A/N: This is my first finished attempt at a Futurama prose story (hence the shorter length). It's not meant to lift any spirits, and it definitely wasn't written to be
funny. This is my idea of what the end of the Series Finale might look like. I wrote it over a year ago, but for some unexplainable reasons, I was unable to post it
here until now. I tried not to make it too corny and full of fluff; nevertheless, you've been warned.
This story is based on spoilers released for the episode Idle Hands are the Devil's Playthings... *does a double-take towards the CGEF episode guide* ...or The
Devil's Hands Are Idol Playthings... I don't know. In either case, it's the Series Finale. If you're not the type to be spoiled, I suggest you not read this until you've
seen that episode.
ROLL THE CREDITS
Far behind the velvet curtains, the lights were growing dim. Only a few small, hanging bulbs illuminated the various figures as they scurried to find their places
on the stage. A few nerve-wrecked musicians remained backstage, facing a gritty mirror that had been worn and cracked by decades of dust (and, perhaps, the
notes of Opera singers). A stage manager rushed by angrily, barking that they had five minutes left until the curtain rose.
One musician remained at the mirror, despite the warnings. He scowled as he tried to forcefully flatten his rowdy hair, only to have it flair up again. "Damn
you..." he growled at the uncooperative strands. They failed to give in, though, so he finally gave up.
He felt the sudden urge to grasp his Holophonor, and he did so without any further prompting. He sighed as his hands twirled the instrument nervously, a
movement he had no control over.
"Your replacements are much more special than you realize. You can do great things with these hands."
"But why me?"
"Because you're worthy, my boy. Worthy of my assistance."
Why should I listen to you? Aren't you supposed to be the Prince of Evil or something?"
"Only among robots, Philip."
Fry gently fingered the nearly undetectable bump in his palm, having gained temporary control of his fingers. He'd foolishly assumed it was his career chip, until
he'd discovered that both hands were occupied. He had learned a short time ago that an old acquaintance had placed them in there purposely, as a means of
controlling his hands. The Robot Devil seemed very apologetic, though, when he discovered that Fry knew. In exchange for forcing this experiment on the P.E.
delivery boy, the Devil was willing to help him complete any one task of his own desire.
"You'll really help me do this?"
"Of course. It's the least I can do."
"But... what about the hall? The audience? Where do I get all that?
"Leave it to me, Philip. Everything will be taken care of."
Fry fingered the Holophonor again as the stage manager snapped at him. He could feel the control over his own two hands fading as the Devil, probably hidden
deep in his New New Jersey lair, took over. It was one of the most bizarre sensations he'd felt, but by now, he was used to watching his numb hands perform
without his aid. Tonight, he was hoping they'd work wonders.
Tonight, Leela was watching.
* * *
Radio City Mutant Hall wasn't anything like the name implied. The hall was an architectural masterpiece with walls of blended gold and bronze set in a pleasant
swirling pattern, and dark velvet curtains draping around the entrances, hanging below the lights, and, of course, concealing the stage. A large balcony hung over
the sloping theater floor, while two smaller ones were positioned on either side of the hall.
Leela was in the rightmost balcony, dressed in a shimmering red evening gown that only a woman with a figure like hers could have gotten away with. Her hair
was done up in an elegant knot at the back of her head, and her golden dangling earrings brushed against her cheek as she turned her head sharply to glare at the
empty seat next to her.
Where the hell was he?
She'd long been aware of her experience in getting dumped, but she had always figured that Fry was too nice to pull such a trick. Evidently, she had reasoned
"Goddamn that little bastard!" she hissed under her breath as the lights dimmed. She could have cried, but crying was a sign of weakness, and she was stronger
than that. So she engulfed herself with rage instead.
Unfortunately, in that precise moment, Bender chose to waltz into the balcony and steal Fry's seat. Leela tried to ignore him; chewing off a robot's head during
any sort of concert had never been well-accepted, even in New New York. After a few minutes of silence, Leela spoke.
"Fry's sitting there."
"I don't see him anywhere, do you?" Bender quipped apathetically. Leela growled. "Look, he gave me the seat!" he added cautiously.
"So... he's not coming then."
"I wouldn't say that. He's got something cooked up for you. I'm, um, just not at liberty to say what."
"Why not?" the cycloptic mutant snarled, her voice dangerously low.
"I just can't!" Bender said hurriedly, noting Leela's glare. "He told me, and then he paid me a hundred bucks to erase it!"
As Leela fell back into her chair, arms crossed in fury, Bender stretched his arm far into the crowd below and snatched up Kif and Amy's wallets.
The lights dimmed even further, until only the tiny white lights lining the theater's walkways and balcony railings were left illuminated. An announcer's voice
filled the room through the speakers hidden in the walls, welcoming the audience and rattling off a list of threats as a means of keeping people from smoking
during the show, or eating a fellow audience member. Leela ignored the warnings as she continued to ponder.
Why had he even bothered to get tickets? They must have been expensive (these seats were far beyond decent). The show itself was almost impossible to get
into. And yet last week, Fry had approached her with two tickets to see Raynand Cinlëz, one of the universe's few talented Holophonor players. Leela had
thought it was an incredibly sweet gesture, even by her standards, and had accepted the invitation. Fry had been elated.
So where was he now?
The announcer must have stopped rambling at some point, because the entire theater was now silent. The curtain rose to reveal nothing more than that the
orchestra pit was open and in use (not a surprising sight, since most Holophonor players rarely played solo). The audience began to clap lightly, but the volume
increased when Cinlëz strolled towards center stage, his instrument in hand. He turned towards the assembly and bowed. They clapped all the harder.
"Good evening, ladies, gentlemen, and all the other anomalous genders that I was previously unaware of. Tonight, I have a special treat for you all.
"Last week, someone found his way to my hotel room and begged me to let him play in the show. 'Just one song, that's all I need!'" Cinlëz began to pace the
stage, and even from her seat, Leela could see the bemused smile growing on his face. "Mind you, I get offers like this on an hourly basis from all sorts of fans,
but he seemed so determined. So, I sat him down and told him to show me his stuff. And he played." Here, Cinlëz stopped for a moment. "My God, could he
play." he added thoughtfully.
"He certainly had the talent, and I'd hate to be the one to dash his dreams, so I invited him to the show tonight, so he could show off his ability. May I present to
you, my opening act..."
Cinlëz's opening act wandered onto the stage. Leela could have died right then and there.
It was Fry. With his Holophonor.
"Bender!" she hissed as the room filled with applause. "What the hell is he doing!?"
"Trying to catch your attention. Is it working?"
"Yes!" Leela snapped. She stared at her co-worker as he waved a few times to the audience. He seemed different; it wasn't just the fancy tux, or the freshly
polished instrument in his hand. He actually looked... well, not scared. Far from it. He was confident, and not in that hot-headed way, either. He seemed to know
exactly what he was doing.
Cinlëz shuffled to the side of the stage as Fry took his place in the center. Before he began, he turned towards Leela and smiled proudly. Leela wasn't sure how
she was supposed to react, so she just smiled back.
And so it began.
* * *
Deep in the hellish heart of New New Jersey, the Robot Devil was well hidden from the world. In front of him was a large monitor, projecting an image of the
very stage on which Fry was performing. Hoovering inches above a small tabletop close by was a pair of robotic hands, moving melodically as they played a
fictional instrument in midair. In the image, Fry's own hands seemed to mimic the robotic ones. The Devil laughed as he fingered a file on the desk in front of
him: Hellish Plan # 10570.
It had been much too easy for him. Years ago, when Fry had lost his hands to a hungry T-Rex (*), the idiot had bought himself a new pair. The purchased hands
had been specially rigged with the controlling chips by the Devil himself. His original intent was to have Fry kill off that despicable bending unit while he was
under his control, but time had allowed a new idea to form. After Fry's performance (and during Cinlëz's concert), he would force the boy to barricade the entire
theater. Then, the Devil would arrive to greet his new hostages, before introducing them to his home-bred methods of torture.
"Oh, I can't take the tension! An entire building of humans at my disposal! It's like being locked in my own funhouse!" he howled happily. "There's just nothing
like the sound of a human scream. Robots can't even come close to making that sort of overwhelming uproar."
Fry was more than halfway through his song; the sort of fluffy romantic crap that he'd always wanted to play. The bolts in the Devil's jaw creaked as he grinned
evilly at the screen.
"Its all thanks to you, Philip. All thanks to you..."
Something was wrong. When the exclamation flew from his mouth, it didn't echo throughout the cavern as his other words had. These words sounded empty.
He slowly glanced towards the ceiling. The room seemed brighter than it had been before. There wasn't more light, but there were less shadows. Even his circuits
seemed to freeze up. The Robot Devil whipped around to face this new threat.
He saw nothing. It was the last thing he ever laid eyes on.
* * *
Fry had kept his eyes closed throughout the entire performance. He was afraid to look at Leela, afraid of what her reaction might be. Only when the final note
came to rest, when he felt the Devil's control over him depart, did relief run through him. Whether or not she accepted him after this, he had tried his best. That
was all that mattered when he finally opened his eyes.
A deafening roar seemed to surround him, and he watched, stunned, as the entire theater rose from their seats, praising him enthusiastically. His eyes scanned the
rows rapidly as he felt a wave of shock. This was for him?
His gaze shot towards the balcony, for he was unable to anticipate her reaction any longer. She stood there among the rest, gripping the balcony tightly as she
stared at him, humbled. Their eyes met, and a small smile crept across her face. "She liked it..." he whispered to himself, awed.
The moment was fleeting. Muttering overthrew the applause as the lights brightened and dimmed at an alarming rate. Moments later, they went out altogether,
and the theater was thrown into complete darkness.
A few frightened screams bounced off the walls. Fry thought he heard Cinlëz tell everyone to remain calm before asking where the hell the tech crew was.
Someone brushed against his back, and Fry whirled around. There were footsteps everywhere; too many people were trying to escape from the dark. Seconds
from now, they would wish that the dark had remained.
A brilliant flash of white engulfed the crowd. Fry shielded his face, but the light was too strong. His eyes burned furiously as they tried to adjust to the scene.
More horrific screams could be heard, and he was desperate to see why.
Finally, his vision returned. The morbid sight before him seemed surreal: all the theater walls had disappeared, and so had a good chunk of the audience. At first,
he thought the walls had collapsed; but if the walls had collapsed, why couldn't he see the rubble? Or the city beyond?
A great whiteness surrounded him and the remaining patrons. Whiteness. It was the only word that could describe it. It didn't give off light; it had merely
reduced the darkness when it had removed the walls. As he watched the edges of this phenomenon blur the fine line between reality and oblivion, he realized that
the room was shrinking. The Whiteness was creeping it's way across the floor, erasing the various chairs and lights (and the occasional person) that lay in its path
as though it was oblivious to the objects.
Oblivious. "Oh my God... Leela!" He jerked his head towards her balcony. Leela was being crowded into the railing by Bender and a few other patrons as the
Whiteness engulfed the surrounding walls. The pallid background that she'd been forced into made her look as though she was floating.
Fry stumbled off the stage and tried to sprint towards her, but the frightened crowd kept pushing him back. The screams were everywhere now; frightened cries
filled the air. Any witness to the scene would have agreed that, truly, all hell had broken loose. It took all of Fry's effort to ignore the bedlam and keep his focus
on Leela. The Whiteness was pushing towards her, and with her eye full of fright, she climbed onto the railing itself.
His angel fell. She'd tried to jump away from it, but something had gone horribly wrong. She plummeted into the anchored chairs below, and neglected to rise
Fry screamed her name vainly as he shoved his way through the wave of chaos. He never noticed Bender lower himself from the balcony and flee towards the
stage without a scratch (most other people, however, observed a fleeing robot screaming "Run Away!!!" at the top of his voice box). Finally, he found enough
space to scramble over the split chairs and other debris. He sank beside her and grasped her shoulders. "Leela? Oh God," he choked. "Jesus, Leela, wake up.
Please!" He shook her gently. She grimaced.
The tears that he'd been furiously blinking back finally spilled forth. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. Leela gave a painful whimper. "It's
okay," he whispered. "We'll get out of here and..." He glanced up and saw that the Whiteness was inching its way across the few chairs that separated it from
them. Without hesitation, Fry lifted Leela into his arms and hurried towards the stage. He felt her grasp his jacket tightly, only to loose consciousness and slip
away from him. The thickness of the crowd had decreased dramatically; most had already reached backstage, if they hadn't already been liquidated. Even as he
neared the stage, Fry knew it was a hopeless cause. He could already see hints of the Whiteness behind the backdrop. With a heavy heart, he saw that they were
"Leela... I don't know what to do." Fry could hear the helplessness in his own voice, the pleading that wanted Leela to open her eye and walk him through the
steps that would save them both. Leela never answered, though, for she was far too lost in her comatose state to respond. He searched the stage for any escape,
even a temporary one. His eyes fell on the orchestra pit.
It wouldn't save them, but they'd escape most of the turmoil. He managed to hoist both himself and Leela onto the stage, before he peered over the edge of a
gaping 4' x 8' hole below. A few frightened faces peered back up at him. He glanced back at Leela and gave a shuttered sigh, before carefully sliding them both
into the pit.
A few people glared at him as he curled up between a rusty drum set and a music stand, as though he'd crossed into their sacred terrain. Fry tried his best to
ignore them, focusing on Leela. He brushed a few loose strands away and stared at her precious face. A desperate thought awoke then, and Fry realized that this
was the last time he'd ever touch her; that in a few moments, they would both be dead.
He started shaking, and he could feel the tears stream down his face as he held Leela tightly against him. "I'm sorry," he murmured in a small voice. "I'm sorry I
brought you here. I'm sorry I had to bring you here at all... that I was never what you wanted. That I was such a slob... such a pest.... such a jerk..."
He was bawling now, so sure that everyone else in the room was staring at him, but he didn't care. So many regrets had built up in him so abruptly, the guilt was
"I tried to give you everything you ever wanted... and I failed. You deserved so much better than that. Your life is in my hands, and I can't save it.
"I've failed. I'm so sorry-" he broke off and buried his sobs in her hair. She never stirred through his little monologue. If only she had; then he might have
One of the few gathered in that little room howled loudly, and a few cried out in shock, but Fry didn't look up. He knew what was happening. All he wanted was
for it to pass quickly.
As the wails multiplied, the room grew colder. It had gone unnoticed in the large theater, but the tiny room forced this observation at the group. It was as
though the Whiteness was evicting the heat from the atmosphere. Fry clutched Leela's still figure tightly; he could feel her shattered shoulder dig deep into his
chest. He considered his final comment, whether he should say those three little words one last time. But something told him that after all these years of
proclaiming them proudly, she knew well how he felt. So he gently kissed her forehead and managed his last goodbye with a suppressed sob.
And then the Whiteness found him.
The pain was beyond excruciating. His hair stood up on end as the heat came rushing back. The nerve in his body were being ripped apart in an inferno of agony.
It was as if every part of him was dissolving, as though a thousand scalding daggers were piercing right through him. He was screaming at a volume his voice had
never before achieved, but his brain failed to register this. His mind was fading rapidly as Death overpowered him, and the only thought that brought him any
relief was that Leela wasn't screaming alongside him.
* * *
The so-called Whiteness went by unnoticed by the fans. FOX had been beyond cautious in their approach of how to cancel the show. Months prior, advertising
had been tripled, and the time-slot was less tampered with. They even went as far as to sell the syndication rights to Cartoon Network. After all, they wanted to
keep the fans at bay...
Few watching the show understood the sincere basis for these actions. Publication and syndication aside, the show was still destroyed. They'd accomplished the
task of permitting thousands of fans to believe that the show had been renewed, that new episodes were in the making. This was the foolish thinking that FOX
wanted, because it was misleading. Why should they allow the continuation of a show who's creator had given them so many headaches? The Simpsons only
existed as a cash cow. Futurama was expandable, and that's all there was to it.
No one watching Futurama that night could have been any wiser. Right after Fry's final performance, the show ended for good. As the world came crashing
down upon him, FOX hid it by rolling the credits.
Cheers to Cartoon Network! At least with the syndication rights intact (not to mention the recently won Emmy), the show is partially alive.
* Fry lost his hands in an actual episode: I Dated a Robot. He bought a set of new hands to replace his old ones.