Futurama

Fan Fiction

Iron Starfighter
By Stingray

Victory or death!

"FUTURAMA: IRON STARFIGHTER"


By
Travis E. Britt

Febuary 11, 2011


FADE IN

SPACE - CREDIT SEQUENCE

[BG music: Main Title]

We open on the blue sphere of Earth in the center of the screen. Familiar star constellations surround and shine with brilliant radiance.

MAIN TITLE FADES IN:

"FUTURAMA: IRON STARFIGHTER"

Earth shrinks in the distance as we PULL OUT and travel through the Solar System, first passing the gray Lunar surface and the many planets.

A red vortex explodes into view, taking us on a journey to another system... a system never before seen in the many years of charting the Alpha universe.

The vortex ends and we pass the most alien of planets and space objects.

We hault at one particular planet... one undeniably Earth-like in appearence with gleaming blue oceans and land lush with life.

RYLOS.

CREDIT SEQUENCE END

FADE TO:

EXT. STARFIGHTER COMMAND LAUNCH COMPLEX - RYLOS - DAY (MORNING)

[BG music: Top Gun Anthem - Harold Faltermeyer]

The morning sun of Rylos shines over the misty launch complex as technitians prepare the massive tail-sitting fighters... GUNSTARS.

Three of the fierce spacecraft are taxied to their designated launch towers by robotic towing vehicles.

The sound of orders being shouted over a loudspeaker FADES IN, but we do not understand it, for it is in the Rylon language.

The Gunstars are in launch position at their towers, with pilots and navigators being lifted to the upper fuselage via elevator.

INTERCUT TO ALL THREE COCKPITS:

The crew enters and further preps the aircraft. All systems green.

They glance out the forward glazing at the techs on the ground.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX - RYLOS - DAY

A tech finishes system checks from his console and gives the "Okay" signal, followed by the Star League salute.

INT. LEAD GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

The pilot and navigator give their own signal and salute.

They flip appropriate switches to activate the engines.

EXT. LAUNCH COMPLEX - RYLOS - DAY

Smoke spews from exhaust ports along the Gunstars' engine nacelles, followed by the roar of powerful plasma engines.

Lift-off!

The spacecraft blast towards space, leaving a bright blue contrail.

EXT. LEAD GUNSTAR - REAR P.O.V.

The launch complex of the Starfighter Command base shrinks in the distance and spins as the skillful pilot executes the maneuver.

EXT. SPACE

The three Gunstars fly in formation through the dark void.

LEAD NAVIGATOR:
(Rylan, translated)
(O.S.)

The Frontier is in range.

They approach a grid of a thousand green, moon-sized generators forming an invisible forcefield protecting the friendly space.

LEAD PILOT:
(O.S.)

Forcefield block 42 deactivated.

Four of the generators glow red as the Starfighters pass between them, then immediately turn green as they clear.

LEAD PILOT:
(O.S.)

Proceeding patrol formation.

INT. LEAD GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

A small blip appears on the navigator's Heads-Up Display.

NAVIGATOR:

I'm detecting an unidentified presence at forcefield block 128.

PILOT:

All fighters follow my lead, we will check it out.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Gunstars fly wing-to-wing as they approach the source of the signature.

LEAD NAVIGATOR:
(O.S.)

The presence is large. Possibly a deep-space freighter.

(pause)

Alert! Now detecting three new signatures. They're smaller.

Three small spacecraft appear from the darkness and fire upon the Starfighters with lasers.

LEAD PILOT:
(O.S.)

Enemy fighters incoming! Engage quickly!

The Gunstars break formation and scramble, engaging the enemy fighter craft.

Two of them are destroyed with deadly precision by the skilled Starfighters, but one remains. The final enemy fighter pulls out from the dogfight.

LEAD NAVIGATOR:
O.S.)

Do not let the final fighter go!
Go after it!

The lead Gunstar chases the enemy fighter. An unseen squadron of enemy spacecraft emerges from the darkness... 10... then 25... 100... 200!

LEAD NAVIGATOR:
(O.S.)

It's a trap! Pull away before they reach us!

Too late. They have been caught in crossfire by the surrounding fighters.

Two of the Gunstars have been obliterated, but the final Starfighter attempts maneuvers around the laser fire in a desperate attempt to escape the clutches of the unknown aggressors.

The attempt has failed as an IFF-guided missile hits the fuselage and destroys the spacecraft in a brilliant explosion.

CUT TO:

INT. FRY'S APPARTMENT (BENDER'S CLOSET)- EARTH - DAY (MORNING)

[BG music: Road of the Gypsy - Adrenalin]

Fry sits on his bed, fixing his Walkman with a screwdriver.

He brightens as he sees success from his maintenance and reaches for the stop-button on a boom-box on the floor, pulling out the tape and putting it in the Walkman. He puts his headphones on and plays the tape.

It works!

He jumps from his bed and exits the room with excitement.

EXT. ROBOT ARMS APTS. - NEW NEW YORK - DAY

The morning light shines brilliantly over the populuxe metropolis of technology that is New New York City.

Fry exits the apartment building and jogs down the busy city street to the beat of his '80s-era music.

EXT. PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - DAY

Fry arrives at the entrance and swings the door open for himself without missing a beat.

INT. CORRIDOR - PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - DAY

Fry continues jogging to his music down the corridor and halts as he reaches the door to the conference room. He removes his earphones and takes a breath before he touches the controls on the wall to open the door.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Fry enters and looks upon the Planet Express employees sitting around the conference table, then gazes blissfully at Leela.

He snaps out of it and walks towards Professor Farnsworth.

FRY:

Hey Professor, hey guys... Leela.

(smiles)

Uh, sorry I'm late. I was fixing my Walkman.

LEELA:

Hi Fry!

BENDER:

Meh...

FARNSWORTH:
(To Fry)

Who are you?! Oooh, I mean... You're late!

FRY:

I know, sorry. I was just...

FARNSWORTH:

Blittery fuff! Be on time for once! Take your seat and we'll get started.

Fry finds his seat next to Leela. She smiles and takes his hand.

HERMES:

Now that we're all here and I no longer need to stall for time telling you all about the secret ingredients of white-out, I have an important announcement.

(pause)

A 7-foot-high crate has been delivered to us last night, with instructions for us to deliver it to a shopping mall in Nukevada.

Fry:

Then what are we waiting for? Lets go!

HERMES:

That's the problem. The order to deliver the crate has expired prematurely due to a small situation concerning the clients in Nukevada.

LEELA:

What happened?

HERMES:

They were nuked.

Shocked gasps and mumbling erupts from the group.

BENDER:

Cool!

FRY:

So what do we do with it now? Do we keep it?

HERMES:

D-... I don't see any reason why not. There's no return address.

FRY:

Awsome! So what's inside?

FARNSWORTH:

Lets go find out, shall we?

CUT TO:

INT. LABORATORY - DAY

CLOSE ON THE CRATE as Bender pries it open.

CLOSE ON THE WOODEN SIDES as they fall to the ground, reviling the contents OFF CAMERA.

The Planet Express crew sighs with disappointment... except Fry, wide-eyed and excited.

FRY:

No way!

ZOIDBERG:

Is that a fancy TV maybe?

Its a coin-operated arcade game from Fry's time, labeled "STARFIGHTER".

FRY:

Anybody got any quarters?

Everyone searches their pockets with hesitation. Nothing.

BENDER:

Here ya go, buddy!

Bender pulls out the coin on a string from his chest cabinet and puts it in the coin slot, then pulls it out again and chuckles.

A moment goes by... nothing happens.

BENDER:

Hey, what's wrong with it?

FARNSWORTH:

Who cares? Lets just dump it in Nukevada anyway.

FRY:

You have to plug it in.

Fry crawls behind the machine and finds the cord, then plugs it into the nearest outlet.

A barrage of pixelated effects burst onto the screen, with the instruction to insert a coin.

FRY:

Okay, try it now.

Bender does so. Success as the screen changes to a 3D image of a Gunstar on a launch platform. Bold words scroll across the screen with a voice copying every line:

VOICE:

Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada. Get Ready. Prepare for blast-off!

FRY'S P.O.V.:

We ZOOM IN to the cockpit as the Gunstar launches from the platform. The screen fades to a HUD with manipulable crosshairs.

Fry reads the function of the two joysticks in front of him and grabs hold.

VOICE:

Prepare for target light practice Starfighter.

Several pyramid-shaped targets dart across the screen as Fry tries to target and destroy them.

AMY:

That actually looks like fun.

FRY:

It sure is! A little hard but its so worth it!

LEELA:

I guess it would be nice to have an alternative to watching TV all day.

HERMES

I agree.

FARNSWORTH:

Then its settled. We will keep the antique entertainment device in the employee lounge, next to the Slurm machine.

HERMES:

Leela and Amy, go find the hover-lift.

BENDER:

Nah, I'll take it there myself.

Fry stops Bender from lifting it.

FRY:

Wait! I gotta blow up these things.

BENDER:

Hurry up, bloodbag.

The targets are destroyed successfully. A klaxon sounds as two small warships appear on the screen, firing missiles.

FRY:

Whoa!

He misses the ships and gets hit by multiple missiles.

VOICE:

You've been defeated. Bad luck, Starfighter.

The "INSERT COIN" instruction appears on the screen again.

Fry accepts his defeat and steps back.

LEELA:

Fry? Are you-...?

FRY:

Far out! Be right back, I gotta go get something.

He exits the room.

INT. LOCKER ROOM - DAY

Fry searches the contents of his locker and pulls out a box of music cassettes, then quickly exits the room.

CUT TO:

INT. EMPLOYEE LOUNGE - DAY

With the Starfighter arcade now placed next to the Slurm machine, everyone crowds around Fry as he puts on his headphones.

FRY:
(determined)

I need a Slurm.

Leela pulls out her keys and unlocks the machine, pulling out a fresh can. She opens it and hands it to him.

He takes a sip and puts it on the console.

FRY:

Alright. Lets do this.

He presses play on his Walkman and grips the game controls.

[music: Kenny Loggins - Danger Zone]

First comes the practice targets... destroyed with ease.

Next are the two warships. The machine bleeps and booms as Fry skillfully destroys the ships with minor damage taken.

Three more of the ships appear from an asteroid. He targets and destroys them with guided missiles instantly.

BENDER:

Cheap move.

Fry switches back to lasers as five warships approach him. He struggles, nearly losing his concentration, but regains it quickly as he finishes them off one-by-one.

Gasps and mumbling among his crowd.

Ten ships appear, pulling upward from Fry's fire. He tracks them and fires, destroying two of them.

LEELA:

Fry, be careful. Your laser fire is draining power!

FRY:

I know, switching back to missiles.

BENDER:

Save your missiles, try the smaller laser!

FRY:

Good idea.

Fry switches to the low-power laser and destroys three more spacecraft. Enough energy has been charged back up, allowing him to switch back to the normal laser.

Two more defeated, with low power. He switches back to the low-power laser and fires, destroying another pair of ships.

ZOIDBERG:

Look, one ship is left only! You can do it!

FRY:

I got no power left! Switching to missiles!

Leela puts a hand on his shoulder as she stares at the screen with him.

Fry tracks the remaining ship and fires a missile. Miss.

FRY:

Dammit... didn't lock on.

The ship darts across the screen once more and pulls away from the fight.

FRY:

Hey, come back here!

He fires a final missile before the ship disappears... KABOOM!

FRY:

Yes! I did it!

Cheers and yells erupt from the crew and Leela gives him a kiss.

FARNSWORTH:

Eeehwha-...? Do it again, I wasn't looking.

"PREPARE FOR STAGE 2" appears on the screen.

VOICE:

Well done, Starfighter! Prepare for Stage Two!

Fry takes his headphones off and steps back.

FRY:

I think that's enough for today. Come on, lets go watch TV.

Fry leaves the game and heads for the couch, with Bender and Leela following. The rest of the crowd separates as they head to other desired locations.

He turns on the TV.

It's the news with Morbo reporting.

MORBO:

We interrupt your pathetic program to bring you a special news bulletin! Scientists have just discovered a new planetary system with unmanned telescopes and have found what appears to be another Earth-type planet. The DOOP and United Systems Administration have been sent to the system to-...

So?! How is this worth interrupting a public broadcast?!?!! I was expecting something about a hostile race preparing an invasion or perhaps... the inevitable destruction of the human race!!! BRING US BACK TO THE PUNY HUMANS' PATHETIC PROGRAM!!!!

Hypnotoad appears on the screen.

LEELA:

Well that was pointless.

FRY:

You'd think after a million years from my time you guys would've discovered the entire universe by now... plus those other ones.

BENDER:

A thousand, laserhead.

FRY:

A thousand what? Universes?

EXT. SPACE - THE FRONTIER

The DOOP starship Nimbus and several United Systems Administration ships approach the Frontier with caution.

They quickly come to a halt.

INT. BRIDGE - NIMBUS

Because of Zapp Brannigan's death in an earlier mission regarding the Xenomorph species, the great warship Nimbus is now under different command... LT. COMMANDER LIAM McARGUS.

KIF checks the radar scope.

KIF:

It looks clear, sir.

McARGUS:
(Irish accent)

Aye, it looks clear! But how can ya trust an ancient piece of equipment like 'radar'? Try your own eyes for once!

KIF:

(Sigh)
Yes sir.

Kif walks up to the forward window/screen and opens the blinds.

McARGUS:

Now activate the particle-beam to open a doorway through this forcefield.

Kif activates the beam.

Four yellow lasers zap the Frontier's forcefield and slowly forms an opening, but too small for ships to pass through.

McARGUS:

I got a bad feeling about this...

KIF:

What, sir?

McArgus holds up a Taco Alarm burito.

McARGUS:

This Taco Alarm burito is from our last mission in the Jalapeño Galaxy!

KIF:

That was a week ago, sir.

McARGUS:

Exactly... now stand back, I might take off!

Kif lets out another weary sigh.

An alarm sounds, followed by a red warning light.

McARGUS:

Ach, me lunch is goin' insane!

KIF:

Incoming transmission, sir!

McARGUS:

On screen! And turn down that annoying klaxon so I can hear!

Kif turns a dial, toning the alarm down, and pushes a button deactivating the red light.

An image of a KO-DAN SPACE COMMANDER fades on to the window/screen.

KO-DAN COMMANDER:

Halt! Unidentified intruders, do not cross the Frontier or you will be destroyed by Ko-Dan warships!

McARGUS:

Who are you?!

KO-DAN COMMANDER:

I am the Lieutenant Commander of the Ko-Dan space fleet!

McARGUS:

Yeah?! Well I'm Lt. Commander Liam McArgus of the Democratic Order of Planets, and we are permitted access to all systems of the Alpha Universe!

KO-DAN COMMANDER:

This is your last warning! Pull away or you will be fired upon!

McARGUS:

Take your best shot, ya ugly bastard!

KO-DAN COMMANDER:

So be it.

KIF:
(To McArgus)

Sir, this could cause an intergalactic war...

McARGUS:

What are ya afraid of... ?

Another alarm sounds.

KIF:

Incoming fighter craft.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

A squadron of Ko-Dan fighters approach the drifting DOOP and administration spacecraft and open fire.

All of the administration ships are destroyed.

The Nimbus attempts to pull out, but Ko-Dan fighters batter the ship with laser fire.

INT. BRIDGE - NIMBUS

McArgus and Kif are rocked out of their seats.

Kif crawls to a control panel and reads information on a small display.

KIF:

They hit the main engines!

McARGUS:

Aye, that was a good shot...

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The fighters make a final attack run and completely destroy the massive vessel that was the Nimbus.

SQUADRON LEADER:
(O.C., computer-enhanced

voice)

2All opposing warships neutralized, Commander.

FIGHTER:
(O.C.)

Detecting an escape craft retreating from the area. Permission to attack?

KO-DAN COMMANDER:
(O.C.)

Negative, let them go. Return to the Command Ship.

SQUADRON LEADER:

Yes, Commander, returning to Command Ship.

The Ko-Dan fighter squadron retreats and heads back to their UNSEEN Command Ship.

INT. PLANET EXPRESS EMPLOYEE LOUNGE - NIGHT

[music: King Kobra - Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)]

Fry plays away at the Starfighter arcade, blasting the many incoming fighters while rocking to the music.

In 3-by-3 formation the fighters flood the screen, but are targeted and destroyed instantly by Fry's increasing reflexes.

Leela enters the room and approaches Fry.

LEELA:

Hey Fry. Still at it?

FRY:

Yeah...

LEELA:

You've been playing that all day. You need some rest!

FRY:

Can't... gotta blow up these guys... Crap, my missiles are gone!

She holds up a tape.

LEELA:

I found a tape at the pawn shop from your time... it's soft kind of music, but it sort of grew on me. Wanna listen with me in the... ?

FRY:

In a minute!

She walks away, depressed.

Just the, Bender enters the room.

BENDER:

Hey space-heater! How far are you?

FRY:

I'm at... whoa wait, gotta kill these ships... 900,000.

BENDER:
(Gasp)

900,000?! You only got another 100,000 until you beat the high score!

FRY:

I'm at 925,000 now!

BENDER:

Already?!

Bender runs to the door and exits.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT

The Planet Express crew is seated at the conference table, with Hermes standing text to a flowchart.

HERMES:

So this concludes why we must maintain our night schedule this month and cut back on Zoidberg's snack breaks.

ZOIDBERG:

Awwww...

Bender runs into the room.

BENDER:

Hey, jerkwads! Come quick! Fry's gonna go for the record!

FARNSWORTH:

Sweet Zombie Jesus!

BENDER:

Come quick!

Bender leads the group out of the room... Leela stays behind.

LEELA:
(Sigh)

Big deal.

INT. EMPLOYEE LOUNGE - NIGHT

The Planet Express crew is gathered around Fry as he continues to fight off the Ko-Dan fighters mercilessly.

AMY:

You can do it, Fry!

FARNSWORTH:

Blow them to pixelated dust!

BENDER:

What's the score?

FRY:

986,700!!

Fighters flood the screen in 6-by-6 formations. Fry targets and destroys them with lightening-fast reflexes, edging him closer to an UNSEEN goal.

ZOIDBERG:

Look! The fighters are retreating! Those cowards...

The remaining six fighters attempt to retreat, but Fry destroys them with ease.

BOLD WORDS flash on the screen with the echoing voice:

VOICE:

Incomming Ko-Dan Command Ship!

The giant Command Ship revolves on the screen in a brief cinematic.

HERMES:

Sweet FN-FAL of Low-Cal! The Command Ship!!

BENDER:

Don't screw it up! Go for it!

AMY:

Come on, Fry!

ZOIDBERG:

You can do it, friend!

FARNSWORTH:

You call that a Command Ship? Oh fuff...

Fry targets the soft-spots on the ship's hull and blasts them with his high-power lasers.

Laser power is drained. He switches to the low-power particle beams and continues pounding the vessel... until it finally bursts into a barrage of exploding effects and flying pixelated debris.

Fry jumps in the air with a cry of victory, as the rest of the crew cheer with roaring applause.

BOLD WORDS flash on the screen:

"RECORD-BREAKER!"

EXT. PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - NIGHT

The cheering of the Planet Express crew echoes through the city block in the moonlit night.

A distant dog barks and howls at the noise.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

A lone Ko-Dan fighter soars through the black void, preparing to land on an UNSEEN platform.

PULL OUT as we reveal the massive Command Ship, burning a hole through the invisible forcefield with revolving particle beams.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

Ko-Dan technicians are scattered about the bridge at their designated locations, with the Commander and Second-In-Command standing in front of a large heads-up display.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

The last of the scout fighters have returned.

COMMANDER:

What is the status on the forcefield block?

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Down 42%. We should be through in approximately 46 minutes.

COMMANDER:

Inform the Emperor.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Right away.

The Second-In-Command exits the bridge.

EXT. PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - NIGHT

Fry takes a walk outside the building, listening to his music.

The sky and streets are empty and silent.

One vehicle creeps down the road ahead, towards the Planet Express Building.

Fry walks up to the vehicle... an old-fashoned one, but with futuristic modifications.

The passenger door automatically opens upward.

FRY:

We're closed, man.

VOICE:
(O.C.)

I'm not here for the business of interplanetary delivery, my boy.

Fry edges closer to see who the driver is.

FRY:

Who are you? What do you want?

DRIVER:

The name is not important, but I have something to ask you that is of the utmost importance.

FRY:

Yeah?

A pause.

DRIVER:

I'm looking for Rogan Road, you know where that is?

Fry points down the opposite road.

FRY:

I think it's that way... no! That way!

This time the river.

DRIVER:

Thank you, and good night now.

The door closes and the car pulls away, heading towards the river. It crashes through the barriers and hovers for a moment.

DRIVER:
(O.S.)

Darn, I forgot to install the transatmospheric boosters.

The car drops into the water and sinks.

INT. EMPLOYEE LOUNGE - NIGHT

Zoidberg enters, carefully observing the empty room. The arcade game catches his eyes.

ZOIDBERG:

Hmm, just one game maybe.

Zoidberg walks up to the machine and pulls out a quarter.

ZOIDBERG:

My only quarter... should I?

The nearby Slurm and snack machines catch his eyes.

ZOIDBERG:

But for 25 cents I could get a micro cup of Slurm, or an extra-extra small bag of Chocolate Microchips. Oh, so hungry...

Back to the arcade.

ZOIDBERG:

Oh but the fun... the excitement! The honor to serve the Star League and save the universe! And more importantly, the entertainment of blowing those who resent Zoidberg into CGI vapor!

Zoidberg inserts the coin and begins playing. He is defeated quickly.

VOICE:

You've been defeated! 25 cents more, please.

ZOIDBERG:

No... I've failed! I've failed the Star Leage! I've failed the Frontier! I've failed the whole universe! Because of my failure the Ko-Dan have become the supreme rulers of the universe, and they will enslave us all... and they will point and laugh at me because I'm such a failure!

Zoidberg collapses to the floor and sobs... until he spots another quarter next to the snack machine.

ZOIDBERG:

Oh look, another quarter.

He picks it up... looks at the arcade. He does the smarter thing and puts it in the snack machine. He takes an extra-extra small bag of Chocolate Microchips, the size of a human fist.

He opens the bag.

ZOIDBERG:

Ugh, why must they always fill these bags half-way?

He scarfs the contents of the bag and scuttles away.

Leela enters and stops him.

LEELA:

Snack breaks...

ZOIDBERG:

Aaaawwwww...

He hands the bag to her and exits very sad.

Leela looks at the bag... slimy with Zoidberg's mucus.

LEELA:

Ew!

She throws it in the trash can and quickly exits to find something to wash her hands with.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

Fry walking the empty street, listening to his music.

Suddenly a flash of light appears in the sky, followed by the roar of booster engines.

Fry watches in surprise as a massive GUNSTAR lands softly in the middle of the street.

FRY:

No way...

The elevator above begins to descend. As it reaches the ground, a humanoid being steps off and walks towards Fry. He wears a helmet with transparent blast shield, but fog and condensation inside conceals his face.

FRY:

Who are you?

He removes the helmet... he is very human in appearance. A Rylon.

RYLON:

I'm Lieutenant Gregory Sinclair of the Star League, defender of the Frontier and planet Rylos. You can call me Greg.

(pause)

And you must be Fry.

FRY:

How do you know my name?

GREG:
(Smiles)

Do you recall your victory on the arcade game Starfighter?

Fry nods.

GREG:

What if I told you that was a simulation? A test designed locate an individual who bares the... 'gift'. And you have proven that you have it.

You are a born starfighter, Fry.

(pause)

Come with me... let me show you the real Star League.

Fry follows Greg into the gunstar, completely mesmerized as to what is happening before his eyes...

The game is real.

INT. COCKPIT - GUNNER'S SEAT

Fry gets inside and straps himself in. Greg enters the pilot seat, just behind Fry's position.

GREG:

Get ready.

EXT. GUNSTAR - ENGINES

The engines blast to life, propelling the mighty Gunstar to the void of space.

INT. COCKPIT

Fry watches in wonder as they pass through a colorful wormhole. Then decides to add a special 'touch' to the moment.

He changes the tape in his Walkman and presses play.

[music: Mike Reno - Chasing the Angels]

GREG:

Wh-what is that?

FRY:
(Grins)

Theme music.

EXT. SPACE

The Gunstar blasts by many unfamiliar planets and systems, then approaches a bright blue, almost Earth-like planet... Rylos.

EXT. STARFIGHTER BASE - RYLOS

A massive structure projects from a mountain side, with a large opening inviting the approaching Gunstar.

INT. HANGAR BAY - DAY

The Gunstar lands and a robot tows the spacecraft towards the rest of them, aligned in a perfect row.

CUT TO:

INT. CONTROL ROOM - DAY

Fry and Greg enter the massive control room of the Starfighter Base.

GREG:

Fry, welcome to Rylos.

A technician walks up to Fry and installs a small devise on the collar of his jacket.

FRY:

What's that?

TECHNITIAN:

It's a universal translator unit, allows you to hear your own language spoken from those who don't know it.

FRY:

Cool!

GREG:

Follow me.

INT. CORRIDOR - STARFIGHTER COMMAND TRAINING FACILITY - DAY

Fry and Greg walk down the empty corridor. Doors are aligned in rows on each side of them, all entering a classroom.

FRY:

So wait, even though I know how to fight with a Gunstar, I still have to learn it in a class? That's stupid.

GREG:

The game was a tactics simulation. You passed, but now you need to prove your skill to the Starfighter Academy. And on a related note, the controls and response time on the real Gunstar are significantly different from those in the game. You need to learn about the technical specifications of the spacecraft, and fully understand them, so you can successfully translate your victorious skill from the game to the real life battlefield.

FRY:

If you say so.

GREG:

I do say so. Your room is right over there.

(points)

Good luck, Starfighter.

FRY:

Thanks... I guess.

GREG:

I must warn you though... these new recruits are quite a mischievous bunch. Work with them, help them sharpen their skills as you sharpen your own.

CUT TO:

INT. CLASSROOM - STARFIGHTER COMMAND TRAINING FACILITY - DAY

Fry slowly opens the door and enters the room.

It appears to be a classroom like any other, except for the mixed races of aliens for students. They carry on loud conversations that fill the room with voices.

The Rylon TEACHER/INSTRUCTOR is seated at his desk sorting and grading papers, with earphones on, blasting his music to drown out the annoying voices of the class.

Fry walks up to him.

FRY:

Uh, sir? I'm the new guy...

He ignores him... or just doesn't notice him.

FRY:

Yo! Can you hear me?

Still nothing.

One student in the front row notices him.

VARROW:

Are you Fry? The new guy?

FRY:

Yep.

VARROW:

I'm Varrow. I'll introduce you to the rest of the class.

FRY:

Okay, thanks.

Varrow gets out of his seat, dodging a laser blast.

VARROW:

This is Rrrmmm, the class idiot.

He points to an Omicronian, RRRMMM.

RRRMMM:

IG!! Enough with the laser blasts, or I'll blast you myself!

An assassin robot, IG-88, turns to Rrrmmm.

IG-88:
(Nightmarish computer voice)

Target system online... scanning possible threats... target selected! Target identified as... Rrrmmm!

RRRMMM:

Okay, okay, fine! Sorry!

IG-88:

'Sorry' does not compute.

RRRMMM:

Knock it off! Stupid walking ammo can...

Varrow walks Fry through the rest of the class.

VARROW:

That's IG-88, the bounty hunter.

Fry stares wide-eyed at the battle droid with weapon compartments covering his outer casing.

FRY:

Whoa... you're like a even badder-ass Terminator!

IG-88:

I destroyed a Terminator once... with my bare clamps.

IG-88 zaps a flying boot with his palm-laser.

STUDENT:
(O.C.)

Hey! That cost 80 Pyrite Cubes!

VARROW:

Oh, that's Lymbo.

LYMBO sits at his desk, wearing a combat boot on his head. He has a pile of boots under his desk.

LYMBO

To the new guy, a welcoming boot to the head!

Lymbo throws a boot at Fry. He dodges it and it breaks a window to the opposite corridor instead.

FRY:

What's up with the shoes?

LYMBO:

I always come to class prepared!

He throws a boot at Rrrmm's head.

RRRMMM:

For what, giving us concussions?!!

Fry turns back to Varrow.

FRY:

Say, am I the only... you know... human here?

VARROW:

No, we got Dilbert over there.

Fry sees a desk tilted on its side in the far left corner of the room. DILBERT is hiding behind it, eating a bag of Glagnar's Human Rinds.

FRY:

H-Hey... Dilbert-...

Dilbert peeks over the desk to see Fry.

DILBERT

My name's Dilbert... don't wear it out or you'll end up in this bag.

FRY:

What bag?

He holds up the bag of rinds.

DILBERT:

Tastes like chicken... smells like God!

FRY:

Hey, doesn't that make you like a cannibal?

DILBERT:

I told you, my name is Dilbert!

He disappears behind the desk, wolfing down the rinds.

Fry uneasily slides over to an empty desk.

The teacher takes his headphones off and stands in front of the crazy class.

TEACHER:
(drained)

Hi, I'm Mister Dentyne, I'll be your teacher for-oh screw it... sit down and shut up!!!

The class quiets down... except for Lymbo.

LYMBO:

Mister Dentyne! For the win of the day... or maybe a boot to 'Dent' you on the cranium!

Dentyne dodges Lymbo's flying boot.

DENTYNE:
(groans)

I've had it with you morons! The fate of the universe is in your pathetic hands... or whatever appendages, so show some dignity!

Dilbert peeks over his desk wearing a flight-manual as a hat.

DILBERT:

I have a cat named Dignity! I found her lying on the side of a road.

RRRMMM:

You said that flattened feline was called Flapjackie!

DILBERT:

My name's DILBERT, dammitt!!!!

DENTYNE:

Would you all just shut up and listen to me?!

DILBERT:
(To Dentyne)

You're bald!

He throws a pencil at Dentyne. He catches it with one hand and breaks it.

DENTYNE:

You all make me sick! So sick that... hold on, I'm calling the infirmary!

He picks up his phone.

RRRMMM:

You're funny! You're funny like-...

DILBERT:

Like tomatoes!

IG-88:

Confirmed... Instructor Dentyne is hilarious.

LYMBO:

Guys, I wanna hear what Mister Dentyne has to say about the Gunstar! Just thinking about it gives me a bionic boner!

DILBERT:

Just like canned beans!

Dilbert disappears behind his desk again.

Dentyne sits behind his desk burying his head in his arms.

DENTYNE:
(muffled)

I didn't sign up for this...

EXT. CORRIDOR - STARFIGHTER COMMAND TRAINING FACILITY - DAY

Empty corridor.

IG-88:
(O.S.)

Ship type: medium fighter with retrofit capability and conversion to class fighter-bomber.

Weapon capacity: 3 high-power laser turrets, one located under the chin, two more on the sides of the fuselage behind the pilot blister; 3 low-power particle beams located in the 3 high-power laser turrets; 20 radar- and IFF-guided missiles located in-...

The "bell" rings.

DENTYNE:
(O.S.)

Thank the Seven Pillars of Booloo...

The classroom doors crash open and the students flood the corridor.

Fry follows his class nervously.

Dentyne watches the last of his students exit the room...

except one.

INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

Dentyne walks towards Dilbert's desk.

DENTYNE:

Get out of here, Dilbert. Class is over.

Dentyne picks up one of Lymbo's boots and throws it at Dilbert's desk.

DILBERT:(O.C.)

Grrrrrrrr...

DENTYNE:

Dilbert!

He pops up from his desk, still wearing the manual 'hat'.

DILBERT:

I'm busy! And my name's Dilbert!!

He hides behind the desk, cooking a pot of beans over a small campfire.

INT. STARFIGHTER SIMULATOR ROOM

Six simulators aligned in a row.

An instructor gives Fry last minute instructions, then closes the canopy.

INT. FRY'S SIMULATOR

Fry flips a switch.

The display turns on, with a readout reading:

"WELCOME TO THE STARFIGHTER TRAINING UNIT 2456-A7! ENJOY YOUR SIMULATION, AND BE SURE TO CHECK OUT ARE BRAND NEW SUICIDE-TORPEDO SIM 547!"

FRY:

No thanks.

Fry prepares the Walkman, inserting a tape.

FRY:

Alright, let's do this. This is Red Leader, standing by!

INTERCUT TO SIMULATORS:

VARROW:

This is Gold Leader, standing by.

LYMBO:

Blue Leader standing by!

RRRMMM:

Rrrmmm online. I mean, Green Leader standing by. Ugh, why do I have to be green?

IG-88:

Chrome Leader standing by.

RRRMMM:

Like that! Why can't I be "Chrome Leader"? That's a cool call sign!

Dilbert holds a large burger and coke in his hands.

DILBERT:
(mouth full)

Dilbert ready to kill, kill, KILL!!

(O.C., Radio)

Your call sign is Yellow Leader.

DILBERT:

I said... MY NAME IS DILBERT!!!

Fry turns on the virtual engines.

INSTRUCTOR:
(O.C., Radio)

Okay, you're clear for take-off. Good luck, pilots.

As everyone blasts off into space, Fry presses play on the Walkman.

[Music: Eric Martin - Eyes of the World]

VARROW:

Hey Fry, nice music!

Readout:

"HOSTILE SPACECRAFT APPROACHING"

FRY:

Here they come! Blow through and follow my lead!

LYMBO:

Roger!

Ko-Dan fighters flood the area, passing over the Gunstars.

Fry engages the fighters with the help of his squadron, eventually passing the stage.

Then the Ko-Dan Command Ship appears.

Readout:

"INCOMMING KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP"

FRY:

Alright cover me, I'm going for the main turret!

DILBERT:

I'll do it! I'll cover you!

VARROW:

Rrrmmm, IG, Lymbo... watch for enemy fighters.

LYMBO:

I got two behind me! Can't shake 'em!

RRRMMM:

I'm on my way!

LYMBO:

I got an idea!

Lymbo holds his breath, opens the canopy, then throws a boot at a fighter. The virtual image is damaged and the readout says:

"YOU HAVE CRASHED. SIMULATION ENDED. HAVE A NICE DAY!"

LYMBO:

Wha-...?! Oh fudge nuggets!

The same fighter engages Rrrmmm next.

RRRMMM:

Blast! Now he's after me!

IG-88:

Not for long.

IG-88 destroys the fighter, plus the many others threatening the squadron.

IG-88:

Boy am I good. I could take on the entire Ko-Da-...

His fighter explodes from a laser-blast from the turret.

RRRMMM:

Fry! Dilbert! Hurry up with that turret, we're getting slaughtered!

Fry looks through the range-finder on his targeting-computer.

FRY:

Almost there...

DILBERT:

I got a dude behind me! I think he's mad!

FRY:

Hang on!

DILBERT:

And my drink is empty! And I have to go to the bathroom!!

VARROW:

I'll cover you!

DILBERT:

No, I can hold it! I can hold it!!

VARROW:

No, PULL UP!!

DILBERT:

No, no, I'm go-...

Then a yell as he's destroyed by the fighter.

RRRMMM:

There's another squad coming in! Loosen up!!

Oh no!!!!

Rrrmmm is destroyed.

VARROW:

Fry, I just lost my wingman. Hit that turret now!

FRY:

I can't without help! Cover me, I'm almost there!

VARROW:

Got your six, hang on.

FRY:

Almost there...

Two fighters tail them.

VARROW:

Fry! Two fighters hot and high, left rear!

FRY:

Almost there!

Beeping on the computer, indicating lock.

FRY:

Got tone! Firing!!

Fry launches a missile. Direct hit.

FRY:

It's a hit! Pull out! Varrow, pull out!

The two fighters pull away, as the command ship is destroyed in a brilliant explosion.

Readout:

"SIMULATION ENDED. GOOD JOB!"

CUT TO:

INT. COMMON ROOM - NIGHT

[B.G. music: Cheap Trick - Mighty Wings]

CLOSE ON VARROW as he cracks open a beer.

VARROW:

Here's to the soon-to-be Red and Gold teams, the future of this Starfighter Academy, the heroes of the Star League...

LYMBO:

Oh come on, I did just as well! I could command my own squadron if I get the chance!

VARROW:

Lymbo, you threw a shoe at the fighter. You were the first of the squad leaders to go!

LYMBO:

Well... it was a damn good throw!

RRRMMM:

And Varrow, where were you when I took it up the tailpipe?! I had a whole squadron after me!

VARROW:

That's your fault for breaking formation. You NEVER leave your wingman!

RRRMMM:

I did no such thing!!

IG-88:

I can confirm that you did.

RRRMMM:

Oh shut it, chrome-dome! You go hit by the turret. The turret! How pathetic!

DILBERT:

I still have to go to the bathroom...

RRRMMM:

Then go!!!

Dilbert exits. Fry, keeping distant from the group, follows.

INT. RESTROOMS - NIGHT

Fry and Dilbert standing in front of a large pit in the floor, with fire raising high into a ventilation shaft in the ceiling.

FRY:

I don't get it.

DILBERT:

Me neither.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROBOT ARMS APTS. - NEW NEW YORK CITY - EARTH - NIGHT

The great robot apartment building stands tall with glowing red neon lights illuminating the dark of night.

INT. APPARTMENT 00100100 - NIGHT

Darkness. A knock is heard. Bender opens the door and turns on the light.

It's Leela.

BENDER:
(Yawns)

What do you want?

LEELA:

First of all, you're supposed to be at work. Remember the night schedule?

BENDER:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and second of all, and hopefully getting to something actually worth interrupting a wonderful dream?

LEELA:

Have you seen Fry?

BENDER:

Nope, not since he broke the Starfighter record. Good night.

Bender slams the door shut, breaking the light bulb above him.

Leela walks away... depressed.

INT. BARRACKS - NIGHT

Fry lying awake in his cot. The sounds of the rest of the trainees partying in the common room can clearly be heard through the wall nearby.

VOICES:
(O.C.)

THREE! TWO! ONE!

Then a loud room-trembling THUD!

Followed by mad cheering.

FRY:

That's it, I'm out of here.

CUT TO:

INT. HANGAR BAY - NIGHT

Fry sneaks into a small shuttle and takes off.

CUT TO:

EXT. PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - NIGHT

The only lit building on the whole block. The night schedule is still in effect.

INT. MAIN ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Hermes places a cinder block in front of the door so he can reach an opening in the ceiling, then places owl traps carefully inside. He finishes, but leaves the block.

Leela repeatedly tosses her keys, preparing to leave.

FRY:
(O.C.)

Leela!

Fry rushes through the door, kicking the cinder block across the room, causing it to bounce off the opposite wall and hit him in the head, knocking him out cold.

LEELA:

Fry! Are you alright?

No answer.

LEELA:

I'll take him with me. Good night, Hermes.

HERMES:

Ya ya, good night.

Leela carries Fry out the door.

INT. STARFIGHTER COMMAND - BARRACKS - DAY

Darkness. Silence. Then...

The overhead lights explode and Greg and Dentyne enter.

Yet everyone is still asleep.

DENTYNE:
(Mumbling)

Sure you can sleep... you pathetic excuses for recruits have no conscious, and seem to only be here to make my job a living nightmare...

Greg gives him a strange look.

DENTYNE:

WAKE UP!!!!!!!!

Everyone leaps from their cots and stand at attention.

Except for Dilbert, naturally.

Dentyne walks with enraged determination towards his bunk. And there he is, under the covers, sleeping the precious minutes away.

DENTYNE:

Dilbert! Get out of bed now!!

DILBERT:
(Muffled)

Just a few more minutes! I'm almost done with Mommy's birthday card, then I'm off to bible study...

DENTYNE:

Dilbert, get up, or I swear I'll-...

He's awake and pulls the covers away.

DILBERT:

You forgot the magic word, sir.

DENTYNE:
(Sincerely)

Oh! Oh, I'm sorry Dilbert.

(pause)

GET THE *HELL* OUT OF BED!! NOW!!!!

DILBERT:
(Pause)

I would have also accepted a simple "please", but that'll do.

Dilbert gets out of his cot and stands at attention.

Dentyne puts his hands on his head, his face reddening, like he's about to literally explode.

Greg is scanning the room... someone else is missing.

GREG:

Mister Dentyne...

DENTYNE:

WHAT?!?!!!

Greg points at another cot across the room with someone still in it.

DENTYNE:

Oh for the love of Booloo!

Dentyne strides to the cot and rips the covers away, ready to scream into the face of... two extra pillows?

Greg sees this and runs over to get a closer look.

DENTYNE:

Lieutenant Sinclair, to whom is this cot assigned?

GREG:
(Sigh)

Our newest recruit Philip J. Fry.

DENTYNE:

And where is he, Lieutenant?

GREG:

I don't know.

DENTYNE:

About three hours ago I received a report about a stolen infantry shuttle, could this be related in any way?

GREG:

Perhaps, but why wasn't I informed of this?

DENTYNE:

Because you are on a need-to-know basis, you do not double for command over security enforcement at this facility, I do. Find your recruit.

Dentyne walks away.

INT. LEELA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Fry is still laying unconscious, but on Leela's bed.

He slowly awakens, rubbing his aching head.

FRY:

What happened?

LEELA:

You got hit by a cinder block.

FRY:

Really? Feels more like I got hit by a space freighter.

Pause.

LEELA:

Where were you all this time?

FRY:

You won't believe it.

LEELA:

Try me.

FRY:

I was at the Starfighter Command Base at planet Rylos. I saw the Frontier! The game is real!

LEELA:

Oh lord... that block sure did some damage.

FRY:

No, I was there! I was... "in" the game!

LEELA:

Fry, look at yourself. I can't believe you let some stupid video game from the stupid ages get to your head like this. Do I mean that little to you?!

FRY:

Don't you want to know why I came back?

LEELA:

I figure it's to beg me or Bender for more quarters.

FRY:

I came back for you.

Pause.

FRY:

It was an awesome experience breaking the Starfighter record, and even more to find I had been recruited to help defend the real Frontier... but I knew it didn't come close to the experience of being with you. I don't want to be up there fighting evil aliens knowing I won't be with you anymore. I'm done with the Starfighter crap.

(Pause)

I love you... and I want "you".

Leela looks into his eyes... he means every word.

She leans closer, and they kiss with an immense passion.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Ko-Dan Command Ship is still cutting through the forcefield with the particle beam.

The opening is just wide enough for small ships to pass through.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

Commander and Second-In-Command standing in front of the large heads-up display.

XUR enters.

TECHNITIAN:
(Computer-enhanced voice)

Xur is on deck.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Sir, we're almost through. About two more minutes and we'll have full access.

XUR:

Ah, wonderful! Is it wide enough for the missiles or meteor guns?

COMMANDER:

Wide enough for infantry transports.

XUR:

What? I told you to only open the forcefield just wide enough for projectiles! If you open it too far, then we are exposed to the Frontier's early-warning network!

COMMANDER:

Very well, we must work fast.

(To GUNNER)

Load meteor guns 4 and 5 and fire at will.

The GUNNER reaches for controls.

XUR:

Excuse me!

The gunner hesitates.

XUR:

My *dear* KO-Dan friends! Lest we forget, it was your own Emperor who charged me with command of this armada... for only *I* hold the secret to the Frontier, just as only *I* know the location of the Starfighter base... and therefore, only *I* will give the order to fire!!!

COMMANDER:

Forgive me, Xur.

XUR:
(Pause)

You're forgiven.

(To gunner)

Meteor gunner... fire.

The gunner puts quarters into a slot on the console and fires the meteor guns.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP

Meteors launch from a large opening in the front of the ship, through the opening in the forcefield.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

Technicians at work at their stations. Dentyne is among them.

One picks up something on radar.

TECHNITIAN:

Mister Dentyne...

DENTYNE:

Yes?

TECHNITIAN:

I'm picking up something large at Sector 7.

Looks like a heavy space freighter.

DENTYNE:

One of ours?

TECHNITIAN:

Negative. Unable to verify origin.

Several blips appear on the screen.

TECHNITIAN:

Wait, now picking up two more smaller signatures... correction, three. Possible fighter squadron.

DENTYNE:

They're too fast to be fighters...

TECHNITIAN:

Now picking up five, repeat, five. Correction, six.

DENTYNE:

Activate anti-collision and auto-defense turrets.

EXT. FIREWALL - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

Three large pulse-laser turrets emerge from the massive firewall guarding the base.

The meteors are now in range, near the base.

The guns fire at the incoming projectiles, destroying the first wave successfully. Despite so, large debris hits and destroys one of the turrets.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

TECHNITIAN:

We lost turret Number 3. Now detecting eight more objects.

DENTYNE:

Increase power and response time.

TECHNITIAN:

The guns are already running at triple-capacity.

EXT. FIREWALL - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

Another turret is hit.

The last one is still firing away, destroying the meteors. Four are left.

One hits and destroys the final turret.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

TECHNITIAN:

Auto-defenses offline.

Dentyne takes a step back from the console and looks up at the large screen ahead, displaying the remaining three objects.

EXT. FIREWALL - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

The third meteor crashes through the armor of the wall, penetrating the outer defenses.

The base is weak and exposed.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

Dentyne swallows hard, watching the remaining objects on screen.

EXT. STARFIGHTER BASE - DAY

The two meteors hit and destroy the base in a fiery and massive explosion, riddling debris into space.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

XUR:

At last it is done! Soon the Frontier will be down, and the Rylans will bow to their new Emperor! Or I will darken the sky with their ashes.

Xur exits.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:
(To Commander)

How long must we endure this fool?

The Commander gives him a look, as his eyepiece swings away from his face.

The Second-in-Command moves back to his station.

EXT. NEW NEW YORK CITY - EARTH - DAY (MORNING)

The morning sun silhouettes the hundreds of aerocars soaring the city's sky.

INT. LEELA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Fry and Leela get out of bed, stretching.

LEELA:
(O.C.)

Think fast!

She throws his pants at him. He tries to catch but misses, causing them to hit his face, knocking him down.

FRY:
(Muffled)

Not again...

LEELA:
(Giggles)

Sorry.

Fry gets back up... smiles at her.

EXT. PLANET EXPRESS BUILDING - DAY

Fry and Leela arrive at the entrance. Fry swings the door open for her. He is about to follow her, until...

A familiar flash of light appears in the sky, followed by the roar of booster engines.

Fry watches as the massive Gunstar lands next to the building. Leela then emerges from the building... a shocked gasp at the unbelievable sight.

The elevator above begins to descend... Greg is back.

LEELA:

It's real...

FRY:

Told you.

Greg steps off the platform and walks up to Fry.

LEELA:

Who are you?

FRY:

What are you doing here?

GREG:

I've come back for you. Why did you leave?

FRY:

I don't want to be a starfighter, Greg. I'm happy with my delivery boy job, with severely-reduced pay!

GREG:
(Pause)

You don't want to be a Starfighter?

FRY:

That's right.

GREG:

This is... quite unexpected. You're the first lifeform to ever turn down such an honorary role.

(pause)

And yet you've done so well. Why the sudden change of heart?

FRY:

Because... when I was up there I started feeling so alone. It was then that I realized how much I've been ignoring Leela for this stupid game, even though it turned out to be the real thing.

GREG:

You're letting love blind you, Fry. We need you very much up there.

FRY:

You have plenty of other good starfighters at your disposal. Even Varrow could replace someone like me.

(pause)

Besides, what does a warrior race like yourself know about love? And what it's like to be away from it... or even have it taken from you? You're fighters. You can't possibly understand.

GREG:
(light tone)

Do you really believe that bull you're spewing out?

Fry looks at the ground.

GREG:

LOOK AT ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!!!!

Fry snaps his attention back.

Greg steps closer to him.

GREG:

I was a civilian charter pilot when the war started against the Ko-Dan race. Many people like me were ordered to fight against this new threat.

(pause)

That's right, "Delivery Boy", I was drafted. And while I was up there losing friends to these hostile beings in hardcore dogfights, they sent landing parties to the surface of Rylos in attempt to invade. We foiled the invasion, but they managed to take many of the Rylan civilians with them. Including my family.

(pause)

When Xur came to power, he turned them to slaves.

Fry listens with sympathy.

GREG:

I haven't heard from them since. It's been so many years.

(pause)

I love them very much... and I miss them every day. So don't you dare accuse me or my fellow people of not understanding one of the universe's most dominant of emotions. But I try my best to put aside the pain of losing them and focus on building my skill as a starfighter, as well as teach others to hone their skill, so we can fight this menace together... and be victorious.

(pause)

Victory... or death.

Fry looks down at the ground again.

GREG:

But if you don't want to be a starfighter, that's your choice. Many apologies for dragging you all the way up to the Frontier for nothing.

He walks away, stepping onto the elevator platform.

Leela puts her hand on Fry's shoulder.

LEELA:

Fry, I'm sorry for doubting you.

He takes her hand.

FRY:

It's alright.

LEELA:

Look, I want you to go with him. Don't worry about me anymore, I'll be fine. They need your help.

FRY:

Are you sure?

LEELA:
(Smiles)

Yes.

She gives him a kiss.

LEELA:

Go get 'em.

He smiles back, then turns to the Gunstar.

Greg presses the button to elevate the platform.

Fry runs to him.

FRY:

Greg! Wait!

He stops the elevator.

FRY:

Let's go barbecue some Ko-Dan.

GREG:
(Smiles)

That's what I like to hear.

Fry steps on to the platform, and they are transported into the Gunstar.

Leela watches them take off, with a smile on her face.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPACE

The mighty Gunstar soars through the sparkling void.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Greg in the rear pilot's seat, Fry in the forward gunner's seat.

FRY:

So now what? Do I get to go kill some Ko-Dan or do I have to do more training?

GREG:

Just one week of training to prove your skill to the academy. Besides, I need you to be prepared to lead your own squadron into battle. Not every mission allows you to be a loner, Fry.

FRY:

But I'm ready now! Let me prove it to you!

GREG:

You can prove it to me by finishing your training with a high grade.

FRY:
(Sigh)

Alright.

Greg repeatedly presses a button.

GREG:

Hmm... curious.

FRY:

What?

GREG:

Starfighter Command isn't responding to my hails. I'm not receiving any signals on either frequencies.

FRY:

How far are we from them?

GREG:

They should be just over...

(Looks with shock)

There...

Fry looks.

EXT. STARFIGHTER BASE - RYLOS

The entire base is demolished. Nothing more than a crater in the rock, littered with metal scrap.

The area is surrounded by Ko-Dan soldiers and landing craft.

The Gunstar holds position and shuts down, blending into the darkness.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

Those menacing bastards... they've done it. They've destroyed the entire Starfighter Base.

FRY:

What do we do?

GREG:
(Pause)

I have an idea.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPACE - REMOTE ASTEROID

The Gunstar flies towards a remote asteroid within a vast asteroid belt.

A crater flowers open, revealing a secret passageway. The Gunstar enters, with the crater closing behind it.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

FRY:

Wow! A secret base!

GREG:

Not really. It was a silo installation constructed about 26 years ago, but was abandoned during the Mass Seizure of Nuclear Arms during the Tweenis Twelve conspiracy.

They fly into a large cavernous area containing another Gunstar.

GREG:

Lately I've been using it to test my new experimental Gunstar modification. Now I can finally 'field test' it.

They dock.

INT. SILO COMPLEX - DOCKING BAY

Fry and Greg walking down a long catwalk, to a launch bay.

GREG:

You're lucky, Fry. You'll be the first to see her. And the first to act as supporting gunner on board.

FRY:

Great.

They reach a pressure door and open it up.

INT. SILO COMPLEX - LAUNCH BAY

The modified Gunstar is now in launch position in the launch bay's tunnel (former missile-launch tunnel).

Fry and Greg enter the spacecraft.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Greg seated in the rear pilot seat, Fry in the forward gunner seat. They put on special Starfighter helmets, with apparent modifications.

FRY:

What's all this new stuff?

GREG:

I've added numerous modifications to the spacecraft. What you have on your helmet is a holographic sighting system. Put the eyepiece to your eye and press the switch on the side.

He does so.

GREG:

Now, move your head from left to right repeatedly.

He does so, moving his head side-to-side.

EXT. GUNSTAR - NOSE

A nose gun installation moves side-to-side.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

With the turn of your head you can aim the turret at your targets. Simply line up the holographic crosshairs with your selected target and squeeze the trigger in the gunner controls.

You can lock onto your target by pressing the yellow button next to missile fire. Don't worry, as a safeguard the missile fire is disabled until you hit the lock-on.

FRY:

Got it.

GREG:

The rest of the fire controls are in a basic layout. However, I have added a fuel-eject. Should you run out of decoy flares, you can eject both fuel tanks and detonate them, thereby acting as a heat decoy against heat-seeking weapons. I have also tripled the ammunition capacity in the forward weapon systems. The original Gunstar model could last about five minutes in a dogfight against two standard 10-fighter squadrons, without support. My upgraded variant is estimated to last about 35. If you have the opportunity to escape from radar long enough between dogfights, you can increase that estimate.

FRY:

Cool! At least we'll have support, right?

GREG:

Pardon?

FRY:

I mean, we won't be the only ones fighting up there, right? More Starfighters will come?

Greg preps the ship for launch.

FRY:

Were they *all* at the base when it was hit?

Continues prepping the ship.

FRY:

Greg, how many are left?

GREG:

Including yourself?

FRY:

Yeah.

GREG:

One!

FRY:

One?!

Greg punches the controls forward.

INT. SILO COMPLEX - LAUNCH BAY

The Gunstar blasts away from the holding platform, down the launch tunnel.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Fry yelling something inaudible under the roar of the engines.

EXT. SPACE - REMOTE ASTEROID

A crater explodes with a bright white light from the silo interior as the Gunstar blasts off into space.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

Done?

FRY:
(Mumbles)

Yes...

GREG:

Good. Now listen up. Without the Starfighter Base, Rylos is open to attack and invasion. We must not let that happen again, for I fear this time they will succeed... that is unless we do something about it. Are you ready, Fry?

FRY:

Yeah... I guess. Although I'm having second thoughts about the whole thing now...

GREG:

If you want to be back home, fine, I'll do everything myself. But I stress that when we reach the Frontier, we are at the point of no return. We go all the way.

A beeping sound.

FRY:

What's that?

GREG:

The Frontier...

Fry swallows hard.

EXT. SPACE - THE FRONTIER

Ahead is the great invisible barrier of the Frontier produced by a grid of green generators.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

Activate all weapon systems.

He does so.

GREG:

Scanning threats... nothing so far.

Fry looks around.

EXT. GUNSTAR - NOSE

The nose gun moving around.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

Wait... something over by that wreckage.

FRY:

Ko-Dan fighter?

GREG:

Something else. Could be a cargo vehicle.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The mysterious ship emerges from the wreckage of the Nimbus.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

It's a scout ship of some kind. It's not answering any hails, and it's running on a Ko-Dan frequency.

(beat)

Fry, I hope you got some music prepared. This is your first *live* target!

FRY:

Live?!

Fry prepares his Walkman.

FRY:

Alright, scumwad! It's 'Fry-time'!

He puts in a tape.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER [plus intercut to cockpit]

[music: Riggs - Radar Rider]

The ship pulls out, away from the wreckage.

GREG:

He's evading!

Fry tracks it with the holographic sights.

The ship enters a dense asteroid field in a desperate escape.

The Gunstar follows, dodging the chunks of rock and ice.

FRY:

I can't get a clear shot!

GREG:

Patience! Keep tracking him!

He does so, but struggles through the vigorous movements of each ship through the asteroids.

Fry chooses a moment and squeezes the trigger.

A laser blast misses and hits an asteroid instead.

The Gunstar dodges the flying debris of the blasted rock.

The ship spins upside-down and flies downward into an opening in one of the larger asteroids.

The Gunstar follows.

INT. ASTEROID TUNNEL [plus intercut to cockpit]

The Gunstar follows the ship through a dark and seemingly endless tunnel system within the asteroid.

Fry pops a few more rounds at the ship and misses.

FRY:

Dammitt!!

The ship quickly turns down a sharp corner.

The Gunstar passes it up.

FRY:

Greg! He went that way!

GREG:

I know, I know!

The ship reaches a dead end and faces the other direction, waiting for the Gunstar.

The Gunstar turns off where the ship went. There it is.

FRY:
(points)

There!

GREG:

Don't point, just shoot!

The ship begins firing at them.

GREG:

Shooooot!!!

Fry aims and squeezes the trigger.

Laser blasts destroy the ship in a bright explosion.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Fry takes the eyepiece away from his eye.

GREG:

Good work, Fry.

FRY:

Thanks... You know what, Greg?

GREG:

What, Fry?

FRY:

Maybe there is a Starfighter left.

Greg smiles at him.

INT. ASTEROID TUNNEL

The Gunstar swiftly turns around and exits the tunnel system, back into space.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

TECH:
(Computer-enhanced voice)

We have a break in the Frontier.

COMMANDER:

Launch invading forces.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - SPACE

Troop carriers and fighter craft launch from the Command Ship, through the opening in the forcefield.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Commander.

COMMANDER:

What is it?

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

One of the scout ships are missing. It was supposed to report in ten minutes ago, but it has dropped from radar.

COMMANDER:

Which one was it?

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Number Three assigned to Sector Nine.

COMMANDER:

Send a fighter squadron to check it out.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Yes sir.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - SPACE

A squadron of fifteen fighters launch from the ship, towards the belt of asteroids.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Gunstar exiting the belt of asteroids.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Fry looking around.

GREG:

Picking up multiple signatures just ahead. Might be a fighter squadron.

FRY:

I see them. Look.

They see the invasion force to their left.

GREG:

Those are Ko-Dan and Xurian invasion forces. We need to destroy them before they reach Rylos.

FRY:

I got some music prepped.

Fry reaches for a cassette.

GREG:

Wait, now picking up another group on the scope. Ko-Dan fighter squadron, heading this way.

(beat)

Brace for impact!!

The cockpit shakes violently from a laser blast.

Fry drops his tape on the floor.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER [plus intercut to cockpit]

The Gunstar blasts away from the fighters' line of fire and engages.

Fry struggles to aim and fires at each target. He hits one fighter, but misses the rest.

FRY:

There's too many!

GREG:

Concentrate! I can only do so much myself!

Greg manages to destroy one with a particle beam.

Laser blasts continue to pound the fighter.

Fry destroys another fighter.

Another wave pulls in, chasing the Gunstar through the area.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

Second-In-Command watching the battle on screen.

Xur enters.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Commander! fighters engaging hostile spacecraft in Sector Nine!

XUR:

What's this I'm hearing? We have an unwelcome visitor engaging *my* landing force?

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Negative, the landing force is undisturbed. We sent a wave of fighters to investigate the disappearance of one of your scout ships in Sector Nine.

XUR:

Well then it appears you have found the cause.

COMMANDER:

The fighters are dropping rapidly. Now five active craft remaining... correction, four.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

It appears the enemy spacecraft is a Gunstar.

XUR:

Gunstar? So, it appears one of the Starfighters have escaped. Without a doubt avenging those who have fallen during the attack. Send another wave of fighters. No, send three waves.

COMMANDER:

Yes, Xur.

The Commander nods the order to the Second-In-Command.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER [plus intercut to Gunstar cockpit]

Fry straining to track and destroy his targets. He destroys another.

3 left, and they tail the Gunstar.

GREG:

We have three behind us!

FRY:

I got an idea!

Fry hits a button.

The fuel tanks eject, hitting the lead fighter and destroying it in a bright fireball. The rest of them are destroyed in the explosion.

GREG:

Nice job. Although we just cut our fuel reserve in half!

FRY:

Oops.

GREG:

Picking up another wave of fighters coming off the right. Total... 30 fighters! That's almost the whole arsenal!

FRY:

Holy crap!

INT. UPSTAIRS LABORATORY - PLANET EXPRESS - DAY

Professor Farnsworth seated at his smelloscope, with the crew standing around him.

FARNSWORTH:
(Sniffs)

Oh dear! Fry's in trouble! We really ought to do something!

(Looks at his clothes)

But I am already in my pajamas...

He immediately falls asleep, snoring.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER [plus intercut to Gunstar cockpit]

The Ko-Dan fighters are closing in.

GREG:

Alright, don't panic, there's a quick way out of this. Do you see the striped panel on the left of the floor board?

He looks.

FRY

Yeah.

GREG:

That's "Death Blossum", another modification of mine. What I want you to do is when we fly into the direct center of the fighter formation, open the panel and punch the red button.

He opens the panel and sees the red button.

FRY:

Okay, but what if they scramble?

GREG:

Then you miss one or two fighters. You can handle a final mop-up dogfight, can't you?

FRY:

I guess so...

GREG:

Here they come. Let's go!!

The Gunstar takes off, blowing right through the massive wave of fighters, right into the center of the squadrons' formation.

GREG:

We're here! Do it now!!

Fry punches the button.

Large panels along the fuselage open up, revealing rows and rows of weapons and directional thrusters.

The Gunstar begins to spin, as does Fry's seat.

GREG:

You might want to hang on to something.

FRY:

Like whaaaaaaaoooooooaaaa!!!!!!

The Gunstar spins, tilts, flips... almost convulses in a crazy spectacle, as does Fry's seat.

Lasers, rockets, missiles, particle beams, machine guns, rocks, knives, sharp sticks... all launching from the spacecraft, hitting and destroying the multiple surrounding fighters in an alarmingly rapid rate.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

Everyone watching the fight on the heads-up display.

The fighters drop from radar unusually fast.

25... 18... 12...

XUR:

What the devil?!

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

More fighters being slaughtered.

None are left, and the Gunstar is now empty.

They execute a final revolution, then come to a halt.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Fry's seat moves back into position. He looks stunned.

GREG:

Amazing. It worked!

Fry then ducks toward the floor and vomits OFF SCREEN.

Greg checking instrumentation.

GREG:

Blast. It appears Death Blossum drained the power. Engines are offline, life-support offline, tracking software offline, cup-holder heating/cooling unit offline...

A low and steady rumble is heard.

FRY:

What's that sound?

A shadow passes over them.

They look up...

FRY:

It's the Command Ship!

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

Everyone watching the display. Nothing.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Commander, all fighters are down and the Gunstar has disappeared from radar.

COMMANDER:

He must be out there somewhere. Prepare the reserve forces.

XUR:

Now wait just a minute. No ship of that size has a cloaking device, nor can it hide from detection through anything acting as an obstruction, such as the asteroids. Therefore we can safely assume it has been destroyed in the fight, and we can continue the invasion... on schedule.

COMMANDER:

Forgive me for questioning your authority, Xur, but it is possible it has simply powered-down to avoid electronic detection.

XUR:
(Pause)

Yes, of course. That is a possibility.

How many reserve ships do you have left?

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Ten fighter-bomber craft, sir.

XUR:

Such a dearly pathetic Starforce you have at your disposal. If I had my own star fleet with me we could have taken Rylos much sooner!

COMMANDER:

Which brings your lone presence here to question. Why don't you have your starfleet here, aiding in our efforts in this invasion?

XUR:
(Pause)

Eh... how dare you question my presence here without my mighty starfleet at your disposal?! Although come to think of it, it does make little sense. But... how daaaaare you anyway?!

The Second-In-Command at a computer console.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Commander, I've just reviewed the latest files regarding Xur's imperial status. It appears he is wanted in the unlawful invasion of two neutral systems in the Vega Sector.

XUR:

But... it's a lie!

COMMANDER:

So. You are merely using us for your personal enjoyment in taking over neutral territory in order to spread your empire.

XUR:

I'm the Emperor! I can do as I please!

COMMANDER:

You are nothing! You have violated intergalactic law and so you think you can continue your bloodshed through our mighty Ko-Dan military. For this you will pay in kind with your life.

(To Guards)

Guards! Seize him!!

The two guards grab him and drag him out the door.

XUR:

No! I'm your *new* Emperor! I was assigned by *your* government! It is *YOU* all who will pay with your liiiiives!!!

The door shuts.

COMMANDER:

Find that Gunstar. Then try to hail it.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

Yes sir.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Gunstar is drifting in space, in the Command Ship's flight path.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

Greg rips a panel from the console and reaches for wires.

Fry watching the incoming ship.

FRY:

Greg...

GREG:

I know!

Fry sees the turret passing over them.

FRY:

There's the turret!

Fry reaches for the gunner controls. Except...

FRY:

Greg, my weapons are gone!

GREG:

I know, I know! Death Blossum drained all the power! I'm trying to re-route these cables to the auxiliary systems.

FRY:

You better hurry, or we'll be a star on a windshield!

Greg gives him a look.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - HULL

The Gunstar is a speck, completely dwarfed by the massive Command Ship.

They drift closer, hitting a small piece on the ship.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

The cockpit shakes from the impact.

FRY:

Greg!

Greg's mess of wires spark.

Lights flash to life. Electronic whine.

GREG:

We're back in business, my friend.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

The Gunstar appears on the display.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

There! I found it. It's just underneath us.

COMMANDER:

Hail them!

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

The Gunstar blasts away to safety, then circles around and blasts at the Command Ship's hull.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

TECH:
(Computer-enhanced voice)

They're attacking us, Commander. Outer hull strength is down 85 percent.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

They're jamming my signal! I can't contact them!

COMMANDER:

Then we must defend ourselves. Order the invasion forces back and launch the reserve forces. Send everything we have!

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The invasion forces come to a halt then turn around, heading back to the Command Ship.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

COMMANDER:

Full power to the turret!

The Second-In-Command inserts a coin into a slot on his console.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - HULL [plus intercut to Gunstar cockpit]

The turret fires high-powered lasers and meteors.

The Ko-Dan fighter-bombers swarm around the lone Gunstar.

GREG:

Fry, take out those fighter-bombers! I'm going for the turret.

Fry destroys two of the craft as Greg prepares his bombing-run to the turret.

They speed up across the hull of the ship, using the surface structures for cover.

GREG:

Prepare the torpedoes.

Fry flips appropriate switches.

FRY:

Locked and loaded!

The Ko-Dan fighter-bombers move in on the Gunstar and chase them over the Command Ship's hull, blasting high-power particle beams at them.

FRY:

Greg, we got the whole squadron on our ass!

GREG:

20 kilometers and closing! Keep your sights on that turret!

They are hit by the incoming rounds, yet FRy and Greg keep their concentration.

The invasion ships accompany the fighter-bombers and begin attacking the Gunstar.

A missile hits one of the engines.

Red lights in the cockpit light up and flash.

GREG:

Blast! We lost an engine!

FRY:

We can't take any more hits!

GREG:

We're almost there! It'll be in range in a few more seconds!

FRY:

We can't do it! We have to pull out!

GREG:

Stay on target!

More rounds impacting the ship. Sparks fly.

The wing on one of the fighter-bombers explode, causing it to spin and hit another one next to it.

GREG:
(surprised)

What the... ?

INT. PLANET EXPRESS SHIP - BRIDGE

Leela at the helm, with a headset communicator.

LEELA:

Yahooo!!!!!!

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Planet Express Ship blasting towards the screen.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

FRY:

Leela!!

LEELA:
(O.C., radio)

Thought you could use some help.

GREG:

Yes, give us some covering fire!

LEELA:
(O.C., radio)

I'm on it!

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - HULL

Leela engages the swarm of Ko-Dan fighters in an intense dogfight.

The Gunstar emerges from cover along the hull and reaches the turret.

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

We're in range! Fire!!

Fry punches a button and Greg pulls up.

EXT. COMMAND SHIP - HULL

The Gunstar pulls up as it launches two torpedoes at the turret.

It's a hit!

INT. GUNSTAR - COCKPIT

GREG:

Target down! Target down! Let's get out of here!

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

The entire bridge shakes, causing sparks to fly.

The Techs' consoles explode.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

The turret is offline! Navigation is out! Secondary weapon systems are out!

COMMAND:

Activate auxiliary systems!

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Gunstar and Planet Express Ship blasting away from the Command Ship, as it heads towards the moon of Rylos.

INT. BRIDGE - KO-DAN COMMAND SHIP

A fire breaks out among most of the Techs' consoles.

SECOND-IN-COMMAND:

The engines are failing... we're stuck in the moon's gravitational pull! Auxiliary systems are failing!

(pause)

And I'm out of quarters! What do we do?!

The Commander looks up at him, his eyepiece swinging onto his eye.

COMMANDER:

We die.

EXT. SPACE - FRONTIER

The Command Ship drifts towards the moon, crashing onto the surface in a massive explosion.

[music: The Hero's March]

The Gunstar and PE Ship head for Rylos.

FRY:
(O.C.)

YEESSSSS!!!!!!!!!

FADE TO:

EXT. LANDING FIELD - RYLOS - NIGHT

The mighty Gunstar and Planet Expres Ship parked neatly on the launch field, completely surrounded by Rylon civilians and military personnel, cheering and shouting.

Fry, Greg, and Leela are standing at attention in front of their spacecraft.

The crowd quiets down.

A high-ranking official awards them with medals for their victory against the Ko-Dan.

Once he finishes, and shakes each of their hands, followed by the Starfighter salute, the crowd roars with applause.

GREG:
(To Fry)

Look at them all. They love you.

FRY:
(Smiles)

Yeah.

Leela walks up to him.

LEELA:

Not as much as I do.

She gives him a big hug.

FRY:

Thanks for helping out.

Among the crowd is the crazy group of Starfighter cadets... Varrow, Lymbo, Rrrmmm, Dilbert, and IG-88.

VARROW:

Yay Fry!

LYMBO:

We knew you could do it!

Dilbert turns to someone OFF CAMERA.

DILBERT:

Where's my medal? I'm Dilbert! Where's my bag of rinds?!

PAN TO SEE... Mister Dentyne, with a bandage on his head and a cast. He lets out a depressing sigh.

Fry and Greg smile at them, happy to see them again.

LEELA:

So Fry, when we get home, you want to play some more on the Starfighter arcade with me?

FRY:

Nah, I got something better in mind.

She smiles at him.

The three heroes step closer to the crowd, give the Starfighter salute, then shout the famous words of the Starfighter League:

FRY/LEELA/GREG:

Victory or Death!!!

The crowd cheers wildly at them, praising the new heroes of Rylos and the Frontier.

Their victory will be remembered for generations to come.

THE END

[CREDIT MUSIC: Mr. Big - Strike Like Lighting]

Buddies