Fan Fiction

By Sine Wave

This fic was an entry in the 2007 writing contest at The Simpsons and Futurama Fanworks Central.

You’re sitting in a diner across the street and to the left of the grocer’s market that is the human mind,” a narrator speaks over a background of stars, “Suddenly you realize that a bear is sitting in the booth behind you, or that you’re being watched by tiny aliens or something. You ask for a check to leave, but you have already entered… The Scary Door.”

The camera cuts to show a cabin in the middle of the woods. “Sign, seal and deliver one Harold James, a lonely vacationer down on his luck.” A man walks out of the woods carrying a bundle of sticks. He stops in front of the cabin door.

Darn, forgot the key,” Harold says, putting down the bundle to search his pockets. He picks the sticks back up, then reels back in terror.

An octopus?” He yells, holding what is now a cephalopod at arm’s length.

That’s nothing,” the octopus responds, “look down at your feet!” Abraham Lincoln is crouched on all fours, ready to take a bite out of Harold’s leg. Harold screams and jumps off the porch, dropping the octopus.

Abe Lincoln!” he says, “But then that means I’m-”

Copernicus?” Lincoln says, simultaneous with Harold’s change of identity. Suddenly, an ant the size of a small building appears behind Copernicus, and eats him whole.

“Ugh, I hate when TV shows write an episode just to try and win an Emmy,” Leela said, sitting on the couch in the Planet Express lounge with Fry and Bender. They went back to watching TV as Zoidberg walked through the door next to them, gasping and coughing heavily.

“Friends, help me, I’m sick!” Zoidberg said, pausing to cough again. “I fear that I could die any second, I could!” Suddenly he froze, and then let out a piercing “Scraw!” before collapsing dramatically. Several seconds passed; Fry, Bender, and Leela continued watching TV. Bender reached out with his arm and grabbed the remote to change the channel. Fry took a sip of his Slurm. Zoidberg was still sprawled out on the floor.

“Good news, everyone!” The Professor said, shuffling his way around Zoidberg as he entered the lounge. “Well, this pertains mostly to Fry, actually,” he said, stopping in front of Fry. “With Zoidberg’s sudden death, you’re now the lowest-paid member of the crew, and, subsequently, the most expendable! Now, if you’ll follow me, there are some experiments I’ve been waiting to test on a human being.”

“Just what type of experiments?” Leela asked suspiciously.

“Why, the transmogrifier I just invented!” The Professor responded emphatically. “You see, it works by manipulating the quantum entanglement of the subject’s constituent subatomic particles, and then exchanges them with-”

“Don’t we have a delivery to make right now or something?” Fry said, not liking the sound of where this was going.

“Hu-wha? Oh, yes, you have a shipment of bacon and sour cream to deliver to Spudulon Four. Now, off you go!”

Three days later, the Planet Express Ship returned to its hangar, its crewmembers trudging down the exit stairway in the early morning light. Fry and Bender headed back to the lounge to have a few post-flight beers, while Leela stayed behind to do a post-flight rundown on the ship.

When they opened the door to the lounge, they were met with darkness. Fry reached in, flicked on the lights, and saw something skitter behind the table that was overturned against the wall.

“Dr. Zoidberg?” Fry asked, seeing the crustacean trying to hide from them. “Why are you hiding?”

“Yeah, it’s not like we’re going to hurt you,” Bender added. “Well, not anymore than usual.”

As they moved closer, Zoidberg scuttled along the wall and eventually ran away with a warbling wail. Of course, he was just running laps around the room, so away was only a relative term.

Leela wiped her brow as she walked towards the lounge a few minutes later, ready for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, that’s not what she got. Fry and Bender were piled on top of Zoidberg in the middle of the room, struggling to keep him pinned down and muffling his screams of terror.

“What the hell is going on here?” Leela asked tersely, wanting whatever shenanigans that led up to the situation to end as quickly as possible.

“Leela!” Fry yelled. Zoidberg took advantage of the distraction and kicked Fry in the liver, causing him to fall backwards onto the floor. He wheezed, trying to regain his breath. “Something’s wrong with Zoidberg.”

The Professor sat in front of a large screen showing a notated diagram of Zoidberg’s anatomy. Fry, Leela, and Bender waited expectantly while he pored over the data.

“Oh, it’s just as I feared,” the Professor said sadly.

“What, what is it?” Fry asked.

“Zoidberg has been infected by a mutated computer virus. The erratic behavior you observed was caused by amnesia brought on by the infection. It’s caused his mind to become like a partitioned hard drive, with his memories and personality on one side and his thought processes on the other. In fact, if you look closely, you can see a green lump on the back of his neck that shows he’s been infected.”

“Wait,” Leela said, “computer viruses can be transmitted to animals?” She looked over to Zoidberg. “Well, almost animals.”

“Yes, one of the side-effects of strong AI, I’m afraid,” the Professor said.

“Whoa, don’t think I’m to blame for this. I have regular anonymous testing done at the roboclinic every month,” Bender said as Hermes and Amy walked in the door behind him. They were wearing contamination suits and carrying a glass cylinder with a glowing green substance inside it.

“Professor! We got the samples you wanted,” Hermes said, setting the tube on the table by the Professor.

“Excellent! Now we just need to see if it’s a match for the virus,” the Professor said and put the cylinder into a large machine that was against the wall. After a short time, a ticker-tape feed came out of the machine. The Professor compared it with the data on the screen.

“It’s a match,” he said.

“What’s a match? What is that stuff?” Leela asked.

“The degenerate mass of proto-silicon that was in Fry’s locker, of course,” the Professor responded.

“Fry, how could you?” Bender said. “Disabling some helpless computer and storing its motherboard in your locker? You make me sick!”

“Yeah, Fry, what was in your locker?” Amy asked.

“Hmm, it’s been a few months since I opened it, but I’ll try and remember,” Fry said. “Let’s see, there was the chocolate pudding, that polonium-based beauty product set from the home shopping network, a pair of underpants, oh, and that cell phone you got me when we were dating that I never answered.”

“Well that could very possibly be what this abomination developed from,” the Professor said. “Now, to create a vaccine and then everything will be as good as new.”

“That’s it then? Everything’s great?” Leela asked.

“Oh my, no,” the Professor said. “Who knows where Zoidberg could have spread this before he went into his coma? We have to make sure that the threat is handled properly. If there are going to be any plagues running around, they’ll be ones I created.”

An hour later, Fry, Leela and Bender were sitting outside the mayor’s office. Chaz, the mayor’s aide, was sitting at a desk beside the door.

“Because of my position, I was able to work you into the mayor’s schedule this morning,” Chaz said. “And what position is that? The mayor’s aide.”

“You mean you’re his secretary?” Fry said.

The intercom on Chaz’s desk lit up. “Alright,” Mayor Poopenmeyer said, “send in my next appointment.”

Chaz got up and lead them into the mayor’s office, giving Leela a suggestive smile before leaving. She rolled her eye and sat down next to Fry and Bender across the desk from Mayor Poopenmeyer.

“So, what exactly did you want to talk to me about?” the mayor asked.

“Well, there might have been an outbreak of a computer virus adapted to infect living things,” Leela said. Bender looked at her derisively. “Well, you know what I mean.”

“Hmm,” Poopenmeyer said, holding his chin and staring at his desk intently. After a few seconds, he kicked his feet up on his desk and put his hands behind his head.

“So… what are you going to do?” Leela asked.

“Huh?” The mayor said, looking down at her. “Oh, I’m not going to do anything! Do you think I want mass panic on my hands? If some people get sick they can just go to the hospital.” He stood up, and motioned to the door. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some hypocritical activity to engage in and a few promises left to go back on.”

Leela sighed and grumbled incoherently as they walked back to Planet Express.

“So now what do we do?” Fry asked her.

“I don’t know,” she said, “but since the government won’t help us, as usual, we’ll have to try and fight this thing ourselves. Hold on, I’m getting a call.” She answered the vidphone in that thing she wears on her wrist; it was Amy, who was wearing a full contamination suit.

“Leela, Dr. Zoidberg escaped,” she said, “and he got Hermes. I think he’s infected.”

“Alright,” Leela said, “you stay there and take care of Hermes. We’ll try and find Zoidberg before he can get anyone else.”

Leela ended the call and turned to Fry and Bender. “Okay, let’s split up and search the city. We’ll meet back here at seven o’clock, which will give us eight hours to try and find him before dark. If you see him or where he’s been, call the others so you can get backup. Fry, you can take my cell phone so you can stay in touch. Try and actually answer this one, though.”

“Why wouldn’t I?” Fry asked.

Fry strolled lazily down a sidewalk on the Lower East Side, tired from hours of walking around searching back alleys and public places for Zoidberg. He was thinking about stopping to rest when Leela’s phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out and looked at the screen.

Message from:


I thought you’d like to repay me for using my influence as the Mayor’s Aide. I have tickets to the premiere of Turing Machines on Ice, because I’m an Aide. Not just anyone’s Aide, the Mayor’s Aide.

Chaz, the Mayor’s Aide.

Fry frowned and sat down next to an alleyway. He had started typing a witty reply to Chaz when he heard rustling coming from behind a dumpster in the alley. He shrugged it off and continued typing. Suddenly, two meaty claws grabbed him by the shoulders and dragged him into the alley. Before he could scream, he was hit over the head, and all went black.

Zoidberg stood over Fry’s now-limp body. He bent over and opened his mouth, emitting a heavy green gas into the air over Fry’s head before scuttling back into the shadows.

Leela checked the time on that thing she wears on her wrist. 7:13, and Fry still wasn’t there. She’d called him twice already, and he didn’t pick up either time. Moron. She pulled up a GPS display that showed her phone was located outside a Vassal Burger in the Lower East Side. Hopefully, Fry was there with it.

“Hey, a cell phone!” Bender said as he and Leela walked in front of the Vassal Burger.

“Bender, that’s mine. Stop stealing it,” Leela said.

“Does that usually stop me?” Bender asked.

Leela grabbed the phone from his hand and opened it. She saw that Fry had apparently left it in the middle of writing a juvenile text message to Chaz. She opened her inbox and looked at the last message received: Chaz, the Mayor’s Aide. 6:47 PM.

“Okay, he was here about half an hour ago, at least. He should still be fairly close,” Leela said. She turned her head and realized Bender was gone.

“Hey big boots, I found him!” Bender said, dragging Fry’s body out from behind the dumpster in the alley. Leela ran over to him and looked over his body for injuries. There was a large bump on his head and some scratches on his shoulders where Zoidberg’s claws had cut through his jacket and t-shirt. She felt the back of his neck and flipped him over. There was a green lump forming under his jacket collar.

“Bender, find Zoidberg,” Leela said, “Hopefully he’s still close by. I’m taking Fry back to Planet Express.”

Bender poked his head in the doorway of an abandoned warehouse, scanning with his infrared vision for any life forms resembling Zoidberg. He was about to go back out when he heard warbled laughter come from above him.

“Zoidberg, I know you’re in there,” Bender said. Just then, Zoidberg jumped down from the catwalk above and landed on him, knocking him over. He sprayed Bender with green gas, just like he did to Fry, but Bender quickly pulled out a roll of duct tape, using it to make a seal over his mouth and the gap around the door in his chest.

“What do you mean I can’t go in there?” Leela said, standing in the Professor’s laboratory.

“It’s too dangerous for any of us to be in the contamination chamber right now,” the Professor said. “We don’t know exactly how the disease develops. They could become contagious!”

“I know,” Leela said, “but I have to. I… I just have to.”

“Fine,” the Professor said, “but wear this.” He handed her a gas mask from World War I.

“Okay,” Leela said, strapping on the mask and walking into the glass chamber that held Fry and Hermes. She rolled some of the monitoring equipment out of the way and sat down next to Fry’s bed.

“Hi, Fry,” she said, her voice muffled by the gas mask. “I don’t know if you can hear me, but…”

Zoidberg jumped from a second-story fire escape into a dumpster and then sprinted down an alley onto the street. Bender followed him several seconds later, stopping to see which way he went. He saw the tail of a lab coat rounding the corner at the end of the block and ran after it.

Several minutes later, Zoidberg was getting tired and stopped to rest for a second in front of a tube station.

“Perfect,” Bender said, peeling the tape off of his mouth. He sprinted at Zoidberg, jumping and knocking him into the tube, yelling “Planet Express!” before they were both sucked away.

When they arrived at the stop closest to Planet Express, Bender was holding Zoidberg by the collar of his doctor’s coat and had put a piece of duct tape over Zoidberg’s mouth.

“Hey meatbags,” Bender said as he dragged Zoidberg inside, “I got Zoidberg. Do you want me to kill him now?”

Just as he said that, Zoidberg kneed him hard in the chest plate and took off into the building.

“Oof! Hey, get back here!” Bender said and ran off after him.

Zoidberg ran down into the lower levels of Planet Express, eventually ending up in the accusing parlor. He backed up against the fireplace, looking back and forth nervously, realizing he was trapped. As Bender walked into the room, Zoidberg had an idea. He ran over and grabbed the broadsword off the wall.

“Aha!” Zoidberg mumbled through the tape over his mouth, pointing the sword at Bender.

“Uh-oh,” Bender said before reaching into his chest and pulling out a rapier. He and Zoidberg attacked and parried back and forth out of the room, up a spiral staircase, and into the smell-o-scope room. As they entered, Bender took the offensive and backed Zoidberg up against the clone-o-mat. Realizing he was trapped again, Zoidberg swung his sword into the elevator mechanism, cutting the chains and causing the platform to fall.

Amy and the Professor had followed them up from the lab, leaving Leela inside the containment chamber. They looked down the hole from the elevator and saw Bender and Zoidberg still fighting below.

“Remember, Bender,” the Professor yelled, “a feint within a feint within a feint!”

“What the hell does that- whoa!” Bender said, cut short by a swing of Zoidberg’s sword that came too close. Several more swings and Bender’s back was against the lava pit. He retreated around its circumference until he could get out onto a piece of the clone-o-mat that was spanning the pit. Zoidberg followed him, swinging at him again. Bender tried to parry it, but his sword flew out of his hand and dissolved in the lava below. Then, just as Zoidberg was getting ready to move in for the kill, the lobster froze. A dart was stuck in the side of his neck, causing a spider-web crack to form in his shell.

“Hey, who did that?” Bender said, “I had him right where I wanted him!”

“Scruffy, the janitor,” Scruffy said, leaning against the wall holding a tranquilizer gun.

The Professor walked into the containment chamber, a vial of brown liquid in his hand. Hermes, Zoidberg, and Fry had been put in hibernative naptosis to slow the rate of the disease’s progression and were lined up in their capsules.

Leela was asleep in the chair she’d been sitting in for the past week, her head leaning against Fry’s capsule. Her eye popped open as she heard the Professor close the chamber door after he entered. “Is it ready?” she asked, “Is that the vaccine?”

The Professor nodded affirmatively and turned off Fry’s hibernation unit. He poured part of the vial’s contents into Fry’s i.v. before going and doing the same with Hermes and Zoidberg.

“Leela,” Fry said, seeing her blinking back tears as he woke up, “are you okay?”

“Yes, Fry,” she said, “everything’s fine now.”