Futurama: The Soap Opera
By Chris Wilson
Episode I: Future Shock
Episode Date: May 11th 2004
Scene: Planet Express Lounge
Wednesday 12th May only seemed to be significant in the year 3004 for how the
colour in life seemed to have drained into murky shades of grey. Everybody at
Planet Express seemed to be more tired than what they used to be. Their interests
were fading away like a manufactured pop star's career and the crew's
socialism was so bad, only reinstalling it would solve the problem. For example,
Fry and Bender were watching the news. As usual Linda was chuckling over Morbo's
threats about Earth and Fry observed to Bender how Morbo's gimmick was
overdone. What did Bender do? He smashed a glass bottle over Fry head going:
However that was still one person whose cloud had a silver lining and that
was the Rasta accountant: Hermes. Across the way from where the television is
situated, he was sat at the table typing away on his calculator and writing
down notes passionately. Hermes was creating a profit and loss account, weighing
the input of money Planet Express was making against the output PE was losing.
He had finished the profits ages ago and he was close to finishing the expenses
when he came stuck at something.
Hermes looked up towards the couch to see the same old situation. Fry and Bender
were sat back looking bored while watching the news. Beside them was Amy, who
was painting her fingernail in a loud, fluorescent colour. There would have
been Leela holding Fry's hand too but she was over at the launching pad
washing a planet off the side of the ship.
On the television, Morbo was ranting like he does every single day. "I
am telling you, if France and Spain were united to form a singular country,
it would be a perfect place for my people's ships to land while destroying
the Earth!" Maybe the gimmick is overdone...
Hermes started to speak, "Bender, how much have you spent on beer this
"Get lost, skin tube," Bender replied before finishing off his
Bender gave off one hell of a fiery burp before throwing the bottle onto a
pile of used bottles stacked about three foot high. He opened his chest cavity
and grabbed another beer out. Then he satisfyingly released the cap from the
bottle (making an enchanting hissing sound while doing so) before gulping back
yet more beer.
Hermes looked back down at his paper and obscurely wrote: "$5000".
He then continued back onto his calculations. The buttons clicking on the calculator
become more and more rapid until Hermes suddenly froze gasping.
"Sweet bananas of Bahamas, Planet Express lost $10000 last year!"
He claimed. "Looks like we'll have to let somebody go. But whom?"
Suddenly the door slid open to reveal Dr Zoidberg. Zoidberg shook his claw
at Hermes, "Hello!"
Hermes thought to himself, "If only! Zoidberg only makes $310 a year!"
Scene: Launch Pad
Scraping planets off a ship is like scraping cooked on stains off a dish, it's
very annoying if you haven't got a dishwasher to do the work for you!
Since spaceship dishwashers don't exist, Leela is forced to do it the
hard way. She is resentful it is her that must do this daunting task as Bender
was the helm when the ship ended up in the Small Planet Galaxy. And it was Bender
who diverted into there anyway! However Leela wasn't exactly up to anything
useful at the time. Bender put it perfectly when he childishly explained the
accident to the Professor: "Leela was two decks below making babies with
Leela got the knife from the ground and began to uproot sections of the planet
from the side of the ship. As the knife slid underneath of the planet, the planet
folded into itself like ice cream being collected by the scoop. When a huge
piece of the planet fell to the concrete floor below the ship, Leela picked
it up and placed it in a bucket with an E-Bay logo on it.
She was about to attack the splatter some more when wrinkly, old Professor
Hubert Farnsworth appeared from the balcony above.
"Leela, could you come to the lounge for a moment?"
"Why? Has Bender created mass homicide and I must go to jail for it?"
"Oh my no... Well not yet anyway!"
The Professor exited the scene leaving Leela to make a sound of disgust as
if she were Marge Simpson.
Scene: Planet Express Lounge
Leela entered the room to see the whole crew was there: Fry, Bender, Amy, Hermes,
the Professor and Dr Zoidberg. She saw how Dr Zoidberg was trying to drink Amy's
nail polish but he got one of his noses lodged in the small bottle neck while
"Good news everybody,"
"You already said that!" Fry blasted.
"Yes I know but Leela wasn't here. Anyway I have booked us all
tickets to go to Shockholm to go see Valerie Helgasen this afternoon. She's
famous for creating the machine that accurately tells one's future!"
"Wait a minute. The name Shockholm. It sounds like the capital of Sweden...
Uh... What's it called again?" Fry thought, "Uh...
"Stockholm you idiot!" The Professor stated angrily, "And
it's the same place. It was renamed Shockholm when Helgasen created the
machine and 'shocked' everybody that tried it. And it still does
today. Hopefully I'll be able to get Valerie to scare the holy crap out
of you lot so it'll motivate you lot to work harder!"
"Nah that won't happen," Bender said, putting his feet up
on the table while supping on yet another beer.
"So let's go people..." Said the Professor, "Our
morning is Sweden's afternoon remember!"
With that, everybody began to march out of the room with Dr Zoidberg and the
Professor being in the last two in the room. Zoidberg tried to coolly walk out
of the room despite having a jar of nail polish lodged in one of his noses.
However just as he was about to exit, the Professor slowly gets into his tracks.
"Not so fast!" The Professor slammed, "You ain't going
anywhere. When we go to different places, we represent Planet Express and with
that we need dignity, class and intelligence. You don't have any of that
so buzz off you damn lobster!"
The Professor then stripped off into his underwear and spat on the floor before
strutting towards the ship, "Hey, don't start that flying thingy!"
Scene: Outside Planet Express Building
Dr Zoidberg is walking along the building looking depressed. He shakes his
head and the nail polish flies off and collides against the brick wall. The
bottle smashes in lots of pieces and Zoidberg ends up getting half of the polish
splashed against his shell. Dr Zoidberg groans. This is followed by an acute
rumbling coming from the building, leading to the ship taking off into the bright
blue sky. The red lobster watched one of the ship's windows, where he
could clearly see the Professor naked limboing under a stick held up by Hermes
and Fry, who were also naked. Dignity, class and intelligence are the key things
at Planet Express? Yeah right.
Dr Zoidberg began to walk on towards his apartment, a trashcan behind the aptly
named business: Discount Homes. He felt worthless. For more than ten years he
had worked at Planet Express. But his pay check is that of a person doing voluntary
work. He got about as much respect as the head of Fred Durst from fellow employees
and he isn't even a proper doctor. What kind of a life is that for the
Decapodian who was voted most handsome and most likely to succeed in life in
his senior year at lobster school? Zoidberg knew already that the answer was
not a very good one.
Zoidberg was about two miles from his home on the outskirt of New New York
when he came across a wall of illegal poster advertisements. It was traditional
for many TV stations to do this these days as it costs less money for them to
promote stuff. Dr Zoidberg began to read the advertisements. He came across
one where a woman is clutching a rolling pin in her hand. Zoidberg read the
"Women problems? Buy Woma-Tape, the duct tape that shuts the woman up!"
Zoidberg laughed, "Now that's a product!"
Suddenly he got tapped on the shoulders by a woman. The lobster turned around
and received a swift kick in the groin. Dr Zoidberg went down to the ground
in immense pain.
"Pig!" The woman exclaimed before walking away looking satisfied.
Zoidberg began to struggle back onto his feet again with the words: "Damn"
and "Feminist" in his mind. As he struggled back up, he looked at
the posters again when he began to take an attraction to a certain poster. It
made Zoidberg's feel go all warm and fuzzy. His heart began to pound like
a symphony and for the first time in a long while, he began to smile, making
an "Ahh!" noise in the instance. He was looking directly at the
picture of the poster. The romance began to fill up his air sacs.
The poster had a heading of "Everybody Loves Hypno Toad!"
Scene: Shockholm (Valerie Helgasen's Lounge)
Ding-Dong!!! The bell sounded indicating the six members of Planet Express
had arrived. They waited impatiently for Valerie to answer the door. It took
Valerie several seconds to open the door and when she did, Fry, Professor and
Hermes were in for a treat. The woman who answered had golden locks of hair,
a face surely created by God himself, breasts that were so big and rounded and
tantalising and legs that were heavily exposed, smoother and shiner than sheet
"Hubba-Hubba!" Fry remarked.
Leela slapped Fry on the head, to which Fry complained about. Even Fry should
have known that now he was dating Leela, his validation to look at other women
was void! Fry rubbed his head as the crew entered the house.
"My mom will be with you in a moment," the blonde replied before
walking away from the scene. Evidently, she is not Valerie Helgasen! In the
background, you could hear the blonde go: "Mom, the Americans are here!"
Downstairs came an old woman with teeth more yellow than custard. She was wrinkled
to a point where it looked like a deformity. Her breasts were... Well...
Let's not go into that. Basically she was very old, very plain and very
nerdy from the looks of it, especially nerdy when her clothes resemble the Professor's.
Fry looked at Leela, who looked satisfied that this old bag was Valerie instead
of the blonde.
"Hello you lot," She proclaimed. When speaking, the adhesive on
her false teeth wore off and her top teeth clashed with her bottom teeth creating
a hollow but sickening sound. "Oh dear. My teeth seem to come out just
as much as my pantyhose snap these days!"
"Oh I hope nothing snaps today!" Fry shivered to himself.
Scene: Shockholm (Valerie Helgasen's Basement)
In the basement of the Shockholm house of Valerie Helgasen, the massive but
very dark and damp space was jam packed to the full with various experiments,
machines, nuclear bombs (because all scientists must have at least one) and
most importantly, the large machine that can read into the future. It looked
like a God as it towered over the crew in the corner of the room. The gold plated
machine was so impressive; it shone despite the lack of light in the room. Amy,
Fry, Hermes, Leela, Bender and the Professor looked on in amazement giving their
oo's and their ah's.
"My family could only buy ten of those," Amy said.
Her comment was ignored though as Valerie stepped in front of them and leant
on the machine. She then turned around and pressed several buttons. The machine
began to generate. It made reverse draining sounds as lightning bolts began
to fly through wires equal to the machine. The bolts struck into electrical
towers at the other side of the room. Then the screen of the machine quickly
showed a loading screen that went from 0% to 100% within three seconds. After
that several more bolts shot out of the structure. Valerie cackled like a modern
day Shakespearian witch!
The Professor leant over to Bender, "Damn woman, she copied my evil scientist
"Quiet you," Valerie said hearing the statement the Professor made
before diverting her attention to the Planet Express crew. "This is the
Shockholm Machine version 2.0. It not only registers a person's character,
psychical state and mental state through brainwave reading, but it can tell
the person's future so accurately, you will obtain a whole log reading
from when you read the paper with the results on until you die!"
"What if you don't want to read so far into the future though?"
"Then you'd be a communist!" Exclaimed Valerie, "Now,
who wants to go first?"
Fry stepped forward excitedly jumping up and down like a five year old. "Me!
Me! Me! Pick me! Screw the rest!"
Scene: Shockholm (Valerie Helgasen's Basement)
Ten minutes from the last scene. Fry's usually accident-prone head was
now being punished with forty pound gold hat on his head. The hat was to measure
his brainwaves. Luckily for him he didn't have to worry about balancing
as he was strapped back against a sheet of wood with shackles clamping the wrists
and ankles. Valerie pranced over to the start switch that was on the main section
of this super-computer. She checked to see Fry was fine - he was -
before yanking down the switch. FLASH! Sparks began to fly everywhere and the
room began to look like one big pyrotechnic as everything was illuminated by
flashes and sparks. The crew (except Bender naturally who was enjoying the firework
show) were concerned for Fry, he may be hurting. But Fry was looking fine when
Valerie tugged the switch back again and stopped the machine.
"That was fun!" Bender expressed.
The machine began to print out pages upon pages of statistics. Fry looked nervous
as the Swedish inventor began to release the red head from the board and shackles.
The printing was fast. So fast that before Fry's final wrist was released,
the final piece of paper had come out and the ink had dried on it. Fry dashed
over excitedly to the pages. He looked at the first one.
"Bracket HTML bracket, bracket body bracket?" Fry said looking
"Oh yeah I had to program my machine on Microsoft Frontpage, ignore that
bit. Go onto page two!"
Fry did, "Wow, it has statistics on my true feelings about how I feel
about different people out of a rating of five."
Suddenly all of the crew dashed over to Fry very curious to how he felt about
them. They tussled among each other to try and get a peek in. Some looked very
happy while some were disappointed. Fry looked down the list interestingly along
with the crew.
Then Amy stepped up to Valerie, "Do me next!"
"Then me!" Stated Hermes.
The crowd began to peel their interest away from Fry to pay attention to the
machine. Meanwhile Fry walked towards the stairs of the basement reading the
statistics. He then turned the page to see a heading of: "Philip J. Fry's
Future!" Intrigued, the man from the 20th century sat on the stairs and
began to silently read the page to his slow but competent head.
"Philip J. Fry, girlfriend of Turunga Leela, best friend and tenant to
Bender B Rodriguez and worker for Planet Express, owned in a partnership by
Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth and Hermes Conrad, has been miserable ever since
a mission dated: April 23rd to Omicron Persei 8 where the ship was attacked
several times and Philip Fry received a laceration to the left arm on the sixth
attack. Along with Turunga and Bender, Philip's work motivation has been
decreasing at a rate of 8.17% over a period of two weeks and this frustration
Philip has obtained has affected his love life with Turunga. Philip's
interest in the look of other women has increased by 2.4% for two weeks as well
while interest in Turunga has decreased by the same percentage. This is further
proved how the amount of satisfaction during sexual intercourse has gone down
by half the amount than when Philip and Turunga had sex for the first time."
"Well that's true," Fry said to himself.
He silently read again, "After dismissing this report, Philip will continue
to have sexual intercourse with Turunga in desperate hope that the rate of passion
is able to increase. However this does not occur and a situation begins where
Philip and Turunga's relationship begins to fall apart. But due to Philip's
determination levels, he tries to continue this relationship instead of ceasing
it. Turunga though looks to end the relationship but cannot find the heart to
break away from Philip for the sake of his and her professional and personal
"What???" Fry said, "No! Surely not! Not after all I have
"Turunga however finds a way to end the relationship by having intercourse
with a past flame out of desperation. She does not have any feelings for the
person in question anymore, but Turunga is very desperate to get out of the
relationship with Philip. All of Philip's levels including interest, awareness
and romance will go down by at least 54% within six weeks as Philip ends the
relationship, understand Turunga is not in love with him anymore. Then after
a mission that nearly ends in tragedy, Philip tries to ask out with Turunga
but fails. All of Philip's levels will go down a further 25%, a level
that will make him an emotional wreck. On the 2nd of July, Philip J. Fry will..."
Fry gulped and sweated immensely. He had read the whole of the sentence but
he didn't bring himself around to read it again until a couple of seconds
later. This time, he read it out loud quickly to himself.
"On the 2nd of July, Philip J. Fry will be deceased."
TO BE CONTINUED
Coming on Friday 14th May 2004, find out:
· How does Fry deal with the news of his death being less than 8 weeks
· What will the other members of PE's results be from the machine?
· Does Dr Zoidberg love a toad that's the same sex as him???