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Urban Legend
« Reply #600 on: 09-14-2006 21:37 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2006 00:00 »

actually, the credit for that line goes to spaceCase.  I had something like "Great Daschund of Boston", but spacey's was much better    smile

edit: totpd!  Also, update moved to this page for convenience:

Part 5
Chapter 4
_____________________________ ___________________

“What in da name of Jah is goin’ on out here?!”

“Hermes, it- it’s not what it looks like.” Fry gently pulled himself away from Leela’s grasp and turned to face the bureaucrat, who was walking across the empty street.  As The Jamaican reached the curb Fry could see the fire of righteous bureaucratic wrath glowing in his eyes.

“Well dat’s a relief, cuz for a second I thought you and Bender were standin’ around fraternizin’ with people dat don’t work here anymore, when yer asses are supposed to be halfway to da Pegasus Galaxy by n-”  The Jamaican stopped mid tirade, having noticed the tear streaks running down Leela’s face.  His anger evaporated.  “Leela mon, what’s wrong?”

Leela wiped the tears from her eye with her arm.  “I- I’ll be ok in a minute, Hermes.”

By this point Hermes had crossed the short distance from the street.  Stepping over a clump of weeds, he moved next to Bender. “Da hell you will!  You look sorrier den a green snake in a sugar cane mill!”

Despite herself, Leela smiled.  “I know, Hermes.  It’s been… a rough few days.  And seeing Planet Express whole again and you guys ali- I mean, seeing you guys again after what happened…” 

Fry, Bender, and Hermes exchanged glances.

“Leela, what happened to you?”

“It’s… a long story Fry.”  Something was in Leela’s eye that sent a shiver down the delivery boy’s spine. 

Hermes noticed it too.  “A’right.  Why don’t you come inside and tell us wot’s going on, especially da part about how you got yer hands on a perfect copy of da Professor’s ship.  Fry, Bender, you stay wit’ her.  I’ll go get da Professor.”

“Thanks Hermes,” Leela said, grateful.

The Jamaican nodded, then turned and hurried back across the street.  Leela followed at a much slower pace, Fry guiding her between the clumps of brush and over the fallen power lines of the abandoned lot.  Leela didn’t really need the help, but she accepted it without protest, content for once to be fussed over by the people who cared about her.  Bender lagged behind, bored.

The door to Planet Express swished open.  Fry guided Leela through the building to the lounge.  Leela made her way to the couch and let herself collapse into it.

A moment later the lounge doors swished open and Hermes came walking in with a steaming mug of coffee.  Leela gladly accepted it from the Jamaican’s outstretched hand just as Farnsworth was shuffling through the still-open door.  The ancient scientist crossed the few steps from the door and stood next to Bender and Hermes. 

For a long time, Leela said nothing.  Light streamed in through the room’s bay window, bathing everything in the golden light of early morning.  Heat from the ceramic mug in her hands warmed her body and the aroma warmed her spirit.  Surrounded by friends who cared about her, Leela was content.

The ancient sofa creaked as Fry sat down.  The delivery boy gave Leela a worried look.  He started to put his arm around her, but stopped, no doubt remembering the last time he’d tried such a bold move.  To his amazement Leela not only didn’t hit him, but actually drew closer.

“Alright Leela.  What the heck is going on?”  Bender had been able to handle the second spaceship, the unexpected crying, and the strange comment about Planet Express being whole again, but Leela accepting Fry’s attempts at affection?  That was just plain unbelievable.  “Not that I care,” he added.  “I just want to get this over with.  I have other, Bender-related things to be doing.”

Leela sighed and straightened, her sweet few moments of peace at an end.   “Alright, I’ll try and explain- Hey wait a minute, where’s Amy?  She should be here too.”

“She’s in the lab,” Farnsworth explained.  “I was working on a dangerous experiment when Hermes called me.  Someone had to stay and monitor it until the radiation levels decrease a few thousand percent…  She’ll be here as soon as she can.”

“Oh, alright…  I’m not sure I really understand all of it myself, but it all started…  I guess it was last night for you guys…”

“Eh? What do you mean by ‘you guys?’”  Farnsworth gave Leela an odd look.

“I know how that sounds Professor, but please, let me finish.”

The Professor fell silent, a dubious look still on his face.  Fry nodded for Leela to continue.

“Anyway, the morning after Fry visited me at my apartment, this morning I guess, I went to work at Applied Cryogenics.  Everything started out normal, but right around lunchtime I got distracted and wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.  My chair fell back and I ended up in one of the cryo-freezers.  When I finally woke up, it was a thousand years in the future.  New New York was in ruins.  The whole city was deserted, just smashed into rubble and left to rot.  I managed to make my way through the streets to Planet Express, but when I got there all I found was a burned out hulk.  God it was awful…” 

Leela paused for a moment, not sure how to continue.  She had to be careful about what she said next.  If she went around insisting that she’d run across her pet 1000 years in the future, and not only that, but that he turned out to be some sort of undercover operative for a race of super intelligent space-gerbils, well, she’d just end up getting tossed in the loony bin.

“Anyway, I finally found… uhh, somebody living in the Planet Express building, and uhh, they, knew what had happened.  See, there are these giant flying brains that hate all consciousness but their own.  They wiped out all life on Earth just so they wouldn’t have to listen to us think.”

“Wait a minute mon.  Giant flying brains?  Dis is a bit much, even coming from you.  I know you want yer job back, but makin’ up crazy stories isn’t the way t’go about it.”  Farnsworth nodded in agreement.

Leela smiled sadly.  They weren’t going to believe her.  “I know I sound crazy Hermes, but please, you’ve got to believe me.”  She paused as a thought dawned.  “Wait.  Fry, you know what I’m talking about.  Please tell me you remember the brains.  They attacked Earth a few months ago and made everyone stupid, and then only you remembered.”   

Fry scratched his head and frowned.  “I dunno Leela, that doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Please Fry,” Leela implored,  “Try to remember.  Even if no one else believes me, I- I need to know that you don’t think I’m crazy.”

Fry’s eyes grew wide.  “I don’t think you’re crazy!” 

“I do,” muttered Bender.  Fry glared at him.

“Fry.  The brains.  Please, try to concentrate.”

“Sorry Leela, I don’t remem-  Wait.”  Fry wrestled with the thought that was trying to form in his head.  “Wait.  Brains.  That does sound familiar.  Yes!  The brains!  They had these gross blobby fields that made everyone dumb.  Then you showed up out of nowhere in this tiny spaceship and helped me fight the biggest brain of all!  I do remember!”  The delivery boy grinned at Leela, delighted.  Leela sighed, relieved beyond words.

“Umm, sorry to interrupt this happy little moment of discovery chumps, but I’m not buying it.  I don’t remember any giant evil brains taking over the world, and unless someone reformatted my hard drive without telling me, I think I would remember a bunch of floating nerds turning everyone into morons.”

“But Fry remembers!”

“Oh please, Leela.  If you told Fry that the sky was pink, he’d agree with you just so you’d be happy with him.”

“But I do remember!” Fry insisted.

“And anyway,” Bender continued, “If you’re stuck a thousand years in the future, then what the hell are you doing here complainin’ to me about it right now?”

“Well uhh, the thing is, the guy I found also happened to know where to find a working time machine…”

Bender rolled his eyes.  Hermes frowned at the robot, crossed his arms, and turned to face Leela.  “Listen Leela, we want to believe ya, but wot your sayin’ is just so crazy.”

“Leela isn’t crazy!  Everybody stop saying that!”  Fry half stood, fists clenched.

“It’s all right Fry, please, sit down.”  Leela took hold of the delivery boy’s arm.  Reluctantly he let her pull him back down beside her.

“Look, I know that I sound crazy.  There’ve been a few times in the past few days that I’ve thought I might be crazy, but the truth is that I’m not, and you have to listen to me.  The lives of everyone on the planet depend on it.”

“Den we need some proof.”  Bender and Farnsworth muttered agreement.

“Well, what about the second Planet Express Ship?  Hermes, you and Bender both saw it.”

Hermes started to speak but fell silent, stumped.  It was eventually Farnsworth that spoke.  “I’ve sent many delivery crews to their dooms, oh my yes.  Each one had a ship identical to the one that you flew when you were Captain, Leela.  Granted I can’t remember who half of you are, but it seems to me that I remember some of those ships being painted green and red, just like the current one.  That ship of yours could be any one of those.”

“You think I found one of your old ships and dreamed up some big story just to get my job back?!  But that’s even more farfetched than the story I’m telling you!”  It really wasn’t, and Leela knew it.

“Sorry Leela, but we’re going to need some other proof.  Wot about dis time machine you were talkin’ about?”

“Uhh, it doesn’t work right now.”  Leela blushed at how that sounded, hurrying on before anyone could say anything.  “But it will soon!  N-… uhh,  I mean, that guy I met said that it has to recharge after it gets used.  It’ll work in a few hours, I swear!”

“Ok, den we’ll wait a few hours, and if you’re time gizmo works, den we’ll believe ya.”

“No!”  The exclamation came out a little louder than Leela had intended.  “I mean, we can’t wait around and do nothing for a few hours!  That’s why it was so important that I go back in time.  I had to warn you.  The brains are going to attack in just over 5 hours!  We need to tell the DOOP!  God, what can I do to make you believe me?”  Dismayed, Leela put her head in her hands.  Fry leaned closer, trying to comfort her.

“Wait.”  Leela bolted upright, spilling her coffee and startling Fry into backing away. 
“What time is it?” She demanded. 

Hermes looked at his watch.  “8:10.  Why?”

Leela grinned.  “Perfect!  You guys want proof?  I’ll give you proof.”  Leela set her now lukewarm drink down on the floor and strode to the conference room door, stopping a foot in front of it.  The door opened automatically, but closed again upon sensing that no one was walking through.  Leela put her ear to the cold metal.

The Planet Express Crew waited expectantly, but Leela made no further movement.

Finally Fry couldn’t take it anymore.  “Leela, what-“

“Just a minute Fry.  You’ll see.”

A minute passed.  Fry began to fidget.  “Umm, Leela…”

There was a noise in the next room.  Fry recognized the sound.  The phone was ringing.

Bender moved to answer whoever was calling, but Leela didn’t let him pass.  “No, Bender,“ she whispered.  “Let someone else get it.”

“But Leela” asked Fry, also in a whisper, “if we’re all in here and you’re blocking the doorway, then who…”  Fry’s voice trailed off.  More sounds were audible through the closed door: the sound of muffled footsteps and the voice of a very annoyed Martian intern.

“Ungh, where did everyone go?  Spleesh, why is it that every time I get myself saturated with gamma radiation, the phone rings and everyone else is conveniently gone?”

There was a muffled click as Amy activated the videophone. 

“Planet Express, this is Amy speaking.”

“Hi Amy, can I talk to Fry?”

Fry’s mouth flew open at the familiar voice.  “Wot da ‘ell?” Hermes whispered.

“Oh, hi Leela.  Sorry, Fry’s out on a delivery already."

“Shoot, I was afraid he’d be gone already…  Ok, could you do me a favor then?  Tell him to call me as soon as he gets back.”
There was a click.  The call was over.

A second later the door to the conference room slid open.  Amy stopped inches from Leela’s face, her expression of annoyance quickly overridden with astonishment.

“Leela?” she stammered.  “But, the phone, I mean.  How… But I just got off the phone with you!”   

Leela turned to face the rest of the crew.  They were all staring at her, mouths agape.  Leela grinned, victorious.

“Great Mosquito of Escondido, woman.  That was da truth?!”
_____________________________ ___________________

Tell me what you think    smile

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #601 on: 09-14-2006 21:41 »
« Last Edit on: 09-14-2006 21:41 »

Whoever made it up, it's grrrreat! Don't ever stop writing and letting Spacey be your beta!

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #602 on: 09-15-2006 00:01 »
« Last Edit on: 09-15-2006 00:01 »

Originally posted by KitKatBar-Fry:
Haha! Mosquito of Encondido!
Oh God, Soylent O, I love you and your writing.
Originally posted by Tastes Like Fry:
Ooh, awesomnum! Can't wait to find out what happens    tongue
@SO: T'would seem you have some fans! You deserve'em.
Originally posted by soylentOrange:
actually, the credit for that line goes to spaceCase.  I had something like "Great Daschund of Boston", but spacey's was much better   smile
Thank you for that SO, but you're the one doing the hard part.

I've not read your posted update yet, but I will as soon as I have a little time.  smile

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #603 on: 09-15-2006 00:20 »

Fans we are, indeed. Excellant. Now that I've said it, can we have more writing?

Pleeeeease?  tongue

Urban Legend
« Reply #604 on: 09-15-2006 10:32 »

Originally posted by KitKatBar-Fry:
Whoever made it up, it's grrrreat! Don't ever stop writing and letting Spacey be your beta!

Oh dont worry, I wont.  I love writing too much to stop.  Other than playing music it's the the only means of relieving stress that works for me. 

Also, Spacey and Arkan are the best betas ever! 

Fans we are, indeed. Excellant. Now that I've said it, can we have more writing?

Yes, more writing is on the way!  Unfortunately I've written myself into another trap, but I'm sure I'll figure a way out of it.  Actually, I'm kinda suprised no one noticed the error in this update...

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #605 on: 09-15-2006 10:41 »

Error? I see none...oh well. I hope you get out of that 'trap' soon, lest my nerves crumbe to bits!

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #606 on: 09-15-2006 12:56 »

YAYAYAYAYAYAY, more brillient story and Leela's not crazy! Everything reads well and seems well thought out. LOVE IT  wink

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #607 on: 09-15-2006 14:35 »

A minutes passed. Fry began to fidget. “Umm, Leela…”

I noticed the error.  tongue


Liquid Emperor
« Reply #608 on: 09-15-2006 15:05 »

Originally posted by Xanfor:
I noticed the error.  tongue
I don't know what error Soylent O refers to, but I believe it's a continuity error (for lack of a better term).
I'll re-read the earlier parts when I have some time, and see if I can spot it.
I may bite, but I've had all my shots... ;^)

Bending Unit
« Reply #609 on: 09-15-2006 15:17 »

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
 Yes, more writing is on the way!  Unfortunately I've written myself into another trap, but I'm sure I'll figure a way out of it.  Actually, I'm kinda suprised no one noticed the error in this update...

Yay! More writing!  tongue
Error? I'm waaaaay too tired right now to notice.  tongue

Oh and great update.

Urban Legend
« Reply #610 on: 09-15-2006 16:26 »

Eh, I guess i coulda gotten away with it.  Oh well, I already rewrote the timeline and the outline, so whatever.  The problem is that Amy is standing there in the conference room telling 1st Leela that Fry's gone on a delivery, yet I accidentally had Fry fly the PE ship back into the hangar in the last update.  So either Amy is too clueless to notice the giant interstellar spaceship sitting there in the room with her (and therefore that Fry hasn't gone anywhere yet) or she's lying to Leela.  Thats the great thing about time travel stories though.  If you screw up, you can always have your characters go back and make the trouble dissapear  wink

Urban Legend
« Reply #611 on: 09-15-2006 17:33 »

easily fixed by editing

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #612 on: 09-16-2006 00:25 »
« Last Edit on: 09-16-2006 00:25 »

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
... The problem is that Amy is standing there in the conference room telling 1st Leela that Fry's gone on a delivery, yet I accidentally had Fry fly the PE ship back into the hangar in the last update...
Oh, that.
That isn't an error, that's Amy telling everyone what she believes to be true.
If she's been in the lab, watching an experiment for Fanrnsworth, she may well not have heard the comings and goings of the ship.
Seems reasonable to me...   hmpf

Bending Unit
« Reply #613 on: 09-16-2006 06:18 »

Oh, yeah... Well, when I first read that conversation, from Leela's side, I kinda imagined for some reason Amy using the thing she has on her wrist to talk to Leela, so she could still be in the lab. But what SC said makes sense.

Urban Legend
« Reply #614 on: 09-16-2006 19:13 »

easily fixed by editing
  yeah probably, but I actually like the revisions I made to the plot more than I liked the way the plot worked before, so problem solved  smile

@SpaceCase:  but Amy's in the conference room, not the lab.  She answered Leela's call on the big videoscreen next to the conference table.  Maybe I need to stop using the word 'vidphone.'  I think it's causing too much confusion.

Urban Legend
« Reply #615 on: 10-03-2006 14:37 »

hey guys.  Sorry it's been so long since my last update, but I've just been pounded with schoolwork like I can't even believe.  Thanks spacey and Arkan for finding my mistakes :-)
_____________________________ ___________________

part 5
chapter, uhh, 5?

It took another ten minutes to bring Amy up to speed.  The other PE crew members interrupted from time to time with questions, still not quite sure what to make of everything they were being told. 

“So how long do we ‘ave before dese flying brains of yers get here?” Hermes asked.

“Just under five hours.  If we don’t do something soon, all life on the planet is doomed.”

“By Jah, it’s Armageddon!”

The Professor crossed his arms.  “This won’t do.  I already called dibs on Armaggedon, damnit!  If any brain is going to destroy the planet, it’s going to be mine!  We must inform the DOOP!”  Farnsworth shuffled through the door that did not lead to the conference room. 

“Uhh Professor, where are you going?” Leela called after him.  “There’s a wall screen right here-” The doors swished closed.

“And I’ll inform Da Central Bureacracy!”

“What good will that do?” asked Fry.

“None.  But it will generate a lot of paperwork, and by Jah, if da world is gonna end I want to go out doin’ what I love.”  Hermes stood from where he’d been sitting on the couch and headed in the same direction as the Professor.  A moment later Bender followed him.

“Bender, where are you going?”  Leela asked.

“Where I always go when the world is about to end, downtown to find good places to loot.  Later, jerkwads!”  The doors swished shut behind him.

When the robot had been gone for a few moments, Fry spoke up.  “Umm Leela, can I help?”  Amy nodded, having been just about to ask the same question.

Leela turned to them, surprised.  “Well sure, but you don’t have to ask me.  I’m not the Captain anymore, remember?”

“I know, but you’ve always been better at, you know…”  Fry’s voice trailed off.

“Making decisions?  Being in charge?  Staying cool under pressure?  Piloting the ship?”

“Yeah, that.  Look Leela, I know that the Professor fired you or whatever, but just between us, could we pretend you’re the Captain again? 

Leela was taken aback.  “You really want me to be in charge again?”

Fry nodded.

Leela turned to Amy.  “What about you Amy, do you want me to be Captain again?”

Amy thought about if for a minute and then nodded.  “Yeah.  I have a date this Friday with Armando, and I’d kinda like to still be alive.  I think I have a better chance if you’re in charge.  Uhh, no offense Fry.”

Fry smiled thinly.  “None taken.”

Leela was silent for a moment.  “Thanks guys,” she finally managed.  “This… really means a lot to me…”  She had to stop for a moment to keep her emotions under control.  “Alright, here’s what we’re going to do.”  Suddenly she was all business.  A small part of her marveled at how easy it was to fall back into the patterns of command.  “Fry, I need a special favor from you.”


“I need you to go to my apartment and get Nibbler for me.”

“Wait, what?”  Fry looked confused, then hurt.  “Please Leela, don’t just give me some errand to get me out of the way.  I can help, I swear.”

Leela’s eye widened in surprise.  “Crap,” she thought, “of course he’d think that.”  It wouldn’t be the first time she’d given him some obviously invented task to keep him out from underfoot.  “No, no Fry you’ve got it all wrong.  I need Nibbler for… well it’ll be a lot more believable if I explain it after you brought him back here.  Please Fry, this is really, really important.”

“Well…” Fry’s eyes probed Leela’s face, searching for some sign.  Suddenly his face lit in a wide grin.  Apparently he’d seen what he was looking for.  “Alright, I’ll do it!”


Fry, now perhaps just a bit overzealous, threw her his best salute.  It was a sloppy mess, and Leela still wasn’t technically Captain regardless of what agreement she and her friends happened to come to, but Leela still appreciated the gesture.  She smiled at him, and he grinned at her again.  Then he turned and walked brusquely through the conference room doors.

Leela turned to Amy.  “Amy, I need you to go through the Professor’s lab and find anything that can be used as a weapon.  The Professor is talking to The DOOP right now, but even if they believe him and assemble the fleet we’ll need more firepower.”

Amy nodded.  “Sure.” 

Leela hesitated as a thought struck.  “Hey, Amy.  When I called you to ask to speak to Fry, why did you say he was gone on a delivery already?  I know you were in the conference room because I could see the table in the background, and I know the ship was there because I saw Fry land it in the hangar when I landed in the lot across the street.  If the ship was there, why would you think Fry was gone?”

Amy gave Leela an odd look.  “Are you sure you saw Fry land in the hangar?”

“Yes, very sure.”

“Huh.  Well the ship wasn’t there when you called.”

Leela stared at her.  “What do you mean it wasn’t there?”

Fry chose that minute to come careening back into the room.  “Umm guys, I think we have a problem!”

_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

“Dear Me:  I need to borrow the ship.  You’ll understand later, trust me.  P.S. Don’t let Fry overh-“  Leela fell silent.

“Well, what else does it say?” Fry asked.

Leela turned the note over in her hand.  There was nothing written on the back.  “Nothing.  That’s all there is.” 

Fry scratched his head, confused.  “Weird.  Why would anybody write a note to themselves saying they took the ship?  I mean, how could they not know they took the ship if they were the ones that did it?” 

“Easy, because that person didn’t know she was going to take it.”  Leela handed the note to Fry so that he could look at it.  “That’s my handwriting.”

Fry peered at the wrinkled paper.  It words certainly did look like they were scribbled in Leela’s blocky script.  Fry shook his head. “Wait a minute.” He protested.  “I’ve been with you ever since you landed.  If you’d written that note and stolen the ship, I woulda noticed.”

“Yeah, plus you were all surprised when I said the ship wasn’t here,” added Amy.

“Well yeah, but that’s because I haven’t written this yet.”  Leela said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world.  Of course, after a few days of time travel, things like finding notes in your own handwriting that you hadn’t written were no less ordinary than climbing into a hovertaxi on the way to the ape fight.

Fry stared at her.  He managed a “Wha?  But you just said-” before his mental gears started to strip.

Amy, who was just as confused as Fry but ashamed to admit to Leela that she didn’t know what was going on, threw the delivery boy a look of pity. 

“I said that the note is in my handwriting, not that I’d written it.”

Fry’s head throbbed.  Wearily he lowered himself into one of the chairs around the conference table, letting the note slide out of his hand and onto the table.  “Stupid confusing note,” Fry thought to himself.  “This is why I only read comic books.”  Leela wasn’t making it any easier, either.

“Are you alright, Fry?”

“Yeah, sorry Leela.  I’m trying to understand, but my brain’s all hurty and stuff.”

Leela smiled and placed a hand on the delivery boy’s shoulder.  “It’s ok, Fry.  I guess I’m just so used to this weird time travel-y stuff now that it doesn’t seem weird to me anymore, but I guess I’m not explaining very well am I?  Maybe Amy can help me out since she’s not confused at all.”  Leela snuck a furtive glance in Amy’s direction to see if the sarcasm would register.  It didn’t, as always.

“Anyway,” Leela continued, “I’ll bet this note is from the future.  That would explain why it’s in my handwriting and why I don’t remember writing it.  I haven’t yet.  And if I do write this in the future sometime, I’ll know that I’m going to be the one that reads it when it gets found.  Does that make sense?”

Fry nodded slowly, afraid that if he moved his head too fast the tenuous grasp he had on what Leela was saying would be dashed to pieces on the inside of his skull.  “So… So some time in the future you’re going to need to come back in time and steal the ship?”

“Borrow, but yeah.  At least, that’s what I think.”

“But if it was you, then why did you write a note?  You coulda just walked up to somebody and said you were going to take the ship.  Nobody would’ve cared.  Well, except for Hermes.  He would’ve cared since you aren’t the Captain anymore.  But nobody else woulda cared.”

“Maybe she was in a hurry?” Amy ventured.

Leela nodded.  “That’s my guess.  That would explain why I stopped writing in mid sentence, and why we found it just lying there in the middle of the hangar floor.”

The door to the conference room swished open.  Professor Farnsworth came shuffling out, a look of annoyance on his face.  “Ah, there you are,” he said after spotting Leela, Fry, and Amy clustered around the conference table.  “Leela, the DOOP needs to talk to you.  And by the DOOP I mean Zapp Brannigan.”

Leela groaned.  “Do I have to?”

“I’m afraid so.   Captain Brannigan refuses to help until he speaks to you personally.”

Again Leela groaned.  There were things worse than death.  Talking to Zapp Brannigan was one of them.  “Alright, I’ll be there in a min… Hey, wait a minute.  Professor, aren’t you curious about what happened to the spaceship?”

“The wha?”

“You know, the intergalactic spaceship that you designed yourself.  The one that was parked here just a few minutes ago?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Leela rolled her eye but didn’t press further.  The senile old man would remember eventually.  She pressed a button on her wrist console.  According to the built in clock, it was 8:35.   Between trying to explain everything to her former coworkers and the sudden disappearance of the ship Leela had managed to eat up an entire hour.  It was time to get things moving, or there would be hell to pay.

“Fry, I need you to go get Nibbler for me.  Now.”

Fry jumped out of his chair at the sudden urgency in his friend’s voice.  “Aye aye Capt- I mean, Leela.”   Just in time he remembered that Farnsworth was in the room.  It probably didn’t matter if the old man overheard, since it was doubtful that he even remembered firing Leela in the first place, but now was not the time to explain that he had agreed to take orders from someone who didn’t even work for the company anymore.  At a nod from Leela, Fry sprinted out of the room.

“Wait Fry, you need the password to my d-“ The delivery boy was gone.  “Oh well,” Leela sighed, “He’ll figure something out.”

“Well, I guess I’d better go talk to that pompous windbag.”  Leela cringed at the prospect.  Was the survival of the universe really worth having a conversation with Zapp Brannigan?  The cyclops thought for a moment.  Yes, but just barely.   Leela strode to the room’s large video screen.  She hesitated before turning it on.  “Oh, and Amy, I need you to find those weapons for me.”

Amy nodded.  “Right.”  The intern started to walk off but turned around after she’d gone only a few steps.  “Professor, could you help me?  I need to find things in your lab that we can use to blow stuff up.”

Farnsworth’s face lit up like an eighty-watt light bulb.  Suddenly he liked where the conversation was headed.  “Blow stuff up, you say?”  The wicked glee on the Professor’s face would have sent school children running for their mommies.  “My yes, I think I can help you do that, hmm yes, most definitely,” he said as he and Amy started to walk off. 

Leela turned back to the video screen.  She pressed the power button   The device told her that somebody was on hold on line 1.  With a sigh of resignation Leela pressed one final button.  The screen was filled with a familiar face.

“Hello Zapp.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

“Ah Leela, there you are.  I was beginning to wonder if that senile Professor friend of yours had forgotten I was on the line, just like all those other times I called and he had to go look for you.”

Leela crossed her arms.  “He didn’t forget those times either.  I just never answered the phone.  Now can we get on with this please?  The world is coming to an end in just over four hours.”

“Yes, these flying brains I’ve been hearing so much about.  I’ve always suspected that nerds would one day rebel and conquer the planet, but I’m afraid I’m going to need something in return before I put wave after wave of my trusted men at your disposal.”

“Uh-huh.  And what exactly do you want in return?”  Leela’s eye narrowed, having guessed the answer before it was stated.

“Well, you could sleep with me.”

Leela made as if to reach for the wall screen’s off switch.  “Forget it.  I’d rather let the world come to the end.”  Her hand stopped an inch from the switch, where Zapp couldn’t see it.  If she wanted any chance of enlisting the DOOP’s help she would need to have Captain Brannigan on her side, but if she even hinted at how much she needed him he’d walk all over her.

Predictably, Zapp fell for the bluff.  “Wait!  I mean, uhh… a date?”


“Two dates?”

Leela sighed.  The man was a moron.  “How about another double date?”  The bile rose in her throat.  “Steady, Turanga,” she told herself.  “You’re doing this to save the lives of everyone you care about.”

Wincing, Leela continued.   “Amy and Kif, me and…“  She forced herself to say it.  “Me and you.”

Zapp grinned.  “A double date, you say?  I knew you couldn’t resist me.  Hard to blame you, though.  Very well, I will inform Kif as soon as he’s done bleaching my gym socks.”

“Yeah, you do that.”  Inwardly she tried to console herself  “It’s alright. Don’t throw up.  You can just weasel your way out of this later.  Besides, look at the bright side.  There’s a good chance that you won’t survive long enough to have to worry about it.”

 Zapp hung up.  Leela collapsed into a conference room chair, suddenly feeling like she desperately needed a shower. 
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

“Identity test failed.  Access denied.”

Fry cursed under his breath.  “Stupid future people.  Why can’t they just put a key on the welcome mat like I did?”  He pressed the button again.

“Identity test failed.  Access denied.”

“Let me in!”  The delivery boy pounded on the button. What a day for Leela to forget that she’d locked her apartment.

“Identity test failed.  Access denied.”

Much longer and people would start to notice the commotion in the hallway.  Still, there was no way Fry was going back to Planet Express empty-handed and explaining to Leela how he’d been too stupid to ask her how to get into her apartment.

He pressed the button again.  “Open, dammit!  This is an emergency.”

“Identity test fai- Emergency subroutines activated.”  There was a moment’s pause, after which the door’s flat, recorded voice was replaced with the calm, melodious tones of a young fembot.  “What is the emergency?”

Fry took a step backward.  He took a quick look around, deciding that yes, this new voice really was coming from right in front of him.  “I need to get into Leela’s room,” he explained to the door.  “She asked me to get her pet for her.”

“That doesn’t sound like much of an emergency.”  The door’s voice carried a hint of annoyance now.

“Well uhh, you see…”


“Uhh… Phillip Fry.”   

There was another moment of silence.  “Phillip Fry, Turanga Leela has listed you as having access to her apartment in the event of an emergency.  Please touch your finger to the green button on my control panel.”

Fry did as he was told.

The door’s voice reverted to the recording. “Scanning…  Identity confirmed, Phillip Fry.  Access granted.”  The door swished open.

Fry ran into Leela’s apartment, stopping in the middle of the main room.  “Here, Nibbler Nibbler Nibbler!” he called. 

There was a small sound.  Fry whirled, startled.  It was only Nibbler.  The little furball was standing with his back to the wall, not five feet from the open doorway.  Fry relaxed.

“Aww, poor guy.  You musta heard me banging on the door and gotten scared.” Something is the creature’s stance made Fry wonder if that was really the case.

Nibbler made some meaningless spluttering noises and waddled over to the delivery boy.  Fry scratched the base of his eyestalk.  “Leela sent me to come look for you.  There’s a bunch of big brains coming to blow up the planet, and for some reason that means I had to come find you.”  Fry couldn’t figure out why he was bothering to explain this to a dumb animal, but for some reason it just seemed like the right thing to do.

For a few moments Nibbler just stood and stared, openmouthed.  Then he went into a frenzy, running around the room jabbering crazily.  Suddenly he was out the door and headed for the stairs.

Fry cursed and raced after him. 
_____________________________ _____________________________ ____________

Nibbler rounded the landing and headed for the last flight of stairs with Fry hot on his heels.  The delivery boy stole a glance upward, praying that in the split second his attention was off the step in front of him he wouldn’t trip and kill himself.   Up ahead was a short hallway and then the building’s front exit.  The door was closed. 

Fry grinned.  “Gotcha- oh crap.”

The door swung open.  An old woman started to walk through the threshold and then stopped, startled at the two figures hurtling toward her.  Hurriedly she backed out of the way.

Nibbler reached the floor and saw his chance.  He lunged.  Fry tried for a tackle but missed, rolled, was up on his feet again. 

Fry burst into bright sunshine.  He looked around him, dazed.  There.  Nibbler was running full tilt down the sidewalk.  Fry sighed and started running.

How something the size of a raccoon could run so fast and so far, Fry had no idea.  All he knew was that he couldn’t keep up for much longer.  Years of fleeing alien death rays had made him a good sprinter, but stamina was something that he’d never had. 

Fry lost track of the Nibblonian as he cut through a crowd that was waiting for the bus.  Fry dodged the mob and reacquired his target as he disappeared around a corner.  Gritting his teeth, Fry forced himself to speed up.  There was no way in hell he was going back to Planet Express and explaining to Leela that he’d lost her pet in the city streets.

Slowly Fry gained ground.  Two more blocks went by.  The delivery boy’s lungs were on fire.  Nibbler began to pull ahead again.  If he didn’t do something soon, Nibbler would get away.

Up ahead, a familiar face.  “Bender!  Get him!”  Fry wheezed.

Luckily, robots have excellent hearing.

“Huh?”  Bender turned at the sound of his name.  In a split second he took everything in.  The running alien, Fry struggling to keep up with him, the look of urgency on his friend’s face; it all flashed through his CPU at the speed of light.  He made a decision.  His right arm shot out and smashed a nearby shop window.  Nibbler was startled by the sound of the shattering glass.  The little black ball of fur stumbled over his own feet and crashed headlong into Bender.  The robot reached down and picked him up.

“Thanks, Bender,” Fry gasped as he came jogging up to his friend.  “Another minute or two and I woulda lost him.”  The delivery boy stood bent over with his hands on his knees, gasping for breath.

“Whaddya mean, thanks?” Bender asked indignantly.  With his free hand he swiped the expensive Rolexes that were sitting in the shattered display window.  “I was just mindin’ my own business, doing some pre-disaster looting, and this furry little jerk crashed right into me.”  Sirens blared in the distance.  “And speaking of looting, that’s my cue.”  Bender started to walk off, still clutching Nibbler around the waist.  The Nibblonian was trying valiantly to wriggle free, but to no avail.

“Wait, Bender!” Fry pleaded, still winded.  “Leela wanted me to bring Nibbler back to Planet Express.”

“Fine.  Then take him.”  The robot held out his still-struggling captive.

The sirens drew closer.  Fry hesitated.  He’d already almost lost Nibbler once.  He wasn’t quite sure he wanted the opportunity to do it again.  What on Earth had gotten into Leela’s pet anyway?

Bender grew impatient.  The police were going to arrive any second.  “Alright, fine.  I’ll help you take him.  Now let’s get the hell out of here.”

Bending Unit
« Reply #616 on: 10-03-2006 16:11 »

Originally posted by *author*:
Was the survival of the universe really worth having a conversation with Zapp Brannigan? The cyclops thought for a moment. Yes, but just barely.

"Yes, but just barely." Great line, love it!!  big grin

Originally posted by *author*:
“Yes, these flying brains I’ve been hearing so much about. I’ve always suspected that nerds would one day rebel and conquer the planet, but I’m afraid I’m going to need something in return before I put wave after wave of my trusted men at your disposal.”

"...nerds would one day rebel..."
Oh my yes, when do we begin?  tongue

Btw, thanks for your mail. You did a great job as always.

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Urban Legend
« Reply #617 on: 10-03-2006 19:58 »

"...nerds would one day rebel..."
Oh my yes, when do we begin?
What, you didn't get the memo?  The glorious revolution began last thursday.

Urban Legend
« Reply #618 on: 10-04-2006 00:43 »

Duh Corvus, we've only been crunching numbers for like, months now.
Tastes Like Fry

Urban Legend
« Reply #619 on: 10-04-2006 01:04 »
« Last Edit on: 10-04-2006 01:04 »

Ooh, nice. Can't wait to see what happens!
And I want to join the revoloution; nerds unite!

EDIT: And hooray for typos like 'rev-lotion'

Bending Unit
« Reply #620 on: 10-04-2006 14:37 »

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
What, you didn't get the memo?  The glorious revolution began last thursday.

Awwww.. I must have missed it. Is there still time to join!?  cry  smile

Originally posted by Venus:
Duh Corvus, we've only been crunching numbers for like, months now.

Ehh.. I'm just a network tech (cable monkey). I know nothing about them numbers.  tongue   

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #621 on: 10-04-2006 15:35 »

Whats this, a rebellion and I'm not invited?  cry Can I still join up  confused

This message was brought to you by the mistress, bow down and be grateful

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #622 on: 10-05-2006 12:02 »

Originally posted by jle1993:
Whats this, a rebellion and I'm not invited?   cry Can I still join up   confused
[*Pats jle1993*]
Well, it’s a revolution, not a rebellion (subtle difference of connotation),
but of course you’re invited...

You’re revolting, aren't you?  laff

I kid, I kid.  wink

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #623 on: 10-05-2006 15:40 »

revolution, rebellion, either way we overthrow current society...sign me up!! wink smile

And no I'm not revolting, just mildly crazy...

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #624 on: 10-05-2006 16:17 »

Another masterpiece if an installment, SoylentO. It has great suspence, just the way I like it. I look forward to seeing the rsolution-I have this strange feeling that it'll all end with some big time warp thing I don't understand  tongue and a fight. Keep it up!

A rebellion, you say. I ain't nerdy, but rebellions rule, so count me in!

Urban Legend
« Reply #625 on: 10-05-2006 17:38 »
« Last Edit on: 10-05-2006 17:38 »

wow, I just realised my PEELaversary passed last week.  I've been writing fan fiction for a year?  Yikes.

Awwww.. I must have missed it. Is there still time to join!?
of course! There's always time to join.

@KitkatBar-Fry: yep, there'll be time warps and alternate realities and all sorts of weird stuff. 

you're revolting, arent you?
also, I nominate spaceCase for pun-of-the-month    big grin

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #626 on: 10-05-2006 17:49 »

Ooooh, alternate realities. Sounds like a heap full o' funtastic fan fic!

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #627 on: 10-05-2006 23:31 »

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
wow, I just realised my PEELaversary passed last week.  I've been writing fan fiction for a year? Yikes.
... yep, there'll be time warps and alternate realities and all sorts of weird stuff.
Suddenly, I forsee some terrific headaches in my future... BRING IT ON, BABY!  smile
... also, I nominate SpaceCase for pun-of-the-month  big grin
Well, there's no accounting for taste...  wink

Starship Captain
« Reply #628 on: 10-10-2006 11:04 »

It’s been a while since I wrote here….

Hey Soyent, I really like your fic so far.

Keep it up.

Urban Legend
« Reply #629 on: 01-18-2007 09:42 »

*appears out of nowhere* Hey SpaceCase, when you get a chance, check your email!

(Sorry guys. No update. Yet!)

Bending Unit
« Reply #630 on: 01-18-2007 10:24 »

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
(Sorry guys. No update. Yet!)

But but but... awww...   cry

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« Reply #631 on: 01-18-2007 21:50 »

Aww, SoylentO's written another fanfic or two since I last visited a long, long time ago? I need to catch up on things aronud here...

Urban Legend
« Reply #632 on: 01-19-2007 00:13 »

But but but... awww...
@Corvus: Don't worry, it's coming  smile.  If I don't hear back from Spacey in a few days I'll post my draft the way it is.

@Zoidy: Nah, It's the same fic I've been working on all year, just a half dozen updates later than when you saw it last.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #633 on: 01-19-2007 01:13 »

@ SO:

You may go ahead and post it.  Spacey has a personal crisis happening in their life and may not be up for doing much beta'ing for a while.

It's nothing health-wise, but Spacey could probably do well with a few prayers and good thoughts.

Urban Legend
« Reply #634 on: 01-19-2007 09:53 »

@Ralph: Oh, I didn't know.  I hope spaceCase is ok...

_____________________________ ___________________

Part 5
Chapter 6

Fry and Bender made their way through the streets of New New York with Leela's frantic pet.  Bender, arms straight out in front, carried Nibbler firmly with both hands.  Every once in awhile the bending robot would utter a string of low curses as Nibbler renewed his effort to free himself.  By the time the trio had rounded the last corner and had come into view of the Planet Express building it was all Fry could do to persuade his friend not to drop Nibbler into the nearest open manhole.

The door to Planet Express swished open to reveal a very impatient cyclops waiting on the other side. Bender brushed past her and out of the small anteroom.  Fry and Leela had just exchanged glances and started to follow when the bending robot returned carrying Nibbler and a small wastebasket.  Muttering one last curse under his breath, Bender placed the NIbblonian firmly on the ground and quickly covered him with the wastebasket, which he had turned upside down to make a makeshift cage.  He pulled a brick out of his chest cabinet and placed it on the basket, making any escape impossible.

For a moment no one spoke.  Leela just stared at the overturned trashcan as it jiggled and bounced.  For a moment she didn't move, as though her mind was far away. Something flickered across her face.  Almost it seemed to Fry as though she were remembering some great loss.  Finally the wastebasket's erratic movements subsided.  Apparently Nibbler had decided to accept his fate.  Leela's gaze rose to meet Fry's.  Her expression was now unreadable.

"What happened?" Leela asked, simply.

Fry couldn't make his mouth work right.  He had expected an explosion the moment Leela had seen Nibbler's distress.  Mentally he switched gears out of 'self preservation mode'. 

"Uhh, well", he started,  "This is going to sound kinda stupid, but I was talking to him, and when I mentioned brains he sorta went all crazy." 

Amazingly, instead of rolling her eye and proceeding to chew him out until his ears went red with shame, Leela just nodded.  Silently Fry asked himself what had happened to his life that had made hearing of an imminent invasion by superintelligent flying brains a reasonable excuse for a pet to go crazy.

Leela crouched by the now-motionless wastebasket and gestured for Bender to back away.  Slowly, the cyclops lifted the makeshift cage.  Fry made ready to grab the little space-rodent the moment he tried to move, but soon saw there would be no need.  Nibbler just sat there, arms crossed, glaring at Leela as though everything were somehow her fault.

Leela crossed her arms in kind.  "You want to tell me what this is all about?"

Fry and Bender both started to respond, but their words died in their throats as they realized that Leela wasn't talking to them.

"It's OK Nibbler.  I know all about you and the Nibblonians and the brainspawn.  You can talk to me."

Fry was just about to suggest that Leela might want to go lay down for a minute when the most remarkable thing happened.  NIbbler jumped to his feet and said in perfect English: "How did you learn of these things?!"

"Actually, you told me.  Look, it's a long story and we don't have much time.  The brainspawn are on their way to Earth.  If we don't do something soon, everyone will be dead in twenty four hours."

"Yes, I heard of this just recently from The Mighty One.  Unfortunately, I was captured and carried here against my will, despite my best efforts to escape.  It is imperative that I get to my ship, for if it is true that the Brains are already on their way, then there is very little time to spare."

"So you fought Fry and Bender all the way here?"

"Affirmative.  I could not afford to take the time to explain the situation.  I still cannot."  Nibbler stood then, drawing himself up to his full height.  He stole a glance toward the door, but quickly determined that Fry, who he had recently discovered was much faster than he looked, would easily capture him before he made it to the street.  Turning his two main eyes toward Leela, but keeping the third locked on the door, he implored his friend.  “Please, I must be allowed to leave, for your sake and for The Mighty One; the future of the whole universe may depend on…”

"Uhh, hello?  Chumps?" Bender interjected, having had entirely enough of not being at the center of attention.  "Is anyone planning to explain what the hell is going on?  Why is this greasy muppet talking all of the sudden?"

"Oh right, sorry.  Fry, Bender, this is Nibbler.  He's an undercover operative for a race of super-advanced aliens.  He was the one that I found living in the Planet Express Building.  He helped me find the time device and- and get home."  Again something dark flashed across Leela's face.  Fry frowned.  He remembered the expression.  He'd caught her looking at that same way several times since she'd come back from the future.  Something bad had happened that Leela wasn't telling him; something that had happened to Nibbler as well as himself. 

Bender's eyes narrowed.  "Wait a minute.  So I changed this thing's diapers for all these years, and he's a superintelligent spy?!"

"Bender," Leela replied, "you never changed his diaper once.  He wouldn’t let you near him after you flushed him down the toilet."

"An indignity which I shall never forget.  Now please, it is imperative that I am allowed to go to my ship."

"I know, I know.  But first tell me, how much help can you bring us?  I promised the DOOP that we would have assistance from an alien force, but I couldn't give them the number of ships."

"Sadly, I do not know.  With both the Mighty One and The Other in danger, the council is likely to send as much strength as can be mustered, but I do not know that the ships will be here in time.  How long do you estimate that we have?"

Leela looked at her wristamajig and paled.  "Just under three and a half hours.  Hey, you never mentioned ‘The Other' before.  Who-"

NIbbler's eyes grew wide.  "Three and a half hours?!" He exclaimed, cutting Leela off mid sentence.  "I cannot muster the full might of the Nibblonian Fleet and have any hope of returning here in time to face the brainspawn head on in that time!  Are you sure that this is all the time we have?"

"Unfortunately, yes.  Very sure."

"Then I must leave this instant, and return when I can.  I cannot promise to be here when the enemy arrives, but with some luck I may return before your defenses crumble.  Look to my coming by the dawn of the next day.  Look to the East."  With that he leapt from his place on the floor, under Fry's legs, and out the front door. 
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

When Nibbler had been gone for a few moments, Leela walked to the room's small bench and sat heavily.

"I was too late.  After everything I've done, I got back here too late to do any good."  She shook her head sadly.

Fry, who was still trying to process the fact that Nibbler could talk, was startled out of his reverie.  "What do you mean, too late?  We still have a few hours before the brains get here, and NIbbler said he would bring help."

"Yeah, but he said he couldn't get ships here in time to meet the brainspawn when they show up.  By the time he shows up, there won’t be anything left to defend."

"So the DOOP has to fight by themselves for awhile.  Zapp Brannigan can take care of it.  Remember that time he defended that one planet from the Quadraplegians for an entire month?"

"Yeah,” Bender piped in, “the trick was to give their ships a hard shake so all of the crew fell out of their wheelchairs.  Don't worry Big Boots, things'll work out."

"Yeah, I remember Amy saying that Kif realized.... Hey, wait a minute."  Leela's tone took on a hint of caution.  "Ok Bender, what's the deal.  Why are you being so supportive all of the sudden?"

"Because all of this emotional crap is starting to corrode my circuits.  Don't you meatbags have a war to plan or something?"

Leela started to answer, but stopped.  She blinked twice.  "You know what, Bender?" She finally said.  "I’ll kick myself later for admitting it to you, but you're absolutely right.  What am I doing?  We don’t have time for me to sit around here feeling sorry for myself.  I should be out there making sure Zapp doesn't screw up and kill us all."  She got to her feet.  For a few seconds she paused in thought. 

"Ok, this is what we're going to do." Leela said, suddenly all business.  "Bender, I need you to help Amy and the Professor load the ship with anything that can be used as a weapon."

"Aww man...  Why does the robot with super strength always have to help with the heavy lifting around here?"

"Listen, Bender.  I really need your help on this one."

"Yeah, and why shouild I help?"

A corner of Leela’s mouth twitched deviously "Because,” she replied, “if you don't, I'll block channel 467 on the tv in the lounge."

"But that's the cooking channel!” Bender exclaimed, dismayed.  “I need that to watch during work!"

Leela's eye narrowed in a silent reiteration of the threat.

Bender threw his hands up in a gesture of defeat "Alright, alright, don't get your panties in a knot.  Sheesh."  Bender turned and left the room, muttering under his breath

When the robot was gone, Leela turned to Fry.

"What do you want me to do?"  asked the delivery boy.

"I need you to do something for me while I go talk with mayor Poopenmeyer."  Leela walked across the room to her purse, which lay on its side by the front door.  "While you were gone the mayor called me and asked me to meet with him.  He wants me to help him plan the defense of the city."

"What?  Why?"

"He said the DOOP told him to prepare for an invasion, and that they told him I was the only person who knew anything about the enemy.  While I'm there talking to him, I need you to take something to my parents."  Leela began rummaging through her purse.  Her hand emerged with a folded up piece of paper.  "I was hoping that I'd be able to go to see them myself, but there's not enough time.  If I go down to the sewers now to say goodbye...  I don’t think I'd have the strength to ever come back."

Fry's eyes grew wide.  "Whoa, Leela! who said anything about saying goodbye?  You'll see your parents again.  We'll get through this, like we always have.  The evil bad guys will show up.  You'll be all like 'kapow', 'whack', 'bam', and kick their butts, and then we'll all come back to Planet Express for victory waffles.  Anyway, who made you responsible for the whole world?  Let the DOOP take care of it.  Nobody is strong enough to save the planet by themselves. Well, except for Superman, and even he needed a whole Justice Team to help him."

Leela frowned and walked to the door.  As it swished open she turned to face her friend.  As she stood framed by the light from the doorway, a squadron of DOOP fighters arcing across the sky beyond the distant buildings, Fry thought she had never looked so beautiful.

"I know I can't save the world all by myself Fry.  I already tried that once, and I lost.  But just because I can't do it by myself doesn't mean I won't do everything I can to help.  This time I won't just watch helplessly while everyone I care ab..."  Suddenly, she fell silent, tears welllling in her eye.

"Leela," Fry asked quietly, "What happened to Nibbler and me when you were in the future?"

For a moment, Leela's mouth worked silently.  Then she turned and walked slowly away, leaving a troubled delivery boy to stare after her until the closing door hid her from view.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

The sewers were strangely empty for midmorning.  As Fry walked the weathered boardwalk to the Turangas’ house all he could hear were the sounds of his own footsteps and lap of the wastewater against the pilings.  In fact, the underground was so still that the delivery boy could even hear the muffled roar of a DOOP capital ship as took station over the city above him.  To prevent panic, the public was being told that the sudden appearance of warships in their skies was nothing more than an exercise; a drill aimed at ensuring the DOOP was prepared to defend the planet in case of an all out assault.  Fry wasn’t sure he understood why the government was lying to its citizens.  Maybe they still weren’t sure if the threat was real, and they wanted to avoid explaining themselves if no enemy appeared.  Then again, maybe it was simply a matter of their not being anything the government could do to help it’s people. 

“After all”, Fry thought, “how do you evacuate all of the civilians from an entire planet?” 

Still, even with the assurances of President Nixon that there was no immediate danger, rumors were beginning to spread at street level.  Down below the streets, in the dank tunnels of the mutant city, the rumors had become rampant.  The Earthican government had never been particularly kind to it’s mutant citizens, forcing them to live underneath the streets as second class citizens.  As Fry walked between makeshift houses, their windows boarded and their doors locked from the inside, he realized that to these people, a fleet of DOOP warships was not a thing of protection, but a weapon of force to be used to repress them.  Nixon’s assurances would mean nothing to these people.

By the time Fry made it to the Turanga’s house, the hairs on his neck were standing on end.  He couldn’t suppress the feeling that he was being watched, and he only hoped that the residents of Lower New New York recognized him as Leela’s friend. 

With only a few steps left, Fry could take no more.  He bolted, eating up the last few feet in two strides and pounding on the rickety wooden door.  It opened, much too soon.  Turanga Morris had been waiting for him.  Fry suddenly found himself face to face with the business end of an old fashioned shotgun. 

“Who the hell- Oh geez, Phillip!”  Morris lowered his weapon, visibly relieved.  Leela’s dad backed up a few steps and gestured for Fry to follow him into the house.  Fry just stood staring, his face white as a sheet.

“Well don’t just stand there like a stump, come in!”  Morris grabbed Fry by the shoulder and hauled him into his home, closing and bolting the door behind him.  “Munda come on out.  It’s just Leela’s friend Phillip come to visit!” 

A few moments later Fry could hear the sound of approaching footsteps, and presently Turanga Munda entered from a back room.  She gave Fry one look and gasped.

“My word Morris, you’ve scared the poor boy half out of his wits.  You men and your guns.  Didn’t I tell you anybody that wanted to break in wouldn’t bother to knock?  Come on Phillip, I’ll make us all some tea and you can tell us what brings you all the way down here today.”

Fry, the color slowly returning to his face, nodded thankfully.

_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

“Giant evil brains, eh?  What are they gonna do, think us to death?”  Morris chuckled to himself and downed a mouthful of tequila.  His wife gave him a disapproving look.

“Yes sir, I mean, that’s what Leela says.” Fry responded.  Dutifully he took a sip of the green tea that Munda had placed in front of him.  It tasted awful, but Fry drank it just the same, knowing how hard it must have been for a family confined to the sewers to come by. 

“Well, is there anything we can do about it?” Leela’s mom asked.

Fry took a moment to respond.  He didn’t want to scare these people, but they had the right to know the truth.  “I don’t think so.  The brains use some kind of weird field that makes everybody dumb.   You won’t even remember how to help even if you wanted to.”

“So we’re just supposed to sit around on our couches and wait for the end?” Morris asked, cocking his eyebrow.

“Well uhh, I mean, the DOOP is putting a blockade around the planet.  They’ll kill the brains before they can get here.“

Morris rolled his eye.  “Pfft.  The DOOP.  What have they ever done for us?  Besides, with that idiot Brannigan in charge, we’d all be better off just shooting ourselves and getting it over with.”

“Morris, please!” Munda snapped.   “I’m sorry Phillip.  Morris doesn’t mean that.  It’s just that down here in the sewers we don’t have much faith in the DOOP.  The way they just leave us down here to rot, sometimes it’s like we’re not even people to them.”

Fry nodded.  He had been down to the mutant city many times with Leela since she had been reunited with her family.  He had seen firsthand the squalor that the mutants lived in, and didn’t begrudge them their less-than-rosy attitude toward the DOOP.  “I understand.  But Zapp isn’t in charge, Leela is.  That’s why I’m the one down here telling you about this instead of her.  She’s briefing the mayor in City Hall.”

Morris and Munda stared at Fry, a mixture of surprise and fear on their faces. Finally, Munda spoke.  “My little girl, in charge of the DOOP navy during an invasion?”  It was a terrified whisper.

“Well ma’am, I mean, Leela and Zapp are both kinda in charge.  It’s complicated and I don’t really understand it, but if anybody can keep us safe, it’s Leela.”

The next few moments passed in silence.  Fry began to feel uncomfortable, knowing that these people needed something more than the clumsy, empty reassurances that he could give them.  Finally, he stood. 

“I’m sorry Mr. and Mrs. Turanga, but I need to get back to the surface and help Leela.  We’ve only got a few hours left until the brains get here.”  Fry reached into his pocket and pulled out Leela’s crumpled note.  “Leela asked me to bring this to you; that’s why I came down here.”  He fell silent for a moment, knowing he had to say more but unable to come up with the words.   

“Look,” he finally managed, “don’t worry.  I’ve known Leela for a long time, and she’s never once been in a situation she couldn’t handle.  She’ll be alright.  She’ll save the day, just like she always does.” 

Fry turned and left the room.  He was just about to let himself out the front door when Turanga Morris caught up to him.

“Wait a minute, Phillip,” he said, putting a leathery hand on the delivery boy’s shoulder.  Fry turned to face him.

“Listen,” Morris continued, “You take care of my daughter, you hear?  She’s not as tough as she wants everyone to think.  She needs someone at her back; someone she knows is there for her when she needs help.  That’s supposed to be my job as her father, and I’ve done the best that I can from sixty feet under ground, but it’s not enough.  Promise me you won’t let her get herself hurt.”

 Of course, Fry knew that in all likelihood it would be Leela making sure that he didn’t get himself hurt rather than the other way around, but for once he was smart enough to keep those thoughts to himself and say: “I promise.”

Morris grinned and clapped Fry on the back.  “Good!  You know, she won’t admit it, but Leela is really fond of you.  She talks about you all the time when she’s here.  I don’t think she even realizes it.  Who knows, maybe someday the two of you…”  Morris’s voice trailed off.  “Well, anyway, you should get going.  I’ll get the other mutants together and see if we can’t get some kind of defense organized.  Oh, and you might want to use the manhole by the front door.  Today isn’t a good day for a normal to be walking through the sewers by himself.”  With that, Morris undid the deadbolt and opened the door. 

Taking his cue, Fry walked out onto the house’s front porch.  Turanga Morris wished him luck one last time and Fry promised once more to keep an eye on Leela, and suddenly the delivery boy was alone in the eerie silence of the sewers.  There was a muffled crash somewhere down the street.  It was probably just a cat, but Fry, remembering what Morris had said about normals being alone in the sewer, didn’t stick around to find out for sure.  He sprinted to the nearby ladder to the surface and was up it in a flash, his heart beating hard in his chest.
_____________________________ __________________

This hasn't been beta'd, so I'm sorry if there's a few more mistakes that usual.  smile

Bending Unit
« Reply #635 on: 01-19-2007 11:14 »

That update was great.. heh.. trust Zapp not get them all killed? Ha!  big grin

Originally posted by soylentOrange:
This hasn't been beta'd, so I'm sorry if there's a few more mistakes that usual.

I didn't find any.. then again you know how I write so you really shouldn't trust me on this one.  tongue

"Finding your true love is like winning the lottery, it always happens to someone else."

Urban Legend
« Reply #636 on: 01-19-2007 11:45 »

thanks Corvus :-). 

then again you know how I write so you really shouldn't trust me on this one
  Bah, give yourself some credit man!
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« Reply #637 on: 01-19-2007 17:31 »

Oh, alright. But still, so much mroe work.

Bending Unit
« Reply #638 on: 01-19-2007 18:19 »

*spends half the night reading through six months of updates*

awesome.  awesome to the max.  loving this story!
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #639 on: 01-19-2007 22:18 »

So will Leela not only save Fry but get a chance to beat up on the slobbering oaf (Zapp).

You did good, S.O.  Be proud of yourself.

By the legnth of time between updates, I assume that real life is getting to you?
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