapped herself from her chair and bent down to pick up the device.  Luckily, Aimee was sitting where she could see what was about to happen.

“Tura, no!  Wait!”

Tura froze and looked down at the briefcase.  Her hand jerked away reflexively when she saw what was left of it.  The device was red-hot.  Parts of its metal frame had actually melted partially, causing part of its upper half to buckle inward.

“Holy bejesus!”  Fry exclaimed when he’d disentangled himself from his chair and moved to a position where he could see.  “The Professor wasn’t kidding when he said the device couldn’t handle the strain.”

“Good thing we brought a spare.”  Tura replied as she walked toward the forward viewport.  Her three friends followed her, and together they surveyed the scene outside the ship.  What they were looking for, exactly, none of them knew- the timelines were identical except for a few minor things back home on planet Earth- but they all looked anyway. 

“I guess the only way to know if it really worked is to get back to Planet Express.”  Tura said finally. 

Fry nodded, but then froze as his weird experience from the night before popped into his head.  Something from that march through the dark told him that going back to Planet Express was a very, very bad idea.  Hermes and The Professor were there.  He realized.  They wouldn’t have been there with their families unless something bad happened to Planet Express.  Whenever something bad happened, the Planet Express crew and their families fled to the shelter of the Professor’s fortress of a building.  Since something bad was clearly going on, and they were not at Planet Express, that meant whatever had happened had happened at- or to- the Planet Express Building.

“Fry?” Tura asked, for what the delivery boy realized now was at least the third time.  “Fry, wake up!  What’s the matter?”

“We can’t go to Planet Express.”  Fry said.

Aimee and Tura shared a look of surprise.

“What?  Why not?”  Aimee asked.

The delivery boy frowned as he tried to concentrate on his memory of the night before.  “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?” Bender asked. 

“I was in the beta timeline for a couple of hours last night, after I tried to go to sleep.”  Fry hurried on when he saw Tura’s look of surprise.  “I still don’t know what I saw.”  He said to Tura.  “That’s why I didn’t tell you earlier.  I was walking in the dark with Leela and a whole bunch of other people, and I think we were running away from something, because everyone was being perfectly quiet.”

“Sounds like a dream.”  Aimee remarked.

“That’s what I thought at first too, but it wasn’t.”  He decided to omit the details of how he’d come face to face with the reality of the situation.  "I might be completely wrong about what was going on because no one would talk to me, but Hermes and LaBarbara were there, and so was the Professor.”

Tura looked worried.  “Do you know where you were when all of this was going on?”  She asked.

“We were in Old New York for most it.”

“Old New York?”  Aimee repeated.  “Why would Leela be leading a group of people through the ruins of the old city in the middle of the night?”

“And why don’t you know about this already?” Bender added.  “We all know you spent lat night going at each other like squirrels.”

“Something must have happened.”  Tura replied to Aimee, ignoring Bender entirely.  “Something big.  Have any of you been to the beta timeline since the police went into the sewers to find Phil and Bender the night before last?  Other than Fry last night, I mean.”

“Only for a couple of minutes.”  Aimee said with a shrug.  “Then I popped back into the alpha timeline.”

“How about you, Fry?” 

Fry gulped at Tura’s accusatory tone of voice.  “No, just that one time.  I promise.”


“Yeah, I was there most of night Leela blabbed about being a mutant.”

Fry made a sound like a hover truck has just landed on him when he realized what Bender had just given away.  Luckily, the robot noticed the deliver boy’s terror before Tura had a chance to recover from her sudden confusion.

“I mean, I assume she blabbed.  I wasn’t paying much attention.”  Bender continued without skipping a beat.  “Anyway, I didn’t stick around long enough to find out what was going on.  There was a whole parallel timeline to rob, you know.” 

For a fraction of a heartbeat, Fry wasn’t sure if Tura was going to buy it, but when the moment passed and there was still no hand around his neck, he breathed a silent sigh of relief.  Of course, Bender didn’t cover for other people for free.  I’d better watch myself for awhile.  He thought to himself.  He couldn’t afford to wake up in the morning to find any more kidneys missing.

“So then we have no idea what the situation is.”  Tura said, more to herself than to her crew.  She shook her head.  “First things first.  We still don’t know if we even made it to the beta timeline.  Let’s get back to Earth, and then come up with a plan when we have a little more information.”

“Oh, I think we can be pretty sure that we made it back to our timeline.”  Aimee said.

Tura furrowed her brow.  “Huh?  Why’s that?”

Aimee pointed out the front viewport.  “Because the Nimbus wouldn’t be shooting at us if we were still in Fry’s timeline.” 

Space Pope
« Reply #516 on: 08-03-2009 18:23 »

Also, it sounds like that sperm had a whale of a ride! [/ohgodstartingthisagain]

yo punning is so funning i love if he here today.


Another update?!  I see you're back to the prodigious-schedule.   So I wonder if all 8 of them will be stuck there now fighting for the mutants?  Apparently Kif wasn't able to distract or delay Zapp any longer; couldn't keep him occupied enough, to prevent the DOOP from beginning the attack.  Should be interesting to see some confrontations.  (Presuming some are looming).  Further twists and developments forthcoming?!  Wondering what is going to happen, anyway.

Urban Legend
« Reply #517 on: 08-03-2009 20:42 »

Another update?!  I see you're back to the prodigious-schedule.
  Don't get too excited.  I send my writing to JN for editing in massive, thirty page chunks. These last few updates have all been part of the most recent one of those.  I havent actually done any writing in a couple of months now, so there'll be a big lull in the updates coming up soon. Every year I seem to stop writing sometime in early June, and then start up again in mid September.

Space Pope
« Reply #518 on: 08-03-2009 20:57 »

Ingrained educational schedule?

Urban Legend
« Reply #519 on: 08-03-2009 21:24 »

probably.  either that or the creative part of my brain is temperature-sensitive...
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