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Author Topic: Parallel Lives (a saga in so many parts)  (Read 17516 times)
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Space Pope
« Reply #200 on: 05-11-2008 17:07 »
« Last Edit on: 05-11-2008 17:07 »

I shall change it to "blunk" forthwith.

ETA: Ooh, top of the page... ya'll go read the previous one for my last update, y'hear?

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #201 on: 05-11-2008 23:34 »

Excellent work as always Arch. Very well put together. Can't wait for the next chapter.

Originally posted by Tornadoboy:
Did the Soviets win the Cold War in this universe or something?

That was my theory. It could also somehow be the reason that Yancy is in the future instead of Fry, since it seems like he wasn't frozen.

Space Pope
« Reply #202 on: 05-14-2008 23:48 »

*gasp* An... UPDATE? And I MISSED it? I have to get around here more often.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #203 on: 05-15-2008 18:40 »


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #204 on: 05-15-2008 22:02 »

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Classic!

Space Pope
« Reply #205 on: 05-16-2008 01:21 »

Ooh, it's a scene from the near-forgotten Star Trek/Scanners crossover!
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #206 on: 05-16-2008 11:06 »

Originally posted by Kryten:

*gasp* An... UPDATE? And I MISSED it? I have to get around here more often.

Yeah, we missed your BANSTICK-carrying carcass around here.

It's about time for you to resurface - BWABB's will be out  in less than a month.

Ralph 'cracking knuckles, ready to write review" Snart


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #207 on: 05-16-2008 22:47 »

Thanks for the warning Ralphy boy.

(Begins building fallout shelter.)

Space Pope
« Reply #208 on: 05-17-2008 05:23 »
« Last Edit on: 05-17-2008 05:23 »

Next update will be quite a way after this one. I've hit a plotting problem that means I might be re-writing a large chunk of the story in between this bit and where I am right now. Then again I might have solved it by tomorrow...


The lab was normal. Normal, of course, meaning that there was a wide array of bizarre equipment and half-completed experiments lying around the place, accompanied by odd stains, strange smells and a worryingly empty cage in the far corner of the room. A small machine sat on a workbench by the far wall, a single wheel embedded in one side the only visible moving part. Something about the wheel looked wrong, though, as if it was turning in more than one direction at the same time and, when Fry tried to look at it, his eyes kept shifting off to one side. After a few tries he gave up and looked elsewhere. Behind the machine a white parabolic dish faced a nasty black scorch-mark on another wall and beyond that a small pile of silvery-black rods sat in a small cradle. The machine emitted a loud plink and ejected another one of the rods into the cradle where it sat, smoking slightly, as it cooled down from whatever process had created it.

Normal, like he’d thought. Fry leaned against one of the benches for a moment as they waited, until something started scrabbling at his back. He very carefully stood up again, moved across the room and stood next to Leela without ever turning to look at whatever had tried to grab his coat. Knowing what it was wouldn’t make things any better.

They stood, waiting in the peculiar silence of the lab for a few minutes, lost in their respective thoughts. Now and then Fry would glance at Leela’s face, trying to discern what she was thinking- he’d read the word in a dictionary a few days ago when he was bored – with little success. She seemed to have shut herself off completely.

The door hissed and the Professor entered, giving Fry his first real surprise.


“Yes... who’s asking?”

Professor Farnsworth stared at Fry from beneath a cotton-thin gauze of bright red hair that hung over his brow in a tangled fringe. His face looked... wrong; almost the same, but something about his nose was just wrong.

The Professor’s presence seemed to snap Leela out of her trance. She gently eased Fry to one side and stepped forward.

“Good morning Professor.”

“Ahh... Miss Turanga...” Farnsworth peered at Leela’s face, though he kept stealing glances toward Fry. He was frowning as he spoke. “You’re rather early today, aren’t you? And what on earth have you done to your hair?”

“I... suppose so... how do I put this?”

“We’re from another universe!” Fry blurted. Leela shot him a stern glance but Fry didn’t care. She would have spent the better part of a day edging around it, and right now he wasn’t in the mood for that sort of yammering.

Farnsworth frowned at Fry again, before shuffling toward one of his workbenches to retrieve a complicated looking scanner device which he turned first to Leela, then on Fry. It wasn’t, Fry noticed, the usual device Farnsworth seemed to use for such things, being much more stylish in some indefinable way. The Professor waved the scanner at his own head.

“I see...” Farnsworth peered at the screen, adjusted a few dials and then waved it at Leela again. “Yes... it’s true, your quantum resonance signature is out of sync.”

“You aren’t going to say we’re evil, are you?”

“Oh my no...” Farnsworth put the device down, mumbling to himself as he did so. He brushed a wisp of hair from his eyes, still frowning as he looked at Fry through his far-too-thick glasses. “I suppose it had to happen eventually, given how long the paraboxes have been there and how many of them I made. But why,” he added, waving another scanner at Fry, “did you decide come through?”

“It was that or have our heads cooked off by...” Leela cut herself off as Amy wandered past the lab door, humming quietly to herself as she carried a bucket of a strange, glowing liquid down the corridor. “Well, we didn’t have much of a choice, lets put it that way.”

“I see...” Farnsworth held the scanner up to Leela again, frowning. He turned it on Fry once more before placing it carefully on the workbench.

“According to my giztronulator there are traces of a second distinct quantum signature within your bodies, enough to tell me you’ve spent some length of time in more than one universe already, and possibly eaten some junk-food.”

Leela and Fry both muttered their agreement.

“I had a danish,” Fry added. The Professor was silent for a moment, contemplating new data, or perhaps just digesting a meal – they both looked the same to Fry, never particularly able to distinguish the Professor’s mental states, even less so now his face looked so wrong... and yet, somehow, familiar. He felt his eyes drawn back to the red ship and his brother labouring somewhere within it.

“Hey, wait a minute, if Yancy is... how...” Fry’s voice faded with the sudden overwhelming realisation of what was going on. “You’re not my nephew here?”

“Oh how silly. No, if you really are that young know-all’s brother then it would appear that I’m your great, great to some crazy power grandson.”


“Yes, that was my thought too.” Farnsworth turned back to his workbench and extracted yet another device from a drawer. He held the gadget up and began adjusting one of the dials on its surface. “It’s quite a shock to find out what your ancestors were actually like. How someone like you ever founded Seymour and Butes Holdings I’ll never know. I’m amazed I can even talk without drooling,” he added over his shoulder.

He turned and pressed the device against Fry’s upturned hand. Fry yelped at the sudden stinging pain in his palm and drew his arm back. The device beeped. Farnsworth glared at it with barely disguised contempt and threw it back in the drawer. “Yes... it would appear I am indeed your direct descendent. Remarkable...”

“Hey, stop talking about me like I’m an idiot!” Fry looked to Leela for support but she just folded her arms and rolled her eye. His resolve faltered for a moment. “I mean... I, look, that’s not fair. Leela, tell him I’m not... I’m not that dumb...”

“Fry, this is hardly the time to argue about how dumb you are.”

“I think it’s a perfect time to argue about it! You all keep treating me like I’m just some stupid kid, but I know it doesn’t have to be that way now, even if he did play flight simulators!”

Farnsworth frowned at Fry, pushing aside his fringe of hair again. “What are you jabbering about now?”

“It doesn’t matter!” Fry kneaded his forehead with the ball of his thumb as he tried to think of some way to argue with them. Maybe they had a point, at that? No... no that wasn’t right. He opened his eyes and looked at Leela again, looking for some sign of support, but all he saw was vague pity.

“We’ll talk about this later, Fry.”

“Right, sure,” Fry muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets as he leaned back against another workbench. Leela took a breath, but waited a moment as the Professor wandered around his lab, pushing equipment back and forth and poking at his experiments with an absent-minded interest until he reached a bank of computers on the back wall. He watched the lights flickering for a few moments.

“All right, what do you want?”

Farnsworth turned his back on the computer, staring at Leela with senile interest. An extractor fan chattered into life somewhere overhead as Leela remained silent for a while longer, seeming to struggle with her reply.

“We need your help,” she eventually said.

“Of course you do. Everyone in this place always needs my help for something. Professor, my legs have fallen off. Professor, we need a new microwave! Oh Professor, the flow inverter coils on the ship you built need replacing or it’ll explode! But do they ever thank me?”

The door thumped back, making all three jump in surprise, as Amy leaned into the lab with a broad smile on her face. “Professor! I so completely forgot to say thanks for that new automatic eyelash plucker and make-up applicator machine you made for me!”

She skipped across the lab and planted a kiss on Farnsworth’s forehead. He blushed slightly and looked away, abashed at the sudden attention.

“Well it, it was nothing really, I just had a few spare parts from a killbot lying around and...”

He looked up at Leela and Fry’s bemused stares. “What? This doesn’t alter my point! Whatever it was!”

Amy gave the pair a perplexed look but it only lasted a moment. She thanked the Professor again and turned to leave, only pausing at the door to look at Fry.

“Offer’s still open...” She glanced at Leela, then winked at Fry and left the room. Fry couldn’t resist a small grin, though it faded after a moment as he felt Leela’s stare burning into the back of his head. Fry blew out his cheeks and then sighed, refusing to look at Leela. He heard her make a similar gesture accompanied by the creak of a stool being drawn out from under a workbench as she sat down.

Farnsworth’s resigned look said just about everything that needed to be said.

“All right, what?

“We need to get back to our own universe.”

“I see... I suppose simply retracing your steps would be out of the question?” Farnsworth waited for Leela’s confirmation before he turned away, contemplating the computer again. He picked up a digital notepad and started jotting on it. “Very well, the first option would be to scan all of our paraboxes to see if your unique quantum signature matches any of them. Failing that, we’d have to find some way of navigating towards a universe more likely to hold a portal back to your own.”

He added to his notes with a final flourish and turned back to face them with a broad grin. Fry didn’t like the look of that grin. It was the sort of look the Professor got when he was coming up with a creative new way to destroy a large chunk of the immediate universe.

“Of course this could take quite a while.” Farnsworth shuffled around the lab. He paused at the rod-dispensing machine and prodded a few parts of it with his pen. “The scanning of our own stored boxes will take about three days once I’ve created a suitable scanning device. If that fails to produce the result you’re after, well, I imagine you’ll need to find somewhere to stay for a while at least. Remarkable,” he added, peering at Fry again and adjusting his glasses slightly. He gave Fry’s head a curious poke with his pen.

“Hey, cut it out!”

“I shall have Hermes call a general meeting. Leela, your, ah, ‘counterpart’ will be here shortly. Perhaps it is worth introducing you two. It would allow me to make a more detailed map of your quantum resonance pattern if I have a local baseline to compare it to.”

“If it stops people talking about my hair...” Leela primly groomed her pony-tail as she spoke, though the sight reminded Fry of when she’d been on the edge of breaking down after finding her parents’ home in the sewers. “Fry?”

“MacDuff, yeah, I know...”

Fry made his way out into the corridor and waited for Leela and the Professor to emerge. Farnsworth peered at him again as he passed by, muttering ‘remarkable’ and similar exclamations under his breath as he meandered down the corridor, leaving the pair alone.

The carpet... well there was a carpet, Fry realised. That was new. And the walls were... wrong. It was all wrong, just wrong enough to annoy him without being wrong enough to be wrong. Fry rubbed his temples, trying to massage away the headache behind his eyes. He needed a drink and somewhere quiet to lie down for a few hours. Oh, hell, would he end up staying with Yancy? That wouldn’t work. He’d go nuts! Oh great, now Leela was staring at him again, better make with the conversation Fry.


“Fry what the hell were you thinking, flirting with Amy like that?”

“What? Flirt... I wasn’t flirting!”

Leela’s only reply was an angry huff. She folded her arms and glared at Fry. “We’re in a new universe for less than three hours and you’re already trying to get into Amy’s pants. I expected better of you, Fry.”

“Come on, Leela, it’s nothing like that! She... look, she just likes me, that’s all.” He looked into Leela’s skeptical eye and tried to think of something that would appease her. “I didn’t even say anything to her!”

“I’ll put it down to the stress we’re under,” she said primly before marching away down the corridor. Fry scowled at her back.

“It’s not like you would care,” he grumbled once she was safely around the corner. After all, like she said, it wasn’t like anything between would work... with a heartfelt sigh, Fry trekked after Leela, wondering what had gone wrong with his life and whether they’d ever get away from this crazy, mixed up universe.


“So what you’re saying,” Veklerov said very slowly, “is that this isn’t our Sirochka?”

“My name is Leela.”

Veklerov shrugged. “I call you Sirochka. You don’t normally mind.”

“If I knew what it meant then maybe-”

Leela’s burgeoning tirade was brought to a quick halt by Farnsworth slapping his hand down on the conference table. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant sound, involving far too much crackling to be healthy, but it got everyone’s attention. Farnsworth glared at Veklerov and Leela in turn before looking away.

“Thank you. Now yes, it’s true, these two are from a universe parallel to our own, and they apparently had little choice in coming here, though it seems they’re unwilling to explain...” he gave Fry an expectant look but he just folded his arms and stared at the table. He wasn’t in the mood for being helpful, why should they expect him to do all the talking anyway? Talking was Leela’s job, not his.

Yancy sighed and then laughed quietly.

“There was never any chance of them finding me, then,” he said before turning toward Fry, who watched his brother warily, unsure of how he’d react. Yancy stared at him for a moment or two then turned away, blinking back a tear.

“Well, be that as it may, they are here now, and they need our help or, more accurately, my help. That means for once you lazy jackasses can do something to help me.” He paused, expecting a response and getting nothing. “Someone’s missing. Who’s missing?”

“Bender and that stinkin lobster,” Hermes said from behind his briefcase. He laid a series of forms on the table with a skeptical air. “Bender filed an employee non-authorised absence authorisation this mornin and the both of them have been missing all day. Did you know he has a sentient livestock transport license?”

Farnsworth adjusted his glasses as he stared at Hermes. “Bender filled in a form?”

“I know,” Hermes replied, pushing the forms over to the Professor, who turned to examine the flimsy hard-copies whilst Hermes perused an electronic backup on his clipboard. “It’s got me worried, he never does anything by the book.”

“Wouldn’t that be something you wanted, though?” Amy plucked one of the forms from Farnsworth’s grasp and peered at it with a vague confusion. She tossed it back on the table. “Gleesh, I hate forms...”

Fry and Leela shared a look, the conflict between them forgotten as they each remembered how they’d ended up here. The silent thought hung in the air for a moment, mingled with the considered possibilities of just what Bender would be up to with Zoidberg. Fry, from long experience, had a fairly good idea of the sort of things that might be going on, with another attempt to win first prize at a pet show being the least disturbing he could think of.

The Professor stared at the forms arrayed before him and then brushed them to one side. “I don’t care what he’s up to as long as I don’t have to pay for the results. Veklerov, Yancy, you’ll just have to make your delivery without him. Now sort out amongst yourselves who gets to take these two home. I can’t have them cluttering up the place.”

“Oh, I’ll take him,” Amy said, pointing at Fry with a broad grin. Leela’s eye narrowed.

“Perhaps it would be best if he stayed with his brother,” she said, putting a hand on Fry’s shoulder. Fry winced as her nails dug into his flesh. “After all, I’m sure they have plenty to talk about.”

“Right,” Yancy and Fry both said at the same time, and with the same doubtful tone. Amy’s mouth flapped open and shut a few times. She slumped back into her seat and folded her arms with a scowl strong enough to burn a hole in the conference table’s sheer surface.


There was a moment of tense silence. Vek slapped the table and stood up. “Right then, Yanchovich, time to go play amongst the stars again eh?”

Yancy grimaced as he followed Veklerov back down to the ship. He paused at the top of the stairs to look back at Fry with a vague sort of desperation until Vek shouted at him to hurry up. Fry tried to smile at his brother but Yancy just waved half-heartedly and ran down to the ship. A moment later the engines whined into life. The ship gently lifted from the hangar floor and powered away through the open roof.

“Huh, secondary motivator coil needs turning,” Leela muttered as she watched the ship retreat toward the bright blue sky. She let go of Fry’s shoulder and moved off toward the employee lounge in a daze.

“All things bein equal they should be back in about two hours, which gives me just enough time to file this mornin’s accident reports.”

“Accident reports?”

“Oh yes... though with that lobster gone there’s fewer than usual. Most of them are to do with the way you decided to have flyin lessons in our store room, ya great lumpen lummoxes.” Hermes’ briefcase close with a loud snap as he stood up. “Try not to break anythin else.”

Talking quietly to each other, Hermes and the Professor departed the conference area, leaving Amy and Fry alone at the table. They stared at each other for a few minutes.

“So you’re really from another universe?”

Fry shrugged and tried to smile. Somehow it felt easier when Leela wasn’t around, watching his every move. “Yeah. You’re... you’re not going to shoot at me again, are you?”


“Never mind...” Fry stood up, suddenly full of a nervous energy he could feel buzzing all the way out to his fingers. “I need to get out of here for a while.”

“Oh great, I was gonna go shopping. Wanna go hit the town?” Amy said with a smile. Fry had a momentary image of himself pounding up and down fifth avenue, piled high with Amy’s shopping bags and shook his head. But then she leaned toward Fry and winked.

“Oh. Oh!” He glanced at the corridor to the employee lounge. What would Leela say? Eh, he just wouldn’t tell her. “Lets take the back way out.”

Bending Unit
« Reply #209 on: 05-17-2008 08:42 »

Hot lovin' and general confusion abound!

Hope you get that snag taken care of, my man.

Space Pope
« Reply #210 on: 05-17-2008 11:39 »

Yay update. I love how the Professor is to Fry, even though he is his great-greatx obsence number gradnafather. Good luck fixing that problem, Arch. Can't wait..
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #211 on: 05-17-2008 12:58 »

Next update will be quite a way after this one. I've hit a plotting problem that means I might be re-writing a large chunk of the story in between this bit and where I am right now.

*is intrigued*

I've said before how much I love this story, but it's worth repeating: I absolutely love this story.  The pacing, the characterization, the humor: it's all good.

And I feel silly asking this, but Babel doesn't want to cooperate with me: What does "Sirotayevna" mean?

Space Pope
« Reply #212 on: 05-17-2008 13:10 »

It's a minor plot-point, possibly, though it doesn't actually alter the story. Or perhaps it does. I'm not sure now. Anyway...
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #213 on: 05-17-2008 13:18 »

I hate it when the finer details have the potential to make or break the entire plot.  Good luck sorting it out.


Space Pope
« Reply #214 on: 05-17-2008 13:19 »

Intersting. So it may or may not alter where this story is going... can't wait to see.

Space Pope
« Reply #215 on: 05-17-2008 18:40 »
« Last Edit on: 05-17-2008 18:40 »

Aaaand now, after a teeny bit of advice, it's "sirochka" instead. Given the choice I'd rather have him be more adept with the language than make myself look stupid.   smile


DOOP Secretary
« Reply #216 on: 05-18-2008 23:29 »
« Last Edit on: 05-18-2008 23:29 »

Though it seems like Amy is the one causing the trouble at this point.
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #217 on: 05-19-2008 21:04 »

In Amy's defense, Leela's already told her that she's not interested in Fry romantically, so it's not like she's trying to "steal" him from her or purposefully cause tension between the two.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #218 on: 05-19-2008 21:48 »

Oh I know that. In my experience though the people who cause the most trouble are the ones that aren't even trying to.

Urban Legend
« Reply #219 on: 05-21-2008 21:49 »

  What would Leela say? Eh, he just wouldn’t tell her. [/quote[

something tells me she's going to find out  wink

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #220 on: 05-22-2008 21:59 »

Ya think?

Space Pope
« Reply #221 on: 05-23-2008 03:58 »

She shall not, for she is blinded by love!

disclaimer: may be a lie

Space Pope
« Reply #222 on: 05-23-2008 14:29 »

Hey, Amy uses "shopping" as a euphemism--big surprise.

I like the subtle characterization of Yancy; shuffling and tracing the circles. The interaction between him and Fry is interesting also.

Nice description of the Professor's lab, as well.

"Fry, this is hardly the time to argue about how dumb you are."

"I think it's a perfect time to argue about it!"


Bending Unit
« Reply #223 on: 05-23-2008 19:31 »

Awesome as usual, A!  Looking forward to this next act.  I especially liked "I had a danish."  So Fry.  Also, Seymour and Butes--cute.

And don't worry, I definitely picked up a anti-Veklerov vibe there.  Generally in science fiction, Russians are bad guys (except for Chekhov, of course).  Hell, there are surprisingly few Russians in science fiction, period, I think.

*prepares to get vacked by counterexamples*

Space Pope
« Reply #224 on: 05-24-2008 13:28 »

The entire crew of the Alexei Leonov.  smile

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #225 on: 05-24-2008 23:34 »

Colonel Chekov from SG-1

Space Pope
« Reply #226 on: 05-25-2008 03:44 »

Just a short one today


Leela sprawled on the couch, staring at the blank TV screen without really seeing it as she tried to work out what was wrong with her head. They were stuck in a parallel universe and all Fry could think about was... but that wasn’t strictly fair, was it? He was probably as confused as she was about the whole thing. And it had been Amy making all the moves, not Fry.

So far...

And what about his brother? Leela didn’t have siblings, or at least her parents hadn’t mentioned any, so she didn’t really understand the dynamics of the situation. Yancy seemed like a nice enough guy from what she’d seen of him, as long as you ignored that tendency to assume the worst about everything. He was like an uptight version of Fry. Kinda cute, in a way. Fry didn’t seem particularly happy to see him. His only family. It was a bit callous, wasn’t it?

She put it down to the stress.

A lot of things were down to the stress, she thought, peering at her reflection in the screen. Her eye was a little bloodshot and her brow had that annoying wrinkle in it, the one that took a little longer to fade away every time she frowned. Leela shut her eye and massaged her forehead. She was stuck here for at least a week from what the Professor was saying. A week. They’d be fired again. She’d lose her job thanks to the idiot.

No, that wasn’t fair either. Technically it was her own fault, if ‘Evila’ or whatever she was calling herself could really be considered ‘her’. What was it she’d thought? A mad version of herself with a big gun and a bloodlust? Funny how the world kept dealing these situations out to her, almost as if it wanted her to go crazy.

Well, she was gone now, finally. As long as they didn’t stumble across her again it’d be all right. Leela opened her eye again, a little more confident than before. So what if they were stuck for a little while? Hermes would probably understand once they got back. She could swing something. She was a successful space captain! Something would come up. Something always came up.

Leela glanced at the clock. With a jolt she realised she’d been asleep for nearly two hours. Asleep! She hadn’t even noticed. Leela sat up, rubbing the tiredness from her eye as she looked around the room. There seemed to be some sort of a commotion coming up from the lobby, accompanied by thumping footsteps as someone climbed the stairs to the lounge. A moment later Amy and a large, walking pile of shopping bags emerged.

“I don’t see what the problem is.” Amy tossed her handbag onto the coffee table and started pulling bags from the pile.

“When you said ‘shopping’ I didn’t think you actually meant shopping,” the piled up bags exclaimed with Fry’s voice, before giving out a plaintive sigh and falling to the floor. Fry pulled his hands loose from the bags wrapped around him and shook his head. “I thought you meant, y’know, going to a bar for coffee or something.”

“Gleesh, and miss the ten percent sale at Alien Overlord and Taylor? Are you out of you mind?”

“Apparently,” Fry muttered, staring at the goods piled up around his legs.

He pushed through the bags as if walking through drifted snow, ignoring Amy’s annoyed yell about damaged goods, and slumped down on the couch next to Leela. Amy, muttering in her strange Martian dialect, started dragging her purchases to the far end of the room. Leela waited until Amy was lost in her labour before turning to fry.

“I hate to say I told you so.”

“So don’t... wait, you didn’t tell me anything!”

“I would have done if you’d given me the time.” Leela folded her arms with a nod. That would show him. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to. Fry narrowed his eyes at her and slowly leaned back, frowning.

“You pretty much accused me of wanting to get Amy in bed and then just ran off,” he said with a terrible, narrow stare. Leela blinked and looked away, searching her memory. She hadn’t, had she?

“But...” Leela looked up to see Fry moving to join Amy, several bags under his arm. “Fry, wait.”

He rounded on her as she approached, ignoring Amy’s annoyed yell as several of her more intimate purchases flew from one of the bags Fry was carrying and flopped to the floor.


“Be-ecause...” Leela was taken aback for a moment. This wasn’t the Fry she knew, the affable kid who never stayed mad at anyone. Stress. Had to be stress. She could feel a headache coming on too. Leela grit her teeth, massaging her temples. “Look... I’m... I’m sorry, all right?”

“You’re sorry. Everyone’s sorry.” He knelt down to pick up Amy’s smalls, barely even noticing what they were as he stuffed them back into the bag.  “People keep apologising to me for treating me like an idiot. They don’t seem to think maybe they should just not do it in the first place.”

“I’m not treating you like an idiot, Fry. If you hadn’t noticed, we’re stuck in a parallel universe! It’s a very stressful situation for both of us.”

“Yeah,” Fry muttered. He stood up, ignoring the packets that flopped afresh from half-open bags. “Maybe now you know what it feels like to be stuck in someone else’s world.”

“Fry, what are you...” The words died in her throat. Fry gave her a look of unguarded anguish that lasted but a moment before the more familiar, slightly vacant, though frowning expression returned. He turned away before she could say anything else and dragged the bags toward Amy. The young intern shot her a look somewhere between confusion and disgust. I am way out of my depth here...

The loud buzz of the reception bell cut off Leela’s train of thought before she could take it any further. Without really thinking she started down the stairs to the lobby, only to realise where she was once she’d reached the reception door. She stopped dead in her tracks and swallowed; just ahead, behind the reception desk, a Neptunian secretary sat with her back to the inner door clattering away on a keyboard with two hands as she held a third to an automated manicure machine and spoke into a telephone held in the fourth. She seemed completely oblivious to whoever was trying to get in.

A busy reception just didn’t figure in Leela’s view of the company which, lets face it, had never been particularly well known or profitable for most of its life. It was strange how ‘classy’ the reception seemed compared to back home, too. Where theirs had a couple of faded posters extolling the somewhat dubious virtues of Planet Express, an outdated calendar and very little else, this place had an entire wall dedicated to service awards and high-profile client endorsements. Al Gore, McWendyKing, even Mom’s Friendly Robot Company had used Planet Express at some point. And been pleased with it, too.

The door buzzed again, gleaning an angry glare and a hissed complaint from the receptionist. She apologised to the telephone and dropped it to the desk in order to activate the intercom. Apparently the idea of taking her fingers from the manicure machine never crossed her mind.

“Ya know that sign about staff training is there for a reason, yeah,” she grumbled as the screen came to life. A flicker of desaturated brown hair passed in front of the intercom camera as whoever was at the door leaned over to peer at the notice. “If ya want to make an appointment ya come back tomorrow, see?”

“How about you let me in and I don’t have you arrested for obstructing a government official in the course of business,” Leela’s voice said over the intercom. Leela stifled a gasp and backed away into the shadows behind the door. She was here already!

The receptionist rolled her bright blue eyes and shrugged with her free arms. Oddly, though, she seemed to be smiling just a little. “A moment.”

Leela realised she wasn’t entirely alone. She looked over her shoulder and found Hermes watching the lobby with distant interest. He glanced at her and, realising she was looking at him, put on his customary frown.

“You might want to go back upstairs,” he muttered, frowning even harder at the receptionist as she finished up her work and leaned over to buzz the door open.

Leela nodded and made her way back up to the employee lounge. Fry was gone and Amy, too, which put all sorts of unsavoury thoughts in her head, plus no small feeling of betrayal. Hadn’t he realised how much what he’d said had hurt her? But even now that accusation rang slightly hollow in her mind; she’d hurt him just as much... but then he didn’t have to go chasing after Amy all the time did he? Conniving little-

“-take a little time to get back, they’re stuck at a checkpoint apparently.” Hermes voice echoed  just beyond the door as two pairs of footsteps drew to a halt outside the lounge. “Which is fortunate,” he continued. “There’s someone you need to meet first.”

“Really. This isn’t McDiarmid trying to get into my pants again is it?”

“Absolutely not!”

“Not your robot trying another scam?”

“We haven’t seen him all day,” Hermes said, sounding strangely amused by the idea of Bender not being around. Perhaps he was just enjoying the thought of not having the pay him. “It concerns one of the Professor’s inventions.”

“Oh great... well, lets get it over with.” And with that she pushed the door open and stepped into the room.

There was a moment’s silence as she stared at Leela, lips parted into something that looked like it was about to turn into a sneer, eye widening in shock and surprise. Leela looked at herself once again, took in the cryogenics lab uniform and clipboard and travelbag, the permanent half-frown she remembered wearing back when she’d worked there, and the dark brown hair. Brown?

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Leela gave herself a lame little wave and a smile. Funny how quickly she was getting used to the concept of seeing herself everywhere, though she wished Fry were around to distract both herselves from the sight of each other. Right about now he’d say something cute or stupid to break the ice and they’d be able to get on with it all. She glanced around the room, wondering if he’d conveniently turn up with that idiot charm at full blast, they way he normally did. No such luck.

It was her counterpart who eventually performed the ice-breaking, after narrowing her eye at Leela’s hair. “Is this some sort of a joke?”

She threw her clipboard and bag onto the couch as she advanced toward Leela and paused a few feet away, still frowning, which gave Leela time a chance to see how ugly that frown made her look. Hermes moved quietly past her and held out his arm.

“Turanga Leela, meet Turanga Leela.”

“Right.” She looked Leela up and down with an icy expression. Leela could almost swear she felt the temperature in the room drop a few degrees. “The minute I let that lunatic professor of yours take a blood sample I knew I’d end up talking to a clone.”

“Hey, watch it with the clone talk!”

“I’ve tolerated a lot from this place, Mister Conrad, but this time you’ve gone too far.” The ParaLeela retrieved her clipboard from the couch, ignoring Hermes’ protests as she made her way back to the door. Finally he did something almost unbelievable; he slammed his hand against the door to prevent Leela’s counterpart opening it. She turned to him with that same icy expression.

“Get out of my way.”

“I’m sorry, Miss Turanga-” was all Hermes managed to say before an oversized dart whipped through the room and struck the ParaLeela in the neck. She blinked in surprise and tried to reach for the dart but its contents were apparently too fast acting. Her eye drooped and, very slowly, she toppled backward into a snoring heap on the couch. Leela felt her stomach leap into her throat, followed by a momentary bout of nausea. It was a very odd feeling to see yourself shot.

“Well that could have gone better,” Hermes muttered, turning from the door. Professor Farnsworth wandered in, holding a high-power dart gun under one arm and a dart in the other. He was in the process of re-loading when Leela found her voice.

“What did you do that for?”

“She was going to leave before I’d done my tests,” Farnsworth stated. “I wasn’t ready for that yet.”


“Oh calm down, dear, it’s only a mild sedative, by the time it wears off my scans will be completed and then you two can be introduced properly.”

And with that he raised the gun toward Leela and fired. The dart hit her in the shoulder, flooding her body with a strange, prickling numbness that seemed almost like a relief after the insanity of the last few days. Then the lights in the room grew incredibly bright and hot. She tried to brush the sweat from her forehead but her arm refused to cooperate, preferring to weave a small pattern in the air in front of her face. Hermes was shouting something, but Leela couldn’t see what it was because the smell of the ceiling was too purple. Then she felt her feet floating into the air and the floor came up to say hello just before turning out the lights.

Bending Unit
« Reply #227 on: 05-25-2008 08:11 »

Great use of Leela's tendency to be selfish, and the last bit describing the effects of the dart is well-written and fills me with anxiety and laughter at the same time.

That wasn't so short!

Space Pope
« Reply #228 on: 05-25-2008 11:55 »
« Last Edit on: 05-25-2008 11:55 »

Great update. Leela is definatly getting over protectiv of Fry no matter how much she denys liking him. This Leela meeting Leela was interesting.  Scary that PlanEx is popular and apparently extremly reliable in this realtiy. Great description of the effects of the dart. Poor Fry doesn't get to get lucky, ha.

Loved the update, to bad it was a semi-short one. Really hope you get more up soon.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #229 on: 05-28-2008 23:41 »

Finally got around to reading it. Consististant with your usual quality. And by that I mean friggin' awesome!

Urban Legend
« Reply #230 on: 05-29-2008 08:24 »

Ah, Archonix is back and writing. Nice set of updates.

I guess finding parallel universes where the inhabitants don't want to shoot them (ranging between knockout darts and gigawatt-rated particle beams) would be rather uninteresting...

Space Pope
« Reply #231 on: 05-29-2008 10:08 »

I'm going to come up with something more creative than shooting next universe.  smile

Bending Unit
« Reply #232 on: 05-29-2008 17:50 »

Good update.  There are a lot of little details that make this such a fun fic to read.  Just to mention one, I like the little subtle changes you've made to Farnsworth's personality, reflecting that he is now a direct descendant of Fry.  I get the sense that attraction to clumsy Asian interns is a genetic trait? ;-)

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #233 on: 06-02-2008 07:37 »

Originally posted by Archonix:
I'm going to come up with something more creative than shooting next universe.   smile

Hmmm ...




Just kidding. ;o)

Pretty story update, I look forward to what'll await us next. ^_^

Maybe shootin- *dodges tomatoes* ;o)

Space Pope
« Reply #234 on: 06-03-2008 08:23 »
« Last Edit on: 06-29-2008 00:00 »

The commotion in the lounge was drowned out by the roar of the Planet Express ship as it descended, a little the worse for whatever hazards it had encountered on its journey. Fry could see a few nicks and scratches in the paintwork and a nasty scorch mark on the starboard wing.

The second the ship touched down an incredibly pale-faced Yancy came tearing down the gangway and underneath the balcony to the lockers. Fry almost tipped head-first over the railing as he tried to watch his brother though, fortunately, Amy managed to catch the back of his jacket before he fell. He smiled a thanks at her and trotted down the stairs to the lockers.

Locker-rooms always look the same and always have that distinct slightly damp leathery smell no matter how well they’re cared for. Of course this one was no different, though Fry did notice there wasn’t the usual odour of stale Slurm about the place. When I get back I’ll clean out my locker, he thought. And then he frowned. That was assuming he ever got back.

“Hey, Yancy? Bro?” Fry edged through the locker-room, listening cautiously. Yancy hadn’t looked very happy in the brief glimpse Fry had of him, there was no telling how he’d act, and he wasn’t keen on getting into a shouting match so soon after the last one. He eventually reached the bathroom. It was locked.

“You there?”

A loud groan was the only answer he got at first. Fry was just wondering if he should try and break in to help his brother when the lock shot back and Yancy emerged, shaking and pale. He leaned on the door-frame for support and groaned again.

“Yancy? What’s-”

“It’s insane.” Yancy wiped his sleeve across his mouth. He stumbled over to the benches and sat down heavily. “It’s absolutely, utterly insane...”


Yancy gestured across the hangar at the ship. Veklerov was walking around it, inspecting the hull with scan-o-scope goggles panted firmly on his face, making notes on a computer pad. Fry shrugged and sat down next to his brother. He looked incredibly pale.

“It’s just the ship.”

“Just... you’re kidding, right? That thing goes out into space! You can die in space!”

“You can die down here just as easily you know,” Fry retorted, his mind running back over the many, many times he’d almost died right out on the streets of New New York.

“Down here doesn’t suck your lungs right out of your mouth and make your eyeballs explode.”

Yancy stared at Fry as if just realising who he was talking to. That annoying cynical sneer was back again, the angrily assumed superiority that Fry had always hated from his brother who, lets face it, wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box. And that’s me saying it Fry thought, surprised at himself and harbouring a certain guilty pleasure at the little pun he’d come up with. His brother seemed confused by Fry’s lack of terror at the thought of space flight, too. Oh he knew there was danger involved, but the sheer excitement of being out there...

“It’s no big deal, that’s what the ship is for. Didn’t you ever want to go into space when we were kids?”

“No, it’s stupid, and it’s dangerous.”

“Couldn’t you just go work somewhere else?”

Yancy’s only reply was a half-hearted gesture toward a ‘You Gotta Do’ poster on the wall, one that Fry had completely forgotten about, largely because he enjoyed his job too much to care. Oh, sure, there were times when he got dumped on, and the pay wasn’t brilliant, but the chance to go out into space, hang around with his friends... he realised he was staring at the ship and smiling. Even if it wasn’t ‘his’ ship – or Leela’s – it was still the ship.

“You’re telling me you like going up in that thing?”

Fry felt like he’d been punched. Yancy’s disgust couldn’t be more obvious if he’d spat in Fry’s face.

“Yeah, it’s fun. I get to see things that most people never even dreamed about. I’ve been to the moon, I’ve seen things you wouldn’t even believe! How many people from our time can say that?”

“You’re as crazy as he is,” Yancy yelled, gesturing at Vek as he entered the lockers. The pilot paused at Yancy’s outburst and made a face before continuing to his locker. Which just happened to be where Leela’s locker normally was.

“Hey, isn’t that-”

“So many questions eh? What is with your family, always asking questions and shouting at people?” Vek stuffed the goggles into his locker and pulled out a coat, which he slung over one shoulder. “Yanchovich, go secure the primary buffer panel before you run off home, I don’t want it just falling off again. And you,” he added, pointing at Fry. “Professor wants you in his lab again.”

“Did he say what for?”


“Well... did you see what for?”

Vek finished putting on his coat and started to pull a few personal items from the locker. “Nope!”

“Can’t you find-”



“Zacroy rot! Niet!” Vek slammed the door of his locker and marched toward the rear stairs. Fry leaped up, managing to catch up with Vek just as he reached the door. He grabbed the pilot’s coat and tugged at it. “What?

“What did you say?”

“Perestan mne jabat mozgi svojimi voprosami!”

The door slammed shut in Fry’s face, leaving him none the wiser and feeling more than a little insulted. He wandered back out into the hangar to find Yancy, stood near the ship’s port wing, holding an odd contraption in his hands and staring at the more obvious damage to the ship’s hull. He turned slightly as Fry approached, grumbling at the machine in his hands.

“This is supposed to be Amy’s job, she’s the one with the engineering degree.”

“She is?” Fry glanced over his shoulder at Amy, ignoring his brother’s muttered complaints about his life. “Well, anyway, back home Leela does most of it.”

“Oh, yeah, the great fixer. Damn...” this was directed at the device Yancy held, which had started beeping a loud complaint. “Piece of junk!”

He threw the device to the floor and then kicked it for good measure, eliciting a series of shrill bleeps. The machine exploded in a shower of sparks and smoke that set the owls hooting and flapping around the hangar. They quickly settled down to add their own unique contribution to the damaged ship’s hull.


“You know-”

“Cram it, Phil! Just shut up! I’m sick of this job, I’m sick of this whole damn place and the last thing I need is you telling me how great you think it is!”

“Well... fine! Fine, I was just going to ask if you wanted to get a drink after work, but I guess you don’t need your stupid little brother around.”

Fry turned away from Yancy but then stopped. He looked back at his brother, trying to work out just what was going through his own head at the sight. “Yancy I haven’t seen you for nearly seven years.”

“Seven years, a thousand, what difference does it make? You screwed up my entire life, Phil! I was... I was going to propose, I had a job offer, I could have done anything but you had to get ill and convince me to help you out. Just one time, you said. Just once! Look where it got me!”

Yancy kicked the smouldering machine at his feet again, gave Fry a final haughty glare and stormed off back to the lockers. The owls high above seemed to be hooting laughter at Fry as he slouched after his brother, the way it seemed he always eventually did, with his face burning and his stomach clenched and boiling through sheer frustration. Was nobody in this universe going to be nice to him? Maybe if Leela... no, that was about as likely as him being made pope.

He heard Amy calling down from the balcony. She smiled at him. “What’s the matter, Red?”

“Oh... it’s nothin, just junk and stuff. I have to go see the professor about something, you wanna come?”

“Sure. Gotta look after the old guy anyway. Wait there, I’ll be right down.”


The pen was out again, poking at things as the professor muttered to himself and wandered around the lab. He looked up as Fry and Amy entered, stared at them blank faced for a moment and then resumed wandering.

The machine with the weird wheel seemed to be turned off now, or at least it wasn’t spinning any more, and the cradle behind it seemed to be full of the strange rods it had been ejecting earlier. He felt an odd temptation to pick up one of the rods and play with it. They looked like they’d make good swords but, ultimately, Fry’s experience of the lab stayed his hand. He turned away from the machine and sat down at one of the workbenches beside Amy.

“I’m here, Professor. What did you want?”

“What? Who are you? Ohh...” Farnsworth peered at Fry again as he shuffled over to them, pen at the ready. “Oh yes. The idiot.”

“Hey, quit it!”

“Oh, if you insist.” Farnsworth sighed tossed the pen over his shoulder. “Such a shame, I was quite looking forward to that. As to why you are here...”

The professor motioned them away from the workbench before producing a small remote control, which he aimed at the floor. There was just a long enough pause for Fry to start asking what was meant to happen when the floor seemed to drop away from under their feet. Fry screamed and grabbed hold of Amy for support; the floor had transformed into an elevator, rapidly descending down a narrow concrete shaft. There was barely any sound, aside from the regular swish of passing structural beams.

He let go of Amy right about the time the elevator began to slow its descent. Fry wasn’t good at judging how far or fast elevators moved but even he could figure out that the were a long, long way below the lava pit the Professor had back home. He looked up the shaft sunk deep into the ground, its open end a tiny white disk bare visible between the strip-lights tapering up the shaft walls. Fry let out a low whistle at the sight.

There was more to come. The elevator platform shivered to a halt in a wide, dimly lit concrete room, leaving them stood in a narrow column of light beneath the elevator shaft. Farnsworth stepped out of the light, motioning for Fry and Amy to follow as he made his way across to a stout metal door set into the facing wall.

Fry felt a chill in the air as he followed the professor. He stopped a short distance from the light and turned to look at it. “What is this place?”

“Surely if you’ve worked at Planet Express as long as you claim in your universe, you’ve visited my underground laboratory?” Farnsworth swiped his fingers over a pad at the side of the door. Somewhere in the distance they heard a buzzer, followed a moment later by metallic clunking noises as machinery slid into place and activated itself. The door began to slide open with a squeal of badly maintained runners.

“Yeah, but that was just a few computers and a lava pit in a... cave...” Fry’s voice trailed off as the door passed before him. “Wow.”

“That’s what I said first time I was down here.” Amy smiled at Fry and took his hand. He almost didn’t notice the gesture, but then some latent sense of guilt stole through him and he quickly pulled his hand away.


“It’s okay, I just like holding hands,” Amy replied, rallying another smile. Fry felt another pang of guilt, though now he wasn’t sure for what or whom it was felt. He gave Amy a weak smile in return.

The door halted in its recess with a loud clunk and Farnsworth urged them forward onto another elevator platform surrounded by a tall railing. As the moved past the confines of the elevator lobby the lab revealed its full magnitude, a massive underground space carved out of the living rock, so large that its farthest wall was nearly lost in a haze. Fry almost fell over backwards looking up at the distant roof, supported by gigantic, elegantly curved trusses and criss-crossed by piping and gantries. The space was filled with gigantic generators and machines, entire buildings built across the floor and up the walls, surrounded by more walkways, pipes and even a travel tube or two.

“It’s an entire city,” Fry exclaimed as he looked around himself until his eyes came to rest on a enormous, faded mural on the far wall, identical to the symbol on the back of the conference room chairs.

“Oh my, yes... completely deserted, of course.” Farnsworth waited until the elevator had reached the ground before speaking again. “You’re looking at your own legacy here. Seymour and Butes funded the creation of this entire underground research complex in the late twenty-one thirties. At its height there were nearly half a million people living and working here, churning out some of the world’s most precious inventions. All gone now, of course, to Montana or Mars, or somewhere beginning with ‘M’, but I still find it useful for some of my more hideously explosive experiments or anything I can’t fit upstairs...”

Farnsworth idly waved his hand toward a distant object hanging from the ceiling gantries. It looked like a near-perfect miniature replica of the earth with a huge crater blown in it’s surface.

“Oh one day I’ll perfect my miniature doomsday devices... one day. I’m bringing the paraboxes down into the underground store for scanning,” he added, pointing at a distant team of hoverdollies sliding down a ramp toward a warehouse-style building. “Frankly I can’t think why I kept them in the upstairs store-room when I had this. I expect I simply forgot.”

Farnsworth lead them into a smaller building attached to the warehouse that contained a large and complicated laboratory with more equipment in it than Fry had ever seen. Entire banks of computers hummed away along one wall with a coruscating pattern of lights flickering across their surface. One of the computers was outputting a long stream of ticker-tape into an overflowing bin.

Toward one side of the lab there was an area that looked like a cheap hospital ward, curtained off and surrounded by scanning equipment, to which Farnsworth was already heading. He sat down in front of a binocular scope to adjust the scanners, then slipped behind the curtained area, leaving Amy and Fry alone for a moment. They looked at each other awkwardly until Amy finally spoke.

“I’m sorry for shouting at you before.”

“Eh, it’s okay.” Fry shrugged and wandered up to the curtains. “I mean I figured you meant a bar, or... y’know, something like that but, just getting outside for a couple of hours was okay too. I needed it.”

“Yeah, I could tell.”

“I like bars.”

Amy raised an eyebrow at him. “We could go to one now...”

Farnsworth poked his head around the curtain and glared at them. “Not until I’ve done what I brought you here to do!” He slid the curtain back, revealing Leela and her counterpart asleep in two hospital-style beds, festooned in wires and cabling. Fry felt his fists clench before he could consciously react.

“What have you done to her?

“Oh spare me your stupid-ages morality.” The Professor turned to examine a machine sat between the two beds. “They are asleep, nothing more. The detailed scans are easier to perform when the subjects aren’t moving.”

“Oh. Right...” Fry leaned over Leela’s bed to look at her face. It seemed so peaceful. Even the crease in her brown was gone, a sight he’d only seen perhaps half a dozen times in the entire time he’d known her. At least two of those occasions had been- but that was past, she’d made that very clear afterwards.

He straightened up again. “This was voluntary, right?”

“Well uh... Leela did volunteer to be scanned, yes, absolutely. Speaking of scans,” Farnsworth continued, taking Fry’s arm as he manoeuvred him toward a small round platform. “I don’t need to perform anything so detailed on you as on these two, but I would like to have some basic scans of your quantum resonance signature as a reference.”

“My what? Do I have to get naked?”

“Oh my no... the machine can see right through your clothing if it needs to. Quite handy too,” he said, glancing at Amy. She blushed and then frowned, and then blushed again in quick succession. Pervert, Fry thought, nodding as the Professor continued to explain what the machine would do. He couldn’t understand most of it apart from that he had to stand on the platform and keep his hands out of his pockets. After a few minutes, in which the Professor finally decided to give up his explanation, Fry was ushered from the pad and went to stand with Amy again whilst Farnsworth pottered around the machine.

“Ahh, very useful,” he said eventually. “Very useful. The variant resonance signature from your ‘danish’ is already being incorporated into your physical structure. Fascinating...”

“I really needed to know that.” Fry poked his belly a few times, vaguely worried about his molecules. Resonance meant vibration, right? That meant bits of him might be wobbling. He poked his belly again. Well, wobbling more than usual. “Great, now I’m hungry.”

Amy giggled and grabbed Fry’s hand. “Come on, I know a great place.”

“Yeah. Hang on a second.”

Fry glanced back at the peacefully sleeping Leela. She’d looked the same when she’d been in her coma that time. Peaceful. He wondered what was going through her mind this time, whether she was even dreaming at all.

Farnsworth suddenly turned from his machine and glared at Fry. “You can leave if you like. I don’t need you here.”

“What about her?”

“Oh she doesn’t need you here either,” Farnsworth replied with a dismissive wave. For a moment Fry wondered if he’d been listening to their argument earlier, but... nah, he probably wouldn’t have been able to remember it anyway.

He was torn, though. Leela would want him around when she woke up wouldn’t she. Or he’d want to be around her... would she need him, though? Fry was pretty sure of the answer to that question, not that it was particularly easy to think about when he had Amy tugging at his coat like a demented teenager.

Farnsworth seemed to read what was going through Fry’s mind. He smiled, not a particularly pleasant sight at the best of times, and patted Leela’s wrist. “Don’t you worry about her, I’ll see they both get home safely. Uh, eventually!”

“Right. Sure.” No reasons left. He figured he could trust Farnsworth, in some odd way, to stick to that promise. He’d never jeopardise a potential organ source. “Home here, or our home?”

“Oh... whichever is closest I suppose,” Farnsworth replied.

“Gleesh! Can we go now?”

 Fry turned to Amy, saw her smiling and found he was smiling along with her. “Yeah, sure.”

“All right! We’ll start at O’Grady’s-”

“O’Zorgnax’s,” Fry corrected as she dragged him toward the exit. Amy sniggered. “What?”

“You’ll see.”


O’Grady’s it was, it seemed. Fry stared up at the faded sign with an odd, detached sense of confusion. O’Grady’s, here, in the future. The bar he’d ridden past any number of times delivering pizzas, the bar he’d even been in a few times, once even with a girl. It might be a historical curio for Amy but for him it was almost like being back home. At least until the Neptunian hooker walked past.

“Don’t just stand there,” Amy grizzled, pushing him toward the door. Fry wasn’t really in any condition to resist and let himself stumble into the building. One thing caught his eye, though, before the sign swung out of view; a tiny crest printed in the centre of the ‘O’. A dog’s head with a crown around its neck. Apparently he’d been busy in this universe or, at least, his ‘legacy’ had.

Not much had changed inside, though it seemed a little cleaner – the sort of glittering, worn-in cleanliness that comes from something being scrubbed every day for a thousand years, perhaps. iZac, the robot tender from the ill-fated Titanic, was crooning to himself behind the bar when Fry sidled up and sat down.

“Hey iZac, how’s it hangin?”

The robot bartender spun his head around to face Fry with the robotic equivalent of a frown. “Do I know you, bro?”

“I guess not... uh... I’m Fry.”

“Familiarity is a three drink minimum,” iZac said, returning his attention to the glass he held in his hand. “You wanna lay down some lean green or shuffle your pack out back, jack?”

Fry glanced at Amy, with a nervous smile, dropped a twenty on the bar top and ordered two Kleinekens. iZac snatched up the money and scooted away down the bar to serve another patron. A hovertray brought their beers a moment later.

“I’ve never had one of these before,” Amy said, staring at the bottle with a dubious expression. The beer inside sloshed about unnaturally as she picked it up. She covered one eye and tried to focus on the outside of the glass. “How...”

“I find it easier to just close my eyes,” Fry replied, raising the bottle to his lips.

His first beer for three days. Fry smacked his lips and set the bottle down to look around the bar, noticing how unchanged it was, yet how everything seemed to exude age, like his socks. Only better smelling. No, more like the Head Museum. The point was, it was familiar, which was enough for Fry right now. He finished his drink and waved for two more.

“So, parallel universes.” Amy set her empty bottle down – Fry half-smiled as he remembered how much drink she could squeeze into her slender body when she wanted to. She looked at him with an intensely curious expression that belied her ditzy exterior. God, don’t let her ask how they work...

“What about them?”

“I dunno... what am I like, back in yours?”

Fry looked her up and down, smiling at the memories. And then remembering how he’d dumped her. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to mention that, or the bit where he’d been on her shoulder. “The same I guess. Oh yeah, back there you wear pink.”

“Flech! Pink? Don’t I have, like, any taste?”

“Oh, I dunno, I always thought it was cute.” Oh why did you say that, Fry? He looked down at his beer, only to realise his mistake when he went cross-eyed trying to trace the bottle’s shape. Fry squeezed his eyes shut until he stopped feeling like his eyeballs were turning inside out and carefully turned away from the bar.

“You’re not much like your brother,” she said a moment later. Fry shrugged. “I meant it as a complement.”

“Oh. Right! Yeah he can be a bit... stiff.”

“I found that much out,” Amy replied. Fry nearly swallowed his bottle, which wouldn’t have done his intestines much good in any case, and ended up choking on his beer until Amy slapped him on the back. “You all right?”

“I didn’t really need to know that...”

“Oh. Oh yeah, sorry,” Amy said, downcast. She toyed with her empty bottle for a moment. “It didn’t really work out anyway, more like a one night thing.”

“Barkeep, something a little stronger please?”

iZac dropped a fresh pair of bottles on the bar-top with a flourish before departing to harangue a member of staff. Fry stared at the bottle, glanced at Amy and began to drink. He didn’t stop until he was near the bottom.

Amy didn’t say anything, which seemed odd, since she normally would have found someone to flirt with by now. She was still there when he looked again, but she seemed to be lost in thought, which suited Fry for now since it meant she wouldn’t be asking any more awkward questions. Fry took another swig of his beer – it was quite a bit stronger than the Kleineken – while he absorbed the babbling chatter of the bar and the time-worn look of its fixtures. Here and there were other obvious cryogenic travellers, all of whom had apparently gravitated toward this same bar. An old man in a jaunty cap flirting with one of the Neptunian staff; a younger couple, probably seeking out a new life away from their past; Yancy... Fry’s eyes rested for a moment on a young, athletic Asian woman before the previous thought turned back and tapped him on the metaphorical shoulder.


His brother, in common with most of the bar’s patrons, looked around in surprise until his gaze came to rest on Fry. Yancy’s jaw dropped, then he seemed to wilt in resignation, closing his eyes and slumping back in his seat. A moment later he put his head in his hands.

“I need to-”

“Family,” Amy said with a light shrug. She followed him over, though, taking a seat next to Fry as he sat opposite Yancy. Probably out of morbid curiosity.

For a moment Yancy refused to look at Fry, preferring to concentrate on his beer – some light brand Fry had tried once and dismissed as, well, light. They sat like that for a while, Yancy watching the bubbles in his drink, Fry watching Yancy, and Amy watching them both like a curious cat.

“You all right, bro?”

Yancy gave Fry a defeated look. With a loud sigh he leaned back against the wall. “How do you do it, Phil?”

“Do what?”

“Live. Here,” he said, waving the bottle at the bar. His eyes came to rest on an Amphibiosan leaning against the bar, chatting to two human women. He turned to look at Fry again. “I’m going nuts. How do you cope?”

“I just accepted it.” Fry glanced at Amy. “I found friends here. Leela, Bender...”

“Yeah, but how do you live? How can... it feels like something insane happens nearly every week around here! Aliens invading, giant space wasps, killer gas clouds... hell that giant floating brain thing?”

“The planetary biogenic shield took care of that,” Amy put in. “There was never anything to worry about.”

“Oh yes... a Seymour and Butes project rides to the rescue again.” He downed the last of his beer with a bitter grimace. “Rub it in some more why don’t you?”

“I don’t get it, what’s this Seymour Butts thing anyway? Hey wait... that was practically my dog’s name!”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Yancy muttered. He started picking at the label on his beer bottle. “As far as I’ve been able to find out, about two years after you got me turned into a popsicle you started some sort of investment company, made a fortune on the stock market and pretty much took over the entire US economy.”

“Oh. Wow, so I was running the world?” Fry put his hands behind his head and grinned. “Not bad for a ‘loser’. Sounds like a nice life.”

Yancy glared at Fry, not bothering to hide is contempt. “That was going to be my life until you stole it from me. God dammit, Phil, you even married my girlfriend!”

“But... but that wasn’t me, that was some other me! Yancy-”

“Are you saying you wouldn’t do the same thing given the chance?”

“Well... all right, yeah, I mean Laura, she was hot, y’know?”

Yancy nodded as he finished off his beer. Then he did something Fry never thought he’d see. He smiled. “She was. I can’t blame you for that, Phil, not really. I just miss her so much. I miss all of them.”

Fry nodded. “Me too.”

“I just, I don’t think I can live like this much longer. I mean if it wasn’t for...” He stared at the ceiling for a moment, fingers twirling around the empty beer bottle. “I’m going nuts. You still offering that drink?”

Fry nodded. He waved to a passing waitress to order another round. “Amy?”

“I was gonna head over to the Hip Joint, but... sure, why not? I’ll have a Hadron Colada.”

Fry winced and tried not to think about the damage to his wallet. He held up his empty bottle. “Same again and another-”

“I’ll have what he’s having,” Yancy said. He gave Fry a tight, sour smile. “May as well do this properly.”

“Her thing and two of these things.”

The waitress smiled as she made a note of the order. “Three things coming right up.”
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #235 on: 06-03-2008 10:28 »

Arch has already seen this, but... I has a fanart!  big grin

The F/A shipper in me is giggling insessively over this part... or it was until I got up to this point:

“You can leave if you like. I don’t need you here.”

“What about her?”

“Oh she doesn’t need you here either,” Farnsworth replied with a dismissive wave.

And then my inner F/L shipper rose up and crushed me in a wave of angst and " D:> " smilies.

Space Pope
« Reply #236 on: 06-03-2008 21:52 »

Yay update. Love the story Arch. So Fry stole Yancy's life, nice turn around. Can't wait for more Arch. I'
m too lazy to write alot.

Nice cartoon Officer

Space Pope
« Reply #237 on: 06-04-2008 14:35 »

You know, it sounds pompous, but the mini-comic made me laugh at my own scene. The expression on Amy's face is just priceless.  big grin
Officer 1BDI

Starship Captain
« Reply #238 on: 06-04-2008 19:42 »
« Last Edit on: 06-04-2008 19:42 »

I think I should confess now that Amy's pose was actually borrowed from a pose Fry (?) made in BBS (I think I already had the expression down at that point; I just needed a reference for those ruddy hands...).  I'll be damned if I can find the screenshot again, though.

And I'm glad you found it amusing, Arch. ^_^

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #239 on: 06-04-2008 22:03 »
« Last Edit on: 06-05-2008 00:00 »

Impressive comic 1BDI. Unfortunatly as I have the last of my finals tomorrow I don't have time to read the new chapter. Just more proof that school sucks! Thankfully after said finals, I'm done for good!!!


Finally got a chance to read it. Still awesome. I'll be interested to see how Fry managed to get so rich in this universe and how Yancy got frozen.
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