The Other, Part 21
By Rye Guy
Through the black void, two figures fly at an incredible speed. The red glow of the monster Bereave's eyes is the only visible light. Even the screams of Fry go unheard in the seemingly endless abyss. Bereave's grip on Fry tightens as everything begins to slow down. The sudden change in speed causes Fry to black out.
Sometime later, Fry awakens. Almost blinded by the brightness of his white surroundings. As he begins to sit up, an overwhelming pain takes hold of him. He falls back onto the floor, writhing in pain for his wings have been ripped off. After a few moments of screaming and punching the ground, Fry tries to catch his breathe and regain his composure. He sits up, reaches a hand behind his back to feel the large scars left there. They are still bleeding slightly, but he notices that most of the blood beneath him on the floor is already dry.
"How long have I been out?"
Using his sword as a cane, he stands and is finally able to observe his surroundings now that his eyes have adjusted. All he sees is white, in every direction. The only color he sees is the blood stain under his feet. Fry feels his face, the cut left by Bereave's sword has scabbed over as have most of the cuts, scrapes, and slices over his body. "What do I do now..." he wonders seeing nothing but white all around. "I have to make it back to Leela and the others." Left with no other option, he starts walking. Hours go by, Fry's feet are soar, and his stomach is growling. Feeling weak, Fry stops and sits down to rest. Another growl from his stomach. "I'm going to starve to death unless I find some food." He sighs and lays down on his side, using his arms as a rest for his head. "God, I'd kill for something to eat, even Bender's cooking sounds good now. Maybe a burger or something." Suddenly, a scent catches Fry's attention. It's a familiar smell. He knows it can't be what he thinks it is, but then again he doesn't even know just where the hell he is. He looks over his shoulder to see a steaming hot and fresh cheeseburger with an ice-cold can of Slurm sitting on a small red tray. Having enough sense to know that it could be a mirage, Fry still expiraments by reaching out for it to see if it is indeed real or not. To his suprise, he can feel the heat from the burger, then he reaches farther and feels the bun. He picks up the burger, takes a bite, and soon devours it and gulps down the Slurm. Finished and full, Fry looks down to the empty plate where some ketchup still remains. His eyes remain fixated on it, reminding him of blood...Leela's blood...from when Bereave cut her arm right in front of him. In a sudden outburst of anger, Fry throws the plate as hard as he can into the distance; only to see it shatter in mid-air, leaving a splotch of ketchup that appears to be hovering in the air. Curious, Fry stands and comes closer to the ketchup blot. There is a white wall in front of him. He has reached an end in this strange place. Not feeling any kind of door, he takes his sword and attempts to break down the wall. But not even his mightiest swings leaves even the slightest blemish. Frustrated, tears run from Fry's eyes as he begins losing his energy while attacking this wall. "Let me out! Please!" he screams at the top of his voice. "Let me out!" At last feeling defeated, Fry falls to his knees and weeps at the thought of never escaping this prison, never seeing his friends again, never seeing his beloved Leela again. His energy depleated, Fry ends up laying down and crying himself to sleep.
He wakes up several hours later, still as lost as before as to where he is or what his next move is to be. He looks to the forboding wall and sees a small red stain where the blotch of ketchup had been. Standing, he feels something different about himself. He reaches behind him and feels bandages over the large wounds on his back. His clothes are different too. Instead of a tattered, dirty, blood-stained white tunic, he is now wearing a dark red colored outfit; very similar to the clothes Bereave wore, only with no boots. Instead, Fry is still barefoot. His sword, he finds out, has been cleaned, sharpened, and is now kept safely in a new sheath which has a shoulder strap for him carry it more easily. "Where did all this come from? What's going on?" He stops at the sight of something in the corner of his eye. He looks to his left and sees a small grey spot off in the distance alongside the white wall. Without a moments hesitation, Fry begins running towards it. As he gets closer, he can make out that it's a large stone. But why would a stone be there like that? Then again, why would a cheeseburger magically appear when he was hungry? These questions and more race through his head.
Finally stading in front of the stone slab, Fry catches his breathe and looks the stone over for a sign, a picture, anything that might make some sense to him. He sees what appears to be a aprt of a leter underneath a pactch of moss. He tears the moss away and begins reading the inscription that has been carved on top of the stone
"For they who have brought darkness, a light will shine. For he who is entraped by darkness, freedom will come. One soul seprate in two bodies will again become whole and bring with it the strength to carry us all. Through darkness and light, this soul will fight and until the end, will never quit. The beginnings brought darkness The darkness brings death From the death will come life And through this life will come might. Light and dark are one in the same. But woe be he who speak the name of they who brought the darkness still. For the darkness brings death. But the light also accompanies death. Life and death Both will be paid One with the other One for the other The One and The Other together In death as in life"
Fry stands there for a moment scratching his head. "What the hell?" he asks himself. None of this was making sense to him. This whole day, ever since they came to Zapp's stupid party, nothing has made sense. All he knows is that he has to make it back somehow. The woman he loves is on Earth, who knows how far from here, carrying his child. As Fry sits in an attempt to contemplate his situation, he notices something hidden on the side of the stone. A handprint carved onto the side. He checks and sure enough there is another handprint on the other side. A stroke of genius or simple curiosity? Whatever it is, Fry gets onto his knees and firmly presses his hands into each of the carvings. Almost expecting something, anything, to happen; but again for nought as this too causes no reaction. Defeated and utterly crushed, Fry stands. His fists clinched, his teeth grinding, his pulse racing. And then a sudden burst of anger causing him to grab his sword and swing it at the stone. Expecting the sword to either break from the impact or bounce clear off the stone itself, he is suprised to find that not only has his sword cut into the stone, it has damn near cut it straight through down the middle.
"Guess I don't know my own strength." he quips finding at least one bit of humor in his current situation. His chuckling is cut short by the sudden quake striking the ground below him. It grows so intense that he falls back and is unable to get his feet firmly back on the ground to stand. A glimmer from his sword, a light shining from inbetween the two stone halves. The light grows brighter and brighter, Fry can barely keep his eyes open and is now beginning to feel light-headed. He drops to his knees and struggles to stay awake but it is all useless. Just as his eyes close, he sees a strange sillouhette approaching him. Sometime later, Fry awakens to the singing of birds and a gentle breeze. "Where am I now?" He groans while looking around to see that he is laying on a bed in a small building that greatly resembles the Temple of Fortuna Virilis from acient Roma, only much smaller. The small and elegant building stands on a tall base and trabrtine columns have Ionic order. There is no roof, nothing but crystal clear blue sky above him. Several feet to the right of his bed is a set of a few stairs meeting a trail of marble tiles that leads out into a rather large clearing; Fry guesses maybe about the size a couple of football fields; encircled by a vast forest. Beginning to sit up, but stopped by a pounding headache, he falls back onto the bed. "Try not to move around much. Your body is still adjusting to this environment." says a familiar voice.
Fry's eyes open wide as he recognizes the voice immediately, "Leela?" He turns his head and is even more shocked to see Leela herself, standing no more than a few feet from his bedside. She is dressed in a flowing white garment made of lace that hangs from her right shoulder and down to her ankles. The sleeves go down her arms where the ends are tied to the middle finger of each hand. Ignoring the headache, Fry jumps out of bed and runs toward her. Leela, however, raises her hand and stops him dead in his tracks. "Leela, what's wrong?"
"I must insist you lay back down, Mighty One."
"Mighty One? You sure you're feeling okay?"
"You are mistaking me for The Other; the woman you know as Leela."
"So, you're not really her are you?"
She shakes her head, "No. I merely took this form to help make you more comfortable. My name is Brio. It is an honor to finally meet the Mighty One." Fry slumps back onto the bed with his head hung low. Having finally thought that everything was alright, only to have his hopes dashed so quickly. "You seem sad. May I ask why, Mighty One?"
"Okay, first of all, you need to stop calling me that. My real name is-" She cuts him off, "Phillip J. Fry. Yes, I know. I know everything there is to know about you. I am able to hear your thoughts, that is how I knew what form to take."
Dejected, Fry lays back down and sighs. "Well, take another form. Anything but that."
"Does it not please you Phillip?"
"Call me Fry, and no it doesn't. It just reminds me of what I've lost."
"Just tell me what form would suit you best. I can be your friend Amy, or Michelle, maybe LaBarbera. I can be any of these women that I see in your mind." "What's wrong with looking like yourself?" Asks a very agitated Fry.
Brio does not respond. Instead, she looks down to the ground and wrenches her hands sadly. Curious as to the cause of the silence, Fry turns his head to her, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to have that tone. I just haven't been having the best couple of days."
"No Mighty One, I mean Phillip, er-Fry. Sorry." she fidgits nervously as she tries to put her thoughts into words. "I would rather not. I don't want anyone else to see me. I don't even want to see me. It brings back memories." Fry sits up, scratches his head and shrugs, "Well, I guess it'll be okay if you want to look like Leela."
Brio smiles, "Thank you. Oh thank you. You are too gracious Mighty One." she begins bowing, much to Fry's disliking.
As Fry and Brio walk along the stone laden path that encircles this open area, they are silent. Fry has many questions but is unsure of whether this strange woman knows the answers. The silence is broken by her angelic voice. "What troubles you Fry?"
He shrugs but continues walking, "I dunno. I guess, I just want to know what's going on, you know? I mean, I'm a college drop out pizza delivery boy form the year 2000 who was frozen by some three eyed rat for a thousand years only to become a delivery boy for my 160 year old nephew. Just your average guy living an average life. Then suddenly, I find out that I am some kind of savior, a hero who must save all of existence from the wrath of this guy Bereave." Brio's stride comes to a halt at the sound of that name. Fry notices her out of the corner of his eye, stops and turns. "You alright?"
She stares at the ground for a moment, breathing deeply as if she has been shaken to her very core. "That name...Tell me, who is this man you call Bereave?"
"I really don't know much about him. All I do know is that he was created by the Nibblonians millions of years ago to protect them but he grew too powerful and they had to trap him in a small nebula. And, somehow, it's prophecied that he would escape and only Leela and I can stop him." Brio walks up to Fry and looks him right in the eyes with a deep gaze, "Who told you this?"
"Nibbler, the one who froze me. He said I had to be frozen so I would be present when Bereave escaped."
"Do you remember anything before awaking here?"
He thinks for a moment. "Let's see...well, I remember alot of white, then a cheeseburger, a big stone and then I woke up here."
"I brought you that food. I heard your thoughts. I also gave you those bandages and clothes. That white place you were in is the world between worlds. A place beyond space and outside of time. It's a place that both does and does not exist. A world that was never really meant to be but it's existence is crucial to the universe. Through it, it is possible to travel through dimensions but no mortal being can pass through it." "Then how come I could?"
"You lack the Delta Brain Wave. Without it, your mind is like a door that is always open. It allows you the ability to travel between dimensions." Fry almost goes cross eyed. Having never been this confused in his life, he is almost rendered speechless. Trying his best to comprehend what she is saying, he decides to ask another obvious question. "So, you're telling me that this is another dimension?"
"Well, yes and no. This place exists outside of time as well, but it's existence is a product of times gone past. You see, this was my home planet just as I remember it. My memories are what constructed this world, and they are what hold it together."
"Well then, who are you?"
Brio's eye closes and she bites her lip trying to hold back the whole truth, but knowing that if anyone deserves to know, he does. However, knowing that telling him everything could very well jeopardize the task at hand, she finds a way to put her thoughts into words. "Every story has it's characters, Fry. I guess you could consider me a pivotal principle character just as you are the main character, or the hero, if that's what you'd like to be called." "Hero? I'm no hero, alright! I want everyone to get that through their heads! All I want is to go back home to my friends, and to Leela."
A sad expression that sends chills down Fry's spine come across Brio's face. "Mighty One, if you do not play out your role as the hero, than you may not have a home or friends to go back to. Like it or not, you are a part of this, we all are."
Fry places his hands on her shoulders with a firm grip, "I will go back home. No matter what it takes."
Brio simply stares up into his eyes and a smile, a true smile unlike the empty ones that she has been showing, comes across her face. "You know, you remind me of someone."
She shakes her head, "That's just it, I don't know. But there's something in your eyes that seems very familiar."
"Well, to make a long story short, she helped me find a way to come back and here I am."
Leela stares at him for a moment, "So, she looked like me?"
"Yeah. Only she wasn't as beautiful as you."
"Did you ever see what she really looked like?" asks Amy.
He stares off for a moment in silence, "Yes, I did."
"And?" Amy adds trying to get the anser out of him.
"Brio smiled alot, but they were empty smiles. The kind that someone puts up to cover some incredible hurt. She was suffering. Something about her past, something horrible, haunted her; but she couldn't remember what. Brio is a woman in search of the truth, in search of an end, some kind of resolution so she can be free of whatever is keeping her in that dimension all by herself. She is incredibly lonely."
This serious moment is broken by the loud sound of Fry's rumbling stomach. "I'm starved. I'd even eat some of Bender's cooking right now." An insulted Bender throws his arms in the air "You just got back and already you mock my culinary skills!"
Everyone laughs as they follow Bender into the kitchen where, thankfully, there's some edible food that Leela and Amy are going to heat up. Fry stands from the couch but Skyler remains sitting. They are the only two in the room at this point. Fry pats Skyler on the shoulder. "Hey, come on. Why so glum?"
Skyler shakes his head and stands. "Just...thinking."
"Well, quit thinking and let's eat." Fry encourages Skyler by grabbing his wrist and pulling him to the kitchen.
Later that night, in the bedroom of apartment 1I...
Fry was nice enough to let Skyler stay at his old place with Bender, since he and Leela were planning on moving in together anyways once they were married. Even though they're still just engaged, the happy couple figured sooner would be better than later.
Fry lays on the bed, above the covers, in his boxers staring up at the ceiling. Leela is in the bathroom. The light shining from under the closed door and the glow of the stars and streetlights outside provide just enough light for Fry to see clearly around the room. It's been a long time since he's been here, far too long in his book. The bathroom door opens and Fry is greeted with the image of Leela in a see through neglige', with her long purple hair hanging down over her shoulders and her face blushing a bit. "You like? I found it at the maternity store downtown. I'm a little nervous about wearing it." she remarks in regards to her nearly 9 months pregnant belly.
Fry smiles, "Leela, you're beautiful. Don't ever think otherwise."
"You don't look so bad yourself."
"What do you mean?"
"You've gotten quite a bit of muscle tone there. Flex your arm for me." Fry does and Leela sees his very well developed bicep. "And are those some abs I see forming there? Wherever you've been, you must have been doing alot of working out."
"I guess you could say that."
She climbs onto the bed and scoots in close to Fry, putting one arm around his neck and the other around his waist. He strokes her hair with one hand and holds her tummy with the other.
"But, um, I thought we couldn't have sex after your third...what's it called, third triangle?"
"It's third trimester. And no, we can't have sex now. But just because we can't have sex doesn't mean we can't be close and do other things." she says in a seductive tone.
He grins, "So, what 'other things' do you have in mind?"
"Hmm, well, we could lay here and cuddle, we could make out like crazy. Or, who knows, we could probably think of a few things." she says in a seductive yet inviting tone.
The two kiss as Leela pulls the covers up over them.
Hey everyone. I know you've been waiting, as have I. Thanks to our ever vigilant webmasters here at FM:TLZ, the fanfic page is back up and running! I figured it was high time I finished up this latest chapter and send it up. I hope you all enjoyed this one. At first, I wasn't going to write about what happened to Fry, I was instead going to have a brief synopsis of his happenings. But as I began to write out the rest of the story in my head, adding new twists and mysteries to be revelaed along the way, I came up with some ideas of Fry's journey. Part of it has been told here. Other parts of it will be shown in later chapters, when the timing is right within the story. Anyways, hope it was worth the wait. Be prepared for many new twists and turns to come your way in the next chapters of The Other...Chapter 22 coming soon! Soon I say!