Blame It On The Brain, part 7
Chapter 22: Armageddon outta here
heavily-damaged Nimbus struggled to maintain altitude over New New
York. Smoke trailed from its battle damage.
Zapp Brannigan sat in his command chair, glaring out at the gigantic
brain that hung with casual enormity before the stricken vessel.
it with everything we’ve got!” he said.
we have nothing,” Kif replied.
hit it with that!”
torpedo tubes are damaged.”
Brannigan sneered. “Damage is no excuse for cowardice –
have some able spacemen arm all of our remaining warheads and load
them into a jettison capsule. I saw that once in a movie –
we’ll get close to the enemy and shoot the capsule right up
its… Kif, where to you stick things up a brain?”
sure I have no idea, sir,” Kif muttered. “However the
area of blackness which has surrounded the creature appears to be
repelling all the orbital attacks from our own fleet and the
eh?” Brannigan said. “Well, let’s see it repel
five-million metric tons of DOOP warship! All ahead one third!”
Nimbus limped toward Onespawn, pushing through walls of rushing wind
and crackling bolts of lightning. The vessel began to tremble as
esoteric tidal forces afflicted it. The giant brain rose up like a
sheer cliff of veiny pseudoflesh, encased in dark energy.
that jettison capsule coming?” Brannigan asked, gripping the
armrests of his seat as the ship shook violently.
almost done,” Kif said, listening to an earpiece. “Sir,
are you sure about this?”
starship captain's most solemn oath is that he will give his life,
even his entire crew, rather than run away and look like a chicken,”
Zapp said. “There are certain things men must do to remain
Gods…” Kif murmured miserably.
damaged warship reached the outermost extremity of the dark sphere
and impacted it. Reality seemed to bend in response, and mile-long
tendrils of unworldly energy stabbed out from the point of contact.
As waves of displaced spacetime washed over the Nimbus, the number of
crew on the bridge appeared to double and triple sporadically –
Zapp and Kif saw themselves where they’d been standing fifteen
minutes ago, and then half an hour before that…
looked forward, and saw his own back, stained with blood, with a
steel beam protruding through his torso. The vision faded, and he
gaped in astonishment.
the hell’s happening?” he said.
as close as we can get!” Kif shouted over the screaming alarms.
“If we’re going to do something, it has to be now!”
the capsule!” Zapp yelled.
jettison pod rocketed out of the Nimbus’s forward hull, and
into the dark field of reality compression. It twisted and rippled
and, without so much as a puff of smoke, ceased to exist.
gave a small chuckle, and casually hurled a wall of psychoplasmic
energy at the Nimbus.
didn’t work…?” Brannigan said, gaping in
the oncoming hail of destructive energy, and shouted at the top of
his lungs: “Brace for impa…”
He got no
further. The ship took massive and devastating hits, with huge
sections of its superstructure vaporizing in explosive fountains of
fire. The Nimbus fell away from Onespawn, suddenly a great unpowered
lump of steel. It crashed down on the far bank of the East River,
carving out a long trail of destruction before coming to rest.
bridge, survivors picked themselves up and began fighting through the
smoke to the emergency exits. Kif looked around for the Captain, and
saw that he had been thrown toward the demolished front section of
the cabin during the crash landing, and now appeared to be lying
across an equipment bank. He walked over and noticed that his initial
assessment was incorrect.
Brannigan was impaled on a broken, serrated length of metal support
strut; it jutted out of the middle of his back, coated in blood and
Kif said in alarm, moving to his side. “Hold still, I’ll
find someone to…”
Zapp said weakly, with blood colouring his lips.
have been… and always shall be… your friend…”
Brannigan slumped forward, and Kif sat down, staring for a long time
at the dead man.
escape pod manoeuvred on candlepower thrusters and gently set down
outside Planet Express, hinging open with a hiss. Hermes, Amy,
Scruffy, and Farnsworth all walked out, and all but the Professor
gazed upward in frightened awe at the abomination that filled the
stared into space, his mind filled with unvoiced grief and bitter
imaginings of what might have been. Mom was gone…
Phoenix of Phoenix!” Hermes muttered. “The ting is eating
up the sky!”
unsettlin’,” Scruffy muttered as he thumbed casually
through a copy of zero-G Juggs.
that black blork coming out of it?” Amy wondered.
probably just an area of time and space being compressed,”
Farnsworth said distantly, without looking up. “The theoretical
‘Fry-hole’ predicted by the what-if machine would be a
similar example. Who cares? Shut up!”
thunder rolled overhead, and the group headed inside, where they
found Zoidberg huddled under the meeting table.
friends!” the lobster exclaimed, scuttling out of hiding. “You
came back to save your beloved Doctor Zoidberg!”
your dreams, you rotten shellfish,” Hermes said, pushing
Zoidberg aside. He sat down at the table, and by some unspoken
agreement the others sat as well.
will, on this occasion, defer the reading of the previous meeting
minutes,” Hermes said, and the others looked surprised at this
unprecedented happening. “Straight onto the first order of
business – Armageddon.” He activated the wall screen and
√2 national news came on.
pitiful homeworld of the insignificant human species, is DOOMED!”
Morbo the news monster bellowed from the television
right, Morbo,” the co-anchor Linda said. “After a chaotic
space battle involving three separate attack fleets, the alien brain
entity known only as ‘Onespawn’ has settled above the
city of New New York, where it has initiated a strange energy
reaction that specialists suggest may completely destroy the Earth
and all who dwell upon it.”
APPLAUDS the imminent destruction of the PATHETIC human
civilization!” Morbo declared, clenching a sinewy green fist.
“We will cross live now to Earth President Richard M. Nixon for
an emergency address to the planet.”
screen changed to show Nixon’s preserved head, with beads of
condensation forming on the glass jar.
fellow Earthicans,” he said. “We face a stern day in the
history of our species. A great enemy has thrown down a challenge,
and that challenge is survival. Never before in the history of the
human race has so much been owed by so few to so many. I speak, of
course, of the majority of the population who will bravely remain on
Earth to meet their fate with dignity and honour, so that those
intelligent and wealthy among us can depart to continue the human
legacy. I salute you all.”
Secret Service men appeared and picked up Nixon’s jar.
that’s all from me,” he said as the men carried him away
from the camera. “Gotta run now – hope the Apocalypse
goes well for you all.” He was carried into Air Force One, a
sleek blue and white starship, which quickly lifted off and blasted
was Earth’s President, the head of Richard M. Nixon,”
Linda said when the camera returned to the studio. To her credit, she
looked only slightly pale.
only regret,” Morbo said, “is that someone ELSE will
enjoy the honour of destroying this UTTERLY RIDICULOUS world!”
He promptly hit a button on his chair and it blasted up off the
floor, crashing through the roof and carrying him away on a plume of
flame. Linda was left looking frazzled. She looked at the camera,
smiled weakly, and gave a half-hysterical laugh.
across the world, space vessels were launching – fleeing the
doomed world as the strange black sphere grew over New New York.
switched off the television and they all looked glum.
ignorant fools,” Farnsworth muttered. “If they think
they’ll actually be safe offworld then they’ve got
another thing coming – Fry and the Nibblonian are the only ones
who know how to stop that thing, and if they fail the creature will
be the end of everything.”
the team didn’t really understand, but they took it on faith.
Outside, the sky rumbled, temporarily blotting out the sound of
looters on the streets.
what do we do now?” Amy asked.
the Professor looked at her in confusion. “Oh my, there’s
very little we can do. Now that the creature is encased in a field of
compressed spacetime nothing can touch it… nothing but an
object of extreme power with a connection to spacetime itself…
like a thermonuclear wristwatch… or a highly-caffeinated Tree
of Fate shimmered with unearthly energy, as its bearer had come to
expect it to do.
clutched it close to his chest as he was pulled a breakneck speed
through the tubeline toward the city, with the others following
closely behind. Their line looped up over the raised arm of the
Statue of Liberty and dipped down underwater as it headed toward
Manhattan. Fry occasionally caught glimpses of the outbound lines
completely overfull with the congested bodies of hapless citizens
trying to flee the city. He, Leela, Bender, and Nibbler seemed to be
the only ones trying to get in.
tube deposited them in the middle of Times Square, Fry stumbled on
the pavement and almost impaled himself on the Lance (wondering idly
what kind of disastrous cosmic feedback loop that would have caused).
He and the others stood looking around at the panic that had gripped
the city. Storefronts were smashed open and hovercars were set alight
– their smoke adding to the gloom being cast by Onespawn.
day in the life of New New York,” Leela muttered. “Sometimes
I think the entire population of this city is just a mob-in-waiting.”
when in Rome…” Bender said, trying to close his chest
door over a new model television that was far too large to fit.
big holoscreen above the square, the haggard and drawn face of Mayor
Poopenmeyer appeared, larger than life.
New Yorkers!” he said. “I urge calmness in the face of
this threat – come on people! Every alien invasion it’s
the same thing – you schmucks do more damage than the enemy!
Pull it together for the love of…”
message cut out when a bolt of lightning slammed into the screen,
causing it to explode in a shower of sparks. People on the street
screamed and increased their terrified looting.
Scot!” Fry said, staring up at the angry sky.
is heavy,” Bender added, struggling under the weight of the TV.
looked down at Nibbler. “How much worse is this going to get?”
she asked, pointing at the sky.
worse,” Nibbler replied. “I doubt the city can be saved,
even if Fry is able to reach Onespawn. But it is a loss we’ll
have to accept.”
she said, shaking her head. “I don’t. I won’t.”
She turned to Fry and took him by the hand. “There’s
something I have to do.”
not going off on your own, are you?” Fry asked with a small
exactly.” Leela leaned forward and kissed him. “Don’t
finish this without me.”
be at the highest point,” Fry said, motioning skyward with the
Lance.” I’ll see you there.” Leela nodded and then
sprinted away at full speed, dodging looters and vaulting over
debris. She disappeared from view.
looked up at the swirling maelstrom above. Onespawn was still visible
in the centre of dark mass, from which the slender funnels of
energized tornadoes now protruded, licking down toward the city. The
wind picked up.
headed off, with Bender dutifully following behind and Nibbler
scampering up onto his shoulder, toward the tallest building –
public telephone she came upon had been smashed to pieces by the
roving mobs, so Leela ran flat-out all the way to Planet Express,
bursting through the door and instantly having to duck beneath
Professor Farnsworth’s shotgun blast.
stop!” Amy said, pulling the weapon away from him. “It’s
don’t know any Leelas!” he snapped.
straightened and surveyed the scene – workbenches had been
arranged into a crude barrier to defend against the looters. Cubert,
Dwight, and LaBarbera were present, as well as the rest of the Planet
what’s goin’ on?” Hermes said. “Where’s
that idiot zombie Fry?”
the Universe,” Leela grunted simply. She moved past them all
and went to the videophone, punching in a rapid series of numbers and
waiting for the connection to be made.
length, the logo of SewerCom appeared onscreen, to be quickly
replaced by the worried faces of Morris and Munda.
Thank goodness you’re alright!” Munda said. “We
were so worried, what with all those terrible sounds coming from
above… what in the world is happening?”
don’t have a lot of time to explain,” Leela replied.
“It’s all going to hell, and a lot of people may be about
to die. We need your help.”
can we do?” Morris asked.
took a breath. “You want to claim your rightful place on the
surface,” she stated. “God knows you deserve it, and
shouldn’t have to earn it or prove yourselves worthy.
But people are afraid of what they don’t understand –
it’s their nature, it always has been. Now we have an
opportunity in the middle of despair – a chance to show them
who you… who we are. We can make a difference –
and if we don’t all end up dead or cease to exist then maybe
things will finally start to change.”
and Munda glanced at each other, and nodded.
Leela told them what had to be done. She ended the call and stood
purposefully, and the rest of the Planet Express crew watched her,
guys had better get to safety,” she told them.
are you going to do?” Amy asked innocently. “Something
masculine and undignified?”
glared. “I’m going to help Fry,” she said. “We’ve
got one last-ditch chance to put a stop to this thing. I have to go…”
without Zoidberg!” the Decapodian said, raising a
go along also,” Farnsworth said. “I have a score to
settle with that monster.”
gonna get in on this action too,” the janitor said, putting
aside his pornographic magazine and standing. “Sign me up.”
help! I’m helpful!” Amy said, clapping her hands.
sighed. “I suppose I’d better go along and make sure
occupational health and safety guidelines are adhered to,” he
stared at the team, words lost beneath a swell of pride. She smiled
at them. “You don’t have to do this you know,” she
Amy placed a hand on Leela’s shoulder and tilted her head to
one side. “We’re friends, right? Friends stick together.”
nodded. “Thanks guys,” she said. “Now here’s
what we need to do…”
quantum storm was worsening. Torrents of agitated atmosphere ripped
across the city, blowing out windows and tearing antennas from their
mountings. People on the streets below were no longer interested in
looting – the true nature of their situation had begun to hit
home with sheets of unnatural lightning and rampaging twisters that
cut through the concrete canyons.
something far bigger than the traditional bi-annual alien invasion.
Humans, Cygnoids, Neptunians, and sentient fungi alike all began
falling to their knees, bile glands, or prehensile locomotion ridges,
praying to whichever guiding deity occupied their individual
and unexpectedly, all around the city strange figures emerged from
sewer vents, startling the already-terrified populace. The sewer
mutants, acting on Turanga Leela’s directive, began herding the
people of New New York toward the relative safety of the underground.
on, people!” Dwayne shouted at a wide-eyed group. “You
can hide beneath the surface – we’ll show you the way!”
the best chance you’ve got!” Vyolet added, holding open a
manhole cover. “Spread the word – everyone can take
refuge in the sewers!”
and Munda directed a steady stream of refugees down into the
subterranean stormwater system; most didn’t even look twice at
the malformed mutations now, when they were all poised on the brink
hope Leela and Fry know what they’re doing,” Munda said,
casting her single eye skyward to where the dark moon had filled the
Nina, from the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphenarium, and Tinny
Tim the disabled child robot both paused to look up at Morris and
Munda, who smiled back at the kids in an attempt to not look
you,” Nina said nervously.
quite,” Tinny Tim seconded.
alright, darlings,” Munda said. “Go along now, you’ll
be safer below.”
hurried away to descend into the sewer vent, the Turangas looked at
each other in surprise – perhaps their daughter was right.
headquarters was empty. The building creaked and trembled, with
structural damage sustained from Ultima’s earlier attack and
the cyclonic winds outside conspiring to produce a symphony of eerie
Bender, and Nibbler made their way up through the deserted building,
at last reaching the top floor by elevator. The staircase to the
observation deck lay before them.
chance to turn back, you guys,” Fry told the other two.
will bear witness,” Nibbler replied, sitting on Fry’s
I’m not missing the opportunity to rob your corpse when you die
in a few minutes,” Bender said, heartily clapping Fry on the
back. “Like they say – let no part of the carcass go to
waste – watch, wallet, fillings…”
then,” Fry said slowly. Together they ascended the stairs. At
the top Fry paused for only a moment before pushing the door open and
stepping out into hell…
Chapter 23: Fear and Loathing in NNY
Universe fell toward Onespawn.
city below trembled in fear, time and space collapsed around the
gargantuan mutated Brainspawn. And the only force holding reality
back from the brink of total obliteration had moronically arrived,
like a moth to the flame, at the epicentre – and would soon be
destroyed along with the rest of… everything.
sensed the Lance of Fate directly below. Close, but not close
enough. It laughed and extended its coherent electromagnetic
field to tap into the ebbing and flowing grid of the Earth’s
so-called ‘Internet’ and gather inspiration from works of
fiction that had been stored electronically. There was a veritable
warehouse of creativity floating through cyberspace – a vast
multitude of mental realms uploaded to public domain, available to
all and sundry. Onespawn selected a few at random and applied their
unique patterns to its flaring, burgeoning surplus of quantum energy…
screaming vortex of wind ripped across the top of the Momcorp tower,
with lightning stabbing all around. Fry stepped out into the open,
braving the gale with Nibbler holding onto his jacket and the Lance
at his side.
do this thing,” he said.
behind ya, buddy!” Bender called from his position cowering
behind an air-conditioning duct.
on, you slimy fat bastard!” Fry shouted up at Onespawn. “Come
on down here and face me!”
response, a disdainful laugh rolled across the turbulent sky.
why would I do that?” Onespawn said. “Why, when I can
provide you with a host of playmates from your inane formulaic human
literature?” The laughter came again, echoing from the black
reality displacement rippled down around Fry, and the Lance glowed
bright, protecting him and Nibbler from the effects.
that all you’ve got?” Fry shouted in defiance, standing
at the edge of infinity with the world ending around him.
Fry?” Bender called. “You may wanna watch out…”
Fry turned too late, and a very large misshapen fist slammed into
him, knocking him and Nibbler across the concrete to fall dangerously
close to the edge of the roof.
groggily picked himself up and recovered the Lance from where it had
fallen. Only then did he look at what had hit him. A sound somewhere
between a grunt of surprise and a gasp of horror escaped his lips
after he’d done a double and triple-take.
before him was a half-naked pallid grey/green figure, more than seven
feet tall, complete with horrific stitching all over it and bolts
protruding from its neck. It was, without a doubt, the monster from
Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.
hard did I just hit my head?” Fry wondered, gazing at the
real,” Nibbler said from the ground. “Onespawn is pulling
fiction into reality, transubstantiating it with real matter and
is fiction!” Onespawn’s voice bellowed. “There is
wind and lightning lashed across the roof, more figures appeared out
of thin air. There was Terry Prachett’s interpretation of the
Grim Reaper with his scythe held at the ready; Captain Hook, from J.
M. Barrie’s Peter Pan brandished his namesake and a
curved cutlass; Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula bore inch-long
fangs and hissed; and Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian
swung a gigantic broadsword over his head and bellowed a deafening
hell,” Fry muttered as the fictional characters advanced on
him, swinging their various weapons. Frankenstein’s monster
reached him first, extending oversized hands and moaning mournfully.
Fry stabbed out with the Lance of Fate, and the monster fell apart
into individual lumps of harvested cadavers.
of the line, Frankenstein,” he said.
darted forward, his cape billowing, in a manner of movement that
would be called catlike if he had paused every now and then to spray
his scent on things. Instead of that, he leaped with an unearthly
hiss at the orange-haired boy with the exposed throat and…
to a halt in midair with the Lance sticking through his heart. The
count dissolved rapidly into a cloud of dust that was whipped away by
suck,” Fry quipped.
distinctly pirate-like yarrr, Captain Hook swung his cutlass
at Fry, forcing the hapless delivery boy to jump back and teeter with
his heels hanging over the edge of the building.
ye scurvy dog!” came a coarse shout from behind the fictional
pirate as a robot fist cracked Captain Hook across the back of the
head, knocking off his tricorne hat and sending him sprawling.
loincloth-garbed Conan the Barbarian rushed at Bender with a
battle-cry invoking the favour of Crom. He swung his broadsword
towards the robot, but Fry leapt in front and parried the blow with
Bender found themselves standing back-to-back as Conan and the Grim
Reaper bore down on them from two sides. Slowly, Frankenstein’s
monster and Count Dracula had reassembled themselves, and along with
Captain Hook they joined the others in a circle closing around the
two friends. Nibbler scrambled around Fry and Bender’s feet and
growled at the approaching literary figures.
thought it’d end like this,” Bender said.
by a bunch of fictional characters?” Fry replied. “No, I
didn’t see that coming either.”
always thought we’d be killed by television executives.”
glanced at the robot in puzzlement.
might as well go out with a bang,” Bender went on, clenching
his metal fists.
have it any other way,” Fry replied, hefting the Lance.
drew back his scythe, ready to reap his grim harvest…
suddenly a series of flaming holes appeared in his robe, exposing
bones beneath. Death fell back, and Fry, Bender, and Nibbler all
looked up to see Professor Farnsworth sitting in his hovering
recliner chair and aiming a large-calibre laser rifle. An ancient,
senile, gun-toting guardian angel.
scientists don’t fear the reaper!” the old man shouted
angrily, firing another few laser bolts into the robed figure.
Fry said in surprise. He almost lost his head, but a red lobster
dropped from the sky wearing a jetpack and caught Conan’s
swinging sword in his pincers.
big implement like that, I’d say you were trying to make up for
something, I would,” Zoidberg said. “Puny stink-gland,
perhaps?” He tightened his claws and the sword blade shattered.
Zoidberg?” Fry gasped, blinking in bewilderment at the unlikely
Hook began slashing at them with his hook, but went down like a
weighted treasure chest when the leading edge of a Party/Ironing
board struck him in the head. Amy surfed the modified flying board in
a tight arc and hovered above, grinning.
thought we’d lend a hand,” she said.
moustached individual with a grubby peak cap pulled low over his eyes
motored across the top of the building on a hoverbike. He swung a
heavy wrench in one hand, smashing it across the faces of Dracula,
Conan, Frankenstein, and (accidentally) Zoidberg.
the heck was that guy?” Bender said, watching Scruffy circle
picked himself up and lunged at Fry, only to be brought down by a
series of bureaucratically-placed laser blasts. Hermes descended,
wearing a jetpack and levelling a pistol.
vampirism is permitted in the city without an official permit signed
in triplicate by the Attorney General and Mayor,” he said.
guys…” Fry said, looking around at the members of Planet
Express standing or hovering around. “But where’s…?”
came an ear-splitting “Hiiii-YAH!” from behind
him, and Conan the Barbarian fell past into a crumpled heap, a small
dagger clattering from his grasp. Fry smiled and turned to see Leela
standing in an Arcturan Kung-Fu stance, with a jetpack strapped to
there, Mighty One,” she said with a small grin. “You
ready to save the universe?”
ready to save it with me?” Fry countered. They both smiled at
each other with quiet bravado; both aware of the potential for
tragedy looming, and both pushing through the fear because it was the
only thing they could do.
fictional characters began to fade away, melting into nothingness.
Fry and Leela stepped closer to each other.
love you so much,” Fry told her.
I love you,” Leela replied.
with a tremendous crash, a bolt of turquoise lightning flashed from
the sky and slammed down into the concrete between them, throwing
them both back with concussive force. Smoke and crackling sparks
issued from the impact point and a resonant mocking laugh filled the
romantic,” Onespawn said. “The Idiot and the Freak –
it could be the title of a fairy tale. And you’ve brought your
meddlesome friends along to die with you I see.”
all you want,” Fry said, glaring up at the giant brain. “But
it’s our friendship that makes us stronger than you. Alone
we’re nothing, but together we can’t be stopped.”
than me?” Onespawn repeated incredulously. “ Philip J.
Fry, you have already lost – you only draw breath because your
antics amuse me. But now I think it’s time to refer to another
work of fiction…”
dysfunction washed over them, and Fry cringed. “Oh lord, what
trembling in the building increased by an order of magnitude, and
cracks began to appear in the concrete. Fry and Leela picked
themselves up and glanced around.
we should…” Leela trailed off, watching in horror as a
huge grotesque tentacle pushed out of a crack in the rooftop and
coiled up, writhing around as it was joined by others, all slithering
out in ponderous silence until the roof was surrounded by rubbery
questing feelers the width of tree trunks.
giant squid!” Zoidberg squealed, blasting into the air with his
don’t think that’s a squid,” Leela said slowly. A
large section of roof lifted and fell away, revealing a huge pulpy
head with sinister glowing yellow eyes. A massive dorsal ridge bore
the stubs of rudimentary wings, and viciously curved claws emerged
from beneath it. The creature looked like the bastard child of an
octopus and a dragon.
Cthulhu, the ‘Great Old One’, an ancient evil concocted
by the legendary horror writer, H. P. Lovecraft.
hate it when the bad guys don’t play fair,” Fry said,
watching a dozen tentacles snaking toward him.
let out an indescribable howl as Farnsworth and Hermes flew around
it, firing their weapons into its hideous writhing flesh. Leela began
running towards Fry, but was blocked by a mass of tentacles that
slammed down in her path. Fry gripped the Lance of Fate in a
desperate bid at defending himself against the monstrous evil, but
something grabbed him from behind and hefted him up by the armpits.
time to shine, meatbag,” the robot said. “Don’t
make me any more embarrassed to be your friend.” With a whine
of servomotors, he extended his arms, lifting Fry up, higher and
higher away from the monster, with Nibbler clinging to his shoe.
Fry yelled as the robot’s arms continued to extend. Bender was
lost from view beneath a swarming mass of tentacles, and the slender
metal arms swayed alarmingly.
Amy appeared, swooping in on her Party Board to collect Fry and
Nibbler on the front. Fry hung over the edge of the contraption to
look down at where Cthulhu swiped angrily at Farnsworth, Hermes, and
Leela, who flew around it in pestering circled. Of Bender, there was
suddenly a metal arm emerged from the tentacles, enthusiastically
burning the creature’s flesh with a lit cigar.
on tight!” Amy told Fry as she angled her board upward. He
dragged his eyes away from the scene below and looked up to see
Onespawn and the Dark Moon looming as one, filling the sky.
can go no further with you,” said a small solemn voice near his
ear, and Fry turned to glance at Nibbler.
thank you,” Nibbler went on. “To have frozen you, and
used you as we did, the debt can…”
wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Fry said
automatically, not really understanding how he could have known, but
feeling as if he always had nonetheless.
Nibbler said. “It has been an honour.”
this, you intractable fools!” Onespawn bellowed,
shooting a bolt of psychoplasma down at them.
ni niang!” Amy swore potently, trying to bank the
overloaded Party Board but unable to steer in time. The ball of
energy billowed toward them, and the Lance of Fate flared
incandescent, its temporal field pulsing. Without thinking, Fry held
it aloft, and the psychoplasma seemed to splash against an invisible
wall, flowing around the figures perched on the flying board. But
they shuddered under the force nonetheless, and the board’s
antigravs laboured – it wouldn’t hold for long.
flew in from one side, the nozzles of his jetpack leaving a white
potato!” Amy said. “Good luck Fry!” The Decapodian
caught him around the waist and yanked him off the board, leaving Amy
and Nibbler behind.
aboard, passengers – thank you for flying Zoid Air,”
Zoidberg said as Fry clung to him. Crimson energy bolts flashed down
after them, burning a line through the air.
flew past, ascending to a higher altitude, and Fry realized his
friends were all following some kind of plan. Even as the explosive
plasma blasts drew dangerously close, he couldn’t help the wild
grin that spread across his face. His friends, his team-mates –
the greatest people in the world.
my friend - fly!” Zoidberg shouted, letting go of Fry. For a
moment he was in freefall, and then the rear seat of a hoverbike was
beneath him, and he hung on for dear life, the Lance still in his
free hand, as Scruffy angled the vehicle upward into the howling
passing the parcel – that was the idea. Change direction,
change the carrier, keep the movement unpredictable… and maybe
they’d have a chance. Using the janitor’s shoulder as
support, Fry stood up and watched Hermes fly with his jetpack on an
believes in you, kid,” Scruffy said. “Kick some temporal
out his free hand and Hermes caught it, yanking him off the hoverbike
and upward at a different angle. Of course, something as massive as
Onespawn would likely have some trouble trying to pick off
comparatively tiny, fast-moving objects too close to itself. Bigger
isn’t always better, and is more often a hindrance… so
Fry had always told himself in the gym class locker room.
buffeted him and Hermes, and the jetpack whined under the loading.
Lightning slashed past them, and energy bolts sizzled through the
ya lazy, good-for-nothin’ freeloader,” Hermes said. “Ya
better not screw this up… we’re countin’ on ya,
mon.” He let go of Fry’s arm, and he fell, carried onward
by inertia for a short time before dropping into Professor
my…” Farnsworth said, increasing his recliner chair’s
thrust and angling up toward the immense black sphere that now hung
only a few hundred feet above.
stabbed down from Onespawn again, and again the Lance of Fate
repelled it, at the cost of velocity and a burning sensation that
coursed through Fry’s cosmic stigma.
off you go!” the Professor said, and Fry found himself whisked
suddenly away, with strong-yet-soft hands gripping him beneath the
even turning his head he knew it was Leela. The contours of her body
pressed against him; the hint of her subtle scent, recognisable to
him even in the rushing wind; her warm breath against his neck…
all or nothing,” she said in his ear.
can say we didn’t give it our best,” Fry replied.
the plus side,” Leela reflected, “if we lose, there’ll
be nobody around to criticize us for it.”
hadn’t thought about it like that.”
and energy bolts filled their world, and the wind roared. Responding
to minute movements in the small muscles of Leela’s back, the
thrust-vectoring nozzles in the jetpack fought to keep them moving
upward. It had come down to it at last: the time-honoured Suicidal
Headlong Charge into the Face of Certain Death. Leela stole one hand
briefly away from Fry to activate a belt-mounted control box, and
then she gripped him even more tightly as an illegal after-market
accessory came online.
nestled between the jetpack’s two thrust nozzles was designed
as a disposable rocket booster for escape capsules. Retrofitted to a
jetpack, it gave a massive burst of speed, far beyond design
specifications and legal limits for personal flight apparatus.
Leela shot upwards on a trail of fire.
other time, Fry would have whooped in exhilaration, but now the Dark
Moon was looming above them like a solid ceiling, and they were
closing on it at high speed.
pithy and emotional comments filtered through his mind, but the
screaming air rushing past his ears, the crash of lighting, and the
scant seconds remaining made them pointless.
blackness responded, opening before them…
Express team flew back to Momcorp tower, looking up as the black
sphere fluxed and rippled. Cthulhu was gone, vanished into
nothingness and leaving Bender only a little dented.
hope Fry and Leela will be okay,” Amy said needlessly.
quantum storm seemed to worsen; huge swirling tornadoes slashed
across the city, and the Dark Moon expanded, growing down towards
done all we can here,” Farnsworth said.
git ourselves below street-level,” Scruffy added.
watched the pulsing dark mass of reality compression above, and
reluctantly took hold of Amy’s Party Board as the team left.
York began to crumble under the punishment; sections of buildings
collapsed, crashing to the streets below; tube lines came down;
billboards and suicide booths became deadly missiles in the screaming
were no people about.
Deep underground, millions of ears listened to the destruction
above. The refugees waited and hoped.
Chapter 24: I can’t believe it’s not fiction!
sensations washed over Fry and Leela as they shot up into the field
of darkness. Time seemed to slow and distance became difficult to
judge. Looking down briefly, Fry saw the city below in smoking ruins,
then as pristine untouched forest, and then as a bustling metropolis
once again. Windows through history opened and shut like an
out-of-order flipbook, and the effect made him look away as nausea
voice came from somewhere near or far, above or below… it was
impossible to tell in the zone of compressing spacetime.
away!” it said. “Get away from me!” For the first
time, there was real fear in the creature’s psychic bellow.
can’t tell where it is!” Leela shouted, still holding Fry
tightly as gravity faltered and changed direction at random. She used
the vectored-thrust nozzles on the jetpack to turn a full circle, and
Onespawn suddenly appeared massively before them, and then faded off
into an impossible distance.
must be different in here,” she observed.
mean like the TARDIS?” Fry replied.
like that. At least four dimensions are being broken down here…”
back!” Onespawn said. “You will not stop me, not now!”
impulses shoved them this way and that, but Leela kept on flying,
tracking Onespawn’s position even as it seemed to shift around
within the uncertain physical laws.
still coming. Even despite everything, they were still coming. With
faces set in unshakable resolve they were coming… the Lance of
Fate held at the ready… still coming.
them! Onespawn reached the edge of panic, and in desperation
turned once again to fiction from the human world, extending an area
of telepathic influence, grabbing at the minds of its two attackers
and pulling them in, down through the quantum foam and flotsam of
reality and into the realm of fantasy…
after all, really was the same thing.
bolt of water hit James Bond in the face. The water stung his eyes
and filled his mouth. He was on some sort of a table and his wrists
and ankles were bound to its edges. He felt with his fingers. He felt
voice, Onespawn’s voice, flat, uninterested, said: “Now
we can begin.”
turned his head towards the voice. His eyes were dazzled by the
light. He squeezed them hard and opened them. Onespawn was floating
nearby, a miniscule fraction of its previous size. It had unbuttoned
a collar that, against all logic, adorned the bottom portion of the
brain structure. At the other end of the room, a young orange-haired
man and a purple-haired woman with a horrifically enormous single
eyeball sat on chairs strapped by their wrists and ankles. They both
sat bolt upright, looking shocked.
feet away stood the Korean, Oddjob, still wearing his bowler hat.
glanced down the table on which he lay spreadeagled. He let his head
fall back with a sigh. There was a narrow slit down the centre of the
polished steel table. At the far end of the slit, like a foresight
framed in the vee of his parted feet, were the glinting teeth of a
I know this,” Fry said. “But wasn’t it supposed to
be a laser?”
was the movie,” Leela replied. “This must be the book…
the damn thing has us trapped in fiction again.”
Bond,” Onespawn said, ignoring Fry and Leela. “The word
‘pain’ comes from the Latin poena meaning
‘penalty’ – that which must be paid. You must now
pay for the inquisitiveness which your attack on me proves, as I
suspected, to be inimical. Curiosity, as they say, killed the cat.
This time it will have to kill three cats, for I fear I must count
these two animated characters behind me as enemies also. They came
here to kill me. Perhaps you did too. You have all failed. Now must
come the poena.” The voice was heavy, bored. “I
have had many enemies in my time. I am a very powerful
interdimensional being, and power, if I may inflict another of my
aphorisms upon you, may not make you friends, but it greatly
increases the class and variety of your enemies.”
very neatly put,” Bond said. “You express yourself most
doesn’t look like Sean Connery,” Fry whispered to Leela.
not movie,” Leela repeated, straining at her bonds. Oddjob had
tied them tightly, but the knots were inexpert, the little Korean
hampered, perhaps, by his stubby fingers.
Bond turned his head. The great pink/grey brain was bent slightly
forward. Casually, a tendril of telekinetic energy snaked out to a
control panel and pressed down a switch. There came a slow metallic
growl from the end of the table on which Bond lay. It curved quickly
up to a harsh whine and then to a shrill high whistle that was barely
then, Mr. Bond,” Onespawn’s voice was brisk. “Enough
of these amiabilities. Tell me everything you know about the
so-called ‘Lance of Fate’ and the decidedly poorly-named
‘Mighty One’ and you will die quickly and painlessly. The
two cartoon people also. Refuse and your death will be one long
scream. Which is it to be?”
lever on the table moved across iron teeth. Now Bond could feel the
wind of the saw between his knees.
being a damn fool, Onespawn,” Bond said through gritted teeth.
pumped her fists and felt the knot loosen on her right wrist. Her eye
narrowed. She’d never read the book, but she had seen the movie
once or twice. If memory served, Fry had made her sit through the
obligatory car-chases and chauvinistic overtones. And if it served
further, she knew there was an effective cutting tool perched on the
head of the little Korean strongman standing nearby. This is, if the
film had been true to the novel on that score…
eased her fingers out of the bonds and waited for a moment as
Onespawn continued to perform his arch-villain rant at the captive
secret agent. Then, in an explosive burst of movement, she shot out
her arm and grabbed the bowler hat off Oddjob’s head.
you know it’s rude to wear hats indoors?” she remarked,
slamming the brim of the hat against the straps still holding her
ankles and left wrist. As anticipated, the felt rim of the hat
parted, exposing the slender sharp alloy band that cut through the
bindings. She was on her feet in a flash, swiping at Oddjob with the
bowler hat as he tried to make a grab at her. The little man was a
practiced martial artist, and the rapid kicks he launched at Leela
would have been devastating if they’d connected, but she
managed to duck and weave, hammering her own boot into his stomach
and sending him sprawling.
to go Leela!” Fry yelled from his chair. She swung around to
quickly cut him loose. When they straightened up, Onespawn had
vanished and a nearby door hung open, leading out into the Geneva
have to follow it,” Fry said. “It’s the only way
out of this stupid stylized spy thriller.”
they headed for the door, but a polite cough made them pause.
if you wouldn’t mind?” James Bond said, still strapped to
the table with the circular saw spinning about an inch away from his
minutes later Fry and Leela were crammed into Bond’s Aston
Martin DB Mark III as the secret agent drove the car at blinding
speed along the narrow country lanes. Ahead of them in the Aston’s
headlights, Onespawn flew over hill and dale, trying to evade the
see that bastard playing his golden harp yet,” Bond said,
checking his Walther PPK with one hand while steering with the other.
Onespawn vanished over a rise, and Bond drove the Aston up to a sheer
cliff face. The three of them climbed out and looked down to see
Onespawn descending ponderously toward the inky black sea below.
I am forever rid of you meddlesome fools!” the creature called
up at them. “Let this, the self-indulgent hero fantasy of a
woman-hating alcoholic, forever be your tomb!”
not if I have anything to say about it,” James Bond said,
levelling his PPK at the brain and snapping off a few quick shots.
Onespawn descended faster, fleeing the fictional construct. Fry and
Leela glanced at each other, nodded, and together made a running jump
over the edge of the cliff and into open space. They fell toward
Onespawn and the crashing waves far below…
Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles…
So as the fog-bank flowed onward we fell back before it until we
were half a mile from the house, and still that dense white sea, with
the moon silvering its upper edge, swept slowly and inexorably on.
"We are going too far," said Sherlock Holmes. "We dare
not take the chance of his being overtaken before they can reach us.
At all costs we must hold our ground where we are." He dropped
on his knees and clapped his ear to the ground. "Thank God, I
think that I hear them coming."
A sound of quick steps broke the silence of the moor. Crouching
among the stones we stared intently at the silver-tipped bank in
front of us. The steps grew louder, and through the fog, as through a
curtain, there stepped the orange-haired man and cyclops woman whom
we were awaiting. They both looked round themselves in surprise as
they emerged into the clear, starlit night. Then they came swiftly
along the path, passed close to where we lay, and went on up the long
slope behind us. As they walked they glanced continually over either
shoulder, like two people who are ill at ease.
"Hist!" cried Holmes, and I heard the sharp click of a
cocking pistol. "Look out! It's coming!"
There was a thin, crisp, continuous humming from somewhere in the
heart of that crawling fog bank. The cloud was within fifty yards of
where we lay, and we glared at it, all four, uncertain what horror
was about to break from the heart of it. I was at Holmes's elbow, and
I glanced for an instant at his face. It was pale and exultant, his
eyes shining brightly in the moonlight. But suddenly they started
forward in a rigid, fixed stare, and his lips parted in amazement. At
the same instant Philip Fry and Turanga Leela gave yells of terror
and threw themselves face downward upon the ground. I sprang to my
feet, my inert hand grasping my pistol, my mind paralysed by the
dreadful shape which had sprung out upon us from the shadows of the
fog. A brain it was, an enormous pinkish-grey brain, but not such a
brain as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its puckered
ridges, its lobes glowed with a smouldering glare, its grotesque
shape outlined in flickering blue flame. Never in the delirious dream
of a disordered mind could anything more savage, more appalling, more
hellish be conceived than that grizzly form and alien will which
broke upon us out of the wall of fog.
With unearthly hovering motion, the huge floating creature was
bearing down the track with a furious howl, following hard upon the
footsteps of our two friends. So paralysed were we by the apparition
that we allowed him to pass before we had recovered our nerve. Then
Holmes and I both fired together, and the creature gave another
hideous howl, which showed that one at least had hit him. He did not
pause, however, but flew onward. Far away on the path we saw Fry and
Leela looking back, their faces white in the moonlight, hands raised
in horror, glaring helplessly at the frightful thing which was
hunting them down.
But that cry of pain from the Brain of the Baskervilles had blown
all our fears to the winds. If he was vulnerable he was mortal, and
if we could wound him we could kill him. Never have I seen a man run
as Holmes ran that night. I am reckoned fleet of foot, but he
outpaced me. In front of us as we flew up the track we heard screams
of anger or fear from Fry and Leela, and the deep roar of the brain.
I was in time to see the beast spring upon its victim, hurl Mr. Fry
to the ground, and worry at his throat despite the obvious lack of
any mouth with which to do so. But the next instant Holmes had
emptied five barrels of his revolver into the creature's flank. With
a last howl of agony and a vicious bolt of energy into the air, it
rolled upon its back, and then fell limp. I stooped, panting, and
pressed my pistol to the dreadful, shimmering brain tissue, but it
was useless to press the trigger. The giant brain was dead.
Fry and Leela gathered themselves and stood nearby, looking
confused. They glanced at myself in unrecognition and then at the
detective, seeming at once to find familiarity in his deerstalker cap
and calabash pipe.
"My God!" I whispered. "What was it? What, in
heaven's name, was it?"
"It's dead, Watson, whatever it is," said Holmes. "We've
laid the family ghost once and forever."
wouldn’t count on that, Sherlock,” Mr. Fry muttered.
a pretty stubborn bastard,” Miss Turanga added, and I blinked
in surprise at such language from a Lady. She must surely have been
delirious with fright.
once, the brain, which we had thought surely deceased, erupted from
the ground more rapidly than they eye could follow, and righted
itself in the air, hovering nearby to regard the four of us.
you be forever trapped within the unlikely confines of this
archetypal detective story!” the creature said in a curiously
genderless voice. It began to fly off over the moor, threatening to
be lost from view in the driving fog.
it!” Mr. Fry shouted. “We can’t let it get away!”
the four of us raced off the path and through the boggy hollows and
treacherous peat of Dartmoor. Our two friends quickly outpaced Holmes
and I, as though they ran with the weight of life itself pressing
upon them. As we watched, they followed the brain into a bank of
thick fog, and were lost from view…
Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men…
The bunk house was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls
were whitewashed and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were
small, square windows, and in the fourth, a solid door with a wooden
latch. Against the walls were eight bunks, five of them made up with
blankets and the other three showing their burlap ticking.
At about ten o’clock in the morning the sun threw a bright
dust-laden bar through one of the side windows, and in and out of the
beams flies shot like rushing stars.
wooden latch raised. The door opened, and a floating, oversized brain
came in. It was greyish-pink and somehow carried a big push-broom
over a non-existent shoulder. Behind it came George, and behind
was expectin’ you last night,” the giant brain said. “Was
sore as hell when you wasn’t here to go out this morning.”
It pointed with an ethereal tendril of blue energy. “You can
have them two beds there,” it said, indicating two bunks near
was just finishing making his bed when he noticed out the nearby
window a couple of people seemed to walk out of midair out in the
dusty yard. One wore a bright red jacket, and the other was a pretty
woman with astonishing purple hair and something strange about her
face that he couldn’t put his finger on. His mouth hung open.
giant brain floated about the room with the short quick lunges of
arrogance. “I wrote Murray and Ready I wanted two good men this
morning,” it said. “You got your work slips?”
George reached into his pocket and produced the slips and showed them
to the brain. “It wasn’t Murray and Ready’s fault.
Says right here on the slip that you was to be here for work this
looked down at his feet. “Bus driver gave us a bum steer,”
he said. “We hadda walk ten miles. Says we was here when we
wasn’t. We couldn’t get no rides in the morning.”
brain used telekinesis to retrieve a time book and opened it where a
pencil was stuck between the leaves. George scowled meaningfully at
Lennie, and Lennie nodded to show that he understood. The brain
readied the pencil. “What’s your name?”
said: “His name’s Lennie Small.”
brain tilted its frontal lobe at Lennie. “He ain’t much
of a talker, is he?”
he ain’t, but he’s sure a hell of a good worker. Strong
as a bull.”
smiled to himself. “Strong as a bull,” he repeated.
scowled at him, and Lennie dropped his head in shame at having
forgotten to stay quiet.
brain said suddenly: “Listen, Small!” Lennie raised his
head. “What can you do?”
panic, Lennie looked at George for help. “He can do anything
you tell him,” said George. “He’s a good skinner.
He can rassel grain bags, drive a cultivator. He can do anything,
just give him a try.”
brain turned on George. “Then why don’t you let him
answer? What you trying to put over?”
before George could answer, the wooden latch on the door sprung open
once again, and the solid door flew back as if it had been kicked, as
was the case. Standing in the dusty beam of flyblown sunlight were
the two strangers from outside, the man and woman.
heard there was ranching work to be had,” the ginger-haired man
said, picking up a pitchfork from a wall rack.
sign us up,” the one-eyed woman added.
redhead kid hurled the pitchfork through the air, and it sailed
straight and true, striking against the floating brain and hanging
embedded in flesh for a moment before falling with three runnels of
blood to the bare wooden floor. Lennie cried out in sudden horror.
‘um stop, George!” he wailed.
of this crap, Onespawn!” the cyclops woman said, circling
around the wounded brain. “Let us out of these musty old
stories! How long do you think you can really keep this up?”
bother trying to reason with it, Leela,” the man said. “We’ve
done this dance too often.” He balled his fists and moved
as hard as you want!” the brain said scornfully. “It will
make no difference – you may as well perish here in this dreary
1920s tale of hopelessness and loss.”
brain rose in the air, and flew through one of the windows.
man, who was named Fry, and the woman Leela, both ran from the bunk
house in pursuit, leaving George and Lennie alone.
ain’t got no answers,” George replied, sitting down
heavily on the bunk. “Dunno what jus’ happened…”
miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the
hillside bank and runs deep and green. The water is warm too, for it
has slipped twinkling over the yellow sands in the sunlight before
reaching the narrow pool.
floating brain fled across the top of the pool.
figures paused in their pursuit, before heedlessly leaping into the
water. They reached and kicked toward Onespawn… and then both
of them vanished unexpectedly, leaving hollows in the warm water that
closed over with gentle splashes…
the final frontier…
With a melodic chiming sound, Fry and Leela materialized from
sparkling clouds of light and found themselves standing on circular
pads in a room that looked suspiciously like it was made from plywood
painted to look like a flowing futuristic surface. They glanced
around themselves at the tacky surroundings and bulky control
Fry said. “I know this place… it’s the transporter
what?” Leela asked.
muffled giggle caught their attention, and they edged off the
transporter pads curiously, peering over the top of the main control
Fry stepped back respectfully, while Leela remained watching for a
few moments with a small grin on her face.
with dark burgundy hair was in the process of undressing a busty
African-American woman on the floor. He surged to his feet at the
intrusion, pulling his golden command shirt back down and glaring at
the two strangers.
the devil are you?” Captain James T. Kirk demanded. Uhura
got to her feet, holding her discarded uniform in place to cover her
nakedness and staring in horror at the one-eyed woman.
Uhura?” Fry said, gaping at the pair. “Oh no!” he
wailed in anguish.
What is it?” Leela asked in confusion.
you see?” Fry went on, gesturing at the Captain and
communications officer. “Now we’re trapped in some geek’s
stupid out-of-character fan-fiction!”
Leela repeated in horror. “But that’s the worst kind of
fiction there is!”
asked who you were!” Kirk snapped, stepping around the control
console to confront the two intruders. “How did you get aboard
the Enterprise? Why are you here?”
don’t have time to explain, sir,” Fry said. “We’re
really only passing through – we just need to…”
the deck beneath them shuddered violently, and red warning lights
began to strobe from the wobbling walls.
to bridge,” a calm, well-rounded voice said over the ship’s
was already moving, but he paused as the door slid open, glancing
back at Fry and Leela. “You two,” he said. “Whoever
you are… your presence here now can’t…
conceivably be coincidence. You’ll come with me and explain
and Leela followed him out toward the turbolift, with Uhura hurriedly
dressing and moving after them.
a short interval, Kirk stepped out onto the bridge of the USS
Enterprise NCC-1701 with the two strange intruders in tow. A tall man
with high-arched eyebrows and elfish pointed ears approached him with
hands folded behind his back and began speaking.
we are registering very curious readings from all sensors,”
Kirk said, moving past to stand behind his command chair.
cannot,” Spock replied. “According to our instruments,
space itself is literally breaking up. There is no known phenomenon
which would account for these readings.” The Vulcan glanced at
Fry and Leela and raised a quizzical eyebrow.
Kirk responded to the unasked question. “Have Bones come up and
check them out. I’ve an inkling they’re something to do
with whatever force is acting upon the ship.”
nodded and moved away.
Hikaru Sulu called from the helm. “We’re
losing power in the warp engines!”
bad?” Kirk demanded stepping around the command chair and
pausing theatrically in mid-stride.
can barely read it, but I don’t like it.”
Chekov looked up in alarm from his readings. “Keptin!” he
said. “Visual detection of an object, dead ahead!”
Kirk shouted, perching himself on his chair in a state of catlike
readiness. The main viewscreen came online and resolved into an image
of space in front of the ship. In the centre of the image, a large
shape shimmered and fluxed, solidifying gradually into a solid mass.
and Leela exchanged glances. It was a brain. A giant brain that
floated in space, surrounded by an ominous blue glow.
‘bout it, Spock?” Kirk said in bewilderment.
Spock said. “A moment ago, there was no sensor contact.No
mass analysis. No trace of radiation. Furthermore, there has been no
reading consistent with a decloaking. Whatever that object is, it
seems to have appeared… from nowhere.”
comes from somewhere, Spock,” Kirk said. “It looks like
brain,” Spock finished for him.
never seen anything like it. Is this what’s causing the
would seem a logical conclusion.”
turbolift hissed open again and a slightly stooped man with a lined
face and intense eyes emerged, glanced around the bridge with mild
disapproval and fixed on the Captain.
am I, Jim?” he grumbled. “A doctor or a concierge? If I
jumped every time a light flashed around here, I'd end up talking to
myself. I signed on this ship to practice medicine, not to run up and
down at each…” He trailed off when he noticed the giant
brain looming in space beyond the ship.
do you make of that, Bones?” Kirk asked without looking at him.
Leonard McCoy squinted. “It’s a brain,” he said
can see that,” Kirk replied, swivelling in his chair.
what d’you want me to say, Jim? I’m a doctor, not a
you should have a look at our two unexpected friends there,”
Kirk said, pointing at Fry and Leela. “They appeared at the
same time as that thing out there – and I’d wager there’s
looked at the two strangers, noticing them for the first time, and
his gaze was drawn to Leela’s eye, at which he gaped in
me, Spock, never to make fun of your ears again,” he muttered,
lifting his Tricorder from its strap and waving it over the two
space, the giant brain pulsed, and the ship trembled alarmingly
again. Rolling from out of nowhere came a booming laugh that made the
whole crew freeze in sudden shock. It hadn’t come from the
communications system, but inside their own minds.
in the world…?” Uhura said, looking frightened.
pointlessly forever under the auspices of fanboy obsession!”
the psychic voice bellowed. “Trapped here within the confines
of non-canonical obscurity! Hahaha!”
is this?” Captain Kirk snapped, leaning forward. “Who’s
doing this to us… and why?”
Onespawn,” Fry said, striding forward to stand beside the
Captain’s chair and pointing out at the monstrosity. “You
have to attack it!”
planning to destroy the Universe!” Leela added.
the Universe?” Kirk repeated.
sir,” said Spock. “The time-space distortions we are
measuring are potentially on par with the effect we experienced when
we encountered Lazarus.”
these pair of kids are generating a similar effect, albeit on a
smaller scale,” McCoy said, staring at his Tricorder.
“Obviously it isn’t what I was looking for, but there are
definite temporal fluctuations surrounding the both of them.”
stared hard at Fry and Leela for a long moment before finally
reaching a decision. “Alright, I’ll see where this goes”
he said. “Uhura, open a channel.” When she had done so he
spoke in a firm authoritarian tone: “I address the alien
intelligence whose energy pulses are affecting this area of space. I
am Captain James Kirk of the united spaceship Enterprise,
calling on you to immediately cease your…”
firing, sir!” Sulu said suddenly. Crimson globules of energy
had burst from the brain and shot toward the ship.
Kirk snapped. “Aft shields to maximum!”
ship shuddered as bolts of psychoplasma splashed explosively against
it. Consoles erupted in sparks because they always do.
all phaser banks!” Fry shouted, and Kirk looked up at him
irritably. “Sorry, sir…” he added sheepishly.
what he said,” the Captain grunted.
of light stabbed from the underside of the Enterprise’s
main saucer section, cutting into Onespawn’s flesh. The
creature let out a psychic roar and began to withdraw from the area,
angling toward a small planet nearby.
photon torpedo!” Fry shouted, overcome by excitement. “Let’s
finish it off!”
Captain whoever-the-hell-you-are,” Kirk muttered sardonically.
The inter-ship communication system chimed and Kirk keyed it in.
“Scotty, report,” he said.
impacts took a lot outta our shields,” the Scottish engineer
replied from the bowels of the ship. “We simply haven’t
got the power to take any more big hits like that. It we try it, the
whole dilithium array’s gonna go kerplooey!”
you, Mr. Scott.”
the creature appears to be going to ground,” Spock observed.
Onespawn was making planetfall on the little unnamed world.
have to follow it,” Leela said.
then,” Kirk said, getting to his feet. “Mr. Spock, Bones,
you two come with me. We’re going down to that planet along
with our new friends here, and we’ll see what’s what. Mr.
Sulu, you have the helm.”
five of them headed toward the turbolift, Fry looked around in mild
confusion. “Where’s the red-shirt?” he asked.
Kirk stared at him.
you know… the ensign. There’s always a red-shirt ensign
that goes with you guys on away missions who gets killed. Every
son?” McCoy pointed at Fry’s jacket. He looked down at
the bright red garment.
crap,” Fry muttered.
on the planet surface, Onespawn had carved out a huge crater. It lay
smoking, an enormous mass of grotesque tissue. It was hurt. Nearby,
five figures materialized out of thin air and stood staring up at it.
lord,” McCoy grunted at the sight.
had his hand phaser out and held at the ready. “What now?”
cleared her throat. “Is there any way you can tune your weapons
into the same harmonic frequency that Onespawn is generating?”
she asked. “So that you could cancel it out?”
looked at her in admiration. “An excellent idea, madam,”
he said. “Most logical.”
three Starfleet officers set to work on their phasers, and in a few
short moments had them ready.
wide-beam, on my mark,” Kirk said when they’d finished.
think this will get us back to reality?” Fry murmured to Leela.
shot we have,” Leela replied.
Spock, and McCoy opened fire, directing three intersecting fields of
phased energy at Onespawn. The creature bellowed in pain and fury,
and the Universe seemed to ripple and buck, and then drain away into
and Leela found themselves hanging poised in an empty void…
but then another more familiar fictional world rolled back around
them like a welcoming embrace…
or subconscious reaction had locked Leela’s arms around Fry’s
chest, even when both their minds were snatched away. Fry still
gripped the Lance of Fate.
back?” he said, glancing around. They were hovering still
within the field of darkness, and Onespawn hung nearby.
like it,” Leela said.
the creature screamed. “It’s impossible! You cannot!”
for the thrilling climax,” Leela said, angling the jetpack
toward the creature. They flew straight and true, with Fry holding
the Lance out before them.
shimmered and pulsed…
met Onespawn’s flesh with a tremendous flash of light…