Futurama

Fan Fiction

Xmas 3003
By Mitch

Futurama created by Matt Groening. Developed by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. Owned by 20th Century Fox. Used without permission.


For over a year, the creature's new home had been under Earth's North Pole. His new surveillance equipment, "acquired" from several naughty electronics dealers, had been providing him the information he needed.

"I was ousted from my former stronghold on Neptune," he thought. "I wish to regain my hold of terror on Earth's civilization."

He emerged from the ice and his titanium skin feeling no cold at all. He pulled his sack to his back and took leather reigns in his claw. With a jerk of his claw, two robotic reindeer emerged from the snow, their noses emitting heat, somewhat like mythical dragons. Their anti-gravity systems activated and began to pull the snow-covered sleigh the being sat in. As the reindeer flew south, carrying the metallic one and his cargo, the driver laughed. It began as a happy laugh, but it started to sound more sinister in tone. Robot Santa, the legendary saint of slaughter, had returned.

"So, he's back!"

In the depths of an underground world too frightening to describe, a being with horns, red plated armor, and a face with a malevolent smirk looked upwards with his yellow eyes. His nail-like claws slowly gained a firmer hold of his trident. He could sense when a robot thought of cruel intentions and he was sensing an annual feeling at the moment. He thought of Robot Santa’s annual reign of terror, of how a programming glitch had made him a more infamous judge of sins than himself, of how that clanking Claus had made the humans forget about him, the true source of robotic terror.

"This year," he thought, "you'll get yours Santa. So swears the Robot Devil!"

 

It was the morning of December 21st, 3003. At the offices of the close-knit New New York based interplanetary delivery company Planet Express, the staff, crew, and their families were finishing packing for their Xmas trip. Captain Leela had been inspired by a slip of the tongue by delivery boy and relative of owner Professor Farnsworth, Philip Fry, who had wondered out loud if the could escape from Santa. This year, they could use the company ship to escape the terror of Robot Santa, but they still had a lot of work to put into such a simple idea. They had to inform their loved ones ahead of time, decide what to pack, get food and supplies, postpone late month deliveries, and find a safe route away from Santa. The last part was the trickiest. Leela and the Professor found a safe route out of the solar system and had rented the most sophisticated clocking equipment in the galaxy to hide from Santa's sensors. Fortunately, Santa still relied on Findem 2800 detection technology, which was slightly outdated even when he first came online.

Harder, but more enjoyable, work was done with putting decorations and lights on the ship. Fry had volunteered to do it himself, but several of the others pitched in, except for accountant Hermes Conrad and the Professor, who were either "supervising" or sleeping. They had to swell the pride of the lazy robot Bender to help, but they ended up with a well decorated ship covered with red and green lights, well placed considering it was a red and green ship.

Leela was checking everyone on a list she was checking twice. Each family would have a room. Granted, the ship wasn't made to provide comfortable living for so many people, but the situation wouldn't be much unlike a very crowded trailer. She was happy for intern Amy Wong, since the latter's boyfriend, Democratic Order of Planets Lieutenant Kif Kroker, was on shore leave for the holidays and was able to join them.

"Amy, Leo, Inez, and Kif, check. Professor, Cubert, Fry, and Bender, check. Hermes, LaBarbra, and Dwight, check. Munda, Morris, and myself, check."

She shed a small tear at that. Fry had found her long-lost mutant parents earlier that year and she would finally spend an Xmas with them. She looked up and saw Fry with a surprisingly large suitcase, heading to the ship. A year ago, Fry had confessed that he had secretly loved her and she had tried to sway his emotions (gently on a good day). But after finding her parents and saving her life on Valentine's Day, she had found herself thinking...

"Hi, Leela." Fry was waving from the ship dock.

She looked up and waved back, smiling. There was a time when she would have waved without looking up, but this year...

"Okay! Here...we...go!" Leela turned off the emergency break, kicked up the engines, and the Planet Express ship took off! It was going faster than ever before in order to avoid Santa. They took a route directly behind what Santa would took, knowing that he might expect that, but would not count that they would expect him expecting. They had enough artificial gravity to survive the strain, although the anti-grav device itself was straining. However, they made it safely outside the solar system in thirty minutes. She slowly turned the engine down in order to hold the strain.

"We should head to the engine room to see if the engines are okay," said Leela.

"Now don't you go around giving orders," announced the Professor, sitting beside her. "Now, we should check the engines."

They head to the engine and noticed something amiss, or rather, added. Leela saw a damp rag with something underneath.

"What's this?" she wondered out loud as she bent over and picked the rag up, revealing a familiar sleeping robot boy with a crutch for an arm to compensate for his short leg. It was Tinny Tim, a robot orphan they ran in to from time to time. He reactivated and looked up at his discoverer.

"Oh! Miss Leela! I beg your pardon, but I had to help myself to your ship's lovely fire. I was not made with a very weather resistant alloy. I shall leave after this inspection."

"Uh, Tinny Tim, we've just taken off."

"Oh, crumb."

"Oh, Professor," pleaded Leela, "can we take him with us?"

"'Can we?' We have to now!" complained the Professor. "Just put him out of the way and keep him entertained!"

"How?"

"I don't know...introduce him to your parents!"

"Oh! He's adorable, Leela!"

Munda was stroking Tim's face (the closest she could do to pinching his cheeks since she had tentacles for arms and his cheeks were metal) as Morris was patting his built in cap.

"He's quite a piece of homeless robot! When I was a lad, homeless robots looked like they were from the suburbs! Is that a bum leg?"

"No, good sir! It is merely a size too short."

Munda hugged him.

"Aw! That's so cute."

Then, she looked like she realized something. She looked up from her hug and saw her daughter looking a bit worried. "What's wrong, dear?"

"I...I don't know..."

"You're not...jealous, are you?" Munda asked, standing up.

"I...I guess so. I never had the chance to be jealous concerning you two before before..."

"Sorry, sweetie. It's just that there's something about a robot orphan..."

"Thank you!" said Leela enthusiastically as she surprisingly hugged her mother. "I wanted a reason to feel jealous of someone else concerning you! This is the best Xmas ever."

Morris and Munda shrugged and hugged their daughter. Tinny Tim joined in by hugging Leela's boot with his sole arm.

"This isn't quite how I expected to spend the week," said Leela to herself as she vacuumed after her father's shredded skin. Her mother was already asleep from doing the same. Leela had offered to help, but it was getting less fun as the week went on.

It was finally Xmas Eve and it was kind of nice to have everyone together, but she was starting to notice why they usually waited for the holiday itself for this. The close living accommodations had gotten to her, Fry, and Bender on more than one occasion on their missions and it usually tripled when they brought their co-workers on an extended trip. But now, it was especially crowded.

Dr. Zoidberg, appropriately, made himself at home in the mess hall. With no medical emergencies, all he had to do on this trip was eat and he had no complaints of that.

The wealthy Wongs were on the bridge and were upset at the small accommodations. Actually, Amy wouldn't have minded it except that her parents were always keeping an eye on her and Kif. Amy and Kif later moved to the afterburner room, where Leela had heard a lot of noise from of late. The older Wongs moved in with Hermes and LaBarbra. They loved the boys.

Hermes and his wife and son were in the room with the drink machines. This made Dwight especially hyper. He kept inviting Cubert over and they made excessive use of the large room, much to the regret of Cubert's hosts.

Cubert was living with the Professor, Fry, and Bender in the two-person crew quarters. This, of course, led to some heated squabbling. What was odd, however, was that Leela rarely heard Fry raise his voice in there. In fact, she hadn't heard Fry much at all, lately, except for a "Hi" in the hall and he would say that to her as cheerful as ever. Either there was something seriously bothering him...or he was up to something. And usually, that involved her.

Then again, his Xmas plans were usually thoughtful or tried to be. She decided not to pry.

She wondered if those plans had anything to do with the mistletoe hanging in between the quarters. There had been some interesting pairings under it: LaBarbra and Kif, Bender and Amy, Munda and Hermes, herself and the Professor, and so on. Since most of each pair were taken, the scenes had been a bit more friendly than passionate: LaBarbra patted Kif on the head, Amy pecked Bender, Munda hugged Hermes (he took a bath after that, too much ink from her tentacles), and Leela shook the Professor's hand and threatened him with a lawsuit if he tried anything further with her. The most interesting match was Kif and Munda, where Munda kissed Kif all over his face for giving her grandchildren. Early that year, the male-ish Kif was accidentally impregnated by Leela's DNA thanks to his species almost symbiotic method of reproduction, although Amy counted as the mother in his culture. Still, this made Leela realize that her own parents were more open-minded than Amy's, who weren't too approving of Amy and Kif's relationship. She wondered how accepting they would be with whoever she decided to settle down with, not that her previous choices have comforted her.

Her vacuuming done, Leela decided to join Bender on the bridge. He had been there frequently, scanning the channels from Earth. Granted, he wasn't the best of company, but he was usually more tolerable this time of year and the best company seemed to be busy.

Strange. Leela didn't often think of Fry as "the best company." Not in those words, anyway.

Leela entered the bridge to see Bender in her seat using the monitor to flip through various channels.

"Seen it. Hated it. Taped it..."

"Hey, Bender."

"Hey, eyeball," said Bender, not turning from the set. "Boring, too much drama, too much humor, telethon, news. Hmmm, maybe we should learn about Santa's rampage this year." He chuckled to himself. "Those Earthling suckers!"

Leela groaned at Bender's insensitivity and sat in the seat next to him. The news channel they usually watched was on with anchors Linda and Morbo.

"Hello!" greeted Linda to the TV audience, as chirpy as ever. "Today, there was a historic meeting between the two most famous examples of robotic evil: Robot Santa and the Robot Devil."

"Both metallic outlaws met in Times Square this afternoon while puny human onlookers gaped. The two robots stared each other down until a challenge was declared."

An insert featuring Robot Santa and Robot Devil facing each other was enlarged to fit the full screen.

"Santa!" declared Robot Devil. "Every year, your reign makes robots and organic lives alike forget who the true judge of robot sins is and I'm tired of it! I challenge you to a duel...in Madison Cube Garden!"

"To see who deserves to be the ultimate example of robotic terror?" asked Santa.

"Well, that, and I like to have an audience."

"Fine! Tonight! 4:30 pm! Be there or be naughty!"

"I'd rather be both!"

The scene returned to the studio with Linda and Morbo.

"A battle between the legendary punishers of robotic sins! Of course, as usually the case with a Madison Cube match, there is already plenty of illegal gambling supporting it," announced Linda.

"Currently, Robot Santa, who peaks at his infamy rate this time of year," explained Morbo, "is leading at an impressive 85% chance of winning, but there are still plenty of takers for his horned opponent."

Back on the Planet Express ship, Leela watched with mixed feelings. She didn't like Robot Devil or Santa, but a fight would be fun to watch. Also, it would keep Santa thankfully busy this year. She still felt safer on the ship, though. Her thoughts were interrupted by a certain angry robot.

"What? I'm outraged! Robot Devil's my man!"

"Bender! He's more evil than you...and that's saying a lot!"

"I know! But he deserves a better chance than that!"

"Well, I just hope they knock each other out or something. Anyway," said Leela as she got up from her seat, "I always said that no good could come out from Robot Santa..."

"Ho Ho Ho!"

Just then, Leela saw in the hall, a frightful sight. It was Fry in a Santa suit and, apparently, a pillow under his shirt to simulate Santa's mass.

"Ahhh!" screamed Bender. "It's Santa!"

Bender jumped on Fry and started beating him in his fake stomach. Leela tried to pull him off.

"Bender! Stop! It's not Santa! It's Fry in a copy of Santa's suit!"

"I know! But I've always wanted to wale on him for fun and he's given me an excuse!"

Leela successfully pulled Bender off Fry, but was now upset at her other friend as well.

"Fry! What are you doing? Dressed as one of the most infamous criminals of all time?"

"I'm playing Santa Claus!"

"Exactly! Why?"

"Because I want to remind everyone that Santa was supposed to be a jolly, happy soul!"

"Fry, that's Frosty the Snowman! As for Santa, that was 200 years ago! Ask anyone today and they'll remember Santa as a dangerous manic at their earliest."

"But everyone knows it's from a programming error! I want to remind everyone here of the kinder, friendly Santa of ages past! I got the idea from a 'He-Man' Christmas special from the 1980s. Besides, I've been practicing with Micky Rooney's head. Now, if you don't mind," he said as he put on a fake beard, "I have some kids to entertain!"

He left the bridge, still looking determined, but not as upset as he was a moment ago. Leela sighed. Fry was about to go out of his way to prove a point again and she saw it as bad medicine. Still, she didn't care if he was going to embarrass himself again...or did she? It bothered her whenever Fry was doing something thoughtless and selfish, but it had been a while since he did that...and things usually turned out okay in the end. And this was about him being selfless, but still thoughtless.

"You okay, big boots?"

"Uh, yeah Bender. I just...need some air..."”

"We're in space..."

"I mean...the bathroom! I need the bathroom!"

"Okay, but your Dad's been taking up a lot of time in there."

Leela went to the thankfully empty bathroom, closed the door and, with the seat down, sat on the toilet. She just needed a moment to think. She hadn't let Fry's ideas get to her in a while. They had been more thoughtful then they once were, but why should she care about...?

Then, she realized it. She did care about Fry and his ideas. That's why they got to her, for better or for worse. With this realization, she hoped this wouldn't be a "for worse" situation.

"Just don't embarrass yourself too much, Fry," she thought to herself.

Fry hoped Leela would be more supportive of him. Well, at least she didn't directly try to stop him. He would show her and everyone else. He'd be the best Santa ever.

"Ho Ho Ho!" Santa Fry was now greeting Hubert and Dwight, who were currently alone in the snack room. From their gaping expressions, he was a hit. "It's Santa! Get him!"

Or he was about to be hit.

He hoped the pillow would cushion him again, but the boys meant it while punching even harder than Bender did earlier.

When the Conrads and Wongs returned, he hoped that they would call the boys off. Instead, he got beat on by four adults as well as two pre-teens. He tried again with Tinny Tim, but Tim was busy drinking with Bender. Robots needed alcohol to power themselves and Tim had usually had difficulty getting any regularly. Fry would have joined them, but he was afraid of doing something more foolish than usual while under the influence...in front of Leela's parents.

Later, he confided with Leela about his failed attempts to spread cheer.

"I don't get it. I'm trying to be a good Santa, but they put their frustrations of the evil Santa on me."

"I'm sorry, Fry, but Santa has been seen as a homicidal maniac for so long that's the image most people think of. The lovable Santa is a thing of the past."

"I...I guess," said Fry in a defeated tone of voice as he threw off his beard and hat. "I just wanted to bring some old-fashioned Xmas spirit."

Leela put a hand on his shoulder.

"I know," she said softly. "But we can still have a happy Xmas without Santa, that was sort of the point of this trip."

"Well, it was to get away from the bad Santa, but I see your point."

Leela wondered if she was a little hard on him, but figured he would be more upset if she was. She smiled, hoping to ease his pain.

"We're about to watch the fight and drink giant bird egg-nog. I'm sure the others won't mind you joining us."

"I think they're still mad."

"Probably, but...I won't mind you joining us."

Fry looked at Leela. A year ago, she would be on his case on how his plan was a dumb idea. These days, she was somewhat more supportive. She didn't like this idea, but she was laying him down gently. He smiled a bit.

"Thanks, I guess I will."

He took off the Santa jacket and put the hat back on, which was still seen as acceptable.

"Say, Leela. Thanks."

"Your welcome," said Leela with a bit of a smile.

Fry seemed to be enjoying himself, or at least, was faking it well, while watching the fight. Violence was one of the most effective to keep him entertained.

 

The battle between the two robot ruffians was long and brutal. Finally, just when Santa was about to climb the ropes and put his belly to good use, the Devil put his hands down. "Santa, maybe we should end this fight after all. Why not we both share this holiday? You punish humans and robots and I harvest the robots."

Santa put his hand to his chin, pondering the proposal. "It's a deal!" he said and he went to shake the claw of his opponent.

He happened to see the Robot Devil narrow his optics and smile sadistically.

Suddenly, the Devil reached for Santa's chest compartment, but Santa grabbed his right arm with his own claw. Then the Devil tried his other arm, but Santa reached over to the Devil's chest cavity. Electricity emitted from claw tips and sorted out the Devil's systems.

"AAAH!" screamed the Robot Devil before he collapsed on the mat.

"1...2...3! The winner...Robot Santa!" announced the referee, about to lift Santa's arm in triumph, but then appeared to decide against it.

"But, my plan," muttered the Devil, "I was going to double cross you!"

"I know," explained Santa. "I suspected you to try something like that!"

"But I thought you would suspect! That's why I was going to use my other arm...!"

"But I suspected you would expect me to suspect you!" said Santa in triumph. "Now, I rule Xmas! Undefeated! HO HO HO!!!"

The crowd was so preoccupied by Santa that they failed to notice Robot Devil slinking away.

"REPAIRS BEGINNING," said his onboard computer.

He smiled. He had this safe guard built in this year just in case. By the time he returned to Robot Hell, he would be back to torturing sinners like normal.

As for Robot Santa, he would get his next year.

"Maybe Santa's not so bad..." said Amy, still watching.

"Indeed," agreed the Professor. "He did bring down the greatest evil in the robot world a few pegs."

"Say, Fry," asked Leela, "maybe you can show us how good Santa can be?"

"You're...asking me?"

"Please? As a gift for us?"

"Well," said Fry a bit playfully, "I can try..."

The others seemed to be getting used to a friendly Santa, although they still looked a bit troubled. Fry was putting his training to good use. He passed gifts and laughed with passion. Leela started to enjoy his performance. Perhaps they had forgotten what the character of Santa Claus really stood for after Robot Santa himself had it slip from his memory banks.

Afterwards, an exhausted Fry was loosening his beard and walking to Leela, who was in the hall.

"I never thought I'd say this, but happy Xmas, Santa."

Fry chuckled a little at that.

"Happy Xmas, Leela."

He looked up and noticed something. Leela looked up as well. The mistletoe was hanging above them.

Fry looked at Leela, with a little expectation in his eyes.

Leela didn't want to break tradition and he deserved some reward...

"Leela!" shouted Amy from the bridge. "We got a few ice meteors coming! You'd better take the helm."

"Sorry, Fry. I have to take this."

She gave him a quick peck on the cheek and ran off.

Fry rubbed his cheek, a little disappointed, but still glad he did get a kind of kiss.

Then he noticed a familiar robot orphan heading toward him with lipstick marks all over his head.

"Greetings, fellow Casanova!"

"Tinny Tim? What? How...?"

Tinny Tim shrugged with his only arm. "All I know is that Mrs. Turanga said, 'There's something about a robot orphan at Xmas time'. After her, there was both Ms. Wongs, and Mrs. Conrads..."

Fry sighed, but then decided he deserved it and gave Tinny Tim a friendly punch in the arm...which caused that arm to break off.

"Oh, crumb."

 

Later on, they all exchanged gifts. Bender got a DVD collection of the first season of popular cook Elzar's cooking show. Leela received a book on the civil wars of the 29th century. Zoidberg got a packet of butter, a gag gift from Hermes, which he ate quickly. Amy got an advance copy of Kif's latest poetry book. Kif got a small scrapbook of photos of Amy in not very modest positions or clothing. The Professor got a new artificial lung. Hermes found himself with a new laptop, a gag gift from Zoidberg since those were long obsolete.

Fry got a sealed letter from Leela's parents. Leela smiled. She knew that they wanted to thank him for re-uniting the family. She even knew the message in advance:

"To Philip Fry,

"Thanks from the bottom of our irregular-shaped hearts. Thanks to you and the Professor, we have another chance with Leela. We secretly watched her, but it wasn't quite the same as paying taxes and bills for everything. Now, we've cut to the good part, nagging about her private life.

"You're so wonderful.

"Turanga Munda and Morris"

Leela saw a tear in Fry's eye. He looked at her parents, who at that time turned to him. He rushed to them with open arms. Leela saw the embrace and felt Deja vu of earlier that year. She sniffled herself, remembering that Fry told her that his own parents never gave a lot of praise for him to his face.

"We're to hang stockings?"

"Yeah. I never quite understood it either. I'll put presents in them and/or put them under the tree while you're asleep."

"Why don't you do it now?"

"I think it has to do with going to bed at a decent time since Santa only gives presents if you're good. Although I got them even when I was in middle school and you don't want to know about that."

"Ya mean when you ate that brown..."

"Bender!"

"Oh, yeah. Strictest Confidence. Sorry."

That night, the PE staff and family rested in their respective quarters while a certain mid-twenties delivery boy dressed in the trappings of an ancient legend. He picked up his bag of gifts from the 99 cent store (his money was spent on the good gift he got Leela) and went on a little adventure.

 

END (but there's going to be an epilogue in the Poetry and Song Parodies section)

Buddies