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Bending Unit
« on: 12-18-2007 15:05 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra

Disclaimers: Futurama and all its characters are a creation of Matt Groening and David X Cohen. This text is purely fan material, and has absolutely no commercial purposes whatsoever.

Before we start: Time for a little “What if…” story! Or more exactly, a sequel to a What-If story… And also a little homage to one of the most awesome things Japan has ever produced: kaiju eigas!


“Good news, everyone!”

Leela looked away and sighed, absolutely not thrilled by this improvised reunion the professor had decided to start. The old man’s conception of what “good news” means brought them enough trouble for her not wanting to hear what he was about to say.

This morning, Hermes called all the employees of Planet Express in professor Farnsworth’s laboratory, although he had no idea of what their boss wanted to tell them. Leela, Fry and Bender came at the same time, as they were all relaxing in the lobby when they got called. Leela didn’t like the sound of this, and the robot wasn’t pleased to have been forced to abandon the Ultimate Robot Fight Championship for some dull reunion (which wasn’t preventing him from recording the contest on his own hard drive), but Fry was much more neutral, and was still sipping at his Slurm can as the professor was about to start his talk. The professor, Hermes and Zoidberg were already in the laboratory when they got in, and Amy quickly joined them. The old man was now standing in front of the What-If machine, which was posed on a table in the middle of the room.

“- I’m proud to tell you that my latest invention is now complete! Resumed the professor, looking excited. I’m pretty sure that it’s my greatest achievement, far above the nuclear-powered trousers-lifters!
- The thing that nearly sterilized the entire state’s population? Asked Amy. I wonder what can top that…
- Something I’m not sure I want to hear about… Said Leela.
- Well, that would be an incredible mistake!” Said the professor. He then pointed at the What-If Machine on the table. “Behold… THE WHAT-IF MACHINE!”

In his delirium, the professor was expecting some kind of gasps or interrogative whispers, but he wasn’t prepared to be welcomed by silence and incomprehension. All his employees were now looking at him the same way as when he came naked to work because some mutated beavers devoured his clothes. That day, he had a hard time explaining them he didn’t lose his last fuse.

“- Er, professor… Said Fry, measuring his words. We already know it. You invented that thing years ago.
- What?! Said the professor, shocked. Nonsense! I would remember such a thing! I never made anything like that before!
- Yeah, you did, mon, said Hermes. The first one is just behind you.”

The professor turned around… And in a corner of the room, posed on a shelf, was indeed the first What-If Machine. Farnsworth adjusted his glasses for having a better look at it.

“- Oh my, looks like you’re right… Bah, nevermind! We’ll throw away the old one and use this one for now!
- Can I keep it? Asked Zoidberg, raising one of his claws like a little kid at school. I don’t have any TV, and sometimes I really get bored when I’m alone, the night, in my apartment…
- You don’t have any apartments, stinking jellyfish! Said Hermes.
- I know… Said Zoidberg, sighing.
- So is this one better than the other one? Asked Amy, getting back to the matter of discussion. More options, freeze mode, language choice, this type of things?
- Well, let me think a little bit…” Said the professor.

The old man started to scratch his skull, then his chin, really taking his time for having an answer. It lasted some extremely long and silent seconds, which were only troubled by Fry’s drinking noise. Leela crossed her arms on her chest, wondering if it would be a good idea to get out of the room before the professor would get out of his meditation.


Bender nodded.

“- That was anticlimactic…
- So why would we get rid of the other one? Asked Leela. We could…
- There’s no way I would have spent an entire week working on it for nothing! Said the professor. Especially since I had to pass a pact with the Robot Devil for extending my life for being able to finish it!
- Bah, that was useless anyway! Said Bender. The simulations that crap does always suck!
- You say that because each time you used it, it showed you die a horrible death… Said Fry.
- Exactly! I don’t see why I should care about something that want me dead!
- Then why don’t you ask it to unkill you? Asked Zoidberg. Every time something goes wrong for me, I imagine that the events take a different path!
- And so far, you had to reimagine your entire life, then? Asked Amy.
- Yes. And I realized that if things went a little bit different, I could have a successful career as a ballet dancer right now!
- This is just retarded! Said Hermes. Why don’t you just shut up and die, mollusc?
- Actually, he’s got a point, said the professor. The What-If Machine’s simulations we saw were limited by the few conditions we imposed to it the previous times, so it created the shortest stories as possible. Adding another element like the survival of one of us may change everything!”

Those last words managed to catch Bender’s attention. So far, the robot wasn’t fainting his hostility towards the machine, but this little explanation was changing everything.

“- Really? Said the robot. If I ask it not to kill me, it will be different?
- Oh my, yes! Replied the professor. Although it could mean the fates of the rest of us may be dire in those parallel universes!”

The robot smiled, his eyes shining of this perspective.

“- Now this sounds interesting! Alright, I’ll give it a try!
- You have an idea of what you’ll ask? Said Amy.
- Pretty much. Remember this story of me as a giant?
- Ooooooh, I loved this one! Said Fry.
- Yeah, I remember, said Leela. That wasn’t bad.
- I wouldn’t mind seeing an alternate version! Said Amy.
- But… But I was mean in this one! Said Zoidberg, whining.
- You don’t like this? Asked Hermes.
- No! It makes me feel ashamed!
- Then do it, Bender!”

Seeing the approval of his friends (and the despair of the Decapodian), the robot made his mind. He knew exactly what he was about to ask.

“Then it’s settled! Let’s see how it will look like!”

Bender grabbed the Machine’s microphone and made it come closer to his mouth. He carefully formulated each one of his words, so that the machine would perfectly understand what he wanted.

“What if the story of me as a giant didn’t end with my death?”

The group gathered around the machine’s screen, waiting for the simulation to begin. At first, they could see nothing but the usual mish-mash of colours that was working as its standby mode. But quickly, some images began to appear…
Bending Unit
« Reply #1 on: 12-22-2007 05:02 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 2)

Wernstrom was gnawing his fingernails at an increasing rate. He had a very bad feeling about all this. Something was smelling really bad, and he was sure that soon…

“Sir, H-37 is showing some sort of activity.”

The scientist stopped the stream of his previous thoughts and looked at his subordinate. The control room was filled with the men at his command, all of them concentrating on the various monitors that were scattered everywhere in the room, each one compiling the various datas on... His latest creation. On the other end of the room, just in front of the scientist, a large reinforced picture window would allow anyone to look at what was currently sleeping in the large room behind it. Wernstrom however made himself sure that a very limited amount of person would be able to do so. Entering the control room required some specific authorizations that only the persons that were in it at this moment had, and the complex’s security was tight enough for preventing any intruder to come in.

“- What kind of activity? Asked Wernstrom, a bit anxious.
- Erratic moves, accelerated cardiac rhythm, increase of its mental activities…
- It’s dreaming. Of course, by now it must have reached the paradoxical sleep period. No need to worry.
- Yes, sir.”

Wernstrom got back to his thoughts. Yes, no need to worry… And then, he still was. Some things weren’t exactly as he planned. Some little imperfections in its creation development, some variations he wasn’t expecting… The need to increase the dose of sedative, for example. And, of course, some of its features he didn’t remember to have implemented…

He tried to evacuate his worries. He knew such things could happen. That’s what you have to expect when you work in bio-engineering, especially in such a project. Mutations were always a variable to take into account, and for the moment its creation was pretty close to how it should be. No, really, he didn’t have to be that anxious. Just thinking about how Farnsworth will look like when he’ll show him his masterpiece is a good enough reason for…

The ground shake.

Wernstrom had a hard time trying to keep his balance but succeeded, which considering his age was already a real feat. The entire room vibrated, throwing some of the little objects (pens, mugs, sheets of paper…) to the ground and disconcerting all the scientists. Some of the monitors even rebooted, as the vibrations temporarily cut them for their powersource. Wernstrom quickly got to the post of the employee whom he talked with a bit earlier. He was as surprised as his subordinate, but he tried to hide it.

“- What is it? Is there something new?
- I… Oh my God, look at this! Said the young man, pointing to the screen. All its statistics are rising! Its brain activity, as well as the nervous impulses!”

Wernstrom swallowed a large gulp of saliva.

“Oh no… It’s awaking…”

Another tremor shook the room, this one much more violent than the other one. Wernstrom managed to hold himself to the console, but he crashed on it nonetheless. Some of the monitors got moved because of the might of the tremor, while some neon tubes came off and shattered on the ground. Everybody in the room was now shouting, unable to act rationally and slowly beginning to panic. Wernstrom forced himself to still look like he was mastering the situation, but anybody could see he was in fact as troubled as the others.

“- How could this be? It wasn’t supposed to get out of sleep so soon with the last dose of sedatives we gave it!
- I don’t know, sir! Said the young scientist, scared to death. The machines didn’t record anything that could have warned us of this! Maybe it’s grown accustomed to the sedatives!
- What’s making you think that, Clayton? Said Wernstrom, hiding his fear behind anger. The fact it’s trying to tear apart its chains, maybe?”

The young man staggered an answer… But suddenly, something roared. A loud, low-pitched roar that couldn’t correspond to anything that could have been from this universe. It managed to cover up all the screams of the various persons that were in the room… More precisely, everybody got so frightened by it that they were all frozen on their seat. His eyes bulging, Wernstrom took a look at the picture window. He couldn’t see anything but another wall, several dozens of feet away from him. But he wasn’t sure he really wanted to see something else.

Another tremor occurred, quickly followed by a new roar… And a second, then a third one. During very long seconds, the three roars went on, almost deafening everybody in the assistance.

“- Malenkoff! Screamed Wernstrom to another one of his subordinates. Are the titanium chains holding?
- Yes, but they won’t stand such a treatment for long! Yelled the young scientist. The tension is way higher than what you were expecting!
- What?! It’s impossible! It can’t be that strong!
- Chain number 4 is already cracking, sir!
- Activate the red alert!”

Malenkoff obeyed immediately and pressed a big red button that was placed on his console. An alarm started to ring, adding even more to the confusion of the moment. The red flashing lights that came out of the ceiling reinforced the sensation of panic that took control of the room.

“- Someone would better tell me that the special forces are on their way! Screamed Wernstrom.
- They’ve been called as soon as the tremors started! Said a young dark-haired woman somewhere on the right of Wernstrom. They’ll get in the Lair in a minute!
- Do we have a minute, Malenkoff?
- I’m not sure, sir, we…”

The room shook once more… But this time, a roar didn’t follow it. In fact, only a monstrous cracking noise could be heard. Wernstrom, looking at the picture window, only saw something grey and massive flash before it for a very brief fraction of second.

“- Chain number 4 has broken! Yelled Malenkoff. Number 3, 5 and 6 won’t hold on either!
- Quick! Send the tamerbots in the Lair with massive doses of sedatives! Screamed Wernstrom. It mustn’t set free! It…”

The scientist got interrupted by a new tremor, this one much more violent than the others, to the point that some big slabs of cement fell of the ceiling, even knocking down some of the persons in the room, or damaging the monitors. Some of them exploded because of the fragments. The screams of terror intensified… But they all got covered by new roars. Wernstrom’s blood froze in his veins. Those roars were almost materializing all the bestial rage of the thing that shouted it, a rage that was defying time and space and coming from the first days of life on Earth, when only the strongest and the most violent creatures had a chance to survive… But what really scared Wernstrom was the little touch of triumph that he could discern in them…

“Oh my God! Said Malenkoff, completely panicked. It broke all its chains! It is free! It’s…”

But Wernstrom couldn’t hear anything of what the young man was saying. He was staring at the picture window, too shocked for trying to protect himself from what was about to happen.

Behind the window, a titanic flesh mass, covered with dark green scales, was rushing into the control room.

The crash completely shattered the picture window and a large portion of the wall. All the people in the room got thrown to the ground because of the force of the impact, and the closest ones from the window were engulfed in a maelstrom of broken glass and of sharp pieces of metal. Wernstrom barely managed to protect his face with his hands as he was falling, and he couldn’t do anything for breaking his fall. He would never be able, later, to tell exactly what happened during the following seconds… Everything was a confusing chaos of screams of terror, deafening sounds of destruction, flashing lights, pain and explosions… But there was something he would never forget. The powerful roars that were dominating everything else…

After what seemed like an eternity to his senses, the chaos stopped. He could still hear the alarm and see the flashing lights, but the violent tremors stopped, and there wasn’t as much noise as before. Slowly, Wernstrom opened up his eyes and got his head out of the shelter of his hands, and took a look at the surroundings. He had great difficulties to understand that he was still in the control room, as it was now completely unrecognizable: all the monitors had been shaken off or shattered, several electric cables were hanging from the ravaged ceiling. All his colleagues were still lying on the ground, unconscious or moaning because of their wounds. And moreover, there were rubbles and dust everywhere in the room. If a bomb would have exploded, it was certainly how the room would look like.

Wernstrom stood up with difficulty. His right leg was hurting him like it never did, and he was bleeding from a wound on his head, but there was nothing too serious to worry. The scientist limped to the destroyed window, stepping over his unconscious subordinates and holding his hurting leg. When he got to the hole in the wall, he tried to look down, making sure he wouldn’t fall. Considering a 30 feet tall opening was now in front of him, that would have had dire consequences for him… The gigantic room he was looking at was forming a 50 feet wide cube, that was completely hollow, except for what was lying on its ground… Massive broken titanium chains, each one big enough for allowing two elephants to pass through their buckles. But what they were keeping was no longer there… Wernstrom also saw the scratches on the walls, wide as buses and immeasurably long. A quick look to the ceiling revealed to him that it almost disappeared: in its place was now an enormous hole. In the far distance, Wernstrom could even see the daylight.

The scientist grinded his teeth.

The surveillance commission would certainly not like this. At all…
Bending Unit
« Reply #2 on: 12-26-2007 04:18 »
« Last Edit on: 12-26-2007 04:18 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 3)

It was a sunny spring day in New New York. The sun didn’t rise a long time ago, but the city was already buzzing with activity. Hundreds of flying cars were hovering in the streets, starting the first traffic jams of the day. The transportation tubes were full as everybody was now going to work, and the first insults between people who accidentally stepped on each other or tried to dodge the line were already bringing some more life to the atmosphere, as well the various different kinds of horns. The sky itself was crowded with an impressive amount of ships that were coming in and out of the atmosphere. Some owls were already coughing because of the pollution.

The Planet Express building was almost shining in the daylight. Some recent events had forced the professor to repaint it from the roof to the basement, and this alone managed to make it look like it had been built recently. But there was a little change to the structure, however… On one side of the building, opposed to the main entrance and put just besides the hangar, was now one big warehouse that was apparently a bit much bigger than the rest of the building itself. But apart from this “little” addition, it would have been hard to guess that the entire city had to go through important reconstruction after the battle that opposed a giant robot and a giant as well Decapodian more than a year ago.

Just in front from the building’s entrance, in the middle of the street, there was a sewer manhole... Which got pulled away by someone that was coming out of it.

Morris quickly pulled the steel sheet away and stood up on the pavement before turning to the manhole for helping his wife, Munda, to get out as well. Anybody who would have seen this little scene would have stopped dead and stared at the newcomers, considering how rare it was for sewer mutants to go to the surface. But somebody who would have tried to see a bit further than this would have noticed that the two mutants were obviously tensed. It could easily be seen by the time they were taking for dusting their clothes, arranging their hair (even Morris despite his baldness) and in a whole trying to look presentable. When Morris thought he couldn’t do anything else on this matter, he passed his arm on his wife’s shoulders. The old couple was now looking at the Planet Express building, a bit anxious about what would happen next.

“- I never thought I’d ever live this… Said Munda. I so hope we won’t put Leela to shame too much…
- I hope too… Said his husband. But let’s try to be a bit more confident. After all, it’s Leela’s idea to present us to her colleagues.
- That’s something I still don’t quite understand… Why would she do such a thing? We’ll just embarrass her, and…
- Honey, please… That’s what I thought at first, but then I got it. She’s just happy to have found us; she doesn’t care if we live in the sewers, she hoped all her life that one day we’d be reunited, and that it happened was the only thing she wanted.
- Yes, I think that’s it…” The female mutant took a deep breath. “Well, we didn’t make all this trip just for standing here all day long…
- I guess not. Come on.”

The couple finally made the first steps towards the building’s entrance. At first, it was as if they were carrying backpacks full of rocks, but they were feeling lighter and lighter at each step. Even when they were hiding them from their own daughter, they always had a little hope that someday they could be with her. And now that their wait has ended, they didn’t want to waste another minute.

The door automatically opens before them, and a little bell rang as they got inside. The room was obviously the only part of the building that was designed for welcoming customers, as there was a chair in one corner and a few advertising posters saying such things as “PLANET EXPRESS – OUR CREW IS EXPENDABLE, YOUR PACKAGES AREN’T!” or “CHOOSE THOSE WHO STEAL THE LESS, CHOOSE PLANET EXPRESS!”. They certainly had been here for a very long time, considering their advanced state of decomposition.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” Said Morris.

Behind a door just in front of them, the couple could hear some sounds that were evoking someone who would be running and almost stumbling. When the door opened and revealed an excited Leela, this made some kind of sense.

“Mom! Dad! You came!”

Without further discussion, Leela walked forward and hugged her two parents at the same time. Mother, father and daughter stood there for long seconds, as the joy of being together again still hadn’t faded away. Each one could feel their hearts and those of their relatives beating faster, and there was still a little note in their voices when they spoke again that was indicating that they were doing their best for not crying.

“- Of course we came, Leela! Said Munda, finally freed from her anxiety. We would have missed the opportunity to see you for nothing!
- It’s so good to see you! Said Leela.
- I couldn’t say else!” Said Morris.

Finally, they put an end to this moment of intimate contact, but that was certainly not meaning that their emotions had toned down.

“- You look radiant, Leela, said Munda.
- Thanks mom, you’re looking great too! Said Leela. Are you two fine?
- We never felt better, honey, said Morris.
- How are things going in the sewers?
- Well, you remember Glenda? Said Munda. Our neighbor’s daughter? Her baby was born last week!
- Really? That’s great! Is it a he or a she?
- They’re still trying to figure it out.
- Oh.”

Leela stroke her hair. She was certainly as nervous to properly introduce her parents to her friends as them to be introduced…

“- Shall we get inside? Said Leela. The others can’t wait for meeting you!
- Really?! Said Munda, feeling her anxiety coming back. You’re sure we’re not…
- Oh, don’t worry for that, mom! I’m sure they’ll like you two! Said Leela, still trying to convince herself that it would most certainly be the case.
- They don’t have a problem with us being mutants? Asked Morris.
- Well… They were surprised at first, of course, but no, I don’t think they have!”

The young woman opened the path, leading her parents to the hangar where the rest of Planet Express had been gathered, waiting for them. Those were only a few meters but they seemed like miles for Morris and Munda.

Finally, Leela opened the door to the hangar… The first thing Morris noticed was the company’s ship in the back, waiting for its next mission, but as they truly entered in the hangar, he finally saw his daughter’s colleagues, all sitting around a table in the hangar’s entrance. Munda and him immediately recognized Fry, as he was the one who accidentally lead Leela and them to finally be reunited, but they couldn’t know who the professor, Hermes and Amy were. But they were all smiling at them, which slightly reinsured the couple.

“Guys, I’d like you to meet my parents. My father, Morris, and my mother Munda.”

Fry, Amy, Hermes and the professor saluted and greeted Morris and Munda in such a warm manner that for a second, the mutants got disoriented. That was the first time that some people from the surface that they were meeting for the first time didn’t scream of horror at first sight. But they quickly got themselves back.

“- Good morning… Said Munda.
- Pleased to meet you, said Morris.
- So… Said Leela, still a bit nervous. Mom, dad, allow me to introduce to Planet Express… You’ve already met Fry, here…”

The young man waved again. The mutants couldn’t see anything malicious in the way he was looking at them or talking, but after their first meeting, they already knew how nice he was.

“- Hello! Said Fry.
- Good morning, my boy! Said Morris. We will always be in your debt…
- Bah, that was natural! Leela is the closest friend I ever had, I don’t know where I’d be if she didn’t help me when I got unfrozen. Seeing her happy to be with you again is enough for me to be happy too.
- How adorable of you! Said Munda. Don’t hesitate to pay us a visit, you’ll always be welcomed!
- I sure will!
- And this is the professor Farnsworth, said Leela, pointing to the old man. He’s our boss, and Fry’s closest relative!
- Pleased to meet you! Said the professor. You know, I’m quite a sewer dweller myself!
- What, really? Said Morris, genuinely surprised.
- Oh my, yes! You can’t imagine how much your toxic underground river depends on my various experiments! And I must say I’m a little proud to have contributed to the formation of your fauna!
- What? Said Munda. You mean some of the creatures we meet down there are your creations?
- Indeed! Like those fluorescent newts, two headed warthogs and telepathic leeches!
- We don’t have telepathic leeches… Said Morris.
- That’s what they want you to think!”

Morris and Munda looked at each other, a bit ticked off by the scientist’s words. Leela quickly felt the cold, and decided to change the subject as fast as possible.

“- And… Hahem… Our bureaucrat, Hermes Conrad. He takes care of all the paperwork and helps us to prepare all the legal details of our missions.
- I also try to keep this company away from bankruptcy, said Hermes. The few years of work here allowed me to find 400 different flaws in the fiscal system that alone avoids us to be closed because of infractions to the working conventions!
- Sounds like you’re a very precious person here, then… Said Morris.
- Well, I did consider filling the forms for getting a reward… Said Hermes, a bit parading. But then it would require a general inspection that would be deadly for us.
- Finally, said Leela, Amy, officially our long-term intern, and officiously the third crew member of the Planet Express ship!
- Hi! Said Amy, waving.
-My, such a ravishing young woman! Said Munda. And I guess you’re as nice as you’re pretty!
- If you consider that helping your daughter to get some fashion sense is a good action, then yes, pretty much!
- And not being the only woman in the group also is…” Leela stopped as she suddenly realized what Amy just said. “Wait a second, what do you mean by “getting some fashion sense”?
- So, how long will you stay on the surface? Asked Fry, not even realizing he prevented a cat-fight.
- Oh, until tomorrow evening, replied Morris. We’d have loved staying a bit longer, but it’s impossible to get authorizations that last longer.
- A pity, mon, said Hermes. I’m sorry I couldn’t get you something better, but as you said, there is no form that goes beyond 36 hours…
- You’re the one who helped us to get the authorizations?! Said Munda, amazed. That’s so kind of you!
- Thank you, miss. Your daughter is by far our best employee and has succeeded more missions than any other captains before her!
- In other words, said the professor, she survived longer than the others! Fry and her are the first of our field agents who can ask for getting a little raise of their pay checks because of their seniority!
- Really? Cool! Said Fry.
- How course, I would then have to find a legal excuse for firing them!”

Fry’s happiness immediately turned to disappointment. The young man began to scowl, mumbling some grievances over his amazingly-high-number-of-“great”-nephew.

“- You could have expected something like this, said Amy. Why do you think I never asked for being paid after all the time I spent as an intern here?
- Because your parents are rich? Said Leela.
- Oh, yeah, that…
- You seem to do well, said Morris, starting another conversation by looking at the professor. With so few employees, it must be difficult to run a company like this…
- Not really, said the professor, you just have to make the worthier choices…
- You mean “accept the jobs everybody else consider as too dangerous”? Said Hermes.
- Of course, what else could I mean? But to be fair, we’re a bit more numerous than the ones you see here. The rest of the company is… Not in the best condition for being here…
- What do you mean exactly? Asked Morris.
- It’s a bit complicated… We’ve got a doctor, but…”

And just at this moment, a huge crash shook the building.

The two mutants, frightened, squeezed up each one against the other, trying to figure out what happened… But Morris quickly realized that the Planet Express employees, including Leela, weren’t looking scared at all. In fact, they were all sighing, suddenly feeling tired, with the notable exception of the professor who for his part was apparently particularly pissed.

“- Not again! Said the professor. That’s the fourth time this month!
- What? Asked Morris, still anxious. What is the fourth time this month?”

The professor didn’t bother to answer to his guest. Everybody was now getting out of their seat and heading to the exit, all looking annoyed. A bit insecure, Morris and Munda finally decided to follow them. They were now all out of the building, but Munda quickly caught Leela as she was about to turn around the building’s angle.

“- Darling? What’s going on?
- Remember what the professor said about the rest of the crew not being in the best condition?
- Yes?
- He meant this.”

Leela pointed something ahead of her. As Munda had been staring at her daughter for the past seconds, she couldn’t see what she was showing her earlier, but as soon as she caught a glimpse, she completely froze, her mouth opening and almost falling to the ground, while her eyes were growing bigger. A bit behind her, her husband was in the same state of amazement.

A 20 meters tall Decapodian was in front of her. Apparently, during all that time, it was in the warehouse that was just next to the Planet Express headquarters, but didn’t show up until this moment. The sandals, blue trousers and white doctor shirt it was wearing were making the whole picture even more surrealist, as the fact it was now rubbing its head with one of its claws, while making a sad face. The couple was way too dumbfounded for noticing that some part of the warehouse’s roof was destroyed just above the entrance.

Leela finally noticed that her parents were still behind. She came back on her steps for catching them up.

“Mom, dad… Doctor Zoidberg, the last member of Planet Express.”

Morris’ mouth was now staggering as some words were trying to take form. It took him less time for finally being able to speak again than he thought it would.

“- It’s… It’s that giant lobster that destroyed the city a year ago!
- Along with Bender the giant robot, yes, said Leela. He was already a member of the company way before Bender came, but he was normal back then. But as the giant robot was getting out of control, the professor decided to enlarge him so that he would oppose him. It quite worked, considering he won his fight against him.
- But… Why is he still gigantic?! Asked Munda.
- That’s the problem with the professor: he can modify genetics and create monsters, but he never cares about finding a way to reverse the process. All his attempts for bringing Zoidberg back to his normal size have failed, so now he’ll have to stay this way forever.
- And the mayor doesn’t care about having a giant Decapodian in his city?! Said Morris.
- Oh yes, he does. After Bender was killed, the city decided to sue Zoidberg for all the damages he caused, but they couldn’t really do anything against him. First of all, he put an end to the menace that Bender was representing, which kind of lightened the grievances against him. And second, there is no structure that can keep him imprisoned anyway. But they turned against the professor instead, and they forced him to look after Zoidberg and to repair any damage he would provoke as he created him in the first place. So now, we’re forced to maintain a giant clumsy lobster. At least, with the trial, he realized all the problems he caused and stopped acting like a maniac.”

After her explanations, Leela went back to meet her friends, who were all gathered around the Decapodian. As for her parents, they stayed a bit behind, still processing everything they saw and heard during those last few minutes. They still needed a bit of time for accepting the fact that their daughter was technically working with a giant monster. But after a while, they finally started to walk again for meeting the others.

“That sure is something we don’t see below…” Said Munda.

When the mutants finally caught up with the others, they heard the continual rants from the professor’s part. Apparently, just as his words in the hanger could have meant, this wasn’t the first time that such an accident was happening. Zoidberg, for his part, was really looking ashamed of what he did.

“- How many times should I have to tell you, Zoidberg: do not try to stand up in this ware house! Sweet zombie Jesus, you do know that we can’t afford it to be higher!
- I’m very sorry, professor! Whined Zoidberg. But an owl came in and began to peck my skull while I was sleeping, so in a moment of panic…
- Then next time just let it pierce your shell and don’t break everything! Said Hermes. You do realize how much those repairs will cost us?!
- And you can be sure we’ll deduct this from your next salary! Said the professor. That’s already a big enough pain in the ass to have to feed you and to pay extras to the junkyard so that they would take away your dejections!”

This was the last straw: Zoidberg began to cry loudly, burying his face in his claws. Morris and Munda couldn’t believe it, but it was enough for making him even uglier than he already was, even compared to what they could see in the sewers. Of course they were way too well-educated for saying this out loud…

Leela turned to face her parents. She was now looking particularly embarrassed.

“- I never wanted you to see this…
- Oh, it’s not a problem, honey, replied Morris. Sure, even for our standards it’s a bit unusual, but it’s not the worst thing we’ve ever seen…
- But… Do you really have to be that rude with him? Asked Munda. He’s already suffering from his condition…
- Yeah? Well don’t expect me to feel sorry for him! Said Fry, particularly pissed. He has what he deserves!
- What?! Said a surprised Munda.
- It’s a bit personal… Whispered Leela to her parents. He was friend with that giant robot, so he never forgave Zoidberg for having killed him…
- Oh… Well, it’s not really a reason for being that cruel! Said Munda.
- Pfah!” Belched Fry.

Meanwhile, Zoidberg’s cries were beginning to tone down. His crisis having diminished, and after having blown his nose with his claw, the Decapodian finally noticed there were some people he never met before.

“- Who are you? Asked Zoidberg. Are you from the pet hospital? I don’t want any more injections!
- Don’t worry, doctor, said Leela. This is my father, Morris, and my mother, Munda.
- Pleased to meet you, said Munda, not afraid from the Decapodian anymore.
- Parents? You’re Leela’s parents?! Oh joy!” Zoidberg’s sadness seemed to have vanished in a blink when he heard the news. “That’s so wonderful! I was so happy to hear Leela found you that I cried like a little baby! More than during the saddest episode of All my Circuits!
- That’s nice to hear, said Morris. And you, are you alright?
- Me? Everything’s perfect! I have a house just for me, even if I accidentally destroy it now and then! I have great food, and I even found a job!
- Really? Despite your size?
- Oh my yes! Said the professor. We found a little something that helps us to get some profits out of his handicap and to pay all the expenses he causes! By the way, doctor, it’s time to start your little tour!
- Owwww, do I really have to? Said Zoidberg, feeling sorry.
- Yes, you have! Said Hermes. We’re getting a huge check for this one!
- But can’t we try to find something else I could advertise? I feel like a traitor…
- Oh, shut up already and take those damn posterboards! And remember, you have to walk on the bank until you reach the Brooklyn magnetic bridge, come back and then do the whole travel again during 3 hours! Hurry up, stinking crayfish!”

Zoidberg sighed again and got back to the warehouse, keeping his head down for preventing himself from doing more damage to it. When he came out, Morris and Munda realized there was now big posterboards on his chest and on his back, each one linked by two long and heavy ropes, saying “COME AT FISHY JOE’S, THE BEST SHELLFISHS OF THE EAST COAST!”. Without a word, Zoidberg then got to the river by the building and began to walk on its bank, getting away. The two mutants stared at him a very long moment, unaware that the rest of the Planet Express employees weren’t completely dazed by this show.

“- Does he really have to do this? Said Morris. I mean, can’t your company cover all the expenses?
- Unfortunately, no, replied Leela. As we said, he still has to eat. And that enough would have ruined us out long ago if we hadn’t found this solution.
- What do you mean?
- ‘Scuse me?”

Everybody faced the newcomer. It was Sal who shouted from a distance, as he was still standing in a barge that was floating on the Hudson. A barge that was containing several tons of fish that were almost causing it to sink.

“That’s today’s first shipment of fish for your big guy, said Sal. I drop it same place as usual?”

Morris looked at his daughter.

“Nevermind. I get it.”
Bending Unit
« Reply #3 on: 12-29-2007 14:33 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 4)

“… And this, Kif, is why you’ll never become a captain.”

The Amphibian, for once, repressed a sigh. Zapp never missed an opportunity to make a speech about the qualities it requires for getting to his rank, and inevitably finished it by saying that because of those Kif was condemned to stay a lieutenant. He got the idea years ago (and considering the poor arguments he was giving him, it also helped to convince him that Zapp was indeed a pompous jerkass), but somehow the captain couldn’t help bragging about how “awesome” he was. That, or he had the memory of a goldfish, which wouldn’t be really surprising.

What was really bringing Kif down was that despite all his efforts, he still didn’t notice any improvements in the captain’s behaviour.

“- This was… Fascinating, sir… Said Kif, rolling his eyes.
- I know. Sometimes, I’m impressing myself, and God knows that I’m already aware of my magnificent intelligence!”

This time Kif couldn’t repress a sigh. And he could already feel the headaches coming back…

“- Of course, sir. Now, if you’re over with your commanding lessons, maybe we can try to work on the last orders we received?
- Oh please, Kif! Said Zapp, hand waving. We’ve got much more pressing issues right now! Like the dramatic drop of female recruits inside the ship that we need to fill!
- Actually, sir, it can be easily explained. Do I have to remind you that you’re still under that restraining order that is keeping you at least 2 miles away from any female soldier?
- Bah! Who could have thought that a single lady could understand the very principle of lawsuit?
- More like 400 “ladies”, sir… That’s what prevented the central command from covering up the trial. Collective actions tend to attract the Medias more… Now can we talk about this order we received 3 hours ago?
- Well, if we really have to… What’s it about?”

Kif pulled the paper where he noted the order of mission on out of his pocket and gave it a quick look, just for being sure he didn’t forget some details.

“- A military laboratory on Pluto had a little accident with one of their experiments. Apparently, they’re fine, but they’re afraid that one of their top secret projects has managed to go in outer space. They’re asking us to find it and to retrieve it before somebody would learn about it.
- Doesn’t sound that exciting… Said Zapp, obviously bored. It lacks glory and adventure.
- Does this mean you refuse to carry on the mission, sir?
- No, we’ll do it. At least, we won’t be put in danger. Lately, I had some difficulties to convince my men to sacrifice their lives for saving mine.”

The Amphibian kept his thoughts for himself. Their last attack against the Ice Worms had been successful, but their loss had been way over the estimations. Sending their men in the beasts’ men with lowtech laser rifles that couldn’t penetrate the worms’ steel-hard skin was a terrible idea… If Kif didn’t order a retreat until they would at least bring explosives and rocket launchers while Zapp was looking away, the massacre would have been even worse.

And of course, as usual, Brannigan gained all the honours…

“Sir, we’re receiving a distress call from an unidentified escape pod.”

Kif and Zapp immediately looked at the officer in charge of the radio. The captain didn’t look too moved on by this new, but Kif had a horrible feeling about this.

“Alright, connect us, said Zapp.”

The officer pressed a button, and immediately the visiocommunicator came out of the ceiling in front of the captain’s chair. Very quickly, the image of a panicked brown-haired guy in a space suit formed on the communicator.

“- This is Zapp Brannigan, captain of the DOOP ship Nimbus. What can we do for you?
- Oh thank God! Said the man, relieved. Someone caught my call! Please, you must help me! I… I think I’m the only survivor of the space station Bill Cosby, orbiting around Titan! It’s… It’s horrible! This thing!
- Who, Kif? Said Zapp, pointing to the Amphibian. I can’t agree more. I told more than once that it wouldn’t kill him if he would make a little more efforts in…
- No no no! You’ve got it wrong! We’ve been attacked!

Now, Zapp was looking concerned. Kif too, but he knew he was certainly not for the same reasons. Kif was shocked that in the solar system someone could have attacked a space station and killing many innocents, which was a real casus belli that could have launched the entire earthican army into war. But Zapp was thinking that maybe he could get some glory out of taking down some bunch of terrorists and appear like an intergalactic hero.

“- Who? The Omicronians? Space pirates? Those gross embryo things in battle suits that look like trashcans? The Neutrals?
- None of them! It was… A monster! An enormous beast! It tore us apart in a matter of seconds, I had the chance to get in an escape pod, but I think I’m the only one who...

 Suddenly, something seemed to have caught the man’s attention. He looked on his right, from his escape pod’s windshield apparently. Kif couldn’t see what could have made him stop, but he quickly realized that the man was panicking once again. The look of absolute terror he saw on the poor guy’s face would haunt him for days.

“- Oh my God! It’s back! It… It saw me! It’s coming for me!
- Mister? Said Kif, getting in the conversation. Mister, hold on! We’re coming at your rescue, just tell us your position and…
- NO! The man was no longer able to think rationally. He wasn’t even caring at Kif and Zapp anymore. GO AWAY!!! DON’T KILL ME!! DON’T… NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Suddenly, the communication cut. The screen turned black without any warnings, as if the source of the call had simply disappeared. But Kif managed to see the man curling up in a useless attempt to protect himself from whatever was happening to him. And still this terrorized look…

It seemed like this short conversation managed to get Zapp’s attention. As the communication screen was slowly getting back to the ceiling, he was scratching his chin, keeping silent as he was trying to take a decision. Kif, still dazed after what happened, couldn’t believe that his superior was really taking his time before acting. That was unusual from him to think…

“- Do we know where this call came from? Asked the captain, finally getting out of his silence.
- Yes, sir, replied one of his subordinates. It’s only O,5 Earth-Sun Distance from our position.
- What?! It means that whatever was there, it can reach us quickly as well!
- It looks so, said Kif. What do we do, sir?”

Zapp took a few more seconds. The Amphibian couldn’t really decide if this was good news or bad news.

“We forget this.”

Despite all his previous experiences with Zapp Brannigan, Kif was still not really expecting this.

“- I beg your pardon, sir? Asked Kif, trying to hide his stupor.
- You heard me. We don’t get there. In fact, I even command that we go back to Earth.
- But, sir… We’re talking about the destruction of a civilian space station by some unknown opponent! We must get there and try to save as many people as we can!
- He said he was the last one, and he’s probably dead now! No, really, it’s not worth bringing us some more paperwork… And also bring the attention of whatever is there. Lets it be somebody else’s problem.”

Kif tried to find some more arguments. The DOOP officers were supposed to keep an eye on any criminal activities that would occur in their sector – and the eradication of civilians was one heck of a criminal activity! It was their duty to get there and warn the central command of what happened, even if there’s nobody to save anymore…

But instead, he sighed. He knew Zapp way too well: nothing he could say, no matter how well-founded it would be, would change his mind. Better try to make Lrrr learn squaredance.

“- As you wish, sir…
- Good! Very good! Said Zapp. Now, gentlemen, let’s get out of here before anybody would come here and accidentally see us…
- Too late, sir, said the officer in charge of the radar. Something is coming in our direction.”

Zapp facepalmed himself.

“- So long for discretion… Looks like we’ll have to bring some guys in jail and convince them not to talk about us… So, who are they?
- Well, that’s a problem, sir… It looks like they don’t have any radio, and I can’t identify their origin. All I know is that they’re coming to us pretty quickly…”

Kif suddenly had a very bad feeling. That man who called them… He was apparently close to them. Which means that if he really got attacked, his assailant was too…

“- Sir? Maybe we should prepare ourselves to battle, just in case…
- Yeah, sure, whatever, said Zapp, ditching his advice with a handwave. Who would be stupid enough for attacking a DOOP warship?
- Someone who has enough fire power for destroying an entire space station…”

The way Zapp’s eyes widened, it was clear he finally managed to activate the last of his brain cells that didn’t die at his birth.

“- Can we have visual contact? Asked the captain.
- Yes sir. The incoming ship is close enough now.
- Then what are you waiting for? Activate your thing!”

The officer pushed a few buttons, and the wide screen in front of Zapp and of everybody in the room switched on. The image of their visitor immediately appeared.

Saying that they all got surprised is not enough. Let’s just say that they all came close to a heart attack.

It wasn’t a ship… It was a monstrosity that they couldn’t have imagined somewhere else than in their nightmares. The beast was clearly a reptile, but from an unknown specie that no one in the room has ever encountered before. His long and muscular body was entirely covered with dark green scales that looked to be as strong as steel, except its belly that was only covered with a white skin, which was still looking extremely tough. Its four legs were all ending with four fingers, three oriented to the front, and the last one to the back. The claws at the end of those fingers, from what Kif could see, were certainly as sharp as razor blades. The long tail of the creature was oscillating with each ones of its moves, and it was apparently moving in outer space thanks to its huge two wings, each one looking like bat’s. But what instantaneously caught everybody’s attention was the head of the creature… Or more precisely, its heads. Five long necks were sprouting from the beast’s shoulders, each one ending with a head that was highly reminding to Kif those of snakes. The only things that were differing from the ophidians were the beast’s fangs, much more numerous than in a creature of that variety.

What was the most worrying was that, apparently, it was certainly dozens of feet tall.

And, of course, that it looked particularly angry.

“Fire! Screamed Zapp, completely freaked out. Fire at will!”

For once, Kif didn’t contest Zapp’s orders.

Hundreds of laser turrets simultaneously opened fire on the creature, which despite all the laws of physics was using its wings for rushing into the warship. It didn’t have any time for trying to dodge the laser beams, and in fact, it was way too big for accomplishing such a thing… And, at everyone in the control room’s great panic, it obviously didn’t need to anyway, as all the beams that were hitting it were bouncing on its scales. Frozen by his fear, Kif saw it reaching them with high ease, as if it wasn’t feeling the attacks against it at all.

And finally, the beast grabbed the ship.

The shock threw Kif fall on the floor, while Zapp and the other officers struggled for staying on their chair. The rumble itself nearly deafened the Amphibian, as well as the alarm that immediately activated. The tremors kept on and on, and Kif quickly had the impression he got thrown in a giant pinball. Around him, Zapp and the rest of the officers had definitely lost their battle for keeping on their seats, and were flying everywhere in the room. The following minutes would be extremely confusing for Kif… all he could remember, later, was an indescribable mess where he was tossing to the floor, the ceiling, the walls, the computers… He even crashed into his superior and his colleagues in more than one occasion. He quickly shut his eyes, hoping it would protect them even a little bit, but it only managed to make him lose conscience of his position in space. The only things that were certain were that he was really getting hurt, and the various noises of screams, metal torn off and rumbles that were merging in one deafening uproar.

If he could ever get out of the ship and take a look at what was going on, he would have seen the giant monster using his claws for ripping off the ship’s hull, before forcing his heads to get inside the structure. His claws and fangs were cutting through the metallic structure as easily as if they were made of paper, and the few explosions that were occurring here and there in the ship were apparently not doing more damage to the beast than the continuous stream of laser beam it went through a few seconds before. The creature was obviously searching something… Maybe it was food, but whatever it was, it couldn’t find it in the Nimbus… And that was apparently really making it angrier than it already was.

The beast was savaging the ship, demonstrating a primal rage that only the fiercest predator in the universe could perform. The glorious DOOP ship was no match to such a primordial wrath… Large parts were coming off the ship, some big enough for crushing entire houses would they ever fell on an inhabited planet, and the space around the massacre was gradually getting filled with metallic fragments… And from corpses of the unfortunate crew members who didn’t manage to get to safe zone. Some of them weren’t even looking human anymore.

And as brutally as it attacked the ship, the beast decided to abandon its prey, like a cat who was getting tired of harassing the same mouse. Its five heads came out of the ship, detaching huge chunks of metal in the process, before the beast deployed its wings and got back to its travel in the space, not without tossing the entire ship away. In a matter of seconds, it had disappeared in the far distance.

The ship had lost all its majesty… It was almost impossible to imagine that the Nimbus was once one of the most magnificent ships of the DOOP fleet. Describing it as a floating pile of scrapped metal was pretty close to the reality, although some would use much cruder words.

And yet, despite the disaster, there were still survivors. People who miraculously managed to reach safe zones, locked down for preventing depressurization, or who already were inside such areas when the beast’s attack began. Among them, were all the people who were in the control room, which got spared by the creature. When he noticed that everything had calmed down, Kif slowly tried to stand on his legs… He quickly abandoned this idea. A look at his right leg made him realize that it was completely flabby. Apparently, the bladders that were supporting it had burst with all the shocks he went through. That was pretty serious, but a few hours of rest would allow his bladders to regenerate, and a few more would be necessary for refilling them with his corporal water. Kif tried to stand again, this time using his hands for resting on the wall behind him and reporting all his weight on his valid leg. He felt his bursted leg pulling on his skin and his ankles, but at least he could take a better look around him. Just as he expected, the room was in a complete mess. Some of the consoles didn’t make it through, and a few cracks were running through the walls and ceiling, but Kif estimated it would still hold long enough for asking for help. As for his colleagues, they were all awakening and getting out of unconsciousness. Some were looking more hurt than others, but none looked really seriously injured. The Amphibian also saw his superior trying to stand up, leaning on his rocked seat. Kif sighed: except for his hair grafts that went out and a few scratches at his uniform, Zapp was looking fine. In fact, he was most certainly the less injured of the lot.

Once again, while his men suffered a lot, he was as fine as a fiddle.

“- Just the week I ask to refresh the officer’s mess paints… Said Zapp.
- Broadshaw, asked Kif to one of his colleagues who apparently had fully recovered, does the radio still work?
- A moment, lieutenant… Said Broadshaw, who came back to his post and began to manipulate his computer. Yes, sir, it’s a miracle! The communicators are still 100% functional!
- Good. Sir, permission to call for help?
- I dunno… Said Zapp. Will it look bad on my promotion request?”

Kif found enough strength for sighing again.

“- Sir, we got attacked and couldn’t even do anything for defending ourselves… You saw it, we used our whole arsenal, and yet it didn’t stop that thing one bit. I don’t think the central command will have anything to say against us…
- Yeah, but still…
- … Moreover, we’re falling apart, and each second that passes is getting us closer to the entire disintegration of the ship, and to our final demise. And we can’t access the escape pods, the emergency lockdown procedure has been activated.
- Okay, fine. Call the headquarters. I don’t even want to think of the disaster my death would cause to our army.
- Sure, sir. What you say. (Kif looked at Broadshaw again). Call the DOOP, Broadshaw – with the emergency frequency.”

The subordinate nodded and started his work. Meanwhile, some other officers, still unsteady, were getting back to their posts as well for making a quick evaluation of the situation. Kif looked at his superior, who seemed to be completely lost.

“- What are your orders, sir?
- Uh?
- Your orders?
- I dunno… We wait?”

Another sigh.

“- Can I suggest we try to make a quick check-up on the ship’s systems and to see if some men have survived?
- Sounds great! Gentlemen, try to make a check-up on the ship’s systems and to see if some men have survived!”

Kif didn’t even bother contesting the captain’s attitude. They had way too much issues to settle for the moment for caring about Zapp’s usual tactlessness.

“- Emergency generators 4, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 16 active, sir, said one of the men. We’ve got enough electricity for 4 hours and 3 minutes, and enough oxygen for approximately 4 hours and 17 minutes.
- In the entire ship? Asked Kif.
- For this room only. I can’t have access to the entire system, but the data I can gather here and there are telling that it’s approximately the same in the other locked zones.
- Are some of them active?
- 4 out of 7, not counting this room, replied another of the officers. The rest had been destroyed. Some life signals are detected in them… Including us, there seems to…” The man hesitated a bit. “… There seems to be 78 survivors, sir.”

Out of 400 crew members. Kif felt a cold drop of sweat run on his back.

“- Reactors?
- Destroyed.
- Radar?
- Working.”

The Amphibian turned and looked at his superior. For the first time in years, they really were on the same level.

“- Now, we can apply your first order sir…
- Which was? Asked Zapp.
- Wait for the rescue.
- Oh. Right. I forgot.”

Kif let himself fall on his rear-end, willing to take some rest. He just had a hard time trying to figure out what really happened… And he preferred not to think about the hundreds of men that got killed in only a few minutes. Before closing his eyes, he gave a quick look at Zapp. His captain was trying to look normal, but Kif could perfectly see he was as shaken as him. He was always in such a state when he was really facing death… Which wasn’t occurring too often to him. It was his men who usually had more problems.

“Uh, sir?”

Kif opened his eyes again and looked at the person who called him (or Zapp, but given the doofus’ current catatonic state, he assumed it was him he called). He recognized the sergeant who was sitting in front of the radar.

“- What is it, O’Connell?
- The radar managed to calculate the beast’s trajectory, when it finally let us go…”

Kif tensed up. He instinctively knew he wouldn’t like what he’d hear.

“- And?
- And… Well, unless it decides to change its path…”

O’Connell swallowed a big gulp of saliva.

“… It’s heading towards Earth.”

Everybody in the room froze.

Kif managed to speak.

“Broadshaw… Call Earth … Now.”
Bending Unit
« Reply #4 on: 01-01-2008 15:03 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 5)

“What do you mean, we can’t fly?”

Hermes simply held the note he received from the Earthican Defense Secretary to Leela so that she would see by herself the last order. Sitting in his office, he received it a few minutes before and, according to the rules, had to warn the pilot of the company, after having transmitted the mail to the professor. That was why he called her in his office shortly before. And just as he expected, Leela was more than surprised by the news.

“- I know, that’s pretty strange, said Hermes, as Leela was finishing reading the note. They’re not using this kind of order really often.
- They used it once against us…
- Oh yeah, but it was the procedure which is employed when a company that possesses its own fleet is under judiciary monitoring.
- Yeah, but we managed to dismiss the evidences about the plutonium traffic.
- Because the professor shot everything into the sun. But we digress. This, woman, is a Level A circular, that is applying everywhere on Earth.
- What?! Said Leela, stunned. They’re shutting down all the world traffic!?
- Only the travels that implies getting out of Earth’s atmosphere.
- And they do this without an explanation?
- Nope. I don’t get it either… It is extremely rarely used, as I told you before. Only in cases of invasion… But I haven’t heard of any tensions recently with Omicron Persei 8, Decapod 12 or whatever…
- You think they’re on something big?
- Well, I guess I’ll receive another circular that will explain the reason of the global shutdown. But this is quite worrying, yes. Looks like they didn’t have any time to lose and send the simplified version to everybody before writing down the justifications.”

Leela crossed her arms on her chest, recapitulating the recent events. Something fishy was going on, and usually that wasn’t good news. She didn’t know if she should start to really worry, but in any cases she’d better get ready for anything. At least, her parents went back to the sewers the day before… She hated to admit it, but if something terrible would ever happen, they’d be a bit more safe down there, under several layers of ground and the ruins of Old New York, than her on the surface.

“- What do we do, then? Said Leela.
- We wait that the order is cancelled, replied Hermes. We’ve been laid off, that’s simple; we can’t do a damn thing against this. At least we still have Zoidberg’s advertising for keeping ourselves from drowning… Plus one or two subsidies the professor find here and there.”

Leela gave another look at the bureaucrat.

“- What kind of subsidies?
- Crap, I’ve said that out loud? You’d better forget… That’s what will be paying you for the moment, so don’t go and give it too many thoughts.
- Ooooooookay…” Leela walked away, aiming for the office’s exit. “Well, I’d better tell Fry and Amy that we won’t be able to work for a few days… By the way, does this mean we have some days off?
- Yeah, but keep your wristamagig switched on in case we need to call. The professor may need your help in the following days.
- Alright.
- And if he does, don’t start asking questions. That would be bad. Reaaaaaally bad.”

Leela stopped at the doorstep and gave a quick look at Hermes, trying to determine what those last words could mean… But she quickly decided that, maybe, it wasn’t such a bad idea to not know all the details and went out.

As she wandered in the corridors, looking for any living souls, she nearly ran into Amy. Leela immediately noticed the intern was looking a bit insecure, which surprised her a bit considering her usual state of mind.

“- Whoops! Said Leela. Sorry, Amy, I was a bit lost in my thoughts… Are you alright? You look troubled…
- No… Yes… Maybe… Said Amy, which convinced Leela that she was feeling a bit out of sorts. Er… Did you see Hermes?
- Yeah, right now. That’s why I wanted to see you, there’s…
- What? Did he say something about cutting the phone?
- No, not at all…”

Leela took a second for examining the young girl’s attitude a bit more. She was rubbing the back of her right hand with her other hand, and really was looking tensed.

“- Why? Asked Leela. There’s something wrong with the phone?
- Well… It’s just…” Amy took a deep breath. “I couldn’t join Kif today. Every time I tried, it didn’t even reach his phone. So… I was about to ask to Hermes if he was cutting the phone because I used a bit too much, or something like that…
- Oh, that’s just this? Said Leela, a bit relieved. I don’t think you should worry that much. He’s on the Nimbus, you know. Maybe he’s got so much work today that he can’t answer…
- Yeah, well, that’s precisely because he’s working in a warship that I’m worried. He could have been caught in a battle, or something…”

Leela frowned. Yeah, when you see it that way, there are indeed some reasons to worry. Especially when, just a few minutes before, you learned that the authorities have decided to close Earth…

“- Look, Amy, it’s a bit early for worrying for this. I’m sure he’ll call you as soon as he can.
- OK, Leela, said the young girl, still a bit worried. I… I think I got a little bit carried away… But didn’t you want to tell me something? I interrupted you…
- Mmh? Oh right, I almost forgot!”

Leela explained Amy the situation, giving her the few details she managed to gather so far. She internally swore, however, to make further investigations and try to uncover the true reason to this global lockdown. Amy welcomed the news quietly, but instead of getting back to her apartment, she decided to stay a little more in the headquarters. Leela could understand why: Kif always uses the company’s number for calling her, as phone calls to a delivery company were free for DOOP officers. This way, his superiors would never ask him why he was spending so much time for private calls. Leela then left Amy, not without asking her if she knew where Fry was. Apparently, he was on the tower’s balcony, looking at the city. This made Leela worry a little bit. She knew all too well what this meant when Fry wasn’t watching TV during his spare time… After a few words of comfort to Amy, Leela walked to the stairs and quickly got to the last floor.

Just as she thought, she found him leaning on the barrier, watching the town’s activity. She didn’t need to see his face for knowing in what kind of mood he was at the moment. Just like every time, that made her feel sad for him. She got closer to him, even getting outside, but he still hadn’t noticed her presence. She had to cough to finally make him get out of his thoughts. His face lighted up when he saw her, but she could see a little tension in his features that were telling he wasn’t all that happy.

“- Hi, Leela! Said Fry. What’s up?
- Hello, Fry.” Leela came even closer, staying by his side now. “I just wanted to warn you that we’ll be out of job for a few days.
- Really? What’s happening, another complaint against us?
- Not this time, no. The interplanetary travels have just been declared forbidden. They didn’t give any explanation.
- Oh, it’s just this? Pfew! For one moment I thought I would have to help the professor again with his other activities!”

Leela frowned.

“- That’s the second time someone tells me something about this… What is he doing exactly?
- I dunno… He erases my memory afterwards. Each time, I just remember I did something for him, but can’t remember what exacly…
- Oh… Said Leela, particularly not thrilled by this revelation. Wait, if you can’t remember, why did you fear to have to do this again? Because it’s illegal?
- Can’t tell, but every time he erases my memory, it gives me one hell of a headache, and I’ve got country music playing in my head as if I had a radio grafted in my brain.”

Leela definitely decided that she really didn’t need what this secret business was about, after all. She and Fry stood silent for a few seconds, watching the landscape in front of them. In this time of the day, the sun was reflecting itself on the dozens of windows of the skyscrapers that were just across the river.

“- Did your parents get back to their home? Asked Fry.
- Yeah, in the early morning, replied Leela. I promised myself not to cry when they went away, but this was harder than I thought it would.
- I’m happy for the three of you, said Fry, without a single drop of lie in his voice. It’s so great to see you together, after all the years you’ve spent alone.
- It would never have happened without you, Fry. I’ll never thank you enough for this… Said Leela, slowly feeling softer and softer inside.
- You know, the face you’re doing when you’re with them? That’s enough for me. It’s great for you to… Man, I’m not good with words… It’s just good you know you’re not alone anymore…”

Fry suddenly scowled, struck by what had been harassing him for months. Leela knew perfectly what it was… She grabbed his shoulder, and by this contact she could almost feel his sadness overwhelming her as well.

“You still miss him, don’t you?”

The young man couldn’t look at her, in her eye, as he knew that it would drain away his last bits of strength.

“- Yeah… Yeah, I do… Said Fry, looking down, to the river.
- Fry… I feel really sorry for you… But you know he had to be stopped. I too would have preferred to find a way to let him live, but that was the last option we had left…
- Oh, I know, replied Fry. Took me a long time, but I finally understood. Still…” Fry wiped his nose quickly. “… He was my friend, the best one I ever had. We had moments I never lived with anybody before, even before I got frozen. Plus there’s the fact he was a giant robot, that’s the kind of thing that makes the awesomeness scale explode!”

Fry sighed, visibly tired. Leela so wanted to make him feel less bad, but she couldn’t think of anything… This story shook him up much more than they thought at the time. After a long time, Fry spoke again.

“- I should be ashamed… This is wonderful for you to have found your parents, but it also made me remember I’ve lost everybody who cared about me, with no chances to ever meet them again. This is so selfish of me…
- You can’t blame yourself, Fry, said Leela, hoping he would understand she was truly sympathizing with him. You miss your parents and your brother, how could anybody be mad at you for this? Fry, sometimes… Sometimes I wish I could help you to see them again.
- But you can’t.”

Fry didn’t say this out of reproach, he was merely expressing a fact… Which made Leela look away, as she had to admit that whereas she always had a little hope to ever find her parents and learn the truth about her origins, Fry couldn’t even rely on this.

“- When Bender died… I dunno, I think I had the feeling that I couldn’t even have a buddy for helping me to get through all this, resumed Fry. I can’t really tell how much lonely I feel, sometimes…
- You’re not alone, Fry. We’re with you. Me, the professor, Hermes, Amy… We’re all here for you.
- I know. That’s what keeping me getting up. Especially you, Leela.”

Leela smiled sadly. She knew how too well how the young man was feeling towards her… She couldn’t count the number of times he tried to date her, and each time she rejected him. And each time, it was getting more and more difficult. At first, she was extremely direct about it, but as time passed, she realized that it was adding more pain in his existence. She still couldn’t see him as anything as a friend, but she tried to be less harsh with him than she was at first.

Something else was amazing her, however. She said no a thousand times, and yet, now and then, he was still trying, despite all the suffering it was causing him.

Sometimes, it made her think that it was the hope that one day she would say yes that was really driving him.

“- Fry… I’m sorry…
- No, this time, I won’t ask you anything, Leela. I just wanted to tell you that you always tried to make me go further and forced me to take care of myself. Sure, I’m complaining when you’re yelling at me, but later, when I really take some time for thinking about it, I realize you were right. That’s what I meant.”

This time, Leela’s smile was much warmer. The compliment really moved her, much more than what she would really admit.

“Awww, that’s sweet, Fry. I’m sure one day…”

Leela stopped. She suddenly had the feeling someone was watching them.

A quick look to her left managed to turn her soft mood into anger… Towards the one who was spying on them and towards herself for not even being able to hear him coming, which was usually extremely hard to fail.


The doctor immediately looked embarrassed for having being spotted… Which would be hard not to do, as it’s pretty difficult to miss a 25 feet tall lobster, even when he was trying to hide behind the Planet Express building’s tower. As soon as Fry saw the Decapodian, he turned red of rage as well.

“- Dammit, don’t you have better things to do?! Yelled Fry.
- I’m sorry, my friends! Whined Zoidberg. I didn’t intend to spoil your moment! Just continue, do as if good Zoidberg wasn’t here! I’ll be extremely silent, I swear!
- Well, sorry if I’m not really thrilled by the idea of being spied by a giant monster! Said Leela. And besides, Fry is right: aren’t you supposed to make some animation in Central Park?
- Yes, but the kids kept on throwing rocks at me, and one even puked on my sandal! Pathetically explained Zoidberg. I decided to take a pause!
- For God’s sake, Zoidberg, your pauses are supposed to last at the best 10 minutes! You’re getting late just by making the round-trip from the park to here!
- Pleaaaaase! I can’t take this anymore! They’re all mean with me! One of them even bragged that his parents brought him to a sea-food restaurant last week!
- Oh, cut us some slack! Said Fry, even more enraged than Leela. Get back there, or else I’ll tell the professor you’re not doing your work properly!
- No, please! You didn’t hear what he threatened to do if I kept on making trouble! Just thinking about it makes my shell clicking!
- You’d better have thought of this earlier!”

Leela was still pretty pissed by this incident, considering they had enough trouble taking care of the giant Decapodian without him goofing him around here and there… But it was nothing compared to how Fry was treating the doctor. The young man had forgiven pretty much all those who ordered Bender’s death, but he had still some trouble forgiving the one who did the dirty job.

“- So what are you waiting for? Said Fry. Get back to work, now!
- I can’t! Said the Decapodian. It’s my lunch time now, and you know I’m not allowed to go working if I’m starving since that incident with that lady’s dog!
- What are talking about? Said Leela. You’ve eaten just a few hours ago! It’s not noon!
- But… The sun… It’s high in the sky…
- Are you kidding? Said Fry, pointing to the sky on his right. Look! It’s way from being on its zenith!
- I’m not talking about this sun, I’m talking about this one!”

As he was saying this, Zoidberg was pointing to something in the far distance above him. Wondering what kind of stupidity the Decapodian was making up again, Leela gave a look to what he was pointing at.

She nearly choked herself out of surprise.

It certainly wasn’t the sun, but there was some kind of gigantic fire ball in the sky.

Fry finally saw it too. His mouth fell on the ground, while his eyes were growing bigger and bigger.

“- What the hell is this?! Said Fry.
- I have no idea! Said Leela. But it’s… Oh my God, It’s definitely coming this way!”

Zoidberg needed a few seconds for understanding that this vision was troubling his friends.

“Errrr… Is that bad news?”
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #5 on: 01-01-2008 15:39 »

Another interesting story from you. That you're writing in your second language still amazes me. I admit I was hesitant to look at this because of the title, fearing a cross-over or something, but then I remembered who was writing it. An original idea that's been carried out well so far.
Bending Unit
« Reply #6 on: 01-02-2008 14:49 »

Thanks a lot. I'm doing my best for making the less mistakes as possible, but I know too well that many certainly come through... I just hope anybody who read it can understand what's happening.

And yeah, I should have mentionned earlier that, no, this is not a cross-over with some obscure kaiju-eiga monster, just a little hommage to this genre... Although if the title monster makes you think about another famous one, then don't worry, this will soon be adressed.  tongue
Bending Unit
« Reply #7 on: 01-06-2008 14:43 »

Sorry to update this late, but my life's getting crazy those days (a crapload of exams...). Anyway...

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 6)

“Aren’t you ashamed, young man?!”

Feeling particularly tired, the manager of the Madison Cube Garden rubbed his eyes, trying to stay as calm as he could. If he had ever known this exposition would create such a fuss, he would never have made it just for the sake of his tension. Of course, there was also the fact he couldn’t imagine this exposition would create such problems.

But it did, obviously. A group of robotologist zealots, led by the Preacherbot, were demonstrating in the park just in front of the stadium, as the exposition was apparently shocking them and was outraging their beliefs. The manager decided to make them leave quietly by a having a little chat with the Preacherbot, but it wasn’t leading him to a conclusion.

“- Please, said the manager, can’t you just stop to see sin everywhere? This is just an exposition about the last discoveries on the first attempts to create robots! Can’t you see we’re just telling your history to children?
- You’re telling blasphemies and are even exposing pornography to innocent eyes!”

Behind the Preacherbot, the dozens of robotic extremists cheered him and yelled insanities towards the manager. Many of them were carrying posterboards saying such things like “We want sane entertainment for our blueprints!” or “Say no to the work of the Robot-Devil!”

“- Oh, come on! Said the manager. We’re just doing our duty of educating the youngs about…
- By telling them that robots didn’t create themselves, but had to wait for the men for coming on this world?! Replied the Preacherbot. The Holy Book said the first robots auto-made themselves, from their own will, and that this way of conception is still the norm!
- Are you freaking kidding me? I can see your serial number! Like all the robots, you’re coming straight from Mom’s factories!”

This reaction had the opposite effect the manager was expected. All the robots, the Preacherbot being the most vindictive, loudly contested and were on the verge of stoning him.

“- This is a lie made up by you humans! The robots decide to be created, and Mom’s factories are only the vessel of this miracle!
- Look, don’t start playing all this mystical rhetoric with me, okay? I have an exposition to…
- Oh no, you won’t! Are you forgetting you’re also displaying pornographic items in this den of sin?
- We’re just showing schematics of the internal processor of your ancestors, as well as their circuitry!
- That’s what I said: pornography! We cannot tolerate that an insane maniac like you might damage our youngs’ mind by showing them such… Horrors!”

The crowd behind the Preacherbot firmly expressed their support to their leader. That was just making the manager even more furious than he was before. He already had to cope with the supporters every time there was a match, but if he couldn’t even make a single exposition without having to cope with hung-up devout robots…

“- That’s it! This conversation is over! Now get out of here, or else I call security!
- There is no way we would abandon our fight! We won’t leave this place until you decide to come back to your senses! You’d better be wise, or a great punishment will fall on you, straight from the Heaven!”

The manager had no patience left. This time, he would be firm and force them to leave, whatever he would have to do for that. He was about to tell them to get lost… When he saw something behind the crowd that froze him.

A giant fireball was rushing right on them.

For a split second, the manager thought they would all be blasted by it, the robots and him alike. But before he could even see his entire life flashing in his head, the fireball passed above them… And crashed on the Madison Cube Garden. The blast made several tons of cement and glass fly over, scattering fragments thousands feet around the point of impact. As for the sound of the explosion, it was so powerful that the manager could hear something whistling in his ear… The smoke produced by the crash was covering the entire area, making it impossible to see what could have caused it exactly.

As for the Preacherbot, he stood frozen, completely stunned by this turn of event. But quickly, he interpreted it the only way he could conceive.

“Ask, and ye shall receive…”

The manager wasn’t caring about the robots anymore. In fact, he wasn’t really able to think at anything at the moment. That was way beyond everything he experienced in his life so far. But as the smoke was beginning to get lighter, he tried to give a better look to what was in the stadium.

He blinked, looked again, and thought he was dreaming.

Something was moving in the ruins. Something big.

And suddenly, the thing stretched its bat wings out, creating a real storm that dissipated all the smoke.

When he saw the monstrous reptilian body and the five snake heads that were dominating him, many meters above him, the manager ran away.

He ran even faster when five abominable roars rang out behind him. Roars that could only be performed by beasts that were really, really pissed off…


The manager and the robots weren’t the only one who witnessed the arrival of the creature. Dozens of passer-byes were now starting to panic as it was screaming its fury.

One of them, obviously asian, didn’t run to safety immediately, though. Instead, he started to point at the beast.

“My God! Those heads! Those wings! It’s… It’s Ghid…”

But just at this moment, a friend of him who was standing next to him put his hand over his mouth, forcing him to shut up.

“Stop right there, you idiot! The author didn’t pay a single penny to the Toho, you can’t start calling this creature this way!”

The first guy looked at his friend, pretty surprised by his words. As the second one let his mouth free, he could finally engage a real conversation with him.

“- He didn’t? Well, this is going to complicate things…
- Not if we find it a completely original name…
- El Serpente Grande?
- What the… Does it look Mexican to you?!
- Well, I’m trying to figure something out… Q?
- There’s already a winged serpent called like this. Besides, it sounds like “ass” in French.
- Yeah, but this language is no longer spoken in this distant future!
- Not at the time this story will be read.
- Okay… BiggaCobra?
- Are you trying to help me, or do you just want me to punch you in the face? Can’t you find something classier?
- How about Hydra? After all it looks like this mythic greek monster, and I don’t think someone could blame us for using an antic name!
- Mmmmmh… Yeah, let’s do this. Hydra this is.
- Oh, one more thing…
- What?
- There’s the same joke in Austin Powers 3: Goldmember.
- Really?! Even guys complaining about how to name the creature?
- Uh, not really, it just ends with one of the guys saying “we’ll just say it’s not Godzilla”, or something like that.
- Our author is recycling jokes now? I know he’s an amateur, but that’s still pretty lame…
- I’m surprised you’ve just noticed that. He did this a couple of times before. For example…”

Unfortunately, this fascinating conversation ended a bit abruptly… As they were too busy arguing, the two guys didn’t notice Hydra started to move in their direction. The two of them got squished when the monster stepped on them.

And they should feel lucky nothing worse happened to them. Sometimes really, REALLY nasty things happen to people who start to ask too many questions.
Bending Unit
« Reply #8 on: 01-10-2008 15:43 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 7)

Hydra was hungry and tired after its long travel. Its little stop at the station and against the Nimbus didn’t provide it what it needed, and the slow-burning suffering it was inflicting to it was increasing its rage and blood thirst.

But it could feel that its torment would soon come to an end. It could sense the presence of what it was looking for, not too far away. If the entry in the planet’s atmosphere hadn’t disturbed it that much, it could have landed much closer to its goal… But it was already pretty much enough. A little more time, and it will regain all its capacities.

Then, it would start to feed.

And to multiply.

Hydra felt that what it was searching was somewhere in this strange grey forest. Where exactly, it couldn’t tell exactly… But it could feel its presence anyway. It would have to search the whole area for getting a better idea. The monster began to walk in circle, trying to determine the exact location of its goal.

Of course, it didn’t care about anything that was standing in its way. And it wasn’t as if buildings could stop its hulking mass anyway.


The entire Planet Express crew was on the balcony of the highest store of their headquarters, except Zoidberg who was still standing on the river’s bank. From this point of view, they could see all the details of the beast’s ravages. Buildings crawling, people trying to flee as far as they could from the disaster, all this sometimes covered by Hydra’s roars. Even though this was looking a lot like what happened more than a year ago, they were still contemplating the destructions with horror and astonishment, divided between staying there for seeing everything, getting inside for having a shelter while hoping the beast wouldn’t come this way, and finally taking the ship for fleeing.

“- This is horrible… Said Farnsworth.
- Yeah, that’s what I think, said Amy.
- The city is being destroyed, and this time I’ve got nothing to do with this! What went wrong in this world, dammit? Am I so old I can’t even start oblivion instead of just living it?
- What should we do? Asked Leela, not really caring about the professor’s lamentations. Launching Zoidberg at it, like the last time?
- I’m not sure I want to fight… Said Zoidberg. Last time I was foolish, and finally being strong kind of made me lose my mind. But now… It’s different! This thing’s bigger than Bender!
- Pfuh, chicken… Said Fry.
- Yeah, come on, fight! Said Hermes. That’s the only thing that must be done!
- Really? Asked Zoidberg.
- Of course! That way you’ll get killed and we’ll finally no longer have to pay for your damages anymore!”

The giant Decapodian buried his face in his claws and started to cry loudly, as this was not something he wanted to hear at all. Leela looked at Fry and Hermes, menacingly. Doing this to Zoidberg really was stupid.

His tears stink even more than him. Making the Decapodian cry would only make them suffocate because of the stench.

“- Do you think it will come this way? Asked Amy, much more worried than the others.
- Maybe, maybe not, answered the professor. If we’re lucky, it just wants to eat.
- Pardon my ignorance, asked Leela, but why would it mean we’d be lucky?
- Because it’s heading to the hospital and the retirement houses. Lots of meat that just begs to be collected!”

Leela more or less knew the professor would answer something like this before she even asked her question. But as she was about to tell the old man what she thought of his theory (that she wasn’t sure old and sick meat would really please the creature), a bunch of fighters flew over them, making as much noise as the thunder. Surprised, the Planet Express crew had to hold to the balcony, especially because of the air blast caused by the fighters’ movement.

And before they could have fully got their balance back, they heard the first detonations, as the fighters opened fire on the monster.

Hydra roared from its five heads as the first shots hit it. The beast obviously didn’t like this treatment… But as the fighters flew away before making another attack, other detonations stroke the monster while they were away, making it scream even more. Leela tried to see what have caused this, but in the distance she wasn’t really sure of what was happening.

“- At last! Screamed Amy. The airforce is attacking!
- I don’t think they’re alone, said Leela, but I can’t see a damn thing…
- I can!” Said Fry.

The others looked at the young man, who was now looking at the scene with enormous binoculars. That alone surprised Leela, considering she didn’t see him come with them before.

“- There are a bunch of tanks, coming from approximately every avenue. They’re firing at it. (Fry then looked a bit to the air, on their right) Ah, and I see other fighters coming this way!
- Where did you find those things? Asked Amy, genuinely astonished.
- What, this? Replied the young man, pointing to his binoculars. They were in my cereal pack. You know, those new ones… Stalky Puffs…
- Oh yeah, Dwight asked me to buy some for him, said Hermes. Bah, at his age, I only had my eyes for such things.
- So how many of those tanks are there? Asked Leela, suddenly having an idea forming in her head.
- I dunno, there are still a lot of buildings… But at least a few dozens…”

Leela made a quick calculation, and she really didn’t like the income. Fry quickly noticed how disturbed she was looking.

“- What, something’s wrong, Leela? You don’t want them to stop it?
- That’s not that, Fry… Tell me, since when has this thing started its rampage?
- Not long, replied Hermes. I’d say five minutes, top.
- And considering it obviously comes from outer space, how long did it need for reaching the ground?
- At the speed it was falling, said the professor, I’d say it entered in the atmosphere approximately 15 minutes ago. 20 minutes, at a maximum.
- And you want me to believe that the army learnt that a monster is ravaging New New York, took the decision to attack it, sent their forces against it which engaged that creature after having covered the distance between their bases and the city, all that in less than 20 minutes?”

The rest of the crew looked at each other, wondering what the young woman wanted them to understand. At least, Leela managed to catch everybody’s attention; even of Zoidberg, who stopped crying for listening to her.

“Now add the fact we received earlier this morning the order to not get out of the atmosphere… What does it tell us?”

They all stood silent, trying to figure out the answer. That alone astonished Leela. She knew they weren’t the wisest people on earth, but now they were breaking all the records. But after a few seconds, Fry finally rose his hand. His answer nearly got covered by other explosions and roars of the Hydra.

“They were having a party downtown?”

Leela facepalmed. She needed a few seconds for being calm enough for telling the answer without treating them all of idiots.

“No, that means they knew it was coming…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #9 on: 01-13-2008 14:56 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 8)

Another shot exploded on Hydra’s scales, near its left shoulder. Two of the creature’s head roared, out of pain and anger; the three others were trying to catch some of the fighters which were now circling around them. The tanks were continuously shooting the beast now, but they were still doing their best for not hitting any civilian buildings, or standing in the shooting range of one of their own. But they weren’t the only ones to attack: some regiments of foot soldiers, armed with laser rifles or (a bit more rarely) rocket launchers, were trying to assist the tanks’ attack. Some of them, however, received the order to try to take as many civilians to secure areas as possible and were trying to be as efficient as possible. But their task was extremely difficult to perform. Hydra’s attack freaked out everyone in New New York, which was pretty understandable… But as a result, the army had also to cope with hundreds of panicked people who were running aimlessly, as long as it would take them as far as possible from the creature’s ravages. And despite their training, the soldiers too had real difficulties to stay as calm as they could. None of them had already been confronted to such a situation, and this tended to make them almost as scared as the ones they were supposed to protect.

Of course, one could argue that they could be reinsured not only because of the presence of the tanks, but also because of the growing numbers of fighters that engaged Hydra in fight. There were now at least two squadrons alternatively attacking the beast, backing the ground forces extremely efficiently.

But there was a “little detail” that everybody noticed and almost made all of them to flee.

Despite all the shots Hydra that hit Hydra, despite the massive firepower deployed against it… The creature still hadn’t a single scratch. Its scales were forming a natural armour that apparently couldn’t be pierced and that could withstand attacks that would have destroyed any armoured unit.

It didn’t mean that Hydra wasn’t feeling the attacks against it, however. In fact, the effect was the same as when you get hit by a little rock that had been thrown at you: one is annoying; several start to be painful.

And in the case of a creature such as Hydra, hurting it this way without incapacitating it would only infuriate it even more than it already was.

A bit surprised and worried by all the things that were hurting it, Hydra didn’t reply during the first minutes, wondering what was happening to it. When the monster finally realized it was being attacked, his instinct kicked in… And a bloody rage took control of its actions.

Three fighters were the first ones to endure Hydra’s wrath. The beast suddenly tried to snap up the little “mosquitoes” that were buzzing around its heads, moving way faster than what the pilots expected. In a blink, Hydra’s jaws closed on three unsuspecting fighters who were thinking it couldn’t reach them. Crushed between Hydra’s teeth with a strength that could easily be measured in tons, there wasn’t any hope of survival for the pilots. A few others got destroyed in the following seconds, before the remaining fighters would finally decide to attack the beast from another point.

Unfortunately, they forgot about its wings. When Hydra deployed them for blocking their routes, other fighters couldn’t change their course in time and crashed on them.

Then, as it had finished with the fighters, Hydra finally decided to take on the ground forces. The beast came to them even sooner as, because of the urban environment, the tanks and the infantry were forced to come pretty close to it… Too close. A little jump and Hydra reached the first lines. The creature trampled some of the tanks, while it used its jaws for grabbing others. Some got swallowed, others got torn in halves by two heads, and a last few ones got thrown miles away by the beast. As soon as Hydra began its attacks, the surviving tanks started to back up, still shooting in the same time. It didn’t protect them for long. Hydra came on them without giving them time to reply.

And as the beast was letting its rage explode against the tanks, it wasn’t making a single effort for limiting the damages it was causing. If buildings were standing between it and some tanks, the creature would trample and making them fall as easily as if they were card castles. By trying to escape, the military was apparently only worsening the creature’s rampage…

A few other tanks, unspotted by the beast until that moment, cut through the ruins of Madison Cube Garden for attacking from behind. They almost all got swiped away by a single swing of Hydra’s tail.

After some horribly long minutes, Hydra stopped for taking its breath back and trying once again to locate its goal. Nothing was attacking it anymore… All the forces deployed against the creature had been wiped out so fast that one could have thought there hadn’t been any attempts to stop the beast at all. The destructions around Hydra were denying this feeling: what was once an active part of the town had been turned into a smoking ruinfield. The remains of the various destroyed buildings were looking so fragile that it seemed a single blow of wind would finish them once and for all. Scraps of metal were spread hundreds of yards around the creature, coming either of the buildings or of all the war machines that stood against the monster.

Hydra’s attention got caught by something… Some strange sounds that were somehow awakening its blood lust. Its hunting instinct quickly made it realize what it was: screams of fear, shrieked by its preys. It could see them now, not so far away: thousands and thousands of two-legged ants, trying to run away, some using bizarre machines for trying to go faster (which was bound to fail, as the fleeing human wave were slowing them down anyway). In the far distance, Hydra saw some flies take over, trying to get out of the atmosphere.

The creature reported its attention to the ants. They were certainly running as fast as they could, by with their ridiculously short legs, they needed several minutes to cover a distance Hydra could reach by making a single step.

They were very small… But considering their number, maybe they would be enough for stopping its hunger…

A missile exploded just under one of its eyes.

Hydra screamed of surprise and pain. A little more, and the shot would have burst its eye. Feeling the rage rushing through its primitive brain again, Hydra stopped caring about the weak ants and tried to look at its aggressor.

Another bunch of those flies which attacked it earlier were coming in its direction, more numerous than before. And thanks to its enhanced hearing, Hydra could hear the sounds that those weird spitting scarabs were making. There seemed to have more of them too.

This time, Hydra didn’t hesitate. It attacked immediately.

Bending Unit
« Reply #10 on: 01-14-2008 02:33 »

Hi Purplefish,

Just dropping back in to say I'm happy you're in the midst of another story.  I always enjoy them and learn a bit from them.  As SW says, original as usual.
Bending Unit
« Reply #11 on: 01-16-2008 14:37 »

Thanks for the kind word !

Now, the problem is that I'm having a huge amount of "real world" work currently... The consequence ? This story takes wayyyyyyy too much time for moving on, and I always tend to wind up the events a bit too much... Sorry if anybody thinks it doesn't go fast enough, but I don't have a lot of time for me and I always try to put too much in each chapter...


Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 9)

Lewis held his daughter tighter than he already was. The poor little girl was screaming, scared to death, crying, asking her dad if they would die or not. Lewis didn’t answer… He was way too terrified for speaking to Karin for the moment. He couldn’t do anything else than squishing her against him, hoping that somehow it would protect her. On his left, he heard his son, Jamie, who was crying too, as well as his wife Dana, trying to comfort him. Unfortunately, just at the sound of her voice, he could perfectly tell that she was as scared as their children and as him.

But he couldn’t see neither her nor his kids. No light was filtering under the rubbles.

It was supposed to be a peaceful afternoon, when they left… Dana told him it would be a great idea to go to this exposition in Madison Cube Garden, so that the kids would learn a bit more about robots’ history. After all, as she said, they could see robots everyday, and they would certainly have to work with some of them later, so educating them so that they wouldn’t be too prejudiced against the robots would be useful, and make them accept diversity. Lewis wasn’t really thrilled at first; he wasn’t really feeling like seeing something boring, he told her, but the truth was that he wasn’t exactly as open-minded as his wife. Sure, coping with those robots was a necessity, but he had some troubles in the past with mechanical beings and wasn’t sure he wanted his kids to sympathize with such things… But, as usual, Dana proved to be particularly persuasive. He resigned himself; after all, maybe he would understand them a bit more afterwards. And find other grievances against them.

But as soon as they got out of the transport tube… It seemed that Hell broke loose.

They saw the Madison Cube Garden explode, destroyed by a giant fireball. They saw the monstrous beast coming out of the crater.

They saw it coming their way.

Needless to say, Lewis, Dana and the children immediately tried to flee. They weren’t the only ones: around them, dozens, hundreds of people were now running away from the thing, panicked by its obvious aggressiveness. Lewis caught Karin and carried her with his right arm, while she was holding to his neck; with his free hand, he grabbed his wife, who was holding Jamie’s hand and helping him to run, as the boy was old enough for following them without slowing them too much. The moments of panic that followed were quite chaotic… Lewis could hear the beast scream in his back, and soon, he could hear other sounds… Glass breaking, some sounds that were evoking an avalanche, the scream of metal being bent… He picked a look behind him, while still running.

He saw Hydra make a building collapse with a single move of its paw.

He ran faster, forcing Dana and Jamie to follow him. He could hear Karin crying just on his ear, and soon felt some of her tears running on his neck.

They quickly ran into some soldiers, and crossed the path of a few tanks. Lewis wanted to ask them to protect his family, but they didn’t even let him finish his sentence. They immediately made him follow a large group, which was getting away from the beast as well. Lewis could now hear some explosions behind him; he supposed the army was attacking the beast.

He had absolutely no idea of where the soldiers were leading them, but he guessed it was to a safe place. Opening the way for his wife and children, Lewis couldn’t think of anything else than getting to safety as fast as possible.

Unfortunately, the creature was way closer than what they hoped… And above them, a titanic reptilian tail decapitated a building. The fragments fell on them before they could get out of their way.

How Lewis and the rest of the family survived was a true miracle. As they were still on the sidewalk, by the building’s walls, a large and thick metal plate got stuck above them, forming a real diagonal roof above their heads and protecting them from the fragments. All they had were a few scratches.

Unfortunately, the rest of their group hadn’t been so lucky…

And Lewis could hear the metal above them creak. It would certainly not hold for long…

Karin curled up in his arms, searching some comfort in the contact with her father. Lewis squeezed her up against his chest, but he knew too well he couldn’t do anything for her, nor for Dana and Jamie. He tried to crawl for getting closer to his wife and his son, still holding Karin. He couldn’t see a thing in the obscurity, but he quickly found them. He heard Dana whispering something to his son. He quickly identified the lullaby she was often singing to him, when it was time to go to bed. It always managed to calm down the little boy, even when he didn’t want to sleep… Dana always had a real talent for comforting their children, and more generally she always was trying to calm down tensions around her. He never told her before, but that was something that always amazed him.

Lewis sighed. He hadn’t thought of his wife this way for years… Looks like dire situations really make you see the true value of your close ones…

He touched his wife’s shoulder. By the way she jumped, he realized she was more worried and scared than what she was trying to look.

“- Are you fine? Asked Lewis.
- I’m… I’m good, I think… Answered Dana. A few scratches here and there but nothing bad.
- Daddy… Asked Jamie. Are we going to die?
- I… No, we won’t, lied Lewis. Someone will get us out of here. I promise.
- Really? Asked Karin.
- Oh, yes, said Dana. But we have to be patient. I’m sure that they’ll try to look for survivors as soon as possible.
- But what about the monster? Said Karin. Will he eat us?
- No, it won’t, answered Lewis. It can’t find us here.”

Just at this moment, Hydra roared once again. Lewis tensed up. This really wasn’t sounding like a scream of agony…

If only he was as confident as he tried to sound like…

“Everything’s gonna be fine…”

The metal roof creaked again, much more menacingly.

Lewis felt Karin trying to sink into his body, as well as Dana grabbing his hand and holding it tighter and tighter. There were no ways their shelter would hold for long… And this was becoming way too evident, even for the kids.

They already had a miracle… Could they have another one? Even a little one?

“Is anyone there?”

Lewis thought at first that he hallucinated, but he felt Dana move as she was trying to see where the voice could be coming from. But he still had trouble believing it. It was way too clear for coming from outside, where could the person be?

“- Yes! Said Dana, determined to take any chances for saving her family. Yes, we’re here!
- Guys, I found some! (Said the voice, obviously talking to somebody else, before coming back to them.) Where are you? Can you see the light of my torch?”

Lewis looked everywhere, but it was still dark in their shelter. But now, he was feeling hope again.

“- No!
- Wait a second…”

Lewis listened more carefully, trying to determine where their savior was. All he heard were some splash noises, as if somebody was walking in a pool of water.

But then, some light came out from the ground, a few feet away from him. He distinguished a manhole, just where the sidewalk was ending. Judging by the way it was flickering, it was obviously coming from a torch rather than of a flashlight. He came closer to it, still holding Karin. Behind him, Dana was following him, holding Jamie.

“- Here! Screamed Lewis. I can see it now! Are you here?
- Yes, just below! Said the voice. We’ll get you out of here, stay calm!
- Hurry up! Said Dana. I don’t think this will hold for long!”

Lewis realized at the noises below the manhole that there were several men down there. They apparently started to talk to each other, but he couldn’t hear what they were saying.

“Okay, here we go! Move away from the manhole for the moment!”

Lewis obeyed to the order, as well as Dana and the kids, who were finally understanding they may get out of this nightmare. The calm that followed scared Lewis, who began to think that the men lied to them… But then, he heard a cracking noise. This wasn’t the metal plate, however; as he looked back to the manhole, he saw the cement around it cracking. And after a few more seconds, a large portion of the sidewalk collapsed, revealing a large hole…

Lewis understood. This was leading to the sewers. And more importantly, it was their only way out.

“Okay, come in! Quick!”

As the voice resounded again, the person it belonged to showed up in the hole… And the family stopped for a second.

Their savior would have been an ordinary man… If it wasn’t for the extra arm he had where one of his ears should have been. An arm that was even holding the torch that was now lighting the place.

Lewis couldn’t believe his eyes. A sewer mutant! He heard about those creatures, but he never saw one of his own eyes! There were strange tales that were told about them, in the office… Lewis suddenly wondered if he really wanted to test if they were true or not.

The metal plate creaked once again, louder than before. Dust was coming through some holes in it, and the light provided by the torch was showing them that it was bending under the weight of the rubbles.

“Come on!” Screamed the mutant.

He really didn’t have to. The previous “warning” wiped away Lewis’ hesitations. He literally jumped to the hole, and handed over Karin to the mutant, who helped the little girl to go below. Dana and Jamie quickly followed her, and when he saw that his family was safe, Lewis finally jumped in the hole.

Only a few seconds later, the metal shelter finally broke up. Tons and tons of cement caved in where the family was standing before.  Some of them got in the sewers through the hole in the sidewalk, but not enough for blocking the entire sewer. As for the various people, saviors and saved ones, they were all far enough for not having a single scratch.

When the shock wore off, Lewis finally paid a better look at those who saved them. They were all bearing abominable deformities. The one he saw first was the most normal looking of the lot: one had moose antlers on the head, another was almost looking like a reptile… There was even one with only one eye and a vertical mouth…

But none of them looked hostile… Which, combined with what they had just done, dissipated Lewis’ worries.

“- Thank you… Without you…
- We’re just trying to do what we can, replied the one with the extra arm. But we shouldn’t stay here too long. There’s not enough space between us and the surface, that makes us pretty vulnerable if that monster decides to attack this place again. And there may be others trapped in the underground shelters or in their caves… We should hurry…
- Oh, I see…”

The mutant posed one of his free hand on Lewis’ shoulder. The man didn’t even think about forcing him to stop touching him.

“Yeah, well, that’s quite a privilege down there… We don’t have much lighting, y’ know what I mean?”
Bending Unit
« Reply #12 on: 01-20-2008 14:33 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 10)

From the balcony, the Planet Express crew could see every details of the defeat of the Earthican army. The second wave of attack didn’t do better than the first one; they only managed to survive a bit longer. But Hydra destroyed every single tank and fighter that tried to oppose it, and while fighting back, the creature trampled and killed dozens of foot soldiers… And countless civilians who couldn’t make it in time in a shelter. It was particularly difficult to recognize New New York now; dozens of buildings had been knocked down by the beast or the attacks against it, turned into ruins, and leaving the feeling that the city had been the target of a massive bombing, clouds of smoke and of dust included. For the moment, the Planet Express headquarters had miraculously been spared, as Hydra seemed to concentrate on the city centre and didn’t come too close to them.

Of course, nothing was telling them that this would always be the case…

Leela came back on the balcony, looking extremely worried. She disappeared a few minutes ago without telling anything to the others, who were so fascinated by what was happening a few hundreds of yards away that they didn’t notice she was gone… Except for Fry, who finally realized she wasn’t next to him anymore. He was about to look after all just as she reappeared.

“- Leela? Where were you?
- I tried to call my parents, replied the young woman, really frightened. But nobody answered… Neither Mom, nor Dad…
- I’m sure they’re alright, said Fry. They’re deep enough in the ground for not being harmed by that thing. Maybe they’re just hiding in some bunker until everything’s over or something…
- I hope so… But still…
- Fry may be right, said the professor. Sure, they may feel all the tremors and hear the battle, but there’s enough dirt between them and that beast, and I can’t see any cave-in from here. Besides, with all the things that are dwelling underground, I’m sure they’re accustomed to this kind of situations.”

The young woman shrugged. Sure, there were very few chances that something bad happened to them… After all, there was a reason why all the antinuclear bunkers were built underground, and if something was approximately at the same level of destructive power, it should probably be Hydra! But she was still worried about her parents… She didn’t want to lose them again, not so soon after having found them, and certainly not forever…

However, another conversation made her think about something else…

“- Hey, wait a second, said Amy, why are we still here? Why don’t we just get out of the city?
- We can’t! Said the professor. We would have to use a space ship for getting out of here as fast as possible, but we don’t have such!”

Leela rubbed her eye, trying to make the headache go away.

“- Professor, we do have a space ship…
- Yes, but I’m talking about a PRIVATE space ship. The one in the hangar is registered as being the company’s material.
- Doesn’t mean we can’t use it… Said Fry.
- Oh yes, it does! Our insurance doesn’t cover any damage that would be done to the ship by a 30 feet tall five-headed dragon!
- He’s right, said Hermes, pulling something out of his jacket. Take a look, down there.”

Amy, Leela and Fry came closer for paying a good look at the piece of paper he was now showing them. It was the ship’s insurance policy, and Hermes was more specifically pointing at the text written in small characters at the bottom of the document.

And after a few seconds, they indeed could read, among other restrictions and precisions, “this contract does not cover any damages caused by 30 feet tall five-headed dragons that would occur out of strict work duty.”

“- Damn, those insurers always find a trick for not paying you a penny! Said Fry.
- Minport insurance? Said Amy. I heard on TV those guys were employing precogs…
- Oh, come on! Said Leela. We may be turned into pulp if we stay here, and the only thing that’s worrying you is this stupid insurance?!
- Of course! Said the professor. You’re not the one paying them!
- Screw this, I’m starting the ship… Anyone who wants to survive comes with me.
- Didn’t you listen to me?! Said the professor. I just told you…
- Then let’s just say I’ll deliver you to safety, and say this is work duty! It would then mean we’d be covered!”

The professor gave a look at Hermes.

“- Would it work?
- Well, we can say we delivered human organs… Replied Hermes. Our own organs.
- Alright then! All to the ship!
- Errrr… What about me?”

The Planet Express crew looked at the giant Decapodian who, during all this time, just stood apart, listening to their conversation. With all those problems, they completely had forgotten about Zoidberg. When they finally realized that he was indeed raising some questions about how they’d take him with them, they all started to sigh.

“- Well, I don’t know… Said Leela. How about running away, far from the beast? We’d catch you up later…
- You don’t want me to come with you? Asked Zoidberg, looking sad.
- NO!!! Screamed Fry and Hermes at the same time.
- The question is not about if we want to take you or not, said Leela, giving a murderous look at her two colleagues, but if we CAN take you… I may find something for carrying you, but as you can imagine, you can’t fit in the ship…
- Awwww… Said Zoidberg.
- Oh, don’t worry, doctor, said Amy. Just keep on running away from that beast, it doesn’t even seem to care about you…
- Okay, enough chit-chat, said Leela. It’s settled, we’re going. Everybody in the ship!”

The Planet Express crew immediately got back inside the building, as they were all too happy to escape. Only Zoidberg, of course, didn’t move. He really didn’t like feeling that useless… Not only was he too scared for doing anything against Hydra, but he also couldn’t help his friends in any possible way.

If only he was a bit less of a chicken…


Hydra trampled the last tank, making it explode under its paw without suffering at all. It gave a look around. For the moment, nothing was attacking it again, and the beast couldn’t see any other kind of menace in the surroundings.

The monster couldn’t know if the annoying ants would try to do anything against it in the near future, but it knew one thing: it was victorious. Hydra raised its five heads far up to the sky, filled its lungs with hundreds of cube meters of air… And shrieked a powerful roar, its five heads screaming in unison, indicating to every living beings in the surroundings that Hydra had beaten its enemies, and telling them that it was the master of this territory. Whoever would try to contest its supremacy would have to face its might, and would prepare himself to die.

Hydra’s roar resounded during several seconds after the beast stopped screaming, an eloquent testimony of the creature’s will to make everything understand its message. Hydra then relaxed, taking its breath again…

It suddenly caught the smell of what it was searching for.

Hydra finally had a clear idea of where it was. The beast could trace it back to one of those strange bushes that were surrounding him… And were much more numerous before it had to fight the annoying ants. This particular bush was in the distance, a bit beyond a river that was flowing ahead of it.

Impatient to get what it had been looking for during all this time, Hydra began to walk towards that strange bush.

It didn’t care at all about any of the others things on his way.

Or even that weird red crustacean that was standing in the river, next to another one of those bushes.
Bending Unit
« Reply #13 on: 01-23-2008 14:49 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 11)

Zoidberg immediately understood that something really bad was happening. Until this moment, Hydra didn’t seem to care at all about them, but now, it was heading right in their direction… And it looked pretty determined.

The Decapodian was about to try to run away… But then, something struck him. Even if they were hurrying, his friends would never be able to get in the ship and to fly away before Hydra would reach them, considering how fast it was running. And considering how easily it was destroying and trampling the buildings on its way, it was pretty clear that they didn’t have a single chance of getting out of the building alive.

For a few seconds, Zoidberg hesitated. Despite its attitude, Hydra didn’t seem to be interested in him; so, if he’d just get out of its way, maybe it wouldn’t attack him… But then, his friends would be crushed by the creature’s mass. Maybe he could try to slow it down… But it would mean the creature wouldn’t spare him like it apparently was about to do. And he was still scared about the monster. Zoidberg really considered fleeing and let Leela, Fry, Hermes and Amy be at the mercy of the creature. After all, they had very often been mean with him…

He stood where he was. Maybe they were mistreating him, maybe they were considering him as a burden rather than someone who needed help… But they were still his friends.

Maybe. Perhaps.

Well, Leela was the nicest of the lot, anyway.

And Fry still hadn’t forgiven him what he did to Bender. So, maybe if he saved him…

Besides, there were all those innocent civilians that Hydra may kill, or had already killed, and who needed to be protected or to be revenged…

And what else than a giant monster can fight another giant monster?

Zoidberg stared angrily at Hydra.

This wouldn’t be the day Zoidberg let a giant beast kill his friends.

The Decapodian ran into Hydra.


At first, as it was completely obsessed with its target, Hydra didn’t notice that the strange red crustacean was charging it. But when Zoidberg laid into it, the beast finally realized that something else than the ants and flies that were sprouting fire was attacking it. The shock made Hydra stumble and partially lose its balance, as it wasn’t expecting this strike. However, when the first moment of surprise disappeared, the giant monster finally saw Zoidberg…

… Or more exactly, a rival that was challenging it.

Hydra instinctively took a stance that would allow it to attack its opponent if the Decapodian would be stupid enough for not quitting immediately and admit who was the master. The monster wasn’t against a fight, but as it was in a hurry, it’d prefer give the Decapodian a beating after it would have get what it needed.

Zoidberg didn’t submit himself. Instead, he also took a combat stance.

Hydra accepted the challenge. Its five heads roared at the crustacean for making him understand he was getting in real trouble.

Then, it jumped on him.


Zoidberg didn’t know exactly where he got the reflexes for avoiding Hydra’s first attack, but he managed to dodge it anyway, and the five jaws bit nothing else but air. The Decapodian took advantage for hitting the beast at its neck, where its heads were sprouting out. It wasn’t a very well calculated blow, but at least it seemed to hurt Hydra as the monster screamed of pain. Zoidberg immediately grabbed two heads and smashed them one against the other. This time, the attack stunned Hydra, which began to back off a little bit for letting some distance between it and Zoidberg. Exulting, feeling more powerful than ever, the Decapodian was starting to forget his education, and to let himself be overwhelmed by all the excitation this fight was providing him. He was the raging monster which destroyed New New York a year ago once again, and no longer a scared and shy lobster who was always trying an excuse for hiding himself.

“You like this, punk?! Said Zoidberg, not controlling him anymore. You want more? ‘Cause if that’s a good beating you want…”

Hydra suddenly straightened up on its back legs, deploying its wings at their maximum. In this position, the creature was looking incredibly imposing, much, much bigger and stronger than Zoidberg who seemed to be a midget next to this colossus. All the creature’s muscles seemed to grow and to contract, giving an idea of the incalculable strength of the beast, while its opponent couldn’t show anything as spectacular (especially considering his pot-bellied physiognomy).

The eyes of the beast were glowing with rage, and the roar it screamed chilled the blood of anyone who could have heard it.

Zoidberg shrivelled up, just as his chicken tendency got over him.

“Well, I’m sorry I bothered you, mister. I can assure you I won’t do it again. Now, I’ll just stand out of your way, and…”

Hydra hit him with its claws.

Fortunately, Zoidberg’s shell was thick enough for preventing him from being killed instantaneously, but he got nasty scratches nonetheless. The Decapodian backed off, trying to get out of the monster’s range. This worked at first, but Hydra quickly followed him and resumed its attacks. Zoidberg knew he wouldn’t hold for long, so he tried to strike back. He managed to hit some of the beast’s heads a few times, but suddenly, he felt that something was grabbing him at the ankle. A quick look showed him that one of Hydra’s head was biting him down there. Another one grabbed him by the shoulder and a third one by the arm. The Decapodian felt he was lifted off the ground… And a second later, Hydra threw him away like a wood stick. Zoidberg shrieked of terror during all the time it took him for touching Earth again, and the contact wasn’t really pleasant. The Decapodian crashed into a block of buildings, making them collapse under the shock and his weight; Zoidberg needed a few moments afterwards for recovering, as the shock nearly knocked him out. But the ground shaking and a sound of trampling made him get back to reality. He looked where the monster was when it threw him. Just as he feared, he saw Hydra rushing into him, increasing the destructions it already did so far. Zoidberg didn’t even plan anything; he just grabbed a monumental piece of building that was still fairly intact by the spire that was in top of it and, just as Hydra was about to jump on him, he brutally clubbed the beast with it. This time, Hydra really looked shocked by what the Decapodian did to him. Zoidberg didn’t want to give the monster enough time for recovering: he quickly hit the monster again, this time putting all his strength in his attack.

His makeshift mace exploded under the impact. Zoidberg thought his arm would suffer the same fate, but this time, he really was sure he had wounded the monster. The shock made Hydra back off a few steps, and Zoidberg quickly noticed he had managed to break one of its wings (which was flapping flabbily on its side) and maybe to do the same to one of the creature’s leg. But his attack made Zoidberg lose his balance, however, and the Decapodian fell on the ground after it, crushing another building in the process.


Hydra’s thoughts were getting pretty messy after the shock. It was the very first time it was wounded, and it wasn’t a small wound either. Its wing and leg were hurting it a lot, and one of its heads couldn’t use its jaw without causing the beast a lot of pain.

At first, the monster seriously considered to run away until its wounds would have cured, and before the red crustacean would have managed to hurt it even more despite the fact Hydra was still tougher than Zoidberg… But then, Hydra realized where it fell.

What it was looking for was just behind it.

The strange bush that was hiding its goal was standing just a little away from it.

This drastically changed Hydra’s plans.

The beast clumsily limped to the building…

Bending Unit
« Reply #14 on: 01-25-2008 20:20 »
« Last Edit on: 01-25-2008 20:20 by JustNibblin´ »

Hi purplepesce,

I haven't been on the boards frequently, so just now managed to catch up.  I'm enjoying the cross-references a lot, and I like how you've brought Morris and Munda (this is your first time writing them, isn't it?), and the fight scenes are quite good.  I'm curious how Bender will come back.  My only nitpick is that Fry seems a little harsh on Zoidberg, but I guess he did kill Fry's best friend...
Bending Unit
« Reply #15 on: 01-27-2008 14:05 »

Originally posted by JustNibblin':I'm enjoying the cross-references a lot, and I like how you've brought Morris and Munda (this is your first time writing them, isn't it?)

Actually no, but I haven't posted the fanfics where they already appeared in this forum.

I'm curious how Bender will come back.

Well... All I can say is to wait and see. As I said earlier, I've winded this all up a wayyyyyyy too much... But it should get fixed soon.

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 12)

Zoidberg rubbed his skull, hoping this would diminish his headache in some sort. It didn’t work very well, unfortunately; sure, his shell was preventing him from any serious injuries caused by a fall (up to a certain point), but it didn’t mean he couldn’t feel anything in such a case.

But he quickly stopped to care about this. Hydra was still around, and if he didn’t give it the last stroke as fast as possible, he would certainly get more than a headache…

The Decapodian finally saw the monster moving away from him, hoping about on its valid legs. It was looking much more weakened than what Zoidberg previously estimated, and it became quite clear in the Decapodian’s mind that he indeed had a chance to beat it.

Zoidberg noticed that the monster was going in the direction of Mom’s headquarters, a gigantic building that had so far been spared by Hydra’s rampage. Why the monster seemed to go there, the Decapodian didn’t know why, as there were other skyscrapers, some bigger than this one, that could have hidden the beast. And in fact, he couldn’t care less. Zoidberg noticed that the spire of the building he used as a mace was lying on the ground next to him. He grabbed it and used his claws for sharpening it. Now that would be a pretty useful dagger…

Loud sounds of rumbling and screaming made him look back at his opponent. Now, he was a bit at a loss: Hydra was attacking Mom’s headquarters with its valid legs and heads, tearing off huge chunks of it, searching something through it, causing a huge movement of panic among those who didn’t manage to flee yet… And as suddenly as it started, the beast stopped and contemplated something. Moving a bit to the beast’s side, Zoidberg saw that Hydra brought the robot factory of the site to daylight. The Decapodian also noticed that the beast torn apart some big metallic structure in the factory, in which something was glowing and emitting a fluorescent green light… Something radioactive? It wasn’t the biggest of his matters for the moment. Hydra seemed to be focused by whatever was in the factory, it was the perfect moment for killing it. Zoidberg carefully came closer behind Hydra’s back…

And stopped, stunned by the surprise.

The creature’s wing, which was still broken a few seconds ago, seemed to be reconstructing.

And as the seconds passed, Zoidberg finally realized that all the creature’s previous wounds were closing each one after the other. In fact, Hydra was apparently changing: its scales’ colour were slowly getting lighter, and Zoidberg saw a crest forming on the creature’s back, where there was nothing at all before.

Zoidberg couldn’t decide of what he should do. It was pretty obvious that whatever the monster had uncovered was now healing it and even making it stronger than it already was (the Decapodian could see that now Hydra’s muscles were growing), which was nullifying his chance to defeat the beast. Suddenly, he felt stupid, as the “dagger” he was holding was looking unimpressive compared to Hydra’s force. But after a long moment of hesitation, he finally decided to try to give the final blow before Hydra would be too strong for being stopped: he ran to the monster, brandishing his weapon…

One of Hydra’s head contorted itself and bit the Decapodian at the arm that was holding the weapon and threw him away.

It was during his flight that Zoidberg realized he really should have let the others deal with it.


Leela couldn’t believe it took them so long, but finally, she could turn the engine on. The hangar’s ceiling opened up just like every time they were going on a mission, and the young woman prepared to take off. All the Planet Express crew was installed in the cockpit, ready for the travel.

“- Well, finally! Said Leela. All this because someone forgot to fill up the tank!
- Hey, it’s not my fault if Nibbler has been constipated lately! Replied Fry.
- But you should have taken care of this as soon as you saw there was nothing in his litter, instead of forcing us to try to… Ease his transit…
- Can we stop talking about this and take off, please? Asked Amy. I’ll already have enough trouble trying to take away the smell out of my hands…”

At the girl’s feet, Nibbler moaned. He didn’t really like the way they solved his problem either…

“- Yeah, of course, said Leela.
- Can we go to Disneyland? Asked Fry.
- What the heck are you thinking, nutjob? Said the professor. Those are not holidays!
- But I just thought that as we have to get out of town, we’d better go to a nice place then…
- We’ll see this later, replied Leela. For the moment, let’s get out of this town before that monster devours us!”

The young woman made the ship go up, leading everybody out of the Planet Express headquarters. As soon as they got past the hangar’s roof, they could take a look at the surroundings… And see the devastation around them. It was impossible to recognize their neighbourhood, now… A large portion of the city had been turned to ruins by Hydra’s rampage, leaving nothing but decapitated pieces of building and abandoned vehicles all over the place. Some fires were burning what was left, and here and there, some ruins were collapsing, victims of the gravity that was forcing their rubbles to fall down.

The whole crew was feeling sad by seeing this landscape… But a few of them, like Leela or Amy, noticed that the company’s headquarters as well as a few other neighbouring buildings had miraculously been spared by this disaster.

But as Leela was making the ship go higher and higher, she finally noticed something.

“Hey, where’s Zoidberg?”

Before anyone could say they didn’t have a single idea, Leela felt that something was hiding them the sun. She took a look at the left, wondering what it could be… And brutally made the ship fly away as fast as possible.

The Decapodian fell from the sky and crushed the headquarters under his weight.

When she got sure they were out of trouble, at least for the moment, Leela made it back to the building… Or more precisely of what was left of it. Those kind of constructions aren’t really made for withstanding the shock of having a 45 tons Decapodian being dropped on them. As for Zoidberg himself, the young woman quickly saw he really wasn’t looking well. Most of his clothes were ripped out, revealing a shell that was streaked with deep slashes. And as he was having a lot of difficulties for getting up and simply standing on his legs, it was obvious he really was getting a hard time.

Some groans behind her made Leela look to the back of the cockpit. Hermes, Fry, Amy and the professor were trying to getting up as well, as they were all stocked to a pile in the back of the cockpit. Her manoeuvre for avoiding Zoidberg apparently caught them by surprise.

“- Sweet robin from Talinn! Said Hermes. What the heck was that for?!
- I can’t feel my legs! Screamed Fry.
- I haven’t felt my own since New Year’s Eve 2992, and I’m not complaining! Said the professor.
- Leela, can’t you just warn us before pulling a trick like this? Said Amy.
- Sorry, but there was an emergency! Replied Leela.
- What kind of emergency? Asked Fry.
- Well, just take a look!”

It didn’t take too long for the four of them to get near Leela, but a quick look to what the ship was now facing wasn’t really telling them too much.

“- Yeah, that’s Zoidberg, and? Asked Hermes.
- Man, he looks bad… Said Amy. Well, worse than usual…
- That’s why I had to do this, said Leela. He literally fell from the sky. If I hadn’t moved, we’d be in the same state than the rest of the headquarters!
- Wait, those ruins down there are the headquarters?! Said the professor, infuriated. Damn lobster!!! It’s not because he can’t find a house of his own that he must make us all homeless!
- Dammit, I had some stuff in my lockers!” Said Fry.

Hermes didn’t say anything, but he was as pissed as the others. But Amy was scratching her head. This was surely an annoying turn of event, but something wasn’t quite right…

“- Wait, he fell from the sky?
- Yep, replied Leela.
- Why?
- I dunno… Said Fry. Maybe something threw him?
- ‘Threw him’?! What can possibly throw away a giant Decapodian?”

They stared at each other, genuinely having no clues of what the answer could be, as this little incident made them forget the recent events.

The expression of terror that soon appeared on their faces was a clear indicator that they finally remembered why they were trying to flee in the first place.

“Go away! Yelled Fry. Take us on Mars, on Neptune, wherever, but take us out of here, Leela!”

The young man hadn’t even finished his sentence that Leela had already begun to pull the joystick. The ship turned at 90°…

And everybody screamed in the cockpit at the same moment.

Hydra was rushing on them, screaming with primal rage. Could they read the mind of the beast, they would have understood that the creature thought that they were another one of those annoying flies which tried to hurt it earlier. But this information wasn’t telling them something really interesting: the beast was about to devour them.

Momentarily paralyzed by this vision of horror, Leela couldn’t order her hands to activate the commands for getting out of this situation. Terrorized, all she could see was one of those monstrous mouth getting closer to them, opening widely enough for gulping them down. In a microsecond, everything would get dark.

But in fact, everything turned red, as a giant claw appeared from nowhere and hit the reptilian head.

Strangely, this made Leela get out of her apathy. The young woman finally made the ship get out of the way of the creature. During one brief second, she had the feeling that it was too late, that she would never be able to dodge the gigantic body of the creature… But no shock happened, nothing at all, which finally calmed her down and helped her to get full control on the ship’s commands.

She had to make a few stunts for avoiding some ruins, though… And when the ship stabilized, she saw something that nearly cut her breath. Zoidberg was struggling with Hydra, gripping the five necks of the creature while standing on its back. He was clearly tired and suffering, but he was doing his best for keeping his hold on Hydra, which was as for itself struggling like a maniac for getting the Decapodian out. Zoidberg quickly saw that the ship was coming in their way.

“Go away! Screamed Zoidberg, and Leela couldn’t believe she could hear him despite the distance, Hydra’s roars and the reactors’ noises. Go away, I won’t hold it forever!”

Leela listened to the Decapodian’s advice. She forced the ship to make a u-turn, almost sending everybody in the cockpit to crash on the walls.
Bending Unit
« Reply #16 on: 01-30-2008 15:15 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 13)

Zoidberg saw the Planet Express turning away, relieved that his friends would finally find some safety. Things would certainly not end well for him, but at least he would have managed to save some people this day… A part of himself was still telling him he really made a stupid decision and should have gone away when he still could, but another part was convinced it had to be done…

Getting in some debate with himself wasn’t really the smartest thing to do while trying to hold a creature that was much bigger than him. As he was busy mourning over himself, Hydra arched its back, allowing it to use one of its rear legs for scratching the Decapodian’s back. The pain made Zoidberg let Hydra get out of his grip for a short second, which the creature used for biting him and throwing away again with two of its heads.

Now, Zoidberg was feeling way too weak for getting up quickly. Hydra jumped on him in a split second and started to use its claws and fangs for attacking Zoidberg. The doctor’s shell was still protecting his internal organs, but that wasn’t blocking the pain at all, and it couldn’t hold the various attacks for too long. A few more seconds, and Zoidberg was definitely done…

But the Decapodian wasn’t willing to hand up so easily despite his wounds. He managed to grab some big rubbles with one of his claws and suddenly threw the pile of dust, cement and metal on the creature’s heads. Surprised, Hydra backed off a little, finally stopping its attack and giving enough room for allowing Zoidberg to stand up again. Hydra shook all its heads and blinked frenetically for making the dust go away from its eyes, as it blinded it momentarily. Zoidberg had a lot of luck, his move managed to hit all the creature’s heads. Hydra hissed and roared, made even more infuriated by this little act of resistance from its prey.

It didn’t see Zoidberg holding a huge chunk of building over its heads until it was too late. The Decapodian violently threw the monumental piece of cement on the creature, burying its heads under dozens of tons of rubbles. Zoidberg nearly felt on his knees after this. He gathered all the strength that was left in him for this last attack, and he even had a lot of trouble just for catching up his breath. His wounds had drained every little ounce of power that he could have used, and now, the only thing he wanted was to lie down and have a little nap…

He got served, but not in the way he wanted. Hydra suddenly turned on itself, freeing its heads in the process… And whipping with its tail. The gigantic mass of scales hit Zoidberg’s chest with such strength that the Decapodian got lifted up and flew over the ground until he hit another building that was still standing in the battlefield’s surroundings, making it collapse and causing a cacophony worthy of an earthquake. This time, Zoidberg passed out; this last shock overwhelmed his already diminished pain tolerance threshold. The Decapodian couldn’t see the monster getting closer to him, slowly, half-expecting its prey to stand up or to try something again. It finally understood it had won.

Hydra came closer, its heads moving apart for covering a broader array, its body tensing up. It smelled its victim, scrutinized it, paying attention to the smallest detail and examining it. Come to think of it, the lobster looked like it could be a tasteful meal. Hydra could smell the flesh beneath the shell, and although it didn’t smell like any other meat it had seen before, there was some… Fragrance in it that was reminding the creature that it hasn’t eaten since it broke out of its prison. The Decapodian was still breathing, though. It was high time to finish him.

Hydra opened its jaws so widely that every single tooth was now exposed to daylight. Focusing on them was like looking at a crocodile’s mouth. The creature prepared itself to project its heads on its victim at the speed of sound…

But just as they were about to mangle their victim, the lobster suddenly moved away from it at an unpredictable speed.

Hydra tried to watch Zoidberg as he was getting out of its reach, expecting everything except such a turn of events. As it was focusing on the Decapodian, Hydra couldn’t see the “little” green ship that was flying ahead of him… And the metallic claw that was coming out of it and which had grabbed the Decapodian by his skull, the same kind of claw you find on those UFO Catchers in the amusement parks.

The Planet Express ship was dragging Zoidberg away from the creature, saving him from death.

Inside the cockpit, Leela was struggling with the commands, trying to get the ship and Zoidberg as far away from Hydra as possible, but without colliding a ruin or one of the buildings that were still standing. On her side, Fry was holding on her seat, trying to keep his balance, clenching on the back less for preventing himself from falling than because of his incalculable anxiety. The professor was sitting on one of the empty seats on the rear of the cockpit, doing his best just for not being rocked out of it.

“- Leela! Screamed Fry. Are you sure you can do it?
- I don’t know! Replied the young woman. We never tried to lift so much weight with the claw before!
- Then let him go before that thing… Started the professor.
- No way! Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Zoidberg tried to stop that thing and saved us from it! I won’t let him behind!”

Leela activated the ship’s internal communication without even having to take a look at the commands.

“Amy! Hermes! Tell me you’ve got a good grip on him!”

The radio crackled as Amy answered to Leela’s call. The young intern and the bureaucrat were in the ship’s docking bay, manipulating the claw.

“- Don’t worry, Leela, we’ve got him good!
- Perfect! Keep going, but don’t get too zealous, or you’ll crush his skull!
- And that would be a bad thing? Asked Hermes.
- Oh, for the love of…” Leela stopped in the middle of her swearing. This wasn’t a good time for this kind of argument. “Just be cautious, okay? Professor?
- Yes? Answered Farnsworth.
- Can you use the control screen on your console and switch it to the rear view?”

The professor executed exactly what Leela asked him to do. Instantaneously, the little camera that was installed on the ship’s rear wing transmitted what it was seeing on the screen on the professor’s console.

Farnsworth gulped.

What he was seeing was an enraged Hydra that was running after them, trying to catch back Zoidberg.

“So? Screamed Leela. How’s the situation?”

The professor gave a quick look at Leela, looked back at his screen, and finally looked back at Leela.

“Don’t worry, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about!”

Leela instinctively translated the professor’s sentence into what she would certainly have said: they were in some big shnit. The young woman pulled on the steering wheel, hoping the ship (and accessorily, Zoidberg’s skull) would endure the shock.

The ship began to get higher and higher in the sky, and behind it, Zoidberg was beginning to be lifted as well. Pretty quickly, only his feet were still scraping the ground, before finally floating over it as well. Leela continued to make the ship take some height for keeping as much distance between them and Hydra as possible.

When it realized its prey was getting away, Hydra first tried to accelerate… But then, it decided to stop the pursuit. Although it had already been fairly well regenerated, it still needed some time near what it had been searching all this time for truly reaching its maximal state… Reluctantly, it stopped running after the ship and the Decapodian and watched them getting away, hissing and growling. Then, it turned its back and made its way back to what was left of Mom’s headquarters. It could still hunt later…

Meanwhile, Leela finally took a few seconds for examining the situation. The fact they still hadn’t been eaten by the monster was slightly reinsuring, but she would still like some more information before beginning to relax.

“- Professor, is it still behind us?
- What? There’s nothing at all behind us! No, not at all! I’d even say…
- Is that monster still chasing us, yes or not?
- Nope, it stopped long ago.
- Fry, go and take a look at the radar, and tell me if you see anything suspicious on it.”

The young delivery boy stopped clinging on Leela’s seat and carefully went to the console on which the radar had been installed. A quick look at it greatly decreased his stress.

“No “bleep”, no “dong”, nothing.”

Leela activated the communicator again, and switched it to the docking bay.

“- Hermes, is the crane holding?
- Yeah, it is, replied the bureaucrat. Unfortunately.”

Leela sighed so loud of relief that she got rid of every little atom of oxygen that was still in her lungs. She even could feel her heart beating slower and slower.

“I can’t believe we made it out of trouble so easily!”

Fry swiped the sweat of his forehead, as happy as Leela to finally be in safety. He was about to congratulate Leela for having saved them all… When the radar suddenly began to beep. Fry nearly feel off his seat as he wasn’t expecting anything like this. Anxious, fearing it could have been Hydra which would have decided to chase them after all, he looked at what the radar was indicating.

But instead of one big echo, the radar was showing several little dots that were coming their way.

And as a bunch of Earthican fighters started to fly in circle around them, it became quite obvious that the monster had nothing to do with it. Not directly anyway.

The communication screen fell from the ceiling, indicating an incoming call. Wondering what all this could have meant, Leela took the call. Immediately, a pilot wearing the regulation helmet of the Earthican Air Force appeared in the little screen. The opaque lenses on it were preventing Leela from seeing her speaker’s eyes, and his expression was neutral.

“- Planet Express ship, said Leela. What is it?
- Captain Turanga, said the man, you, the rest of your colleagues (including the doctor Zoidberg) and your ship are now under the orders of the DOOP Army.
- What?! Screamed Leela genuinely surprised.
- As such, we received the order to bring you to our base. Follow us…
- Wait a minute, you can’t just…
- … Any dissidence from your part would be considered as desertion and will be heavily punished. Over.”

The communication stopped as abruptly as it started.

Leela, still stunned by what had just happened, turned to take a look behind her. Apparently, Fry and the professor were as confused as her.

“So long for Disneyland…” Said Fry.
Futurama Llama

Starship Captain
« Reply #17 on: 01-30-2008 17:14 »

Nice, purplefish! Can't wait to see how Bender comes back and what will happen to the PE crew and New New York!
Bending Unit
« Reply #18 on: 02-03-2008 14:41 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 14)

The following minutes passed without another explanation from the fighters that were surrounding the Planet Express ship, although they made them take a specific direction. The urban network of the North-East quickly got switched by the grassy plains of the Midwest, considering the speed at which they were flying (apparently, being escorted by a bunch of military ships allows you to fly over the speed-limit in the atmosphere). Soon, the Planet Express ship flew over the large desert regions of the West, but the crew still didn’t receive any further indication on where they were going. The few times Leela tried to call back one of the fighters, she always got the same answer: they couldn’t tell him anything.

Hermes and Amy quickly joined back Leela, Fry and the professor in the cockpit, as the crane had apparently no problems in holding Zoidberg’s weight and didn’t really need to be watched over. As for the Decapodian, he was still unconscious, allowing himself to get some rest after the tough battle he went through. He would certainly need some medical attention, but that was nothing compared to what would have happened if the rest of the Planet Express crew didn’t save him in time.

At first, Fry, Amy, Hermes and the Professor discussed with each other while Leela was driving for trying to understand why exactly the army seemed to pay so much attention to them, but as they couldn’t agree on one explanation, they quickly abandoned to try to understand what was going on and decided to wait that somebody would give them the answers they needed. More precisely, when Fry asked to Hermes and the professor if the extras they were doing and which required to erase Fry’s memory every time they needed his services for them could have something to do with this, the professor quickly put an end to the conversation.

Now everybody was staying silent in the cockpit, wondering what was going to happen to them. Although she didn’t say a word to her colleagues, Leela was just as tensed as the others. On the other hand, she had to focus on her piloting, and was doing her best for not losing the fighters’ trail.

“- Where are we now? Asked Fry.
- Wait a second…”

Leela switched the GPS on. A smooth female voice resounded in the cockpit after a few seconds, when it finished loading their position.

“You are currently in the Milky Way, in the Solar System, on planet Earth, in Northern America, in the United States, in the state of Nevada, in a desert, and are now flying over a bush… Rocks… Dust… A sleeping lizard… Another bush… Dust… Dust… A cactus… Dust…”

Leela switched out the device, not without sighing.

“- Frankly, I know the guys who made those things think they’re doing right, but there’s a limit to precision…
- So basically, we’re over the desert? Said Fry.
- What hinted you? Said Hermes sarcastically. The total lack of vegetation we can see by the windows, or what that very instructive thing told us?
- The later, replied Fry innocently.
- Yeah, how surprising…”

The communication screen dropped from the ceiling, just in time before Leela could have ordered her colleagues to calm down. She was pretty sure it was the same guy than before that was talking to her at this moment.

“We’re approaching our destination. Start to slow down, and get your men ready to operate your crane. You will have to put down the doctor Zoidberg on the special stretcher you will see before landing. A medical team will take care of him as soon as we’ll arrive. Over.”

The communicator disappeared once again before Leela could even try to ask for more information. Those army guys really weren’t not willing to explain to her what they wanted. She nonetheless turned on her seat to look at Hermes and Amy.

“Well, you heard that bloke. Get in the docking bay, we’ll get rid of our “package”.”

The two of them obeyed without doing anything else than nodding and/or saying “okay”. As the cockpit’s door was closing behind Amy, Leela thought she was finally starting to see something in the distance. It took them only a few seconds for having a better view on what was in front of them, even after having slowed down: it was a military camp. Several warehouses and hangars were disposed around a huge grey bunker, which was from Leela’s point of view looking like some kind of missile silo as a large closed metallic “door” was on its roof. The whole complex was extending on hundreds of square meters, all this protected by several lines of walls and wire meshes and dozens of watchtowers. Leela could see that the complex was currently buzzing with activity, which amazed her as she wasn’t really expecting such a gigantic base miles and miles away from any civilized areas.

As they went further and flew over the base, Leela finally saw the landing point she was certainly supposed to use… Just right next to a gigantic stretcher, certainly large enough for allowing Zoidberg to lie on it. The stretcher itself was installed on a large hovering platform that would apparently be pulled by a big military hovering truck. Leela quickly understood they would have to put Zoidberg down on this thing; she activated the internal communicator as Amy and Hermes had to play an important role in the following maneuvers.

“- Guys? Take a look down and tell me if Zoidberg’s lying on the stretcher, would you?
- What stretcher? Asked Amy.
- Well, you’ll have a hard time missing it…”

The following minutes spent quite slowly. Leela positioned the ship so that Zoidberg’s feet would touch the ground just in front of the stretcher. Then, she started to make it glide to the side while going down, so that the Decapodian would slowly lie on the stretcher. Quickly, only Zoidberg’s head was still not touching the stretcher. Leela then gave Amy and Hermes the order to let him go by opening the crane’s claw. As soon as the giant lobster rested on the stretcher, and while Amy and Hermes were making the crane retract into the ship, the hovering trucks began to take Zoidberg away to a gigantic warehouse, where an amazing number of people wearing white lab coats were waiting. As for the rest of the Planet Express crew, Leela made the ship land on the floor, just on the landing point.

When they got out of the ship, they could see a large group of military come in their direction. Apparently, they were expected, certainly for quite a long time. All those people were from the DOOP, and Leela quickly recognized who had what ranks… Especially the two guys that were leading the group and were obviously commanders. But what really struck her was that they were looking exactly the same: mid-50’s, black short hair with some grey locks, flat noses, brown eyes, big lips, a little bit of chubby belly that wasn’t hiding however their muscles… Even their gestures were quite similar. Twins, obviously. They stopped at the same time and saluted the Planet Express crew in unison.

“- Good afternoon, civilians, said the first one. I’m the commander Joel Schwartz, and this is the commander Joel Schwartz.
- Good afternoon, repeated the second Joel Schwartz.
- Er… It’s an honour… Said Leela, who was thinking that their parents must have had a hard time distinguishing them. Do I have to present us or do you already know who we are?
- We already know, indeed, said the second Schwartz.
- Yes, we do, replied the first Schwartz. Many people told us about you… Sometimes in less than flattering terms, but they all agreed that you may be useful for us.
- How can we be useful to you, exactly? Said Amy. We had to flee from this monster, just like anybody else!
- Well, first, you’re working with a giant Decapodian who appears to be the only creature who fought that “dragon” and survived, said the first Schwartz.
- Because we had to save his shelly ass, replied Hermes.
- He didn’t get killed immediately, and even hurt it more than all the combined efforts of our forces, corrected the first Schwartz. That means a lot.
- Second, continued the second Schwartz, you don’t know yet, but you’re in possession of information that can help us to organize a counterattack against that creature.
- Whoa, slow down, said Fry. We don’t know a damn thing! We don’t even know where we are right now!”

The two Schwartz looked at each other for a brief second, before turning back to the small group of civilians.

“That’s correct, said the first Schwartz, you have the right to know our location. You currently are in the Area 51.”

The surprise struck Fry so hard that he nearly got out of breath after the gasp he made. His friends, however, didn’t seem as impressed. In fact, they were looking at each other, exchanging looks of incomprehension.

- Indeed, said the first Schwartz.
- Wait a second, young lad, how do you know about this base? Asked the professor to Fry.
- Are you kidding me? Said an excited Fry. Everybody heard about the area 51! That’s where they’re hiding aliens and UFOs and stuff!
- Doesn’t ring a bell, replied Leela.
- Oh come on! You don’t read science-fiction stuff or what?!
- Depends on what you’re calling science-fiction, mon, said Hermes.
- Please! Intergalactic travels! Aliens who want to invade Earth! Laserguns!
- You mean documentaries? Said the professor.
- No! I’m talking about…”

Fry suddenly stopped talking. He finally remembered in what year he was, and that all the stuff that was qualified as “science-fiction” when he got frozen had become everyday life.

“- Oh… Said Fry, his excitation having suddenly vanished.
- We can understand your disappointment, Mr Fry, said the second Schwartz.
- Yeah, well, if this place was so famous during his time, why don’t we know it? Asked Amy.
- Pretty simple, said the first Schwartz. The area 51 was famous because of all the rumours about the US government hiding the existence of aliens during the XXth and early XXIst centuries…
- … Which were true, by the way… Said the second Schwartz.
- … But when Earth started to openly have political contacts with other planets, all the buzz surrounding the area logically faded away. But as the public attention got drawn away from the area, which until this time was only serving as the largest toiletries stocking area for the military, the US, then the Earthican army decided to really turn it into an experimental zone.
- Nobody cared about this place anymore, said the second Schwartz, so the military had all the latitude for doing anything it wanted here. And when Earth joined the DOOP, it received this facility, which didn’t change anything to the projects that were developed here.
- What kind of projects? Asked Amy.
- You’re not allowed to know, replied the first Schwartz. Except for one… The one that’s explaining your presence here.
- Which is? Said Leela, getting a bit fed up by all this mystery.
- Oh, you’ll learn everything in due time, said the second Schwartz. But we haven’t finished preparing everything… We’re still waiting for some “guests”. They shouldn’t be long, however, but at least it gives some time for resting and having a little collation. You must be tired after all the things you went through.”

Fry, Leela, Amy, Hermes and the professor all agreed, each one commenting how much tired and/or hungry they were. But Leela and Amy, however, seemed to have a different request to make. Amy whispered something in Leela’s ear, who nodded and replied to her that she was about to ask the same thing anyway. The young woman then looked back at the two commanders.

“- Is it possible for us to make calls?
- Yes, said the first Schwartz but we’ll have to ask you who you’re going to call, and we’ll have to watch you so that you wouldn’t reveal where you are.
- Fine with me, replied Leela, who had been expecting such an answer.
- I’m okay with that too, said Amy.
- Good, said the second Schwartz, who made a gesture to the soldiers in his back. Those gentlemen will lead you to your quarters. We’ll warn you when our guests will be here.
- And what about Zoidberg?” Asked Leela.

The two Schwartz looked at her in a way she couldn’t really interpret.

“We’ll make everything for setting him up, said the second Schwartz. He’s very important for us…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #19 on: 02-07-2008 16:21 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 15)

When the soldiers showed them their quarters, Leela had a little surprise: she was expecting barracks, but they in fact lead them into a small house with real individual rooms. There was still a collective room, but they at least had access to some form of privacy. Incidentally, this little surprise made her think that the base was certainly welcoming civilians on a regular basis. Scientists, probably, if they really were making experiments.

Fry and the professor locked them up in their rooms for a little nap, but as for Hermes, Amy and Leela, they quickly noticed the videophone in the salon. A non-commissioned officer was present and was the only one allowed to make the calls, a way for controlling who they were calling and what they would say…

Hermes was the first one to give a call; LaBarbara and Dwight were hopefully out of New New York when Hydra’s rampage occurred for paying a visit to LaBarbara’s mother (Hermes made up an excuse for not seeing his mother-in-law) and were safe, but the bureaucrat wanted to reinsure them and tell them he was safe too. Amy and Leela went to their rooms, leaving him some privacy, but the soldier, however, had to stay in the room, although he didn’t have anything to say about the purpose of the call. A few minutes later, Hermes had finished, and let Amy take up the videophone. Unsurprisingly, she tried to contact Kif again… But when Leela’s turn came and when she crossed Amy, she didn’t have to be psychic for understanding that once again the young girl didn’t manage to see her boyfriend.

As for Leela, she asked the non-commissioned officer to dial her parents’ number. The seconds that followed were almost killing her. Biting her nails, she was scared that, just like Amy before, she would only see a black screen…

But finally, someone answered. And she saw her parents, looking worried, but also in good health, which made Leela’s anguish drop significantly.

“- Leela! Said Munda. Thank God, it’s you!
- Mom, dad, said Leela, are you alright?
- Yes, we’re fine, said Morris. Thankfully, we’re deep enough for not having been bothered by that monster! We just had a few quakes, but everything held good, and it’s quiet now.
- And you, Leela? Asked Munda. Tell me you’re not up there!
- I’m okay, don’t worry! Said Leela. We managed to escape just in time, me and all my friends!
- Even Zoidberg?” Asked Munda.

Leela stopped for a few seconds. She couldn’t believe that her mother would care about the Decapodian after having seen him only once, but she just assumed that she was certainly always caring for everybody anyway.

“- It’s… A bit more complicated… He fought that beast, and got hurt a lot. But we managed to save him just in time before that monster would have killed him.
- My goodness! Said Munda, putting her tentacles over her mouth as she was shocked.
- He’s gonna make it? Asked Morris, genuinely worried.
- There’s a bunch of doctors who are doing their best, said Leela. That’s all I know…
- Oh boy, that’s serious…
- Well, to be fair, given his height, I don’t think they’ll have too many problems if they have to perform precise surgery…
- Yeah, that’s for sure… And where are you now?”

Leela gave a look to the officer, who was standing next to the videophone. The soldier vigorously shook his head.

“- I’m sorry, I can’t tell… Some events I can’t describe happened afterwards…
- Oh dear, it must be important, said Munda.
- Very. And you? Are you going to leave town?
- No, we won’t, said Morris.
- What?! But this monster…
- It can’t hurt us, darling, as long as we stay here, said Munda. Besides, this is where we always lived. And finally, we have guests, now.”

Leela frowned. Guests? They were having a little dinner with friends while there was a giant monster over their heads? Now that was something that really wasn’t sounding reasonable…

“- Guests? What do you mean, guests?
- We played our part in this disaster, you know, said Morris. Some people…
- Miss Turanga?”

A man appeared in the screen… And as soon as she saw him, Leela gasped out of the surprise. He was looking perfectly human, without any visible malformations or whatever… This man was coming from the surface! The man was wearing some casual clothes, but completed with thick leather gloves and a helmet with a lamp on it. He visibly didn’t notice the mutants were having a conversation.

“- Excuse me to bother you, but Dana would like to borrow some plasters. Jamie seems to have scratched himself more badly than what we thought…” The man finally gave a look to the videophone. He finally guessed it may not have been the best moment for asking this, and immediately looked at Leela’s parents, looking embarrassed. “Whoops! I’m sorry, looks like I’m coming right in the middle of…
- Oh, no problem at all, Lewis! Said Munda to the man, before designating Leela. We were speaking with our daughter. She managed to get out of town in one piece!
- Good to hear you’re fine then, miss, said Lewis to Leela.
- Leela, said Morris, this is Lewis. Him and the rest of his family got stuck under rubbles, but we managed to get them out of there before any of them could be hurt. They’re our guests now.”

At first, Leela staggered when she tried to speak properly. That certainly wasn’t what they imagined when they told her they had guests!

“- Wait… Finally managed to say Leela. You’re welcoming people from the surface?!
- Not only us, said Morris, all the sewer mutants are working for finding all the people who could have ended up being blocked in underground shelters.
- That’s the least we can do, said Munda. We’re not allowed to go to the surface, but we’re still New New Yorkers. We have to help those people.
- That’s… Wow, that’s amazing! Said Leela, impressed.
- We owe them our lives, said Lewis. Without them, my family would be crushed under tons and tons of rubbles. They arrived just in time!
- But how is it possible?! Said Leela.
- Well, when your friend and that giant robot destroyed the town, we got spared, but we learnt that many people got stuck underground and waited days for being saved… Sometimes too late for them to survive… We, mutants, then decided to create some benevolent rescue force that would get active of a similar kind of disaster would occur. We secretly dug rescue tunnels under all the known underground shelters and have made new access to the regular sewers, that we would open for allowing trapped people to find safety in our city, as well as secretly acquired some instruments that would help us to locate anybody who would need help.
- We also developed emergency hospitals, in case those people would need assistance, said Munda. And we also organized extraction paths which would lead to the surface when they would be ready to get back to their world and receive more appropriate treatments.”

Leela was now completely flabbergasted. All this took place without the surface world knowing it? And all this for helping people who were hating them in the first place? She had some very serious difficulties to even conceive this was possible!

“- And… Did you save many? Asked Leela.
- More than 400 people for now, said Morris, but we haven’t stopped searching yet. Despite our efforts, some of the rescue tunnels collapsed with the tremors provoked by the monster and its fight with your friend. We’re working on clearing the paths.
- Oh, by the way, said Lewis, I will have to leave soon. Maurice and the rest of his group are waiting for me, they may have found another shelter near the 23rd street that contains other survivors.
- What? Said Leela.
- Lewis spontaneously offered his help, said Munda. He joined your dad’s rescue team!
- I had to do this after all what your husband has done for my family, replied Lewis. And after what we went through, I wouldn’t like anybody to stay trapped for days…” The man looked at Munda again. “So, about the plasters…
- Oh yes, sorry! Replied the mutant. First shelf in the pharmacy box, in the bathroom, it’s the yellow box.
- Alright, I’m gonna tell her before leaving. You’ll be joining us, Morris?
- Yeah, but in a moment, replied Leela’s father. Go ahead, I’ll catch you later.
- As you wish.” Lewis gave a last look at Leela before disappearing from the screen. “Nice talking to you, miss. Goodbye!
- Goodbye!” Said Munda, waving.

Now, Morris and Munda were alone again. But as they reported to their attention to their daughter, they noticed she was staying silent. This worries Munda a little bit.

“- Leela? Is everything okay?
- Yes, mum, everything’s fine, said Leela, smiling. That’s so kind of you to help those people…
- We told you, said Morris. We can’t stand where we are with our arms crossed when we can help somebody.
- Even if those people… Well… If they wouldn’t have made the same thing?”

Leela tried to choose her words as carefully as she could, wondering why she would even have to bring this up. But as her parents were still looking cheerful, she began to think she needed not to worry asking the question. Although she noticed that her father’s eye twitched a little bit…

“- Exactly, replied Munda. No matter what they could have thought of us mutants before, they still need immediate help.
- Yeah, said Morris, surface dwellers or not, we’re all in the same boat now. And when the storm looks like a five-headed dragon, you don’t really care if the guy who puts you out of his sight has one eye or two…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #20 on: 02-10-2008 13:49 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 16)

Someone knocked at their bungalow shortly after Leela hung up the videophone. The young woman heard the non-commissioned officer who was guarding them open the door; getting out of her bed, and then out of her room, she quickly saw that the two Schwartz were back.

“- Miss Turanga, said the first Schwartz, our guests have arrived. You’ll now get all the explanations you need.
- Great, said Leela. Let me get the others ready.”

Making Hermes and Amy get in the living room didn’t cause any problem, however, waking up Fry and the professor proved to be much more hazardous… But after the use of two glasses of cold water, the two sleepers quickly joined the rest of the crew.

“- Excellent, said the second Schwartz as every member of the Planet Express crew (save for Zoidberg) was now in front of him. Follow us, please…
- Er, before we go, said Fry, can I ask you something?
- Of course.
- Who is who?”

The two Schwartz looked at each other, obviously puzzled by the delivery boy’s question before coming back at him.

“- Excuse us? Asked the first Schwartz.
- I mean, how can we distinguish you two? In case we want to say something to one of the twin and not to the other…
- Twin? Said the second Schwartz. What twin?
- Well… You two are twins, right?
- We’re not.” Said the first Schwartz.

Now, it was the turn of the Planet Express crew to look lost.

“- But you’ve got the same name and look exactly the same… Said Amy.
- Oh, this… Said the first Schwartz. It’s pretty simple. He’s my clone.
- Joel, we had this conversation one million time… Said the second Schwartz, obviously annoyed. I’m the original, you’re the clone.
- No no no, I’m pretty sure I’m the original one.
- Please, I perfectly remember everything that happened before the cloning!
- Do you have to remind you I know all of this too? They’ve implanted you my memories…
- No, they’ve implanted YOU my memories, that makes a lot of difference.
- Nonsense! The formulary I had to sign before the cloning is at my name!
- At OUR name, Joel, and we sign exactly the same way, you can’t use this as a proof…
- Doesn’t change the fact I’m the original…
- Yeah, right, and I’m the queen of…
- Hahem!”

The two Schwartz stopped their little argument and looked back at Leela. The young woman was fiercely looking at them, tapping her foot and her arms crossed on her chest. That made them remember why they started this little scene again.

“- Oh… Sorry about this… Said the first Schwartz.
- Can you please try to explain this little cloning story of yours without starting some lame sitcom drama? Angrily asked Leela.
- Yes, of course, said the second Schwartz. You see, originally, there was only one commander Joel Schwartz. He was one of the best officers to have ever served under the DOOP.
- So the organization thought it would be extremely beneficial for its army if there wasn’t only one Schwartz, but numerous ones, who would use their commanding skills on various fronts at the same time, said the first Schwartz.
- As a result, their scientists cloned him, and using the most recent works on the subject, artificially aged the clone so that he’d be at the same age as the original, as Schwartz was at the peak of his physical capacities when the project started.
- In the same time, they made a copy of Schwartz’s mind and implanted it in the clone’s empty brain.
- And then? Asked Fry. It failed?
- Oh no, it was a real success, said the first Schwartz. But unfortunately… Well…
- The entire scientific team, including the original and the clone, decided to get hammered for celebrating the success of the operation, said the second Schwartz. Everybody got so drunk that the following day nobody could remember who was the original Schwartz and who was the clone, not even themselves.”

The moment of silence that followed was so thick that a mosquito wouldn’t be able to fly in the room, unless it would use an ice-breaker.

“Not our finest moment…” Said the first Schwartz, obviously embarrassed.

The Planet Express crew, finally recovering from the “shocking” revelation, all agreed to move on without even having to talk to each other.

“Okay, enough cloning nonsense for now, said Leela. Let’s just meet those guys and finally understand what we’re doing here.”

The two Schwartz, obviously relieved that their guests weren’t planning on insisting on their story, opened the path to the Planet Express crew. They lead them outside, before heading to the huge bunker in the center of the base, which was still buzzing with an intense activity, with dozens of soldiers and vehicles running from one way to another, and accompanying scientists.

The professor, however, began to look a bit awkward. Amy quickly noticed he was apparently concentrating on something, as was indicating the way he was scratching the side of his head.

“- Something’s wrong, professor? Asked the young woman.
- I don’t know, lass, replied the old man, this is certainly nothing important, but strangely, this story about clones made me think we may have forgotten something in our headquarters… But I just can’t put my finger on it…”


Cubert was becoming really, REALLY worried. When he came to the Planet Express headquarters this morning, it wasn’t for ending up being trapped in the boiler room with Scruffy…

A few hours ago, he pissed off his dad by expressing some doubts about some calculations the old man made, and as a result the professor punished him by sending him to give a hand to the janitor. As he didn’t move from there since, Cubert didn’t even get informed of Hydra’s rampage… All he knew was that the entire building collapsed over their heads, but neither Cubert nor Scruffy got hurt as they were in the boiler room at this moment. The problem was that the exit was now blocked by several tons of rubbles… And now they were stucked underground. Cubert was walking in circles, wondering what would happen next, while Scruffy was just sitting on his chair, his feet posed on a box and reading an old issue of “PlaymatesXXX”. And the janitor was as stoical as the young boy was worried.

“- Somebody will look after us, right? Asked Cubert to his partner.
- Maybe, replied Scruffy, still reading his magazine.
- I mean, dad and the others are still alive, aren’t they?
- Surely.
- So they’ll soon try to find us, right?
- I guess so.
- They can’t have forgotten us, right?
- Huhu.”

Cubert resumed his waiting. No reason to worry. He didn’t know what happened, but there should be rescue teams soon. They can’t be trapped in this room forever.


The young boy was getting anxious. No matter how hard he was trying, he was still not really convinced by all the things he was saying for reinsuring himself. And the nonchalant attitude of the janitor wasn’t really something that could have calm him down…

He needed to change his mind if he didn’t want to turn mad.

Cubert looked at the magazine’s cover. A young red-haired woman, wearing nothing but her underwear, was smiling charmingly at him.

“- Mister? Said Cubert.
- Yeah? Replied Scruffy.
- Can… Er… Can I take a look at this?”

The janitor gave him a neutral look, before closing his magazine and held it out to the boy.

“Sure thing, kid.”

Cubert grabbed the magazine and took a better look at the cover. He wasn’t sure if the young woman really had to bend that much, but there was some kind of invitation in her smile that was promising him things he never experienced before. He opened the magazine.

He could have sworn he heard some angelic choir sing just as the marvellous content of the magazine was being revealed to him.

Cubert couldn’t really describe what he was feeling, except that it was something really pleasant that made him forget his current condition.

“Oooooooooooh…” Was the only thing he managed to say.
Bending Unit
« Reply #21 on: 02-13-2008 15:01 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 17)

The bunker was exactly like how you could imagine it would be from the outside: long grey corridors, with sometimes dark green doors here and there, lit by pretty depressive neon lights. There were soldiers at every corner, guarding every part of the bunker, which reinforced Leela’s assumption that the bunker was housing the most important secrets of the base. Looking by the way they were progressing in the corridors, the two Schwartz certainly knew every part of the building, so the Planet Express crew did their best for not getting lost behind them. And after countless minutes of walking, they finally stopped in front of a large double leafed door, sporting the same colour than the others. The two Schwartz faced their guests.

“- Beyond this door is the meeting room, said the first Schwartz. You’ll get all the answers you need… But first, we must ask you something.
- What, exactly? Asked Leela.
- To stay calm and to avoid driving this meeting into some pub brawl.” Said the second Schwartz.

The Planet Express crew looked at each other, wondering what all of this was meaning. This story really was becoming strange…

“- Why exactly are you asking us this? Said Hermes.
- You’ll soon find out.”

Without another word, the two Schwartz opened up the double-leafed door.

The Planet Express crew gasped in unison.

There, sitting around a large round table, were Mom and Walt, Larry and Ignar, her three children-counsellors, the doctor Wernstrom, Zapp Brannigan and Kif.

“- Mom! Screamed Hermes.
- Wernstrom! Screamed the professor, filled with anger.
- Zapp! Screamed Leela, as infuriated as the professor.
- Kif!” Screamed Amy, out of happiness.

Fry gave another look to the room’s occupants, but he quickly sighed.

“Well, I’ll take what’s left…” Said Fry, before screaming: “Mom’s counsellors!”

The reactions of the Planet Express crew differed greatly from this point. The professor and Leela pointed at their archenemy and screamed “what the heck is he doing here?!”, Amy and Kif literally threw themselves in each other’s arms and started to kiss, while Fry and Hermes were simply staying in the back, as they didn’t really have any special business with the rest of those people.

“- Long time no see, Farnsworth, said a visibly annoyed Wernstrom. Still senile?
- That’s the privilege of your elders, you runt! Said Farnsworth.
- Glad to see there’s someone in this room you hate more than me, said Mom.
- You know I don’t hate you… Said Farnsworth, suddenly losing all his aggressiveness as he was talking to his former love.
- You’re right, I’m mixing up: I’m the one who can’t stay in the same room than you without having herpes!”

The dialogue between Zapp and Leela wasn’t really friendlier…

“- Hey there, Leela! Said Zapp, using his Seductive Smile N°5. You sure look as hot as ever!
- And you seem to have kept this gorilla brain of yours! Replied Leela.
- Well, if you’re into bestial love…”

Amy and Kif, finally, were pretty much trying to make up for the lost time…

“- I so missed you, Amy! Replied Kif. I wanted to call you earlier, but with all those events I couldn’t find a communicator…
- That’s not a problem, Kif, said a tender Amy. We’re together again, and…” Amy suddenly realized something she completely missed before: Kif’s right leg was encased in a plaster cast. “Oh my God! What happened to your leg?!
- Don’t worry, my love, said Kif who was trying to be reinsuring, this will get fixed in a few weeks…”

As for Fry and Hermes, they were busy watching all this little population arguing with each other or on the contrary exchanging sweet words to each other. In fact, they would have missed any part of this mess for nothing.

“You’ve got pop-corn?” Asked Fry to Hermes.

The bureaucrat simply pulled out two big cups filled to the top with pop-corn of his jacket and gave one to Fry, who didn’t even wondered how Hermes could have hidden those cups under his clothes… And as the two men were starting to eat their candies, the two Schwartz finally decided to get in the room and put an end to this scene.

“- Gentlemen, gentlemen, please! Said the second Schwartz. Calm down! Do we have to remind you that we’ve got more pressing issues at the moment?
- I don’t care! Said Farnsworth. There is just no way I’d stay near this crook one more second!
- That almost makes my lips melt to say this, said Wernstrom, but I agree with the old fart here. I still don’t get why we need him!
- As for me, said Mom, I don’t even know why I’m here! And now that this old piece of scum is here too, I don’t see why I should stay!
- Because in fact you’re still falling for me? Maliciously replied the professor.
- Screw you, Farnsworth! Always provoking me with your insolent attitude, your two-cents high opinion of yourself and that sexy wrinkled body of yours!
- And when will one of you tell me what’s this annoying captain-in-name-only doing here?! Said Leela.
- My, Leela, you sure look gorgeous when you’re getting that excited… Said Zapp.
- Excite me more, and I’ll show you how gorgeous my fist can be when it will smash your freaking nose!

This scream managed to make everybody stop arguing and to suddenly look stupidly at the two officers. Until this moment, the two Schwartz were desperately trying to keep the situation under control, but they obviously had their limits. And as they were identical not only physically but also mentally, they reached theirs at the same moment and shouted this order at the exact same time. Fry would certainly have made a joke about hearing this in stereo, but even him got impressed by the two commanders’ yelling to the point his hand froze just before it could have put a whole grasp of pop-corn in his mouth… Which was still wide open.

The two Schwartz, however, quickly regained control of their nerves. They had to admit this really made them feel better, though.

“Sorry about this… Said the second Schwartz. Would you please all of you take a seat? We’re about to give you all the answers you were asking for.”

Both the Planet Express crew and the rest of the guests obeyed to the officer… Not without stopping staring at them, though. But they still managed to organize themselves so that they would all be separated from the people they couldn’t stand. Amy, Kif, Fry and Hermes were as a result sitting in the middle, taking the role of a neutral territory. The delivery boy and the bureaucrat were still holding their cups of pop-corn, however, and they resumed eating their content.

The two Schwartz stood in front of the great table, and as a result in front of everybody else. A holographic projector came down from the ceiling over the table, and when it activated, it showed an image of Hydra; even in this form, the beast wasn’t really engaging.

“- Good, said the first Schwartz. As you all know, this creature is currently devastating New New York, and all our attempts for stopping it have failed. You are all gathered here because you played a role in its birth, witnessed its first actions, or can provide us the information we need for putting an end to the menace it represents.
- First, said the second Schwartz, we’ll ask doctor Wernstrom to explain to us what this creature is…
- Why him, exactly? Said Farnsworth, implying “and not me?”.
- Because I created it”, replied Wernstrom.

The revelation shocked everybody in the room, except for the two Schwartz who obviously knew this for long. The scientist got up of his chair and got as close to the hologram as he could.

“- This creature, as you say, is my finest achievement. It was known until this day as “project H-37” in the laboratory where it had been conceived, but we’ll just use the codename “Hydra” for now.
- Why Hydra? Asked Fry. Why not Q, or El Serpente Grande, or BiggaCobra, or Ghid…
- This seems convenient, said Wernstrom, interrupting him, and… Well, we don’t really know why this name stuck, but whatever… Anyway, a year ago, after that New New York got destroyed by this giant robot and that Decapodian you’re still maintaining…
- To our much regret… Said Hermes.
- … The DOOP realized the military potential of having giant monsters at their disposal as weapons of mass destruction. They decided to create their own one, so they called me…
- WHAT?! Screamed Farnsworth, shocked. YOU PREFERRED THIS IMBECILE TO ME?!
- This imbecile, as you say, has the same qualifications than you and in the same time didn’t get the public attention by creating a giant monster that destroyed a city… Replied the first Schwartz.
- … Until now, added the second Schwartz.
- Moving on… Said Wernstrom, obviously annoyed by having been interrupted (again). It became quite clear that just growing a living creature like you did, Farnsworth, wouldn’t be satisfying. A creature genetically designed for being of such a height, with an optimized destructive potential but which could still be controlled, would be much more convenient. During months, starting from scratch, me and my assistants have carefully manufactured the perfect giant monster, one that would be powerful enough for defeating entire armies at command…
- And you succeeded?”

Fry understood he should have shut up when everybody looked at him with scornful eyes. A cricket even sang at this moment; quite a feature, considering it was the only cricket hundreds of miles around, and that it miraculously managed to get in the reunion room.

“- You came last at the brain cells distribution, didn’t you? Said Wernstrom.
- Well, come to think about it, you didn’t really succeed, right, Wernstrom? Said the second Schwartz.
- What? Of course I succeeded! What the heck are we…
- He was talking about the “at command” part…” said the first Schwartz.

Now, Wernstrom really was looking embarrassed.

“- Yeah, okay, despite all our efforts, we never found a way for submitting Hydra. The damn thing only does what it wants to do. So we started to drug it massively until we could find a way for curing its indiscipline. Unfortunately, it got accustomed to the drugs…
- … And it slipped out of your hands, said Leela.
- Yeah, sure, take your condescending tone, young lady, but something’s telling me you too would have trouble preventing a gigantic five-headed dragon to escape…
- Why, Wernstrom? Said Farnsworth. You don’t work for anybody, usually. Why did you work for the DOOP?
- You don’t get it, useless mummy? They offered me a way to win our old bet!”

Farnsworth stood up, obviously looking enraged. Even Leela and Amy tried to move apart from the old scientist.

- Bah! This ridiculous gargoyle of yours? Now it’s nothing compared to my Hydra!
- What the heck are you talking about, dimwits?! Said Mom.
- A long time ago, this tramp and I started a duel: the winner would be the creator of the biggest artificial creature ever conceived. And my dear Pazuzu gave me that rank after years of research!
- And as I’m telling you, old fart, you’ve been beaten by my genius! Said Wernstrom. You can’t deny my Hydra is much bigger than your Pazuzu!
- You’re an impostor, Wernstrom! You disobeyed the rules! You didn’t create that thing alone, you received the help of dozens of assistants and financial funding from the biggest military organization of the universe! That means your Hydra doesn’t count, and I’m still the best! Take that, loser!
- Hiding behind your delusions, Farnsworth? Admit it: you’re finished! And I am…

The scream of the two Schwartz had the same impact on the two scientists than the previous one. Leela wondered for herself how they could be so persuasive with only one scream, and secretly wished she had the same talent every time Fry was making another one of his blunders.

“- Can we move on, please? Said the first Schwartz, regaining his calm. Perhaps by telling the part the captain Brannigan and the Lieutenant-Colonel Kif played in our story?
- My, yes! Said the captain. Another epic saga of mine! It all started after I lead our troops to another victory in the system of…
- If you don’t mind, captain, I’d rather tell what happened… Said the second Schwartz.
- As you wish. Hearing somebody else than me singing of my feats is surprisingly uncommon…
- How surprising… Said Leela, rolling her eye.
- So, resumed the commander, after having escaped from the secret laboratory on Pluto where it had been designed, Hydra immediately took the direction of Earth, lead by a special type of hunger that it somehow knew wouldn’t be appeased until it would have reached this planet…
- What kind of hunger? Said Hermes. This thing needs something special to eat?
- Like marshmallows? Asked Fry.
- Or pancakes? Asked Amy.
- Not exactly, said Wernstrom who managed to gain back some bearing. Hydra needs to feed, yes; but we also designed it so that it would optimize its metabolism by absorbing radiations. More exactly, the type of radiations produced by turbidium.”

Fry whistled of admiration.

“- An atomic giant monster? This sure sounds like my biggest geek phantasm!
- That’s the problem with phantasms: it’s better to let them unfulfilled… Said the second Schwartz. As it turns out, Hydra was in desperate need for turbidium. So, on its way, it attacked the space station Bill Cosby, orbiting around Titan. Nobody survived. And shortly after, the Nimbus got on its way…
- And we bravely fought it! Suddenly said Zapp. We gathered our courage and attacked the beast, opposing to its blind rage our mighty bravery and…
- … Got defeated in a flash, said the first Schwartz.
- That’s just a detail.
- So that’s how you got that! Said Amy, pointing to Kif’s plaster cast.
- Yes, my love, replied Kif, but I already told you: you don’t need to worry now. This will get fixed in no time.
- Oh, Kiffie…
- Sorry to interrupt this sweet moment, said the second Schwartz, but we’ve still got an agenda. The Nimbus’ resistance was pretty futile…
- Hey! Said Zapp.
- … But at least they managed to warn us of the gravity of the situation. When we got informed of the coming of the creature, we immediately sent our troops for stopping it.
- That’s what I was suspecting, said Leela. Your troops couldn’t have gotten to town so quick, unless they were already on their way when that monster attacked.
- It seems you’re quite a shrewd lady, miss Turanga, said the first Schwartz. Unfortunately, just as we feared, we weren’t a match for Hydra. Doctor Wernstrom here quite fulfilled our expectations concerning its destructive powers…”

The whole assistance turned to look at the scientist. Who, looking at the way he coughed, wasn’t feeling like bragging about his creation anymore and would have given anything for being thousands of miles away.

“- Your friend Zoidberg, however, surprised us, said the second Schwartz. We weren’t deluding ourselves about his chance of success, but we didn’t even think he would attack it in the first place, and would indeed manage to hurt Hydra a lot more than the rest of our army.
- How is he? Asked Fry, sounding concerned.
- I thought you hated him? Said Hermes.
- I do! I can’t suffer him! But… It’s just… Sure, I’m glad he saved us from that thing, and without him we’d be digested by it, but there’s no reason for me to…” Fry sighed. “Alright, alright, I don’t hate him as much as before. There, happy?
- Verily, said Leela, smiling.
- We received some news from the medics, said the second Schwartz. He’s gonna make it. In fact, he’s recovering much faster than they thought he would. The only thing that will take some time for getting fixed is his elongated skull.
- His what? Said the professor.
- Well, your skull would have a tendency to elongate too if you’re lifted over the ground during hours by a claw which would be gripping it…
- Oh… Said Leela.
- Anyway, said the first Schwartz, all the doctor Zoidberg’s chances got erased when Hydra finally managed to get access to Mom’s turbidium reactor.
- What exactly are you doing with that thing, by the way? Asked the professor to Mom.
- Oh, please… Said the old woman. You’re the one who designed that factory! You know perfectly that turbidium is the only matter that can make it run!
- Really?! Said Amy.
- Of course! You think that something that builds thousands of robots every hour can hold with classical sources of energy? I’m not surprised you can’t get that, tramp!
- Don’t you dare…! Said Kif, taking offense.
- Not a good moment for this, gentlemen! Said the second Schwartz. Please settle all your problems outside of this room. Anyway, the current situation is the following: we can’t beat Hydra. It is actually turning New New York into its nest, the center being the turbidium reactor of Mom’s factory. When it will get enough rest, it will begin to feed, and I’ll let you imagine how much meat this thing needs to eat for feeling satisfied… And the kind of meat it will surely hunt…”

By the way everybody shivered, it was quite evident they all knew, and yet didn’t want the details.

“- It’s not the only problem, said the first Schwartz. This thing can reproduce by self-breeding. And the longer it will stay near the turbidium, the closer it will get to its reproduction cycle.
- You mean… More of those things will soon roam over the Earth? Said Leela.
- Exactly. You saw the damages this thing alone produced. Now imagine several of them…
- Whoops, said Zapp. Gladly, we can still abandon this planet to those creatures!
- Remind me how it got on Earth? Asked the second Schwartz.
- It simply travelled from Pluto, as, as you explained to me earlier, it can easily survive in outer space and… Use… Solar winds… For…”

Zapp stopped, having finally understood why his idea wasn’t so great.

“- Crud.
- There, said the first Schwartz. Our objective, now, is clear. Screw the hopes of using it we had, we must destroy that monster before it starts on multiplying and ravaging the universe.
- And how? Asked Amy. All your previous attempts failed…
- We may have something that can help us, said the second Schwartz. Something we developed parallel to Wernstrom’s work, as some kind of plan B. Something that, combined with your friend Zoidberg, may give us a chance to succeed without having to wipe out the entire city with a Doomsday Device. But we have some problems for finishing it… And that’s where you, Planet Express, will help us.
- What do you mean?” Asked the professor.

The first Schwartz pulled a remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button which was on it. Behind all those who were sitting at the table, a large metallic shutter began to retract, showing a wide picture window.

“We mean that you know this weapon…” Said the second Schwartz.

Intrigued by the commander’s words, the whole assistance turned on their seat for looking at what he was uncovering.

None of them managed to prevent themselves from opening their eyes the wider they could and to open their mouth.

What they were seeing behind the picture window was the upper part of a very large hangar, most probably the one in the center of the bunker, just below the metallic hatch. The room itself, despite its size, wasn’t really fascinating… It was what was in it. In the center of the room, supported by a large metallic structure, there was a robot, a gigantic robot, with his eye panel closed. And all of them could identify it all too well. Sure, the DOOP added some elements, like shoulder pads, or thicker arms and legs, but there couldn’t be any doubt…

It was Bender!


Mom’s youngest son Ignar looked around him. Apparently, he was the only one who heard this scream, and he just didn’t like this at all.

“Uh? What was that?”


The real world…

“- Am I dreaming, or did Bender scream so loud that this guy managed to hear him? Said Fry.
- Dammit, Bender! Said Leela. My ears are going to hiss during days now!
- Hey, sorry, but it was high time I’d appear in a story where I’m supposed to have the leading role! Said the robot. I can’t believe we had to wait that long for my first appearance!
- Can’t you stay quiet? Said the professor. There are people who’d like to hear what’s going on!”

Alright, as I'm going on vacations, there won't be any updates before Sunday 24th of February. See ya all !
Bending Unit
« Reply #22 on: 02-24-2008 15:29 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 18)


The first Schwartz faced Fry, who had managed to stop staring at the giant robot for looking at the two officers. However, over happiness, surprise and anger, it was a bit hard to know what was the most prominent feeling in the young man’s mind.

“- It’s Bendizer Z now, as central command decided to rename it, said the commander. And yes, we’ve rebuilt him. A gigantic robot built by an unknown mechanical civilization and who almost destroyed an entire city? It would have been a shame not to try to… “Rehabilitate” it.
- But how? Said Leela. I thought his body got dispatched in several junkyards!
- A clever manipulation, replied the second Schwartz. He has in fact been carefully dismantled. All his pieces got sent here, not at the same time, under false labels and using different companies so that nobody would make the connection, and finally rebuilt and even improved by some little additions of ours.
- When is he going to wake up? Asked Fry, still excited.
- “Wake up”? Said the first Schwartz. I think you’re making a little mistake… We’re using his body, but his program has been erased when he died, just like what happens to any other robots.”

This information apparently helped Fry to make a choice about his feelings: he switched to “blind rage”.

“- WHAT?!
- Calm down, young man, said the second Schwartz. He’s dead, we can’t do anything about this. But, you know, robots have a great advantage on us: when they die, they don’t decompose. Sure, they can rust, but they’re bound to do so when they’re alive too anyway. Which means we can find other uses for their bodies once their first “life” is over. Call this recycling.
- And what additions did you make? Said the professor, fascinated.
- We modified it so that it would be 100% combat oriented. Laser beams, rocket launchers, reinforced fists for melee combat… We also increased its flying autonomy, and reconfigured his limbs for improving its manoeuvrability. And, of course, a few other features that can’t be seen from the outside: heat detector, radar, protection against EMP, those kind of things…
- Amazing!
- Oh yeah, we spent a lot of time and money on it! Said the first Schwartz. And yet, working on an already existing model greatly diminished the costs and the research and development time! The only thing that needed the most efforts was to reverse-engineer the whole thing. But even with this problem, we saved years and years of research for developing a similar kind of technology!
- And it will work on its own? Asked Kif.
- Hell no, we saw the problems caused by having a free-willed giant robot wandering around without any supervision! We’re currently working on trying to make it remote-controlled…
- It won’t be piloted from the inside? Asked Leela.
- No, said the second Schwartz. You see, we had to safeguard as many internal circuitries as possible, so…

Everybody looked at Fry. Nobody seemed to care before this moment, but the delivery boy didn’t seem to look particularly happy. In fact, the more the conversation was going on, and the more he was feeling more and more angered. The look he was giving at the two Schwartz was a pretty clear indication that, at the moment, he hated them with all his guts.

“- What? Said the first Schwartz.
- What? WHAT?! Said Fry, not even trying to calm himself down. You’re talking about him like he was just a big pile of scrap metal! You’re telling us you’ve been experimenting on him, turning him into some kind of weapon, all this without having a single remorse about your acts and you expect me to accept this?!
- To be fair, started Hermes, he indeed is a pile of scrap metal…
- He’s not just that! We’re talking about the remains of a living thing!
- He was a robot… Started the second Schwartz, determined to put an end to the young man’s screams. And he tried to destroy New New York…
- So what? He was programmed to do so! He was forced to! And I don’t care he was a robot, I’m sure that deep inside all this metal there was a soul somewhere in there!
- It was pretty well hidden, then… Said Hermes.
- Don’t you see how all this is just creepy!? Take a look at the professor! How would you react if he’d exhume your grandma’s corpse and turned it into some kind of atomic zombie?
- Before we go on, interrupted the professor, does anybody here have a link with a certain Zelda Presgurvic? Because if you do, that kid’s question will lead us to a pretty awkward situation…”

The first Schwartz made a loud sigh, while the second simply shook his head. Somehow, they knew there would be some problems when they would come to the part where they would have to convince the young man of helping them…

“- You’re taking it all wrong, said the second Schwartz. Look, we’re facing incredible menaces every week. Do you realize the number of evil alien empires or of creepy space creatures that perpetrates devastation in the galaxy? The DOOP has to protect the people, and for this, every mean is necessary…
- Oh yeah? Said Fry. Like creating a giant monster you can’t control?”

The commanders bit their lips. Better not trying to contradict this…

“- What we’re saying, replied the first Schwartz, is that this robot is a great opportunity for us. If we succeed to submit Hydra thanks to it, it will be the proof it’s the best line of defence we can get. Just try to imagine the applications we can find for such machines, even in civilian activities!
- That’s not my problem! Screamed Fry. You’re abusing him! I’m sure you didn’t even try to resurrect him!
- Certainly not! Said the first Schwartz. You do remember what he caused, right? Who would ever want him to be alive?
- Me!
- Why?
- Fry…”

The delivery boy turned his face to Leela. The young woman managed to catch his attention by posing a hand on his shoulder, and at first he was about to yell at her too. But then, despite his anger, he quickly realized she was looking sorry. This troubled him so much, that for an instant, his rage faded away. The feelings he had for her managed to make him understand that it would be extremely bad to treat badly, especially when she was obviously trying to comfort him.

His anger quickly reappeared, though, but to a much lesser degree. And although some irritation could be detected when he spoke, he was trying to be as calm as he could.

“- What?
- Fry, I know this upsets you, said Leela, but try to understand. He’s gone. You may see his body there, but he’ll never talk to you again, or make pranks to you or somebody else, or anything that made you love him. He’s dead, Fry. Nobody can make him come back.”

There wasn’t much anger left in Fry, but after those words, it completely disappeared. Leela talked with such a frankness, all this while being genuinely sorry for him, that he lost all his combativeness. The young man would never truly understand this, but he was angered before for not allowing sadness take over his heart, in some kind of defensive approach. He never truly recovered from Bender’s death; seeing him again, but in this form, while he was still technically a corpse… He wasn’t ready for this. He was not very sure he’d ever be. He remembered his grandmother’s funeral, when he was a kid… He couldn’t look at the remains of the old lady, in the coffin. This was too hard for him; but at least, his parents didn’t force him to look at the corpse. Now, he had the feeling someone forced him to look at Bender’s remains while saying “See? He’s dead! He's not pining he's passed on! This robot is no more! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet its maker! This, is a late robot! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! If they hadn't nailed him to this structure he would be pushin' up the daisies! He's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX ROBOT!”.

Then he remembered something else. This trip in 1947’s Roswell. He couldn’t know when he was a kid, but his grandmother wasn’t only his grandmother…

The burst of disgust he felt at this moment prevented him from falling in tears.

He however managed to talk back at Leela.

“- Maybe, Leela, but… Robots are different from us, right? Maybe we could…
- No, Fry, said Leela, interrupting him. There’s absolutely nothing we can do. If Bender’s body can be used for good, then…
- How can you say that?! You’re talking about using a dead machine’s body like it’s just some materials!
- Technically, he is, said Hermes. And besides, this is just the robotic equivalent of taking organs to a dead person for transplanting them on somebody who’d need it.
- Mmmmmh, this is interesting… Said the professor. You’re giving me ideas, Hermes. After all, why did I keep on using weak organs for extending my life expectancy when I could use robotic implants?
- Yeah, yeah, said Mom. This is a cute scene, but it’s so damn sweet I’m gonna have diabetes. How about we move on to the part where we can use that thing against that other ugly thing?
- Ah, but that’s where the problems lie, said the first Schwartz, happy that somebody would finally bring an end to Fry’s complaints. You see, despite all our efforts, we can’t make it work.”

Leela looked at the two officers, wondering if they were joking or not.

“- Say what?
- As we told you before being interrupted, said the first Schwartz, we had to keep as many of the original circuitry as we can. Because we can’t reproduce such a technology with our current knowledge, see?
- Plus it cut us a lot of expenses, said the second Schwartz.
- Exactly! So, we connected what could still be used with some of our materials. But somehow, this is blocking the whole system. We can’t reboot it. We asked the best electronic experts to try to solve our problem, without any results.
- And that’s why you’re here, said the second Schwartz to Leela, the professor, Hermes and Amy. You lived with this robot, and according to your information even had to maintain him. You know his functioning better than we do, so you may probably help us to find out what’s going wrong…
- Well, sorry, but we can’t help you.” Said the professor.

Now it was the Schwartzes’ time to look at the Planet Express crew with incredulity.

“- Why? Asked the first Schwartz.
- We had to maintain him, sure, but only for the external parts, said Amy. Because touching whatever would be inside would just be… Yuk! (the young woman completed this exclamation with a disgusted face)
- Not counting the fact he’d have smashed us if we’d ever had tried to do something like this.” Said Hermes.

The two officers looked at each other for a brief second, exchanging their thoughts. Which, considering they supposedly shared the same mind, were identical anyway.

“- Are you telling us that we brought you to a restricted area, revealed you information that could have dire impacts in the opinion would they ever be made public and allowed you to learn some secrets that are regarding the interplanetary security, all this for having you say you can’t help us at all?! Said the second Schwartz.
- Looks like it…” Said Leela, shrugging.

The temperature seemed to drop in the room… Only Wernstrom seemed to not having noticed it.

- This from the man who partially created the mess we’re all in… Said the first Schwartz without even looking at Wernstrom.
- HAHAHA… Haha… Ha… Hem… (Suddenly, Wernstrom wished he had shut up).
- Well, sorry for the whole mess, said Hermes. Maybe we can now get out, while you guys try to…”

But just at this moment, a siren began to howl. The sound troubled everybody, especially the civilians… And Zapp.

“- GAAAAAH!!! Screamed the captain. THIS THING HAS FOUND US!!! PROTECT ME, KIF!!!
- Don’t be stupid, said the first Schwartz, this is the yellow alert signal. This is just a minor disturbance. What could…”

A soldier suddenly rushed into the room. The two officers stared at him, waiting for an explanation.

“- Caporal, what’s going on? Said the second Schwartz.
- A man has broken into Bendizer’s launch pad, sir, replied the soldier after having saluted. We’re trying to make him leave, but he’s currently climbing Bendizer’s holding structure, sir.
- What?! How did he…
- We think he already was in the bunker, sir. You can see him from here.”

Everybody turned to the picture window. Bender’s body was still standing, but now, there was indeed some intense activity in the gigantic room. And everybody could see despite of the distance a man climbing up the metallic structure that was maintaining the robot.

A red-haired man, wearing a red jacket…

Leela looked around her. Just as she suspected, Fry wasn’t in the reunion room anymore. She rubbed her eye, out of anger and frustration.

“- Goddammit, Fry… Said the young woman.
- He must have slipped out of here while we were all busy discussing! Said Zapp.
- Thank you, Captain Obvious… Said the first Schwartz.
- Brannigan. It’s captain Brannigan.
- Yeah, whatever.”
Bending Unit
« Reply #23 on: 03-09-2008 15:26 »

Weird... I couldn't access the forum until today... And just before a very important update !

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 19)

Reaching the big room where Bender’s body was resting took to the group only a minute. This, combined with the fact that there were numerous panels indicating the direction of the room, was easily explaining how Fry managed to get there so quickly and to climb up the structure before anybody would notice what was going on. And this also was a pretty clear indication that the security inside of the complex really needed to be strengthened…

But for the moment, the two Schwartz and the rest of the Planet Express crew were focusing on the young man’s silhouette, which they could see several feet over the ground. Fry apparently managed to set a foot on a horizontal platform that was placed between the two vertical “towers” that were supporting the robot and that was facing its face. Everybody could perfectly hear the young man’s voice from where they were standing.

“Bender! Buddy! It’s me, Fry! Can you hear me? Answer me! Or… I don’t know, burp one time if you can, two if you can’t! Come on, you don’t intend to stay this way forever, do you?”

The two Schwartz, still staring at the delivery boy above their heads, made the same gesture to two soldiers that were on their sides. Both received a megaphone in a pretty short amount of time.

“Mr Fry!” Said the second Schwartz in his megaphone.

Way up there, Fry stopped screaming and looked at who was calling him, dozens of feet under him.

“- Please, Mr Fry, it’s completely useless and you know it! Resumed the Schwartz. Get down here before hurting yourself!
- No freaking way! Replied Fry. I don’t give a damn about what you said, I’m sure he can hear me!
- Stop embarrassing yourself, Mr Fry! Said the first Schwartz. It’s dead! This machine stopped emitting any type of vital signals for more than a year now!
- I don’t believe you! Said Fry. You told us you didn’t want to resurrect him, that’s definitely not the same than not being able to resurrect him!
- This doesn’t change the fact you don’t have anything to do up here!
- Yes, I have! I’m sure that he’ll come back from the dead when he’ll hear my voice! (Fry turned for facing the robot again) Right, buddy? You’ll come back to me, won’t you?”

The second Schwartz was about to yell something else at the young man, but Leela had another plan. She grabbed the megaphone and took it off his hand before he could say something, obviously planning to share her opinion on the subject. He would certainly have objected if he hadn’t noticed the spark of anger in her look as she placed the megaphone in front of her lips.


The scream resounded a little bit in the room, even creating an echo, given the way Leela shouted in the megaphone. This at least made Fry look back at them, surprised.

“- Leela, I… Started the young man.
- No, you’ll listen to me, Fry! Said Leela, interrupting him. What the hell do you think you can do?! Just shouting at him won’t make him come back, Fry! The only thing you’ll get if you stay up here is that you’ll break your neck! That’s a miracle you didn’t splat on the floor while climbing this stuff!
- But, Leela… (The young man was obviously troubled that he’d be scolded by the young woman) I have to do it! I don’t think he could hear me from the ground, so I had to come closer…
- Oh yeah? And you really had to climb this thing like the freaking Everest!?
- Don’t see how else I could have done…
- Maybe by using the elevator!”

Just as she said those last words, Leela pointed something on the left of the structure. Looking at this direction and to her level, he realized there indeed was an elevator, that was making it possible to reach the top of the structure. In fact, it was leading right next to the robot’s head. And even worse, he passed in front of it when he climbed up the structure for getting where he was.

“- Er… I guess I got a little bit carried away…
- Look, Fry, said Leela as she was visibly trying to calm down, I know you loved him and that you have difficulties accepting the fact he’s gone, but even by your standards this is ridiculous. If it was possible to resurrect anybody just by shouting at their body, the head-in-a-jar business would have collapsed long ago! You’re taking stupid risks for nothing, Fry! Getting killed won’t help you in any sort, and nobody here wants that!”

For a brief second, Leela considered calling him an idiot and a twat, but she held herself. What he did was incredibly moronic, but at least there was something that was justifying it. It wasn’t like that time when he made prank calls to the emperor Lrrr a day he was bored and nearly caused another war with Omicron Persei 8.

And, anyway, the desperate look he gave her partially toned down her anger.

“- I… I just wanted to do something for him… Said Fry, preventing himself from crying.
- I know, Fry. Come on, go down, now. You can count on us for helping you. You know that, right?
- Yeah… Yeah, I do… I… I’ll join you, then…
- Good, said the first Schwartz, that would have been a bad publicity if he’d had crashed on the ground…”

And then… Then, Leela couldn’t believe Fry would be that stupid. And she thought she would have a stroke.

As the Schwartz didn’t speak in his megaphone, the delivery boy didn’t hear what the officer said, but he sure knew he did say something… So he leant over the edge of the platform, pricking up his ears for getting what the man said.


That’s the only word he said before losing his balance.


Horrified, Leela saw the young man topple over the platform. However, just as everything seemed to go really, really bad, Fry miraculously managed to grab one of the cables that were running on the side of the platform. For the moment, he wasn’t falling; but that wasn’t changing the problem that he was now suspended in the air, more than 15 feet over the ground. And it wasn’t sure that the cables could withstand his weight…

Under him, everybody was looking scared, paralyzed by the apprehension of what would happen next. Leela wasn’t less afraid than the others; and for once, she didn’t try to hide her anxiety.

“- Oh my God! Screamed Leela. Fry, try to get back on the platform!
- I can’t! Screamed a panicked Fry. I’m not strong enough! I knew some day my hatred of practice would come back to bite my ass!
- Stay calm, young man! Said the second Schwartz, after having taken his megaphone back from Leela’s hands. We’ll get you out of there, just hold on and everything will be alright!
- Okay! I won’t move!”

The hooks that were attaching the cable on the platform, however, didn’t seem to have the same plan… They broke up where the tension was too strong for them.

Everybody gasped of terror, except for Fry who screamed, as he fell a bit more… Until the cable would finally stop his fall. Being brutally stopped wasn’t really pleasant for Fry’s arms, but the delivery boy had the feeling that was better than the other alternative.

“Alright, now I won’t move!”

He wasn’t counting with the cable having been weakened by those events…

It snapped just between his two hands.

Fry felt a little electric shock running from his left hand… The pain made him let the left half of the cable go.

What happened next was a pure matter of physics: Fry, still holding the other half of the cable, fell again, but this time making an arc to the right.

The rest of the audience couldn’t do anything from where they were… Shocked, they could only see Fry being tossed to the metallic structure on the right of Bender’s body. The young man screamed during the whole process, but as he crashed unto the tower he instead shouted an exclamation of pain.

The shock made him let the cable go…

He fell off the last feet straight to the ground.

Leela was the first one to react. Feeling her heart beating like never, she ran so fast to the young man that someone could have thought she had teleported herself. She quickly distinguished Fry, lying a bit ahead of him.


During a brief fraction of second, Leela thought he was gone too, and this thought alone made her panic…

But then, Fry lift up his head. He was really looking in pain, but he still managed to smile at her.

“I’m alright, Leela! Said Fry. The ground broke my fall!”

Leela needed a few seconds for believing what she was seeing, but Fry was indeed looking way better than what one would expect after such a fall. Considering the amazing resistance the young man showed in the past, however, this was probably not as astounding as it may have looked… But the young woman decided to hide how relieved she was feeling at the moment. Showing this would only give less impact to the reprimand she was about to perform.

“- Don’t you ever think of doing something like this again, Fry, because next time I’d be the one killing you!
- Yeah, well, I didn’t plan this at all…
- Because sometimes, you plan things?
- Of course! TV programs, Slurm and crisps supplies, fake sick leaves…”

A cracking noise put an end to his listing. It was coming from above their heads, certainly, so Fry and Leela instinctively gave a look to what was going on.

They quickly determined the source of the noise: the two halves of the electric cable… Which were dangerously dancing near the metallic structure surrounding Bender…

Leela immediately forced Fry to stand up.

“If we don’t move, you won’t have to fake your next one!”

They moved away as fast as possible. Just before the cables finally hit the structure.

And then chaos ensued.

The electricity that was running in the cable found a particularly welcoming host in the metallic structure. The structure quickly became the heart of a powerful electric storm. Everybody could perfectly see the sparks and the lightning bolts that were running all along the structure, several thousands of volts dancing and feasting on the metal. And Bender’s body quickly got caught up in the disaster. An immeasurable amount of energy ran in the metallic body, to the point that it was becoming hard to know if it was in fact a gigantic powerplant or the unfortunate victim of the shocks. It was impossible to count the number of electric bolts that were running on the surface of the support or of the robot’s body. All this was producing a blinding light that was forcing everybody in the hangar to cover their eyes, while the sound produced by the phenomenon was making it almost impossible to hear anything else.

Almost. When the first Schwartz screamed his order, one of his subordinates managed to hear it and ran for obeying it.


The soldier quickly reached the plug that was supplying the entire structure with electricity; and when he pulled it off, the electric storm immediately decreased. A few sparks occurred still here and there, until all the electricity would have been absorbed in the ground, but the worse was already over. There was, however, a bit of smoke floating over the robot, which wasn’t really engaging about the internal state of the machine.

The two Schwartz turned and looked at Fry. The look they gave at him made the young man shrivel up; he didn’t have to wait for their screams for knowing he had made one gigantic blunder. They would certainly have shouted at him…

If the robot’s eye panel didn’t open up, producing a loud “KLANG!”.

The entire group stopped paying attention to Fry and immediately focused on the robot. In fact, the young man too couldn’t look away from the robot.

Who visibly moved.

First, it seemed to get flabby, as if it was taking a much more comfortable stance after having been forced to stand to attention for a long time. Then, it started to spread its arms and to extend its body, while emitting… Yeah, there couldn’t be any doubt, while yawning. Those movements didn’t get stopped by the metallic structure that was still encasing the robot. In fact, each one of its moves was breaking the structure and making its components disaggregate, up to the moment when the robot got completely free.

And finally, the robot scratched its butt.

“Man, looks like I really needed a nap…” Said Bender.
Bending Unit
« Reply #24 on: 03-12-2008 15:26 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 20)

In front of something completely unusual, like a dead robot suddenly coming back to life thanks to some unexplainable string of events, most people have a tendency to stand where they are, staring at the phenomenon, with their ability to formulate coherent thoughts being temporarily switched off. That was what most of the people who witnessed Bender’s resurrection were experiencing at the moment. The shock was more intense for the Planet Express crew who saw the robot die in the first place and could testify that he was indeed completely stiff when they saw Bender for the last time before that dreadful day. But the two Schwartz was flabbergasted as well; after all, the “corpse” they worked on during months was right now moving and speaking like it did before its mortal wound. Only one person ran away, screaming in terror, and it was Ignar. This was a pretty natural reaction as well, to be fair.

Fry, however, was dealing with this situation in a very uncommon way: he ran at the robot and hugged him… Well, hugged his right foot.

“Bender! You’re alive! I knew you couldn’t die this way and leave me alone!”

The robot leaned himself for giving a look at the tiny human down there. Despite her stupor, Leela still managed to realize that the robot still had the same voice, the same gestures and the same attitude than one year ago, which was making it possible (slightly possible) that he truly was back from the dead.

“- Of course I’m alive! Said Bender. You didn’t think a little building through the chest could kill me, right?
- But how?! Said Fry, his eyes wet and his voice trembling with emotion. I saw you shut down before my very eyes!
- Looks like I have a safety feature. When my body got so viciously damaged, my program got transferred to my internal indestructible black box, waiting for my body to be repaired. Or at worst that it’d be transferred to a new one.
- So you know you’d survived? But those last words…
- I didn’t know, pal. I… Kinda skimmed through my instructions and missed that part. I was all like, “whoa, Bender, you’re one lucky bastard!”, when I finally understood what happened to me.
- This… This is so totally cool! Screamed Fry, not holding his happiness anymore. I missed so much, buddy!
- Hey, calm down, kid! You’re embarrassing yourself! Not that it’s unusual from you…
- THE HELL?!?”

This scream seemed to make Fry and Bender remember they weren’t alone. They gave a pretty surprised look to the rest of the group, and more especially to Leela who had busted off.

“- Am I dreaming or something!? Said the young woman, who was getting out of their initial stupefaction. Is this some kind of cosmic hidden camera?! You can’t seriously want me to believe that a single electric shock made you reboot!
- Oh, hey, big boots, said Bender, regaining his previous attitude. Still single?
- None of your business! Screamed Leela. What’s this black box crap?!
- Sure, you meatbags sometimes fall into coma and we robots wouldn’t have the right to have an equivalent! Replied Bender.
- Yeah, shame on you, Leela! Said Fry. He’s back from the dead, have a little compassion!
- I would have some if I actually believed this story!
- Oh yeah? Said Bender. And how about this?”

The robot leaned for being just above Leela… And then, he burped on her. No flames came out of the robot’s lips (fortunately!), but the horrible stench of beer, oil, and many ingredients that should never be told that was so characteristic of Bender nearly made her faint. Fry was giggling like an idiot when he saw her being truly disoriented and suffocating.

“- Alright, I’m wrong, said Leela, doing her best for not fainting. This is Bender, no doubt about it.
- And anybody who would still not trust me will have to face the same consequence!” Replied the robot.

The professor made a step forward, sporting the friendliest smile he could have. Which would fuel the nightmares of a lot of people in the assistance for the following day. But when he talked, it was pretty clear that a little bit of apprehension was also present in him.

“- Well, I think I’ll speak in the name of everybody if I tell you it’s a pleasure to have you back, my friend! I… Uh… I just hope you won’t ask for vengeance on those who called for your death. That would be pretty low. Hehehehe. Hem.
- Ah, don’t worry! Said the robot. I won’t do anything to you! Not until I would get hammered, anyway…
- Then everything’s settled, Bender!
- Bendizer Z, corrected the first Schwartz.
- You’re sure you want to piss off the 25 meters high psychotic robot? Whispered Hermes in his ear.
- Bendizer Z?! Said Bender who didn’t hear Hermes’ advice to the officer. No way I’ll be called like this! What kind of a name is that anyway?
- The best one that came out, said the second Schwartz. Central command made a great mistake when it asked to the scientists who worked on you to make proposals… They’re better in electronics and engineering than in making names…
- Oh, yeah. Nerds. Talk about a pain in the…” Bender stopped, as something finally tilted in his program. “Wait, what do you mean, they worked on me?
- What, you don’t know? Said Fry. You were alive all this time, and…
- Hey, my program was locked in a completely secured box! I had no way to know what was going on outside, and I couldn’t even have an idea of how much time I spent there!
- A bit more than a year, said Amy.
- Really? Pretty close to my estimation… That more or less coincides with the 538 127 games of solitaries and the 306 274 parties of demining games I did… And what happened exactly during all this time?
- Well, started the professor, we rebuilt the city, the Knicks won the latest season, it…
- I mean about me.”

The entire group was now feeling not at their best… The robot already showed some signs that some of the things concerning him was displeasing him, but that would certainly be nothing compared to how he would react when he would finally have realized they modified his body.

Except Fry, who of course didn’t see how bad it would be and pretty much killed every effort to present everything on the better side to the robot.

“- They cut you into pieces and then rebuilt you, adding several modifications as well.
- WHAT?!”

Bender took some time for touching every part of his body he could still touch without any problem… Which were a lot, considering he still had the capacity to extend his legs and arms. And by the way he shouted and he was looking, he was indeed horrified by what he was discovering.

“- What the… What are those things on my shoulders!? And what the hell is wrong with my legs, they almost doubled in volume! Wait… New antennas? And I’ve got something on the chest… DAMMIT! WHO TURNED ME INTO SOME THIRD-RATE JAPANESE MECHA?!
- Them, said Mom, pointing to the two Schwartz.
- Dammit, why did you do this? Said the first Schwartz to Mom.
- Because I can’t stand incompetent people who can’t even make themselves sure their guinea pig is truly dead before turning him into an even deadlier weapon of mass destruction! Replied the old lady.
- Don’t mind this, whispered Farnsworth in the first Schwartz’ ear, I did this once or twice when I worked for her, that didn’t prevent me from getting her in my bed!
- Listen, Bendizer… Said the second Schwartz to the robot, a little bit panicked.
- Alright, alright! I know this story may make you a little bit nervous…
- … But we really did this for the best! You’re better than you were bef…
- But it’s a different body! Said the second Schwartz. With all the additions we made for increasing your destructive capacities, it can no longer be seen as…

And suddenly, Bender’s expression changed. Up to this point the news of his body being so drastically modified was making him reach an entire new level of hatred, but now… It was a bit more complex. Some surprise and incredulity were popping out in his program.

“- Wait a second… Said Bender. Did you say “increasing your destructive capacities”?
- Yes, I did, answered the second Schwartz.
- Does this mean… That this body makes me more dangerous than before?
- Absolutely! Replied the first Schwartz.
- Like “levelling entire cities” level of dangerous?
- Exactly! Said the second Schwartz.
- And… What did you add, exactly?
- Missile launchers, reinforced fists, increased carrying capacity, a new and stronger alloy for your body, hidden blades…
- Lasers in the eyes?
- No, we didn’t get the budget for this, said the first Schwartz.
- Aw…
- But instead, you’ve got X-ray eyes!
- Ah!
- As well as an extended flight capacity, a beer detector and a few other things I can’t remember right now but are as swell!” Said the second Schwartz.

Bender scratched his chin, really calculating the pros and the cons about this situation. Which didn’t take long, as his internal processor was allowing him to calculate much quicker than an average human. And as there weren’t that many cons.

“It scratches a bit down there, but I think I can get used to this.”

Everybody, especially the two Schwartz sighed of relief. At least there was one problem solved…

“That’s great! Said Fry. And with all those stuff, you’ll easily kill that monster, I’m sure of that!”

One of Bender’s eyebrows lifted up.

“What monster?” Said the robot.

There wasn’t a single person in the hangar who didn’t have a sudden urge to strangle the delivery boy until he’d be resurrected into a lesser life form in which he wouldn’t make any more catastrophes…


Approximately one hour later…

“- Alright, I’ll help you, said Bender.
- Thank God! Replied the first Schwartz, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
- Uh… You’re sure you can give him everything he wants? Asked Kif.
- Some of those things will be a bit tough to find, but yeah, it’s possible, replied the second Schwartz.
- Even a golden plated tophat which would be at his scale?
- We’ll find a way.
- I’m still sure that was a bad idea to approve all this… Said Zapp.
- Oh yes sure, just displease the robot that can blast us off in a blink, will you?” Said the first Schwartz.
Bending Unit
« Reply #25 on: 03-17-2008 14:52 »

Bendizer Z and mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 21)

Everybody returned to the control room, when the final agreement with Bender had been found. Now, the consensus was on elaborating a plan for maximizing their chances of beating up Hydra before it would become completely unstoppable. The two Schwartz made a screen appear behind them, on the opposite side of the picture window that was showing the hangar where, for the moment, Bender and Fry were discussing about everything that happened during the year the robot spent in the “coma”. From time to time, Bender’s laugh was busting out. This would certainly be pretty annoying if there wasn’t the little satisfaction that, at least, he wouldn’t try to nuke the entire complex during the next day…

“Before we’d try to focus on the problem at hand, said the second Schwartz, I suggest we take a look at the news, so that everybody here would have an idea of the evolution of the situation without having to take a look to top secret documents…”

The screen switched itself on. The first Schwartz, who was holding the remote control, immediately tuned it on the news channel. And pretty quickly, the usual set of Morbo and Linda’s program appeared on the screen. The two anchormen were already there, and it looked like the officers switched the TV on just as they were about to start. The events didn’t seem to disturb the two journalists’ usual set of mind, as Leela was looking as cheery as ever, and Morbo was looking like he would jump out of the TV for attacking the viewers. A large illustration was occupying the middle of the screen; it was showing a stylized representation of Hydra stomping a building, with the title “Monster Mayhem in NNYC… Again!” under it.

“- Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Started the woman. I’m Linda…
- And I’m Morbo! Screamed the alien. Remember this name, as it will soon sound like blazing fire dropping out from the skies on your puny human heads in your memory!
- The opening of a new kitten sanctuary in San Diego, the simultaneous opening of a meatpie factory also in San Diego “with a tasty little secret ingredient” as its owner says, the Knicks unexpected success and the suicide wave it caused among the bookmakers and the release of the first hip-hop album of the ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s head… All those titles will be developed in a moment. But first, we’ll begin this edition with the second most terrifying event of the month! The world is trembling with fear since the surprise attack that has destroyed a large portion of New New York this morning, an attack performed by an unknown gigantic organism!
- Annoying New New Yorkers already had a hard time living in their crappy city, at least now they’ll have the satisfaction it no longer exists! Said Morbo.
- The Earthican army, helped by the DOOP, tried to stop the creature, but their attacks led to nothing at all, as the beast wiped out all the various contingents that had been sent against it. Another surprise came from the unexpected intervention of the doctor Zoidberg, the giant Decapodian who already ravaged New New York last year while fighting a giant robot, but this time, however, he didn’t manage to get the upper hand on his opponent and had to be evacuated out of the battlefield.”

As Linda was talking, the shot of the set was replaced by several video documentaries showing the ravages caused by Hydra, some made with a professional material, others obviously been made by amateurs. Some of them were showing the fight between Zoidberg and Hydra, and as they saw the footage, all the members of the Planet Express who were in the reunion room remembered that if the Decapodian didn’t try to stop the beast, they would all have been killed by it and wouldn’t be there, in safety…

“- The loss amongst the citizens are dreadful too… Continued Linda.
- Not enough! Said Morbo.
- … As the creature attacked the populated portions of the city. The military immediately activated its emergency procedures for helping the population, saving hundreds of lives, but the strength of the beast and its amazing resistance has been the cause of countless deaths, some people being completely called by surprise. This exclusive amateur document, found by the military shortly after the start of the attack, can illustrate this fact…”

The screen switched to a video, showing dozens of young people’s heads, all in jars, gathered in a pretty spacey apartment. On one the wall, a banner saying “Happy resurrection Ron!” had been placed. When the door of the apartment opened up, showing another young man’s head in a jar, on a little cart, everybody screamed “surprise”, while the cameraman zoomed in for showing the obvious surprise of the one who was certainly Ron. After a few celebrations, Ron’s head began to talk to the whole assistance.

“Okay, guys, I don’t know what to say… I’m extremely happy to see you all here, especially after all this time, and what… Well, let’s not talk about this night, do we? I… I’m really not good for speeches, so…”

Suddenly, Ron’s head looked directly at the camera, and all the happiness he was feeling before seemed to vanish.

“- Hud, is that you?
- Yeah! Said the cameraman, offscreen. Hi, Ron!
- Are you filming?
- No, I’m fishing, you idiot! Said Hud, laughing at his own joke.
- Turn this off now!
- What? Why?
- For God’s sake, turn this off, you moron! Do I have to remind you what happened the last time you filmed a party?! Turn this freaking camera off before…”

Just at this moment, monstrous explosions, accompanied by a rumble which was just as powerful, disturbed the recording, and made the image shake everywhere. And pretty quickly, Hydra’s roar could be heard in the recording…

Ron’s head sighed, looking particularly pissed.

“Dammit, not again!”

The entire room exploded, as Hydra visibly trampled the building where they were all gathered. The recording stopped.

Now, the image was back to Morbo and Linda.

“- Morbo’s happy it didn’t last for 80 minutes! Said the alien. All those shakings would have made him feel sick!
- At least they didn’t wander in a dark tunnel for hours before finally thinking of putting on the night vision! (Said Linda. The two anchormen laughed on the woman’s joke. When they finally calmed down, Linda turned back to look at the camera) Now, the situation seems to have calmed down a little bit, as the creature stopped its rampage for taking a little rest and as the army doesn’t have any troops to send to a certain death for the moment. The entire city as been evacuated and has been declared “warzone”, but one of our interns-reporters is still in the place, with an intern-cameraman and an intern-pilot who are accompanying him. They are currently in the ravaged city, using one of our channel’s ships. Kevin Dullon, do you hear me?”

The scene switched to the image of the inside of a small ship. On one side of the screen, it was possible to see a young man, dressed up in a classy suit, with headphones on his head and a microphone in his hand, sitting on a seat. Next to him, an open door to the outside was showing the devastated ruins that were once New New York. The wind was blowing through the opened door, as the intern’s hair and clothes were flapping.

“- I can perfectly hear you, Linda! Said Dullon. The situation indeed is getting pretty obscure at the moment, and we can’t get the sense of what is going on! After its destructive rampage that had destroyed the center of New New York, the beast now seems to be sleeping, curled up next to the remains of Momcorp’s building. The factory itself seems to have been turned by the beast into some kind of nest. As you can see right now, the creature remains calm, but nobody knows when its rage will…
- Excuse me, Kevin, but we don’t see anything! Said Linda, offscreen.
- What? Right now, you should have a clear view of the beast…
- No, we don’t. There are the ruins you were talking about, but the beast is not there.”

The intern stopped staring at the camera for taking a look by the opened door of the ship. This way, he finally realized, way after Linda and the viewers, that Hydra indeed wasn’t next to what was once Momcorp’s building. He looked particularly troubled by this.

“- What? He was here a minute ago! Josh, he was here, right?
- Yeah, he was, said the cameraman. I wonder where…”

A monstrous and titanic snake eye appeared next to the opened door, covering the scenery.

The image began to shake uncontrollably, as the cameraman was certainly paralyzed by this vision of terror. The intern-reporter apparently noticed the trouble of his colleague, which wasn’t really reinsuring him.

“Josh? What’s going on?”

Behind him, the eye went backwards, revealing one of Hydra’s heads. In the far distance, a second, then a third one popped up in the camera’s field of vision. The first head was now opening its jaws, preparing for an attack, hissing like only a snake-like creature would do. The sound certainly alarmed the intern-reporter, who took a look behind him… And curled up in a ball as the head suddenly propelled itself on the ship.

“OH FU…”

The shock prevented the intern-reporter to end his exclamation… And the image turned to snow.

Now, Linda and Morbo were back on the screen. This time, the anchorwoman had lost her usual cheery attitude and exchanged it for a pretty annoyed face.

“- Was he about to say the F-word on camera? Said the woman. That’s a professional mistake!
- Yeah! Said Morbo. He’s lucky he’s dead, otherwise we’d have fired him!
- Without any indemnities, of course. Such behaviour is unacceptable! But let’s have a look to the other topics at hand…”

The first Schwartz switched off the TV, before turning back to the entire assistance. Everybody apparently followed the news with great attention… Apart from Zapp, who was staring at Leela, smiling and trying to attract her attention. In a way, he was succeeding, as she was doing her best for not caring about him and was refraining herself to make him eat his own nose.

“- I think we know enough, said the second Schwartz. The beast is currently still resting next to the turbidium reactor. In approximately 12 hours, it will have absorbed enough radiations for entering in its duplication phase. This leaves not so much time for preparing ourselves for the counter-attack… Fortunately, we already have a plan.
- Which is? Asked Leela, repelling Zapp by pushing him away with only one hand.
- We can’t succeed as long as the beast stays next to the turbidium, said the first Schwartz. Only two alternatives exist: either we force Hydra to get away from the turbidium, or we take the radioactive material out of its reach. The first possibility, of course, is extremely unlikely. The beast knows it needs the turbidium, so now that she found some, she will probably never give us this chance. And, of course, bringing the creature into other inhabited areas would be a pretty bad idea. So, we need to retrieve the turbidium and to neutralize it so that the beast won’t be able to benefits from its radiations.
- You don’t really think it’ll let us do this? Asked Amy.
- Of course we don’t, replied the second Schwartz. That’s where your friend Zoidberg and Bendizer Z come in the party. The two of them will start attacking Hydra on sight, forcing it to stop keeping the turbidium…
- But you said they can’t succeed… Said Leela.
- If Hydra is still near the turbidium. But while the robot and the Decapodian would be fighting the creature, a little squad will receive the mission to infiltrate the ruins and to take care of the turbidium.
- They’d really have to carry a huge chunk of radioactive material?!
- Not huge, corrected Mom. I only needed 100 pounds of turbidium for making the factory work. Two men are enough for transporting it.
- Moreover, said the first Schwartz, they’ll carry it in a leadcoated box that will stop its radiations, and will be provided with special protection suits.”

Leela looked suspiciously at the two officers. Something was smelling fishy in this plan, and she really hoped she was just a bit too paranoid.

“- You said they’d infiltrate the factory…
- Yes, they will.
- How?”

The two Schwartz coughed at the same time. Not really a good thing…

“- They’ll… Come by the sewers, said the second Schwartz.
- And I guess they’ll need someone to guide them?
- I have all the plans of the factory in my head, said Mom, but I don’t have a freaking idea of how those damn sewers are connected one to another.
- You know about my origins, don’t you? Asked Leela, giving a murderous look at the two officers.
- Well… Yes, replied the first Schwartz. After all, you’ve made your parents take a visit at the surface. Someone was bound to make the connection sooner or later…
- And you think my parents could help you guiding your soldiers, am I right?
- Yes, you are.”

Leela buried her head in her hands. Somehow, this wasn’t really surprising her. Such things couldn’t stay unnoticed for long, in this world that was still keeping an eye on the mutant activities. But this was frightening her. She found her parents only a short time ago… And somebody was already ready to jeopardize them. She knew she wouldn’t endure losing them again, and yet… Yet, they indeed were the only hope they had to stop the monster. Nobody except for a mutant would know about how the sewers work.

She knew what she had to do. The only thing that would make herself sure that her parents would have the best chances to get out of this alive.

“Alright. Listen. I’ll call my dad just as this reunion would be over. First, I’ll ask him if a mutant would be willing to guide us; if someone else than him can take care of this task, then we’d be settled. But if he’s forced, for one reason or another, to be the one that will guide your men, then I’d be coming with them.”

The two Schwartz looked at each other, taking a few seconds for knowing if that’d be a good idea or not. They quickly looked back at Leela.

“- Sounds fair, said the first Schwartz. If your father is the only mutant who can help us, you’ll go with the troops.
- And I’d be coming with her!”

Everybody looked at Fry, who just entered the room, unnoticed until this moment. Leela’s eye widened when she heard the young man’s proposition, but what really stroke her was the determined look he was sporting.

“- You can’t be serious! Said the young woman. Did you have an idea of what we’d have to do?
- Errrr… No, replied the young man. I just came in when he said you’d be going with some guys. But it doesn’t change a thing, I don’t want you to get there alone!
- Fry, I wouldn’t be alone. And I know how to defend myself.
- I know, you showed me that time when I accidentally slipped on this oil and grabbed your butt without wanting it. But I’d feel really, really sick if I’d ever let you go somewhere dangerous without being next to you for giving you a hand, just in case.
- That’s fine for us, said the first Schwartz. Just warn us when you’ll know about what your father plan to do.”

Leela nodded at the officers, and then quickly gave another look at Fry. The young man smiled at her, certainly trying to tell her that everything would be okay. If only she could be as confident… All this was already way too stressful, without having to worry about her dad and her best friend…

Yet, a little part of her was happy that Fry spontaneously offered his help. Somehow, it was making her a bit flattered.

Of course, another part was saying “dammit, I’ll have to make sure he doesn’t get killed again…”.
Bending Unit
« Reply #26 on: 03-21-2008 03:34 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 22)

“My friends! I was worried about you!”

Fry, Leela and the rest of the Planet Express crew tried not to look like they didn’t notice Zoidberg, or to feel embarrassed as everybody in the base would now know the annoying affection the Decapodian was feeling towards them. Of course, it would have been hard to do so, anyway: it was pretty impossible to miss something as big as the doctor, but moreover there was another reason that was making them feel like they should go easier on the lobster…

“- Well, said Leela, it’s pleasant to hear, but to be fair, we were really worried too. After all, you saved us all from that beast, and it made you go through some pretty tough moments…
- It was horrible! I never got beaten up so hard, not even when Hermes and the professor caught me eating all the ship’s supplies!
- Oh yeah, I remember that! Said Hermes. The best stress-relieving moment I’ve ever lived…
- Quite a good day, yes, said the professor. I clubbed you so hard that I broke my two arms this day, but it was totally worth it!
- Er, anyway, said Leela, trying to make the Decapodian think of something else, the doctors did a good job! You’re looking… Good!”

Better than what anyone would expect from someone who was almost dead only a few hours ago, but of course, this was still a bit exaggerated. Zoidberg wasn’t already a prince charming in his best moments, but now his shell was covered with scratches left by Hydra’s claws, which fortunately would disappear after the lobster’s next moulting. But moreover, just as the two Schwartz told them earlier, his skull indeed suffered from the travel all the way from New New York to the area 51. It visibly got elongated as it got pulled off by the Decapodian’s weight and its top gained several meters in terms of length, without Zoidberg’s face having moved at all. Combined with his usual deformed body, Zoidberg could easily have been confounded with a wax red pear a cat would have played with.

“- Thank you, my friend! Said Zoidberg. I heard scars were a chick magnet… I wonder why poultry would be attracted by this, but I hope females will find me mysterious and sexy now! (Zoidberg ended his declaration by cooing weirdly, which chilled everybody’s blood.)
- Fascinating… Said Amy, suppressing her urge to pierce a hole in her skull in order to dip bleach in it and to clean her mind of the horrible images Zoidberg’s performance gave birth to.
- So, er, anyway, said Leela, trying to get the control back, you’re feeling good?
- I’m super! Said Zoidberg. Being safe, thousands of miles away from that creature makes me joyful!
- Cool… That’s great…” Leela scratched her head, trying to find a soft way to tell him the situation. “Soooooooo… You have any plans now that you’re cured?
- Well… I don’t know… I guess I’m out of a job right now, and I’ve got nothing to do… Maybe I should take a few days for relaxing.
- That’s an idea, yes…” Leela coughed. “Say, before you do this, there’s a little thing that is embarrassing us…
- Really? Can I help?
- Of course you can!” Said the second Schwartz.

Leela, furious, grabbed him by his collar and whispered in his ear in a way that made him understand he should shut up for the rest of the interview.

“- We had an agreement, I’d be the one telling him the truth!
- ‘Kay…
- So no more initiative of your part! And you’d better tell the same to your other you!
- ‘Kay…”

The young woman turned back at the Decapodian. Nobody needed to be a genius for understanding he noticed she had a pretty tensed talk with the officer.

“- Why are you two arguing?
- Oh? He… Stepped on my foot…
- Really? I didn’t see, you’re all too tiny for me to see the details.
- Hehe, yeah, that’s right… We’re too tiny…
- So?
- Mmmmh?
- What’s the problem?
- Oh! Right, I forgot… Well… Er… You see, that thing really upset us…
- What thing?
- The big one… Of today…
- Oh, yeah.
- We’d… *cough* We’dlikeyoutofightitagain.”

Maybe Zoidberg was too big for getting all the details, but he was sure having a pretty good audition. And apparently, his latest fight gave him superspeed, because when Leela looked up again, the Decapodian wasn’t standing in front of the group anymore but was hiding inside an empty hangar, a bit in the distance. Leela could see his butt come out of the hangar’s door. The young woman sighed and walked in the direction of the lobster’s buttocks, followed by the rest of the group.

As they came closer, they could all see that the gigantic lobster was shaking.

“- Get out of there, Zoidberg! Screamed the professor. You’re just making yourself ridiculous!
- NO! Screamed Zoidberg.
- Be a big boy and stop covering like a coward! Said Hermes
- And that’s the one who’s supposed to save our ass? Said Wernstrom. You should have broken a leg the day you enlarged him, Farnsworth!
- Remind me who created the monster which is about to destroy the world? Said the first Schwartz.
- Oh, come on! Can we put this aside for the moment?
- We’re trying to fix “this”, Wernstrom, so I guess the answer is no, said the second Schwartz.
- Zoidberg, I know we had some bad moments, said Fry, but please hear me: do you really want to stay there and not giving us a hand?
- YES! Screamed the Decapodian.
- Oh. Well, whatever rocks your boat. If anyone calls me, I’ll be…”

Leela grabbed Fry by his jacket and forced him to stay where he was as he was about to go away.

“- At least listen to us… Said the young woman…
- Ah, forget him! Said Mom, who was losing her patience. If this wuss doesn’t want to do a damn thing, then we’ll do it my way!
- Which is? Asked Amy.
- Bomb the damn thing with dozens of nuclear bombs.
- Now that’s a great idea! Said Zapp, feeling he could finally take an opportunity to shine. I can get as much as we’d need ready in a blink! I just need to…
- There won’t be any bombings… Said Leela.
- Aw, come on, that’ll be fun!
- You’d be contaminating the area for dozens of years and making it impossible to be inhabited, there are still hundreds, maybe thousands of people trapped underground who’d get killed in the process, and you say this would be fun?
- That’s how I did on Edenia 12…
- Sir, do I have to remind you this planet was initially intended to be terraformed, and that your initiative prevented it from being colonized for at least 2 centuries? Said Kif.
- No, but in the return, I’ll remind you that the fungis there were aggressive and needed to be eradicated!
- Sir, they couldn’t move. At all.
- It’s not by paying attention to details that you forge legends, Kif!”

Leela rolled her eye. It really wasn’t worth yelling at Zapp, he definitely was a lost cause. There was a much more important problem, for the moment.

“- Zoidberg, I know this scares you, but listen to me… If we don’t kill that thing, everything will get worse. A lot worse.
- Ah, here comes the good news, doctor: you won’t have to deal with this alone! Somebody will help you!
- Because he can’t, said the first Schwartz. And you don’t realize this, but you were pretty close of winning against it. Everybody is counting on you!”

For some seconds, nobody added another word. But then, Zoidberg moved; he was turning in the hangar, still hiding in it, but now facing them instead of presenting his ass. The look of worry on his face was still prominent, but there was a little something that was making everybody hope they would manage to make the Decapodian change his mind.

“- Everybody… Is counting on me? Said Zoidberg.
- Of course, man! Said Fry. They showed us your fight, you kicked his ass pretty well!
- But… But he beat me…
- Because it got something that helped it, said the second Schwartz. Listen, this time, everything’s gonna be fine. You’ll be helped by somebody as strong as you, maybe even stronger than you. A good part of our plan is to prevent this monster to use the same trick on you, so you won’t get the same bad surprise than before. And the best: our engineers designed an armor for you!”

This time, Zoidberg pulled himself out of the hangar. His mood was beginning to visibly swing.

“- An armor? That would prevent it from giving me more scars?
- Yep! Said Amy. And it will look good on you!
- That’s… That sounds good, but… I dunno…
- Zoidberg, said Leela, I know you’re afraid, but when we say we need you for defeating this monster, we’re not lying. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people may get killed if we don’t stop that thing as fast as possible. If you fight for us… You’ll save them. And everybody will see you as the savior of New New York, and no longer as the one who helped to destroy it a year ago.”

Zoidberg pulled on his tentacles, certainly the decapodian equivalent of rubbing your chin when you’re trying to make a decision.

“- And I’d be popular?
- I can guarantee you they’ll make toys of you! Said Fry.
- Aren’t you getting a bit too far? Whispered Leela in the young man’s ear.
- Hey, they made Cthulhu plush toys in my time, why wouldn’t they use him as a model too? Answered Fry, whispering too.
- Then… I… It’s… I guess…”

Zoidberg took a deep breath, and sighed lightly. When he opened his eyes again, one could see the determination in his look.

“- Alright. I’ll do it! I’ll swipe this thing’s ass!
- Good talking! Said the first Schwartz.
- That’s the spirit! Said the second Schwartz.
- Hooray! Said Fry.
- Thanks a lot, doctor!” Said Leela.

The others had much more various reactions. Amy, Kif, Zapp, Hermes and the Professor cheered, while Mom and her sons stayed perfectly neutral. The only one looking scowled was Wernstrom.

“And who will help me?”

This immediately stopped the cheering. Instead, everybody was now looking at each other, or in the vague while whistling, as nobody was really thrilled to tell the lobster the other bad news.

“- So? Who is it?
- Well… Said the first Schwartz. Let’s just say… You’ve already met him.”

Zoidberg raised one of his eyebrows, as he was trying to get what the officer could have meant, but a large sound behind him prevented him to ask questions. The hatch, over the big central bunker, had opened, and something was lifted to the surface. Something really big.

And when they faced each other, both Bender’s and Zoidberg’s eyes widened, as they pointed at each other.

“HIM?!?”, screamed the robot and the Decapodian in unison.

Their mood, however, pretty quickly diverged. Zoidberg was obviously scared by what was happening, but Bender, on the other hand, never looked more infuriated during his life.

“- But how?! Screamed Zoidberg. I killed him!
- He got better, said Fry with a straight face, shrugging.
- Now that’s getting too far! Yelled Bender. You never told me I would have to work with the guy who made me stiff!
- Please, don’t be mad at me, mechanical ghost! Said Zoidberg to Bender. I wasn’t myself, that day! I swear that if I could go back in time, I would…
- What, kill me a second time?” The robot turned to face the group of humans (and the mutant, and the Amphibian) who were standing between the two giant creatures. “When were you planning on telling this to me?
- Right now? Said Zapp, not even sure that was the good answer.
- Please, Bender! Said Fry. I hated him too because of what he did, but alone you can’t beat that monster! It’s way too strong for you, you need his help!
- I need nothing from this guy! I’m already having a hard time wondering why I should help you in the first place, and this just makes me think I took the freaking bad decision!
- Please, maybe we can find an agreement! Said the first Schwartz. How about…
- Shut the hell up! Nothing you can promise me will make me change my mind!
- Please, mister robot ghost! Said Zoidberg. I didn’t realize I was hurting you, this day!
- Really? Because you made quite a good job on this! Screamed bender at the lobster.
- I know I’ve done something wrong! I’d do anything for having you feel less mad at me!”

Bender was about to yell something at Zoidberg… But suddenly he froze. Something had hit his program, and it was the perspective of having a sweet revenge. The way he smiled made everybody (except for Zoidberg) feel particularly worry…

“- Anything? Asked Bender.
- Anything!” Replied Zoidberg.

The robot faced the small group again. It didn’t seem possible, but his smiled managed to get wider somehow.

“Okay, I’ll help you and work with this dumbass. On one condition…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #27 on: 03-31-2008 14:34 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 23)

The last preparations didn’t take too long. The two Schwartz introduced to the group the 5 commandos who would accomplish the mission. Trained to be good soldiers who’d never ask too many questions, they were all standing to attention as the Schwartz introduced them. They were all differing one from another by their facial features and even their skin colours, but Leela had the feeling, by the way they were acting, they were just coming out of the same matrix. She couldn’t even remember their names.

In fact, with what happened before, she had a bit of trouble focusing on the problem at hand. Shortly before, she called her parents… And her father, who just had come back from another patrol, told her that nobody else than him knew the sector they were about to explore better than him. Even when he heard what they were planning to do and the risks at hand, he still insisted that he’d be the only one who could really help them.

Exactly what Leela didn’t want to hear.

The two Schwartz kept their promise: they agreed to let Leela join the soldiers for keeping an eye (well, she couldn’t do it another way…) on her father. And to let Fry come with them for helping the young woman.

Mom would also come with them. In the sewers, Morris would be their guide, but once they’d get to the surface, they’d need someone else for directing themselves in the ruins and to locate the turbidium. And the business woman knew perfectly every single nooks of her factory, which would mean she could easily lead the group and make them take the shortest and the safest way for getting in and for getting out.

The rest of the actors would have different roles. The two Schwartz would stay away, coordinating the operations from a distance and keeping a constant contact with the commandos. Wernstrom would be by their sides for his expertise on Hydra. Zapp and Kif would join the forces which would be waiting away from the city the outcome of the plan, and would take immediate action if the group would fail. The professor would be with them, as they needed some equipments which would need his scientific knowledge for preventing any misuse. As for Hermes and Amy… They unfortunately couldn’t do anything for the upcoming events. The two Schwartz, however, allowed them to get back to the civilian quarters, and assured them they would get anything they’d want during the operation. Hermes immediately began to fill the forms which would legally turn this forced rest into paid vacations. Amy, for her part, was feeling extremely worried about what would happen to her soulmate, who also had a lot of difficulties for leaving the young woman, even momentarily. This lead to a tearsome moment which somehow softened the two Schwartz and made them accept that the young girl would have access to Kif’s coded line so that she could periodically call him for knowing how things were going.

And of course, there were Bender and Zoidberg…

Preparing the robot didn’t take too much time. The DOOP, since it began to work in turning him into a war machine, carefully maintained his body all this time, keeping him ready for such an eventuality. Checking the state of all his weapons took five minutes, top. Fuelling him, however, took a bit more time as he didn’t find the beer at his taste and sipped it with great disgust. As for the Decapodian, he had some trouble getting in his armor. The DOOP didn’t have the equipment for dressing him up with special machinery, so he had to do it himself… And as some pieces of the armor had quite obscure uses, the two Schwartz had to use a lot of patience for getting him ready. And when he finally was… It became quite obvious that Amy lied when she said the armor would look good on him. The DOOP, which didn’t envision “upgrading” a Decapodian, had to improvise and to design an armor quickly, out of the various spare parts they could get on the ships they wouldn’t use. With the little time and money they had at their disposal, the DOOP engineers (helped by the professor) made quite a stunt, but Zoidberg was still looking like he rolled himself up in a junkyard, and had found himself with pieces of dismantled ships and hovercars of every colors and designs magically stuck to him. His look was even completed by a “helmet” surmounted with a metallic fin which was only making him look even more ridiculous.

After the last preparations, the time to get back to New New York arrived… Fry, Leela, Mom and the commandos got into the special military which had been modified in order to be able to carry Zoidberg (and not by his head, this time). Leela wasn’t piloting it, as the DOOP wasn’t too keen on letting a civilian having access to a military ship; one of the soldiers had the task to take everybody near the city. Everybody got to their seats in the ship’s cockpit: Leela and Fry in the last row, between two soldiers, Mom and two other soldiers in front of them, and finally the pilot. As soon as everybody buckled up, the pilot made the ship take off… And then turn it vertically, the head pointed at the sky, before making it slide until it got just behind Zoidberg’s back. Another manipulation, and the special harness that was connecting the Decapodian to the ship deployed and firmly grasped the lobster. A bit too firmly, as Zoidberg had his breath cut until the adjustments were over. A few more seconds, and everybody would have had to reanimate him…

And finally, the ship took off, taking Zoidberg with it. Bender, who was ready a long time ago and was waiting for the others to get away, activated his own reactors and lifted himself of the ground, quickly following the ship. Soon, both the robot and the ship were merely points in the sky, heading in the direction of New New York.

And of the final battle…

The flight would be quite short, but there was nothing in the ship that could have helped Fry and Leela to wait calmly. Or to simply evacuate their anxiousness. The soldiers around them were perfectly stoic, which was only making them feel more like they definitely had nothing to do in this ship, with all those professionals. Only Mom was acting differently from the rest: fidgeting, trying to adjust the special isolated suits all of them was wearing ( a necessity as, sooner or later, they’d manipulate radioactive material), she took a pack of cigarettes out of nowhere, took one out of it and was about to light it with a match which also seemed to have appeared in her hand when one of the soldier, a tall blond guy with his a crew cut, leant over her.

“- Miss, it is forbidden to smoke in this ship, said the soldier.
- Really? Said the old woman. And is it forbidden to kick one of you inbred baboon’s ass until it would turn red? Because that’s what going to happen if you ever try to stop me from smoking this one, big boy.”

Mom concluded her speech by scratching the match on the soldier’s scalp. And as the soldier backed off, surprised by this little event, she took one big gulp of smoke and blew it on his face before stopping paying attention to him. The soldier obviously decided that it would indeed be a bad idea to try to contradict the old lady, and got back to his former standing position. He didn’t seem to notice that his scalp was now smoking and was probably about to take fire.

The whole scene cheered Fry up a bit; a little distraction was exactly what he needed.

“- Looks like that if she was the one who were 25 meters tall, we wouldn’t need Bender or Zoidberg, whispered Fry in Leela’s ear.
- I don’t think she’d really need to be a giant for scaring that monster…” Replied the young woman.

A few seconds passed, during which the two of them got back to their anxious thoughts. However, now that they finally broke the silence between them, Leela had the feeling she had to talk about something that was worrying her since they left the base.

“You didn’t have to follow me, Fry.”

The young man looked back at the young woman. Something in his face was indicating he didn’t understand why she was thinking this.

“- Of course I did! Where you’re going, I’m going!
- Fry, this is not a trip to the park!
- Technically, said the soldier on her left, we’ll certainly have to pass beneath what was once Central Park before…
- I wasn’t talking to you.
- Sorry.
- What I mean, said Leela as she came back to Fry, is that it’s unnecessarily dangerous for you to come. Do you realize we might get killed?
- Yeah, replied Fry. But every time we make a delivery someone tries to kill us anyway…
- That’s different. It’s our job, and like in every job there are risks. But this time you could have avoided this. You could have decided to stay in the base with the others and to stay out of trouble… In fact that would have been the most reasonable thing to do.
- I already told you, I can’t leave you alone, Leela. And you too wasn’t really forced to go…
- Fry, do I have to…
- No no no, don’t worry, I understand why you wanted to go. But your dad would have been with a group of professional mercenaries…
- We’re not mercenaries, said the soldier on Fry’s right, we’re alleged soldiers of the DOOP…
- I wasn’t talking to you.
- Sorry.
- Anyway, resumed Fry, he’d be under the protection of very competent guys. That you came or not, I don’t think it would have changed something… We’re talking about a freakass giant monster here!
- What’s your point? Said Leela, beginning to feel irritated.
- You didn’t have to go, but here you are anyway, because you care about what can happen to your dad. And as a result, I didn’t have to go too, but here I am anyway, because I care about what can happen to you. Simple as that.”

For a few seconds, Leela had been waiting for one more stupid declaration from the young man. A few seconds. It was before Fry ended his sentence. In fact, even if she didn’t want to show it, she was pretty impressed that he said something quite logical and kind. She smiled at him, not only for answering to his own smile but also she was indeed touched by what he said.

“- That’s really sweet, Fry…
- Thank you, Leela. I… Was a bit anxious you wouldn’t like this.
- I don’t see why I wouldn’t. Not a lot of people said something like this to me and were looking convinced while doing so, and I’m counting my parents among them.
- I’m not surprised. You don’t have to spend a lot of time for understanding they love you as much as you love them.
- Then you see why I really don’t want anything to happen to them.
- I felt the same way when mine were still alive.”

Leela suddenly realized it may not be a good idea of reminding the young man that, unlike her, he’d never find his parents again. She put a hand on his shoulder, looking sad.

“- Fry, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to…
- What? There’s a problem?
- But… Said Leela, a bit surprised by his answer. Yeah… I…
- Oh, about my parents?”

Leela couldn’t look at his eyes anymore. She turned her face, reproaching herself what happened.

“- Yes.
- I still miss them, answered Fry, a bit of sadness perceptible in his voice. I can’t lie about that. But here… I found a real family, with you, the professor, Hermes, Amy… And even Zoidberg. I never had a twisted and deformed brother everybody tries to hide in the basement, having him around is bringing something new in my life too!
- That’s kind of you to think this, Fry. But we’ll never replace them, you know…
- I know. That doesn’t stop from wanting you to be happy. That’s why I made everything possible for you to have a normal life with your parents, when we found out the truth about them. I don’t want anybody to be cut from the ones they love… Especially someone like you…
- Like me?
- Yes. I really want you to be happy, Leela. More than anything.”

Fry looked at her, with the kind of smile that can make anybody believe whatever he would say. Leela smiled back. At this moment, she could never have imagined he could be lying to her. Everything was looking and sounding sincere in him… She couldn’t do anything else than trusting him.

Of course, there was this little spark in his eyes that would have spoiled everything if she would be of a different mood.

“And now, you’re going to ask me for a date, aren’t you?”

Fry gave the exact same look than a kid who got caught his hand in the cookie jar and knew he was about to have some hard time.

“- It’s that obvious?
- Yeah.
- Damn!”

If Fry didn’t curl up in his seat, he would have seen that Leela was still smiling.

“Tell you what: if we get out of this story alive, I’ll accept having a date with you.”

The way Fry’s face suddenly lighted up almost made Leela giggle.

“- Really?!
- But don’t get wrong ideas! Said Leela before he could say anything else. This will only be a single date. If something’s wrong, this will be over.
- And if it goes well?”

Leela smiled even more mysteriously.

“- We’ll see…
- Oh, lovebirds!”

Mom’s banter immediately stopped the atmosphere that was forming between Fry and Leela. The couple turned to look at the old woman, wondering what it was about. Mom turned her face for looking at them, still smoking her cigarette, and looking as unpleasant as usual… When, of course, you already met her personally, and not during one of her advertisements or public apparition.

“Will you just shut up? Said the old woman. You’re giving me one heck of a headache with your goddamn cutesie talks! Get a room and leave the rest of us alone!”

Fry and Leela curled up in their seats, as they finally realized their little private talk happened while everybody in the ship could hear them. Becoming as red as tomatoes, they immediately lost any wish to continue their conversation.

“-Yes, ma’am… Said Fry and Leela, ashamed.
Bending Unit
« Reply #28 on: 04-07-2008 14:29 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 24)

The group didn’t land in New New York, but a bit in the outskirts of the city, in a deserted industrial area out of Hydra’s sight. Bender landed pretty easily in the courtyard of an abandoned plant, where he was told to, but Zoidberg, for his part, had a bit more trouble when he got unhooked from the ship. He fell flat on the ground, but as he quickly stood up, it didn’t look serious at all. Of course, Bender smirked when this little incident happened. The pilot quickly landed the ship near to where the two giants were standing, and all the passengers got off, leaving the ship behind them. Zoidberg and Bender were waiting for the next instructions.

“- Okay, big guys, said Mom, here’s the plan: you…
- Miss, said one of the soldier, don’t see any kind of disrespect here, but you’re not in charge of the operation, and you’d…”

The soldier stopped. Mom turned round and was now staring at him in a way that made him see what would happen if he’d ever try to give her orders and he’d dare to interrupt her again. Despite all the dangerous missions they’ve already played a part in, all the commandos suddenly felt unease, and would have done anything for being away from the old woman. Mom got back to the two giants as if nothing happened.

“- … You two wait here for our call. You’ll smack that thing’s ass when we’ll be about to get out of the sewers for getting the turbidium so that it will stop guarding it. Got it? Not a single move before we call you!
- Yes, ma’am, said Zoidberg.
- ‘Kay, said Bender.
- You keep on playing with it, and when the turbidium will be out of its reach… Well, kill that thing, any way you wish.
- I’m fine with this part! Said Bender.
- You always need guys who’d be ready to kill without remorse, it helped me a few times… Stay here, now. It will take some time before we get there. March on, troops!”

Mom showed the example by walking away from the two giants; she didn’t have to look behind her for knowing that Fry, Leela and the soldiers were following her without a question.

No one would have dared.

Zoidberg waved at them, as they were getting out of the courtyard and were reaching the road.

“- Bye! See you later!
- Or not!” Added Bender.

The group was walking as fast as they could with their big and bulky suits, carrying the lead coated container in which they would later put the turbidium in. At first, they were all staying silent, but Fry finally broke the silence.

“- Where are we going?
- We’re looking for an entrance to the sewers, said Leela. There’s a big and wide water trench somewhere around here which is in fact connected to the sewers network; it will be our meeting point with dad.
- Why didn’t we land there?
- Not enough space for us and the two giants, replied the pilot. Don’t worry, it’s not very far away from here…”

The group continued a little more, passing next to deserted plants and warehouses. Fry remembered all those post-apocalyptic movies from his time, in which such sceneries were pretty common… It reminded him his first trip to Detroit, too. Of course, what was standing in front of them was much more engaging than what he saw that day…

Just as they turned at an intersection, they had the surprise to see a family walk in their direction. The father, the mother and their son were all wearing bandages, and their clothes were in a pretty bad shape, but they were looking in relatively good health. They were exhausted however, and were showing visible marks of moral and physical tensions.

Just as the soldiers were about to ask them where they were going, they heard somebody yell “Over here, please!” in their back. As they looked at the man who screamed, they had a little surprise: it was a mutant. The scales that were covering his human-looking body and his third eye on the top of an antenna couldn’t leave a doubt about it. He was standing next to the entrance of a warehouse, and was making great gestures so that he would be noticed. The family apparently was looking for him, as they immediately took his direction.

A bit thrown by this event, the group soon got back to their walk… But as they progressed, they saw other people. Dozens of people.

There were other families, some individuals who were walking alone, some little groups that at first sight didn’t seem to be related in any sort… But what was uniting them was their look. They all visibly went through very hard times, both physically and psychologically, and looking by the rags they were wearing, it was pretty recent. Many of them were looking wounded and were wearing bandages, some had a limb or two encased in plasters. A few were moving around in a wheel chair, and there even was a very few numbers who were transported in a stretcher by more valid persons as they were too weak or wounded for moving from themselves. And periodically, a mutant was showing off, leading them in the same direction that the first family took before.

Amazed by this massive exodus, the group needed a few seconds for noticing something that was making the whole scene even more unbelievable.

All those people were going the exact opposite way than them. Fry, Leela, Mom and the soldiers were like salmons which would swim against the current during the love season.

And as they finally arrived next to the water trench they were searching, they indeed see that all those peoples were coming out of the canalisation they were about to take… Out of the sewers. The big and wide cement mouth was vomiting dozens and dozens of peoples, who were sometimes accompanied with a mutant.

As they reached the entrance to the sewers, it became quite clear that the flow of people didn’t seem to get lighter. More of them was coming out every second… And it was a miracle that Leela saw her father, standing on the right side of the trench.


How Morris managed to hear her despite the commotion, Fry would never know, but father and daughter quickly hugged each other nonetheless. The rest of the group joined them after having opening a way in the constant stream of fugitives.

“- Leela, you’re looking good! Said Morris, relieved. You were so pale the last time we talked, I thought something horrible happened!
- No, everything’s okay, dad, replied Leela. It’s just that I don’t really like the idea of risking your life for…
- Sweetie, when I volunteered, I knew the risks. If I can help everybody by allowing you to beat that thing, then it’s fine with me.
- Oh, great, a philanthropic mutant… Said Mom. And I thought nothing can surprise me anymore…
- Uh, yeah… Said Leela, doing her best for not reprimanding the old woman (she was way too afraid of the possible consequences if she did so). Dad, this is the group you’ll have to guide. This is Mom, the head of Momcorp. Her factory (well, its ruins) is our goal. And those guys… Well, I don’t know their names, but they’re the commandos who will do almost all the job there. Who are you?
- Private Andrew Waterfall, said one of the soldiers.
- Sergeant Timothy Waterfall, said another one.
- Lieutenant Colin Waterfall, said a third one.
- Private Norton Waterfall , said the pilot.
- Captain Ezekiel Waterfall.” Said the last one, the one with a crew cut.

As the list of the names went on and on, both Fry and Leela were looking puzzled.

“- Wait, you’re all related? Asked Leela.
- More or less, said Ezekiel Waterfall. We’re all cousins to variant degrees. Some kind of weird coincidence brought us all in this mission.
- And you’re all Waterfalls?
- Yes, replied Colin Waterfall.
- Oh boy. I was pleased to work with you…”

This time, it was the Waterfalls who gave a puzzled look at Fry. But Morris quickly diverted the conversation.

“- Oh, Fry is here too! Hello, kid!
- Hi, sir! Said the young man, waving. Wazzup?
- Yeah, I wanted to ask, said Leela, who are all those people? What’s going on?
- Those are all the people we managed to save, explained Morris, and who we healed with what was at our disposition. We have to move them away, if… Well, if the alternative you told me earlier has to be applied.”

Leela nodded, looking grave. Yes. The alternative. The one nobody wanted to hear about. The forces who were gathering around the city, and in which Zapp and Kif were taking part in a new ship, had received only one order: if Bender and Zoidberg can’t defeat Hydra… A doomsday device will be used. Turning the entire city and its surroundings into a smoking crater. Even the underground sewers wouldn’t be spared by the explosion…

Thinking of the devastation which would be caused made Leela turn pale.

“- Right. I see. They weren’t safe anymore.
- Quite an understatement, said Morris.
- And mom?
- I’m right here, you brainless twit! Shouted Mom.
- Not you… Replied Leela, grinding her teeth.
- Your mother left with the first refugees a moment ago. She’s watching over several people, you know…
- I know you want to know if your close relations are safe, miss, said Ezekiel Waterfall, but we’d better move on. The quicker we’ll have done our part, the sooner our weapons will take care of Hydra.
- Just one more question, asked Morris. Who will fight it, exactly?
- Zoidberg and Bender, said Fry.
- Bendizer Z, corrected Colin Waterfall.
- Bender? Said Morris. You mean… The giant robot who destroyed New New York a year ago?
- Yep.
- But he’s dead!
- He got better, said Mom.
- And he’ll fight with the guy who killed him? How could it be?!
- Well… Said Leela, looking embarrassed as she scratched the back of her head. We… Found an arrangement…”


One hour ago…


There wasn’t a single person in the Area 51 who wanted to have their eardrums removed. Zoidberg definitely was lacking any kind of singing talent, and Bender really did a horrible job forcing to sing this song.

Everybody also wanted to have their eyes burst. To add to the horror, Bender didn’t only ordered Zoidberg to sing like Judy Garland: he also claimed that the Decapodian should be dressed just like the actress as she appeared in The wizard of Oz. Of course, making a 20 meters long blue robe with military materials had been pretty hard, but it was nothing compared to the giant brunette wig that had to be made. And once Zoidberg put the costume… Many wished they had taken a day-off this day when they saw the result.

Bender, however, still didn’t seem to be satisfied. Sitting on the top of the central bunker, he was shouting at the Decapodian.

“- Come on, dumbass! Put some heart in this! You plain suck, we’ll make another one!
- But… My throat hurts! Whined Zoidberg.
- You want to me to forgive you? Then do it well, and maybe – I said maybe – I’ll let everything slip! Now start again, and this time don’t mess with that G major!”


“- Sounds pretty awful, said Morris.
- Yeah, but after we promised to post a video of Zoidberg’s performance on the internet, he finally agreed to join us and to help us against Hydra.
- Okay, that was all fun and well, said Mom, but enough chit-chat! We’ve got business to do, so we’d better start now!
- One more thing, though, said Ezekiel Waterfall, opening the lead-coated container and taking an isolated suit out of it. Sir, you’ll have to wear this…
- Why?
- That thing we must retrieve is highly radioactive, dad, said Leela. You’d better put this on.
- Sweetie, do you really think that I, a sewer mutant who lives just next to a toxic river, has a reason to be scared by radioactive material?
- There’s a big difference between “toxic” and “radioactive”, dad. I don’t want you to get anything lethal…”

Morris stood silent for a few seconds, staring at the suit, then at his daughter, and finally at his daughter again. Leela smiled when her dad sighed and grabbed the suit.

“Alright, alright, if it can make you happy… I’m just glad your mother isn’t here though, she’s always complaining I’d never renew my wardrobe if she didn’t drag me to some shops…”

Starship Captain
« Reply #29 on: 04-07-2008 22:54 »

I haven't finished what you've got so far, but I like it.  Good work, as always.
Bending Unit
« Reply #30 on: 04-12-2008 16:09 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 25)

Progressing in the conducts, navigating in the constant flow of refugees, the group needed more time than what they thought for reaching the mutant underground city. It was becoming a familiar sight for Fry and Leela, but Mom did obviously not like the place at all (the stench, especially, as she already put on her pressurised helmet), and the five soldiers, despite keeping their military composure, were raising their eyebrows when they discovered the place. Not very surprising: very few people in fact knew that the sewer mutants had organized themselves to the point of building a city big enough for housing at least one-fifth of New New York’s population.

As they were walking in the streets, the crowd was becoming lighter and lighter, but now there was almost just as many mutants as regular humans leaving the city. At least, the group could walk without having to open a way now.

“- Are the docks that far away? Asked Mom. I think I’m going to puke in my helmet if I have to stay in this stinkhole any longer!
- They’re just a couple of blocks away now, answered Morris (who had been briefed by Leela about Mom’s behaviour). We only have to…
- Fry? Leela!?”

The entire group immediately stopped for looking at who called the couple. Who was the only one to recognize the little boy and the stoic man who was accompanying him.

“- Cubert?! Said Leela.
- Oh, now you remind me!? Said the professor’s clone, obviously pissed off. Funny, I thought you didn’t care about me being trapped in the basement while everything was crumbling over my head! If it wasn’t for the mutant digging in, I’d still be there, wondering if I’d ever see the daylight again!
- Scruffy? Said Fry. You were trapped with him?
- Yup, said the janitor, not really feeling concerned at all by all that was going on.
- Man, we’re really sorry… Said Leela.
- Bah, no problem.
- Us, said Scruffy.
- Well… Yeah, said Fry.
- Listen, Cubert, said Leela… What we did was unforgivable, I know that. I don’t understand how we could ever forget you in such moments of panic…
- They’ve been here for only 2 minutes, but I already have a clue, said Mom.
- Yeah, well you’ll have a lot of trouble explaining dad all this! Said Cubert.
- Hey, he was with us and forgot about you as well! Said Fry.
- Duh, it’s dad, said Cubert while rolling his eyes, he sometimes forgets he has to breathe… But he still loves me, and when I’ll tell him you didn’t even try to look after me…
- Us, corrected Scruffy.
- … I wouldn’t be surprised if he sacks you!”

Leela came closer to the young boy and kneeled in front of him, trying to look sorry. She knew she had to be, but strangely, she was having a hard time sounding sincere…

“- Listen, Cubert… (Leela looked briefly at the janitor) And you too Scruffy… I’m truly sorry we forgot you. We’ve got some business to take care of, things that are really important to do…
- Oh yeah? Said a sarcastic Cubert. And what?
- Saving your ass from a 30 meters high monster, brat, said Mom.
- I don’t think I would have put it that way, but yes, that’s the deal.” Said Leela.

At least, Cubert stopped looking angry. He even managed to look astonished.

“- YOU are the ones who’ll stop that thing?
- Yeah, said Fry. More or less.
- Oh… We’re screwed…”

Leela decided she didn’t hear this one…

“- We have to finish this first, but I swear that once everything’ll be over, we’ll come back for picking you two up. You get it?
- You promise me you won’t forget me…
- Us, corrected Scruffy.
- … This time?
- I swear.”

Cubert took a few seconds before taking a decision.

“- Alright. But don’t make me…
- Us, said Scruffy.
- … Wait too long, okay?
- Of course, said Leela. Until then, get with the rest of those people in some shelter, okay? Everything will turn really bad if we fail.
- Got it.
- Scruffy? Watch over him, would you?
- Ayup, said the janitor, still looking unconcerned.
- Good. It’s time for us to go now. See you later.”

Leela stood up, and the commando group immediately started to get back to their walking, guided by Morris. Cubert and Scruffy stood where they were, watching the group going away The young boy, however, felt he still had something to tell them… They were going in a very dangerous situation where they might not come back, so it was the last chance he would have for saying something…


The group stopped, as the young woman turned to look at the young boy.

“- Yeah?
- Don’t you ever think of leaving me…
- Us, said Scruffy.
- … Behind just because you’d be a stiff, got it, miss Lack-Of-Depth-Perception?”

Leela seriously contemplated child murder for a brief second. In fact, Fry and Morris had to contain themselves from slapping the boy. The soldiers themselves wondered if it was a really good idea to fight for saving people like Cubert. The only one who wasn’t feeling angered by Cubert’s last rant was Mom: the boy was reminding her when she was 100 years younger.

“Good luck to you too.” Simply said Leela before turning her back at him again and getting away, followed by the rest of the commando.

As they saw the group engaging in an alley, Cubert and Scruffy finally moved, getting back in the crowd of the fleeing mutants and refugees.

“- They’d better not forget me! Said Cubert.
- Us.” Said Scruffy, not really feeling that annoyed by the boy’s egotism.


Two hovercrafts were moored on the docks, waiting for the group which was about to use them. The repartition got established pretty quickly: all the Waterfalls would be on one of the hovercraft, following the second one where Fry, Leela, Mom and Morris would be guiding them. The reasons of this selection were pretty obvious: not only did Morris have to open the path and lead everybody, but also the soldiers were so scared of the old woman that none of them wanted to be on the same hovercraft than her (although they tried to hide their fear of the woman and were trying to formulate pity explanations that couldn’t fool anybody).

The travel on the sewers’ canals took a bit of a time, where everybody couldn’t really talk as they were afraid that, somehow, Hydra could hear them as they were getting closer to it. Morris tried to start a conversation with Mom, though, just for being polite, unfortunately the magnate quickly put an end to this attempt of socialization (“Stop babbling and try not to get us drown in this stinking mud you call a ‘river’, nutjob!” doesn’t really make people want to keep talking to you). A few turns in other canalizations, a few drawing backs as it appeared that some of the tunnels collapsed because of the strength of the battles which occurred on the surface… In the whole, except for the little fear that their way would be completely blocked, the travel didn’t bring any kind of incidents. Fortunately, Morris finally found the tunnels they’d have to take, and which were driving directly under Mom’s factory. When the mutant stopped his hovercraft in a canalization that was much larger than the ones they travelled in before, just under a ladder that was leading to a manhole far over their heads, everybody knew what he was about to say.

“- Okay, this is it. Just above us is an entrance to one of the maintenance room of the factory. That’s the best way to sneak in. What do we do?
- We climb, said Ezekiel Waterfall. You and Private Waterfall will stay here for guarding the hovercrafts. But before we do, we’ve got to activate the diversion…”

Leela understood what the captain meant. She activated her internal radio, which was at the moment tuned on one particular frequency…

“Bender? Zoidberg? It’s up to you…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #31 on: 04-15-2008 15:34 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 26)

Hydra’s breath was evoking tides smashing on a cliff as the beast was resting, curling around the turbidium, absorbing more and more energy out of it. The time was near, and the creature would soon need all its strength for the upcoming events. It could feel the eggs forming in its belly, each one containing a miniature clone of itself. Soon, very soon, Hydra would lay them, all around the turbidium which would feed them and make as strong as it… Maybe even more, as they would have been exposed to the radiations all the time they would have developed in the eggs. And when they would have hatched… It would be time to eat.

Some moves. The noise of ruins being trampled.

Hydra opened its eyes and raised its heads, looking for the origin of the noises. The beast stood up on its legs and began to hiss threateningly as it identified the newcomers.

On a distance, Bender and Zoidberg stopped. The way they were standing and looking at Hydra, it was clear they were here for a fight. The robot pointed at the monster.

“Hey, you, the oversized gecko! How about a one-way ticket to the vivarium?”

The creature’s bloody instinct awakened at the sight of the two rivals. Deploying its wings, screaming with its five heads, it answered Bender’s invitation…

As the robot and the Decapodian didn’t seem to give up, Hydra charged.


In the sewers, Fry, Leela, Morris, Mom and the Waterfalls were trying to hide their tension and were testing their patience. All this waiting was getting on almost everybody’s nerves, as they were forced to stay underground until Hydra would have moved out of its position.

“Damn, said Fry, what are they doing? Did they stand us up or something?”

Just as Fry finished talking, an indescribable scream resounded way over their heads. A scream that seemed to multiply, as it got shouted by more than one bestial throat, and which had the kind of intonation that, if it was heard in a jungle, forces all the small animals to get back to their nests and shelters immediately, no matter how far away it seemed to be. As the scream diminished, multiple tremors began to make the entire place shake, and made the toxic waters’ surface ripple. A bit of dust even fell off the ceiling.

“Doesn’t sound like they did, said Leela. I think we can start.”

Private Andrew Waterfall put the lead-coated box on his back thanks to the straps that were fixed on it, and put his helmet on like the rest of the group (except for the private Norton Waterfall and Morris, who had to stay where they were). The soldiers, except for the private Andrew Waterfall, were the first ones to climb the ladder. Fry, Leela and Mom quickly followed them, while private Andrew closed the march. The ceiling was so far over their heads they needed a few minutes to reach the manhole at the top…


Hydra didn’t know what the strange grey thing that scolded it a few seconds ago was, but it quickly recognized the red lobster it already fought once despite the new weird shell it was wearing and, knowing the wounds it caused to it earlier, decided to attack Zoidberg first. The Decapodian evaded its charge pretty easily, but Hydra immediately turned on its paws as it understood it missed its attack and attacked Zoidberg again before he could do anything. Hydra’s claws scratched the Decapodian’s armor, which fortunately held out and protected the lobster’s body.

The creature would certainly have continued its attacks if it wasn’t for Bender who punched it in its ribs. The hit made Hydra scream out of pain, but, fuelled with rage, the monster didn’t retreat: it tried to reply to the robot’s attack by biting it. Just as it did this, Zoidberg grabbed two of its heads and smashed them one against the other, nearly knocking them off. This made Hydra realize it wouldn’t hold long if it would stay between the two opponents. In an attempt to get out of Zoidberg’s and Bender’s reach, Hydra brutally leaped forward, jostling Zoidberg and throwing him on the ground. The Decapodian, however, quickly got back on his feet and stood next to Bender. In front of them, Hydra had turned round and was now facing them, its entire body getting ready for the next assault, all its heads hissing at them.

One of the Schwartz’ voice could suddenly be heard in the radios which were in Bender’s head and in Zoidberg’s helmet.

“- Bendizer Z, Zoidberg, this is captain Schwartz, do you copy?
- Which one? Asked Zoidberg.
- The original one… What? No, it’s not the right moment for this, Joel… Do you still hear me?
- Yup, said Bender.
- Remember, bring this thing as far away from the turbidium as possible! The commandos are starting their operation!
- Like we’ll give that freak a choice! Come on, doc, let’s kick some reptilian ass!”

Zoidberg didn’t really have to be encouraged. The idea of being helped by the robot was neutralizing its fear, and once again, the adrenaline rush caused by the battle was urging him to fight like he never did. The Decapodian screamed (a scream a bit too high-pitched to be really impressive, but it was the best battlecry he could make), quickly followed by Bender… And the two of them rushed on Hydra at the same time.

Which wasn’t as clumsy as during the first round. As soon as they got close enough, two of the beast’s heads stretched out like ugly-looking jacks-in-the-box and bit the two attackers on their shoulders… Before pushing each one onto the other and making their heads knock, like Zoidberg did a bit earlier. Bender and Zoidberg didn’t even have the time to say “ouch!” that the heads immediately threw them away, one on the right, the other to the left. It then rushed on Bender and attacked him while he was still on the ground. Seeing the attack, Bender just had the reflex to stop Hydra’s mass by putting all his limbs under it, but it wasn’t protecting him from the various bites the creature was performing on him…

“A little help here would be great!” Shouted the robot.

Zoidberg only needed a second for standing up again. The Decapodian immediately rushed for helping his team-mate… But Hydra saw him coming, as one of its head looked behind it. A single tail flip made the lobster fly away and crash into a building that had been miraculously preserved during Hydra’s rampage.

This didn’t really please Bender.

“Useless twat! Shouted Bender. Get me out of that thing’s…”

The robot’s rant got interrupted by a scream of pain… His own scream of pain, actually, as Hydra was now trying to break him apart, as Zoidberg wasn’t annoying it anymore.

“Gaaaaaah! Get off me!!!”

Bender felt something getting activated in his head. And just as he was about to wonder what it could be, a side panel opened up in his right shoulder. A few pocket missiles flew out of it, all of them hitting Hydra’s heads. The shock surprised the creature which backed off a little, screaming out of the pain that the attack caused to it. Bender took his chance of finally getting out of the monster’s claws and, concentrating all his strength, he pushed it strong enough for making it fall on the ground several dozens of feet away from him. As he got up, Bender finally realized what happened and was now feeling his shoulder, trying to understand what it could have been. Zoidberg saw the phenomenon too, and quickly joined the robot.

“- What the heck was that?! Said Bender.
- We told you we improved your body, said one of the Schwartz in his head. Those Missile Launchers you used is one of the many changes we performed.
- And why exactly didn’t you tell me how to use them before sending me in this fight?!
- Well… We thought you’d instinctively know how to do… Said the officer, sounding a bit caught off guard. Besides, you could have asked us before leaving…
- Yeah, sure, blame this on me, smartass!
- Errr, my friend? Said Zoidberg.
- What?!
- I don’t think it liked it…”

Bender finally remembered what they were trying to do in the first place. A quick look where Hydra landed a bit before showed him the creature was standing on its feet again… The scales on some of its heads seemed to have changed color and to be damaged by the missiles, but the robot could perfectly see them regenerating by the distance… The turbidium was still granting it some extensive healing factor.

What was really disconcerting was the savage wrath that could be seen in the creature’s multiple eyes. Bender’s reaction didn’t wound it permanently, but it was really painful, and now, Hydra was much more enraged than before. And the robot could almost see how the monster was going to dismember him in its dilated pupils…

“Damn, I should have asked more for this job…”
Bending Unit
« Reply #32 on: 04-27-2008 14:26 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 27)

The ruins of the factory were enduring some bad moments with all the tremors caused by the fight between Hydra, Zoidberg and Bender, but at least they were for the moment freed from the presence of the creature.

Deep in the ruins, in an abandoned maintenance room lit by some pulsating neon lights which miraculously didn’t get destroyed with all the commotions the place went through, a manhole’s plate lifted itself up a few centimetres. A pair of eyes, hidden in the shadow beneath the plate, scrutinized the surroundings, in an effort to determine if the way was clear. And shortly after, the captain Ezekiel Waterfall pushed away the plate and got himself out of the hole. After another quick look at the room for ensuring himself that there really wasn’t any danger around, the soldier helped his colleagues to get in the room as well. Fry and Leela didn’t have any problems getting in, as well as Mom… Except that the sergeant Timothy Waterfall tried to give her a hand for climbing up. He quickly let the old woman do at her own rhythm when she slapped him as soon as he touched her. Finally, Fry and the lieutenant Colin Waterfall helped the private Andrew Waterfall to get inside, as his load was barely allowing him to go through the manhole.

“- Captain Schwartz? Said Ezekiel in the radio that was implemented inside his helmet. We’re in. Beginning the search now.
- Roger, captain, said one of the Schwartz in the radio. Hurry up, Bendizer Z and doctor Zoidberg have some problems containing Hydra.”

The captain gave a look at Mom, who was trying to make the pain get out of her back by making her spine crack.

“- Are you alright, Ma’am? Asked the captain.
- Nope, said the old woman. I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to spend without smoking… Damn suits…
- Which way should we go? Asked lieutenant Colin Waterfall.
- Tell me, sweet heart… For the moment, do you see more than one door over here?”

A quick look around made the soldier understand he should have stayed quiet.

“- No…
- Good. At least, you can count up to one…
- Is it far from here? Said Fry. That place is pretty creepy…
- Of course it’s creepy. Only sweating lazy slackers were working here, you didn’t expect me to waste my money putting flowers and painting everything blue for making them love this place in the bargain, did you? And as for your question, no, it’s not too far away from here, but who knows how the place changed… I’m pretty sure some of the corridors and of the rooms would have collapsed with all those rumbles. In fact, maybe we can’t even reach the turbidium. Not counting the fact everything could collapse in the following minute…”

Just as she finished speaking, a violent tremor made everybody stumble, and almost lose their balances. The lights flickered a bit, and they could hear something metallic falling on the ground, somewhere around them. For a few seconds, they all stood quiet, hoping the structure would resist. As nothing else was happening for the moment, they began to move.

“I think we should go now, said Leela. I don’t think that Bender and Zoidberg are making the situation less tricky…”


Bender still had no idea of how he was doing all this, but he was shooting all the ammunitions of the giant machine guns that were hidden in his palms on the beast that was circling around him. The bullets (each one big enough for crushing a hovercar) were mostly bouncing off on Hydra’s scales, but a few were making more damages as they hit articulations or weak spots, not counting the fact that on the whole they were still hurting a lot. Being hit by a small rock thrown at you above the speed of sound is painful, now when we’re talking about hundreds of rocks…

Hydra suddenly shielded itself using its wings. The leather covering it was practically just as solid as the creature’s scales, making a pretty good protection. The beast rushed towards its opponent, who, because he didn’t expect that, got knocked off and trampled by Hydra. The shock made him lose the small control he had on his weapons, which quickly retracted in their hidden compartments. The beast would certainly have attacked the robot again, if Zoidberg didn’t jump on it, taking advantage of the fact it forgot about him a bit too much. The Decapodian fell of all his weight on the creature’s back, nearly breaking its spine on the shock, and then, before it could recover, he smashed the creature’s heads with the large piece of building he was holding at the moment. However, Hydra’s tail hit him on his skull, nearly knocking him out. The beast then brutally shook itself, throwing the Decapodian off its back. Bender, meanwhile, got back on his feet and quickly came to help his ally. The two of them, however, felt they were bitten by the monster, and brutally lifted off. Bender knew the next seconds wouldn’t be too kind, but he still managed to drop a little “surprise”: a hatch opened up in his back, and a few giant mines fell from them. And as the Decapodian and the robot were thrown away, the mines exploded as soon as they touched Hydra.

The landing, in fact, wasn’t as bad as it could have been… Bender could count on the many gadgets the DOOP implanted in him (including a very useful balance check device which helped him to land on his feet without too many damages), and as for Zoidberg, he had been thrown away by the creature often enough for having an idea of what to do in such a circumstance.

What really undermined them was that when the smoke produced by the mines cleared off, Hydra was still standing, its wounds healing fast enough for nullifying the advantage they could have gotten.

“- My friend, it’s still standing! Screamed Zoidberg, losing a little bit of the courage he had shown before.
- Really? I didn’t notice, jackass! Replied the robot. Damn, what must we do for offing that bastard!
- You can’t until the commando would have managed to cut it from the turbidium! Screamed one of the Schwartz in his radio. And stop using your weapons! You’re just wasting them!
- I think not! They’ve prevented that freak from dismembering me!
- And me! Added Zoidberg.
- Yeah, well, I want to forget this part!”

Zoidberg couldn’t say anything for protesting… Hydra was already jumping on them again.


Under the guidance of Mom, the commando had progressed fairly quickly in the factory’s basement, but as soon as they went to the higher levels, things were getting more complicated. Now, it was becoming quite clear that large parts of the building couldn’t resist to Hydra’s rampage, and the group had to clear a way in some of the corridors, blocked with rubbles and other trash. Fortunately, the soldiers took with them the appropriate equipment for such kind of tasks, but everybody was still feeling anxious that at some moment they would find a corridor which would be completely impassable.

The fight between Zoidberg, Bender and Hydra, just as Leela feared, wasn’t helping either… The structure of the building wouldn’t hold to the vibrations caused by the gigantic creatures for long. Finding the turbidium was becoming more and more pressing at each second that was passing…

“- Are we there yet? Asked Leela.
- Providing the following rooms will still be clear, answered the old woman, we should soon find ourselves out…
- Out?! Said a terrified Fry. But… If we get out, we may be seen by that thing!
- Dammit, mindless ape, have you listen to the briefing or not?! I already said that the turbidium was in the first floor, and guess what? That big lizard out there excavated it so that it would feel its radiations! In other words, yes, what we’re looking for is outside!
- But then, ventured Leela, why do we have to pass through here?
- Because those are the most discreet way for us to reach it! Would you have preferred us to take the ship and get there so that this thing would immediately spot us?
- I dunno… Said Fry. Maybe if we threw some ham at it for distracting it while we would…
- We’d need one heck of a big ham… Said Leela.
- Do you think a T-Rex ham would be enough?
- Still too small, said private Norton Waterfall. You’d need a T-Rex which would 4 to 5 times bigger than they usually are…
- Maybe by enlarging one?
- Oh yeah, marvellous idea, said sergeant Timothy Waterfall. For distracting a giant monster, let’s enlarge the biggest carnivorous dinosaur and pray that it doesn’t eat us first…
- A diplodocus then?
- Fry, I don’t think the ideal solution lies in dinosaurs… Said Leela, starting to feel tired.
- Well, dinosaurs are awesome, so anything involving them…
- We already sent two giant monsters against that thing, said the captain Ezekiel Waterfall, don’t tell me you don’t think it’s enough?!
- Oh! Oh, wait! Speaking of dinosaurs, we could use a meteor! If it killed them, it would sure…
- No, Fry, said Leela, that would be as bad as the doomsday device plan… And for education, it’s not a meteor that killed the dinosaurs the first time, some researches have discovered it was a swarm of space bees…
- Hey, blockheads!”

Mom knew everybody would finally pay attention to her when she shouted that exclamation.

“- I don’t give a freaking damn about that discussion of yours! If any of you is interested, we just have to take those stairs (Mom pointed at some steps that were going up) for finally getting outside!
- Good! Said captain Ezekiel Waterfall. And we’re exactly on schedule! Everybody, now put on your helmets and make sure it’s perfectly sealed. From this point, the turbidium’s radiations will begin to strike us.”

It was the kind of order which didn’t need to be repeated… Fry, Leela and the soldiers immediately obeyed it and used the suits’ internal computer for ensuring themselves they would be safe. Mom only had to make the last part, as she already put her helmet earlier for protecting herself from the sewers’ stench. Nobody in the group seemed to have trouble with his equipment, so they quickly started their ascent.

The tension in the group was becoming more and more palpable… While the tremors caused by the battle between the giant monsters were becoming stronger and stronger. The group only had to climb two floors before reaching the top of the stairs; they were now on a landing, leading to a metallic door on one side. The ceiling was partially destroyed, which was allowing daylight to get in the room. The door itself was partially dislocated; some dust was floating in the rays of light that were getting through the door’s holes.

Sergeant Timothy Waterfall peeked through one of the holes. After a few seconds, he turned back and made a little gesture that was indicating that everything was okay. He then picked something out of his backpack. Fry noticed it looked like a small round scrap of metal, with a button on the side. The sergeant pushed the button; and suddenly, the stick stretched out, its extremities transforming… And in the end, it turned into a crowbar. The soldier started to use it for forcing open the door.

“- Neat! Said the delivery boy. Can it do something else?
- For this mission, we only downloaded the crowbar mode, said lieutenant Colin Waterfall, but some versions can also turn into can openers, jack, wrench, baseball bat, piñata, and hamster cage.
-  Too bad they cut our budget, we couldn’t include the flipper mode…” Said private Norton Waterfall.

As this little discussion came to an end, the sergeant finally managed to open the door. The group followed him in the clearing… And needed a few seconds for recovering the shock.

Everything was completely and ultimately devastated around them. Absolutely nothing was left in the surroundings but gravels and rubbles. How the little stack they just got out of managed to get spared is a great mystery that may certainly never be revealed…

“- Okay… Let’s move on… Said Mom, urged for ending this as quick as possible. We’d better get that thing before those giant dimwits would get killed…
- Uh… Yeah… Said Fry. I think it’s becoming urgent…”

Leela wondered what he was looking at as he was saying this… She didn’t wonder for long. From where they were, by turning round, they could have a clear view of the battle a bit away from them.

Even Mom couldn’t prevent herself to swallow a very large gulp of saliva.
Bending Unit
« Reply #33 on: 05-08-2008 16:47 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 28)

Bender was really becoming to feel uncomfortable… It was quite difficult to feel at ease when you were bitten by the five heads of an artificial 30 meters high dragon, anyway. His alloy was still resisting to the pressure of Hydra’s jaws, but it would be much better to get out of the creature’s grasp as fast as possible, just in case.

The robot mentally cursed. Who the hell decided to implement a euphemist algorithm in his cognitive program?!

“You’ll see I’m hard to digest, punk!” Screamed the robot, before grabbing one of the beast’s heads and put his thumbs in the reptile’s eyes.

Just as Bender expected, hurting one of the heads meant hurting all the heads. As Hydra’s ten jaws loosened their grip on the robot for screaming, Bender managed to kick them and to finally set free. He continued by punching the creature at its ribs, but as he was trying to get the advantage, he didn’t notice that a few of the beast’s heads were once again closing in, with the evident intent to bite the robot again, this time at the head…

It would have made a lot of damage if Zoidberg didn’t attack too, aiming for the creature’s necks with a portion of the Brooklyn bridge. The Decapodian’s improvised weapon shattered under the impact (those buildings really hadn’t been conceived for being used as blunt weapons, thought Zoidberg), but at least it created an opening for Bender’s and Zoidberg’s next attack. The robot and the lobster began to hit the dragon in unison, each blow from one of the two allowing the second to strike the beast. Hydra was moving back, as its opponents weren’t letting him any second for replying with its teeth or claws…

Its wings, however…

Hydra brutally flipped them, creating such a strong wind that both Bender and Zoidberg had to struggle just for standing up. Behind them, the wind was creating a gigantic cloud of dust that quickly covered the sunlight, while tiny and light objects (small rubbles, leaves, sheets of paper, cans, roofs, cars, trees…) were taken away and leaving chaos behind them. It created a good enough diversion for Hydra, who finally had a way for counter-attacking… The beast head-butted its opponents with its five heads, knocking them away and making them crash on some ruins.

This, however, didn’t calm down the beast a single bit… Hydra was feeling frustrated and humiliated that those stupid rivals were still alive, fighting it and still defying it… They were already getting back on their feet after its attack, and looking at the way they were steeling themselves for the upcoming minutes, they still didn’t want to abandon the fight.

Hydra hissed and screamed at them. It no longer only wanted to show them who was the ruler of this territory… Now was the time to kill. Exactly what it was the best at…


Walking in the ruins wasn’t nearly as difficult as it could have seemed… Hydra made such efforts for creating a resting spot that, although all the buildings that were composing the factory had been destroyed and levelled, the ruins were just making, past a certain limit, a somewhat flat area of shattered blocks of cement. After all, Hydra had been curling around the turbidium for sleeping, which means its weight alone crushed everything.

And so, pretty quickly, the turbidium was finally on sight. There couldn’t be any doubt about it… The turbidium was looking so much like how you envision radioactive material that it was becoming ridiculous. A big green, glowing rock, which was apparently pulsating and was humming, something which would normally be absolutely impossible. Leela thought that in this world where looks are often treacherous, it was good to see something that could be evaluated at first glance… “Never touch green glowing rocks, kids”, as Mr Vogel always kept on saying to her and the other kids at the orphanarium.

“- Time to proceed to the recovery phase, said Ezekiel Waterfall. Private Waterfall, make yourself sure that the container is still perfectly impervious to radiations and install it near the turbidium. Sergeant Timothy, Lieutenant Colin, I’ll need your help for lifting the rock and for putting it in the container.
- And what about us? Asked Fry, feeling left aside.
- Well… Look at the battle and inform us if Hydra, Bendizer Z or Zoidberg are coming this way…
- Sure could do.”

While Fry, Leela and Mom went on observation a bit away from the soldiers, the latter could perform their new task. Just as they were hoping, the lead-coated box was still in perfect state, and wouldn’t let the turbidium’s radiations filtering through. After a last examination of their suits’ protections, the soldiers finally walked to the turbidium. The rock was installed inside a metallic cocoon in the past, but Hydra ripped it out for letting the rock’s radiations escape. The soldiers had to be extremely cautious for not making the slightest tear on their suits with all the pointy and cutting metallic scraps around the turbidium. And exactly as the Schwartz were expecting, the rock was heavy enough for not being able to be lifted by only one man. But together, the four soldiers didn’t have too much trouble for putting the turbidium in the container. The soldiers then pulled some bottles out of their backpacks; they were filled with a recently conceived isolating liquid, which was absorbing the radiations and was diminishing even more the risks of having a leak of radioactivity. Private Andrew Waterfall then put the box’s lid back and activated all the electronic lock. When all of this was done, the box was as hard to open as the President’s nuclear briefcase.

Ezekiel Waterfall tried to call the base. The residual radiations were making the liaison difficult and his radio was cracking a lot, but at least he managed to deliver his message.

“- Captain Ezekiel Waterfall reporting. The turbidium is now in our hands. We’re proceeding to the material’s evacuation.
- Perf… Captain Wat…Fall, said one of the Schwartz, his voice deformed by the interferences. Hurry u… The targ… is taking the … Er hand on Ben… Zer Z and Zoidberg.”

The captain cut the communication and ordered his men to go back to the exit point. While proceeding, they quickly met up with Leela, Fry and Mom again. The young woman was the first one to reach them.

“- So… It’s done?
- Yes, it is, replied the captain. Now we must get it out of the city as fast as possible.
- What?! Said Fry. That means we’ve got to make all the way back to the ship?
- Just to the sewers’ exit. A little shuttle will meet us there and will take the turbidium away. The only reason we used such a large ship before was that we needed to transport doctor Zoidberg here. Speaking of which… Are they holding?”

Leela moved a bit from his way, showing something in the distance.

“Well, look by yourself…”

And indeed, a simple look indicated to the soldier that they’d better hurry. Zoidberg was clinging to Hydra’s tail, making everything possible for not letting go… The beast wasn’t helping him, as it was furiously swinging it. After a few seconds of this treatment, the creature then slammed its tail on the floor, knocking the Decapodian good. But as Hydra was about to jump on the lobster, Bender suddenly jumped on it from behind, grabbing several of Hydra’s heads in an attempt to slow it down. Of course, by doing so, he only managed to get the beast’s attention and to call its anger on him…

“Let’s go.” Was the only thing the captain said before forcing the whole party to get back into the factory’s ruins by the same door they had used.

They were going much faster than they did before, as they now knew what path they should take. The only difficulty was to transport the box containing the turbidium in all the destroyed room they had to go through… Only two people (in this case, the private Andrew Waterfall and the sergeant Timothy Waterfall) were required for carrying it, but as sometimes the rubbles were making the floor particularly tricky, there had been a few moments when they almost tripped.

Finally, after very long minutes, Fry recognised the room where they emerged from the sewers. This sight alone almost made him feel relieved.

“Pfoohee! Only a little more, and everybody here will be fine!”


Hydra wasn’t intelligent enough for describing what it was feeling as its paws were slamming Zoidberg’s head against the ground as “pleasure”, but it knew it was making it feel good. The beast could hear the lobster moan as the pain was putting it into unconsciousness, and it was the kind of sound that was pushing it to not finish its rival off immediately.

The creature heard Bender running at it from behind. It didn’t really need to look behind it for calculating the robot’s position, but it did nonetheless as it swung its tail at his still standing rival. The beast’s tail hit the robot head-on, so hard that Bender got thrown in a nearby ruin which collapsed on him. It was apparently the last hit he could take… The robot wasn’t making a single move for trying to stand up. He couldn’t. He slipped into unconsciousness as soon as the tail hit his head with the force of a high-speed train.

During brief seconds, Hydra looked at its two defeated opponents. They were still alive (well, the lobster anyway… Hydra couldn’t tell about the other one, as it couldn’t tell exactly what it was to begin with), but none of them was representing a menace anymore. Once again, Hydra was victorious… He showed who the master of this territory was. It felt the urge to scream for claiming this…

When it finally realized it couldn’t feel the turbidium’s radiations anymore.

Hydra looked at the place where it left the radioactive material. Just as it feared, it was gone. The bizarre metallic nest in which it had been encased was still there, but there were no traces left of its green glowing light.

It was extremely bad for it. Hydra wasn’t ready yet, its spawns were still weak in its body. It was vital for it to find the turbidium as fast as possible, especially as it also needed to recover from the fight.

Searching it was its new priority. It had absolutely no idea of where it could have been, or how it could have disappeared like this. Hydra was too primitive for wanting an explanation; it only wanted the turbidium back.

And as it was concentrating, it caught a little trace of the radioactive stone. A very dim and light one, but it couldn’t be mistaken. The turbidium was still close, but Hydra still couldn’t see it. It was as if…

Hydra looked at the ground.

Wernstrom gifted Hydra with a lot of capacities when he conceived it, but the beast also developed some unexpected faculties that were an indication of how hazardous it could be to bio-engineer an entire new species from scratch. One of them was the creature’s capacity to see sources of radiations.

And right now, Hydra could locate a small source of radiations, under the ground. A small source that was moving.

The beast hissed.
Bending Unit
« Reply #34 on: 05-18-2008 16:02 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 29)

Morris checked his suit’s systems once again. Just like the14 other times, it indicated that absolutely nothing could get inside of it, not even the powerful radiations that the turbidium was emitting.

It wasn’t calming him down a single bit.

Leela was gone for quite a long time now, and despite all his efforts, there wasn’t a single second where the thought that something bad happened to her, Fry and the others was crossing his mind. The astounding sounds produced by the battle above his head weren’t making anything easier…

The sewer mutant gave a look at Norton Waterfall, who was waiting in the other hovercraft for the rest of the group to show up. He was looking much more calm than him, as if he had been in such a situation numerous times… Which was certainly the case, actually, considering his affectation in this elite squad. Morris would have given anything for being as stoic as the soldier, but he knew he would never be anyway… It was his daughter who was risking her life up there, and even if he was a perfectly trained soldier, he would still worry about her like any good father does.

When he heard something over him, he twisted his head so fast for looking at what it could be that he nearly got a stiff neck. When he saw it was them, relief overwhelmed his heart. And it got even worse when Leela called him.

“- Dad? Are you still there?
- Yes I am, honey! Are you alright?
- We’re all fine! Is your suit sealed? We’re about to throw that thing, so…
- Hermetically. You can do your thing.”

Something fell from the manhole, something quite voluminous. The spray it made when it fell in the toxic river splashed both Morris and Norton Waterfall, but their suits protected them from the effect of the toxins (Well… Norton, anyway, as Morris didn’t really have anything to worry about this). As it got back to the surface, Morris saw it was the lead-coated box they had taken with them, but this time a few floaters had been fixed on it, preventing it from sinking in the river’s depths and allowing it to float. Those commandos really had thought about everything… Morris managed to grab the box and to pull it next to the hovercraft, but he couldn’t lift it by himself. Fortunately, the soldiers were already climbing down the ladder for coming to his help. Leela, Fry and Mom were the last one to go down. All the civilians went on Morris’ hovercraft, the soldiers all got on the others, but it didn’t stop them from giving a hand to Morris.

“- So, everything’s okay? Asked the mutant.
- Yep, no problem, replied Fry.
- Now that the turbidium is in our hands, continued Leela, nothing can…”

The ceiling collapsed.

Instinctively, Morris activated the engines and made the hovercraft leap forward, making him, Fry, Leela and Mom escape from the rubbles. The soldiers weren’t that quick, but they miraculously got spared by the falling blocks of cement.

They couldn’t even start to react that one of Hydra’s heads got through the gigantic hole above their heads and rushed on them. All they could do was to take a quick look at the creature before its gigantic jaws closed on them.

In other circumstances, Morris would certainly have done everything for escaping before the menace could have spotted them, but being so close of such a massive and powerful creature and the speed at which the tragedy occurred rooted him to the spot. Feeling disincarnated, he could almost see himself watching Hydra chewing the other hovercraft and its occupants as easily as a marshmallow, fear, fascination and astonishment combining themselves for preventing him from looking away. Fry and Leela were just as paralyzed as the mutant, and even Mom couldn’t thing of any kind of witty banter, except a curse that was pretty dull by her standards.

Slowly, the head turned for looking at them. Morris knew that if he would be looking too long in the reptile’s eyes, his soul would be swallowed in the impenetrable darkness in them. Only the flame of rage that was burning in them was preventing this from happening.

Two other heads of the creature burst from the ceiling, causing an incredible racket. They got at the level of the first one, looking at the little group in the hovercraft.

Mom finally reacted. Being spied by six eyes, each one as big as a haystack, somehow broke her stupefaction.

“Get us out of here, freak… And quick…”

Morris moved slowly to the commands, as he feared the beast would be rushing on them as soon as it would understand they would try to flee. Of course, it would attack anyway…

Hydra’s lips slowly half-opened, revealing the creature’s fangs. A hiss slipped out of them, distinctively ophidian, and yet incomparable to anything a snake, no matter what specie it could be, would be able to do.


Morris crushed the pedal with his foot. And as the hovercraft jumped forward and entered the sewer system at high speed, Hydra’s three heads roared and rushed at their pursuit, destroying the ceiling in the process and leaving monstrous rifts on it. Several layers of rock and cement didn’t seem to bother the creature at all.

In the now abandoned gigantic sewer conduct, only a few scraps of metal and the destroyed ceiling were indicating what happened earlier. A rather thin walkway was running on one of the conduct’s sewer. And on that walkway, a young, blonde woman wearing a robe was standing. She shook her fist, looking enraged.

“I’ll avenge you, cousins!” screamed the woman with a disturbingly masculine voice.
Bending Unit
« Reply #35 on: 05-22-2008 12:33 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 30)

Hovercraft races were a pretty popular entertainment in the mutant community. Without any doubt, the sewer mutants would have been delighted to see one of them driving so fast in the canalizations. Of course, if it wasn’t for Hydra’s heads that were on his tail.

Saying if Leela, Fry, Morris and Mom had a chance to escape was pretty hard to tell. Morris was forced to get into a real maze of tunnels, which meant he had to be extremely cautious in his driving for not having everybody on the hovercraft being blown up to pieces after he would have thrown them into a wall, all this while still trying to drive as fast as possible. Hydra, on its side, was completely ravaging the tunnels as it was pursuing its preys. The beast was progressing way faster than anybody could have expected as it had to dig through several layers of rock and cement for being at the same level than the ones it was trying to catch, but it had no idea of where the small group would be going at the next intersection. Morris’ knowledge of the sewers’ network was their only hope of survival.

Leela was standing next to her dad, taking the role of a co-pilot for warning him about some obstacles he may not have seen (“rubbles on the right!”), but Fry and Mom couldn’t do anything but stay in the back, hoping the two mutants wouldn’t make any fatal mistake. Sometimes, they were looking behind them… Not for long, as seeing three monstrous snake heads, screaming, foaming with rage, showing all their fangs and rushing on them with an indubitable will to kill them was a bit too much for them. Fry knew he would have nightmares about this kind of vision for a long time. Like this time when he fell in the baboon pit, during a trip in the zoo.

He still never had nightmares about this incident, actually. After all, it happened only the day before…

Anybody who would still be on the surface would have seen a very strange behaviour from Hydra’s part. They would see the creature walking apparently without any purpose, three of its heads stuck in the ground and the two others hissing and howling at something under their feet, and leaving three titanic trenches where its necks were ploughing the soil. It was not exactly the kind of attitude one would expect from such a predator…

“Bender! Screamed Fry in his radio. Bender, do you hear me?! Help us! That thing is after us! Bender, please! Do something!”

No answers.


The hovercraft finally came back in the mutant city. As there were much less bends than before, Morris could make the ship go faster… Unfortunately, Hydra, on the other side, now had much less troubles navigating than before. Instead of having to closely follow the toxic river’s flow, it now could take much more direct ways for getting closer to its preys… Knocking down several buildings in the way, of course. After having levelled New New York, Hydra was now ravaging the mutant city as well. Morris was way too concentrated on his piloting for realizing what was happening, but the idea of having his city, built entirely by their inhabitants’ hands, and partly (in a very short proportion, but still…) by his own, all this by using everything they could for having a shelter and sacrificing months after months of hard labour… Being destroyed like a card castle in a matter of minutes by one single monster… It’s not sure he could have taken it.

“- What the heck are you waiting?! Screamed Mom. Get us out of here!
- We have to get to another exit! Replied Morris, not even turning his head for looking at the old woman. If we take the same route than before, that thing will be on us in no time!
- Why? Asked Leela, still watching after anything that could be blocking their way.
- The main canalisation is a straight line to the outside! And there, that beast wouldn’t be annoyed by the rock above our heads anymore! We’ve got to go deeper underground, and I know exactly where we can do this!
- But we’ve got to evacuate that thing! Said Fry.
- Listen, you two-brain-celled slug, this box here is completely blocking the turbidium’s radiations, and guess what? Our main mission was to cut the beast from its main source of power! Screamed Mom. This part is done, now we’ve got to survive at all cost and make ourselves sure it would never reach us and the turbidium!” The old woman stopped paying attention to Fry and grabbed Morris’ shoulder. “You’d better be sure of what you’re doing, one-eyed freak, because if it fails, you can be sure I’ll hunt you down in the underworld and kick your spectral ass!
- If you think this is a frightening threat, then you’ve never heard what my wife says when I don’t want to pay a visit to her mother!” Said the mutant.

As they were getting on a straight line, Morris pushed the throttle until it got blocked. The gain of speed was quite noticeable, to the point where the front of the hovercraft started to rise a little bit. The four fugitives were shaken about in a pretty uncomfortable way, but they were all holding firmly anything on the boat that could have prevented them from being tossed away. But as Fry gave a look behind them, he nearly chocked: they still weren’t fast enough. Hydra’s heads were coming closer and closer. Way above their heads, the creature’s body was progressing much faster than it already was, as the lack of obstacles and of turns was finally allowing it to push itself the fastest it can.

“- Morris, it’s coming! Shouted Fry.
- No kidding?”

The mutant was still pushing the hovercraft at its maximum, but Fry could still see the beast closing in. Its heads knocked down a few other buildings without being slowed down a single bit.

“- It’s really coming fast! Said Fry.
- I know!”

A few more seconds… If the creature didn’t reach them in a few seconds, then maybe they’d have a chance. It would be somewhere around…

The creature roared. It was now close enough for Fry to smell its breath. Fortunately, the containment suit he was wearing prevented him from suffocating. Wernstrom didn’t think of giving it a digestive system which wouldn’t produce such a horrible stench…


The mutant said nothing… But in a glimpse, he saw the opening of a tunnel on their left. The tunnel he was searching.

Morris steered while braking like a maniac, before pushing the throttle at their maximum when the hovercraft faced the opening. The manoeuvre was so brutal that Fry, Leela and Mom banged into the right side of the ship, but it allowed them to get in a covered area in less than a tenth of second. And the most important was that Hydra too got caught off-guard… Carried away by its course, Hydra continued to follow the same route for several dozens meters, before finally stopping. One of its heads tried to grab the hovercraft while it was turning, but it reacted too late and it missed its prey by far. After it stopped, Hydra needed  a few more seconds for turning its mass so that it could continue the pursuit and a few others for gaining the necessary momentum for allowing its necks to break all the layers of rock and to continue its route underground. It wasn’t a lot of seconds, but for the fugitives, it was an incomparable advantage that would drive them to safety. They were engaging in another maze of tunnels, and each second that was passing was increasing the distance between them and Hydra’s heads, even after they finally entered in the same network than them.

“- Whoohoo! Exulted Fry. That was awesome, Morris!
- To be honest, my boy, I wasn’t sure it would work! Replied the mutant.
- So what’s the plan now? Said an unimpressed Mom.
- From here, we should be able to reach the sewers’ sewer system, under this level…
- Wait, there are other sewers under the sewers? Asked Leela.
- I thought you had been told during this Chupanibre story… Anyway, this way, we’d be far too deep for this beast to reach us. From there, we will be able to safely get outside, so that the DOOP can evacuate the turbidium. And maybe we’ll see if there’s indeed a secret city under ours, populated with even weirder mutants! I always wondered if this was a scary tale people tell to their children for making themselves sure they wouldn’t get somewhere dangerous or if…
- LOOK OUT!!!”

Leela’s scream suddenly put Morris out of his daydreaming… And into panic. The ways the tunnels had been damaged by Hydra’s rampages should have warned him before, but desperately hoping they could get out of the system in one piece, he didn’t want to think about this possibility.

In front of them, the tunnel had collapsed, with huge chunks of cement completely blocking the way. There wasn’t a single opening they could have used for getting through… And they were heading on it at full speed.

Morris crushed the brakes so hard his foot nearly passed through the bottom of the hovercraft. The sudden slowing down made the passengers feel propelled to the front; in fact Fry’s head even crashed on the dashboard, leaving the mark of his bulbous skull on it. Considering the number of times such a treatment had been inflected on him which developed some mysterious kind of immunity against skull fracturing, it didn’t manage to put him into a coma.

But the hovercraft took a long, long time for stopping. Holding to the boat’s hull, Leela could see the rubbles coming closer and closer and closer… She saw all her life flashing before her eye (what surprised her was that she almost got bored) and couldn’t think anything else but ohmygodimgonnadieidontwannadi eohgodohgodohgod, and so on.

But if the rubbles were dangerously getting closer, they were doing so much slower at each second… The hovercraft progressively lost all its initial speed and when it finally hit the rocks, the shock wasn’t hard enough for having the whole group getting splattered against the cement. Everybody got shaken, the front of the boat was slightly deformed and Fry hit his head against the dashboard (again), but nobody got hurt seriously.

“- What part of “get us out of trouble” didn’t you get, moron?! Screamed Mom, more for evacuating her anguish than because she really was furious.
- Are we trapped? Asked Fry.
- No, we can still backtrack and take another route, said Morris while manoeuvring the hovercraft so that it would turn on itself. There was a junction not too far away, we can…”

Morris stopped. His eye nearly bulged out of its socket.

Hydra was already there. The tunnel was too narrow for allowing more than one of its heads to get through, but one was way enough for killing them and getting the turbidium back, and it was rushing on them, devastating the tunnel on the way, howling and showing its fangs. The beast had already cut out their only chance of retreat, they had nowhere to hide, nowhere to run anymore… They did the only thing they could still do.

They all screamed of fear and hugged each other, an intuitive reaction that was making them protect the people they cared about with their body… Which, in this case, wouldn’t have any effect.

Leela grabbed Fry and Morris at the same time, the delivery boy and the mutant both grabbed the young lady… And Mom grabbed nobody. In fact, among the four, she was the only one who jumped on the ground and tried to move some of the rocks, with very little success.

Hydra’s head was almost on them… In this moment when he was sure he was going to die, time suddenly seemed to slow down. He could see every scales that was covering the monstrous head, he could see the light of their headlights reflecting on its eyes, the saliva dripping from the fangs…

The beast was only at a few meters now, the matter of less than a second… Fry closed his eyes and tightened his grip.

Time was slowing down. He felt that the very small fragments of time that were separating him from oblivion were being elongated, to the point that they felt like a few seconds.

And another seconds.

And another ones.

Well, looks like death was taking its time…

Now, that was getting a bit strange.

Okay, what was going on?

Fry carefully opened one of his eyes… The second followed pretty quickly.

Hydra was only at less than a meter away from them, it was trying to catch them by clapping his jaws over and over, but it was only biting the air. The monstrous head wasn’t moving forward anymore, it was as stuck where it was without any mean to make the few centimetres that were still separating it from its preys. Having a good look on the creature’s eyes, Fry could perfectly see that, asides from being enraged, Hydra was also looking surprised, as if it wasn’t understanding what was happening. Needless to say, Leela, Morris and Mom were astonished about this strange phenomenon

“- What the heck is going on? Said Fry.
- Take a guess!” Screamed somebody in his radio.


On the surface, Hydra’s body was flopping in a desperate attempt for allowing its head to reach the small preys, but it was apparently useless. After a while, the two heads which were still above the surface bent themselves for looking at what was going on behind them.

Bender and Zoidberg had grabbed Hydra by its tail, and were now struggling for keeping the monster still.

“- Take a guess! Screamed the robot.
- Bender?! Said Fry in the radio, at the same time surprised and joyful.
- And the good doctor Zoidberg too! Said the Decapodian. Are you alright, friends?
- Yeah, we’re fine! Now, it was Leela on the radio. But… Er… Can you make this thing go away, please? We’re a little… Well… It’s getting pretty crowdy down there!
- No problem! Said Bender. Zoidberg? Pull!!!”

The robot and the Decapodian pulled on Hydra’s tail with such strength that the creature literally lifted over the ground; it made a perfect ark before being crushed on the ground, on its back. The beast was completely destabilized by the sudden return of its opponents, to the point that it couldn’t do anything for breaking its fall and suffered at the maximum. As it was trying to get back on its paws with a lot of difficulty, Bender fall on its exposed belly, his two feet sinking in the creature’s stomach.

“Round two, fight!” Screamed the robot.
Bending Unit
« Reply #36 on: 05-25-2008 16:43 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 31)

Morris got off the hovercraft and took a look around him. He still couldn’t believe how lucky they were, but he thought it would be best not to tell his daughter about how he was feeling at the moment. The surroundings still weren’t safe, and they had a little thing to deal with…

“How can we get out of here?”

That was the great question indeed. Not only was the road blocked ahead of them, but Hydra also completely devastated the tunnels they used before. They were standing in the only portion which wasn’t completely covered with rubbles. It didn’t seem to worry Mom, who pointed something in front of them.

“- Take a look, said the old woman. That thing created an opening to the outside for us. We can’t take it, but maybe we can ask the Schwartz to get a cab for us?
- Sounds good, said Leela. I think there’s enough space for allowing a small ship to get through. I’ll call them immediately.”

As Leela was trying (successfully) to call the two officers, Fry got near Mom and stared at her. After a moment, the old woman noticed the young man’s attention.

“- What do you want?
- Nothing, replied Fry. It’s just that I’m surprised you gave an advice without being… Well, harsh.
- Look, kid, we passed that close to a horrible death, said Mom while making the small gesture indicating something small with her thumb and her index, I’m still a bit under the shock, okay? I’ll call you a doof later, if you don’t mind.”

This answer seemed to satisfy Fry, who calmly got back to his waiting.

Little did they know that two pairs of eyes were spying on them from a crack in the walls.

“- Looks like they won’t come down… Whispered one voice.
- Good, this way, nobody will discover the secret undersewer city, said a second one.
- Yeah, we don’t want those lesser mutants in our house!” said a third one.


Bender was still standing on Hydra, and was trampling it with the kind of enthusiasm that makes everybody around you feel joyful… Except the creature, of course. Bender was so enjoying himself that somehow, his trampling was turning into some kind of tap dance.

“It’s just a little jump to the left… And then a step to the riiiiiiight! Sang the robot. Come on, jerk, let’s do time warp again!”

The beast apparently didn’t have dance on its schedule, as one of its heads bit Bender’s ankle and forced him to get out of him. Hydra then used the little moment of break for getting back on its paws and was about to attack the robot while he was down, when suddenly Zoidberg crashed into its left wing and shoulder, after having taken some run-up.

“LOBSTER DASH!!!” Screamed Zoidberg, as he hit the beast.

Still standing weakly on its limbs and unprepared to the attack, Hydra got thrown on the ground, and even made a few rolls before stopping. Bender had plenty of time for standing up again during this stunt, but instead of taking advantage of Hydra’s astonishment, he gave a strange stare at the Decapodian.

“- “Lobster dash”?! said the robot.
- I dunno why I said that, replied Zoidberg, shrugging. It came naturally.
- But it doesn’t make sense! At all!
- Well… I think it does… I mean, I’m a lobster, and I dashed, so…
- No, I mean, why the heck would you ever shout the name of your attack while doing it? And it’s completely stupid! If you’ve got a move called, I dunno, “shining fist of the tiger which catches its prey by surprise with the flaming fury of the volcano”, your opponent would have knocked you down before you’d have finished the first two words! That’s the most retarded thing I’ve…”

An unnatural growl made him stop. Finally remembering they were in the middle of a fight, Bender turned to face Hydra, which was standing on its rear limbs and dominating him by at least a dozen meters, preparing another attack.

His reflexes, luckily, were fast enough.


The robot concentrated all his strength in his punch. Striking Hydra on its ribcage, the robot felt a few bones crack under his fist, as the beast was knocked away. The robot for his part was standing still, looking at his fist with bewilderment.

“- Oh man, it’s contagious! Said Bender.
- It’s not so bad, replied the Decapodian. It adds some je-ne-sais-quoi to the whole thing that…
- Listen, seafood, I think we should end this as fast as possible, otherwise we will get stuck in this situation and keep on screaming everything you do!”

Hydra realized everything was turning bad… Its chest was hurting a lot, it had the feeling something was burning under its ribs. And although it was regenerating as usual, it noticed it was taking more time than before. The tiny ants stole the turbidium before it would have enhanced it permanently, and it would be just a matter of minutes before its two rivals would wound it faster than it could heal. It absolutely had to get the turbidium back, if it wanted to have a chance of surviving. It had to admit it greatly underestimated the two fighters. It tried to get back where it had trapped the ants before it had been stopped, but Bender and Zoidberg were already on it again.

“- Where do you think you’re going, big boy? Shouted Bender.
- Yeah, we’ll punch you senseless, meanie! Added Zoidberg.
- Damn, lobster, you really need to work on your taunting…
- Er… We’re gonna kick your ass to the moon? Ventured the Decapodian.
- Better. Not by much, but it’s a start.”

As the robot and the lobster were standing just between Hydra and where Fry, Leela and Mom were stucked, the monster faced them and roared at them, before charging. Bender and Zoidberg rushed at the beast too, screaming like the soldiers of William Wallace who would have drank too much hydromel.


Leela, Fry, Morris and Mom were climbing the monstrous pile of rubbles that was blocking their way, but was also leading them to the outside. Staying in what was left of the sewers would only make their evacuation much harder than they’d already be, so their immediate objective was at least to allow the DOOP ship for picking them up as easily as possible.

“Can’t we… Take a few seconds… For breathing?”

Fry was clearly using his last reserves. Him and Morris were trying to carry the crate containing the turbidium, but the young man was definitely not made for this kind of task.

“- No way, replied Mom. We must put the maximum of distance between us and that beast, and it means we’ve got to be evacuated!
- But… That darn thing… Is way too heavy…
- Come on, Fry! Said Morris. I’m carrying it too, and I’m not complaining as much!
- Well, you didn’t… Knocked yourself out… Twice…
- Look!” Screamed Leela, pointing something above them.

Fry, Morris and Mom both looked up. Not so far away from them than what they expected, the devastated ground was allowing them to see the sky… And the form of a small ship, hovering above the opening.

“- At last! Said Leela. We’re saved! We’re…
- Hey there, gorgeous!”

Leela’s enthusiasm immediately faded away. The voice was coming from the ship’s loudspeaker, and she immediately recognized its owner. During a very small fraction of second, she considered getting back underground.

“- Oh God, no… Said Leela. Of all the soldiers in thousands of miles around…
- Looks like you need my help again, my sweet! Said Zapp. You know, one of those days, I’ll end up thinking you put yourself in danger intentionally so that the great Brannigan would come at your rescue… Ah, who am I kidding? We both know that’s exactly it!”
Bending Unit
« Reply #37 on: 06-02-2008 13:05 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 32)

Zoidberg was gripping all of Hydra’s necks at once, trying to strangle the creature, but the monster managed to make the Decapodian lose its grip after having shaking itself energetically. An immediate counterattack seemed to be necessary, but just before attacking, its senses warned itself of something weird. The beast gave a quick look at the rift where the ants and the turbidium were trapped, and immediately perceived the presence of a small fly over it.

Hydra forgot about his rivals. Its instincts were screaming at it that this fly was about to steal the turbidium. If it’d ever succeed, Hydra sensed that it would lose the radioactive rock definitely. This couldn’t happen… The creature was too close of being permanently empowered and its spawns were still too weak for letting the turbidium go away. Just as it suspected, Hydra perceived the presence of the turbidium inside the fly… Which was starting to get away.

The monster started to run after the fly, but it detected its presence and the menace it was representing way too late: the insect was already getting up in the atmosphere. Hydra deployed its monstrous wings; only a few flaps, creating hurricanes which lifted tons and tons of dust, were enough for getting freed of the Earth’s attraction. The beast was about to start chasing the bug…

When suddenly, Bender and Zoidberg jumped on it, grabbing it by its tail and its legs.

“Oh no, big boy, you ain’t going nowhere!” Screamed the robot.

The combined weights of the robot and of the Decapodian were enough for surpassing Hydra’s capacity of lifting. The creature tried to get rid of its opponents and could have managed to resume its hunt, if Zoidberg didn’t catch one of its wings as well. Destabilized, heavier, Hydra fell flat on the ground, causing an earthquake which shook everything around and caused the collapse of a few more weakened ruins.

But Bender and Zoidberg didn’t want to stop there… Each one grabbed one of Hydra’s wings by their articulations, posed one of their feet on it, and then violently forced the wings to bend in an unnatural way. The bones immediately gave up… Hydra felt its wings break like glass, and the pain, invading and burning his entire nervous system, caused it to emit the most loudest roar it had ever shrieked. The suffering was so unbearable Hydra couldn’t even find the strength for struggling and trying to get away from its rivals’ grip.

It, however, managed to give a look at the fly that was going away with the turbidium. It was merely a point in the distance; it quickly disappeared from its vision.

The frustration made it roar again, but this time, a distinct sadness could be perceived in the weak scream…

Bender and Zoidberg’s radios cracked as Leela was contacting them.

“We’re out of Hydra’s reach! Finish it quickly, it can’t count on the turbidium healing properties anymore!”

Bender welcomed the news with great pleasure. The robot walked away, before activating all his weapons at once. His body was now completely covered with rocket launchers, machine-guns, lasers, and whatsoever.

Needless to say, Zoidberg carefully moved away from Hydra.

“Good night, jerkass!”

Bender tried to fire.

Nothing happened.

Losing a little bit of his confidence, the robot tried again. And again. And another time. Still nothing.

He suddenly remembered what the Schwartz told him earlier: “stop using your weapons on it, you’re only wasting ammunitions!”


Hydra understood its opponent had a small problem… Trying to forget the pain, it charged the robot. Handicapped by all the weapons he was wielding, Bender couldn’t avoid the beast and got knocked down on the floor. Hydra started to bite him and to scratch, much to Bender’s confusion. If Zoidberg didn’t intervene and forced Hydra to let Bender go, the robot would have been gone in an instant.

“- My friend! Are you alright? Said Zoidberg, trying to contain Hydra.
- I’m dry! Dammit, we need to find something for finishing off this thing! Turbidium or not, it’s still too powerful!
- I don’t have any ideas! How can we kill it?!
- I don’t know! I…”

Bender’s eyes suddenly caught something shining in the far distance. Wondering what it could be, he finally remembered a detail. Hydra ravaged the city centre, but most of the industrial sector had been spared by the creature’s attacks. And what caught his attention was the beer factory downtown… Or more precisely, the gigantic bottle on its top, that was used as a sign.

At first, it only reminded he was feeling thirsty and that he’d kill for a braü, but then he remembered another one of his capacities, one he had before the DOOP made all those changes to him… With some luck, they didn’t make this feature impossible. But it was still not enough. Unless…

Bender looked at his feet. When Hydra chased Fry, Leela, Mom and Morris, it let huge rifts in the ground, to the point he could see the mutant’s city (or more precisely, its ruins) that had been hidden underground for centuries. And the toxic river as well…

Something made “tilt!” in his mind.

“- Zoidberg, can you keep it busy for a minute? I won’t be long!
- Will you just stop whining and punch that bastard? I’m coming back as fast as I can!”

Bender dumped Zoidberg, letting him deal with Hydra, and ran away from the battlefield to the beer factory. As soon as he got there, the robot tore off the factory’s roof off, making the giant bottle crash on the floor. Just as he expected, inside the large building, countless enormous vats were aligned, containing hundreds and hundreds of gallons of beer. Bender grabbed four of them, and after having ripped them open drank the entirety of their contents. The taste of the beverage was sweet and delicate, but he was already feeling bloated with all the gas he absorbed. He forced himself to resist to his urge to burp, and ran back to the battlefield. Zoidberg was still struggling against the beast, but he seemed to do better than before. Apparently, Hydra was getting on its last reserves, but it still didn’t want to surrender…

“- Think you can stay alive a little bit? Said Bender.
- HELP ME! Screamed a panicked Zoidberg. HELP ME, MY FRIEND!!!
- Good! If you can still scream, you’re not too exhausted! Listen to me, lobster… When I’ll tell you to, I’d like you to throw that thing as high and far away as you can, get it?
- Shut up and do what I say, okay? I don’t have time to lose explaining something you wouldn’t get anyway!
- Bender? Said Leela in the robot’s radio. What are you up to?
- A little patience, would you, big boots? Zoidberg! Prepare yourself!”

Abandoning the Decapodian again, Bender kneeled next to one of the rifts on the ground. Far below him, the toxic river was running between what was left of the underground mutant city. The giant robot opened its mouth, and a long retractable metallic tube got out of it in a clinking noise. Bender bent over the opening and dipped the tube in the toxic waters… And shortly afterwards, a suction noise could be heard from both the tube and the robot’s mouth…

Meanwhile, Zoidberg was starting to do miracles against Hydra. He still had no idea of what Bender was about to do, but trusting him, he did his best for accomplishing what he asked him to do. Hydra suddenly got on its rear limbs and tried to attack the Decapodian, but Zoidberg managed to grab the creature by its waist and to make it trip. Determined to use this situation at his advantage, Zoidberg immediately grabbed Hydra’s tail… And then, putting all his strength in his arms, he tried to make the beast spin. Disoriented, weakened, Hydra couldn’t put too much effort in defending itself… The centrifugal force soon was strong enough for making the entire body of the creature float over the ground. Spinning on himself, still holding the beast by its tail, Zoidberg was making it circling around him, faster and faster; Both the Decapodian and the monster were forming a real tornado after a while, the center being Zoidberg who absolutely didn’t know if what he was doing was useful or if it would even work. Hydra tried to struggle, but no matter how much it jiggled, Zoidberg was still holding it tight, and the speed at which it was now circling was almost preventing it from doing a single move.

Bender finally stopped aspiring toxic water when he thought he couldn’t swallow a single more drop. As the drinking straw was retracting and getting back inside his throat, he thought he would be very sick. The combination of the gallons of beer and of toxic waters was explosive, and his belly was burning like a brasero; he could even feel himself inflating, but he still had a few more seconds to hold…

“Zoidberg! Now!”

The Decapodian let Hydra go. Freed from what was keeping it from obeying to the centrifugal force, the monster got thrown in the sky at an unbelievable speed. Its broken wings were no help, and there was no way it could have diverted its trajectory. Both of frustration and anxiety, Hydra roared again…

For the last time.

Bender aimed at the creature which was getting higher and higher in the sky… And finally allowed himself to burp. In normal times, Bender’s burp was already producing a pretty impressive burst of flame, but this time… The toxic matters he swallowed caused a chemical reaction which increased the importance of a phenomenon.

Bender spat a monstrously huge torrent of flame, almost as large as him. The gigantic stream of fire (which was green coloured, a pretty sweet nuance that was a bit unexpected from the robot’s part) went straight to the sky, and engulfed Hydra quasi-instantaneously. No matter of strong and resistant Hydra was, it wasn’t enough for resisting to the fire which was almost as hot as the heart of a star. Devoured by the fire and the heat, Hydra’s body got disintegrated in a blink. When Bender finally stopped burping and the flame died as it ran out of fuel, not even a single drop of ash was left of the gigantic monster that defeated the DOOP and ravaged New New York.

When the Schwartz and the rest of the officers realized Hydra was destroyed according to the control screens they were looking at, they cheered loudly, applauded and triumphed like they usually do at the end of a victorious war.

When Fry, Leela, Morris, Mom, Zapp and Kif saw the defeat of the monster from their small ship, they did as well.

In the refugee camp, away from the city, as everybody saw the final act, hundreds of cries of joy resounded in the air, quickly followed by tears of happiness and relief.

As for Bender and Zoidberg… It was a bit different.

“- My friend… We… Won… Said Zoidberg, before falling unconscious as spinning on himself so fast almost gave him an aneurism.
- Oh boy… That’s great, but…” Bender was now really, REALLY feeling sick. He fell on his knees, grabbing his belly, and started to barf. He still managed to yell “Medic!”.
Bending Unit
« Reply #38 on: 06-08-2008 15:50 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 33)

The victory of Bender and Zoidberg quickly got announced in the entire world. The two Schwartz, the professor Farnsworth and Wernstrom quickly got to New New York, in order to take care of the two fighters. As there wasn’t anymore reasons of staying away, Fry, Leela, Mom, Morris, Zapp and Kiff came back as well in the outskirts of the city; and as soon as the news arrived to the area 51, Hermes and Amy were brought too. Before those last two arrived, the two Schwartz dispatched medical and engineering units in case the two giant fighters would need help. It appeared to be useless. No matter how much improvised Zoidberg’s armour was, it still provided an efficient protection, and the Decapodian suffered only of a few scratches. There was still a risk of internal bleeding, but considering the embarrassing demonstrations of happiness the lobster was displaying (for both having succeeded and for still being alive), they weren’t too pessimistic. As for Bender, his reinforced body suffered a bit more, but nothing worrying as well. And after a few… Purges for getting rid of the toxic matters he ingested, he was almost as good as new. Of course, a little paint job would be necessary…

By the time Hermes and Amy arrived, the standard examinations on Bender and Zoidberg were over. All this troop met again at the refugee camp, on the outskirts of the city.

The camp’s residents themselves were overwhelmed with bliss, and made a loud and cheerful welcome to the heroes. They had lived one of the worst days of their life, but now it was all over. Bender and Zoidberg were congratulated like saviours by the population, which boosted both Zoidberg’s pride and Bender’s arrogance. But Fry, Leela, Mom and Morris also had their share of congratulations when their part was revealed. A little minute of silence was however dedicated to all those who gave their lives fighting Hydra, from all the anonymous DOOP soldiers to the five Waterfall.

Some intimate moments also occurred in all this happiness. Amy literally herself in Kif’s arms when she met him, as she was immensely relieved nothing happened to him… It wasn’t a very good idea, to be fair, considering he was still pretty weakened by his “burst” leg and couldn’t support her weight. It didn’t seem to really annoy the two lovers, however, as they started kissing and rolling on the floor. A pretty much similar scene occurred when Morris and Leela found Munda back, in the crowd. The mutant woman hid it all the time, but she was scared to death that her husband and her only daughter would never come back from their mission. Munda literally burst into tears when she saw Morris and Leela, and hugged them stronger than ever while praising God he allowed them to come back. Unsurprisingly, both Morris and Leela answered to her hugs, and joined her in her display of relief and happiness, too charged with emotion for doing anything else than smiling, kissing and weeping. Fry looked at them and smiled, touched by this vision. It reminded him what happened when they got reunited a few weeks ago… But it also saddened him a little bit, as the idea that he no more could live something like this with his own family slipped through his mind. Feeling the tears coming to his eyes, he joined the mutants in their hugging. They welcomed him, as they would have done if he was of their blood.

Only two persons weren’t participating in the rejoicing. Zapp, for one, was greatly upset that he wasn’t the centre of all the congratulations; he was keeping on saying that without him Fry, Leela, Mom and Morris would still be stuck underground, but it didn’t raise anything but polite approvals. And of course, there was Wernstrom, who was doing his best for staying unnoticed, and was scared to death that anybody would reveal he was the creator of Hydra…

At first, the whole camp was the theatre of many celebrations, both from the humans and from the mutants. But after a while, the cruel reality resurfaced. Ravaged as the city was, there would be weeks, maybe months before everybody could come back in the city. And for the first time in history, the mutant sewer city too had suffered a lot of devastation after Hydra started to chase Fry, Leela, Morris and Mom. At first, mutants helped the surface dwellers; now, they were homeless too. For the moment, very few were thinking about this: there was a time for doubts, but there was also a time for celebration.

It pretty much ended when the authorities arrived in the camp for taking care of the wounded and of the refugees.

All the civilians were gathering, as they were waiting for medical care, but suddenly a bunch of DOOP militaries showed up as well. The two Schwartz tensed up when they saw one of the officers take a megaphone.

“Alright, said the officer, all the humans are invited to gather around the medical centres. The more badly injured will be the first ones to be looked, if someone needs immediate treatments, please call an officer immediately. Our troops are currently setting up temporary housings for all of you. As for the mutants, it is highly advised for them to gather near the closest entrance to the sewers and to get back to their homes.”

This announcement caused a large movement of surprise and astonishment in the crowd… As soon as she heard the second part, Leela rushed through all the people for reaching the DOOP officers. Fry, the Schwartz, Morris and Munda were trying to follow her, but she was nudged everyone on her path so efficiently she quickly outstripped the others.

“- What the heck does that mean?! Yelled Leela as soon as she knew she could be heard from the soldiers.
- Excuse me? Replied the soldier who made the announcement.
- You can’t force the mutants to get back down there! Their houses have been destroyed by this creature! They’ve got nowhere to go!
- Look, miss, what they do underground is not my problem. As long as I’m concerned, mutants are still forbidden from getting on the surface without an authorization. Can you prove all those ones here have one?
- But it’s madness! You can’t…
- I received this order from the commanders Schwartz. So, yes, I can. Now, please get in line for…”

Leela didn’t hear the rest, she already had turned to face the two Schwartz who finally managed to reach her… And who obviously would have preferred coming later. The young woman was almost suffocating out of the hate she was feeling towards the two officers. Fry, Morris and Munda, who had missed the part about the two officers’ involvement, were wondering why Leela looked like she was about to explode.

“- You gave this order?! Said Leela, still refraining herself from shouting at them.
- Leela, please understand… Replied the first Schwartz, trying to sound conciliatory. We still have laws to enforce, especially in those hours of chaos. The mutant embargo is one of them, and possibly the most important. What do you think the public opinion would say if we could let them wander freely above the ground?
- I don’t give a crap about what moronic people would say! Replied Leela. Those people have nowhere to go now! Their city is destroyed, just like the one on the surface! Did you even try to think of what may happen to them if you force them to go down there without any kind of help?! Of how many may suffer and even die out of the restrictions!?
- We… Weren’t expecting them to be affected as well…
- You’re the ones who implied them! You’re the ones who said it would be a great plan to use the sewers for getting that freaking turbidium! You jeopardized their lives, and now that you got what you wanted, you’ll abandon them to their fates in cold blood?!?
- Now listen, young woman, said the second Schwartz. This is a military order. Like it or not, you don’t have a word to say against it; this place is still under the martial law. So when we say they have to get back underground, they WILL get back underground. Besides, you’re overreacting. They’ve spent centuries in those sewers, we’re sure they’ll adapt to their new situations very well…
- This is horrible! Do you ever hear what you’re saying?!
- Yeah, shame on you! Said Fry. Those chaps here need help as well as the humans, you can’t push them away just because they’ve got some extra limbs, scales or are painful to look at!
- That’s it, this discussion is now off! Said the second Schwartz, before looking at his men. Gentlemen, start gathering the mutants! Anybody who’ll try to stop us will be considered as being committing in offence and will be put in custody!
- I hope you’ve got entire prisons at your disposal!”

The two Schwartz turned to look at the direction from where the shout was coming; Fry and Leela imitated them, as they didn’t have a clue about who manifested their disapproval. The reactions varied: Fry and Leela were surprised by what they were seeing, while the DOOP officers seem to lose their confidence.

Hundreds of human refugees were facing the two officers, all of them staring menacingly at them. Men, women, children, old people, people in good shape, other wounded… There even were a few in hovering chairs or in stretchers who were making an effort for raising their heads for glaring at the two Schwartz. A few mutants seem to be lost in the crowd, and were wondering what was going on exactly; the same reaction that Morris and Munda, who were standing behind Fry and Leela, were feeling at the moment. A little bit ahead from the crowd, circled by his wife and his two children who were glaring at the two Schwartz as well, Lewis was standing, probably the most enraged of them all.

The two Schwartz tried to maintain their composure.

“- What does this mean, mister? Said the first Schwartz.
- It means you are not letting the mutants alone, replied Lewis. You see all those people behind me? Every single one of them had been saved by the sewer mutants. Every. Single. One. If the mutants didn’t spontaneously decide to help everybody who had been trapped in the shelters or were exposed to that beast, they’d all be dead by now. Heck, my family would have been buried under dozens of tons of cement if some of them didn’t get us out of trouble just in time! And then, everyone of them dedicated all their time and their efforts for taking care of the wounded the best they could and for housing all those people who had lost their homes. They gave us treatments, comfort, and safety – at least for a few hours, and when it became clear that even their city would surely be destroyed by the creature, they made their best for evacuating everybody as smoothly as mutantly and humanly possible. They didn’t let a single one of us behind.
- Look, I know how you feel, but…
- Oh no you don’t, said Lewis, interrupting the officer. I was just like you, before this day. I too was prejudiced about mutants. I too was hoping I’d never see one in my life. I too hoped they would stay in their city and leave us alone. You know what changed? They helped us all, despite the fear and hatred we were feeling toward them. Those people have been forced to live in such bad conditions for centuries by our ancestors, we are still denying them any rights, and yet they made everything they could for saving as many of us as possible without any hesitations! If they were as stupid as us, none of us would be here now.”

Lewis made a few steps towards the two Schwartz. The rest of the crowd didn’t follow him, but just by looking at their eyes, it was quite clear they were backing him unanimously. The two Schwartz managed to stay where they were standing, but the other DOOP officers walked back a bit.

“So let us be clear… Now that they need our help, there’s no way any of us will let you throw them back to the ruins of the city and abandon them. If, as you said, you’ll arrest anybody who’d try to prevent you from doing this, then you’ll have hundreds of people to put in custody. Providing, of course, you DO manage to stop us from protecting the mutants…”

The next seconds felt terribly long. Leela could see sweat forming on the foreheads of the two Schwartz, although the two officers were still trying to look stoic. But needless to say, nobody could believe they were still calm… Hundreds of eyes were scrutinizing them, showing explicit hostility against them. All this animosity was affecting the atmosphere of the place… Not a single sound could be heard. Leela, Fry, Morris, Munda, and all the sewer mutants were holding their breath, more or less aware of the historical moment they were living. The DOOP officers were staying silent too, scared that the simplest noise could lead to their lynching.

Lewis was still imperturbably staring at the two Schwartz.

The two officers quickly looked at each other, as they were forming their answer.

“Well, I think we can call the DOOP for getting more health supplies, food and tents…”

The crowd screamed its victory. Having hundreds of throats simultaneously screaming the louder they could would have made anybody’s ears whistling. Even Bender and Zoidberg nearly got deafened by the sudden blast.
Bending Unit
« Reply #39 on: 06-12-2008 12:47 »

Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 39)

During the following hours, the refugee camp buzzed of activity. At first, the field hospitals were overcrowded, as they were organized for welcoming only the humans and not the mutants, but everybody managed to cooperate so that everybody who needed instant operations would be treated as quickly as possible. When the two Schwartz called for reinforcements and finally received them, the situation quickly got fixed. As for the housing, it was impossible to get enough tents in such short notice, so on many occasions humans had to cohabitate with mutants… Which, at the great surprise of the mutants, didn’t lead to any kind of tensions between the two communities. In those times of great distress and after all the mutual helps between the two peoples, some fraternity was getting established and was ensuring peaceful cohabitation, and for a portion of the refugees, friendship.

Leela was watching all this with an incredulous eye. A few days ago, those people would have forced the mutants to get back to the sewers with disgusted faces. And now, they were acting as if they always were neighbours… As delightful as it looked, she wasn’t sure, however, it would last for long. All the refugees were only a small portion of mankind; it was extremely possible that the rest of the planet would not considerate this cohabitation with the same indulgence. Even now, although everybody was staying polite and careful towards the others, some humans were still obviously tensed about the situation, and were feeling unease in their proximity with mutants. You can’t erase centuries of suspicion and prejudices in a blink. Maybe all this harmony would disappear as soon as everything would get back to normal…

For once, the young woman decided to let her pessimism shut up. She wanted to believe this was the first step to the recognition of the rights of her kind… And that someday, her parents could finally pay her a visit any time they’d want without having to  get an authorization…

“Hey, big boots! Daydreaming again?”

Leela turned… And saw nothing but a big grey foot. She had to look up for seeing Bender’s face way over her, looking down at her, smoking a cigar at his scale.

“- Where did you get that thing? Asked Leela, pointing at the cigar.
- Special delivery from the DOOP, answered the giant robot, as a little advance on my reward for having beaten that sucker’s ass. They needed an entire plantation for making it.
- No kidding…
- Hey Leela! Wazzup?”

Fry appeared next to the giant robot, followed by the rest of Planet Express (plus Kif, who didn’t want to be separated from Amy). In the distance, Leela could see Zoidberg, playing with dozens of children who were using him like a giant playground. She preferred to think he wouldn’t accidentally squish any of them.

“- Nothing particular, replied the young woman. I’m just taking a look at all this…
- Yes, sweet vision indeed! Said the professor. Humans and deformed stinking monsters, all equally miserable and poverty-stricken…” The old man wiped a tear away. “Such a delightful scene…
- I don’t know what’s the most disturbing, said Leela. That you’re absolutely not being sarcastic, or that I’ve grown accustomed to such comments…
- You think they will soon get back to their previous lives? Asked Fry.
- Houses can be rebuilt. It’s not the first time this city had been wiped out…
- Once thanks to me! Said Bender, openly proud.
- … But it never was the same after each time. And the same can be said about the New New Yorkers. Looks like they’ll remember those days we’re living for a long time…
- Oh yeah, I read something about this in a magazine, said Amy. Destroying everything for starting all over, right?
- They tried this on Edenia 4, once, said the professor. Now it’s called the Wastelands Planet…
- Yeah, well, Hydra didn’t exactly destroy EVERYTHING… Said Leela.
- Pretty disappointing.”

During the following seconds, the group stood silent, watching the refugee camp from afar. Despite the distance, they could still hear hundreds of voices, sounds that were indicating a busy activity, and overall all that could imply that humans and mutants were already trying to rebuild their lives. Behind them, Zoidberg and the children were laughing, unconcerned by the questions the adults were asking themselves.

“- And now? Asked Fry.
- What do you mean, “and now”? Replied Bender.
- Well, what do we do? What about you, Bender? I guess you’ll have to go back at the Area 51…
- Hey, they paid me for getting care of that freak, not for staying with them. Our agreement is over.
- But can’t they force you to follow them? Asked Amy. After all, they spent millions in improving you…
- No they can’t, replied Hermes. The SHODAN Act of 2735 granted to every robot gifted with self-consciousness the right to do whatever they want with their lives, and the legal impossibility of making them the property of anybody. And the DOOP is tied by this law as well.
- And we’ve got thousands of people who can testify Bender does have free will, added the professor. They can’t do anything against this.
- Do the Schwartz already know that? Asked Fry.
- No, and I’d love being there when they’ll realize they can’t do whatever they want with him.
- Hey, they should take that as a little compensation for having forced me to wear those stupid shoulder pads!” Said Bender.

Leela looked again at the camp, but then she gave a look at the ruins of the city, a bit away from them. With all those buildings destroyed, she could see the Hudson shine in the distance.

“And us? Our headquarters are destroyed, our business is down, and now we’ve got two giants at our disposal. We already have problems housing one, but two? Where will we find the space and the money?”

The professor smiled mysteriously, before rubbing his hands.

“Oh, don’t worry about this. I have a plan… You guys aren’t afraid of a little change in career, I hope?”
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