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Glorious 25th, and a ficlet "Oddly Familiar Somehow" - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Glorious 25th, and a ficlet "Oddly Familiar Somehow"
It’s the Glorious 25th of May, a special day for Terry Pratchett fans, and last year I did a special story to mark the occasion. How Do They Rise Up. This year, however, I’m working and I haven’t had time to do anything similar.

So here is something completely different. A continuation of my (as yet untitled) BtVS/Futurama crossover series. From its beginnings as a double drabble, starring Xander and some wildebeest, it has grown to span a thousand years – and now a thousand-word ficlet. In the footsteps of from Xander of the River, Again Xander, If A Picture Paints A Thousand Herds, and Kinda Like Buck Rogers, I now present…

Oddly Familiar Somehow

“This is it. My home. Well, really it’s Bender’s apartment, I just live in the closet,” Fry explained, leading Xander into the room. “I guess you can share for a while until you find somewhere else. Bender won’t mind. He’ll just steal your change.”

“Share the closet?” Xander looked around the room, saw a small door, opened it and discovered a tiny space barely big enough for two people even standing. “I don’t think that’s gonna work. I used to live in a basement, and I even shared it with someone for a while, but it was way bigger than this.”

“No, that’s Bender’s room,” Fry said. He waved his hand in a gesture encompassing the large room in which they stood. “This is the closet. Robots do things differently.”

Xander’s eyes widened. “I’ll say. He really lives in there?”

“Apart from when he’s in here with me,” Fry said, “which is a lot of the time, come to think of it, but that’s where he sleeps.”

“He sleeps? Uh, why am I surprised at that when I’ve seen him drinking and smoking cigars? Forget it.” Xander examined his surroundings more closely. He saw a familiar device positioned in the centre of the room and moved closer to look at it. “Hey, you got a TV just like the ones I’m used to. This is really the year three thousand and four? You’re not just kidding me?”

“TV is perfect,” Fry said. “Why change what doesn’t need changing?” He slumped down onto the couch, opened a can of Slurm, and picked up the remote. “Here’s a little tip. Don’t interrupt Bender if he’s watching ‘All My Circuits’. It’s his favorite show and he can get really cranky if he misses any of it. Well, even crankier than usual.”

Xander turned away from the TV and wandered to the window. He looked out over New New York and sighed. “I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to this world. Robots, aliens, spaceships, it’s all like living in a comic book.”

“Tell me about it,” said Fry. “Hey, this world is pretty cool. And the Planet Express crew are a great bunch of guys. Bender’s kinda obnoxious, and violent, and he steals, and he drinks and smokes all the time, but he’s a good friend.”

“I knew a guy called Spike who was like that,” Xander said. “Well, except for the good friend bit. Although, some of the time he was okay. And he did save the world.”

“Yeah, I’ve done that a few times,” Fry said. He leaned back further on the couch. “Leela’s just wonderful,” he went on. “She’s a really good spaceship captain, and she’s a lot of fun, and she’s clever, and real pretty once you get used to her just having the one eye.” Fry looked up, met Xander’s single eye, and his eyes narrowed. “Of course she’s even more violent than Bender, and she can beat up almost anyone, and she’s a mutant.”

“She can beat up anyone?” Xander’s eyebrows twitched upward. “Is she a Slayer?”

“Slayer?” Fry frowned. “That metal band from back in our time? No, she does kick-boxing. Uh, you did hear the bit about her being a mutant, right?”

“They always did say that I was a demon magnet,” Xander mused. He shook his head. “No more. Strictly humans for the Xan-man from now on.”

Fry breathed in deeply and his lips curled up into a smile. “That’s what I like to hear. Hey, you gonna watch TV?”

“I guess,” Xander said. “Hey, what happened to all those wildebeest that were charging around the place where I woke up?” He joined Fry on the couch.

Fry handed Xander a can of Slurm. “The Professor returned them to the wild,” he said.

“He flew them out to Africa?” Xander looked at the Slurm, shook his head, and popped the ring-pull.

“No, he just opened the doors and shooed them out,” Fry said. “They can run wild in New New York. New Gnu York. Heh, heh. Get it?”

Xander rolled his eye. “Oh, yeah, I get it.” He took a tentative sip at the Slurm.

Fry pressed the TV remote button and the screen sprang to life. “Not much on at the moment,” he said. “We might as well watch the News. Morbo and Linda are broadcasting from New New York this week. They’re interviewing Sylvester Stallone’s head about ‘Rocky 264’.”

“Morbo? Linda? Sylvester Stallone’s head?” Xander’s eye opened very wide. He took another, longer, drink from the Slurm can.

“A few people from round about our time are still around as heads in jars,” Fry explained. “Like Earth President Richard Nixon. And Beck.”

“Now I know you’re kidding me,” Xander said.

“No, it’s all true,” Fry told him. “Watch the TV. You’ll find out.”

Xander stared at the screen. A massive green alien with a swollen head was growling out a welcome to viewers. Beside him an attractive blonde woman smiled at what was indisputably Sylvester Stallone’s head, or the likeness thereof, preserved in a jar of liquid that stood upon a shelf.

“Tonight, puny humans,” Morbo bellowed, “we look at another product of your inferior movie industry. Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Rocky 264’.”

“Thank you, Morbo,” Linda took over. “I’ll be speaking to Sly himself about the…”

The news anchor broke off in the middle of her sentence, screamed, leaped to her feet and fled out of camera shot. The camera panned round to show a herd of wildebeest stampeding into the studio. The animals suddenly realized that they were heading towards a solid wooden table and a terrifying green creature of obviously carnivorous stock. They tried to come to a stop but they were on a polished floor and their hooves merely skidded. The wildebeest slid, decelerating slowly, towards the cameras and the presenters’ table. Stallone’s head was knocked from its perch and rolled across the floor.

Morbo rose to his feet. “We interrupt this feature,” he announced, “for some braking gnus.”

Next in series: Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down

Tags: ,
Current Location: The Robot Arms Apartments
Current Music: Billy Bragg, "New England"

16 comments or speak 2 me
From: beer_good_foamy Date: May 25th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Once upon a time at work
I surfed LJ so I could shirk
Looking for some fic to pull me through
When at last the pun came, I gnu that it was you
I don't want to change the world, I'm not looking for a gnu England...

A Billy Bragg rewrite to celebrate another gnu joke. Well done, sir.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 25th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them, but they were only satellites
It's wrong to wish on space hardware
The Planet Express ship's still out there...

Thank you!
From: beer_good_foamy Date: May 25th, 2007 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, I know that makes it sound like I read these only for the last three words. Which would be unfair. I've never been more than a casual viewer of Futurama, but both the characters and the whole setting feel spot on, and above all you've got great timing in the way you deliver the jokes; there's not a long, obvious build-up to the jokes, but rather that sense of a well-lived-in comedy where everything comes natural and punchlines are a normal part of life.

I really need to work on my Angel/Simpsons crossover...
woman_of_ From: woman_of_ Date: May 25th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another wonderful gnu breaking story!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 26th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank ewe!
liz_marcs From: liz_marcs Date: May 25th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wheeeeee! You're killing me over here. And Morbo! Morbo is for the win!

It appears I can do comments, but posting in other people's LJ. Dealing with my own LJ still appears to be out. :-(

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 1st, 2007 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

And thanks for all your hard work re Strikeout 2007.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: May 25th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
This gnu one is just oxing for a sequel.
booster17 From: booster17 Date: May 25th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 1st, 2007 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
There will be a sequel if you ox me nicely.
bogwitch From: bogwitch Date: May 25th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your punning talent isn't gnus to me.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 1st, 2007 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
There's nothing gnu under the sun.
clancy_s From: clancy_s Date: May 25th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ow! Ow! Ow!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 1st, 2007 10:47 am (UTC) (Link)
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: May 26th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember that story from last year - very moving. Loved it.

With this one, I kept wondering how you'd get a wildebeest pun in there. I don't know whether to be amazed or appalled - well done! (And I find myself wondering if Xander is now a cartoon or still live action.)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: June 1st, 2007 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Thank you! I always feel that someone in a cartoon wouldn't know that they're in a cartoon. To an observer outside the universe Xander would be a cartoon but to himself he, and the others, are live action.
16 comments or speak 2 me