In A Pig's Fry
0RL05 19 November 2007
Author's note: This fiction was written for the 2007 writing competition at The Groening Fanworks Central web site, where it took 3rd place. The contest rules required picking from a list of predefined beginnings, middles, and endings and weaving a story around them; and the length was limited to 3,000 words. The selections used in this story were:
beginning: Fry becomes a guinea pig
middle: A fight over a lava pit
end: [char] is left holding the baby
There was another beginning, [char] receives a mysterious package, that I worked into the end.
I'd like to thank Dingsda, BTL, Officer 1BDI, Kriebs, and Ramon for their reviews and comments, all of which contributed to making this a better story; and Graham Dawson (aka archonix) for running the contest - it was a lot of fun.
Disclaimer: The Futurama name, characters, and settings belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a work of fan fiction which has no commercial intent or value and was created soley for my own amusement and for that of other Futurama fans. The author would appreciate it if this work is not placed on websites or reproduced in any form without his express consent.
In most places of commercial enterprise a sudden explosion from an upper floor would be cause for concern. But at Planet Express that particular morning, as with most mornings, its only byproduct amongst the employees was a few hands over mugs to keep the dust and debris from the ceiling out of their coffee.
A few minutes later, a bespectacled figure wearing what had until recently been a white lab coat shuffled slowly up to the conference table.
“Good news everyone! Unlike all those other times, my latest invention is a partial success. Oh yes.”
There was a chorus of bored, half hearted congratulations from around the table.
“And I have this.” he said with an air of triumph, producing a small cardboard box which he sat on the table.
“Another box he has.” Zoidberg observed.
“Hey! The professor has another box.” Amy said.
“Oh no. You didn't create another parallel universe did you?” Leela asked, a trace of annoyance in her voice. She was glad that Fry wasn't around. The reminder of the other universe containing their married counterparts would probably set him off asking for dates again and she was fresh out of excuses. The last one, communicable hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, had kept him at bay for almost two weeks now, although she suspected that most of it's effectiveness was because he couldn't pronounce it anywhere near close enough to ask her if she was over it yet.
“Oh my, no. I was experimenting with commutative transmogrification and I must have made a sign error in my calculations since the reaction was considerably more exothermic that I expected. So, until I can rebuild the machine, Leela, I'll need you to take care of this.”
Farnsworth reached in the box and extracted a large orange furred guinea pig which he placed in the center of the table. It sat there, whiskers twitching nervously as its eyes darted around the room.
“What's this?” Zoidberg said, starting to rise, “A free meal?”
“No!” the Professor exclaimed, striking Zoidberg with a pointer stick.
“Ow! Stop, I'm brittle!”
“That's valuable scientific research, you ninny. You can eat it after I'm done with the experiment.”
“It's cute, and kind of a weird color,” Leela observed, “but why do I have to take care of it? I've already got one pet to feed. Let Fry and Bender look after it.”
“Uh uh! No way José.” Bender said. “My lease only allows one pet and I've already got Fry.”
“Oh that won't be a problem.” Farnsworth said, “You see, that is Fry.”
“WHAT!” Leela exclaimed. “What do you mean that's Fry?”
Meanwhile the guinea pig had squatted on the table, then taken a few steps and lifted a hind leg, leaving behind droppings and a small, smelly puddle.
“Ewwww, guhross.” Amy said.
“Yup, that's Fry alright.” Bender chuckled.
“Professor?” Leela asked, voice low and steady. “I'm gonna aks you again - What did you mean when you said that is Fry?”
“Huh? Oh, Fry, yes, Fry was helping me test my new invention. Through a process I call inverse polarized chimerization ...”
“Professor!” Leela interrupted, “Spare me the science fiction technobabble and tell me where Fry is.”
“That's what I'm trying to do, you purple haired imbecile. He's right there. I turned him into a guinea pig. And it worked perfectly. Other than the explosion of course, but that's no problem. I'll build another one. A better one. Atomic powered, and ...”
“Professor.” Leela interrupted again, reaching out to pick up Fry. “How long will it take you rebuild your machine and turn Fry back into a human?”
“Whaaa? Oh, how long? Oh, not long, not long at all. Two or three weeks I should think.”
“Well, I guess I could take care of him for that long. Only a couple of weeks, right?”
“Oh my yes. Just as soon as I remember how I did it.”
“Remember? Don't you have any notes or plans?”
“Of course not, they were all burned up in the explosion. Don't you know anything about science? The only thing left is this scrap of tissue with these mysterious and cryptic runes on it. It could take years to decipher their meaning.”
“Professor mon, dat's your own hand writin'.” Hermes said, taking the note. He adjusted his glasses and continued “It says one dozen giant bird eggs, one pound Neptunian slug, Soylent cola, t'ree medium sized – dis part's burned off – scales, one pint pistachio mint ice cream ... Dis is your shoppin' list.”
“Oh yes. Well now that we've deciphered that, it's given me an idea for an invention to turn humans into animals and animals into humans.”
Leela sat Fry on the bed and started undressing. Fry watched her intently, whiskers twitching.
Leela stopped half way through removing her bra and looked at Fry.
“No. He's just a guinea pig. He can't know what he's seeing.”
Nevertheless, she turned her back on Fry and finished changing. As she slid under the covers, she scooped Fry up and sat him down next to her. Fry crawled up on her stomach and sniffed around. He worked his way into her cleavage, curled up, and nestled in.
Leela stroked his head and ran her fingers down his back.
“You know what Fry? It's kind of funny, ordinarily I wouldn't let you in my bedroom - and here you are, not only sleeping with me, but on me.”
She stroked his soft fur, watching with detached amusement as the two tufts that stood up on the back of his head spring back up as her hand passed.
“I wonder if your human hair does that too? You know, I wouldn't admit this to you in your human form, but sometimes I've kind of wanted to run my hands though your hair.”
“Professor,” Leela asked some days later. “What's happened to Fry's mind?”
“Fry's mind? Oh yes, I should think it's all in there somewhere.”
“You mean Fry is still Fry?”
“Well if by that you mean is he thinking like Fry and having Fryish thoughts, oh my no. There isn't enough brain power there – that would be like trying to run the old stupid ages Windows Vista on the ancient, decrepit processors that were available then; even today the history books still talk about what a disaster that was. You see, over 90% of brain activity is devoted to producing the delta brain wave, which is the basis of all forms of higher intelligence. So after you get done with the autonomic functions, there's only enough brain power left over for routine guinea pig activities like eating, defecating, and fornicating.”
“That's Fry alright.” Bender chimed in.
“It does explain why he was trying so hard to get into the next cage at the vet's the other day. But I could almost swear that he knows what I'm saying when I talk to him, and that he's trying to communicate back.”
“Oh, bosh and nonsense. He's just a dumb rodent, and now he's a guinea pig. Now you have a delivery to do, off you go.”
Farnsworth made shooing motions with his hands.
“Yo, old guy.” Bender said. “You haven't given us a mission yet, which is Ok 'cause Human Wars is on in five minutes so I'll be delivering my shiny metal ass to the lounge.”
“Good News Everyone. I've figured out how to turn Fry back into a human.”
“Guhh. It's about time.” Amy muttered.
“That's great news, Professor.” Leela said. “Did you remember how to rebuild your machine?”
“Oh my no. That never would have worked. No, I've modified the clone-o-mat to do the job. Now all we need are a few minor things and we can change Fry back.”
“What do we need?” Leela asked, standing up.
Farnsworth pulled a scrap of paper from his pocket and adjusted his glasses.
“One dozen giant bird eggs, one pound of Neptunian slug ...”
Leela rolled her eye and Hermes interrupted “Dat's your shoppin' list again.”
“Of course it is, these are the things we need to put into the cloning tank to get Fry back.”
“Give me that.” Leela said, taking it from the old man. She scanned the list.
“Ok, we can get all of this down at the 711 ... except ... two cups of tribble dandruff? What are tribbles? I've never heard of them.”
“They're cute little creatures that live on the planet Gerrold 7.”
“Ok gang, we're off to Gerrold 7 to gather tribble dandruff. Let's go.”
Leela lay on the bed in her compartment aboard the Planet Express ship. Guinea pig Fry nuzzled down in her cleavage; that seemed to be his favorite place to sleep.
“Stop that Fry, that tickles.” she said, pulling him out. “Sometimes I think that really is you in there.”
Fry stretched over her restraining hand, peering into the valley he'd just been pulled out of.
“Like right now. You just stay right here you little stinker.”
She scratched him behind his ears and for the moment he forgot about the cleavage canyon and settled down, eyes closed, and made contented guinea pig noises.
“That's better. You know what Fry? Even though you annoy me sometimes, I really miss having you around. There's just something comforting about having a good friend that you can count on to be there for you when you need it.”
She stroked the length of his fur, and he stretched out to accommodate her. After a few minutes her hand slowed and stopped as her breathing settled into a slow, regular rhythm.
Fry, realizing that he wasn't getting petted anymore, got up and nosed into his favorite place, his little rodent brain reasoning that if he just pushed in a little further, maybe she wouldn't be able to pull him out. Using his nose and forehead as a wedge he shoved his way between the two mounds of flesh.
It was tight fit and half way through he suddenly found himself stuck.
Leela made a noise and shifted
Nose and whiskers twitching, Fry tried pushing with his hind legs, wiggling his behind in an effort to force his way through.
Leela snorted and shifted again. Fry's eyes bugged out as he got squeezed and he redoubled his efforts.
“Wha...? Fry you little ... hah hah ha ho Fry stop that Nooooooo…ahh ha ha ha ha ha ooh ho ha ha ha ha aaaaah! Nooo! Fry! Ahh ha ha ha ha ha ha eeeeeee ha ha ha ha ...”
Leela rolled around on the bed laughing hysterically while frantically trying to dislodge Fry from under her nightgown. She groped with one hand, awkwardly reaching up under the hem of the garment while trying to pull it up high enough with her other hand so she could get to Fry, who meanwhile was running around underneath trying to avoid capture. Finally she managed to grab him by the scruff of the neck and extract him.
Fry found himself pinned to the bed under Leela's hand and she lay gasping for breath next to him.
When she had finally recovered most of her composure, she said “Damn you Fry. You behave yourself or I swear I'll let Dr. Zoidberg eat you.”
The next morning, the crew assembled on the bridge of the PE ship as Gerrold 7 hove into view in the distance. It was a barren rock of a world with a thin purple atmosphere and a broken, cratered surface. Active volcanoes spat fiery plumes of molten lava high above the surface, while others, mere pools of lava, bubbled and belched toxic gases.
“Nice place.” Leela observed dryly. “Where are we going to find tribbles on this kind of a planet?”
“Oh that won't be a problem.” Farnsworth replied. “They inhabit a temperate zone around the smaller lava pools. And fortunately their dandruff is prone to static cling so all we have to do is find a colony and activate the ion-o-suck device.”
“That sounds simple enough.” Leela commented.
“Oh my yes. Easy as pie. Here,” Farnsworth said as he opened a cabinet, “You'll each need one of these.”
He started handing out long pole like things with a gun stock on one end. On the other end were two spheres with a small hole between them.
“What are these for?” Bender inquired.
“Oh these are for fending off the narlaques.”
“What is a narlaque?” Amy asked.
“Narlaques? Oh well they have an insatiable appetite for tribbles. But since they can't get nearly enough of those, they have been known to prey on other things as well.”
“Like what?” Leela inquired.
“Oh, insulation on electrical cables, space ship hulls, human flesh, that sort of thing.”
“And we can kill these narlaque thingies with these?” Bender asked, examining the weapon.
“Oh my no. It's very difficult to kill a narlaque. No, these are a little invention of mine that I call the flatulamotron. They emit a burst of particles designed to make the narlaques nauseous, momentarily disabling them.”
“Oh, great.” Leela commented sarcastically. “So we'll end up with a cargo hold full of flesh eating creatures vomiting all over the place?”
“I should think so. Although my calculations suggest that there may be a nearly equal purgative effect. It'll be a marvelous research opportunity. I'll be watching and making notes from the safety, I mean vantage of the observation window.”
Bender racked the pump on his flatulamotron. “Alright! Let's go gag some narlaque butt.”
The PE ship was hovering high above a lava pool with the cargo bay elevator open. A long translucent tube with a shiny metal sphere on one end and discs spaced at intervals along its length protruded out one side of the opening, pulsating with an alternating pinkish and blueish glow. Tiny, almost invisible flakes of green floated up from below and spiraled into slots in the sphere.
In the air about the ship swarmed dozens of creatures that looked like undersized manta rays. Several were attached to the hull in various places while others attempted to enter the cargo bay.
A narlaque flew through the cargo bay doors and got hit by simultaneous blasts from Amy and Bender's flatulamotrons. It dropped to the deck and convulsed, heaving up big black streamers of steaming, fibrous goo.
“Ewww.” Amy said. “Even in these space suits it stinks in here.”
Leela fired at another and then kicked several out the door.
Four more narlaques soared in from various sides of the cargo bay. Bender dropped one and Leela another. Amy stepped forward and slipped in a pile of narlaque vomit, causing her shot to miss and sending a cloud of flatulamotron particles straight at Leela who dove, rolled, and came up firing, dropping another. In the commotion, the last one circled the cargo bay and connected with Bender's back side.
“Gahhh! Help! It's got my ass. Ow! Ow! OW! Get it off! Get it off!”
Leela and Amy both fired at Bender's rear. The narlaque dropped to the deck, convulsing and hurling from both ends.
“That's most interesting.” came Farnsworth's voice over the comm link.
“Interesting my ass.” Bender said twisting around trying to see the damage. “It's gonna take all day to buff that out.”
“Professor, don't we have enough of this stuff yet?” Leela asked, blasting away at two more. “These things are getting thicker by the minute.”
“I should think so. Let me check. ... Yes, we have plenty.”
“Great.” Leela said. She pressed a button and the ion-o-suck powered down and withdrew as the cargo bay doors started swinging shut. Leela and Amy kicked the last of the narlaques out as the ship's main engines powered up. The PE ship turned and accelerated towards orbit, several narlaques splattering on the window.
A human Philip Fry kneeled on the floor where the hoist from the clone-o-mat had unceremoniously deposited him, coughing up gobs of greenish clone-o-goo and the occasional chunk of pistachio.
Leela and Bender rushed to his side, helping him stand up.
“Fry?” Leela asked, “Fry, are you OK?”
“Ug.” Fry said, blinking his eyes and shaking his head.
“Ga... gahh ... Chooo!” he sneezed, dislodging one last chunk of pistachio from his nose.
“Aw crud, I was saving that for later. Feels better though.” he said.
“Alright, my favorite skin tube is back. This calls for a drink.”
Bender opened his compartment, extracted a beer, and started drinking it.
“Fry, is it really you? Are you OK?”
“Yeah Leela, I'm fine.”
He moved closer to Leela and said in a suave voice “So, now that I'm back to human, can I still live at your place?”
“In a pig's eye!”
“You could run your fingers through my hair anytime you wanted.”
“What? Fry! I never ... I didn't ... ohhhh! You remember everything, don't you?”
“Sure do. Even where you're ticklish.”
Leela sighed and rolled her eye.
“I should have known ...”
In the background, the door bell rang. A few moments later, a mustachioed man wearing work clothes sauntered into the room carrying a box. He stopped and surveyed the crew.
“Someone just dropped off this box for a Ms. T. Leela.”
“Who are you?” Bender asked.
“Scruffy, the janitor.”
“I'll take that, might be somethin' valuable in it.”
Bender opened the box and peered in. Then he handed it to Leela. “Nope, nothing valuable. Here.”
“Thanks.” Leela said dryly.
“Who's it from?” Amy asked.
Leela looked at the box. “Well, it's got my veterinarian's name on it, so I guess it's from him, but .... WHAT?”
Everyone craned their necks to see the contents of the box. In it were four baby guinea pigs, each with tufts of orange hair.
Everyone looked at Fry, who was wearing an embarrassed grin and tugging at the collar of his T-shirt.
“Fry! How could you!” Leela demanded.
. -. -..