Bendizer Z and Mega-Zoidberg versus Hydra (chapter 40)
Isla Obscura, 3 months later…
From anybody who’d be coming to the island by the sea, there wasn’t any evidence that it was inhabited. All that could be seen was the beach, the jungle and the extinct volcano. The perspective would change as soon as he would be exploring it on foot, or would have come by airship. In several clearings, a few buildings had been built. Most of them looked like barracks, but in the largest clearing were standing a much wider building as well as several installations which would seem pretty weird if you didn’t have a clue of what were their purposes. During months, the island was the headquarters of the great intergalactic emperor of crime, Derek Vile, and from it he was planning all his evil schemes, as well as developing all the weapons he needed for them and training his private army. Of course, when the madman’s activities were discovered, all his known belongings got seized by the DOOP, which quickly put the island up for sale. A new owner promptly installed on the island… And completely disappeared only a week later. The following peoples who bought the island quickly shared the same fate, without anyone having a single clue about what could have happened to them. Pretty quickly, horrible rumours about the island began to spread… Some were saying that when the DOOP seized the island, it didn’t dispose of all the experiments Derek Vile performed in his headquarters, and that a few horribly deformed monsters, which got created in Vile’s laboratories, escaped and were now hiding in the island’s shadows, waiting for preys; and that all the disappearances could be explained by the fierce appetite of the monsters. Whether it was true or not, nobody wanted to buy the island anymore. Isla Obscura was now definitely associated with death and horrible mysteries…
That was a wonderful opportunity for the professor Farnsworth, as the island’s price dropped to an extreme point with all those scary stories.
So, now, Isla Obscura was welcoming the headquarters of the professor’s new business, Monster Express. Using all the money he saved by choosing to settle his business in the island, the professor could quickly rehabilitate Derek Vile’s buildings to his new needs. One barrack had been converted for welcoming the apartments of the professor, Fry, Leela, Amy and Hermes’ family. Sure, the island was pretty far from New New York, but the new ship they bought could bring anybody (especially Amy, as she still needed to attend Mars University, and Hermes’ family) everywhere in a blink. Two other barracks had been converted, and more especially enlarged, by being used as Zoidberg’s and Bender’s rooms. Finally, the biggest building was now welcoming the company’s offices, the briefing room, the employees’ lounge, the sick room and the professor’s lab. When the old man discovered all the equipments that were still in Vile’s former lab, he was as delighted as a kid whose parents gave him their credit card before letting him go in a candy shop. Other installations had been transformed for being used as a medical centre for Zoidberg, or for Bender’s mechanical needs.
The buildings weren’t the only thing that got transformed… The former “Planet Express ship” (now simply called “Monster Express ship”) had been modified for its new purpose: carrying Zoidberg wherever their services would be needed. Bender could fly by himself, but Zoidberg still couldn’t.
When he realized rebuilding Planet Express wouldn’t be profitable as he was now in charge of two giant creatures instead of one, and when he saw Bender’s and Zoidberg’s unexpected success in defeating a monster that was unarguably stronger than them, the professor quickly imagined a way for getting back to business. Whenever a large catastrophe would occur, a giant monster would destroy a city, an alien race would declare war against Earth, or more generally whenever anybody would need a hand – a GIANT hand – Monster Express would give him Bender, Zoidberg or the two at the same time at his disposal… Of course, the bill would be at the scale of the company’s main employees.
For the moment, they only got a few small contracts (destruction of insalubrious buildings or tunnel piercing, for example), but the professor was expecting a lot of the most recent tensions between Earth and Omicron Persei 8.
As the professor really hated all the recruitment procedures, he kept all his previous employees. Hermes was still in charge of everything related to the administrative aspects of the company, Leela was still the company’s pilot, Fry was still the delivery boy (after all, he was delivering Zoidberg to their customers…) and Amy was still the intern.
Leela went out of the main building and joined Fry, Bender and Zoidberg, who were all next to the launching pad. She was trying to alter the new flight suit the professor gave her, but it was definitely clear that whoever made it didn’t bother to take her measures… She was trying to find comfort in the fact that Fry too was wearing the same black skin-tight suit than her, especially considering it was a bit too large for him, but it didn’t change anything to the fact she still had to contract her butt for not exploding the tissue.
“- So, Leela, how’s the suit? Asked Fry as she got close enough to him.
- It would be good if I were anorexic, I guess… Answered the young woman. Why the heck does the professor want us to wear those things?
- Something about making a good impression on our clients, replied Zoidberg. The professor think they’d trust us more if we were actually looking like professionals…
- Does this apply to you as well?”
Indeed, Zoidberg’s appearance wasn’t exactly better. The “armour” he wore during his battle against Hydra, as damaged as it was after the fight, was still his uniform. It got repaired and improved in many ways, but it was still looking like a haphazardly patchwork made of components taken here and there in a junkyard… Which, to be fair, it was.
“- Not that much, continued Zoidberg. He said something along those lines: “sweet zombie Jesus, you’re a giant monster, people are expecting you to look ugly!”. More or less.
- Well yeah, you look odd in those things, said Bender, but looking at you, big boots, I can see why he forced you to pull that thing!
- What do you mean, exactly? Asked a suspicious Leela.
- Hey, why do you think you’re the one whose suit is too slim? Haven’t you some advantages you have to show?
- I’m worried about the rest of your sentence…
- Come on, we’re supposed to impressed the suckers, and what’s better for that than a chick with huge badonkadonks wearing a skin-tight suit?
- I knew it”, said Leela, sighing. She then pointed at the robot. “Listen, I know you like this too, but be assured that I’ll soon see the professor and tell him that he’d better not turn me into a trucker’s calendar if he doesn’t want to…”
The cracking of her suit, just at the level of her breasts, put an end to her sentence.
Fortunately, it wasn’t big enough for allowing everybody to see if she was wearing a bra or not, but she quickly tried to cover the opening nonetheless. Bender started to chuckle, Zoidberg hid his eyes, and Fry… Well, he had a hard time looking somewhere else.
“- Somehow I knew this would happen… Said Leela in a sigh.
- That’s the spirit, girl!” Said Bender, pulling his two thumbs up.
The killer glance the young woman gave to Bender would certainly have been more effective if the robot wasn’t way taller than her. Fry had the feeling he’d better turn the conversation to another subject.
“- And… Hum… You have news from your parents?
- Yeah, some, replied Leela as she stopped staring at the robot. They’ve moved back to the new underground city.
- What, already? The mutants have finished rebuilding it?
- They weren’t alone. The mutant city got constructed at the same time than New New York.”
Fry nodded, remembering all the debates which occurred during the last months. The news that the mutants saved the lives of hundreds of New New Yorkers shook the opinion and drew a new attention to the mutant question. Of course, many were feeling outraged as they saw the mutants walk on the surface, and the most virulent of the mutant-haters quickly protested against their presence. But this time, they received less back-up than before. The testimonies of the survivors spread all over the world, and even on other worlds. For many, the vision of vicious and man-eating mutants got shattered when they saw all the people saved by the mutants and the sacrifices their saviours made. It didn’t take long before politically engaged actors began to take the side of the mutants, from Georges Clooney’s head to Boko the Clowmmie. Even Calculon joined, although by listening at his speeches it wasn’t quite clear if it was a real engagement or just because he felt there was an opportunity for improving his public image…
The future situation of the mutants still hadn’t been decided at this point, but in a first step, the decision of rebuilding the mutant city at the same time than New New York quickly was taken.
“- Do you think we’ll be able to pay them a visit soon? Asked Fry.
- The sooner the better, replied Leela. The rumours of a loosening up of the rules for obtaining an authorization for mutants to go on the surface are multiplying, but I don’t think they’d be able to take a ship for coming here.
- They’ll really let mutants come to the surface? Asked Zoidberg.
- It’s still unsure… There’s a lot of opposition against this, but Nixon’s head mentioned the possibility of rewarding the mutants for their abnegation, so we may never know… For the moment, dad, mom and the rest of the mutants would prefer stay in the sewers for a while, “because we’ve lived underground for so long we wouldn’t know how to behave on the surface”, as they say. But there are some calls for the suppression of the segregation against the mutants… Maybe the next generation, or even the current one in the future, will be able to live on the surface.
- Well, if one of those guys needs the proof that mutants can cohabit with humans without any problem, he’d just have to take a look at you, said Fry. You’re awesome enough for making anybody agree.
- Thanks a lot, Fry, said Leela, smiling. It sure looks like everything’s will get brighter soon. But it’s strange…
- Well, I can’t really put my finger on it, but I have the strange feeling we however all forgot something in all this mess…”
Now that the refugees were all getting to their new houses, the camp where they spent the past months was getting smaller and smaller. Now, only a few tents were still standing. They were occupied mainly by people who were already in a troubled situation before the crisis, or by frail individuals who just had nobody who could have taken care of them because they lost their relatives in the crisis.
In one of those tents, Cubert and Scruffy were still waiting. The young boy was desperately trying to keep his sanity in check, but the janitor, for his part, didn’t seem the least bit troubled by the events, and was reading another one of his porn magazines.
“- They’ve forgotten us again, haven’t they? Said Cubert.
- Looks like it.” Said Scruffy before turning a page.
Cubert sighed, then pulled the magazine he borrowed to Scruffy from under his pillow. As he opened it on the centrefold, his worries began to fade away.
“Well, at least I still have you, Kinky Sandy…”
“Bah, it certainly wasn’t important, said Leela. Oh, one more thing: my parents told me to say hello to you for them.”
At Fry’s great surprise, the young woman kissed Fry on the cheek. The delivery boy thought he got kissed by an eel, given the electric shock he felt in every single cell of his body. He decided to say it this way to Leela, as he had a little feeling it could sound awful and would ruin anything…
“- They told you to do it this way? Managed to say Fry.
- Well… Not exactly, but I thought this would be the perfect occasion for thanking you for the other night…” Said Leela, caressing the boy’s nose.
Fry smiled again. She indeed kept her promise of having a date with him should they get out of the crisis alive. Of course, considering New New York was at that time almost completely destroyed, Fry had to improvise, but the evening they spent had surprisingly been delicious… To the point that when Fry asked her if she’d like to go out with him again, she agreed without a hesitation. They did go out a couple of more times after this, not as often as Fry would have liked as they were very busy with the creation of Monster Express, but Leela really seemed to enjoy the time they were spending together… And anyway, after all the time Fry had been waited for those moments, he didn’t mind having to wait a little bit more. Especially as at each new date, it was clear Leela was considering him less and less as just a friend…
“- Well, you were pretty nice too… Said Fry, as charming as he could.
- Oh please… Said Bender. Get a room, you two! I liked you better when you were always yelling on him!
- What?! Said Leela. I wasn’t always yelling at him!
- Oh yeah?”
Something clicked in Bender’s head… And the following words he said were pronounced with Leela’s voice, considering he played old recordings that were still in his memory somehow.
“Fry, dammit, I told you to pull the right lever, not the left one! *static* No, Fry, I don’t know why they don’t make Slurm cans for left-handed, now get out! *static* Why the heck did you buy that thing?! It’s for blobs! You’re not supposed to wear that! *static* OUT! OUT, DAMMIT! THAT DOOR WASN’T LOCKED SO THAT YOU COULD TRY YOUR NEW MASTER KEY!!!!”
The next seconds were filled with silence…
“- You… Have to admit… Er… Fry… Staggered Leela.
- Good news, everyone!”
Leela blessed God for this interruption. As everybody turned, they could see that the professor was walking in their direction, closely followed by Hermes. The cheerful attitude the old man was showing could only mean one thing.
“- All those ads we sent to the town halls of Earth’s greatest cities are finally paying! Said the professor. We just got a job that perfectly fits our qualifications!
- Really? Said Fry. What job?
- We just got a call from Vancouver, said Hermes. It looks like a giant otter is ravaging the city, and as they can’t get rid of it by conventional means, we just got the contract!
- My first reaction was “screw those damn canucks”, added the professor, but I guess we can trust filthy Canadians who’s foolish enough to pay us with a check loaded with zeros! Bender, are your weapons packed?
- Sir, yes sir! Replied the giant robot, saluting his employer.
- Ready to bust that thing, Zoidberg?
- Anything to get the world rid of a crustacean-eater! Said the Decapodian.
- Alright! Fry, Leela, get in the ship and start everything, you’re going immediately! Hermes and I will start our theme song!”
Leela rubbed her eyes.
“- Do we really have to play that thing?
- Come on, Leela! Said Fry. We’re heroes now, we need a theme song!
- And furthermore, they even paid an extra for having it played! Said Hermes.
- Now go! Said the professor. The sooner you’ll eliminate that thing, the sooner we’ll get paid! Oh, and of course, the less victims there’ll be!”
The professor and Hermes quickly rushed to the central building for settling up the last elements. Leela couldn’t even protest anymore… As she turned round, she saw that Bender was already on the landing zone, that Fry was running to the ship and that Zoidberg was waiting for being lifted. Sighing, the young woman ran for catching up the former delivery boy… And as she was about to get in the ship, the first notes of the song were already resounding in the island’s jungle.
Fighting for your future!
Fierce as a vulture!
Fry was already at his post and had already checked the systems when Leela got in the cockpit. As soon as she sat on her seat, she activated the sip’s engines.
Two giant monsters for you,
Ready for the action!
Now they’ll fly to the sky of blue,
It’s not an illusion!
As the ship lifted up, Zoidberg got prepared by standing as stiff as he could. The maneuvers for having bound to the ship only took a few seconds, as Leela was getting used to the manipulations she had to make. Near them, Bender was activating his reactors.
They’ll surely save the day!
They have to, you still didn’t pay!
Both the ship and Bender finally pushed their engines to their maximum for getting rid of the gravity. And as the team flew up in the sky, already taking the direction to Canada, Fry and Leela could feel the adrenaline rush into their veins, excited as they were by their new life of adventure.