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PEEL - The Futurama Message Board    General Futurama Forum Category    Melllvar's Erotic Friend Fiction    The Hero of Bot-any (illustrated) - by coldangel_1 « previous next »
: The Hero of Bot-any (illustrated) - by coldangel_1  (Read 6062 times)
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Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #40 : 10-18-2006 00:23 »
« : 10-18-2006 00:23 »

was "firefly" officially cancelled?

YAY my first TOTPD
*everybody dance now!*

DOOP Secretary
« #41 : 10-18-2006 00:28 »

Yes. Like Futurama. Cut short in its prime for no damn reason. Another Fox casualty.
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #42 : 10-18-2006 00:33 »
« : 10-18-2006 00:33 »

ouch man, tell you what though
futurama was never officially cancelled

lets just say it fell from grace...  :(

DOOP Secretary
« #43 : 10-18-2006 05:03 »

The planet supervisor was a haggard man in his middle years, hallow-faced and bitter. He made the two DOOP officers wait for an inordinately long time before finally allowing them to enter his cavernous office.
   Zapp and Kif walked the length of the lushly-furnished room and stood before the businessman’s huge, ornate desk.
   “And what could the Democratic Order Of Planets possibly want with me now?” he asked slowly, without looking up from his paperwork. “You’ve already raped my world in every possible way – perhaps you’re here to tax the air we breathe too?”
   “An interesting idea,” Zapp said, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “An air tax… Kif, make a note of that – I’ll propose it to the high council.”
   The supervisor glared. “What is it you want, you buffoon?”
   “We believe a ship has illegally landed on the planet’s surface for the purpose of smuggling banned goods,” Kif explained.
   “Tell us where it is!” Zapp demanded. “Or so help me God, I’ll radio my ship and have it blast this building to rubble!”
   The supervisor stared. “With you inside it?” he asked.
   “Oh, he’ll do it,” Kif sighed.
   “In any case,” the supervisor said, leaning back, “I’ve no reason not to help you, even though you sons of whores are strangling this planet with your embargo. Any smuggling that went though this office would be immediately reported to you by your overseer and his spies – that means if trade is going on like you suggest then it’s happening beneath my nose and I’m not profiting from it; that will never do.”
   “…I don’t follow,” Zapp said, frowning.
   “Euugh… he wants us to catch the smugglers so they’ll stop stealing his money.”
   “Your green friend is right. Now all I can tell you is that there’s been a lot of missing stores in section 36-A of manufacturing prefecture 572. That’d be the best place to start looking. That’s all the help I can give you, and I’d hope my cooperation won’t go unnoticed by your superiors – I’d like to resolve this economic quandary as soon as possible.”
   As Zapp and Kif left the office, the Captain turned to his Lieutenant and spoke quietly: “Kif, when we get back to the ship, look up the word ‘quandary’.”
   The supervisor watched the two officers depart with revulsion and malice. His desk intercom chimed and he switched it on.
   “Sir, we have just had a report from one of our informants in the slums,” his secretary said. “The word is that Bender Rodriguez has returned.”
   The supervisor sat bolt upright, his eyes wide and nostrils flared. “Rodriguez!” he growled hungrily. “Summon my head of security!”
   A few minutes later, the supervisor was being led through an intricate maze of tunnels, past innumerable cell doors. He held a bulky positron rifle in his arms, cradling the weapon awkwardly as though he’d never handled one before. The security chief was in front, marching purposefully.
   “You sure you want to do this, sir?” she asked.
   The supervisor grunted. “We kill him ourselves and we’ll have to contend with an uprising among the slave-bots. No, it’s better this way – let someone else take their hero from them so we don’t have the blame.”
   They reached a specific door, and the security chief paused to unlock it before kicking it open. The steel hinges screeched in protest and a dank smell wafted out. For a time, nothing could be seen in the gloom, but presently a shape moved into view.
   “Well howdee-doo, Gareth,” the supervisor said brightly. “Long time no see – why don’t you come on out here?”
   Gareth limped out of the shadows and into the hallway, glaring balefully at the supervisor with his remaining eye. “The hell do you want?” he rasped.
   “Want? From you? There’s nothing you have that I could ever want. You’ve served your debt to society and now you’re free to go. That’s it.”
   If Gareth looked bewildered before, then the bewilderment was trebled when the businessman pressed a rifle into his hands. He looked down at the high-powered weapon in astonishment, hefted it to check the gauge, and then levelled it at his hated enemy.
   “You lock me up in a little concrete box for seven years, and then give me a charged positron shooter?” he sneered incredulously.
   “Got the urge to use it, no doubt,” the supervisor said with a smile. “But I'm not the one that brought you in on that robbery. I'm not the one who partnered up with you and then turned on you when his plan went south. How high up was that Scooty-Puff when he pushed you off? Thirty feet? Bender cost you seven years of your life, plus a perfectly good eyeball. And here's the poetical portion. he's back in town. This very day.”
   Gareth’s eye widened in rage and he bared his teeth.
   “Best of luck in your new life,” the supervisor said, and then strolled away leaving gareth standing with the gun.

The gathering inside the bar-room had stopped singing and was standing around in confusion at the sound of celebration outside. Bender pushed through them and dragged himself up to the bar, desperate for another drink. He peeled off his hat and tossed it away in disgust.
   “Gimme a juice!” he said. “Quickly!”
   Leela and Fry made their way back inside, looking around in expectation.
“I can’t get enough of this local colour,” Leela remarked wryly.
   The bartender splashed a bottle of robot juice into a mug and Bender took a gulp from it. The guitarist robot dropped his instrument and stepped out into the middle of the room behind Bender.
   “Don’t you understand?” the skinny green android said. “He’s come back!”
   The crowd looked at him in bewilderment.
   “It’s BENDER!”
   Bender’s eyes darted and the bartender suddenly slapped the mug of juice from his hand.
   “What the hell?!”
   “The hero of Botany won’t be drinking that panda urine!” the bartender shouted. “He drinks the best whiskey in the house!!” With that, he pulled out two large dusty bottles of vintage spirit from under the counter and poured a glass.
   The crowd in the bar erupted into cheering and converged on Bender, slapping him on the back and shaking his hand. He lost his connection to reality and stood there amid the fanfare as if lost in a dream.
   As Leela and Fry made their way carefully out of the crush of robot bodies, Drupev appeared suddenly and caught Leela by the arm.
   “What the hell’s goin’ on?” he demanded. “Is this how people go about NOT causing a ruckus where you’re from?”
   “Not generally, no,” Leela replied.
   “Listen, friend, I came here to make sure a deal went down solid, not to get chopped up by the Botany death troopers and fed to the pigs!”
   Leela pulled her arm out of the contact’s grasp and stared him down, thinking hard.
   “I understand your concern, ‘friend’,” she said, “but this here is all part of our new plan.”
   “How is this part of our plan?” Fry asked stupidly.
   “Still working the details,” Leela muttered, turning away.

The two suns were setting together, and Amy sat alone in deepening shadow at the base of the Bender statue. Some kind of celebration was taking place in the bar, but she paid no attention, lost in her miserable thoughts as she was.
   “I’m so stupid,” she whispered to herself.
   “But not so stupid that you can’t see it – that’s something at least.”
   Amy turned in surprise to find Leela standing nearby. Big combat boots notwithstanding, the cyclops had a way of moving around very quietly. Amy sighed and looked down at her feet.
   “I didn’t mean what I said back there, Leela,” she said.
   “Well, I’m sure you did a little,” Leela said softly, sitting down beside her. “That’s how alcohol works; a little truth and a lot of headache. You wanna talk?”
   “I don’t have feelings for him, if that’s what you’re asking me,” Amy replied quietly. “It’s just that… well… Fry is the only guy who ever dumped me.”
   Leela blinked in surprise; she hadn’t known that.
   “I’m always the one who does the dumping,” she went on. “It hurt me a little, that’s all. And now he’s with you… and you’re so much stronger and smarter than me, and everyone respects you – nobody respects me, I’m just a clumsy little heiress bimbo. I know it sounds silly, but I used to think the only thing I had that you didn’t was my way with men… oh God…” She slumped her shoulders. “I’m so pathetic.”
   “No, you’re not…” Leela was taken-aback. “I never realized you felt that way, but you’re so wrong.” She put her arm around the girl. “Gosh, it’s me who’s always been jealous of you – you’re beautiful, and socially well-adjusted, not to mention a wiz with mechanics…”

   “Thanks Leela,” Amy said. “And I’m sorry.”
   “Don’t be,” Leela patted her hair.
   Amy smiled weakly. “I think I know why Fry dumped me now,” she said.
   Amy giggled and leaned close. “There was someone else he was crazy about ever since he fell out of cryo,” she said. “And I had one too many eyes.”
   Leela grinned and stood up, pulling Amy to her feet as well.
   “Come on, we’ve got a celebration to plan,” she said. “Apparently there’s a living legend in town.”
   As she spoke, a massive shape moved across the sky above them with a roar, and both women glanced up in alarm. Even in the diminishing light, the ridiculous shape of the Nimbus was obvious.
   “Kiffy?” Amy said. “Oh my God, he’s here!”
   “Calm down, Amy,” Leela said as they watched the massive warship cruise low above the factories and settle to the ground some distance away. “If they’re here it means they’re looking for us – and if they find us they’ll arrest us and lock us away.”
   “Kif wouldn’t do that!” Amy cried.
   “It’s not him I’m worried about.”

DOOP Secretary
« #44 : 10-18-2006 06:08 »

Oh, I updated.
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #45 : 10-18-2006 06:10 »

yay, i didn't notice

DOOP Secretary
« #46 : 10-18-2006 08:25 »

Well? Was it terrible?
Tastes Like Fry

Urban Legend
« #47 : 10-18-2006 16:56 »

No, it moved the story along... but I think you're posting updates too quickly, sometimes people don't get to their computers for a few days, and when they do they can't read everything, and if they can they don't have time to respond... give it a couple of days before you do the next one.  :p
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #48 : 10-19-2006 00:29 »

unless it makes the story better, then

DOOP Secretary
« #49 : 10-19-2006 00:44 »

Ahhahaha! Bwahaha!
I write too quickly? Hahah!
Ahhh, that's great.

Liquid Emperor
« #50 : 10-19-2006 03:26 »


DOOP Secretary
« #51 : 10-19-2006 03:38 »

Oh, jeez! Right... the story... yes, I knew there was something I was supposed to be doing.
Boy, if it wasn't attached to my shoulders, huh?
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #52 : 10-19-2006 04:06 »

ok i am getting impatient, i reckon we need a bit more shippy

DOOP Secretary
« #53 : 10-19-2006 06:12 »
« : 10-19-2006 06:12 by coldangel_1 »

Bender leaned against the bar with a drink in hand, surrounded by his adorers. It hadn’t taken long for him to get into the swing of things; he figured, if you can’t escape ‘em, then go along with ‘em. And adoration wasn’t something he’d ever been particularly adverse to anyway.
   The guitarist robot, whose name, it turned out, was Gallows, raised a mug to toast for the fifth time. “TO BENDER!” he shouted.
   The crowd drank.
   Bender lifted his own mug and bellowed: “TO THE SLAVE-BOTS!”
   The crowd drank again.
   Off to the side, Fry leaned against the wall nursing a small glass of whiskey and watching the display with some amusement. Leela and Amy came back in and moved to his side. Fry decided to pretend the earlier awkwardness hadn’t taken place, so he shot them both a crooked grin.
   “Well, Bender’s certainly feeling better about life,” he observed wryly. “Me, I stopped the Omicronians from destroying Earth, prevented New New York from being smooshed by a garbage ball, and discovered Bigfoot. What did I get? Nothing. Bender drips a box of money and he gets a whole planet of adoring fans.” He raised his glass. “To Bender – the box-dropping criminal tin-man gone wrong!”
   “There’s trouble, red,” Leela said, ignoring this rant. “It’s the Nimbus.”
   Fry’s smile vanished and his face hardened. “That arrogant blowhard,” he growled. “What does he do, follow us around?”
   Leela grumbled acknowledgement. “In any case – now we really need to keep our heads down… I just hope they don’t find our ship.”
   “Maybe Zapp needs another lesson in humility,” Fry said, and the two women stared at him in surprise. “Humility… er, it was on that ‘word of the week’ calendar you gave me – ‘the quality of being humble; modest sense of one’s own significance’.”
   Leela was impressed. “Very good,” she said. “But I don’t think fists are going to get us out of this one, as fun as it would be to try. The weight of interstellar law is against us.”
   “Ahh, baby we’ve always got the weight of something against us.” Fry waved her concerns aside. “You’ll think of something brilliant like normal and we’ll all be fine, that’s how it works – you got smarts to match your beauty.”
   Leela smiled shyly and her cheeks coloured a little as Fry looped an arm around her waist and pulled her close.
   “Well, I do have part of an idea kicking around,” she said demurely, swaying with him as he began a clumsy waltz despite the lack of music.
   “See, the wheels are already turning.”
   Amy watched the couple and smiled, her earlier jealousy gone. They looked so good together; Leela’s resilient strength and determination, and Fry’s humour and wide-eyed wonder – the two of them complimented each other so well. There was still some small node of sadness buried away inside Amy, but she knew how to fix that. The solution was close now, and perhaps she would be able to prove her worth to the others by solving the larger problem as well. Quietly, while Fry and Leela were absorbed in each other, she slipped out and disappeared into the night.
   “So I’m going to talk to a few pillars of the robot community,” Leela murmured to Fry, her face a few inches from his, her breath warm and sweet. “I’ll convince them to have a little ‘Bender Day’ celebration tomorrow, that way we can have everyone gathered in one place and we’ll be able to sneak Vassiliev’s goods onto the ship without anyone noticing.”
   Fry gazed into the tranquil depths of Leela’s eye, not really listening; she was pressed against him and looking radiant – cunning plans for crime and escape weren’t on the forefront of his mind.
“Hey, why don’t we leave Bender with his fan club,” he suggested, “and find some nice spot to…” he trailed off when a rusted old robot appeared alongside and prodded him in the shoulder.
   “So you two are Bender’s people, huh?” the robot said through a crackly voice modulator.
   Leela looked indignant. “No, we’re not actually ‘his’…”
   “Must be an honour working under a great robot like that,” the worker went on.
   “Hey listen, rivet-face, we’re not…”
   “Strong as a bulldozer, they say, and a heart the size of the galaxy.”
   Fry chuckled. “Oh, we’re just happy he lets us hang around,” he said. “You know, I live in his closet!”
   “If you’ll excuse us,” Leela told the robot sweetly, “I need to take my boyfriend and find someplace to get his clothes off.”
   Fry grinned and let her pull him away. She’d said ‘boyfriend’. That was a first. He was suddenly giddy; at the moment, even if Zapp Brannigan and an entire squad of DOOP’s finest burst through the door, the smile still couldn’t be wiped from his face.
   Bender didn’t notice his friends leave. He was engrossed in conversation with Gallows the guitarist, as the rest of the bar watched him in rapt fascination.
   “So, the supervisor… he let you folks keep all that gold?” he asked.
   “Sure did,” Gallows replied. “Weren’t his first choice though. When he found out he sent the troopers to take it back, but the workers resisted!”
   “Fought the power, huh?” Bender had taken a liking to the skinny green sorting robot.
   Gallows nodded. “When the slave-bots band together there’s too many of us to be put-down. Plus if he wiped us out there’d be nobody to run the mills. So in the end, he just had to call it a ‘bonus’.”
   Bender laughed heartily and slapped the other robot on the back. “That’s one hell of a bonus!”
“And then, when we put that statue of you up in town square, he rolled in, wanted to tear it down. But the whole town rioted.”
This, the idea of violence in his name, touched Bender so deeply, a tear came to his eye. “You guys started a riot?” he said, voice filled with emotion. “On account of me? Oh... I am overwhelmed, truly, truly moved by that. I mean, all of this free booze has been swell and all, but that, my very own riot...” He choked up and hugged Gallows and another robot nearby. “That's just about the sweetest thing I ever heard... I love you guys!”
   “I can’t believe you’re back!” Gallows said.
   Bender squeezed the robot harder. “How could I stay away!?”

Amy crept through the darkness, heading toward the looming shape of the Nimbus, like a gigantic black cliff punctured by innumerable squares of light. She was careful not to make a sound as she approached the massive warship sitting on the ground in an open area. Suddenly a pneumatic whine filled the cold night air and a bright sliver of light lanced out from the ship’s underbelly as an embarkation ramp lowered. Amy scurried for cover behind a stack of mechanical parts and watched furtively as a line of figures emerged.
   Her breath caught in her throat as she instantly recognised the two lead figures even in the poor illumination. The bulbus shape of Zapp Brannigan, and alongside him… the spindly little reptilian.
   “Kif!” she whispered dreamily.
   Kif trudged sulkily beside Zapp as the platoon of DOOP soldiers fanned out around them. The whole operation had left a sour taste in his mouth that had nothing to do with the sludge he’d been forced to eat in the ship’s cafeteria earlier that day. The subjugation of Port Botany wasn’t the foulest deed ever committed by the DOOP, but it was among the top twenty… if Kif were in charge he’d have a mind to let the smugglers go about their business, and the high council be damned. Brannigan, on the other hand, was as aroused by authority as he was by anything even vaguely female – the law was just an excuse to exert power, and he loved every second of it.
   “Filthy vermin,” the Captain muttered. “How dare these traitorous peasants try to make a living at the expense of their betters? Instead of trading with smugglers they ought to be lying down in the street and dying for the greater good, like a loyal citizen would do!”
   “Perhaps if you spend some time with them, sir, they’ll be more inclined to do just that,” Kif muttered.
   The insult went over Zapp’s head, and he began ordering the soldiers to break up into scouting parties to reconnoitre the surrounding district. Kif wandered a little distance away and stared sadly at his hands. Life had not taken him anywhere near where he’d wanted to go.
   Something suddenly stung him in the middle of the forehead, and he blinked in surprise as a tiny pebble bounced to the ground. Looking up in puzzlement he saw a shape in the shadows near a pile of debris. A familiar shape – big hair that parted in the middle and spread out to either side in waves.
   “Amy?” he murmured, and the figure gesticulated at him. He glanced around to make sure Zapp was still occupied, then quickly moved over to the pile to find Amy crouched there. “It is you!” he hissed. “What are you doing…” Then he stopped as realization dawned. “Oh no!”
   Amy pulled him down and planted a hard kiss against his lipless beak. Kif embraced her, and when she let him up for air he looked searchingly into her eyes.
   “Amy, the blockade-runner… the smuggling vessel… it was…?”
   She nodded.
   “Oh Gods…” Kif started to panic. “Please Amy, you have to go. Get off the planet quickly before the jackass finds you and your friends.”
   “We have to finish the job,” Amy said quietly. “But I needed to see you…”
   “Amy, you don’t understand,” Kif said, his slitted eyes darting around. “You’re putting me in a dangerous position. It’s my duty to arrest you!”
   Amy gaped. “Kiffy?” she gasped, shocked and horrified.
   “Kif?” Brannigan’s voice carried through the night air, and Kif straightened up from behind the pile of debris. “There you are,” Zapp said. “What are you doing back there.”
   “Er, uhh… I, err… that is…” He looked down at Amy, still crouched in concealment, and she stared up at him with hurt in her eyes. “I was… ‘taking a leak’, sir,” Kif said, moving away.
   “Good work, Lieutenant,” Zapp said. “That’s all this planet’s good for anyway. As a matter of fact…” He turned away and hefted up his regulation skirt to do his business. While Zapp’s back was turned, Kif motioned for Amy to run. She hesitated briefly, casting a long mournful look at Kif, before bolting away into the night.
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #54 : 10-19-2006 06:33 »
« : 10-19-2006 22:00 »

YAY, although there wasn't much shippy, i can see theres some to come

Space Pope
« #55 : 10-19-2006 06:37 »

Aww, poor Amy...

DOOP Secretary
« #56 : 10-19-2006 06:43 »
« : 10-19-2006 06:43 by coldangel_1 »

BU99: Well, you've been rather critical and demanding tonight for someone who isn't paying me.
I don't really write romance dude. I find it mildly nauseating. There's some along the way, tentitive and subtle, rather than overt like a brick in the face. But that's not the focal point. This is a Bender story.

Maz: There, there...
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #57 : 10-20-2006 00:52 »
« : 10-20-2006 00:52 »

whoa, its not like i'm gonna rip someone's throat for a bit of shippy, but i wasn't that impatient, i mean now that i look back on that post it makes me feel like an ass, sorry that i offended you man...

Liquid Emperor
« #58 : 10-20-2006 03:55 »

YOu might not threaten violence BU99, but for the greater shippy, I might be tempted.

Great update by the way.  :D

DOOP Secretary
« #59 : 10-20-2006 04:14 »

I don't get offended, I get hungry.

jle - I'm thinkin' of recycling that 'beautiful eye' bit that we discussed. I know you used it first and probably much more proficiently, but with your leave I've got a section that it could fit into nicely and I'd like to use it. Please?

Liquid Emperor
« #60 : 10-20-2006 04:42 »

If it means there will be shippy feel free to rip of any bits you like, just give me a mention in the closing credits, alright.

DOOP Secretary
« #61 : 10-20-2006 05:33 »

Note for those who don't know what we're talking about:

posted 10-12-2006 12:28
One possible aspect of her aloofness that was never brushed on except partially in 'A Bicyclops Built for Two' is her feeling of not being very pretty due to the whole massive single eyeball thing.
Something Fry should have said at one point and never did... or rather something I would have had him say if I was a writer, is "You have a beautiful eye". I think she would have been really touched by that. I know he said he didn't care about it and he liked her the way she is, but he should have taken that extra step. It's likely something nobody's ever said to her before."

posted 10-12-2006 12:31
I like that idea *makes a note* "

Liquid Emperor
« #62 : 10-20-2006 05:39 »

And then I used it in my fan fic
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #63 : 10-20-2006 05:43 »

was that in your fan fic jle?
ok don't hurt me i don't have a good attention span...

Liquid Emperor
« #64 : 10-20-2006 05:47 »

Yeah, at the wedding reception, Fry complimented Leela's eye, he said it was beautiful, that all of her was beautiful but her eye was something special.

Or something like that.

DOOP Secretary
« #65 : 10-20-2006 08:14 »
« : 10-20-2006 08:14 by coldangel_1 »

Leela shivered in the chilly night air and rubbed her bare arms, so without speaking, Fry shrugged off his jacket and draped over her shoulders. She smiled at him and took his hand.
   “You take that kind of gesture for granted,” she said. “But you know, in this era chivalry is as dead as the common rabbit.”
   Fry chuckled. “To tell you the truth, purple, it was pretty dead in my time as well.”
   “Mmm, so…” Leela leaned against him comfortably as they walked down the dark street. “Past or present, seems you’ve always been anachronistic.”
   “I don’t know what an anachron…thingy is, but I’ll take it as a compliment.”
   Leela leaned across and kissed him on the cheek, whispering: “You’re my ancient knight in rarely-washed armour.”
   “And you’re my beautiful one-eyed Earth Goddess,” Fry said, turning to look at her.
   Leela snorted light-heartedly, mistaking his comment for a joke. “Not often I hear ‘beautiful’ and ‘one-eyed’ in the same sentence,” she said with a chuckle. “But thanks anyway.”
   Fry stopped walking abruptly and Leela paused to look back at him.
   “You’re kidding right?” he said incredulously, frowning at her.
   “What?” Leela was genuinely confused.
   “You don’t… really think you’re ugly do you?”
   “Oh… it’s okay Fry, I know I’ll never win a beauty contest with this.” She gestured at her eye. “It doesn’t bother me though – I got over it years ago.”
   Fry stared silently for a long moment and then shook his head slowly. “Leela, if you could only…” he trailed off, searching for the words. “You’re the most stunning woman I’ve ever met,” he said finally. “And your eye is like a gem, with the whole world is reflected in it, everything that is and everything that could be. I can look into it and lose myself for a thousand years; you can see into my soul…”

   As he spoke, he gazed into her eye, and Leela stared back, overwhelmed. Her lips were slightly parted in astonishment at his words, and a drop of moisture formed beneath her eyelid.
   “Leela,” Fry went on. “You have a beautiful eye.”
   “Oh my… Fry… that’s…” Leela sagged beneath the weight of emotion, and she clasped her hands over her heart. Fry moved forward, afraid he’d upset her, but Leela threw her arms around him and hugged him close.
   “That’s the sweetest thing that anyone’s ever said to me,” she said.
   “Just the truth, nothing more,” he murmured, gently trailing his fingers through her hair. “I only know how to tell the truth – lies don’t come easy to me.”
   “I love you, Phillip J. Fry.”
   “I love you, Turanga Leela.”
   They kissed, long and deep, and so lost were they in their own warm little bubble, they almost failed to notice the tramp of jackboots on the tarmac drawing closer. At the last moment, Leela’s eye snapped open in alarm and she took hold of Fry’s T-shirt, pulling him off the street and into an adjacent alleyway moments before a DOOP squad rounded a corner and marched into view. The lovers pressed themselves flat against a grimy wall in the darkness as the squad moved past, and didn’t move for long minutes after the marching boots faded away.
   “We should go and make sure the ship hasn’t been found,” Leela murmured quietly, peeling herself away from the brickwork.
   “Yeah, and make sure your bed still works,” Fry added with a smirk.
   “I just hope Amy can figure to keep out of the DOOP’s way,” Leela said. “Bender looks like he belongs, but Amy…”
   “I’m sure she’ll be fine,” Fry said. “She’s not as stupid as she first appears.”
   “You know, neither are you,” Leela said. They moved cautiously back onto the street and hurried off toward the ship’s hiding place.

Gareth’s trek from the prison through the industrial districts had been long and arduous; the old break in his poorly-set left leg ached terribly as he limped along. He gritted his teeth and ignored the pain, keeping the featureless metal face of his quarry in mind as he pushed onward in determination, the positron rifle tucked under his arm wrapped in oilskin.
   He had the location. The worker robots on the street were bursting with the news of their hero’s return. Gareth bared his teeth in a feral sneer – ‘hero’? Well, when he got there he would show them their hero’s true nature, and then show them what their hero’s inner workings looked like.
   He patted the rifle, a heavy gauge designed to take out killbots. It would do nicely – a high-powered plasma bolt through the chassis, with residual charge enough to melt the robot’s circuit boards.
   “You’re mine, Bender,” he growled.

“You’re mine, Bender!” the first floozy-bot purred as she draped herself on Bender’s shoulder.
“No he’s not, he’s MINE!” the second floozy-bot declared, draping herself on his other shoulder.
   “Ladies, ladies,” Bender said, chuffing on a huge cigar. “You can both have me!”

   The celebratory party was winding down as robots departed gradually. The man of the hour went upstairs with the two female robots, and Amy sat alone at the end of the bar, staring miserably into an empty glass.
   It had been a PROBLEM for him to see her, she thought morosely. It was his DUTY to arrest her…
   “Ni xin tai hei le,” she murmured to herself, unable to resist the dark train of thought – if Fry and Leela were in the same position, Fry would do anything and everything to ensure her safety. Why couldn’t Kif be a stupid heroic fool like him?
   “We’re closing, little missy,” the bartender said. He’d become much more friendly to the PE crew after discovering they travelled with the great Bender.
   “Uhh…” Amy didn’t really know where to go. “Do you mind if I just go to sleep on the floor or something?”
   “Sure,” the robot replied. “Nothing’s too good for a friend of Bender’s.”
   “Chee jiao,” she muttered, sliding off the stool and wobbling across the room.
   As she was about to slump down into one of the booths the bar-room door flew open and Kif darted inside. He fixed on her and hurried over.
   “What? You here to arrest me?” Amy asked.
   “Amy please!” Kif looked around anxiously. “I slipped away and tracked you here… by the scent of your perfume. You have to leave!”
   “Can’t,” Amy said. “Not til the job is done. I was hoping you might be able to keep Zapp and his merry band of morons off us but apparently your duty is more important to you than I am.”
   “That’s not true!” Kif protested. “I want to help you, but I can’t stop that jackass any more than I can…”
   “If you were any kind of man, you’d at least try!” Amy shouted, swaying drunkenly.
   Kif blinked, stung by her words. “Why are you making this so difficult?” he lamented. “I’m trying to keep you safe!”
   “You’re trying to keep yourself safe,” Amy countered. “Trying to make sure you don’t get put in a difficult position. Just go back to your husband, Zapp, and tell him that if he wants me, I’m right here.” Amy slumped down into a booth and stretched out on the bench. She closed her eyes.
   “I’m not going to do that, Amy. You know I won’t.” Kif looked down at her helplessly. “I love you.”
   Amy opened her eyes and started to say something, but Kif had turned away. When she finally managed to sit up he had vanished.

Leela and Fry reached the ship without running afoul of any of the Nimbus landing parties, though there were a few close calls. The soldiers didn’t appear to be enjoying their job as they scoured half-heartedly and came up against vehement opposition from slave robots who blamed them for the crippling poverty that had befallen the industrial world. The DOOP men had their hands full dealing with hurled projectiles and other robotic abuse – the cyclops and the delivery boy were able to slip past unnoticed.
   The ship hadn’t been touched, evidently no thorough searches had been conducted in the rundown section. Fry and Leela slipped into the ruined warehouse and ascended the stair.
They were already shedding clothes before they reached the door to Leela’s cabin.
   “You’re pretty wonderful, you know that?” Fry said, running his hands along her smooth bare skin.
   “And you’re pretty cute,” Leela replied, pulling him down onto her bunk.
Bending Unit 99

Bending Unit
« #66 : 10-20-2006 08:27 »

"'ello, whats all this then"
lol good update, i'm continuing to like this fic, lol

Space Pope
« #67 : 10-20-2006 08:36 »

"Leela’s eye snapped open in alarm and she took hold of Fry’s jacket, pulling him off the street"

But uh, his jacket was on her...

DOOP Secretary
« #68 : 10-20-2006 08:52 »
« : 10-20-2006 08:52 by coldangel_1 »


EDIT: There, I changed it to T-shirt

Space Pope
« #69 : 10-20-2006 09:11 »

Great, now it's perfect.

DOOP Secretary
« #70 : 10-21-2006 03:12 »

The night was short on Port Botany, with the system’s second sun beating the first to the horizon. Hard-edged light angled through the factory lines and as one a horde of slave robots poured from their dens of down-time to whatever work could still be found.
   In the dim warmth of the Planet Express ship, two bodies lay naked and entwined, sound asleep after a night of passion. A high-pitched chime broke into their slumber, and Leela raised her head, glancing around until she fixed on her wristamijig lying on the floor alongside her discarded bra. Its alarm was flashing seven AM, local time.
   She reached down and killed it with a groan.
   “Come on, red,” she said to Fry, poking him in the ribs. “Time to continue our undignified descent into the heart of criminality.”
   “Can’t we do it tomorrow?” Fry mumbled, his face full of Leela’s breast.
   “Tomorrow’s all booked up with running for our lives from Galactic authorities.”
   Fry grunted. “Lousy Galactic authorities can bite my pasty hairy ass.”
   Leela disentangled herself from Fry’s limbs and slid from the bed. Fry sat up and watched her dress, marvelling at her feline grace.
   “I’m going to meet with Vassiliev,” she said, buckling her belt and searching for a top. “I want you to find Bender and get him to find his way to the town square by eleven – there’s gonna be a little gathering in his honour, so while the DOOP and the prefecture’s population are distracted we’ll be able to move the goods onboard without arousing suspicion.” Leela tossed Fry’s jeans at him.
   “Yes Ma’am,” he said, pulling on the pants.
   Leela finished dressing and recovered the payment envelope and the card that Drupev had given her. She considered repeating her instructions to Fry, but decided it would be unnecessary. Instead she leaned over and kissed him.
   “Meet me back here when Bender’s all set – and bring Amy, we’ll need her.” Fry nodded and watched her slip away. Then pulled on his shirt and jacket and departed as well. He left the ship and made his way out onto the street – Leela was nowhere to be seen. Retracing their steps, he made his way back toward the bar; no soldiers were around, having evidently exhausted their avenues the previous night.
   As he passed the Bender statue, he couldn’t resist pausing to glance up at it bemusement.
   “I think they really captured him,” a nearby voice said, “…captured his essence.”
   “I think he looks angry,” Fry replied without looking away from the statue, feeling a little premonitory dread as he recognised the voice.
   “That kind of what I meant,” Kif replied.
   Fry turned finally and looked at the little alien, not knowing what to expect next. “Hi Kif,” he said uncertainly.
   “Phillip,” Kif said uncertainly. “I know why you’re here, and as you can imagine it puts me in an… unfortunate position.” He looked sad and slightly dishevelled, as though he’d not slept.
   “Kif, we’re…”
   “Be quiet,” the alien snapped. “Let me finish. I haven’t told Zapp that you’re here, but it will only be a matter of time before he discovers your presence. I tried to talk to Amy, but she wouldn’t listen. Phillip, I want you to leave – take my Amy and get away before something terrible happens.”
   “We’ll be gone by the end of the day,” Fry said.
   “That may be too late!”
   “Well, maybe you can do something to hold Zapp off.”
   Kif slumped his shoulders even further. “What do you think I should do? Punch him, like you did? That won’t work for me, Phil… I’m not… strong like you or… HIM.” He gestured at the statue.
   “Strength isn’t about throwing punches or getting statues built of you,” Fry said. “It’s about taking the initiative, being assertive and determined and not giving up.”
   Kif accepted this with a slight nod. “I can see I’m not going to convince you,” he said. “Very well… I shall do what I can.” He turned away. “One thing though… please tell Amy for me… tell her that I’m sorry.”
   “You’ll be seeing her soon enough,” Fry said. “And hopefully then you won’t have anything to be sorry for.”
   Kif walked away in the direction of the Nimbus, and Fry moved off toward the Bar.
   Amy awoke through several layers of fog into a body that ached all over and a head that pounded. Someone was gently shaking her, and she almost wanted to kick whoever it was in whatever soft patch of flesh that presented itself. She opened her bleary eyes and found Fry leaning over her looking concerned.
   “You alright?” he asked.
   “I think I threw up,” she muttered, noting the foul taste in her mouth. She sat up with some difficulty and looked around the empty bar-room.
   “I ran into Kif outside,” Fry said. “Take it you guys had a fight?”
   “Uhh.” The night’s events came back to her and she buckled. “I screwed up, didn’t I?” she said. “He’s gonna lock us up, isn’t he?”
   Fry shook his head. “Have a little faith, Amy,” he said, helping her out of the booth. “Leela needs you back at the ship, you up to it?”
   Amy nodded sagely. “Sorry, Fry,” she said. “Sorry about before.”
   “Think nothing of it,” Fry said. “Alcohol makes fools of us all. Like the time I got so drunk I tried to fight a post box… the damn thing beat the crap out of me.”
   “Yeah, that was funny.” Amy straightened herself out and moved away.
   Fry watched her leave and looked up when Bender emerged at the top of the staircase with the two female robots on his arms.
   “…When the man with the coin brought his big boot down,
   On the broken, wasted masses…
   I stood my ground, and shouted loud:
BITE OUR SHINY METAL ASSES!” Bender sang happily. “Okay – the living legend needs some breakfast booze, oh hey there Fry, I forgot you were around. How’s it goin’?”
   “Fine,” Fry replied. “The living legend has a little appearance to make.”
   “He does?”
   “That’s right. There’s a lot of heat around and this job’s gone on well past too long.”
   Bender turned to the two floozy-bots. “Okay ladies, you can run along now,” he said. “Got me some important hero-type stuff to do.” The two robots peeled away reluctantly and Bender moved down the stairs to Fry.
   The delivery boy gave Bender the rough outline of the plan.
   “…So that’s where the little ‘Bender’ celebration comes in,” he finished. “Should give us enough time and cover to get the shipment back onto the Planet Express ship.”
   “I dunno,” Bender said dubiously. “I mean, do you think it’s right that we should be using my fame to hoodwink folks like this?”
   Fry stared at the robot. “You must be joking,” he said, deadpan.
   “No, really Fry,” Bender said. “I mean, maybe there’s something to this… the slave-bots… I think I really made a difference in their lives. ME, you know? Me, Bender B. Rodriguez.”
   “I know your name, jerkwad.”
   “You know they had a riot on my account?”
   Fry sighed and rubbed his forehead. “Just be in the town square by eleven,” he said. “Get ready to bask in some ill-gotten adoration.”
   “Alright, alright…” Bender grumbled. “Just let me freshen up.” He disappeared upstairs and Fry walked out of the bar, heading back toward the ship.
   He was walking slouched-over with his hands in his pockets, and didn’t notice a shape looming in an alleyway until it was almost upon him. At the last instant the movement caught his eye and he threw an arm up to protect himself from the swinging butt of a rifle. He caught the blow on his elbow, and the force of it caused him to stumble, then the assailant was on him, a fist cracking against his temple and a boot looping behind his ankle and causing him to fall headlong onto the tarmac.
   Fry’s vision swam and he tasted blood. Pushing through the pain he rolled over and aimed a strong kick upward, catching the one-eyed man in the stomach. The bearded man was surprised by the sudden counter-attack, and stumbled back from the kick, slightly winded. Fry took the opportunity to surge to his feet and lunge at the stranger with fists swinging.
   He managed to connect two good blows that sent the bearded stranger stumbling; but the man was tough, and swung the heavy rifle like a club at waist level, hammering it into Fry’s side with a sickening crunch. Fry fell again, feeling the familiar pinch of a broken rib as he gasped painfully for breath.
   “Who the hell are you?” he rasped, struggling to get back to his feet.
   “I’m Gareth,” the stranger growled. “And that’s the last question you ask me, boy.” With that he slammed his boot into Fry’s face savagely, knocking him onto his back, then stooped and grabbed one of his ankles, dragging him back into the alleyway and out of sight.
   Fry struggled, trying to ignore the agonizing grind of broken bone in his side.
   “Heard tell you run with a robot named Bender,” Gareth snarled, looming over Fry.
   “What?” Fry spat blood, noting one of his teeth was loose.
   “You’re gonna take me to that dirty low-down faeces-processor.”
   “I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Fry said, trying to muster strength to tackle the madman. Before he could move, Gareth kicked him in the stomach, further aggravating the broken rib and causing Fry to double up in pain and gasp for breath.
   “I spent the last seven years rottin’ in a concrete box and you’re gonna lie to me?” Gareth demanded. “Now folks say you’re part of Bender’s team, so you’re gonna tell old Gareth where that no-good toaster’s hiding himself, or I’m gonna kick all them pretty-boy looks right off your face.”
   Gareth drew back his boot once more.

“…So that’s how it’s going down,” Leela finished. “If some of your men can move the stuff to our ship you’ll see the money. Naturally we’ll need to inspect the goods, but otherwise I can’t see a problem.”
   Vassiliev stood across from her in an empty warehouse, surrounded by a number of human and robot bodyguards, as well as Drupev. He was a dark-skinned man in his fifties, weather-beaten and scarred. He smiled thinly at Leela and inclined his bald head.
   “Very well,” he said at last. “I must say you have an unusual way of conducting business, but not altogether ineffective. We’ll meet you with the goods and you meet us with the money.”
   “Pleasure doing business with you,” Leela replied. “See you at eleven.” She turned and left the warehouse, and when she was gone Vassiliev activated his wrist communicator. The little screen showed static for a moment which was then replaced by the face of Zapp Brannigan.
   “Contact has been made with the smugglers,” he told the DOOP Captain.
   “Excellent, Mr. Vaseline,” Zapp applauded, mispronouncing the trader’s name. “I trust you have their location?”
   “I will have within a matter of hours,” Vassiliev promised. “After that I hope the Democratic Order Of Planets will see fit to consider my tender for a supply contract in a more favourable light?”
   “Of course, of course,” Brannigan said. “Your assistance will not go unnoticed. Now, is there anything you can tell me about the smugglers?”
   “Only that their leader is a purple-haired cyclops with an enormous bust.”
   Zapp’s face froze and he stared silently out from the little screen.
   “Something wrong, Captain?” Vassiliev asked.
   “…Just the sound of opportunity knocking,” Zapp replied in a strange tone of voice. “Contact me as soon as you have the location.” The comm. link was severed and Vassiliev glanced around at his men.
   “No use giving them up until we have our money,” he said and the others laughed harshly.

Liquid Emperor
« #71 : 10-21-2006 09:03 »
« : 10-21-2006 09:03 »

Cliffy alert OVERLOAD *explodes*

DOOP Secretary
« #72 : 10-21-2006 09:21 »

Mwuhaha. Think I'll just let that hang for... oh I don't know... a week?

Oi, do ya recokon you could bung a few [returns] in among all those 'O's so the page doesn't have to scroll horizontally?
Yeah, pedantic twat, I know. It's Obsessive-Compulsive disorder.

Liquid Emperor
« #73 : 10-21-2006 09:28 »

Done and done.
And if you dare leave it for a week *aproachs Coldangel in a threatening manner* I've had steel toe capps put in my boots and I know how to hurt you
Just a friendly warning

DOOP Secretary
« #74 : 10-21-2006 09:32 »

Thank you so much  :D

Uh oh... that last bit seems to have inspired a streak of ultra-violence in little-old jle... Excellent. Soon I will have inspired an army of brutal zelots to do my bidding as I strive toward my dream of a world ruled by a Communist super-state.

Heh... I'll have more tomorrow. May even finish it if I'm feeling particularly productive.

Liquid Emperor
« #75 : 10-21-2006 09:35 »

Do your bidding or kick your head in?
I kid
I'm glad to hear you'll have more tomorrow, I shall be waiting in the shadows, ever watchful to cast my critical eye over it.

Urban Legend
« #76 : 10-21-2006 18:40 »

Wow, I'll make sure not to piss off jle
Tastes Like Fry

Urban Legend
« #77 : 10-21-2006 20:25 »

I second that.

Great update(s)can't wait to see how they get out of this one.

DOOP Secretary
« #78 : 10-22-2006 00:14 »

When Leela made her way back to the Planet Express ship, Amy was sitting on the steps waiting for her, but Fry was nowhere in sight.
   “Where’s our delivery-boy?” Leela asked, looking questioningly at the intern.
   “Huh? Oh, I don’t know,” Amy replied distantly. “Trying to get Bender to cooperate I guess.”
   “Hmm, I thought he’d be back by now…” Leela noticed Amy was looking despondent again, but decided not to press. She glanced at her wrist thing and noted the time – 10:30. Half an hour remained. She activated the ship’s cargo elevator, making it descend to ground level, and then sat down beside Amy to wait.

In the grimy alleyway, Gareth sent another bone-jarring kick into Fry’s battered body.
   “Where?!” he demanded for perhaps the hundredth time.
   “Go… bone… yourself,” Fry mumbled through split and swollen lips, dribbling blood onto the ground.
   “Wrong answer.” Gareth trod down hard on Fry’s hand, crunching his fingers into the tarmac. Fry howled in pain and fury.
   Unbeknownst to the deranged torturer, a gathering of robots was forming down the street. The town square was gradually filling with metal bodies, the workers assembling as though in supplication beneath the looming Bender statue.

When Kif entered the bridge of the Nimbus he found it deserted except for Zapp Brannigan. The Captain was seated in his command chair in a strange state of immobile silence, with his back to Kif and his fingers steeped contemplatively.
   “Sir, forgive the intrusion,” Kif said meekly. “I was wondering if I could ask…”
   “It’s her,” Zapp interrupted without turning.
   “Sir?” Kif frowned.

   “Leela,” Zapp replied, his voice uncharacteristically quiet. “She and that orange-haired brute. They’re the smugglers. They’re here, now. And soon I will have them in my grasp.” There was no sense of victory in his tone, only something dark and malignant.
   Kif’s hearts hammered in his chest. “Perhaps it would be best if we let this go,” he said.
   Zapp swivelled his chair around slowly and fixed the Lieutenant with an icy glare.
   “Well, sir… I thought that considering Planet Express’s past distinction in the service of the Democratic Order Of….”
   “Shut your slimy little face!” Zapp snarled. “They’re criminal scum! They will be made to pay – that HAIRPILE will finally get what’s coming to him!” Zapp unconsciously reached up to touch the false tooth he’d had implanted after Fry had knocked the original out.
   “But…” Kif was aghast, unable to think of anything to say.
   “And I will pluck Leela away from those low-lives,” Zapp went on. “She may not like it at first, but she will be by my side. Either that or she will spend the rest of her life in prison.”
   Kif turned white. “But… my Amy is with them,” he said desperately.
   Zapp narrowed his eyes and turned away. “My condolences,” he muttered.
   Utterly deflated, and with nothing left to say, Kif turned and walked out, trembling.

Leela and Amy looked up when a group of men appeared through a break in the wall, leading four hover-dollies laden with large steel crates. Vassiliev and Drupev were in the lead, and they moved forward to meet the two women.
   “Four containers of top-grade resonance capacitors and dark matter distributors,” Vassiliev said.
   “Our mechanic will inspect the wares,” Leela said.
   “Be my guest.”
   Leela motioned Amy forward and the girl complied, walking past the men to pop the lids on each container in turn and examine the components inside. The others stood silently and watched until she’d finished the task and flashed Leela a thumbs-up sign.
   “Okay then,” Leela said, producing the payment envelope from inside her tank top. “I guess this is where we part ways.”
   Vassiliev took the envelope, tore it open, and quickly counted the contents. “Right you are,” he said, gesturing to his men. They set about moving the crates onto the PE ship’s cargo elevator and disengaging the dollies. When they were finished they retreated one-by-one. Vassiliev nodded at Leela and followed them without another word.
   “Great,” Leela said, keying the cargo elevator to ascend back up into the ship’s underbelly. “I’m breathing easy for the first time in twenty-four hours. What say we go and collect the wayward children?”
   “Sure,” Amy replied without enthusiasm.
   Outside on the street, Vassiliev activated his wrist communicator and transmitted a set of coordinates to Zapp Brannigan’s DOOP email account. Smiling thinly to himself and patting the wad of notes in his pocket, he hurried away.

The DOOP ground unit commander received the coordinate data direct from Brannigan himself. The Captain appeared in a hologram projected from the soldier’s communication device.
   “I want them alive,” Zapp said. “Aside from that, their condition isn’t important. Move out!”
   “Yes sir,” the soldier said. And then, then the comm. link terminated, he added: “Jackass.” He led his platoon out from their hiding place between factories and they moved up the street in a formation combat jog, laser rifles held at the ready.
   As they moved toward the hiding place of the Planet Express ship, a lone figure suddenly appeared in front of them, running at them and waving his arms. The field commander called a halt and watched as Lieutenant Kif Kroker approached breathlessly.
   “What seems to be the problem, sir?” the soldier asked after saluting.
   “Belay your orders,” Kif puffed. “We’re not moving on the targets. You and your men can stand down. I’ll take responsibility.”
   “But the idiot…”
   “You let me worry about that,” Kif said. “We will not touch these people, alright?”
   The soldier stared at Kif for a few moments, and then shrugged and nodded. “Okay men,” he called. “You heard the Lieutenant – pack it in, we’re falling back!”
   Kif closed his eyes and rubbed a gloved hand over his smooth head, hoping desperately that he’s bought enough time.

Gareth kneeled beside Fry and slapped him back into full consciousness.
   “Oh no you don’t, boy,” he growled. “You’re gonna be awake for all of this… you’re gonna feel it, just like I felt it when that trash can dropped me; you’re gonna…” He trailed off and stood slowly. A noise had caught his attention.
   From somewhere up the road a steady chanting had become audible. Over and over a single name was being shouted by a chorus of robot voices.
   “Bender! Bender! Bender! Bender! Bender! Bender!”
   The empty socket of Gareth’s right eye twitched spasmodically as a toothy grin spread across his face.
   “Beautiful,” he hissed, then stooped to pull Fry up by the scruff of his jacket. “Come on, boy – let’s go see your friend!” Fry was unable to resist as the bearded criminal hauled him along.

Bender stood in a ring of adoring acolytes, with his own statue standing grand and tall behind him. The crowd of robots chanted his name over and over and he waved to them all happily.
   Gallows the guitarist stood forward and motioned for some modicum of order, finally managing to quiet the crowd sufficiently for him to turn to bender and shout:
   “Speech! Speech!”
   At the back of the gathering, peering through the crush of metal bodies, Leela and Amy watched in bemusement.
   “This ought to be good,” Leela remarked wryly.
   A surge of public-speaking anxiety washed over Bender as the crowd gradually hushed. He looked around at the rusty riveted faces and fidgeted nervously, clearing his artificial throat.
   “I’m not too good with words,” he said. “Don’t have much use for ‘em myself. But uhh…” He looked up at the statue of himself and back to the slave-bots. “I just want to thank you all, for being here, and for thinking so much of me. The way I see it, people like you folk have been stuck with the short end of every stick that history’s ever thrown… but you took that end and you made yourselves a life. You took it, and well… I guess that’s something, isn’t it?” Bender nodded to himself and after a beat the robots began shouting righteous affirmations that gradually rose into fully-fledged cheering.
   “Wow…” Amy said, looking stunned. “That actually didn’t sound half bad…”
   “I know,” Leela replied. “I’m quite shocked…”
   Suddenly, the crack of a positron blast ripped through the air, and the cheering turned into screaming as the crowd panicked and ducked down. Slowly a passage was formed through the throng as a man limped through the robotic mass, with a rifle levelled from the hip and a limp form being dragged behind him.
   Leela craned her neck to see, and gasped in horror when she realized the gunman was dragging a badly-beaten Fry.
   Bender looked into the spreading gap in the crowd and narrowed his eyes in disbelief.
   “Gareth,” he said. “You survived.”
   “Yeah, hey there Bender!” Gareth shouted, waving the gun around. “Thought I might make you watch while I butcher me one of your boys!” He tossed Fry forward onto the tarmac with a thump.
   Bender looked down at his friend’s prostrate form. “That ain’t one of mine,” he lied.
   Gareth snorted and glanced down sceptically at the bloody figure. Off to the side, Leela pushed through the crowd with Amy behind her and paused, looking on in horror as the bearded gunman stood over Fry.
   Bender chuckled mirthlessly. “So where you been hiding, Gareth?” I see you went and got yourself mighty hideous-lookin’.”
   “Yeah, sure did.” Gareth stepped past Fry and walked slowly toward Bender while the crowd looked on.
   Leela dashed to Fry’s side, kneeling beside him and lifting his head.
   “Fry? Baby?” she said anxiously, staring at his bruised and bloody face.
   “…Purple?” Fry said weakly, trying to see through a pair of swollen eyes.
   “Oh, honey…”
   “So what’s this I been hearing about a ‘hero of Botany’?” Gareth shouted at Bender, ignoring the others now. “Seven years in lock-up can play tricks on the ears, but not the eyes, and what have we here? I do declare there appears to be a statue of you looking at me like I owe him something. You wanna tell me what this hero stuff’s all about?”
   Bender looked around at the frightened eyes of the crowd, and then back to Gareth.
   “I’m no hero, Gareth,” he said solemnly. “I’m just a working-class stiff like you.”
   This sent Gareth into a fit of bitter cackling. “Welll, yessir, now that IS funny,” he said, and then turned to address the assembled crowd of robots. “It’s true though, he’s right, Bender’s right. In fact we actually used to work together, he and I.”
   Bender looked around uncomfortably at the slave-bots. Leela had helped Fry to his feet and he broke away from her to hobble unsteadily forward, fists clenched, ready to tackle Gareth from behind. Leela moved to stop him, but before she could, Gareth swung around and brought the barrel of his rifle up to poke against Fry’s forehead.
   “Now you just let old Gareth speak his bit,” Gareth snarled quietly. Fry raised his hands and backed off.
   “Go on then,” he said with a small nod. Leela took him in her arms and drew him back to safety.
   Gareth turned back to Bender and raised his voice loud so the whole gathering of robots could hear.
   “There was a whole lot of money in the supervisor’s safe, wasn’t there Bender?” he said, grinning savagely as he turned again to address the surrounding robots. “Got away relatively clean too, but then our transport took a hit and we were goin’ down. Only weight we had to shed was him, me, and the money! And there was no way he was gonna drop that money…”
   “But he did!” Gallows shouted indignantly, stepping forward from the crowd. “He dropped it on the slaves!”
   “By ACCIDENT, you rusted lump o’ clockwork!” Gareth screamed. “He tossed ME off first! We worked together for six months and he turned on me in the blink of my missing right eye!”
   “You’d have done the same,” Bender said quietly.
   “No,” Gareth said. “No, not ever. Yer s’posed to PROTECT the man you’re with. You watch his BACK. Everyone knows that… ‘cept a cold-hearted machine. Except the Goddamned ‘hero of Botany’.”
   The crowd was deathly silent.
   Bender stood motionless. “You gonna talk me to death, buddy?” he said in resignation. “Is that the plan?”
   “No.” Gareth aimed the positron rifle at Bender. “THIS is the plan.”
   The blast echoed across the square.

Space Pope
« #79 : 10-22-2006 00:37 »

He shot me. He shot me right in the arm.  :eek:

Any chance Zapp was standing in the way of that blast?
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