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Author Topic: The Ebola Incident  (Read 1353 times)
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Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« on: 02-28-2006 20:55 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Well, here it is. My first attempt on a fan fiction of my own. Just keep in mind that English is not my first language, so there may be a few errors underway. Here goes... have fun.

The Ebola Incident


Chapter 1

The sun had barely risen over the New East River when the Planet Express crew gathered around the TV waiting for the Professor’s morning conference. Fry and Bender hogged the sofa, as usual, while Amy occupied a chair, Leela leaned on the wall. It was news time on “Good Morning Earth”, and the anchor monster was just getting to the lighter news. “The laughable DOOPs battleship “Nimbus” has made a goodwill stop in New New York after concluding the triumphant eradication of the philosophers of the Nietzsche Nebula. New recruits and supplies will be taken on board, while the puny human fleet commander Zapp Brannigan will be making appearances throughout the city.” Leela grimaced at the sight of a grinning Zapp shaking hands with city officials, but said nothing, as no one commented on this - however, the other members of the crew looked at her in a knowing and mocking way. On screen, Linda, the female anchor, continued with the news sheet.”A demonstration of mutants stirred up the city of New New York yesterday. Several hundred of those genetically inferior humanoids gathered in front of Citihall and called for better sewage treatment and an improvement of the cities waste disposal system where they usually live. After about an hour, the Police managed to push them back into the sewers where they belong, since it is illegal for them to be on the surface.” The news coverage showed two policemen guiding mutants to a duct cover with activated light clubs, one of them saying “Back to the sewers, nice and slow. Oh yeah.” “And so ends this unprecedented appearance of some of New New York’s less fortunate and less known inhabitants.” Linda concluded. And Morbo screamed: “Cower, puny Earthlings! For soon, you will all be even less fortunate than this inferior scum!”

Fry asked: “How come the mutants dare to leave the sewers in the first place? I thought they usually didn’t show their faces on the surface.” “Maybe not,” sighed Leela, “but there have been several cave-ins in the last few weeks and the amount of untreated sewage has been rising, especially that of highly aggressive substances - thanks to a certain “Honest Bender” who has taken over the disposal of the Professors toxic waste”. She aimed a venomous look in the direction of Planet Express’ bending expert. “Aw, these mutants are losers. Naggin’ about a bit of rubbish. They wouldn’t know toxic waste if it landed on their heads, if they have one, that is. What do they know about toxic waste anyway?” replied Bender, lighting another cigar. “Well, they live among it for a start” said Leela. “Serves them right”, Bender grunted, emitting a big puff of smoke. Leela parted with the wall. “My parents have had to clear out their place from sewage twice as often as usual because it glows in the dark and eats away the furniture.” she said, looking testy. “It’s a good thing they’re already mutated, or they would be really agitated.”
The door to the lounge opened, and the Professor shuffled in. “Good news everyone!” he called, “we have a delivery! A particularly suicidal one, I might add!” “Hooray!” the crew cheered. “Meet me in ten minutes at the conference table”, said the Professor. “I need to test my latest invention and I don’t want any of you to peek.” With this, he trundled off, leaving a light-blue slipper on the carpet without noticing. Bender stubbed out his cigar, rose from the sofa and walked towards the door. “Say Leela, you seem to have gained a few pounds lately. Care if I relieve you of your liver or your kidneys?” he said, snatching a knife from inside his chest cabinet. “No!” said Leela, clutching her belly protectively, “I still need them!” “What about you, Fry?” asked Bender, turning to him. “Don’t you want a few bucks for some organs you never saw and probably will never need?” “Sure”, Fry answered, “I think I can spare a few livers and kidneys and stuff. Take it away!” Grinning, Bender rose the knife and advanced on Fry. “NO!” cried Leela, stepping in front of the sofa. “I won’t let you sell your organs! Besides, you have only one liver, and you need it to live.” “Really?” wondered Fry, scratching his head. “I thought that was the spleens. Could you step aside, Leela? You’re blocking my view to the TV.” Bender, who had disappointedly lowered the knife, brightened up as Hermes and Dr. Zoidberg entered the lounge. “Hey Hermes, what say you if I offer you five bucks for your liver and ten for each kidney?” “Can’t do dat”, answered the bureaucrat. “My organs are distributed by de Central Bureaucracies health service and have to be saved up in case a higher-ranking bureaucrat has need of dem. Anyway, even if I were able to give dem away, I’d first have to file a request and it would take a few years.” “And what about you, Zoidberg? Care to loose a bit of weight?”“Hold on”, Leela interrupted him. “Why are you suddenly so keen on organs? I thought you still dealt in waste disposal.” “Oh, you know how it is” said Bender, shuffling his feet. “I tried to make a few extra bucks and agreed to deliver two hundred spare vital organs to the Robot Mafia..” “How many did you already gather?” asked Fry. “None”, replied Bender. “I overpowered an old lady and tried to steal some of her, but it turned out she was hard-wired to the police.” “How long till you have to deliver?” asked Hermes. “Three days” said Bender. “Maybe I will have to beat up some hobos and take the organs off them.” “Don’t be stupid” said Leela dismissively, “first, the Hobo Union will be mad, and second you won’t have any time to do it with the upcoming delivery. What will Donbot do to you if you don’t deliver on time?” “Dunno. Break my legs, possibly. I have already bought some spare ones.” said Bender, miserably sinking into a chair. Zoidberg took him around the shoulder. “I would gladly share my organs with you, robut” he said, “but I am missing some vital ones already and Crustacean organs are not that valuable on the market. Else I would have sold them already to end my miserable poorness.” “Aw, shut yer trap lobster! They wanted human organs anyway.” grunted Bender. “Aw” mumbled Zoidberg, sagging. “Amy, what about you?” “Sorry Bender” said the companies intern loftily, “but my organs are not for sale, and even if they were, they would cost a lot more than you could ever afford. Besides, my parents would get mad again, you know how square they are. I still remember the uproar when I gave one of my toes to my boyfriend as a very special souvenir. Old fashioned they are and no mistake”. Just at that moment, an elderly man with a big moustache wearing a cap entered the lounge and started to poke at one of the room’s power sockets with a screwdriver. “Who’re you?” asked Fry. “Scruffy. The janitor” said the man, not to be disturbed at his task. “Hey man” said Bender hopefully, “can I interest you in giving up a few on your organs? Practically painless, and the rewards are huge: less weight, less health troubles, more money!” “Sorry mate”, said the janitor. “Scruffy has all his organs locked away in bank. For safety reasons.” The crew looked slightly nonplussed at this, but as it was almost time for the conference, they filed out of the door, heading for the landing bay.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Hypnotize

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #1 on: 02-28-2006 21:14 »
« Last Edit on: 02-28-2006 21:14 »

I like it,I cant wait to see what bender wants with organs, its was pretty good.

 http://www.gotfuturama.com/Interactive/FanFiction/  you should post it here. i would give it 8/9
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #2 on: 03-01-2006 09:05 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Here we go - second installment.

Chapter Two

Three minutes later, the crew was gathered around the conference table. “As I said, you will be making a very dangerous delivery” said the Professor. He activated the holo-projector, and the 3D-image of a bright-green planet flecked with blue rose over the table. “Tomorrow you will be going to Ebola 9, the virus planet.” “Why does that sound so familiar?” muttered Leela. The Professor continued: “The DOOP has a research station on the surface that gathers information on the unique virus types that are a dominant life form on the planet. You will be delivering a package for the DOOP science staff, containing a newly developed universal vaccine that will protect them from the local viruses. Until now, they were forced to wear pressure suits on the surface, as some of the viruses are extremely dangerous.” “Why are dey going tomorrow? Can’t dey go today?” asked Hermes. “Oh my, no” replied the Professor. “Before we can land on the planet, we have to install a quarantine and decontamination unit on board for legal reasons. Normally I wouldn’t bother with it, but the DOOP has been making a lot of patrols in the vicinity lately and we cannot risk a fine.” Under their breaths, Leela and Fry sighed with relief. “The installation of the unit will take all day, so I suggest you start immediately. Meanwhile, I will be taking a nap. And don’t disturb me for any reason. I always fear someone will rob me in my sleep, ooohh...” With this, the Professor rose and shuffled out. “OK people, you heard de Professor. De quarantine unit is already parked in de docking bay, get to it.” Leela and Fry rose to get their equipment and prepare the hover crane, while Bender strolled over to Dr Zoidberg and whispered: “Psst, Zoidy! Do you have a spare scalpel for a few minutes?” “Why certainly”, the lobster doctor replied and handed him a rusty object that might once indeed have been a scalpel. “What do you need it for, opening someone’s valves?” “Better, and probably more lucrative as well!” replied the robot and scurried off. “Hooray! Zoidberg is helping friends!” the crustacean laughed.

A bit later Fry was busy directing the hover crane towards the ship’s cargo bay, where Leela stood waiting with the necessary equipment to attach the quarantine unit that was hanging on the crane.  Suddenly a terrible noise broke the low humming of the crane, followed by a scream that sounded a lot like Bender in distress. Fry stopped the crane and jumped from the pilot’s seat, and he and Leela hurried to the Professors quarters where the noise had come from. Upon opening the door, they found the Professor snoring peacefully in his armchair, but beside him stood a terrifying monstrous steel construct that had Bender in its jaws, crushing and tearing at him. The bending robot was screaming on the top of his voice, but the Professor seemed not to notice. Leela gave the old man a kick on the shins which awoke him instantly. After a few seconds he noticed Bender’s predicament and produced a remote control on which he pressed a button, which caused the giant battle robot beside him to spit out the bending unit and come to a standstill. Bender ricocheted off the walls a few times and almost wrecked the smelloscope parked in a corner, and rose with a badly dented and scuffed chassis as well as a furious look in his eyes. “What’s this thing, Professor? It almost shredded me!” “Oh, this is the Alarmomatic 5000 alarm battle robot, my newest invention. It doubles as an alarm clock and a battle robot, as you have just witnessed.” “Why would anyone combine an alarm clock with a battle robot?” asked Leela, fascinated. “Well, I did tell you that I am always afraid someone will rob me in my sleep...” answered the Professor and retired to his armchair, where he fell asleep again in a matter of microseconds. “Come on” said Leela to Bender and Fry, noticing that Bender was picking up the remains of a rusty scalpel that lay next to the armchair - it was cleanly broken in two. Once outside the door, she turned on the robot and demanded: “Bender, did you try and rob the Professor’s organs while we were slaving with that decontamination unit?” “Of course not!” replied the angry robot, still examining his exterior for more scratches and bruises. “I was just looking if he had any interesting loot to spare. You know - jewelry, booze, money...” “... and probably his lungs” snapped Leela dryly. “Look, I sympathize with your efforts to fulfill your contract with the Robot mafia, but you can’t steal other peoples organs! What would you do if I started stealing your parts?” “Easy, I’d steal some new ones” said Bender, lighting another cigar. “Well, you’ve wasted enough time already. Get a hammer to take care of the dents and then help us install that decontamination unit” said Leela, turning towards the docking bay. “And leave the Professor alone, after all he IS our employer - even if he sends us on suicide missions all the time.” “Aw man, can’t I at least take his spleen? He won’t miss it at all!”moaned Bender. “No, you can’t. First, the Alarmomatic would tear you in half, and second, the Professor doesn’t have a spleen any more. He told me he lost it at a Poker party a hundred years ago” said Leela, strolling off with Fry trailing behind her.

In the late afternoon the crew was leaving the Planet Express building. “Man, installing this decontamination thingy sure was a lot of work” said Fry, rubbing his arms. “I’m not sure I can stand seeing another cable for a few days” agreed Leela, massaging her fingers. “Me neither” said Bender. “I had to take my whole skin off to remove the dents from that stupid robot’s teeth, AND I had to spend ten bucks for a new finish! The Professor owes me for this! I think I should go up there and take his liver” he added and turned around, drawing his knife again, but Fry and Leela held him back. “Don’t” said Fry. “First, that alarm clock thingy is probably still with him, and you don’t want to be scrapped just after work. And second, if you kill him, Cubert will take over Planet Express.” “What if I take his liver too?” begged Bender. “No way” said Leela.. “This would set a bad example, and I don’t have enough money right now to insure my liver. What if we go for a drink instead?” “Top hole!” cheered Fry and Bender, and the three of them shuffled off towards O’Zorgnax.

The pub was almost empty at this hour, but began to fill up rapidly with people who had just ended their working day. The crew sat at the bar, waiting for their drinks. “So that will be three Olde Fortran, one pitcher of Löbrau and one Shirley Temple” said the barman, serving the drinks. “Woo hoo! Nothing like a Shirley Temple on a refreshing afternoon” said Fry, looking fondly at the cute paper umbrella that came with his drink. Leela said nothing and just poured herself a beer, keeping her eye on the customers in the big mirror facing the bar. They turned their attention to their drinks, and said nothing for a while, relaxing from their busy day. Leela was just going through the second glass as she noticed a brightly dressed young man who had just strolled into the pub and scanned the customers as if looking for something. Following him in the mirror, she watched as he was approaching a lone woman sitting at a table and sipping a drink, as he was muttering something to her with a suggestive smile, and as he was harshly rejected. “Jerk”, she mumbled under her breath as he tried the same with several more ladies, always with the same result. Then, not at all surprised, she noticed the man coming straight towards her, a look on his face like a farmer at a livestock show seeing a perfect cow. She made sure that her back was turned to him and that her face was covered by her hand. The man came to stand next to her and ordered a bottle of Löbrau in a slightly too loud and cheery voice, obviously trying to be overheard by her. Bender and Fry, knowing what would come next, sat still and waited, not wanting to ruin Leela’s act. And finally, the man turned to her. “Hey, baby, funky hairdo. And what an unusual colour, too! What would you say about me and you sharing a few beers?” Leela waited until the man’s full attention was on her, then slowly turned to face him with a venomous look in her eye. The man screamed and dropped the bottle, then made for the door at high speed which caused some comment in the crowd, but was taken as something that happened once in a while. There were even a few cheers. “New guy,” said the bar man. “Pity though, another customer that won’t drink here any more.” Bender and Fry high-fived each other and cheered. “Good one” said Fry grinning hugely, while Leela smiled smugly. “Although not as good as the one who threw up, then had a heart attack and had to be reanimated.”  “Thanks. He had it coming. It’s only a shame that almost every man reacts that way. Even Shawn!” sighed Leela. “Well, at least it’s a good feature to keep jerks off your back” said Bender, finishing his fifth bottle. “And nice guys as well” added Leela, dryly. “Sometimes I just wish people wouldn’t rely on first impressions so much. About the only men not scared off by my eye are Fry and, of course...” “LEELA! The only woman who ever loved me!!” boomed a golden-brown voice dripping with self-satisfaction from the door. Leela turned quickly, a look of surprise on her face - which was instantly replaced by an expression of utter loathing. Through the throng inside the pub strode Zapp Brannigan, heading right towards her, with his aide Kif trailing miserably behind him.

“Zapp! What are you doing here? And why are you not in uniform?” Leela demanded hotly, while Fry and Bender quickly bent over their drinks - this was not going to be pretty. “Shhh! I’m here in-cock-nitto, so to speak-eh” whispered Zapp, taking position beside the cyclops on the bar. “That’s right, people!” he suddenly yelled. “Your favourite space captain is making an informal visit to this miserable little joint!” A few cheers went up, mingled with the occasional boo and one “You suck!” “But Sir”, begged Kif, “you said you wanted to remain incognito!” “Of course!” replied Zapp, with an air of immense superiority, “but that doesn’t mean I can’t let people know who I am, does it? Besides, you mispronounced in-cock-nitto again!” Kif sighed and hung his head. Fry risked a sideways glance at the DOOP captain. He was indeed less obvious in the greatcoat he was wearing over his uniform, not counting that look of self-satisfied stupidity that always made him stand out no matter where he was. “So, Leela” said Zapp, leaning closer, “what do you say about sharing a few beers, maybe a bottle of cham-paggin or two? And maybe afterwards we could make hot, sexy love together?” “Not even if you were the last man in the universe” hissed Leela, her eye narrowing dangerously. “Capital!” said Zapp. “Barman, bring us two bottles of your finest cham-paggin and a bed. The two of you, clear off!” he bellowed at Fry and Bender, making a grab for Leela’s shoulder. As she was retreating to avoid him, Fry got up and stood before Zapp. “Hey, if anyone paws my captain, it’s me!” he yelled at him. “Fry, that’s sweet of you, really. But I think I can handle him”, whispered Leela into his ear. Fry seemed not to notice and rolled up his sleeves, scowling at the startled captain. “I see. Violence it is, eh? Well, you pitiful pipsqueak, you have just met your equal!” boomed Zapp, throwing off his greatcoat and raising his fists. “Prepare to be defeated by one who has the Will of the Warrior!” At that, Leela listened up and tried to intervene, but it was already too late - Fry had kicked Zapp in the shins, making him hop around and scream with pain. Just as Fry and Bender were busy laughing at him, Zapp’s gloved fist seemed to come out of nowhere and caught Fry squarely in the stomach, making him fall over and pant frantically. Zapp was closing in to land some kicks on Fry when a fist caught him violently on the side of his skull, spinning him around just in time to see a boot coming from the other side at near light speed. Leela’s boot met him right on the nose and sent him flying onto the bar, which broke it’s fundament and fell over, sending Zapp crashing into a lot of empty bottles and pitchers. While Bender was lifting Fry over his head and struggled for the door, Leela closed on Zapp behind the bar to see if he was down for good. “Leela! Why are you doing this to me? After all we shared!” moaned the DOOP captain. Leela gave him another violent kick, then made off as she heard approaching sirens. Behind her, she heard Zapp scream with rage. “I swear I will make that woman to make love with me, and if it’s the last thing I ever do!” “Cheese it!” cried Bender, who had already reached the door. The last thing they saw was Kif trying to help his fallen captain up.

When they had safely turned a few corners at high speed, Leela and Bender slowed down and saw after Fry. He had taken a good blow in the stomach, but had escaped greater harm. “Well, that did not go so well”, said Leela. “Who would have thought of that idiot actually showing up in our favourite pub? And Fry, that was, as always, very nice but very dumb of you.” “Hey”, said Fry, still panting and cleaning vomit from his face, “I couldn’t let that gorilla grab at you. You deserve better than him.” And brightened as Leela gave him a rare smile. “Well, another afternoon ruined”, stated Bender, who had rescued one of his bottles and was draining it. “And I hardly started dinner at all. What about us three going somewhere else and having a few more drinks?” “Not a good idea”, said Leela, shaking her head. “The brawl at O’Zorgnax will certainly arouse the police, and I think we should better lie low for a while. Besides, I should be getting home soon, I have an important call to make.” “To whom?” asked Fry. “My parents”, replied Leela. “They get nervous if I don’t call once in a while and let them know everything is OK.” So their ways parted, Fry and Bender were turning towards Robot Arms Apartments, while Leela strolled for her home. During the entire way, she had the nagging feeling that someone was watching her, and kept turning around, but saw no one giving her a second glance, at least not more than usual. After a quick shower, she activated her vidphone and connected to SewerCom - without noticing the little shadow hovering in front of the window...


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
soylentOrange

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #3 on: 03-01-2006 21:34 »

i really like it.  more please  smile
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #4 on: 03-02-2006 06:59 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Three

It was the following morning. The crew were having a cup of coffee in front of the TV while waiting for the final checkup on the ship. Morbo was just reading his way through this mornings news, including one item of immediate interest to them. “In other news, a representative of the insignificant DOOP fleet was seriously beaten up at a bar fight yesterday. Puny Earthling Captain Zapp Brannigan was injured several times when trying to mingle among suspicious aliens. The Police already arrested a suspect” he went on, as the screen showed two policemen dragging a chained and downcast-looking Zoidberg inside a NNYPD station. “Captain Brannigan has been awarded his seventh Purple Heart by President Nixon’s Head in reward for risking his life on behalf of the planet Earth, which will soon be destroyed by my race, muahahahaa!” At this point, Hermes entered. “Leela, dere’s a call for you. It’s personal.” “Who is it?” asked Leela, getting up. “I don’t know” replied the bureaucrat. “It was a confidential line, although de man called himself Zapp Smith. You can speak in my office. Just leave my favourite stapler alone!” he cried, hugging a pile of forms protectively. Already guessing who it might be and not liking it at all, Leela made her way to Hermes’ office and secured the door. Then she voice-activated the connection, which immediately showed who had been calling, and she was not really surprised to see Zapp Brannigan’s face. He sat in a hover chair on the Nimbus’ bridge that was pushed by no other than Kif. “Good morning, sweetheart!” said Zapp brightly, if a little indistinct. He had a black eye and apparently a broken nose set in plaster, plus a few bruises. “What do you want?” growled Leela, scowling at him with a mixture of slight guilt and deep satisfaction. “It is time to clear our relationship once and for all, sugarpie”, replied Zapp with that special suggestive grin on his face. “Last night was a mistake, I’m sure, for you have once joined me in sweet love and so it shall be for all eternity. I want you to declare publicly that you are my woman and will ever be, and I want you to service me sexually for the rest of your life. Doesn’t that sound inviting? Spending your whole life with the Big Zapper?” Leela, who couldn’t believe what she just heard, sat still for a moment and felt her jaw dropping. Then she rallied and yelled “Forget it! I never want to see you again, and if you run across me once more, last night will seem like heaven!” Zapp took it without batting an eye and said “Leela, you are obviously confused and arous-ehd. You have once had sex with me, and I will make sure that you will be at my disposal for hot sexy love whenever I wish it. Just maybe you need a little encouragement - take a look at this.” The screen changed and showed the interior of Leela’s living room as seen from the window, with her sitting at the vidphone and talking to her parents - every last word could be heard. “I sent a spybot after you last night to see if you had any female problems you couldn’t deal with. Well, here is one. If you don’t give yourself up to me, I will publicly declare you a mutant, banishing you to the sewers forever.” The picture disappeared and revealed Zapp once more, wearing an especially smug grin and waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Leela was dumbstruck for a while. Then she exploded “You JERK! How can you do that to me? Blackmail? That’s illegal! If you really go public with this, I will see to it that you get punished for this!” Zapp interrupted her. “Maybe it’s illegal, but so is a mutant living on the surface. Besides, don’t you have personal documents labelling you a “resident alien”? That’s falsification of documents, that is-seh. And as for me, the law will forgive me for my years of service. Now, I will give you three days to reply. If I don’t hear anything from you till then, this tape goes public-eh. Choose wisely - a life in the sewers away from your job and your friends, or a life with me, away from your job and your friends-eh.” With that, the connection was terminated, and the last thing Leela saw was Kif’s more than unhappy look towards her.

Leela just sat there for a while, thoughts chasing each other wildly in her mind. She felt as if someone had struck her on the head, and could not think straight. She still was in that state when Hermes opened the door. “What are you still doin’ here?” he demanded. “I hate to be away from me desk during working hours while I could be sittin’ here, happily stampin’ away!” Instead of an answer, Leela rose from her seat and scurried out, apparently not noticing him. She plodded on to the lounge, as if on automatic, and dropped in a chair, hiding her face in her hands. “What’s up, Leela?” asked Fry, from the sofa. “Something wrong with your parents?” “Worse” replied Leela darkly.”I should never have installed that damn window in the first place!” That moment, the door to the landing bay opened and the Professor and Amy stepped in. “Good news everyone!” said the Professor, “the ship is now ready to depart”. Amy added “And I’ll be going with you. I always wanted to see Ebola 9, I heard they got some great party viruses there!” Fry went to look after Leela, who still sat in the chair. “Is there anything I can do?” he asked, bending over her. “We’ll see. I’ll explain it underway” she replied, rising to her feet.

After the Planet Express ship had cleared the solar system and was on its course on auto pilot, Leela explained what Zapp had told her. “So that gross jerk wants to coerce you into sexual slavery? Aw man, I should have kicked his other shin as well!” barked Fry, furious. Bender added: “You should have kicked him some more, Leela, then he would be in no position to harm you anymore.” “Well, it’s too late to do that now” sighed Leela. “He’s already got the evidence, and if he’s smart - oh, forget that. We need to find a way to convince him not to publicise I’m not an alien, and we have to do it in two days.” “Fat chance!” sneered Bender, lighting a cigar. “The trip to Ebola 9 takes a whole day, and the delivery will need some time as well. You’d better give in to him and then kill him in his sleep. By the way, if you’re thinking of killing yourself, can I have your organs?” “No! If at all possible, I want to avoid giving in to him - it might give him funny ideas” said Leela, her heart sinking. “Right now, I can’t see a way out of this.” Bender asked: “Hey, why don’t you try and find some dirt on him?” “Hey, yeah” cried Fry. “If you can blackmail him too, he might abstain from denouncing you in the first place.” Leela brightened briefly, but then sagged again. “The chance for this is rather slim”, she said. “First, Zapp is the most highly decorated officer in all of human history, and second, that pompous idiot is so convinced of himself that practically nothing we dig up will put him to shame. Still, it’s a chance, and as we cannot take action from here, we will ask Hermes if he can do some research at the Central Bureaucracy for us. If anyone can find any incriminating information on Zapp there, it’s him.” “And I’ll call my dad”, said Amy. “Perhaps he knows someone who can stir up some dirt on Zapp, and if not, some high-ranking DOOP officials owe him favours. We might get something in time.” “Good”, said Leela. “Let’s get to work. Fry, you prepare everything for the delivery so that it takes as little time as humanly possible. Bender, you will call Hermes. And Amy, you try to get your parents on the phone. I’ll go to the bridge and break the news to my parents in the meantime. If we can’t find a way out of this, maybe I’ll have to go and live with them after all, at least until some grass has grown over it.” With that, she rose and strode out, and the others followed her.

The planet Ebola 9 shone like a huge, glittering green-blue gem as the Planet Express ship approached it at high speed. The sun reflected from its oceans, and the brilliant green of the continents reminded of the deep jungles that covered much of the surface. On the night side, the lights of the cities shone into the darkness. The crew was gathered on the bridge, and Leela was reading out some information on the planet. “The planet is set under a strict quarantine. Everything that leaves it has to be decontaminated because of the vast variety of viral life forms there. Apparently these viruses are the major motor of evolution on this planet and can have astounding effects on organisms infected by them, ranging from heightened intelligence or strength to hideous and eventually lethal diseases, depending from the virus. Since there are so many and life forms not indigenous to the planet cannot adapt to them, all off-worlders are compelled to wear pressure suits to avoid infection.” Amy asked “That’s why we have the quarantine unit installed, huh? It keeps alien organisms off the ship and improves the air conditioning so it filters out anything unknown.” “Yes”, agreed Leela. “It is a legal requirement if you want to enter the atmosphere. And the unit also contains a decontamination chamber in which cargo that goes off the planet can be sterilized. By the way, it can also be used to contain an infected person without risking to contaminate the whole ship.” Bender said: “You organ-sacks might be fodder for these little jerks, but why did I have to build in that Pasteur unit?” “Well, the viruses can’t hurt you, but we don’t want you to bring any on board inside your body, now do we?” replied Leela. “OK, I’ve got the coordinates for the research station. We’ll land, drop off the package and be off as fast as possible. That way, we might get back to Earth just in time to keep Zapp in check. At the very least, I’ll have time to clear out my apartment”, she added bitterly.

The DOOP research station turned out to be situated in a deep jungle on the southern hemisphere, cut off from the rest of the planet and having it’s own power supply and landing pad. Someone had obviously invested a lot of money, as the installation was more than a kilometre in length and possessed several buildings plus, as it seemed, a lot of underground space. Once the Planet Express ship had touched down, Fry, Amy and Leela put on their pressure suits and left the ship, followed by Bender. They reached the stations decontamination airlock, where Fry rang the doorbell and announced the incoming delivery. At once, the airlock door swung up, and the four of them entered. The door closed, and the decontamination process began. Bender turned on his internal Pasteur unit to clean out the last crevices of his chest cabinet and internal hollow spaces. After about ten seconds, the airlock door signal switched from red to green, and the crew entered the reception hall. They found a white-coated officer of medium height waiting there, who immediately addressed them. “Welcome”, he said, “I’m Dr. Boudreaux, the scientific head of this operation. And you must be the Planet Express delivery crew! We have been impatiently awaiting your delivery, for it may relieve us of some major difficulties encountered here.” Meanwhile, the three organic members of the crew had removed their helmets, and Dr. Boudreaux had time to have a look at them. “Oh, this IS a surprise! You must be the famous Captain Leela, the companion of the renowned Zapp Brannigan!” Leela felt her eye widen and her jaw drop, and saw out of the corner of her eye that Fry and Amy did the same. “How do you know me?” she asked, puzzled. “And why do you think that I am a companion to Zapp?” “Oh, he told me all about you when he visited us here this morning”, Dr. Boudreaux smiled, “including that you slept with him - this he told us five times, it sure seemed to be weighing on his mind.  He told us that you will be spending the rest of your life with him, and I can see now why a man of his finesse and experience would be attracted to you - obviously for various reasons, including political correctness. What a signal for the understanding between alien worlds than to have a weird-looking alien mate!” exclaimed Dr. Boudreaux. There seemed to be a sudden drop in temperature as Fry and Amy drew in their breaths and took a step back, noticing the expression on Leela’s face - it seemed to have frozen. Apparently Dr. Boudreaux had noticed it too, for he suddenly interrupted his speech and flinched, as if Leela was going to strike him. Then, after a period slightly too long to feel comfortable, Leela’s face instantly broke into a big smile. “That’s right! Weird-looking alien, indeed! And you really have to admire Zapp’s political instincts and his taste that he would make out with someone as weird-looking as me!” she said, giving the scientist a wide grin which was, somehow, a lot worse than the previous expression. Dr. Boudreaux wisely chose not to dwell on the subject and coughed politely. “If you could now please hand over the package, we can bring this transaction to it’s conclusion. It contains samples of the universal vaccine that has been developed on Earth to protect humans from infection of the local viruses. Anyone being immunized by it must no longer wear a pressure suit outside, for the local life forms will then no longer be able to infect him! And afterwards, I will give you a tour of the facility. Yes, yes, I insist”, he said as Leela made attempts to interrupt, “a friend of Zapp Brannigan is my friend as well.” With that, he turned to his office, and Fry followed him to make the actual delivery. until his return, Leela and Amy got rid of their pressure suits and hung them on the wardrobe. “Leela, Zapp may be in this very solar system!” hissed Amy into her ear. “That means we may have a chance to parley with him, and I might even meet with Kif!” “Right”, agreed Leela, “if the Nimbus is here, we may get a chance to talk to him seriously - or at least try to find some dirt on him. I’ve always wondered how an idiot like Zapp could ever reach a rank as high as the one he has. And Kif might be of some help as well, he hates Zapp’s guts and if anyone knows dirty secrets about him, it’s your little tadpole.” Leela smiled hopefully. “If all else fails, we can always shove him in an airlock and pretend it was an accident.” “Good idea”, agreed Bender. “But in that case, I have some fish to fry with him as well” he said, whetting the knife he had taken from his chest cabinet again.


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #5 on: 03-02-2006 10:38 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Four
               
Five minutes later, Fry and Dr. Boudreaux had completed the formalities and the scientist took the lead in the tour, as he had promised. “Here are the Incubation Chambers” he announced as they stepped through an airlock. Behind thick sheets of glass, rows and rows of cubicles could be seen, where various animals were held. “We use them for controlled infection with different types of viruses to find out if they have any marketable uses, like, say, a party virus, an enhanced genetic structure, a biological weapon or a weird disease to use for population control.” Why don’t you decode the virus DNA and extrapolate the outcome?” asked Amy, always the scientist. “Can’t” answered Dr. Boudreaux. “The DNA of the local life forms is so complex that it takes days to decipher a whole set of genes, and we have billions of different types yet to test. There are literally too many to count here, and each one may have it’s specific uses and harmful effects. We have only catalogued about 0.01% of the known virus types yet, and we reckon we know only about 1% of the true number.” “Is it true that some virus types will actually improve you?” asked Fry, remembering the worms he had once ingested. “Yes” answered the scientist. “As a matter of fact, all local higher life forms rely on virus symbionts to survive, the indigenous biology is unthinkable without them. Over the millennia, the flora and fauna have adapted to viruses to an extent that they cannot survive without them. Incidently, this has much accelerated the evolution, as viruses may change the DNA of the host. For example, the intelligent species of this planet - there are several - owe their intelligence to a symbiont virus that is transferred after birth from mother to child. Their own genetic structure doesn’t allow for a big enough brain to become intelligent, only the virus enhances the DNA and allows the growth of a big enough brain. Many creatures here don’t have an own immune system as well, they rely on symbiont viruses to do the job for them.” “Fascinating” said Leela. “Are there uses for humans and other alien life forms to be found in the local biology?” she inquired. “That’s what we are here to find out” answered Dr. Boudreaux, warming on the subject. “The widest-known use are the said party viruses that have been on the market for a few years now” he said, as they passed a window showing a room with partying white-coated humans inside. “They are not a threat to the body, and the effects wear off after a few hours when the immune system kills them off. Others may cause terrible diseases, and DOOP is into research of those as well for military reasons - to use them as a weapon or find countermeasures in case they are used on us. Others might improve bodily functions and abilities or create new ones. There is, for example, a virus we have tested about a month ago that allows the regeneration of your body, that is a severed limb will slowly regrow. The uses are practically unlimited - we just have to make sure that we eliminate the harmful viruses and that nothing leaves the lab untested.” The scientist fell silent as they passed the many cubicles in which test animals were held, some of them looking no different from normal, some of them showing the most extraordinary changes. For example, there was an owl with three sets of wings and a rat that had grown so much it threatened to burst the cubicle it was in. They passed another airlock and came into the laboratories. “This is where we do the less dangerous experimenting” said Dr. Boudreaux, as they strode through rows and rows of lab tables, all occupied by white-coated scientists busily experimenting. After another airlock, they reached a big room full of refrigerated storage containers. “This is the storehouse, where we keep the virus forms already catalogued and other things like vaccines. Your delivery is just being put away, as it seems” said the doctor, as a few more white-coats were stacking phials inside a cabinet. “This concludes the tour. I hope you had some fun!” “Sure did. Heheheh”, said Bender, as he walked behind the others towards the reception area. “And, captain - no hard feelings” said Dr. Boudreaux, giving Leela an uncertain smile. As they reached the wardrobe and struggled into the pressure suits, Amy complained: “Spluh, who are these things made for anyway? Don’t we have something more figure-hugging? I look terrible!” Adjusting her belt, Leela replied: “They may not be shapely, but they fulfill their purpose.” “Sure, someone like you is bound to say that. Have you got no sense of fashion?” sneered Amy, but fell silent quickly as she saw Leela’s eye narrow dangerously. They passed the airlock, then strode back to the ship. After they had climbed the gangway, they went inside the decontamination unit. Once inside, Leela turned on Bender and gave him with a stern look. “OK Bender - fess up!” she barked. “Huh? What? What are you talking about?” said the startled robot, looking guilty. “You were uncharacteristically silent on the whole tour, don’t think I haven’t noticed” snapped Leela. “How much did you steal? Come on now”, she continued less harshly as Bender sagged, “I know it’s no fun for you if you can’t steal anything, but this is important. The wrong phial could easily wipe out an entire planet, and I won’t let that happen. Besides, if there’s anything valuable in there, you should share it with us.” “Just a few souvenirs...” Bender sighed meekly, opening his chest cabinet. It was stacked full of phials of many different colours, each one with a different marker. “I thought I could make a few bucks selling those.” “Hooray, party virus!” exclaimed Amy, taking out a packet. Leela straightened up. “Leave them in here so nothing potentially harmful can enter the ship. And Amy, you can catalogue them when you have time. Some of this may be of interest to the Professor, perhaps he can use it for a few fresh Doomsday Devices and black hearted monsters.” They went through the decontamination process, then entered the ship.

There were some messages on the ship’s mailbox: one from Hermes that he had begun his search in the bowels of the Central Bureaucracy and one from Mr. Wong who stated he would call in a few favours to set things straight. And a message from Kif, who said that he would be off-duty in a few hours and wait for Amy to call. Thrilled, Amy ran into her room and activated the vidphone, dialling the Nimbus’ number and then adding the number of Kif’s cabin. Kif immediately answered it. “Hello, my little tadpole” purred Amy, getting a weak smile from Kif - it was obvious he had something else on his mind, and Amy already knew what it was. “Amy”, said Kif, “something terrible is happening, and I need you to help me to stop it. Perhaps Captain Leela has already informed you?” “Yes”, replied Amy, “and don’t worry too much. Leela and me may have our differences sometimes, but no one is interested in sending her to the sewers or delivering her to Zapp, except maybe that ugly fathead himself. We are informed and have already taken steps.” Kif sagged with relief. “Thank you, my love. You know you are my smizmar, but the captain is, after all, the mother of my offspring, and my clan honour demands that I help her in any way I can.” “That’s sweet of you, Kif. Really” replied Amy, with a warm smile. “For we need your help as well. Time is short and Zapp’s huge ego and his enormous reputation are great obstacles to overcome. If we want to blackmail him ourselves, it had better be something really horrible that will crush him if we go public with it. Only then he might give in not to expose Leela, and maybe he will even do it if we have something to crush him with. That idiot is completely unpredictable at times.” Just as she had said that, the bulkhead to Kif’s quarters opened, and a hover chair containing no other than Zapp himself hovered in, pushed by a dreary-looking DOOP soldier. “Kif, my hourly massage is due, and also I need to visit the bathroom-meh”, said the captain, still a little indistinct through the plaster over his nose. Kif quickly hid the screen from his view and muttered “I’ll call you back”, then hung up. Amy got up and changed into a fresh sweat suit, then went to report to Leela. She met her on the bridge, where she was busy preparing liftoff. “Leela, Kif’s on our side and will do what he can to help us” Amy said. Leela brightened up considerably at this. “That’s fine, I already assumed he would - after that look he gave me this morning I knew it already.” With a new spring in her step, Leela prepared the external decontamination unit and programmed the auto pilot on course for home. “What did he tell you?” she asked over her shoulder. “Not much” Amy shrugged, “we had only little time as Zapp came in all of a sudden, but he will call me back.” “I just hope Zapp didn’t see he was talking to you” Leela muttered indistinctly as she was wrestling with a particularly stubborn lever. “Don’t worry” Amy said. “Zapp’s so wrapped up in himself that he probably doesn’t even remember me:”

“Say Kif, are you still together with this Chinese girl?” asked Zapp as Kif pushed him through the corridors of the Nimbus. “Yes Sir” answered Kif, wearing his usual downcast expression. “Very well” replied Zapp, stretching in his chair. “It’s about time you took an example in me and my famous seduction skills-eh. Rule one: it always pays to be persistent. Leela has been playing with me for years, but now I have her nailed-eh. Or am about to nail her, hahaha!” Zapp cracked his knuckles and grinned his unequalled grin, slightly wincing as his nose hurt with the tension.”Still, it pays to be prepared for anything she might do to keep playing with me. Did you hide the tape where I told you to?” Zapp asked Kif, who sighed and replied “Yes Sir. It’s safely hidden away under your pillow.” “Then everything is set. Prepare the Lovenasium for tomorrow nights epic events, and make sure those idiots in sickbay can remove this stupid plaster by then” said Zapp, putting his hands together in satisfaction. “Sir” inquired Kif, “if I may be so bold to ask, what makes you think Captain Leela will actually cave in to your ploy to win her heart?” Zapp quickly turned in the hover chair and gave Kif an angry look. “Kif, old man, as my loyal friend and pupil you should know this by now! No woman given the choice between a life underground with smelly genetically inferior scum and a glorious hot sexy lifelong affair with the greatest starship captain who ever lived can even stop to think, the choice is obvious!” “Yes Sir”, sighed Kif, as Zapp sank back into his chair with a content smile, “that’s exactly what I was thinking.”

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #6 on: 03-02-2006 20:03 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Five

The Planet Express Ship was well on it’s way back to Earth. Fry and Bender were sitting in their room playing Poker. “So Bender” asked Fry, “did you think of a way to grab the organs you owe to Donbot yet?” “Nah” replied the robot. “But it will have to be a fast way, given that we have little time once we get back, so I guess I’ll just rob an organ bank. Wanna join me?” “Nah”, said Fry, drawing another card. “If they convict me again, I might get back to that Robot Psycho Clinic thingy and that was no fun at all.” “Oh sure” said Bender, testily. “Your best friend needs help, and this is how you treat me? You meatbags are so selfish” he growled, laying down a full house. “And by the way, you owe me money now” he added, cackling with glee. “Wrong!” cried Fry, laying down four queens. Bender was furious. “Oh I see, this is how you want to play the game? First you let me down, and now you steal my money? I’ll kill you!” he screamed, taking the knife from his chest cabinet. “Don’t!” yelled Fry, jumping to his feet. “First, if you kill me, Leela will make you clean up. And second, who will make you Bender Waffles just the way you like them?” Bender hesitated, then lowered the knife. “Aw man, it’s a harsh world” he mumbled, putting away the knife. Just at that moment, the vidphone rang - Fry was on communications duty, and rushed to answer it. It was Hermes. “Hey Fry” he said, looking weary with grey rings under his eyes. “Listen up, I have searched all day, but de data to sort is just so huge dat it will probably take longer dan harvesting a big sugar cane field with a toothpick.” “What do you mean?” asked Fry, putting on his jacket. “It means” replied Hermes patiently, “dat we need more time. De deadline is about six hours from now, and I need more dan dat to complete my search of every piece of information on Captain Brannigan. If you only knew de number of missions he was on, and de amount of paperwork dey created! I’m sorry, but if you want me to maybe find something, you will have to stall Brannigan a little.” “OK Hermes, I’ll tell Leela. Thanks” Fry said. “Don’t mention it” replied Hermes, terminating the connection. Just then, the vidphone rang again, and Fry, who was about to leave the room, answered it again. It was Kif, and he was wearing a very downcast expression. “Uh, could I talk to Amy please?” he asked, his gaze straying to the bulkhead. “Sure” said Fry, and put the call through to the bridge, where Amy was piloting the ship. Then he left the room to wake Leela and brief her on the new developments.

“Listen, Amy” said Kif, “I’ve snatched a moment from preparing the... uh.. special bedroom for Zapp and don’t have long, and I know where he has hidden the tape, but I can’t get it off the ship without anyone noticing. What did you achieve until now?” he asked. “Nothing” said Amy. “It seems we have nothing yet. Not even Dad called me back, and if he doesn’t have anything, it’s unlikely that anyone else has”. Kif was shocked. “That is grim news! Soon the mother of my offspring will be forever tied to that monster of a man! Amy, we need more time! If you would come here and try to parley with Zapp, or fake you will give in to his demands, we might still have a chance to cross him.” A rap rang the bulkhead, and from outside Zapp’s booming voice could be heard. “Are you in there, Kif? Why are you not in the Lovenasium preparing the Cham-paggin and laying out the seductive underwear?” Kif sighed, and added: “I can’t stay longer. Here’s the position of the Nimbus in case you want to rendezvous.” The data appeared on the screen, and Kif hung up. Amy checked the position - the Nimbus was currently patrolling an empty region of space about five hours from their current position, and about the same distance from Earth, so there would be enough time to reach Zapp before the deadline ran out.

It was five minutes later in the conference room. Fry and Amy had just filled in the still sleepy Leela on the events, and that was enough to revive her completely. “Oh no! It seems as if I have no other chance but to act as if I’m giving in. If we can actually come on board the Nimbus, our chances may be better to hold Zapp off until we can find somehow to cross him.” Fry was shocked. “No, Leela! I just can’t let that gross baboon touch you! There must be another way!” Leela looked downcast, but also very serious. “I don’t like it as well, and if I can, I will make sure he won’t get what he wants of me. However, we need more time, and the only way to get that is to give in - or at least pretend to do that. There’s no way of talking seriously with Zapp, you all know that, and he’s so gullible that he won’t notice I am faking my decision”. “All right”, said Bender. “What assets do we have to help us, besides Leela?” Amy answered the question. “Kif is on our side, and he knows where Zapp has hidden the tape he has used to blackmail Leela. If I judge him right, the idiot hasn’t even made copies of it. Plus I have finished cataloguing the phials Bender liberated from Ebola 9" she added, taking out a datapad and displaying the list. “What have we got?” asked Leela, leaning over to get a better view. “Well, it seems Bender got a lot of Party Viruses to start with” read Amy. “A few phials are marked “Grade Reaper”, so they may be dangerous - this could be something for the Professor to play with, you know how he loves to build his little Doomsday Devices. A few phials contain viruses that enhance bodily functions - one doubles the current intelligence, one is for enhancing stamina, strength and dexterity, and one will result in a kind of temporary light coma. Oh, this one’s nasty - it will cause uncontrolled growth of certain tissue types, but it seems to be non-lethal. The last item on the list are four phials of universal vaccine. I’ve labelled the phials, they are still in the decontamination unit”. “What about these enhancing thingies?” asked Fry. “How long will they work, and are they contagious? If I am better than others, I don’t want everyone else to get it too!” Amy checked her list. “It seems most of these viruses are only slightly contagious or not at all - except that tissue growing critter. That one’s bad news, really. The enhancement viruses seem to work in a way that they adapt to the body of the host and create short-lived extra cells to fulfill the job and don’t spread out. The effect is only temporary though - a few hours is all we will get, since we are not Ebolian life forms”. “It will have to do” snapped Leela. “Better than nothing, at any rate. OK Fry, you phone Hermes and tell him we will try to get him the time he needs, and I will get us on rendezvous course with the Nimbus. It’s time to look the enemy right in the eye.” With that, she rose and strode out, a determined look on her face.
Five hours later, the Planet Express ship was closing on the DOOP flagship, and Leela prepared to contact it over the vidphone. “Are you sure you want to do this, Leela?” Fry asked, looking most unhappy. “Yes” answered the captain, although with a disgusted look. “It has to be. If everything fails, I can still make a daring escape and join my parents in the sewers. Now shut up, I need to concentrate.” She took a deep breath, then put on the most seducing fake smile she could muster and dialled the Nimbus’ bridge number. It was immediately answered, and Zapp Brannigan in all his glory appeared on the screen. Gone were the hover chair and the plaster on his face, and Kif stood behind his command chair as usual. “Hello Big Z” Leela purred, fluttering her eyelid. Brannigan’s eyes widened briefly, and his face broke into a contended smile. “Well, well, well. So you realized it is useless to try and play with the mighty Zapper, did you? Delicious! But first, tell me that you want to make hot sexy love with me for all eternity!” For a brief period, revulsion showed on Leela’s face, but she overcame it and whispered: “Yes, Big Z. Everything you want to do, I’m yours.” Zapp was obviously satisfied. “Very well! You may come aboard and join me in the Lovenasium as soon as possible.” With that, the connection was severed. Leela sagged and for a moment looked as if she would be sick any moment, but rallied just in time. “Now what?” asked Bender with a suggestive gesture. “You really want to join this scumwad and make out with him?” “Of course not!” hissed Leela determinedly. “I just need to stall him long enough so we can find the evidence or something to put him under pressure or both. Here’s the plan: Amy and Bender, you join Kif and try to find as much dirt on Zapp as you possibly can. Kif is First Officer, and Zapp will be busy with me, so you should be fine. I will, in the mean time, try to hold him off as long as I can.” “What about me?” asked Fry. “Can’t I come with you too? I would love to rummage in Zapp’s dirty secrets!” “No” said Leela, shaking her head. “I need you for something even more important. You will take the ship back to Earth and come right back in case something comes up. If nothing comes up, be back in twenty-four hours so we can try and make an escape attempt - if it’s not too late already.” Fry looked at her helplessly. “Can’t I stay with you? Please? I can’t bear the thought that you are giving yourself into the hands of this gross idiot!” “That’s sweet of you, Fry” answered Leela, smiling warmly. “It really is. But as I said, this is important. I need someone on Earth to race back with any incriminating evidence against Zapp ASAP. Without that, it may be too late. Perhaps you can assist in the search and help Hermes or something.” Fry hung his head, but said nothing - it was obvious that he was ready to do it. Leela braced herself. “Very well, I’ll take us in now. Bender, you bring the phials from the decontamination chamber - we might need them. But not the “Grade Reaper” ones!” she called after the robot. “Aw man... here’s my chance to kill all humans, and you wreck it!” Bender mumbled, but did as he was told.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #7 on: 03-02-2006 21:03 »

C'mon... give me a little feedback please. I spent quite some time slaving over this.
Hypnotize

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #8 on: 03-02-2006 21:38 »

way to long for me to read. yous should make it smaller, and do more papgraphs.
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #9 on: 03-03-2006 09:10 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Six

The Planet Express ship entered the cavernous hangar bay of the Nimbus and touched down. A full parade formation of DOOP soldiers awaited them, with Zapp Brannigan in full dress uniform at the tip. His blond hair flew in the light wind, his teeth and his medals were shining, and only a slight redness of the nose betrayed that it had been set in plaster just a few hours earlier. As usual, Kif stood behind him, wearing an expression that was a cross between sadness and disgust. Just before Leela strode down the ramp, she pushed something into Fry’s hand. “Here”, she whispered. “You might need it.” And off she was, with Amy and Bender walking behind her. Brannigan had not spared any expense, a band was playing and confetti were raining down on the three of them, although the soldiers didn’t look as if their joy was one hundred percent genuine. The same went for Leela’s stiff grin, but Zapp seemed not to notice - something like owner’s pride lay on his face. “Welcome, my love!” he exclaimed. “At last, I can call you my own. Look men! This is the woman who actually and really had hot sex with me once!” he yelled and threw up a hand as if expecting applause. A few cheers went up, but only a few seconds afterwards as if everyone was uncertain if it was really appropriate, while Leela thought she would die of shame. Then, Zapp embraced her in a great hug and planted a huge soppy kiss on her lips, and she had to muster every last bit of strength in her to resist the urge to strangle him on the spot. Zapp finished his kissing, then seemed to notice Amy and Bender. “Who are they?” he grunted. “Uh... servants?”, Leela asked hopefully, giving him a big uncertain smile. Angrily, Bender began to say “Hey-“, but was interrupted by Amy who quickly kicked him hard on the shins, and fell silent. Zapp straightened up. “Oh, very well. Kif” he said dismissively, “show these two idiots to their quarters. Meanwhile, things are warming up in my humble chamber or, as I call it, the Lovenasium.” With that, he dragged Leela away, who threw one last look back on Fry who had remained on the top of the steps. For once, he took the hint and turned around to make the ship ready for departure. Meanwhile, Kif was leading Amy and Bender in a different direction, holding hands with his smizmar and talking to both of them in an agitated way.

Fry closed the airlock and went up the stairs to the cockpit, where he sat in the pilot’s seat and fired up the engine. Only then he remembered the thing Leela had given him, and he took it from his pocket. It was an injector with one of the phials from Ebola 9 inserted, and a label on it said, in Amy’s best handwriting: “Intelligence”. For one second, Fry got angry: “Hey, is this supposed to mean she thinks I am not intelligent enough? That I’m dumb?” he said, to no one in particular. Then he realized what he had just said, and, to his credit, felt slightly ashamed of himself. He went through the starting procedures as if on automatic, then exited the Nimbus’ hangar bay at high speed. Setting the ship on automatic course for home and cranking up the engine to maximum speed, he went to medbay and found some antiseptics to disinfect a small area of skin, then determinedly pressed the injector on it and managed to trigger it after only the fifth try. Then he activated the video phone and called Hermes’ number. The phone rang a few times, then was answered - Hermes looked as if he had just been woken from an uneasy sleep, on the floor behind him there lay a huge heap of empty pneumatic tube containers. “Wha...” he began, and then said “Sorry, mon, I fell asleep. Dere’s such a lot of work! If it continues at dis rate, I’ll have to do another emergency sort-and-file, and dat might cost me a grade or two!” Fry answered:”Damn! Well, I just left Leela with Amy and Bender on board the Nimbus and I’m coming back now, Leela wanted it this way. If you want, I can try and help you.” Suddenly Hermes was wide awake. “Sweet Marlin of Berlin! You at de Central Bureaucracy? You’d do more damage than a runaway hover tractor in a sugarcane field! No, mon,” he said, winding down, ”I have to do dis alone. Besides, dey wouldn’t even let you in.” “OK” replied Fry. and briefly wondered why he wasn’t angry at this rejection. “Have you found anything incriminating on Zapp Brannigan yet?” he asked. “You can’t imagine how dis man approaches paperwork!” cried Hermes, throwing his arms in the air. “He gets around it not by delegating it, but by avoiding it! It seems as if he just shovels the forms into the nearest airlock, we have almost nothing here signed by him or indicating dat he was responsible for anything! However, dere was something dat I found after Mr. Wong gave me a hint where to look” said Hermes, brightening up a little. “But it’s only a fragment, it seems as if de message was deliberately deleted or damaged. Only one edge of it remained, and it said “elzebo”. Does dat ring any bells?” Fry opened his mouth to answer, but Hermes interrupted him. “Oh, stupid of me to ask you someting like dat. Anyway, dere might be a copy of it somewhere, and dat’s what I’m currently looking for. .I’ll keep you informed. I just hope Leela knows how to keep dat idiotic Brannigan off her back.” With that, the connection closed. Fry leaned back, and thought about what he had heard - than wondered at what he was doing. Instead of the blissful emptiness that usually occupied his mind, waiting for the next thought, mad impulse, TV show or video game to fill it up, he suddenly felt thoughts arriving, constantly and unbidden. It was as if a curtain had been drawn back, and light was filling the murky depths of his brain. “All right! I’m actually THINKING!” he laughed and did a mad little victory dance around the pilot’s seat. “Now let’s think straight for a while. What do you do if your best friend is in trouble, you have to help no matter the cost, you can’t go to the officials and there isn’t any time to loose?” The answer came to him in a blinding flash, and he sat down in the pilot’s seat to guide the ship back to Earth as fast as possible.

Meanwhile, Kif was guiding Amy and Bender through the maze of corridors that was the interior of the Nimbus. “I’m glad you’re finally here, my love. And you also, Mr. Bender” he said, as they hurried for Zapp’s quarters. “The captain has been in his quarters these last few days and I couldn’t get a chance to do any searching. But now we are three, and he will be busy with Captain Leela. I just hope she can stall him long enough.” “Hey, no problem, greenie!” said Bender, finishing a quick snack of Olde Fortran and belching. “We should have wrecked the place in no time at all! And while we’re at it, we can see if the windbag has any serious loot from these many campaigns he was on!” “You see, I do all his paperwork and he never even bothers to check it afterwards” said Kif.  “But the files from previous missions are all locked and it will be difficult to hide later changes. Besides, if at all possible, I want to stay out of this - you know how the captain is. If he goes down, he will take me with him, and if he finds out I helped you, he will be mad. I will help you search, but I won’t take sides openly unless I have no other choice. Clan honour demands it that I am faithful to Captain Leela, but I want to try every other way first.” Amy laid a hand on Kif’s narrow shoulder. “It’s OK Kif” she said soothingly. “In case you have to take sides, I can make sure you will have something to go to if you have to leave the DOOP.” Soon, the three reached the captain’s chambers. It was a rather big complex of rooms, including a big bathroom (the place of Kif’s tortures, as it seemed), a luxurious bedroom and an office. They went for the office first. The desk was huge, but there was only an Amphibian-sized chair behind it - apparently Zapp never used it himself. Nevertheless, the surface was covered with framed pictures, all showing Zapp in various poses, and the wall next to it was covered with framed promotions and decorations plus several full-length posters of Zapp in full dress uniform or blasting aliens. The rest of the walls were taken by a filing cabinet containing lots of data crystals and files. “OK”, said Amy. “What do we do?” Kif took his place on the chair. “You and me will go through the written files, Amy. And Mr. Bender can sort through the data crystals.” “Right here, buddy!” cried Bender, opening his chest cabinet and producing a data crystal reader wired to his internal computer system, which he crammed to the upper chest regions under his neck and closed his door again. He tore the first drawer from the file cabinet, opened his mouth and swallowed the crystals. Then he sat down in the corner, humming a tune and folding his arms, while a small whirring noise came from his insides, and every now and then a “clink” announced that he was done with another crystal that hit the bottom of his chest cabinet. Meanwhile, Amy and Kif took a pile of files each and started reading.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
TriggerHappyJim

Professor
*
« Reply #10 on: 03-03-2006 09:25 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Hypnotize:
way to long for me to read. yous should make it smaller, and do more papgraphs.

Do you want me to fetch you some wax crayons?
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #11 on: 03-03-2006 13:00 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Somehow I was thinking something similar... this isn't TV, and it's not a computer game - if you want to enjoy it, you'd better improve your reading skills. You need an attention span of more than two seconds for this one, rest assured.


Chapter Seven

Leela tried not to panic as she strode through the corridors of the Nimbus behind Zapp, while a numerous guard of honour accompanied them. She tried to fight down instincts that told her to jump at the captain from behind and break his neck, then have a go at the soldiers, she told herself that it would be no use at all - killing Zapp would solve nothing, and the soldiers were more or less innocent. So she just tried to stay calm, while her thoughts were racing through her mind. Soon the door to the Lovenasium loomed up ahead, apparently a lot of work had gone into it since she had last seen it - it’s size had doubled, and reliefs covered with gold leaf were all over it, some vaguely reminding her of ancient Indian temple friezes or illustrations of the more obscene kind. Here, Zapp stopped and turned to her, wearing an amiable smile. “Wait here, lover” he purred, “while I change into something more suitable. You don’t want your surprise spoiled, do you?” With that, he stepped through the door and was gone. Leela stayed behind on the corridor and was aware of the soldiers watching her intently. No one said anything, but she could feel the looks in her back and saw the soldiers in front of her fumbling with their space muskets, avoiding her gaze or giving her short, shy looks. They were mostly human, but a few aliens were among them as well. Apparently they were scared and did not dare to say anything. Leela couldn’t decide whether they were afraid of Zapp in case they let her escape, or if they were instead fearing her. Her eye, as always, was the centre of attention, even if no one dared to look at it openly, but she was familiar with the short peeks everyone shot at her most prominent facial feature. She felt exposed and uncomfortable, and wished Zapp would hurry up, then thought better of it. After a while she started to sweat, but then was able to relax somewhat. She no longer paid attention to the soldiers, but instead leaned on the wall and closed her eye, thinking. Any moment now, Zapp would call her in. What should she do then? He was likely to make some saucy show to impress her, and she could try to play along as long as she could. But, and in that she was adamant, if he tried something with her, he would wish he was never born. She took a few deep breaths and managed to relax completely, focussing on pleasant thoughts.  All too soon, though, she was disturbed in her reverie by a voice from behind the door, a voice she only knew too well. “Come and get it...” She squared her shoulders, and marched through the door.

Her eye widened in surprise as the door closed behind her, and again she felt her jaw drop. She had braced herself for the worst, and had expected something horrible indeed, but what she saw here surpassed even her worst nightmares. As before, the room was lit by countless candles that were arranged quite cunningly, highlighting the huge heart-shaped bed in the centre of the room. The statuettes supporting the roof she remembered from the last time were still there, but their number had multiplied and they had been joined by countless potted plants that gave the place the air of a jungle. On the side, a buffet was arranged, sporting among other things a whole battery of champagne bottles. But that was not what had caught her attention - it was the Statue that had done that. It deserved the capital letter, for it was huge and filled quite a bit of the room. It showed a woman on a bed, arranged in a very suggestive pose and stark naked, and Leela was not at all surprised to see that the figure had only one eye. A lot of work had gone into it, apparently, and she wondered how long it had been here already. She had always suspected that Zapp was obsessed with her, but she had never guessed that it was that bad. For a split second she almost felt sorry for him, and then tried to stamp on this thought. She had fallen for him once this way, and she wasn’t going to repeat this if she could help it. While she still gaped on the Statue, a suggestion of filled space behind her made her turn. “Do you like it?” asked Zapp softly, who had crept up from behind and was now only inches from her. He was wearing a velour dressing gown, similar to the one she remembered but much more ornate. “It’s wonderful, Zapp” she whispered weakly, desperately trying to keep a straight face. “I thought so” he murmured. “A perfect work of art for the perfect woman.” He went to the buffet, took a bottle of champagne, and began to open it. “I have dreamed of this moment for so long” he said, as he was wrestling with the wire. “Now you are truly and officially my woman, and no one can take that away from me. Think of the life of hot, sexy love we will share! And the fame you will enjoy as the woman on my side! But I am forgetting my good manners - why don’t you dress in something more appropriate for the occasion?” he said, indicating a chair on which lay a garment that somehow looked exactly like the one Leela had imagined he would have in stock for her. She shuddered, but walked over to the chair and took it, then retreated behind some potted plants to change. She had feared it would come to this, but at least, it gave her an opportunity to ready her weaponry unnoticed - she took an injector from her pocket, the phial inside was labelled “Sleep”. A few minutes later, she stepped from behind the plants, wearing the hateful outfit which as much dignity as she could muster and wearing a big, fake smile, her left hand hidden behind her back. Zapp gave a little yelp and dropped the still unopened bottle on the thickly carpeted floor. “Perfect!” he gasped. “That’s how I always want to see you from now on!” He rushed towards her and embraced her, giving her one more kiss and almost bearing her to the ground - giving Leela ample opportunity to bring the injector in the appropriate position. Once he released her, she had already flung the emptied injector among the potted plants. “And now, for some cham-paggin!” he exclaimed, picking up the bottle. After watching two further minutes of his fruitless battle with the cork, Leela had enough and roughly snatched the bottle from his grip, opening it in a matter of seconds. The cork shot out and hit Zapp right on the nose, making him yelp once more. She poured two glasses, and they clinked and emptied them. Then Zapp rose and went to a closet in the corner of the room, fumbling inside it. He came back with a box containing a holo projector crystal. The box was big, ornate and clearly alien in origin. “I saved this up for this occasion. Something to enhance our appetites” he grinned, and Leela could now make out the script on the boxes lid - it said “The Neptunian Kama-Supra. Over 1.000 erotic positions for all occasions”. At this, she cursed her graphic imagination again. “Let’s lie down on that splendid velour bed” Leela managed hoarsely. “You sure seem tired” she added, hoping that the virus was already doing it’s work. “Nonsense!” exclaimed Zapp, “I’m wide awake! And now we can start making hot sexy love, uniting our bodies and merging our souls! Just imagine how we will float unto the stars and experience the hottest emotions, especially when I unpack my huge collection of lubricants and backrubs I -“ ”Oh god...” moaned Leela under her breath, feeling sick. If it had not been so sad, it would almost be funny. It seemed as if Zapp saw the battle of the sexes just as a further alien planet to carpet-bomb, he obviously had no truck with surgical strikes, psychological warfare or long-term strategies. Annihilate everything in a big rush and then continue to the next enemy, that was his kind of warfare - no wonder he stayed single. If it weren’t for his animal charm and (as Leela grudgingly had to concede) rather good looks, he’d just be another idiot. She hadn’t been paying attention to what he had said, so she was very surprised when he embraced her once again and dragged her towards the bed, smothering her with kisses. Taken by surprise, she first let it happen, but rallied and brought her knee up sharply into his crotch. He yelled and dropped her, and she landed on her shoulder, rolling upright in an instant. “What was that for?” he wailed, but it was obvious that he would not be put off by such a small nuisance. “Ah, I get it” he smiled. “A little game to raise the stakes, eh? Well, here I come, lover” he purred, and crept towards her. Leela was puzzled. The virus should long ago have kicked in, sending Zapp to a long, long sleep. Instead he seemed more active then ever and crept nearer. She decided that this had gone too far, and took more decisive action. She leaned towards him, smiled in his face, put her arms around his shoulders, grabbed his left shoulder near the neck with her right hand and squeezed, hard - and Zapp sank to the floor with a small sigh. “Well, Mr. Nimoy’s head, this seems to work after all” she mumbled to herself, struggling out of the hated outfit. When she had reverted to her usual clothing, she let out a deep sigh of relief, bent down and checked on Zapp if he was still passed out. He had fallen into a deep sleep, as it seemed, and was breathing regularly. Satisfied, she rose again and went to the bed to fetch a blanket, covering the slumbering captain with it. She wanted him out of action, all right, but hypothermia was not on the agenda if it wasn’t strictly necessary - and of course, she would be spared his view. Once again, she squared her shoulders, and began to rummage through the room’s corners and cupboards.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Hypnotize

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #12 on: 03-03-2006 18:12 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by TriggerHappyJim:
 Do you want me to fetch you some wax crayons?
I dont have time to sit there and read it. im sure im not the only one who thinks this. maybe i have a life.
TriggerHappyJim

Professor
*
« Reply #13 on: 03-03-2006 18:22 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Hypnotize:
maybe i have a life.

Maybe you are yet to get one. And, if you have a life, why go posting pointlessly?

Sorry Chrys, I'll read this at some point. Hypnotise is just pissing me off.
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #14 on: 03-03-2006 18:24 »

This may be so, but this is supposed to be read, not just commented. After all, this is an attempt on literature and should be treated as such.  wink
Hypnotize

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #15 on: 03-03-2006 18:37 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by TriggerHappyJim:
 Maybe you are yet to get one. And, if you have a life, why go posting pointlessly?

Sorry Chrys, I'll read this at some point. Hypnotise is just pissing me off.

because, this only takes a couple seconds. I dont know why you would care what my opinion is. you should just ignore my post if they somehow offend you.

TriggerHappyJim

Professor
*
« Reply #16 on: 03-03-2006 19:32 »

So not only do you admit to spamming, you agree that your wasting your life? While you're entitled to your opinion, you don't have to wave it about needlessly when you know it might offend Chrys.

I read the first part Chrys, and you can write pretty damn well! I love this bit:

 
Quote
“Capital!” said Zapp. “Barman, bring us two bottles of your finest cham-paggin and a bed.

Hilarious!
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #17 on: 03-04-2006 07:20 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Eight

As soon as the Planet Express ship had touched down in the landing bay, Fry rushed down the gangway and to the Professor’s quarters. He reached the door - and hesitated as he remembered the Alarmomatic 5000. Instead of storming in, he knocked on the door. There was no response, and he went to the laboratory instead where he found Professor Farnsworth busy over some chemical reagent. “Hey Professor” Fry called, “I have to talk with you!” “Wha? Oh, it’s you, Fry” the old man replied, looking up from his work. “What do you say about my newest invention? It’s a chemical agent that will melt the surface of any floor and then convert it into one smooth, hard surface! Think of the amounts of wax and time saved to achieve clean floors thanks to me!” “What happens to the dirt on the surface?” asked Fry, impressed against his will. “Oh, this will sink into the surface of course. I’m still working on it” the Professor said, once again bending over his test tube, but Fry took him by the shoulder. “Professor, I hate to disturb you in your work, but this is urgent. Leela is in deep trouble, and I need you to help her.” “Who?” asked the Professor, genuinely puzzled. “Leela” said Fry, patiently. “You know. Your pilot. Female, one eye, ponytail, big boots.” “Ah, now I remember” said the Professor, straightening up. “Now what seems to be the trouble?” Fry told him the condensed version,  afraid the old man would nod off before he was finished. “Ah, Captain Brannigan again!” exclaimed the Professor. “A most persistent young officer, to be sure. Remind me again why this is so bad, please.” Fry was appalled. “But Professor, this guy is a dumb gross idiot who wants to put Leela in sexual slavery! She deserves better than him! Sexual slavery may be all right, but it’s Zapp I am objecting to! He will just exploit her and treat her like cattle!” “Ach, you know how it is with these young men these days. He will soon loose interest in her.” replied the Professor. “Not Zapp” said Fry, bitterly. The Professor scratched his head. “Oh well, if it’s so important to you, I will try and help. Hmmmm.... what do you say about making a clone of Leela and delivering it to Captain Brannigan instead? It would take a few years, but it would be a surefire way!” Fry shook his head. “Sorry, but I need something that will work inside twelve hours.” “Twelve hours?!” shrieked the Professor. “That’s almost impossible! I’m afraid I can’t help you there. If you want a miracle, you will have to make a deal with the Robot Devil or something.” At this, Fry started. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of it immediately?” he yelled, and hurried off towards the ship. “Young people today!” muttered the Professor, as he bent over his work again. “Always rushing about...”

The Robot Devil was having a good time. Everything was running flawlessly, the new Exploding Floor he had recently installed was up and working, and no one had bothered him with irrelevant matters or pesky personal wishes for some time now. But as he was walking past the slide leading up to the surface, he noticed it was vibrating. Oh hell, someone was about to disturb him. Fine. He brushed an invisible speck of dust from his trident, chose a menacing pose to impress the newcomer, and waited. Seconds later, Fry fell to the floor in front of him. “Fry! What a surprise!” the Robot Devil cried out. “I thought you and me were through for good after what happened in the Opera! And no, I won’t give you my hands back no matter what you offer me!” he snarled, threatening Fry with his trident. “Relax, Beelzebot” Fry retorted, rising to his feet. “That’s how they call you, right? Well, I have come here for two things. First: what do you know about a certain Zapp Brannigan?” “Zapp Brannigan?” said the Robot Devil, thoughtfully. “Sorry, this information is confidential. Where would I be if I gave information away for free? Next question!” he barked. “OK” said Fry. “I need you to save my friend. She is in deep trouble, and I need to save her inside the next eighteen hours.” “Ah!” called the Robot Devil. “Now we’re talking! But of course you know you will have to give me something in return for my help?” “Of course. Name the price” Fry said, calmly. “Hooray! I get to name the price!”, the robotic demon cheered, raising his arms in triumph. “Very well! I will do what you want, but the price will be high! Now, what is it you want?” he demanded. “Simple. I only need one thing: information that will crush Zapp Brannigan if revealed to the public. He has been extorting my friend, and I need something to balance it up and make sure he will never bother her again with it” said Fry, a stern look in his eyes. “All right then! I will grant your wish, but to repay me, you must give me half of your intelligence!” screamed the Robot Devil “What does that mean?” asked Fry, somewhat uncertainly. “It means I will put you into this Cognitive Sucking Beam there”, the Robot devil gestured at a machine hidden in the corner, “which will then reduce your current IQ to half its value. As you are barely able to tie your shoelaces now, this will render you a drooling moron! Muahahahaaa!” “I don’t care” snarled Fry. “Leela is more important than intelligence or drooling to me. Take it away, Beelzebot!” “Very well!” laughed the Robot Devil, and turned to his robotic servants. “Strap him to the machine!” he yelled, and Fry felt himself picked up by many metal hands and carried to the machine. In a matter of seconds, he was strapped to the engine and a metal cup was attached to his head. “Kiss your mind goodbye!” the Robot Devil screeched as he pulled the activation lever. Sparks flew, and a sucking noise was heard. Instantly, Fry felt the thoughts drain away from his consciousness, and it was once again governed by blissful emptiness. “Hahahah!” the Robot Devil cackled. “Now he doesn’t even have use for the services I offered him, as he will be too stupid either to understand or remember them! Two birds with one stone!” he went on, as his servants untied Fry from the machine and set him to his feet. But then, Fry gave him a piercing look and yelled: “Tough beans, buddy! You can’t take away what ain’t there! And anyway, as my intelligence was temporarily doubled, I am now back to normal. And now - I think we had a deal!” The Robot Devil was temporarily speechless - if he would have been able to do it, he would have blanched. “How did you do that?” he finally managed. “You ever heard of Ebola 9?” Fry snarled. “The viruses there can do almost anything! And when Hermes mentioned “elzebo” and the Professor reminded me of you, it was all clear to me! Now cough up!” The Robot Devil gave a deep angry sigh and sagged dramatically. “Very well then. The information you purchased,” He turned and went to a huge filing cabinet behind him, taking out a file. “Thirteen years ago now, a young DOOP cadet begged for my help. He was a complete looser, with no tenure or money to accelerate his progress to command, and only gifted with moderately good looks and charm, and yet he wanted to be the most highly decorated starship captain that ever lived. As you can imagine, I couldn’t resist this sort of desire and cut a deal with him. We agreed that he would become the greatest starship captain who ever lived, and in return he would give me half his intelligence, his hair and the ability to win the heart of a woman.” The Robot Devil opened the file, and on the first page was the picture of a much younger Zapp Brannigan. He actually looked good, Fry thought, and the familiar expression of self-satisfied stupidness was missing. In fact, he looked as if he was quite clever. “You mean he threw away his intelligence and the chance for love just for a big career?” Fry asked, aghast. “Hey, he is a soldier!” the Robot Devil snapped. “Being after a great career is what being a soldier is all about, and to achieve it, you don’t need intelligence anyway!” “That kinda makes sense” said Fry, thoughtfully. “He knew what he wanted! And he got it, too.” The Robot Devil looked at his fingernails and continued: “Of course, this transaction was not easy to do. I needed outside help, and let me tell you, I rarely need it! A master scientist constructed the Cognitive Sucking Beam in exchange for an improved Clone-O-Mat, and a mighty tycoon from Mars provided the funding in return for a few fiendishly difficult cuteness reduction operations on his daughter. And it worked, as always! Zapp Brannigan became the greatest captain who ever lived, thanks to his animal charm and his unstoppable ego coupled with creative stupidity and complete lack of scruples or second thoughts.” Fry considered this. “So you’re telling me there were others involved? That there are wittinesses? Hold on a second - thirteen years! That’s the time the Professor began the cloning process for Cubert! And around that time Amy got her cuteness reduction surgery! That means that Mr. Wong and the Professor are into this as well!” “Yes” grunted the Robot Devil. “You guessed it. Perhaps I should visit that planet you mentioned, would certainly give me new material to work with.” “OK”, said Fry, rubbing his hands, “I need to run. Can you give me a copy of this file? For evidence purposes?” “Sorry, Fry!” said the Robot Devil gruffly. “The Fairness in Hell Act states clearly that all contracts signed with the Robot Devil may not be taken from Robot Hell. However, if I recall correctly, a receipt exists somewhere hidden in the Central Bureaucracy that states that a certain Cadet Zapp Brannigan has been dealing with a Robert DeVil, and this receipt bears the signet of Robot Hell. This should be evidence enough for you!” “Where is it?” begged Fry. “The Central Bureaucracy is huge, we may not find it in time!” “As far as I know, it’s hidden away in the Department for Moose head Golf Licenses” replied the Robot Devil. “And now begone, before I change my mind on this!” he yelled, and flames sprang up from the ground all around him. Fry found it wiser not to argue, and let a few winged robot-demons carry him back to the surface. Once he had left the funhouse, he stormed on board the ship that was parked outside and, hands shaking with excitement, activated the vidphone.


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #18 on: 03-04-2006 12:29 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Nine

Amy and Kif had sunk on their files on the desk and snored in unison, while Bender was still ingesting more data crystals. A loud “Ding!” resounded throughout the room, and Kif and Amy started and woke. “What is it?” asked Amy, rubbing her eyes. “I’m done reading the files” replied Bender, lighting a cigar. “It will take a while to process now, then I can tell you everything there is to know. And you’d better thank me for buying all these extra memory cartridges, or else we would still its here in a year!” he snapped, blowing out a huge smoke cloud. “Amy stretched and yawned. “I need a little exercise - and a wash” she said, rising from her seat and leaving the room, while Kif ordered a little snack from the ship’s galley over the intercom. Amy headed for the bathroom, the bulkhead slid back with a barely perceptible noise, and she stepped in. She reached the wash-basin and poured cold water over her face, fumbled for a towel, looked up - and froze. The room was huge, more like a palace of bathing than a humble bathroom. Although the ceiling was quite low, as to be expected in a spaceship, the room was exquisitely but rather tastelessly furnished, potted plants residing in every odd corner. Cupboards of rare wood lined the walls, containing towels, soaps, bathing lotions and much more. The far side of the room was occupied by a massive tub of green marble with gold fittings and faucets. The most noticeable thing, however, were the four statues supporting the ceiling in each corner of the room. They each showed no other than Captain Zapp Brannigan himself, in various suggestive poses of supporting. Needless to say that the statues were quite obscene and tasteless, as was the whole room. It reflected the personality of Zapp Brannigan very well - huge and simple, with a liking for expensive, sparkly stuff and rampant hedonism, combined with stupidity and rudeness, and not much more. For the first time, Amy began to really understand what Kif had to suffer here - he was gentle, nice and smart, but had a tendency to let himself be pushed around and stood no more chance of resisting a personality the kind of Zapp Brannigan than a ladybird stood a chance of resisting a particularly self-satisfied supernova.

She left the bathroom again and almost collided with Leela who had just come through the bulkhead. She carried a bundle of cloth under her arm. “There you are!” she exclaimed, sounding relieved. “I have spent almost an hour looking for you. The ships plans are not much help, and I couldn’t risk asking anyone for directions.” Right then, Kif came through the door to the office and saw her too. “Captain! How did you escape him?” he asked, gaping at her. “Easy” snapped Leela, a haughty look on her face. “I put him to sleep, and I hope he won’t wake so soon. Now, is there anything to drink here? There was just champagne in his, ah “Lovenasium”“. “There’s always the bathroom” said Amy, looking at her captain incredulously. “But if you’d like a beer instead, Kif will get you one. Oh, how did you evade detection? You know, you are not that easy to... um... disguise.” “Oh, that was easy” said Leela. “I put a towel over my head, stole one of his dressing gowns and snatched one of his sunglasses. That dork must have a few dozen of them just to make him look more secretive and action-like. The trick was not to show I’m female - you know, round hips sink ships and all that crap.” “Well, that should have been easy for you” teased Amy, but for once, Leela let it pass with no more than a sour look in her direction. Kif finally managed to shut his mouth and went for the intercom to order some more beer, while Leela stepped into the bathroom and let out an audible growl. “That looks just like this sex den he created!” she barked. “Is there no stop to his idiocy?!” Grumbling, she went for the basin and filled it with cold water, then stuck her head in with a grunt of relief. Amy found it best to say nothing - this was not ladylike behaviour, God knew it wasn’t, but it seemed the wrong moment to point it out right now - there were more pressing problems at hand. A few minutes later Leela left the bathroom, looking refreshed. Meanwhile, the snacks and drinks Kif had ordered had arrived, and Leela took a bottle of beer and opened it on Bender. After draining it in one gulp, she put down the bottle with a crack - which earned her a testy look by Amy - and said “Right! What have you got?” “Well, we have gone through most of the paper files, and Mr. Bender should be done evaluating the data crystals any minute now” Kif said, with a glance at the robot who was draining a beer and humming a tune. Instead of an answer, Bender opened his door and pointed at a little green display inside which read “00:02". “And did you find anything?” asked Leela, hopefully. “There’s lots of stuff” replied Amy, “but I think it won’t be any use. Zapp must have broken every rule of the DOOP forces at least once, but you know how these military types are - as long as he delivers and makes them look good, they will see past it. There’s lots of small stuff, but Kif either reported it long ago or Zapp made him hush it up. I don’t think we can get him this way.” Just at this moment, a further “Ding!” rang out from Bender, and he straightened up. “About time” he said. “Well, let’s see...” His square pupils changed shape for a few seconds, taking the form of little egg timers. “Nope” he said then. “Nothing we could use.” “But there must be SOMETHING!” Leela begged, looking desperate. “Sorry, meatbag” Bender replied. “But these crystals contained every last bit of info available on his career in this place, and as far as I can see, there’s nothing we can use against him and hope to unseat him all in one go. Oh, like Amy and Squishy here said, there’s lots of small stuff, but it doesn’t add up. The thing with DOOP headquarters was huge, and he got away with it in the end. It must be something bigger than that, something that will kill his reputation. If you can hit him there, and hit him hard, then you have him.” Leela considered this. “Well” she said, eventually, “we have searched his office, and I have wrecked that sex ateria. What have we missed?” Kif raised a hand. “I know the bathroom inside out” he said, a look of revulsion briefly crossing his face, “and there’s nothing there to do lasting damage to his reputation. But what about the bedroom?” “Right!” exclaimed Leela. “That’s the last chance. If he has anything to hide, it’s in his bedroom.” She rose from her seat and passed the bulkhead, turning to the bedroom, and tried the door - it was locked. “Damn. Can you open it?” she asked Kif, who produced a data card and stuck it into the electronic lock. “No” he said. “It seems that he has changed the door code. But we need to open it! The tape he has shown you is in there!” “All right” Leela sighed, “I’ll head back to that room and take the card off him. You stay here and wait for me.” Amy held up a hand. “Shouldn’t Kif do it?” she asked. “No” said Leela sternly. “I know he won’t be obvious and knows his way around, but if that pig has awoken in the meantime, I might have to take the card from him by force, and Kif can’t do that. Oh, Bender, come over here for a second!” she added, beckoning the robot. She opened his door and rummaged around inside, not heeding to Bender’s giggling, and removed a phial on which stuck a label that read “Strength”. “Just in case” she muttered. “By the way, Amy, that sleep virus didn’t work. I hope you didn’t mix up some labels”. “Either that”, said Amy, “or it was past it’s best before date. Perhaps you should give him a dose of vaccine while you’re at it? He’s a jerk, but if there was a mislabeling he might die, and we don’t want that”. “Right”. Leela took a phial of vaccine as well. “What could it have been instead?” “Either a party virus, or that one with the huge growth thingy - but there was only one of that, so the chance is slim. But better be careful, before the whole crew is infected with something bad.” Slipping the two phials in her pocket, Leela rose and passed the bulkhead, pulling on the dressing gown and taking up a fresh towel and the sunglasses.

The corridor outside the Lovenasium was empty, and Leela slipped inside undetected. Zapp was still out cold on the floor, snoring loudly, and looked quite normal. Leela carefully pulled back the blanket and began rummaging through his dressing gown, then - as she found nothing there - she turned her attention to more sensitive regions, twisting her face in disgust. Finally she found what she was looking for, and put the code card in her pocket. Then she went to look for the injector. The room was dark and quite very warm, as most candles had burned down, but she could see well enough - her singular eye was so big that the pupil opening was very wide and let more light pass inside, where a huge area of retina was ready to accept it, giving her excellent night vision. Sometimes she wondered if this was something that had evolved from the underground lifestyle of her mutant ancestors, giving them an edge in the lightless sewers... She retrieved the injector from the little jungle of potted plants and inserted the phial of vaccine. She folded up Zapp’s dressing gown, placed the injector on his buttock - and pressed the trigger. Immediately, his snoring ceased, and his eyelids fluttered. “Come on, sugarpie...” he mumbled, as he stirred on the ground, and looked up. “Hey, why am I lying on the ground? And where is your hot sexy outfit? Come on, it just got interesting-eh!” he cried. “Forget the outfit” snarled Leela, a stern look in her eye. “That ship has sailed. I’d rather stay in the sewers for the rest of my life or spend 25 cents for the next suicide booth around the corner than to spend any more time with a slobbering pompous idiot like you! So long, Captain Moron!” she said, rose and headed for the door. At first Zapp stared after her incredulously, then tried to jump to his feet, but he was still woozy and sank back again. He let out a cry that was a mix of despair and rage, and finally rose to his feet to race after her - but the door had already closed behind Leela. She gave the control panel next to the ornate door a good kick so that it short-circuited, blocking the passage for now, then hastened away. It was obvious that it wouldn’t be long until Zapp would set his whole crew on her to bring her to heel - he could not get out of the Lovenasium for the moment, but he certainly had communications in there. Soon things would heat up on board the Nimbus, and the longer she could evade capture the better. She stopped for a moment, fished the injector out of her pocket and inserted the last phial she had brought with her.


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #19 on: 03-05-2006 09:23 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Ten

Bender, Kif and Amy were still sitting in the office, waiting for Leela’s return. Bender was taking a nap, while Kif and Amy shared a rare private moment - but they were soon disturbed by the intercom signal from the desk. Kif fought free from Amy’s embrace for a moment and answered it. “Yes?” A more than familiar voice rang from the speaker, and at it’s sound Kif shuddered briefly. “Kif, old man, Leela has given me the slip. I need you to dispatch a team of men to apprehend her and bring my woman back to the Lovenasium. Oh, and while you’re at it, send an engineering team down here as well. The door seems to be stuck.” Kif sighed, and hung up. “Well, that’s it” he said miserably. “I can’t stall this order for long, or he will get suspicious. I just hope Captain Leela will hurry up.” Just at that moment, the bulkhead opened, and Leela poked her head in. “I got the card, but he woke up!” she panted. “We just heard it” said Amy, grimacing. “Kif will have to relay the order, but I guess we have a few minutes left.” “Then let’s get lootin’!” shouted Bender, who had woken in the meantime, and snatched the card from Leela’s unresisting fingers. With a few steps, he had reached the door and rammed the card into the appropriate slot, and with a faint hiss, the door opened. Kif joined them from the office. “I have sent out the alarm, but if we move fast, we should have enough time.” The four of them stepped inside,  and Kif activated the lights. The room was not very big, but richly decorated. Pictures and posters of Zapp covered every wall, some framed magazine covers, some private photos and a lot of foldouts from ladies’ magazines, as it seemed, plus the inevitable full-length mirror. The furniture was scarce - a few closets full of uniforms for various occasions, a dressing table with a big mirror, a bedside table and the bed itself, which was quite big and comfortable. This room didn’t contain a single book or anything that hinted that the occupant used it for something other than dressing and sleeping. Kif said “Well, this is it. Not much, I must admit, but he only ever comes here to sleep and dress.” Amy asked “How often do you come in here?” “Well” Kif continued, “I am not allowed to come in until after he calls me in, which I always found a bit weird, for he never has any scruples of that kind, even in the bathroom. I do his hair, shave him, help him put on his uniform - and that’s it, more or less. I don’t come in here for the rest of the day, except maybe to clean up.” Leela had a look around, then began to tap the walls. “Come on!” she called, “let’s check for hidden spaces. Amy, you see after the bed and the bedside table, Kif, you check the dressing table, and Bender, you look for loot.” “Can do!” cried Bender, flexing his fingers and heading for the closet. Within a few minutes, however, they found that they were getting nowhere - there was nothing spectacular to be found, except for the collection of porno magazines from many different worlds Bender unearthed in one of the cupboards and promptly stacked inside his chest cabinet. As they were all looking at Leela uncomfortably, Bender cried “Hold on! One last chance”, and opened his door, fumbling for a switch inside. At once, his eyes changed colour and emitted a penetrating greenly-yellow light. “Ahah!” he chuckled, “now we’re talking!” The light in his eyes faded, and he reached for a certain area of wall next to the bed covered by a particularly sleazy framed picture of Zapp. After a few false starts, the picture swung back to reveal a small space behind it, which contained a head-shaped display dummy. Around it’s foot, a few blonde hairs were lying around. Leela stared, her eye wide, and so did the others. “A WIG?!” Leela gasped. “I never suspected that” admitted Kif, after he had managed to shut his mouth again. “Aw, well, this may be indeed something we could threaten him with. If he tries to have a go on you, we reveal he doesn’t have his own hair!” said Bender, extended an eye and made a photo of the cabinet, then took a few more of the whole room, and finally took the dummy itself from the hollow and put it inside his chest cabinet. “Oh, and I found this” said Amy, holding up a small data cartridge, “although I don’t know what it is.” Kif’s eyes widened. “That’s the evidence tape!” Bender jerked it from Amy’s grip, swallowed it, froze briefly and then spat it out again where Leela caught it. “Yep” he agreed. “Well, so much for this. With a little luck, taking the evidence and that dummy will suffice to keep him off my back. Now we should really be going.” They left the captain’s quarters, and Kif hurried to join his commanding officer so he wouldn’t get suspicious. Leela turned to Bender. “Out here on the corridors, we will be seen sooner or later. Best if we split up, they have no truck with you two, they will just want me.” Already running feet could be heard in the distance from several directions. “Are you crazy?” asked Amy. “How long do you think you can evade capture, all on your own?” “Don’t worry” Leela said, smiling grimly. “I took a little outside help, and with luck I should be fine for the next few hours. You two run now, it’s better if we are not seen together.” She patted her pocket, retrieved something from it and put it in Bender’s hand. “Keep this safe. It’s vitally important!” Then she was off at high speed, her ponytail flying out behind her. Bender looked at what she had given him - it was the data cartridge. “Hahah! Now I can put the screws on her!” he cackled. Amy scowled at him, her arms crossed. “Don’t be silly, she’d rip off your head and feed the rest to the can opener.” Bender looked uncertain for a split second, then put on a wide grin that somehow didn’t seem to be entirely genuine. “Just messin’ with yer...”

Leela sped through the corridors, always on the lookout for an open door she could duck into - hiding would be preferable to running. Then the ship’s PA crackled into life, and Zapp Brannigan’s voice filled the air. “Attention! All crew members are to apprehend the fugitive Captain Turanga Leela, believed to be extremely hot and sexy. Description: dangerously curvy, purple-haired and one-eyed. She is to be taken alive and unwounded. Whoever brings her into my invigorating custody shall be rewarded with the highest possible honour: an autographed framed picture of me! Out.” She grimaced at this, but kept running. Just as she rounded a corner, she saw a patrol of DOOP soldiers right in front of her. They started and raised their muskets, apparently intending to use the butts of the weapons on her. She didn’t even stop, accelerated and launched herself right into the group, bowling the men over. She rolled upright and was away around the corner before the stricken soldiers had time to pick themselves up, but she knew that she had been spotted now and that more patrols would be along shortly. Just then she found that she wasn’t even sweating or breathing harder, nor had the collision cost her any apparent effort - the virus enhancing strength, stamina and coordination seemed to be doing it’s work. She allowed herself a pleased smile while she changed direction a few times - at this rate, she could keep the running game up for a few hours, and would surely be able to overpower any single patrol she encountered. Just as she considered this, she had turned into a long corridor with many doors, all of them locked as she could see by the red indicator lights on the panels beside them. As she was speeding along, a patrol entered the corridor in front of her. They saw her, started and reached for their muskets. Seeing that she would probably have a long way towards them, she turned around in a split second to disappear in the opposite direction - to see another patrol entering the corridor just behind her. Instinctively, she pressed herself against the wall and felt stunner projectiles pass inches from her - obviously a new model of space muskets had been issued that had this feature. She could hear the stunners ricochet off the walls and bursting into the opposite patrol, a few soldiers went down with a yelp. She parted with the wall, just in time to avoid another volley, then launched into a sprint right towards the attackers. Afterwards, she couldn’t really remember how she had done it - time seemed to have slowed down as she was rapidly  approaching the soldiers firing at her, dodging the projectiles easily - and then she had reached them. Seconds later, it was all over. The soldiers had been spread across a whole section of corridor, one lay moaning in a broken bulkhead, the others were out cold and their space muskets were broken cleanly in half - except one that Leela was now holding herself. She turned the next corner, dodging a few more stunner blasts coming from behind, waited a few seconds, bent around the corner and fired a volley of stunners right down the corridor at the approaching other patrol, and smiled with grim satisfaction when she was rewarded by a series of yelps. Clutching the captured weapon, she sped off again.

Meanwhile, Bender and Amy were rushing through another part of the ship, always moving in case someone connected them to Leela. Their sight caused a few heads to turn, but then, everyone was busy looking for a purple-haired, one-eyed figure on the run, and the two were doing their best to remain inconspicuous. Bender was smoking a fresh cigar, while they were discussing what to do next. “Can’t we just try to get off the ship?” asked Amy. “We could take the tape to a secure place then and possibly get some help.” “Can’t” answered Bender curtly. “The hangar bays are probably guarded, and if we steal a ship, that will draw attention to us. We need something more clever than that.” Amy considered this. “What if we just destroy the tape?” “And destroy everything we have to bargain with? Nah, lady, for the time being, it stays with me. If there’s no other choice, we can still destroy it.” said Bender, and knocked on his door. His insides clinked faintly as he did that. “We still got a lot of viruses left” he said, looking thoughtful. “Can’t we do something with them?” asked Amy, hopefully. “Maybe” conceded Bender and took out a phial labelled “Party”. “How do these things work?” “Well, incubation works several ways with these. You can use an injector, you can drink them or you can inhale them - it just takes a little longer. When they start working, you feel an urge to party and do silly, inconsiderate things, just like being drunk, really, but without the hangover later”. “Say, that gives me an idea” said Bender, wearing an evil grin. He rummaged around his insides, then produced an aerosol can. “Leftover from my last encounter with the Robot Devil” he whispered, then took the party virus phials and swallowed them. The aerosol can he rammed under his neck and closed his door again. He made a gargling noise, and the phials inside his head arranged themselves in a row on top of the can behind a spray nozzle. “There. Always thought it might be useful for an air freshener, but I think I have found a better use for it now.” Just as he had finished saying that, a patrol came by. “Hold yer breath” Bender whispered to Amy, then he went right among the soldiers, a small hissing noise could be heard. Eight chimes rang out through the ships PA - the watch was changing. As they continued on their path, they came across one of the crew quarters, out of which a hundreds of soldiers were rushing. Grinning evilly, Bender took position right in front of the door and shot a little cloud of spray at every soldier who went past him. “Try the latest nuisance by Calvin Clone! All free!” he sang out. After the surge of soldiers had passed, he turned around a few times, then opened his door - his inside was full of watches and wallets. “And it also pays to upgrade your pickpocket program once in a while!” he cackled. “That’s a great idea!” cried Amy, clapping her hands. “This will add some confusion and Leela will have a better chance!” “Yeah, and drunken people are easier to rob, don’t forget that” Bender added as an afterthought. Together they went on, and Bender kept spraying every soldier or crew member he got close to. Suddenly, they found themselves in one of the big hangar bays, where a whole regiment of soldiers was exercising. “Hold on a second” said Bender, taking position not far from the solid block of men and apparently measuring distances. Then in one flowing movement, he unscrewed his head and threw it high into the air. On the top of it’s trajectory, right over the centre of the soldiers formation, there was a brief, strong hiss, and then the head clattered to a halt on the other side of the formation. With Amy’s help, Bender walked around the square of men and retrieved it. “There. That was everything. How long will it take?” Amy looked uncertain. “It varies, dependant from the reaction of the immune system and the number of viruses ingested, but the first victims should begin to feel the effects around now.” “Heheheh! This should be fun to watch!” laughed the robot. Just then, a familiar noise came from the huge opening of the docking bay, and they turned around - the Planet Express ship was entering the hangar bay and landed right in it’s centre. An officer with a few soldiers ran up to the gangway as it unfolded, and barked: “Sorry Sir! Strict order - no ship is to be allowed to land or take off without permission from the bridge!” The airlock on top of the stairs opened, and the soldiers took a step back - and began to yell in horror.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #20 on: 03-05-2006 16:54 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Eleven

Leela was still on the run, and so far she seemed to be winning. No one had been able to stop her, and she had disabled or scared quite a lot of the crew, as it seemed. But she noticed that she was being herded into the bowels of the ship, and ever more often, closed blast doors blocked her way that wouldn’t budge to the space muskets or her enhanced strength. But a few things were to be booked on the active side as well - in increasing amounts, she encountered soldiers who were leaning against each other, sitting around humming tunes, dancing or singing happily, completely oblivious of her. Still, the number of enemies she encountered was increasing, as the crews were concentrated on a smaller area, and it was getting ever more difficult to keep the upper hand. Just as she was considering this, she entered a big room with a high ceiling that had corridors going off in three directions. Dozens of soldiers were in it, and rushed at her from all sides, They wisely left their weapons alone, as they would have done untold damage in the throng, but reached for their light clubs instead. Leela stopped and took a quick look around. The only opening she could see was a big door on the far side of the room that she recognized as the door to the ship’s main dining hall. As soldiers were closing in from every direction with their clubs raised, she made a mighty leap and sailed over an incredible distance right towards the door, landed upright, kicked a few soldiers out of her way and passed through the door. The dining hall was brightly lit, the DOOP sign on the far sign illuminated and the tables neatly arranged, no one was inside. She wrinkled her brow - something was wrong here. Just as she turned around, a blast door came crashing down just behind her, and the other doors of the big hall closed with similar obstacles - she was trapped. She checked the doors one by one and found that none of them would open, not even when she tried the musket on them. There was the ventilation system, of course, but some inconsiderate person had designed it so small that she couldn’t squeeze into the ducts. She sighed, trotted to the podium on which the officer’s table stood, turned it on it’s side for some protection and then went to fetch some more tables, in order to build some kind of makeshift barricade. She checked the musket and found the energy cell was depleted - damn. Still, no use twiddling on her thumbs, she decided, and continued to improve her fighting ground.

Meanwhile, Zapp Brannigan had changed back into his usual velour uniform and sat in his command chair on the bridge, guarded by a locked blast door and twenty soldiers which were crammed into the narrow command centre. “Kif, old man” he called out, turning in his chair. “Yes Sir” mumbled the First Officer from his seat. “Read out the latest report!” “I just finished reading it five seconds ago, Sir” Kif objected, but Zapp made an impatient gesture that indicated he was not prepared to accept any more excuses, so Kif turned to the computer with a sigh and brought the latest update of the chase report to the screen. “Captain Leela has been trapped in the main dining hall, Sir. Blast doors are sealed, and the men are bringing in reinforcements.” “Delicious” purred Zapp. “Now I will have the chance to seduce her backed with the strength of a whole army.” Kif continued reading: “And so far eight hundred and thirty-five crew members have been reported as being “naughtily drunk or similar” by sickbay, there is some chaos in several parts of the ship. Additional units have been called up and are trying to restore order. Oh, and we had an unscheduled landing in hangar bay C, Sir.” Zapp seemed not to have heard the last bit, he was in a little world of his own. “Very well. I think it is safe to leave the command deck now. Send the special goon squad I assembled for this very purpose to the main dining hall, I will meet you there in five minutes, Kif” said the captain, rising from his seat and making for the door. He smacked into it head first as it refused to open, then he remembered a relevant detail and unlocked it first.

Zapp Brannigan entered the hall before the dining hall. It was packed with soldiers standing to attention, and he was obviously pleased by what he was seeing. He rose his arms over his head and exclaimed: “Men, you have done well! The very dangerous and extremely sexy Captain Leela is now within my grasp. All you have to do now is drag her out so I can claim ownership and victory upon her!” There was silence after these words, broken only by some idiot dropping a light club that rang out painfully loud. Zapp seemed not to notice. “And now, it is time for the nasty stuff! If she thinks she can play with me any further, you will have to convince her that it is futile to resist the mighty will of the Zapper, backed by a ten thousand strong crew! Forward the Goon Squad!” he exclaimed, and the rows of soldiers parted to reveal the aforesaid squad. It was composed of the biggest and strongest soldiers Zapp had been able to muster, a whole bunch of four-armed and extremely barrel-chested Neptunians with arms that looked like coconuts crammed into a sock were among the most noticeable ones. They were a hundred strong. They stood to attention in front of their captain, wearing a row of broad grins. “Ah, my men are true men’s men!” Zapp remarked, looking smugly at the short skirts of the bullies. “No weapons” he said then, “bare hands only! I want you to drag her before me as awake and unmolested as possible. Now get inside and apprehend that stubborn woman that just won’t accept that her role in life is to be seduced by me, Zapp Brannigan!” he screamed, pointing at the door. The squad made an about turn, and marched towards the blast door, which opened to let them through. The rest of the soldiers followed to look at them with a respectful distance. As the last of the goons had passed, the blast door was lowered again so the object of Zapp’s desire would have no chance to escape. At this moment, Kif came through one of the corridors and stood beside his captain. “Sir” he said urgently, “there is a-“ ”Kif, you damn fool!” screamed Zapp. “Don’t interrupt my musing when I am about to be receiving the woman of my dreams!” Kif shrank back at this sudden display of rage, but stood his ground. “I’ll make it short then, We have a situation developing, and I need these men!” “The whole damn ship is full of them!” Zapp yelled. “Why do you have to take these?” “Because the others are all drunk or knocked out” said Kif darkly. Just then, a distant noise could be heard that sounded a lot like metal screaming in agony. “Oh, very well, take them!” Zapp hissed. “Just leave me alone!” He turned away from the little man gruffly and took position behind the blast door, holding his ear to the metal. From inside there came noises of battle, and screams of men, every now and then interrupted by a “hiyya!” in a higher register. Kif had directed the soldiers away and joined Zapp at the door, listening as well. Just as he laid his head on the metal, there was a loud clang and the bulkhead was rocked as if something heavy had crashed into it. Kif grimaced as he imagined what had to be going on inside. Now there was a sound like a small earthquake which sent dust floating from the ceiling, and Zapp bunched his fists, muttering “yes, yes” under his breath. The fighting noises were growing louder, the roars of attacking men and the thuds of fists and feet connecting to something were omnipresent. “Sir” Kif muttered unhappily, “is this really necessary? I mean, you want her in one piece, right?” “If anything is missing they can reattach it in sickbay!” Zapp cut him off. Now there was a sound like something being hit repeatedly with something heavy and wooden. “However, they should not damage her too much, I guess” said Zapp airily. A crash like a whole shop full of mirrors being violently smashed all in one go rang out, and something heavy hit the floor. Zapp giggled uncontrollably, and Kif sighed deeply.”I guess she wouldn’t have liked it in the sewers anyway”, he muttered, more or less to himself. From inside there was a noise like a steak being slapped over a solid steel sheet, and from overhead came a dull crack and the wall shook, debris and dust raining onto the captain who took a step back and turned his gaze upward. Near the ceiling the purple head of a Neptunian DOOP soldier had broken through a weak spot in the wall, and the wretched alien hung up there unconscious. Kif desperately tried not to grin, while Zapp was still flabbergasted. The noises from inside had ceased, and Kif took the opportunity of his captain just standing there wis his jaw dropped to open the blast door. The inner door which lay behind it almost crushed him as it settled into pieces on the floor. Kif stepped inside, and felt his jaw drop as well.

The huge hall was completely ruined. Many tables had been smashed, and none occupied the position it had taken before the rude make over. Strips of velour wallpaper hung from the walls in odd angles. Groaning and unconscious shapes in red velour uniforms were scattered here and there, some in heaps, some solitary, a few hanging from ceiling supports, others half buried under piles of debris. Part of the ceiling had caved in, the remaining rest showed several holes from some of which pairs of legs or heads were dangling, and the huge DOOP logo behind glass at the front side of the room had been utterly smashed. The walls were covered with scratches and dents where objects ejected from the fray had hit them, and judging from the positions of the stricken goons, a lot of these objects had in fact been them. On the podium, behind the upturned officers table that had broken into several pieces, stood Turanga Leela, looking at Kif nonchalantly with a faint smile. She was idly pushing back a singular strand of purple hair back into her ponytail from where it had escaped, massaged her knuckles and then examined her fingernails. “Damn!” she said, eying one critically, “this one might be broken! You don’t happen to have a file on you, do you?” As if on cue, a ceiling support fell down onto a heap of rubble, accentuating her words. Kif was still dumbstruck and hardly noticed Zapp Brannigan entering the room, staring at the devastation and the remains of his Goon Squad in disbelief. “How did you do that?” he finally managed, in a small voice. Leela gave him a calculating look. “Let’s just say I don’t take invitations from guys like them” she said, with a hint of menace in her voice. “And I didn’t like their tone either.” Zapp just continued staring at her. Then he finally seemed to rally. “Very well” he gritted, smacking one glove-covered fist into his other hand, but he found himself interrupted by a horrible noise from outside, a kind of mechanical screech mingled with shots and screams of men running for their lives. Just as all three of them turned their attention towards the door, the debris that half-blocked it was thrust aside by a huge metal monstrosity. Somehow though, it looked familiar to Leela, and she had not quite finished with that thought as even more familiar figures entered the room behind the battle droid - Fry, Amy, Bender, the Professor and Hermes. The Professor produced his remote control from the pocket of his white coat and punched a button, upon which the machine fell silent and stood to attention. “Good news, everyone!” he cried, “the Alarmomatic 5000 is also functioning perfectly as a navigation and ramming device!” Then he eyed the rest of the room from behind his thick glasses and added “Although I do think I am not responsible for this mess...” Fry rushed past him, almost running Zapp over, and leapt onto the podium. “Leela!” he called, looking at her with wide eyes. “Are you all right?” “Never better” Leela answered with a smile, then turned her attention to the fingernails of her right hand. “Although I had a little help from Ebola 9, to be completely honest.” “As did I” laughed Fry. “The Robot Devil fell for it too!” He wanted to add more, but was cut short by a loud harrumph from Zapp. “Tell me about it later” Leela whispered. Zapp Brannigan seemed to have overcome the shock, and squared his shoulders. “Now then” he began, a tad uncertainly, “it may please you to play your little games with me, Leela, but you can’t win. For I am the Zapper, and resistance against his seduction skills and hot love assaults are futile. Besides, you know that I have your fate in my hands, don’t you? I can prove you are not an alien, and this gives me-“ He was cut short by Bender. “Screw it, you pompous moron! Is it by chance this you had in mind?” he screamed, waving the data cartridge. Zapp stopped in midsentence and seemed to freeze. “And that’s not everything!” cried Fry. “We also have proof for some pretty illegal and probably even unholy stuff you did!” At this, Zapp rallied. “Hah! You have nothing that can hurt me! I will survive any court-martial the likes of you can throw at me!” “Not so fast, mon” interjected Hermes, stepping forward. “If you would care to take a look at dis, for example?” he said, unfolding an enlarged copy of a receipt. “Dis document clearly states dat you were dealing with a certain Robert DeVil tirteen years ago at a specified date, and after dis date, your career took to enormous heights! Besides, it is stamped with the legal signet of Robot Hell, New Jersey!” At this, Zapp blanched, and Kif, Amy, Bender and Leela gasped in unison. “And as for me” said the Professor angrily, stepping forward as well, “I was the man that built this stupid Cognitive Sucking Beam the Robot Devil seemed so keen at, and all I got for it was that stupid Clone-O-Mat that burdened me with a nerdy teenage version of myself!” This produced further gasps. Finally, Bender stepped forward. “And if that’s not enough” he snarled, “what do you have to say about THIS?!”, and he opened his door and retrieved the head dummy, flourishing it. Zapp started and reflexively patted his head. This time, everyone gasped in horror. “Careful!” cried the Professor. “Don’t overgasp yourselves!”

There was a lengthy silence after this. Finally, Zapp straightened up. “Very well then” he said. “A good soldier must know when he has lost a battle.” He stepped onto the podium and faced Leela. “I will no longer threaten to uncover your true heritage” he said, bowing slightly. “However, in return, I must ask a favour of you.” “Yeah?” sneered Leela, grimacing with disgust. “What could you possibly want from me?” Zapp straightened up again. “You are a better than average fighter, as you have proven today. Therefore I will challenge you to a One on One skirmish, and the winning price shall be your heart! If I manage to beat you, you will no longer refuse to join me in everlasting, hot sexy love. There is no way you can reject this challenge, or your honour will be lost forever!” He opened his uniform and let it fall to the ground, and Leela, who was eying him curiously and slightly incredulously could see that since the last time she had seen him scarcely clothed, he had gained a lot of muscle. Underneath the velour jacket, he only wore a short fighting skirt. “Very well then” she finally said. “Do your worst, Captain!”, and cracked her knuckles. “Excellent! A fair battle at last!” Zapp cheered, throwing his hands up into the air. “The Velour Fog and the One-Eyed Lightning meet in sweet, sexy skirmish!” He squared his shoulders. “I should warn you though!” Zapp exclaimed, going through a series of showy combat stances. “I have had the honour to train with the venerable Great Master of Arcturan Kung Fu Sensei Fnog, and he assured me that I was the best student he ever had and that I had the true, how did he put it, Will of the Warrior, which no female being can achieve” he boasted, with a smug grin on his face. “You may be good at beating up some stupid goons with no finesse, but let’s see how you fare against the art of combat! I have the yellow belt, you know!” he challenged her, taking the basic position and grinning at her suggestively. Leela eyed him thoughtfully, her head cocked to the right side and her left arm across her stomach, her right hand on her cheek. “Yeah”, she finally said dismissively, “I used to have one of those belts as well.” The Planet Express employees and Kif took a step back at the evil one-eyed grin as she advanced on her opponent, flexing her fingers. “Except it’s black.”


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #21 on: 03-05-2006 18:08 »

I'm still waiting for feedback... or is this too much to read? Am I overtaxing you?

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #22 on: 03-06-2006 09:42 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

Chapter Twelve

It was a minute later. The Professor was bent over the sad heap that a few seconds ago had been the most decorated, most famous and above all very upright starship captain in human history - Leela had shown no mercy. The motionless figure was covered in bruises, both eyes were blackened, a few teeth were missing, the nose was once more flattened on the cheek, and an arm and a leg bent at extremely odd angles. “Relax” said Leela, watching the scene with grim satisfaction, “I didn’t break his spine, and I also desisted from ripping off his arms. Although he surely would have deserved both.” The Professor looked up. “But you DID break his pelvis, half his ribs, the nose, one cheekbone, both collarbones, a few fingers plus most major bones in his left arm and right leg!” he objected. “But I did leave his skull intact as well!” she snapped, “There is no permanent damage, I just wanted to make sure he wouldn’t forget me so soon” Leela sighed, once again taking intense interest in the knuckles of her left hand. “Ah”, nodded the Professor sagely. “Love!”

“That idiot!” Leela said furiously, watching as Kif was beckoning two soldiers with a stretcher to pick up the fallen captain. “I bet Fnog just adored his so-called manliness and did not care about little things like technique and training. With a sexist like him, it’s no wonder even a complete failure like Zapp could grab a yellow belt.:” Bender was whetting his knife again. “Can I have his organs now? He doesn’t look like he’s gonna need them for a while.” But Zapp had already been strapped to the hover stretcher and was surrounded by soldiers, so Bender put the knife away with a sigh. “Aren’t we finished here?” asked Fry, stretching and scratching the stubbles on his chin. “It was a tough mission allright, and I haven’t slept for days.” “Yes”, agreed Leela, squaring her shoulders. “But there is something I must do before we go. You go to the ship without me, I’ll catch up.” She had a brief whispered conversation with Bender, who handed her something, and out she went, follwoing the the hover stretcher that was headed for sickbay. The others filed out of the wrecked dining hall, the Alarmomatic 5000 demurely following the Professor’s every step, and headed for the hangar bay. They hadn’t even reached it as Leela caught up with them. “I gave the medical staff a heads up that we have been using viruses from Ebola 9 around the ship” she said, “and gave them some of the universal vaccine to duplicate. For us, there’s probably no danger, but we should take some just to make it sure”. With that, she produced a number of injectors, and all of them helped themselves. They had almost reached the ship when Kif came running after them.”Captain!” he panted. “I almost let you go without congratulating you on your rescue.” And he shyly took Leela’s hand and kissed it, which flattered her greatly, and she gave him a grateful smile. “Thank you, Kif” she said, shaking his hand. “Without you, we wouldn’t have made it.” Kif was just about to turn to Amy when a soldier appeared running from the direction they had come from. “Sir!” he shouted at Kif. “It is the captain! He is dying!” Everyone in the hangar gasped, mingled with the occasional “What?!” and even a few cheers. Leela suddenly had a haunted look. “Perhaps I overdid it a bit? I never meant to kill him!” Kif took the soldier by the shoulder and demanded “What’s up with the captain?” “The medics say that his lifesigns are unstable and that he is having a fever as well” the runner panted. “Plus there are some internal tumescences they cannot explain.” Leela and Amy looked at each other and nodded. “Mislabeling” they said in unison, and hurried after Kif as he ran to sickbay.

Zapp was obviously not having a good time. He was still unconscious, and what could be seen of his face that was not covered in bruises was bright red and sweaty. Leela felt his forehead, and hastily retreated her hand. “He’s burning” she muttered darkly. Amy meanwhile told the medical staff all about the virus that had caused this, and their faces looked grave. “This is serious” the chief medical officer eventually said. “We have called in the data from the Ebola station, but there’s nothing we can do for him here. We must decontaminate the entire ship and vaccinate all crew members to stop it from spreading. It would be best if he could be transported to Earth, into a proper, specialized hospital. But you would need a quarantine unit so the virus does not spread, and we currently don’t have a vessel on board that has one installed. What shall we do?” he cried out. Leela and Amy just smiled.

Ten minutes later, the feverish Zapp had been loaded to the Planet Express ship’s quarantine containment unit, and Fry had taken the first shift to look after the patient. A noticable bulge began to form under the blanket as Zapp’s belly was swelling, these were probably the various tissues growing madly under the viruses influence. The ship left the hangar bay and took direct course for Earth. “We’d better bring him to the Taco Bellevue at once” said Leela. “They are good with that sort of thing. I just hope he doesn’t die before we arrive:” “Relax” said Amy. “The data says the virus is not lethal in most cases, but he might get some serious internal haemoraging if he swells too much. Say, did you give him the vaccine at all?” “Yes”, responded Leela, “but it seems that it hasn’t worked on him.” The Professor looked up. “That’s not surprising, it takes a few hours to immunize the body completely. If the vaccine has been administered, we can safely assume that the infection will be over in a matter of hours. However, the virus must still leave his system, but this is not a problem.” Leela found that she was staring at the old man in disbelief. “How come you know so much about this, Professor?” she asked. “Simple”, replied the Planet Express owner. “I invented it. A government job.” “Hey, that reminds me” said Bender, who got up from his seat. “We... ah... found a few interesting things on Ebola 9 that might interest you”, and he opened his door and produced the last phials from inside. The Professor took them and examined the labels. “Oh, these will come in handy!” he smiled. “Actually, I am working on a new invention, and this might just be the crowning glory for it!” “Well, now everyone seems to be satisfied” said Leela. “But I’d still want to know what it was you found out about him.” Hermes filled her in on the fine detail. “So he sacrificed his smartness and his ability ever to achieve love for a great carreer?” Leela said incredulously. “And his hair too? Now I almost feel sorry for him again.” she sighed, hanging her head. “Well, it was his choice to make” said Bender, leaning back in his seat. “And he made it. I just wonder if he ever regretted it - aw, screw this” he grumbled, realizing what he’d just said. “That’s probably true” agreed Leela. “It’s not like Zapp to regret anything. And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to catch up a bit on my sleep. It has been a very long day, and I haven’t even showered in two days.” With that, she left the cocpit and headed for the captain’s quarters.

Leela was having a very peculiar dream. In it, she was running through a maze of endless corridors, sometimes using the walls or the ceiling, and she knew something was chasing her and getting closer. Sometimes the corridors resembled those from Planet Express, sometimes those from the appartment building she lived in, and at other times, she had the feeling that she was in the sewers of New New York, looking for something. For some reason, she couldn’t turn around to face what was chasing her, but she felt that it was huge and that in the end, it would get her, no matter what she did. What it was,, she could not decide, but she suspected it was some terrible purpose she was fated to fulfill. Finally, with a great effort, she managed to turn around - and saw a strange glowing cloud that seemed to be composed of several objects or faces, always changing shape and position. For a moment, she thought she could see Fry’s red hair, and an eye on a stalk that looked suspiciously like Nibbler’s, and Zapp’s toothy grin floated across her vision too - but then, the whole picture ripped apart with a noise like a record player pickup scratching across a record, she had a feeling like her consciousness suffered a minor internal explosion - and then she was awake with a start. Someone was shaking her, and she opened her eye. Fry was trying to wake her. “Leela! Wake up!” he said, urgently. Leela stretched, and cringed with pain. Every muscle in her body was aching, and some of the bones were complaining as well - probably aftereffects from the surge of strength the virus had lended her. Also her head felt as if it was about to explode, but this was beginning to fade. “What is it?” she asked, yawning. “Zapp is in a bad shape!” said Fry, taking her hand. “The Professor is looking after him, but there is nothing we can do! He says this is the critical phase - if the vaccine can overcome the virus inside the next two hours, he is saved. If not, he will burst like a balloon. He wants to speak with you.” “Who?” asked Leela, her brow wrinkling. “The Professor or Zapp?” “Zapp” answered Fry. “He woke up fifteen minutes ago, and he is in great pain and fears that he might die, so he insisted that he wanted to see you one last time.” Leela sighed, but she knew she did not have the heart to deny a possibly dying man his last wish, so she said: “All right. I’ll be along in a minute. Now go.” After Fry left, she got up, wincing as more muscles were ringing in to complain, inserted her contact lens and went for some fresh clothes.

Five minutes later, she entered the quarantine chamber, wearing a pressure suit. She knew it was not really necessary because the vaccine would protect her from the virus that was threatening Zapp’s life, but it was prudent for reasons of hygiene - she would be easier to decontaminate when she left the chamber again. The Professor, also in a pressure suit, sat beside the stretcher that had been balanced on two barrels, and a heart rate monitor and an IV stand were next to it. From the tone of the heart rate monitor, she could hear that Zapp’s pulse was weak and very fast, and what she could see of his body was glowing bright-red. The bulge under the blanket was huge now, the entire belly was strained to the point of bursting. The toupee had been removed, and she could see that underneath it he was indeed completely bald. Zapp seemed to be sleeping, and so did the Professor, snoring comfortably. She stood beside the stretcher. “Zapp” she said, quietly. “You wanted me?” At first there was no reaction, but then he opened his blackened eyes - they were blodshot and the pupils were widened. “Leela” he managed, weakly. He was hardly intelligeble behind his oxygen mask. “So you have come:” His voice sounded different, gone was the boasting and self-satisfied tone that it always carried. “Yes” said Leela, soothingly. Zapp wearily closed his eyes again, and there was silence. Then, after a minute or so, he opened them again. “The Professor told me that this might be the end, and if this is indeed so, I just wanted to confess a few things” he muttered. “I know I have been getting on your nerves, and I know that you didn’t always like what I was doing to get your attention.” “That’s a gross understatement” she snapped. “You were after me the instant you layed your eyes on me, and you pestered me in every way possible. That blackmail business was the last straw indeed!” A furious look was on her face. Zapp sighed. “Maybe I overdid it a bit” he conceded. “But I want you to know that I have always adored you. You know now that I made a deal with the Robot Devil, and I never regretted my decision - until the moment you stepped onto the bridge of the Nimbus.” Zapp closed his eyes again, but reopened them quickly. “You were different. Of all the thousands of aliens I had seen and blasted over the years, you were the most beautiful, and you were the only woman who ever really made love with me - I now realize I would have given up everything right then to win your heart, but I was too wrapped up in myself and too proud to admit it, to you and to myself. And afterwards I was obsessed with the thought that you might come back to me if I only tried hard enough, and I couldn’t leave you alone.” He closed his eyes again, exhausted. “ I just wanted you to know that, in my own special way, I have always loved you.” This confession seemed to have drained his last reserves of strength, and he fell silent. Leela stared at the motionless body. She saw him in a completely different light now, and for a moment she understood him better. All his boasting and the ridiculous and fundamentally flawed attempts to win her that were, of course, mainly the result of his ignorance and stupidity, had been backed by a subconscious attempt to prove to himself that he would not always remain alone, that he indeed could win the heart of a woman and find love. She felt that underneath his facade of the greatest military commander and ladies’ man in the known universe, and even underneath his dominant layer of rampant stupidity and self-centeredness - right in the center of his soul, even if he wasn’t aware of it - there was a huge dark pit filled with bitterness and regret, a dark gaping abyss of loneliness in which his heart was lost, forever. She took his hand, and blinked away a tear. “Zapp” she said softly, “I understand you. But believe me, it would never have worked out.” There was no reply, but she could see that tears were silently running down his cheeks. She felt utterly helpless because she could not bring it over herself to tell him sweet lies - if he survived, it would only make things worse. It was probably best to be honest with him, even at this hour. So she just pressed his hand between hers for a while, tears welling up in her eye, and when she found he had lost his consciousness, she turned to leave.

An hour later, the Planet Express ship touched down in front of the Taco Bellevue hospital, and a med team rolled the unconscious starship captain out of the quarantine unit inside a special containment unit. The crew was left waiting in the anteroom, while the doctors were surveying the patient. Finally, after about half an hour, a surgeon came in. “Well, he is out of immediate danger” he told the Professor. “The vaccine has brought the infection to a standstill, and we are currently removing the virus from his system. But there are other issues: he has a lot of fractures and other injuries, and on top of that his belly has swollen to the point of bursting from all the extra tissue that the virus has produced. He is a known public figure, and if we loose him in an operation here, the blame would rest on us. No surgeon wants to take the responsibility for this kind of thing! They are all scared he might die under their hands!” The Professor smiled. “Fortunately, this will not be a problem. You just leave everything to me. Please clear an operating room for us, and we will take care of this.” The surgeon objected, but after a short discussion with the head physician the Professor’s request was granted. Leela went to make a phone call, and not even fifteen minutes later the grossly deformed figure of Zapp Brannigan was manhandled along the corridor towards the nearest unoccupied operating room, accompagnied by the crew all draped into surgical gowns. The fever was gone, and his skin had assumed a much more normal colour, but his belly was still hugely swollen. He briefly awoke as they were passing the door, took a look around, and recognized Leela - there was no mistaking that singular eye and purple hair even behind a face mask and beneath a surgical cap. “Huh? Leela? My sweet? Where am I? And what are you doing to me?” he said weakly, but his voice had the familiar tone of self-centered stupidity underneath the uncertainty again. Leela’s face was hidden behind the mask, but her eye once more expressed a kind of grim satisfaction. “We are going to operate you. And this time”, she said, “it’s the lobster for you!” And as if on cue, the door to the operating room opened once more, and Dr. Zoidberg in full surgical dress entered the room in his usual waddling step. “All right! Let us begin!” he exclaimed, clicking his claws excitedly. Zapp gave a little sigh, and fainted.


------------------
"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #23 on: 03-06-2006 16:35 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 00:00 »

And now, for the finishing touch...

Chapter Thirteen

It was the following morning. The Planet Express crew was gathered in front of the TV in the lounge once again and shared a pot of coffee. The news monster was going through last nights events. “Puny Earthling fleet commander Zapp Brannigan had to undergo medical treatment on account of a virulent disease he picked up while doing his duty on Ebola 9" Morbo read out. “It is said that he is recovering fast and eager to reenter service as soon as possible. President Nixon’s head has awarded him the Medal of meritious service for risking his life in the line of duty.” Linda continued: “And so our most decorated starship captain has evaded certain death yet again to continue his never ceasing service for our planet.” And Morbo added. “Certain death is what awaits every sorry creature on this pitiful planet, muahahahaah!” Linda joined his laughter, a shade uncertainly.

Fry took another sip of coffee. “Well”, he said, “the operation seems to have been a success! Zapp is still alive, although he may have a few disfiguring scars now.” “Yes”, agreed the Professor. “The only way to end the difficulties at the hospital was to employ a surgeon who has no fear to operate under what circumstances whatsoever. Isn’t that so, Dr. Zoidberg?” “Damn right!” answered Planet Express’ staff doctor. “If you’re not prepared to risk a few horrible deaths, what’s the point of being a surgeon in the first place?” Fry was looking on his watch. “Bender and Leela are a little late” he remarked. “Where are they?” “Bender called in that he would come a little later” said Amy, stretching in her chair, “and Leela said she would have to catch up on her sleep a little.” Just then, the door opened, and Bender came in, whistling merrily. “Hello, losers!” he said, sat down on the sofa and put his legs on the table. “Hey, didn’t you have an appointment with the Robot Mafia this morning?” asked Fry. “Just comin’ from there” the robot replied. “Donbot was very pleased with my on-time delivery.” “So you did get the organs?” inquired Amy. “Yeah. A bit of luck there. When we examined that pile of meat Zoidy had taken from that moron’s body, we found it was made up mainly of livers, kidneys, lungs and pancreases - more than enough to fulfill my contract.” He grinned, opened his door and took out a big wad of cash, fanning himself with it. “Hey, that’s great!” said Fry. “So they won’t break your legs after all, will they?” “Well, they offered me to do it all the same, but I chose to come right back instead” said Bender, swallowing the money. “By the way, lobster man, I have some leftovers for you” he added, opening his chest cabinet once more and retrieved a box, which bore a label on the side that said “Zapp Brannigan’s Own”. “Hooray! Breakfast time!” cheered the lobster doctor, snatching it from his grip, and scurried out. For a moment, the human members of the crew looked as if they were about to be sick, but recovered quickly.

The morning dragged on, and as there was no delivery, things were pretty quiet. Fry and Amy removed the quarantine unit from the ship’s belly, while Bender was busy cleaning up inside. Around noon, they were all gathered round the conference table taking a snack when the door opened and Leela came in. “Hello” she said, “I am just coming from the hospital.” “How did it go?” asked Amy. “Zapp seems to be more or less fine, Zoidberg did a good job” she replied, taking a seat. “But I guess it will take a while to cure the damage I inflicted on him. The Nimbus will be along in a few days and take him over, and good riddance.” “Was he awake? What did he say?” asked Fry. “Well, more or less the usual stuff” said Leela, grimacing. “He kept going about how the last three days were a mistake, and wanted me to stay to look after him and rub his back in a hot sexy way, so he would have some entertainment.” She sagged, and sighed deeply. “I guess there’s just no changing him. After last night I thought that maybe he would learn a lesson, but I forgot about his ego.” She straightened up in her chair, and brightened up. “Still, there is some good news as well” she smiled. “The blackmail issue seems to be off the agenda, and he ever tries something like this again, we know how we can discourage him. I want to thank all of you for helping me, without you, I wouldn’t have made it.” “Hey, that’s what I do, meatbag” said Bender, lighting a fresh cigar. “After all, it provided me with a sackful of organs I could use.” Amy smiled and said “Any time. I got to see Kif, and I had a good time crossing this spleezeball.” Fry broke into a smile as well, and said “Hey, someone had to rescue you from that goon!” But inside, he was somehow sad. He had helped to defend Leela’s freedom, but somehow it seemed not to have been really noticed by her. Well, nothing new there, he thought. Leela gave them all a smile, and then rose to do maintenance work on the ship. Fry sighed, and trotted after her - the cargo hold needed a good sweep.

As he was in the middle of going through the main hold with the broom, he had almost recovered from his brief depression, he was actually singing - “Walking on Sunshine” again. He therefore was not aware that someone was approaching from behind, and almost swallowed his tongue as he half turned and saw Leela standing behind him. “I heard what you did with the Robot Devil” she said, pleasantly. Fry took a few seconds to recover from his surprise, but then tried to look nonchalant. “Hey, it was nothing. Forget it.” “No”, she said and approached him, “I think I owe you for this one - at least I owe you a chance.” She laid her hands on his shoulders, and smiled at him with her eye half closed. “So... what are you doing tonight?” Fry’s jaw dropped. After a few seconds, he asked in a small voice: “You’re asking me out? Really?!” He just couldn’t believe his luck. “I think you have earned it” Leela said, and for a moment Fry thought he was going to faint on the spot as she gave him a small kiss. “Just do me a favour: take a shower, and wear something appropriate for the occasion. If we are doing this, we might as well do it right. Eight o’ clock, at O’Zorgnax.” Then, with a last look over her shoulder, she was gone. Fry just stood there for a few minutes, motionless. Then he bunched both fists and whispered: “YES!” and did his little victory dance again, but silently, so no one would overhear him. He didn’t know if it would work this time, and he didn’t know if he had what it took to win her heart, but he had been given a chance, and by golly, he was going to make use of it. And one thing he knew for certain: he had better chances than Zapp, which admittedly was not much consolation, but it still gave him a warm feeling inside. With that in mind, he picked up his broom again. The cargo hold wouldn’t get clean all by itself, and he had an appointment tonight. Smiling contentedly, he started singing again and attacked a fresh patch of floor. Somehow, right now and right here, the universe seemed a happy place.


               The End

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
Punching Bag

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #24 on: 03-07-2006 05:28 »

I'm suing you for making a parody of my old screen name.

By the way, the fan fic, tl;dr
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #25 on: 03-07-2006 11:28 »

Whatever that is supposed to mean...
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #26 on: 03-09-2006 07:15 »

Come on, guys... I really need some feedback on this. My first major oevre in English, and I want to know if it sucked or if it was good...
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #27 on: 03-09-2006 12:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Chrys:
Come on, guys... I really need some feedback on this. My first major oevre in English, and I want to know if it sucked or if it was good...
<checks Chrys' profile>
Germany, hmm...

Okay, I'll read it.
Then, to borrow a line from Ralph Snart,  big grin you might want to put on your asbestos underwear...  flirt

I kid...
I'll probably have comments this evening.

Til' then,
Guten tag, mein herr...  wink
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #28 on: 03-10-2006 12:29 »

Well, I've started reading your story Chrys.
First, I apologize for not responding sooner; work intrudes...  hmpf

I have good news and I have bad news.
First the good news:
I think you have some interesting ideas, a reasonably good grasp of the characters, and can turn a phrase in English. This last, better than many native English speakers I know. Please take this as the compliment I intend;  wink

Now the bad news:
Your story is shot-through with spelling, punctuation and other "mechanical" errors. To the point that they really interfere 'read-ability' of your story.
I'm not a good example, but I couldn't read your story all the way through because of the 'jarring' effect of these errors.
Now, having said ths, do not get discouraged!
The bad news is -
[Farnsworth]
Good news, everybody!
[/Farnsworth]
We can fix those errors!  big grin

I'll not soak up bandwidth by going into detail here. If your interested in more, please feel free to send me an e-mail. My address is in my profile.
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #29 on: 03-10-2006 13:00 »
« Last Edit on: 03-10-2006 13:00 »

Well, as I said: I'm not a native speaker, and I don't have an English spell checking program. This damn writing programme also does auto-correcting sometimes, but alas, in German. But spelling is more or less secondary, as long as the story is not too bad. I can try correcting some things... thanks for the feedback, I will try harder next time. Perhaps someone could even correct it for me? Mind you, it's a lot of work - more than 27000 words...

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #30 on: 03-10-2006 13:04 »

Um... what program do you use to write?
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #31 on: 03-10-2006 13:12 »

WordPerfect. Must see if it has a possibility to switch to English.

"Birds don't crawl."
-Leela
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #32 on: 03-10-2006 13:28 »

No habla WordPerfect...  wink

If it was MS Word, I might be able to make some suggestions...

How may I help?
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #33 on: 03-10-2006 13:47 »

I gave it a quick make over - as it happens, there is an English spell-checker after all. Hope it's a little better now.
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #34 on: 03-10-2006 15:29 »

I'll give it another look... uhm... later...

[*Yawn*]

That sound you hear is my pillow calling me...
Chrys

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #35 on: 03-11-2006 14:15 »

Wakey wakey!  wink
TriggerHappyJim

Professor
*
« Reply #36 on: 03-11-2006 14:38 »

I desperatly wan't to read this, but to do so I'm gonna need to set at least three days aside. I just don't have them at the moment.

When I go on study leave, I promise I'll read this.
SpaceCase

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #37 on: 03-12-2006 06:51 »

I've tried several time to read the story through, but the "mechanical errors" keep getting in the way&#8230;  hmpf
I wish there was something I could-

*TOING!*

[SpaceCase re-reads thread]
Quote
Originally posted by Chrys:
Perhaps someone could even correct it for me?
'Scuse me...  big grin
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #38 on: 03-12-2006 07:46 »

Ah, Spacey's on the case.  It is no longer unsolvable!
Unknown

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #39 on: 03-13-2006 17:16 »

In the future, in order to get more feedback, you could wait a little bit longer between posting sections.  I'd slow down to about 1 chapter per day, or you could threaten to not post the next section until receiving feedback, but don't be too obnoxious about it if you go that route.  I didn't have any problems reading it, and I enjoyed it.  I'd probably have to reread it a bit more to tell you more specifics in regards to the work as a whole.  I suggest you keep writing; this is one of the better serious fanfics I've read on here.
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