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PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    General Futurama Forum Category    Melllvar's Erotic Friend Fiction    death clock, time zone change « previous next »
Author Topic: death clock, time zone change  (Read 22394 times)
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Space Pope
« Reply #200 on: 01-13-2008 16:43 »

Oh, snap!
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #201 on: 01-13-2008 17:27 »

Huzzah! We missed you, dude.

Bending Unit
« Reply #202 on: 01-13-2008 18:37 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Thank god, I had always been too embarrassed to ask what a "novum" was.  I guess I can start posting again...

Hello! And congratulations! It's great to have you back.  :D

Delivery Boy
« Reply #203 on: 01-14-2008 01:09 »

And the best part about you being back is that now we get a nice long upda-ate?

Bending Unit
« Reply #204 on: 01-14-2008 01:42 »
« Last Edit on: 01-14-2008 01:42 by JustNibblin´ »

Originally posted by THM:
Sorry for the false alarm; I've been curious as to where JN has gone myself. Still, I console myself, as I say, with the fact that him having been absent this long probably means that he's been building up a buffer again, to take us to the end of the story, rewriting stuff, that sort of thing.

Wow, I've been gone that long?  Real life has hit hard, and I haven't even had a chance to lurk.  I see Sine Wave and THM(!) have written something new and I have a lot of posts to catch up with.  But THM quote is right on--I am embarrassed to admit that the last post in Nov. finally blew my buffer, and filling it up delayed this further.  But thanks, everyone, for your patience, it's good to be back, and thank you for welcoming me back!  Hope all is well with your lives outside this little mini-universe...

Bear with me if I the my first post is a bit rusty...

A month and a half seemed to fly by before the teller spoke again.

“I’m sorry, sir, what did you say?” she asked, with the resigned tone of someone who knew they were about to lose their coffee break.


“By a bomb, do you mean an explosive device?”

“No, I mean the other kind of bomb.  Yes, an explosive device, you bimbo!”

The teller smiled politely.

“I’m afraid company policy prohibits us from accepting explosives for storage in safety deposit boxes.  Safety reasons.  The bomb could explode, you know.”

“Um, yeah, that’s kind of the point.  Wait, wait,” the robot said.  “I don’t want to deposit a bomb-“

“But you said-“

From within his chest cavity Bender yanked out the best selling MomCorp-published “Does Not Compute” reference guide for robots (“Explains all facets of human behavior, from Angst through Zealotry!”).  He quickly thumbed through the “Poetry” chapter—a fairly impressive feat, since he had no thumbs.

“I was making what you wetware call a ‘rhetorical flourish’ and all that.”

“Um, so if you don’t want to deposit a bomb, why are you here?”

Bender’s hit his forehead with the book.  The metallic sound rang through the room like a 20th-century gunshot, startling the guards, who for the first time glanced over at the fuming robot.

“OK.  Start over.  I have a bomb.  I am going to blow it up unless those guys let that guy go.  Is that easier to understand?”

“That’s it?”

“Well, they also gotta let us walk outta here.”

“Oh, for a moment I thought you were going to try and rob us, since we’ve just had a big cash delivery this morning,”  she smiled, nodding her head back toward a pile of large cash bags lying on the floor behind her.

In a sealed room elsewhere in the bank, Walter, Mom's eldest son, watched the scene over holosurveillance and banged his head on the desk in frustration.

“Oh yeah, that too.  Put all the money you got into those bags.  This is a stickup.  Without a gun, though, so not really a stickup.  But I’ve got a bomb.  We’re good, now?”

The teller nodded, pale, and turned to stuff the bags.

Bender sensed that the room had fallen silent.  He swiveled around to survey how every robot, life form, and security camera was now focused on him.  It didn’t unnerve him.  He was used to being the center of attention.

“Get off my partner, or I’ll blow up this building.  Because that’s what a bomb does.  And I have a bomb.  And not in the metaphorical sense.  That means I really have a bomb.  Is this starting to make any sense to anybody?”

The guards mulled, uncertain, but then a voice piped out of a speaker grille on the robot holding the syringe.

“Code 238 confirmed.  Repeat, code 238 confirmed, plus 235.”

“A human head as well?” muttered a guard, pressing his neural transmitter against his skull.  “In his chest?”

Bender opened his chest and pulled out Lucy Liu’s head.

“Sorry baby, but I’m going to have to make room in there for a bit o cash.  Nothing personal, but the money is worth more to me than you are.”

“But Bender, I love you,” bleated the actress’s head, but the jar was already rolling away across the floor, and Bender had already turned back toward the guards.

“What part of ‘move’ don’t you compute?”

“Code 238 confirmed,” the human replied into his transmitter.  “Evacuate premises.  Everyone, move back.”  He spoke this last to the dogpile on the floor, and the guards reluctantly started to sort themselves out.

Bender scanned the hall.  The guards were drifting to every visible exit, grimly standing aside the locked doors.  The customers were milling around, a little confused, but Bender could almost time how quickly the information about the bomb threat whipped through the crowd like an actual bomb blast, because everyone suddenly froze in place.  For a moment the hall fell completely silent. Then, almost as if a starting pistol had gone off, the customers whipped out their comlinks and rapidly snapped holoshots of Bender.  The noise level jutted up to a dull roar.

“Shut up!” shouted Bender.  “This is a robbery, so I want everyone to take out their wallet, purse, or transport sac and lie it on the ground.  That means you too!” he shouted toward the bald man, who was also snapping pictures.  Unlike the others, however, the man was not taking a picture of Bender, but of himself, standing in front of a wall prominently displaying a large digital clock/calendar, under a sign that stated ‘Big Apple Bank: we don’t take a (big) bite out of you.”

The other bank customers dropped their valuables to the ground, most of them still staring at their comm devices, transmitting details of this exciting robbery to their social networks, hoping to increase the advertising value of their blogs.  Their networking software helpfully appended gun and disintegrator advertisements to the outgoing transmission.

One by one, the human and robotic guards reluctantly stood aside , revealing Fry lying prone on the ground, with only his foot moving, twitching feebly. 

“Cuffs off. Now.” Bender snapped, before pivoting his head.  “I mean it!  Drop it!” he roared, marching up to the bald man, while rotating his head to check on Fry, whose eyes were starting to flutter open.

“Just a sec,” the man said, carefully focusing his device on himself in front of the clock.  He pressed a button and a small pellet dropped to the ground, which inflated and unfolded into a picture.

A strong odor wafted from the teller’s window.  Bender swiveled his head away from the bald man.

“Hey!  No Wormulon currency!  Nixonbucks only!”

“What’s going on?”  Fry gasped.

Bender swiveled his head back toward Fry, and while preoccupied the bald man pulled two wallets out of his pocket.  One was a sleek, expensive-looking model with a digital readout, which revealed itself to be empty when he opened it. The other was an identical model, but much older, and heavily frayed around the edges.  The bald man pulled some photos out of the old wallet, dropped it onto the ground, then joined the crowd migrating to the walls of the hall.

“Com’on Fry, we’re making our withdrawal and gettin’ out of here.”

“Really?  You believe me?  For a moment there I thought they had gotten to you too…” 

And Fry’s gaunt face suddenly broke into a smile, and for a moment he remained sitting, almost disbelieving, watching Bender sweep up assorted wallets, purses, and purple pulsing storage sacs among the crowd, most of whom were now standing against the wall.   The guards were also now all along the wall, watching balefully.  Beyond the glass doors the windows across the street reflected all kinds of flashing lights as additional police vehicles skidded to a stop in front of the building.

Fry hoisted himself up, still a bit shaken, and frowned at the noisy crowd.

“What’s going on?”

“Here you go, sir,” the teller quavered, sliding several bags of currency through a slot underneath her window.

“Wow, Bender, I didn’t know you had that much tucked away.”

“Uh yeah, I used my special ID.”


“It’s da bomb.”

“Bomb? What bomb?”

“UtShay Pupsay. ryFray.”


Bender activated his vocal attenuator and tried to whisper. 
“Remember those loser brain ball things on Spheron we fought when we were in the DOOP army?  The trip where for some reason I threw myself on a bomb to save your sorry ass?”


“Remember that bomb the meatbag who slept with Leela put in me for those delicate negotiations?”

Fry wrinkled up his forehead, concentrating, and then his brow smoothed out.

“Oh yeah!  The one that would blow up half the planet if you said the word-“

“Yeah that one.”


The voice boomed inside the hall, projected from the outside world by a time-reversed megaphone.


Both the robot and the human turned to look toward the door, then Fry turned back to Bender.  “But Bender, I thought the Professor disabled-“

SMACK.  Fry fell to the floor in a daze, smarting from Bender’s slap.  His face, having gotten a lot of practice in being hit lately, efficiently began to blossom another bruise.  Something clattered to the floor.  The holophoner had managed to stay in Fry’s pocket, even during the twelve-guard pile-up, but the sudden jolt from Bender’s slap had been the tipping point, and now it lay motionless on the pale white square tiles of the large hall, looking a little like the scattered customers who had fainted on the bank hall floor, especially the tourist from Oboe Flatte.

“Attention, human meatbags!” shouted Bender to the world.  “I’ve got a bomb inside me that I’m not afraid to use.  Even now, my partner is so scared of what I can do he has dropped terrified to the  --  Hey you!”

The bald man had been trying to stuff his photos into the new wallet, using his back to shield his activities from the newly-minted fugitives.  But the sudden appearance of the holophoner brought an odd expression to his face, almost one of shock, and he had unconsciously turned around to get a better look, his new wallet catching the attention of the larcenous robot.

“Gimme that!”

“My wallet’s already on the floor,” the man said, jerking his goatee toward the floor.  “There it is there.”

“Com’mon Fry, grab those bags and let’s get moving,” growled Bender as he marched up to the man and snatched the wallet.


“What’s that you’re trying to hide?”

“I’m not-“

“Pictures?  On paper?  Who does that?  And—hey!! I know that place!  I had a great time there!”

Bender stared down at three photos.  The man was present in all three.  In the first he was standing in front of HAL Institute for Criminally Insane Robots, using a laser welder to weaken part of the wall, where someone had scrawled the date “July 31, 2002”.  In the second photo he was standing in the lobby of a hotel in front of a sign labeled “Cryogenic Support Group,” attaching a sign with the date printed on it and the words “Free Food”.  The last picture simply showed the man pouring a bucket of water onto a street curb, creating a puddle, with the day visible on a clock tower in the distance.

“Uh Bender, I can’t move all these sacks,” Fry said.  And it was true.  Fry had managed to hoist one sack on his back, but his legs were trembling and he was weaving around the floor like the losing end of an ape fight.   “Can’t we just get out of here? They’re coming.  They know I’m here.”

Bender swiveled his head toward Fry.  “I know.”

Fry, stared, surprised, at Bender’s simple agreement, disbelieving that he was getting no arguments from his friend.  Taking advantage of the distraction, the man with the photos slipped them out of Bender’s hands and into the new billfold.  Shoving the wallet quickly into his pocket, he looked up and found himself staring into Bender’s suspicious eyes.

“Tell you what, Fry.  We’re gonna use this guy to help us carry this stuff outta here.  So here-“ Bender lifted a sack and threw it into the bald man’s arms, “let’s get moving.  Today’s gonna be a busy day.”

The bald man staggered back under the unexpected weight of the bag, and the thousands of Nixonbucks inside erupted into a chorus of growls of “I am not a crook, but you are!”

Fry managed to get a hold on his bag, and glanced over at their new partner in crime, who had managed to sling the bag over his right shoulder and grasp the bottom with his left arm slid behind his back.  Fry didn’t notice that he had slung his bag in exactly the same manner, or that both he and the man tilted their heads the same way as they looked toward Bender.

“OK, where too?” they both spoke in unison.

Bender crammed several handfuls of cash into his chest, then pointed to the main entrance and began marching off, humming the first line of his personal theme song, “Bender is great”, to himself.

“Hey, you’re forgetting your jar,” the man said.  “And you sure you want to do that?  I mean, there is a back way out through that door over there.”

Fry looked at the man closely for the first time.

“Why are you helping us? “

“Yeah, I can only deal with one stupid human at a time,” Bender growled.  “And leave the head in a jar.  I got no more room.”

“But that seal isn’t designed to hold laying on its side like that.  It’ll leak and kill her.”

“Who made you a jar expert?” Fry said.

“Oh I’ve learned a few things here and there,” the man grinned.  “You might say I’m a bit of a jarhead.”

Bender and Fry stared at him blankly.  The man stared at Fry, sighed, and shook his head.  “Geez, you really are—never mind, I’ve got her.”  And as he swept Lucy off the floor into the bag, he watched with intense curiosity as Fry scooped the holophoner off the floor back into his jacket.

“Com’mon, stay behind me and we’ll walk right outta here,” Bender said.

“Wouldn’t do that,” the man said.

“Why?  And why do you care?”

“I want to live.  If you march out there and those cops decide to shoot, I’m gonna get caught in between.  Look, the side entrance goes into a side alleyway, I saw it when walking here this morning.  And they had an armored hovertruck out there.”

“If I had a nose, I would smell undercover cop right now,” Bender said.  “Have bomb, will go where we want.  I’m not going to slink out of this bank like we’re a bunch of thieves.”

“Well, actually-“

“Shut up Fry-“

“-he kinda makes sense.  There are a lot of guns out there now.”

Fry tilted his head toward the main entrance.  The street outside was now crammed with police hovercars, a fire engine, and even what seemed to be two floating gun platforms.  Behind each vehicle a jumble of nasty-looking weapons jutted out every which way, making the hovercars look like mobile suicide booths.  Otherwise, it was a lovely morning.

“I think they must have been loading a lot of cash into that hovertruck,” said the man innocently, almost winking at Bender.

“On second thought, we’ll take the safer route, to keep you safe, Fry.  But you,” the robot turned to the man,  “you’re going first in front.”

“Sure,” the man whispered, “but maybe your friend should take a gun from one of these guys.”

Nervously, Fry extracted a rifle from a guard standing nearby, who made no motion to resist. Bender glared at the teller and pointed to the side door in question.  It clicked open, and within a few moments the trio were marching through a cubicle farm. 

“That holophoner, that’s a neat instrument,” the man said.  “Kinda hard to play, isn’t it?”

Fry stared at the man again.  Before Bender’s bomb threat, Fry had been too distracted to pay much attention to this man, but now he felt disquieted as he looked at his companion’s shaggy goatee .

“You know something, don’t you? About what’s going on.”

And to his own surprise Fry felt his face twist in sudden anger, causing the man to step away, shocked.

“Who are you?  Who’s after me?  Why can’t I remember what happened?  Why does Leela hate me?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said the man.  “Who’s Leelu?  Your girlfriend?”

“You’re lying,” Bender said, “so you get to go through those doors.”

They had emerged from the cubicle farm and had reached a plain ordinary sliding door.  Fry eyed the door warily.  Doors in this century tended not to like him, and he had developed an instinct about whether a particular door was going to be trouble, just as a man gets a sense about whether an approaching dog will lick or bite.  This door seemed to be a biter.

The door slid open and the group moved through into a narrow corridor.


The two fugitives and their hostage stopped short as they spotted a large line of guards transferring bags of cash down toward an open door, the view outside half-blocked by a large hovertruck.  The guards were whipping the bags into the truck as fast as they could.

“Hurry!  Or my dear mother is going to find another bank!”

The words were coming from a dark-haired man, standing with his back toward the new arrivals.  He shot a glance behind him, and froze—along with the guards, the bald man, Bender (who bumped into the man from behind), and Fry, who brought up the rear and halted standing inside the door frame.  The door, sensing weakness, slid sideways, smashing him against into the wall.

Walt, Mom’s eldest son, glared at the three intruders.

“Looks like they started to unload the truck-“ mused the bald man, ”-and now they’re trying to put it back in.   His eyes flickered over the bag labels.  “Mom Corp.  Wow, this must be their payroll.”

“What kind of idiots are you?” Walt said, his words oily with malice.  “Do you know who you’re dealing with?”

“Yep, don’t let us slow you down,” Bender chuckled, waving Fry’s rifle toward Walt.  Fry looked down at his hands.  How had Bender nicked that from him?  “Keep it moving,”  the bending unit glared at his hostage, who had started to put down his own bag.  “Who told you to drop it?  Let’s go.”

The three walked single file past the guards, who nearly filled the hallway.  Fry eyed all the laser pistols in the room, gulped, felt Walter’s stare boring into the back of his head, and forced his eyes toward the hovertruck, which brought the bald man back into his field of view.  Which reminded him-

“Who are you?  What’s going on?  You seem to know something.”

The man sighed as he wormed past a particularly bulky robot.  “OK, I admit, I’ve seen you before.  You played an opera about a year ago, didn’t you?”

“You saw me?”

The man nodded.  “Yes, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world”.  He caught himself.  “I mean it was very good, at least until the end. When you walked into the bank this morning, I thought you looked familiar, but couldn’t place you.  But once I saw that instrument I remembered.  I swear, I have no idea what else is going on.  Who’s after you?”  He glanced back, face curious.  “A stalker?  Do you still play that thing?”

“Yeah I do.  I’m getting better too.”

They emerged from the doorway into an alleyway.  A flying police mini-drone leapt up off the hovertruck’s hood and buzzed away down the alley.

The man looked surprised by Fry’s answer.

“You still played after that disaster?  I remember—I mean, I would have thought you stopped playing it soon after that?”

“Well you know what they say about the word assume, “ Bender said, “they say you’re a moron.”  Both he and Fry looked into the hovertruck cab, and then at each other.  It definitely looked much safer in there than out here.  Bender turned only to spot Walter loitering outside the door, fingers twitching.  “You.  Go back inside and lock the door.  Otherwise, BOOM!”

“Dear Mother will be using your torso as a garbage can,” muttered the second largest stockholder in the company, as he slammed the door.

“Can you really drive this thing?” Fry whispered.

“Yeah, but it’s a lot better if you drive.”


“If they shoot, the cops are gonna take out the driver first.”  And with that Bender hopped into the cab and slid to the passenger side.  “Drop your loot in here.”

While both were preoccupied, the third man dropped his bag, whipped out his camera, and snapped another photo of Fry next to the hovertruck.  He scooped the expanding photo off the ground and in a quick motion swept that photo and the three others into the new billfold.  He typed a few buttons on the surface of the billfold, and the pocket containing the photos snapped shut, and hissed as it pumped all air out of the cavity.

Fry, clambering up the steps into the cab, looked over his shoulder at the bald man.

“I think he knows something.”

“We’re out of time,” said Bender.  “You, put the bag in here.”

“No problemo,” the man said, slinging the bag into the front seat, after removing Lucy Liu’s head from the sack.  “I figure you won’t mind if I keep her.  And don’t forget to disable the remote control on the driver’s stick—you guys probably don’t want your ride cut short.  But you were probably already gonna do that.”

“Pfft!  Um, yeah, right, I was just starting to do that,” grumbled Bender as he hastily started ripping circuitry out of the dashboard.

“Why are you helping us?” Fry said.

“Like the Space Pope says, the higher or possibly lower power helps those who help themselves,” chuckled the man, as if recalling some private joke.

Policemen started to peek around the corner.

“Common meatbag!  Time to move!”

Fry and the man stared directly into each other's face.  The man held his gaze, a slight wrinkling of his forehead betraying a hint of nervousness.

“Do I know you?”

“Apparently not.  Look, the bank just raised my ATM fees again,” the man said, “so I don’t mind sticking it to them a little.  Now get going before someone shoots me.”

“You’re coming with us.”

“No I’m not.  I admit, I’m kinda curious about this, because I actually don’t recall---anyway, not important.  I can’t help you.  Can’t risk dying, not now.”  He walked up to Fry and patted him on his jacket.  “Good luck with your problem, whatever it is.  Hope they don’t get you, whoever they are.”  He was silent for a moment, seemed to fight some internal struggle, then burst out, “ What did you say they were trying to do to you?”

“Dammit you chattering sausages, move it!”  And a laser beam emerged from the cab, grazing the man’s bald head.

Giving one last glance, Fry jumped into the cab and shut the door.  Then jumped up, as he had just sat on the pointy end of a circuit board.  “Sheez, Bender,” he cried, looking over the mess in the cab, “what’d you do?”

“Found this,” Bender said, pulling a chip the size of a nickel out of the mangled dashboard and crushing it in his fingers.  “Truck’s ours now, like I always planned to do.  Move.”

Fry realized he really hadn’t driven one of these hover thingies before.  “What turns it on?  How do I drive?”

Suddenly the several ton truck gently rose a couple of feet into the air, listing side to side for a moment until it suddenly stabilized.

“I hotwired it for you.  And the stick moves it.  Nothing to it.  Even someone with as few brain cells as you can drive this thing.”

“Good,” Fry sighed as he pushed the stick forward.  The truck lurched backwards a few feet, and he heard something crush.  Fry glanced at the side mirrors and then the camera screens above the windshield.   He hoped he hadn’t just killed anyone.  Nope—the bald guy was fine—he was walking, hands up toward the cops visible at the end of the alley behind the truck.

“You idiot!  Pushing forward moves you backwards!  Isn’t that obvious?  Where’d you learn to drive?”

“A thousand years ago, on things that actually had wheels,” Fry squeaked, as he jerked back on the stick, and the truck sprang forward.  He gingerly pushed the stick to the right and his left mirror vanished as the truck scraped against the left wall.  The stick was very sensitive and the truck surprisingly responsive, so Fry and Bender bounced around the cab a few times until Fry managed to keep the truck moving forward in a straight line.  They were almost out of the alley.

Fry struggled to get comfortable and with his free hand tried to sweep away the wires and broken electronics poking him underneath his butt.  While doing so he felt a lump in his rear pocket and for a moment froze in fear.

“What’s this?” he stammered, reaching his hand into his pocket, and tossing a brand new wallet at Bender, who cringed before he saw what it was.

“Ooohh, a wallet.  Only good things come out of these.  Fancy model too,” he appraised, “too good for you.  When’d you get this?”

“My wallet’s gone, remember?” Fry said, eyes locked on the entrance.  “I woke up without one in the dumpster.” 

“This is really a top end model.  Look it even has a safe pocket inside, with lock.”


“Yeah, put something in there and it will survive heat, water, space, even a nuclear blast.  Look, its been closed.  And the timer’s on.”

Fry glanced over and saw a small display on the wallet’s inside pocket:

TIME TO OPEN: 1003:6:2:15:04:54.7

“Thousand what?”

“Thousand and three years,” Bender said.  “I tell you, great battery in this thing.  But what did you want to keep sealed for 1000 years?”

“I told you, it’s not mine.  Open it.”

“Can’t,” Bender said sadly, tossing the billfold back.  And Fry raised an eyebrow.

“You’re saying that there’s something you can’t-“

And then they exited the alley and found themselves in a war zone.

All civilian vehicles were gone-vanished.  Instead, to Fry’s left as he entered the street, a phalanx of police vehicles squatted in the center of what would normally be one of the busiest streets of NNY.  The two floating gun platforms, which bristled with so much weaponry that they looked like porcupines (if porcupines could fly), held position about thirty feet above the ground, facing them.  The tube system was shut down and pedestrians had been cleared away, so nothing remained to distract the hundred or so carbon- and silicon-based cops from training their weapons on the armored hovertruck.  Glancing right, Fry saw a similar coalition rapidly coalescing a block away down the street.  He tried to look at his left mirror before remembering that it was gone, and looked past Bender at the right mirror, and saw that the alley behind him was now filled with headlights and barriers.  He couldn’t see the bald man anymore.

“What do they think they’re gonna to do?” sneered the bending unit.  “I can set this thing off before any missile gets within 300 feet of me.”

Fry felt nowhere near as confident.  He had so many things he wanted to ask Bender, but he couldn’t stop thinking of all the kinetic and electromagnetic weapons probably trained on him right now.  He rolled up the windows.

In the silence of the cab, Fry thought he heard a faint voice.  Bender pointed toward the wreck of the dashboard, then leaned forward and pulled out a small speaker.

“All units hold position—suspect currently stationary at corner of 21st and Broadway, sitting in a Harley Fargo armored transport.”

Silence for a moment.  Then a bright and cheerful female voice said “This secure law enforcement communications channel is brought to you by Billy’s Batons—guaranteed to be a smash—literally!”

“Common’, let’s get moving.”

“Where too?”

“South Street Spaceport, or some place with a rocket ship.  We gotta get off this planet, fast.”


A tinny voice cut him off.  “This is Unit 271.  Columbia Pictures University reports a massive power surge in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  Multiple reports of damaged memory circuitry among robotic studentry.”

“Two-seven-one, please keep channel clear.  A situation Double-O twelve is in progress.”

“Geez, Fry, someone must really want you.”

“Huh?-“ Fry was slowly inching the truck around so that they were facing one of the phalanxes.

Just then they heard a familiar voice state, “Standby for direct connection to Mayor’s office.  Made by the Mayor’s aide.  Me.  Because it’s important.”

There was the sound of a ringtone, and then an even more familiar voice said, “Whaaa-yess?”

“Professor Farnsworth, this is Mayor Pooenmayer.  I’m the mayor?”

“I told you telemarketers where you could put that infernal Torgo’s Executive Powder, or whatever name you’ve given that junk.  Good d-“

“THE MAYOR.  I’M THE MAYOR, PROFESSOR!” shouted the Mayor.

“The Mayor?  Oh my, yes.  Well I didn’t vote for you before, and I won’t vote for you again.  In fact, I’m in the process of building my own candidate.  I just need to find the right pander processor.”

“Professor, we’ve got a question about one of your employees?”

“Employees?  But I have no-“

“Robot.  Bending Unit named Bender Rodriguez.”

“-Oh, the expendable employees!  Why yes, I seem to remember a rather stupid robot-“

Bender fidgeted angrily, but in uncharacteristic silence.

“Professor, he claims to have a bomb inside of him.”

“A doomsday device?”

“No, a bomb.  Records show that the DOOP installed one during a conflict a couple years ago—“

“Those asinine fools.  Those DOOP monkeys couldn’t build a doomsday device to shock a baby, much less blow up a planet-“

“Uh, yes.  Anyway records also show that you reported neutralizing it, but they weren’t clear about exactly what you did.”

“Ah yes, I remember.  Well, the trigger was so poorly designed that at first I couldn’t figure out how to shut it off, so I rerouted the trigger to explode only if Bender said a very unlikely word.”

Fry could see the police line nervously start to lower their weapons toward the ground.

“But then Bender said that word.  Fortunately the device short-circuited and only caused a little mayhem and destruction.  The bomb is worthless now-“

Fry wasn’t even able to finish gulping in fear before the first salvo hit their windshield.  Ducking behind the dashboard, Fry and Bender huddled as wave after wave of bullets, lasers, and explosives pounded their vehicle.  The momentum of the explosions knocked the heavy vehicle back down the street, back toward the other phalanx.

It seemed to go on forever, but finally, after one of the floating porcupines got off a last round, there was a pause.  Ears ringing, Fry peeked over the dash.

To his amazement the windshield had held, even though it had fractured into a web of intricate cracks.  Viewed through the cracks, the image of the two floating porcupines split into thirty smaller images, creating the impression of an entire alien invasion force floating over the street.

“That,” said Bender, “is one hell of a windshield.”

“An armored truck, right?” Fry said, dazed.  “I guess they make them pretty tough-“

Bender had already grabbed the secure link’s transmit button from the tangle of loose wires in front of him, and had leapt onto his seat.

“Is that all ya got, you losers!” He laughed. “I’ve seen blernsball games that were scarier than that.  You want a piece of me?  Well here.”

He spun around and waggled his rear end at the crowd of officers.

“Go ahead.  Bite my shiny metal a-“

The next updates will be much sooner--I'm two updates ahead now, we'll see how long that lasts....

Space Pope
« Reply #205 on: 01-14-2008 05:41 »
« Last Edit on: 01-14-2008 05:41 »

A month and a half seemed to fly by before the teller spoke again.

*dies laughing*

"Bald man" doesn't know what happened. This is...
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #206 on: 01-14-2008 09:42 »

Hmm, ol' baldy seems to be quite the guardian angel. However,
Maybe. I don't really know. Also, the wallet chamber is quite the mystery. I resign myself to not knowing anything about where this could possibly be headed, and am thoroughly delighted by it.

Space Pope
« Reply #207 on: 01-14-2008 10:54 »

First of all, I haven't read this update yet. I want to be able to savor it. I'll be back.

But, based on the previous parts, I think I've got something.

More or less.

(Of course, I don't expect you to actually divulge anything).

Bending Unit
« Reply #208 on: 01-14-2008 19:11 »
« Last Edit on: 01-15-2008 00:00 »

km73, you raise two very interesting points. I wouldn't be surprised if the one about the holophoner proves to be right on the money - if you'll forgive the pun.     ;)

And that was a hell of an update! The mystery deepens - what is the bearded man doing?
Is he doing what km73 thinks he's doing? Or is it something else?

Having thought about it myself, I'd say it's either what km73 said, or else
. But that's just my take - so far, our author has managed to consistently keep me surprised, and I have no doubt that will continue.

Welcome back, JN. Did you miss us?    :)

Delivery Boy
« Reply #209 on: 01-15-2008 06:52 »

Wow! Helluva update!
Unfortunately I don't have time to speculate now, but very much food for thought. Probably of the circular kind, considering anything I think might happen should automatically be excluded!  :)

I'm two updates ahead now, we'll see how long that lasts
Ptshhh! Buffers are for the weak!  :p

Space Pope
« Reply #210 on: 01-15-2008 16:37 »
« Last Edit on: 01-15-2008 16:37 »

km73, you raise two very interesting points.

two interesting points? - they were basically the same point!

It's ever so good to read your writing again. Loved MomCorp's reference guide for robots, 'Columbia Pictures University', and the sponsorship of the law enforcement station. Also how you snuck in the reference to Leelu - "Who's Leelu? Your girlfriend?" And the conversation between the mayor and the Professor: hilarious.
But now we have to be curious about the motives of the bald guy as well? Why exactly was he so willing to act as an accomplice? And I wonder about the significance of the pictures.
Well, great work again, naturally. This story is addictive.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #211 on: 01-15-2008 18:18 »

I want an armoured truck.

This story's still great.

Bending Unit
« Reply #212 on: 01-16-2008 13:32 »

THM:  Of course I missed you guys!  And, admittedly,  the ego boost as well ;-)

Corvus:  He lurks!  He lurks!

SW, archonix, km73: Thanks, as usual, for your praise and encouragement.  And the update after this should finally make things clearer, not more confusing.

I've had a chance to revisit  Archonix's website again, and I think the "writing workshop" section is a brilliant idea.  SW got some good comments from "Spy in Manchuria" and this mysterious "kim" person...

kaotik:  Buffers are for procrastinating!

Coldangel:  As you will see, armored trucks are pretty useful...

for I=1:1000,

“Move!Move!Move!Move!Move!—“ screamed Bender.

Instinctively Fry jerked the control stick back, only to find his head slamming against the backrest as the truck lurched forward, charging the police line.

At the same moment, from within the bowels of the NNYPD, someone with a sense of humor commanded one of the automated floating porcupines to fire a small missile, aiming directly at Bender’s butt.  Fry had a fraction of a second to jerk the stick to the left, away from the missile, and then a fraction of a second later to remember that he actually had to jerk the other way, with the result that he perfectly canceled out his first move, and the missile flew into the cab and slammed directly into Bender’s posterior.

There was a sharp “CLANG” and the little missile ricocheted off the dolomite derrière and exited back the way it came.  The momentum of the hit drove Bender’s head through the back wall of the cab, and the momentum of the impact swiveled the truck around its center of mass about 90 degrees.  Fry, head knocking against the side door, inadvertently snapped the stick sharply to the left, encouraging the truck to complete a clean 180 degree turn.  Looking up, Fry could see the second phalanx pull together down the block.  Behind him, the original missile struck the floating porcupine that had launched it, thus demonstrating once again that the universe did not appreciate a sense of humor.  It’s job finished, the law of conservation of linear momentum kicked back and sipped a daiquiri.

“Geez, Bender, you’re sure are a hard ass,” muttered Fry as he wrestled with the stick, hopelessly disoriented as he struggled to center the truck down the road.

“LiuhkUnklarko-“ were the only muffled sounds that Fry heard from Bender’s head, hidden somewhere behind the wall, while his arms and legs flailed inside the cab.  One leg hit the stick again just as another salvo of weaponry hit them from behind.  The truck swayed drunkenly back and forth down the street toward the second police line.

Fry’s inability to drive straight probably saved his life, as swaths of laser beams from the second line sliced through where his head had been a second before.  Fry stabilized the truck, and six laser sights appeared on the cab’s rear wall, sliding toward his head.

Wave after wave of explosives rammed into the rear of the truck with a muffled thud, bouncing Fry in his seat as he saw more guns rise in the second line.  He swung the stick left to reenter the alleyway they had just exited, causing the truck to spin right instead, and lumber directly into a 7^11 store that fortunately had been evacuated just minutes before.

Fry yelled as the truck smashed through the door and hit a standing display of Slurm cans.  The cans exploded, obscuring his vision for a moment, and the truck plowed through every shelving unit in the shop before it came to a halt, just as an entire case of Big Pink gum and firewood dumped into his lap.  For a precious second everything was quiet, and Fry could hear his heart pounding and Bender’s muffled curses from behind the wall.  Then something exploded with a “BANG!” and Fry started—but it was just another can of Slurm bursting.  He took a deep breath, then glanced up at the camera displays. 

All rear displays were out of commission, presumably by weapons fire.  The right mirror still held, though, and through the gaping hole in the store front Fry could see a heavily armored SWAT team run out of the alley next to the bank and out of his field of view.

Flicking his eyes forward, the delivery boy saw a sign posted over a door labeled “Human restroom in alley.”  While his mind was preoccupied, his body, knowing what was coming, fastened his seat belt.  Summoning all his powers of concentration, Fry smoothly but firmly pulled the stick back.  The truck serenely accelerated forward and smashed through the back of the store and into the alley beyond, where he crashed into the far wall of the alley.  The force of the impact dislodged Bender, who fell back against the dashboard with a thud.

“Damn, monkey boy, we drew an ace on this one!”

“Wha?” said Fry, desperately conducting a twenty-point turn to move the truck so that it was facing the alley exit, alternatively slamming the front and rear of the truck against the alley walls as he slowly swiveled around.

“I saw the inside of this truck.  It’s full of money bags!  From the volume there must be—“ Bender strained his underused arithmetic processor “—roughly $2.71828182 billion dollars there.”

Fry quickly tossed a few slabs of wood from his lap out the front window.  “Never thought I’d see a natural log in the city-“ he began, and then what Bender said struck him full force. “Billions of dollars?  In here?”

“Yeah, MomCorp’s payroll all right.  No wonder this is one hell of an armored truck.  That’s an awful lot of money.  I can’t even think about what I can do with all of it.”  And Bender started to tremble.  Fry, who had managed to straighten out the truck, glanced worriedly at his friend as he started to move the truck down the alley.
It was so narrow that he could hear the both sides of the truck scraping the walls.  And there went the right mirror….

In the past fifteen minutes Fry hadn’t even had a chance to ask, much less think, about what Bender had just done in the bank.  He opened his mouth.

“Bender, what’s going on?“

“That memory of mine I showed you in the bank?”


“It’s fake.”

“Fake?  Whaddua mean?”

“Never happened.  It was put there to make sure we would turn you in to the police.  But more important things first.  You gotta do something for me.  I can’t do it myself.”


“Gotta adjust my avarice amplifier.  Gonna need to set it for a higher level for what we’re facing.  Two billion dollars, I don’t know-”

And he pivoted his head away from Fry as a small panel door opened on the back of his head.

Fry could see a few small vehicles dart across the opening of the alley, but risked glancing at the panel.  It was a simple knob, encircled by numbers ranging from ‘0’ to ‘11’.  Currently it was set at ‘4’.

“I need to boost my greed level to handle this amount of cash,” Bender said.  “Raise it up a few counts.”

“Um, OK,” Fry said, reaching out while keeping one eye focused ahead.  Then it hit him.

“You mean all this time I’ve known you—your greed level’s been only set to four?”

“Turn the damn knob,” thundered the bending unit.

Fry complied, just as he felt the vibration of several photon charges hitting the back of the truck.  The SWAT team must be in the alley now.

“Ah, good, we’ve made a good start in cash for this trip,” Bender said.  “I mean, another billion would have been better, and we still need to hijack one of those floating platforms—“

The truck exited the alley, and Fry, having rehearsed this moment several times in his mind, gingerly pushed the stick to the right, while ignoring the mass of police vehicles desperately trying to rearrange themselves on his right.  The truck pivoted smoothly to his left, revealing only a couple of police vehicles ahead, cordoning off the side streets.  That and a police hovercycle now sitting five feet in front of the truck.  URL and Smitty, sitting on the cycle, snapped their heads up.

Smitty jumped out of the sidecar just before the cycle and URL disappeared from Fry’s view, and an instant later something thumped underneath the truck.

“So Bender, that party you showed me, with me giving you money, wasn’t true?”

“Rub my face in it, why don’t you?  That was the best party I never threw.  And there were floozies!  Latest generation processors and all.  I think I’m gonna keep it.  To hell with reality.”

A metallic arm flew over the window sill of Bender’s door, and URL’s head appeared.

“Hey baby, I’m going to go Guantanomo on you!”

“Fly’s open,” Bender said.

“Huh?” URL said, looking down.  “Wait, I don’t even wear pants-“

Fry managed to brush against a lamppost, and URL vanished.

Fry saw an expensive-looking silver hover car pull through the police cordon half a block ahead.  Geysers of asphalt erupted on his sides and in front of him, as from behind the crowd of police cars and the surviving flying platform peppered the street with explosive and photonic charges.

“Wait, so if that wasn’t me giving you a dollar, who was it?”

“It was an implanted memory, you moron.  A simulation.”


“I don’t think you left last year.  I think you were taken, and weren't supposed to come back.”

A particularly large crater rising in front of him briefly gave him a flashback of his last holophoner vision.  A steady hail of projectiles and photons pounded the back of the truck, but the two friends glided smoothly over the gaping potholes in the ground, crashed through the police barrier, and entered the regular busy streets of NNY.  The crowd of police vehicles jammed at the cordon as officers jumped out and started to pull the barriers out of the way.

Fry was beginning to realize that since the tires couldn’t be shot off an armored hover truck, they were going to be very hard to stop-

He stopped.  The traffic light ahead had turned red, and all the lanes ahead were occupied.  Fry sat behind the silver hovercar.  It was a convertible, and the top was down, revealing that the driver had some kind of phone pressed to his ear.

“What the hell are you doing?”  Bender said.

“Red light.”

“Run it, you moron.”

“But that’d be dangerous, and break the law.”

“What did we just do twenty minutes ago?  Hey neat, look what I found under the seat-“

Fry thought for a moment.  They had just robbed a –

“Oh yeah, OK.”

And he pulled the stick back, moving the truck forward, nudging the silver hovercar, crumpling the bumper.  Startled, the driver jumped out, phone still to his ear, jabbering away.

“Call you back.”  As the driver looked down at his phone, pressing buttons, he said, “Hope you have a good lawyer, buddy.”

“Sorry, but get out of the way, or I’ll run you over,” Fry said.

“Who the hell you think you are?  Do you know who I am?  I’m the Mayor’s a-“  and then Chaz looked up and he and Fry’s eyes met.

Chaz looked puzzled for a moment, and then his eyes widened.


He pressed a button on his phone.  “Don’t move.  By the full authority of the mayor’s office, I place you under –“

“Hey buddy! “

Chaz looked over at the robot.


“Get your skinny ass the hell out of our way, or we’ll move it for you.”

Chaz flicked his middle finger at the delivery boy and robot.

“Bend this, buddy.”

Then he haughtily turned his back while pressing the phone back against his head.  Fry risked leaning out of the side window and looked behind him.  A stream of police vehicles was converging rapidly on them, and the remaining flying porcupine-like thing was pulling over them, a large hatchway starting to open on its underside.  That couldn’t be good.

“Excuse me, please.”

It was the second time today that Bender had used the magic word, and somehow Fry knew no good would come of it.  He glanced askance at Bender, and his pulse quickened at the sight of the missile launcher in his friend’s hands.

“Found this under the seat.  Forgot that this is standard police issue—did wonders with the jaywalking problem here a few years ago,” Bender mused.

Chaz scornfully flicked a glance at the two friends, still talking on the phone.  He saw the launcher, and tapped a button on his watch.  A personal force field congealed around the mayor’s aide.

“Go ahead, try,” he sniffed.

Bender waved the launcher in a friendly way, then took aim.

“Who said I was aiming for you?”

The missile struck the silver car, flipping the two ton vehicle into the air like a plastic tiddlywink.  Chaz flew through the air and hit the sidewalk, falling unconscious to the ground.  Fry tried to feel bad, then decided that he would never be nominated for sainthood.  A shadow passed over him and he looked up as the car spun end over end into the air, before being blocked from his view by the cab roof.

A very loud CRUNCH echoed down the street.

“What’s going on?” Fry whimpered.

“Use your top-view mirror.”


“Top view mirror.  You know, rear view, top view, bottom view.”  And Bender leaned over and pressed a button underneath one of the cameras mounted above the windshield.

The image flickered, and then the sight of the flying platform appeared on the viewscreen.

“Huh, it’s getting bigger,” Fry said.

“MOVE, you dumb mammal!” panicked the robot.

Even as his mind was still piecing together what was happening, Fry’s arms jammed the stick forward and the truck leapt backwards as fast as a triple reinforced Harley Fargo truck could.  A moment later the pavement in front of him was filled with the fiery wreckage of the flying platform, now mingled with the silver hovercar.  Fortunately, the light had changed and the other vehicles had run forward out of harm’s way.  Chaz, lying on the sidewalk, seemed to have one shoe on fire, but was in one piece, thanks to his force field.

The truck was accelerating backwards so quickly that when the bomb in the wreck finally exploded, the shrapnel seemed to waft toward them in slow motion.  Several police hovercars, that moments before had been in hot pursuit, swerved desperately out of the path of the hovertruck and the fiery streaks of molten metal.  Vehicle after vehicle crashed into storefronts and apartments as the truck zoomed backwards in a straight line.

The debris was finally catching up with the truck, and out of the corner of his eye Fry could see an intersection to his left.  Without thinking he veered the stick toward the left, and in a blink the truck had pivoted left and continued backwards down the street, exactly as he had wished.  Part of him admired the beauty of the flaming streaks crashing in front of him, but then he saw another police hovercycle turn the corner, and bear down on them.

Horns blared, and flame e-mails were transmitted as all manner of taxis, private vehicles and pedestrians dodged out of the way of the backwards truck.  Just as additional flashing lights appeared around the corner in pursuit, Fry jerked the stick right and the truck turned right so fast that one side lifted four feet off the ground before the internal gyros listening to gravity’s advice again.

“Heh, heh, heh.  Ya know, it’s good to finally be a plain old bad guy for once, and not have to come up with this endearing anti-hero angst crap,” mused the robot.  “By the way, turn around.”

“No time,” Fry replied, “and it’s easier for me to drive like this.  Left is left, and right is –um--”

“Right.  How can you see where you’re going?”

There was a sickening thud and the wreckage of a cart containing black market human organs plopped down around and on the truck cab.  Fry was thankful the roof was still intact.  Something that looked like a pancreas hit the driver of the police hovercycle, and he swerved and crashed.

“I can’t!  The mirrors are gone!” 

“Abandon ship!” Bender hollered, and opened the door.  But as he leaned out he peered to his right looking up the street and cried, “Right, Fry!  No, other right-“

Fry managed to finally adjust the stick the correct way as a dump truck flashed by, Sal shaking his fist, shouting, “Gets glasses, youse idiot!”

Bender detached his head and extended his arms, lifting his head to peer over the truck.

“Where … going?”  Fry heard Bender’s voice faintly from above.

“I don’t know!  Just get us away from the bank!”  Fry shouted as loud as he could.

“Turn … way!”  And Bender’s other arm pointed left, nearly punching Fry in the face.

Left, left, right, left, right, right, right, left—the truck wound it’s way through the streets of NNY, scattering trash receptacles, uprooting suicide booths, forcing people, aliens, and robots alike to leap for safety in the nearest doorway, and in one case, the sewer.

“What’do we do?”  Fry asked, starting to panic now that he had a moment or two to think.  Ever since he had produced the holophoner vision nearly twelve hours ago, all he had really planned to do was to run for his life, and to withdraw some money.  So now what?  And where to go?  He didn’t know how to get to any spaceport from there, and if he did, what would they do once they got there?

“Keep … oving,” Fry heard faintly.  “Don’t talk … anyone … til … planet.”

“Moving? Why?”

“Memory … ..anted.  … took  …way … want …gain.”

And what about Bender’s memory? Fry thought.  Somehow he felt he was on the cusp of something.  And Fry took another wild turn and saw the familiar entrance sign of the Cyrogenic lab pass by.

He walked down the street in a random direction that he knew could not be random…

Two nights ago Fry had walked slowly down the route he was now taking, confused, unnoticed, and alone, as a thunderstorm washed out the evening sunset.  Now it was a beautiful summer morning, the air fresh from the recent rain, and he was no longer alone, if $2.7 billion dollars and a kleptomaniac robot could be called companionship.  But now he was more confused than ever, and unfortunately he was very noticeable now.

But just like two days ago, he suddenly knew there was only one place he could go to, if he were to have any chance at all.  It was playing into the hands of whatever was after him, but he was out of options. He wrenched the truck around corners that he knew would lead him back to the one place where someone cared (used to care?) about him.  Up ahead (behind?) him he could see the flashing lights of police vehicles reflected off the second and third-story apartment windows.  They were close.  He didn’t dare try to stop and turn the truck around, but he actually seemed to be driving much better backwards, and all the other cars on the road seemed to have safety avoidance systems that allowed the truck to said down the street without even having to wind back and forth.

The truck now wound along the Hudson River, but something that sounded like a scream came from Bender’s head, so Fry swerved back inland again.  His timing was a little off, and he ended up smashing through a link fence surrounding an unused industrial lot.  Funny how chain link fencing had never changed over a thousand years.

The buildings were getting more familiar, like he was strolling through the memories of his recent past.  There went O’Zorganax, here went
his first apartment, there was the Robot Arms—

A faint chorus of screams reached his ears, and a moment later he felt a bump.  A rain of umbrellas, chairs, and coffee cups crashed around him and to his left he saw a small crowd huddled against a bistro entrance.  His heart gave a little lurch, as he realized he had just run over the spot were he had first told Leela he loved her.

And there it was.  Planet Express.  Just passed it.  Way passed it. 
It was over a block away now, and rather than stop and have to think about the controls again, Fry turned left and began to circle around the block.  Even over the air blast through the windows he could start to make out the sound of sirens growing louder.

He made the final turn and slammed the stick as far to the right as he could.  Like a hippopotamus gracefully pirouetting on ice skates, the truck spun around, the left side lifting slightly off the ground again.  Once the blur of the outside world resolved, Fry could see Planet Express again, now coming toward him.

“Thanks for the warning,” Bender snapped, literally, as he snapped his head back into place on his body.  “I almost let go of my –WATCHIT!”

Fry, distracted by Bender, looked back at Planet Express.  He was now driving on the sidewalk, and directly in front of them sat a very familiar dumpster.  As he realized he was going to hit it, a familiar face poked up over the dumpster rim.  True to his word, Dr. Zoidberg had been guarding the dumpster, waiting for his companions.

Since Fry was wearing a seat belt, the impact against the dumpster didn’t throw his body over the hood, unlike, say Bender, who was pitched headfirst into the dumpster.  Zoidberg, meanwhile, was launched past Bender and somersaulted into the cab.  The law of linear momentum frowned, huddled with Newton’s first law, then shrugged.

“My good friend Fry!  I have been guarding the dumpster very well for you!  And you’ll never guess what I found in it!  Oh look, here it comes now!”

The Decapodian affectionately slapped Fry on the shoulder while pointing with his claw out the window.  The force of the slap drove Fry’s face into the mess that had once been the dashboard, and he lost control of the truck.  It was probably a good thing his head was down, though, because at that moment thirty pounds of used alien baby diapers flew into the cab and smacked against the rear wall.

The heavy truck had only been slowed slightly by the half-full dumpster, but the dumpster was still pressed against the truck, throwing a shower of sparks as truck and dumpster careened back and forth across the street, the dumpster valiantly resisting like an outclassed sumo wrestler.  Bender poked his head out of the dumpster just as one corner of the dumpster caught an edge of the curb.  The truck lifted the dumpster off the ground and threw it forward, giving Bender barely enough time to leap back into the cab.

The dumpster tumbled forward, an awkward square log, until it crashed against the front of the Cygnoid pizza joint, piling the rest of its trash right on its doorstep.  The Cygnoids rushed out, dancing joyfully at the sight of their windfall of new ingredients, and cheerfully waved their antennae at the departing truck.

Fry lifted his head up.  The hood had collected quite a collection since the collision, and in order to see Fry reached forward and swept away pieces of dashboard, windshield glass, Big Pink, Slurm cans, what looked like a human spleen, and a venti latte.  He felt something wet and slimy trickling off the rear wall and down into his pants, but at the moment he couldn’t care less, because now he saw that the truck was barreling directly toward Planet Express.

He yanked the control stick hard to the right, and the suddenness of the move, along with the speed of the vehicle, threw the left side of the vehicle up in the air.  The internal gyroscopes, damaged by the collision with the dumpster, gave way, and the world tilted at a crazy angle, as the hovertruck balanced precariously on its right side.

From his point of view, Fry could see the new doors of Planet Express grow larger and larger, tilted at a 45 degree angle.  The truck was only a hundred yards away from the entrance, and even over the screams of Zoidberg and Bender, Fry’s ear picked out a new noise, a high-pitched alarm.

Zoidberg, shrieking, grabbed both Bender and Fry in tight bear hugs, a move which caused Fry to yank back on the stick.  The truck accelerated even faster toward Planet Express, just as Fry caught the first reflection of a police siren off the front door.

Suffocating in Zoidberg’s embrace, Fry flicked the control stick rapidly back and forth to try to keep the truck balanced, but it was a doomed effort, and the truck fell over onto its right side.  The added friction finally acted as a brake, but they were only twenty feet away from the entrance, and Fry braced himself for the impact.

His mind was past shock and fear, and watched the unfolding events with a detached curiosity.  What was that alarm?  Oh yeah, the “Fry detector” Hermes had installed.  It must have gone off when the truck has penetrated the 100 foot tripwire surrounding the building.  Well, he was about to be detected in a big way, wasn’t he?

The new entry doors were now so close that Fry would make out the individual letters of “Planet Express” etched in cursive into the glass. 

It was really too bad about the doors, Fry reflected.  He had actually liked them.


I don't want to throw people off about Lars (much), so a little comment:


Bending Unit
« Reply #213 on: 01-16-2008 14:48 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Corvus:  He lurks!  He lurks!

Wha?  :confused:

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #214 on: 01-16-2008 18:14 »

“Geez, Bender, you’re sure are a hard ass,”


Action and adventure. Love it.

Bending Unit
« Reply #215 on: 01-16-2008 21:19 »

Originally posted by Corvus:
 Wha?   :confused:

Sorry, corvus, was just trying to make a joke.  didn't see any posts from you recently, so wasn't sure if you were still around.  :sleep:   :D

Space Pope
« Reply #216 on: 01-16-2008 22:02 »

Yeah, that mysterious Kim person gets around.

This has suddenly become hilarious. Almost bordering on farcical, in some parts of this section. Great use of description. Quite the mayhem they cause; that destructive rampage might take a lot of that stolen money to pay for.

"But that'd be dangerous, and break the law."

Delivery Boy
« Reply #217 on: 01-17-2008 01:15 »

Ha! Great update. Eat away at that buffer!  :p

My favouries:
“You mean all this time I’ve known you—your greed level’s been only set to four?”
To hell with reality.
...his pulse quickened at the sight of the missile launcher in his friend’s hands.
“Found this under the seat. Forgot that this is standard police issue—did wonders with the jaywalking problem here a few years ago,” Bender mused.
he was no longer alone, if $2.7 billion dollars and a kleptomaniac robot could be called companionship.
I'd call the money companionship!  :laff:

Bending Unit
« Reply #218 on: 01-17-2008 12:54 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
 Sorry, corvus, was just trying to make a joke.  didn't see any posts from you recently, so wasn't sure if you were still around.   :sleep:    :D

Ah.. sorry. I'm a bit dense..  :rolleyes:

I must shamefully admit that I've stopped reading your story since I last posted here.. (sometime last year I believe).

There are several reasons for that, which I won't post here since I'm in no position criticizing other peoples writing considering the repugnant crap that I "write" myself.

Space Pope
« Reply #219 on: 01-17-2008 13:07 »

Oi, stop beating yourself up, it's not funny anymore.

Bending Unit
« Reply #220 on: 01-17-2008 17:04 »

Hey! Another update! And we get closer and closer to where we began...and I can see why Leela would want to turn bounty hunter and go after the Gruesome Twosome; Fry walks out on her kid (she thinks), breaks into her apartment and rifles through her stuff, and then backs a truck of stolen cash into her place of work, totalling it. Hell, she could be forgiven for thinking that the 'or alive' part of the creed is optional.  :)

Originally posted by JustNibblin':

Oh, I see;
. It was nice of him to make a cameo, and such a helpful one, too. I take it that the wallet is going to be something Fry will need after all of this.  :)

JN, another great part of a great story.

And Corvus, I liked 'Red Letter Day'; there aren't that many stories out there that deal with Fry and Leela's potential kids, and fewer still that are any good. You should give it another try.  :)


Bending Unit
« Reply #221 on: 01-20-2008 09:28 »

Originally posted by Archonix:
Oi, stop beating yourself up, it's not funny anymore.

I didn't mean to be funny... did I offend you in any way? If so, I'm deeply sorry.

Originally posted by THM:
And Corvus, I liked 'Red Letter Day'; there aren't that many stories out there that deal with Fry and Leela's potential kids, and fewer still that are any good. You should give it another try.   :)

Ah yes.. A Red Letter Day. I'm not sure what to make of it right now. As things are, I'm finishing Somewhere I Belong now and I have no intention of writing anymore fan fics after that. Then again, I don't like to leave things half finished so if I come up with a "proper" plot for A Red Letter Day that I want to write then I might finish it.

However, if I do finish A Red Letter Day I will do that as writing exercise for myself, I won't post it anywhere.

Bending Unit
« Reply #222 on: 01-20-2008 15:18 »

Originally posted by Corvus:
 Ah yes.. A Red Letter Day. I'm not sure what to make of it right now.
However, if I do finish A Red Letter Day I will do that as writing exercise for myself, I won't post it anywhere.


Be a shame if you didn't post it, but if that's your decision, I'll respect it. I look forward to reading the completed versions of the other stories you mentioned, though.  :)

Urban Legend
« Reply #223 on: 01-21-2008 21:00 »

hey, justNibblin'  Sorry that it's been months since I posted on this thread.  I sorta forgot about the whole fanfiction thing for awhile.  Seems I became addicted to a terrible substance called 'real life'.  Luckily a fresh infusion of Futurama has cured me, for the moment anyway, and so I read both of your fanfics over the course of the last couple of days.  All I can say is... HOLY SHIT!  Both of the stories are fantastic.  I wasn't so sure about the second one for awhile, but I happened to read that line where you told everyone to just hang in there for a few updates, and I am seriously glad that I did.  I'm fairly certain that I have a glimmer of what's really going on, but the suspense is killing me.

*drops everything and leaves for annoying fire drill, freezes ass off outside for 30 minutes, returns*

Anywho... Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Great work so far.  I hope the next update isn't too far off.  Oh, and thank you for the (I think?) reference to me a few pages back right after you mention the 'constellation of the ship'. 

Bending Unit
« Reply #224 on: 01-27-2008 11:48 »

Originally posted by THM:

Be a shame if you didn't post it, but if that's your decision, I'll respect it.

I don't work well with an audience in mind.. and people get mad at me when I point out that my stories aren't that good.  :cry: Hence the reason I want to go back and write purely for myself.

Originally posted by THM:
I look forward to reading the completed versions of the other stories you mentioned, though.   :)

Ehh.. wha? What "other stories"?   :confused: I have only one ongoing story right now and it's this one.
I have written (and completed) other stories  but I've pulled them from PEEL since they were... less than good.  :rolleyes:

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #225 on: 01-29-2008 17:56 »

Too long between updates! Post before I shoot you with Chekhov's gun again!


Space Pope
« Reply #226 on: 01-29-2008 18:19 »

Well, if you do that, then there won't be any more updates...  :hmpf:

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #227 on: 01-29-2008 18:21 »

Nah, it worked the last time.  ;)

Bending Unit
« Reply #228 on: 02-05-2008 01:46 »

Originally posted by Xanfor:
Nah, it worked the last time.   ;)

And it'll work again too, demonstrating how effective violence is in getting things done.

Originally posted by SolyentOrange:
Oh, and thank you for the (I think?) reference to me a few pages back right after you mention the 'constellation of the ship'.

If you mean 'the solyentOrange wasn't too bad either', you got it!  As I've said elsewhere, I loved Talora, The Leelazarus Effect, and your short "Christmas Special," and am delighted you are writing again.

Corvus:  Sorry you're not reading anymore, but I would bet money I know at which post you stopped reading   ;)  And I hope you get your self-confidence back enough to continue your story.

THM, km73, kaotik, coldangel:  Thanks for the  encouragement, again.  I'm sorry I'm not posting quite yet--I've just asked a couple of people to 'beta' the next two updates, and I'm hoping to post Wed/Thurs, before I leave on a week trip to Baja California, with no internet access.  But thanks once again for sticking with this!

Bending Unit
« Reply #229 on: 02-05-2008 11:31 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Corvus:  Sorry you're not reading anymore, but I would bet money I know at which post you stopped reading

I stopped reading after your 11-02-07 post. If you want to know why just give me a nudge and I'll email you.. don't want to post my opinions on PEEL no more.. last time I did that things got a bit ugly.

Originally posted by JustNibblin':   And I hope you get your self-confidence back enough to continue your story.

If you refer to Somewhere I Belong.. it's finished. I'm just waiting for my Beta reader to tear the final chapters to shreds..  :p

As for A Red Letter Day I'm still undecided what I want to do with it.

Bending Unit
« Reply #230 on: 02-11-2008 14:19 »
« Last Edit on: 02-11-2008 14:19 by JustNibblin´ »

Thanks, Archonix and SolyentOrange, for betaing this section...

Fry, Bender, Zoidberg, the sideways hovertruck, 2.7 billion
Nixonbucks, the assorted contents of a convenience store, a pile of
human organs, the fixings from a fancy coffee shop, and the
contents of a dumpster burst through the main entrance of Planet
Express.  A wave of glass, plaster, and other debris surged through
the entrance hallway and into the main hangar, upsetting the
conference table and utterly ruining the zebra-striped lizard skin
covers on the chairs.  The truck slid completely into the building,
before finally coming to a rest.  A steady rain of Big Pink, exploding
Slurm cans, windshield glass, and Nixonbucks pelted everything
inside the main hangar, while a lopsided sign reading


reset back to zero again.  A flock of disturbed owls flitted
throughout the great open space of the hangar.

Groaning, Fry unbuckled his seat belt and landed on top of
Zoidberg, who in turn was already lying on top of Bender.  Fry had a
moment to be grateful that the truck had tipped over onto its right
side, and not onto its left, before the startled Decopodian squirted
ink all over his jacket.

Bender gave a mighty shove, and Fry and Zoidberg tumbled through
where the windshield had been, falling to their hands, feet, and
claws amidst a mash of circuit boards, broken glass, and sugar
packets.  Eyes closed against the fine dust swirling around, Fry
moved his hand forward and felt something wet and squishy,
embedded with chunks of broken glass.  Against his better
judgment, he opened his eyes to learn that he was massaging a
human stomach.

 "May I have that?" warbled Zoidberg cheerfully, eyes riveted on the

"Hold on.  I may need another one before this is through," Fry
moaned, clutching his own stomach and trying to focus all his
concentration on preventing himself from hurling onto the floor. 
Fortunately, his own stomach was empty, since he had eaten
nothing other than his Bachelor Chow from last night. 
Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for the other stomach,
since its contents had just oozed over Fry's hand, creating a smell
that caused Zoidberg to urdulate in pleasure.

"Great sugarcane in a hurricane-"

Still a bit dizzy from the crash, Fry lifted his head and managed to
focus his eyes on Hermes, who was peeking from behind an
overturned chair, the lizard skin covering his head.  Out of the side
of his eye he caught a motion, and turning, he saw Amy gingerly
duck out of the restroom, shoving the door open against a pile of

Seeing these familiar faces, despite the expressions on them,
brought a flood of relief to his mind, and suddenly he was
exhausted.  He wanted nothing more than to rest his head on this
floor.  Using his left arm to clear away some Slurm-soaked circuit
boards, he lay his head down onto the ground, closing his eyes for
a moment, enjoying the solidity in a way that only pilots and
soldiers could appreciate.  He knew the police were coming, but he
wanted only a moment….

Tap, tap, tap…

He didn't want to, but the sound left no choice—it was too close to
his head.  Raising his eyes up, he saw a gray boot tapping the floor
three feet in front of his face.

"This is going to be good, isn't it?"

Sitting up, he looked higher.  Black pants, white T-shirt, purple hair,
tight-pursed lips, hands on hips – well, he had been hoping for this,
hadn't he?  So why did he feel like two stomachs were now lying on
the floor?

Her hand was poised over her wrist thingy.

"I was pretty sure you got my message a couple of days ago.  So
let's call the police now, before you start on the excuses, OK?"

The words were barely out of her mouth when a chorus of sirens
drifted from the newly widened entrance of Planet Express.  Risking
a peek over his shoulder, Fry could only see a sea of flashing lights
dashing to a halt in front of the street.   Robots, humans, and aliens
were already bursting out of the police hovercars, even before they
had fully stopped.  He even saw a firetruck and ambulance pull up. 
Before his hopes had a chance to rise at the sight of the ambulance,
he saw the hearse arrive. 

Leela frowned down at her wrist.

"Funny, I don't remember ordering the precognitive call feature—"

eenSomethingBySomethingTodayH ermesMyFriendWellPleaseExcuse
MeForAMomentWhileIPressThisBu ttonOverHere-",

Fry had never seen Bender move so fast, as his friend dashed by
Leela and headed directly toward the gaping hole that used to be
the Planet Express Entrance.  Actually, toward a wall panel that had
miraculously missed being taken out by just a few inches.  Bender
slapped a big red button on the panel.

Suddenly the dolomite-reinforced exterior walls slid sideways,
sealing the entrance, just as the first officers were converging on
the entrance, guns drawn.

The air was filled with low rumbling and slamming sounds, and the
sunlight streaming through the windows throughout the hangar
was suddenly cut off, plunging the entire interior into a pale gloom. 
Fry blinked his eyes, then understood.  Bender had activated the
Professor's Xmas defenses.  The Planet Express building was now a
fortress.  They had a little time.  But to do what?

The interior floodlights in the hangar burst on, casting everything
into a harsh light.  Leela's eye flicked away from the overhead
windows back down to Fry, then over to Bender, who was now
languidly pimp-walking back to the truck.

"Bender, care to explain what's-"

"Sorry, can't chit-chat.  Got three minutes to stuff away a couple
billion bucks.  Hammerspace, don't fail me now—"

And the robot launched himself into the truck cab, expanding the
hole in the back of the cab, seizing armloads of cash, and
cramming it into his chest as fast as the servos on his arms could

All this had happened so quickly that all the carbon-based life
forms in the room had remained frozen in place.  Now Zoidberg
turned back to fishing for organs on the ground, while Hermes,
Amy, and Leela turned toward the red-haired delivery boy, still
crouching on the floor in front of Leela.

"Um, funny story," Fry began, before he felt a hand grab his jacket
and lift him off the floor.

"What in the HELL are you doing here?"  the cyclops growled.  And
then her nose wrinkled.  "And what's that smell?"

Good question, Fry thought.  Over the past two days he had slept in
a dumpster, cleaned a Cygnoid pizza oven, kissed a dirty bank
floor, and had been splattered by Slurm, human guts, off-world
baby poop, and Zoidberg's ink.  It was all kind of blending together
into a generic "Warning! Do Not Touch!" miasma.  He futilely tried
to wipe off the ink, while speaking quickly.

"Somebody's after me."

"Yeah, I figured that out."

"Good.  I mean, not the police—well, they're after me too now, I


"Leela, I didn't run away.  I didn't get my memory wiped. 
Something or somebody took me."  A new thought fought its way
through his tangled feelings.  "They might have even wiped my
memory when I didn't want them too."

Leela seemed less than impressed. "Took you."

"Yeah. So you see, I didn't abandon you or the baby."


Fry glanced sideways toward Amy's voice.  The young Asian woman
was staring at him like he had just swallowed an owl.

"Yeah.  Little-little- Eureka!"

"You've got it?"

"Yeah!  Eureka.  The little baby Leela had from our relationship that
she wanted to keep secret—uh--crap."

He didn't want to look over at Leela, preferring instead to watch
Amy's and Hermes's eyes open wider and wider until he half-
expected them to join the other eyeballs he thought he had seen
scattered on the floor…

"Guys, I don't think Fry is feeling well, " Leela said, voice as calm
and steady as if organizing a routine delivery.  "Let me talk to him
alone for a moment.  Hermes, can you get the Xmas doors back
open for us?"

The bureaucrat scratched his chin.

"Problem is, dere's a retinal scanner under dat button.  I think we're
gonna need the Professor."

"Fine, can you go find him them?"

"Um, actually, Hermes," Fry began-

"Hermes."  It was a simple statement, but there was a quaver in the
way Leela pronounced the name that impelled Fry to look back at
her.  She seemed calm, but then he looked down at her hands. 
They were balled into fists, and were quivering slightly.

"Sure, Leela.  I'll get 'im.  Come on, Amy.  I'll head on up to the lab. 
You search the Angry Dome.  He was pretty upset abou' that cable
bill the other day-"

The intern started to follow the Jamaican, but Fry had time to notice
Amy dawdling at the door, just before his captain spun him around.

"So you've decided to come clean after all.  Just spill it all out in
front of everyone."

"I'm sorry, Leela, but please, you gotta believe me.  Something isn't
right.  I didn't leave on my own."

Her eye bored into him, lid narrowed.  It was almost as if an F-ray
were scanning him.

"I see.  You were kidnapped.  Sure.  And why didn't you happen to
mention this last time?"

"Well, Bender just figured it all out."

"Bender? When?"

"Just before we robbed the bank this morning."

"How convenient for him then, huh?  Don't you remember the time
when he told you that you could fly, right around the time that off-
world medical school was offering $10,000 each for Earthican

"Yeah, good times, good times.  Thank god for Thompson's Teeth
and Bone glue.  But look, we don't have a lot of time here—"

Even now he could hear some faint pounding on the thick doors
sealing the hole of the front entrance, and some official-sounding
voice being projected over the street outside.

"But wait, wait, Fry," she said silkily, grinning tautly.  "I want to hear
more.  Who wants you?  Why this complicated scheme to abduct you
during--what must you admit--must have been a very convenient
time for you?"  The sarcasm in her voice was as thick as those
diaper contents still oozing down his underpants.

"I don't know who, and I don't know why," he replied simply.  "Wait,
I have a feeling-"  he rummaged around in his coat.  There was the
spare can of Bachelor Chow, but—how could he have trouble
finding it?—ah yes, the interior pocket.

The case was long gone, left behind on the floor of Leela's
apartment, so it was a little scratched, maybe even a little dented. 
But considering what it had gone through, Fry thought the
holophoner still looked lovely as it lay in his hands, gleaming in the
harsh light of the overhead lamps.

Smiling softly, he looked up toward Leela's face, then started. 
Maybe it was the white glare of the lights, but her face seemed to
have gone pale, almost white, which made her lipstick seem
positively florescent.

"The holophoner.   That's your holophoner."

"Well, yeah," Fry said.

"How'd you get that?"

"Um, don't you remember?  It was in your closet.  Last night."

And then something happened that Fry had not seen since Leela
had first admitted sleeping with Zapp.  She blushed.  Deeply,
suddenly, and vividly.


No answer.


The coffee cup smashed onto the floor.

"Damn, sorry.  Don't know why I'm so fidgety."

She turned away from the closet door.  He was nervous too.  She
could tell from the voice.  And suddenly, she felt much calmer.  He
was nervous too.  That was kind of sweet.

She walked out into the living room and into the kitchen, where he
was clumsily trying to mop up the coffee with his tie.  Chivalry
wasn't dead after all.  A faint memory of a young man standing in a
puddle on a street corner elbowed her way into her mind, and she
shoved it right back.  No more of that.

"That's OK.  There's plenty more cups."

He looked around her kitchen.  For the first time, she noticed how
sterile and rather depressing the whole room was.

 "Do you have a broom?", he asked.

Smirking, she pulled her laser gun out of her dress's hidden pocket. 
Hidden pockets for weapons kept going in and out of style. 
Fortunately, pacifism was in this year, at least according to Amy, so
she had gotten the dress during a fire sale.  Literally.

"Better.  A laser gun."

Shooting things was very relaxing, but as the vapors of what had
once been her souvenir mug from her days as Beck's groupie (don't
think of it), her startled date (he was a date, she could call him that,
right?) leapt back a few feet.  Even as she worked to suppress her
fear that she had weirded him out, she noticed and admired the
combat stance he had automatically tensed into.  Strange and
mysterious past indeed.  Violent too, from the likes of it.  A hunger
she had not felt in a long time squirmed in her stomach, and she
realized she was grinning lopsidedly at him. 

What was she supposed to be doing?

"So that's why you don't have a dustpan," he whispered, smiling.

And suddenly the tension and her fear of rejection were broken,
and she knew that everything was fine, and was going to be just

"I live very frugally," she whispered back.  "Except for clothes. 
Certain kinds of clothes. For special occasions.  Let me show you. 
I'll be right back."

And now she was back in front of her closet, sliding back the
mirrored door, staring at her reflection, at her eye, as she had had
all her life.  At times she hated how she looked, despite all the
mantras she had repeated to herself from the holohelp downloads
in college.  But now—now she actually admired how well her hair
matched her dress.

And the door was sliding open, and her hand was brushing along
the tops of her outfits.  She felt like she was cataloging her past,
with each dress a memory.

She frowned.  Something was not right.  Something was missing, or
out of place.  But as she stole a look in the closet, everything
seemed to be in order, dresses organized as usual.  She stared hard
at one of her favorite purple dresses.  For a moment she thought it
was to the right of that threadbare, tacky green dress that she could
never bring herself to donate.  But no, everything was fine, in place. 
A little disquieted, she ran her hand across the dresses again, and
then the top of the shelf.  All the knickknacks were there, including
that damn holophoner.  Speaking of things to donate—it was high
time she got rid of that.  In fact, she would do it tomorrow.

Plucking the negligee from the closet, she closed the door and
changed, yellow dress a pile on the floor.  Wow, it was cold in here
after all.  She stared at herself in the mirror, rubbing her left calf
with the opposite foot.

Awkward memories with this outfit, but somehow it didn't seem to
matter anymore.  She had paid for her misjudgments.  She could let
go of the past.  Shyly, she opened the door of her bedroom.

She didn't have to worry.  He was struck dumb.  He was delighted,
and she was delighted in turn.  Funny, smart, a gentlemen, yet
bearing a shady past, financially secure, and yes, good-looking—
could he be the one?  Did she really care right now?

Apparently not, since they were now lying on her bed, her feet were
tingling, her nerves beyond ticklish, and her soul on fire, her
hunger devouring her thought.   Is this just lust?  No, the burn was
deeper.  She felt like she had finally reached the end of a long
winter journey, and was now bundled up in front of a fireplace.  And
then she allowed herself to stop thinking and just enjoy the delicacy
of his touch.  She couldn't really resolve specific details after that,
but she remembered looking over at the stand next to her (their?)
bed, and staring at the picture of them dancing together. And
somehow she suddenly felt that some day they would not be two
but one, forever.  A tear ran down her face.  A tear of joy.  Her years
of suffering in the orphanarium, the hollowness of her working
years, the hell of her mistakes at Planet Express, all melted away. 
She was happy.  Her journey alone through life was over.

But why did she keep thinking she heard a faint giggling?


"You were there.  Last night."

"Of course I was there," said Fry.  "I broke in there to get the
holophoner, because I think something wants it-"

"In my closet."

"Yeah, your closet.  And I got trapped when you brought Gary in,
and then-"

He trailed off, astonished.  Leela had, if anything, gotten even
redder in the face, and she looked away for a moment, both of
them struck dumb.  From above they could hear the faint hum of
hovercars as the police floated above the building, probing for
potential entry points.

"You watched us.  I remember hearing you laughing."


Fry risked looking around.  Bender was still rooting inside the cab,
and he could see Amy by the conference table, twenty feet away,
staring at Leela with the same puzzled look Fry knew he must have
on his face.  Looking back at Leela, he saw her staring at him again. 
Except for a faint flush in her cheeks, her face had completely
drained of color again.  And then, a small tear formed at the base of
her eye and ran down her face.

"I—I never thought you'd do something like that.  I thought you
were weak, lazy, and a slob, but basically decent.  A friend.  Once."

And then she was red again in the face.   But it wasn't from
embarrassment, Fry realized.  In fact, he had never seen her face
like that before.  He tightened his grip on the holophoner,

"That was one of the sweetest memories I ever had, and now all I
want to do is forget it.  I want to forget you.  I want you gone.   For
good.  I want you to rot away in jail."

"No way," Fry said, confused.  "They'll get me for sure then."  The
look on Leela's face scared the hell out of him, but it was time to be
a man.  He had to stand up to her, explain what was going on.

"Fry?" Amy said.  "What do you think you're doing, hiding behind

Fry looked up from his crouch behind Amy, next to the table.

"Um, wanted to have a clear view of things".  He fought to keep his
voice from squeaking.  "Help me, Amy.  I don't know what's going
on."  He touched her on the elbow, but she flinched away.

"Hold him, Amy."

"What in the shi-ganga is going on here?"

"You know last night how Gary was coming over?"

"Yeah, how'd that go?"

"Ask Fry.  He spent the whole night watching from my closet."

Amy swiveled around and stared at Fry, mouth open.


"I didn't do anything like that," squeaked Fry.  "I mean it was close,
but I was really, really glad it didn't happen-"

"But you have my holophoner.  See it there in his hands, Amy? I got
that from Zoidberg months ago, and kept it hidden in my closet.  I
didn't tell anyone.  Funny, I was just about to get rid of it.  "

Amy looked Fry up and down, as if trying to spot horns on his head.

"What's this about a baby?" Amy asked.

Leela was now standing a few feet away, facing Amy, breathing
heavily.  "Doesn't matter.  Please help me or move out of the way."

Fry peeked over Amy's shoulder.  "No Amy, she's not making sense. 
I didn't watch, Gary left-"

"What this about a baby?" Amy persisted.

A vein above Leela's eye throbbed, and she looked like she was
contemplating just tossing Amy aside.  Then she took a breath.

"You know Fry and I had a relationship.  He told you, before you
kissed him."

Now Amy was red, along with Leela.  The Asian intern nodded

"Kissed?"  Fry said.  "When did I kiss Amy?  I mean other than all of
times on Mercury, in the closet over there, in the Alpha—um, I'm
gonna be quiet now."  He looked around.  The nearest hiding place
was gonna be the truck again.  That or under the table.

The women didn't even seem to notice Fry.  They were staring
directly at each other.

"Fry got me pregnant.  When I told him the baby was going to be—
mutated, he ran off.  After kissing you."

"No," Amy whimpered.  "I mean, you had hinted that Fry had left
you in a hard place, but I never thought—".

The two women stared at each other, as if having a staring contest. 
Then Amy burst into tears.

"Oh, Leela, I'm so ashamed I kissed Fry last year.  I don't like to
think about it.  I'm so sorry for that, and everything I said about
your eye."  She struggled with herself for a moment, then said, "I'm
just so jealous of you sometimes.  Except for your fashion sense. 
There, I said it."  She struggled to smile.

Caught off guard, Leela's expression relaxed, and she even smiled
back a little shyly.

"It's OK, Amy.  I mean, it did hurt, it hurt for a long time.  But I
don't hold it against you."

"Of course it hurt.  But I'm happy, really happy, that you've got Gary
now.  I mean, other than-" she jerked her head back toward Fry "-
it's sounds like it worked out OK last night?"

Leela shifted her eye from Amy to Fry, then back to Amy, then

"Last night was one of the most magical nights of my life.  I learned
I love him.  He's a gentlemen, well-off, hasn't stabbed me in the
back, and he has this troubled past—"

"Ohhhh, he's hinted that to me too," Amy said.  "Sounds so
romantically tragic-"

"-and very mysterious," finished Leela.

Both women sighed in unison, stared at each other, silently for a
moment, then burst out giggling.  Then, impulsively, Amy stepped
forward and gave Leela a warm hug, leaving Fry standing,
nonplussed, a few feet away.

"I'm mysterious," muttered Fry darkly, a lump forming in his throat. 
"Well, OK, maybe not.  But my past is kinda sad too.  I miss my dog
and stuff…" The two women didn't notice him, and Fry could see
Leela had her eye closed, smiling gently.  He stared down at the
floor, eyes swimming, half-expecting to see his own heart lying on
the floor, along with the others being rooted out by Zoidberg.

Hel-lo? Fry's brain said.  Her eye is closed?  No one's watching you?
Shouldn't you be running for your life?

Fry grunted, then sidled gently away from the pair, picking his way
cautiously through the trash, toward the truck.  As he ducked back
through where the front windshield used to be, he cringed when he
heard a loud and jovial "Hello!  My good friend Fry!" 

Zoidberg leaned against the hood of the truck.  "Why are you going
in there?"

Zoidberg.  He always kept forgetting Zoidberg, Fry thought, as he
hurried inside, trying to keep the holophoner from banging on the
windshield frame.

Isolated bills were fluttering inside the cab, and the hole into the
back of the truck was now Bender-sized.  The bending unit was
clearly visible inside the cab, frantically trying to cram fistfuls of
dollars into his chest.  He was starting to have trouble keeping his
chest plate from bulging out.

"Bender!" hissed the delivery boy.  "Bender, we gotta get outta here! 
Hurry up."

"I'm workin' at it! How about you grab a plunger and let's see how
long it takes to cram a billion bucks up your ass," replied Bender,

"Leela says she doesn't remember last night.  She just remembers
me spying on her and this jerk Gary."

"Don't care."

"She's trying to get me and let the police in."

"She can't.  Only the Professor can unlock that particular door.  Why
do you think I store my special contraband in here?"

"Oh yeah, I forgot.  Hermes is gettin' the Professor."

Bender paused.  "OK, I care about that."

"Over here, Leela."  Amy said, just outside the cab.

"Look, wormburger," Bender said.  "Go after the Professor.  Keep
him away from the door.  You're mostly fat, but I'm pretty sure you
have enough muscle to keep the old geezer pinned down-"

"But Hermes!  He was Olympic Limbo champion-"

Something seized Fry by the collar of his jacket and dragged him
out of the cab.  He dropped the holophoner.

"Enough of this," Leela said.

But Fry was already wiggling out of the jacket, the extra can of
Bachelor Chow knocking him on the head as he dropped to the
ground.  He grabbed the holophoner and began to run.

"Stop the Professor!" yelled Bender, exiting the truck, moving
awkwardly and painfully.  "I'm goin' to Hermes' office."

The entryway to the corridor was fifty feet away, and Fry made a
beeline for it.  He saw Amy moving in from the side to cut him off.

"Stop being so glambic, Fry—whoa!"  The intern had stepped on an
old pizza box and lost her footing, falling to the floor.  But Fry
heard a pair of big boots kicking trash out of the way behind him,
closing in on him.

At that moment a small mound of trash shifted, exposing an
unconscious Nibbler, chirping weakly.  Fry glanced at Leela's pet
briefly before speeding past, but he heard the boots pause.

"Oh Nibbler!  You OK, sweetie?"

And now Fry was in the corridor, pounding past doors, climbing
stairs, panting heavily, his heart hollow, completely confused about
the past, and no idea what to make of his future.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #231 on: 02-11-2008 18:19 »

That was worth the wait.

I'm kinda hoping Leela is soon made to realize that everything is not as it seems, because her treatment of Fry makes me sad.  :(

Her memory lapse is interesting.

Space Pope
« Reply #232 on: 02-11-2008 18:32 »

... The awesomeness of this is mitigated only by the somewhat ominous feelings it stirs up.
I suspect Leela won't be realizing that anytime real soon. "Urdulate" - what a great word.
Still riveting.

However, you keep alternating between spelling it "holophonor" and "holophoner".

Bending Unit
« Reply #233 on: 02-11-2008 20:36 »
« Last Edit on: 02-11-2008 20:36 »

Another solid chapter/section. I especially liked the description of the chaos the crash causes, and very disturbed by Leela's apparent change of memory. The prologue suggests that he and Bender escape the PE building, but after that...

Of course, I have no idea if I'm right about that, until it's revealed - which is as is should be. JustNibbln', you write a heck of a story. Roll on the next part!    :)   
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #234 on: 02-11-2008 21:45 »

So not only were people's memories affected before, but they're also being affected currently. Well this is definitely a complication when it comes to reality-perception. Gary's mysterious past is jumping out at me, and wasn't there something about i.v. tubing in Leela's closet? There is nothing to make of it, which makes it that much better. Screw Vonnegut and his idea that the readers should know what is going to happen "in case cockroaches should eat the last several pages." Not like he followed that himself, anyway. Once again you impress and amaze me, sir, and I can't wait to see where this all goes.

Space Pope
« Reply #235 on: 02-11-2008 21:57 »

Originally posted by THM:

Post #666 - I hope i didn't just curse your thread.

Urban Legend
« Reply #236 on: 02-11-2008 22:11 »

Hey man, glad to see you updated.  Just out of curiosity, why did you leave that last scene off the update?  You know, the one where... *gets clobbered* Uhh, nevermind.

Bending Unit
« Reply #237 on: 02-12-2008 15:09 »

Originally posted by km73:

Probably; then again,


Bending Unit
« Reply #238 on: 02-16-2008 00:32 »
« Last Edit on: 02-16-2008 00:32 by JustNibblin´ »

*finishes clobbering SoylentOrange, stuffs him in chest*

*turns to km73 while sitting on chest*

You know, I couldn't figure out how to spell holophoner (holophonor?) because I don't have my season 3 DVD, so I couldn't read the title of the book in "Parasites Lost".  So I guess I preferred to be 50% right than risk being 100% wrong.  But know it's a "holophoner."

*turns to SW*

Good of you to remember the IV kit.  Don't forget the holomem as well.  Those things will come up again soon!

Oh yeah, SolyentOrange, I'll let you out if you promise to put some space travel in your next update...

*opens the box*

And now some light, instead of just heat...thanks again, SO and Archonix for some beta advice.

_____________________________ _______

As he exited the stairs and sighted the entryway into Farnsworth’s lab, Fry thought he heard a faint echo of Leela’s boots downstairs.

His heart protesting, he finally reached the double doors of the lab.  Inwardly he groaned.  He had always been on bad terms with these doors.  The doors, apparently thinking the same thing, tried to shut on him as he entered, but only succeeded in seizing his foot.  Fry managed to pull his foot out of the sneaker before the doors sealed shut completely, slicing the sneaker apart.  Spinning around, he saw Hermes arguing with Farnsworth next to a lab bench, the Professor surrounded by some sort of protective force field.

“I won’t say it again, Hermes!  Leave me alone!  I’m so close, so close, to figuring out what the ingredients of this Twinkie Bar are!”

“Professor!” Fry shouted.  “They’re coming!  How do I lock this door?”

“HuWhaa?  Fry, is that you?  Shouldn’t you be on a delivery?”

“He’s been gone for a year, Professor,” muttered Hermes.  “He’s gone mad!”

“Mad, eh?” said Farnsworth, a hint of familial pride in his voice.  “Maybe he isn’t such a moron after all.”  He frowned, “although in one of my experiments you did keep pressing the button to get the cookie, even after the tenth shock.”

“Professor, the door!  They’re coming!”

“Hwhaa?  Who’s coming?”

Fry was out of breath, panting, could only say “Bad-“

“Bad?”  Farnsworth said, then his fists clenched with feeble rage.  “Wenstrom!”

By this time Hermes had walked up to Fry and grabbed him firmly by the arm.

“Common Fry.  Don’ make me itemize all the violations to company policy you’ve made over the past few minutes.  Professor, we need you downstairs.  Where’s Bender?”

“Wenstrom!” spittled Farnsworth.  “I knew he’d try to seize this lab one day!”

“Bender.  In.  Your.  Office.”  panted Fry.

Hermes hesitated.  He looked at the exhausted delivery boy, and then at the Professor ensconced safely within his protective force field.  No way Fry would be able to touch or move him.  And Bender in his office--

The bureaucrat efficiently chose the lesser of two evils and left Fry, running through the door, which cheerfully let him through.

“Attention, everyone!”  bellowed the old man.  Fry looked around the empty lab, puzzled.

“Wenstrom alert!  Code fuchsia!”

All doors slammed shut, and then were covered moments later by an additional layer of dolomite panels.  The lab benches glided smoothly across the floor and settled in front of the doors.  What seemed like little dust devils seized notebooks, scraps of paper, sketches, and anything else that revealed a hint of Farnsworth’s thoughts, and dropped them into a safe that rose up out of the floor.  Test tubes and experimental apparatus sank into the tabletops, a sentient sponge inched its way across the blackboard, wiping it clean, and a vase with a sunflower in it plopped innocently down in the center of the room.

Fry looked around.  The lab was bare, clean, and even a little homey, thanks to the sunflower.  The safe was stowed back under the floor.  Nothing interesting here, the room seemed to be saying. No sir.  Pretty boring stuff going on here.  Move along.

His instrument clenched in his hands, Fry advanced cautiously toward Farnsworth, sitting in his chair, sniffing the flower.  He could see glints of the personal force field that surrounded his elderly descendant.


“Huhwa?  Fry?  How’d you get in here?  And aren’t you supposed to be gone?”

“Professor, I didn’t leave, somebody took me.”

“Wenstrom?  But why?”  the Professor mused, then straightened up, worried.  “Did he make you press any buttons to get a cookie?”

“Huh? No.  I mean, I don’t know who took me.  I think they may have blanked my memory.”

“Simple enough,” said Farnsworth.  “Memory removal is an old and boring technology, common in this galaxy.  I even remember the CryptoZoological association reporting that certain lifeforms could clear memories as a defensive mechanism.  I once almost made a doomsday device based on that very idea, but a lab accident wiped the design out of my mind.”

“But something weirder is going on.  Leela said that I—well, that I did something last night.  But I was there and I don’t remember that happening.  Something completely different happened.”

The Professor waved his hand in dismissal.  “Oh, big whoop, as your
people used to say.  You’re a human, she’s almost human.  Humans are inefficient, unreliable, have terrible taste in music, and are completely useless at remembering things. In fact, human memory is so useless that it will completely forget things that did happen, and sometimes even remember things that never happened at all! Two witnesses to an event can remember completely different things and be absolutely sure they're one-hundred percent accurate. Even the witch-doctors you stupid-ages people called 'scientists' knew this. They called it the Rashomon effect.”

“Rush Moon?”


Fry heard a faint pounding on the door, and heard a voice that under normal circumstances he would have been thrilled to hear.

“Professor!  Let us in!  It’s Leela and Amy!  Don’t listen to Fry!”

“And Zoidberg!  Don’t forget Zoidberg!” warbled the good doctor through the door, cheerfully.

Fry turned back to Farnsworth.

“But Leela’s remembering things that I really know didn’t happen.  And last night she was perfectly OK.  It’s almost like something happened in between—“

And then he knew another epifanny was coming.  His mind was ringing with pain.  Once again, the fog was clearing.  But instead of the sea, he was beginning to glimpse the outlines of something large.  And deep.  He felt as if he were standing on the edge of a huge pit, leaning over, straining to see the bottom.

The pounding grew louder, as if someone were using something large to ram the door.

“They did it.”

“Hmm?” the Professor said, fingering the flower.

“Professor, can they make fake memories in people, like they do in robots?”

“Impossible!  Completely impossible!  I mean robots, of course, we upgrade and alter their memories all the time.  But implant memories in humans?  Why building doomsday devices is infant’s play, compared to that!”

“Um, why?  I mean, they put commercials in our dreams, don’t they?” Fry said, approaching another desk, thinking he could slide that against the doorway.

“Foolish stupid age cretin!  In dreams, yes.  Dropping hints into the subconscious is easy.  But waking memories?”

“But you said memory wiping was easy---“

“Oh yes, building a spaceship is so much more easier than tearing one apart,” growled the old man.  “Any gorilla can wipe a memory, but the victim-I mean subject- will remember a blank hole in their recollection.  They may fill that hole, but it will still be there.  But you’re talking about actually placing specific memories inside someone’s head, so they don’t notice their memory has been changed.”

The desk growled at Fry, who decided to back away.  Farnsworth scratched his chin.

“Look at all the problems you’d have to solve.  First, you’d have to read someone’s mind, and determine the memories that are already there.  And not just the memories, but also all the connections to other memories.  And establishing the emotional context would be even worse.”

“Huh?”  Fry said, distracted by the desk, which seemed to be following him.  A couple of chairs wheeled over, curious.

“All memories are colored by emotion.  To implant a memory that feels authentic, you’d have to implant the emotional subtext to it, which means you’d have to derive the fundamental motivations, fears, and desires of the subject.  Basically you’d have to know the subject better than it knows itself.”

The knocking had stopped on the door.  Fry wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or even more worried.

“So even if you could read someone’s so-called mind completely, the precision required to implant a memory that won’t be rejected or recognized as false, making the right emotional connections—“

Farnsworth paused.  Fry, surrounded by furniture, decided to try to stand on the table next to Farnsworth.

“The only remote chance I see for making a memory implant hold is to make the memory unpleasant.  The mind tends not to dwell on painful things in our past, and when it does it tends to remember the emotions of the moment, not the details.  So even if the details of the implant strike the subject as a little off-key, it wouldn’t linger on it.”

He stroked the flower, losing himself in thought, while Fry only watched, alert for any further sounds, and watching the one chair that seemed a little too eager to brush against him.

“I would also probably try to restrict the implant to a narrow range of time, since the number of emotional and visual associations with a memory grow exponentially with the length of the memory.  Hmmm, how to make a short memory unpleasant? It would have to be based on some subconscious dread, some deep-rooted fear in the subject-“

Fry’s foot accidentally brushed against Farnsworth’s forcefield, and was rewarded with a small shock.

“Hence the importance of mapping the subject’s emotional makeup in the first place.  So a short and painful memory is the easiest way.”

Fry looked up.  Had he heard something?

“Basically, you would want to create a day that someone would want to forget.”

Something was clicking at the door.

“But even after all of that, you can’t get it perfect,” muttered the Professor, mulling over the challenge.  “You’d have to implant and monitor the emotional response of the victim-I mean subject.  And then adjust the details as necessary.  But how to measure?”

Fry hopped off the desk, and tried to use the holophoner to shoo the rest of the furniture towards the door.

“Ah yes, of course—the delta brainwave.  One could phase lock on the wave to navigate the memory, and monitor its modulation to check that the implanted memory is holding.  Otherwise, you’d be lost in that mind without a map, just blundering around in the dark, only guessing at what to alter and unable to tell if you’re succeeding.”

A gap appeared in the dolomite doors, and some sort of tool appeared, forcing the opening wider.

Reeling from hunger, lack of sleep, but above all—fear—Fry tried to concentrate.  Just as he thought he could see something moving at the bottom of the pit, the fog was moving in again.  He leaned against a chair, which rubbed back against him.

“You think false memories can hold for just a day?  Couldn’t someone change someone’s memories over a longer time?”  He hesitated, not sure what he felt at that moment.  “Like months?” 

“Months!” Farnsworth snorted.  He paused, then spoke more gently to his distant uncle.  “Let me put it this way, my boy.  If something were able to do that, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.  Anything that could mold memories for months at a time--well, it would effectively control that entity’s mind.  Complete mind control-- the greatest weapon in the universe.  For of what use is a doomsday device,” he said forlornly, “if whoever possesses it is being controlled by something else?  Something with that much technical skill could take over everything, and anyone who even suspected or talked about it would simply have their memories adjusted.”

Head still pounding in pain, Fry had one last look at the pit and the scale of the forces he was up against.  It was clearly hopeless. He needed to stop thinking about it.  The fog came rolling in back again.  Don’t think about what you’re up against.  Just run.

But even as his familiar state of panic settled back in, he felt a small ember of hope.  He hadn’t done what everyone remembered him doing.  He had been true to himself, no matter what the rest of existence thought.

“Professor, I need to get out of here.  Is there a secret entrance to Planet Express or something?”

“There’s always the front entrance,” Amy said.

Fry jerked around and saw Leela and Amy standing in the broken doorway, Leela casually tapping a hydraulic crowbar against her thigh.  Zoidberg was peeking around the edge of the door, delighted to be part of the group.

“Hello, friends!”  Zoidberg said.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #239 on: 02-16-2008 01:20 »

Ah. This is awesome. Farnsworth's explanation on memory modification reminded me of an old post of mine from this thread: http://www.peelified.com/cgi-bin/Futurama/1-004910-1/

Originally posted by coldangel_1:
Memory is only in our minds. Memory itself is transient and unreliable. But who amongst us wants to believe that our grasp on reality is so provisional, so tenuous, that reality itself is unfathomable and indefinable, because it is only what we REMEMBER, and what we remember is rarely the literal truth? You can't place too much faith in memory - just because you remember something doesn't necessarily mean it ever existed.

Great work. Keep it up.
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