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Bending Unit
« : 06-14-2007 09:43 »

What sleeps in between

Disclaimers: Futurama and all the related characters are a creation of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. The following work is purely fan material and has absolutely no commercial purposes.

Before we start: A story that I think will be a bit different of what I did before… Once again, it is set between “the Farnsworth parabox” and “the Devil’s hands are idle playthings”, for how continuity is worth in Futurama anyway… ;-)


Despite what most people think, the Universe is not infinite. It sure is extremely vast, having a size that is hardly imaginable for our human mind, but it does have clear limits, and although it is still expanding, it still not covers the entire Creation. We already know there’s another universe in this plan of reality, one which inhabitants apparently have the strange (and unexplainable) habit of dressing up as cow-boys, but from what the scientists have been able to see from this universe, it seems that it obeys to the very same laws of physics that are commanding life. Which means it, too, is finite. But despite the apparent proximity between the two universes, all the scientific missions which tried to get to the other universe failed. There’s a strange force that is preventing anything from our universe to get in the void between the two universes, a force that is turning the Universe into one monstrous and gigantic bubble, floating in the never-ending nothingness. Scientists tried everything they had at their disposal to break this barrier and to finally explore this other universe, but nothing seems to be able to break this strange force-field that is containing the Universe…

Unless it is protecting it.

Scientists think that there’s absolutely nothing between the two universes, which explains why we can perfectly see the neighboring cosmos.

Is this really the case?

Is the reason we can’t see anything beyond the barrier except the other universe the fact that our poor human senses can’t allow us to see the true face of that strange space in between?

Which leads to this question…

Do we really want to know what is between the two universes?

Fry, Leela and Bender had better things to do than trying to answer those questions. They were more obsessed with some urgent problems, like having a clear idea of where they were and where they could find help. A few minutes ago, Leela stopped the engines when she realized they were near the edge of the universe. She already had taken Fry to the limit of their cosmos, a few months ago, just for an innocent trip to have a look at the other universe… The problem was that was not the same sector. For what she knew, they could have been at the exact opposite end of the universe, but that was absolutely impossible to know. The problem with the Universe’s edge was that it was, by definition, everywhere the Universe was coming to its limits…

“Where are we, Leela?”

The young woman turned to face Fry, a bit annoyed. She should have expected him to ask her this, but she wasn’t really pleased with having to confess she was about as lost as him. He was surely worried about their situation, but at least he wasn’t sick anymore.

“- I don’t have the slightest idea, Fry. We could be anywhere in that freaking cosmos… I think that when we got in that rift in the time-space continuum, it must have teleported us here; now the question is to know where “here” is exactly…
- Can’t we just have a look at all those things that goes “blip” and “tudu-tudu”, and with all those weird buttons on them?
- I already tried that… It looks like our navigation instruments didn’t like the teleportation. They’re more or less all jammed out.
- That’s a fine mess you put us into!”

Enraged, Leela looked at Bender. The robot was finishing mopping the floor, as Fry’s organism REALLY didn’t like the teleportation… It was pretty obvious Bender was still pretty angry that she forced him to clean up the “mess” the young man made. But she wasn’t in the mood for having to bear his behavior much longer.

“- Do you really think I wanted this, Bender? Said Leela, almost shouting at him. I didn’t even realize where we were flying to before we were in it!
- And you call yourself a pilot? Replied the robot. What was wrong in… Oh, I don’t know… Avoid this stupid wormhole?
- We were in the middle of an uncharted meteorite field! And by the way, I told you not to fire this nuclear torpedo on those meteorites! They already were made of some strange unstable radioactive matter, and I’m almost sure the explosion created this rift we got sucked in!
- Details, details… Said the Bender, making a gesture that was showing what he was thinking of Leela’s argument. Find a way for us to get back to Earth, and that will be all.
- Because that’s not what I’m doing? I don’t have a single clue about where we are!”

Fry could easily see Leela was almost about to tear Bender’s limbs apart. Her anger may have been caused by her anxiety rather than by Bender’s rants, but it was still a very bad idea to have her lose her temper in such a situation. Especially considering that, in such a state, she had the bad habit to get mad at him as well. The young man quickly searched a way for calming her down. He couldn’t see what he could do for improving their situation, or what to say which would distract her from Bender… But he thought he could do something which would make her feel good. He quietly got behind her and, softly, began to massage her neck, her shoulders and her back.

“- What the hell are you doing?!? Said Leela, still angered.
- Just a little something I’d like to try… Replied Fry. You’re way too tensed for thinking clearly, so…
- Fry, I’m perfectly sane! I swear, if… You don’t… Get your hands off…”

Fry felt that the young woman was gradually beginning to relax. In fact, he even heard her sigh of contempt a few minutes later. Bender was staring at them, making sure he was recording every bit of it on his hard-disk in order to replay it later and maybe finally understand what the hell was going on.

“- Wow… Whispered Leela. That’s… Quite good…
- Thanks. I didn’t really have many occasions to perform lately, so I’m afraid I’m a bit rusted.
- No no, really, that’s perfect.” Leela frowned. “Wait, since when can you do massage?
- Well, it all started in high-school. See, there was that guy, Roberto, who was massaging the football team…
- You were in your school’s football team?!
- Yeah. As the water-boy.
- Oh.
- Anyway, I asked him if he could teach me a few things, as I was dating that girl at the moment and thought it would be cool to give her a massage before we… Well…
- Too much information… Said Bender.
- And it worked? Asked Leela.
- Took me a while. But Roberto was extremely patient, and never rushed me. In fact, the two of us really shared a bond. Aaah, I think I will never forget the great moments we had together, the little sparkles I thought I could feel when I was touching him appropriately, the sweet abandonment he was making me live when it was his turn to explain me what was the desired effect…
- WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!!! Said Bender, trembling with disgust.
- And did it work on your girlfriend? Asked Leela.
- No, I couldn’t even try on her. Once, she surprised us while I was training. I don’t know what happened; she just stood there a few seconds, looking shocked, and then ran away. The next time I saw her, we broke up.
- Oh.
- Yeah. And shortly after, the principal fired Roberto for reasons I never knew.
- What?
- I’m serious! Oh Lord, I really missed him. He really was the only pal I had that year. In fact, everybody was looking at me strangely after Roberto got fired…”

Leela was still getting pretty relaxed by Fry’s massage, but she decided it would be best not to make it last too long. Especially after such awkward confessions… She got up of her seat, and turned to look at her friend.

“- Thank you, Fry. That was really kind.
- It’s been a pleasure. So, what do we do now?
- Well, we can’t stay here forever. We’ve got to find a way for getting back to Earth, but we can’t do this on our own…
- So what, we’re looking for help? Asked Bender.
- Exactly, replied Leela. Our first priority is to find an inhabited world, or a ship nearby, whatever, and from that we look for our way.
- Sounds easy, said Fry.
- Not really… As I told you all our instruments got jammed, and it includes the radar. We’re completely blind, in this case.
- Crud, said Fry, now worried. I guess I should have programmed my recording of the Blernsball season opening match…”


Fry, Leela and Bender immediately looked at the pilot’s seat. There couldn’t be any mistakes.

It was their communicator.

Someone was trying to contact them.


“What the Hell are you waiting for, big boots?!? Said Bender. Answer that call!”

This time, Leela didn’t bother to yell at Bender to shut up. They had a chance to get out of this mess sooner than they thought, and she really didn’t want to screw it up. She almost jumped to seat back at her place and immediately activated the communication.

The little screen which was usually allowing her to see her speaker got out of the roof and automatically switched on. Leela was expecting to see someone on the screen… But strangely, all she could see were interferences. She mentally cursed. If there was one thing which really shouldn’t have broken down, it was this freaking communicator!

“This is the Planet Express ship. Do you copy me?”

Nobody answered to Leela’s question. Until this moment, Leela and the others couldn’t hear anything else than scratching noises, but now, she was sure she could hear something else… It could have been voices, but she couldn’t be sure. If it was someone, however, he was whispering or something…

“I repeat, this is the Planet Express ship. Do you copy me?”

Still no answers. Leela looked at her friends behind her; the only thing they did was to shrug, apparently not at ease with this situation.

“Planet Express…”

Leela looked again at the communicator’s screen. She couldn’t see anything, but she was sure to have distinctly heard something.

“Hello? Do you hear me?”

And finally, someone answered. His voice was pretty cold, almost as if she was talking to an automatic answering machine, and he was speaking pretty slowly as if he was carefully choosing his words, but at least he was talking. She still couldn’t see anyone on the screen, however.

- Yes… I… Hear you…
- Oh, thank God… Are you around? We need some help, and…
- You are… Trespassing a restricted… Area…
- Beg your pardon? Asked Leela, surprised.
- This zone is under… DOOP’s command… Civilians aren’t… Allowed here…
- Oh… Sorry, we didn’t know… In fact, we didn’t even know where we are… We got lost, and…
- That is none… Of our concerns… I will ask you… To come in our ship… For a routine inspection…
- Well, if this is axed so nicely… Replied a sarcastic Leela. Where are you exactly? We can’t see you…
- Just behind you... Please proceed… As fast as you can…
- Errr, is there a problem with your communicator? I mean, what’s telling me that…”

But just at this moment, her speaker cut down the communication. It took Leela a few seconds for overcoming her surprise, but she quickly ignited the ship’s engine to make it turn round. Fry came closer to her.

“- You’re not going to obey him, right?
- Well, we don’t have the choice… We’re in the middle of a sector we don’t know, for what is left, maybe we are indeed trespassing some restricted area…
- But don’t you think that whole story is fishy? Said Bender. He doesn’t even prove us he’s from the DOOP, and yet he gives us orders?
- Yeah, that sure is strange, I agree. But we never know… Maybe he can really help us, and then we would… HOLY CRAP!!!”

Bender, Leela and Fry gasped in unison.

In front of them was one gigantic warship. It was certainly as big as the Nimbus, but looking at its appearance made Leela wish it was Zapp’s ship. It was looking like the horrible breeding between a crab, a scorpion and a spider, all this metallic and with extremely angular corners. The entrance of the docking bay was located just where the mouth would be on such a creature, and Leela was about as reluctant about getting in it as if it was indeed one titanic monster.

“If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in my room, said Bender. I think I just had an oil leak…”
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« #1 : 06-14-2007 12:04 »

Very interesting, and in some places... disturbing. I can't wait for more!

Bending Unit
« #2 : 06-14-2007 13:52 »


Space Pope
« #3 : 06-14-2007 16:21 »

Very good story. Put up more soon.

Starship Captain
« #4 : 06-14-2007 17:33 »

Awesome beginning!  I can't wait to hear more.
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #5 : 06-14-2007 22:34 »

Interesting and a good start, I'm looking foward to more.
bored idiot

Delivery Boy
« #6 : 06-15-2007 18:11 »

this is like that one star wars book (was it star wars?) that my cousin read once.
Bending Unit
« #7 : 06-18-2007 00:49 »

Originally posted by bored idiot:
this is like that one star wars book (was it star wars?) that my cousin read once.

Really ? What was the plot exactly ? It's not finished, so if it really look like it, I'll still be able to change some parts.


What sleeps in between (part 2)

At first, the docking bay sure was looking impressive… It was certainly a bit larger than the Nimbus’, but what stroke Leela’s imagination was the fact that it was almost completely deserted. Usually, there always were dozens of small fighters in such a ship, not counting the engineers who are constantly looking at the ships and ensuring everybody that they could fly in outer space without a problem… But in this ship, you could only count three fighters, and no one was maintaining them. In fact, the fighters themselves made Leela curious: she just couldn’t identify what kind of model they could have been. And considering she knew every kind of ships that were used by the DOOP, she was beginning to ask herself if they indeed ended up in some secret test field or something… Another thing that was strange about the fighters was that they were really odd looking. Their general shapes, the type of engines they apparently were using… It looked quite… Retro. That was the first word that came to her mind. It wasn’t really reflecting the last years’ tendencies in matter of design and engineering…

And just to make everything more appealing, it was pretty cold in the docking bay. Not to the point that they were freezing, but they were expecting that this ship would have been heated better.

Whatever was supposed to happen, they all went out of the ship, hoping they would have answers. But it looked like they were still the victims of some elaborate joke… Nobody was inside the docking bay, welcoming them. After a few seconds of interrogations and dumbfounded looks, Bender finally decided to break the silence.

“- So what, that’s it? We obey their orders, and they don’t even come here to say hello?
- I don’t like this, Leela… Said Fry. Do you think it’s a trap? I mean, I can’t hear any noises here, and usually this kind of ship is always filled with noises…
- And jerks in uniform, replied Bender, but that’s common everywhere anyway…
- Yeah… Said Leela, cautious. We’d better keep our eyes open… And be prepared to run in the ship in case something turns wrong…
- Like what? Asked Fry.
- We’ve been in enough dangerous situations for knowing when to run and when not to… Said Leela.
- Yeah, but… I don’t know… This seems so unusual…
- How unusual?
- Errr… Remember when Ronald Reagan’s head said he was about to write a book about his recent conversion to communism, and call it “Marx was right: Everything you need to know about the unbearable exploitation of the weak by the powerful”?
- Damn, THAT level of unusual?!?
- Yep.
- Well done, meatbag. Now I’m scared.”

Leela was about to say to her friends that it was useless and that they should better leave, when suddenly some metallic noise occurred. Surprised by this, Leela instinctively took a combat stance, while Bender, afraid, jumped in Fry’s arms… Who barely managed to withstand his weight and was now huffing and puffing because of the effort…

It was in fact a sliding door on the other end of the room that was opening. At first, a blinding light behind it prevented Leela from seeing anything, but her eye soon got accustomed to the intense lighting, and she finally saw who was now entering in the docking bay.

The young woman quickly identified the leader. It was a middle-aged Caucasian man, quite tall, not bulky yet athletic. Most of his hairs were dark brown, but some of his locks were of the color of silver, showing he certainly was over his forties. He apparently shaved himself recently, considering Leela couldn’t see the slightest shadow on his cheeks and chin. His entire face was almost radiating authority and self-determination, but there was something else in his general attitude that was a bit stressing out Leela… His eyes, moreover, were of some cold grey-blue, which was reinforcing the general impression about him: he sure was good-looking, but there were some hints that were making you feel unease. The two guys who were following him had completely generic faces, the kind of guys that you just can’t remember how they look like even when you spent long minutes talking with them only one hour ago. But apparently, they certainly weren’t here for fun…

Another thing was odd with those persons… Their uniforms. Discovering that they were wearing pants nearly gave a shock to Fry, but more generally it wasn’t really looking like a DOOP uniform. It was obviously military, but not from the interplanetary organization, which only managed to increase Leela’s suspicion. The color scheme, at first, was a bit odd: pale green, with some yellow elements here and there (for example a yellow line which was running all the way on the side of their legs). Their jackets were closed on the right side of their body by big metallic golden buttons, and were going all the way to their lower jaw, tightening their neck. They weren’t wearing any gloves, but they had yellow shoulder-pads which were made of tissue and were having some braided threads which were hanging. Their trousers were generic, but their boots were reaching the middle of their calves. On the left side of their chests, on their heart, Leela could read the DOOP letters, above their badges and ranks. Apparently, the leader was a captain, and the others were lieutenants.

They stopped a few feet away from Leela, Fry and Bender. They were looking perfectly calm, but the Planet Express employees were still pretty anxious about what was about to happen. The captain smiled to them; but it didn’t really calm them down. He was obviously trying to look welcoming, but there was something that couldn’t be described in that smile that was really, really making them feel uneasy.

“- Welcome on the Crimson Monarch, said the man. Let me introduce myself: I am the captain Oswald Kalt, only master on board of this ship, and appointed as the local DOOP commander of this sector.
- Well… Nice to meet you… Said Leela, a bit backed off by his cheerful tone. Are you the one who contacted us? Not personally, of course, but is it your crew which…
- Called you? Yes indeed. But you still didn’t tell me who you were…
- Mmmh? Oh, yeah… We’re just employees of Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company. I am Turanga Leela, pilot and captain of our ship, and here are Fry, our delivery boy, and Bender, our… Well, let’s just say he’s supposed to help us on our missions.”

As Leela was presenting them, Fry and Bender saluted Kalt, but they were having a hard time staying where they were and not running away to their ship. Kalt took a brief look at them. A cold chill ran through Fry’s spine; it lasted only during a fraction of second, but he could have sworn something lit up his eyes when he looked at them before fading away as quick as it came. The captain soon got back to Leela, who didn’t seem to have noticed anything.

“- You’re forming quite an unusual group.
- You look quite unusual yourself, replied Leela.
- Oh, the uniform… Said Kalt, after a quick chuckle. I guess you’ve already met DOOP officers, then…
- Yeah… Some… Said Leela, who was desperately trying to get Zapp’s face out of her mind as quick as possible.
- We’re part of a special unit of the DOOP army, hence our outfits, resumed Kalt. Some particular elements in this sector have led our command to send us here and maintain a constant watch over the various activities.
- ‘Particular elements’? Said Bender. What kind?
- As you may have noticed, we’re at the edge of the universe, said Kalt. Usually, wherever the Universe ends, a strange force is making it impossible for anybody to cross the limits of our reality. But here, it seems that this force experiences some fluctuations that can lead to some strange distortions… We’re here to keep an eye on those fluctuations.
- Whoa… Said Fry, trembling. Scary.
- Do not worry, said Kalt, there is nothing to be afraid of. Just some minor magnetic perturbations, that is all. But that said, we are here for ensuring that nothing illegal is happening here. And you still didn’t tell us what exactly you are doing here. There is no inhabited world in this sector, so I guess you can understand we’re a bit surprised to see a so-called delivery company flying around.
- Oh, yes… Said Leela. It’s a bit… Complicated. We have been sent to make a delivery in Demoniaco 666…
- The planet of the Robot-Devil worshippers? Said Kalt, obviously surprised.
- Yep, said Bender. Oh, if you go there, stay away from their coffee. It’s got some strange after-taste that is particularly annoying…
- How can this be? We’re certainly not in the usual route between this planet and Earth!
- We do know, but let me finish, continued Leela. See, on our way back, we came across a meteorite field; and the problem is that those meteorites were made of some unknown radioactive matters. And Bender here had the brilliant idea to use our positron torpedo to clear our way…
- Hey, blowing things up always helped us in the past! Replied the robot.
- … Anyway, it triggered God only knows what kind of chain reaction which leaded to the creation of a wormhole in which we’ve been sucked in. And we ended up here.”

Kalt scratched his chin, putting all the elements together.

“- I see… This may explain the unusual particle storm we recorded a bit earlier… You’ve been unwillingly teleported, then?
- Exactly, replied Leela. And as some of our instruments have been damaged by the teleportation, we would really need some time to rest and fix everything.
- Then, you’re welcome here, lady. The Crimson Monarch and its crew will be your servants… But to be fair, I’m afraid you’ll have to stay here a bit longer.”

This last sentence made Fry, Leela and Bender wince. It was so calling for trouble that they now were almost sure they should have avoided obeying Kalt’s orders…

“- What? But we…
- As I told you, I am in charge of this whole sector, said Kalt. I’d like to believe you, but in my long career, I’ve already met persons who were doing their best for looking innocent and were in fact hiding their illegal activities. Don’t worry, you won’t be put in custody, but you’ll have to stay in board of this ship until I would have gathered all the information I need about your business. Sorry for being a bit suspicious, but someone of my rank is never too much, don’t you agree?”

Leela was still a bit perplexed, but she slowly began to relax. After all this sounded perfectly rational, and she was sure it wouldn’t be that long…

And yet, why did she have a bad feeling about this situation?

“- Oh… Yeah, you’re right… But you’re sure we won’t be bothering you?
- Not at all, my dear. It’s been a long time since we met new faces, a bit of fresh blood would surely make some good to my crew…”

Fry mechanically swallowed a big gulp of his saliva.

The door behind Kalt and the officers, leading to the rest of the ship, suddenly opened up, revealing two soldiers who were wearing a similar uniform than their superiors, minus the shoulder-pads and the ranks. Their expressions were not really calling for a warm friendship…

“- Of course, it also means I’ll have to take some measures for being sure you wouldn’t try to fly away from us, said Kalt. My men will guard your ship night and day, and report to me any suspicious activities they would witness.
- You… Sure don’t like farewells, do you?” Asked Leela, a bit unease by the soldiers’ sinister looks.

Kalt smiled. And once again, Fry, Leela and Bender couldn’t precisely tell what was displeasing them in this smile. It sure was welcoming, but there was something in it that was implying he was hiding something…

“Let’s just say we don’t want such quality guests to slip away…”

Kalt then made a gesture to the door behind him, more precisely an invitation to the three of them.

“Well, we sure don’t need to stay here all day, do we? Would you mind if I make you the visit of my humble ship?”

Leela frowned. It was quite unusual… Kalt was acting so politely she had difficulties to determine if he was acting or if he was indeed a real gentleman…

She quickly let those thoughts go away. What did she know of DOOP captains, anyway? The only one she met was Zapp, and he admittedly was an exception in the worst meaning of the word. What was giving her the right to be that suspicious about Kalt?

“- Sure. No problem. We’re not in a hurry, anyway.
- Great! Follow me, please.”

Thus said, Kalt turned feet, quickly mimicked by his subordinates, and got out of the docking bay. Fry, Leela and Bender were closely following them, as they just had no idea of how the ship was organized and didn’t want to get lost in it.

Something, however, troubled Fry a bit.

He never knew exactly what pushed him into doing this, but as the door to the docking bay was closing behind him, he took a quick look to their ship.

He could have sworn that, during the split second before the doors would totally hide the docking bay from his sight, he saw the room distort.

Starship Captain
« #8 : 06-18-2007 08:37 »

Great update!
This isn't really like Star Wars.  I don't think you have to worry aboutchanging anything.

Space Pope
« #9 : 06-18-2007 10:42 »

The story is really interesting. Update.
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #10 : 06-18-2007 13:44 »

  :eek: Oooooo, spooky. Good story so far, cant wait for more  :D
Bending Unit
« #11 : 06-21-2007 14:37 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 3)

Fry, Leela and Bender weren’t really that disoriented by the ship’s internal disposition. Just as they were expecting, the Crimson Monarch was containing long and pretty narrow corridors, all connecting to the various rooms one would expect on such a ship. Kalt explained them that, as he still had to investigate on them, he couldn’t show them everything that was in the ship (and also because, considering the size of the ship, it would take them hours), but he took them to all the locations they would need. He presented them the dining hall, which was big enough for housing hundreds of guests; the mechanics room, where they would find the tools they would need; and the rest room, if they would ever want to spend some time for relaxing.

At a first glance, you would have thought that everything was normal in the ship. But pretty quickly, Leela began to notice that something was really odd in the atmosphere of the ship. Everything was looking in a perfect state, as if the ship had just been built, and yet… It all looked old-fashioned. The guy who built the ship must have been heavily influenced by antic architecture, because many forms, designs and choice of materials were outdated long ago. Furthermore, Leela saw that some doors were locked with a retina scanning system. But it was a long time since those systems were abandoned in the DOOP ships, especially since the Longinians joined the organizations. Creatures that have about 30 eyes at the end of tentacles on the top of their heads, each one with different retina patterns, have a lot of problems with such systems just to get in their rooms…

Something was a bit strange. Now that they were exploring the ship, they were constantly running into someone, which proved them that the Crimson Monarch was indeed housing hundreds of soldiers. That was even more the case when they ended up in the dining hall, which was very crowded at the time. But it was also revealing what was making Leela suspicious: the ship was pretty silent. There wasn’t that much discussions, footsteps, sounds of machines being operated… In other words, not many noises you would expect to hear in a confined place where hundreds of people are living and working. They didn’t see that many soldiers talking to each other… Sure, they were saluting their captain when they were crossing their paths, but it was as if, left alone, they just didn’t want talk. Moreover, they didn’t look so busy… Besides walking in the corridors, Leela couldn’t see anyone of them with a clear occupation…

That was a bit preoccupying. Looking at her friends, Leela quickly understood they too were noticing that something was wrong, but couldn’t clearly say what…

“Excuse me, captain?”

Kalt stopped and faced Leela. His friendly look was contrasting a lot with his subordinates’ attitude.

“- Yes, captain Leela?
- You see, our employer has the bad habit of considering us dead as soon as he doesn’t get news about us every day. And as a result to start looking for new employees. So I was thinking: as our own communicators are dead, would you mind if we use your radios to call Earth and tell them what’s going on?”

Kalt stood still for a few seconds, staring at Leela. Apparently, he was carefully choosing his words, but this was enough for Leela to know what his answer would be.

“- I’m afraid it won’t be possible, finally said Kalt. I think you can understand we can’t let suspects using our own material for making private calls, especially if we don’t know if they’re criminals or not.
- Uh, yeah… Said Leela, a bit taken aback by his constant politeness. But it would just be a short call, and you can have someone look over our shoulder if you’re not confident…
- I said no. It’s not a question of the length of your communication, it’s about the fact nobody is allowed to see how DOOP’s communicators work. Their default settings are the wavelength used by all the DOOP ships, and it would be too dangerous for us to have a civilian know them. Or at least, it could have a negative incidence on our work.
- But…
- I’m sorry, but this is my last word. You will have to wait that you’ve had your communicators repaired. Now enough talk. I think it is time…”

Kalt froze. Despite his bearing, Leela could perfectly see that something was worrying him. The captain was apparently looking for something in her back.

“Where did your friend go?”

Leela looked behind her, followed by Bender. What she saw, or more precisely who she didn’t see, made her bite her lip of anger and annoyance.

Fry wasn’t there anymore.

The young woman quietly cursed her friend. It really wasn’t the right time for going on a trip, alone and unsupervised, when you are in a gigantic ship you could get lost in, and when you weren’t sure of what the captain of said ship was planning to do of you!

“- Oh, great… Said Leela. He must have seen something shiny and went to get it while we weren’t looking!
- You imbeciles! Said Kalt to his subordinates, who were now looking afraid of the captain. Couldn’t you look at him more carefully?!
- We… We were preoccupied by miss Leela’s question, staggered one of the lieutenants… We couldn’t think he would…
- I will deal with you later… And you? When was the last time you saw him? Asked Kalt to Leela and Bender.
- I don’t really know, replied the young woman. He was still with us shortly before I axed you about the communications…
- He told me he needed to make a pee, so he started looking for the bathroom, said Bender.
- What?!? Said Leela, shocked by the robot’s quiet attitude. Why didn’t you made him stay with us!?
- And then having him wet his pants while you two were busy talking about crap? No way! Do you know the time I pass on his laundry in such a case?
- That’s not the problem, Bender! We’re… Wait a second, you do his laundry?
- Yeah, I had a washing machine installed in my body. That way, he doesn’t have to go to the launderette in the middle of the night.
- Lemme guess… He pays you for this, right?
- Of course, he’s using my body! You don’t expect this to be free?
- It seems extremely fascinating, said Kalt, but we need to find him quickly. I don’t want someone like this, walking aimlessly in my ship!
- Well, he can’t be too far… Said Leela. He must have taken this corridor, over there, it’s the only one that he could take without being noticed by us.”

Leela pointed the corridor she was talking… But when she got back at Kalt, she forgot about Fry’s escapade. The captain was openly looking worried, and it certainly wasn’t only because of the young man’s disappearance. He whispered a few words that reinforced Leela’s interrogations.

“Oh, no… Not there…”


“Dammit, can’t they just put signs?”

Fry was trying to restrain himself, but he really was reaching his maximum. He knew he would have gone to the bathroom before even going out of their ship, considering the stress this situation was placing him in, but as Leela ordered Bender and him to immediately follow her…

But now it was a bit late. And as he had simply no idea of where it could be, he was wandering everything, looking for an indication. Maybe he should have asked Kalt before… No, he couldn’t have worked. This guy, despite his pleasing manners, wasn’t inspiring him confidence. And he certainly didn’t want to look like an idiot for asking for such a thing…

Fry stopped. He was sure the corridor he was right was completely straight, but in fact, there was a small recess. Coming closer, he saw there was a door there…A strange looking door, in fact. The person who built it took a lot of time for making it look like it was made of wood, which was pretty useless in such an environment. But considering he also took a lot of time for “carving” a symbol on it, Fry guessed the guy must have been pretty strange to begin with… The symbol itself was making him shiver, as it was in fact the three heads of Cerberus, the left and the right ones howling and the middle one showing his fangs. The young man, although he was a bit scared, was also curious: that door was nothing like everything Kalt showed us earlier. There was… Something that was appealing him that he couldn’t describe… He knew he wanted to know what was on the other side…

Fry’s hand was about to push the button that was probably opening the door…

When someone caught it.

Fry screamed of surprise, and he screamed once again when he saw the man who stopped him. The man was apparently pretty old, considering all his wrinkles. The top of his head was also deprived of any kind of hair, but a few were falling on the back of his neck, and they were completely white. But what was really frightening was the madness that was shining in his bloodshot eyes. The man was wearing the same kind of uniform than the other privates, but his was torn at some parts, as if he was wearing it for years and never changed it.

“No! Yelled the man. Don’t go in there! This is not a place for the living!”

Fry tried to get out of the old man’s grip, but the man was surprisingly strong.

“- Leave me alone! Said Fry.
- Listen to me, young man! Get back to your ship, and flee as fast and far away as you can! If you and your friends ever stay here, you will be doomed! You must flee! What-Sleeps-In-Between… He’s calling us in his dreams, waiting for His return! You can’t stay here! You…”

The old man suddenly stopped. Panicked, Fry realized he could hear something… Footsteps. He knew he should have called for help, but he was also afraid of what the old man would do to him if he ever did anything. But he didn’t have to worry for long. As soon as the old man realized someone was coming in their directions, he let Fry. The delivery boy, surprised, then saw him take off the ventilation system grid and beginning to crawl in, backwards. When his head disappeared in the pipe, the old man grabbed the grid and put back in place. Fry could still hear him crawl backwards.

“Do what I said, boy: get out of here, if you want to live!”

Fry stood still for a long moment, not sure if what he saw was real or not. It’s only when Leela called him that he awakened.

“Fry? Are you alright?”

The young man turned to face his friends and Kalt, who was looking particularly pissed. For a second, he was about to tell them what had happened… But he crossed Kalt’s eyes, he decided to shut up. The warning the old man gave him… He didn’t know what it could have been about, but now he was wondering if the captain was somehow involved…

It looked wiser to wait for being alone with Leela and Bender to tell them everything.

“- Uh… Yeah, I’m fine… Just… Couldn’t find where are…
- Did you get in this room? Said Kalt, pointing the door.
- No… Not at all… I just found this, and…
- Good, replied the captain, not letting him finish. What is beyond this door is top secret material for the DOOP, and if you ever trespass its threshold, I will be forced to take some restrictive actions against you. Have I been clear?
- Yeah… Completely clear… Never get in there…”

During a few seconds stared at Fry, as if he was scrutinizing his soul to see if he was lying… But soon, he seemed to relax a bit. He was however obviously a lot tensed, but at least he wasn’t openly hostile anymore.

“- Alright. Enough visits for today. You will now be lead to the rooms you will occupy.
- What? Said Bender. Hey, we’ve got our own rooms in our ships, and I’d prefer…
- What you prefer and what I order are two things that will diverge very often from now on, said Kalt, stopping Bender’s complains. I will not suffer any other kind of rebellion from your part. Have a nice sleep.”

Kalt turned his feet and quickly disappeared behind a turn, letting Fry, Leela and Bender alone with the two lieutenants. The soldiers soon invited the Planet Express employees to follow them, which they did pretty quickly. Leela came closer to Fry.

“- You really didn’t help us with your stunt, Fry…
- I’m sorry Leela… I didn’t want this to…
- Nevermind. I’m beginning to have suspicions about Kalt, anyway. There are some things that are beyond odd, here…”

Fry said nothing, afraid that the lieutenants would hear him.

Yeah, really strange things.

“- Fry?
- Yes?
- You couldn’t find the bathroom, could you?
- How did you guess?
- You wet yourself…”
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #12 : 06-21-2007 15:09 »

Good update Purplefish, but I just have to say that I dont think Fry dumb enough to wet himself.

Then again.....it is Fry.

Starship Captain
« #13 : 06-21-2007 15:28 »

Awesome update.  Things are getting spooky.
Bending Unit
« #14 : 06-22-2007 02:17 »

Originally posted by Robo D Rulz!!:
Good update Purplefish, but I just have to say that I dont think Fry dumb enough to wet himself.

Then again.....it is Fry.

He got scared. It can easily disturb your control over your bladder.

Space Pope
« #15 : 06-22-2007 16:08 »

Things are getting kinda spooky on that ship. More. Good story.
Bending Unit
« #16 : 06-24-2007 13:06 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 4)

“- Okay, I’m not sure I got everything, Fry… Could you repeat again, this time slower?
- Are you sure, big boots? Because I don’t know if I could stand all this babbling once more…”

Fry took a deep breath, quickly trying to summarize everything in his head. The two lieutenants took them to their quarters a few minutes earlier, separating them. More precisely, Fry and Bender had to share the same room, while Leela got an individual room in the women quarter. It wasn’t really a big change from their situation in their own ship, the only difference being the distance between their respective rooms that was pretty much longer… As soon as Fry and Bender were left alone in their room which was really looking a lot like their own in the Planet Express ship, the young man tried to tell the robot what really happened to him, but as it was already a bit obscure in his own mind, he only managed to bore the robot in a matter of minutes. It gave the robot enough time for cleaning and drying the delivery boy’s pants, though. Pretty quickly, Leela joined them, planning for having a discussion about the strange situation they were in, but she got welcomed by Fry’s incomprehensible explanation. She quickly forced him to shut up.

“- Alright, said the young man. SoIwasalllikewalking, whenthatcreepyguyjumpedonme and…
- Stop, said Leela. Calm down, slow down, and start from the beginning.
- You know, said Bender, I’m beginning to wonder if that really was sugar I poured on his donut this morning. I still have some of this strange cargo from Medellina somewhere, so maybe I mistook the bottles…
- I’m not high! Replied Fry, annoyed.
- Ah! First thing I understood from you during the last 5 minutes… Said Leela. So, what do you want to tell us?”

Now speaking at a normal rate, his excitement having finally been controlled, Fry described the door and the creepy old man who jumped on him, as well as the strange warnings he gave him before vanishing away when he heard them coming. After his story, Leela spent some time adding all the elements, meditating on what it could mean. Bender, however, opened his chest cavity and got a test tube out of it. Fry looked at the tube with surprised eyes.

“- What’s it for? Asked the young man.
- For having washed your disgusting pants, I know that will be a bit hard, but that would be great if you give me a urine sample, said the robot. Because after what you just said, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t sugar…
- I don’t think he was hallucinating, said Leela. We saw that door, and although we didn’t see anyone else than Fry when we got there, he didn’t enter in this room despite his curiosity… Furthermore, he was really looking dizzied when we found him.
- If I think about what was on this donut, it would be a more reasonable explanation for him looking stupid…
- Tell me, Fry, asked Leela, did he really say “this is not a place for the living”?
- Yeah, exactly! Replied the young man. That was really spooky! It was like those horror movies, or those Fox News reports, or Elizabeth Taylor’s head’s last facelift!
- What’s that crap? Said Bender. He’s expecting some corpses to get there and start a party or something?
- You’ve got to admit that, at least, something’s wrong with that door… Said Leela. Kalt forbids us to go in that room, because of some secret stuff that would be in it… But if that’s so secret, why put such a sculpture on its door? It’s the best way for having someone notice it!
- Unless it has some meaning… Ventured Fry.
- It still doesn’t make sense, replied Leela. If there’s a place where you don’t expect to see something artistic, it’s a military ship.
- Okay, I still think that’s all rubbish, said Bender, but have you taken a look at that whole ship? It’s like the ones who built it tried to make it pleasant to the eye! From the inside, at least, because from the outside it freaked me out…
- What is it with you exactly? Asked Leela, a bit annoyed by Bender’s attitude. I thought you didn’t trust Kalt and his men…
- I still don’t, but there’s a limit! Said Bender. Give Redhead a few seconds, and he will start talking about ghosts and ghouls!
- You don’t believe in supernatural? Said Fry, genuinely surprised. But you got turned into a werecar, you got kidnapped by the robot-devil…
- I never said I don’t believe in it! It’s just that you suck when it comes to ghost stories!
- Oh come on, you were trembling like a little girl last time I…
- We’re not exactly in front of a firecamp right now… Said Leela, attempting to stop her friends from diverging. And that guy, what did he talk about?
- I dunno, said Fry. Some stuff about a thing that is sleeping in between…
- Between what? Asked Bender.
- I said I dunno! He wasn’t much clearer, and you came just after this. But he said that it was calling someone, and that it was waiting for its return or something…
- Wait… Said Leela, confused. Now I’ve lost track. That thing that is sleeping somewhere would be calling someone?!
- That’s what he said. I don’t get it either, but anyway, that guy wanted us to get out of this ship as fast as possible.
- And then he disappeared in the ventilation system… Said Bender.
- Yep.
- Okay, you know what? I don’t want to listen to you anymore. You’re just making a joke on us, a very bad one…
- Am not! Said Fry, genuinely shocked. Tell him, Leela!”

The young woman was trying to comprehend all the elements, but that was far beyond her capacities. Sure, some parts of Fry’s story were fairly understandable, but a few others were making his whole story switch to complete fantasy. And she was way too rational for taking the warnings of an old guy who obviously had lost his mind… Assuming he was real, but considering how disturbed was Fry, she was ready to accept that the young man indeed met him.


She finally looked at Fry, who was still expecting her to reprimand Bender.

“- Sorry, Fry, I was a bit lost in my thoughts… But I can tell you I believe in your story.
- Ahah! Said Fry, looking at the robot, exulting from his triumph.
- Alright, alright… Said Bender, admitting his defeat. So, what do we do? Get the heck out of here?
- I didn’t have to wait for Fry’s story for deciding this… No matter how strange it sounds. That guy maybe was simply mad, but Kalt is keeping something secret to us, and that whole place gives me the creeps.
- It’s not the ship itself that’s scaring me, said Fry. It’s all those guys… Have you seen the way they’re looking at us? Like they were all about to jump on us. Kalt is the only one who’s looking a bit friendly, but… I dunno why I’m that afraid of him…
- Maybe because he really don’t want us to get out of the ship? Said Bender.
- Yeah, said Fry. That, and sometimes you feel he’s not telling everything.
- Okay, it’s decided, said Leela. We must find a way out. I don’t know what’s going on here, but we’re definitely not in a real DOOP ship.
- You think they’re pirates? Asked Fry.
- Maybe, but the lack of cyber-parrots, laser hooks and titanium legs is a bit disturbing. And none of them was drinking rum. Anyway, we must reach our ship, but that won’t be easy, with those guys who are guarding it. We must find a plan for…”

But just at this moment, the door to the room slid open. Leela immediately stopped talking, fearing that whoever was coming in would have heard her earlier. Turning on her feet, she immediately recognized one of the lieutenants who were always with them since Kalt welcomed them. He was looking as unpleasant as before, except that he was apparently surprised to see Leela.

“- What are you doing out of your room, ma’am? Said the lieutenant.
- Nothing particular, lied Leela. I wanted to talk with my crew about the next repairs we would have to do.
- In the future, you should avoid being alone in the ship, ma’am. Most of our men haven’t seen a woman for a long time, and… Well… They may be rude…
- I know how to defend myself, said Leela.
- Yeah, exactly, said Fry. During our last Halloween party, I tried to frighten her by turning all the lights off and jumping on her. Since that moment, part of my jaw is plastic.
- That was stupid from your part, said Leela at her friend, but I still feel sorry for this, Fry… I should have recognized you before starting to punch…
- Bah, no problem, said Fry. And anyway, now I can do cool noises with my jaw! Listen!”

Fry grabbed his lower jaw and began to press, shake and move some parts of it, thus making it click and creak. Everybody, even the lieutenant, looked at the young man with disgusted looks, but soon the DOOP officer remembered why he was here in the first place.

“- Anyway, I wanted to tell you that the evening meal is about to be served. Your men could go to the dining hall and eat with the rest of the crew.
- Oh, said Leela. Good, we’ll… Wait, ‘your men’? I’m not dining with them?
- Indeed. Captain Kalt would like to apologize for his previous attitude toward you and your companions, so he would like to invite you to his quarters, where you would eat in private.”

Leela bit her lip. That wasn’t really the most pleasant thing she could imagine and was postponing their evasion, but she knew she couldn’t refuse if she didn’t want to raise suspicion…

“- Alright. But I must warn you I’ve got nothing formal to wear, out of this outfit…
- This is not a problem. The captain wants this to be a very casual dinner. Now, would you please follow me…
- And my crew?
- The dining hall is on the way to the captain’s quarters. But enough talks. It would be quite impolite to make the captain wait…”

The lieutenant then made a gesture for inviting the Planet Express employees to get out of the room. The three friends looked at each other, a bit intrigued about what would happen next. Then they got out in unison. The lieutenant immediately walked away, and they soon began to follow him. Fry, however, got closer to Leela.

“- What do you think he wants? Asked the young man.
- I don’t know. But I guess that will be the perfect moment to see what he’s really up to…
- Oh, I think I have an idea… Said Bender.
- Really? Said Fry. What is he going to do?
- Do you remember who’s the last DOOP officer who called her for sharing a private moment with him?
- Yeah, Zapp, but what does it have to…”

Fry stopped.

“- Oh.
- Yeah.
- You don’t think he’s…
- He sure is!
- Oh, man…
- Bender, said an annoyed Leela, did you really have to bring this again?
- No, but I felt like it. And this time, wait a bit before sleeping with him, okay?
- I’m NOT going to sleep with him!
- Yeah, yeah, of course you’re not…”

The look Leela gave to the robot could have pierced a 5 inches thick lead plate.

“You’d better pray that we really have reasons to get out of here as fast as possible, because that way, I would be too busy for dealing with you…”
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #17 : 06-24-2007 13:39 »

Good update, Purplefish.

Space Pope
« #18 : 06-24-2007 14:57 »

Good update. The story is getting really creepy.

Starship Captain
« #19 : 06-24-2007 18:42 »

Great chapter.
Bending Unit
« #20 : 06-28-2007 13:15 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 5)

“Ah, captain Turanga… Please, come in.”

Kalt cleared the way for letting Leela enter. As soon as she went past the threshold, the young woman quickly understood that the DOOP captain was extremely different of Zapp… In terms of decoration and tastes in furniture, anyway. The room was a bit smaller than what she expected, but everything in it was a proof of Kalt’s well-educated way of life. It was rather sober, revealing his military past, as the walls and roof were just made of the same materials than the rest of the ship. The only difference was the wooden floor under her feet, but even this wasn’t that exuberant, as it was in the same tone than the rest of the ship. Leela could see in a corner a single bed, which was looking comfortable but was obviously just there because Kalt needed a place to sleep and decided to keep the standard DOOP bedding. In another corner was Kalt’s office, which just like the rest of the furniture was looking purely functional, but was still covered with impeccably tidy piles of paper and forms. A look at the various shelving units that were containing dozens of old books made Leela think that the captain was apparently fond of readings, although she couldn’t really see what kind of books it was. In the middle of the room, a small table for two had been placed, with the cutlery, plates and glasses prepared for the meal. A candle, placed in a candlestick, was burning, while some soft classical music was played; the very old kind of classical music, played with string instruments and piano, mainly.

Leela scowled a bit. Kalt wasn’t Zapp, it was obvious, but this situation could easily turn into some lame attempt from the captain hitting on her…

“- Please pardon the mess, said Kalt, I had some important businesses to finish when you suddenly appeared…
- The mess? Said Leela. That’s the first time in years that I see such a tidy place that is not my own apartment.
- You’re flattering me… But I’m failing to my duties as a host. Do you want to have a drink before dinner?
- Depends on what you’ve got.
- Of course. Let me see…”

Kalt got near a small closet and opened, revealing various bottles of different alcohols. Leela quickly noticed that all the bottles were full, and apparently not even uncorked. Kalt was certainly not a heavy drinker, unless he “filled up” just before she came…

“- Brandy? Whiskey? Cognac? Korlean gin? Decapodian seaweed liquor?
- A whiskey would be great.
- You don’t mind if I join you?”

Leela hesitated a bit. That was so looking like a first step before fully hitting on… But she wasn’t really in a good position for protesting.

“No, absolutely not.”

Kalt got two glasses out of the closet as well as the bottle of whiskey. He posed them on a small coffee table next to the closet and opened the bottle. The captain then poured a small quantity in each glass, before holding out one of them to Leela, a friendly smile on his face. The young woman grabbed it, a bit worried of where it would lead her to. Kalt then raised his glass.

“To our meeting!”

Leela said nothing, as she wasn’t really enthusiastic about this, but she politely smiled nonetheless. That seemed to be enough for Kalt, who drank his whiskey in one gulp. Leela soaked her lips in the alcohol… And immediately had the feeling someone was burning them with a blowlamp. She certainly wasn’t expecting a whiskey to be that hard, especially as it was not the first time she was drinking some. She forced herself into swallowing a little, but the taste of the drink was about as awful as it was strong… Doing her best for containing her repulsion, she immediately decided to not touch any of this during the meal, and even after. Kalt, on his part, wasn’t as destabilized as her, but he however looked at his glass, looking worried.

“I’m really sorry, Leela… Said Kalt. It looks like it went off. I drink only in great occasions, and it was a long time since such one occurred…”

Leela, still shocked by the horrible drink, stood silent, but that didn’t prevent her from wondering how a whiskey can go off… The young woman suddenly heard the door behind her sliding. Turning her head, she saw one soldier, sporting the same cold expression than any of his mates, pushing a little cart with two covered dishes on it in the room. Kalt immediately clapped his hand.

“- Ah, good! Congratulations for your punctuality, Ivan! I see you’ve done your best for preventing our guest from waiting!
- Thank you, captain, said the soldier, not even giving a look at Leela. You’re too good… I’m not worthy of such compliments…
- Oh please, Ivan, you know you are.” Kalt then turned to face Leela, while the soldier was disposing the dishes on the table. “I think we can begin now, dear Leela. Please take a seat.”

The captain then pulled one of the seats and invited Leela to sit. This sign of gallantry would have deeply impressed the young woman if she wasn’t half-expecting this dinner to end in an unpleasant way… As she finally sat, Leela took a look at Ivan who was now leaving the room. The man never looked at one of them. Earlier, despite his words, he didn’t seem to be that moved by Kalt’s compliment either, and now that she was thinking about it, he wasn’t really faking his embarrassment too. It was as if he only said a pre-recorded message, with the same indifference an answering machine would have… The door sliding again for closing put an end to her thoughts, as well as Kalt, who during those few seconds went back to the closet where he already picked up the whiskey and now was getting back to the table, this time carrying a bottle of wine.

“Château Danleu-Péttrin… I must admit my knowledge of wine is not particularly extensive, but I still think this would get on well with our meal…”

Kalt stopped, a strange expression on his face. Leela didn’t know exactly why, but seeing him in this state made her shake a bit.

“Is everything alright, miss Turanga? You look troubled…”

This didn’t surprise her as much as she thought it would… I’m in an unknown ship which is supposed to be from the DOOP but really doesn’t look like it is, in a barely known sector of the universe, without any ways to contact Earth, everybody in this ship is looking at me as if they were about to murder me, the only person who doesn’t do so suspects me from being a criminal and still invites me for dinner… Plus, one of my friends asserts he was attacked by a lunatic who told him strange tales about dead things that are sleeping… Of course I’m troubled!

“- Oh, there’s no problem. I’m… Just wondering if my men are treated as good as I am now…
- Ah, yes, the young man and the robot… Said Kalt, apparently becoming less tensed. You have no need to worry about them, captain Turanga. I told my men to behave themselves with your friends as if they were long companions. I’m sure they’ve already been accepted by my crew.”


Fry waved his hand and smiled to one of the men who were watching Bender and him. He didn’t receive any answers. In fact, the man continued to stare him for a few seconds before going back to his meal. Puzzled and worried in the same time, Fry faced his friend. Something else was particularly disturbing. The whole room was occupied with DOOP soldiers… And yet it was extremely quiet. No discussions, only a few quantities of the sounds you expect to hear in a refectory where people are eating…

“- I don’t like this one bit…
- No kidding? Replied the robot. The last time I was in such a cold assembly, it was when we had to work as night watchmen in this mortuary…
- Yeah… Talk about community work… At least we learnt that we can’t use the fireplug for filling the pool.
- Especially when the whole neighborhood is burning.
- You even tried to force the firemen to pay so that they could use it. It’s a miracle we only had general interest works to do!
- Well, what do you think? Lex is not dura, sometimes… *Cough*Especially when you bribe the judge*Cough*. Anyway how’s the food?”

Fry looked at his plate. For the moment he still hadn’t eaten a lot of what was inside, but it was mainly because he wasn’t very hungry to begin with. This weighty atmosphere was spoiling his appetite, and it was even worse when he got served: he was the only one who was getting served, the rest of the men looking at him, and the cook mechanically gave him his meal without saying a single word.

“- Not bad… I guess. When you forget the crispiness, the fact it’s grey, the strange walnut and mint taste and the stickyness…
- At least you don’t want to puke.
- Not really. But I now have the feeling I’ve got a breeze block in my stomach…
- Oh yeah, I know that.”

Fry frowned.

“- You don’t have a stomach…
- But I already carried breeze blocks in my chest cavity.
- Oh.
- And bowling balls.
- Yeah.
- Once I had to hide a whole safe in it.
- Really?
- And one day I even found an anvil in me! I couldn’t remember where I picked it up in the first place…
- Aaaaah, I was wondering where you got that big wedge, for the professor’s closet.
- He likes it?
- He’s wondering why his closet is now tilting in the opposite way it was before you repaired it, but he didn’t get why.”

Fry gave another look at their neighbors. Some were still looking at them with the same hostile look, but others were just sitting on their chair, looking at their plate without even touching it. A very few numbers were actually eating, but it was apparently because they had nothing better to do. That wasn’t really helping Fry in getting relaxed.

“- Man, I really hope Leela is alright. I can’t wait for leaving this place.
- I’m sure she’s alright! We’re talking about a chick who can knock me up with one punch without breaking her own fist!
- Maybe you’re right… She can defend herself… But I’m still worried…
- And I’m sure that this blockhead of a captain will let us go as soon as she will have slept with him.
- I’m not sure I wanted to hear this.”

Bender posed his feet on the table, trying to get a bit more comfortable.

“You’ve heard it. You can’t unhear it.”

Suddenly, the robot looked a bit insecure.

“- Errr… You humans can’t take your memory backup out, right?
- No.
- Then I stand corrected.”

Bending Unit
« #21 : 06-28-2007 14:18 »

"“You’ve heard it. You can’t unhear it.”

Suddenly, the robot looked a bit insecure.

“- Errr… You humans can’t take your memory backup out, right?
- No.
- Then I stand corrected.”"

haha thats the best line from anthology of interest.  And a good response by bender  :)
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #22 : 06-28-2007 14:53 »
« : 06-28-2007 14:53 »

That ship sounds soooooooooooo boring, doesn't it?

Can't wait for more, Purplefish.  :)

Starship Captain
« #23 : 06-28-2007 16:05 »

Great stuff, as usual.

Space Pope
« #24 : 06-28-2007 18:27 »

Great update. Can't wait for more.

Bending Unit
« #25 : 06-28-2007 19:01 »

Bending Unit
« #26 : 07-02-2007 10:12 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 6)

Leela couldn’t swallow another mouthful. This food was just plain horrible. Sure, it was looking like some finely cooked roast beef with some green beans and water-cooked potatoes, completed with wine sauce… But it didn’t have the taste one would expect. As soon as it got on her tongue, Leela thought she accidentally swallowed wax and dirt. The wine wasn’t helping either: it was so sour that drinking vinegar would be extremely thirst-quenching compared to this. In front of her, Kalt was eating with appetite, as if it was a meal worthy of a king. They didn’t say a word to each other since the beginning of the dinner, but Kalt seemed to finally notice she was still here.

“- Oh my… I’m so rude! Eating like some kind of barbarian, when being in such a pleasant company…
- It’s not a problem, said Leela, overcoming her nausea. I’m not accustomed to this kind of situation.
- You never have dinner face to face with a man usually? Said Kalt, frowning. I’m pretty surprised. I wasn’t expecting such confidence from a beautiful lady like you…”

Leela hid her harassment. She knew it. She saw it coming one thousand miles away that Kalt would do this… In other circumstances she would immediately have made it clear that he shouldn’t hope anything would happen, but considering her situation was still unclear, she decided to act more… Diplomatically.

“- Men seem to have a problem with my eye. But I was talking about the fact that I’m sharing the table of a man who is still suspecting me of illegal activities.
- Ah. I see.” Kalt posed his cutlery, put his elbows on the table and crossed his hands in front of his face, looking in Leela’s eye. “You don’t have to worry about this. Captain to captain, I had to act like an officer should and respect the procedures, but as soon as I saw you and your friends, I had the feeling you were as innocent as lambs.
- On this point, I can tell you, that you were right, said Leela who would certainly not tell him that Bender would probably not qualify as an innocent lamb.
- I already know that, dear Leela. I have a certain… Talent for knowing what lies deep inside the hearts of the people I cross.”

Great. I bet that in less than 5 minutes, he’ll say he felt passion in mine.

“- Really? That’s quite amazing…
- I have no merits, you know. You just have to be extremely attentive to the little twitches and tics that indicate a person’s feelings without them being aware of this. The slightest move of an eyebrow, the pupil getting wider, a hand which clenches into a fist… All this can be extremely informative. For example, in your case…”

And here we go…

“… I sense that you think I’m courting you.”

Leela tensed up. She definitely wasn’t expecting this.

“- Beg your pardon? I never…
- Don’t lie to me, dear Leela.” Kalt was smiling at her as he was speaking… A smile that was charming, but which for no precise reasons chilled Leela’s blood. “Nobody can lie to me. Let us be clear, would you? I have absolutely no problem with your eye; it just underlines your incredible specificity and magnifies your beauty… But I have far greater plans for you and me than just some disgraceful sexual impulses.”

Kalt got up and began to walk aimlessly in the room, not even looking at her… But he was still talking, and Leela noticed that the tone of his voice was changing… Something was awakening in him, and she didn’t really know if that was good or bad…

“- I can also feel fear and suspicion in you, Leela… You and your friends may have noticed that this ship and my crew are pretty uncommon for DOOP materials. Maybe this is the right time for explaining some elements to you. I told you this ship had been sent here by the DOOP for studying strange phenomenon. This is in fact a bit inaccurate. We were sent as a fighting force by Earth in an attempt to search some… Important artifacts that could have helped our planet.
- What?! You mean you’re…
- Now is still not the moment for questions, my dear Leela. As we arrived here, I quickly realized the true value of what we were axed to find, something way too much important for being used merely as a weapon. I decided to take the reins of the operation, and went where no men before went. And even further.
- That’s impossible.”

Kalt turned to face Leela. The captain was doing his best for looking as stiff as he could, but the young woman knew she destabilized him.

“- I know it’s impossible, Leela, but I did it nonetheless, and…
- No, I mean, your sentence didn’t make sense. If you go where nobody has ever been before, and you continue, then you’re still where nobody has ever been before. It’s just a matter of logic.
- I see, said Kalt, smiling again. You’re very rational.
- I’m just logical.
- Going on…” Kalt went to his desk, and mechanically posed his hand on it. “I witnessed things that go far beyond that logic you’re revering, Leela. I embraced them. And in return, it gave me the knowledge…”

Leela looked at the door, wondering if she could ever run fast enough for getting out of the room. It was now clear that Kalt was not the person he said he was at first, and now, she really didn’t want to know who he really was at all…

“- What kind of knowledge?
- The ABSOLUTE knowledge. The truth about our reality. I knew what I had to do, what I was destined to. But I can’t do this alone, despite my superiority… And that’s where you and your friends enter in the game.”

It was the last element Leela needed for knowing what to do. The young woman jumped out of her seat and was about to run to the door…


…But at her great surprise, she couldn’t. Something was blocking her, impeaching her legs from functioning and lead her out of the room. She however managed to face Kalt. The captain was looking at her again, and this time, his smile wasn’t hiding his evil intentions anymore.

“- I have great plans for your crew, for me… But especially for you, Leela. With you by my side, I will finally fulfill my task. I’m very sorry to not be able to reveal to you every parts of our destiny… But you will be the key to a major change in this universe. In fact, I’m not totally sure the Universe will be the same after this.
- Let us go, Kalt! Said Leela. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, but there’s no way my friends and me would be used by some megalomaniac…”

Kalt began to laugh… A laugh so insane and so unexpected it stopped Leela’s thoughts.

“‘Megalomaniac’? I admit I expect to benefit from what will inevitably happen, but believe me, I won’t be the one who will win the most in this situation.”

The captain went closer to Leela. And as he walked toward her, the young woman was sure to feel a sudden cold breeze in the room. The temperature seemed to drop significantly, and at her great horror, she could have sworn the cold was coming from Kalt.

“About your request… I’m afraid you and your friends will have to stay here for a very long time. I’m sick of this little comedy, Leela, so I’ll be frank: you’ll never see Earth again. Not only because you will stay with me in this ship, but also and above all because Earth will soon be no more.”

Kalt was now so close to Leela that he could have touched her. Unable to move, Leela was hypnotized by the captain’s eyes. There is an old saying that was declaring that the eyes are a window to the soul. In those eyes, Leela could read madness at its peak, a cruelty that could only have been experienced by the most dangerous maniacs history has ever conceived… And the sadist joy of having a complete control over someone. Leela desperately wanted to look away… But she was fascinated by what she was reading in Kalt’s eyes, as well as one cannot look away in front of a slaughter that occurred just in front of him.

Leela gathered her few remaining forces for articulating a few words.

“- Do not touch me, you freak…
- Oh, don’t worry, my dear Leela… I need you safe and sound for the moment. But when the moment will come, you’ll be mine.” Kalt held his hand out for caressing Leela’s hair. “Only then… Will you realize that you should have used a much stronger word for qualifying me than ‘freak’…”

Overwhelmed by disgust, fear and panic, Leela couldn’t even find the strength to reject Kalt’s hand when it finally touched her… But when she felt that this hand was so cold that a few locks were already frozen, something managed to put down her apathy. And she replied to Kalt’s menaces and attitude with her usual way.

Her own hand went so fast it could have provoked a sonic bang. She was expecting that slapping him would have destabilized him enough for allowing her to properly defend herself.

She wasn’t expecting his head to turn in 180 degrees because of the hit.

Stunned by what she did, Leela stayed still as Kalt’s body was now staggering backwards. She saw Kalt going where his head was now facing, even if the rest of his body was facing the complete opposite direction, making a few steps. Finally, Kalt fell to the ground, but his fall got partially stopped by the bed. His corpse lied there for a few seconds.

Leela was under the shock. She already engaged in various dogfights and was certainly responsible for the deaths of some space pirates, but it was a different matter. She couldn’t see the back of their head in the same time then their chest. She didn’t feel their flesh as she gave them the last blow. She couldn’t hear the bones of their neck suddenly snap. She never killed someone with her bare hands before. And despite her mastering of Octuran Kung-Fu, she wasn’t prepared to the idea of killing someone in hand-to-hand combat… Even if it was more like an accident, actually.

“Oh my God… Said Leela, realizing what happened. I… I killed him…”

The fact he was obviously planning something horrible for Fry, Bender and her wasn’t changing the fact she took the life of someone. She was trying to find a way for justifying what happened, for trying to overcome the trauma…

When someone began to laugh.

Scared that someone, especially one of Kalt’s men, would have witnessed what she did, Leela looked everywhere around her, trying to see who was laughing. There was nobody in the room, but she was sure it was coming from the place she was. Maybe there were microphones or something, because there was apparently nobody else but her and…

Her blood froze.

She slowly turned her head for looking at Kalt’s corpse.

And she thought she was becoming insane.

Kalt was moving, his chest jumping as he was laughing.

Leela tried to scream, but no sound came out of her throat. She knew she was facing something that was defying every laws of nature, and was mocking the most basic rules of life… But the truth was in front of her: despite having his neck snapped, Kalt was still alive.

Slowly, Kalt began to stand up, still laughing. And only then, Leela realized that everything around her was changing. Rust was slowly covering the walls; the wood that was making the closets and the shelves was progressively losing its varnish and was as attacked by vermin… This phenomenon was coming from the corners of the room and was progressing to the center of the room… More precisely, where Kalt was now standing. The whole room was getting corrupted irremediably… It was as if Leela could stand in the same place during thousands of years and see time make its work in the room, except it was lasting for only a few seconds.

Kalt had finally stopped laughing. He was now still, a few feet from her. Leela saw him raise his hands and grab his head. Kalt forced it to turn, making his vertebras crack in a disgusting way, until it finally was in its correct position. The captain was still smiling, his eyes even more shining of his immeasurable madness and cruelty. He wasn’t hiding his true nature anymore: he was a being made of pure evil, irradiating the room with the cold that was filling his heart, and determined to make her suffer.

“My dear Leela…”

The corruption that ravaged the room reached Kalt… And Leela saw it go back up on the captain’s body. Where clothes were were now rags, sometimes showing the flesh under them… But this flesh had an awful green tone, the color of putrefaction. Leela was so terrified by what was happening she couldn’t even try to run away.

“… You can’t kill…”

The corruption was still progressing… When it reached Kalt’s chest, a large part of his uniform turned into dust, partially revealing his ribcage, and what almost made Leela vomit: his heart, shriveled, dried up, but still beating.

“… Someone who is already…”

It was the turn of Kalt’s head to decompose. All his hair fell on the ground, while his skin took the same green aspect than the rest of his body… But moreover, a monstrous wound appeared on Kalt’s face, a wound that was ravaging the left side of his face, partially revealing his skull and his lower jaw. The wound extended to his left orbit… And Leela saw his eye disappear, and being replaced by a red flame. A flame that was evocating only one thing: Hell.

“… DEAD!”

Kalt burst in laughter, the most terrifying laughter one could ever imagine, a laughter that didn’t sound human anymore. The kind of laughter that only the most twisted demons would ever have.

Something lit up in Leela’s mind and finally gave her the strength to act. In a split second she went to the table and grabbed one of the rusted steak knife. Doing this, she saw the true form of what Kalt and she ate during this meal, and that view made her stomach turn over, but she succeeded of putting the nausea away. She then turned to Kalt, faster than a feline, and drove her weapon in the burning eye of the undead. Just as the metal went in the flesh, Kalt’s laughter turned into a scream of pain that nearly pierced her eardrums, and the demon stepped backwards, trying to take the knife off.

Leela knew it was her only chance of getting out of the room alive. Turning on her feet, she immediately sprinted to the exit. As she hoped, the rusted door didn’t resist to her first kick, and she quickly was out. Looking around, she realized the corruption had expanded to the rest of the ship, but now wasn’t the moment of examine its general state. She took to the right and began to run, trying to get as much distance as she can between Kalt and her.

It didn’t take that long to Kalt for putting the knife out of his eye. Briefly extinguished by the metal, the flame was already burning again, and the pain vanished as fast as it came. Slowly, Kalt got in the corridor. As he expected, Leela was already out of sight.

Kalt smiled. Finding his preys… It was his favorite part.

“Let the hunt begin.”
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #27 : 07-02-2007 14:08 »

 :eek:   :eek:   :eek: 

Good update Purplefish, very VERY spooky.

Nothing like an undead weirdo to play a great villain.


Bending Unit
« #28 : 07-02-2007 15:55 »


but still awesome

Space Pope
« #29 : 07-03-2007 13:37 »

  :eek:   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:
Wow this story is geting really spooky/scary!! How are they going to get out of this one? Great update.
Bending Unit
« #30 : 07-06-2007 16:06 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 7)

“I don’t like this, Bender! I really don’t like this at all!”

As soon as his best friend started to talk, the robot had a sudden urge to slap him in the face. It was approximately the tenth time in a row he was saying this, and Bender was already far too anxious for having to stand something that annoying.

“- Can’t you just shut up, Fry? I heard you the first time, dammit!
- But I don’t like this!
- Neither do I, but do I keep on bitching you with this? No!
- But… But… Look at them!”

As if the robot didn’t notice anything… Until then, a few men were watching them intensely, before going back at their activities. But since the last minutes, something changed in the atmosphere. And now, nobody was doing anything else but staring at the two of them. Hundreds of eyes were now locked on them, and it certainly one of the most disturbing experience the robot ever lived. Sure, he always wanted people to notice him, but not in such a way. Especially when it was looking like they were about to jump on them and to rip his processors out.

“- Don’t look at them, Fry. Maybe they’ll do the same.
- How would I do this? They’re everywhere around us!
- Then look at the roof, you idiot! And play the innocent guy, it helped me numerous times after I did something that wasn’t completely appreciated by society!
- Really?
- Yeah. Of course, it works best if you’re 10 miles away from the place it happened, but that may just be a coincidence. Come on, do the same thing as me!”

No sooner said than done, Bender was now looking at the roof as if it was the most captivating thing in the universe, while tapping on the table and whistling an indescribable tune as innocently as he could. The young man looked around them: it didn’t seem to change anything in the crew’s attitude. But maybe it was because it would work only if they were two to do it… Fry finally decided to imitate his friend and began to look at the roof and to whistle, also twiddling his thumbs. He did this for a few seconds, before taking a quick look at the others. That really didn’t seem to work at all…

“Na na na na na don’tlooknowFry na na na na na giveitalittletime na na na na…”

The young man obeyed to Bender’s advice and went back to his previous innocent attitude. This situation was really killing his nerves…

But something broke his concentration.

The room was changing.

As soon as he noticed this, Fry stopped to whistle and looked at what was happening, troubled. Bender soon noticed his friend’s attitude and, out of curiosity, looked in the same direction than him. What he saw made him gasp.

Some sort of strange energy wave was running through the room, and as soon as something was touched by it, it was transformed… More precisely, everything touched by the wave seemed to age of a few centuries in the matter of a few seconds. In some way, it was as if rust and moist could run all over the place… But more importantly, it was coming in their direction, and as he saw what was happening to the metal that was touched by the wave, Bender suddenly panicked when he realized what it could do to him.


In the very moment Bender said this word, the wave hit them head-on. For a few terrifying seconds could swear he could feel his body turn into dust and disintegrate, but it didn’t last for long: he quickly understood nothing happened to him at all, and he was as gorgeous as he could imagine. Of course, he lost some dignity as he shouted a high-pitched scream when the wave hit them, but at least, he could still go out in bars and hit on all the fembots he’d meet without being called a freak. That thought alone made him sigh of relief.

“Oh man, for a second I thought I would need to call Extreme Makeover after this! I wonder what happened exactly, you have an idea, Fry?”

The young man didn’t answer to the robot. In fact, he was simply staying still with bulging eyes, shaking like a leaf in the autumn wind and his mouth wide open as he was trying to articulate.

“Fry? Hey, what’s happening to you, buddy, did the cat get your…”

Bender stopped.

He could see what was happening behind Fry.

Looking in the same direction than his friend, he realized it was happening all around them.

All the men and robots that were staring at them a few seconds ago had gone under the same type of transformation than the room. Bender and Fry were surrounded by hundreds of rotting, walking corpses, wearing torn outfits for the organics or being completely rusted for the robots, some even lacking limbs.

And they were all looking at them, and were now beginning to walk to them.

Bender screamed as he never screamed before during his whole life, to the point that his vocal processor nearly self-destructed because of the overload. The robot’s scream managed to break Fry’s stupefaction, and the young man joined him by shrieking like one of those actresses in the horror movies. It wasn’t really helping them, but at least there was some animation in the refectory… But as the undead army was coming closer, Bender turned and faced his friend.

“- On my back! For HAL 9000’s sake, Fry, stop screaming and get on my back!
- What? Where? Who? When?
- You want to stay here and have those guys eat your brain? Do it, now!”

Panicking, Fry didn’t bother asking Bender what he was planning to do. The young man jumped on his friend’s back… And as his arms were winding around the robot’s arms, Bender suddenly extended his legs. In only a second, Fry was now something like 5 meters above the ground, doing his best for not falling. Bender grabbed his legs, which really helped him.

“Hang on, Fry, I’ll get us out of here!”

Bender finally started to move forward, lifting his legs as high as he could and trying to get as far as possible at each one of his steps. Apparently, the undead creatures weren’t expecting such a move, and it took them some precious seconds for reacting. During those moments, Bender kept on moving forward, striding over the zombies, and getting pretty quickly to the exit. The robot even managed to knock some of the creatures, as he accidentally kicked some of them in the process. By some extraordinary luck, none of them managed to make Bender trip, and in only a few seconds, the robot and his friend got to the exit of the room. As the door was way too low for allowing them to go on in this manner, Bender retracted his legs as fast as he extended them in the first place, and Fry finally touched ground again. Looking behind him, he quickly noticed that the undead were finally reacting to their escape, and were now heading in their direction.

“Quick! The door!”

Fry followed his friend without further ado. As Bender smashed in the door to the way out with his shoulder, the young man was now running the fastest he could. He still had no idea where he should run, but one thing was sure: it would be far away from them.

But after a few meters, Fry crashed into Bender who had stopped in the middle of the corridor without a warning. His nose was now hurting him like hell, but he’d surely wait a bit before looking if it was broken.

“What are you doing, Bender?! Run!!! They’re getting…”

But Fry finally saw what the problem was. In front of them, other undead creatures were coming… Fry could see their furious looks, and that was certainly not reinsuring him about their intentions. He also realized how dramatic the situation: no escapes, not enough space for doing the same stunt than before… It wasn’t looking good…

“Oh crap! What are we going to do?!?”

Bender didn’t answer to him… But he suddenly grabbed him, lifted him and held him horizontally, parallel to the ground, his head in the front.

“- Bender?! What the…
- Ram!
- What? I don’t…”

Fry finally understood.

“No, Bender! Wait! I’m sure we…”

But Bender wasn’t listening anymore. He suddenly ran in the direction of the zombies, screaming like a mad man. Fry was screaming as well, but for obviously different reasons… The ghost soldiers were surprised by this move, however, and none of them was prepared for this. Bender and Fry made an opening in which they jumped in, as the shock threw several of the zombies on the ground. The two friends weren’t slowed down however, and Bender even stomped some of them as he was still running. For the moment, they managed to shake off their aggressors, but Bender was still running as fast as he could.

“See, Fry? Always trust me!”

The young man couldn’t really answer… As his head sustained most of the impact. In fact it was a miracle he wasn’t unconscious…

“- Nnnh…
- You’ll thank me later, when we’ll be out of trouble!”

Bender kept the rest for himself.

If we ever get out of trouble, because I have absolutely no idea of what to do now!
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #31 : 07-07-2007 12:05 »

Frys head used as a battering ram.

Classic!  :laff:

Good update to Purplefish.

Space Pope
« #32 : 07-07-2007 20:28 »

Fry's head as a battering ram. Funniest thing I've ever read  :laff:  [Steve Castle] Awesome, awesome to the max. [/Steve Castle] The story keeps getting creepier and creepier but a good update.
Bending Unit
« #33 : 07-10-2007 13:01 »

What sleeps in between (chapter 8)

Her legs were beginning to be painful, but Leela was still not slowing down. She wasn’t sure she was far enough from Kalt, and she would certainly never stop running before she could have gone out of this nightmare. One thing was certain, and that probably helped her from not being taken: she knew she wasn’t dreaming. The ship was apparently in the same state of decomposition than its captain, as all the corridors were covered with rust, all the running canalizations were in an extremely bad shape and were letting some steam and water go… And the first time she met one of Kalt’s soldier, she knew as well that the whole crew was composed of undead and hostile creatures. Which was explaining their previous behavior, but was increasing the difficulties as it also meant she didn’t have to take care of one ghoul, but of hundreds of them.

At least they were particularly weak and weren’t a match for her when they were in small groups. Her Kung-fu skills combined with her strength seemed to be devastating on their rotting bodies… But unfortunately, it wasn’t definitely killing them. She could tear several of their limbs around, but they were still moving after this.

And as if it wasn’t enough, she couldn’t recognize the way… Her objective was to find Fry and Bender and to get to their ship, but she realized after a few minutes that she didn’t know where she was running. In fact, she couldn’t tell exactly where she would have to run… And she needed a few more minutes to finally understand what happened.

Not only had the ship brutally aged, but its internal disposition had also changed drastically. There were now corridors where there weren’t a few hours ago, other ways were now blocked, rooms had appeared from nowhere… The whole ship turned into a gigantic maze. And she had absolutely no idea of what she could do for finding her way…


Leela flattened against the wall. She was just at a corner, and from beyond the point where the corridor was turning, she could hear some people run in her direction. Leela looked behind her: no place to hide, and at the speed they were running, they would see her before she could even disappear after a turn she took some minutes. That could mean only one thing: if she couldn’t avoid them, then she’d fight them. She couldn’t see who it could be, but they couldn’t see her as well. The only difference was that she knew they were here. She could at least plan an ambush.

She waited a little bit, preparing to hit at the speed of light. Whoever it was, they were coming closer… Closer… Leela tensed a little more. A few more seconds, and they would be at her reach… The noise they were making was getting louder and louder… It was only a matter of a few meters now… A little bit more…


Leela jumped out of her hiding place and got in front of the people. At first, her brain managed to record the fact they were two, but it was a bit late for analyzing the situation, and she propelled her fist to the closest one of the two…

It’s only when she felt that her victim was a bit less fragile than the other undead that she understood she should have waited before punching.

And it got confirmed when she saw Fry collapse on the floor, knocked out good by the young woman’s attack.

And the scream of terror that she heard at this moment was without a doubt due to Bender’s surprise.

Shocked by what she just did, Leela stood a few seconds completely still, her fist still raised and with a dumb look on her face. Fry wasn’t looking good at all, but as for Bender, the robot finally realized who it was.

“- Dammit, big boots, you scared the crap out of me!
- Fry?! Bender?!? Oh my God, I’m sorry! I thought it was one of those creatures!
- Well, I’m always the first one when you need to say he’s kinda ugly, but for the moment he’s not losing entire pieces of his flesh! Said Bender.
- Fry? Come on, answer to me! Are you alright?!”

The young man wasn’t unconscious, but it looked like the shock disconnected the few neurons that were still active in his brain.

“- 1000 bottles of beer on a wall, take one out, drink it up, 999 bottles of beer on a wall…
- Okay, if he’s going to do all the song, I’ll have to take measures… Said Bender.
- Don’t you think we’ve got bigger problems right now?” Leela grabbed Fry by his shoulders and forced him to sit, before beginning to shake him for making him gain back his senses. “Come on, Fry, wake up! It’s not the moment for taking a nap! Oh man, it’s Halloween all over again!”

It wasn’t long before some traces of intelligence finally reappeared in Fry’s eyes. When she got sure that her friend was finally fully recovered, she let him go and backed off a bit, one kneel on the ground. Fry rubbed his head, still suffering from a headache, and looked at his friends with a broad smile.

“- Oh, hello Leela! Hello Bender! I had the weirdest dream of my life! We were getting in a ship that was in fact populated by hideous zombies who were chasing us, and we were running away before…
- Not a dream, meatbag…
- What? Said Fry, now surprised.
- He’s right, said Leela. This is really happening.
- Oh come on, stop kidding me! Said Fry, unconvinced. If it was really true, the whole ship would look old, and rusted, and wet, and… There… Would…”

Fry’s face collapsed as he finally noted that the walls around them were indeed in the state of decomposition he was describing.

“- Oh crud! I’m still dreaming!
- You’re not, and don’t ask me to hit you for making you understand this, said Leela. I already did enough damage.
- You couldn’t make him uglier than he already was, anyway, said Bender. So, what are you doing here exactly?
- What do you think I was doing?! Said Leela. I was trying to escape from Kalt!
- Right, I remember… Said Fry. Guess he’s not as charming as he was looking at first sight, hey?
- Yeah. To give you an idea, I would kill for being on board of the Nimbus with Zapp right now!
- Well, you can always say he’s done another feat… Said Bender.
- Which one? Asked Leela.
- He’s the first DOOP captain you didn’t sleep with!”

Since the ship’s transformation, it was really cold in the corridors, as if winter itself decided to take its quarters in the Crimson Monarch. But Bender had the feeling the temperature dropped a few more degrees.

“- Wrong moment?
- Yeah, answered Leela, who was now considering abandoning the robot in the doomed ship.
- That was low, even for you, said an angry Fry.
- Hey, if we’re going to die, at least I’d like to have some fun before kicking the bucket!
- Now let’s just try to get out of here alive… Said Leela. So that I’ll be the one who’ll kill you, Bender…
- Pfah!
- I guess you two know for the real nature of the crew, anyway. Did you know where you were running?
- Absolutely not! Said Fry. We just thought it would be a bad idea to stay in the same place more than 2 seconds!
- Running right in a trap isn’t better…
- I know, but although we were running for our lives, I was also trying to find you! I thought that you may be in danger, with you being left alone with Kalt…
- Awww, that’s sweet, Fry, said Leela, truly touched by this feeling. But you know I can handle myself…
- Yeah, but we don’t face zombies everyday!
- Oh yeah? Said Bender. And what about this trip to Catacombia?
- Catacombia is a horror theme park planet, Bender, replied Leela. Those weren’t zombies, but actors. You weren’t supposed to throw grenades at them!
- Really? Bah, it was fun. And I wasn’t trying to find you, by the way, I was just following Fry.
- Do you really want me to kill you, Bender?”

The robot was about to say another one of his disdainful remarks, but suddenly, the three of them had other more problems to deal with. Because at this moment, sounds of chasing and running could be heard. And when you added the moaning and growls, it was extremely easy to know who was coming.

“Looks like they’re the ones who’ll do this!”

Fry and Leela finally got up on their feet, and, pushed by fear, wanted to run to the opposite direction, where Leela was coming from… But the small group stopped after a few steps. They finally realized that the sounds weren’t coming from only one side, but from both. Leela cursed when she understood they were surrounded, and would be caught in a few seconds, as there were no way out.

“- Crap! Said Bender.
- What do we do?! Screamed Fry. Leela, do something! Take us out of here!
- Stop yelling in my ears, Fry! Replied Leela, both angry and anxious. We don’t have many choices left! I guess we’ll have to fight!
- Fight!? Replied Bender. No flurking way! I wouldn’t touch one of those things even for one thousand bucks!
- They’re not that tough, said Leela. We might have a slight chance to get out of this…
- Unless they’re hundreds! Said Fry.
- They can’t attack all at the same time… We’ll just have to…”


The three friends jumped to the roof when they heard a loud metallic sound, just behind them. When Leela’s heart finally began to beat again, she looked at what could have provoked it… And she saw that a grid of the ventilation system she didn’t notice until this moment fell on the ground. Which was now making a hole big enough for allowing anyone of them to go in, as long as they would crawl.

It didn’t take her too long for realizing what it was meaning. She turned and faced her friends, still shocked by the surprise.

“Quick! In there!”

Fry and Bender looked at the grid, then at Leela, then at the grid again… And they suddenly jumped to it at the same time. As the small hole was way too small for allowing them to enter together, the robot and the young man began to fight each other like little kids for being the first one. Leela stood a few seconds above them, looking at them with a mix of fear, tiredness and anger, before deciding between them. She separated her two co-workers, and shoved Fry, then Bender in the hole, not without kicking them in the ass for making them go faster.

“- Ouch! Can’t you just be polite, big boots?! Said the robot.
- Hey, careful with this antenna of yours, Bender! Said Fry. You’re about to stick it right in my…
- Will you two shut up and move, dammit? Said Leela. And be quiet, or they’ll spot us!”

Leela could hear the robot grumble, but at least, she could now get in the ventilation system too. She entered the legs first and began to crawl backward, as a few seconds later, when she was deep enough in the ventilation system, she took the grid and managed to put it back in place for making their trail disappear. Then, she went a bit forward, to bring the most distance she could between her and the entrance of the conduct. She would try to turn around later… For the moment, she could hear the creatures come closer to their previous location… And after a few more seconds, the light coming from the corridor disappeared, blocked by the body of some of the zombies. The trio continued to move forward, turning at a junction, in complete darkness, as they were too afraid that their pursuers might notice them if they would ever light up a flashlight…
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #34 : 07-10-2007 17:14 »
« : 07-10-2007 17:14 »

Great update Purplefish, this one really got my heart beating at some spots.

Good writing too, especially how you were able to work in some more comedy.

Can't wait for more.  :D

Space Pope
« #35 : 07-10-2007 17:41 »

Great update. It's sorta like a mystery /thriller adn I really lie that. Hope more is up soon I wanna know how they're gonna get out of this.

Starship Captain
« #36 : 07-11-2007 19:26 »

Excellent..  Another great update
Bending Unit
« #37 : 07-15-2007 14:21 »

Yeah, well, it's been a while since the last instalment, but I couldn't have access to my Internet connection this week-end...

What sleeps in between (chapter 9)

Fry, Leela and Bender moved aimlessly in the ventilation system, trying to avoid getting to an exit too soon and end up in some trap the creatures could have prepared for them. At least, as it seemed that they couldn’t be seen anymore, Bender took a flashlight out of his chest cavity and gave it to Fry who lit it up. Now, they knew what was ahead of them and wouldn’t risk falling in some hole leading to the depths of the ship. Surprisingly, the conducts were in a better shape than the rest of the ship, which was another thing that was easing their escape…

Of course it would have been even more useful if they had the slightest idea where they were going…

After some long minutes which could have been hours, the trio arrived to a larger empty space, where they could get up and walk normally. Several conducts were starting from this room, so the group immediately understood it was some sort of cross junction in the vast ventilation network of the Crimson Monarch.

“- Can we stop a little bit? Asked Bender. I’m sick of crawling… I need to stretch out my limbs!
- Yeah, me too… Said Fry. My knees are all painful… I’m sure I’ve got a two inches thick hard skin there now!
- Sounds like a good idea, replied Leela. I don’t think they’ve discovered where we are, and we can’t always move forward without knowing where we’re going anyway…”

Fry and Bender gleefully stood up in the room and stretched their arms and legs, happy to finally have a break. Leela had to admit she needed this too… In fact, she was finally beginning to feel tired with all this running, fighting and crawling. But it wasn’t the right moment for taking a nap… She would certainly not be able to close her eye before they would be completely safe anyway.

“- Aaaah, feels good! Said Fry.
- Reddie Locks has a point! Said Bender. It’s moments like that that makes you happy to be able to turn off your pain sensors!
- I need some like this! Now, it’s not that I want to get in one of those conducts immediately, but where do you think we should go, Leela?”

The young woman looked at the various ways they could get. Fry’s flashlight was barely lighting everything around them, but she could still count at least six conducts. And of course, nobody had the idea to place little signs indicating where they could lead.

“- I have no idea, Fry… We must be in some kind of general intersection, but from this point, it’s hard to tell where we should go. I can’t tell you if we have to take this conduct or this one for getting to the docking bays.
- Or even if one of them leads to the docking bay, said Bender. Just great. We’ll wander in this maze for days before getting an idea of where we are…
- I don’t want to spend days in here! Said Fry, getting worried.
- Stop scaring him, Bender! Said an angered Leela. I want everybody here to stay as rational as he could. Panicking will only complicate the situation.
- ‘Rational’?! Said the robot. We’re in the entrails of a ghost ship, chased by hundreds of undead blokes, and you’re talking about being ‘rational’!?
- Uh, yeah…” Leela was a bit taken aback by Bender’s rant. Which was, as she realized after a second thought, pretty justified. “I mean, we mustn’t lose our head, alright? First, we get out of here alive, and then we will think of what the heck is going on.
- Yeah, dead people are supposed to stay dead! Said Fry. And not trying to look alive for tricking normal guys. That’s totally unfair! How can you put your zombie plan into practice when the zombies are cheating?
- Zombie plan? Said Bender. You’ve got a zombie plan? Why don’t you use it?
- Because I have nothing prepared for this case! I didn’t think I would have to face zombies in a spaceship in the middle of nowhere!
- We’re not in the middle of nowhere, we’re at the edge of the Universe…
- Oh, because it should help me?
- Quit it, you two! Yelled Leela. Dammit, can you spend more than two minutes concentrating on something?!
- Of course I can! Said Fry. Wait, what were we talking about, already?”

Leela’s anger immediately got replaced by weariness. She was so tired she couldn’t ever bother Fry’s attitude.

“- Moving on… I don’t think we should stay in those conducts too long either. It won’t be long before they start looking for us in here. That is, if they’ve got some brains…
- They haven’t. But Kalt has.”

Fry, Leela and Bender’s eyes suddenly opened wide.

It wasn’t one of them who said this last sentence.

The trio looked at the direction where the voice came. It was way too dark to really see something, but they could still make a form out in the shadows… A moving form…

Fry slowly moved the light beam.

And they screamed in unison.

There, in the room, was standing one of the zombies. This one was particularly devastated by the decomposition of his body, and the very few scraps of clothes he was still wearing couldn’t really hide his undead nature.

“They found us! Screamed Leela. Get back to the conduct, quick!”

Fry and Bender didn’t even wait for the order, as they rushed on the nearest exit as soon as Leela started her second sentence. And just like before, when they were chased in the corridor, they were fighting for knowing who would go first. Leela went to force them to go in the ventilation system again, this time too scared for being mad at them.

“No, wait! I’m a friend! I won’t hurt you!”

Something in the tone of the creature made Leela stop. Her survival instinct was telling her to get out as quick as possible (more precisely, it was screaming at her rational mind with a megaphone and was using much less polite words), but a little part of her brain which functioning wasn’t completely disturbed by the terror noticed some distress in the words of the undead. She turned round, still afraid, but wondering what would happen. She couldn’t see perfectly what was going on, as Fry still had the flashlight and wasn’t using it properly as he was fighting with Bender, but the creature was still at the same place, and wasn’t doing a single move for catching them.

Her own voice was hoarse, but she managed to pronounce intelligible words.

“- Why should I believe you?
- Because I’m the one who opened the grid to the ventilation network you used, replied the creature. Trust me, I’m not with Kalt and his men. I’m in the same physical state than them, but I’ve done nothing for this.
- What do you mean, exactly? I don’t understand a word you’re saying…
- I will explain everything to you… But can you please ask your friends to stop fighting? They’ll only manage to catch one of your pursuers’ attention…”

Leela looked at her friends. They were still punching themselves, pushing each other and rolling on the floor, each one trying to be the first to get out of the room through the air conduct. The young woman grabbed them and forced them to stand up, separating them. For a moment, she had the feeling she was a kindergarten teacher dealing with two toddlers who were quarrelling for getting the same crayon.

“- Calm down you two! Said Leela. Everything is alright for the moment…
- Yeah? Said Bender. Well I still see a walking corpse just there!
- Lemme go, Leela, lemme go! Said a panicked Fry. I don’t want him to eat my brain!
- Why not? Said the robot. It would slow him down, and you don’t need it anyway!
- I don’t eat brains! Said the creature. In fact, I don’t need to eat at all. And once again: I’m your friend! I want to help you getting out of this ship as fast as possible!”

Finally, it seemed that the young man and the robot were finally calming down. They were still fidgeting a bit and trying to get out of Leela’s grasp, but they weren’t putting as much heart in it as before.

“- Really? Asked Fry.
- Yes. If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have managed to get in those conducts… I’ve weakened the grid’s seals, allowing you to get in them.
- What? Said Bender. But we didn’t see you when we got in those conducts…
- I used a basic spell from where I was…
- A what?! Said Leela. Listen, if you really want us to trust you, you’d better be clearer!”

The creature sighed, and for a moment, Fry thought it would collapse in tears.

“- Alright… I should as well begin by presenting myself. My name is Tyron… I was the second-in-command of the Crimson Monarch, before Kalt completely lost his sanity.
- Oh… Glad to meet you… I guess…” Said Leela. She then pointed at her friends, before pointing herself. “This is Fry and Bender. You can call me Leela.
- Leela… Good, said the creature. I’ve already met your friend here, but I didn’t know his name at the time.
- What? Said Fry. What do you mean you met me?”

Fry directly pointed his flashlight to the creature, this time really paying attention to its appearance. And now that he was really thinking about this, something in its shape was reminding him…

He suddenly realized who Tyron was.

“- Hey, you’re the creepy old guy who scared the crap out of me!
- Yes, exactly, said Tyron. I hoped you would have listened to me back then…
- Er, you know, it’s hard trusting someone who comes out of nowhere and talks nonsense.
- I see what you mean… I should have tried to explain to you everything, but unfortunately, I didn’t have time. My bad. I should have tried another approach. Oh, and it’s not nonsense, you just couldn’t figure it out.
- Listen, Tyron, said Leela, I’m perfectly aware we shouldn’t stay too long in this ship, but… What the hell is going on here?! A ship that looks perfectly normal which turns into a wreck in a matter of seconds, walking corpses, and a few seconds ago you were taking about magic!”

Tyron seemed to think a little bit, his dead eyes staring at Leela. After a few seconds he finally came to a conclusion.

“Alright. After all you’ve got the right to know what you’ve got to face…”

Space Pope
« #38 : 07-15-2007 15:25 »

Great update. I wonder what they have to face. Put more up soon.
Robo D Rulz!!

Bending Unit
« #39 : 07-15-2007 22:23 »

Every update is better than the last, great job purplefish.
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