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PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    Melllvar's Erotic Friend Fiction    Parallel Lives (a saga in so many parts) « previous next »
Author Topic: Parallel Lives (a saga in so many parts)  (Read 18330 times)
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TheLesbianLeela

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #120 on: 03-10-2008 10:36 »

I just stumbled above this fine piece of fan fiction a few minutes ago and now struggle through the long (story) postings, ... and all I can say at this point, so far, is: I like it, very much, keep on the good work!

I'll give a better review than this, once I'm through all of the story posted by now.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #121 on: 03-10-2008 10:43 »

TLL, be prepared!  This is no 'misunderstood' Leela.  She's true to her name, Evila.  I don't think even Arch knows how evil she is...  smile

And you're right - it's a damned good story.  I usually don't read fics until they're finished so it says something that I'm willing to read it as it goes along.  I think that last story that had me hooked enough to read as the chapters came out was Coldangel's, "Blame It On The Brain".  If you haven't read that one, sequester an evening to read a great fic.
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #122 on: 03-10-2008 11:14 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2008 11:14 »

Ralph, much more of that and you'll make my head explode.  wink

I hope you read the last update on the previous page that I just posted...   smile
TheLesbianLeela

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #123 on: 03-10-2008 11:43 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Ralph Snart: I think that last story that had me hooked enough to read as the chapters came out was Coldangel's, "Blame It On The Brain".  If you haven't read that one, sequester an evening to read a great fic.
Thanks for the recommendation.  smile I'll have the root beer* cold, the nachos with extra cheese and some nice music mix running in the background for a nice evening / night of fan fiction-reading then.  smile

* Or any passable German root beer substitute, since real American root beer is only available at Subway over here.
Tornadoboy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #124 on: 03-10-2008 11:43 »

Words absolutely fail at how masterful this work of fiction has been and will become. Can't wait for the next part! I'm a junkie! I need my fix!
TheLesbianLeela

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #125 on: 03-10-2008 11:50 »

You summed it up pretty well, Tornadoboy.  smile

I really love how the characters act and are described. It gives a nice in-canon feeling, as if it'd be an actual episode of our favorite TV series.

 
Quote
Cubert stopped tugging at Farnsworth’s sleeve and folded his arms again. He gave the Professor his ‘I’m smarter than you’ look and shook his head sadly. “How can there be an edge of the universe when there’s no centre?”
laff Gotta love Cubert!  laff
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #126 on: 03-10-2008 12:51 »

Ah, Cubert... I have to try and work him in again somewhere. Somehow.

Didja ever read my first Futurama fanfic? As if you haven't got enough to read already.  wink
TheLesbianLeela

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #127 on: 03-10-2008 13:25 »

I really missed some great art there, I see. In both, drawn and written art. I'll read the fan fiction as soon as possible.
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #128 on: 03-10-2008 13:59 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2008 13:59 »

Coming from someone as talented as you that means a lot.   wink

Now perhaps I can figure out how I managed to completely lose half of my sentence and an entire link in that last post.  confused THIS is the fanfic.  big grin

Right, back to trying to remember how to do this story thing...
TheLesbianLeela

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #129 on: 03-10-2008 14:14 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Archonix:
Coming from someone as talented as you that means a lot.    wink

Awww, thanks a lot!  smile

 
Quote
An accident or experiment gone awry in the Professor's lab (I know, cliché) turns Fry in to a woman, and now the newly minted Philippa Fry

Hehehe! Love it! Especailly considering the comic (well three pages of it) I did in 2003ish ... It had a Philippa Fry as well ... Hope I'll find the pictures on a CD somewhere.
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #130 on: 03-10-2008 14:27 »

I wouldn't mind seeing that.  smile
Bendersfan1221

Space Pope
****
« Reply #131 on: 03-11-2008 19:52 »

Oh man do I love this story. Great updates. I so want to know what Fry did to Evila but that has to wait. Poor Phil. I'm glad you put in the "dirty boy" thing I love that. Can't wait for more.
Demeter

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #132 on: 03-12-2008 08:55 »

Thought I should mention I'm intending on drawing some fanart for this x3 I haven't read it all just yet, but most of the first episode and I liked. ^^
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #133 on: 03-12-2008 09:56 »
« Last Edit on: 03-12-2008 09:56 »

All right, I'm noticing a little confusion about that so let me just clear it up. What I've posted up to now is all part of episode one. Expect at least half a dozen more like this...    smile

ETA: And I'd love to see what art you come up with, Demeter. I should have added that before.   smile
THM

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #134 on: 03-12-2008 17:44 »

Mr. Archonix, this story is kicking some serious ass - Evil Leela has good depth already, and we don't even know that much of her backstory yet. Killing Fry by not killing him...a very nice touch indeed. Kudos!

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

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #135 on: 03-12-2008 21:37 »

Finally got around to reading the short new segment. Evila is quite the devious one isn't she. She seem to have a really good understanding of what everybody is going to do next. Going though tons of universes with the same people will do that I guess.
Xanfor

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #136 on: 03-13-2008 08:36 »

Oh, I'm into this, I am deeply, deeply intrigued by this story. I'm not often intrigued, you know. Very rare occurrence for my type of person. Not very common...

Ooo, I wonder how this safety pin works!...
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #137 on: 03-13-2008 20:55 »

Shiny and pointy. Make sure you don't hurt yourself Xanfor.  wink
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #138 on: 03-14-2008 09:49 »

I wanted to do more illustrations for this one but my art hand just doesn't want to cooperate for some reason... oh well. One's better than none at all.

Oh and, despite appearances, this isn't the last chapter.


--

The conference room was silent – apart from the sound of the police, that was, even muffled by walls and distance as they were. Emergency lights flickered through the tall hangar windows, casting strange, twisted silhouettes across the walls and over the ship's mirror-finish hull, from which a second layer of spun light flitted over the giant hangar doors in the roof. The only other notable sound was Phil's breathing, punctuated by the occasional sobs that escaped his lips as he clawed at Blue's shoulders.

The stink of cigarettes and gun smoke drifted behind everything. Fry and Leela took in the scene without words until their twins looked up at them, one with desperation and the other with a strange, blank emptiness.

“She...” Phil raised his hand and pointed toward the far end of the conference room. Leela glanced over at the sealed door – the one Amy had retreated through yesterday in their own universe – and then back down at Phil.

“It'll be...”

Leela's voice faded away as Phil's eyes dropped back to his wife's corpse. There wasn't much to say. Leela looked down at Morgan's lifeless body and swallowed hard. In all her life, she'd been around danger many times, and seen death on more than one occasion, but never anything quite so visceral and primitive. She glanced at Fry, for once wishing he'd been wrong.



Leela knelt down alongside Phil, putting herself between him and the mortal remains of his wife. She took his hand and looked at Blue, who nodded slightly, before they both stood up, bringing Phil upright with them.

“Come on.”

Phil whimpered again but didn't resist as the pair walked him to the steps and then down. The destination wasn't particularly important as long as they got him – and them – away from the body. Fry followed behind and deftly stepped past Phil when he collapsed back onto the steps.

Fry leaned against the staircase and stared up at the flickering ceiling with his hands in his pockets. Leela looked at her counterpart again and took a deep breath.

“So now what?”

“You want that key...” Phil ran a hand through his ragged hair and stood to look at Leela. “She's dead because of you.”

“What?”

“That's not fair,” Fry yelled as he stabbed an angry finger at Phil. “We saved your life! Kinda...”

“He's right, you know.” Blue put a hand on Phil's shoulder but he shrugged it off. She self consciously pinched at her thumb as she continued. “She wanted to kill you. If they hadn't found us first you'd be dead by now.”

Phil turned part-way to look up at the empty space. He scrubbed an arm across his face to catch the tears before they got too far down his cheeks.

“At least Morgan would still be alive.”

Blue put her hands around Phil's shoulders again, and leaned her head against the back of his neck once it was clear he wasn't going to push her away. Phil shook his head and closed his eyes.

“You really loved her, didn't you,” Leela said.

“I did. Sometimes I wondered about how things might have been. This isn't really how I wanted to find out.”

Leela reached out for Phil but hesitated at the last moment as his hand wrapped around Blue's arm. She backed off, leaving them for a moment, until a high-pitched whine of feedback echoed through the building, followed by an adenoidal voice on a loudspeaker.

“This is the New New York Police Department, we have you surrounded.”

“Oh that's just perfect,” Leela muttered. Phil and Blue both looked around nervously as the voice continued talking, looking for some way to escape the trap they found themselves in.

They all flinched at the muffled crack of a pistol being fired, Phil and Fry especially; something about the sound seemed to reach into some memory or fear that Leela had never seen before. Fry had instinctively grabbed her arm.

“I told you she-”

“All right! I get it, you were right, I'm wrong. Fine...” Leela glanced around the hangar again. The door was still firmly locked, as if that would have changed since the last time she checked. Without knowing why, Leela looked up at the ship and watched the lights flicker against its shimmery skin. “Fry...”

A loud crash cut Leela off before she could continue. They looked around at the sound of falling glass; a barrage of gas grenades flew through the shattered north windows of the hangar and cracked against the floor, spinning as they vented their contents. The gas didn't seem to be rising too well and hugged close to a foot off the ground, but it wouldn't stay that way for long.

Leela and Blue's eyes met. “Hazmat suits?”

“There's two still working, locker six.” Blue pointed toward the back of the lab.

“Get Phil on the ship.”

Blue nodded and wrapped her arms under Phil's shoulders. She heaved him to his feet and toward the ship before he could protest, whilst Leela grabbed Fry and dragged him into the lab area.

“Leela, I don't want to sound like an idiot-”

“Two hazmat suits, four people. Do the math.”

Fry paused and actually started counting on his fingers, much to Leela's chagrin. She grabbed his arm and yanked him past a workbench and into the supply closet. Leela slammed the door and then moved along the room to the correct storage locker.

“But-”

“Not now, Fry!”

Not wanting to waste time she kicked the lock off its pins and yanked the lid from the locker. Leela dug around in the suit parts until she found a pair of fully charged rebreathers and masks. She tossed the masks to Fry, then quickly strapped the first tank around her shoulders.

As she finished securing the other tank to Fry Leela noticed another, smaller locker by the door. In their universe she'd used it to store some of the many plasma and laser weapons they'd 'acquired' on their deliveries to the more hostile worlds, or at least those that hadn't remained on the ship or been used as power sources in the Professor's experiments. With no idea how events had affected that behaviour in this world Leela mouthed a silent prayer to serendipity, lifted the lid and was rewarded with the sight of a dozen neatly stored pistols and spare charges.

“Woah.” Fry's awe was probably understandable, even after all this time. He picked up one of the pistols and held it out at arms length. “I didn't know about these...”

“Yeah, and a good thing too,” Leela said, snatching the pistol from Fry's grip. She pushed a fresh charge into the breech; the pistol's capacitors whined as it soaked up the charge's power and a string of tiny lights flicked on along its spine. She grabbed a pair of fresh charges and dropped them in her pocket, checked the pistol was in order and looked up at Fry.

“Time to go,” she said, securing her mask over her face.

Outside the closet the gas was creeping along the floor like a bad special effect. Fry and Leela paused just beyond the door and looked down at the milky-white gas as it seeped around their feet and into the store.

“I don't get it,” Fry muttered a the strode toward the hangar, his voice filtered through the mask’s crackly speaker system. “The gas is down there, our heads are up here... what do they want us to do, lie down?”

“That's the plan.” Leela paused by another workbench and looked around. The hangar seemed to be empty now, filled with the gas. Blue and Phil were safely ensconced in the ship and Evila – if she was even here – was nowhere to be seen.

“It's a binary reactive gas,” she said as she continued toward the hangar, gun held high. “I saw them installing a system like this in the cryogenics lab years ago, in case the hundred clones in room six turned out to be evil or something. They pump the first one in, wait for it to spread out and then drop in the catalyst to... oh lord, what are they doing now?”

“What?”

Leela pointed at the ship. Phil was struggling down the gangway, shouting something and gesturing wildly as Blue tried to hold him back by one arm. To Leela's left Fry yelled and took a step forward. Distracted by the noise, Phil looked around the hangar in confusion and suddenly fell off balance. He slipped down the stairs, pulling Blue with him just as Evila's pistol cracked again, the report echoing around the hangar. A bullet whined off the steps where Phil's head had been just a moment earlier.

Without thinking Leela aimed her weapon up through the ceiling at about where she figured Evila would be stood. The roof exploded in a shower of sparkling composite flakes and shattered concrete that flew a short arc over the hangar and rained down around Phil and Blue's prone forms as Leela ran toward them.

The pistol spoke again and another bullet ricocheted off the gangway. Then another shot and Fry or Phil – she couldn't tell – let out an agonised shriek that rang in her ears. Leela turned back toward the end of the hangar and saw Evila, hair unkempt and ragged, grinning madly as she aimed the pistol toward them.

Her smile faltered when Leela brought her own gun to bear on the cracked upper floor.

“You gonna kill me, sister?”

“I might.” Leela reached out toward Blue, knowing almost instinctively where she was, and grabbed her shoulder. “Phil?”

“He's-”

“I'm fine,” Phil grunted, though he didn't sound it. Leela stepped away from him a little, keeping the gun trained on Evila as she went.

“Fry?”

“I fell on something spiky but I'm okay. It's only a bit spiky.”

Leela smiled despite herself. She stepped in between Fry and Evila. “Your move. 'Sister'.”

Evila shrugged and pouted but didn't change her stance. She waved the gun toward Phil a little, then back at Leela and scratched her head, trying to work out what to do next. Leela carefully swapped her gun from one hand to the other and reached into her pocket for a spare charge.

It was about then that the police decided to conclude their proceedings. There was a quiet whoosh as a single, much larger gas cylinder was fired through one of the shattered windows. The device thumped to the floor in front of the ship and cracked open, releasing a puff of pale yellow gas.

“Ohshi-” Leela grabbed her mask and pressed it close to her face. The smoky gas along the floor wavered around the cylinder and then suddenly leapt into the air in in an expanding wave that spread out from where the cylinder had landed. Evila let off a final shot at them before she disappeared behind the gas, laughing madly.

The thickening smoke curled around Leela, surrounding her in an impenetrable white wall. She stuffed the gun into her belt and groped her way over to to the bottom of the ship's gangway where Phil and Blue sat coughing in the thickening air.

“Phil, you two get onto the ship and get out of here. I mean it this time.”

“But I need to get Morgan-”

“No buts! The gas takes a few minutes to activate, but once it does you two will be out cold and your lives will be over. Get out of here. You can sort out the paperwork later.”

She reached out for Blue again and held her arm. “You be careful, okay?”

“Thanks...” Blue touched Leela's hand. Leela took hold of her arm her again and pressed the tag from her pocket into Blue's hand. She held up the tag, almost smiling as she looked at it, and turned to walk up the gangway before stopping again to look over her shoulder.

“Will we ever see you again?”

“Oh, god knows. Knowing our luck we'll end up back here in a week.” She took Blue's hand and squeezed it. “Go!”

Blue ascended out of the rising gas toward Phil, already waiting at the airlock. She turned one last time to look down at Leela and waved sadly. Leela waved back and then the airlock door hissed shut.

“Fry, time to go...”

“What about the key?” Fry grabbed Leela's arm and pointed through the thickening mist at the wrecked conference room. “She's still got it,” he said, raising his voice to be sure he was heard through the mask.

“Fry she's long gone by now. Besides,” Leela added as she hefted the pistol. “We don't need a key.”

“Ohhh...”

Leela grinned until an explosion in the near-distance, the sound of the police making their messy entrance, spurred her into action and she ran for the storeroom. The door was locked when they reached it, though the message scrawled on its surface removed any hope that Evila was trapped here.

“'See you on the other side',” Fry read slowly. He looked at Leela on confusion. “She's not waiting behind the door is she?”

“Let’s find out.” Leela stood back and fired a blast at the door, shredding it to splinters. She peered into an empty room.

“Nope!”

The storeroom was pretty much as they'd left it, though somewhat the worse for the last few minutes action. A few of the boxes were scuffed from the explosion but whatever material they were made from seemed almost indestructible. None showed more than surface damage.

Behind them the ship's engines spooled up, accompanied by the familiar clank of the launch ramp levering itself upright. Leela turned to watch the ship and smiled to herself as the umbilicals detached and fell to the floor a moment before the main engines fired. The ship roared from the hangar and disappeared into the pale afternoon sky.

Leela held up her wristamijig and recalled the first scan she'd made of the room to pinpoint their original entrance.

“This way.”

She guided Fry back through the maze of shelves to their original box. Evidently someone had been cleaning. The box stood upright on the top shelf, its lid sealed, and a ladder leaned against the shelves a short but convenient distance away. Leela stared at the ladder for a second but then whatever suspicions she'd started to form were overridden by another, much closer explosion as the police blundered their way through the building.

Fry grabbed the ladder without even being asked and clambered up it to grab their box. He almost fell back in his haste to reach the floor. Leela put a calming hand on his shoulder whilst she slipped the mask from her face.

“Ready to get back home?”

“Am I ever!”

Leela held her wrist computer over the box's wide, inviting mouth and waved it back and forth. “Seems to match. I think.”

“Great!” With a joyous yell Fry dove into the box head first. Leela shook her head at his understandable enthusiasm to get home. She gave the storeroom one last look, glancing up at the ceiling as if she could actually see the sky her twin had returned to. Whatever happened now, she was on her own.

No. Not quite on her own.

Leela gripped the plasma pistol in both hands and jumped into the box.

--

The last tenuous layers of Earth's atmosphere faded behind the ship as it rose up toward the heavens, rotating slowly along its axis to maintain an even temperature across its hull. The sun shone bright and undimmed by the clouds whilst the half-lit face of the moon slowly drew toward them.

Leela slipped the ship into autopilot and turned to watch her new companion as he finished repairing the damage Morgan had done to their lives, at least as far as he was able to. Some things, Leela thought sadly, could never be fixed by filling in a few forms. She stood up and pressed a re-assuring hand to Phil's shoulder while he worked. He reached up to touch it, only to shy away again as the memory of the last few hours refreshed in his mind.

“That's the last of it,” he said after a moment, shutting off the screen as he turned away from it. Leela leaned against the console and watched the stars as they slowly tracked past the far window, with the rim of the earth forming a disconcerting border to the rear of the ship. “I've called in an ambulance to take care of... um...”

Phil’s voice faded away. He swallowed and looked at his hands.

“I'm sorry.”

“It's not your fault,” Phil replied, pensive, quiet. He sniffed and blinked back a stray tear. “It's hard to say it, but I barely knew her. Even after all this time, I... she was... never there.”

“But you must have loved her?”

“I do. I mean, I thought did... but I guess it just took me until now to realise I was wrong.”

Phil screwed his eyes up as he rubbed a hand across his face. He looked very tired and small, so small that Leela had to resist the urge to bundle him up in her arms.

“So, now what?”

“Now... I don't know. I doubt I'll be able to take back my old job.”

They sat in silence for a while as the ship rolled itself into orbit around the planet, with just to hum and tick of the instruments running through their automated sequences for company. Leela eventually walked over to the couch at the front of the flight deck. Phil joined her a moment later and sat down with a loud sigh, all the while watching the distant stars.

“Isn't that the death satellite?”

“Where? Oh...” Phil watched the tiny mote as it drifted across their path in the far distance. He leaned back and watched the construct that probably still held the mortal soul of his nephew – funny to think of the old man now. Was he even alive?

The satellite drifted up past the north pole and was lost from sight. Sudden realisation dawned as they both looked at each other.

“Phil, you do realise you own the company now, right?”

“I always wondered where that second pay packet was coming from...” he looked up at the ceiling bulkhead and smiled sadly. “Morgan never told me about anything she'd done at the company, I figured Hubert was still the owner. There's a lot she never told me...”

“Well he wasn't, and he isn't. It's your company now, Phil. You can do whatever you want with it.”

“I guess.”

Leela leaned back, giving Phil a cool glance as he shuffled around in his seat. She smiled and, despite everything, Phil managed to smiled back.

“I'll need a pilot.”

“You're in luck.” Leela stretched out on the couch and slid her hands behind her head. “I think I might know one.”

Phil smiled again and then briefly laughed, until a particularly bright star caught his eye. He stared at it with watery eyes, lost in whatever memory the star had brought back to him. Leela slipped from the couch and made her way back to the pilot's seat, leaving Phil by himself to stare at the bright depths.

“I miss her,” he said after a few minutes. And then: “It hurts.”

“It's what makes us human,” Leela answered quietly as she watched the new sun rise over the distant horizon.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #139 on: 03-14-2008 10:46 »

Since I'm about to lay down and work on the sleep thing, I'll just say, "Good Update".

Leela does seem a tad bitchy towards Fry, cutting him off every time he tries to say something.

Is she jealous that Para-Phil is more of her ideal man than than the 'idiotic' Fry of her universe?

So I wait for the next episode to see if questions are answered or if more question are introduced.
Bendersfan1221

Space Pope
****
« Reply #140 on: 03-14-2008 13:26 »

Amazing update Arch. Can't wait for the next part.

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

Gir- I made it myself!
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #141 on: 03-14-2008 21:50 »
« Last Edit on: 03-17-2008 00:00 »

Excellent work as always Archonix. Looking forward to the next part.

 
Quote
Originally posted by Ralph Snart:
Leela does seem a tad bitchy towards Fry, cutting him off every time he tries to say something.

I think she was kinda running on emergency mode. Considering the situation she was probably just trying to shut him up in the fastest way possible so she could think. Short version, tact < survival

The picture is really good too. I love Leela's expression.
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #142 on: 03-17-2008 19:59 »

Epilogue

--

Fry flew up out of the parabox with a loud yelp, swinging his arms for balance as he swept into the air, and almost immediately hit the ceiling. He seemed to hang in the air for just long enough to wonder if perhaps all those old cartoons had been true before he plummeted toward the floor, to land in a painful heap at the foot of the store-room shelves.

The box stood atop the shelves again, tilted toward the ground – and Fry – in a worrying satire of their previous journey. Fry barely had time to even laugh at the repeated events before Leela came flying out straight at him, sort of like that dream he kept having only much, much faster. He whimpered and closed his eyes.

It wasn't quite as painful this time.

“Sorry, Fry,” Leela muttered as she lifted herself up from his prone form. Fry tried to give what he hoped was a comforting reply but which came out as more of a wheezing cough. He flopped over onto his side. It was easier than trying to stay upright. For some reason the gun lying on the floor next to his head was incredibly fascinating.

Somewhere along the way Leela must have removed his rebreather and mask, though he couldn't really recall when. Had he been asleep? It seemed likely, sleep was one of his favourite occupations after all. He sat up at the sound of Bender's clunking footsteps and smiled. “Home at last... hey Bender.”

“Fry.” Bender looked down at his friend with a robot's best attempt at puzzlement gracing his otherwise immobile features. “You've been gone since yesterday. Not that I'm worried about you or anything,” he added just a little too quickly.

Fry smiled as he pushed himself to his feet. Bender, good old Bender, always there to lend a friendly laugh and a helping gripper. Well... maybe just the laugh.

“Have you seen Leela?”

“Oh sure, she was on the ship bossing everyone around like she always does. If you axe me she needs to chill out a bit.”

“She's had a hard life,” Fry said quietly. He put his hands in his pockets and then turned to Bender with a frown. Something had changed about him. “Oh, hey, you got your head fixed already? That was fast.”

“Got my what? Are you huffing altair baccy or something, Fry?”

“Never mind,” Fry said, smiling to hide his confusion. Maybe Bender just decided he didn't want to keep the memory of being shot in the face. Fry sometimes wished he could do that, erase a few memories, maybe even replace them with something else. It'd make things easier. He winced as another twinge of pain washed through his head.

“You all right, Fry?”

“Sure, I just bumped my head.”

“As long as you don't collapse and leave me to load the ship all by myself. That's what big boots told me to tell you, by the way. To load the ship.”

“Right...” Normally Fry would have complained about it but not today, when he could see just how great his life really was for him right now. Even his worst days hadn't been so bad, really, and at least he had friends. Even if they did wail on him now and then, he thought as he glanced at Bender. The ever-present cigar was back in place as the robot wandered along the boxes, tapping each one in turn. Fry looked at the paraboxes piled high around him and the smile he wore shrunk just a little, replaced by an eager determination to get the boxes as far away from himself as possible. Without another word, and much to Bender's confusion, Fry started dragging boxes to the loader as fast as he was physically able.

“Fry, buddy, you're making even less sense than normal and you're working. You sure you're all right?”

“Couldn't be better!”

--

Leela looked up at the re-assuring clatter of the hangar doors as they slowly drew back to reveal a crisp blue sky. For a while she simply stood basking in the bright heat of the sun with her eye closed, letting the warmth – so powerful compared to the dull world they'd left behinds – soak into her skin as if she were some sort of lizard basking on a rock. It was comforting enough that she almost managed to forget the last two days. Almost.



The doors screeched to to a halt at the end of their tracks, rocking slightly as they settled into place, snapping Leela out of her reverie. She looked around and up at the ship where Fry was, surprisingly, already unloading a large pile of boxes onto the cargo lift. She waved to him before walking up to the conference room to find the others, hoping she'd catch Hermes in a good enough mood to keep her job.

Surprisingly enough Hermes wasn't there, even though she'd know him to sit waiting for days on end to complete paperwork in the past. On the bright side the map was waiting on the table, neatly folded with a printed set of instructions for inputting its coordinates into the ship's computer, which meant they probably hadn't been fired yet. Leela scribbled a note to Hermes and stuck it to the conference table in front of his usual seat before returning to the hangar, where Fry had just finished loading the cargo lift.

“How many?”

“Two thousand, give or take,” Fry said, wiping his hands together.

“Six trips, three days out and back again.” Leela held the map up to the light and examined it in more detail, twisting it this way and that to see how sure her calculations were. “Well... could be worse, I guess.”

“Yeah.” Fry rubbed the toe of his shoe against the floor. “I could use a shower... can I borrow one of your towels?”

“Ehh, sure, you deserve a break once in a while. But go get Bender first so we can get this over with as quickly as possible.”

Leela gave Fry a bright smile and activated the cargo lift, which quickly ascended into the belly of the ship. Fry turned away, ready to retrace his steps to the storeroom when Bender emerged, carrying one of the boxes above his head. He trotted over to Fry and thrust the box into his face.

“Fry, you wanna sneak into this universe and loot it a bit?”

“You asked me that yesterday.”

“I did?” Bender gave the box a puzzled glance then watched Fry's retreating back as he walked toward the ship. He shook his head as he made his way back to the storeroom, a single question stuck in an annoying loop around his mind.

“When?”

--

Fry found Leela wandering around the flight deck, rubbing her head with one hand while she lifted up various loose panels with the other. He sat down at his console and listened to Leela's muttering for a while, until it got boring and he had to say something.

“Missing something?”

“The keys. I could have sworn I'd put them in the ship before we left.”

“Maybe Amy has them,” Fry said, pointing out at the conference area. Leela looked across the bridge at him, then at the conference area, where Amy had settled into a seat facing the ship with her arms folded across her chest.

“I guess she could have tidied up while we were away,” she said, slowly rubbing her chin. Amy couldn't see them inside the ship, that much was obvious, but she was staring intently at the cockpit. For some reason she didn't look happy at all.

“Lie in McDonalds?”

“MacDuff...”

“Oh. Right.”

Before making her way off the bridge Leela gave it one last look, not quite sure why she felt so out of place.

--

Amy stood up the moment Leela reached the top of the stairs, advancing toward her with undisguised resentment. She held out the ship's keys, dangling them at arms length in front of Leela's face.

“Looking for these?”

“Yeah,” Leela said, reaching for the keys. Amy snatched them out of reach. “What's got into you?”

“Gleesh! You know exactly what's wrong, Leela!”

“Actually I don't,” Leela said as she slid into one of the seats. Fry wandered past her and leaned on the rail. Amy stared at Leela with a look of pure disbelief. She held up the keys as she sat down opposite Leela; they clattered to the table's top a moment later.

“Stop playing games, Leela. You just can't stand that I might be able to fly the ship as well as you. That's why you came back early, isn't it?”

“Early? Amy, I don't know what-”

“Do you know how much influence it takes to get a honeymoon suite at the Vatican Hilton? Do you know how many favours I had to pull in for you? I had to fill in forms! Me!”

Leela and Fry shared a look. Complete confusion was normal for Fry but now Leela thought she might have an idea of how he felt. “Amy... what are you talking about?”

“Yeah, what honeymoon suite?” Fry finally sat down. If anything his confusion had only grown deeper. “Did I miss, like, a memo or something?”

Ai yah, I can't believe you two!”

Amy stormed off at the head of a trail of Martian expletives that only cut off when the door slid gently closed behind her. And for some reason that caught Leela's attention, more than anything else, as being incredibly wrong. She looked around the conference area as she tried to work out what was going on until her eye came to rest on the deep red surface of the conference table. Deep, burgundy red.

“Oh no...”

Fry looked at Leela with a curious expression but, before he could say anything, the far slid open again and Amy returned, still muttering her constant stream of invective as she lead Hermes and Professor Farnsworth toward the conference table. Normally the sight of Hermes approaching with the expression he wore now meant there would be a need to clean ink from at least three fingers and one other appendage before the hour was up but, then, normally he would have been carrying an attaché case rather than a vicious looking laser rifle. Farnsworth pulled a pistol from his pocket as they approached, moving with more speed than his decrepit frame would suggest.

He had Leela in his sights before she could even stand up. Hermes levelled his rifle at Fry.

“Okay, now I just got off the phone wid the nice people at the Vatican Hilton and they said you two was quite firmly established in the honeymoon suite. Yet here you are.”

Fry held up his hand. “This whole honeymoon suite thing...”

“Quiet, Fry,” Leela muttered, easing herself out of her seat. She tried to smile at Hermes but it was hard; the gun made her nervous. “Look... this has all been a terrible misunderstanding.”

“You're right about that,” Hermes said as he pressed his thumb against the rifle's safety catch. The gun whined as its capacitors started to charge. “Be careful, mon, they could be dangerous.”

Farnsworth held a scanning device up with his free hand and approached them warily. He waved the device over Leela's frame, all the while keeping the pistol pointed at her head.

“It's true. Their quantum signature is out of sync with ours.”

“They were trying to steal the ship,” Amy said, pointing at Leela. “I say we blow the tyen-sah duh uh-muo back to hell!”

Leela blanched. She didn't need a translator program to figure that one out. “Amy?”

“Quiet, you... you, doo gway... whatever you are!”

The whining of Hermes's rifle faded into the ultrasonic at about the same time as a green light started to flash on its butt. The bureaucrat glanced at his gun.

“So are they the same, Professor?”

“Ohh they're evil all right,” Farnsworth exclaimed as he adjusted the scanner. He held it toward Leela again. “The question is, how evil?”

“Doo gway! Uh muo!”

“We have to test them,” Farnsworth continued, completely ignoring Amy's outbursts. He tapped his cheek as he thought. “Perhaps some combination of holy water and a cattle prod would suffice...”

That settled it. Leela edged away from the table to give herself more space, raising her hands at the same time to try and put the others more at ease. She glanced at Amy; the young intern was staring hate at Leela, repeating the same two words under her breath over and over and clutching at some pendant around her neck. She'd never seen her friend – or at least a facsimile of her friend – so worked up over anything in her life.

Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #143 on: 03-17-2008 20:06 »

“Amy?”

Demon!” Amy elbowed the Professor aside and tried to wrestle Hermes' gun from his grasp. The simple wooden cross around her neck clunked against the rifle's composite casing as they fought for possession of the gun, with Amy screaming curses at Leela and Hermes and anyone else she could name in the heat of her anger.

“Fry, for god's sake, run!”

She needn't have bothered. Fry had already bolted over the rail; Leela heard his muffled yelp as he hit the floor at an awkward angle. At about the same time Amy managed to wrest the gun from Hermes' grip only to be thrown off balance by the sudden shift in momentum. The gun fired of it's own accord when it hit the floor, blowing a huge chunk out of the conference table and Leela, seeing an opportunity, ducked away and vaulted over the rail.

She found Fry hobbling toward the storerooms, too slow to make it before Amy got her footing again. Leela grabbed his collar and practically flung him over her shoulder as she belted for the door. A laser blast sizzled past her ear as she reached the corner and cut a black burn across the concrete floor. Flinging Fry inside, Leela turned at the storeroom door to see Amy perched at the top of the stairs, eyes almost aglow with righteous anger as she struggled with the slow-charging gun. Amy swore and thumped her hand against the weapon's casing in frustration when it refused to fire. Leela took the opportunity to duck inside the room. She slammed the door closed and ran into the store's interior.

Something tripped Leela and skittered across the floor whilst she managed to stumble to a halt against the shelves. She looked back to see the gun she had brought from the previous universe lying against a sealed box, then looked around at the high-stacked shelves; almost all the boxes were sealed shut, a fact she hadn't noticed before, prompting the thought that perhaps her alternate here had been a little more careful. Or perhaps the simple belief that all the other universes were evil had been enough.

Leela picked up the weapon and made her way back through the room, seeking out Fry and a box to escape into. She found him cowering at the far end of the room behind a stack of empty storage racks.

“We're boned,” was all he could say. Leela was inclined to agree but she forced the thought aside as she grabbed Fry's arm and dragged him over to the next row of shelves. Why, she had no idea, but at least she was doing something. Unfortunately Amy picked that moment to turn up at the far end of the room, waving the gun in the air. She spotted Leela right away and aimed the gun at her without hesitating.

“Amy, wait!”

“Quiet, demon! You thought you could steal my soul but you were wrong!”



“I'm not-” Leela ducked as Amy fired again, knowing it was useless if Amy was in any way a decent shot. She wasn't. The beam arced harmlessly over Leela’s head, burning a hole in the far wall, filling the room with a stink of burned paint and scorched composite.

Muttering a silent prayer of thanks to any gods that might be listening Leela tightened her grip on Fry's arm, turned and ran down the length of the nearest shelving stack for the far side of the storeroom. She ducked to her left at the end and ran onward, Fry stumbling behind like a puppy on too-short a leash.

Up ahead, she saw a shadow – please let it be someone else! - and to her relief Bender emerged carrying a box; better still, a box with the lid off. Leela yelled, triumphant, moments before a laser beam burned across her shoulder.

She screamed, more in shock than pain, and let Fry tumble to the floor. Ignoring the pain in her back Leela turned and let a shot rip back down the corridor at Amy, who yelped in surprise and ducked back behind the boxes, still swearing every other word. Leela lifted Fry up by his coat and half turned toward Bender.

“Hey big boots, what's going on?”

“Nothing,” Leela snapped. She grabbed Fry with both hands, her grip a little awkward around his coat and the gun, and bodily hauled him through the box before he could protest. “Get out of here Bender. Amy's gone nuts.”

“Aww, she's always nuts,” Bender muttered as he watched Leela's feet disappear into the box. Without knowing why he did it, Bender slid the box back onto a shelf and scampered from the store before Amy could find him.

--

She fell out of the box again and, in what seemed to be turning into a nasty habit, landed on Fry again. He was out cold already so didn't notice her impact, which was probably a good thing, though she was sure he'd have a nasty bruise tomorrow.

Leela stared up at the box, gun trained on its wide opening as she waited for something, anything to appear. A moment, a moment more until, with a flood of relief she realised that they probably wouldn't be following her through. The gun slipped from her grasp and clattered on the floor like a cheap plastic toy as she fell back against the neatly stacked shelves. Leela slid down to the floor and put her head in her hands. Her shoulder throbbed painfully but when she reached over to touch it she could only feel a very slight welt, and the relative amount of pain told her that it was at worst a bad surface burn. All she could do was assume Amy had forgotten to turn the power up past 'sizzle'.

So that was it, then. Unless by some miracle they found a way home, she and Fry were stuck in some crazy parallel universe forever. Leela looked over at Fry's huddled form, still unconscious and probably not any better for being dropped from a great height three times in as many days. She reached toward him and shook his shoulder to try and bring him around.

Leela mused on the possibility of a concussion until Fry rolled over onto his back and began to snore. She couldn't help herself then. She laughed, loud and hard, because laughing was better thinking about the alternatives. Eventually the laughter died away, subsiding into silent contemplation as she watched Fry sleeping. Strange to think how different he’d seemed just for not... Different universe, different rules. She pushed the thought from her mind.

“You just rest there then...” she straightened up Fry's coat, tugging his collar up around his neck to keep out the cold, and then stood up. A slightly breeze ruffled her hair as the door opened, with the inevitable arrival of this universe's crew as they came to investigate the racket she and Fry had made on their entrance. Leela turned toward them and put on her best smile.

Her smile faltered when she saw a strange man enter the room. He froze, right inside the door, and stared at her in surprise but didn't say anything. Leela held up her hand in a faint attempt at a wave.

“Uh... hi.”

“What are you doing in here?”

“Oh... you know...” Leela shrugged and tried to smile but it didn't really work. The man took a stop toward her, confusion and not a little anger clouding his face as he look Leela up and down. From this distance she realised he actually looked very familiar. She narrowed her eye as she tried to figure out where she'd seen the man before.

Fry snorted loudly and sat up.

“Woah... what a nightmare that was.” He stood up, hands over his eyes as he rubbed sleep and dirt from his face. “Are we home yet?”

He looked up at her and smiled. Before Leela could answer the stranger pushed past her and grabbed hold of Fry's shoulders.

“Phil?” The man's mouth opened in a wide 'O', eyes wider still as he looked into Fry's face, tears forming in his eyes. “Phil is that you? Oh god, I thought I'd never see you again...”

“Wait, I-”

“Phil, it is you!”

Fry's face went pale as the man threw his arms around his shoulders and hugged him tight. He looked over the other man's shoulder at Leela, then struggled out of the bear-hug and held the stranger at arm's length, struggling to speak for a moment as they stared at each other.

“Yancy?”



To Be Continued...


----

And yes, yes, I know, he looks a bit like a zombie. He isn't.

Why "to be continued"? I'm writing this as episodes and I prefer to have one completed before I start posting it since it lets me tighten up the plot and removes the temptation to completely re-write things half way through... always leads to a mess, especially given the long story arc I'm dealing with here. So that there is episode one completed. The next will be along in a couple of weeks if all goes to plan.  smile
Tornadoboy

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #144 on: 03-17-2008 20:49 »

Awesome! A universe that contains a crew that happen to be religious zealots? I'm not sure if that should be expanded upon or not, but it was a nice little shock to the system. And now Yancy. Good grief.

I understand your strategy for releasing chapters, dude. It's what I'm trying to do with my current project as well.  smile
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #145 on: 03-17-2008 21:26 »

The plot thinkens...dun dun dun. Anyway very nice update. I like the picture of Amy with the rifle. You pulled that of really well. Also I love Fry trying to repeat what Leela said earlier....and failing miserably.

“Lie in McDonalds?”
“MacDuff...”
“Oh. Right.”

Bendersfan1221

Space Pope
****
« Reply #146 on: 03-17-2008 21:59 »

Gah I hate having to wait! Great update. I really hope the next part is up soon. Relious zealot PlanEx crew? Scary. Please, please, please update soon befoer my head kerplodes! Love the story and the drawing Arch.
Kryten

Space Pope
****
« Reply #147 on: 03-18-2008 00:08 »

Wow, this is getting werid. First Crazyverse, now we're in the universe where Yancy wound up in the freezerdoodle instead of Fry? And does that mean the Brainspawn will destroy mankind?
THM

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #148 on: 03-18-2008 14:12 »
« Last Edit on: 03-18-2008 14:12 »

*In*teresting...hell of a way to end an episode, Archonix. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next one, I can tell you!   big grin

Neat other universes; Christianverse and one with Yancy in it? Inspired, especially about the Yancyverse - now mix in Evil Leela, and you've got a hell of a show right there. But whatever you come up with next will rock, I have no doubt. (I liked the action sequence in Christianverse especially; fast and furious, just like a good action sequence should be!) 

And the art kicks ass, too.  smile

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

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder
La Belle Leela

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #149 on: 03-18-2008 22:00 »

I know it's just fan fic, but the part with Blue hair Leela alone in her apartment, drunk, withered, and self-destructing has been playing out in my mind all day. I've been there.  cry

soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #150 on: 03-19-2008 17:41 »

Yancy?! Wow, I most certainly didn't see that twist coming.  Fantastic as always, Archonix.  Also, I love the drawing of laser-wielding psycho-Amy!
THM

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #151 on: 03-19-2008 20:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Torgo:
I know it's just fan fic, but the part with Blue hair Leela alone in her apartment, drunk, withered, and self-destructing has been playing out in my mind all day. I've been there.   cry

I'm sorry to hear that, but there are two positive points; one, you're not there now, and two, it is only fanfic. Things can only get better, right? And they did get better for Blue.  smile

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

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #152 on: 03-19-2008 21:01 »
« Last Edit on: 03-19-2008 21:01 »

I agree with SO. With the parallel universe thing I was expecting pretty much anything but to be honest, Yancy hadn't even entered my mind. Will you ever cease to amaze me Archonix?
km73

Space Pope
****
« Reply #153 on: 03-20-2008 11:18 »

Well, I finally finished reading this. I thought the last two sections were tremendously well written; the overall flow of the story seems to have been established. I very much liked the picture of Blue clutching Phil - it really conveyed their emotions at that devastating moment.

Not being male, Evila didn't really.. do anything for me as she seems to for some, but once she's fleshed out more as a character in future episodes I'm sure she'll seem more fully-rounded. I approve of how you left it between Blue and Phil, too, as I usually favor ambiguous endings myself.

Amy as a vicious religious bigot was novel; it's interesting how everyone in that universe was so quick to conclude that Fry and Leela were evil. Also liked the juxtaposition of the cross with the laser rifle in the sketch of Amy. And the universe with Yancy in it has definite potential - induces curiosity as to how it will affect other circumstances.

 
Quote
Maybe Bender just decided he didn't want to keep the memory of being shot in the face. Fry sometimes wished he could do that, erase a few memories, maybe even replace them with something else.

Little bit of a Rush Moon ref? Nice.
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #154 on: 03-20-2008 11:55 »

A leetle tiny bit... I was wondering when someone would spot that.  big grin There's going to be refs to plenty of other fanfics in here for the sharp-eyed.  wink

 
Quote
And now Yancy.
Quote
Yancy
Quote
Yancyverse
Quote
Yancy?!
Quote
Yancy

Yancy!

I didn't want to be different...

 
Quote
induces curiosity as to how it will affect other circumstances.

Yeah. When I made that decision I was curious, too, but it changes so much... I'm starting to think I've bitten off more than I can chew with this one.  big grin It doesn't help that I'm also writing Yancyverse (In My Shoes), episode 6 (working title Silent Gardens, Empty Tombs) and a "special" called Falling from Grace, that may or may not be released, all at the same time. Gives me something to do when I'm stuck for ideas one one or the other of them.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #155 on: 03-20-2008 16:13 »

This is freaking awesome! I can't believe it took me this long to get around to reading it, i read it all in one go!
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #156 on: 03-20-2008 20:55 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Frisco17:
Archonix you continue to amaze me with your art and this story. In my opinion your reaching an almost Venutian level of awesomeness here.

Wow....I was right. Ok Archy you have now officially reached a Ventuian level of awesomeness.
Venus

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #157 on: 03-20-2008 23:55 »

What, am I a measure of awesomeness here?  ...Awesome!
Archonix

Space Pope
****
« Reply #158 on: 03-21-2008 04:58 »

Well, hey, Ninaka can be a number so why not?
Frisco17

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #159 on: 03-22-2008 18:49 »
« Last Edit on: 03-22-2008 18:49 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Venus:
What, am I a measure of awesomeness here?  ...Awesome!

Not a much a unit of measure but rather the bar against which all other fan fics are judged.

(Does Ewok bow)
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