^ there's a help menu somewhere that explains all the little quirks of the game. Or you can just cheat by using the debug menu
Well, since Sam's really busy and Leo's gone incommunicado, I've decided to just go ahead and post the first section of my fic. If/when Sam gets a chance to look over it I'll repost the section. The story doesnt have a name yet, and probably wont for a long time since I'm horrible with coming up with titles. Enjoy!
“Good news everyone!”
It always amazed Leela how these three simple words could drive such a stake of pure unremitting terror through her heart. Over the years she had faced more than her fair share of alien monsters, rampaging killbots, and bloody space battles, but as yet nothing had ever come close to having the effect of that horrific phrase.
The entire PE crew, sans Amy and Zoidberg, were sitting around the conference table waiting for the morning briefing when Farnsworth came shuffling in. Hermes was busy alphabetizing a stack of anonymous forms. He finished his task as Leela watched, and then proceeded to shuffle the stack and start over. A clang followed by a string of barely audible Cantonese curses drifted over from the direction of the Planet Express Ship.
At the sound of Farnsworth’s words Fry and Bender threw each other a nervous glance. Leela tried to assure herself that, no matter where the professor was about to send them, it couldn’t possibly be worse than Cannibalon, and she’d managed to survive that fiasco relatively unscathed; physically anyway.
“Today you will be delivering a crate of drink parasols to Staruba 6, the Paradise Planet.”
“Alright!” Fry gave his robot friend a high-five “Did you hear that Leela?”, he asked excitedly, “We’re going to The Paradise Planet! We’ll live to see another day!”
Leela just sat with her arms crossed. Long experience told her that if it seemed too good to be true, it probably was.
“Of course, ever since the Necrons took over last February, it’s more like the Death and Despair planet, but that’s not important. Anyway, off you go!”
Fry’s paused in mid celebration. “Wait, wha?”, he stammered. Farnsworth just shooed him in the direction of the waiting rocket ship. Leela waited for her colleagues to disperse and then stood up. As she reluctantly began to follow Fry and Bender to the ship, a wrinkly old hand descended upon her shoulder.
“Where are you going?”, asked Farnsworth.
“Uhh, to the ship?”
“There’s no time for that. You have to get going if you want to get there in time.”
Leela gave the old man a funny look. “But it’s a shipment of little umbrellas. It’s not like it really matters when we get them there.”
“No you ninny. Not the delivery. The flight exam.”
Now it was Leela’s turn to stammer confusedly “Wait, Wha?”
“The flight exam you one-eyed dope! I just told you about it five minutes ago! Every space captain has to take a test at the DMV each year to renew his or her license, doy!”
Leela was incredulous. “Now hold on professor. First of all, you weren’t even in the same room with me five minutes ago. You were in the lounge talking to a lamp. Get yourself new glasses. Second of all, if space captains are supposed to take a license renewal test every year, why have I never heard of it before?”
Hermes looked up from his stack of forms. “I think I can answer dat”, he said. “Planet Express has to pay the DMV a substantial fee every time they administer the test and we can’t afford it”
“But then why are you making me do it now?”, the cyclops asked, quickly adding: “Not that I mind missing out on the mission.” Leela stepped aside as Amy tried get around her. The grease-covered intern headed for the bathroom, ostensibly to clean herself off before the mission.
“Sorry Leela, but da DMV started getting suspicious after I filed a death report for the same person three years in a row, and den hired the same person back at the start of da next fiscal year.” Leela gave the Jamaican a questioning look. “It was the only way I could get around da rule,” he explained sheepishly.
A low hum filled the room as The Planet Express Ship started to power up. The professor gestured for Leela to get moving. “Now off you go, or you’ll be late.”
“Wait…” Leela began.
The professor cut her off. “Oh don’t worry about how we’re going to afford this. We’ll just take it out of Zoidberg’s salary, like we always do when there’s an emergency, or any other time for that matter.”
Zoidberg came scuttling into the room just in time to catch this last remark. “Aww…”, he groaned as he turned and headed back the way he had come.
The Planet Express captain shook her head. “No, that’s not what I was going to ask. Professor, who…”
The ship’s low hum became a dull roar. Once again Farnsworth interrupted. “Now now, there’s no time for more stalling. Now get going.”
“Listen to me! If we’re here and Amy’s in the bathroom, then who’s powering up the ship?”
As if on queue, the Planet Express ship began to levitate off the hangar floor.
Leela was frantic. “Oh no, Fry’s piloting the ship! I haven’t taught him how to take off yet!”
Farnsworth’s eyes grew wide with terror. “Dear God, he’ll kill us all!”
The giant green rocket floated to a height of a couple of feet and then stopped. Leela, Farnsworth, and Hermes were suddenly face to face with the fusion fires of the ship’s main dark matter engines. The hangar door started to open. The ship stayed steady and level. “Wow,” thought Leela, “Fry’s doing a pretty good job. He might actually make it out of the building without…”
Fry put the ship in gear, and the vessel rocketed forward. Suddenly the Planet Express building was minus a rear wall.
Zoidberg came rushing in at the noise. Hermes glared at the lobster angrily. “You’re paying for dat too!”
Leela soon found herself at the front door of the NNY Department of motor vehicles, but hesitated before entering. She had no love of poorly run government bureaucracies, this one in particular. The last time she had been here was in the aftermath of the first Omocronian invasion of Earth. Her car had been demolished by one of the aliens’ anti-monument lasers. It had taken months of time and reams of paper to get her to the point where she could legally drive the car she bought as a replacement.
The cyclops had spent the whole 15 minute drive from Planet Express inventing ways to avoid the pain and suffering she was sure was ahead, but hadn’t come up with any options that didn’t involve landing someone in the hospital. With a sigh Leela shifted the bag she was carrying to her other shoulder, and opened the door.
The building consisted of a large open waiting room and a row of two dozen service desks. All but one of them were closed. As always, the waiting room was filled with an assortment of the sleaziest, dirtiest denizens of New New York. A few steps from the front door was a customer service desk A bureaucrat grade 82 lounged behind the counter as though he were taking a nap. Leela walked over to him.
“Excuse me, can you tell me wh…”
The man shoved a small slip of paper into her hand, pointed at an empty seat in the waiting room with a grunt, and closed his eyes. Leela decided he wasn’t worthy of an ass kicking and took a seat. A large electronic sign mounted on the wall in front of her read “now serving number: 17”. Leela glanced at the piece of paper she had been handed. “Twenty-three. Well that’s not too bad. I’ll be out of here in no time.” Then she moved her thumb and noticed the six that came after the three. “Aww fuck”.
“Umm, I’m here for the pilot exam.”
The woman behind the counter threw the cyclops standing before her a disdainful look. “Why do these customers always ask me to DO things?” muttered the woman. “Do you have three forms of ID?”
“How about retinal scan, fingerprint, and colonic map?”
“You can use your retinal scan or colonic map, not both.”
Leela’s eye narrowed in annoyance, but she didn’t argue. “Alright, then use my aural signature.”
“Sorry, but that’s from the same list as fingerprints.”
“Then take a sample of my DNA.”
“Cant do it.”
At this point Leela was about ready to scream. “The only other ID I brought is my social security card.”
The clerk looked at her console. “Uhh, alright. That’ll work. Let me see it.” Then she paused for a moment. “Wait, no I’m sorry. Today’s Tuesday. We can’t accept social security cards on tuesd…” But she didn’t finish, for suddenly there came the distinct impression that to utter another word would lead to sever bodily harm to herself, her coworkers, and anyone else who happened to have the bad sense to be within a five block radius of the DMV at this particular moment. “Umm, you know what? Never mind. Let me just see that social security card.
“Good idea,” remarked the cyclops. The comment was said calmly and without malice, but the clerk still felt a cold shiver crawl up her spine.
“I’m sorry ma’am, but I can’t pass you.”
“What?! But I’m an excellent pilot!”
“Lady, you crashed through three billboards, rear-ended an ambulance, and while we were flying over The Moon you sent a 4th grade class running for their lives. That’ll be one recess that they never forget.”
“Oh come on, I staid in my lane. And look, my hands were at ten and two the whole time!”
But the instructor wouldn’t hear any of it. Seeing that there was nothing left for her to say, Leela sighed and took the paper from the man’s outstretched hand. It read ‘revocation of commercial vehicle license’. Evidently they weren’t taking her private driver’s license too. Thank god. Without saying another word, Leela turned and walked toward the door. The instructor called after her: “Please lady, don’t drive home! I’ve got children out there!”
Leela drove straight back to Planet Express. To her own satisfaction, she didn’t hit a single billboard along the way. Truth be told she had increased her following distance just to be safe, but that couldn’t have made that much of a difference. After all, she only added another half a car length. Or maybe it was five car lengths. It was always so hard to tell… Once back at work, Leela parked her car and snuck in the front door. With any luck the professor would be asleep and Hermes would be locked away in his cubicle. If she played her cards right, no one would know she was back until Fry and Bender returned from the delivery. “Time now for some much needed down time,” Leela said to herself under her breath. The cyclops flopped down on the couch and turned the tv on low volume. Some cooking show was on. Evidently Bender had been watching the tube recently. Leela flipped the channels for awhile and settled on Everybody Loves Hypnotoad, which had regained much of it’s luster since it’s low point in season three. She had just gotten comfortable, indeed her wrostolojackomator’s comftometer was at 89%, when Amy walked into the room.
“Oh Hi Leela, I didn’t know you were back. I’ll go tell the professor.” The intern turned and walked over to lean out into the hangar.
“Wait Amy! Don’t.”
But Amy wasn’t paying attention to her. “Professor! Hermes! Leela’s Back!”
Leela collapsed into the sofa. “Aww crud.” She said it as though it were the most profound statement she had made all morning.
“I said, I failed the test.”
“You what?!” Farnsworth tapped at his hearing aid.
Leela rolled her eye. Hermes, who was standing next to the professor with his arms crossed, took the liberty of screaming Leela’s words into the old man’s ear. “She said she failed da test you deaf geeza!!”
Looking slightly offended, the professor backed away from the bureaucrat and crossed his arms. “Now, now Hermes, there’s no need for yelling. Use your inside voice. Oh, and how did the driving test go?”
Only through sheer willpower was Leela able to keep from throttling the old man. Not for the first time the cyclops realized how dangerous a place the world would be if she was a little more impulsive. Dangerous for the world that is.
“For the last time, “ said the PE captain through clenched teeth. “I took the exam, but the DMV didn’t pass me. I mean geez, you hit a billboard or two or mentally scar a bunch of kids for life and suddenly you’re a ‘hazard to humanity’.”
“Oh fuff, they called me the same thing after I unleashed those atomic powered, flesh-eating gerbils on the city last fall. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“Then you’ll still let me be captain?”
The old man waddled over to Leela’s side and wrapped a wrinkly arm around the depressed woman’s shoulder. “There there,” he said, “I’d never fire you over something like this. That’s Hermes’ job.”
Hermes walked up and handed Leela a pink piece of paper. “Your fired,” he said.