This fic was an entry in the 2007 writing contest at The Simpsons and Futurama Fanworks Central.
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.”
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.
forgot the key,” Harold says, putting down the bundle to search
his pockets. He picks the sticks back up, then reels back in terror.
octopus?” He yells, holding what is now a cephalopod at arm’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
Lincoln!” he says, “But then that means I’m-”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
what type of experiments?” Leela asked suspiciously.
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-”
we have a delivery to make right now or something?” Fry said,
not liking the sound of where this was going.
Oh, yes, you have a shipment of bacon and sour cream to deliver to
Spudulon Four. Now, off you go!”
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.
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.
Zoidberg?” Fry asked, seeing the crustacean trying to hide from
them. “Why are you hiding?”
it’s not like we’re going to hurt you,” Bender
added. “Well, not anymore than usual.”
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.
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.
the hell is going on here?” Leela asked tersely, wanting
whatever shenanigans that led up to the situation to end as quickly
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
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.
it’s just as I feared,” the Professor said sadly.
what is it?” Fry asked.
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.”
Leela said, “computer viruses can be transmitted to animals?”
She looked over to Zoidberg. “Well, almost animals.”
one of the side-effects of strong AI, I’m afraid,” the
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.
We got the samples you wanted,” Hermes said, setting the tube
on the table by the Professor.
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.
a match,” he said.
a match? What is that stuff?” Leela asked.
degenerate mass of proto-silicon that was in Fry’s locker, of
course,” the Professor responded.
how could you?” Bender said. “Disabling some helpless
computer and storing its motherboard in your locker? You make me
Fry, what was
in your locker?” Amy asked.
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.”
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.”
it then? Everything’s great?” Leela asked.
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.”
hour later, Fry, Leela and Bender were sitting outside the mayor’s
office. Chaz, the mayor’s aide, was sitting at a desk beside
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.”
mean you’re his secretary?” Fry said.
intercom on Chaz’s desk lit up. “Alright,” Mayor
Poopenmeyer said, “send in my next appointment.”
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.
what exactly did you want to talk to me about?” the mayor
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.”
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.
what are you going to do?” Leela asked.
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.”
sighed and grumbled incoherently as they walked back to Planet
now what do we do?” Fry asked her.
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.
Dr. Zoidberg escaped,” she said, “and he got Hermes. I
think he’s infected.”
Leela said, “you stay there and take care of Hermes. We’ll
try and find Zoidberg before he can get anyone else.”
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.”
wouldn’t I?” Fry asked.
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
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
the Mayor’s Aide.
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.
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.
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.
a cell phone!” Bender said as he and Leela walked in front of
the Vassal Burger.
that’s mine. Stop stealing it,” Leela said.
that usually stop me?” Bender asked.
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
the Mayor’s Aide. 6:47 PM.
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.
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
find Zoidberg,” Leela said, “Hopefully he’s still
close by. I’m taking Fry back to Planet Express.”
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
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.
do you mean I can’t go in there?” Leela said, standing in
the Professor’s laboratory.
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!”
know,” Leela said, “but I have to. I… I just have
the Professor said, “but wear this.” He handed her a gas
mask from World War I.
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.
Fry,” she said, her voice muffled by the gas mask. “I
don’t know if you can hear me, but…”
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
minutes later, Zoidberg was getting tired and stopped to rest for a
second in front of a tube station.
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.
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.
meatbags,” Bender said as he dragged Zoidberg inside, “I
got Zoidberg. Do you want me to kill him now?”
as he said that, Zoidberg kneed him hard in the chest plate and took
off into the building.
Hey, get back here!” Bender said and ran off after him.
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.
Zoidberg mumbled through the tape over his mouth, pointing the sword
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.
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.
Bender,” the Professor yelled, “a feint within a feint
within a feint!”
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
who did that?” Bender said, “I had him right where I
the janitor,” Scruffy said, leaning against the wall holding a
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.
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
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.
Fry said, seeing her blinking back tears as he woke up, “are
“Yes, Fry,” she said, “everything’s fine now.”