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Author Topic: Fan Fic - "Tomorrow I'll become better"  (Read 1413 times)
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Tovarish Bender
« on: 02-20-2013 10:34 »
« Last Edit on: 02-21-2013 08:48 »

This is our first official attempt to traslate Russian fan fiction in english. So please DON'T be gentle! It's impossible to grow as a fic-writer as well as an interpreter without construtive critics.

Inf_Guard wrote this fan fic when he was still a novice at the writing business. We decided it would be better to start with earlier works, so you could see the groth of an auther as a writer.

Name - "Tomorrow I'll become better"

Author - Inf_Guard (a real one wink)

Annotaion - The story takes place during the 72’s episode “The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings”. All events before the dialog about Shoun and Leela’s love for music are the same. Changes deign right after this moment

We'll start with a small portion, so you could tell us if this format of posting is comfortable for you or if we should change something.

Without further ado, here it comes:

                                                    Tomorrow I’ll become better

Part 1: “On equal terms”

An automatic door closed, cutting off Leela’s quiet humming. After the conversation she wanted to sing.  In the room a man and a robot exchanged glances. Fry took his holophoner and stared at it. He glanced at the closed door, gave a sad sigh and said:

“Damn it, she knows how to make me feel terrible even without noticing it. I know she has a soft spot for musicians. That’s why I started to play this stupid thing. But it turned out to be harder than it looked. It would take years for me to learn how to play, and I can’t wait that long.

“Don’t throw it away, meat bag, we can pawn it, get some money and use them to…”

“No, I won’t give up! I must continue studying. I don’t have anything to do when you are watching “All my circuits” anyway. But it looks like a lost cause. By the time I can play a “Grumpy Snail” without mistakes it’ll be a couple of years before my retirement. Another dead end.

He put down his holophoner and lowered his head.

“Why so blue, sausage? Lucky at cards, unlucky in love, they say. Hey, come with me to the casino tonight. With your “successes” at the “love front” you’ll be so lucky, that we’ll bankrupt the place in no time. And then another one, and another one!”  -  Bender even stood up.

“Calm down, I’m not that hopeless. I’ll get Leela’s attention even if after that I’ll start losing in poker to Zoidberg. It’s worth it.”

“Someone needs Zoidberg?! Hooray!”  -  A happy doctor appeared in the door.

“Get lost shellhead!”  -  Fry and Bender shouted together. The miserable doctor slouched away.

“I decided to play music after that incident with parasites. That one time right in front of her eyes…well her eye. Anyway in front of Leela I beat a guy who was harassing her. Oh, how she looked at me.”  -  Fry closed his eyes, remembering the pleasant moment  - “Although sometimes she is like…well…that giant from the ancient times… like steel.”

“It’s titan, not steel.”  -  The robot scolded him.

“Whatever.  What matters is that she wants to be with someone strong, who can take care of her. And all I get are lenient glances. Well of course “poor weak Fry”, “got himself in trouble again”, “once again I have to save you” -  Fry said, mimicking Leela’s voice.  -  “Not everyone can be like her. And it’s just what I want. To be as good as she is. Maybe then I’ll get my chance.”

“Than what is stopping you? Go ahead.”

“Time, Bender. It will take a lot of time. And I’ve spent so much of it practicing with the holophoner. I’m not a robot. I can’t just insert a disk in my head and learn everything I need.”

“Yeah, I keep forgetting that.“

Suddenly Bender got an idea.

“You know, actually I could help you.”

“You? How? May I remind you that I declined your offer to transform myself into a cyborg for 118 times?”

“No, meat bag, nothing like that. Go on with your miserable organic existence. I just remembered about one interesting thing especially for you – humans. One friend of mine, whom I barely know, can’t get rid of a device that might help you. Just get you jacket and let’s go. Well, and your wallet of course.”

“I hope it’s not another of your schemes.”  -  Fry said, trying to get his jacket from under Nibbler.

“Relax when it comes to money I become so honest, I can surprise even myself.”

totalnerd undercanada

DOOP Ubersecretary
« Reply #1 on: 02-20-2013 16:15 »

The phrasing is awkward. I think you'd be best giving the translation to a native English speaker and having them polish the English phrasing so as to be more readable (that is, more natural and structured more properly).

No. I will not do this for you for free. You'd be best asking somebody who's not me.
Just Fan
Starship Captain
« Reply #2 on: 02-20-2013 16:35 »
« Last Edit on: 02-20-2013 17:01 »

In fact, it's even more difficult to me - non-English speaking user - to read this fan-fic in English. I've read it in Russian - very clever and emotionally charged fan-fic. As TNUK said, you just need to perform a better translation. However, I highly appreciate the amount of time you've already spent to manually translate the fan-fic.

Good luck.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #3 on: 02-21-2013 02:03 »

It looks like there is a good story in this fanfic! But if you want it to be translated well in English, you will need to work with someone who is very good at writing in English AND understands the original language well.

If you are going to continue the translation, please think about putting the names of characters before their lines. When there are translation difficulties, knowing what character is speaking helps a lot.
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #4 on: 02-21-2013 08:50 »


The phrasing you say...hmpf yes... I agree . I think I can see the problem. I hope there is nothing that good old revising can't solve.

Just Fan

Looks like during the process of translation I've made 2 serious mistakes. No...make it 3.

1. I forgot that the main goal of an interpreter is to give the essence of the text, not to translate it word to word. That's what a year without practice can do to you.))

2. During translation I was THINKING in Russian while WRITING in English. I guess it is the main source of the problem. And that happened (i think) because of the mistake №3.

3. I made most of the translation at work. smile And it's hard to concentrate while being constantly distracted.


About putting names of characters before the lines. First, let me try to solve the translation problem. Because it should be obvious from the context who's talking. If it's not, than something is really wrong.

Here, I made some revising and tried to "increase the understandability wtf?". Please tell me if it's better now.
Just Fan
Starship Captain
« Reply #5 on: 02-21-2013 09:45 »
« Last Edit on: 02-21-2013 23:28 »

That's what a year without practice can do to you.))
Yep, a year of military service could change a man, more or less. You've definitely been busy that year smile.

The text is much more "understandable" now. At least to me... smile

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #6 on: 02-21-2013 13:27 »

About putting names of characters before the lines. First, let me try to solve the translation problem. Because it should be obvious from the context who's talking. If it's not, than something is really wrong.

Your recent changes made it much more understandable. Now it's easier to see who is talking.
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #7 on: 02-24-2013 10:42 »
« Last Edit on: 02-24-2013 10:43 »

Ok people, time for another piece. I hope that now the "language barrier" is down and we can concentrate on the fic itself. But if there are other problems and mistakes  please do notify me so I could fix them.
                                            *                *                 *            

“Here we are, I guess. I was here just a couple of times.”

“Bender, where are we?” – Asked delivery boy looking uneasy.

The question made sense. After a lot of dodging and “shaking the tail off” they’ve come to a deserted street squeezed between Neptunian discreet and Bitallia Street. Fry knew from the crime news that this discreet had the highest number of homicides, shootings and unidentified bodies of robots, humans and aliens. It was the New-New York’s “crime center” of a sort. They stood before the old warehouse with a lopsided and barely readable sign.

“Are you sure we need to go there? This place looks like it was closed for five hundred years. Let’s go home.”  -  He turned to go away, but was stopped by Bender’s hand.

“Which of us needs it, you or me? Don’t panic, it looks better on the inside. Come on Vincenzo is waiting for us.”

The bending unit opened the creaking door, pushed Fry inside, then followed suit. It was a cluttered up shop full of junk, old boxes and rusty containers. A robot with an almost round torso, wearing an old waistcoat, appeared from behind one the heap of junk. Apparently it was a shop owner. When Bender saw him he went to him with arms outstretched.

“Vincenzo, good to see you, buddy. How’s our Don bot doing?”

Hello there, Blotto. Thanks for visiting. Don Bot’s fine. Clamps sends you “hi”.

Robots hugged with a metal clank. Fry watched this meeting with a “barely known fella” with growing suspicion and Bender understood that it’s time for business.

“By the way this one’s with me. A client he won’t talk I can vouch for him.”

“Ok. So you planned another robbery and guy needs a gun to stand on the lookout?”  -  Vincenzo gave Fry an evaluating eye to.

“No I’ll come for this later.”  -  Bender shook his head then lowered his voice to whisper.  -  “I hope you didn’t sell that exclusive thing you showed me a couple weeks ago?”

“As if someone wants it. You know my clients, most of them are robots. There are only three or four humans at all.”  -  The shop owner gave Fry another look.  -  “So, the boy decided to become tough and ready to pay for this? And why the hell he needs it?”
“You wouldn’t believe it Vinc. He wants to win a girl’s heart.”

“Well in this case he gets a discount, I respect love.”

“No way…”  -  Bender said, astonished.

“You won’t get it Blotto, you’re too young. Maybe you will, if you live up to eight years... Okay come with me.”

 The shop owner went to unremarkable door in the far corner of the room, the guests followed him. Next room was a total opposite to the previous one. A large, clean, brightly lit warehouse with transparent shelves filled with weapons along the walls and several tables in the center.

“Wait here I’ll get what you need.”  -  With that the robot went behind the shelves.

“Bender! Who is he and how come you know him?”  -  Whispered Fry. He felt uncomfortable.

“He’s a very smart droid. He knows everything about weapons and stuff. Some of the most influential robots use his services. Including me, of course. We got acquainted in…mmm…a billiard room, yeah. He seems to like you, so ask for a bigger discount.

“Here I am.”  -  Vincenzo reappeared with a small box in his hands.  -  “And here’s what you need, boy. Our guys recently have broken into the fed’s depot and brought me five of those but I can’t sell them because they are only for humans.”

“What is this?”

“Let me show.”  -  With that the robot opened a box.

“A wrist computer?”  -  Fry sounded surprised and disappointed.  -  “Leela’s got the same. Why would I need it? When I said I wanted to become like her I meant something…more.”

“Calm down, human. This toy – is a tactical computer for special agent's training. It's “Bourne 665MC”. Unique devise. Normal hardware makes only about 5% of it. The rest is special stuff. To tell you the secret its computer scheme almost blew out my mind. And the Blotto here…”

“Cram it!”  -  Yelled Bender suddenly.

“Okay, okay, he-he. Put it on your arm and it will download in your brain and muscles all the knowledge, skills and reflexes you need. You’ll be able to do everything you dreamed about.”

“What if it tries to take control over me?”  -  Fry carefully took the device.

“That’s just stupid humanoid fears. It doesn’t obey you it just gives you the ability to do things better, but what to do is still your decision. Listen friend I really want to sell this thing but are you sure it’s the right thing to do? Maybe there is another way? I don’t know…write her a song or something.  -  The old robot sounded sincere.”

“Been there done that didn’t even get a t-shirt. No I think it is exactly what I need. I’ll be able to talk with her as an equal and better understand her. I’ll take it, how much?”

“Fifteen hundred. Just because you’re in love and know what it’s like.”  -  While Fry was counting his money Vincenzo added.  -  “A word of advice. Free of charge. If you ever look at your beloved and instead of love you see fear in her eyes – tear off that thing and drop it into the nearest dumpster… If only I could have this advice so long ago…”

“Hey, Vinc, what’s wrong?”  -  Bender seemed concerned.

“Nothing just a spike of voltage. Well to make sure there is no trick why don’t we check this devise right here?”

Fry took off his jacket put on the wrist computer waited for a bit then asked:

“What now?”

“Turn it on. There is a button down there.”

“Okay here goes nothing. “

He pushed the button. The screen lit up and computer started reading standard installation text with a mechanical voice:

“You are hereby greeted by the operation system of Nanosoft corporation’s computer “Bourne665MC” produced by H.A.L.O. company. Thank you for acquiring our device. Please enter the unique I.D. password:”

“One” twelve times.”  -  Fry said easily before Vinc could say anything.

“Password accepted. User’s been detected. User’s brain’s been detected. Delta brainwaves – undetected. Do you wish to abort the installation?”


“Fry, how come you know the password? -  Bender asked.

“They haven’t changed in a thousand years."

Meanwhile computer contined:

“The process of uploading data is launched. Please relax and abstain from thinking and moving. In case of non-compliance abortion of installation, reboot and immediate death of the user may follow.”  -  Fry froze. Computer started the analysis of Fry’s condition commenting during the process.

“Overall physical condition – unsatisfactory. Hand-to-hand fighting skills– not found. Connecting full database of practical skills. Cold weapons – rudimentary skills. Upgrading. Firearms – exceptional skills. Connecting firearms database. Acrobatic skills – not found. Upgrading. Tactical training – rudimentary. Connecting database and calculation module. Analyzing block of moral imperatives …”

“Impe…what?”  -  Fry asked but apparently computer wasn’t going to answer user’s questions.

“Analysis revealed serious contradiction with required parameters. Correction and adaptation is in progress. Due to the lack of delta brainwaves the process can be easily reversed, for safety measures the correction program will be located on the computer. Downloading of required data is complete. Calibration, adjusting and correction of physical condition will take from two up to five days. Switching to standby mode.”

Two robots looked at Fry with curiosity. Bender was the first to speak:

“Hey meatbag is it working?”

“I don’t know. I don’t fill any changes. It’s all the same. I guess.”

“It’ll take time for changes to settle in. But there is a way to check it.”  -  Said Vincenzo opening his chest compartment and extracting a stiletto. Suddenly he threw it at Fry with a shout “Catch!”

To the surprise of both Bender and delivery boy, Fry moved his head slightly and caught the knife by the handle.

“How did I do that?” – He asked looking astonishingly at the weapon.

“So it works. You’ll get used to it and soon will be able to use it willingly. Now, another check. What is this?”  -  The robot pointed at one of the guns.

“Pulse rifle Remington L3500UF, 50 cal, sighting range two kilometers.” – Fry blurted out surprising himself.

“Construction faults?”

“Poor heat insulation, fore-end gets overheated after forty shots.”

“Can you take it apart and put it together again?”

“Piece of cake.”  -  Fry took the frown rifle and started skillfully taking it apart while humming a song:

“Agitatis Space-o-marini!
Dominitis Space-o-marini!
Non praestatis Space-o-marini!...”

“What the hell is that?”  -  Bender asked with his eyes bulging out?

“It’s alright. These computers have good weapon’s library. As for the song – it’s a space marine’s “March chant”. It’s a bonus of some kind. Developer insists that it helps the adaptation.”

“Ready.”  -  Fry gave the rifle to the old robot.  -  “In the army it took me an hour and a half to do the same. “

“You served? You didn’t tell.”

“Yeap, about five days. Me and Bender participated in the operation on Spheron-1, didn’t he tell you? I even have some medal for it.  -   Suddenly his voice became clear and commanding.  -  “Earth’s shield” of third degree.”

“Yes, thank you.”  -  Fry said to the computer.

“He never told me. Hey Blotto why didn’t you boast about it?”

“There is nothing to boast about. Usual stuff.”  -  Bender suddenly looked embarrassed and hurried to the exit.  -  “Anyway we must be on our way. I’ll tell about my army days some other time when I visit you again. See ya.”

“Thanks Vincenzo.”  -  Delivery boy shook the robot’s hand.  -  “This is exactly what I need. I think I’ll visit you soon. So long.”

“Good luck. Will be glad to see you. By the way there is a discount on heavy weapons for custom clients.”

                                               *                 *                 *

It was twilight when they reached Bender’s apartment. While sitting on a sofa and watching TV Bender asked:

“Now you got what you wanted. A new life starts tomorrow?

“No. I need time to get used to it. This is too unusual. I must wait.”

“Hey, mammal, don’t you think that you have waited long enough?” -  Bender even stood up.  -  “Haven’t you started all this to stop waiting?”

“It’s different. “

Fry wrinkled his face and started pacing around trying to explain.

“I need to prepare. I have wasted almost four years, so I can spend several days to plan how to reach my goal. It’s Thursday. That’s why tomorrow you’ll go to work and tell any lie you want. My canary perished, I’m in a hospital with a saturnian fly, I was kidnapped and enslaved by aliens from Deneba-4. No matter. I am no more and it’s useless to look for me until Monday. For Leela too. Especially for Leela. So you’ll have to be convincing, understand?”

He turned to Bender and saw that robot looked as if he was hit by a sack with dust.

“Yes Lee…I mean Fry... I mean, what the hell?!  -  Bender shook his head, took the bottle of beer from under the sofa and gulped it down in one go. He couldn’t understand what surprised him more: the fact that Fry didn’t ask or beg but ordered him or was it that all this time he walked absolutely soundlesly as if not even noticing different stuff cluttered around the room.  -  Stop ordering me. As if our mutant wasn’t enough, now you.”

“Sorry Bender.”  -  Fry looked like he just woke up.  – “ But you have to understand how important it is. What if there is some minor detail that can ruin everything again? I want to be prepared and to do everything without a hitch. I want to exclude those damn accidents! Do you understand?

“Calm dawn meat bag, a got it. Looks like our captain blew away your roof so far that no computer will be able to fix it. I’ll cover your ass but you own me.”

“Of course. I’ll be in my room. I need to train to fully understand my new abilities. I’ll show Leela what I’m ready to go through for her and this time she’ll have to notice it.”

Urban Legend
« Reply #8 on: 02-24-2013 22:46 »

Здрово, дружище.

This is looking good. I'm liking where you're taking it. A couple of minor points on your sentence structure, though...

As an example:

“Bender, where are we?” – Asked delivery boy looking uneasy.

Works better as:

“Bender, where are we?” asked the delivery boy, looking uneasy.

No dash is needed after the end of quote marks, neither is the capital of the next letter - unless there is a period inside the quotes. Then it is considered a new sentence.

You can also use commas inside the quotes:

“Yes, thank you.”  -  Fry said to the computer.


“Yes, thank you,” Fry said to the computer.

The sentence structure rules are actually pretty complex, and take a long time to learn...
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #9 on: 03-01-2013 10:35 »


No dash is needed after the end of quote marks, neither is the capital of the next letter - unless there is a period inside the quotes. Then it is considered a new sentence.

Noted. wink

The sentence structure rules are actually pretty complex, and take a long time to learn...

Agreed, but I always considered prepositions a real pain in the ass. smile And I still do. mad

P.S You've missed one "o". Its "здорово". smile

And here is another piece.

                                           *                   *                  *

On Monday morning, employees of "Planet Express" began to gather on a daily meeting. A quarter before ten four were sitting at the round meeting table: Zoidberg was fiercely chewing something, Amy was struggling to stay awake, Bender was whistling a happy tune, and Leela looked slightly worried watching the empty seat near her where Fry usually sat.  She didn’t buy Bender’s story that Fry was down with Martian chickenpox because people from 20th century weren’t immune to it and craved for real reason of his absence.

Since last month every week she and Fry spent one day off together somewhere – café, cinema, sport match. She called it “a walk with a friend” and every time when the word “date” appeared in her mind she mentally chased it away with a slurmball bat. And now she was worried about Fry’s absence because Bender’s words were hardly convincing.

“Sent from home, overseas and into the unknown. Barely landed in the jungle sent on first patrol…,” Bender stopped whistling and actually started to sing. Leela decided to act.

“So how’s your neighbor?”

“Ah, he’s fine as always…Khm… I mean he got a lot better but you what an insidious disease it is. You never know what to expect the next moment,” Leela’s disbelief was so evident in her eye that Bender would turn red if he could.

“Hello everyone,” a familiar voice came from the doors.

“Hello Fry,” the captain quickly turned around, nodded, and then turned her gaze back at Bender. But suddenly she froze and slowly turned her head. At first glance she only saw a familiar figure with red hair, but still she noticed that something was different and now she saw what exactly.

First of all his always disheveled hair with ever present sticking tuft now was neatly combed. Second, instead of the usual clothing he was wearing a black leather jacket, gray trousers and polished black shoes. Third, the way he moved, more impulsively, but more accurately ay the same time, even if it was not immediately obvious. Not paying attention to the surprised looks of the mutant, decapodian and Martian, he came to his seat. With one swift movement he jumped out of his jacket, caught it while it was still in air, carefully laid it on the chair’s back and sat. Under jacket he was wearing black T-shirt. On his left hand there was a wrist computer. No one pointed out that for the first time in almost four and a half years Fry wasn’t late for work. Amy returned her jaw back in place and asked:

“Umm… Fry why do you look like that? Bender pawned your clothes again?”

“Nothing like that. It’s just that some people keep telling me that I’m dressing and acting like a teenager,” he gave a glance to the next seat. “So I decided to change and started with clothes. You don’t like it?” young intern shook her head.

“On the contrary! It looks great just unusual. You look older.”

“Thanks. And what will our captain say?” he turned to Leela. “Does this look go against the regulations?”

“S-sorry Fry, a got distracted this is so unexpected. I really like it,” she overlooked him again. “But why did you comb your hair? You’ve had such a charming boyish hairstyle. It really suited you although this looks fine too.”

“Good. Always ready to please you,” Fry said with a nod and faked an official tone.  “Subordination must be obeyed.”

Leela never got to answer that because in that moment clock chimed ten and in the room appeared Hermes ever punctual. No one ever could understand how did he manage always appear at 10 o’clock and 0 seconds sharp but apparently it was a high grade bureaucrats’ ability.

“Hello everyone. Oh, sweet baboon of Cameroon! What have you done with Fry?!” Hermes stopped at the table and started carefully examining the delivery boy.

“We? Nothing,” said Zoidberg. “He decided to start a new life with a new costume. And I can’t, I don’t even have money for a new bathrobe. I’ll always be poor and lonely,” he started crying wiping off his face with his tentacles.

Hermes seemed satisfied with both Zoidberg’s answer and misery.

“Ok then. The Professor is busy in a laboratory so I’ll be the one to tell you about your next delivery. After lunch you’ll head to Calisto’s mining station, deliver drilling equipment, booze and fembot sets and take back the refined ore. And don’t mess it up.”

“Fembots, booze,” Bender nodded approvingly, preparing to light a cigar. “Those pieces of junk know how to live and work.”

“Bender there are 26 men on this station and no robots.”

The cigar fell out of robot’s mouth never being lit, “Then why…!?  “

“Mine workers,” Hermes said offhandedly.  “Tough people. They don’t care if it’s robot as long as there is a “fem” prefix. So, Fry, you will work with the cargo and to our captain I would recommend to not leave the ship. The consequences can be horrible. Two stations were lost on Nereid in similar incidents for the last month so we don’t want any risks. You are off in 14 o’clock.”

“Yeap,” Bender stood up. “I’ll cook the dinner. I just recently found a new unique recipe. You’ll remember this meal for the rest of your lives,” he never heard several hushed murmurs “Yeah, sure”.  “I’ll start right away. Just need a few spices. Hermes is there by any chance a couple pounds of ammonium sulfide in your office?

“Aaaww, what a shame I can’t go,” Leela said with a said voice trying to hide a smile. “I have a training today. I envy you guys.”

About a year ago she turned part of Planet Express’s huge basement into her own gym hall. There were several perks to it. Mainly it was used for training on work during free time. But what was even better it gave her a solid excuse to avoid degustation of haphazard cooking experiments of Bender who imagined himself a genius chef after his victory in cooking TV-competition. The rest envied her but didn’t come up with something similar.

“Now to the important part… Using this diagrams I’ll show how we can reduce our office’s utility payments by 0,003 percent …” Hermes armed himself with laser pointer and started the lecture. Power limiter has been removed from it, and in pulse mode, it reliably provided light burns that had good effect on the sleeping workers.

“Pss… Leela,” Fry whispered, leaning slightly to the right, and at the same time keeping an interested expression for Hermes. “I want you something to ask.”

“Go ahead,” She said just as silently.

“You're going to spend a lunch break for exercise. And can I ... can I join you? I think that exercise is much more beneficial to my health than Bender’s cooking. Please, I really decided to watch over my health.

Leela hesitated. A couple of times she agreed to his presence, and both times it was the same. Instead of really working on his not the ideal physical form, he took a few sluggish warm-up swings then stood near her talking about everything, or just looking at her studies. This of course was nice of him, to give her company, but was very distracting. Because of this she declined all his further attempts to accompany her though tormented by remorse because Fry would be forced to eat or at least try to eat Bender‘s "masterpieces". But now it looked like he really decided to change something in his life, became more serious. It was worth to try.

“Ok, you may come. But make sure it’s not like the last time,” she said strictly but quietly.

“No, no. It would be different this time, I promise,” he covered her palm with his for a second then crossed his arms and made an “I’m all ears” expression. He definitely brooded on something while looking like he was absolutely fascinated by the scheme of utility tariffs calculation.

By noon Bender was busy in the kitchen. Leela and Fry headed to the basement unconvincingly trying to look saddened while the rest went to the kitchen with the grace of the condemned.

“You know after that victory over Elzar even all together we won’t be able to convince Bender that his cooking not just tastes awful but also dangerous,” said Fry on the way down. He already returned his haircut to his usual state.

“Yeah, I don’t know what to do about it ether, he considers himself a genius cook now. Here we are now, take a look around, I'll be right back.”

When Leela came back clad in her favorite kimono with the black belt she took away from her ex-teacher Fnog she was surprised. Instead of slouching around Fry was lifting a bar with a couple of additional weights from chest high. It was like their visit to the gym once before the flight to the Decapod 10. But this time there was no gravity regulator so it was evident that Fry lifted the whole weight all by himself and quite promptly without visible stress. Leela shook her head, rubbed her eye, but nothing has changed - this all was really happening.

“Not bad, Fry, looks like you really started to look after yourself.”

“Yeah, I decided to follow your advice to look upon you. And you know what, I like it,” he finished with the bar.

“I even started to feel more confident. Looks like I really behaved like a child, rejected your help, while you only wanted to help me. And I realized it only now.”

“Listen,” Leela tried to catch the elusive idea and form it into the words. “Haven’t you, by chance, had breakfast at the space fuel station recently?”

“Why would you ask that? Oh, right!” Fry even slapped his forehead. And he did it while making pushups so he had to bounce on the arms. “Don’t worry. No more parasites. I got smarter than that. I just realized I stood in one place for long enough and decided to become better.”

“You’re doing well. But you must understand that a couple of sessions won’t make it.”

“Sure thing. That’s why I wanted to ask you if I could come here to work out. Well at least some times.”

“Any time you want,” suddenly she realized that she acted just like Fry before. To change it she started her training session.

After about 15 minutes Fry looked around and said:

“That was a good warm up. Hey Leela what do you do between the work outs?”

“Usually I hit the punching bag. And you can…”

“Do the same. Or even better we can exclude the punching bag. How about a spar with me? That’s more interesting. Bags usually don’t run around and defend themselves.”

“Fry do you think that’s a good idea? Last time if you remember it ended with you unconscious after twelve seconds.”

“Give it a try. You won’t be hitting wholeheartedly, will you?”

“All right. Get your shoes off and go to the mat.”

Nodding again, the delivery boy suddenly did back flip, while in mid-air he got free of his shoes, caught them with his left hand and neatly placed them near. Leela blinked several times, then applauded him. She wondered how much time he spent learning this circus trick to impress her.  Fry turned at the sound puzzled, as if not knowing what had caused such reaction. Then he understood, nodded to himself smiled and bowed artistically to Leela.

“Shall we?”

“If you still up to it.”

“Hell yeah. Just please don’t knock me out instantly. Let’s make it at least a minute, okay?”

“I’ll try to be gentle.”

They stood on the carpet four meters from each other. Then each briefly bowed to his opponent and took a fighting stance. Now, looking at the Leela, Fry knew that she was using second upper defensive stance of Arcturian Kung fu. But she was not able to recognize a fighting stance of one of the styles of jujitsu, thinking that he just saw this movement in some movie. It took five seconds, ten, then Fry moved forward a half-step, and it was hailed as the beginning of the fight.

Leela took three steps up to him and struck a normal punch at half strength. Fry easily even lazily dodged, caught her hand and dropped her to the floor with a precise footstep. Then, with a guilty smile, leaned over and extended his hand to help her up. She smiled, took his hand ... and while falling on her back threw her rival forward. In midflight, Fry managed to regroup and rolled quickly back on his feet, then spun 180 degrees. Leela was up too.

For a second they looked at each other anew then rushed into fight. This time she moved at full speed, throwing a combination of punches. He dodged the first two and skillfully blocked the third one then counterattacked. Leela barely blocked first four punches by palms and elbows but next two almost struck her down. She managed to dodge the final blow caught Fry while he was regrouping and pushed him back with a powerful hit in the chest. Delivery boy quickly recovered and managed to roll back from the roundhouse kick.

Meanwhile in the Planet Express dining hall the crew, with the absence of Hermes who’d departed (thankfully to answer the call, not to the other side), was hesitantly picking their dishes under Bender’s rigorous watch. Suddenly the bureaucrat burst into the room panting:

“There is Leela fighting with Fry!”

Of course everyone instantly rushed out from the room including the old professor and the cook. Amy cheerfully leaped across the table, knocking off a few plates on the road, Bender threw away a pot that he was holding, and Zoidberg shouldered the far too slow Farnsworth.

Half a minute later they were standing in front of a boardroom, where the signals from the cameras were transmitted to. Hermes pressed a couple of buttons on the keyboard. A video appeared on the main screen showing the basement and the combatants. Just at that moment Fry caught roundhouse kick to the head. He fell on his back, jumped up from the rollback, dodging from Leela’s knee and starting his own series of punches. Those in the boardroom stood with their mouths agape. Silence was broken by Bender:

“I'm no expert on humans but maybe someone can explain me, if it's the way it should be? Is this how you have your mating games?”

“I'm no expert ether but I guess that it should be different,” added Zoidberg.

“Let’s go we must stop them!” Amy was ready to run to the basement but tripped over Bender’s extended leg.

“And how are you going to do that? They’ll smash you out of the way without even noticing,” said the Robot sitting comfortably in the chair.

“Then what do you suggest?” she asked offended, trying to stand up.

“It’s obvious. When your friends are trying to kill each other just sit down and have fun,” Bender opened his chest compartment took out half a dozen of beers and distributed them among the rest. “And make bets. Fry you are my friend but business is business. Three to one on Turanga.”

“Just look at it, mon!” said Hermes. “A hundred on the red one!”

Being unaware about their colleagues’ touching relationship toward them Leela and Fry continued their fight.  Young woman was too fascinated with the fight to think about its reasons. The only thing she knew about right now that there was an opponent of an equal level at least in front of her.

Fry was at a disadvantage in some way. Leela really loved the roundhouse kicks, and the "tail" of her long hair tended to fluff up in a bright purple cloud blocking the view and strived to whip across the face. Because of this he just missed the poke of folded fingers in the forehead and was almost knocked out. In the last moment he slightly turned his head, beat off her left hand while simultaneously stopping her with a hit under the breast trying to gain distance.

In other circumstances, it would’ve been difficult for him to do so, but now the combat computer followed a corrective program and cut out unnecessary, in its opinion, emotions not allowing to consider the girl as anyone but a rival. Leela herself also being in the heat of battle didn’t think where Fry got such knowledge in martial arts or such professional style of fighting.

Leela attacked again this time with her left hand’s edge aimed strait to the throat. Fry slightly pulled back but still he could feel the wind from her thin fingers as they swept near his face. He blocked the right kick with his forearm grabbed her ankle pulled it up and knocked her down. During the fall she managed to twist around and kick him in the shoulder with her free leg releasing herself from his grip. Right from the floor she kicked out and Fry barely avoided the hit.

Apart from respect, Leela finally started to feel amazement. While she used only her favorite Arcturian kung-fu, the Fry freely combined punches from Kempo and Chuan-fa *and added attacking blocks from some exotic style. Sign of great skill. Where did he learn all of this, when and most importantly - why?

Suddenly Fry just blurred in the air appeared a meter closer and started another attack. Leela stopped his series but her counterattack hit only thin air. Fry was already on her left and stroke twice. She dodged one blocked the other but her own counterattack met emptiness again. For some reason she felt a sense of “deja vu ” as if she saw something similar once. But she threw this thought out of her head. Now wasn’t the time to think about some stupid trick from a movie. 

She had to dance around deflecting her opponent’s hits that phased in and out like a ghost while trying to strike back. At last after sixth attempt she’d caught him with “pacification circle”*. Fry halted for a second and that was enough for Leela to attack. He deflected six dashing attacks but she was closing in for her point black knee kick in the stomach and finishing blow with an elbow. Trying to win time Fry started leaning back and to the right blocking her hit with his left wrist and thrusting with his right closed into the “beak” *.


1) Jujitsu  -  a type of Japanese martial arts. Has a wide application of attacks on vulnerable points of the body and throws.

2) Chuan-fa -  collective name of several systems of Chinese martial arts, literally means "fist fight."

3) “Pacification circle”  -  A powerful but unsighted kick around. Often used in the prone position. Used when the opponent is lost from sight, or if there are several opponents.

4) “Beak”  -  A type of attack, all fingers extended, the last phalanges are tightly pressed against each other

Urban Legend
« Reply #10 on: 03-01-2013 11:05 »

You've missed one "o". Its "здорово". smile

Blame the Microsoft Translator website. smile

And here is another piece.

Interesting. Where did Fry learn to fight as well as Leela? Presumably we shall find out soon...
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #11 on: 03-09-2013 07:33 »


Interesting. Where did Fry learn to fight as well as Leela? Presumably we shall find out soon...

Well it was described in the second piece whet the computer "downloaded" this skills. I guess author used the idea from "Matrix" with the differense that Fry needed several days to get used to his new abilities.

Now, it's time to cinclude the first part of the fic.

                                                   *                    *                   *

They froze. Her elbow was stopped by his fingers near the temple and his “beak” was at her throat.

“Looks like we have a draw,” Fry whispered silently. “Great fight. Do you wish to continue?”

“That was wonderful,” Leela looked like he felt. “But I just can’t go on. It would be a feat If I manage to get upstairs. I went all out.”

“Fine by me. I’m not sure if I can get upstairs either. Break! ” with this announcement he finished his move and fell on his back. Leela after a second of pondering did the same and crashed beside him.

“Listen. Where and most importantly when did you learn all this?”

“There is a reason.”

“Well I don’t know. It looks like for the first time in my life I went all out to oppose someone. Even my teacher Fnog wasn’t that strong. I think that this one fight gave me more than a few past years. Thanks, I’ll need this,” she hugged him slightly as far as her strength allowed her. “I can guess it wasn’t easy to gain so much skill so quickly.”

“I had a stimulus. A very serious and attractive stimulus. You know I’ll do everything for you. To help you I’ll go through more than that, you name it. And I’m serious. Come on let’s grab something to eat before the flight. I feel like I’ve lost a dozen of pounds in a few minutes.

“Yeah and at last a couple of them in water. So its shower first then food if there is still some “un-Bendered”  food. And don’t you dare to argue about shower.”

“I wasn’t going to. Great idea.”

“I hope you don’t suppose,” she asked suspiciously. “That we’re going to take it together? “

“No-no-no! Haven’t even dreamed about it, honestly!  -  Fry made a very innocent face which proved that he had this idea in his head at least.  -  I’ll wait for you than you’ll wait for me, and then we’ll begin a difficult climb to the top.

Leela was already closing the door when she suddenly stopped. Once again she mentally repeated the ending of the fight and realized that there was no draw Fry spoke of, the battle ended in his favor. Moreover, his last attack was guaranteed to be lethal and he stopped his hand at the last moment. Sure this proved his level of skill but such things were strictly prohibited in the training sparring. She was not afraid for her life, the idea that Fry might wish her harm seemed simply impossible, but she wanted to talk to him about his overconfidence. With this decision she went into the shower.

When they finally got to the meeting room, supporting each other, they’d found the entire team there. Amy was in a great mood, counting a whole bunch of bills others looked upset. Bender asked Zoidberg in a low voice looking at the couple :

“You sure it wasn’t part of mating games?”

“I thought it wasn’t. Although now I have my doubts,” the lobster answered just as silently. They were interrupted by Leela’s booming voice:

“So?! What happened here?” Leela dropped Fry’s supporting hand and went straight to Bender. “ What were you doing here without us?”

“Why me all of a sudden?!”

“Where the money is there is always you. I need answer.”

“It looks like they were watching our duel,” said Fry pointing at the screen.  “And made bets, I guess.”

“So, what about it?” the robot went into offensive. “Yeah we had a couple of bets just for fun. Amy won anyway. As if she needs money with her wealth… and looks... Leela why didn’t you break his neck on seventh minute?!"

“Hey I heard that,” the intern shouted and turned to the captain. “I was the only one who bet that there will be a draw, and they bet on who of you will kill whom.”

“Hmm, thanks. Well, Fry, let us leave our “loyal” friends to savor their defeat.”

“And our next step?”

“A café on the on the other side of the street.”

“Ma'am, yes ma'am,” Fry saluted turned around and marched to the exit. Leela followed suit smiling.
                                                  *                  *                 *

Scanty shade from an umbrella over the table didn’t give any cool, but at least it allowed looking at each other without blinking because of the bright August sun. Leela and Fry were waiting for their order, while making a conversation.

“Today you behaved quite different than usual. I like it.”

“And tomorrow I will be even better. I promise.”

“Listen, since we couldn’t spend time together on the weekend, how about we go out today after work? Maybe a restaurant,” Leela suggested.

“You can’t imagine how hard it for me to refuse but I have to say “no”,”  Fry said bitterly. Before Leela could show her surprise he continued:

“There is one thing I must do today which I cannot skip. A business to be more specific. A job, to be exact.”

“What sort of job?” Leela sounded offended. She decided that her friend for some reason began to invent absurd excuses. “We will come back from the trip at about six o'clock, and this evening there's nothing else.”

“And who was talking about that job? It’s not about it. Oh come on, do not pout, I’ll tell you about it. Just didn’t want to spill the beans so soon.”

“I’m all ears,” she said with a mixture of resentment and curiosity. She crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair, her whole manner demonstrating a willingness to listen to any fiction.

Unfortunately it had to wait because at this moment the long-awaited order was brought. Taking two full plates and putting them on the table, Fry turned to the waitress:

“Listen dearie. I’m uncomfortable to remind you that the order should have been delivered ten minutes ago. As well as the fact that our whole company have been dining here for the past three years almost every day. And I think that's enough to make you act a little bit faster. I’m not even speaking - in time, but you can be late at least for five minutes top, right? It’s easy for us and the others to find another place to eat, but for you to find a new job - hardly. Is that clear?”

The waitress nodded turned around, and almost run back to the kitchen. The unexpected rebuff from an always polite client had a strong impression on her. Leela was also surprised. In Fry's voice she heard unfamiliar notes. Irony, sarcasm. Arrogance?! She bit in her buggalo ribs, and said:

“It was harsh you know. Yes she was late for ten minutes, so what? Maybe girl’s watch is slow, that's all. Was it worth leeching on trifles?”

“If you say so, captain,” it seemed that Fry had already forgotten about the incident, more interested in the quality of his chops.

“I'm serious. Well, so what did you want me to say?”

“It’s just… I’ve found one more job.”

“You are firing?!” She even dropped he knife.

“Of course not. I said one more not another one. Night shift every second day or more like every second night.”

“Yeah, whatever. Why? Why would you need it?” Leela seemed shocked. The very idea of ever lazy Fry working in two places seemed absurd.

“It’s simple. You can't say that in the "Planet Express" we earn too much. You, at least, have a double bet and I'm just a delivery boy.”

“But it was quite enough for you before. Did you decide to collect stuff from the twentieth century again?”

“No. I was thinking about a very simple thing. Sooner or later I hope that I will have to start spending money on someone else. And what I get here may not be enough for two.”

“I do not understand,” Leela shook her head. “Are you talking about Bender?”

“Who’s talking about Bender? I mean, sooner or later I will get married. And for real this time,” he smiled sadly. “Not for a couple of minutes. And family’s budget is a very different thing. So I decided to start now. “

“Wait, wait. Take your time. You're not kidding, right?” he nodded.

”What, you already have someone in mind?” Leela asked trying to sound unafraid.

“Heh. I do not know what to say. Let’s assume that for now it’s “no”. But I decided to attend to the financial questions in advance. Payment there is more than just “not bad”.”

“Well, well. Night shifts, good money. Where did you get yourself? A male striptease club?” she awkwardly tried to hide growing excitement with a joke.”

“Well, not that bad. NNYPD. A civilian staff member as a junior patrol. As a child I dreamed of being a cop, and now that dream comes true.”

“Wait, hold it there. But according to instructions there should be at least one man and one robot on the patrol,” Leela decided to start from afar, not mentioning the main issue.”

“That's right. Bender comes with me.”

“But he did not say anything.”

“And he doesn’t know yet.”

“You have decided for him?”

“But how many times had he decided for me without even asking me in far more vital matters?” Fry asked rhetorically. “Besides, that’ll give him a chance to earn a lot of money.”

“You know, I don’t think you're carved to be a copper,” she carefully began.

“Don’t worry I’ll do my best,” Fry said. “We’ve got an easy district - "sparkling triangle". Beautiful name.”

They finished their dinner in silence.

Part 2: "That's not him"

« Reply #12 on: 03-09-2013 08:24 »

Wow, this is wonderfull! I'm eager to hear the rest! Your writing is amazing! I could have never done anything like that, sometimes I lost track of who was saying what but I recovered that quite fast. :O
« Reply #13 on: 03-10-2013 16:22 »

Thanks, I'am glad to hear it.

sometimes I lost track of who was saying what but I recovered that quite fast. :O
We will be edit this translation later, so every notes and advices are useful.
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #14 on: 03-16-2013 13:25 »

Patrol started at 22.30. A police car quickly loaded out two newly made “servants of the law” on the edge of the area that was entrusted to them and flew back to the department. Their first shift began. Before that there was a delivery, during and after which Leela and a very "delighted" Bender tried to get Fry's to abandon his suicidal idea. Even a detailed explanation of why the sector was called “sparkling triangle” did not help: the fact was that during night the streets literally sparkled from the shots of energy weapons.

A Neptunian quarter, an industrial area and, worst of all, a stock market area crossed here. Conflicts and entire street wars between gangs of immigrants from Neptune, proletarian robots and groups of crazed brokers were something of a normalcy here. The latest due to their income could afford expensive weapon and because of the nerve-wracking job they used it after the slightest provocation or even without. So only an incurable optimist could call this area safe.

A man and a robot walked slowly down the quickly emptying street, illuminated by the last rays of the sun. In other circumstances, it could be a beautiful sight, but now faint red glow gave the already gloomy landscape an ominous look. The area was mostly abandoned, many houses had nailed up windows and here and there - the whole gaps in the walls, and pavement clearly had seen better days. Bender kept looking around nervously clutching his light baton. To break the silence he started arguing again.

“Why did you drag me into this? Listen meat bag your business is your business but what it have to do with me?”

“Relax Bender. For a patrol the robot is required and there were no volunteers,” - Fry on the contrary seemed relaxed and looked at the surrounding houses with curiosity.

“I’m not a volunteer! I’m too young to die, find another idiot!”

“There were no others,” - Fry answered ambiguously.” Besides, Bender, think about money. We are paid very well.

“I doubt that bike that’ll be built out of my spare parts will need this money. And that’s if I’m lucky.”

“Nonsense. I can protect both of us from anyone. To the wall!” he shouted, shoving effortlessly robot to the side. Fry spun around snatching a gun out of his pocket with the practiced ease and aiming it to the trashcan on the turn into the alley. After several seconds of threatening the poor dumpster Fry relaxed, holstered his gun and commanded:

“Falls alarm. Let’s go. Must be a cat.”

If he cared to come and check he would’ve been surprised to see this “cat”. Leela who was pressing against the wall let out a sigh of relief when she heard retreating footsteps. For ten minutes she’s been sneaking after her friends and now almost gave herself out with one clumsy movement. She went on with her pursuit. She failed to dissuade Fry, as well as persuade him to accept her help, but she could not let him die because of a sudden attack of stubbornness and arrogance. So she decided that silent escort will be the best way, and in the case of emergency she could quickly come to the rescue.

Patrol went quietly and without incident until almost midnight. Rare pale glow of colored lanterns and holographic advertisements on skyscrapers in central areas were the only sources of light. The area gradually revived, its inhabitants began to appear. A quarter to twelve Fry and Bender’s way crossed road with the gangs of robots. The police in these parts were a considerable rarity, and the droids could not deny themselves the pleasure of a pre-shooting conversation. But suddenly out of a side alley another gang appeared – stockbrokers, relaxing after work. A shaking Bender and an absolutely calm Fry were listening to the talk of gang leaders. Unexpectedly friendly, apparently hate towards the police was above their disagreements.

“Listen, Roller, when was the last time you’ve seen an alive cop?” asked the guy in an expensive suit and with a nervous tic.

“Well about three months ago. And they didn’t last long,” said the massive industrial robot, playing with a heavy steel hammer.

“How are we going to settle it? Each will take care of his own or should we use the interspecies hatred for the benefit of society?” a man was shifting the barrel of his dandy laser from delivery boy to a bending unit and back.

“Don’t even know. I hate humans, but this rusty bastard sold himself to the police which is worse.”

“Bender,”  Fry called quietly

“What,”  a voice said behind his back.

“Do you want to live long and possibly happy?”

“Of course. Although it seems that no longer happens.”

“If you do want it to happen do what I say and don’t ask any questions. When I say “you are under arrest” grab me throw as high and as far as you can then hit the dirt and pray to whatever god you believe.”

“But I’m a bender unit I wasn’t created for throwing.”

“Then I'll have to break through alone. And I cannot guarantee that you'll stay alive. You have thirty seconds to think.”

“The gang leaders were just deciding what to do.”

“So each will execute one of their own species. Police officers do you have anything to add?”

“Yes. I want to incriminate you with Illegal possession of weapons, the creation of a criminal group, life threatening to the police officer. I think that's enough. You are all under arrest.”

Bender decided that in this situation, his honor of a robotic bending unit can take the second place after survival. While the gangs were laughing like mad he did what he was asked for - he tossed Fry toward the gang of humans. While twisting in the air the delivery boy opened rapid fire on a crowd of robots using the trick that worked before only in the virtual reality. An army grade plasma gun was quite effective. He managed to fire ten times before he landed in the center of astonished stockbroker gang. Without giving them time to recover, Fry went into melee, quickly taking people out of action, and when he could - shooting over their heads in the mechanical enemies. The calculation was right - the stockbrokers could not effectively use their guns in the crowd, and robots with their cold weapon needed time to get close to the bold policeman.

Leela looked at what was happening with the mixture of fear, astonishment and concern, not believing in the reality of what she was seeing. She decided to be as discreet as possible. She quickly ran to the alley closest to the fighting and hid in the shadows. During this time, the situation has changed. Most brokers were laying on the pavement either unconscious or injured so that they could no longer continue to fight. Surviving robots formed a ring around Fry and tried to crush him, literally. Ringing and clanging were just incredible, and suddenly their source became clear. When one of the robots flew away, breaking the ring Leela saw that Fry somehow got the leader’s hammer. He hit its head off of one of the opponents, and remained with a long iron pipe in hand.  With this improvised weapon he was fighting back the closing ring of androids. Bright sparks flew each time he hit their titanium bodies with his pipe. From time to time after a particularly powerful hit one of the robots went flying of the fighting circle and they didn’t always get up. When Leela calculated the force of such impacts she felt fear. Not for Fry but for his opponents.

One of the smaller robots completed his very long flight directly on the wall next to Leela. She was prepared to fight back, but suddenly she recognized the "flyer".


“Leela?!”  a bit dented robot even moved out his eyes in surprise. “What are you doing here?”

“I want to help one idiot. Why did he hit you?”

“Because I wanted to help him. Looks like he didn’t see it was me,”  the robot stood up and dusted himself. “What are we gonna do?”

“I don’t know. He can’t hold them off forever,” Leela looked at the fighting crowd.  “We need to distract them… I have an idea. Do you know something in Neptunian?”

“Oh, lots and lots. Elzar said me many things in the past. For example…” he whispered several phrases to her ear.

“And what does that mean?”

“Why do you think I whispered it?”

“I see, that’ll do. Now grab a couple of pistols from those losers and let’s get started.”
When the remaining robots who were still able to stand heard Neptunian coursing from the next alley followed by scattered fire they decided to leave the battleground before another gang arrived. When the last of them disappeared, panting Fry leaned on the bent and almost curled into a spin tube and said:

“Come out, Bender. I recognized you. Not a bad idea, but there was no need. There were about ten pieces of junk left to deal with.”

“Just look at you. You're barely alive, pal. I saved your life,” the robot approached, throwing away his two now useless guns.

“Nonsense. I would have managed perfectly myself. Weaklings and still claim to be something. Get the radio, will be reporting my victory.”

“Maybe “our” victory?”  Bender said taking the radio out of his compartment.

“Fine “our”. Although your part in it is doubtful.”

While his partner was calling backup Fry was preparing the detainees for transportation. Namely he walked among the lying bandits rewarding with a couple of hit those who tried to crawl away or those who particularly distinguished themselves in the battle. That meant almost everyone. The last he came to was the leader of stockbrokers.

“Okay guy you win. We give up, you won honestly. Stop beating at least us, we're willing to give up to the police. We can help voluntarily you if you stop.”

“Your agreement does not interest me,” a severe hit came to the leader’s right hand. “As well as your suggestions,” the next hit was aimed into his head and rendered the man unconscious.

“Not that I dislike to see humans being tortured but you could have knocked him out with one hit,” Bender said.

“I could. But he’ll remember it better this way. Oh here goes our backup.”

Two flying police vans were landing, illuminating the street with blinks of red and blue lights.

Starship Captain
« Reply #15 on: 03-20-2013 17:47 »

Very nice, I love your writing style. Although sometimes I struggle to see who is speaking which part but other then that, I love it!
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #16 on: 04-02-2013 14:09 »

Well it's been a while since I posted the last piece. As a compensation how about a double portion? smile

                                             *                    *                  *

 After the fight both patrol and Leela’s stalking were finished. Due to that everyone managed to get a proper sleep and began the workday without sleepy eyes. The next day was pretty mundane. The flight was profitable, but took most of the day. They needed to deliver a shipment of the Earth goods for exotic restaurants on Procyon-4, and from there - solar panels to Epsilon Eridani system. Although it seemed almost within hands reach - 12 light years there, 7 in between and 11 back, but the passage through extremely picky customs of Procyon system has taken a lot of time. So they didn’t get back on Earth until 7 o’clock.

All day Leela had a strange feeling. Light melancholy or sadness, a feeling that she had forgotten something important or lost something valuable, and couldn’t find it. She brooded on various reasons but could not find an answer. Only on the way back an answer came to her mind. She missed Fry. At first she vehemently denied this assumption. But soon the thought emerged again. She really missed Fry.

“But he's with me. He is now in the cargo hold,” she said to herself puzzled. And then received a short answer from the subconscious: "that’s not him." Leela pondered this for a few seconds. Then she started a silent dispute with herself thankfully she was alone on the bridge and no one could distract her.

“This is nonsense. Fry’s the same.”

Oh really? He never acted like that before.’

“So what? Everyone changes. He's just grown up. Became better.”

You sure about that? Is this the way to grow up? He became quite different.’

“What do you know about him? He’s just become more serious, that's all. Learned something. Began to think ahead.”

I know about him as much as you do. And maybe more. Remember yesterday and last night?

“He started working out. He’d found another job. Why should I be upset?”

He recklessly risked your life. His first night on duty ended with massacre.

“Fry in not to blame. He defended himself.”

He is guilty because he chose this work. He did not try to negotiate. And he ruthlessly beat people who have already given up.’

“I can understand this. He risked his life.”

It’s Fry we are talking about. He knows compassion. He knows forgiveness. He knows leniency. He is able to put up with other people's shortcomings and can compromise. At least he used to.

“Do not be ridiculous. He is still the same. He became stronger. He became confident, ambitious and now he’s able to lead and take responsibility ...”

Cocky, hard-nosed, uncompromising and merciless. Cruel. Able to manipulate others without their knowledge or consent. Excellent qualities, really. And to think of what he had given in return?

“Nothing. This is not a bargain.”

Do not lie to yourself, it's pointless. Have you heard him telling a joke recently? Saw him happy with anything? Empathic, compassionate, joyful or concerned?'

“Stop it! Enough of this lie. It’s been only a couple of days, everything will come in time.”

And if not? If it stays that way. For ever and ever. Like yesterday. Like you were before?

“What are you talking about? What does it have to do with me? That's enough, is not me. It is all a delusion.”

I'm you. The real you, and not what you want to appear. And there is no escape from yourself.

“Get lost you cursed ghost! I know myself. I know Fry. You're talking neither about him nor about me.”

You can’t win the argument with yourself, as long as you do not understand the reason...

“Stop it! My life is finally getting better and I do not want to spend the time to persuading myself.”

Self-deception is dangerous, because it’s not just you who get hurt.

“Shut up!”


“I Don’t want to listen ...”


“Ah, what?” She felt like she woke up. She was sitting in her chair, her hands tightly gripping the steering wheel, and before her stood concerned Fry.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I'm all right. I was just pondering.”

“You scared me there. Sitting whispering somethingto yourself not hearing me. You sure everything is fine?”

“I said yes!” She said sharply. Than added softly.  “Sorry, I'm tired I guess. It's okay, really.”

“Well, suit yourself. I will go back. I hope everything is really fine.”

“Of course,” she smiled at him over vigorously.

The delivery boy silently went out the door closed behind him.

He would have never left before.  He would have stayed to talk with you, to help. Now it is simple courtesy,' she seemed to hear a fading whispering.

“Get lost!” Leela said loudly, taking the wheel comfortably, “He's fine. And I'm fine. Everything's fine. Just fine.”

The ship was approaching Earth.

                                                 *                  *                  *

It was ten minutes before nine. Leela was at the restaurant of Elzar. Of course Fry was not there, but she was never able to break the habit of always coming earlier. She was a little nervous, and it was not because of her mental debate on the way home that left an unwelcomed sadness. She buried it deep inside and tried to forget about it.

Now Leela was more concerned with other things. During the last month, when spending time together, they always chose a rather simple place - a cafe in the park, a cinema, a blernsball stadium. And always in the middle of the day. Just like friends.

Now, not only they were going to a restaurant, but also late in the  evening. It was more like a date. Fry could misunderstand it. And her favorite red dress she was wearing now seemed too ... informal. As if to answer her thoughts, just behind her she heard a not very smooth singing:

“Once again, I am going on a date to you on a cold September night ...”

“Fry!” Leela turned sharply. And indeed there he was dressed in a gray unfamiliar suit. It looked like a new one. “What date, what September? What are you talking about? First, it is August, and second, it’s quite warm and ...”

“And third, it's just a dinner between two friends,” he concluded.  “Sorry, just a song came to mind, can’t change words in it, right? Have you been waiting for long?”

“About seven minutes, I think.”

“You did? But we have agreed to meet at nine, haven’t we? Okay, let's go,” the delivery boy entered first in the restaurant. Leela shrugged and followed him.

The last time she was here with Chaz, mayor’s assistant. Not the most pleasant memories. However, this time the place was booked in advance, and the hall was almost full, so the previous visit was quickly forgotten. Their table was against the wall, almost in the corner. Fry immediately sat with his back to the wall purely out of reflex. It seemed as a more convenient place from a tactical point of view. Leela took the opposite chair. She decided to start a conversation:

“I guess I should apologize. Sorry to saying that you weren’t fit for the job. For doubting you.”

“It’s all right. You had your reasons to doubt. For too long I have been too weak and unprepared for such cases. Only recently, things have changed. I wanted to show what I’m capable of to prove that I can do better. I think I manage so far.”

“Yes. But don’t get cocky. You've changed a bit. You became more serious. This is an achievement, but do not stop there.”

“Achievement, yes. Although, in fact, I gave up.”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t get it.”

“It's pretty simple. For a long time I believed that I could reach even the most complex goals being myself, without changing externally or internally. Always remaining the same. It turned out that it was too difficult. And I gave up. I had to concede. I had to change myself in order to achieve the desired result.”

“But is it bad?” Leela was surprised by the sudden turn of conversation. But she tried to answer. “I mean it’s okay. You can’t get far by staying in one place. You can’t be the same person for your whole life.”

“You don’t understand,” Fry frowned. “You can change your habits a hundred times a day. You can learn to speak differently. You can change the gestures, looks, style of clothing. All this stuff. But in fact this is what determines how others treat you. In fact it determines for them who you are. After all we haven’t learned mindreading thus our words and actions matters all.

To see the truth behind this appearance – is an art or a gift, available to few. The rest have to study a person for years and even that does not mean that what you think of him is true. We have been given an opportunity to decide what we want to show and what to hide, what we want to seem.”

“But it's natural. You cannot live in the sight of everyone. You must be able to choose to whom to open up, and to whom not to show your true self.

“Maybe. And yet, it is possible to live without trying to seem better or worse than it really is. There is a difference between the unwillingness and inability.”

“Again, I do not quite understand.”

“I know. What I mean is it’s easy to change in appearance. But how not to miss the moment when you start to change for real? Your essence or identity call it what you want. How do you know where to stop, before it is too late? Yes maybe this new man will be better. Maybe not. He will be able to accomplish what you could not. He would be what you wanted to be. But the point is that you wouldn’t be able to go back. The changes are irreversible, even though it may seem different. You’ll walk the way to your goal, but it wouldn’t be you who’ll reach it. And who knows would you want this victory in the end? Or rather – not exactly you.“

“Fry, I'm sorry, but I do not like when you're speaking riddles. Somehow it's all very ... abstract. Or maybe I'm just tired after the journey, and not quite catching the way you think.”

“Yes, I'm sorry. I guess I just chose a wrong time. Sometimes we choose the time, but more often the time chooses us. Sorry, I was too withdrawn into myself. Will not happen again. Would you like to dance?”

“I do not know,” Leela thought for a moment. Then she nodded. “Well if you invite come on.”

They joined up with several pairs in the middle of the hall. Dance and the whole evening were leaving Leela with strange contradictory impression. On the way back to her table she thought about it. It should have all been very different. Without admitting it to herself, she knew instinctively that this was a date, their first real date. But everything went wrong.  This strange conversation the meaning of which she was not able to catch (or lied to herself that she couldn’t.)

His behavior, somewhat detached politeness, instead of ... instead of what it should’ve been. And this dance. They were close. But earlier, when Fry touched her hand, she always felt his tenderness, care, excitement, whatever. And now there was nothing. Only correct movements, as if he was just on autopilot as if he was not interested, as if he followed someone's orders. "Nothing Personal" - was the right words. And it genuinely surprised her. And maybe even scared.

They took their seats again. But the conversation did not happen. They were distracted by a loud laughter at the table in the corner. Leela looked back. There were two guys about twenty-five years. The rich idlers spending time in the restaurant. One of them pointed at her with a fork in hand and said:

“Sven, you just look, a Cyclops. Only one eye and the size of a saucer. Why does Elzar let everyone in?”

“Wow! Indeed. Even her hair is purple. I wonder from which galaxy this beast came,” confirmed the second one turning.

“I don't know. Perhaps the "Eye of Terror" Galaxy,” said the first, and they both burst out laughing again.

Leela narrowed her eye ready to make a smart-ass retort. And suddenly something raced past her. All she managed to see was a dim glow and a blurred silhouette. The next moment the twerp who sat farther was knocked out from the chair and smacked against the wall and someone grabbed the second one lifted him and smacked him too. Only then she saw Fry now moving with normal speed again he was holding the guy by the throat by one hand, so that his feet did not reach the floor a few centimeters. A dull knife glimpsed in his other hand. Leela noticed another glimpse at the shoulder of the first one and thought about how much force one needed to throw not too sharp table knife to knock an adult down and nail him to the wall. Fry took the blade in the reversed grip and brought it to face of the man he held.

“You know pal, a monocular vision has a lot of advantages. And now you’ll learn this from personal experience.”

Everything happened very quickly so no one understood anything and no one reacted. Leela as quickly as she could jumped to her friend grabbed his shoulder and almost shouted:

“Fry, stop it! Don’t do it. Let him go.”

“But why?” He was genuinely surprised stopping the blade very close to the face of the offender. In the eyes of her friend Leela saw something she had never seen before - hatred. And not just reckless fury but cold, you could say, "working" hate. “He will be punished and humiliated. And then the second one. Serves them right.”

“No! He's just an idiot. He can’t control his words, can’t behave. But it’s not a reason to cripple him,” she spoke quickly, fearing that Fry can begin the massacre of these jerks at any time.

“As far as I know in the orphanage you did so. Even for less your oppressors were punished. And now you're telling me to let him go? This is stupid. It is necessary to drive point home.”

“But I chose the means. Sometimes. And I was only twelve years old. Do you want to torment people for one wrong word?”

“There were a few words. And what I'm doing is right. There is no alternative. This he’ll remember for the rest of his life.”

“What you want to do - is excessive cruelty. It does not fit to the offense,” Leela was at a loss, she could not understand was he just intimidating them or was really willing to cripple both without hesitation.

“Any offence should meet a decisive answer, such that new attacks will not follow. This is not cruelty it’s prudence. It will be quite acceptable.”

Leela knew that she couldn’t convince Fry but she also couldn’t let him carry out his plan. She resorted to other means:

“Stop it. I’m ordering you to let him go,” for some reason it was hard to use the commanding tone now but she still managed.

“This order is irrational. Non-application of interventions will not correct the situation.”

“Orders are to be followed and not to be discussed.”

 “But it's pointless. My actions are the most logical in this situation.”

“I'm your captain. I’m… ordering… you! Let him go,” she knew that to get anything from Fry by ordering instead of asking was almost impossible. But her intuition said that now it’s the only way to get him to stop.

“I have to comply. Even if I disagree,” Fry casually tossed the barely alive guy on the ground. He pulled the knife out of the other one’s shoulder. Then walked back to his seat and asked:

“Shall we continue our supper?”

“You know, maybe that's enough for today’s entertainment,” she looked at the frightened visitors. “Let's get out of here.”

“As you wish. Come on.”

Elzar who was looking at the whole mess from the kitchen did not dare to make claims to the troublemakers. He kept the restaurant for long enough to know when you can act as a strict master of the house, and when you just quietly turn costs against the losing party. Which he did.

“Well, you're to the right, me to the left left. Goodbye Leela.”

“Goodbye, Fry”

« Reply #17 on: 04-02-2013 17:24 »

Your writing is, once again, amazing. There were a few spelling errors(but they have also been good...^^). I liked the scene with the knife fight thingy, really cool! But it could have made more impression if you used shorter sentences and more descriptions of the people around the place and such... Looking foreward to hear the rest!
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #18 on: 04-18-2013 17:18 »

Wednesday was a very busy day. A semiannual period of total inspection and repair of the ship approached. If severe and fatal injuries were eliminated immediately the minor problems simply accumulated on the "if it flies then okay" basis. However they too had to be fixed sooner or later. And it's better if sooner. Every six months by the efforts of the whole team the spaceship got an overhaul repair up to the last screw. This regulation was comfortable and understandable, but still caused terrible irritation every six months, during the very event. So it was better to finish everything in one day so the whole team was involved, even Fry and Bender who normally weren’t allowed to repair. Hell, even Zoidberg participated.

The roles were distributed fairly. The professor was supervising, that is sleeping in the corner with a book "Mathematical theory of higher incredibles". Hermes supervised directly which manifested in swearing at everybody, false threats of punishment and bonus promises (equally false) and whipping up the enthusiasm. Literally. For the latter purpose he used two instruments at once - a “god-only-knows-where” requisitioned light stick at minimum power for everyone, and a whip especially for Zoidberg, the owner of the “too hard” shell. Every time he rewarded crustacean with a blow Jamaican kept saying "In the name of the Scourge" and giggled.

The female part of the team got intellectual work, with machinery and electronics, while the robot and the delivery boy had to deal with "muscle" part that is moving, rotating, and the like. Sometimes to the joy of Bender - bending. The decapodian who was completely happy with all the attention to him was assigned to the most interesting part- thanks to a well-insulated carapace he worked with the wires without the need to de-energize them. In addition he served as a walking pair of scissors for the rest. And an object on vent anger on.
With all the amount of work Leela simply had no time to think calmly. She wanted to think about last night, but there just wasn’t a single free minute. Throughout the entire work Fry showed himself only from the best side - uncharacteristic performance, implicit following of orders and even driving Bender who tried to boil the pot. But this wasn’t comforting Leela. Instead, she looked at him with growing suspicion, no longer enjoying the changes for the better and constantly looking for the catch.

The job was finished only in the evening, when the next watch of Fry and Bender was almost at hand. They went out of "Planet Express" office with Leela, and before she went home she asked him:

“Fry, say maybe to hell with this second job? You're doing great, but it takes a lot of time and effort.”

“It is strange to hear it from you. No. Everything’s fine I like this job. It’s suitable for me. I have far too much free time anyway. So now me and Bender have a patrol again. Wish me luck in battle. Come on, Bender.”

“And if there is no fight?,” she asked. Fry half turned.

“I'm sure there will be. And it's wonderful.”

Leela was left alone and she thought, for what purpose she will go after them tonight. To protect Fry or protect others from Fry?

                                                *                   *                   *

The area seemed deserted. Fry and Bender walked around the block for the an hour, but haven’t met a single person. Apparently the localc heard about the Monday’s slaughter. It was hard to believe than one such action could scare all of local thugs. And so it was logical to assume that the criminals were hiding so patrol expected an attack at any moment. And when they found some tramp lying in the street they approached him cautiously, ready to fight back.

Fry was the first to approach a man wrapped in rags. He kicked the body a couple of times. In response, there was a drunk resentful voice:

“Sergeant, two hours before dawn” ... the man went silent again.

And in that silence the sounds of readying weapons were clearly heard from all sides.

“Hold it right there! Do not move, or we’ll make new holes in both of you.”

Around them were fourteen people with different weapons. It seemed that they were the offended colleagues of stockbrokers from the day before yesterday.

“Especially you, red. One move and your pal will be shot through his head in five places.”

“Okay, okay. We give up, don’t shoot. Look I don’t even have armor,” with that he slowly took off his jacket, at the same time demonstrating a holster with a gun. “There is no need for violence, we can solve it peacefully,” he said looking back at the thugs surrounding him.

Watching all this Leela wanted to yell to the leader of attackers: "Run, you fools, while you can," but knew she couldn’t. And she just waited, knowing that nothing good will happen next. And it didn’t.

When he finished estimating the location of targets and rendering possible trajectories of return fire, Fry began to act. He threw away his jacket which he was holding in his left hand and while diving in the opposite direction started to shoot. By the time the stockbrokers fired back five of them had their weapons broken or damaged by shoots. Therefore, Bender got only one ray in the head instead of the half-dozen which neatly cut off his antenna at the bottom.

At this point, the delivery boy picked up the “bait” hobo from the ground and continued firing, using him as a shield. When, after three and a half seconds fourteenth opponent dropped his weapon shaking his burned hand, Fry threw down the man who took several hits and put the gun in its holster. The bandits were too stunned surprised of what happened to do something.

Leela already decided that it was all over that Fry decided to show mercy to the nitwits that attacked him. She was wrong and realized it when he said:

“Well, now the fun begins. I can’t just let you go. Therefore those will leave who will be standing after a minute. Attempts to escape will be punished by shot in the head. Three. Two. One. Let’s get it off!”

He bashed his last opponent’s head on the asphalt at the fifty-eighth second. Looking around at the weakly wiggling bodies, he turned to the robot.

“That's it. Amateurs.”

“But I'm wounded. And seriously.”

“I'm sorry. If you have not noticed, in the first place, I disarmed three of the five who held you at gunpoint. And you should have endured a couple of injuries. Also one of them missed.”

“And what if he had not missed? What if I could not stand it?!”

“A la guerre comme à la guerre *. The risk was acceptable. Your chance of destruction did not exceed normal levels for the threat to personnel in this situation.”

“You could have asked me. Advice with me.”

“I am more knowledgeable on the issue. There was no point in discussion.”

Bending unit didn’t find an answer.

“Come on, ironman, continue to patrol.”

“Go without me. I'll stay here.”

“Why is that all of a sudden?”

“I need medical care,” he gently touched melted stub of the antenna.  “Besides, someone has to take all this meat in when help’ll arrive. I’ll do it, and you go on.”

“Um, excuses. Okay, stay here wait for the doctor with the welding machine. And I’ll go.”

A minute later, after his body melted away in the darkness, Leela  came to the battlefield and asked a sad-looking robot:

“And you let him go alone? God knows what else he might do?”

“He won’t do anything. I summoned reinforcements on open frequency. And it’s tapped. Until the morning no one will pop out and our Bogart simply won’t have anyone to play with.”

“Bender, I think we need to talk.”

“Yeah, you know how to choose the place and time.”  he looked around.

Leela turned her attention to the wounded.

“Are they still alive? They need help. “

 She sat down next to one of them. Bender also looked down and said:

“Alive. Although all have serious injuries. He didn’t intend to kill. Doctors will come with the police, and I’ve done more than enough, almost went against my nature.”

“On Monday, he just scattered the attackers. Now they’ve barely survived. What will happen the day after tomorrow? He’ll just kill everyone he meet there?”

“I don’t know. But I think everything will go on increasing.”

“What the hell is going on?! What happened to Fry? How did he turn into this ... this ... whatever he is now? This is not him.”

“That's him, that's the whole point. It's still Fry, albeit with some changes.”

“Listen, scrap. Enough jokes. Tell me, what’s happened!”

“I do not think it will change anything ...”

“Tell me! Otherwise you’ll not live to see a doctor,” in anger she even raised him a little above the ground by the robot arms.”

“Okay. Leela it seems we have a serious problem.”

“Oh, well, wow. And I had no idea. You're an eye opener.”

“Stop it. Hear me out first, it's not that simple.”

He quickly recounted how their friend decided to become a fighter. How he took him to Vincenzo. Fry bought the damn computer and started training. The captain listened to him without interrupting. And then calmly asked only one question:

“So whatever happened here, what happened this week, it’s all your fault?” for her it was a rhetorical question. But Bender had the answer.

“No. I have only an indirect connection to this. For all these events, and all that is going to happen to him, there is a very specific culprit. You.”

“What? Are you trying to find someone to switch blame to, again?”

“No. I would like to, but now there is simply no such need. This is your fault. Accept it,” he added after a pause.  “Yes, and now you can start fixing it.”

“I don’t understand. How come this is my fault? And why the devil Fry started it in the first place?”

“You’ve answered your own question. He planned everything for you. He wanted make an impression. And you see what happened to him because of this.”

“But why? Where is my fault in this?”

“Leela,” the robot began earnestly. “Don’t try to seem dumber than you are. Unlike Fry, it does not suit you. Do you really don’t understand ? I am a soulless machine, and even I see everything, and you don’t understand? Fry’s in love with you. Has a crush, head over hills, call it whatever you like. At least for three years he was in love with the complete loss of reason, in fact it was blowing his mind just to think about you. And don’t tell me that you haven’t noticed. Because I’ll be disappointed in his choice, and therefore in him, and therefore in myself. And I don’t want to do that.”

“Yes, I saw it, of course. But that's all wasn’t serious, like a child’s love. I thought it is just a game. He is my friend, the best one, but no more.”

“Ohhhh… ,”  sigh turned into rattle. “Now I understand Fry better. You are so hard. A game, you say. Then why he almost died twice, saving you? For two years he practiced every night on this stupid holophoner, hoping to play for you, as he once managed. How many times had he rescued you? How many times he have helped you? All in all where would you be now without him? He endured, he waited, but he will not always wait for you to change your mind. Now he followed the faint chance to change things, and see where it led to. What does he have to do for you to understand?”

Leela listened to him in silence, looking down. There was no way to argue, more so - now. It was all too sudden.

“And what do you suggest? Okay, I’m to blame. Suppose for a moment. But what can I do? He’s became different, he’ll remain so. What to do now?”

“There is a chance. Tiny, lesser than what Fry had. All changes in personality – are in the memory of the computer. For some reason it could not get into his head directly, and because of that everything is there, and the computer communicates with the brain. If you take it off - maybe, just maybe, we’ll get out delivery boy back. But we can’t force him to do it he’ll just kill us. And I can’t persuade him, he will not listen to me. That leaves you. Convince him to return. No other options.”

“Is it possible to do so, while saving the positive changes?” Leela asked cowardly and immediately regretted her question.

“No way. Impossible. It’s either who he was before or who he is now. Okay, the choice entirely up to you. It is possible that in a few days the changes’ll become irreversible. You must decide which of them you need. If you do not talk to him tomorrow, maybe you’ll never see the Fry you used to know before. I hope that at least the second time in your life you will make the right choice. Okay, you've got a whole night to think. There’s police on the way here and there’s no need for them to see you. Meet me in the morning in the office. Do not make another mistake.”

Leela retreated into the background. Turned and walked slowly to her house. She had a lot to think about on the way.

Part 3: “I cannot forgive.”


"A la guerre comme à la guerre"  -  "In war as in war" (French proverb)

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
« Reply #19 on: 04-18-2013 19:19 »

This is one of the greatest fanfictions.

Starship Captain
« Reply #20 on: 05-01-2013 08:47 »

Loving your writing style, I'm really enjoying reading this. Keep up the great work, can't wait for another update.
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
« Reply #21 on: 05-01-2013 20:08 »
« Last Edit on: 05-01-2013 20:29 »

Sorry, commented in the wrong thread...
(Of course, the above mistake leaves me with the obligation to carefully read your fanfic and offer good and useful feedback, to replace my above mistake smile )
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #22 on: 05-08-2013 18:29 »

Emm...sorry everyone for my abcence. I had a vacation filled with a lot of stuff frowed upon by the church and honestly forgot about the translation. How about a double portion then?  flirt

We're approching the climax of the story.

                                                  *                   *                   *

Leela walked down the empty streets, lit by the weak lanterns and sometimes only by the light of the new moon. Familiar distant sounds  of flying transport streams above the city center did not distract but but rather the opposite - helped to gather her thoughts. And this reflections couldn’t be described as pleasant or jolly. Once again they took a familiar shape of silent dialogue within her conscious. After all who else could you trust with such personal problem if not yourself?

During the years of loneliness Leela used to mentally talk to herself. In the last five years this happened rarely, since she finally made friends she could share her problems with. But now she had a situation where there was no one to discuss this with or ask for advice. There was only herself. Can someone understand better?

“I guess I was wrong. He really became absolutely different. I should have seen it before.”

‘Now do you understand? Of course, it is better late than never, but it may be too late. What if the moment is lost and you can’t change anything?’

“I should try. Otherwise I‘ll never forgive myself. Tomorrow morning I'll talk to him. This must be stopped.”

‘Really? But at first you liked the new him did not want to listen to good advice. Maybe we should leave it as it is, eh? Let him be like that, if he has chosen it.’

“Are you kidding?! It's impossible. The consequences are unpredictable. And after all ... I can’t let this happen. He does not need that.”

‘Well what do you say. So tomorrow morning you will go and talk to him, right? You have decided everything and do not doubt it, do you?’

“Yes. I must do it,” Leela nodded to herself and somewhat quickened her pace.

‘Do not hurry, love. Or do you think that this conversation is over? There is still a long road and you have a lot to think about.’

“It settled. Tomorrow I'll ask him to come back.”

‘Who would have doubted. You always make firm decisions. But that's not it. This choice – is the easiest one. And in fact, you need to ask yourself another question. Why are you doing that? That’s what important. If you can’t convince yourself, you certainly wouldn’t convince him.’

“Why am I doing this? He's my friend I have to help him.”

‘Not bad, but unconvincing.’

“My… my dearest friend. Yes, you can even say - the only real friend.”

‘Closer. But if that is the only problem, then where from, in that case, came a sense of guilt? Don’t you try to deny this fact.’

“But he's in love with me. That’s why he did this.”

‘Big deal so what? If it was only that. Well, he is in love with you, why do you care? At most - pity for the loser ...’

“Stop it! He is not like that.”

‘Ha. Now you see. But, somehow, in this case it would be only sympathy or pity for him. Just like it was before. But now you’re oppressed by guilt. Guilt toward those who’ve suffered because of him, and toward him mostly.’

“What the hell does this mean? What are you trying to tell me? If I start speak in riddles with myself it would be schizophrenic. What should I know?”

‘Who is he to you? What does he mean to you?’

At this moment two characters of clearly not the law-abiding type got in her way from the gateway. The first tried to start one of the standard, in this situation, dialogues in the spirit of "buy a brick", and the other put his hand in a pocket for a knife. But Leela was too busy with her thoughts to spend time on them. She momentarily calculated the situation and acted simply and reflexively.

Continuing to move forward, her left hand grabbed the collar of the first robber, abruptly pulled him to her, at the same time aiming with elbow to the throat. Then she pulled him even closer adding a sliding blow of an elbow on the temple, leaving him unconscious and throwing away. The second did not have time to do anything but catch a poke of fingers in the solar plexus. Unable to resist this, he was brought down by a blow to the head. Without looking back Leela went on her way.

‘Well, you're afraid of these traits in Fry, but at the same time you use them in full.’

“Not at all. It was just selfdefense, besides - I am in a hurry. So where were we? What is Fry means to me? A lot, quite a lot. It’s because of him I became the one who I am now. And if to be completely honest, I have to admit – I care about him.”

‘Well, not too bad. Then tell to yourself, if you do “care about him" why are you acting like that? Do you have the courage and honesty to admit it?’

“There's a reason. A lot of them. It just can’t be the other way. I do not want to list them.”

‘Very interesting. Go on then. You have nothing to lose.’

“Well, ok. He often acts like a child, he frivolous, he is lazy and does not know how to set goals, he’s deceived me, and finally, he just wants the same from me as the others, he’s no better. “

‘Wow! You finished? Feeling better? Now turn on your head and go from emotions to your favorite logic. Lazy, you say. He has been unsuccessfully seeking your attention in different ways for three years, he spent two years learning holophoner just for the hope that you will like it, and you say that he is not persistent? You would have long ago given up in that situation. It’s just all matters of the purpose. Frivolous? Now he became serious, do you like it?’

“No! I don’t like it at all. But maybe there is some option in between. Although if you compare now, he was not that bad before, I just didn’t pay attention to it.”

‘You mentioned deception. Still hadn’t forgotten your wedding? But in fact we really don’t know anything about what happened, what was the cause of everything. Well even if he cheated? Do you still can’t forgive him for that?’

“No. No, I can’t.”

At this moment the sky thundered. Leela ducked to the building entrance and then looked up. However it was not another levitating cars accident, but simple thunder. Above the city the usual August storm began. Girl could not help looking to the left, but of course there was no Fry next to her. In such a situation he, of course, wouldn’t think to grab an umbrella, but he could give her a jacket, as he usually did. Now there was no one near. Pacing under the rain she returned to her thoughts.

“Where was I?”

‘You got used to something good, and you notice it only when you lose it. So we stopped at your inability to forgive. You should’ve learned it by now. Well now to the most interesting part. "All they need is the same." Honey, remember that night? Who was dragged into the bedroom almost on the shoulder? To go away in such situation you either have to be an idiot or really, truly be in love with a person. What prevented him to go deal with these worms have "after"? In the morning? In a week? Do you recall what Fry taught our crab. All of these tricks would work reliably with you.’


‘Don’t lie to yourself. And tell me, why he didn’t do that? And let us take a recent case. This mess with parallel worlds. Maybe it’s just games of imagination but you from that world finally looked happy.’

“Maybe so. But it’s because that world is different, there is different Fry.”

‘And you, therefore, is the same in all worlds? IF you are the same then Fry is also the same. The difference is that there one day you’ve decided to trust him. But here - no. Remember, you trusted him once, and it changed your whole life. Why not do it again?’

“Because I’m scared! I keep saying that he’s the same but what if this proves to be true? If he's really no better than the Alcazar, Zapp, Shoan? I’ll lose my only friend, isn’t that clear?”

'And out of selfishness you force your friend to suffer. What else is unclear? Everything’s clear, but there is another question. What was the last month for?'


'For the last month you’ve been spending time together, since you accepted his invitation after returning from the parallel world. You are sitting in a cafe after work, watching a basketball game together. You've been next to him the whole time and talked with him often. Why?'

“It's different. Yes, big deal, we went out for pizza at lunchtime. After all, we're friends.”

'Enough lying to yourself. If you want, try to look at it from the sidelines. What all this is going to look like, huh?'

“It wouldn’t even be a romance. Just a light crush.”


“So I'm in love with him? No it can’t be. Or can it? No it's something else. Although, what else? Okay maybe it’s really time to stop lying to oneself.”

‘Well, at last. Understood and accepted. Now it’s only remains to prove it.’

“What's that? The whole dispute was for me to say to myself that I love him?”

Leela suddenly realized that the last words she said aloud. By this time she had almost reached her house, neighborhood was crowded, and there were passersby all around. Now they looked at her in surprise. Leela was embarrassed a little, but then realized that there is nothing to be ashamed of. She looked around and said, finding the answer in Bender’s style:

“Yes, I love the guy. And he does the same. It happens sometimes with people. Go on and die of jealousy!”

She quickened her pace dramatically and within five minutes was at home.

                                                 *                    *                  *

Next morning Leela hurried down to the office of "Planet Express." The day promised to be just great, night’s thunderstorm was gone. Cloudless sky reflected in the rapidly drying yesterday’s pools, the sun was quite warm. Such day was perfect to spend it on the beach or just in the fresh air, even if working. All troubles of the last night now seamed to Leela exaggerated and far-fetched and didn’t deserve any immediate action.

In addition, it was hot in her uniform black jacket, and an item in her right pocket, that looked as a manifestation of paranoia, seamed inappropriate and unnecessary. There was a weapon, a standard captain‘s laser gun, last night it seemed a good idea to take it, now it seemed to be a sheer stupidity. Sometimes she stopped for a few seconds to think. She remembered the last four years with Fry, how they met, worked together, got in trouble. There were only one or two really romantic memories. Leela was looking for words of persuasion. To peacefully resolve everything so that weapon in her pocket to be  left only as an extra weight.

On the way to their office there was a retro bar, decorated like in 20-21 century. A couple of times they went there, and Fry laughed at the design for a long time. When he told the bartender, how things should be in fact, he did not believe it and thought that the guy just wanted to get a free drink for his advice on the history. In addition to the design, the bar played some really archaic music records from 20-21 century. Thanks to her friend Leela no longer considered the music of those times moldy classics, but still treated it with indifference. As she passed, one unfamiliar melody was replaced by another. Nothing special in the music, but the words made her stop.

You took my hand
You showed me how
You promised me you'd be around

The song coincided with the memories, almost the way it was four and a half years ago. Surprising.

I took your words
And I believed
In everything
You said to me

Leela stopped. Hell, such coincidences are a rarity. The lines not only were in tune with memories, but with her thoughts. Because back then she believed him, and now she regretted not doing it the second time.

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone

Damn, how unexpected. It was exactly the same as her thoughts. Because back then what happens now seemed impossible.

I'd stand up and punch them up
Cause they're all wrong
I know better

Yeah, she would’ve done the same. As if her own pangs of conscience weren’t enough now she saw the reflection of her problems in incidental coincidences.

I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

Yes, right. So, instead of hanging around here, she must get to the office as soon as possible and solve everything immediately. If she still has time. She must do her best. Nodding to herself, Leela went on. But she still continued to hear the ending of the song.

When someone said count your blessings now
For they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong

Clever thought. Looks like her conscience, indeed, had her own voice. Yesterday she realized that this was all true. She barely heard the conclusion.

I'll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
And I won't forget you my friend

“No way,”  she murmured softly addressing to no one.  “Not a chance. As he pulled me out, I will pull out him. Not for the first time.”

To the building of "Planet Express" she came at a quarter to ten. She hoped that Fry has not come yet, and she will be able to convince everyone that now is a good idea to walk for half an hour somewhere away from the work place. Much to her chagrin, the delivery boy showed up at the table in the meetings hall, as well as the other five. Today, for some reason, everyone came earlier, so the team was present in full strength. Leela knew that she’ll have to improvise, once the original plan of private conversation couldn’t be realized. She walked to her chair and said on the way:

“Hi everyone. Hey, Fry.”

He only nodded absently, thinking about something else. Leela took her place. After a second, she leaned over to Fry and asked:

“Hey, can I talk with you in private about something?”

“Hmm, well, why not? What about?”

“It does not matter, I’ll tell you later.”

“Okay. Let’s not distract the others. Come to the rest room in a few minutes we’ll talk there.”

Fry went away. After barely waiting for two minutes, Leela went after him. Seeing this desertion, Hermes began to suspect that the two have decided today to spit on the job and get away from work. He got up to catch up with them and chew them out, but was stopped by a metal manipulator. Bender said softly:

“No, boss. Right now the two of them need to talk in private. Not to mention it may be unsafe.”

“What do you mean, mon?”

“I don’t know. But if something goes wrong, we’ll hear it.”

Leela entered the rest room. Fry was at the window, looking out into the street, against the light she could see little but his silhouette.

“And what did you want to talk about?”  he asked, not looking back.

“There is an important question,”  she decided to ignore his behavior. “Listen ... I think ... well, you started all this for nothing.”

“What are you talking about?”

“About your job in the police. Your methods and the choice of service. Your behavior lately in general. You shouldn’t have changed everything in your life, for it wasn’t that bad. Sorry, but I don’t think anyone will tell you this, even though everyone thinks that way,” she said quickly.

“I see,”  Fry replied all too easy. “What's the problem then? The gray doesn’t suit me?”

“Yes. Well, the color too, but this is the most insignificant reason.”

“Hmm, then what is significant? You know, I'm pretty sure that Bender told you what is the cause of these changes, did he not?” It was a statement not a question.

“Yes, he told me,”  Leela realized that denying was useless. She said firmly. “Look, he realized how much trouble you got in and wants to help you. He's your friend. And I also want to help you. You should throw this electronic toy and become the way you used to be.”

“And now you so gently asked me to remove the bracelet and throw it to hell just because you do not like the result of our interaction with it. Am I right?”

“You are absolutely right. That is what I ask of you, do it before it's too late.”

“Well, I was expecting something like that from you. I’ve listened to you, you're my friend and I should trust you. Well, there is only one thing I can say... No.”

He started to turn to her. At this point, Leela understood why he stood there, why he crossed his hands. As quickly as she could she pulled out her gun and aimed at her friend. At the same time she saw a plasma gun’s barrel directed at her head.
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #23 on: 06-21-2013 10:13 »

Last piece. A BIG one. I hope you'll enjoy it.

                                            *                     *                     *

They stood motionless, ready to shoot at the first movement. It took several seconds. Maybe a few minutes. Silence was broken by a quiet, completely unfamiliar Fry’s laughter. Then he explained:

“We have a draw again. But like before it’s a draw in my favor. If we start shooting you will die, and I’ll get off with a penetrating wound. Your shot will be below the heart and without hitting anything vital. I suppose it’s a pity? Even now, you pity me. Like before. And every time it was completely unnecessary as well as now.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know what our alcoholic told you, but I think now you perceive me as some sort of bio robot. But I’m not. I’ve fully preserved my memory and emotions.

“Emotions,” she was not gifted with the skill of showing an unbelieving surprise by raising one eyebrow. So she expressed her feelings with voice only.  “Sure.”

“Okay, not really a good example. Emotions too, have changed. But memory can’t be changed. I can only re-think some of the memories.”

“But you yourself admitted that you’ve become absolutely different. So why do you oppose the return?”

“I like it. Simple answer. I realized that I’m much better off like that than the person I was before. And I'm not going to, as you say, return. What's the point? I went along, I got better, as I promised. Even if accidentally, but while achieving that goal I got more than I expected.”

“But you said yourself that you had a goal. And then suddenly change everything.”

“Remember what I told you the day before? The future is created by you, but not for you. In our case I, the way I used to be, had set a goal. In the course of its solution I’ve changed so that the solution of this problem has ceased to interest me, I became better than that. I became who I am now.”

“It's all lies!”, cried Leela, giving in to her feelings, but still firmly holding a gun. “You're lying or deeply mistaken, which is the same. This is all nonsense. This thing simply washed your brains out. Understand this and accept my help!”

“You are quite incorrect. Maybe in some way I’ve changed but still pretty much the same.”

“If so, why are you now aiming at me with a pistol? If you're still the same?”

“I want to stay the way I was meant to be. And I will answer adequately on attempts to stop me. Now do you understand that you were wrong? Let us remove the arms and go back to the others,” Fry said peacefully.

“Yes, now I realized that I was absolutely right. This is not you. Not the man I called my best friend, not the one with whom we have been through a lot. Not the one to whom I never admitted that I love him. And I will do everything possible to return the one I really care about,” Leela said firmly, looking him in the face. If she hoped that her words will produce any effect, she failed.

“I’ll consider it as ‘no’,” Fry calmly stated and pulled the trigger.

Leela was ready for it and as fast as she could darted to the left, firing back. The beams were directed to the feet she wanted to cause minimal harm, just to stop the enemy. In the fall, she turned over the table and hid behind it. Fry also reacted by ducking behind the sofa to hide from fire. Both innocent pieces of furniture took over a dozen hits before the conversation was continued by Fry:

“Well if you decided to resist and our confrontation will take some time, we can also talk. So, you say you care about me, that you even love me. Well I can consider that the original purpose has been accomplished and move forward with a clear conscience.”

“What do you know, you fool? Or did you, indeed, decide that it’s because of the events of last week? No, it, of course, impressed me at first, especially since I thought that all the results you’ve achieved yourself.”

“By myself or not, who cares? The goal is achieved and the means are not too important,” he leaned out from the cover and tried to turn the table with a few shots.”

“Here is your difference. You've never liked the idea of "the end justifies the means." You were selective. Before,” she pressed her back to the table, keeping the furniture from moving.

“Ha, just a teenage maximalism. And childish naivety.”

“That’s what I liked in you. Maybe sometimes you behaved like a child, but you were able to maintain the idealism and honesty. This is much better than your current adult cruelty and shrewdness,” she picked up the Amy’s forgotten thick book and threw it at the door. During the flight the book was shot through in two places, but when it approached the automatic doors they separated.

“Cruelty and shrewdness? You can be proud, I learned that from you. I wanted to be like you, and it looks like I got it.”

Hermes was going to spit on Bender’s request and go for the two, to call them for the meeting. But at that moment the door opened, and the charred five-dimensional trigonometry textbook flew into the room. Before anyone could say a word, Leela fell in the meeting room after the book with gun in hand. Still aiming the door, she jumped up and quickly got behind the drawer opposite to the door. To the rest she managed to shout:

“Everyone quickly, find cover! We have serious trouble with Fry and it’s better not cross his path.”

“Was he late for a date again?” Amy asked, surprised.

The door opened again. Leela wasted couple of shots because Fry wisely waited and went in only after a few seconds. Forcing her to hide again, he momentarily assessed the situation. Then quickly pulled out a little ball and threw into Bender. Electroconvulsive grenade worked from hitting the titanium forehead, creating a zone of five meters. People were paralyzed immediately. Hermes’ dreadlocks and Amy’s hair stood on end, for Farnsworth in this regard it was easier. The grenade had a completely different effect on Bender. Suddenly he jumped up, raised his arms, turned on the lighter in his finger and shouted swaying:

"We are the champions – my friends
And we'll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions!!!"

After that, he collapsed in a chair motionless with bright blue lights in his eyes. Zoidberg who was less sensitive to the current looked from paralyzed people to the stoned robot, and then stared at Fry.

“Oh yes, I forgot. Hey, crab, catch. Free food,” the delivery boy threw a handful of small capsules to the alien.

Zoidberg did not have to be begged. Oral tentacles spread wide he caught them all in the fly. After a moment of confusion dekapodianin flinched and started very, very slowly turn his head to Fry.

“Good sedative. What’s most important - instant. Now no one will disturb our dispute,” of course Fry did not stand still during the whole presentation. He quickly hid behind a table with equipment and spoke from there. “So where were we? Ah, yes, my recent behavior didn’t impress you. What's the problem then? I think this is just a trick, a lie, to make me do what you want. An unsuccessful attempt.”

“No, it's true. I really liked you before. I didn’t resort to any tricks. I'm not lying!”

“Oh, wow. And which of us had a date with a ghost? Had to repair plutonium toaster that you’ve never had? And another ninety-eight plausible reasons to deny the naive idiot,” he leaned out and shot a lamp over the compartment. “Even then I clearly saw that you’ve been pulling my leg, but I have suffered your antics.”

Leela rolled away to escape the debris. But now she was out in the open, and had to do a backflip, moving to the staircase of the hangar where she covered herself. From there she shot several times in response and said:

“Yes, you are right here. I must confess that I lied to you. But you must understand I had a good reason. I just could not do otherwise.”

“Well, of course I understand. Fry is always there, always suffers. He will always be ready to run for your call if necessary and step aside if you don’t need him. Well, even my patience has a limit.”

“Not at all. I would’ve never treated you like that. I ... I just needed a little time. It was necessary for me to understand myself,” she tried to crawl under the cover of hangar’s rail, using suppressive fire.

“And for that you needed a clumsy lie? Have you ever thought about just talking with me? In the end, we are best friends, if I can’t understand you, then who can?”

“You're right about one thing. I really believed that you'll always be near. I've become used to having you around me. I just couldn’t imagine how it can be otherwise. I assumed that I had time I did not think about how long you have been waiting. Now I see how it is to live without you, and I hate myself.”

“Such a rant. And you thought that I would endure all this forever? No, the result is quite logical,” to avoid fire from Leela, Fry was forced to change cover. With one leap he overcame three meters and stood behind some cupboard-like installation of Farnsworth.

“But you lied to me. You lied to me, so for you, it’s normal?”

At this point Bender looked up. After looking around blankly he suddenly cried out:

"The show must go on!
Inside my heart is breaking
My make–up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on!"

Then he fell again. He was very lucky. Both opponents have responded to a loud sound in the same way – with a shot. Fortunately, Leela and Fry at the last moment moved aside their weapons so the beam and plasma charge passed on either side of his head.

“I lied to you?! Oh you mean our wedding, don’t you? Well, I must disappoint you - I know perfectly well what happened. I lied to you in one thing - I said I did not know why everything happened in the first place.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What was the point? You just called me a liar. You thought I’m a freak that’ll do any atrocity to wed on a girl he likes. You’ve explained everything for yourself, you came up with a decent version, you believed in it and based on it made a decision all by yourself. I didn’t even have to do anything, you’ve decided on your own. Very noble. And after that you even forgave me for what I did. Such generosity.”

“Stop it!”

“Ha-ha. Does it hurt? And do you know what was it like for me? But there is no pain that I can’t tolerate. I lived that through. Or maybe by a trick you mean those worms?”

“Well, in this case there's nothing you can argue. Your actions, you behaved as if you loved me, but in reality, it was these parasites not you.”

At this point the steel table, unable to bear this abuse any more, collapsed. Deprived of cover Leela jumped to the side, turning in the air and landing on one knee. From this position, without stopping the fire, she made a dash for the door. Fry followed. Through the already wrecked restroom they swept, without stopping. Next stop was the dining room. Here Leela hid behind a table near the exit to the kitchen, delivery boy just stood in the next room near the doorway.

“Listen. Have one simple idea ever occurred in your beautiful head? You're so fond of logic. Tell me why these worms needed you when they controlled all of my actions? Can you find one good reason?”

“Then why did you got rid of them?”

“It's simple. I was genuinely in love with you. And I wanted you to be with me. With me, as I was, and not with someone else, whom I had become and to whom you showed such sympathy. Of course, that was stupid. I got a lot better. It was just what I wanted to happen. By what means – who cares? If I’ve left it as it was, you would be happy, I would’ve been much better in all respects. And everybody would’ve been happy. But that “I”, from before, with his maximalism found it to be unfair, that it was wrong. He did not want to accept the changes. So he did that. Children's nonsense, is not it?”

With these words he walked into the dining room, ready to shoot. However, the first thing he saw was a fast approaching chair. Fry blew it to pieces with his left hand. With reverse movement he caught the second chair and smashed it against the wall. But while he fought off the furniture, thrown by Leela she managed to get up and take aim. He just dodged the first shot, next two were taken up by a decanter he took from the table, the rest came to the table itself, behind which the delivery boy covered.

“But you could try to explain to me. I would‘ve listened, I would’ve understood.”

“Do you even believe yourself? Have you at least once listened to me? Remember how many times this happened. How many times have I tried to talk to you, how often I wanted help you? But you always listened half-heartedly at best and said, "What nonsense are you talking about," and generally just brushed off any warnings the stupid Fry tried to give you.

Truly, what can I understand in life, what do I know about you? I'm just saying different stuff. I can’t be serious, of course. Go on remember, don’t be shy. Alcazar and Atkins. Our raid to the space bee’s hive and mad computer. Each time, I sincerely wanted to help you, I could do it. You just needed to listen to what I'm saying. Distract oneself from the “important business” of yours and listen to the klutz from a distant century, which you, for some reason, call a friend. Accept for a minute that I can do something serious, that I can care of you. But you've never been able to do that.”

“And you are no better! You behaved like that too. You didn’t accept my help. And I had to pull you out.”

“In the beginning – yes,” Fry didn't argue. “But then I learned to recognize when it was your orders as captain and when it was your advices as a friend. First I needed to carry out, but I listened to the second.”

At this point he jumped up hopped on the table and rapidly ran forward. Of course Leela noticed that and tried to shoot. But Fry jumped up, laser beams passing beneath him, and opened fire in the air. She had to dodge to the side. On the way, she threw another chair into the air. Dodging was impossible and after impacting with the chair the delivery boy fell to the floor. The captain used the hitch to continue the retreat, now to the kitchen. Sitting down behind one of the tables, she turned the gun on the door. When the doors parted Leela shot several times, still aiming at the legs. But Fry realized that and so into the room he almost flew falling on his hands and rolling off to the fridge. Her attempts to shoot at it didn’t do any good – the rays only ricocheted, completing the destruction of the kitchen.

“Have you ever thought that friendship is first of all about trust? That you trust someone not because he explains everything correctly and in details, not because he’s more experienced than you. But only because he’s your friend and if he gives you an advice maybe it’s really better for you this way?

“I admit my guilt. I never thought that you could be serious enough and to really try to help me. I thought every time it was your jealousy, or laziness, or it's just another joke. All true.”

“Of course. I did not want to seem more serious than I actually was. Didn’t want to pretend and look important. Though of course I could. And I think you would’ve believed it. Just like many times before. How much do you need to be happy? To be considered a normal person, a couple of false compliments and that’s it, you ready to consider him the love of your life.”

“No!”  one of the cups shattered to pieces from screaming.

“Hey, don’t get so nervous. I got almost deaf. Yet you have to admit that in this respect you’re much more naive and gullible than I am. You took someone else's lies at face value, but everything I sincerely said you considered rude flattery, lies. Often it was enough, if the guy didn’t think of you as a monster. And you immediately thought that he loved you that he saw your soul, who you really are. But each time it was a mistake. I've always tried to warn you, but you just had to see for yourself.”

“Why are you telling me all this? I almost feel like the meanest person in the Universe.”

“It's very simple. Now you know that I don’t need to come back.”

He jumped out from behind cover, grabbed a kitchen knife from a nearby table and hurled it in Leela. She was lucky that Fry did not really have time to take aim, and so the blade pierced in a cabinet with a crunch cutting off a lock of her hair. But there were a lot of knives. Fortunately, there was a door leading from the kitchen into the hallway, and it was the only chance to escape. Leela took a pan lying on the floor stood up, firing offhand while trying deflect another knife with a pan. The throw was so strong that it has almost dislocated her wrist, but the result was achieved - with the ringing the blade flew off to the side. Her shot is also haven’t reached the goal. The door was too far away and she had to make several acrobatic pirouettes, avoiding deadly plasma and no less deadly kitchen utensils. Already falling in the door, she threw the crumpled pan into Fry, trying to knock out his weapon. Without bothering to intercept, he just knocked it aside with another shot.

Leela with all possible speed, rushed to the elevator at the end of the corridor. On the last meters she moved in tempo of "pendulum" *, dodging fire. She flew into the cabin shrank into the wall to evade the shots while clamping button to the top floor. Seeing tanned up arrow delivery boy nodded to himself turned around and ran to the restroom. While the elevator slowly crawled to the laboratory Leela leaned back against the wall with a sigh, trying to catch her breath. She raised her weapon to look at the charges counter. Red numbers were unclear because of the water on the glass. She tried to brush it away but another drop fell on her palm. When she took her hand to the face Leela realized it was her tears, she cried all the time while they talked, not even noticing it. Shame and anger at herself didn’t allow her to stop. It would’ve been easier bare this, if he simply called her names and mocked her. But bearing with the truth was much worse. Leela growled softly from helplessness, she realized that she could not do anything, that it was useless. She wanted to just sit down and wait for the merciful shot that would take away the suffering. Or better yet take the gun to put to the head and pull the trigger...

"Damn it!" With all her strength she hit the wall of the cab, nearly breaking her fingers and almost jamming the elevator. Well, not a chance, if Fry survived all that, she certainly won’t give up, won’t back down so easily. All her life she’s been proving herself that she’s stronger than the others. Now she must prove that she is stronger than herself, than her fear and uncertainty, that she can correct all what she'd done.

The doors parted, Leela came out, pressing the “block lift” button. She needed a break, at least some time to think of the way out of this crazy situation. But what she could tell him after all these revelations? She was wrong thinking that she had time. A rapid shadow easily leapt over the balcony railings, and then the room filled with tinkling of breaking glass. The captain fell behind one of the installations to escape the cloud of splinters. Fry stood in the broken window, ready to open fire. The laboratory was terribly cluttered and it was difficult to find the opponent.

“Where are you, purple beauty? I know you're here.”

“Fry, tell me. If all that you say – is true, why only now such reaction followed?” nothing came to her head so she decided to play for time.

“What do you think?” he shot at the sound.  “I was in love. I loved you so much that I was ready to die for you without thinking. What is love if not the ability to forgive others' mistakes. Ignore failures, justify weakness. Trying to fix other people's shortcomings. Understand someone as yourself, and thus forgive them.”

“Then why are you trying to kill me?”

“We did not agree on my fate. You say that I learned a lot. This is true. But some qualities I’ve lost. I forgot how to forgive.”

He tried to overthrow the installation with a punch behind which Leela was hidden. She had no choice but to jump to the side trying to find a new hiding place behind a bunch of a science junk. Her response shots also forced Fry to sit down behind one of the containers.

“Listen to me. You often argued that in any situation one must stay himself. To not care what others say, no matter what they want to see in you. Be yourself, stand out from the crowd and don’t be like everyone else. You taught me that, and I got it. One should always remain himself, don’t try to please God knows who, chasing a ghost. You have to be who you are, no matter what. You always told me that.

“You said yourself that I was being stupid.”

“No, these words can’t be called stupid.”

“Changes are irreversible. I have no other choice, and I will act as I should.”

“But it was you who taught me that if there is no way out of the situation, you have to create it yourself. That there are no hopeless situations. That we should never give up. I learned all this from you, because of you I was able to start a new life. If not for you, I'd have remained on the old job, would’ve led a boring life, I would’ve been one of many. And I would’ve been alone. You know, sometimes I think if I haven’t met you, one day, in a couple of years, or ten , while coming from work, I would have not turned to the right, to the house, but left to the suicide booth. Because I didn’t know how to live, I was doomed to loneliness and depression and I did not know where to go. You gave me a future and for that I will always be grateful to you. You taught me to be myself. And now you have given up yourself.

“I didn’t give up. I just realized that I could be better.”

“What the hell?! Who told you that? You haven’t become better. In no way. You become a cruel calculating fighter without emotions. That's how I tried to look before I met you. And what you will be tomorrow? Heartless killer who does not care about anything but himself? This is not your way. Yes, you were immature, frivolous and not knowing how to think ahead. You're acting like a big baby. But at the same you have been kind. Honest, caring, understanding. There was never envy, hatred, and anger in you. That's what I loved in you I just did not realize it before I lost you. And you never gave up in any situation. Remember the case with the bees? I was ready to die I didn’t have the strength to fight. But you pulled me, you said that one should never give up, there is always a way out. I heard your voice I trusted you and was able to stay alive.”

“Very interesting. But there are things that can’t be fixed.”

He finally found the captain in the maze of cluttered laboratory. More precisely, she waited for his arrival, jumping from one of bulkier devices and knocking the gun from his hands. But she hesitated a split second before shooting an unarmed opponent and that was enough. Fry jumped to the side of the almost empty laboratory center. Leela followed him and that was a mistake. Quickly turning around delivery boy with one step closed the distance, and she had to start the fire contact in point-black range in cramped conditions when firing already considered melee fighting. Fry had to constantly fight off her hand with a gun to the side or dodge the rays by millimeters. But even in this situation, they have continued to dispute:

“Yes, but if you can fix the situation, you should do it. Forget about all this nonsense and just become yourself again. A careless boy from distant past, whom I love.”

“I'm afraid that's impossible. I made my choice. It can’t be canceled.”

“Do not argue it is not your strong point. Just do it.”

“No. I’ve found my way, and now I’m not going to back down.”

“I have let you down so many times. But now I beg you - trust me. It’s the better way. Do not think, just believe me.”

“Credit of trust is exhausted. Now I can trust only myself.”

“If you don’t do it now, you will be doomed to a lonely life. There’ll be no turning back, no second chances. But you still can go back now.”

“To exchange one loneliness on another, why?”

“You rarely heard that from me but I admit that I was wrong. I'm sorry! I ask you to give me the chance to correct my mistakes.”

“Sorry, but I can’t. I can’t forgive.”

At that moment he caught her wrist. While Fry has hesitated, the body acted reflexively. First strike broke her arm with a weapon, the second, in the collarbone, threw Leela to the wall. She was able to sit up on her left hand and raise her head, which resulted in more pain. Through the mist in the eye, she saw Fry slowly picking up his gun. He slowly walked to her, somewhat hesitantly lifting his gun. The only sound was the crunch of glass under his feet. Leela tried to put her right hand in front of her and winced.

“Wait a minute. You won. I want to tell you something ... as a goodbye.”

“I'm listening.”

“There was a lot between us. Good and bad ... I dare to hope that after all there were more of “good”. I thank you for all what you've done for me. For being there for me. Because you showed me how to live. I want to believe that I also did something good for you. I'm sorry for everything. Live on, I hope that one day you’ll meet the one who will help you to become the same again... The one who’ll teach you to love and forgive again. Who’ll be for you like you were for me.

“Thanks,” he hesitantly moved the barrel, as if not knowing what he was doing. “Is that all?”

“Almost. Last one,” her voice was emotionless. She lost everything, the only thing left was pure curiosity, an absurdity, which she wanted to see before she died.  “You said that with those worms you remained the same. That you were in charge of all your actions. Sorry, but I think you're lying to me about it.”

“Why? And what does this have ...,”  Fry seemed somewhat confused.

“I just like accuracy in everything. I want to know exactly. You said that this and that cases are similar. And I think that back then those parasites directly or indirectly governed you, just like this computer does now.”

“No. You are wrong. This is just an extension of abilities. Improvement, modernization, call it whatever you like.”

“I can’t believe you. On both cases. Improvement involves adding new features and enhancing old ones. Not the loss of basic. At that time, you have lost your sense of humor, ability to joke and laugh. This time - the ability to love and to forgive,”  Leela wanted to just fall, blood started leaking out of her left hand, because of the glass-covered floor, but now she couldn’t afford to lose the thread.

“It is not. With the parasites, remember the street clown.”
“That was the joy of understanding the truth, not laughter from his jokes. And you said nothing about the present moment.”

“ I cannot explain it. But you're wrong. That time there was no reason for it. And now ... well, these features can interfere in combat. And because of this they are temporarily not in use.”

“Temporarily… That is, if you wish, you can use them whenever you want. Show me. Tell me that you love me, well, or at least loved. One last time. Sincerely. I heard it from you, but thought it was a lie. Tell me and I will know that it is true and you were right in everything from the beginning. That's all,”  she bowed her head, closed her eyes, waiting for his words and then a shot.

“Okay. Why not?” Fry shrugged.  “I'll tell it to you. One last time. I love you. That's it,” he raised his gun to fire.  “But wait. You say sincerely? Without emotions, it's just words. Okay. I...,” he stopped. Leela, who was already choosing the color of the wallpapers in the afterlife, looked at him through her lashes. Fry froze, as if looking inward, trying to say something.  “I. .. I. .. You ...”

He raised his left hand in front of him, his fingers convulsed. He stared at the computer, but Leela was sure that he could not see it now, he had a distant look. Then he seemed conscious again, Fry turned his eyes on her and tried again to say:

“Leela, I ...”

Wrist computer flickered. There was a rapid mechanical muttering:

“Threat alert 3.2. Attack attempt. Attempt to circumvent the imperative-corrector. Localization of the attack ... emotions cutoff ... adaptation block ethics ... Failure of delta waves. Increase capacity. Redistribution of ... impossible ... full correction mode ... no effect. Increase capacity. Alert… destruction is imminent. The imperative unit is overloaded. Search for solutions ...”

“I will tell you. I! I love. You. Leela,”  during the phrase his voice lowered. He said the name is almost a whisper.

Bracelet sparkled in two places. A little cloud of smoke rose up. With a loud click computer opened up and fell on the floor. There were burns in two places on Fry’s arm, but he did not notice. He stood there and just stared ahead. The pistol had fallen off his relaxed hands. After a few seconds he looked at Leela. In a state of complete shock, he took a few slow faltering steps back. Running into a large container, he stopped and slid down its wall to the floor. Ignoring the shards, Fry put his hands on the floor than buried his face in his hands. At first Leela thought he was crying, but no, it looked like he was just thinking, remembering.

Leela somehow managed to get up. She slowly went toward him, right hand sagged limply, with fingers of the left dripping blood. Fry looked up at her and quietly but firmly said:

“Leela, I do have one last request. Please give me your gun.”

“Why?”  she asked warily, stopping.

“Oh, do not worry,”  he said very quietly. “Just for a moment. You know, for one shot.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Leela almost jumped at him and grabbed his shoulder.

“What have I done ...,” Fry seemed not to notice the fingers of his shoulder. “I'm so lonely right now, I want to die!”  he almost cried, then he looked at her hand. Nodded and said.  “But this is also an option. Finish me, out of pity. Do me a favor ...,”  his voice dropped to a whisper again.

“What's wrong with you?”  she clenched her fingers stronger, her T-shirt began soaking with blood.

“I know you hate me now ... This is quite fair, that's correct. You want to kill me, and I ... I totally agree with you.”

“Damn it! Are you out of your mind? Me, hating you? It is you who should hate me!”

“No, unfortunately, my brains are all right, more than I would like. I remember everything ... I hurt you. I almost killed you! I feel horrible right now ...,” he put his head in his hands.

“Enough! I’m the one who should ask for your forgiveness. Even more, I asked you, but you didn’t give me an answer.”

“What?” Fry stared in amazement at her.

“Everything what we’ve talked about. All of this is true. I asked you to forgive me for all this. But you did not say anything.”

“God. But how can I accuse you of something?” he was genuinely surprised. “Just being near you is enough to forget about everything,” Leela continued to look at him. “Well, okay, if it's so important for you. I forgive you for everything that happened between us. Happy now?”

“Quite. And to make you understand. Everything that happened recently. All this – was my fault. No, shut up!” she would not let him say anything. “It was my fault, and you’ve forgiven me for it. And if you were wrong in something- it does not matter.”

“You forgive me? For all this? Okay, well, I believe you,” he held up a hand, as if defending himself.  “It doesn’t matter, because I can’t forgive myself ... Never.... I hurt you. I shot you. I wanted to kill you! Yes, maybe you can forgive me for some reason, but I can’t ... . So just give me the gun. Oh, and turn away, please ...,”  he finished, as if pleading.

“Well, not a chance!”  her voice had a slight threat. “Did you think you can’t just get away from the problem? Bang, and you got away from it all?! It won’t work, mister!” Leela suddenly lurched, Fry inadvertently pulled out his arms to catch her, but she managed to stay on her feet. “Hey, bonehead, while you're here arguing on a shot in your red head, I’m bleeding. Come on and help me already.”

“Sure!”  he jumped up on his legs. Rushed forward then back, and then rushed to cloning machine covered with cloth. He took a piece of glass and quickly cut two strips of matter. Then ran back to her.

“Be careful with the glass, or we'll have to patch up you as well.”

“It does not matter. Here you go. What should I do?”

“Just bandage the wrist, there is a deep cut. What’s the second one for?”

“For the right hand. To support it. There seems to be a fracture.”  he fell silent, staring at his hands, remembering who caused it.

“Hey, come on. You were going to help me, or what?”

“Okay. Sorry if it’s not good,”  he diligently, though not too expertly, tightened the bandage, his hands trembling slightly.  -  Well, that's done. So, now with a clear conscience ... Where, you say, the gun is?”

“Hey ... Enough of that,” she said sternly. “Don’t even dream about it. You won’t get off the hook that easily, Mister!”

“Right. Ready to do all you want,” he raised his hand in salute.

“You said it yourself. Given that this fracture is at least for a month. Well, then, write it down. You'll have to drive the ship for me I'll just be a captain.”


“The current repairs are on you under my supervision.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Entries for the meetings in duplicate.”


“You’ll walk out Nibbler for a month.”

“As you say.”

“Every week you’ll make all the housework for me.”


“Cooking is also out of question so you’ll daily accompany in a restaurant or cafe of your choice.”

“Then walk me home.”


“After that you’ll stay for half an hour to make coffee and watch together some crap on TV.”

“Copy that ...,”  suddenly Fry stopped recording, apparently having read what he wrote. Reread it couple of times. Then with a happy smile of a child he turned to Leela, as if to make sure that he heard everything properly. She just nodded.

“I told you that the punishment will be severe. You still mind you, will have to pay for the damages of the building. And our bureaucrat will surely sign a new overhaul repair on your money ...”

“This is the last thing I care about now. This all doesn’t matter. What is important is to get to the hospital before Zoidberg woke up. Otherwise, instead of plaster we have to sew your arm back. And explain that people don’t happen to have claws and fin. Hurry.”

“Yes, the threat is serious. Let’s go.”

Already at the elevator, she stopped, barely able to hold his hand. Fingers didn’t want to move. Was it the loss of blood or the mere excitement?

“Wait a minute ...”

“Fry paused and anxiously turned to her.”

“What's wrong?”  his voice broke, he was seriously worried about her.

“No, no, it's okay. Just ...,”  she stopped, whether sorting out her thoughts, or gathering confidence.  “You know, Fry, I think... It seems that I steel didn’t say one thing. A very important thing...”

Leela felt again silent. Her usual determination and self-confidence were gone. Their place was taken by fear. If she said that she conceived, there won’t be a way back. She looked away, looked down, as if something in the environment could help her make a decision. Instinctively she wanted to move away a bang of hair from her forehead, but the left hand was in the Fry’s palm and the right responded in pain. This helped her to recover. Leela realized that if won’t say that now, then everything would be in vain. She was able to overcome the fear, but  doubt came instead. Maybe some other time, not today, she pondered? Just turn it into a joke. There’ll be plenty of time. Although in reality, she knew that if won’t dare now, it would be long before she’ll be able to build up the confidence again. Abruptly she raised her head, looked at her friend and decided:

“I love you ...,” she wanted to say it confidently, firmly, as she always did. But not all words can be spoken this way. They came quietly, and instead of a clear statement of speech, expressed a whole range of feelings. Love, care, tenderness and at the same time - an apology for what it was before, and the question. Fear… the fear of being rejected. Fry was able to live through her refusal, but will she? After all, he had much more reasons to refuse her than to say…

“I love you too,” the answer was given immediately. Without hesitation, without a doubt. Maybe he has long ceased to doubt, maybe he did not want to let her feel the fear while he was thinking about the answer. Fry in fact knew very well what it is. Looking into his eyes, Leela could see that he was telling the truth. There was only happiness, joy and relief. No celebration, no joy of a hunter who got an exotic trophy, to which she was accustomed to and of what she was unconsciously afraid. Only the joy and relief, it seems he did not believe her until the end. Well, now that they will have no reason not to trust each other.

Fry hugged her shoulders, held her close very gently, trying not to cause pain. Happiness mingled with shame after all he was the reason that now he couldn’t even embrace her properly. He again promised himself that he would never harm her, whatever happens, and will not allow anyone to do this. Leela put her head on his shoulder. She felt that only now she could finally relax. She felt the tension of this crazy battle leaving, anxiety of the past few days disappearing, and that the choice she made was the only correct one. She heard a whisper:

“Yes, I love you too. I've already said this, but it I’m ready to repeat again and again. Hopefully, now you’ll take my words seriously?”

She lifted her head and looked at him.

“Of course. You know, I do like you just the way you are.”

“Probably. And tomorrow I'll become better.”

“Don’t. Just be yourself, I don’t need more.”

“Okay. It will be as you wish.”

Leela reluctantly released from his embrace and pulled Fry along.

“That's fine. Come on we seemed to be in a hurry,” she pressed the button of the elevator.  “Listen, I wanted to ask. How come Bender knows such old songs?”

“Oh, it's,” Fry chuckled.  “It's me. Do not tell him, okay? Once, while he was asleep, I’ve downloaded somewhere in his BIOS all the albums of Queen. And when he turns off the brain, music starts.”

“Ha-ha, it's funny I’ll have to try it. Since we're talking about music. You'll have to find a record of a song from your time.”

“As you wish. But why?”

“I liked the melody. I will sometimes listen it while alone and think about what did not happen. And how lucky I was that it had remained just words.”

“If you want to. Still I don’t understand. I hope that from now on you won’t have to be in solitude very often.”

“I know it. But sometimes you have to be all alone to understand how you really need those who are always close by.”

The End

Starship Captain
« Reply #24 on: 06-22-2013 14:02 »

That was amazing, I love your writing style. If you do more of these, I really can't wait to read them.

Starship Captain
« Reply #25 on: 06-23-2013 01:37 »

Great story, Tovarish; it was very intense and unique.

 I hope you choose to write another at some point, and if so, I'm very much looking forward to reading it!
Tovarish Bender
« Reply #26 on: 06-28-2013 10:29 »

Thank you all for your kind words, but like I mentioned in the top post - the author's nickname is Inf_Guard. I'm just an interpreter.

Anyway I know he'll be happy knowing that you approved his story. When I have more time, I guess I will translate more fanfics from Inf_Guard and other authors.
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