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Bending Unit
« Reply #80 on: 09-19-2007 19:11 »

Whoa!  Where'd I go?  Time to pick up the pace... Nov. 27 is coming up fast...

kaotik:  thanks, hope you continue to enjoy.

km73: Thank you for the compliment.  This story does allude to the death clock story, but does not depend on it.  So it's not necessary to read my previous effort.  I'm not that crazy.  Or cruel.

Corvus:  There are a total of four parts.  I've just finished what the lit majors would call "The Setup".  Now we get into "The Conflict".

coldangel1:  Hello!  And thanks for the encouragement!  I'm really enjoying your story too. 

Writing helps you learn about yourself, and what I've learned is that I have a weakness for dream sequences.  They do mean something...  I also like to procrastinate.

Part II-FlyFryFly

They were crowded into the basement of his parents’ home, shoulder to shoulder.  Despite their number, they didn’t dare make a sound.  They all stared up the stairway into the blackness.  Something rustled upstairs.

He looked around.  His parents, his brother, his dog, Bender, Leela, Leela’s parents, Leela—

He blinked.  There was more than one Leela.  In fact, there were several.  There was an infant Leela, a teenage Leela, the Leela he was familiar with, and an—how would he put it?—a jiggly Leela.

“The commies are coming,” his father said.  “We need to fight ‘em.”

“Dad, no, “ Yancy muttered.

“Quiet,” said the familiar Leela, and the authority in her voice settled everyone down.  For a moment.

The rustling continued overhead.  In fact, it seemed to be directly above him.  He couldn’t actually see the floorboards vibrate, but loose dirt trickled down onto his and everyone else’s hair.

“Just try not to think,” Leela murmured in his ear.

There was something funny about that—a joke somewhere--

“And don’t try to think about why that’s funny.”

He nodded.  Mind blank.  That was the only way.

“I’m scared,” said the jiggly Leela.

The familiar Leela closed her eye and took a deep breath.  Don’t think about why.  Don’t think at all.

“Look, you—me—whatever.  We’re all scared, but we all have to be quiet.”

“Fry, sweetie, are you going to let her talk to me like that?”

“Yes he is.  And geez, Fry, didn’t you ever think about gravity when imagining—those?”

“I thought we were supposed to be quiet and he was supposed to concentrate, “ Yancy growled.

Seymour began to whine.

We can’t sit there and let them find us like rats cowering away in the sewer, “ Yancy Sr. said.  “It’s un-American.  It’s unmanly.  I’m gonna try to take them out.”

It wasn’t working.  He was listening too much.  No, Dad.  Don’t go.

“Dad, come back!  Mom!  Don’t follow dad!”

Leela grabbed Yancy by the collar as his parents swiftly moved up the stairs, Yancy Sr. armed with a gun, his mother with a hockey stick.  They disappeared into the darkness.

“Don’t make their sacrifice worthless.”

The rustling stopped for a moment.  Then it continued, more intense than before.

“I can’t stand it.” 

The jiggly Leela was starting to break down.

“Maybe if we went to them, they’d let some of us stay.  Maybe if he gave up his thing, they’d go away.”

She was next to him now, rubbing along his side.

“You’ve spent a lot of time with me, darling.  Why don’t you listen to me?”  And she dropped her hand to his holophoner.

There’s a joke here, he thought.  A dirty joke.  It’s dirty because a holophoner looks like a-

“That’s enough, both of you.  Fry, get your head out of the gutter and stop thinking.  You, girl, are coming over here with me, where we can get better acquainted.”

“I don’t like you.  You took him from me.”

“He came to me, when he came to know himself better.”

The jiggly Leela  wormed out of Leela’s grasp.  “All of you, listen to me.  It’s hopeless.  They’re going to find us, all because of that stupid thing he won’t let go of.  We need to go to them!”

A wave of agitation swept through the group.  Fry dared not look, he musn’t think too much, but it was true, he had a death grip on his holophoner.

“She’s changing-“

“Oh no, her head.”


The standard Leela clamped her hand over her duplicate, who struggled and—changed form.  He was paying attention, he couldn’t help it.

“No Fry, don’t, it has to be,” Leela said. 

And as the other Leela continued to lose form, the Leela he knew best did exactly what he knew she would do.  She dragged the mutating mess up the stairway, away from the rest of them.

The rustling upstairs stopped.  Then the sound of something large and heavy slid across the floor and faded away.

They’re leaving, he thought, because they think I’ll go to them for her.

And they’re right.

He looked around the group and asked, how do I find her again?  Is she left anywhere?

“Joy fades,” hummed Munda,

“but pain endures,” finished Morris.

Fry woke up, startled.  What the hell was he dreaming?  That had been one of the strangest things he had ever imagined.  He looked around, and his depression returned in force as he recognized the confines of his dumpster, and recalled the circumstances that had put him there.  He peeked out.  The rain clouds had left, and the sun was out, its rays reflecting in the many small rain puddles dotting the streets.  The air smelled clean and crisp, and the world seemed ready for a fresh start.

Just great, thought Fry.  What a waste of a beautiful morning.  A glint of sunlight off a puddle caught his eye.

And then he saw a glimmer in the rubble underneath one of the beams….

Maybe it he gave up this thing, they’d go away.

He wished he had his holophoner.  But no time for that right now…
What could he do?  He couldn’t talk to Bender.  He could go to Hermes, but what would he say that he hadn’t said already?  And what could Hermes do?  Amy?  He had a feeling that after yesterday he’d have a hard time approaching her.  Bender?  He couldn’t even get him to stand still around him long enough to listen.

Leela?  His stomach clenched into a ball as the memories of yesterday came rolling back.  He was afraid of her, and not just afraid of a fist sandwich.  Somehow he felt that something was out of whack, that something very serious had happened.

That someone or something was after him. 

And when he thought of Leela, he couldn’t shake off an instinct that something dangerous surrounded her, almost as if there was a trap being set and Leela was the bait…

He was lost.  He couldn’t do anything alone.  What he really needed now, more than anything, was a friend.

Something moved behind the metal wall next to him, and Fry froze.  There was a rustling sound, and the lid of the dumpster bowed in slightly.  Fry’s gut shriveled up in fear, but before he could start to whimper the dumpster lid flew open.

“My good friend Fry!”

A horrible alien face drooping with tentacles and tufts of cat hair looked down on him.

“Nesting, I see.”

Fry dropped his head back onto the garbage bags in relief, only to regret that decision a second later, as one of the bags burst open.

“Oh, thank you!”

Doctor Zoidberg, M.D., clambered into the dumpster with Fry and began wiping up some of foul jelly oozing out of the bag with a week-old slice of pizza.

“And when will you be laying your egg?  Soon I hope?”

Fry was looking for something cleaner than him to wipe his hair.

“Humans don’t nest, Zoidberg.”

“They don’t?  Then I have no need for this!”  And he whipped out a small vidisk and threw it on the dumpster floor.  Fry saw the words


“Umm, Zoidberg?  Are you mad at me too?”

“Zoidberg, mad? At Fry?  My mating counselor?”

“Ah yeah, just checking.  Everyone else seems mad at me.  They also think I’ve been gone a long time.  Have I?”

“Yes, many months you’ve been gone.”

“Has anyone talked about why?  Do you know anything?”

Zoidberg sat at the conference table and looked around.  Everyone was staring grimly at the table as Hermes droned on.  Two seats were empty.  He raised his claw.

“Where are our friends Fry and Leela?”

Nobody listened.  Nobody answered.  Everyone ignored him.

It was just another typical day to forget.

“Why are you crying?”

“I missed my friend Fry.  When Leela came back, I thought Fry would come soon too.”

Fry felt better knowing that at least Zoidberg missed him, but then again, he was desperate.

“Why did I leave?”

Zoidberg shrugged, distracted by the pile of alien diapers.

Fry felt his stomach lurch as he realized what Zoidberg was about to do, and he pushed open the dumpster lid and climbed out.  His eye caught the sight of some costumes in the adjacent dumpster compartment.  He was puzzled for a moment, then remembered that Freedom Day had happened recently, and people could dress however they wanted.  Kinda like Halloween, he guessed.  He grabbed a wad of clothes, including what looked like a white sailor’s cap, and started rubbing his hair briskly.

“Well, I guess I’ll try to go to Planet Express again.  Is Leela around?”

“Not yet she is”.

Relieved, Fry jogged across the street to the entrance doors.  However, as he approached the door a loud alarm went off, and moments later Hermes appeared behind the door.

“Hi, Hermes-“

“I t’ought dat you might come today.”  Hermes stepped outside.

“Fry, I regret to inform you that you can no longer come within 100 meters of Planet Express buildin’.”


“I renegotiated Leela’s contract yesterday, and dat was one of the conditions.  You don work here anymore, and you are not allowed to wait aroun’ here.  The Professor put up a sensory field that detects your presence.  Dat girl is real mad at you for some reason.”

Somehow, Fry was not surprised.


“Not my business.  In fact Guideline 58-27#4 explicitly states that I am not allowed to care about personnel relationship issues.  I just manage the bus’ness.  And as manager my job is to keep the best employee we’ve ever had here.  And if dat means you have to go, you go.”

“Can I still come in?”

Zoidberg had walked up behind Fry, clasping his claws hopefully.  Hermes blew air out of his cheeks, exasperated.

“Yes, you’re still allowed in,” he said reluctantly.

“Hooray, I’m more popular than someone else!”  And Zoidberg hugged Fry.  Shaking his head, Hermes walked back inside, but not before warning, “I’m sorry, but you need to keep away from the door.  You should go back to the Career Assignment Officer where you first registered your career chip.  They can help you dere.”

And the door shut.

“Zoidberg, I need your help.”

“Really?”  Zoidberg looked like the happiness fairy had just given him a quarter.

“I need you to go in and bring Bender outside.  I need to talk with him.  Don’t tell them I’m here, though.”

“Oh, secrets! Lemme get my spy shell-“

“Uh yeah, don’t need the spy outfit right now.  Just go in and get Bender to come outside.  As far away from this building as you can, so you get past this detector thingie!” 

He watched as the Decapodian waddled into the building, then walked back toward the dumpster.  Somehow the fact that someone was still on his side made all the difference in the world, even if that someone was Zoidberg. 

He was not used to planning things on his own.  Heck, we wasn’t used to planning at all.  But now was the moment.  He had to rely on his own wits now, and come up with a clever and sophisticatory plan….

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #81 on: 09-19-2007 19:25 »

Wow, weird dream.
Geez do I ever feel sorry for Fry.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #82 on: 09-19-2007 22:33 »

And the plot thickens, as if it wasn't thick already! You have no idea how happy I was when Zoidberg turned up, or that Fry is on his way to getting to the bottom of this tragedy. The dream sequences are nice, they give a uniqueness and some really surreal foreshadowing, which partly make this such a captivating story.

Space Pope
« Reply #83 on: 09-19-2007 23:39 »

Ohh, yeah, it's such a relief that Zoidberg isn't mad at him too. "Sophisticatory". Hee.
Sheesh, between you, SW and coldy I'm running out of complimentary adjectives to use....so for now I'll just say that this is getting really psychedelic, and making me more and more curious what happened. Hope there'll be more coming soon.

Delivery Boy
« Reply #84 on: 09-20-2007 12:44 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
kaotik: thanks, hope you continue to enjoy.
I'm sure I will.

Nice update. Fry must really feel bad if his best friend is now Zoidberg!  :laff:
*Zoidberg* I kid, I kid! */Zoidberg*
*Homer* or don't I? */Homer*

Bending Unit
« Reply #85 on: 10-22-2007 06:27 »
« Last Edit on: 10-22-2007 06:27 by JustNibblin´ »

*Cyrogenic chamber opens*

Is it Nov. 2007 yet?

I know I've disappeared for a while--my wife gave birth to twins last month, and between that and work I haven't had much time to sleep, much less write!  A couple of you wrote me asking how I was doing, and I sure appreciate that....

Time to dig into the "buffer"...

An hour later Bender walked out the side door of Planet Express, followed by Zoidberg. 

“This way, robut.”

“I still say that robots don’t need a prostate exam, but who am I to argue with a bribe?” Bender grumbled. “And I’m dying to know—since when did you get money?  I’m going to have to start breaking into your office more often.” He stopped short.  “Whoa, hang on here!  What are we doing outside?”

“Over this way, please, about a hundred meters.”  They crossed the street.  “Here.”  And they stopped by the dumpster.

“NOW!” Fry shouted, as he tackled Bender.  The robot was heavy, but Fry managed to knock him on the ground.

“Who were you yelling at?”, asked Zoidberg.

“I wanted to let myself know when to jump him.” Fry picked up his stick.  The next step in his complicated strategy was to beat his friend with something until he started to listen to him.  Actually, that was the only step in his strategy.

“Awww, how cute and helpless, he is,” said Zoidberg.

Fry looked down.  By accident he had knocked Bender on his back, and the robot was flailing his arms and legs around, unable to move.  Oh yeah, the turtle thing.  But he kept the stick anyway, as he knelt down next to Bender, just in case.  He was in a bad mood.

Bender rolled his eyes over to Fry, then immediately snapped his visor shut, and began humming a tune.

“Hello!”  Fry shouted.  No response.  “I’m here, Bender.  Why don’t you talk to me?  Why is everyone mad at me?”  The humming continued, off-key.

Fry stood up and paced back and forth, as Zoidberg alternated between watching him and eying the dumpster.  Fry stopped.  While he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the toolbox, he had also lived with his friend for four years.   He knelt back down.

“I’ll pay you to listen to me.”

The humming stopped, but the visor remained shut.

“How much ya got?”

Fry felt his pockets.  All empty.

“I’ll pay you as soon as I can.”

The humming started up again.  Fry turned to Zoidberg.  “Do you have any-”

Then he realized who he was talking to.
“Oh, never mind.”  He ran over to the dumpster and searched the pile of clothing he had used to wipe himself down that morning.  Ah, a quarter.  He crouched back down next to Bender.

“I can pay you a little now.”

The humming stopped.

“How much ya got?”

“A quarter.”

The humming started again, but Fry didn’t despair, because he was staring at the pile of clothing.  There was one thing Bender loved almost as much as money or waffles. Fry snapped up the white sailor’s cap from the pile of clothes next to him.

“And you can have this sailor cap.  Look, it even has a button on top.”

Bender’s eyes opened and scanned the cap.  The LEDs in his eyes brightened slightly, and Fry knew that for the first time in two days that he was getting somewhere.

“Will you still keep paying me not to look for you?”

Puzzled, but eager to say anything to keep his attention, Fry said, “Sure.”

“Paid to talk and not to talk to you. I still have some things to learn about humans,” mused the bending unit, as he twirled the coin in his hand, while still laying on his back.  “I’m gonna smoke.”

“Why were you ignoring me?” Fry coughed through the cigar smoke.

“Ya paid me to.”

“Who did?”

“You, you moron.  You paid me one dollar a week to keep me from going with you when you left, and not to look for you.”

“Wait, I told you I was leaving?” And then a second thing hit Fry.  “And all it took to stop you from coming with me was a measly dollar a week?”

Bender held up two hands: one empty, one with the quarter.

“Which hand is worth more?”

“The one with the coin, I guess.”

“Bingo.”  His pet was dumb, but with patience, could be taught.

“OK, fine.  So if I pay you two dollars a week you’ll talk with me from now on?”

“Fry, good buddy, glad you’re back.  It was getting so boring around here, and Big Boots is getting’ mean.  I mean, she’s less fun now than when you were around, and that’s sayin’ something.  Lift me up, here.”

Fry tried to lift up Bender, but couldn’t do it.  Then he saw a red claw grab the other arm, and together he and Zoidberg hauled Bender up.  Funny how he kept forgetting about Zoidberg.

“Can I have a cap too?” Zoidberg asked.

“Later, sure,” Fry nooded absently, still looking at Bender.
“How long have I been gone, Bender?”
“Three hundred sixty-three days, ten hours, 14 minutes, five seconds, 46 millseconds, 50 microseconds, starting… now.”

Fry was amazed.  Where had he been?
“When did I last talk to you?”

Bender had pulled a small mirror out of his chest and was admiring the sailor’s cap on his head, trying to tilt it at a rakish angle.

“Let’s see, the night after that dance lesson you and Miss Charming dragged me too.  Not that I’m complaining.  I made a killing that night.  Anyway, I had a big party at my apartment to celebrate, and was scoring really well with the ladies, you showed up and blew the moment, told me you were going, said you’d pay me, then left.”

“I didn’t say why?  I didn’t say what happened?”

Bender was silent for a moment, then responded.

“Nope.  But you sure were gone the next day, and like you said one dollar a week showed up in my account.  Big boots vanished too, but came back four months later.  Wouldn’t say where she’d been.  And it’s been boring ever since.” 

There was something in Bender’s voice that made Fry think that he might have successfully bargained his friendship down to a dollar and a half per week.

The cigar had burned down to a stub.

“Well, this is all well and good, but I’ve got scams to plan, message boards to lurk…”

“I need to get into my apartment.”

“Oh, that.”  Bender chuckled.  “I sold all your stuff, you said I could.  But yeah, sure.”

OK, that was a start, right?  Go to the apartment, take a shower, then do something.  But why did he have a bad feeling about going by his apartment?

He came too, and saw both Zoidberg and Bender looking at him.  Now what?

Fry could think of only one thing to do.  He handed a folded piece of paper to Bender.

“Give this to Leela for me.  Tell her she needs to read it.”

Bender put on his monocle and opened the letter.

“’’Leela, please talk to me.  Why don’t you like me anymore?’  Waxin’ poetic, I see.  Well, maybe she’ll read it, but maybe—“

Bender computed the potential consequences, then handed the letter to Zoidberg.

“I’ll let you do it.  Because I want you to feel important.”

“Hurray! I’m useful.”

At that moment the side door to the Planet Express building opened, and Amy peeked out.  Her voice carried faintly across the street.

“Zoidberg, have you seen Bender?  Leela’s getting really—“ she stopped mid-sentence, looking at Fry, who rose from his crouch by Bender.

“Amy,” he began, but couldn’t finish as Amy gave him a strong slap across the face.  Wow, how did she move so quickly?

“How could you?” she hissed.  “Sleesh.  How could you even talk about such things with her?  Use me like that?  Use herher like that?  And yes, I know,” she said, looking at Fry’s confused expression.  “She dropped me some hints last night, and I figured out enough to know you’re one of the worst things that ever happened to her.”  And then she spit out a stream of Cantonese invective that probably would have made Fry blush, if he could have understood it.

“Oh, and Bender?”  she turned her head.  “Leela says that if you don’t show up now, she’s going to make you talk to the ship’s computer again.  And maybe, maybe, I’ll even tell her who you’re talking to out here.”  And she spun around and marched back inside.

“Coffin stuffer,” Bender muttered as the door slammed shut behind Amy.  “Help me.  What did ya do to the purple meatsicle anyway?  I thought you were all mush-mush and kissy-kissy over her?”

“You don’t know either?”

“Seeing how much she talks, bosses me around, and complains about her social life, you’d think I’d know by now.  But nope, not a clue.”  He swiveled his head toward Fry.  “Now what?  Said meatsicle is probably coming right now.”

“O'Zorgnax's pub, this afternoon” Fry snapped, hurrying around the corner, trying to convince himself that it was clever, and not cowardly, to avoid meeting Leela right now.  He had to get money, quickly.  Where was he going to do that?

Something glinted in the corner of his eye.  He turned and saw the afternoon rays of the sun reflect off a rapidly drying rain puddle.

And then he saw a glimmer in the rubble underneath one of the beams….

Maybe it he gave up this thing, they’d go away.

And for some reason he thought about his holophoner again.

_____________________________ _____

“Ah, yes, we remember you very good.  Look, mama, is the Fry boy.”

“Oooh, yes.  You no come see us no more.  Why?”

Good question.  Fry and his friends had spent a lot of time helping the Cygnoids out with their pizza store across the street, and then next week had stopped visiting them completely, and had forgotten about them for years.  His life at PE had been fairly episodic that way.

“Umm, you smell good.  Really tasty.  You want be cook?”

He still hadn’t been able to wipe the ooze completely out of his hair.  And now he remembered why he had never come back to this place.

“I need to make some money real quick.  Can I do something for you?”

“Here, you a-hungri?  Have some pizza.  Cockroaches home grown.”

“Um, thanks, but I really need to make some Earthican money.”

“Oh, mama, we get to have first human worker!”  Papa Cygnoid beamed.  He looked around and opened up an oven.  “Here, you can a-crawl in here and scrapa out the bottom.  We need more toppings and this will sava us some money.”

Fry looked into the dark cavern of the oven.  Why did he seem to remember climbing into a dark and narrow place recently?

“Heresa brush.  Oh, one thing.  Mama here very forgetful, so if she shut the door on you, and you start to feel hot, kicka hard on the side.  Makea sure you kicka real hard.  We don’t hava ears like you, we only feel vibration. Oh here.”  And he shoved a bottle of BBQ sauce in Fry’s hand.

“Why this?”

“Just in case we enda up cooking you by accident, put this on you. We think you go good with this.”

_____________________________ _

“How’d it go?”


Zoidberg was happier than he had been in months.  Sitting here, in O'Zorgnax's, with not just one friend, but two!  And with food in front of him!  On plates!

“You showed her the note?”

“Oh yes!  And then she took it and pushed it down my throat, really deep into my subcraw, and said I should keep it where Earth’s sunlight would not touch it.  It was so thoughtful of her!  My subcraw needed opening very badly.  And your note has not seen sunlight since!”  A small tear formed at the corner of his eye at the thoughtfulness of the PE captain.

“Did she read it?”

“Hmmm… I think she forgot to do that.”  He brightened.  “But here, she gave you a piece of paper back.”

Fry unfolded the paper:

“Pitiful, using your friends to do what you’re too afraid to do yourself. I thought I was clear.  Let me make it clearer.  I would rather sleep with Zapp again than talk with you.  This is your last warning.  If you try to send me another letter, or try to contact me or my parents in any way, I will notify the police and prosecute you for stalking.  Go away, and let me move on.”

He had to read it a couple of times for it to sink in.  Absently, part of him admired how even her writing was on the unlined paper.  Suddenly the note burst into flames, and he quickly dropped the shriveling paper onto the table top.

“Ah, mood paper,” Bender mused.  “Changes to reflect the emotions of the sender.  If she ever sees you again, I hope your ass has fire insurance.”

Fry watched the paper crumble into ashes and felt that he was watching his hopes whither away.  He still felt so shocked about recent events that he couldn’t muster much feeling for anything right now.  He was really scared about what he would feel when the enormity of the situation finally hit him.

Bender held out his hand, and Fry dropped a coin into it.  Bender opened his chest and adjusted what looked like a 20th-century parking meter, except that the words “Friendship” were digitally displayed above the needle, which was now pointing to the “24 hour” label.

“I broke into her locker, to see if there was anything that I could ransom to make her talk with you,” Bender continued.   “Nothing.  And Nibbler’s not around.  She keeps him at her apartment these days.”  There was a hint of disappointment in the robotic voice.  He would have enjoyed holding the fuzzball hostage.

“Will you pay me to be your friend, too?”  Zoidberg said, eyes gleaming.

“Sure, why not,” Fry sighed, and dropped another coin into Zoidberg’s claw.  Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to have Zoidberg hang around Bender after all.  He crossed his arms and lowered his head to rest on them.

“So, it’s been fun and good, but now what?  You going to go work somewhere else?  You coming back to stay with me?”  Bender said, while eying the coin that Zoidberg was tasting.

Yes, now what?  He could go back to the apartment.  But for some reason his stomach clenched at the thought and his heart started to murmur worriedly.  Why was he so jumpy?  He looked around, just in time to catch a flash of afternoon sunlight reflecting off Bender’s head.

First the tone, then the tempo, then the tune…

“Bender, where’s my holophoner?”

Space Pope
« Reply #86 on: 10-22-2007 07:11 »

Welcome back!  :)   :) <~~~~ twin smilies

I thought you had lied to me about ever coming back...glad you finally found some free time! Hope your family is doing well.
I just wanted to say hi, I haven't read this yet, I certainly will as soon as i have more time! Be back to comment later.

Bending Unit
« Reply #87 on: 10-22-2007 07:34 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
I know I've disappeared for a while--my wife gave birth to twins last month, and between that and work I haven't had much time to sleep, much less write!

Congratulations! Your absence is forgiven.  :D

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
A couple of you wrote me asking how I was doing, and I sure appreciate that....

Hum.. that have never happened to me, but then again my writing isn't much to long for.   :rolleyes:

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
"Ah, mood paper,” Bender mused. “If she ever sees you again, I hope your ass has fire insurance.”

Nice idea with the mood paper. Heh. I sure could have used fire insurance for my ass every now and then..  :p

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #88 on: 10-22-2007 07:45 »

This has all got me very worried. Great work.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #89 on: 10-22-2007 13:06 »

Wow, congratulations! And good god, what the hell did Fry do to her?!

Also, this concept of a 'buffer' intrigues me, but I'll probably never use it. I get too excited after I write something not to share it. Glad to see that you're still doing alright.

Space Pope
« Reply #90 on: 10-22-2007 22:57 »

What is this turgid dreck?!

NO, just kidding, I just wanted to use "turgid dreck"...Actually, another update of awesomeness. You wouldn't even believe how pleased I was to have been briefly on here this morning, and see your name come up. So, at least Bender is finally back to talking to him again. And apparently some key to the mystery lies in their apartment..?

His life at PE had been fairly episodic that way.

  :laff: That's fantastic. And I think it's a great idea to have him work for the Cygnoids. You write them really well. "Cockroaches home grown", heh. I guess they can give Elzar a run for his money...
I hope it won't be as long before the next part.

@Sine: hey, you got upgraded to Professor!  :D

Delivery Boy
« Reply #91 on: 10-23-2007 02:26 »
« Last Edit on: 10-23-2007 02:26 »

Good to read from you again!  :) Great update, but it's not November just yet!
That damn RL, always geting to the FF writers!
Hope you're family are going OK and good luck with the twins. Congrats!

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #92 on: 10-25-2007 11:19 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
I know I've disappeared for a while--my wife gave birth to twins last month, and between that and work I haven't had much time to sleep, much less write!

Conga rats!

(Hums Glen Miller for a while for no particular raisin)

What's that? Oh, the fic, right. Leela's being very mean again, much like in your first one. Very noticeable, that. I can only hope there's going to be a similar resolution?...


Bending Unit
« Reply #93 on: 10-27-2007 00:25 »
« Last Edit on: 10-27-2007 00:25 by JustNibblin´ »

kaotik, coldangel, corvus:  thanks for the good wishes (and forgiving me)!

km73:  Thanks for the wonderful welcome back!  You're sweet.  I completely understand the need to use "turgid dreck" in a sentence.  Wonderful phrase.  Just like I've always wanted to use Floccinaucinihilipilification in a sentence.  Let me give it a try...(bonus points for telling me that word's claim to fame...)

Sine Wave:  I have saved myself so much embarrassment in email and story writing by writing things out, leaving them, and coming back later.  So I write ahead a bit to re-review before posting, and believe me, you should be glad that I do so.  It also helps me plan the long-term structure of the story.

Xanfor: Thanks!  And where in the world do you find this stuff?  And is Leela being harsh and cruel again?

“Bender, where’s my holophoner?”

For some reason, he had been thinking of his favorite musical instrument all afternoon, as he had been scrubbing the ovens.  He had actually been carrying a new one the night of the dance lesson.  He had been planning to give it to Leela as a gift, but couldn’t actually remember having ever given it to her... 

Bender scratched his chin, producing a sound like a knife being sharpened.  “Funny you should ask that…”

“Put on protective gear.”

Hermes, Farnsworth, Bender, and Zoidberg stood in front of Fry’s locker.  Hermes and Farnsworth placed on their protective hoods, and Hermes loaded his laser rifle.  Fry had been gone for almost three months and the time had come to clean out his locker.

Bender had already been through the locker a few times, privately, and had sold anything worth more than the power needed to transport it to the pawn shop.  But when Farnsworth had come into the lounge and asked him to break into the locker, he figured he’d give it one more scan.

“Now remember,” Farnsworth said, “I’m trying to replace my indestructible life form, so I need to gather biological samples from harsh, toxic environments.  It occurs to me that Fry’s locker may have rich possibilities.  Don’t touch anything once the locker is open, unless it tries to attack me!”

Bender broke the lock easily, which was why he never stored anything valuable in his own locker.  Zoidberg sniffed the air with quivering anticipation.

“Mmmm. Something good has been ripening in there, it has.”

“Keep your trap shut, you dirty lobsta.  You’re only here ‘cause we need a health clearance from the company doctor after we clean up.  So don’t eat anythin’!"

The locker was empty except for a bunch of empty Slurm cans, a pile of dirty clothes on the floor, and a rainbow coalition of slime molds dripping down the metal walls.  Farnsworth scraped samples of everything, and then using remotely-operated clamps, started transferring the cans and the clothes into a specially designed biological isolation disposal unit, otherwise known as a trash can.

Something fell out from the pile of clothes and clattered onto the floor.

Hermes, Bender, and Zoidberg threw up their arms in front of their eyes.  When nothing exploded, attacked, or screamed, they risked a peek.  Fry’s holophoner sat on the ground.  Oh yeah, he’d seen that before in there.  But these babies weren’t worth that much.  Well, that wasn’t true.  It just seemed that one of his extrapolating scenario projectors (ESP) was maladjusted, for it kept predicting that if the instrument stayed in the locker, maybe his pet would return one day after all.  Almost what stupid humans called a  “superstition.”  He kept intending to get his ESP fixed, but kept putting it off, because it seemed to help somewhat when betting on horse races.

“Hmm, yes, very interesting,” mumbled Farnsworth.

“Yeah, why would Fry leave dis?” said Hermes.

“Huh?  No, no, no, I mean these slime molds.  Now excuse me and get back to work!”

Zoidberg grabbed the instrument as the cackling Professor left.

“Oh boy!  Zoidberg always wanted one of these!  I have 8 copies of Fry’s CD!”

“Gimme that,” Hermes said.  “Dat’s now company property.”

“No,” Zoidberg whimpered, clutching the pipe to his exoskeleton anxiously.  “I want to keep it.”

Hermes opened his mouth, and then thought about it.

“Fine.  It’s not worth the effort.  I’ll just fill out a Floccinaucinihilipilification form for it.  I’d better not hear you playin’ it on company time!”

“Me?” said Zoidberg innocently, crossing his claws.

“Yeah, I remember keeping it in my locker,” Fry said.  In the weeks after his opera performance, he had started taking the instrument to work and playing it in the evenings on the roof of Planet Express, hoping that Leela would accidentally hear him play whenever she worked late, which was practically every night.  She had never mentioned hearing it one way or the other before last night—that is, last year.

He loved that instrument.  If he really had left, why hadn’t he taken it with him?

Fry turned to Zoidberg.  “So you have it, then?”

Zoidberg hung his head, twisting his feelers together. “Not exactly.”

He carefully slid the instrument through his claws and inserted the mouthpiece between his feelers.  Humans were able to use their nose to play this thing, but he didn’t have one, so he was stuck using his mouth.

The holophoner had been hidden in his office for two weeks, and he was very proud that the robut hadn’t found it yet.  He had put it inside a tall jar labeled “healthy snacks,” and that had seemed to do the trick.  And for the past week, late at night after all had gone home, he had been trying to play.

Carefully he inserted the reed between his feelers, and tried to blow.  Nothing, just like the past few nights.  He slumped in disappointment.  Wait.  Maybe he should try to clench this button—

An off-key wailing tone blew out of the holophoner, and a light mist wound out of its end, dispersing quickly.

He tried a few more times, and even squeezed out a few more sounds, when there was a knock on the door and someone stepped in.

“My good friend Leela, you’re back!  And you look so healthy!”

And it was true.  The bag under her eye was swollen, she was a healthy shade of pale, and she had lost so much weight he could see some skin hanging loose on her upper arm, always a good sign.

“Hello, Zoidberg.  Yes, I’m back.  Just got in a few minutes ago.  Say, did you hear some strange sounds coming from around here?”

“No,” he said, trying to nonchalantly lower the holophoner behind his back, but he apparently could not pull off nonchalance very well, because her eye narrowed and focused on him.  Very unnerving, that eye was.

“What’s that behind your back?  And why’s there smoke in here?”

Zoidberg raised his arms to mimic the human’s sign of cluelessness, but he forgot that the instrument was in one claw.  How clueless of him.

Leela took the instrument out of his hands, and rubbed it absently.  Without looking up, she said, “Is Fry back?”

“No, he’s been gone for a few lunar cycles.  No one has heard from him.  It’s strange.   No one seems to want to look for him.”

“No, no one does.”  She was staring at him again.  “So I guess he doesn’t need this anymore.  Whose is it?”


She looked surprised, then smiled, tight-lipped.

“You were a big fan of his too, weren’t you? How much for it?”

“I’m sorry, I cannot accept any offers.”


“Take it, it’s yours.”

“You mean Leela has it?” Fry groaned.

Zoidberg licked his feelers dreamily.  “Yes, a good meal that was.  Leela even made sure that we sat down in a place where no one would see us together, so we could eat in private.  Wasn’t that vunderful of her?”

Bender was bored.  “Yeah, yeah, motor-mouth is almost as great as me, except she’s not.  So why am I caring about this thing, or why she has it?”

Good question.  The more he thought about it, the stronger Fry felt that he needed that holophoner, He couldn’t remember his dreams, but he somehow felt that if he could only get to his instrument, it would unlock this living nightmare.

“It’s important.  Really important.  I just know it. So does Leela play it?”  Maybe she took it because she missed him.   An ember of hope glowed in his thoughts.  Maybe he could approach her after all.  Maybe that instrument could bring them together again, as it had done-

No, Leela, don’t let them do it.  Please…

A piercing headache made him gasp as the words jumped, unbidden, into his mind.  He had almost remembered something.  But then it was gone, and he realized Bender was speaking.

“Nope, never heard it.  It’s not even at Planet Express.”

“Howd’ you know?”

“Not in her locker or other personal places.  I know, cause I break into everyone’s private stashes once a week, just to check up on things, you know?”

“Aw, geez, then it’s gotta be-”

“-at her apartment, yeah.  Unless she’s thrown it away.”

The ember inside him faded away.  For a moment he had actually felt some hope that things could get better.  But he might as well ask the Robot Devil for his hands again--he'd have better luck with that than asking Leela.  Yet, somehow, the feeling of urgency didn’t go away.  He shuddered and looked around.  He felt like he was running out of time.  But running out of time to do what?

“Maybe you can go and ask her to give it back to you,” Zoidberg said.

“Yeah, if you do, can I come watch?” Bender laughed.  “I’ve never seen a human pretzel before.”

“You said a long time ago”, continued Zoidberg, “that you should let the female talk a lot, and you should say you’re sorry a lot, and say that you vere wrong and she was right, and then everything goes back to the way it was before.”

“A part of me, a part of me I’m not proud of, wants to hurt you now.”

“I don’t think that’ll work this time,” Fry said, rubbing his throat at the point where Leela had rolled her forearm over his windpipe.  He thought she was serious about setting the police onto him.

“Well, unless you’re gonna break into her apartment, I think you had better start learning to play the kazoo,” said Bender.  He opened his mouth, reached in, and pulled one out.  “Here ya go.”

Fry stared blankly at the small instrument, but what small powers of concentration he did possess were focused elsewhere.  Could he talk to her?  Could he wait outside PE each day, hammering away at her until she would at least explain what was going on?  Day after day, week after week…

“Okay”, he said.

“Yeah, it’s pretty easy to learn-”

“No, I mean, OK, I think I’ll do something less dangerous than talking with her.”

All three friends were silent for a moment, and the muffled sounds of everyday life on the streets and the murmurs of the other bar patrons filled the gap.  Then Fry spoke again.

“How would you break into her apartment?”

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #94 on: 10-27-2007 00:55 »

The bag under her eye was swollen, she was a healthy shade of pale, and she had lost so much weight he could see some skin hanging loose on her upper arm, always a good sign.

Haha. I missed an opportunity in my last fanfic when Dr. Leonard McCoy from the starship Enterprise made a brief cameo... if I'd had Zoidberg in the same scene the two of them might have compared notes.

This is coming along interestingly.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #95 on: 10-27-2007 02:23 »

I have the distinct feeling of things getting worse before they get better.

Also, the long-term structure planning thing... that's it, I'm creating a buffer. Sorry to anyone who doesn't want me to take even longer inbetween updates.

Delivery Boy
« Reply #96 on: 10-27-2007 13:51 »

Great! I can't write long stuff because I have people shouting at me to get off the computer.

Space Pope
« Reply #97 on: 10-27-2007 14:07 »

Glad you understand about the turgid dreck; my urges to use phrases like that are leftover vestiges of writing college papers, I suppose...

...So the mystery continues. I'm wondering very much how all this ties in to that part at the beginning with Fry and Bender apparently having robbed a bank and stolen the ship. In this section I liked "extrapolating scenario projectors" and "specially designed biological isolation disposal unit." I agree that unfortunately things are probably going to get worse; but I bet there'll be a big payoff later.

Bending Unit
« Reply #98 on: 10-28-2007 05:10 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
“How would you break into her apartment?”

Heh.. this.. can not possibly end good. But it will probably be hilarious to watch.. err.. read.  :p


Space Pope
« Reply #99 on: 10-28-2007 13:47 »

Finally had a chance to sit down and read this.

And... it's good.

No, more than good. Great. I really don't read a lot of fanfic anymore because most of it is so awful, but this is some of the best work I've ever seen.

Space Pope
« Reply #100 on: 10-28-2007 15:03 »

Yes, I've been reading my way through this one as well. It's certainly well-written, nice pacing, and if I have to admit anything annoying about it, it's that it isn't finished yet.  :)

Bending Unit
« Reply #101 on: 10-28-2007 21:04 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2007 21:04 »

I finally caught up, and I am very impressed. 'Death Clock' was really good, and 'Day I'd Rather Forget' is really pulling me in; I want to know what happens next! (The dream sequence is very intruiging...especially the part about the 'tempo and tune.) So keep it up, and more updates, please!    :D

Bending Unit
« Reply #102 on: 10-28-2007 21:25 »
« Last Edit on: 10-28-2007 23:00 »

Originally posted by km73:
I'm wondering very much how all this ties in to that part at the beginning with Fry and Bender apparently having robbed a bank and stolen the ship.

Thanks for reminding me of that; it certainly is going to be interesting to see how all of this ties in;
Either way, this is set to get even more interesting. I can't wait.

'Love fades, pain endures' sounds...ominous.



(Whoops, forgot my sig.) 

Delivery Boy
« Reply #103 on: 10-29-2007 12:36 »

Originally posted by Archonix:
Yes, I've been reading my way through this one as well. It's certainly well-written, nice pacing, and if I have to admit anything annoying about it, it's that it isn't finished yet.   :)

But if it's finished, then there's no more!  :(

Bending Unit
« Reply #104 on: 10-30-2007 18:20 »
« Last Edit on: 10-30-2007 23:00 by JustNibblin´ »

Well it was 2 AM and I was trying to decide whether to write fanfiction or get some work done.  So naturally I procrastinate.  I look up Wired magazine to see if the upcoming Futurama article had been profiled yet and I find this article, on how fancfiction is going to be the salvation of the Japanese manga comic industry...
Looks like the Futurama fanbase has some anmoku no ryokai going on as well.

And geez, I thought I was writing fanfic just for fun, but obviously it's important to the world economy, so I'd better take this seriously!

coldangel:  Not to the Star Trek scene in Blame it on the Brain yet, still somewhere
on Chapter 12... but a Zoidberg/McCoy (or Zoidy/Emergency Medical Hologram) would be a lot of fun...

SineWave:  Not! Say it ain't so!  I don't want to be blamed for holding you up!

km: There will be about six updates before I reach the prologue and the end of Part 2.

Corvus: Yep, breaking and entering is never a promising sign, is it?

Kryten:  Thank you for that wonderful comment.  It made my day.  If you've read this, then you know I'm a fan of your stuff written during the "Old Kingdom" days of Futurama fandom, when the show was actually on the air!  I'd say that the overall fanfic quality at PEEL is very good right now, even with the loss of Venus.

THM:  thanks for reading all of that--i'm starting to realize I've churned out a lot of verbiage here.  And your theories are excellent theories.  Wish I'd thought of them.       :p

Archonix, kaotik:  Thanks for the encouragement, but be careful what you wish for.  You might get it.

The summer night breeze was gentle, yet Fry pulled his red jacket tighter around his neck and shivered.  He shuffled back and forth on his feet, trying to stay in the shadows, as he watched Leela’s apartment building across the street.  Bender, by contrast, stood completely still, as if he were switched off.  It was kinda eerie, because Bender was the fidgetiest machine he had ever known, even when not trying to pick your pocket.

“What’s this ‘we’ you’re talkin’ about, bloodbag?”

“It’s in her apartment.  I need to have it.  I need to go.”

It hadn’t take long for Bender to warm to the idea as a challenge worthy of his greatness, and within minutes he had been planning the heist with enthusiasm.  Zoidberg was eager to help too, but Bender had convinced him that guarding the dumpster was a key part of the plan, and the good doctor had cheerfully volunteered to play his part.  So now the young man and the robot watched the street LEDs light up as darkness shrouded the alley.

A daytime breakin was out—too many people around, and Bender had to go on most deliveries with Leela.  So that left night.  Which was a problem, because Leela typically would go straight home.

Except for one night of the week, apparently.  And now Leela emerged from the main entrance in her familiar lime-green jacket, but Fry caught glimpses of a yellow dress around her feet.  She glanced up and down the street, as the door opened again behind her, and Amy emerged with Nibbler on a leash.

Nibbler.  That had been another conundrum. 

“What’s a connudorum?  Don’t you buy those at a drugstore?”

“It means a problem, meatbag, a problem.  Now shut up and pay attention.”

When stealin’ was on your mind, facing down an animal that could swallow you whole was something you wanted to avoid.  Fortunately, Bender had overhead that Amy would take Nibbler for a long walk this evening, so that Leela could go to her ballroom dance lessons, which she had done regularly ever since she had returned to Planet Express months ago.  So for an hour or so during the dance lesson Leela’s apartment would be empty.  And it just so happened that tonight had been the night. 

The news that Leela went dancing regularly bothered Fry, but he couldn’t place the reason for his disquiet.  So he had spent the rest of day wandering random streets, riding random airtubes, too nervous to sit still, too wary to go back to Bender’s apartment, too pumped to sleep, and too afraid to dream.

The two women seemed to be smiling ferociously at each other, while avoiding each other’s eyes as much as possible.  Nibbler whined and strained at the leash, sniffing the air.  The petite Asian woman could barely cling to the leash as the little alien started to pull her across the street.  Towards them.

Bender nudged Fry’s elbow, and they retreated back through the alley.  In a few minutes they had cut through a chain link fence and were in a different alley, directly behind Leela’s apartment building.  It looked relatively new, and it was, since it had been heavily rebuilt just a few weeks—well, over a year ago now, apparently.  He still could not believe that he’d been gone a year.

“OK, ready to go up there?” Bender spoke in his whispering mode.

“Why this way again?”

Bender sighed.  They’d been through this already.  “Big boots, for some strange reason, decided to install the best locks in the business on her door.  I learned this the twelfth time I tried to break into her place to hold her diary for ransom.  I had better things to do with my time, so I’ve left it alone since.  But she has a window in her bedroom now.  And I can tell from here she doesn’t have it alarmed.”

Fry looked up.  Apartment 1I.  First floor.  Made sense there was no alarm.  There was no ladder.

“Um, tell me again how we’re getting up there?”

“Not we. You.  Like this.”  And with that Bender seized Fry’s leg, spun the delivery boy around his head, and tossed him high in the air, like a high school graduate tossing a hat.  Now all the cute little moron had to do was push the suction cups against the window and then use the handy little cutter from his BabysFirstBurglary kit.

He detected the sound of soft and squishy flesh meeting hard and cold glass.  Then nothing.

Oh, that’s right.  He’d forgotten to give him the suction cups.

Bender stretched up his arms just in time to keep the falling delivery boy from splattering on the pavement.

“Hehehe.  Sorry.  Here ya go.  Now you’ve had practice.  Piece of cake, right?”

The delivery boy’s face was pale and clammy, and he was shivering everywhere, despite the warm night.

“Throw me up again before I throw up.”

“Remember, even if you don’t find that musical thing of yours, you gotta bring back something to make this worth my time.  Has to be at least worth fifty bucks.  Otherwise, don’t bother coming back out.”

Once again, Fry smacked into the glass, but managed to get a purchase on the smooth surface with one of the suction cups.  He activated the glass cutter and slipped into the bedroom.   He opened a piece of paper that contained a list of instructions from Bender.

“Read me.”  Simple enough.

“Seal the window.  That means put the piece of glass back in and use the laser.”

Fry placed the section of cut glass back into its matching hole in the window.  The little MyLittleLaser sealed the glass back into place.

“Open the window for quick getaway.”
 He unlatched the window and opened it.

“Fifty bucks,” he heard from below.  “And you got about fifty minutes left before her lesson ends.”

Fry shut the window, then turned around and surveyed the room.  He started to realize how foolhardy this entire thing was.  He was breaking into the room of one of the most dangerous people he knew, based on little more than a hunch.  Maybe he should have tried to talk to her first…

“I can’t maintain my wait mode forever,” he heard from outside.

Leela’s room was always gray and spare even when fully lit.  And now, shrouded in the dark, the sharp outlines of the room seemed almost sinister.  In fact, as Fry stood he could almost imagine hearing something rustling in the walls…

He shook his head, and scanned the list Bender had compiled for him.  “Bedroom”.  Um, he’d do that later.  The living room first.

Not much here, other than the sofa and the TV, and he finished quickly, much to his relief, since he had died here last year and didn’t like the memory.  Next on Bender’s list: “Kitchen”.

It was really hard to find, and by the time he started riffling through the refrigerator, he felt that he was behind schedule.  And by the time he realized that a holophoner could not possibly fit inside a mayonnaise jar, he had already opened every jar in the fridge, and now he was definitely behind.  He opened the freezer and groaned.  A month’s worth of pre-cooked meals lay wrapped inside.  He pulled out Bender’s list.

Don’t bother with the freezer, dummy.  And remember that the flute thing can’t fit into a jar.

Oh, OK.  Man, he never knew how many nooks and crannies there were in a kitchen, and how many really nasty chemicals there were to spill on yourself.  And now he was really in trouble with time.  But finally he was done with the kitchen.  That left the bedroom.

The bedroom had actually been first on Bender’s list, but Fry hadn’t been able to bring himself to start there.   Leela was such a private person that rifling through her clothes almost felt like violating her.  Besides, he remembered only humiliation and disappointment in this room.  But he was out of options.  And time.

He closed his eyes while running his hands through the underclothes in her dresser.  He felt that he was close to taking the offramp to Pervertville.  He did not want to go to Pervertville.  Nothing here.  Then he noticed the nightstand, and the single picture that stood on it.  He picked it up.  Leela was in a ballroom gown, leaning back, staring across the photo at a man in a nice dancing outfit, who was also leaning back.  The pair had grasped each other’s hands to prevent each other from falling backward.  The disquiet Fry felt over learning about Leela’s dance lessons grew as he saw the smile she wore in the photo.

He had seen this guy before.  Just two days ago—or a year ago.  The guy at the dance.  Gary.  But why a photo on her nightstand-?

The world began to blur at the corners of his eyes, and the floor was like quicksand underneath his feet.  No, no, no, he told himself.  This is not happening.  This can’t be happening.  Why hadn’t Bender said anything?  He had almost been able to suppress the memory of Leela’s venom-filled look at him, pretend that  it was something temporary, but here he was holding solid, undeniable proof that the world had changed on him.  Absently, he fumbled the photo back into place and started feeling under the bed and between the mattresses.  No, no, no.  Find the holophoner.  It will make everything clear.  And for a moment he thought he imagined something heavy sliding on the floor above--

Note: the next few updates will be spoiler highlighted to avoid inadvertent giveaway of cliffhanger developments.

Bending Unit
« Reply #105 on: 10-30-2007 19:16 »
« Last Edit on: 10-30-2007 23:00 »

*is on serious tenterhooks*

The update may have been short (sorry - it just felt short), but it made up for it in quality - this is powerful stuff! JustNibbln', you've got suspense down pat - that part seemed to fly by. Oh, and comedy, too.    :D

Pity about my theories...though if none of them are right, I wonder what really is going on...something traumatic happened to Fry (or at least, it certainly seems that way).

One question; does the line about Fry dying in Leela's living room refer to 'The Sting'?
(EDIT: Oh yeah; he did technically die in 'Countdown', didn't he? My mistake.  :) )

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #106 on: 10-30-2007 20:16 »

Oooh... You've done something I could never do - you found a way to be suspenseful without having massive explosions.

Space Pope
« Reply #107 on: 10-31-2007 01:59 »

Oh, Fry is in trouble....

I didn't quite get the reference to Fry having died last year in her living room either at first--then I realized, ohh, you mean in the Death Clock story! Yeah, one at first assumes it's something from canon. But it was a subtle link to the previous story, to go along with the dancing.

I loved the part with Bender flinging him up to the window; he would forget to give him the suction cups. I've noticed that in these past couple sections you seem to have made an effort to inject more humor rather than the more sad/depressing tone of some of the earlier parts, while still keeping the tension. At least that's what it seems like to me. Curious to see what'll happen to him now.

Bending Unit
« Reply #108 on: 10-31-2007 05:16 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
He pulled out Bender’s list.

Don’t bother with the freezer, dummy.  And remember that the flute thing can’t fit into a jar.

Heh.. Bender knows Fry better than Fry knows himself, eh?  :p

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
He closed his eyes while running his hands through the underclothes in her dresser.  He felt that he was close to taking the offramp to Pervertville.

*Snicker* Good one, I can understand why he's close to the offramp.. He must have seen a sign with with following caption:

Welcome to Pervertville
Involuntary population: Fry

Now things are REALLY rolling along.. nice cliffhanger.   :cool:

Delivery Boy
« Reply #109 on: 11-01-2007 11:38 »

I don't know what to say, other than
I loved the bit about Bender forgetting to give him the suction caps!

Bending Unit
« Reply #110 on: 11-02-2007 14:43 »

THM: No need to say sorry, it felt a little short to me to.  I try to break up the updates at logical points, but the pace of the story is picking up, so the next two updates are going to be relatively short, followed by a long one.  I was never very sure on the etiquette of post frequency vs. length of posts.

I also didn't mean to shoot down your theories.  They were good.  One was even in the ballpark.

Coldangel:  Haha.  Though we both know one of your best fanfics didn't involve a single physical explosion.  I give a (twisted) nod to it in the update after this one.

km73:  I was pleased to hear you say (write) that, because I was trying to write the beginning to reflect the confusion and disorientation of Fry, so it would come off as a little sad.  But the difference between comedy and tragedy is the ending, not the beginning, and the nature of the story is changing, and as Bender and Zoidberg become more involved the humor seems to be easier for me to write.  But to quote LuvFry, "Humor is hard!"

And yeah, I can't resist referring to the previous fic from time to time.  But the current story doesn't rely on the previous one at all.

Corvus:  I like that little joke.  I went ahead and stole borrowed it, with a programmer's twist, in your honor.

kaotik:Thanks, I think  ;) . BBQ?

_____________________________ ____

“Thanks for inviting me in.”

“Oh, no, my pleasure, Gary.  I’ve wanted to bring you here for a while.”

Luckily, Fry had closed the door to the living room behind him. A slit of light appeared underneath the door as Leela switched the living room lights on.

“I really need some coffee.  Want some?”

“Love some.”

“Let me put on some music, here.”

He really should be getting out of here.  Then why wasn’t he moving?  The closet.  He wasn’t done.

“I liked that pretzel move.  You were amazing tonight.  But then, you’ve been amazing every night.”

“Thank you.  I just love dancing so much.”

“And I just love watching you.”

There was a pause that even Fry could tell was awkward.

“I’m sorry I haven’t brought you here earlier.  I know we’ve been-talking-for a while.  But then… something happened at work yesterday—“


“An ex-boyfriend showed up at Planet Express and it started me thinking about my future.”

Fry frowned.  When he had been at Planet Express yesterday, he couldn’t remember seeing Chaz or Adaili during his misadventures there.  Man, it must have been crowded in that building that day…

“Anyway, I’m sorry I’ve been so distant over these months.”

“Oh no, please.  I know you’ve gone through some rough times over the past year.  And you need time to heal from things like that.  Believe me, I know.”

“Yes, you’ve hinted at that.  Sounds like you’ve had a bit of a tragic and mysterious past yourself.”

“Yes, and I’m sorry, I can’t quite bring myself to talk about it right now.”

“Well, there’s plenty of time to talk.  Amy isn’t bringing Nibbler home tonight.”  When she next spoke, her voice was a little higher-pitched than the calm, competent tone Fry knew and adored.  “Why don’t I get into something more comfortable?”

Why did women always insist on wearing things that weren’t comfortable? Fry wondered.  I mean, why not just be comfortable in the first place? 

He looked around and saw that he was now in the closet.  His body had dashed into it while his mind had been preoccupied.  Why had it done that?

The door into the bedroom opened.  Oh, that’s why.

The closet was wide and deep, and he found himself staring past what seemed to be an endless procession of identical white shirts and black pants marching down into the gloom of the other end of the closet.  His body had decided it couldn’t afford to wait for his brain to catch up, and it had already dropped to all fours and had been crawling away from the crack in the door, squeezing himself between the back side of the mirrored sliding door and a very long boot rack that held what seemed to be countless copies of Leela’s signature footwear.  Huh, he never knew she had more than one set of boots.

Why was his body moving so quickly? He thought.  Then he heard a voice say, very quietly,

“Time to do this.  Time to live again.”

And he heard footsteps heading toward the closet.  And his brain suddenly pieced together that if a woman wanted to change clothes she was going to spend time looking into her closet.  And his body, although relieved that it was no longer on its own, froze in panic, scared to make a sound as Leela stopped in front of the closet.

Something fell and broke in the kitchen.

“Damn, sorry.  Don’t know why I’m so fidgety.”

The footsteps moved away from the closet and left the room.  Fry’s body and brain called a truce and he moved on down the length of the closet.

Ah, finally he saw dresses and formal-wear, and a couple of empty hangers.  Beyond was the far wall of the closet, and he crawled quickly, pushing his head under the dresses.

“Oh, that’s OK.  There’s plenty more cups.”

“Do you have a broom?”

“Better.  A laser gun.” 

The sound of the laser beam vaporizing the cup shards startled Fry, and he knocked one of the dresses off the hanger.  Fortunately, Leela apparently hadn’t heard the slight sound of the hanger landing on his head, as she was now in the kitchen.

Hands shaking, he lifted his arm over his head and hooked the dress back onto the rack.  He moved on past the dresses and was within touching distance of the other end of the closet.

And then he saw it.  The Negligee.  It had always been The Negligee with a capital N since that night he had seen her wear it in bed, looking at him, smiling, happy to see him, almost –relieved?

And then he had insisted on removing the worms and playing the holophoner again…

The holophoner.  He looked around.  A pile of boxes sat against the far wall, also leaning against the sliding door.  OK, that meant she couldn’t slide open the door on this end.

And what was that behind the Negligee?  Holy smokes!  What was she saving that outfit for?  He knew he was entering the city limits of Pervertville.

Just as he pulled himself into a crouch against the boxes, he heard footsteps again.  And then the sliding door began to open.

Fry pressed his back against the far wall, not daring to breathe, or even think loudly, as the door slowly kept rolling back, and the shirts, pants, boots, and finally dresses lit up with the light of the bedroom.  The door opened as far as it could, and then a hand followed by an enormous forearm reached around the door, snaked down the rail, pulled the rest of the dresses back, and then The Negligee.  The bottom half of the Negligee brushed against Fry’s hair as she pulled it out.

It was starting to dawn on Fry that he might be sitting here a long time, and that he was about to experience the worst night of his life.   Please, no, don’t make him sit through this, listen to this…

Leela’s shadow lay, across the clothes, unmoving, for a few moments, as if in indecision.  And then the door slid shut, and he heard steps walking back out of the room.

Quickly he moved his hands around the boxes he was sitting on, finding nothing but packed clothes, and then realized there was a small shelf above his head.  He stood up, hunched, in the closest, and shoved his hand over the shelf.  He felt a box, but then winced in pain and jerked his hand back.  A small I.V. needle attached to some tubing was sticking in his hand. 

“Gary, I’m so sorry, but I’m suddenly not feeling very well.  Could I axe you to take a rain check for tonight?  I promise I’ll make it up to you.  Really.”

Fry heard the light-hearted tone that males throughout the universe use to mask disappointment, as he struggled to keep himself from sighing out loud in relief.

“Of course.  I’m sorry about that.  I had no idea.”

Fry pulled out the needle, lifted up his arm again, and pulled the box down.

It was his holophoner.  Not the one he had planned to give as a gift to her, but his original one he had played at the opera.  His heart was now pounding so loudly he was surprised that the couple in the living room couldn’t hear it.  He flipped open the lid.  All the pieces were there.  But the skies didn’t open, and angels didn’t sing.  The pieces just sat gleaming in the dull gloom of the closet.

There was some squeaking as someone stood up from the couch.

“I’m sorry about this.  I really will make it up to you.  You’ve been so good, so patient with me.  And thank you for never mentioning my eye.”

“There’s something wrong with your eye?”

A guttural growl escaped from Fry, and he crouched back down.  Now what was he going to do?  And then his hand brushed something on the floor.  Something soft.

There was a long pause that may or may not have involved a kiss.  Then the front door shut.

Fry pulled up the small object and found himself looking at a raggedy doll.  One of the eyes had been carefully removed, and the other re-sewn to create a small Cyclops that smiled up at him.  His heart melted.  He had never known that Leela kept toys from her childhood at the orphanarium.  It was such a gentle side to her that contrasted so strongly with her recent behavior the past few days, that he hugged the doll gratefully, and felt a small measure of comfort gained in the middle of this whirlwind of change.

The door to the bedroom opened again, and he heard Leela walk across the room.  OK, he would have to stay here overnight, and wait until she left in the morning.  But he might live if he could only keep his bladder from exploding, and if Bender would not get bored with everything and decide to throw a firecracker.

Yeah, go ahead and tease me about the 'cliffhangers'.

Space Pope
« Reply #111 on: 11-02-2007 15:02 »

I said there and I'll say it here. Poor Fry...

Though I'm sure Leela will see enough reason to not simply shoot him on the spot.  :)
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #112 on: 11-02-2007 15:34 »
« Last Edit on: 11-02-2007 15:34 »

No, Leela will get much more satisfaction in beating Fry to a bloody pulp.  Then call the police on him.

Space Pope
« Reply #113 on: 11-02-2007 16:09 »

Holy...He is in SO much trouble!

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
But the difference between comedy and tragedy is the ending, not the beginning

Technically the only difference, at least according to the ancient Greek definition I believe...that's why Dante called his Divine Comedy the Commedia. Anyway, I'm not sure if I have any theories as to where this is going, but I'm pretty sure it'll have a happy ending...maybe...so I guess that would make it a 'comedy'.

Aww, the part with Fry finding the doll was so sweet. And it's so typical of Leela to know exactly where everything in her closet is.

Oh, also, re: your exchange w/ Birthday Clown in the South Park thread: ha ha, that gave me a chuckle. Clown Smackdown!!!


Bending Unit
« Reply #114 on: 11-02-2007 17:58 »
« Last Edit on: 11-02-2007 17:58 »

Huh; now that was impressive. I wonder what the needle is for...I wonder, is that her way of coping with things? Something left over from the four months she refuses to talk about? Or from something else, like her time in hospital after the bee sting?

I figured that the person opening the door could possibly be Leela (or Gary) on their own (or maybe Amy, depending on what kind of encounter, or in Leela's case major confrontation, the author was looking to create), but the two of them together...nice twist. And I like how Leela has a foolproof way of detecting intruders; be really anal about where she puts everything.    :)

And JustNibbln', I'm not mad/upset that most of my theories aren't right; I went with the scattergun approach, so that, as is the case, at least one of them was in the right ballpark. Of course, it'd be great to find out which one that was...but I can wait.    :)

Again, you're doing a bang-up job on this story. More please, and soon!


Bending Unit
« Reply #115 on: 11-02-2007 17:58 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
Corvus:  I like that little joke.  I went ahead and stole borrowed it, with a programmer's twist, in your honor.
*Bows gracefully* Thank you, that was really nice of you.
Originally posted by JustNibblin':
He looked around and saw that he was now in the closet. His body had dashed into it while his mind had been preoccupied. Why had it done that?

The door into the bedroom opened. Oh, that’s why.
Good thing Fry's body knows better what to do than himself..  :p

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #116 on: 11-02-2007 18:44 »

Jeezus, Mary and Joseph...


Space Pope
« Reply #117 on: 11-02-2007 18:48 »

Originally posted by coldangel_1:
Jeezus, Mary and Joseph...

Now that is a very interesting idea.
only better written...

Bending Unit
« Reply #118 on: 11-02-2007 19:35 »

Originally posted by Archonix:
 Now that is a very interesting idea.
only better written...

And also not shot entirely in Toronto on a shoe-string. (Seriously, it looked like a TV movie.)

And I'm now kicking myself for not thinking of that possibility. Then again, I'm not perfect...yet.  :D

Delivery Boy
« Reply #119 on: 11-03-2007 05:12 »
« Last Edit on: 11-03-2007 05:12 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':
kaotik:Thanks, I think    ;) . BBQ?
Yup! BBQ. Just adding my own special twist of weirdness! (Which I stole off a friend who stole it off someone on the internet   ;))

I can't read this update at the moment on account of the fact that I am on a timed internet connection in Singapore airport with three minutes remaining on my way back to Australia (WOOT! I was on exchange in Deutschland, in case anyone cares, which they probably don't  :p), but I promise I will get around to it. Hopefully soon!
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