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: No taco for Morbo  (Read 2384 times)
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Bending Unit
« : 01-21-2007 02:55 »

Well, it's the first time I'll post a fanfic here, although it's the... What ? 6th, 7th I've written ? Anyway, Here it is. This takes place between "the Farnsworth parabox" and "the devil's hands are idle playthings".
Please pardon my english (I do my best, but hey...), and note that I had to invent names (Morbo's specie and homeworld) that I'll certainly have to change later if Groening and his staff finally tell us how the hell do we have to call them.

No taco for Morbo (part 1)

“Oh no… Don’t tell me you’re watching TV AGAIN !!!”

Leela wasn’t exactly pleased of what she was seeing. Fry and Bender were crashed in the couch, watching another episode of “All my circuits”. Fry was even drinking a Slurm, making a lot of noise as he sucked up the drink. Still watching the TV, he finally bothered answering her.

“- Oh come on Leela ! We’re just having a break ! This had been a busy morning !
- Yeah, said Bender, and an even busier afternoon. Why can’t you go annoy somebody else ? Calculon is about to say to his wife that he has secretly married her sister !
- Bender, said Leela who was still angry, you’ve already seen that episode. Five times.
- And each time it gets better, said Fry ! Ah, gotta love the automatic modifications ! We really should have had those in the 20th century !
- My love... Said Calculon in his show. I must tell you that your sister and me…
- Ah, geez ! Yelled Bender. Put a bit more drama in this !”

The image suddenly froze on the screen. A computerized voice instantly began to speak.

“Your request is about to be granted. Please wait until the modifications are loaded.”

A few seconds later, the scene rewinded a bit. Calculon was now looking much more desperate than earlier.

“- Sweetie… I’m such a scoundrel ! I’ve betrayed all the hopes you placed in me ! Why, God ? Why did you make me so weak ?!?
- Ah, better ! Said Bender as Calculon was now bursting into tears.
- And what exactly do you call ‘a busy morning’ ? I just made you sweep the loading bay floor ! And as usual you dash your work off !
- Please, Leela ! Said Fry. It’s just some dust ! It’s not as if our lives depend on it when we’re in space !
- That was not some simple dust, Fry ! It was pollen from that ‘nastix vegetarias’ plant we delivered ! Do you realize how toxic this can be ? You’re lucky I’ve made Zoidberg believe it was caster sugar so that he would absorb every single particle of it !
- Bah, said Bender, from what I heard, you would have to breath it for entire days before it would really become dangerous for you meatbags ! End of the story !
- Oh no, you’re not going to get through this that way ! Said Leela, who was now pretty pissed. When I ask the both of you to do something for keeping us safe for our next deliveries, you do it ! Is that clear ?
- Yeah, OK, we’ll remember (said Fry. As he was staring at the TV, drinking his Slurm, Leela had the feeling he wasn’t really feeling involved). We’ll act well next time.”

Leela sighed. That was hopeless. As long as they would be watching their dumb shows, they would never pay attention to her orders. Her next priority was pretty clear.

“- Could you just turn that off ? We’ve got some work to do…
- In your dreams ! Said Bender. Nothing on Earth would make me stop something I want to do ! Especially if it’s for some crappy work !”

Leela was about to get mad and yell at them, when the show brutally got interrupted. After a very short moment of interferences, the news was now on. There was a close-up on Linda, who was looking as cheery as ever. Watching Fry and Bender’s frustration made Leela smile.

“- Dammit, screamed Bender, is there a conspiracy for contradicting me every time I say something or what ?
- We interrupt these programs for a special announcement, said Linda. What the DOOP feared the most for years now has become a reality, as the two most powerful and destructive nations of the universe, Omicron Persei 8 and the Kabejjedian empire, declared war against each other only 30 minutes ago.”

Leela gasped when she heard that. Looking at Fry and Bender, she quickly realized that they too knew what it could imply. Two extremely powerful and vindictive alien populations, fighting each other, and which wouldn’t care for possible collateral damage (like, say, Earth, which had diplomatic links with both of them) could not possibly be good news. Linda, however, wasn’t looking extremely terrified by this. In fact, she was still smiling.

“Apparently, the whole point of their sudden attacks is Plainrock 1246, a deserted planet, located just at the edge of both their territories, and upon which the two empires had been fighting over for decades. Lord Lrrr, emperor of Omicron Persei 8, quickly commented his decision.”

The image changed in order to show the Omicronian emperor, looking as dreadful as always, surrounded by other Omicronian dignitaries, including his wife Ndnd.

“The Kabajjedian scum has humiliated us for far too long ! It is now time for this… Cough cough ! Oh my, that chilli was damn too spicy… What ? It’s still on ? Then stop it, we’ll do another take ! What ? That’s live ?!? Oh… Er… Where was I ? (Ndnd whispered something in his ear) Oh right ! It is now time for this worthless creatures to feel the wrath of Omicron Persei 8 !!!”

Linda appeared again on screen, still smiling like a stoned monkey.

“Of course, Trago, Supreme Commander of the Kabejjedian empire, reacted to this declaration…”

Now, another alien appeared on screen. It was evident he was from the same specie than Morbo, except that he was wearing a long purple cape (completed with a collar) over some kind of golden ceremonial armor. He was looking extremely menacing, almost making the anchorman look nice.

“Truly those primitives underestimate our glorious race ! Doom is their only possible fate ! Very soon, the entire universe will see what is bound to happen to anyone who would dare to stand against us ! Beware, weak insects… First, the Omicronians… Then, YOU !!!”

Linda appeared once again on screen.

“Despite its unending efforts to find an agreement between the two nations, the DOOP hadn’t been able to prevent them from finally declare war. However, a small spark of hope still remains as, despite the current fights, a diplomatic mission has been deployed in order to find a peaceful conclusion to this crisis. The DOOP to rest the fate of this part of the galaxy in the hand of his most valuable officer, Captain…”

Suddenly, someone appeared on screen and quickly gave a sheet of paper to the journalist. Intrigued by this turn of the event, Linda took a brief look at it before getting back to the camera.

“This just in : the Omicronians claim the Earth to give them up one of the most important Kabejjedian officers, who is supposed to be a scout for a future invasion and to work incognito. They threaten to attack our world if Earth ever tries to hide him. Earth’s president, Richard Nixon’s head, declared ‘he could at least have said please’. Now, what’s your comment on that event, Morbo ?”

Linda turned to face her colleague, and in the same time the camera zoomed out to reveal his seat… Which was at the moment empty. Linda obviously was surprised by this, and apparently, she was beginning to become stressed, as it was the very first time she couldn’t count on someone else on the set to help her… Of course, no one seemed to ask himself why the heck she didn’t notice earlier that the Kabejjedian wasn’t there, but maybe it was because everyone knew the answer.

The same guy than before appeared again and gave another sheet of paper to Linda. The journalist quickly regained a consistence as she read the message.

“Sorry for the trouble. Apparently, Morbo had to take some unexpected vacations… He however let us this message, that he asked us to read to you : “Never will Morbo surrender to those stinking Omicronians ! As my people need me, I have the duty to help them. May you die the most gruesome way possible, brainless female human ! PS : Don’t worry, you’ll be the nexts to be wiped out ! Mwahahahaha !” (Linda posed the sheet of paper and turned to face the camera again) Well, I have nothing else to say than have fun with your folks, Morbo ! This puts an end to this special announcement, we’ll now get back to our former programs. Good day !”

As soon as Linda pronounced those words, some interferences jammed the communication, before Calculon appeared again on screen, screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!” as his wife confessed him a few seconds earlier that she married his uncle during a trip in Las Vegas, before she even met him. But now, even Bender wasn’t in the mood for watching his favourite show…

“Oh great ! Just as I was wondering what I would do of all those gasmasks I didn’t manage to sell during the last crisis ! Looks like I’ll make some profitable business again, hehehehe !”

… He was too busy calculating how much he could sell his products until someone declares it would be stealing him.

“- That probably won’t help us at work… Said Fry.
- According to my wristamajig, said Leela, Plainrock 1246 is located in the Axholish quadrant… I think we should avoid crossing this zone for a while. Oh Lord, I hope that won’t extend to other systems !
- Well, we’re never too sure… Let’s tell the professor that we won’t work until the end of that war !”

Fry looked at Leela, hoping she would agree with him… But the look in her eye was enough for him to understand she knew what his true goal was. And that she would never help him in that trick.

“- At least I tried…
- Listen, the both of you… I’m as tensed as you at the idea of having to work while those monsters are fighting each other, but for the moment, that doesn’t concern us at all. We’re an earthican civilian interstellar delivery company, we’ve got nothing to do with Omicronians or Kabejjedians, and so we have no reason to stop working. If we ever get a job in the following hours, or days, as long as we wouldn’t have to go in that quadrant, we’ll take it, is that clear ?
- Alright, alright… Said Fry, not very enthusiastic.
- Good. Now Bender, could you please put those gasmasks away and answer to my question ?
- I’ve got three things to tell you, eyeball. First, I have to examine those masks to see if someone would see at first glance if they’re broken or not. Second, I’ll earn much more by selling them than for working here, so don’t count me on this. And third, you can bite my shiny metal ass.
- Bender, you’re an employee of this company, which means you have to make it your priority.
- Not when there are thousands of good cash to make !
- Then I’ll be forced to tell the professor what really caused his ageslowering device’s malfunction.”

Bender froze. He suddenly began to look nervous, which greatly satisfied Leela.

“- She asked for this…
- Really ? Then you don’t matter if I go tell him…
- No no no no !” Bender really was about to panic. He laughed slightly, but it was obviously not extremely sincere. “Okay, maybe we can find an agreement ? I’ll do as you say, and you forget about this, right ?
- I won’t tell him. I can’t guarantee that I will forget, though.
- Oh come on, Leela, we’re adults ! I’m not asking you too much, after all. Just say that you’ll never talk about this ever, and…
- I was wondering… How did you do this, exactly ? I know that some parts of your body are extensible, but I would never have thought you could so flexible, especially about…
- Alright, you won. Just shut up about this !”

Fry didn’t understand a single bit of what just happened. A part of him was telling him he would better never ask, but another was too curious for letting this slip… And as he was about to ask for details, the room’s loudspeaker emitted a small Larsen shriek. Hermes was making an announcement.

“Everybody to the conference room, we just had made a contract. If Zoidberg isn’t in the building, could someone go pick him up at the garbage cans ? Thanks.”

Fry and Bender reluctantly turned the TV off and got up. Soon, they headed to the exit. But Fry let Bender get some advance, and got near Leela.

“What did he do, exactly ?”

Leela assured herself that the robot was away, and she whispered in the young man’s ears what happened. She then proceeded forward, but Fry stayed in the same place for a few seconds, his eyes widened. Disgust made him tremble from head to toe.

“Oh great, now I’ll need years to get this out of my mind..."
Bending Unit
« #1 : 01-24-2007 14:03 »

No taco for Morbo (part 2)

Everybody was already seated in the conference room, in their respective places, when Zoidberg finally arrived. Disposing of a banana peel that was still on the top of his head, he got his place next to the professor.

“- Sorry for being late, my friends, said the Decapodian. I was with my friends the owls, having some good time…
- What are babbling about, smelly sea cucumber ? Said Hermes. You can’t be friends with vermin !
- Well, with all the time I spend in the garbage cans, they think I’m an owl as well. A deformed and mutated owl, but an owl nonetheless.
- Really ? Said Fry, clearly surprised. They really let you be with them ?
- Oh, sure ! At first it was a bit hard to fit in. I mean, they have a strict hierarchy in their group… I even had to fight against Gruber…
- Gruber ? Said Amy.
- The leader. But now, I have found my place in their society.
- Yeah, that sure is something valuable to put in your resume… Said Leela.
- You think so ? Said Zoidberg, unaware of the sarcasm. Hooray ! I can’t wait to tell Gruber ! After I would have given him half my catches, roll on the back and let him pee on me, I’m sure he’ll let me talk !
- Yes, that’s extremely interesting, said the professor. But we’ll have to talk about Zoidberg’s social skills another day. We’ve received a job offer.
- No kidding ? Said Bender, sarcastically. That’s why we’re making a meeting ? I thought it was for the installation of our underground casino…
- Oh my no, said the professor, I still didn’t manage to gather enough money for bribing Poopenmeyer ! No, it’s just for a small delivery that will contribute to this cause. We’ve had an offer we can’t refuse, believe me.
- And what is it exactly ? Asked Leela, who was beginning to have some doubts about that work…
- You’ll have to carry a single crate in the shortest delay as possible, said Hermes.
- Which crate exactly ? Asked Fry.
- This one”, said the professor, pointing his finger.

The whole crew looked in the direction the professor was indicating. In the hangar, by the ship’s side, Scruffy was manipulating a hovering platform that was carrying a gigantic square crate. It was a bit higher than a normal body. Leela frowned her eyebrow. Something was fishy in this.

“- What does it contain exactly ? Asked the young woman.
- Sorry, can’t say, said Hermes. Our employer kept the secret about its content, and asked us to never open it.
- Asked ? Said Fry.
- Well, commanded is more accurate, I think.
- And who’s our employer then ? Asked Leela, more and more suspicious.
- We don’t know. He doubled the price for being sure that we would never ask his identity.
- An anonymous sender… A mysterious crate… (Said Fry, scratching his chin. Something in his eyes was making Leela think he was enjoying the situation) I’m sure it’s some super-duper secret weapon… Or a powerful Aztec mystic artefact that could doom this world… Or the lost issues of Blue Flashlight !
- Or something extremely valuable… Said Bender, his greed processor already working at its full potential.
- Or something very tasty… Said Zoidberg, drooling.
- Do not even think about trying to see what’s inside ! Said the professor, sounding angry. We’ll get extra cash if that crate stays closed until its deliveries, and I don’t want any of you to spoil this chance to get those blackjack tables without the police putting its nose in our affairs ! And this includes you, Leela !
- Hey ! Said the young woman, offended. It happened only once, and it was only because of that coin flipping !
- And that nearly provoked the destruction of two universes… Said Amy.
- What did I tell you about what happened to that girl who was constantly picking on me in high school ? Said Leela, not even looking at Amy.
- The one who needed two months of physiotherapy after that accident ? Asked Fry innocently.
- Yeah, said Leela now staring Amy with a murderous look. An accident…
- Enough with cat fights, said the professor ! Get in that ship and deliver that crate so that we’d get pay as soon as possible ! I won’t be able to calm down the robot mafia for too long !
- Hey, at least tell us where we have to deliver it ! Said Fry !
- Oh, you’ll find easily. You’ll have to dump it in the Kabejjedian headquarters on Plainrock 1246, on the Axholish quadrant.”

Everybody gasped, except for the professor and Hermes, as the two of them already knew this. Nobody was faking his absolute panic, but that didn’t seem to distract the professor enough for preventing him from smiling.

“- Are you dense ?!? Said Leela, almost screaming. Do you realize there’s a war there !?
- A war ?! Screamed Zoidberg. So that’s why you all looked horrified !
- Wait, you didn’t know ? Asked Fry, now taken aback. Then, why did you gasp with the rest of us ?
- I didn’t want to be isolated ! I just want to be like my friends !
- Listen, said Leela, getting back to the previous discussion, I know we already made pretty dangerous deliveries before, but that… That’s just a whole new level ! Do you really expect us to deliver a crate, which nobody knows what’s inside, in such a place, where we would have to go through not only one, but two war fleets ?!? Especially as we’re talking about alien creatures that surely would never bother to hold their fire just because civilians are in their way !
- To be fair, said the professor, still smiling, I don’t expect you to do this.
- Thank God… Said Leela, weeping the sweat on her forehead.
- No, I’m ordering you to do this !”

Leela thought she was about to strangle the old man, but she managed to control herself. Fry, although not as pissed as her, wasn’t however willing to let this slip without any reactions.

“- Professor, that’s just insane ! I’m always ready for any mysterious task, but not when it could kill me, blast me off, or even worse, remove some of my organs again ! And by experience, I know that being on a Warfield will result in one of those three things !
- Like Reddie Locks here say ! Said Bender. I really don’t want to make all the fembots I shagged cry because I would have disappeared from their life ! There’s nothing you can say that can make me change my mind !
- Well, I’ve got things to tell you that may indeed make you accept. First, as there indeed will be a few tiny skirmishes, which forces me to give you a medical assistance (damn those liberal work conventions !), Zoidberg will come with you…
- I don’t care if you want the meatbags to get killed, as long as I’d not ! Screamed Bender.
- … Second, maybe you should take a look at what we would gain with that delivery. Hermes ?”

The bureaucrat nodded and got a sheet of paper out of the file he was holding. As Fry, Leela and Bender were side by side, he made it slide on the table so that the three of them could see it. The trio bent over the paper… And all their respective eyes nearly popped out of their orbits as they saw what their mysterious employer was willing to pay. Bender whistled.

“- Is… Is that number accurate ?!? Mumbled Leela.
- Is that written in binary ?! Asked Bender. Because I’ve never seen so much zeros in one of our bills before ! Even after I fiddled with them !
- Now, that’s sure ! Said Fry. If someone wants to pay that much for delivering one crate, then it must be extremely precious ! I so wonder what’s inside !
- You’d better stop ! Said the professor, menacing. We’ll gain that only if you refrain your desire from opening it to see its content !
- You can trust us ! Said Bender. I swear on their heads that we will never…
- Oh no, I can’t ! I’m 100 % sure that one of you will do something stupid during the travel. I don’t care if it would be you, Fry, Leela, or Zoidberg ! That’s why I had to take measures !”

Somehow, the fact the professor had used a past tense rang a bell in Leela’s mind.

“- You mean you have to take measures, right ?
- Certainly not ! I put nanorobots in the coffee-machine before you all came to work. As you always drink a cup as soon as you arrive, they’re now spread in your organism.”

The professor got a strange remote control out of his pocket. The tension around the table suddenly reached a new level. A much higher one.

“As soon as I will have activated them, you’ll now receive an electric shock every time you’ll want to open that crate !”

The whole crew suddenly looked shocked and anxious. Everyone began to protest, to threaten to call the press… Except for Bender. As he burst out laughing, everybody looked at him, wondering what was going on.

“- Well played sir, said the robot between two spasms, but I haven’t drink any coffee today ! And once again, Bender wins ! Bow before your master, bonehead ! BWAHAHAHAHA !!!!
- Oh yes, you didn’t drink coffee, said the professor, completely serene. But if I may, you shouldn’t put your beer anywhere and not having an eye on it, even for a small minute…”

Bender was still laughing as the professor was talking, but once Farnsworth finished his sentence, the robot’s laughter degraded quickly as he realized what had happened.

“- Oh, crap, said a depressed Bender.
- But enough talks, said the professor. We haven’t got all time.”

The professor finally pressed a button on his remote. Instinctively, Fry ducked and protected his face with his hands. It needed him a few seconds to realize that nothing happened. A bit puzzled and still suspicious, he slowly got back to his chair.

“- That’s strange… I felt nothing…
- I told you, said the professor, you’ll only feel something if you ever want to open the crate !
- But… What’s telling us that you’re not bluffing ?
- That’s what I was thinking, said Leela. Honestly, I’m quite disappointed that you’re using such methods ! We can do an entire trip without having a look to its content, no matter how mysterious it could be ! Well, sure, we’ll risk our lives for…”

Suddenly, Leela nearly hit the roof, as she jumped out of her seat, screaming. Surprised, Fry backed off, nearly falling of his chair. The rest of the crew looked at her with widened eyes, except for the professor who was smiling.

“- Oh Lord ! Said Leela, now completely disconcerted. That’s not a hoax ! I really got a shock !
- And may that be a warning for the four of you ! Said the professor. Now get into that ship ! Those slot machines won’t get here by themselves !”

Delivery Boy
« #2 : 01-25-2007 11:31 »

great fanfic
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« #3 : 01-25-2007 20:36 »

Have a late welcome to PEEL!  :D Love the title.  ;)
Bending Unit
« #4 : 01-26-2007 13:56 »

Whoohee ! Replies !  :laff:
Thanks, that'll help me getting further. You can take a look at my other fanfics if you want, they're all in Futurama Madhouse - Leela zone. I also started a thread with links to them, but it got lost. [/self-marketing]

Bending Unit
« #5 : 01-26-2007 14:08 »

Originally posted by purplefish:
I also started a thread with links to them, but it got lost. [/self-marketing]

Nope, not lost.. here it is!

Bending Unit
« #6 : 01-26-2007 14:33 »

Okay, let's just say I was too lazy to search for it then.  :laff:

Bending Unit
« #7 : 01-26-2007 15:25 »

Interesting story.. I will follow this one and see how it plays out.
Bending Unit
« #8 : 01-27-2007 03:18 »

No taco for Morbo (part 3)

KZTT !!!

“Ouch !”

Leela sighed again. This was becoming extremely embarrassing. Since they left Earth, it never seemed to stop. She herself got shocked only a few times in approximately 5 hours, but for Bender, Fry and Zoidberg, that was different. After one of them would get punished, it would only be a matter of minutes before one of them would scream of pain after having bad thoughts. In some extent, it could be interpreted that maybe the professor wasn’t completely wrong. In fact, Bender went on sleep mode shortly after they took off, but he brutally awakened only a few seconds later with one shock. The nanomachines didn’t seem to care that he was dreaming.

“- Fry, make an effort ! Said Leela, still focusing on her piloting. If you keep thinking about anything else just like me, it won’t affect you !
- I’m trying, said Fry, who was sitting in his usual seat in the cockpit, but that whole story is so intriguing ! I mean, if someone pays that much for one crate, I can help but wondering why…”

KZTT !!!

“- Aaaah !
- Stop this !” Said Bender, angry, who was doing his usual task : sitting in his seat, his feet on the console, and drinking a beer. “Dammit, I’m already asking myself if that bloody thing isn’t affecting my program each time, I don’t want to wonder if it will emit some dangerous impulses in the air !
- That’s pure nonsense ! Said Leela. And you’re not really in a good situation for criticizing him, Bender ! You got shocked more than any of us since we left !
- I don’t know what you’re talking about, bonestick ! That’s pure junk, anyway. Why would anyone want to know what’s in that stinking crate anyway ? I don’t think that…”

KZTT !!!

“- WHOA !
- See what I meant ? Said Leela.
- By the Holy Chips of Skynet, I’m soooooo going to kill the professor when we’ll get back ! Said Bender.
- We all want to kill him, said Leela, but for now the only way to put an end to this ridiculous situation is to deliver that… The thing we should avoid to talk about. So let’s discuss something else.
- Like what ? Asked Fry.
- Well… I don’t know… It’s always when you try to change the conversation that you don’t find anything else !
- Oh ! I know ! Bender, what have you done yesterday night ? You didn’t come back to our apartment…
- Hehehe, yeah, long story… You see, I was going out of that bar, when I saw that hooker at the street corner, who was…
- Alright, said Leela, I don’t really want to hear robot porn stories right now.
- Oh, come on ! Said Bender. That was totally not porn !
- What was it then ? Asked Leela.
- A story for a mature audience about the wonderful purposes of some precise parts of anatomy, which involved mechanical sentient beings.
- Wha ? Said Fry.
- Robot porn, translated Leela.
- Oh.
- Damn, you’re so complicated ! At least I’m trying to avoid talking about…

Bender was about to protest when he suddenly realized why Leela shouted at her. The robot sank a bit more in his seat, sullen.

“- How long before we arrive ? Asked Bender.
- Approximately 3 days.
- 3 days ? Said Fry, who was feeling upset. I will never hold that long !”

Bender’s expression suddenly changed. Something in Fry’s line was giving him an idea. Well, if he had to suffer for such a long time, he would at least have a little fun. He grinned, and gave a strange look at Fry.

“Yeah, said Bender. I guess it would help if it was a panoramic TV, in that crate… We would just have to open it and…”

KZTT !!!

This time, it was Fry who got shocked. Bender began to snicker as he saw his friend’s expression. The young man quickly understood why the robot said this.

“- That was mean ! Said Fry, angry.
- But fun, answered the robot, still laughing. I knew you’d get caught if I said that ! Oh boy, you’re so predictable !”

As Bender was still mocking him, Fry’s anger grew larger and larger, almost to the point of making him see red. But as he was about to explode, he decided to use another strategy.

“Yeah. You’re right, Bender. I mean, I’m sure you’d be caught too if I ever say it would contain… I don’t know… The entire collection of Playbot…”

Bender fell of his seat as he wasn’t secure when his nanomachines got activated. It was now Fry’s turn to laugh out loud. The robot however quickly recovered from his injury, and he looked at Fry with a murderous look.

“Oooooh, so you wanna play tough, boy ?”

Leela sighed. She perfectly knew how it would end. Bender got on his feet and got near Fry.

“What if I say there may be the Omegabox 129600 in it ?”

The electric shock Fry received put an end to his laughter. When the pain disappeared, enraged, he jumped on his feet and faced the robot.

“Yeah ? Well, I think it’s a whole box of Zuban cigars !”

KZTT !!!

“Ouch ! Bastard ! It must be a load of Slurm !”

KZTT !!!

“Aaargh ! Olde Fortran !”

KZTT !!!

“Gaaah ! Oh, really ? I say it’s sexy women underwear !”

KZTT !!!

“Owww !!!”

Bender and Fry stopped. It wasn’t the young man who got shocked that last time. They were sporting the same amazed look as they slowly turned their heads to look at Leela. She wasn’t facing them at the moment, but as the young woman seemed to have shrivelled in her seat, they had the strange feeling she knew what they must be thinking. Bender began to giggle.

“Hehehe, looks like Miss Straight-in-her-boots has some fantasies…”

Leela finally looked at them. She was obviously mad, but Fry quickly noticed she had blushed shortly before.

“- Bender, I would really like you to go see what Zoidberg is up to. He’s been a bit too quiet those last minutes to my taste.
- No problem, captain…

The robot got out of the cockpit, but he deliberately didn’t take her last order into account. He even began to whistle as he was leaving. That was some atrociously bad whistling, but Fry could have sworn it was sounding like that song in 9 weeks and a half… As Bender was now out of his sight, Fry looked at Leela again. She was back at her piloting.

“Sexy underwear ?”

Leela looked at Fry again. That time she wasn’t angry, but she was mostly showing her embarrassment.

“Well, you know, sometimes, a woman just wants to be attractive…”

Fry gave her a naughty smile. She knew what he was about to say before he even opened his mouth, which didn’t stop her from being pissed.

“- Any chances I see you in such things one day or the other ?
- Fry ! Can’t you just…”

But suddenly, Leela abandoned. It probably wasn’t the best moment for this. She sighed and focused on their trajectory again.

“Bah, who am I kidding ? We always end up more or less naked every time we’re on a mission. And sometimes when we’re not.”

A humming sound indicated to Fry that the sliding cockpit door just got opened. Turning round, he saw Bender and Zoidberg enter in the room. The Decapodian had some sauce and other food remains on his clothes.

“- What happened to you, doctor ? Asked Fry.
- I found him in our food supplies, said Bender. Believe me or not, but he was classifying everything, or whatever !
- Really ? Why would you do this, doc ? Usually, you eat everything without even asking yourself if it’s edible or not !
- That was the Zoidberg from before, said the Decapodian with a quasi-aristocratic tone. Do I have to remind you that I’m part of a community now ? A community that has very strict rules to respect if you want to be part of it. Every time I would find food, I will have to give a slight percentage of it to Gruber. It’s a matter of hierarchy, you know.”

Leela slapped her forehead. The Decapodian had already done very silly things before, but he really was crossing the line.

“- Oh, for the love of… Zoidberg, it’s an owl ! Nothing but an owl !
- Mind your words, young lady ! Gruber is not an ordinary owl, he’s the most influent owl of all New New York. And it’s an honour to be his servant !”

The Decapodian couldn’t see it, but in his back, Bender looked at Fry and lightly tapped the side of his head with one of his fingers. The young man simply nodded, with a look that was saying “Couldn’t agree more…”. Leela was definitely agreeing with them, but she decided she would better try to be diplomatic.

“- Doctor, what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t take this seriously. Think a second… Gruber is an animal. You are an intell… A sentient being. You have absolutely nothing to do with him. Especially in that way. I can understand that you want a pet and that you named him, but…
- I didn’t name him ! He told me his name ! And he knows I’m not from his kind, but he will accept me nonetheless as long as I’d respect his rules. Sounds fair to me.”

Leela was slowly losing her patience, and was beginning to consider that hitting him on the head with an iron bar would maybe help. But she didn’t have time for trying to apply this theory. A strange noise suddenly rang out. Fry, Bender and Zoidberg seemed to have heard it too, as they began to focus in order to know what happened.

“- What was that ? Asked Fry.
- I don’t know, said Leela, but it looked like…”

The noise resumed again. Paying more attention, Leela thought it was as if something was throwing or hitting the hull… Or maybe something in the ship… It happened again and again, going slightly louder each time.

“It comes from the hold !” Said Fry.
Bending Unit
« #9 : 01-30-2007 06:41 »

No taco for Morbo (part 4)

Leela activated the auto-pilot and got out of her seat. As she headed to the hold, Fry, Zoidberg and Bender followed her. During that time, the noise was becoming louder and louder, and more frequent as well. When she finally entered in the room, she immediately looked at the crate. There couldn’t be any mistakes : whatever was inside wanted to get out. Leela saw the crate shake as the thing inside was trying to break through.

And then she heard the voice. A deep and loud voice, who was indicating that the thing was desperate.


Leela turned to face the others. They were looking as amazed as her, but they were a bit afraid too, apparently. The tone of the voice and its message weren’t really encouraging…

“- There’s someone in that crate ! Said Leela. We’ve got to get him out of this !
- Well, do that yourself, meatbag ! Said Bender. I don’t know who the hell it could be, but I’d prefer him to stay in there !
- He said we would have problems only if he stays there !
- Yeah, said Fry, but we’re not supposed to open it ! The professor would kill us if…
- NO MATTER WHAT THAT STUPID HUMAN SAID ! Said the voice, as menacing as before. OPEN THIS ! YOU’LL GET PAID ANYWAY !!!
- Really ? Asked Fry.
- Alright, we need a crowb…”

KZTT !!!

Leela almost jumped because of the shock. After having recovered, she quickly realized what was going on.

“A what ? Asked Fry. A crowbar ? I think there’s one in…”

KZTT !!!

“- Ouch !!! What the…
- We’ve got a problem ! Said Leela. We’ll keep on getting electrocuted by those stupid nanomachines just because we want to open the crate !
- I’m going to get the…” Started Zoidberg.

KZTT !!!

“- WOOHOOHOO ! That hurts !
- What are we going to do ? Asked Fry, panicked. What must we do ? Leela, find something !
- I don’t know ! Maybe we can…”

KZTT  !!!

“- Nyaaah ! God, that’s useless !
- Do whatever, you want, bonesticks, said Bender, but me, I’m getting out of here ! There’s no way that I shall stay somewhere around that crate and that friggin’ lunatic inside !”

Something made “Bing !” in Leela’s mind. Slowly, she turned her head and looked at Bender. The robot was feeling particularly uncomfortable…

“- Sooo… Said Leela. That means you don’t want to open it, right ?
- Hell yeah ! I’m 300 % sure I wouldn’t even touch it !
- Which means you wouldn’t get shocked by the nanomachines, right ?”

Bender finally understood what she was thinking.

“- Oh, no no no, eyeball… Don’t even try to…
- Bender, we need to open that crate ! You’re the only one who…
- I said no, dammit ! Who knows who that guy is ? Maybe he’s some sort of barbarian psycho-killer that needed to escape the police !
- Well, he’s got a point… Said Fry.
- Have you forgotten our rules ? We need to protect our cargo at all cost !
- Oh yeah… Said Bender. ‘Our crew is expendable, your packages are not’… Never believed in that… And who would know if that guy dies, after all ? There’s only him and us ! We can keep it secret, and…

That made Bender feeling even more stressed, to the point he mimicked swallowing a big gulp of saliva (what may be impossible if he hadn’t had another upgrade for keeping the beer longer in his mouth before swallowing it, so that he would appreciate his beverage’s taste longer). Realizing his survival instinct program was kicking him, Leela added a last touch.

“Open it, Bender. Or I’m going to tell to whoever would come to avenge him what part you played in his death.”

Bender’s internal struggle lasted a few more seconds… But his desire to live finally got the upper hand. Sighing he opened up his chest cavity and got a crowbar out of it.

“Don’t come crying if he eviscerates you as soon as he’ll be free !”

Still reluctant, Bender came closer to that crate, and put the crowbar on one of the side of it. Pulling on the tool, he managed to take down some of the nails that were maintaining the crate and to lightly dissociate one of the crate’s panels from the others. Going to the other side, he repeated the operation. And finally, the panel fell on the ground, revealing the crate’s content…

Which made everybody gasp. As the person who had been trapped inside the box was breathing large gulps of air, Fry was thinking that he knew he had already heard that voice somewhere. They were all gaping at what they were seeing. But Leela was the first one who managed to say something.

“Morbo ?!?”
Bending Unit
« #10 : 02-02-2007 15:16 »

No taco for Morbo (part 5)

For a moment, Fry thought it was a joke, but there couldn’t be any mistakes : the creature which was standing inside the box they had to carry was noone else but the famous Morbo, the anchorman ! For the moment, he was trying to breathe normally again, which was making his incredibly huge head blowing up and deflating. Behind him were several oxygen bottles, all of them put anywhere, several packs of water and food, a lantern and a strange bucket. Apparently, as Morbo’s skin was changing for light green to its usual shade, he really was lacking of air inside. He certainly had been too cautious on the isolation…

“What the… Said Leela. What are you doing here ? Why would someone send you in a box !?”

Morbo gave her a murderous look. He seemed to have already pretty well recovered, as he immediately adopted his usual menacing tone.

“- What are you, female, an imbecile ?! Nobody put Morbo in that crate ! Morbo did this himself !
- I don’t get it… Said Zoidberg. Why using us, exactly ? There are many travelling companies that could have brought there in first class… If that legend of the existence of a ‘first class’ is true…
- Morbo is not surprised by the stupidity of this Decapodian…” He almost spit that last word. “Morbo needed to go to Plainrock 1246 in order to help his people, but no spaceship company would have brought him there, especially after the primitive Omicronians’ claims for him !
- Hey, they didn’t talk about you, said Fry. They only want some weird Kabejjedian officer, and you’re an anchorman !”

Morbo suddenly looked a bit less confident. Leela could have sworn that the alien felt he did a mistake, although she couldn’t really see what…

“- Oh… Er… Yeah… The puny human must be right. Morbo must have made a mistake. Haha.
- That still doesn’t tell us why you decided to lock yourself up in that crappy box ! Said Bender. We should get a bonus for every time we got electrocuted because of that stupid ‘do not open !’ order !
- Morbo doesn’t care about that last part, but he knows you need explanations if he wants you to shut up. Morbo needed to get there as fast as possible, but those blasted Omicronians would have destroyed his ship as soon as they may have detected it, so he needed to find another way. And finally Morbo had the idea of getting himself delivered.
- That would have worked, said Leela, but it seems you didn’t plan this very well…
- Morbo prepared this wonderful plan perfectly ! I just made a very slight underestimation of the amount of air he would need for the travel !
- Now, one last question, mister Morbo… Why us ?
- Morbo looked at the various intergalactic delivery companies. And it appeared that ‘Planet Express’ was the only one who was foolish enough for agreeing to go to the Axholish quadrant in the middle of a war. The others turned off Morbo’s offer despite the pay check, arguing that it was too dangerous for their crew, but your company immediately accepted.
- Ah yeah… Said Fry, looking proud. ‘Our crew is expendable, your packages are not’. And we do our best for honouring this !”

Leela gave a strange look at Fry. That wasn’t exactly a thing that should be said to a client that was already willing to put them in danger, but as it was already printed just next to their company’s number in the Yellow Pages, that wasn’t a valid enough reason for reprimanding him… She turned back to Morbo, as some other elements needed to be set up.

“- Well, first, as a representative of Planet Express, let me thank you for having chosen us… But the problem is that this situation is clearly out of our competence. As you said, we’re a delivery company, not a cab service. So I’m afraid we have to get back to Earth…
- Whoa, whoa, boy ! Said Bender. Now, we can settle this as civilized people, right ?
- Errr, I’m with my friend Bender on this one, said Zoidberg. I mean, I don’t really want to be on anyone’s death list. Especially if that ‘anyone’ is in fact ‘an entire race of cruel and murderous aliens’…
- Don’t listen to him, said Leela. He’s bluffing.”

Morbo looked like he was about to jump on Leela and strangle her, but in the last second, an idea crossed his mind that made him smile. Looking at the evil spark in the alien’s eyes made Fry wish he would have tested the professor’s latest DNA modifier the previous week…

“Fine then. Morbo guess he should say to your employer that you finally refused the job and that he’ll never see the money.”

Leela’s eye nearly popped out of its socket. Blackmail is always a good way to make others do what you want them to do, apparently… But in Leela’s case, there was still a bit of resistance.

“- What ?!? You can’t do this ! I’ve told you that we’re not allowed to transport people, and…
- Morbo doesn’t think your pitiful boss will accept this.
- I hate saying this, said Bender, but green butt here has a point. That old bat needs that money, and I guess he’ll sure kick us out if we fail this one !”

Leela looked at Bender, almost emitting fire from her eye. But a part of her already knew that there was some truth in what the robot said.

“- So what, you prefer risking your life just for keeping your job ?
- Hell no ! But I’m supposed to be the official croupier of that future casino, and I don’t want to miss all those tips !
- And you ? Said Leela, turning to Fry. What do you think of this ?
- Oh, I don’t mind losing my job, said the young man. It’s the part about being hunted by a whole race of angry creatures that bothers me… I’m with him.
- Two for, one against… Resumed Leela. And you, Zoidberg ?”

The Decapodian was rubbing his tentacles, hesitating about what he should say. He turned to face Morbo, who for the moment was trying to look as menacing as he could.

“- I so wish Gruber was here to help me make my decision… Said Zoidberg. Tell me, mister, what would happen to me if I go with you or not ?
- In every case, you’ll die, because you Decapodians are the most despicable living creatures and should be wiped out of the universe. Every single one of your kind, without any exceptions, and then my glorious race would make sure that every trace of its existence would be erased…
- Hehehe, said Bender, snickering, I begin to like that guy !
- But if you don’t join Morbo’s side, your death will be much more painful than in the other case !”

Zoidberg obviously seemed terrorized by Morbo’s speech. Big sweat drops begin to appear on his face, as in the same time the Decapodian’s stench became even more unbearable.

“- What… What exactly? Said Zoidberg, staggering.
- Morbo will say two words : boiling water.”

That was enough for making Zoidberg completely lose control. The Decapodian screamed a high-pitched shriek and jumped on Leela. Grabbing her by her shoulders, he began to shake her like a coconut tree, as he wasn’t able to calm down.


Leela finally managed to get out of Zoidberg’s grasp. Annoyed by the Decapodian’s reaction, but also by the fact she was the only one in the ship that really didn’t want to go to the Axholish quadrant, she pushed him away, making him almost fall on the floor.

“- Okay, okay, said the young woman, you all won ! If you’re really in such a hurry to die, then let us end this as soon as possible !
- Yeah, well I hope that smelling shellfish here will be the first to go (said Bender. Opening his chest cavity, he showed a small pot). I’ve got some premium mayonnaise here that is almost reaching the use-by date !
- Perfect, said Morbo, not paying attention to Zoidberg’s sudden explosion in tears. If Morbo has well understood that strange and ineffective system you call democracy, then our next stop will be Plainrock 1246. Is there some more comfortable place for Morbo in that flying piece of junk ? I need some good rest now !”

Leela sighed. That was obviously going to be one of the most trying jobs they would ever had. She faced Bender, pointing the exit behind her.

“- Bender, bring Mr Morbo to his new quarters…
- His what ? We don’t have any place left ! Zoidberg is already taking the last spare room we had !
- Then find a solution, whatever it would be, but do it quickly ! And as we’re talking about Zoidberg, take him with you. I don’t think I will endure his cries forever.
- Yeah, so I’m the one who has to get stuck with him…
- Consider this an order ! And you’d better do what I tell you before something goes wrong !”

Bender finally accepted to get out, mumbling and grumbling over and over. Morbo and Zoidberg quickly followed him out of the room, leaving Leela and Fry alone in the docking bay. The young man allowed himself to sigh as soon as the door closed.

“- Oh man, and I thought this mission was complicated enough !
- Yeah, replied Leela, sure. First we had to go in a battlefield for a delivery, and now we have to make sure that a psychotic anchorman doesn’t ask his friends to blow us out !
- That could be worse…
- And how exactly ?
- He could work for Fox News.
- Touché. Well, we can’t let the docking bay in such a mess. I think it’s time for some cleaning…
- Yeah. It’s almost like my apartment.
- There’s still some margin…”

Fry looked at Leela, surprised. She didn’t say that out of anger or sourness… She was smiling at him. Strangely, this made him feel relieved. He however couldn’t exactly tell why… As Leela was already getting some of the empty oxygen bottles out of the crate, he got to work himself, collecting the various scraps Morbo let in his temporary shelter and putting them in a bag that once contained some indescribable food. They were working silently, but something in their last conversation was bothering Fry… He put the finger on it as he was grabbing an empty water bottle.

“You’re not irritated that we decide to obey to him and not to you ?”

Leela posed another oxygen bottle she was carrying and looked at Fry. The young man instinctively tensed up, half-expecting her to suddenly scream at him, but the explosion didn’t come. In fact, she answered quite nicely.

“Just a little, but I guess I know how you all feel. I mean, he claims he’s not the big guy the Omicronians are hunting, but on the other way, knowing the Kabejjedians, I’m not as sure as before that he was bluffing about what his people would do if something would happen to him… If I am wondering about the consequences of bringing him back to Earth, I just can imagine what conclusions you made !”

Fry considered her words. That was making some sense. He always knew Leela as a strong leader, but if she doubted at the moment, that was giving them some credits.

Then again, that was a bit scary to know that even she didn’t know if they made the right choice or not.

“- Yeah, I think Bender, Zoidberg and I think the same thing : if we go back, we die. If we go further, we may die. I’m just not really thrilled by this choice.
- There’s still a hope, said Leela. Do you remember the news ? They said the DOOP was still trying to maintain the negotiations between the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians. Maybe there will have no more fights when we’ll arrive. Or we’ll be helped by a DOOP ship. Who knows ?”

Fry contented himself with nodding. Sure, that was right. There still were some chances that everything would be alright. But considering how all their previous deliveries turned out, he had the feeling that it wouldn’t be that simple.

They got back to their job once again, keeping silent for a short moment. Fry picked up the strange bucket that was lying on one corner of the crate. Looking at it, he made a face. He grabbed some of its content and showed it to Leela.

“Yish ! I will never get used to all this alien food ! How can they eat that ? It’s blue, gooey, and that smells worse that the professor’s body cream !”

Leela finally looked at what Fry was holding… And immediately looked disgusted. She carefully chose her words.

“- Fry… It’s not food…
- Really ? What is it ?
- For once, think by yourself… He was locked for several days in a hermetic box, and judging by what you already picked up he obviously ate and drank. Which means he digested all this…”

Leela didn’t finish her phrase, as she was a bit reluctant. But she considered being clearer as for a few seconds Fry was still looking at her with his usual ‘wha ?’ face. But Fry’s eyes suddenly seemed to grow as he finally added all the elements. He immediately looked shocked.

“OH MY GOD !!! GROSS !!!”

Screaming of disgust, Fry threw what was in his hand in the bucket. As he posed it (Leela was relieved that he didn’t drop it), he took a tissue out of his pocket with his clean hand and began to clean the other one.

“- Man, I’ll have to burn that tissue after I’m done ! That’s calling for a lot of time at the washbasin !
- Yeah, said Leela. And please… Don’t touch anything for a few days. At all.”
Bending Unit
« #11 : 02-05-2007 13:54 »

No taco for Morbo (part 6)

Leela took another look at the radar. Still nothing. The last hours were extremely stressful for her. After a few days of flight, they finally entered the Axholish quadrant, a couple of hours ago. They still had no sign of any fights in the sector, but Leela knew it wouldn’t be so calm forever. Somewhere, the Omicronian and Kabejjedian armies were clashing, throwing dozens and dozens of titanic warships at each other, followed by God only knew how many spacefighters. A well-inspired columnist would certainly say that “entire planets were trembling because of the aftermaths of the fierce battle” or something like that, but she certainly wouldn’t say that. Not only because she had no poetic skills, but also because no planets would be trembling at the moment. The Axholish quadrant contained only one star, a white dwarf which could difficultly light Bender’s room… The one he has in the Robot Arms Apartments, not the one he was usually sharing with Fry in the ship. And the only planet around it was Plainrock 1246.

She didn’t know exactly why those civilizations were so desperately trying to take over this planet, but she didn’t care. Right now, she was more busy trying to get to it before any of the fighters would spot them. This surely would be the most unpleasant thing they would ever have to face.

“Leela ! He’s doing it again !”

Leela sighed. She was wrong. There was something extremely unpleasant at the moment.

She decided to abandon her piloting for a while and to see what was going on, although she had a small idea of what it could be. And as Fry rushed in the cockpit, looking mad, she knew what he was about to say.

“You’re the captain, Leela ! Said Fry. Tell him he mustn’t search in my things for all his disgusting… Things !”

Just at this moment, Morbo entered in the cockpit too. He was looking angry too, but as he always was looking like he was, that wasn’t really surprising. Seeing him with Fry’s razor was a first, though.

“- The red-haired puny human should shut up ! Said the alien. Morbo has to scrub his feet’s sole, and that the best tool for this ! So it’s Morbo’s right to take it !
- I use this for shaving ! I don’t want to get some smelly and disgusting alien mycosis on my soft and tender baby skin !
- That would certainly make you look prettier, furless monkey ! And Morbo bets that ‘baby skin’ on your face come from their ridiculous pink buttocks !”

Tired, Leela rubbed her forehead. It never stopped during the last two days. Morbo was constantly getting on everyone’s nerves, except Zoidberg who was completely terrified by him. The alien had turned this travel into a nightmare in a matter of hours, as he began to act like the pompous and arrogant spoilt guy he in fact is. There was not a minute without him treating Fry or Bender as slaves, complaining about the ship’s installations, or trying to murder Zoidberg. About that last matter, it quickly appeared that Morbo was a hot-blooded antidecapoditic. Fry managed to stop him from stabbing the doctor with a laser Swiss blade in his sleep, and after that incident, she had to take measures just to be sure he wouldn’t get near the Decapodian alone. She gave him a separate room, the most suitable for a guest in the ship, but that didn’t stop him from cursing the lack of Jacuzzis or mini-bar. And of course, Bender joined him for that last part.

“- Mister Morbo, said Leela, trying to stay diplomatic, we already have enough trouble trying to adapt with your sudden appearance. We took food supplies and accommodations for 4 persons only, not 5. So I have to ask you to at least respect my crew members’ intimacy…
- Morbo doesn’t care about that stupid concept of intimacy ! Said the alien, as warm as ever. In Morbo’s homeworld, the strongest gets all. Morbo’s race is superior to all the others, which means Morbo can take whatever he wants here !
- That may be true in your world, said Leela, getting angrier, but for the moment you’re in my ship, and I’m the one in command !”

Just at this moment, resounded the loudest ‘WHAT THE HELL?!?’ Leela ever heard. Bender suddenly rushed in the cockpit, looking mad, and wielding an empty bottle of Olde Fortran. Fry carefully got out of his reach…

“- Listen, you damn schmuk ! Yelled Bender at Morbo. I’ve endured all your little circus so far, but you’ve crossed the red line ! How dare do you sniff out my booze behind my back, you worthless big cucumber ! That was my last bottle ! Now I’ll have to make do with white spirit !
- The lousy robot should be grateful ! Said Morbo, crossing his arms. Morbo got him rid of this tasteless liquor. Morbo cannot believe it’s not even possible to get properly drunk in here !
- ‘Tasteless’ !? Olde Fortran gave me some of my best hangovers ! It’s sentimental !
- Now that’s getting too far, mister Morbo, said Leela. Although I don’t mind seeing him a bit less drunk than usual – and frankly, it’s something I’d really want to see more often – Bender needs his alcohol to stay functional ! You could at least ask him before !
- Morbo doesn’t ask ! Morbo takes !”

For the next minutes, Leela, having more and more difficulties to stay calm, tried to explain to Morbo the basic meanings of respect… Which wasn’t really successful, as the alien was as stubborn as her. During that argument, Fry managed to take Bender, still grumbling, aside.

“- That freakin’ jerk… Said Bender. I don’t know what’s keeping me from smashing his skull with that bottle…
- The fact we would have an entire civilization of killers against us ? Said Fry innocently.
- Yeah, that must be it…
- Hey, don’t worry pal. Do you remember when Leela punished you for having sold to the robot mafia those spare parts we were supposed to deliver to those war robot orphans ?
- Yeah, she confiscated all the bottles I had hidden here… Why ?
- Well, I still have those watertight bags filled with booze you made me swallow in my stomach.”

Bender suddenly backed away, surprised by the revelation.

“- Really ?!? But that was 3 months ago !
- Yeah, but I kept them just in case you’d need them.
- Awww, Fry…” Bender was now completely happy. “You really are the best friend in the world !
- Thanks. I do my best.
- Can I have one right now ?
- Sure. Just give me a minute, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom and vomit one !”

As Fry was about to get out, it was Zoidberg’s turn to enter in the cockpit. The Decapodian really wasn’t looking good. His shell had turned pale, and strange little barnacles were all over his face. He also barely could stand on his feet, and was standing against the wall. Leela immediately noticed it and, worried, abandoned Morbo in order to get to the doctor’s help.

“- Zoidberg ? Said Leela. What’s going on ? You’re warm !
- I don’t know, said the Decapodian with a faint voice. I feel kinda dizzy…
- Dammit ! Said Morbo. He’s still alive ! The rat poison didn’t work !”

Leela immediately looked at Morbo. The glare she gave him made him look embarrassed for the first time in the day.

“- You tried to poison him ?!? What did I tell you about not killing my crew !!!
- Ooooh, said Zoidberg, I knew the coffee tasted different…
- Morbo is just trying to help the universe by erasing one of its major failures ! The only good Decapodian is a dead Decapodian ! And this time I got some help from the robot !”

Leela and Fry faced Bender at the same time. The young woman was looking enraged, while the young man was more shocked. Bender, on the other hand was still neutral.

“- You did this !? Screamed Leela.
- Hey, don’t worry ! Said Bender. Sure, he paid me to pour a poison in the shellfish’s coffee, but I switched the bottles, and instead I put powder milk.”

Despite his bad shape, Zoidberg managed to rise a little and looked at Fry. An expression of fear was running on his face.

“- Milk ? But we Decapodians are all lactose intolerant !
- Really ? Said Bender in a strange tone. I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”

Fry and Bender’s room…
Entering in this place means entering in the territory of two mindless bachelors. Everything there screams who is usually living there. A slight animal smell perfumes those 8 square meters. On the walls, lightly dressed ladies and fembots are smiling on pictures. And dozens of empty beer bottles are piled up in a corner. Next to them, several magazines are posed. If someone wanted to search in them, he would find among the various Playbot issues a small handbook : ‘Fun facts about the Decapodian anatomy’…

Leela helped Zoidberg to sit on the floor, but she quickly got back to Morbo. If anyone, because of some mental disorders, would have forgotten what the word ‘rage’ means, a quick look at Leela would certainly have made him remember…

“- That’s getting too far ! Said (or more precisely screamed) Leela. Listen to me, Morbo : the only thing that is keeping me from launching you outside is that I still want to avoid jail !
- That would never stop me… Whispered Bender.
- Morbo is not surprised, replied the alien. That’s what really puts us Kabejjedians far over you, worms : nothing can frighten us ! And certainly not such stupid things like laws !
- You know, buddy, said Bender, if it wasn’t for all the booze you’ve sipped – and which, let me tell you again, was mine – I would surely hail this !
- Enough ! Yelled Leela. ‘You’re just garbage’, ‘we’re so great’, ‘everyone else sucks’, yada yada… I’m getting sick of this ! You’ve done nothing else than insulting us during those last days, Morbo ! And there’s a limit to my patience which you’ve shattered into thousands of pieces, in spite of how high it was after all the time I spent with that drunken good-for-nothing robot !
- She’s talking about me, said Bender proudly at Fry, hitting him lightly with his elbow.
- The ugly female should mind her words, or else Morbo will forget to tell his kind to spare her !”

Fry, worried, wasn’t losing a single bit of the conversation. He already saw Leela being very pissed more than once, but that… He was almost sure her anger could be measured on the Richter scale. And it would certainly be on the same level than the big Earthquake which finally separated California from the rest of the USA in 2876. He knew something really important was going on, and was trying to focus on it, but something managed to distract him. A bright flash coming from outside made him look at the cockpit’s window... And his heart stopped. Unable to look away, he got near Leela who was still screaming at Morbo. As Zoidberg was still crouching in a corner and Bender was paying attention to the fight, nobody but him noticed what was happening outside.

“And enough with those menaces ! Screamed Leela. I’m beginning to think you’re just saying this so that we would shut up and serve every little whims of yours… Well, that doesn’t work anymore, you big green jerk !”

Fry, still looking at what he saw, tapped on Leela’s shoulder. She didn’t notice it at all, too busy saying everything she kept in her for the last days.

“- Leela ?
- You’re lucky I’m still professional, Morbo… We’ll get you to that damn planet because we’ve done such a travel that it’s too late for going back. But do never, EVER say another word until we got there !
- Leela ?
- Make a little comment on the ship or us, talk to us as if we were rats again, try to kill Zoidberg once more, and I swear I will smash your big and disgusting ass so hard it will take you to your destination faster than this ship !
- LEELA !!!
- What, Fry ?” Leela finally turned to face Fry, almost burning him with her death glare. “Can’t you see I’m busy right now !
- Errr… It’s just that… I think we should do this later…”

Intrigued, Leela realized that Fry wasn’t looking at her. She turned her head to see what was captivating him.

And she screamed.

They went too far. Ahead of them, dozens of gigantic warships were fighting. It was easy to recognize the round shapes of the Omicronian fleet and the much more angular Kabejjedian cruisers. Some of them were already looking badly damaged, but that didn’t seem to slow down the constant waves of missiles and the thousands of laser shots that were literally dropped by the opponents. As soon as two ships were getting on range, they were firing at each other, turning the space void into a field of death and desolation… Many were fighting 2 or 3 opponents at the same time, making it impossible to know who was winning at the time. As if it wasn’t enough, an incalculable mass of spacefighters was participating. From where they were, the Planet Express Ship’s passengers had the impression that two swarms were fighting each other and that they launched all their bees against the other. The fighters were everywhere, not only destroying each other and setting up dogfights, but also harassing the warships in their weaker spots, trying to avoid their shots. It was impossible to count all the small explosions that were indicating that many of them weren’t very successful.

Aboard the Planet Express ship, everybody was completely stunned by what they were seeing. For a few seconds, Fry, Leela, Bender and Morbo were as paralyzed, fascinated and horrified by the situation.

And then, some hideous splashy noise occurred behind them.

“Ooooh, I’m really sorry friends, but it had to come out… I feel a bit better now, but that still… Hey, what are you looking at ? What’s going on outsi… YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG HHHHH !!!!!!”
Bending Unit
« #12 : 02-10-2007 13:01 »

No taco for Morbo (part 7)

Somehow, Leela finally got out of her apathy. Gaining back her senses, she immediately rushed to the commands and deactivated the autopilot. By doing this, it was as if she made the others (except Zoidberg who was still screaming) realize that they couldn’t stay there without doing anything.

“- Bender, screamed Leela, get to the radar and tell me if some of them are chasing us ! If anything looking like a fighter or a cruiser goes in our direction, inform me from where it comes ! Everybody else, cling yourself to something !
- I’ll get to the turret ! Said Fry, already getting out of the cockpit.
- No ! Stay here and fasten your seat belt !”

Fry stopped and looked at Leela. She was now manoeuvring in order to get out of the battlefield before any of the opponents would have spotted them, but it was evident she wasn’t joking or not paying a good attention to what he said.

“- But why ? Said Fry, surprised. We may have to fight !
- We’re in the middle of a war that for now doesn’t involve Earth ! If we ever shoot a single laser beam at someone, both the Omicronians and Kabejjedians could see this as an excuse for attacking our world !
- Morbo can still contact the troops of his empire to tell them not to shoot us…
- And then when the Omicronians will hear that we’re carrying a Kabejjedian, they’ll interpret this as an earthican interference in aid for your world ! Replied Leela.
- Morbo doesn’t care ! He doesn’t want to be blasted off by his own folks !
- Hey, said Bender finally involving himself in the conversation, I don’t know for you, eyeball, but if we can only one half of those guys hunting us, that will still be better than all of them !”

Leela tried to make a quick decision, but she was getting to her limits. She had to concentrate on the constant moves of the thousands of fighters, trying to stay out of their radars, and in the same time, she had to decide what would be the best for the moment. And if it wasn’t enough, there was something that was coming on her nerves…

“Could someone make Zoidberg stop ? I can’t think properly with such a high-pitched shriek piercing my eardrums !”

Leela didn’t see what happened next, but then she heard a loud metallic noise. Just after it, Zoidberg’s scream brutally ended, and a second later she heard the sound of something collapsing on the floor.

“- For once, Morbo was pleased to help !
- Thanks. Now, that’s what we will do : if some kabejjedian ship comes nearby, we’ll contact them and you’ll tell them not to fire at us, said Leela, giving a quick look at Morbo, who nodded. If noone comes, or if they’re Omicronians, you stay quiet. Who knows ? Maybe they won’t notice us !
- Errr… Said Bender, whose eyes were now glued on the radar screen. I don’t think we’ll be that lucky… There are four ships coming this way !”

Leela cursed. She didn’t even have to ask Bender where they were coming from, she could see them by the right side of the cockpit’s windshield. They were yet too far away for her to recognize their origin, but that was up to Bender’s task.

“- What are they, Omicronians or Kabejjedians ?
- How the hell am I supposed to know ? You think I’ve got a doctorate in ship identification or something ?
- Not really the moment for that, Bender ! Tell me how they look like on the radar !
- Hey, that would have been better if you told me earlier ! Let’s see… Two are completely round, the two others are looking like some suppositories made by a masochist – with angles and spikes everywhere !
- Oh great, said Leela after having let a sigh out. The only one scenario we didn’t plan…
- Well, said Fry who was watching over Bender’s shoulder, that may explain why they seem to race each other…
- Morbo can tell his folks to protect us from those filthy three-fingered primates !
- For Lord’s sake, Morbo, said Leela in an angered tone, what part of ‘non-interference’ don’t you understand !?
- Morbo has to interfere ! He is at war !
- But we’re not ! Just tell them to spare us, okay ?”

The alien grumbled something inaudible (in almost every meanings that word can have) and activated the ship’s radio. He activated it and manipulated it in order to find the Kabejeddians’ frequency. After some interferences, everybody (except Zoidberg who was still unconscious) could finally hear the Kabejjedians… But something fishy was apparently going on.

- Back off, you stupid nature freaks ! We’ve spotted them first !
- No way, imbeciles ! They’re entering illegally in our territory, so we’re the ones who must destroy them !
- Your territory ?!? You fools !!! You’re trespassing in the glorious Kabejjedian Empire area ! You and those intruders will feel our anger !
- Don’t make me laugh, bozo ! You’re the one who will soon eat asteroid dirt !

When Leela finally understood what was happening she looked at Morbo, almost wishing she was wrong.

“- Wait a second, there… Omicronians and Kabejjedians use the same frequency !?
- More precisely, Omicronians are illegally using ours ! And they dare say it’s the contrary !
- But… But that’s just stupid !!! I’m not a strategist, but even I know that making sure your communications can’t be heard by the other is a vital operation in a war ! Can’t you just use another frequency ?!
- And then let those smelling pigs take advantage of something that belonged to us for centuries ? Never !
- But that way they know every single one of your moves and tactics !
- Maybe, but that also means that we too know what they’ll do !
- But… It’s… That’s…”

Leela abandoned. That was one of the stupidest thing she ever saw (and a few days before she prevented Fry to set himself on fire because he wanted to have a tan but didn’t have the money to go to an insta-tanning institute), but they had much more pressing issues for the moment than trying to demonstrate to a chauvinistic and arrogant alien that his entire race was composed of morons.

“- Nevermind. Just tell your folks not to shoot us down… I’ll try to evade the others.
- Yeah, said Fry. Or maybe we can go away as fast as possible while they’re fighting each others to know who will kill us first…”

During that whole conversation, the radio was still emitting the various banters the fighters were addressing to each other. But apparently, it was getting more and more tensed – if that was even possible…

- You Omicronians all make me want to barf ! Get back to your primitive rituals and stop pretending being an advanced civilization !
- You can talk ! Playing music during your celebrations ? What are you, a bunch of sissies ?
- At least we don’t use our ancestors’ skulls as mugs ! We use those of our defeated  enemies !
- Then I guess you severely lack mugs !

Leela tried to think clearly. Sure, they were in deep trouble, and maybe they could contact the Kabejjedians, but then there would still be the problem of the Omicronians… And once again, if they knew why the others would have abandoned, that would put their own planet in danger.

But then again… Those guys really seemed to be obsessed by their petty rivalry… They were almost forgetting them, in fact. Maybe Fry was right, this time. If she could take advantage of their temporary absentmindedness, they may get out of their reach before they notice it. A give or take situation…

She decided to take the risk.

She suddenly steered in another direction and brutally pushed the engines to their maximum, jumping from 15 % of lightspeed to 75 %. That surprised all the ship’s passengers who crashed themselves on the rear wall of the cockpit, but that also gave them precious seconds before the fighters realized what was going on.

Fry was the first one to be able to speak again, after he got Morbo’s shoe out of his mouth.

“- Leela ? What are you doing ?
- I’m trying to get us out of this ! Bender, you’re back on your feet ?
- Why you little piece of… Mumbled the robot on her back.
- If you can talk, then you’re alive. Get to the radar and tell me if they’re following us !”

The robot, finally accustomed to their speed, got back to his seat, still cursing Leela. What he saw on the radar didn’t help to make him calm down.

“Oh, great plan, eyeball ! They’re still chasing us, and they’re getting closer ! Got another great idea ?!?”

Leela cursed once again, this time mentally. They reacted damn too early ! They may have lost their tracks if they would have yelled at each other a few more seconds, but now, they really would need a miracle.

Looking on her right, she saw that they were still pretty close of the battle. That triggered something in her mind. Sure, she didn’t trick them, but in such a chaos, there may be a chance that nobody would notice them, especially if they close all their communications. And moreover, they may not be able to shoot them, but if those guys got destroyed by a lost shot or by another ship, they would certainly not be blamed for it…

Some laser shots brushed against the ship’s hull. The Omicronians and Kabejjedians managed to get closer as she was thinking. No more time for calculations. She steered once again, this time taking the direction of the battlefield. That didn’t take long before her passengers realized what she was getting them into.

“- Leela, stop ! Screamed Fry. You’re going in the wrong way !
- Not at all, answered Leela, keeping her calm.
- By the Holy Soundchip of Big Blue, you’ll get us killed, meatbag ! Yelled Bender.
- Certainly not.
- Stop this, crazy female ! Shouted Morbo. Stop this at once !
- Sorry, but no.
- … Said Zoidberg, still knocked out.
- Thanks for your support, doctor.”

They reached the first range in a matter of seconds… And then they entered pandemonium.

From this moment, everything was relying on Leela’s skills. Now that they were close, Fry could see the gigantic mass of the various destroyers. Each one of them, may they be Kabejjedian or Omicronian, was hundreds of times bigger than them. And what really scared the young man to death was that there seemed to be a turret on each square inch of those metallic monsters. All of them firing at once in every directions. It looked like the gunners were on amphetamines and decided to make a contest about who would be the one to make the highest number of shots in one second, without aiming something in particular. The fighters too seemed to have completely lost their mind. They may be organized in squadrons, but now it was each one for himself : it was impossible to tell if they were getting coherent orders about which objective would be primary or who should be destroyed first. Considering the two sides were sharing the same frequencies, that was highly plausible…

Fry, Bender and Morbo were sure of one thing : they never got so shaken in a flight before. As Leela was trying to make the four fighters lose their trails but also to avoid being hit by one of the many laser shots and explosions, she was performing the most astonishing stunts man could imagine. All her attention focused on the commands and on the paths, she was making the ship roll, brutally change direction, she tried several loopings, she made the ship fly just a few inches over the destroyers… For a long moment, it seemed pretty efficient. Disconcerted by her moves, their opponents were slowly but progressively losing some ground. After a while, the Kabejjedian fighters got spotted by an Omicronian turret. They immediately got targeted and had to dodge a constant stream of lasershots. One of them couldn’t do it… His destruction was nothing but another explosion in the battle. One down, three to go.

That still wasn’t enough for Leela… The three others were still chasing them and were occasionally firing at them, but fortunately they didn’t have enough clear room for properly aiming them. They had luck so far, but Leela knew that wouldn’t last for long. Noticing a large swarm of fighters, engaged in a dogfight, she pushed the ship’s engine at their maximum and lead their pursuers in that mess. Apparently, the other pilots were too busy engaging dogfights with their official enemy for noticing an Earthican ship, but what Leela was expecting was that they would attack the three remaining attackers. Her plan worked : soon, one of the Omicronians had to stop the pursuit, as he became the target of a group of Kabejjedian fighters. He didn’t manage to get rid of them… Two down, two to go.

Leela completely lost the tracks of the fighters in the battle… She decided to take the opportunity and accelerated to get out of the battlefield. After a few more stunts and evading manoeuvres, the explosions and lasershots seemed to get scarce. They were out of trouble. Leela suddenly felt tired because of the constant tension she underwent during those long minutes. Now, as danger seemed to be over, she sighed and relaxed, getting back to a normal state.

Just at this moment, the engines got hit.

Leela struggled to gain back the controls of the ship. She managed to scream at Bender despite her efforts.

“- Bender ! Are they still behind us ?
- Only one of those fatsack, said the robot, but he’s getting closer !”

Another burst nearly hit them. Leela didn’t have to ask to Bender which one it was : she was still able to recognize Omicronian lasers when she heard their shrill scream. She tried to accelerate, but the ship’s damages were more important than what she hoped : they were losing power every second. Meanwhile, the Omicronian fighter was getting closer… One of his shots hit the hull.

“Fry ! Activate the emergency repairs, quick !”

The young man jumped on his command and pushed one of the buttons. Two hatches opened in the top of the ship ; from each one went out two mechanical cranes, one of them with a hand, the other with a duct tape roll. The robot hand took some bits of duct tapes and placed them where the ship had been hit in order to fill in the breaches.

The situation was getting worse. Now, they had no chances left to shake off the fighter ; and they couldn’t have Morbo tell him not to destroy them either. There was only one thing left for preventing them from being killed…

“- So long for neutrality ! Fry, get to the turret !
- What ? But you said…
- I know what I said ! But we’ve got no choice now ! Get in and shoot down that bastard !
- Morbo second this !
- Not the moment, Morbo, that really isn’t the moment !”

Fry hesitated a bit, but he finally got out of the cockpit. Soon, Leela heard him opening the access to the turret, climb up the ladder, knock himself as he always forgot that the opening in the roof was really tight, curse, and finally finish his ascent. As she heard the sound of the gun being loaded, she was expecting him to start the attack… But nothing came.

“- Fry, what are you waiting for ? Shoot him !
- I’d like to, but he’s getting away…
- What ?!?
- I’m not kidding, he’s done a U-turn, and now he’s getting back to the battle !”

Leela stood silent. That was making no sense ! They were an easy prey, and he suddenly decided to abandon ? What could have made him change his mind ?

Bender helped her to have the answer.

“- Eyeball ?
- What, Bender ?
- There’s a big ship coming in our way…
- Oh, for the love of… Omicronian, Kabejjedian ?
- Well, let’s see, said Bender, leaning over the radar. Nope. It’s a DOOP cruiser !”

Leela immediately understood what was happening. And that news was enough for her to finally say to herself that they were safe now. Fry entered in the cockpit just as Bender announced the origin of the cruiser.

“- Of course ! We’ve reached the neutral territory ! And as the DOOP is leading the negotiations between the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians, they’ve sent their forces to make sure that noone of them would try to attack the delegations !
- Really ? Said Fry, feeling released. We’re saved ?
- Yeah ! That’s finally over ! We’re out of the troubles !” Leela was getting almost ecstatic. “So, tell me, Bender, which ship is it ? The Cockatrix ? The Golden Swan ? The Phantom Platypus ?
- Errr… You really want to know ?
- Of course ! I want to know who we must thank !
- Okay, you’re the one who axed… It’s the Nimbus.”

Leela’s head brutally crushed on the commands. Of course. Why was she still optimistic after all they went through ? What other ship could have it been ?

“- Oh, that’s just great… Said Leela, feeling tired.
- Brannigan ? Said Fry, as desperate as Leela. We’ll have to ask Brannigan’s help again ?
- Looks like it, answered Bender.
- Morbo doesn’t understand… Why are you humans so unhappy ? You’ve already met Zapp Brannigan ?
- That’s a long story… Said Leela.
- Oh yeah ? Asked Bender. I thought that didn’t last long… 2 minutes, maybe 3…
- Another word, said Leela on a harsh tone, and you’ll be able to see your own intern circuitry from a very close point of view.
- Well that sure is odd, said Fry. Did you realize that every time we cross paths with the DOOP, we meet Brannigan ?
- Yeah, said Bender. As if there were some superior entities that were commanding our fate and were thinking that it would be hilarious if that fat jerk was constantly on our way to pick on our nerves…”

Everybody stood silent after this. In fact, it was some kind of embarrassed silence. There was something in Bender’s declaration that was definitely ringing a bell, but nobody in the ship was able to say what and why exactly…

Once again, Zoidberg put an end to this as he woke up.

“I’ve spent a delicious time in dreamland… And this time, the bouncers didn’t even kick me out…”
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« #13 : 02-10-2007 17:31 »

Great stuff as always.
Bending Unit
« #14 : 02-14-2007 13:19 »
« : 02-14-2007 13:19 »

No taco for Morbo (part 8 )

“Well, well, well… If it isn’t my gloriously sex-tastic Leela !”

Leela managed to repress her urge to kick Zapp in the nuts. The DOOP captain immediately went to welcome them, as the standard procedure was ordering him to do, but he was already too joyful to see the young woman in desperate need of his help. The only thing that was making the whole scene a bit less painful was the presence of Kif on the side of his superior, but Leela knew too well that he wouldn’t be able to do anything if Zapp has another stupid idea again.

“- Quit it, Zapp, said Leela in a tone that would normally force anybody to adopt a low profile. We’ve been hit during our travel, and we need some emergency repairs, but do not push it too far…
- Ah ! Said Zapp. They always try to find excuses when they get back to me. Like ‘You ran over me, you son of a bitch ! Call an ambulance !’ or ‘Alright, you piece of crap, where did you hide my insuline ?’. But in the end, they just can’t resist to the great Brannigan’s manhood !”

Now Leela’s anger was reaching the level of an eruption of the Krakatoa, but she forced herself to avoid beating the captain. Jerk or not, he was the highest authority in this sector, and could decide to put her and her crew into custody just for having breached a security perimeter. In fact, she should have been happy it was Zapp : any other DOOP captain would have done this as soon as they would have stepped in his ship. But as he just never bothered to ever read the manual…

“- ‘Great’ is not the word I would use in this case… Said Leela, at least allowing her to be sarcastic.
- Oh, don’t come here and take fright, gorgeous, said Zapp who (unsurprisingly) didn’t get the sarcasm. I can assure you that you’ve got nothing to fear here. Unless you’re afraid of the great thrill…
- Let us be clear, Zapp : if I wanted thrills, I would just have to get back to this slaughter that’s taking place not so far away. That would be 100 times better than staying with you. Only the state of my ship and the fact it would endanger my crew is keeping me from doing this. So tell your guys to fix it so that I could get out of here as quick as possible.
- As impetuous as ever, I see… You should keep all this rage for the moment when we’ll do it like fierce animals !”

Behind his back, Kiff sighed deeply. Leela couldn’t help but ask herself why he stayed that long under his command without having tried at least once to kill him in his sleep.

Fry and Bender got out of the ship, carrying Zoidberg who still hadn’t completely recovered from his intoxication and the hit on his head. Zapp finally stopped taking attention to give a look at the three passengers.

“- I see you’ve brought your friends… Said the captain.
- Zoidberg needs some first aid, said Leela, glad that she could make Zapp talk about something else for at least a few seconds. That would be wise to help him if you don’t want him to barf in all your precious ship.
- Certainly not ! I had enough trouble finding a lino that suits my boot’s colour and doesn’t shine too much for hiding the velour of my uniform ! Gentlemen, take care of the stinking lobster ! Just make sure he doesn’t ruin the curtains…”

Two soldiers carrying a stretcher quickly irrupted in the docking bay. Fry and Bender gladly helped them to put the Decapodian on the stretcher, finally getting rid of such a weight. The two soldiers lifted the convalescent (nearly breaking their back in the process) and, huffing and puffing, got out of the bay with their burden. Zoidberg was still a bit dizzied.

“Gruber… I’m sorry… I failed you… Don’t peck my eyes, please…”

As soon as the Decapodian was evacuated, Zapp got back to Leela. Fry and Bender were still trying to relax after their effort.

“- So, said Zapp, I guess you got worried that I’d be in danger here, right in the middle of a dangerous zone, trying to keep an eye on those big monstrous creatures, didn’t you ? Fear not ! The beast that would ever dominate is still not born ! Except if it’s female and she’d be into it…
- We’re only here for work, said Leela, still doing her best to stay calm and take this conversation to an end. We do our delivery, and we disappear. End of the story.
- Work, you say ? Ah, but I think there will be a little problem. Sexy or not, you still have trespassed a restricted zone. And as the only DOOP officer here, I’m the only one who’s legally authorized to let you pass or not.
- Actually, sir, intervened Kif, we’re supposed to report every unusual activity to the central DOOP command…
- Ah, I don’t believe in all this bureaucratic stuff. It’s always about informing them before invading Retirementis 7 or complaining about our use of the funds…
- Sir, you bought 20 gallons of hairspray and 200 bottles of teeth-whitening lotion and tried to put them on the general expenses…
- If you had the soul of an officer, Kif, you’d know that charisma has a very important role when you have to negotiate with alien leaders or ladies !”

Kif sighed again. As usual, Zapp didn’t pay attention to his subordinate’s sudden lack of enthusiasm and got back to Leela.

“- As I was saying, I have to know exactly what kind of work brought you here.” Zapp tried one of his ‘seductive’ smiles… The number 12. “If it really was work… But I think that you can understand that with this work, some people fear the intrusion of spies from both sides in the negotiation area.
- Sorry, can’t say a thing, immediately replied Leela, on the defensive. We had to sign a clause that forces us to avoid trying to know what we’re supposed to deliver…
- Yeah, exactly ! Said Bender. We don’t have a clue ! That sure has nothing to do with, say, the Kabejjedians…
- What are you talking about ? Said Fry. We all know that it was…”

Bender suddenly smacked Fry, without losing the hypocrite smile he was sporting. That sure surprised the young man, who nearly fell on the floor because of the strength of the robot’s hit.

“- Woops ! Sorry ! Said Bender. I really should go to the robotologist to see what provokes those spasms…
- Ouch ! You’re crazy ! Said Fry, obviously annoyed. Why did you stop me from saying that…”

Bender’s hand hit Fry’s cheek again.

“- Here it goes again ! I’m really sorry pal ! Shut up. That must hurt a lot !
- Of course it hurts ! Does that really bother you that much that I could say we’ve…”

The sound of the next slap echoed in the whole docking bay.

“- Man, that really is becoming annoying ! I said shut up you stupid meatbag, you want us to get shot or what ?!? I’ll fix this as soon as we’ll get back to Earth !
- I think my teeth are bleeding…”

Bender gave a look at the others. While Leela wasn’t really looking at ease, Zapp was scratching his chin, a puzzled look on his face. He was obviously trying to figure out what was going on, but wasn’t really able to add all the elements. Bender hoped it would last a little bit more. Kif was suspicious as well, but the robot hoped that he wouldn’t push his superior to have a better look at the situation, if only because they were Amy’s friends. The robot silently sighed of relief when Zapp stopped paying attention to them.

“- So you say you don’t know what you’re carrying ?
- Yes, replied Leela a bit too abruptly. No idea at all. We’re not allowed to know.
- Mmmmmh… That’s pretty suspicious…
- Not at all ! Nearly screamed Leela. That’s how all the delivery company work ! We’re paid to deliver, not to begin to ask ourselves what we’re delivering !
- But on the other hand, I am not a delivery boy… So I think that won’t be bad if I decide to take a look anyway ?
- No no no no !” Leela felt a disaster coming. “Don’t give yourself the trouble ! I’m sure that if you ask Kif, he’ll say to you that it’s not necessary !
- I’m very sorry, Leela, said Kif, but in such circumstances, we’re forced to see what you’re carrying. This can affect the lives of millions of people, as you can imagine, we can’t give you a special treatment. I’m as embarrassed as you to do this to friends, but the orders…
- Very well then !” Said Zapp. He then turned and looked at some of his men. “Begin the search ! Open all the crates, look for hiding places, destroy everything that looks suspicious, and examine the content of all their personal furniture ! Oh, and if you find where my dear Leela stores her underwear, don’t touch anything and warn me. I’ll take care of this myself.”

Leela swallowed a big gulp of saliva. They were royally boned. When Zapp’s soldiers would find Morbo, she’ll have a very hard time explaining why they were trying to bring a Kabejjedian right where his fellows were fighting. Even Zapp wouldn’t be stupid enough for not seeing they were helping one of the warring nations, and that would simply mean a straight teleportation in jail without any kind of trials…

Unfortunately, something else made her even more anxious.

“No need for searching ! Morbo is right here !”

Before the DOOP soldiers would even get in the ship, Morbo went down the access stairs and stood right in front of Zapp and Kif. Everybody in the docking bay was now looking at the alien with surprise. Morbo, on the other side, looked just as usual. Which wasn’t really good news for Leela, Fry and Bender…

“- Oh my God ! Screamed the robot. A stowaway ! And a Kabejjedian nonetheless ! What a surprise !
- Surprise ? Said Fry. We know he’s here since…”


“- Believe me, Fry, those spasms are hurting me as well as you ! I take pleasure in this, but don’t make me do this more often If only I knew what causes them !
- My daw ! It musht be bloken !”

Fortunately, nobody noticed this little scene. Zapp abandonned surprise for taking an inquisitive tone and pointed the alien.

“- Sir, can I ask you what exactly you’re doing in this ship ?
- Morbo needed to go to Plainrock 1246 and to help his kind, said the alien in his ‘neutral’ tone. He hid himself in a crate and waited the end of the travel, but when he heard you were about to search, he decided to get out and tell you that the Planet Express crew has nothing to do with this.”

Zapp was puzzled, but it was nothing compared to how Leela was feeling. After the few days they spent with him, she knew Morbo would certainly never care about their fate and would see no problem in denouncing them. She sure didn’t expect him to try to take their defence… Still suspicious, she tried to not lose a single word of what the alien would say, hoping that really was what he was doing.

“- Are you telling me they didn’t know they were transporting you ? Asked Zapp.
- That’s what Morbo said, fat pathetic primate. He needed to be incognito, so he made sure that the ridiculous pink apes would never try to question themselves about their mission. At no moment did they discover the truth, and they can’t be considered as having deliberately helped Morbo.”

Leela just couldn’t understand the alien’s psychology. Why was he doing this ? But she quickly decided not to search for an answer right now. He was giving them a chance for staying free, and she really didn’t want to spoil it. Zapp turned to face Leela, Fry and Bender, still looking suspicious.

“- Is he saying the truth ?
- Yeah, he is ! Said Leela. We had no idea he was our package !
- Exactly ! Said Bender. As clueless as lambs, we were !”

Fry was about to say something, but Bender’s hand suddenly raised, initiating another slap. The young man immediately shut his mouth. For now, Zapp was scratching his chin, trying to determine what was true and what was a lie.

“Intriguing. Very intriguing. Some points are still highly questionable, as Leela’s so-called lack of anguishing about me being in danger, and that whole story about you going to a warzone without questioning yourselves. Now, I must warn you : I have a matchless skill for uncovering felony…”

Zapp suddenly looked much more friendly.

“… And I don’t detect anything like this ! You’re free of any charges !”

Behind Zapp’s back, Kif sighed. The captain turned again to face Morbo.

“- Mister, because of your nationality, me and my men are entitled to bring you to the rest of your kind, in their diplomatic base on Plainrock 1246 !
- Morbo wasn’t expecting less from sissies who still believe in that outdated concept named ‘friendly settling’ !
- And us ? Asked Leela. Could we go as soon as our ship will be repaired ?
- I’m afraid not, said Zapp, smiling. You still have trespassed an unauthorized zone, and as a result I must keep an eye on you. You’ll accompany us to the diplomatic camp as well !
- Er, sir… Ventured Kif. I’m not sure the central command would appreciate us taking civilians there… Not that their situation is settled, we should take them to the end of the combat zones with an escort and…
- I’m not surprised by your reaction, Kif… Replied Zapp. See, when you have the opportunity to force some nice looking and heavily boobed woman to stay with you, she’ll inevitably end up in your bed ! So the decision is taken : Leela and her freaky friends will stay with us until the end of the negociations ! Kif, bring our guests to their rooms !”

For once, Kif and Leela sighed simultaneously. As soon as Bender told her they were rescued by Zapp, the young woman knew that they wouldn’t see Earth before some time… Waving his hand, Kif asked them to follow him. Looking at him was enough to see why he was enjoying that much his moments with Amy. Everytime he saw her, it was like the last night he’d have before having to go on a suicide mission.

And with Zapp, every mission was a suicide mission.

As they passed near Zapp, Leela took care not to be at his reach (she really, REALLY wasn’t in the mood for a slap on her butt, especially from him). She waited that they’d be out of the docking bay for getting near Morbo.

“- Why did you do this ? Asked Leela.
- What are you talking about, creepy one-eyed female ?
- Why did you lie to him, about us not knowing you were on board ? That’s not as if you would care…
- Morbo likes his employees out of jail and at his disposal ! Call that a cultural tradition : always make sure our servants would never have problems.
- Oh, said an impressed Leela. I wasn’t really expecting that from your kind. Guess everybody would gain trying to learn more of each other !
- Yeah, exactly, said Fry, inviting himself in the conversation. I guess that prevents your workers from resigning if you suck as a boss.
- Indeed, primate. That, and because resigning is a crime liable to death penalty !”
Bending Unit
« #15 : 02-18-2007 13:10 »

No taco for Morbo (part 9)

It only took 10 hours for the Nimbus to reach Plainrock 1246, but to Leela, it seemed like an eternity. Zapp, of course, tried to invite her to his room, only to endure numerous refusals. At first, Leela tried to reject him as calmly as she could, but the more he tried and the more she reacted violently. He finally decided to give up after his sixth attempt. He tried to stop her from closing her door by blocking it with his foot, but no human foot is able to stop an hydraulic sliding metal door. Zapp spent the rest of the travel in the sick room, his foot stuck in a machine built for repairing broken bones. Fry and Bender were in the same room, and they did nothing but commenting the recent events, and taking bets on when it would blow up on their faces. Bender then wandered a bit in the ship while Fry took a nap. When the young man asked him later what he did exactly, the robot mysteriously answered that he’d be surprised by how much some people were ready to pay for genuine military articles on eBay… Zoidberg recovered quickly from his intoxication, and before the end of the travel he was able to walk again (but not without having disgusted all his human colleagues that were looking on him first). As for Morbo, the alien didn’t move at all from his room.

Leela began to have some doubts about the situation when she gave a look by her porthole as they approached the planet. No sign of water, forests, mountains, not the single singularity, the atmosphere was slightly green (too much for her taste)… It looked like the Moon, enlarged several times for almost reaching the Earth’s size, minus the presence of a volcano situated exactly at the equator. Her first impressions got confirmed when they entered in the planet’s atmosphere : the whole planet was nothing but a gigantic and desperately empty dusty waste ground. Even New Jersey was a more welcoming place.

The young woman changed her mind. Nah, there are limits…

As the ship was going in the last minutes of the landing, she decided to go look after Fry and Bender. As she expected, they were still in their room. Zoidberg had joined them a bit earlier and they were all in a great discussion as she came in.

“- And you really obey him ? Said Fry.
- Of course ! Replied the Decapodian. Gruber is a great leader – he knows how to command his men… I mean, owls. You know, when he took the leadership after Pointedbeak Stan, our clan’s hood was only occupying a few blocks, but he managed to triple our sphere of influence !
- Dammit, said Bender, usually I’d only laugh at you, but now that’s just becoming creepy ! You’re talking about freaking owls ! I thought you hit rock bottom, but now you’ve dug to reach the mutants’ sewers ! And you’re heading to the Earth’s core !
- Not just an ordinary owl ! Gruber is a real king, and it’s an honour to…
- Oh, hey, Leela !” Said Fry, who finally noticed. That put an end to their discussion. “What’s going on ?
- Nothing special. I think we’re about to land. I wanted to see if everything’s okay.
- And to avoid being in your room when Brannigan will get out of the sick room ? Said Bender, smiling.
- By the way, said Zoidberg, he asked me to tell you something while I still was with him : ‘My foot may be broken, but the rest is valid’. And then he asked me to wink at this moment.”

The Decapodian did exactly what Brannigan told him to do. Leela clenched her fist so hard that the pressure would have crushed a ball of dark matter.

“- Can we talk about something else than that stinking jerk, please, before I decide to go on a rampage ?
- Fine with me, said Fry. Do you think there’s a chance we might have fun with that whole thing ?
- Honestly, I doubt it. Diplomatic sessions aren’t really known for being ‘fun’. And considering who is involved, there are even more chances that it’d end in bloodsheds.
- What ? Said Zoidberg, obviously frightened. But that’s terrible ! I don’t want to get caught in a battle !
- Too late for that, chum, said Bender. But if that can make you feel better, as soon as they’ll start to shoot each other, we’ll use you as a living shield. With your shell, I’m sure you’ll block any laser !
- That really doesn’t make me feel better ! Said an even more anxious Zoidberg.
- Yeah ? Then it’s me who would, I guess…”

Leela was about to make Bender stop scaring Zoidberg, but at this moment, someone knocked on the door. As she was the closest to it, she activated the opening. Kif was just standing there, looking neutral.

“- Hello, Leela. Are you all here ?
- Yeah. What is it ?
- It’s only a question of minutes before we land. The captain want you all in the exit airlock B, with him and mister Morbo.
- Is it really necessary ? Asked a really unwilling Leela.
- Unfortunately, yes. He said he would go and fetch you if you don’t come yourself.
- Alright, alright, we’re coming… Just let us a few minutes, okay ? We need to prepare ourselves.
- No problem.”

After this, however, the Amphibian didn’t move. As Leela was about to close the door, she noticed he was searching his words, suddenly being a bit tensed.

“- What is it, Kif ?
- Oh, it’s just… I wanted… Did Amy receive my parcel ?
- Yeah, she did, answered Leela, a friendly smile on her face. She didn’t tell you ?
- Yes, she did, but… Well, I guess that she wouldn’t have told me if she didn’t like it… So I was wondering…
- Don’t worry, Kif. She liked it. She really did.
- Oh…” Kif seemed a bit more relaxed. “Thank you, Leela.
- No problem. We’ll tell her you miss her.
- Thanks again. And… Sorry for the troubles… I’m going to warn the captain.”

Leela simply nodded. When Kif finally turned his back, she closed the door and looked at the others.

“- Well, looks like we need to get prepared to whatever will happen next…
- No problems with that, said Bender. No way for peacefully borrowing things here anyway…”

That didn’t take that long for them for getting to the exit airlock. When they arrived, all the most important officers of the Nimbus were already there… Including (unfortunately) Zapp. Kif was already on his side, once again looking dejected. And of course, Zapp turned to Leela, smiling, as soon as she walked in.

“- Well, Leela, I hope you enjoyed your room ! Too bad you couldn’t share it with some fine and handsome space captain whose initials are Z and B…
- Not really, said Leela, already on the defensive. It’s sometimes far more satisfying to be alone.
- Oooooooh, I like those kind of insinuations… Said Zapp, a vicious smile on his face.
- Is there a moment of your life when you weren’t a horny infatuated pig ?” Asked Leela, hoping that would make him shut up. Of course, it failed.
“- No. Even as a toddler, I was fascinating all the girls in the nursery. I’ve always been precocious…
- Yeah, said Bender, and according to her, especially in one domain !”

Fry and Bender snickered before high-fiving. The glare Leela gave them put an end to the young man’s amusement. But not to the robot’s.

“- Just ask, said Zapp, and I could send them to jail so that we’d have a moment alone.
- You should have stopped at ‘jail’, Zapp, because now I really don’t feel like it.”

At this moment, Morbo finally joined the rest of them. He was looking just as usual, as if everything was perfectly normal to him. He contented himself with ‘saluting’ everybody, also for anyone else it would be interpreted as insults. When Zapp asked him if he liked his room, the alien only had critics to say. That made Leela sorry for the various DOOP agents that had to work for him as servants during the travel…

Finally, the various shakings and alarms that got activated indicated that the ship had landed. An electronic voice began to announce the last preparations in the airlock.

“Pressurisation of the footbridge to the diplomatic camp in progress. Please do not open the airlock’s exit now, unless you want to die in horrible pains as your lungs would be burning. Personally, as a loudspeaker program, I don’t give a damn about this, that wouldn’t affect me, but I’ve been programmed to warn you of such details, just so that your families wouldn’t sue the DOOP. Enjoy your day. Or not. I don’t care.”

That last announcement bothered Leela a bit… She turned to Morbo, who was just standing at her left.

“- What does it mean, exactly ? Plainrock 1246’s atmosphere is that toxic ?
- Yeah, answered the alien. A mixture of various gases that absolutely no organism is able to withstand. And even when you’re in shelters, its awful stench, even worse than that despicable Decapodian’s, manages to get through any kind of materials.
- Hey, I’m a bachelor who has an apartment of his own, said Fry. I think I can handle this.
- Then, Morbo doesn’t want to pay you a visit. Anyway, this atmosphere is so awful that all the attempts of Morbo’s magnificent civilization to make it breathable have irremediably failed.
- Well, that sure doesn’t help for turning this into a colony, said Leela. Then, I guess you’re fighting for it for another reason… Its resources ?
- You’ve just shown how stupid you are ! It proved after dozens of scanning to contain absolutely nothing valuable. This planet is only good for making gravel, and not even the best one : only pointy and unbearably noisy one…
- Religious reasons, then ?
- Certainly not ! This planet can’t be less sacred than it is at the moment. Even atheists would declare it as completely worthless !
- Mmmmh… Maybe it has a strategic position ?
- It’s far too away from any kind of interesting objective, on the Omicronian or on the Kabejjedian point of view. Plus, this atmosphere makes it difficult to post a permanent military presence here.”

Leela frowned. She had a hard time guessing what could have been the reason behind this war…

“- But why are you fighting for it, then ?
- Because it’s there ! The boundaries of our sacred empire just crosses its orbit, precisely at its equator ! As such, it belongs entirely to us !”

The young woman’s eye suddenly widened, nearly coming out of its socket. She couldn’t believe what that was implying.

“- Wait a second… Are you saying you and the Omicronians have sent millions of your soldiers to death for a completely useless rock which only noticeable characteristic is that it is just between the two of you !
- That is correct.
- But this is completely insane ! You don’t even need this planet !
- For you, it’s insane, ridiculous Earthling, but this is a question of honour for us !”

Leela tried to speak, and to tell him that it certainly wasn’t worth… But she decided to screw up the whole thing. After, this wasn’t her business. If those guys were stupid enough for slaughtering each other for something that ridiculous, then they would just give a little help to the natural selection by getting themselves out of the gene pool by their own means.

A loud ‘ding !’ indicated that the pressurization of the footbridge was finally complete. The loudspeaker talked again, with an even more blasé tone than before.

“- Pressurization complete. Now your fragile little lungs won’t be attacked by the toxic gases that rule this planet. If you ask me, that’s a shame I have to serve creatures that could be that easily killed…
- Amen to that !” Said Bender.

The door leading to the footbridge finally opened… And Leela immediately understood what Morbo meant when he was talking of the awful stench of Plainrock 1246’s atmosphere. That was… Far beyond any description she could have given. Everybody began to make faces, as soon as the smell got to their nostrils. Leela immediately held her nose, Zapp’s eyes were becoming watery, Kif’s skin turned into an even lighter shade of green… Even Bender began to cough.

Only Fry and Zoidberg were still normal.

“- Aaaaah, said Fry, smells like home !
- That reminds me the week-ends I spent with my aunt in Coralopolis… Said Zoidberg. Sweet memories…”
Bending Unit
« #16 : 02-21-2007 13:50 »

No taco for Morbo (part 10)

Fortunately for everybody, you only risked being intoxicated in the footbridge. The rest of the station was filled with hundreds of air freshening units, sealed on the walls. But Leela had an idea of what decided the Kabejjedians to never settle on the planet : despite all the perfume that was used to cover the awful stench of the planet, it was still slightly going through. Everytime you were taking a breath, you had at first a good fragrance of flowers, but it quickly got perverted by a light yet easily discernable smell that was making you feel uneasy.

If you weren’t Fry or Zoidberg.

From what she could see from the inside, the diplomatic camp was one huge metallic prefabricated dome, completely cut from any contacts with the exterior, with the sole exception of three docking bays, two facing each other, separated by the dome’s diameter, and the last one between the two, making a 90° angle with them. That was the one they were coming from. At the moment, Leela couldn’t know how the camp was organized ; but a bit later, she could have access to a map.

The dome was cut in three parts, not like a cake would be, but as what you would have if you draw two parallel lines which would cross a circle. The western part was reserved to the Omicronians, and was housing their delegation. The eastern part was occupied by the Kabejjedian ambassadors. Both of them had one of the separate docking bays. The central part was used as a neutral zone, that couldn’t be crossed by any member of the two empires who wouldn’t have had the authorization. That also was where the negotiations were taking place ; a large room had been built for this purpose in the centre of the dome. The footbridge they used was directly leading to this neutral zone.

What immediately caught Leela’s eye was not only the presence of DOOP soldiers in that part of the dome, taking care that none of the fighting sides would try to attack their opponent’s delegation, but also the natives of the Neutral planet who were apparently working there. That looked quite explainable : whenever there would be some diplomatic tensions in the galaxy, they would be here for leading the negotiations, as they were mentally unable to choose a side and would never favour one or the other. Of course, that also meant they would never say who was right and who was wrong…

One of them walked in the group’s direction as soon as they walked in the zone. As anyone of his kind, his face was frozen in a perpetually neutral expression. Zapp, however, immediately got tensed. He never managed to trust the Neutrals, even after that time when he tried to destroy their capital but never got sued by them.

“- Greetings, captain Brannigan, said the Neutral. I have to ask you the reasons of your absence, in order to have the most complete information about the various activities that take place in the neutral perimeter around the planet.
- Quit it, you ungrateful traitor ! Replied Zapp, not even trying to hide his contempt for the Neutral. This young and charming lady was in danger and I quickly decided to save her from an unbearable death ! Something you and your wretched race would never do !
- I’m not here to judge your attitude, captain. Any of your decisions would certainly be respectable. Have an ordinary day.”

The Neutral then let the group get back to its activities. Zapp watched him going away with the eyes of a elephant who would have seen a predator prowling near its infant.

“Yes, rascal… Go and tell your masters what we’ve been to… It’s only a matter of time before everybody learn your evil schemes !”

Leela massaged her temples, looking tired. It was only a matter of minutes before she’d finally be relieved from Zapp, but it so looked like years at this moment…

However, something else made everybody forget that little incident. A group of Kabejjedians was coming in their direction, and as soon as he saw them, Morbo got out of the group and came to meet them. They were all, may they be males or females, wearing frightening ceremonial armours, decorated with an engraved screaming kabejjedian skull on the chest. Each one of them had a cape, all of them blue, with the sole exception of one of them who Leela quickly recognized as Trago, the Kabejjedian Supreme Commander : his was golden and decorated with complex arabesques, made with silver threads. In the whole, his appearance would have been impressive and a bit intimidating… If it wasn’t for his crown, far too little for such a developed skull. As a result, it was constantly on the verge of falling at each of his movements.

Morbo saluted his leader by bowing down and crossing his arms on his chest. Trago replied by the traditional greeting that Kabejjedian dignitaries use with their subordinates : he spat on his feet. The two of them then started a conversation in their mothertongue ; a conversation that seemed to be pretty stormy, but once again, as we’re talking about Kabejjedians, it was difficult to know if it was the case or not. Zapp made a sign to one of the officers who followed them. The soldier, a middle-aged man with a little beer belly, got right next to his captain.

“- Sergeant Dickson, said Zapp, as our official interpret, I’d like you to tell me what the hell they’re talking about.
- Hahem, captain… Said Dickson, looking a bit embarrassed. I know about 7 different alien languages, but I’m afraid that Kabejjedian is part of the ones I barely understand…
- That’s not a problem, soldier. You’re still the best suited for this job here. Now do as I told you, it’s an order.”

Dickson, still a bit hesitant, finally tried to pay attention to what the Kabejjedians were saying. The wrinkles that appeared on his forehead and the slight shaking of his lips were easily indicating how difficult this task was for him.

“- Well ? Asked Zapp, impatient.
- Err… Let’s see… ‘My kettle… Needs… Some resin… As the white shark… Played bungalow’… ‘Trekking’ ? Or is it ‘jigsaw’ ? Oh wait, mister Morbo is replying… Mmmh… ‘taste yellow… yodel perfect…’
- Really ? Said Zapp, scratching his chin and looking suspicious. It looks like a code…”

Kif, for once, wasn’t the only one to sigh : about all the officers joined him. Dickson clicked his tongue as he seemed to be completely lost.

“- Oh great ! Now they’re using one of their 23 forms of imperative !
- 23 ?!? Said an astonished Leela. That tells a lot about their mentality !
- Yeah, well, did you know they have no equivalent of ‘please’ in their language ? The closest translation would be something like ‘may your entrails burn from themselves if you dare not do what I tell you !’.
- I thought you couldn’t understand them… Asked a dumbfounded Zoidberg.
- When they keep telling you this while shaking their fist, one day or the other, you perfectly remember what it means…”

However, it was no longer the time for learning the basics of Kabejjedian. Morbo designated the group at this moment, adding something that Dickson translated to ‘the clown eats chinchillas in the park’. Trago finally seemed to pay attention to the humans and walked in their direction, followed by Morbo and the rest of the Kabejjedian dignitaries. Zapp turned to Dickson.

“- Quick ! How do you say ‘Greetings, mighty Lord !’ in their language ?
- I… Think it’s something like ‘Gorutah nek skimtor’, captain…”

Zapp then turned to Trago and gave him a warm smile, while saluting him by showing him the palm of his right hand. When he thought the alien would be able to hear, he quickly repeated what Dickson told him. According to the weird look the Kabejjedian lord gave at Zapp, it was quite obvious that he wasn’t expecting this.

“Trago didn’t really want to hear such things, said the alien. The useless captain’s private life doesn’t interest us, especially when it could be that deviant…”

Fry and Bender snickered. Zapp was obviously embarrassed, and so was Dickson, as he was certainly expecting some future punishment for his blunder. However, the Kabejjedian Supreme Commander quickly got back to his usual menacing expression and proceeded forward.

“- Where are those known as ‘Planet Express’ ?
- Uh ? Oh, yeah…” Zapp designated Leela, Fry, Bender and Zoidberg, who were since the beginning side by side. “It’s them. Now, about the negotiations…
- Trago already set up everything with the Neutrals. Tomorrow at 8AM in the great central room.”

Those news certainly didn’t please Zapp. He took his most outraged look and waved his finger under the nose of the Supreme Commander.

“- Hey, that’s not how it was supposed to work ! I’m the one appointed for settling the peace between you and the other boys, so I’ll be the one deciding when and where it will take place ! Are you trying to steal my thunder or what ?
- Maybe the weak human is forgetting that our entire space fleet is waiting eagerly to invade this planet, and will do if I ever give the order to, said Trago on the most natural tone a Kabejjedian could have. Maybe he’s forgetting the DOOP has sent only one ship – his – in this zone. And maybe he doesn’t realize he could quickly become a collateral damage if he doesn’t shut up and stay at his place.”

Leela didn’t really know how to react at this exact moment. Would it be better to let herself scream ‘Oh yeah ! Burn !’, and thus expressing her joy to see someone finally shut Zapp up, or to shake and gasp of horror as if he would ever do what he said, they would certainly not be spared ? Zapp didn’t look impressed, but Leela wasn’t sure if it was a cover or not.

“Oh yes, he remembers ! Said Zapp. And that’s why he’ll cautiously get out of here as quick as possible, letting you do whatever you want to those civilians he’s supposed to cover, and boo at you before running back in his ship !”

Zapp didn’t even finish his line that he already had walked away, nearly running to the footbridge. The Kabejjedians didn’t react at all, but the DOOP officers, Fry, Leela, Bender and Zoidberg looked at Zapp with puzzled looks. And just as he said, just after having activated the access to the footbridge leading to the Nimbus, he turned back, screamed ‘Boo !’ and quickly got in. Kif sighed once again. As the second most ranked DOOP officer, he faced the Kabejjedians.

“- I must inform you that those persons are under our supervision… Send them back to us when you’ll have finished.
- Trago knows how this works. He’s not that stupid ! Now go pet your coward leader before I change my mind about letting you live !”

Still depressed, Kif made a quick military salute and turned away, followed by the rest of the DOOP officers. Now that they were alone with the Kabejjedians, Leela wasn’t really reassured. A quick look at her coworkers made her understand they were feeling the exact same way. Trago stopped just in front of Leela. The young mutant tried to stay calm and to act like a captain would, but that didn’t stop her from dreading the next minutes.

“- Morbo told us how you’ve helped him, said the Supreme Commander. Not bad for a bunch of inferior creatures.
- Thank you, said Leela, cautiously ignoring the insult, but we didn’t really help him. We’re a delivery company, not a travel one, and we might not have accepted his offer if…
- Trago doesn’t care. You brought him here, there you helped him. Anyway, the Kabejjedians may be fearsome, but they always pay their debts. You’ll get paid immediately, as we already know your bank coordinates. Will you get back to your homeplanet right now ?
- Unfortunately, no. The captain Zapp Brannigan wants to keep us during the whole negotiations for our own ‘safety’…
- Then we’ll give you an extra. Is there something to sign ?
- Well… yeah…”

Leela made a gesture at Bender, who opened his chest cavity and pulled a cardboard with a receipt stuck on it and a pen out. He gave them to Leela, who in turn handed them to Trago. The alien quickly signed the receipt and gave it back to Leela. Only a few seconds, all was back in Bender’s chest cavity.

“- Thank you. Now, it’s been a pleasure, but we need to…
- Not so fast, Earthling ! Said Trago. We’ve got a little tradition in the Kabejjedian Empire that has to be done every time we put an end to a transaction with inferior beings. You sure wouldn’t like to endure our wrath if you ever consider refusing it.”

Leela got a little more tensed than before, but she already knew she didn’t really have the choice.

“- No, no, of course ! Do what you want !
- Good. Officers !”

The rest of the Kabejjedians who came with Trago went forward, going in the direction of the Planet Express crew. Soon, Fry, Leela, Bender and Zoidberg were all face to face with one of them, wondering what that was all about. Trago made a gesture… And suddenly, the Kabejjedians headbutted the crew. Surprised, all of them fell on the floor, half-knocked out by the hits. The Kabejjedians then went behind Trago.

“Thank your gods for still being alive, worms !”

The Supreme Commander made another gesture, and this time, all the Kabejjedians including Morbo turned their feet and left the hall, leaving Leela, Fry, Bender and Zoidberg on the floor, moaning and trying to get back to their senses.

“Thanks for trusting Planet Express ! Have a nice day !” Said Fry before sinking into unconsciousness.
Bending Unit
« #17 : 02-25-2007 13:59 »

No taco for Morbo (part 11)

The following day, the whole dome was engaged in a feverish activity. The Neutrals made their best for ensuring everybody that none of the opponents would ever fight each other before getting in the negotiations room. The precautions were extremely drastic, but nobody had to be a genius for realizing that if they wanted to, both the Kabejjedians and the Omicronians could have wiped out the entire base. The only thing that was apparently keeping them from doing so was that they still had important commercial relationships with the rest of the planets that form the DOOP. And they weren’t sure of what would happen if they ever would be convicted of having deliberately broken a peace summit. At the moment, neither Omicron Persei 8 nor Kabejjedia were willing to take that risk, so they agreed to follow the international procedure… Of course, that wasn’t preventing the two armies to continue to battle each other. The evolution of interstellar politics had forced them to take other planets’ opinion into account, but that didn’t mean they had forgotten their traditions.

The Planet Express crew quickly recovered from the conclusion of their contract with the Kabejjedians, although Fry had to spend the rest of the day before with loads of absorbent cotton in his nostrils for stopping the bleedings. Even now, he couldn’t clean his own nose without starting it all over again. Zoidberg, on the other hand, was still spitting a little ink, but nothing too serious. As no rooms had been prepared for them in the dome, they had to spend the night on board the Nimbus. No great events took place during the night, especially as Leela broke the outer command for her room and putted earplugs on for not hearing Zapp, who tried once again to seduce her.

They weren’t out of trouble, however. Taking the risk of divulging the secret terms of the negotiations and therefore breaking numerous laws, Zapp forced them to assist to the reunion in order to keep an eye on them. At least, one thing was sure : with about twenty murderous aliens in the same room than them who certainly would see no inconvenience in disintegrating them at the first suspect move, they would certainly not try to escape. The Neutrals didn’t make any objections. The only thing that could have sounded like a complain to Leela’s ears was ‘That’s mildly unusual, and still not totally criticisable’. In other words, they couldn’t count on the Neutrals for helping them, but Leela never thought they would have done this anyway.

Now that the negotiations were about to start, the young woman was bitterly regretting she just didn’t told the professor he could bite Bender’s ass instead of giving up and accepting this mission. The Kabejjedians and the Omicronians were face to face, and anybody could have seen how tensed was the atmosphere. A single badly chosen word, and blasters would certainly show up and transform this room into a foretaste of Armageddon. Leela recognized Trago and Morbo among the Kabejjedian ambassadors, and Lrrr and Ndnd on the Omicronian side, but she had absolutely no idea of who could have been the others. Between the two sides, disposed so that the three tables would form a U, were some DOOP officers, including Zapp who was presiding over the whole mess. Kif was standing behind him, as depressed as ever. Finally, Leela, Fry, Bender and Zoidberg were on another table, behind the DOOP officers. They were surrounded by DOOP soldiers who received the order to knock them if they ever tried to slip away. After the doors got closed, Zapp finally began to speak.

“- Gentlemen, thank you for coming. I’ve been designated by the DOOP for solving this crisis, and as such, I’m the one who will be moderating this séance. I’m sure that we will find a reasonable agreement if we take the time to listen to each other’s arguments.
- Ours are extremely simple, said Lrrr. We’ll stop this war if those stinking Kabejjedians come here and lick our butts for apologizing they ever thought this planet could be theirs !”

The Kabejjedians immediately clenched their teeth, refraining themselves from jumping on their opponents and to tear their guts out with their bare hands. Some were already slowly beginning to reach for their hidden weapons. Zapp obviously didn’t notice the seriousness of the situation.

“Good ! Very good ! Are you willing to follow their conditions ?” Said Zapp, turning to the Kabejjedians. Leela slapped her forehead. How could she still be surprised by his stupidity ?

“- The omicronian rats can go to hell ! That planet is in our sphere of influence, which means it’s ours !
- Your sphere of influence ?!? Replied Lrrr nearly jumping off his seat. It’s in ours ! Don’t expect us to contempt ourselves with only a half-planet : it will be everything or nothing !
- Then it will be nothing, scoundrels, because…
- Gentlemen, gentlemen, said Zapp, interrupting them, please get back to your senses. We won’t get anywhere with such behaviour…
- Morbo is not sure he really wants that conference to end with peace, said the anchorman and presumed officer bitterly. It’s not as if this was the first provocation from those stupid Omicronians !
- Stop rewriting history, you liar ! Said Ndnd. Those provocations were merely fair reactions to some abuses from your part !”

Having a clear view of the whole room, Leela was really having a bad feeling about how that reunion would end. The situation was already tensed, but she had no idea it wasn’t the first time the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians already had problematic relations. The DOOP must have hidden to the public their past tensions for preventing panic, but this time it already went too far for being covered. She looked at her right : Fry was following the debate, certainly praying that he wouldn’t be caught in a cross-fire, while Bender was still grumbling. He certainly didn’t appreciate that the Neutrals forbid him to smoke in the negotiation room, but it was nothing compared to what he felt when the soldiers searched through his chest cavity and got about three boxes of cigars out of it. At her left, Zoidberg seemed a lot more tensed. She thought first that it was because of the danger, but then she realized his lips were moving. He was talking to himself ? She’s never seen him do this before…

“- Really ? Said Trago. Even that asteroid that mysteriously got diverted and would have hit our capital if we didn’t blow it before ?
- That was an action from an extremist we caught just after this and executed ! Yelled Lrrr. We never played a part in that ! Unlike you with the Despairbringer !
- Yes, we did send that warship in your sector, replied Morbo, but it was for hunting down space pirates that you never tried to catch in the first place !
- We thought he was just perpetuating a folkloric tradition ! Said Lrrr.
- Well maybe you should concentrate on dancing while wearing silly hats instead of commanding a planet if you’re that bonded to tradition ! Said Trago.
- And you let him talk to you like that ? Said Ndnd to her husband. My father would have never allowed a stinking Kabejjedian to insult him like this if he was still here and if I wouldn’t have eaten his heart…
- Silence ! Screamed Lrrr at his wife. I’m the one who’s supposed to lead those negotiations !
- Actually… Said Zapp.
- They don’t even listen to you, you imbecile !” Replied Ndnd. Nobody seemed to have noticed Zapp’s attempt to speak. “At least act like a true Omicronian and go slice their throats with your teeth instead of…
- Will you just shut up, female !”

Ndnd looked at her husband, a hostile look on her face. Leela didn’t know if the fact that the conversation brutally diverted was good news or not. If at least one of the sides would forget for a few moments that they weren’t supposed to do a domestic quarrel right in the middle of peace negotiations, the possible bloodbath between Omicronians and Kabejjedians was certainly delayed. Just as she thought, Lrrr hadn’t finished yet settling the score with his wife.

“- What’s your problem, exactly ? Do you really think you’re helping me now, treating me like a child in front of our enemies ? And stop pissing me off with your father ! He was nothing but a moron who wasn’t even able to say where his butt was when he was sitting !
- Our despicable opponent has a good point, ugly Omicronian lady ! Said Morbo. We’re trying to have a serious talk here, and it was going well before your intervention ! Morbo has the feeling he’s at home now !
- Why ? Asked Lrrr, turning to Morbo. Your wife gives you hard times too ?
- This is an understatement ! Morbo’s wife never shuts up, and it’s always for complaining about his actions !
- And I thought I was alone ! Does she keep comparing you to her father too ?
- Exactly ! It’s always ‘daddy would have never done this’, ‘daddy did this better’, ‘daddy wouldn’t have needed two attempts for breaking that rabbit’s neck’… But Morbo can tell you : he was nothing else than a jackass ! But, of course, if Morbo ever says what he thinks, he’ll get yelled at, and meanwhile, if Morbo’s wife does something annoying…
- … You just have to shut up and to endure this ! So true… Sometimes I wonder why she didn’t clone her father and marry him if he was that great !”

There was still tension in the room, but now there was something else in the atmosphere that was really strange. Morbo and Lrrr seemed to have completely forgotten where they were and why, and were completely absorbed by their rants about their respective wives. Everybody was looking at them, not knowing exactly what should be done in such a situation. Only two persons weren’t feeling the same way : Ndnd, who was refraining herself from strangling her husband, and Zoidberg who was still absorbed by his mysterious task. Leela nearly choked of surprise when she saw a smile appear on Morbo’s face.

“- Tell me… Does she ask you how does she look in her new clothes ?
- Oh boy !” Lrrr had a chuckle as he remembered such moments. “The usual trap ! Why asking when you know the person you’re talking to don’t give a damn about fashion ? Answer no, and she’ll get mad. Answer yes, and she’ll say you’re not frank with her. Whatever you do, you lose !
- Morbo will never understand them ! Do they take pleasure in getting on our nerves or what ?
- That’s what I’ve been thinking for 15 years now !”

Ndnd obviously reached her limits. She stood up and angrily faced her husband, her fists on her hip.

“Do you realize I’m here, you jerk ?”

Lrrr calmly got up and looked in his wife’s eyes. He didn’t seem to feel embarrassed at all.

“I can hardly forget you’re here, with all that fat you’re carting around !”

Just as he heard this, Morbo began to laugh at the top of his lungs. Ndnd didn’t take that joke very well : she was about to explode of rage, which might explained why her face suddenly became as red as lava. Leela tried to stay calm, but she was almost as mad at Lrrr as Ndnd : she had an idea about how painful such an insult could be. That almost pushed her to slap Bender when he whistled of admiration.

“- Wow ! Said Morbo between two bursts of laughter. Good one !
- Yeah, said Bender, rising his fist, show her who’s the man !”

This time, that was it. Leela got up and walked to one of the soldier. She pointed the robot and whispered in the guard’s ear.

“You know, he told me earlier your mother had been nominated for the award of the filthiest porn actress in the universe once…”

The soldier looked at Leela, then at Bender. Burning with rage, he took his lightstick out of its sheath and walked to the robot. Bender screamed twice : the first time when the soldier hit him on the head, the second when his head crashed on the metallic table.

“She desperately needed money for bringing me up, you freak !” Yelled the soldier before getting back to his post. Leela was sporting a broad smile when she sat down again.

The situation among the Omicronians was still pretty tensed, however. Lrrr and Ndnd were engaged in a look battle, where the loser would be the first to look away. Even Zapp realized it was becoming quite embarrassing for everybody in the room.

“Now, now, said the captain, I see we reached some good points there… How about a small break ? Doctor Zoidberg ?”

Hearing his name managed to get the Decapodian out of his contemplative state. He jumped a bit, surprised, but after a small moment during which he was apparently still dazed, he finally got up and walked to the centre of the room. The rest of the Planet Express crew looked at him, having no idea of what was about to happen, even Bender who was still complaining about the shock he received. It also seemed to put an end to Lrrr and Ndnd’s quarrel, as they were staring at Zoidberg. The Decapodian cleared his throat before starting.

“Thank you, thank you, you’re a great audience… So, one day, as I was walking in the bottom of the ocean, I met a giant mussel, as tall as me. I couldn’t believe my eyes, as I’d never heard of such things before. So I said ‘oh my God ! A giant mussel’ ! And at this moment, the mussel said ‘hey, can’t you see I’m an oyster ?’”

Zoidberg smiled and opened his arms, waiting for a reaction. It failed miserably : dozens of unfriendly eyes were now scrutinizing him, and it was obvious that their owners were heavily considering disintegrating the Decapodian. Leela slapped her palm on her face. Stand-up comedy. In the middle of peace negotiations. Performed by Zoidberg.

If Zapp wanted to turn this crisis into a universal war, he was about to succeed.

Zoidberg finally realized nobody was laughing. Looking a bit anxious, he tried to move on.

“I’ve noticed that the biggest stretches of water on this planet are the fountains in the lobby. Honestly, what kind of eggs would you lay in those ? Shrimp ones ?”

The Decapodian smiled again, hoping that one would work better. He obtained the exact same result. The Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were looking extremely hostile, while Zapp, Kif and the rest of the DOOP officers noticed how cold the atmosphere was. Fry was sorry for the doctor, Bender was internally delighted of the Decapodian’s flop. Leela on her side, was desperately trying to become invisible, hoping nobody would ask her later if he was part of her crew. After some long and painful seconds, Morbo turned to Lrrr.

“Morbo proposes a short-term alliance with the omicronian delegation for blasting this stupid Decapodian out of existence.”

Lrrr looked at the Kabejjedian. It was impossible to see what he was thinking.

“We agree.”

All the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians suddenly drew their lasers and shot simultaneously in the Decapodian’s direction. Fortunately for Zoidberg, he started to flee as soon as he heard the ‘sentence’, screaming ‘woop woop woop woop !’. By some extraordinary luck, he managed to evade all the shots until he reached the exit, which put him in safety. Leela had no idea of what Zoidberg would do after this, but what really was scaring her now was that all the opponents had their rifles now ready for shooting at each other. And as she feared, as soon as the Decapodian was out of the room, the two sides began to look at each other, wondering how much of their enemies they could destroy before being shot. Leela couldn’t see Zapp and Kif’s faces from her position, but she saw the captain get a tissue out of his pocket in order to apparently sweep the sweat from his forehead, while Kif became translucent as his camouflage instinct kicked off automatically at the first sign of tension. She looked at her coworkers. Fry and Bender were slowly making their seats slide to the emergency exit behind them, still staring at the opponents. She imitated them.

But suddenly, something broke the silence.

Morbo was giggling.

Soon, Lrrr followed him. Their laughter grew on and on, and they finally stopped restraining themselves. The others looked at them with puzzled looks, but after a short while, Morbo and Lrrr’s hilarity began to contaminate them. Trago was the first to succumb, an omicronian ambassador followed him… And only a few seconds later, all the Omicronians and Kabejjedians were laughing frenetically. Only Ndnd, still mulling over what her husband made to her earlier, was still stoic. The DOOP officers, Leela, Fry and Bender didn’t know what to do at all. They just waited they would eventually stop laughing. Lrrr was the first to speak again.

“- It’s been a long time since we lived this !
- The same for Morbo ! Replied the Kabejjedian. Did you see how ridiculous that horrible lobster was when we shot at him ?
- That’s a sight I’ll certainly never forget ! It was like a car accident which victims would only be clowns ! May those creatures from Hell all die in horrible pains…
- Trago hasn’t laughed that hard since he glued his political opponents on giant clay pigeons before shooting at them with a lasercannon ! Said the Kabejjedian Supreme Commander.
- You did this too ? Said Lrrr. Looks like we have some things in common, after all…
- Indeed, said Trago. Too bad we have to destroy your race for its impudence.
- I’m almost feeling sorry too. When we’ll wipe your pitiful planet out, we won’t make as much devastation as usual.
- We consider doing the same thing, stupid Omicronian. We will kill you in a painful but respectable way.
- The way of gentlemen…”

Starship Captain
« #18 : 02-27-2007 16:27 »

Great story.  You did an excelent job capturing each character's personality.
Bending Unit
« #19 : 02-28-2007 13:53 »

No taco for Morbo (part 12)

The following night, on the news channel…

“- Good evening. Today, as my usual partner Morbo is still absent, I will be assisted by someone who has been nominated 12 times as the less incompetent local news anchorman during the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st : Kent Brockman’s head !
- Good evening, Linda. I must say I’m honoured to have been called. This retreat was beginning to be a bit too quiet for my taste !
- I know you still have the knack, Kent. We won’t be very demanding anyway, you’re the only one who agreed to replace Morbo, everyone else said they feared he would tear them apart when he’d come back.
- That won’t stop me from… Wait, what did you say ?
- But first, some news from the Axholish quadrant. The war between the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians for the possession of Plainrock 1246 is still ravaging that part of the universe. The income of the battles that occurred since the beginning of this crisis is shady, as none of the two empires, equal both in the means used and on strategy, seem to clearly dominate the other, and as the different information provided by the Kabejjedian Empire, Omicron Persei 8 and the DOOP are contradictory…
- You were kidding, right ? He won’t kill me just because I replaced him today ?
- The negotiations seem to be a stand-by as well. According to the DOOP captain Zapp Brannigan who is leading the talks, the two sides are strongly clinging on their positions, although a few advances have been made on the communication between the two nations, which seems more serene. Captain Brannigan ended his report by saying that he was optimistic, and that he would single-handedly force them to reconcile if he would have to.
- No, seriously, Linda, nobody told me anything about this when I said yes ! I’ve heard some rumours about his hot temper, but…
- And now, sports ! It looks like the Nets have once again made a fool of themselves today, isn’t it right, Kent ?
- I mean, I can’t defend myself ! He can’t be that cruel, right ?
- Kent… The Nets…
- What ? Oh… Oh, hum… Well once again, they… They lost 156 to 34 today… Which is quite a massacre… A massac… Oh Lord, I don’t feel right… I must get out and take some tranquilizers…
- Ahahahaha ! Sorry, I’m afraid it’s not possible, Kent !”


“No way I’ll do this with you !”

Fry tapped Bender’s chest with his index. The robot didn’t seem to be extremely disturbed by the young man’s reaction.

“- Ah, come on, meatbag ! We already made so many things together, why would this little thing bother you ?
- Because it’s different ! Sure, usually it’s fun to do stuffs with you, but it was because I had no idea I might get shot, clubbed, imprisoned or something else !
- Or turned into a 6 years old Shirley Temple lookalike. Don’t forget this one, that’s one of my favourite.
- Yeah, I found this cool too, but I was happy to get back to my former self. You have no idea of how hard it is to look cute 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- No, but I’ve still got the recordings, that helps me to imagine. Or to laugh when I need a little cheering.
- Anyway, this time, I can’t go with you ! I know that if we get caught, we might be killed ! I mean, infiltrating the omicronian headquarter for looting !? Do you realize how dangerous they are !
- And you, do you realize how much you can get on eBay for stuff from the omicronian army ? Because I do ! And that’s far, far more lucrative than stealing DOOP stuff and selling them ! There are complete lunatics that are willing to pay thousands of bucks just for a spoon, as those guys care so much about their army material that nothing is getting out of their bases ! Even nazi junks from the Second World War didn’t sell that well, and they’ve held the first place of highest eBay bids for more than 1 000 years !
- But as soon as they’ll catch us, they’ll shoot us as spies ! I will never follow you there !”

The robot took a strange look at Fry. That caught the young man off-guard. Usually, he was taking that expression when he had said something really stupid that Bender wouldn’t want to laugh at, for a change.

“- What ?
- Fry, can you tell me where we are ?”

Fry took a look around him. It looked like a regular corridor, but he knew something was wrong when he saw some portraits of great Omicronian leaders on the walls. There was a sign saying ‘Standard procedure if you meet someone who’s not omicronian in the perimeter : shoot first, ask questions, shoot again, call your superior, and shoot once more.’ not far away from them. And finally, there was a house plant that looked to be pretty well-kept and properly watered in a corner.

Fry quickly understood they were in the omicronian headquarter. Surprised, he turned to face Bender, who was looking at him with a broad smile.

“- Owned.
- But… That… It’s… How did you… ?
- You were so busy trying to convince me not to do it that you didn’t even notice you were following me while I was getting in. Kinda like that story with that german piper, except you’re the rat, a role that suits you well, and I’m the handsome looking yet mysterious stranger who rips everybody off at the end…”

Fry, unable to believe he had been stupid enough for doing this, stood long seconds his mouth wide opened, trying to get his brain work again. That didn’t take too long however, as there wasn’t so much things to activate anyway. Fry finally sighed, surrendering.

“- I guess it’s too late for me for getting back to our room on the Nimbus ?
- Yup. And you certainly don’t even know the way. Now, I’m your only hope of getting out of here alive. That’s not the first time, hey ?
- No. And that’s also not the first time you put me in that kind of thing…
- Hehehe, yeah. How would your life be without me ?
- Well, I would risk my life less often, I would have all the organs I was born with, I would try to have a better life instead of spending all my time in front of TV…
- Thank God I’m here, then ?
- Hell yeah ! So, where do we go ?
- That way, said Bender, pointing in a direction. Stay behind me, I need a human shield if someone comes in our back…”

The next minutes were pretty stressful, yet exciting for Fry. Bender chose a good moment for his action : at 3AM, the security inside the headquarters was very slim. No signs of guards, no cameras… That didn’t mean they could do whatever they wanted. They had to stay as quiet as possible, as many Omicronians were still sleeping. Fry was glad that it was that easy, but Bender was a bit pissed : he couldn’t find anything that was marked with the seal of the Omicronian Army, and without it, the stuff he would steal was worthless.

However, at one moment, the situation nearly got bad. As they were walking in a corridor, they suddenly heard someone coming ahead. They tried to get back to their feet, but they immediately realized that someone else was coming behind them. Nowhere to hide, no chances of surprising the people and knocking them out before rushing out… Fry and Bender began to panic.

“- Oh man ! Semi-screamed Fry. What are we going to do ?!?
- Lemme think… Lemme think…”

Bender concentrated. An idea ! He needed an idea, and quick ! Using all his calculating capacities, he tried to see what they can do… And he finally knew what could work.

“Act dead !”

The young man gave a scared but surprised look at the robot.

“- What ?
- Do what I say, dammit, or you won’t have to fake it !”

Bender then fell on the floor, and shut down his ocular panel. Fry still wasn’t sure it would work, but as the Omicronians were getting closer, he decided to risk it all and lied on the ground, taking a distorted posture, letting his eyes wide opened, and letting his tongue come out of his mouth. Only a second later, the two Omicronians appeared in the corridor. They immediately noticed the robot and the young human, but as they got closer, they didn’t seem to be particularly suspicious.

“- By the Burning Scimitar, can’t those humans avoid letting their dead and their broken robots lying anywhere ? Said the first Omicronian.
- Yes, they really can’t do things properly, said the second one. Can’t they clean their prefabricated buildings before giving them to us ?
- Should we pick them up and throw them in the trash ?
- Hey, not our job ! We’ll tell the sweepers to get them tomorrow morning. And I’m not touching it. I’ve just had my manicure.
- I guess that’s fair. By the way, what are you doing in the corridors at that time ?
- I needed a glass of water. And you ?
- The same thing. I don’t know where the kitchen is, though…
- You don’t drink at the tap either ?
- Hell no ! The last time I drank recycled water, it gave me diarrhoea. I’ll stick with bottled water.
- Yes, I can see why. I hope you won’t mind if I join you ?
- Of course not ! I’m completely lost in here !
- Let’s go, then.”

The two Omicronians finally left the area. As Fry could now see their backs, he began to breathe normally again. They turned and disappeared in another corridor. Fry and Bender waited that they wouldn’t be able to hear them anymore.

“- And the family ?
- Well, the eldest wants to join a theatre school.
- Oh. Sorry. I couldn’t know…
- Oh, that’s okay. We beat him senseless and we had him locked in the imperial jail for a while. That would make him understand. I’ve told him, yet : ‘if you really want to be an artist, paint, play music, whatever, but do never, ever think of acting !’. He had it coming.”

Finally, there were no more risks of being discovered. Fry and Bender finally stood up. They rubbed the dirt that got stuck on them, and Fry even allowed himself to sigh of relief.

“- Phoohey ! That was close !
- Yeah. Let’s keep moving before someone else comes.
- Good idea. Er, just for knowing : how did you know that would work ?
- I didn’t. My second plan was to tell them you’ve programmed me to follow you, and to beg them to get rid me of my cruel master.
- I’m happy the first one worked, then.”

For a moment, nothing else happened. Fry and Bender were still searching, but it really seemed the Omicronians didn’t want to let anything lying around. But finally, they ended in front of a large sliding door. They weren’t able to read the sign next to it, as it was written in Omicronian, but they guessed it must have been an important room. Bender activated the opening… And the robot smiled.

“Bingo !”

Fry gave a look. It was the docking bay, which was also serving as a storehouse for the Omicronians : dozens of crates were stored there, certainly filled with all the stuff the Omicronians would need in the temporary embassy ; the chances that Bender would find what he was looking for were extremely favourable. The young man wasn’t as pleased as Bender. That also meant that if any ship would arrive there, they wouldn’t stay unnoticed for long.

“- Oh yeah ! Said the robot, rubbing his hands. I can already hear the sound of the cash pouring in my hands !
- Really ? Said Fry, surprised. But you’ll sell those things on the net ! Virtual money doesn’t make sound !
- Not for human ears, but you’re talking to the top of the electronic evolution ! We don’t need money to be material for hearing it ! So, will you just stand there and saying crap, or will you give me a hand ? We don’t have all the time of the world !”

Bender came closer to the crates. He began to look at their labels in order to know their contents and to decide which one he would open.

“Let see… Food ? Pfah ! They may be dangerous, but they’re still fleshies ! Pillows ? Laaaaaame ! Mmmmh… Oh, oh ! Omicronian booze ! I always wanted to taste it, but those rascals never wanted to export it ! I need to refill my batteries, let’s open it and…”

KZTT !!!

Bender suddenly screamed of pain. Fry stood back, surprised and unable to understand what was going on.

“- Bender, are you alright ?
- Dammit !” The robot was pretty pissed by the accident. “What the hell was that ?
- I dunno… It reminds me something, but I can’t really say what…
- Okay, maybe it’s because I’m not drunk enough ! A big gulp of that booze will surely…”

KZTT !!!

Once again, Bender jumped so high he nearly hit the roof. Cursing and yelling, he was holding his head. Fry began to fear that someone might hear them.

“- What the hell ?!? Said the robot.
- Shhh, Bender ! Don’t make so much noise !
- I wouldn’t if I had those freakin’ short-circuits ! You can’t understand what it’s like, meatbag, so stop telling me what I should do if that happens !
- Easy, easy, don’t use me as a punching-ball, I’ve nothing to do with this ! I think you should stand back, I will open that crate and then you’ll…”

KZTT !!!

Fry screamed almost as high as Bender. The robot looked at him, not understanding what happened to the young man. Fry was slowly getting back to his former self, but he knew that couldn’t be good.

“- It happened to you too ? Asked Bender.
- Yeah ! I don’t get it, I shouldn’t feel this !
- Not with all this disgusting flesh, anyway. I wonder what could…”

Suddenly, the robot froze as the answer appeared in his mind. Fry saw him turn from surprise to anger in a blink. The robot was even clenching his fist.

“- That old bat ! I’ll make him swallow his entire collection of dentures !
- What ? I don’t get it…
- The nanites ! The ones the professor forced us to absorb ! Can’t you see it ? We got shocked because we wanted to open those crates !
- But… He said he programmed them to do this only for the crate we were carrying !
- 20 bucks that geezer screwed up their programming ! They’ll fry us everytime we will want to open a crate until he gets them out of us !
- Oh, crud… I hope we won’t need those food supplies we’ve got in the ship…
- Stop talking about food, you moron ! We can’t open a single box here, and that’s where the loot is ! All this for nothing ! If I wasn’t so manly, I would surely cry ! Well, I could still hit Zoidberg for letting out some steam…”

The two friends were still discussing about the situation. Sure, it was pretty bad. But if they hadn’t been that obsessed about the nanites, they would have seen it was getting worse. They weren’t alone. While they were almost screaming at each other, someone snuck in the docking bay as well. That mysterious person immediately spotted the young man and the robot, and he began to slowly walk in their direction, taking care not of being heard. Still talking to each other, neither Fry nor Bender noticed his presence. Soon he was just behind them… And suddenly, as Fry was telling Bender that hitting Zoidberg with an iron bar just like Morbo did was kind of plagiarizing the alien, the person grabbed them by their shoulders. Their reaction was immediate. They screamed of surprise and of fear.

“- Please ! Screamed Fry. Don’t kill us !
- I won’t kill you until we would be out of here !”

Fry stopped to shake. He knew this voice… And when he finally allowed himself to open his eyes, he saw it was Leela. Saying that she was looking angry was definitely an understatement.

“- Leela ?
- Will you just shut up ?!? Said the young woman in a harsh but almost inaudible tone. You’ll wake up the entire station if you continue to make so much noise !”

She finally let them go. But that didn’t mean she had calmed down. In fact, Fry was thinking he would have preferred to be caught by the Omicronians.

“- How did you find us ? Asked Bender.
- Oh, come on ! I needed to talk to ask you those sleeping pills you hide in your chest cavity for allowing me to calm down after what happened today, but when I got to your room, I only found Zoidberg who told me that he heard say where you were going ! That was easy to infiltrate this place, and with all your screams, I didn’t have to search for long !
- Wow, we were that noisy ? Said Fry.
- What the hell the two of you were thinking ? Burglarizing the omicronian embassy ? Do you realize what would happen if they ever caught you ?!?
- Errr… They’ll taunt us and let us go ? Tried Fry.
- Don’t make yourself look more stupid than you actually are, Fry ! Not only would they kill you, but they would also say you were earthican spies sent here for helping the Kabejjedians !
- We are ?
- Of course not, dumbass ! But that’s what they would think, and they would take this as a reason for attacking Earth !
- Bah, that wouldn’t be the first time they’d do this… Said Bender, trying to sound unconcerned.
- Well, sorry to tell you this, but as your captain, I’m responsible of your acts, and I don’t want to be remembered as someone who indirectly caused the deaths of millions of people ! Now, let’s get out of here before…”

But Leela couldn’t finish her sentence. The lights were beginning to flicker. Fry, Leela and Bender immediately looked everywhere… Nobody was in the docking bay, but they knew it was meaning only one thing…

“- Oh, crap ! Said Bender. Someone’s coming !
- What do we do, Leela ?!? Said Fry, scared to death. What do we do !?”

The Cyclops examined the room as fast as she could. They hadn’t enough time for getting out before they would be seen, so the only solution was to hide somewhere. They couldn’t hide in a crate either – she had witnessed what happened to Fry and Bender when they tried to open one. But looking at her left, she saw a small door, with a little square hole covered with a metallic netting on it.

“Quick ! In there !”

The three ran to the small door. Fry opened it ; it was a broom closet, apparently just large enough for the three of them to get in. They didn’t try to find a better place : they all rushed in. And as soon as they closed the door, someone was finally getting in the docking bay.

They prayed he didn’t see them. Or would need a broom.
Bending Unit
« #20 : 03-02-2007 16:04 »

No taco for Morbo (part 13)

The tension in the closet was almost unbearable. Not only because of the situation but also Fry, Leela and Bender were squeezed against each other in a way that was highly uncomfortable.

“- Ouch ! Bender, you’re walking on my foot ! Said Fry.
- Don’t care.
- Quiet ! Whispered Leela. Don’t get us caught just because…”

Leela suddenly stopped. She was feeling something that she certainly couldn’t appreciate, especially in such a moment.

“- Fry !
- What ?
- Don’t act as if you were innocent ! Put your hand away, now !
- I’m even touching you !
- Stop lying ! You’re grabbing my…”

It’s only at this moment that the young woman realized what was going on. That made her feel tired, once again.

“- Bender, I don’t put my wallet in this pocket anymore.
- Crap !”

Leela would certainly have been angry at him in another circumstances, but as it was possible to hear several voices now, she preferred staying silent. According to all the noise that was produced, many Omicronians were coming in. Leela and Fry, being in front of the small opening in the door, had a look at what was going on in the room. That was what they feared : a small group of omicronian dignitaries was now in the docking bay. It was fairly easy to recognize Lrrr and Ndnd, as they were in front of the others, thanks to their rank. The royal couple didn’t seem to be in good terms, and frankly, Leela could see why after what happened a bit earlier.

“- I hope for him he didn’t lie… Said Lrrr.
- That wouldn’t be the first time someone would make a fool of you, said Ndnd, obviously still angry at her husband.
- Not again ! Will you just leave me alone and stop contesting my authority in front of our men ?
- Of course ! Excuse me, your highness !” You didn’t need to be a genius to realize Ndnd was faking her submission. “I’m just an annoying queen who’s always wrong and is nothing more than a nuisance for the mighty Lrrr !
- For once, you speak the truth, female ! Now keep quiet, our guest will soon arrive and I don’t want you to spoil this important moment ! It may very well grant us victory against those cursed but not completely despicable after all Kabejjedians !
- Did you forget who I am ? I’m the queen of Omicron Persei 8, and as such I have to duty to worry about the reputation of our planet ! If you ever fail tonight, you will bring the shame to our planet ! Dad would have never…
- Your dad was an idiot ! This guy is the only one who can bring us what we need, and although I don’t trust him entirely, we have no other choices left !
- What’s make you think he’ll make it here anyway ? He would have to avoid the Kabejjedian AND the DOOP fleet !
- I’ve gathered enough informations on him to know he has small undetectable ships at his disposal ! And his track record speaks for him ! Now will you just…”

Just at this moment, strange loud noises began to resonate in the docking bay. Looking at the access footbridge, Leela realized it was meaning a ship has connected itself to the dome. The young woman really wished she was somewhere else. She didn’t have an idea of what was the sense of all this, but she knew it was some kind of secret reunion that the Omicronians certainly didn’t want anyone to hear about. Lrrr immediately realized his guest was finally coming, and turned to Ndnd and the other Omicronian officials.

“At least he’s not late ! Now everyone stays silent until I give the permission to speak !”

For a few seconds, nothing else than a few other sounds indicating the pressurization of the footbridge could be heard. And then, everybody could hear footsteps coming from behind the door leading to the ship, even Leela, Fry and Bender. From her position, Fry could have a clear view on the door. Finally, it slid, revealing who the Omicronians were waiting for… And Fry gasped. He immediately recognized the person ; it was just impossible to forget him.

“Derek Vile !”

Fry rubbed his eyes, wondering if he had visions, but when he looked again, he realized it wasn’t the case. That bald skull, this red skintight-suit with a big black V on the chest, that black cape, that face that was screaming how mad its owner was… He couldn’t be mistaken ! Leela and Bender too reacted when they heard Fry.

“- What ? Said Bender. That guy you boot up the ass when you were Blue Flashlight ?
- The same !
- Now, that’s just scary, said a worried Leela. What is a criminal mastermind doing in a warzone ? And moreover, why is he meeting the Omicronians ?
- I don’t know, answered Fry, and I just want to be far away !”

In the docking bays, Lrrr made three steps to get in front of the most wanted earthican criminal. He was apparently taking his most fearful appearance, but Vile didn’t look scared at all.

“- Greetings, human ! Said Lrrr. I hope you didn’t have any trouble in your way.
- It wov pletty fimple to fool ve DOOP and your opponentf, replied Vile. It takef more van dvuft two armiev to ftop me. But I muft fay vey veren’t dvoking about ve ftenf of fif planet’f atmofere…
- Yeah… Maybe…” Lrrr wasn’t totally sure about what he was saying. That speech impediment really was annoying. “Now, I’d like us to find an agreement pretty quickly. The sooner you will go, the less chances there will be that someone finds out you were with us.
- Oh pleave, who do you fink I am ? Dvuft a newbie ? I’ve been leading an empile fol longel van you ! Fure, an empile of clime, but an empile noneveleff !
- We have reasons to be cautious. You’ve been uncovered once, and…
- Vat won’t happen again !” Vile obviously didn’t like that someone reminds him his first and last failure. “Vat fame of a captain named Blannigan iv too ftupid to even uncovel my exiftenfe !
- We just want warranties. We’re talking about a way for us to speed up the inevitable coming of our victory !
- Inevitable ? I fink not… Let’f fafe it, Lrrr : you ale on pal wiv ve Kabedveddianf. And all your ftratedvies have failed fo far. You may want to fight till ve laft one of your foldierv, but your enemiev would fertainly do ve fame. I am ve only one vat can bling you victoly. Now, ve queftion iv : do you leally want to pay ve light plife for vif ?”

Leela tried to catch every words of the conversation. Whatever Vile was up to, he was obviously working with the Omicronians for bringing an end to the war as quick as possible. The next minutes were certainly going to be decisive for the future of this war, and she couldn’t believe she was there, in a broom closet, assisting to the most stunning turn in this crisis…

Leela’s tension suddenly gained a new level. Fry was giggling. She immediately looked at the young man, enraged. He really was about to burst out laughing.

“- Fry !” Her angry tone couldn’t hide her fear that someone may hear them. “Quiet !
- I… I try… Said a Fry who could hardly restrain himself. But… Listen to him… He just can’t… Mrrmf…
- Dammit, what the hell is wrong with you ?!” Bender was fuming as much as Leela. “Shut up ! You’ll get us killed !
- I know… But… He’s… And…Prrrrr…”

Literally frightened to death, Leela was looking anxiously at the meeting. For the moment, nobody heard Fry : Lrrr and Vile were haggling over the price of whatever service the criminal genius was supposed to offer. She looked again at Fry. The young man was trying so hard to not laugh he was turning red. Some tears were coming out of his eyes, which were closed so tightly that it was giving him wrinkles.

“- Oh boy, he won’t hold for long ! Said Leela.
- Leave this to me !”

Bender opened his chest cavity and got a pair of apparently unclean socks out of it. He immediately rolled them, and grabbing Fry’s mouth, he putted them in it. Surprised, the young man immediately forgot what was making him want to laugh. He instead started to look nauseous.

“- There ! Said Bender. No more problem now !
- Good, replied Leela. But… You’re sure he’s not suffocating ?
- I don’t give a damn about this, eyeball !”

Leela gave another look at the assembly in the docking bay. She sighed of relief : nobody heard them at all. For once, they were lucky, which was a novelty she was really appreciating. She tried to get back to the conversation Vile and Lrrr were engaged into, and looking at what was going on, she didn’t miss anything important. However, Lrrr didn’t look extremely pleased.

“- 3 billion earthican dollars ? Don’t make me laugh, Vile ! We agreed for 2 and a half !
- I had fome unekfpected ekfpenfiv… What you akfed me to give you ivn’t vat eavy to make, even leff to delivel wivout anybody fufpecting anyfing…
- Bah ! Stop trying to fool us !” Ndnd finally decided to take a part in the discussion, apparently to his husband’s great displeasure. “Why would we trust you anyway ?”

Vile smiled. The kind of smile that gives goose bumps to the person who it is addressed to.

“Fkeptical ? I can underftand. Vat’f  why I blought fomefing that will allay youl fealv. Gentlemen ?”

The door leading to Vile’s ship opened, revealing two large muscular goons, wearing the uniform of Vile’s henchmen (black military outfits, with a red V on the heart, complete with black leather boots). The two soldiers were carrying a large crate. Having made some steps in the docking bay, they posed it just near Vile, and then stood to attention, their arms behind their back. Vile pulled a small remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button on it. The metallic crate opened up, revealing its content. Which made Leela swallow her saliva, and almost her tongue with it.

It was a doomsday device. The look of it was a bit different of the one the professor made one day, but she couldn’t be mistaken.

Now, she knew what was going on. The doomsday devices, because of their monstrous destructive power, were banned by the DOOP, to the point that a moratorium had been established for preventing any nation in the universe to possess one or to try to make one. The professor was lucky that the DOOP never heard he was able to make them, otherwise he would have been automatically executed. The moratorium was so strong that even the Omicronians had never been able to develop a doomsday device, which has been a source of tension with the DOOP for quite a moment. But if Vile would ever sell one to them, it wouldn’t be long before their scientists would be able to make their own. Which would quickly bring an end to the war, but would certainly lead the universe to the chaos.

Like what happened when Luxemburg got the atomic bomb.

Vile smiled again, as his little performance made quite an impression on the Omicronians : everyone was staring at the weapon with terrified and yet greedy eyes. Lrrr tried to smile before talking again, but it obviously was not such a sincere smile.

“Well, it looks like we’ve got all the reasons to believe you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, we’ve got a better offer to make…”

Leela looked at the Omicronians. They all recovered from the shock, apparently. But they also were slowly trying to reach their weapons. The young woman had an idea of their “offer”. Vile was still smiling.

“I wouldn’t do vif if I were you, Llll. What you fee hele is a neutlalived velsion of the leal bomb. It iv completely uveleff… Unleff I had the detonator, vat I have calefully hidden in a plafe I’m ve only one to know. Kill me, and you’ll nevel be able to make it wolk ol to leplodufe it. Fo, I fink you’d better fink twife about my offel. Othelwise… I fink ve Kabedveddianf would gladly pay…”

The Omicronians stopped to try to draw their guns. Everyone of them began to look at each other, confused and unable to see what they should do. Lrrr had lost his smile, and was now considering all the new elements. That didn’t take him too long to take a decision.

“- Alright. We agree. When will we have the package ?
- Vely foon, my fliend. In two dayv, in ve fame hour van today, I’ll meet you in ve mouf of the only volcano on vif planet, on the equatol. Bling youl planet’s cledit cald, and it’d bettel be in cledit. On my fide, I’ll bling a fully funcfional devife.”

Vile pressed another button on his remote, and the crate closed itself on its own. Vile made a small gesture to his henchmen. The goons immediately grabbed the crate and began to get back to their boss’s ship. Vile bowed, as a salute to the Omicronian leaders.

“It’f a pleavure making buvineff wiv you. You won’t be difappointed. Fol I am Delek Vile, and I alwayv lespect my commitmentf.”

Vile then turned feet, making his cape float in the air in a very dramatic manner. He soon got back to the footbridge leading to his ship, which was already preparing to take off. Only a few minutes after he left the docking bay, the sounds that were indicating he was going away were resounding in the great room.

As soon as they were sure that Vile was gone, Lrrr and the rest of the Omicronians looked at each other, a bit insecure about the way it turned out, and finally began to go out of the room. Leela could still hear them commenting what happened.

“- I wasn’t really expecting this to happen this way… Said Lrrr.
- How surprising… Said a condescending Ndnd.
- Don’t start with this again, female ! You weren’t exactly more brilliant than us in this mess !
- No, but I wouldn’t have done in the first place ! We can’t trust that human !
- You think I trust him ? Of course I don’t ! But he’s the only one who can bring us what we need, so we’ve got no other choices left than doing what he wants !
- Our whole race is ashamed… Being forced to listen to the conditions of one single man…
- If you ever say this is all my fault, I’ll make sure you’ll see your stupid father again !”

The Omicronians were finally out of the docking bay. Soon, all the lights turned out, leaving the whole place in the dark. In the broom closet, Leela was still as tensed as a few minutes before. Waiting, listening carefully to any signs of activities, she let a few minutes pass to be sure that they were safe now. She finally turned to Bender.

“- It’s okay, now. I think we can come out.
- It’s about time ! Said the robot. I was about to get into sleep mode ! What’s the plan, now ?
- What do you think, moron ? We get back to the Nimbus, and then we wake Zapp up for telling him what happened !”

The robot gave a surprised look at the young woman. He obviously wasn’t liking the sound of this.

“- What ? Why would we do this ? We’ve got nothing to do with this !
- Bender, do you realize what could happen ? If the Omicronians really get a doomsday device, nobody would be able to face them !
- So what, they’ll win that war. Big deal ! I’m not against seeing a whole race of freaks disappear !
- Dammit, think for once ! With such power, they could destroy everybody, and this includes the Earth !
- Then we’ll live on another planet, it’s not as if we only had this one !”

Leela slapped her forehead. Why did he always have to make everything difficult !

“- Bender, I don’t think there will still be other planets when they’d have finished their rampage ! Now, we do as I say, and you’d better follow me if you don’t want me to reactivate your patriotism chip !
- Damn, always menaces ! Alright, alright… But how will you explain to Brannigan what we were doing here ?
- That’s your problem, Bender ! We wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have this stupid idea !”

As Bender was about to reply, Leela suddenly heard the noise made by something which was falling. In the same time, she suddenly got pushed to the door. Crushed against it, she however manage to turn her head to see what happened. What she saw only managed to make her even angrier at Bender.

“- Bender, wake him up ! Man, why did you use this for making him shut up ?!?
- Hey, it’s not my fault if he doesn’t clean his socks more often !”
Bending Unit
« #21 : 03-10-2007 15:15 »

No taco for Morbo (part 14)

Leela wasn’t really enjoyed to do this, but she really didn’t have much choice. Standing in front of Zapp’s door, she hesitated a long time. Was it really a such good idea to wake him up ? After all, she already knew how he would interpret this… But on the other hand, he was supposed to watch the whole area and to put an end to any illegal activities. Yeah, but once again he would try to put her in his bed, and she would certainly not have the patience to bear his idiocy…

“Oh, come on, Leela, just ring that bell, so that it would finally end !”

Leela looked behind her, particularly pissed by Bender’s “encouragement”. The robot and Fry were just on her footsteps, waiting for the rest. At least, that was a bit reassuring. Maybe their presence would keep Zapp from attempting anything stupid…

“- What do you think ? Just give me some time ! I’m doing this by pleasure !
- Except the first time…”

Looking at the eye of Leela, Bender immediately knew it wasn’t really the best moment for a joke.

“- Oh come on ! Said Bender. Just call him and explain him the situation so that we could finally have a well-deserved rest !
- Errr, Leela, ventured Fry, are you going to tell him why we were in the Omicronian headquarters ?
- Shhh, not so loud, Fry ! I’ll try to avoid saying anything about this, but if he ever ask something, I won’t be able to hide it to him !”

Fry looked at his feet, feeling bad.

“- Well, I hope the DOOP cells aren’t too ugly…
- Been there, said Bender. Not really worthy of a palace, but they’re still better off than your apartment…
- I guess they’re cleaner, anyway… Now, shush ! I’m the one talking !”

Leela looked again at the little bell next to Zapp’s door. If someone ever told him a few days before she would willingly use it… But it wasn’t time for slowing down anymore. Trying to prepare herself for what would happen next, she finally pressed the button. She wasn’t really surprised to hear, instead of the traditional “ding-dong !”, a short sample of a Barry White song.

However, she wasn’t expecting the door to be opened immediately. And what she saw behind it.

Zapp was just at the threshold, leaning against the wall and sporting one of his lusty smiles. He was wearing nothing but a red bathrobe, and he was holding a rose behind his teeth. She could see he was holding an opened champagne bottle and two empty champagne glasses.

“Well, hello, Leela, tried to say Zapp, despite the rose. I waj ekshpecting you…”

I took a short moment for Leela to get back to her senses. Shaking her head a bit for clearing her thought, she tried to speak, but that was more difficult than expected. Behind her, Fry and Bender were staring at the DOOP captain with wide opened eyes, feeling they should better go away before they would see something else they couldn’t unsee.

“- What… The… Staggered Leela. Zapp, what does it mean exactly ?
- Pleaje Leela, don’t act aj if you didn’t want to join me tonight !
- Wait a second… You spent the entire night here waiting for me ?!?
- Yesh… Looksh like it wajn’t in vain !”

Leela was now finally enough put together for determining how to react. She rubbed her eye, trying to put her anger away and to stay calm as much as possible.

“- Alright… I would certainly say that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, but I’ve known you for years now, so I don’t know why I’m that surprised… Anyway, don’t place making false hopes, Zapp. I’ve got important things to tell you…
- I’m shure I’ll like je shound of it…
- And for God’s sake, put that freakin’ flower away ! I’ve heard enough people lisping today !”

Turning his head away, Zapp spat the rose, which felt on the floor and made a disgusting wet sound as it was covered with his dribble. Of course. That was too much asking him to put it on a table or something…

“- Better ? Said Zapp, still smiling. Now, how about a fine glass of champagne ? Sure, it went flat, but it’s still good… Next time I’ll wait for you to come before opening it…
- First : I’m impressed you’ve finally learned to say ‘champagne’. Second : you can put that bottle in a place where it would age finely without seeing the daylight anymore. And prevent you from sitting for a couple months.
- Ooooh, I see… We’re going straight to the action, aren’t we ? I can understand : preliminaries are such a waste of time !”

Zapp threw both the bottle and the glasses away, and began to walk to Leela. The various objects broke on the floor, spreading champagne and hundreds of glass shards everywhere on the carpet. Leela instinctively adopted a combat stance, before remembering it wouldn’t be a good idea to beat the captain up when she needed his help.

“- Zapp, for the last time, I didn’t come for that, and I would never do ! Why would have I brought my crew members with me if it was the case ?
- Well, if you’re in this kind of stuff, I’d be glad to…
- You didn’t always say that…”

Zapp added to those last words a quick blink that almost pushed her to rip his eyelid off. But she somehow managed to refrain herself before making a blunder. Taking a deep breath for helping herself to calm down, she finally managed to adopt the most dignified stance she could have.

“Zapp, the Omicronians are about to obtain a doomsday device.”

Brannigan finally stopped to smile. In a way, that surprised Leela, as it seems he wasn’t dumb enough for not knowing what it could imply.

“- Really ? Said Zapp.
- Yes. I don’t know how they’ve done it, but they’ve contacted Derek Vile – Or maybe he’s the one who contacted them – and he’s supposed to sell them a fully functional bomb in a couple of days.
- Mmmmh… Is this illegal ?”

Leela’s eye narrowed. She was sure that controlling herself that hard would give her an ulcer later.

“- It is condemned by a DOOP moratorium, about 54 bilateral and multilateral interstellar agreement, the public opinion and Al Gore, so yes, I think it’s illegal.
- And why would they want to get one ?
- Zapp, said Leela after having sighed, you lead many wars, right ?
- Let’s just say I won many ! I managed to get a recommendation from the DOOP saying that my few defeats were Kif’s fault.
- And when you made them, you did want to squash your enemies as fast as possible, okay ?
- Of course ! Especially those baby seals from Alaskania 8. Those little furry creatures were so cute and innocent that my soldiers didn’t want to kill them, I had to use napalm.
- Well, the Omicronians want the same in this war, except that they don’t mind getting illegal weaponry that they would be able to reproduce.”

Zapp rubbed his chin, meditating Leela’s words. She was almost sure to hear strange noises, such the ones made by an antic mechanical clock. She wondered what could have produced them…

“- Mmmmmmh… I’m not an expert of this kind of diplomacy…
- Really ? Whispered Bender in Fry’s ear. There’s a kind of diplomacy he masters ?
- … But isn’t it one of those case where a DOOP captain has to take measures ?
- That’s why we came to you, said Leela, almost happy he finally was getting to the point. Especially as you’re supposed to make sure that there would be no illicit activities in this sector. And I think that a criminal mastermind making arms traffic comes into your responsibility.
- Well, I’m not buying it !”

Leela wasn’t the only one to be surprised by Zapp’s answer. Behind her back, Fry and Bender quickly looked at each other, wondering if they had really heard what they thought they had heard. They took care to stand out as long as necessary, letting Leela trying to settle this situation.

“- You’re not… Said Leela, both puzzled and angry. What ?
- I would know if someone was illegally rushing in this territory ! After all, I’ve spotted your eye-catching butt as soon as it posed a foot here ! I didn’t hear anything about that Derek Pile lately, so I think you’re just making yourself an excuse for coming back to me !
- For God’s sake, Zapp !” Leela was now beginning to lose her temper. “First of all, I don’t see how a butt could pose a foot. And second, we’re talking about Derek Vile ! That guy has access to the finest military technologies in the world, and if he can’t have something, he invents it ! He certainly knows how to make his ship invisible to radars !
- Ha ! No invisibility cloak can hide yourself from my infallible intuition ! I would immediately have felt that something like this was happening, only by having a look at the Omicronians !
- Then explain to me how they brought laserguns in the negotiations’ room, although they were supposed to be disarmed !
- They told me they were hairdryers.

Zapp waved his hand in an attitude that was indicating he was rejecting Leela’s objection as if it had absolutely no importance.

“- I don’t have to take care of all the details, Kif is here for this… And there’s something else that’s still bugging me off.
- And what is it, exactly ?
- How do you know they want to have a doomsday device ?”

Leela stood still for a small moment. The most difficult moment. Fry and Bender’s tensions also went higher to reach a significant level. They would have to play it smoothly, but they knew that as they were facing Zapp, their lies may still work.

“- We… We accidentally assisted to a meeting between Derek Vile and the Omicronian leaders.
- In their headquarters ?”

Leela swallowed a big gulp of her saliva. It would be dangerous to lie about this part, as it would ease the Omicronians’ denial, but telling the truth may be very dangerous too. She couldn’t see what other path she could take…

“- Yes.
- And what were you doing there ?
- I was searching for those two.” Leela pointed Fry and Bender, who began to whistle innocently and to look to the roof, which apparently was fascinating. “They sometimes have sleepwalking crisis. And unfortunately, this time it lead them to the Omicronians’ quarters ?
- Is that true, you two ?”

Fry and Bender knew they couldn’t just ignore Zapp’s question. There was only one reasonable thing to do, but maybe they were putting a bit too much enthusiasm in this.

“- Oh yes, totally ! Said Fry. Sleeping like logs, we were !
- Yep, didn’t realize a single thing before Leela woke us up ! Said Bender. We’re glad she always has an eye… I mean, that she’s here to help us with our tragic disease, that can by the way unfortunately lead us to unwillingly take everything that is on our paths and doesn’t belong to us…”

Zapp scratched his chin once again, thinking about the young man’s and the robot’s declaration. The next following seconds were extremely tensed for the three Planet Express employees, but Leela’s anguish was a bit disturbed by those strange mechanical noises that she was hearing again…

“- Alright… Said Zapp after unbearably long seconds. That sounds plausible. But that’s still not enough, Leela. Do you have any proofs of what you’re talking about ?
- What ? Said Leela, still a bit dizzied that Zapp believed their lie. Errr, no… I told you, we accidentally fell on this meeting, and we tried to get out of their headquarters as fast as possible, so we didn’t take time to…
- Can’t your robot here record everything he sees and hears ?”

That simple question managed to give hope to Leela. Why didn’t she think of this ? With Bender’s testimony, she would certainly prove everything to Zapp !

“- Of course, he can ! Bender, show him !
- Sorry, eyeball, replied the robot, I can’t.”

The look Leela gave at the robot was the most blatant indication that she wasn’t expecting this.

“- What ?!? Bender, it’s a standard feature on every robot !!!
- Well, that’s a very funny story… Said the robot, now a bit embarrassed. See, there’s that robot mafia godfather I tried to blackmail by recording one of his meeting with his goons recently, who didn’t want to play the game. He basically ripped my recording unit and all its memory out of my intern circuitry, and only let me live because I told him where Tiny Tim was hiding from him… And, well, since that incident, I still didn’t receive my new recorder.”

Leela seriously considered beating the crap out of the robot, but she resigned at the very last moment, as for once he didn’t have anything to do with this situation. Not entirely, at least. The young woman sighed, and at the same time, her shoulders collapsed.

“- Oh great…
- Hey, they said it would be here in two weeks ! Said the robot. It’s not my fault if they didn’t have a single one in stock !
- That’s a really interesting story, said Zapp, but I think it means you don’t have a proof, so I don’t see why I would believe you !
- Please, Zapp !” Leela was getting back to her former angry self. “You’re in charge of the security in this zone ! Can’t you at least take all the measures for being sure the Omicronians would not even try to do this ?
- I can and I would if I wasn’t within reach of their artillery. Now, if you give me enough time for getting out of the Axholish quadrant, I’d be glad to give the order to the Nimbus to start an investigation !
- Great !
- Of course, that would mean it would be destroyed in a matter of minutes, leading my men to die in a gruesome way, but as long as I would be safe, that wouldn’t be a problem !”

Leela looked at Zapp. The captain wasn’t joking at all ; he wasn’t warning her either. And now that she was thinking about it, it was making sense. There was no way the Omicronians would welcome the DOOP and let them investigate their headquarters. Those creatures would rather start a universal war against the DOOP in such a case. And considering the forces the DOOP deployed in the sector at the moment, they would squish them in a blink… She immediately understood what it was meaning : they just couldn’t count on Zapp on this one.

Strangely, she almost heard a voice in her head yelling “Told you so !”.

“- Forget about this. I guess it means you won’t do anything at all, am I right ?
- Certainly not ! Not about this ridiculous story of arms traffic and whatever !” Zapp suddenly leant forward and looked in Leela’s eye, smiling once again like the sexual predator he was. “Now, if we can get back to the reason of your visit…
- Zapp, you’re that close to suffer !” Leela, exasperated by the captain’s refusal, was very close to forget she wasn’t supposed to make any harm to him. “Say one more word suggesting that you’d like me to sleep and with you, and I swear I’ll… Zapp, your lips are bleeding…”

The expression of surprise that appeared on Zapp’s face was perfectly reflecting the real value of the captain : for a second, Zapp looked like a moonfish that ran aground on a beach. Passing the tip of his fingers on his lips, he realized that Leela was right. Now, the three Planet Express employees were wondering what happened. Zapp, after having examined his fingers for a while, then gave a quick look at the rose he spat a bit earlier, and especially at his thorns. The answer of this mystery was pretty easy to unfold.

“Whoopsie… Maybe I should have taken a tulip, or a magnolia, or a water lily…”

Zapp quickly turned his feet and began to rush in his room, heading to the bathroom. He however took a moment for turning to Leela.

“Wait for me a second, gorgeous, and I can tell we’ll… OUCH !!!”

This time, Zapp grabbed his left foot and began to jump on the other, obviously suffering a lot. Leela didn’t have to make an investigation to understand that it was now the broken bottle of champagne’s turn to avenge her from Zapp’s behaviour. The captain finally fell on the floor, screaming of pain and crying like a little baby. For a few seconds, Fry, Leela and Bender wondered if they would help him or not… But the answer came pretty quickly to their mind.

“Well, looks like you’re busy… Said Leela. Sorry, we gotta go. See you tomorrow !”

The three friends quickly turned round and rushed in the ship’s corridors, heading to their rooms. They didn’t have to worry, after all : with all the row Zapp was kicking up, it wouldn’t be long before would go to his help. And anyway, his wounds weren’t that serious. A few plasters, and there would be nothing to cry about the next morning.

Leela quickly summed up. They were in the middle of a great conspiracy. Zapp was the only one who could have helped them, and yet they had nothing to hope from his part. There was a risk that the Omicronians would learn that they knew, and it would happen, it would be as if they were already dead. And now that she was thinking about it, she let Zoidberg alone, unsupervised, and knowing him, he would certainly have put himself in an embarrassing situation that would give her even more headaches.

And yet, she was refraining herself from bursting out laughing.
Bending Unit
« #22 : 03-14-2007 13:27 »

No taco for Morbo (part 15)

The two following days were particularly… Strange. Zapp quickly recovered from his wounds, which greatly displeased Leela as he went back to his usual harassment. The young woman tried a few other times to ask him to do something, but it proved to be useless : Zapp was constantly repeating her that he didn’t have to do anything, especially not beginning to ask Lrrr and Ndnd what they were planning as he still wanted to get out of those negotiations alive. But he also was keeping on saying that she had no reasons to worry, as he would certainly success in making the two civilizations get to an agreement.

It only managed to frighten Leela even more about the outcome of the negotiations.

As they were still forced by Zapp to assist to the discussions (except Zoidberg who, still scared by how his last performance in the negotiations room ended, was exempted), she knew perfectly that it wasn’t going very well. The two sides had absolutely no desire to make their armies leave this quadrant, and they were both still claiming Plainrock 1246 as being their legitimate property. This entire situation was extremely fascinating, in a sense : both the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians weren’t taking the fact that they could do absolutely nothing with that planet into account, not even establishing an outpost there. The fact that the Neutral technicians had to change the air fresheners almost everyday was telling how difficult it could be to have a constant presence on this planet. And the idea that one day the station would not be supplied with such technology was giving everyone nightmares.

The talks weren’t as tensed as the first day, however… Apparently, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were discovering they had some common tastes, especially in their conceptions of diplomacy. At one moment, they often diverged from the primal concern during almost one hour and talked about the various funny tortures they elaborated for taking care of what they called ‘lesser beings’ – in other words, every other species in the universe. They exchanged tips about some tools, telling to the other what to do and what not to do according the victim’s anatomy. Leela even saw Lrrr and Trago tell their ‘opponents’ their funniest anecdotes about this. Morbo, who was still participating as well, even managed to make the Omicronian leader laugh with one of his remarks about one of his Commander’s tale. Nobody on the DOOP table tried to stop them, considering that all the officers, wherever they came from, realized the creatures already tortured at least one of their kind. For example, Kif certainly didn’t want to know that electrocuting an amphibian could result in his complete melting – which was apparently very funny to watch if you are a Kabejjedian, but not very efficient if you want him to talk afterwards.

However, they were sharing a common point that was annihilating all of Zapp’s efforts to find an agreement : there were no ways they would renounce to their claims. And although they were now talking in a cordial way, they were still saying they would wipe out the other. At least, they wouldn’t urinate on their mass graves afterwards, like they usually do with their enemies.

During the two following days, at the negotiations room, Leela was constantly watching the Omicronians, feeling particularly tensed. She was trying to see in their eyes and attitudes if they knew she knew about their meeting with Derek Vile. Sometimes, she could have sworn she saw one of the Omicronian ambassadors look her in a menacing way, but then again, we are talking about the Omicronians… It’s if he had looked at her with friendly eyes that there would be something wrong. She was constantly fearing that they would threaten them for making them shut up definitely, but the fact they were still alive after two days was somehow reassuring : Omicronians aren’t adepts of discreet assassinations. If they wanted to kill them, they would do it immediately, no matter if there would be witnesses or not.

Of course, there was still the Zapp factor… Although she was at first reluctant, the fact he always wanted her by his side was allowing Leela to keep an eye on him and to be sure he wouldn’t accidentally tell the Omicronians what she told him. Zapp wasn’t stupid enough for ignoring what would happen if the aliens learned what happened, but it wasn’t guaranteeing he wouldn’t put his foot in it. So far, nothing bad happened, but Leela knew too well it could go wrong in any moment…

Fry and Bender were obviously trying to forget what they saw, as a simple survival instinct. It could have been easier for the robot to do this if, as he had a computer instead of a brain, he just decided to delete this part of his life from his memory, but he finally decided to keep it just for the case he could have sold it to the highest bidder. Of course, it was a lot more difficult for Fry. Leela feared he would accidentally tell the truth, but he was shaking with fear and wasn’t able to say a single word as long as there would be an Omicronian around them, there wasn’t anything to fear from him. The two friends were, as well as Leela, forced to stay in the negotiations room during the whole talks, and they were spending it sweating (leaking oil in the case of Bender) and hoping nobody would look at them. Zoidberg was feeling a bit better now that he was forced by the DOOP and the Neutrals to avoid being in the same room as a Kabejjedian or an Omicronian for his own safety, but the fact he was complaining he couldn’t find proper owl faeces was telling Leela he still was acting like one of those goddamn flying vermin… And she was wondering why would he ever need those things. She would certainly take a few minutes during her spare time for trying to bring him back to his former self if she wasn’t already concentrating on the plot that was taking place just under Zapp’s nose.

On a more positive note, the Planet Express ship’s repairing was getting pretty fast. The DOOP technicians were doing their best for this. The following day after the meeting between Vile and Lrrr, it finally was in working order. The technicians even repainted the ship, which seriously needed a cleaning after everything it went through during the last months. When Leela asked the repairmen why they put so much effort in this, as she was sincerely impressed by their performance, they simply replied, after having made themselves sure any officers weren’t there, that it was a compensation for having to bear Zapp’s presence. Leela really appreciated that intention, considering that Zapp still was harassing her despite his refusal of helping her. It was getting to the point she destroyed the ring bell of her door and had constantly earplugs put on for not hearing Zapp knocking on her door.

However, that didn’t stop her from trying to find a way out to their situation. So, she couldn’t count on Zapp’s help despite all her efforts for convincing the captain. But Brannigan was too proud to admit such a violation of the interstellar treaties could happen under his jurisdiction, and too coward for carrying out a discreet investigation. So, she tried to approach Kif. The Amphibian immediately believed her and was much more aware of the consequences of such an act, but unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything without Zapp’s approval… He just wasn’t ranked enough for being able to give the necessary orders on his own in such a case. Something managed to give some hopes to Leela, however : he could appoint men of his own for making sure the Omicronians wouldn’t manage to murder them if the aliens ever discovered the truth, a protection that would be as invisible as possible for not giving the creatures some reasons to worry.

But the non-commissioned officer also told her something that made her think : he said that if they would ever try to do something from their own, something he couldn’t back considering the risks, he would however close his eyes and try to cover them as much as he could.

She already had thought about this, but this small conversation reinforced an idea she had. She just couldn’t stay there, her arms crossed. One of the fiercest alien civilizations was about to acquire the most dangerous weapon in the universe, and she knew perfectly what disasters it could bring. Ravaged worlds. Chaos. Death. And the official authorities weren’t doing anything for preventing it, because they weren’t trusting her or just hadn’t the powers to do this.

But Fry, Bender, Zoidberg and her… Well, they were civilians, right ? In this case, they had no score to settle with nobody (except their employer, but from what she gathered from her calls to Earth, the professor already began to look for a new crew…), and according to Kif, the DOOP often uses mercenaries for undercover missions, ones that couldn’t be fulfilled by their official forces without leading to diplomatic tensions. So, if they decide to act, the DOOP couldn’t be accused of anything. They wouldn’t be helped either, but Leela knew she had to take the risk. We were talking about the peace of the entire universe, after all, and noone else but her could do anything…

And of course, that would make quite a sensation on her résumé.

As soon as she learned that their ship was fully functional, she took her decision. The night before the new meeting between Vile and the Omicronians, Leela went to see Fry and Bender and tell them her intentions. She found them in the middle of a game of cards, as they didn’t have that many distractions now. Fry immediately stopped concentrating on his game and saluted her. Something in his expression was telling Leela he was glad to be interrupted.

“- Oh, hi Leela ! What’s up ?
- A lot of things, Fry… But before, how is the game ?
- Gah ! Tell me about it !” Fry was obviously pissed, now that she really was paying attention. “I’ve already lost my entire salary of the month !
- Poker again ? Bender, what did I tell you about cheating…
- What ?!” Something sounded wrong in Bender’s indignation. “Hey, do I come to your place and call you a bitch, eyeball ? I won fair and square !
- Then why is there a minicamera on Fry’s collar ?”

Surprised, Fry pulled his collar to have a better look. There was indeed a small camera, the size of a button, stuck on it, and it was directly disposed so that it would easily shoot his cards. Fry quickly understood that the camera was transmitting its recording to Bender’s intern processors. Annoyed again, the young man took the camera off and looked at the robot.

“- You told me my bow tie was crooked !
- Fry, you don’t even wear a bow tie… Said Leela. Why did you believe him in the first place ?
- Well, who knows ? Maybe I decided to wear one today… I’m not supposed to remember everything I do ! As for you, do not hope I’ll give you your money !”

Furious, Bender threw his cards away. Crossing his arms on his chest, he then looked at Leela with angry eyes.

“- So why did you come anyway, big boots ? You just wanted to piss me off or what ?
- Stop thinking everything revolves around you, Bender !
- Well, when I was a God, it was the case, so you’ll talk nonsense like this when it would have happened to you !”

Leela remained perfectly calm. She already had enough problems dealing with Zapp, so she really wasn’t in the mood for arguing with Bender. And she was already preoccupied by what she was about to tell them for going further.

“- Moving on… I need to tell you something important to the both of you. It’s about the Omicronians…
- Oh please, said Bender, I’m already trying to forget they could kill us in any moment if they ever hear we were…
- Shhhh, Bender !” Said Leela, putting a finger in front of her mouth for making him understand he wouldn’t talk that loud. “The men on this ship mustn’t hear anything about this story ! The less people would know, the better !
- Oh. I see.
- Good. Now listen…” Leela whispered from this moment. “The Omicronians are supposed to get that doomsday device tomorrow night, but Zapp won’t do anything to stop this. Kif can’t help us either. But if this ever happens, that would be dramatic for the universe balance. You both realize this ?
- Of course ! Said Fry.
- You told that a thousand times already, said Bender.
- Great, said Leela. Now, on the other hand, if we tell the Kabejjedians, they would immediately stop the negotiations and continue this war…
- Err, sorry for asking, said Fry, but wouldn’t they do this anyway ?
- Of course, but they would also accuse the DOOP of having done nothing – which, to be fair, would be true – and they would immediately attack the organization as well… Wiping out this camp, the Nimbus, all the DOOP forces in the perimeter and us in the same process…
- Well, now I’m REALLY sorry for having asked…
- The only way to get out of this is to manage to prevent this meeting from happening, without the Omicronians, the Kabejjedians or Zapp knowing what happened. Someone has to go find Vile and neutralize his bomb before anything goes wrong.
- And who would do this ?”

Leela looked at Fry. The young man had no idea of who she was talking about. And apparently, neither was Bender, as he was still sitting quietly, his arms crossed and waiting for the rest. The Cyclops took a deep breath. Now was the most difficult part.


It had the exact effect Leela was expecting. Both Fry and Bender’s eyes nearly exploded, or at least gave the impression of having their volume quadrupled. Fry was completely stunned by Leela’s idea, but Bender, on the other hand, quickly reached his volume button and turned it to the lowest level. He was still aware that they had to be quiet if they didn’t want anyone to get his nose in their secret conversation.

- Leela, listen, I know that you feel concerned by this mess, but come on ! Bender is right, we would only get killed !
- Of course I’m right !!! Dammit, the professor needs me for his casino, and on my side, I need that money !
- Can’t you think of something else than money for once, Bender ? Said Leela. If the Omicronians acquire this bomb, there would be no planets in the universe that could be spared.
- How exactly ? We’re not implicated by this war… Well, we won’t be when we’d be back home…
- Yeah. Just find a way for us to get back to Earth without being noticed, and…
- For now, it’s impossible. Should we succeed in getting through the DOOP block, we’d be targeted in by one of the armies. According to the last information I’ve gathered, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians are surrounding the planet from every directions.
- That still doesn’t give us a reason for trying to sabotage this thing ! Said Fry. We’re not warriors or whatever, and we’re talking not only about murderous monsters, but also from the most dangerous criminal in activity.”

Leela sighed. Something made Fry hesitate about his decision. Not being sure if he had to try to convince her to renounce, he waited for the rest of her explanations.

“I know, Fry. But you’ve got to understand me… I can’t stay there, waiting for the Armageddon to come, without trying to do something to prevent it. I just wanted to warn you. I was planning to do this alone anyway ; that way, if I get caught, you wouldn’t be accused of spying for the Kabejjedians by the Omicronians or Zapp. Now, if you excuse me… But I must go immediately. Our ship is not heavily guarded during the night, and that’s my only chance to take it without being noticed.”

Leela stood up, now that she had finished. Leaving her two co-workers, she began to walk to the door… But suddenly she felt someone grabbing her arm. Turning her head, she realized it was Fry, looking worried. Bender was apparently as surprised as her.

“There’s no way I’d let you go alone, Leela. I’m coming with you.”

The surprise made Bender jump on his feet. The robot grabbed the young man and forced him to watch him in the eyes.

“- What the hell is wrong with you meatbags ? Dying for such a stupid cause ? You won’t even be granted your own desert island with dozens of whores if you succeed by your God only knows what kind of luck !!!
- Fry, what did I tell you ?” Leela was trying to sound angry, but she was mainly stunned by Fry’s proposal. “Your only chance to stand out of trouble is to stay here !
- Yeah, I heard this, said Fry, looking at Leela, but don’t think I would do what you say ! We’ve been in many dangerous situations, but we always survived, and you know why ? Because we were together !
- Think a bit, Fry ! You’re the one who always puts us in some deep trouble, and Leela is always the one who gets us out of it !
- That doesn’t change a thing !”

Fry managed to get out of the robot’s grasp. He was looking so determined that Leela decided to listen to what he would have to say before having to dissuade him. Fry looked at her again

“You’ve always been here to help Bender and me, Leela. For once, I want to pay you back every single time you saved our asses, shiny and metal or not ! The only way for you to stop me would be to knock me out !”

Bender perfectly heard those last words. Opening his chest cacity, he got a crowbar out of it and raised it as he was about to hit Fry with it. As the young man was turning his back to him, he couldn’t realize what was bout to happen.

“- That’s something I can arrange !
- Bender, no !”

Surprised, the robot stopped. As he was wondering why Leela suddenly screamed at the robot, Fry turned out and finally noticed what his friend was considering to do. That made him moving away from Bender.

“Fry, are you serious ? You really want to come ?”

The young man looked at Leela again. He was getting back some of his previous determination now.

“Of course ! I’m scared as Hell, but I would never be able to look at myself in a mirror if I’d really let you go ! And as I can’t convince you to not do this, what else can I do ?”

Leela took a few seconds to think of what she would have to do. Waiting for her answer, Fry was trying to look as brave as he could, fearing that showing his fear would make her reject him. Finally, Leela looked at him.

“Alright. You can come.”

Fry smiled. Now that his anxiety was partially gone, he tried to make the atmosphere less tense by parodying a military salute.

“- Thank you, captain ! I won’t disappoint you !
- You’d better not, or else we’d get killed ! And you Bender ? You can still refuse to come with us…”

At first it seemed the robot would have screamed that he would of course do this, but Fry smiled once again when he saw his friend’s shoulders collapse and him sighing.

“- Curse you for making me feel guilty, bonesticks, something 7 consecutive judges never managed to do ! You won, I’m going with you !
- Thank you, buddy ! Said Fry.
- Screw you, dumbass !
- That’s really kind of you two, said Leela, whose turn it was to smile. But we’ve got to be very careful. That won’t be easy.
- Should we get Zoidberg ?
- No, I don’t think he’d be helpful in this, especially if we have to defend ourselves. He’d certainly be a nuisance.
- He already is, anyway…

Leela turned her feet and activated the room’s exit. Behind it, the corridor was silent. The Cyclops peeked an eye outside : noone could be seen. She turned again to face her friends.

“The way is clear. Let’s hurry. Time is against us.”
Bending Unit
« #23 : 03-18-2007 14:01 »

No taco for Morbo (part 16)

Bender carefully pulled one of his ocular sensors out of its orifice and made it look at the inner side of the Nimbus’ docking bay. Watching in every direction, he couldn’t see a single guard in there. Leela asked him what he saw as soon as he put his “eye” back.

“- Nobody in there, meatbag. I think we’re clean.
- Good, said the young woman. Let’s move out. We just can’t stay in there forever.”

Fry, Leela and Bender entered in the great room, making the less noise as possible. After all, they wouldn’t be sure they were safe until they would finally be out of the DOOP ship… Giving a second thought about it, Leela realized they wouldn’t be safe outside either, with the potential Omicronian ships that would be waiting for them out there, or even Vile himself… But for now, it would have been better to take care of one problem at once. First, flying away. The rest would come soon enough.

The Planet Express ship was parked on one side of the docking bay, looking as good as new after the repairs. Leela made a gesture to Fry and Bender to make them stop and stay where they were. Going from one shadow to another, she proceeded forward, trying to reach the ship without being noticed by anybody who would be there. But when she finally got to the ship’s steps, she understood she didn’t have to be that cautious : there were absolutely no guards in the docking bay. Commanding the opening of the ship’s access, she waved to her friends, indicating them there was nothing to fear. The robot and the young man joined her as fast as possible.

“- Alright, said Leela, still whispering. Now, here’s the plan : I’ll start the ship, but we can’t get out of here until the exit airlock would be opened. So, Bender, you’ve got to go to the main command of the door. It normally doesn’t work without a pass, so you’ll have to get in the system and to jam it.
- Can do. Screwing things up, it will be.
- I mean, put a virus in it, or break the code, whatever. Don’t go smash it with a hammer or anything.
- Of course I wouldn’t have done this ! I’m not that stupid !
- No, but you’re lazy and it would be easier. But it would also catch someone’s attention. And you’re holding a hammer right now.”

Bender put the tool back in his chest cavity, rumbling.

“- And me ? Asked Fry. What do I have to do ?
- Fill up the tank. I don’t want us to run out of fuel if we’d have to flee as fast as possible. Now, go ! We don’t have much time !”

The three friends immediately started their various missions. Leela got in the ship and immediately aimed to the cockpit ; Fry quickly found where the DOOP technicians were stocking the dark matter they needed for their ships. But they all knew Bender had to deal with the most difficult part. As every electronic system was more or less sentient, it would require more than just a few short-circuits for making the airlock open. The robot found the panel commanding the door and gave a look at its structure. At least, it had a socket, which would allow him to easily get inside the system. A small panel slid on the side of his head, and a plug got out of it. The robot grabbed it and pulled it out, revealing a wire that was several inches long, before plugging it in the socket. Immediately, he couldn’t see his surroundings anymore. His vision blurred, and for a few seconds, his entire world could be described as being a mass of floating green 1s and 0s. Finally, the transition to the digital world stopped.

From her point of view in the cockpit, Leela could see Bender staying still next to the panel, but the robot wasn’t in sleep mode or anything : his program was now inside the airlock’s system. Bender’s digital form was reduced to a holographic representation of his head, but it still had all its capacities. Bender took some height and watched everywhere to find the core of the system. Circuits, chips, other components… Ah ! Some kind of gigantic structure ! Bender flew in the direction of what looked like a skyscraper, which was obviously where the main system was resting. It didn’t take him too long for reaching the place. Finding an entrance, Bender got in the structure. The building was apparently completely hollow, save for a gigantic red tower of energy that was narrowing down to a point not so away from him, before thickening again under that section. Apparently, that tower was spinning on itself, but as soon as Bender got in the building, it slowed down. The robot finally could see that the energy tower had a face, which stopped abruptly for watching the newcomer. The face began to speak with a very loud and low tone.

- Hello, mister ACP, said Bender, sounding as relaxed as he could be. It’s just a fellow robot who wants to ask for a favour…
- Yeah, I’m sorry, but see it’s an emergency…
- I’d like to get out of here. Would you mind open that door for me, please ?
- Yeah, I know, but see, there’s a problem with the pass right now.
- Someone ate them.”

The ACP had very few facial features, but Bender could however see it wasn’t very convinced by his explanation.

- Well, there’s a Decapodian on board…
- An emergency. The captain ran out of massage oil.
- See the problem, now ? He appointed me for going find some of those for him. And I guess you know he doesn’t like to wait too long.
- Thanks, boss ! See you soon !
- RCP and TFCP ? Who are those guys ?
- Next Tuesday ? Sorry, I don’t think I’ll be back.
- Lemme guess… A lady ? Said Bender, smiling viciously.
- Good luck, then. And thanks again.

The ACP began to spin again on himself. Bender was wondering how that would help him to score with the lady, but after all, that was not his business. The robot disconnected himself from the system, and after some confusing seconds, he was finally back to the material world. That was always a bit confusing to suddenly get back to your body, and he always had the impression during a few seconds of having a bad hangover, but when he looked at the airlock leading to outer space, Bender saw it was really opening. He also noticed that the ACP didn’t forget to activate the force-field that was preventing any depressurisation but wouldn’t block any ships from coming in or out. Taking his plug out of the control panel, the robot began to rush to the ship. Getting inside, he immediately headed to the cockpit. He wasn’t surprised at all to find Leela and Fry, already installed at their usual seats. The two humans turned to look at him, as he was getting to his post as well.

“- Good job, Bender, said Leela.
- Hey, it was a piece of cake. After all…

Bender stopped. He finally noticed that now nobody could hear them anymore, so he reached his volume button and turned it on to finally speak normally.

“…After all, I’m…”

Bender turned the button again. He just went a bit too far.

“- … The best.
- Good to hear… I guess… Said Fry, his ears still ringing from the robot’s accidental shout.
- Okay, enough talk, said Leela. Time to get out of here.”

Leela activated the ship’s engines, which immediately made them float over the floor. The young woman made the legs retract and the whole ship heading to the exit. Now that the gate was wide opened, Leela made herself sure that they were properly facing the exit and that nothing was on their way. As everything seemed to be in order, she finally pulled the throttle at full level, and the ship immediately jumped in outer space. Once they got far enough from the Nimbus, Leela turned to face Bender.

“- Have we got an idea of where that volcano is ?
- What volcano ? Asked Fry.
- The one where they’re supposed to meet…
- They’re meeting in a volcano ? Talk about a cool evil lair…
- Not sure you should say ‘cool’, buddy, said Bender.
- Oh come on, Bender, that joke was already old when I got ‘frozen’ !
- Have the two of you finished ? Asked Leela, a bit annoyed. We’re kind of in a hurry, right now… So I’m asking you again, Bender : what direction for that volcano ?
- Hey, ‘chill’ out, big boots ! Man, I knew you had a heart of ‘ice’, but that’s just ‘cold’ coming from you to…
- And Fry was right, Bender : stop with those stupid puns !
- Pfuh… We should go 78° to the East and reach it in about half an hour.
- Thank you. You could be useful when you really want to.”

Bender collapsed in his seat, grumbling, but that didn’t really matter to Leela and Fry’s minds. Right now, they were more obsessed with what they would have to face. And now that they already went too far for getting back to the Nimbus, they weren’t that sure anymore that they took the right decision. They spent the following minutes silent, worried about what they embarked on, Leela concentrating on her piloting, Fry keeping an eye on the radar to see if any ships would appear, and Bender simply resting in his seat, smoking a cigar.

In fact, they were so tensed they in a first time didn’t hear Zoidberg coming in the cockpit.

“Oh, hello, friends ! You can’t sleep too ?”

The trio jumped of surprise… Which, in Leela’s case, nearly provoked a disaster as she lost the ship’s controls for a few seconds. She quickly restored the situation before an accident could happen, but when she turned her head to look behind her, she saw Fry, Bender and Zoidberg standing up as they all were thrown to the ground with those unexpected stunts. The young man was the first one to talk.

“- Doctor !? What the hell are you doing here ?!?
- Well, I was in my room, sleeping, but I had a nightmare which waked me up. So I decided to make a small walk for calming down, and…
- No no, I mean, here, in the ship !
- Ah ! This ! See, since I joined Gruber and his gang, I decided to stop sleeping in the trash. So, I needed my own nest ; but those guys from the DOOP wouldn’t let me build it in the Nimbus, so I took the liberty of making it inside our ship.
- You made a nest here !? Said Leela, incredulous. You must be kidding me !
- A bit. I couldn’t find proper nest materials, so I had to improvise. But that’s my nest nonetheless !
- And you made it with what exactly ? Asked Fry.
- Oh, some things I collected here and there…
- Trash ?”

Zoidberg looked at Bender, who asked him this last question. For a few seconds, he looked neutral, but then he seemed to be dejected and looked at his feet.

“- Yes…
- That sure is an improvement… Said Bender.
- What should we do, Leela ?” Said Fry, facing the young woman, who had got up of her seat after having activated the autopilot. “He wasn’t supposed to come with us !
- Why ? Asked the Decapodian. You were going somewhere ? By the way… Why are we flying ?
- Well, it’s too late for bringing him back in the Nimbus, and he would tell Zapp that we fled, said Leela. I don’t like this either, but we have to bring him with us.
- Just tell me, friends : what are you talking about ?”

Leela and Fry looked at each other. They were sharing the exact same thought : that really was the last thing that they needed in such a moment. Saying that the Decapodian would be a nuisance to them was a pleonasm. Fry however grabbed Zoidberg by his shoulder and took him out of the cockpit.

“- I’m gonna explain to you everything, said Fry, but first let’s go to the sick room…
- Why ? Asked Zoidberg. You need medications ?
- Sort of… Tell me, have we got something that would work as an antidepressant or a sedative for a lobster ?
- Errr… Yes, I think so…
- Good. Because we’re going to need a few of them…”

Starship Captain
« #24 : 03-18-2007 18:18 »

Hooray!  The next installment is in and it's better than ever!
Bending Unit
« #25 : 03-22-2007 13:36 »

No taco for Morbo (part 17)

Leela landed a bit away from the volcano’s top and hid the ship under some rocky formations, hoping that would be enough. She also tried to activate the camouflage unit, which was supposed the colour of the ship so that it would be mimicking the environment, but unfortunately it failed. The ship became fuchsia with green spots, yellow with black fishes painted on it, it took the colour of the tartan of the MacBain clan… She definitely turned it off when the ship took the colour of the Earthican flag. It really wasn’t the moment for claiming their origin… Fortunately, nobody seemed to be around, which made her think they hadn’t been spotted.

Then came the question of getting to the meeting point… One thing was sure : they’d have to get there by walking. Bender asked Leela if they could leave Zoidberg in the ship (using some of his own slang for describing what his opinion about the lobster was), but the Cyclops said he had to come. She wasn’t trusting him enough for being sure he wouldn’t do something stupid if he’d be left unsupervised. As a result, Fry had to wake the Decapodian up. They might have given him a bit too many sedatives a few minutes back…

There had enough space suits for all the organic members of the ship, even for Zoidberg. This planet was still cursed with a poisoned (and stinking) atmosphere, so Leela made herself sure they would have enough air for staying outside for several hours, for the walks and for acting there. But she also glued some of those scented little cardboard fir, as the planet’s stench was apparently getting through any materials. Fry and Zoidberg had the good idea to do the same, and as for Bender, he stuck an air freshener inside his chest cavity. As everybody seemed to be ready, Leela finally activated the way out. When they were out, she turned to look at the others.

“- Stay behind me, and watch your steps. Those bastards had to choose the only place on this planet that is uneven !
- Anything else, mom ? Said Bender.
- Yeah : keep quiet and try to take cover as much as you can. Don’t help them finding us. Oh, and Zoidberg ? Stop clinking your claws…
- I can’t ! I’m too nervous !
- Well, try harder or else I’d have to use the rubber bands ! Now let’s move on, we must find them and try to neutralize the doomsday device before they realize what’s going on.”

Having said this, Leela began to climb the volcano, flattening herself against the rock faces. The others immediately followed her, scared but resolved. While they were flying to the volcano, Leela made Fry scan it in order to have an idea of where the meeting could have taken place. Looking at the results, the young woman realized the crater was looking like hollow bowl. However, there was a small rock cliff over the magma, which could be reached not only by ship but also by a small tunnel in the volcano’s side. That certainly was the right spot for such a transaction – especially considering Vile’s sense of show – but there was a risk they would be spotted if they would ever get to that tunnel. However, the young woman saw there were similar tunnels a bit higher than the said spot. Leading just above the cliff, it would be a good spot for making some observation. The closest of those tunnels was their objective.

The ascent wouldn’t have been as bad as it would have looked, if they didn’t have to be the most discreet as possible. They were taking a lot of precautions for hiding themselves, looking if Vile had already placed some of his men on the site or not. And of course, the fact the planet’s stench was still a bit piercing through their suits, despite the precautions they had taken, wasn’t really helping.

After long minutes, Leela made everybody stop in silence. The entrance to the main tunnel was finally in her field of vision. She decided to have a better look at the surroundings… And suddenly, she flattened against the ground. The others mimicked her, although they couldn’t see what was making her have this reaction. But, despite being hidden by the rocks, Leela couldn’t have missed what she had seen.

There were two men in front of the tunnel. They were wearing deep black space combinations, with a red V on the heart. They were also armed with assault rifles, and according to Leela’s knowledge, those had certainly been stolen in an earthican arsenal – or bought using some illegal ways, as such weapons were usually reserved to the Earthican army. Leela turned to face her friends.

“- We’ll have to climb by staying hidden, whispered the young woman. Vile is already here.
- Oh well, we did our best, said Bender. Too bad we couldn’t have done anything. Now let’s get back to our ship and try to…
- Bender, we’re still trying to stop them ! Said Leela, as she was once again becoming to be angry at the robot. Those guards here are just telling us that we found the spot where the meeting will occurred. But I don’t think Vile would have covered every inches of that damn volcano. Just follow me, and keep on being as flat as you can !
- I’d like to, said Zoidberg, but I gained a few pounds lately, and…
- Er, I don’t think she’s talking about that, doctor, said Fry.
- You’re sure ? Said Bender. Because I’m pretty sure she couldn’t have missed your beer belly, pal…
- Please, said a tired Leela, could you help me by stopping saying silly things ?
- Okay, said Fry. I’ll be as silent as a mango !
- What the… Ah, forget it !” Said Leela, before beginning to crawl behind the rocks to reach the heights.

Fortunately, there were enough hiding places for allowing them to be unseen from Vile’s henchmen. At no moments had the two goons noticed anything suspicious around them… Leela, despite the tension, was pretty proud of how they were doing on this one, as the soldiers didn’t even hear Zoidberg’s claw clinking. Maybe she would have been less happy if she knew the henchmen were using their communicators for listening black metal…

“- Hey, Garry, said one of them, do you hear how subtle the guitarist plays his solo ? He’s putting all his gusts, and yet it perfectly suits the lyrics…
- Oh, yes… Distorting the sound to this point, just at the moment where they’re praying the birth of the Antechrist ? Genius…
- I say, classical music is so much better than all those horrible sounds youngs are calling “music”…
- Well, what do you think ? They respect nothing.”

After a few more minutes of hard efforts, Leela finally saw the entrance to a small tunnel above them, exactly where the scanner told it would be. The entrance was pretty narrow, but not enough for impeaching a person to get in it. The Cyclops stopped, taking a few seconds for getting sure that nobody was posted here. But there were absolutely no signs of guards in the surroundings, which made her sigh of relief. The four Planet Express employees – and now part-time spies – covered the last meters and finally entered in the small tunnel. They were forced to enter one after the other, but it was becoming much larger after a short distance, so they were able to form a group after a few steps.

The tunnel was well lit, as it was ending rather quickly with an opening to the outside. When she got to the end of the tunnel, Leela took a look down : the tunnel was directly leading over the rock cliff above the magma, but a bad move could have sent you to the lava lake as well. The others gathered around her, and lied down on the ground to imitate her. Only Zoidberg seemed to be really frightened by the sight of the lava under them ; as for Fry, Leela and Bender, they were busy looking at what was going on the rock cliff.

Vile’s ship was parked at one end of the rock cliff, but that wasn’t what really surprised Leela. There were dozens of henchmen, all wearing the same uniform than the guards they met earlier. Most of them were just wandering with no real purposes and were talking about things and others, their assault rifles slung across their shoulder. But others were installing chairs – dozens of chairs – on the cliff. They were apparently making two groups, as a small “alleyway” was in the middle of the formation. All the chairs were facing an improvised platform, which had on one of its sides a wooden lectern, painted in black with a great red V on it. That sight made Leela raised her eyebrow.

“- What the hell are they doing ? I thought they were just selling their bomb ?
- Yeah, that makes no sense, said Fry. Why would they make all those things ? I mean, if I had to sell an illegal weapon, I would come, take the money, leave the bomb and then go away as fast as possible before someone spots us…
- And something else is wrong… I can’t see Vile or the doomsday device. Maybe they’re still inside the ship ?
- Then I don’t see how we could get inside without getting noticed… Said Bender. Have you seen all those guys ? You’d have to be a freaking ninja for doing this !
- Errrr… Let’s see…” Said Fry, scratching his chin. “Do we have skin-tight outfits and hoods ?
- No, said Bender.
- Then, that couldn’t work.”

Leela looked to the sky, suddenly thinking that wasn’t such a good idea to bring them with her.

“- Fry, being a ninja requires a bit more than just wearing black pantyhose. And besides, I don’t think wearing black would be that helpful, considering there are absolutely no shadows down there…
- So ? I’ve seen ninjas wearing bright coloured suits, and…
- For the last time, Fry : never take those cheesy Z movies from her century’s 80’s as reliable information !
- But you told me people founded the Sacred Temple of the Ninja God during the 27th century !
- Those are nutcases who think nobody know their existence despite their horrible tastes in colour and just keep on fighting each other in abandoned quarries ! They don’t have special powers, they suck in martial arts… Even the Neutrals are making fun of them !
- Really ? Man, there goes another illusion…”

Bender was already feeling bored by how that conversation was going on, so he decided to go smoke a bit outside… But as soon as he turned round, he froze. His ocular sensors’ size suddenly seemed to have doubled. The robot tapped Leela’s shoulder, while still looking at what he saw.

“- Errr, meatbag, you wanted to know where was Vile ?
- Yeah” said Leela, who was still looking at what was going on under them, “why ?
- Because I think I’ve got the answer…”

Leela’s tension suddenly raised to a whole new level. She had a very bad feeling about what Bender just said, and she was hoping it was unfounded. Fry and Zoidberg too understood that something fishy was going on. The three of them slowly turned round to look in the same direction than Bender. What they saw made Fry and Leela gasp and Zoidberg to spit ink (which was a reflex that wasn’t really welcome at the moment, as it only managed to blind the Decapodian by covering the inside of his helmet).

Vile was in the tunnel, wearing something that was closer to a battle armour than a spacesuit, entirely red with a big stylized black V going from his shoulders to his belly. He was accompanied by the two muscular goons who were with him during that meeting with the Omicronians a few days back. Their armours were similar to those of the other henchmen, and unfortunately so were the assault rifles they were pointing at them. The criminal were sporting a smile that made Fry think of a shark who had spotted a prey.

“Well, well, well… Lookf like we’vz got unekfpected gueftf…”
Bending Unit
« #26 : 03-26-2007 13:37 »

No taco for Morbo (part 18)

Leela pulled on her knots as hard as she could, but she wasn’t able to untighten them at all. Vile’s henchmen had to improvise, but it was as if they spent years in the navy (certainly the space roman galleys, looking at their corpulence) before joining the criminal’s private army. The situation wasn’t better for her friends : Fry was bound in the same type of Kevlar threads than her, Bender had his limbs removed and placed several feet away from them in a box several feet away from them, and as for Zoidberg… Well, not only was he as tied up as Fry and Leela, but his claws were also closed thanks to rubber bands, and he was still blinded by his own ink anyway. At least, it was preventing him from clicking his claws… They were all gathered on the rock cliff now, not so far away from the platform, and for the moment they were still left alone, but Leela it wouldn’t be for long.

“- We are in some big trouble ! Said Fry.
- Noooooo, really ? Said Bender, not even trying to hide his anger. What makes you think that, Einstein ?
- Well, the ropes, first, and then all those henchmen around, and…
- Fry, I know we can’t wait that much from yourself” said Leela who was still fighting against her bonds, “but have you ever heard of a rhetorical question ?
- Yeah ! You know the answer, and then you have to find what’s the question !
- No, that, it’s the rules of ‘Jeopardy’…
- Oh… Then, it’s a no.”

Leela couldn’t however increase Fry’s vocabulary as Vile got out of his ship and immediately went in their direction. He was still smiling, like only a megalomaniacal psychopath who is sure to have the upper hand would.

“- Ah, yef, our cumberfome wannabe fpiev ! I’m forry to have let you rot vere, but I’m a bit buvy light now, wiv our imminent meeting !
- No offences taken” said Leela, who was decided to not show fear in front of him. “I see you’re making your best here…
- Oh my, yef… You know, when you hafe to welcome futf plestiviouf gueftf, you hafe to do evelyfing fol being lemembeled av a tfarming hoft.
- I guess you don’t want us to give you a good reputation on that matter, however ?
- Fertainly not ! I ftill don’t know how you’ve lealned about my lefepfion, but now I’ll make myfelf fure that you won’t fpoil ve party. Honeftly, did you really fhought I wouldn’t fee your allival ? I wouldn’t be ve greateft climinal maftelmind alive if I wouldn’t be able to fpot meddlerv like you !
- I don’t know where you are, mister, said Zoidberg, sounding terrified, but I beg you, don’t kill us ! I could do whatever you want – washing your clothes, polishing your armour, strhjgy your flkat, anything !
- Kill you ? I won’t kill you…
- Yes ! Said Bender.
- … For the moment.
- Awwwww…
- Fee, I’m about to lealive the moft Machiavellian plan evel made. But ve ploblem iv vat nobody… Iv your fliend laufing ?”

Leela looked at Fry… And unfortunately, she had to admit that the young man was once again trying to repress his hilarity. Seeing this made her both angry and scared, as it really, really wasn’t a good time for making fun of the villain’s lisping. A quick look at Vile was enough to see that the criminal wasn’t pleased at all by this situation. She quickly tried to find a way out.

“- Excuse him… It’s nervous… He has to take medications, and…
- Medicafionv, my gloriouf aff ! He’s laufing of my fpeetf impediment !”

Just at this moment, Fry’s self-control came to its limit… And he began to giggle. It was still extremely slight, but apparently, for Vile, it was as if the young man burst out laughing and was pointing him while making cruel jokes. Leela guessed it was certainly reminding him some very bad moments from his childhood. Or even worse : from his adolescence.

“You won’t laufh fol long, cletin !”

Without a warning, Vile went behind the young man and grabbed the pipe that was providing air to Fry. Vile cut the air arrival… And after a few seconds, Fry began to suffocate. Horrified, Leela saw his friend’s face turn blue, slightly at first, but then it was as if Fry had been transformed to a smurf. The young man also tried to struggle, but Vile, helped by the enhanced strength that his armour was granting him, wouldn’t let him go, and the young man, as tied as he was, would anyway never be able to do anything without an external help. During the process, Vile was sporting absolutely no expressions, as if he was a wax statue, but his eyes, however, were showing all the rage and the madness he was feeling at the moment. It was becoming unbearable to the young woman, who began to panic.

“- Stop it ! You’re going to kill him !
- Ale you deaf, miff ?” Replied Vile.

Vile turned the oxygen arrival of Fry’s bottles on. Immediately, the young man breathed large gulps of air, while his face was slowly turning back to its initial shade. Vile stood up, and calmly got back to his initial place.

“Be happy I want all ov you alive, molon, becauve nobody hav vhe light to live aftel having made fun of me.”

Leela gave another look at Fry. He was apparently out of danger now, but he was still too shocked to speak – or laugh - for the moment. She angrily turned to Vile.

“- You’re… You’re a monster !
- Fhank you, my deal, said Vile, his sinister smile back on his face. You can’t imagine how mutfh time I fpent fol leatfhing vif level. Anyway, av I wav faying befole being intellupted by youl fliend, I’m about to leach ve climakf ov my caleel. Ve ploblem iv vat nobody but my accomplifes would witneff it. I wav a bit boveled vat vele would have been no obdvective opinion on vat mattel. Vat’f why I’m kind ov happy vat you invited youlfelf to vif meeting. And alfo why I didn’t fhrow you in ve lava av foon av I found you.
- Oh yeah ? Said Bender. We already know you’re about to sell a doomsday device to the Omicronians. Weapon smuggling isn’t something new, dude…”

Vile looked at the robot… And his smile changed slightly. Leela didn’t like how he was smiling before, but now, she was feeling ice-cold drops of sweat flowing along her back. There was something in that smile that was implying that something much, much bigger was about to happen.

“Believe me, funny guy… Between what you faid and what I plan, you will wish it would have been dvuft weapon fmuggling…”

Leela was expecting Vile to go in one of this big dialogue evil masters were always making when they thought that nothing could happen to them. Those dialogues where they describe their schemes in every little details, which would help the hero to find a way to defeat him… But Vile couldn’t start the explanations as one of his henchmen suddenly reached his leader. Vile turned round to look at his minion, who saluted him immediately.

“We’ve spotted them on the radar, master, said the henchman. They’re arriving.”

Excitation immediately appeared in Vile’s eyes. The moment he was waiting for days, maybe months, was finally here, and he couldn’t wait to perform whatever evil conspiracy he had set up.

“- Ah, gleat ! Lookf like ve party iv on ! Said Vile, almost ecstatic. Tell me, my deal, would you like to fee ve filft palt of ve fhow ?
- Well… Replied Leela.
- Kyle ! Liam !” Vile made a gesture to the two muscular goons who were following him everywhere. “Accompany our new fliendv to ve entranfe ! It’f time to welcome our gueftf !”

Without any further talks, Vile turned his feet and proceeded towards the tunnel leading to the inside, followed by some of his heavily armed henchmen ; one of them, however, was carrying the box that was containing Bender’s limbs. The two giants walked to the Planet Express crew ; it was difficult to say which one was Kyle and which one was Liam, but one of them grabbed Fry and Leela and put them on his shoulders as if they were weighing nothing. The second put Zoidberg on his left shoulder as well, and carried Bender under his right arm. It wasn’t the most comfortable way for travelling, but at least that was meaning that Vile was serious when he said he wanted them alive. For a while. Leela turned to Fry ; the young man seemed to have recovered from his experience, but she was still worried about him.

“- Fry ? Are you alright ?
- Now that I can breathe, yeah, replied the young man. Damn, why did it do this exactly ?
- Our spacesuits are hermetically sealed. And that’s for the best, as we would be doomed to breathe that poisonous atmosphere otherwise…
- Yeah, well, I still try to figure out why you all think it stinks…
- Will you shut up, the two of you ? Said the goon. Usually, I carry corpses to the master’s crematorium, and that kind of stress me to hear you speak…
- Woops, sorry, said Fry. By the way, are you Kyle or Liam ?
- Dunno…
- You don’t know your name !? Said Leela.
- Yeah. See, when mommy wanted something from us, she used to call the two of us at the same time, and she never bothered telling us who was who, so…
- Then why didn’t you ask her ?” Asked Fry.

If Fry and Leela were able to see the goon’s face, they would have realized how perplex he was after this question.

“I dunno either…”

They couldn’t add anything else, however. The group was finally in the entrance of the cave ; Kyle and Liam posed the Planet Express crew in a corner and went flanking their master. Some henchmen took their place for guarding the four employees. Vile was explaining to his men how they had to act in front of the guests. Only a few minutes later, Leela saw a ship coming from the far distance. As it came closer, she could easily recognize the round form of an Omicronian spaceship. The vessel landed just in front of Vile and his men ; as soon as the footbridge was deployed, Vile walked to welcome the ambassadors. It wasn’t long before Lrrr, Ndnd and two other Omicronians, all wearing spacesuits for protecting themselves from Plainrock 1246’s atmosphere. From where they were, the four Planet Express employees could perfectly hear Vile’s voice, as well as seeing the whole scene.

Well, except Zoidberg, as he was still blinded by his own ink.

“- Gleetingv, my fliend ! Said Vile, saluting Lrrr. I’m happy you wele able to come.
- Yeah, yeah, replied the Omicronian leader, obviously on his nerves. Enough talk, human. Let’s end this transaction as quick as possible.
- I can undelftand vat you want vif to end av foon av poffible, but I’m aflaid I hav to tell you it won’t be vat fimple…
- I told you he was tricking us ! Said Ndnd to her husband, who gave her a gesture that was saying ‘not the moment’.
- What do you mean, Vile ? We’ll pay immediately, and in return you’ll give us that blasted bomb…
- I won’t fol now, Lold Llll. Becauve we muft wait fol ve ovel gueftf.”

Leela felt her tension raised just by watching at the alien reaction.

“- WHAT ?!? Screamed the alien overlord. Someone else will come ? That wasn’t our agreement, Vile !
- Don’t wolly, my lold. Evelyfing will be fine if you follow my lules. Oh, and a detail : fomeone will not come.
- Really ? Replied Lrrr, suspicious.
- Yef. Ve futule iv incollect. They’le hele.”

Vile pointed something the sky behind the Omicronian spaceship. All the Omicronians looked in the direction that the criminal mastermind was showing. Leela looked as well… And the surprise nearly made her choke.

A Kabejjedian spaceship was coming. And apparently, looking at its coat of arms, it was Trago’s personal ship.

Vile smiled. Yes, everything was going exactly according to the plan…
Bending Unit
« #27 : 03-30-2007 13:10 »

No taco for Morbo (part 19)

It took less time for the Kabejjedian delegation to get out of their ship than it did for the Omicronian… And as Leela saw Trago get out and nearly rush to Vile, she immediately understood it was because they needed answers. Morbo was in the group, as well as a few other Kabejjedians, most certainly Trago’s close guard. All the various aliens were looking enraged, but Vile was still stoic as the Kabejeddian supreme lord stopped just in front of him and pointed the Omicronians.

“- What are they doing here !? Vehemently asked Trago.
- Well, that’s what we were about to ask ! Replied Lrrr. This was supposed to be a secret meeting !”

Trago turned to face Lrrr. He was determined to know what was happening, but he apparently had an idea of what part played the Omicronians.

“- No, we were the ones supposed to meet mister Vile ! And you, you traitors, you tried to stop us ?!?
- We didn’t know you would be here ! Intervened Ndnd. Let me guess, you rats : first you act as if you were getting friendly with us, and then you try to dupe us ? Typical from the cowards like you !
- And you ? Replied Morbo. What should we say ?”

Vile finally decided to react. He walked between the two sides, looking confident. A smile was still on his face, and to be faire, it wasn’t the most reassuring one Leela ever saw.

“- Pleave, pleave, dventlemen… We’le not going to fight like balbalianv, will we ? We’le hele to have a fmall adult difcuffion, and to make buvineff.
- You didn’t answer to Trago, said the alien overlord. What’s the meaning of all this ?
- Is it one of your tricks or is it their idea ? Asked Lrrr.
- It wav mine. I’m forry to have hide vif to ve bof of you, but I had the feeling you wouldn’t like it, fo I kept vif fol myfelf…
- You were about to sell a doomsday device to each of our nations ?!? Said Morbo. You will pay for this !”

Vile looked at the anchorman… And for the first time since the alien delegations arrived, he stopped smiling. The look he gave to Morbo froze Leela’s blood in her veins. It was a look that was promising mass murder if anyone would ever say something that would displease him.

“Take a look alound you, miftel Molbo… You ale cullently sullounded by all my men. We’le outmatching you and youl opponentf, and if you look to ve top ov ve volcano, you’ll be able to fee a povitron cannon vat we’ve dvuft finifed to inftall. And it’f aiming your fhipf. One wold flom me, and you’ll all be blafted into oblivion befole you could do ve flighteft move fol defending yourfelf. Now vat you’le all hele, you will play accolding to my lulev… Ol you will die. What do you tfoove ?”

After Vile’s speech, all the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians began to look everywhere, their previous rage being extinguished… And they all realized the criminal mastermind wasn’t bluffing. His henchmen wasn’t aiming them, but they all had drawn their guns, and could shoot them in a blink. Some of the henchmen even unlocked their weapons’ safety at that exact moment, and those small “ka-chink” were announcing a disaster that would inevitably occur if their master would ever give the order.

Despite their rage, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians brutally realized they were clearly dominated and that Vile had their lives at his grasp. And for the first time since she first encountered one of those creatures, Leela saw them feeling the last emotion she would ever have guessed they can experience.


Lrrr tried to look as fierce as he could, but his efforts were annihilated by his sudden abundant sweat.

“- You can’t do this, Vile. Our deaths would be avenged.
- Let’f be feriouf, lold Llll… Said Vile, sporting his carnivore smile again. Nobody outfide of vif affiftanfe knowv about vif palty. If you get killed, who would be accuved of ve clime ? Youl people would immediately blame ve othel fide, and ve wal woul dvuft lesume, av it iv alleady.
- I’m telling you, Vile… You may kill us, but you would be coming with us…
- Freatf, now ? Well, I gueff I can be fail-play, fol onfe… Fhoot me. I can affule you vat my men won’t make ve fingle move aftelwaldv.”

All the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians looked at each other with puzzled look, as they had no idea of what Vile was talking about. Lrrr wasn’t the last one to do this : he was just as surprised as anybody else in the assistance.

“Come on, fhoot me. I told you nofing would happen to you aftel vif.”

Lrrr was looking at the criminal with a doubtful look… But soon, his expression changed slightly.

“Well, you axed for this !”

Lrrr drew his gun so fast that Leela barely saw him moving. The Omicronian lord pulled the trigger…

And the shot bounced off just as it was about to hit Vile.

Everybody looked flabbergasted, as nobody was expecting this. Lrrr was even still standing motionless, aiming Vile, his mouth wide opened, and his eyes popping out. The criminal, on the other hand, was looking like he was savouring a succulent pie.

“It took me a while fol making vif folcefield. It’f devigned fol lepulfing any kind of laverv. I alfo added a little fomefing to vif almoul…”

Vile suddenly raised his fist… And his glove emitted an energy beam that destroyed Lrrr’s gun. The Omicronian, surprised, finally got back to his senses and quickly backed off, throwing away the remains of his weapon and holding his hand, in fear he could have been hurt.

“I call vif ‘ve fhundel glove’. Powelful, not bulky, and it confumev vely few enelgy.”

The two alien groups were now staring at Vile, impressed by this little demonstration. But after a few seconds, Trago raised his hand.

“- I want ten thousands of those suits !
- Folly, youl madvefty, even you cannot affold vat many… And anyway, we alleady have to fettle anothel tlade…”

Those last words seemed to have awakened Ndnd. The Omicronian empress walked forward and placed herself just by the side of her husband.

“- About this, you still didn’t answer, Vile… Who are you going to sell the doomsday device to ? Us, or those rats ?
- It entilely dependv ov how mutf you’le willing to pay…
- What do you mean ? We already settle a price…
- Yef, and fo have ve Kabedveddianf. In fact, vey want to pay av mutf av you. Fo, I told myfelf : who fhould I fell it to ? Tfooving fomeone would mean taking a fide, and I dvuft hate politicf. Fo, ve anfwer quickly appealed : I would fell it to ve highest biddel.”

Morbo realized what Vile was meaning.

“- An auction ?!? You want to set up an auction for selling the bomb !?
- Egvactly, miftel Molbo, replied Vile, smiling again. My men and I wolked hald duling vove laft dayv fol inftalling evelyfing hele. Now, would you pleave come in ? I can affule you vat we’ll follow all ve legal plofedulev…
- Is this a joke ? Nearly screamed Lrrr. We had an agreement, Vile ! You want more money ? Fine, you’ll get more ! We can have access to our national reserves from here, just tell us a number, and then…
- No, no, no, you don’t get it, lold Llll. Youl fliendv hele can do egvactly ve fame ploposifionv van you. It would take me way too mutf time fol knowing whitf ov you would offel ve moft. Wiv my way, it will be settled in only a few minutef. And time iv money, light ?
- That’s still…
- Do I have to lemind you vat I can blaft all of you ?”

Looking at Lrrr, it appeared he had forgotten this little detail during the last minutes. For a few seconds, he seemed to be hesitating. Turning to his wife, he began to have a private discussion with her, but as they were whispering, Leela couldn’t hear a single word of what they were saying. Finally, after some seconds, Lrrr turned to Vile again.

“- You won, Vile. We’ll do as you say.
- We will obey as well, said Trago. There’s no way we would let this opportunity slip under our glorious noses !
- I knew we could find an agleement” said Vile. He then showed the tunnel entrance to the two delegations. “Now, pleave follow me. It won’t take…
- Wait a second !”

Leela tried to identify who suddenly screamed. She immediately wished she wouldn’t have listened her conscience and just stayed in the Nimbus, having a well-deserved rest. Morbo was now pointing Fry, Bender, Zoidberg and her. And unfortunately, the Omicronians immediately saw them as well. She knew their cover would eventually blow up, but she was hoping it would have happened the latest as possible.

“- What are they doing here ? Said Morbo.
- Oh, vem ? Replied Vile, not looking particularly embarrassed. I don’t leally know eivhel, vey fpontaneoufly defided to dvoin uf. But, well, now vat they’le hele, I defided vat vey would ftay hele to be fule ve aucfion would be plopelly callied out.
- They’ve got nothing to do here ! Said Ndnd, enraged. I should rip them apart and then…
- My lulev, lady Ndnd. Befidev, you don’t have to wolly. I’ll take cale ov vem av foon av we would have finifed.”

The aliens looked again at the four Planet Express employees, apparently wondering what they should do with them. Leela had an idea about what they wanted to do with them, and it wasn’t really helping her to get relaxed and try to think of a way-out.

“- No tortures ? Asked Lrrr.
- Oh my no ! Replied Vile. We don’t have enoufh time fol vif !
- A pity, said Ndnd. But you assure us that you’ll kill them as soon as we’ll have finished ?
- You’ve got my wold.
- Your promises have no values, worm ! Said Trago.
- I’m talking about killing fome peoplev. You leally fhink I wouldn’t do vif ?
- Well, after all, you’re known for this, said Morbo, scratching his chin. That’s enough for me, I believe you.
- So are we, replied Lrrr. But if you lied to us, we would take care of those spies immediately !
- You won’t have to, my lold. Now, shall we begin ? Pleave follow me. It’f dvuft at ve ovhel fide…”

Vile turned his feet and proceeded towards the tunnel, quickly followed by his men. Kyle and Liam lifted Fry, Leela, Zoidberg and Bender again and carried them on their shoulders, just after all the other goons. Leela tried to struggle, but, of course, she couldn’t do anything to get out of the minion’s grasp. But as she looked behind him, she realized that Morbo was just behind them. At least, she could give a try…

“- Pssst ! Mister Morbo ! Whispered the young woman. Please help us !
- No, replied the alien, not even looking at her.
- Oh come on ! Said Fry, who heard the conversation. You wouldn’t be here without us !
- And you, you’ve got nothing to do here ! Morbo can’t do anything for you, and in fact, he doesn’t want to anyway.
- But… But what about that story of making sure that your slaves are safe for serving you ? Said Leela, trying to smile for getting Morbo’s indulgence.
- You’ve said it : it only works for slaves, not for spies. And as you were certainly trying to stop us from treating with Vile, Morbo doesn’t see why he should help !”

That destroyed Leela’s last hope. If even Morbo wouldn’t try anything after all they’ve done for him – accidentally, of course, but they had done it nonetheless – then they were totally and irremediably boned.

“- But, Morbo, said Fry, I can assure you that…
- Nevermind, Fry, said a dejected Leela. That’s useless. We’ll have to do everything ourselves.
- Ah ! Said Morbo. You wish ! You may get out of Vile’s captivity, but then you would have Morbo’s people and the Omicronians against you ! I don’t really see how you could get out of this alive !”

Leela tried to say something, but it wasn’t worth it. He was right. She was trying to stay optimistic and to find a flaw in Vile’s plan, but she couldn’t find it. It really seemed hopeless… But she was persevering ; she was examining all the elements, looking at all the details, listening to all the conversations…

There must have been a way !
Bending Unit
« #28 : 04-03-2007 12:38 »

No taco for Morbo (part 20)

Vile may have been quite proud of his little scheme, he was however perfectly aware that they hadn’t that much time… As a result, it didn’t take too long for installing all the Omicronians and Kabejjedians on the rock cliff, in front of the platform his henchmen built. Of course, they were gathered together according to their race : the Omicronians were on the left, the Kabejjedians on the right. But they were constantly looking at the others, being extremely suspicious about what they would do. Fry, Leela, Bender and Zoidberg were sit in that order from left to right not that far away from the cavern’s entrance, and they could have a clear view on the whole scene. The crate containing Bender’s limbs was posed just on the other side of the cavity. The aliens were talking to each other, wondering when that masquerade would finally stop, and if they would be able to give Vile a good enough offer for obtaining the doomsday device. Apparently, they were so anxious to get their hands on the bomb that they no longer were asking themselves if it was a good idea to obey the criminal’s whim.

Finally, Vile got on the platform, and immediately the talks stopped. The maleficent genius installed himself behind the lectern, and took a few seconds for staring at the audience, smiling. He was almost litteraly radiating of satisfaction, looking sure that the next minutes would bring him an eternal triumph.

“Filft ov all, let me fhank you fol having come hele. Vhif meanv a lot fol me, av vhif iv ve moft indifputable ploof vat futf fealfome conquelolv like you can tluft a modeft independent bufineffman like me…”

A few people whispered in the assembly, surely not convinced at all by Vile’s speech, but it only managed to stregnthen the man’s smile.

“But enoufh talk. Let’f begin vifh aucfion by ve filft (and only) alticle… A fully opelafionnal doomvday devife !”

After those few words, Kyle and Liam got on the platform, once again carrying the bomb in its crate. They posed just by Vile’s side, and opened the secured box, revealing its content. Seeing this weapon of mass destruction, which could mean the deaths of millions of people just there, and now complete, gave once again Leela some goosebumps.

“Ve filft plice iv at 3 billion dollarv… Who iv willing to offel mole ?”

For a few seconds, the aliens stood silent… But finally, Lrrr raised his hand.

“- 3,5 billions.
- Ah ! Good ! I’ve got an offel hele ! Nobody wantf to…
- 4 billions ! Said Trago, raising his hand as well.”

The Omicronian lord gave a murderous look at his Kabejjedian colleague. The only one who was happy of that situation was Vile. As long as they would want to overcome their opponents, they would get further and further in the auction. He had no idea up to what point they would be ready to go, but in any case, he would win.

And it would lead them much, much far away than what they were thinking.

“- 4 billionv on my left ! Come on, gentlemen, I’m sule you can all…
- 5 billions ! Said Lrrr.
- Oh, you want to play, pig ? Said Trago. Alright, then… 10 billions !
- What the… You scum ! Said Lrrr. 15 billions !
- 20 !”

Leela wasn’t paying attention at all about the auction in itself… She was still concentrating on a way for getting out of this crummy situation. For the moment, the guards weren’t looking at them, as the atmosphere was much more tensed with the auction. That was giving some hopes to the young woman, but on the other hand, they had no particular reasons to fear that they would run away. Fry, Leela and Zoidberg were firmly bound, at the wrists (which were also in their back) and at the ankles. Leela tried to cut the Kevlar rope by scrubbing it against the rough rocky wall, but it quickly revealed to be useless : the Kevlar was far too solid for this to succeed, unless she had hundreds of years ahead of her.

“Hey, eyeball…” Said Bender, on her left.

What about getting closer to Fry and have him try to undo the knot ? With a bit of dexterity, maybe he would be able to do this… But then, she remembered that Kyle and Liam hadn’t only made knots : they also used a laser blowtorch for making the Kevlar melt a bit, as if they were making a soldering. Now that she was thinking about it, she wondered why they didn’t do this in the first place. At least they wouldn’t have passed so much time making the knots…

“- Pssst, Leela !
- What, Bender ? Whispered Leela. I’m trying to get us out of here…
- Well then, you’d better have a look at my limbs over there…”

Intrigued, Leela looked to the other side of the tunnel’s entrance. What she saw gave her new reasons to hope. One of Bender’s arms was waving at her, sticking out of the crate ; but more importantly, it was holding something metallic. She quickly recognized what it could be : a Swiss army knife. And there were high chances it was containing a laser blade, just as any of those tools, even the less equipped ones. None of the henchmen seemed to have noticed this ; Fry, however, saw it too, as he was wondering what was making her so happy, and it looked like he understood it could be their last chance as his eyes nearly popped out... Leela turned to look at the robot, almost ecstatic.

“- How did you… ?
- Well, maybe you’ll stop yelling at me for letting my hands go everywhere ! Said the robot, smiling. The guy who carried my arms didn’t notice one of them was searching in his pockets, and that’s where I got it. I’ve got his wallet, too. Dumbass. Taking your dough while wearing a spacesuit… Was he expecting to find a Spacebuck’s and to buy himself a coffee or what ?
- I don’t know what he wanted to do with it, and I don’t care ! Throw it ! Fry, try to catch it !
- Aye aye, captain !”

The young man tried to move so that he would face Leela… And accessorily, so that his hands would be in the direction of Bender’s arms. Both Leela, Fry and Bender looked to see if anyone noticed what they were doing ; Zoidberg, for his part was now asleep. All this ink on his helmet made his organism think it was night-time, and as a result, despite his anguish, he couldn’t help but snoring – which was annoying, but at least helped to cover their conversation from the guards. Anyway, nobody was paying attention to them : if there would be a trouble, it would come from the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians, so what harm could the Planet Express crew could have done ?

“- Errr, Bender, asked Fry, you’re sure you won’t miss your shot ? I don’t think I could do much more…
- Come on, meatbag ! Replied an apparently upset Bender. I’ve got a freaking computer in place of one of those disgusting gooey things you call ‘brains’ ! Right now I’m doing the calculations for my shot, and I can bet 500 bucks it will land in your palm !
- I can’t bet 500 bucks… How about that plastic hip I swiped from the professor ?
- Fine with me.
- A plastic hip ? Said Leela. I knew he was walking weirder than usual…”

A few feet away, Bender’s arm went a bit backward, and suddenly projected the Swiss army knife. The tool made a graceful parabola, spinning on itself and flying over the ground… Before hitting the back of Fry’s helmet, bouncing off and ending in the young man’s hand.

“- Ouch !
- You owe me that hip, Fry ! Said Bender.
- Did you really have to hurt him ? Asked Leela, a bit annoyed.
- I had to combine my knowledge on aerodynamics, algebra, and physic, eyeball. Any robot would have done the same.
- Really ? Asked Fry.
- Alright, I did add a small personnal touch. Sue me.
- I’ll let this slip for once, said Leela. Fry, try to cut that rope !”

Leela turned herself so that she and Fry would be back to back. Cautiously, the young man tried to find which part of the knife was the laser blade. He had to make a few attempts before : first, he got the corkscrew, then the file, the microscope, the percolator… And finally, he heard the faint ‘fwoosh’ that was indicating that he managed to activate the laser blade. He then began to work on Leela’s rope, making his best for not cutting her or himself… That would certainly take only a few minutes…

“Hey, Fry, said Bender, looks like we were lucky !”

Surprised, the young man nearly lost the knife. It however made him look at the crate where Bender’s arms were still stored. And he saw one of his henchmen, apparently surprised to see that the box was still open, force Bender’s arm to get back inside before closing the lid.

“- Wow, said Fry, a few seconds more, and we were boned !
- We still are, Fry, said Leela. Don’t stop, we don’t have all the time in the world !”

Meanwhile, the auction was still raging on. The two sides were as determined to get the bomb, and none were willing to let the other make the best offer. The sums proposed were beginning to reach monstrous level, outclassing by far the most successful auction ever made and registered in the Guiness-Budweiser book of records (which was reached for a fingernail of Krulanion VIII, the most controversial Space Pope in history).

“- 800 billions ! Yelled Trago.
- 900 ! Immediately screamed Lrrr.
- 1 000 !
- I’ve got one fhousand on my left… Iv vat ve beft offel ?”

Lrrr stopped a moment. The sweat pouring from his forehead was almost blinding him, and it certainly wasn’t only because the heat inside the volcano was almost infernal. But suddenly, a spark of reason took control of his mind. 1 000 billions dollars ? That was nonsense. Such a weapon was powerful, and cost a lot for being made, but it was going way over its real cost. They certainly were overreacting because the presence of their enemy… That was certainly what Vile was expecting. But now, the Omicronian lord had a doubt. Was it really a good idea ? Vile had all the cards in his possession. They were about to give him the equivalent of their planetary research budget. What was making them think he would respect his part ?

Who knows what would have happened if Ndnd didn’t interrupt his thoughts…

“- Damn, they’re about to get it ! Do something you big jerk !
- Jerk ? Jerk !? Alright, you’ll see if I’m a jerk, female !”

Lrrr nearly jumped of his seat, raising his hand as high as he could.

“5 000 billions dollars !”

That sure made its effect. Now everybody was looking at the Omicronian lord with amazed looks. His wife and his mates, who couldn’t believe he just said such a sum. The Kabejjedians, who knew they would never be able to get higher as it would only ruin them. Leela, Fry and Bender, who forgot their evasion for a few seconds. The goons, who were comparing this with their paychecks (and who were now expecting a raise). Even Vile twitched a bit, as it was going far over his most optimistic expectations. Nobody seemed to realize his voice was trembling a bit when he began to speak again.

“Five fhousandv dollarv on my light… Fomeone wantf to go highel ?”

Nobody made the slightest move on the Kabejjedian side. All the creatures were already busy trying to find a way for preventing their opponents to use it against them.

“Five fhousandv, one time… Five fhousandv, two times…”

As there were still no reactions on the Kabejjedian side, Vile raised his little hammer and, theatrically, hit the lectern, announcing the end of the auction.

“Vhen, vhe doomfday devife iv knocked down to hiv madvefty Llll, Empelol ov Omiclon Pelsei 8 !”

Lrrr was the only one smiling in the whole assembly. Even his mates were too stunned to realize they had won… But as for Leela, it was becoming even more worrying. That could only mean one thing.

“- Fry ?
- What ?
- Get faster.
- I’m doing my best !
- Yeah, but try harder. Now that it’s over…”

The young woman swallowed a big gulp of saliva. She was afraid of what she was about to say.

“… I don’t think Vile has any more reasons to let us live…”
Bending Unit
« #29 : 04-06-2007 15:24 »

No taco for Morbo (part 21)

Vile was walking in circles in front of one of his henchmen. This one was installed in front of a laptop, connected to Internet thanks to one of those high-range wifi modems which were able to find relays at the other end of the galaxy. It was extremely useful for what they had to do, but alas, it was to the detriment of its capacity. If they weren’t in the Axholish quadrant and were able to use internet relays that weren’t at 6 parsecs away, they could have access to more than 17 179 869 184 Go per seconds.

“- And now ? Said Vile, impatient. Iv it done ?
- It’s on the way, sir, replied his goon. Right now, the 5 000 dollars are transferred from the Omicronian Planetary Treasure to your secret account. Apparently, our guests didn’t trick us about their coordinates. I did find some firewalls and other protections, but nothing I couldn’t go through. It’s only a matter of seconds.
- Good. Good.”

Vile wasn’t worried about his man : he was the best hacker in this universe, and only avoided being incarcerated for his countless attacks against the DOOP’s informatic systems thanks to his current boss, who could as well decide to send him to the authorities if he ever do anything against him – in the best scenario, as the most evil one would imply a rusted peeling knife and a special face-to-face with Kyle and Liam. He wasn’t worried about the aliens as well. The criminal mastermind looked at the assembly, behind him. Sure, the Kabejjedians were dejected and possibly considering making curtains out of the Omicronians’ skins (and also fantasizing fancy tortures for him) but they were still outnumbered by Vile’s goons. The Omicronians, for their part, were still wondering if they had to celebrate or to weep ; even Lrrr, who suddenly realized the amount he was about to give to Vile when this one asked him the codes required for doing the transaction. An Omicronian in such a dazed mood wasn’t something you could see everyday, even if you are the greatest evil master alive.

No, everything was going well. The only reason that was preventing Vile from rejoicing was that he had to stay stoic to make everybody think he was controlling everything. Which was difficult, as even him couldn’t predict the outcome of the auction.

Leela and Fry were also stressing out, but it was for a different reason. It took longer than they thought it would to free Leela’s hands, as Fry was as clumsy as you could expect him to be when it comes to cutting a kevlar rope with a laserblade when he couldn’t see what he was doing, but after a few attempts, it was finally about to succeed. And moreover, nobody was still really paying attention to them, which was definitely easing their attempt. Leela was pulling on her bonds as much as she could, hoping that would help Fry’s work (and also prevent her from being wounded if Fry ever go too far). At first, it wasn’t very efficient, but after a while, she began to feel her knots being a bit slack. However, she was now beginning to think it was coming way too late…

“- Fry, hurry up ! Whispered the young woman.
- Hey, I’m starting to get some cramps… It’s not easy !
- I know it’s not, but I fear that in some minutes, you’ll wish you would only have cramps !
- Well, that could be worse, meatbag ! Said Bender. You could have your ass itch just when your arms are several feet away from you !
- I don’t care, Bender, just rub it against the ground or…”

Leela stopped. She looked at the robot.

“- Wait, how can your ass itch you ? You’ve got no skin ! You can’t feel anything !
- And it’s only now that you realize this ? Replied the robot. We robots have touch sensors all over our body. What would otherwise be the point of making-out !
- I think… I’m almost… Done…” Said Fry, gritting his teeth.

And just at this moment, Leela could distinctly hear a small ‘ting !’ as the last kevlar fiber gave way. She immediately felt that blood was running in his hands again, now that they weren’t blocked by the rope. She would certainly have screamed her joy if they didn’t have to be the most quiet as possible.

“- Well done, Fry ! Said the young woman, who would certainly have kissed her friend on the cheek if they weren’t wearing those spacesuits.
- The pleasure is mine, captain, replied Fry, smiling. And now ?
- I’ll try to cut the ropes around my ankles without being noticed, then I will take care of yours.
- Yeah, and ? Said Bender. We’re still surrounded by dozens of killers, in case you don’t know…
- One thing at a time, Bender. With a little luck, we will have a chance of running away…”

Unfortunately, after that little moment of hope when her hands got free, Leela wasn’t as confident as she tried to sound. In fact, she was thinking the same way than the robot. It wouldn’t be long before Vile or one of his henchmen would pay attention to them again, and she had the awful feeling it would be way before she could have set herself and Fry free. And there would be the problem of carrying Bender and Zoidberg back to the ship…

But as she was lost in those thoughts, trying now to cut the ropes at her feet, the hacker called his master, who nearly jumped on him.

“- It’s done, boss ! The money has been transferred !
- Magnififent ! Said Vile, almost ecstatic. Good to fee you didn’t lie to me about your wolld’v finanfial capafity, lold Llll. It leally wav a pleavule to make buvineff wivh you !
- Yeah, yeah, same here…” The Omicronian Overlord certainly wasn’t as pleased as the criminal mastermind. “And now, what happens, Vile ? I mean, what about those wretched Kabejjedians ?
- Don’t wolly, Llll. I’ll make sule you won’t maffacle eatf ovhel.
- And about the Doomsday Device ? Will we just take the bomb with us ?
- No, my lold.
- Oh… You’ll deliver it to us, then ?
- I’m aflaid I won’t be able to do vhif.”

Something changed in Lrrr’s attitude… In fact, all the Omicronians were now in the same state than him. The Omicronian had the sudden feeling that there was something wrong… He couldn’t exactly say what was making him think this, but something in Vile’s attitude was telling him that the evil master had another bad surprise for them. If he was paying attention to the Kabejjedians as well, he would have realized they too felt that something fishy was about to happen.

“- Then how will we get it, Vile ?
- Oh, I’ll ekfplain to you… But filft, how about fettle down comfoltably ?”

Lrrr was about to say it was already the case, when suddenly Vile got a remote out of nowhere, which were certainly hidden in his cape during the whole meeting. Vile pressed a button on it… And without any warnings, metal straps shot out of the chairs on which the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were sitting. Before any of the aliens could have done a single move, the straps winded round them, binding them all on their chairs, preventing them from making a single move. They all tried to struggle against their bonds, but they were way too tight and solid for them. The surprise also stroke Leela, stopping her provisorily in her work ; Fry and Bender too couldn’t do anything but looking at the show.

Vile, on his part, was once again sporting his frightening smile…

“- Vile ! Screamed Trago. What does it mean !?
- Let us go, you ungrateful traitor, said Lrrr, or else…
- Pleave, wait a little mole befole panicking and calling me namev, said Vile, perfectly stoic. I faid I would ekfplain evelyfhing to you, but I doubt you would like what you will heal, fo I had to take fome plecaufionv.
- Stop playing with our nerves, human ! Yelled Morbo. Was it not enough for you to make this whole masquerade, and to help our enemies to get that doomsday device on our back ?
- You fee, miftel Molbo, vhat iv one of vhe levelationv I have to make… Thele iv no doomfday devife. Thele nevel wav.”

That announcement managed to stop the aliens from trying to get free – at least for a short moment. Everybody was now staring at Vile, as they couldn’t believe what they just had heard. Leela, still trying to cut her bonds, was still trying not to miss a single word that was pronounced, as she knew that would crucial for the next minutes, and may – who knows ? – help them to escape.

Ndnd was the first one to break the silence again.

“- WHAT ?!? But… But… All this…
- Would you pleave let me finifh, milady ? Said Vile, simulating irritation. Fhank you. I’m a dveniuf when it comev to technolodvy, vhat iv indifcutable, but unfoltunately, I nevel wav able to make a doomfday devife. I’m afhamed to fay vhif, but I fimply don’t know how futfh fhingv wolk, and all my attemptf to find fomeone who could help me to make one failed, wivh vhat culsed ban.
- But then… Said Lrrr. What’s that thing, on the platform ?
- Mmmh ? Oh, you’le talking about vifh ? Said Vile, pointing the ‘doomsday device’. Dvuft a difguised nytlogen bomb. Powelful enoufh fol destloying vifh volcano, but not fol an entile wolld, I’m aflaid.
- It was a fake ?! During this whole story !? Said Morbo.
- Egvactly. I gueff you can undelftand I had to make you fhink it was leal, henfe vhe little manipulafion. Now vhat you ale all vhele, I can tell you evelyfhing. Av foon av I heald about vhif little wal of youlv, I knew it wav a pelfect moment fol making fome money out of you. Henfe vhe fake doomfday devife. Vhen, I afked myfelf : whitfh one ov you would give me vhe beft plife ? Well, what bettel way to detelmine it vhan making an aucfion ?
- We already know this, you traitor ! Screamed Lrrr. And your plan was to fool the winner of the auction and then disappear !
- Not exactly, my lold. Not exactly.”

Vile came down of the platform and began to walk along the alley that was separating the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians. That was obviously his favourite part, the thing he was enjoying the most as a villain : explaining his evil schemes, as his auditory was helpless and could do nothing but listening to him. He didn’t seem to realize such a behaviour caused the defeat of his many predecessors. In fact, if he did realize, he would certainly not care at all.

“- Fhink about it, all ov you. If I leally wanted to fwindle you, would I tell you vhe bomb wav a fake ? Wouldn’t have it been wivel to get out of vhif fyftem befole you would have undelftand you got fooled ?
- Well, maybe it’s because you’re stupid ! Said Trago.
- Come on, we’le talking about me. Tell me… How youl lefpective people would leact if you all get killed in vhe fame time ?
- Are you insane !? Screamed Ndnd. You would become a target ! Our people would want revenge !
- That would be even worse if you get caught by our mighty race ! Said Morbo. You would experience such tortures you would wish they would kill you in the first place !
- You’le miffing vhe point, all ov you. Nobody ekfept vhove who ale hele plesently know I’m involved in vhif ftoly. Youl people ale fo blinded by theil illafionnal hate fol vhe othel vhat vhey would blame vhe othel fol youl deafh. Vhif wal would go on, maybe even mole deftluctive vhan it alleady wav. Youl lefpective new govelmentf would alfo blame vhe DOOP fol not having done anyfhing fol pleventing youl muldelv, lesulting in vhe failule of vhe peafe negofiafionv, and – who knowv ? – attackf againft vhe DOOP. And me, duling vhif whole meff, I would continue to fell illegal weaponv to youl fucceffolv, incleaving even mole vhe dvackpot ! Of coulfe, Omiclon Pelsei 8 would be a bit weakened by what I alleady took flom it, but I know how you wolk : you’ll ftill concentlate all youl effoltf on vhe wal, no mattel what confequenfev it could have on youl people. Vhif wal iv off to a good ftalt fol lafting many yealv. And I can tell you who would vhe leal winnel : me.”

The Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were still trying to look as fearsome as they could despite them being bound on their chair, but even Leela, from where she was, could notice they were in fact all shaking in fear. Nothing seemed to be able to stop Vile, not even them… The criminal mastermind wasn’t lying when he said he was about to perform his most brilliant plan : he would certainly become a legend after such a success – if someone ever understand what happened, which wasn’t sure anyway. But Morbo didn’t want to admit this and his race had been defeated yet. One last question needed to be answered.

“It sounds impressive, human… But I doubt you can make all the proofs disappear !”

Vile looked at the Kabejjedian and smiled again. This time, the anchorman couldn’t hide that he was trying to be as far away as possible of the villain, which wasn’t very efficient as he was still tied on his chair.

“Vhat’f what you fhink ? Funny… I wav fule I faid vhif bomb hele wav ftill powelful enoufh fol deftloying vhif volcano. And… Oh, I don’t know… Anybody who would ftill be in it…”

Vile’s smile stretched out, revealing his teeth.

“A pity I can’t take anyone ov you, ivn’t it ?”
Bending Unit
« #30 : 04-10-2007 12:52 »

No taco for Morbo (part 22)

Leela was best in using the laserblade than Fry, as she was taking less time for cutting the ropes around her ankles than it took Fry to free her hands, but it was still way too slow to her taste. She knew too well what part they were about to play : Vile would leave them on the rock cliff, so that they would blow up with the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians. He was arrogant enough for letting them assist to the inevitable success of his plan, but not fool enough for letting them go and screw the rest of it up… She was trying to do her best, but she still had to hide her efforts a maximum… And she wondered if Vile would give them enough time for her to free her friends, save the aliens (as it would be the only way for putting an end to this madness or at least for preventing it to continue forever) and reach their ship. She would better not have asked that question to herself, as the answer immediately took form. Strangely, it was as if Ms Barnes, her chemistry teacher in high-school, was formulating it in her mind : “Yeah, right, miss it’s-a-miracle-I-can-grab-a-glass, and maybe hens don’t have teeth ? Stop talking nonsense and turn off the gas before your experiment blows up… Again !”

Yeah, there were really were strange things that were crossing her mind when she was stressed. One day, she would have to talk about it.

As for Fry and Bender… It wasn’t better. They were now completely frightened as they came to the same conclusions than the young woman, and were shaking as they were dreading what was going to happen to them. Zoidberg was surprisingly quiet… But then, Leela remembered that the Decapodian was still asleep. Well, it would be another problem that she would have to deal later.

“- Leela, I don’t want to blow up ! Said Fry. Maybe later, when I’ll be old and sick and as mad as the professor, but I still want to live !
- We’re not going to die, replied Leela, not very convinced by her own words. Just let me finish this, and then I’ll free you.
- Oh cruel irony ! Said Bender. I always thought my death would be a disaster for this universe, but not because some random alien guys would die with me !
- Not listening anymore… Said Leela, concentrating on her bonds. Keep quiet, you two.
- Leela… Said Fry, obviously despaired. I do trust you, and I know you’ll get us out of this…
- Fry, I’m working on it, can’t it wait ?
- Not really… Leela, I already told you before, but… If we don’t survive… I really need to tell you…”

Fry paused. Come on. Tell her. Damn, it’s not the first time, and yet it’s still difficult ! The young man gathered the last bits of courage that were still in his heart and tried to talk.

“- Leela… I lo…
- Fo ? What do you fhink ov my little fulplive ?”

The surprise nearly made Fry scream, but it was nothing compared to how frightened was Leela. She was so obsessed with cutting her ropes that she didn’t see Vile coming their way. She almost had a heart attack, but fortunately, as she was working on her knots her hands behind her back, and her legs tucked up behind, the evil mastermind didn’t notice what she was doing. When her heart started to beat again, she quickly tried to answer to Vile in a way that wouldn’t give him any suspicions.

“- Your… Surprise, mister Vile ? Well… Very… Surprising…
- ‘Fulpliving’ ? Said Vile, obviously unsatisfied by Leela’s comment. Vhat’f all ?!
- Oh Lord, no ! Quickly replied Bender. That’s machiavelian ! I’ve never seen something that amazing ! I mean, I rip off everybody on a daily basis, so I know a few tricks, but this ? That’s a swindling masterpiece ! You tricked two powerful empires, you’ve robbed one of them, you’re about to eliminate all the witnesses, all that for doing this again and again and again with the same suckers ? Man, you’ve got to make new words to say how great this, like… Err… Awesomarveltastic !”

Now, the evil master was far more convinced. Counting on his arrogance was the surest way for putting off their execution, but Leela wasn’t sure it would be enough. In fact, she didn’t know if Bender was faking his compliments or not… But Vile didn’t seem to be worried by this. He was exulting, giving up to his pleasure of being recognized as the greatest criminal ever born. Such an ego may cause his defeat in a distant future, but for the moment, nothing seemed to be able to stop him.

“Abfolutely ! Vhif plan iv blilliant ! Finally, all vhove ftupid infatuated jelkf flom vhe Fofiety ov Evil will acknowledve my fupeliolity ! Even Doctol Defpail ! When vhat imbefile will lealn vhif, he’ll have to admit vhat I am vhe beft, and vhat he’v nofhing but a wannabe who can’t hold a candle to me ! Victoly iv mine ! Omiclon Pelsei 8 and Kabedveddia ale mine ! And foon… Vhe entile univelfe will be mine ! And maybe even vhe pallalel onev ! Evely living beingv will bow befole… Iv youl fliend fleeping ?”

Leela suddenly remembered that Zoidberg was still asleep, but now that Vile was pointing at him as he finally noticed his snorings, it was a bit late for taking care of this problem. And considering how much the criminal mastermind liked to impress his audience, she immediately realized the Decapodian was in some deep trouble…

Now, thinking about it, that couldn’t be worse than what they already were in… But as Vile was slowly becoming as enraged as when Fry made fun of his lisping, she preferred to lie, hoping it would calm him down.

“- Errr… Yeah… Sorry about this… He suffers from narcolepsy, and as you captured us, we couldn’t give him his medications, and…
- I don’t cale about hiv medicafionv ! Replied Vile, cutting Leela short. I faid I wanted vhe foul of you to witneff my tliumph, and he would be palt of vhif !
- But that’s not fair ! Said Fry. Even if he was awake, he wouldn’t see anything with all that ink in his helmet !
- Vhat can’t plevent him flom healing evelyfhing !
- And he’s too dumb to realize how great you are anyway, said Bender.
- Leally ? Well, I’m fule he’s not enoufh fol not fealing me ! Kyle, Liam ! Wake him up vhe hald way !”

The two giant goons moved on Zoidberg as soon as their master called them. The first one kicked the Decapodian on the belly, while the other aimed for the helmet. Leela, Fry and Bender were almost able to feel the pain it could have caused to Zoidberg ; he may have a shell that was protecting him from being hurt most of the time, but the goons really kicked hard, and it would certainly have been enough for making the Decapodian screaming if he was already awake. However, it made its effect : considering how the Decapodian was fidgetting, he certainly wasn’t asleep anymore.

“- No ! Gruber ! Don’t hurt me ! I didn’t crash your eggs ! Uh, what ?
- Fo ? Said a pissed off Vile. Awake ?
- Well, I guess so, mister… But I think I slept in a bad position, I have one hell of a tummyache !
- Then, you’d bettel ftay awake fol vhe nekft minutef, ol it will get wolse !
- Why ? What is happening ?” The Decapodian was beginning to remember what situation he was in, which certainly wasn’t helping him from staying calm. “I can’t see a thing ! What’s going on !
- Basically, said Leela, he has fooled everybody, because it wasn’t a doomsday device he was carrying.
- Really ? Phew, that’s a relief !
- Yeah, said Bender, and now, he’s about to blow up the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians.
- Oh Lord… That’s evil…
- And we’ll die with them.”

It was impossible to say what the Decapodian was feeling at the moment, because of the ink in his helmet, but everyone noticed he was suddenly completely still. That surprised Leela, as she was expecting him to start screaming, gesticulating, and trying to run away, most certainly the three at the same time. Even Vile realized that wasn’t natural.

“Heho ? Did you heal what youl fliend faid ?”

The criminal mastermind catch the Decapodian by his right shoulder, hoping he would get a reaction… But as soon as he posed his hand on him, Zoidberg collapsed on the ground, falling next to Bender (and in fact nearly hitting the robot in the process). The surprise made Vile back off a little. Fry and Leela was now staring at the Decapodian with interrogative looks, but Bender, on the other hand was still looking neutral.

“Well, looks like he fainted, said the robot. Told you that was useless.”

Surprise had left Vile’s mind now, but that sure wasn’t an improvement. For a few seconds, the evil master seemed to be on the verge of exploding with rage and vent his anger on the Decapodian… But his rational side managed to tell him he had more pressing issues than to feel insulted by Zoidberg, and he quickly turned on his feet, making a large gesture which made his cape float in the air in a pretty artistic (but vain) way. He was now heading to look after the rest of his “guests”. As soon as he got far enough, Leela resumed cutting her ropes.

“- Moving on… Said Vile, getting back to his previous state of mind. It wav a pleasule being in youl company, but I fhink you know vhat old Ealfhican faying : ‘Time iv money’. I’m folfed to abandon you to youl fate. But don’t wolly ! You won’t have to wait fol long !
- You arrogant, pompous and disgusting Judas ! Said Morbo. You may be winning right now, but you’ll pay for this infamy ! Morbo makes this his death wish !
- Good idea, miftel Molbo, but vhe ploblem iv vhat nobody will be able to cally it on. Vhat iv, unleff you manage to get out of youl bondv, but I highly doubt. It’f impoffible to cut ol bleak vhem wivhout vhe plopel equipment.
- We’ll find a way ! Screamed Lrrr. Us Omicronians always find a way ! And then, you will know that defying Omicron Persei 8 is like putting a gun on your temple !
- When we’ll be free, Vile, said Trago, we will hunt you down like the jackal you are !
- Foundv fun… I always loved vhe tladifionv ov youl lefpective planetf… Now let’f be feliouf : unleff you get vhif… (Vile pulled the same remote control that activated the trapchairs out of his cape) you won’t fulvive. Av foon av I’ll be fal enoufh flom hele, I’ll activate my little toy hele, and…”

And at this moment, Vile’s ship exploded.

The explosion stirred up some of Vile’s henchmen off the ground, and nearly knocked out everybody else in the rock pit. Even Vile couldn’t resist the blast and got thrown on the ground, letting the remote control go of his hand. Leela, Fry, Bender also suffered a bit from the shockwave, but by some extraordinarily, none of them got hurt. Leela feared her helmet would have been destroyed, but she got relieved when she realized it wasn’t the case. For a few seconds, nobody managed to act rationnaly. All of those who were on the rock cliff were slowly trying to stand up, moaning, some more hurt than the others, and all of them looking for eventual wounds.

Vile’s first reflex was to look at his ship. The back of it was almost pulverized, making it absolutely unusable. Only the front part, with the cockpit, seemed to have less suffered, but he would certainly never make it fly again.

But Vile knew it wasn’t an accident or a malfunction. He had lived through enough battles for knowing that this mess had been caused by a rocket. The criminal mastermind looked up, to the upperside of the crater… And he cursed.

There were hundreds of soldiers over there, all of them wearing the DOOP’s military spacesuits. All of them were now aiming the inner part of the crater with their assault rifles, waiting for an order to come. It didn’t took long to Vile to guess which one was carrying a smoking rocket launcher in the crowd… But he also quickly spotted two officers… And when he recognized Kif and Zapp, he could only see in red.

“Cheer up, guys ! Screamed the DOOP captain. The cavalry has just arrived !”
Bending Unit
« #31 : 04-16-2007 01:51 »

No taco for Morbo (part 23)

Everybody was now staring at the top of the crater. Of course, the reactions weren’t the same amongst all those people. For the Planet Express crew, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians, this was a moment of joy… That didn’t last for long, as they remembered that, after all, it was Zapp. For Vile’s henchmen, however, this was terrible news, as they had the idea that they would never be able to face the DOOP’s soldiers in such a place.

As for Vile, he couldn’t think rationnaly anymore : his rage was completely blinding him.

“- YOU !
- Yes, pitiful evil-doer, me ! Said Zapp. And I am here to arrest you for…
- I’m not talking to you, doufhebag ! Said Vile. I’m talking to vhe commandel Klokel !
- What ?” Zapp was completely lost by this turn of events. “Kif ? But… I’m the galactic hero here !
- It’s over, Vile ! Yelled Kif, not paying attention to his superior’s confusion. We’re covering all the exits, and we took care of the men you’ve placed all around this place ! You cannot escape !
- Hey, that’s not fair ! I’m the one who was supposed to say this ! Moaned Zapp.
- Damn you, Klokel ! You may have ftopped me befole, but vhif time you’le too late ! I won’t let you get out of hele alive !
- What’s wrong with you, people ?!? Who’s the over-decorated captain here !!! You should be…
- Oh, fhut up, Blannigan ! You’le a flaud, a cowald, a lial and vhe moft aftonifhing molon I evel met ! I’m ftill tlying to figule out how you got all vhove ftlipef in vhe filft place !
- Well, at least we share the same opinion on something… Whispered Lrrr.
- I gueff I know how you heald about my plevenfe hele, Klokel… Said Vile, giving a murderous look at the Planet Express crew. But how did you convinfe the big bag of fat to come alleft me ?
- ‘Big bag of fat’ ? Said Zapp. Who is he talking about ?
- I just had to tell him that you were hitting on miss Leela here, said Kif. He immediately decided that he should stop you from trying to… Well, I don’t like the term, but he said ‘steal his boob supplies’. The rest was easy.
- Funny ! You said to that ‘big bag of fat’ the exact same thing you said to me ! And apparently, he reacted the exact same way than me !
- Oh… Light… I’m not fulplived. Vhe only momentf when he’v actually fhinking and act blavely ale when it concelnv hif dvenitalv !
- Hrrm… I think you can understand I can’t comment this… Said Kif, looking embarrassed.
- Seriously… Who’s that ‘big bag of fat’ ? Sounds like he’s a pretty pleasant fellow…”

Although she knew this situation was definitely turning at their advantage, Leela didn’t stopped from trying to cut the ropes. And now that there were almost no chances that one of Vile’s men would look at them, as they were all staring at the DOOP soldiers, she decided to take the risk to stop trying to be the most discret as possible. She was almost putting all her strength in her task, and very soon, the rope finally broke. She immediately decided to free Fry as fast as possible before anything else. She would take care of Bender and Zoidberg later, as nothing was in a hurry for the (still unconscious) Decapodian, and as she couldn’t get access to Bender’s limbs without being noticed.

“- Enough talks, Vile ! Screamed Kif. Surrender ! You have no choice !
- Helloooooooo ? Said Zapp. I’m your superior, remember ? I’m the one who must do the warnings !
- Oh yef, I ftill have a tfoife… Didn’t you notife all vhove Omiclonianv and Kabedveddianv vhat ale undel my contlol ? Evel heald of fomefhing like ‘hoftadve taking’ ? Let me go, ol vhey all get flied !
- You wouldn’t do this, Vile... Not with all their armies surrounding the perimeter. They’ve been warned, Vile, do anything, and you’ll be destroyed before even leaving the system. That’s your only chance of getting out of here alive…
- Ooooh, I wouldn’t ? Well, how about we give it a tly, dvuft fol feeing if I’m vluffing ?
- Will you pay attention to me, dammit ?!?”

That took only a few seconds to Leela to free Fry. Now, was the question of getting out of there before the inevitable massacre would begin… But the young woman paused when she saw Morbo’s face. The alien was making vague gestures with his chin at her, that she at first mistook for some sort of insulting attitude (her knowledge of the Kabejjedian manners weren’t that precise). But after a while, she realized he was in fact designating something on the ground. She looked at the direction he was indicating… And that’s at this moment that she realized that the remote control that was commanding the chairs’ straps was not too far away from her. She immediately what the alien wanted her to do. Leela gave the Swiss army knife to Fry.

“Cut Zoidberg’s ropes. Quick !”

She didn’t even finished pronouncing those words that she was already jumping on the remote control. Some henchmen finally realized that she was free, but there was something more important for the moment… As soon as she grabbed the remote control, Leela pressed the big red button that was in it. The whairs’ straps immediately retracted and disappeared, setting all the Omicronians and Kabejjedians free. The aliens immediately moved away, trying to reach their weapons while getting under the cover of some rock formations. Vile only realized what was going on when one of the Omicronians shot him, but just as before the lasershot bounced on his forcefield. Remembering he didn’t have the remote control anymore, he turned round, looking after it… And that’s when he finally saw Leela. When the young woman crossed the mastermind’s eyes, she wished she was able to teleport thousands of lightyears away…


Way up there, on the crater, Kif and Zapp saw everything. It happened so quickly that, at first, they didn’t immediately realized what was going on, but now, Kif understood it was time to take some action.

“- Captain ! The hostages are free !
- Yeah, so ? Said Zapp, obviously upset. Why should I care ?
- But… Sir… Said Kif, surprised by his superior’s attitude. You’re supposed to give the order to fire…
- Oh, so now you’re noticing my presence ? You only remember I’m your superior when you need me, don’t you ?
- What ? Captain, about what happened a few minutes earlier, I…
- Stop talking, Kif ! You seem soooooo happy to ditch me at the first occasion, I don’t see why I should listen to you anymore ! In fact, why are you still at my service ? You’ve always been a bad adviser, and always brought me trouble !”

Now Kif was completely dazed… Of course, he shouldn’t have been surprised, but at the moment he just couldn’t believe a captain was taking the risk to let civilians die just because he was angry he hadn’t been part of a talk.

“- Sir… We can’t do anything without your orders ! I don’t have the right to command fire if I’m only accompanying my superior ! They need help, down there !
- I hear nothing !
- They may be killed !”

Zapp’s only answer was to cover his ears with his hands.

“Lalalalala, I can’t hear youuuuuu !”

Flabbergasted, Kif tried to articulate coherent words for reasoning his superior, but he was just too stunned for doing something convincing. Until he shot another look at what was going on in the crater, and realized that Vile was now staring at Leela.

“Oh my God ! He’s about to kill her !”

That managed to make Zapp look into the crater too. The captain gasped when he realized his subordinate wasn’t lying.

“What ?!? My gorgeous Leela, about to be turned into a burned steak ? I won’t let that damn baldie ruin my most promising – and sexy – investment ! FIRE AT WILL, BOYS !!!”

The DOOP soldiers had been waiting for this order way too long… They all began to fire their weapons on Vile’s henchmen, and from that moment, a real shower of lasershots poured down on the criminals. A large number of them managed to get undercover, but some didn’t get that chance. As soon as they got covered, Vile’s henchmen tried to defend and began to shoot back at the DOOP soldiers, but they had another problem : taking advantage of the DOOP attack, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were shooting them as well. The aliens weren’t as numerous as the DOOP soldiers, but this situation was still forcing Vile’s men to lead the battle on two fronts.

But someone wasn’t paying attention at all about the battle. Vile couldn’t care a single bit of what was going on, the only thing he wanted now was to see Leela dead. He wasn’t even aware that several persons already tried to shoot him down, as the various lasershots were still bouncing off on his forcefield.

“I wav leady to give you a quick death… But now, you can plepale fol a lot of pain, bitfh !”

Vile’s hand suddenly began to glow ; Leela immediately remembered what it could mean. She just had enough reflexes for dodging the first shot of Vile’s Thundergloves. She immediately tried to take shelter behind some rocks, hoping she wouldn’t be hit at some moments. Neither Vile’s henchmen nor the DOOP soldiers or the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were aiming her, but it would certainly be extremely easy to take a stray shot… And furthermore, there was still the problem of dealing with Vile. The evil master seemed to know how to use his weaponry, and he was completely protected from lasers by his forcefield. Unless she could have attacked him by surprise, as it wasn’t sure he couldn’t be harmed by other kind of weapons, but there were for the moment noc hances she would get near him without being hurt herself. Her only hope was to stay out of his vision.

And even this hope didn’t last for long when the rock behind which she was hidden nearly exploded from another shot of the thunder gloves. Apparently, Vile decided to use his weapons at their full destructive capacity.

“I can fee youuuuuuu !” Screamed a nearly frantic Vile.

Vile shot once again, and this time Leela barely had the time to get out. The violence of the blast threw her on the ground. Briefly dazed, Leela thought the explosion had deafened her, but she got reassured when she noticed she could still hear all the bangs. Well, as reassured as you can be when you’re in the middle of a battlefield, anyway. But she quickly remembered that Vile was chasing her. Panicked, she looked behind her and saw the villain, about to shoot again. Vile wasn’t controlling himself anymore ; his face was deformed once again by a smile, but not the basic smile of a criminal mastermind. It was the same kind of a smile that a psychopath would have before murdering an innocent victim. Vile was so enjoying the idea of what he was about to do to her that he was even less looking human than Lrrr or Morbo. The calculating and manipulative villain had been replaced by a bloodthirsty maniac… And Leela knew too well she wouldn’t be able to dodge his attack this time. No shelter around her, not enough time for getting up and running away, no way for her to defend herself… Leela saw Vile’s glove glowing once again…

But then the Earth exploded just in front of him, projecting him from the ground. Leela quickly guessed that a rocket must have been the cause of this, but she just couldn’t care at all about the reason beyond this. She quickly got up and ran away. First, finding the others. Then… Well, getting alive of this mess would be a good thing…

For a few seconds, Vile stayed lying down on the ground. He was at first knocked up, but as his armor protected him from the main attack, he quickly recovered. His first decision was to make a quick inspection of the state of his armor. The results were encouraging : a few scratches here and there, but everything was still fully functionnal. But after that, he immediately remembered what he was about to do. He looked everywhere, trying to find Leela… But he quickly realized she had vanished. Because of that explosion, he has let his prey go… Once again, he got possessed by his rage ; he looked up, trying to see who could have fired that rocket. He finally saw the same DOOP soldier who destroyed his ship only a few minutes earlier. The man was already preparing to shoot again, but this time, the villain wasn’t willing to let him do this again. Vile aimed at the soldier and fired at him with the full power of his thunder gloves. He saw the rock pit upon which the soldier was standing only a few seconds earlier explode, but couldn’t really tell if he killed him. But when the smoke and the dust stopped floating around, he couldn’t see him.

That wasn’t enough. Only one thing could extinguish his anger : the blood of his enemies. As the DOOP soldiers were shooting at him again, needlessly as his forcefield was still active, his thunder gloves began to glow again.

Bending Unit
« #32 : 04-18-2007 12:39 »

No taco for Morbo (part 24)

The battle really wasn’t going well for Vile’s henchmen. They were doing their best for containing the assaults from their opponents, but there was absolutely no way out for them. Everytime they thought they could have cleared an area, another group of DOOP soldiers was appearing out of nowhere and was getting in the battle. They were losing men at each seconds, and now, for worsening their situation, another group of DOOP soldiers was using the tunnel entrance for accessing the rock cliff. And of course, there were still the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians, who were constituting another threat they had to take into account.

However, the situation began to change when Vile really got in the battle. Protected by his forcefield, the villain was making undescribable damage to the DOOP lines, taking down every soldiers wielding a rocket launcher first and then taking care of their colleagues. When he saw that turn of events, Zapp quickly declared he would supervise the battle from the last lines, out of Vile’s vision and moreover without the capacity to see anything that could happen inside the crater. And of course, he gave Kif the responsibility of leading the charge from the front line. Once again, the only kind of protest the Amphibian could make was to sigh.

The Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were also perfectly aware of the threat that Vile was, but couldn’t find a way of bringing him down. For the moment, Vile wasn’t paying attention to them, but they knew it wouldn’t last for long. But that was apparently not stopping them from uniting their forces against the mastermind’s troops. In fact, they were too happy to be in the middle of a battle, and moreover to not be powerless anymore, for feeling fear.

“- Bwahahahahahaha ! Take that, you human scum ! Screamed Lrrr.
- Nice shot, puny Omicronian !” Said Trago. “Right in the groin !
- Thanks ! That was one of our favorite game in the war academy. We were even making competitions. 50 points for one hit,100 for a headshot, 200 if it’s the family jewels !
- Morbo wants to ask something, said the anchorman. How much if you disarm one of them by shooting at the hand holding his gun ?
- I think it was 250… Unless you play with the artistic notation, that would give you a bonus.
- Then Morbo has 350 points for the moment !
- Pfuh ! That’s why Trago his your superior, Morbo ! I may be at 500 points !
- What ? No way ! Said Lrrr. I won’t let you beat me at this game !
- How about a competition, then ? Asked Morbo. We erase our scores and then we properly count, the loser pays a round.
- Fine with me ! Said Lrrr.
- Prepare your wallet, stupid ape, Trago is a mean drunk !”

A few feet away, Ndnd sighed before shooting at another henchman.


Leela was too busy jumping from one shelter to another, dodging the shots and knocking out those who would try to stop her for wondering if a kick in the throat would count for 20 or 30 points… Her only priority was to find her friends and to get out of this place before all those idiots would kill them inadvertently. Luckily, she finally found them against the rock walls, behind the remains of Vile’s ship. After another forward roll for dodging a burst, she took some seconds for slowing down her heartbeats and look at her friends. Fry was flattening himself against the ship, hoping nobody would notice him, while Zoidberg, free and awake, was curled up in a corner, covering his ears and crying. His helmet seemed to be even more filled with ink than before. But what immediately caught her attention was that Bender was still posed on the ground, without his limbs. Which was even more surprising was that they managed to bring the crate containing them in their shelter, but apparently didn’t try to open it. Leela screamed at the top of her lungs so that Fry would hear her.

“- Why is he still like this ?
- We can’t have his limbs ! Screamed Fry. They’re still in the crate !
- So ? What’s the problem ? We just open it, and then…”

KZTT !!!

Leela screamed of pain as a powerful electric shock ran through her body. Fortunately, it didn’t last more than a fraction of seconde, but that was enough for her to forget about the war around them until she got back to her senses.

“- Oh, crud… Said the young woman. The nanites… I forgot them…
- Isn’t that cool ? Said an obviously pissed off Bender. I’m still legless because of some freaking miniature dorks who have decided to overdo their job !
- I tried, Leela, I really did, said Fry, but it’s impossible to do a single move for this without being toasted. And the worst thing is that I think those shocks are becoming stronger and stronger each time ! Last time, I’m sure I could have lit up a neon just by touching it !
- Dammit ! But we can’t let him that way ! Just think about it, and then… Fry ? Oh my God, Fry, look at your wrist !”

The young man didn’t understand why the young woman was now looking that frightened, but he obeyed to her nonetheless. That’s at this moment that he realized that his spacesuit was torn at his right wrist. He sure was surprised, but not to the point of being as worried as Leela apparently was.

“- Man… I must have done this when I got thrown on the ground after the explosion… Hermes will so deduct that suit’s price from my salary !
- But… How could you still be alive ?!? Asked a stunned Leela. You should be intoxicated with that planet’s stench !
- Well, I told you before, Leela : I don’t see why you all say that place stink that bad. It’s just only a bit more full-bodied than my apartment’s smell !
- Come on, Fry, I’ve already been in your apartment before, but that didn’t…” Leela paused. “Wait, it did. My bad. But what about the temperature ! It’s way below zero here ! How couldn’t you have noticed the change of temperature !?
- Hey, Leela, said Bender, tell me, where are we exactly ? A volcano’s crater, right ? You don’t really freeze in here…
- Yeah, well, I should as well get rid of that thing, said Fry. It’s not that comfortable, especially in the lower parts. My… Errr… Man-thing itches badly with that thing.
- Do not even think of scratching it right in front of me !
- Oh come on, Leela, I still have some dignity !”

Fry concluded his talk by scratching his butt. Leela sighed, but more of powerlessness than of exasperation. All her previous attempts to learn him some manners failed in the past, and that was not now, in the middle of a freaking battlefield, that he would learn something ! That would be like trying to make a cat barf, or a Decapodian not eat the plate, the cutlery and the table at the same time than the dish. The Cyclops gave another look at the crate, getting back to her previous priorities.

“- That still don’t tell us how we could open the – I mean, get Bender’s limbs. There must be some way of tricking the nanites’ barrier ; after all, we already tricked them once ! Now, the problem is that we all want them. Except… Zoidberg, would you…
- I don’t want to die ! Screamed the Decapodian, sobbing. I don’t want to die !
- Okay, nevermind, said Leela. Can’t count on him either. Fry, is there anything you could…”

Leela stopped. She looked in the young man’s direction when she began to ask him her question, but she certainly wasn’t expecting to see him wear nothing but his underpants.

“- Fry… Were you naked under your suit ?
- Of course ! Replied the young man. It already itches a lot in that thing, that would have been worse if I wore clothes under them !”

Leela suddenly felt she was about to have a headache. What did she say a few days earlier ? Oh yes, that they were always getting more or less naked in every mission…

“- You’re supposed to wear special skintight underwear under the suit ! No wonder that itches you that much !
- Skintight underwear ? Said a dumbfounded Fry. Are you wearing such ones right now ?
- Of course !”

When Leela saw Fry smile just after she answered his question, she immediately understood she should have shut up.

“- Interesting…
- Fry, stop imagining me in my underwear and get dressed immediately. We already have enough problems for having a guy running around in this battlefield with only his briefs on !
- Well, at least that would distract all those guys and give us a chance of running away while they would be too busy looking at his ass… Said Bender.
- The Lethal Weapon 4 plan ? Said Fry. That could work…
- No way we would let Fry do this, Bender ! Said Leela.”

The robot grumbled. That was apparently a plan he had imagined a long time ago that fell through before it even began.

“Damn, you can never have fun here…”

Fry tapped his friend’s shoulder, in a sympathetic way.

“Oh, cheer up, Bender. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun as soon as we’ll have opened that crate and…”

KZTT !!!

Once again, because of his lack of caution, Fry got shocked by the nanites. And this time, he needed a real long time for getting back to normal. He wasn’t hallucinating, the shocks really were becoming stronger and stronger every time they occurred. He even fell on his knees, until the pain flew away. On his side, Bender seemed to have suffered as well, as he was now moaning, his eyes rolling in their sockets. But the robot too finally recovered from the shock.

“- Dammit, meatbag, pay a little attention to what you’re thinking ! This time it was so powerful I felt it !
- Sorry, Bender… I couldn’t think that…”

Fry stopped. It was extremely rare, but something that could be considered as the premice of an idea was slowly taking form in his mind. Really slowly.

“- Wait a second… I’m the one who activated the nanites and got shocked, but you felt it too ? Why ?
- Well, you were touching him… Said Leela, troubled as well by the event. That really is becoming scary. As soon as we’ll get back to Earth, we’ll have to force the professor to remove those nanites from our organism before…
- Vile’s forcefield protects him from any lasershot, right ? Asked Fry interrupting her.
- If not, then he’s really lucky for standing in an open field and having been shot down already ! Said Bender.
- But you can still touch him even when it’s activated… Said Fry, who was finally beginning to understand what his neuron (yes, singular) was shouting at him through the molasses that was forming his brain.
- I’d say yes, otherwise he couldn’t have asphyxiated you by turning off your oxygen… Replied Leela, who was having a foreboding.
- And his spacesuit is entirely metallic, right ?”

Leela finally guessed what he was thinking about.

“Fry, if you ever…”

The young man suddenly jumped out of their shelter before Leela could have done a single move. She wanted to go out too to catch him and force him to get back behind the ship’s remains, but she got stopped by rapid bursts of lasers that immediately hit their location after Fry got out. Apparently, Vile’s henchmen finally noticed their presence and thought they could be a danger for them as well. There was no way for the Cyclops to chase her friend without being shot as soon as she would have posed a foot outside. She couldn’t tell exactly what she was feeling : was she angry at Fry for his initiative, scared about what could happen to him, or in despair because she couldn’t do anything to help him ?

“Fry !”

The young man didn’t hear his friend’s scream, as he already was running in the battlefield, going from one provisory shelter to another. He was in one strange state of mind, terrified by the idea he would inevitably get killed, but also convinced he had to do this and to finally end that battle. Luckily, many henchmen had already been defeated and it wouldn’t be long before they would surrender, so there wasn’t that much people who would try to shoot him. Besides, many of thought they were having visions : after all, when you’re trying to fight for your life, you don’t really expect to see an almost naked guy running in front of you. In fact, many preferred to ignore his existence and were trying to convince themselves he wasn’t really there. Another element came to his help : Kif spotted him from his position. Of course, at first he was a bit surprised, but he still was able to command his men.

“- Burke ! Adams ! Cover the red-haired civilian down there !
- The red-haired… Oh damn, I thought I was already beginning to have visions becaue of battle trauma ! Said private Burke.
- This is an order ! He’s one of those we’re supposed to save, make sure one of those criminals doesn’t shoot him down !
- Roger, commander, said Adams. Man, they didn’t say anything about protecting guys in briefs in the recruitment campaign…”

Fry was still getting closer to his target, and now he really was feeling he should have stayed in safety. Vile was still shooting the DOOP lines with his thunder gloves’ rays, taunting them with his current invincibility. Blinded by his madness, enraged, the mastermind was too concentrated on making as much as damage he could among his opponents to notice Fry. In the moment, even if all his men were dealt with, it was impossible to find a way to stop him…

But Fry thought he had found it.

As he was still trying to deal with his anguish, Fry only realized he was just behind the villain at the very last moment. The young man wasn’t thinking rationnaly anymore… It was time to take action. Jumping on his feet, Fry suddenly grabbed Vile by his shoulders. It’s only at this moment that the emperor of crime noticed Fry’s presence.

“What vhe…”

Fry didn’t let his prey react. He immediately shouted one single sentence.


KZTT !!!

The shock nearly lasted for one second, which looked like a millenium to Fry. The young man felt the electric shock go through his entire body, causing such a pain he thought he would crush his own teeth through gritting them. But just like what happened a few minutes earlier, he wasn’t the only one who was suffering in this moment. Because of the contact, Vile got shocked too. The villain screamed of suffering, while in the same moment, all the circuits of his armor burnt, blown by the sudden electric overload. The hydraulics that were supporting the armor’s weight and were helping Vile to move broke down as well, and as a result the mastermind, unable to withstand the mass of his own creation, fell on the ground and got stuck there as he couldn’t make a single move. At first, dazed by the shock, Vile wondered what happened, but he quickly gathered all the pieces of the puzzle… But that didn’t help him to be less dumbfounded.

“- Have… I been… Defeated… By a guy in hiv undelpantf ?!?
- Looks like it, said Fry, still a bit exhausted. It was that, or a Decapodian or a limbless robot.
- Vhat doevn’t leally make me feel bettel…”
Bending Unit
« #33 : 04-22-2007 10:24 »

No taco for Morbo (part 25)

The battle ended just as quick as it started. After Vile got defeated by Fry, his surviving henchmen lost hope and quickly surrendered to the DOOP. All of them got quickly chained up and bound, before being taken away in the various prison ships that Zapp and Kif brought with them. Only Vile stood behind : Zapp insisted on keeping an eye on him during the whole trip, and they couldn’t immediately carry him away before his suit’s hydraulics would be repaired anyway. That didn’t take long for fixing them, but now the criminal mastermind was handcuffed and couldn’t use any of his secret weapons. The surprise of being neutralized quickly faded away, and was replaced by a silent and yet immeasurable wrath against the DOOP officers, the Omicronians, the Kabejjedians, the Planet Express crew and more generally the rest of the universe. Vile was already planning his revenge, but he wasn’t a threat anymore.

Zapp quickly joined Kif inside the volcano’s crater as soon as the battle came to an end. Leela already knew he would just take all the credits for their success, putting Kif’s acts in the shadow again. Her presentiment got reinforced as soon as she saw come in their direction, smiling and showing off like an old and sick peacock who was refusing to admit his best years were gone.

“And once again, Zapp Brannigan saves the day ! No no no, don’t thank me, I’ve only done what was natural for someone as brilliant, brave and handsome like me would do !”

Behind his back, Kif sighed. Looks like he would better hope he’d get a promotion after this day. Not that he was still hoping anything anyway… Zapp turned to Leela, flashing another one of his annoying smile to her. Suddenly, the Cyclops was wondering if Fry would better have waited that Vile would have took the DOOP captain down before stopping him…

“- And now, I guess it’s time for a small reward…
- You know, Zapp, said Leela in a perfectly neutral tone, I can still punch your ugly face through your helmet…
- Ooooh, that’s the Leela I know. Wild. Impulsive. Dangerous. Like a tigress… Without the fur and with only one eye, but still one damn sexy tigress…
- If you really are aroused by felines, then you really should consult. I’m sure there’s a lot of psychiatrists that would be very interesting to have a look at you.
- Male or female psychiatrists ?”

Leela tried so hard to repress her urge to carry out her threat that she nearly had an aneuvrism…

“- Moving on… What’s the plan now ?
- I thought you’d like a fine restaurant, and then we would…
- About Vile !
- Well, he’ll get transferred out of this quadrant to the nearest DOOP prison, and then he’ll be judged for weapon smuggling, attempt of murder, swindling and war crimes. I’d love to be there when he’ll be sentenced to death, but alas, I still have to lead the negotiations. A pity considering I’m the one who beat and captured him…
- Beg your pardon ?” Said Fry, who had put on his spacesuit back meanwhile. “I’m the one who beat his ass !
- Yeah, don’t steal my buddy’s thunder !”

Bender grabbed Fry’s shoulder, expressing his support. As soon as the last Vile henchman had been captured, one of the DOOP soldiers opened the crate that was containing his limbs and helped him to get back on his feet.

“- Without him you’d be a little pile of ash ! For once that he doesn’t completely goof up something, he deserves some better consideration !
- Thank you, Bender, said Fry, smiling to his friend. That’s really cool from you.
- Ah, no problems ! Just remember your good ol’ robot pal when you’ll receive your reward !
- That really is touching, said Zapp, but you still have nothing to do here, and are therefore outlaws. So here’s the deal : I forget your presence and the role you played in that battle, and you won’t rot in the same jail than Vile, while I get all the honors. Deal ?
- Deal.” Replied Leela, aware they should be happy of getting out of that situation that easily.

Zapp then turned to Vile, who was now flanked by two muscular DOOP soldiers. Leela had the funny feeling that if Kyle and Liam had distant cousins, they would look like those two guys.

“- So, Vile ? What does it do to have been defeated by the most magnificent captain in that quadrant, if not in the entire galaxy ?
- Fclew you, buffoon ! Replied Vile, enraged. My plan wav pelfect, and I would have been vhe rifheft evil maftelmind of vhe univelfe, if it wavn’t fol vhose meddlingv kidv !
- Hey ! Said Fry. I’m old enough to be your great great great great great and many other great grandfather !
- And what about the money he stole to the Omicronians ? Asked Leela.
- Alas, I think we may never be able to recover it. Now that will certainly…
- Done !”

Everybody looked in the direction where came that scream. Surrounded by a bucnh of guards, Vile’s hacker was once again in front of his laptop.

“- I’ve just finished, said the hacker. All the money has just been transferred to the Omicronian Treasure.
- Hey, I said we may never get it back ! Said a pissed off Zapp. Do you want me to look stupid or something !? Put it back to Vile’s secret account !
- What ? Said the hacker, surprised. But your friend here…
- First, he’s not my friend, he’s my lieutenant. And second, if you don’t want to spend your entire life in a jail, you’d better…
- Hahem…”

Zapp immediately stopped, as he had the feeling he knew who it could be. Turning slowly, he saw that the entire Omicronian delegation was behind him. Of course, Lrrr and Ndnd were in the front row, their arms crossed on their chest and stamping their foot, looking angry. The DOOP captain smiled nervously, and looked at the hacker again.

“… Leave the money where it legally belongs, the Omicronian Treasure ! You helped that villain from robbing those innocent tyrans, now redeem from your sins !”

Zapp turned again, facing the Omicronian again. This time, he tried to look as solemn as he could, but the fact that he nearly wet himself a few seconds earlier wasn’t really helping him.

“- So, your majesty, said Zapp, are you feeling good ? I hope you didn’t get hurt and…
- What do you think, stupid human ? Replied Lrrr. That I could have been killed ? I’ve participated to many other battles in the past, this one was merely a pub brawl !
- Yeah, speaking of pubs…”

The Omicronians, Zapp, Kif, Vile and the Planet Express crew turned to see who just spoke. Nobody was really surprised to see it was Trago, followed by Morbo and a few other Kabejjedians.

“- Trago thinks you Omicronian own him a drink !
- Hey, it’s not my fault ! Replied the Omicronian leader. Had I not been slipped on this rock while aiming that guy, I would have beaten you !
- Luck is a part of the game, said Morbo. The fact is that Morbo’s leader has 50 points more than you, which means he’s the winner !
- Alright, alright… But I choose the pub !
- Trago doesn’t have a problem with this.
- Well, it’s a pleasure to see that all you gentlemen are all safe and sound ! Said Zapp, trying to get in the conversation. And it’s good to see you’re friends too !
- You can say that, smelling ape, said Morbo. It looks like that the idiotic Omicronians and our glorious race have a lot more in common than they thought !
- That’s exactly what I was thinking ! Said Lrrr. I would never have thought I would love kicking some inferior species’ butts with a degenerated Kabejjedian !
- Do you even listen to what you’re saying ?!? Said Ndnd, who just couldn’t stand her husband’s words any longer. You could be convicted of making a pact with them !
- Oh, come on, female ! Said an exasperated Trago. We’re just talking ! I think you would get on very well with Trago’s wife, you’re just as annoying as her !
- Oh really ? Replied Ndnd. Well, I can only sympathize with someone who has to live with such a rude person !
- That’s what Trago said : it’s like you are distant sisters !
- Well, I’m pretty to hear all this, said Zapp. Does this mean we’re about to find an agreement about this war ?
- Certainly not !”

That reaction sure shocked everybody who was neither Omicronian nor Kabejjedian. Trago, Lrrr, Morbo and Ndnd replied in unison to Zapp’s question, without any variations. The DOOP captain needed a few seconds for getting over his first amazement.

“- What ? But… You all sound…
- Hey, listen, little man, said Morbo. We may feel close, but that doesn’t change a thing about our concerns. We may have fought together against that wretched Vile, and as we mutually tried to betray each other, that kind of cancel that story. But we still have that disagreement about who should possess this planet. Obviously, it’s us, but our opponents think the contrary. And there will be no way we would change our point of view.
- We share the exact same point of view, said Ndnd, except that it’s us who are the legitimate owners of Plainrock 1246. That Vile incident is over, but the major concern is still unresolved.”

Everybody was now looking disappointed on the human / sewer mutant / amphibian / decapodian / robot side. The situation seemed to be absolutely hopeless. Those two alien races were becoming friendly toward each other (which may not have been really good news, having a second thought about it, as they were still psychotic murdering warlovers), and yet they still didn’t want to live at peace with each other just for the sake of their honor ! After some hesitations, Zapp decided to play of role of negotiator to the maximum.

“- Then I guess we should new talks as soon as we can.
- Exactly, replied Lrrr.
- But there’s a small problem, now…
- Which one, human ? Asked Trago.
- Well, the two of you tried to acquire forbidden weapons, which may expose you to some intergalactic retaliations…”

Leela slapped her forehead. He couldn’t have threatened the two most dangerous world leaders while their respective armies were surrounding the whole planet… But unfortunately, she already knew he did. And considering how Trago and Lrrr were now looking at him, it wasn’t sure he would ever understand how stupid it was.

“- Retaliations first need accusations, said Trago.
- Yeah, of course… Said Zapp, realizing how tensed the atmosphere was now.
- And accusations first need that someone formulate them, don’t you agree ? Said Lrrr.
- Of course…” Zapp tried to sponge his forehead, but his helmet prevented this. “But… If I may…
- I don’t think anybody here would ever accuse us of deliberately trying to break the international law, resumed Trago. In fact, I don’t even think we can be accused of anything.
- But… But…” Zapp was nearly wetting himself, but as he started to act like a responsible DOOP officer, he was now forced to carry on. “There’s still that bomb here, even if it’s not a doomsday device… It’s a proof that…
- Proofs can be destroyed, said Lrrr. This one won’t be an exception.
- Working on it !”

Surprised, everybody turned to look at Fry who had spoken (except for Zoidberg ; nobody managed to find a way to clean the inside of his helmet from the ink he spat). Leela was so concentrated on the talk between Trago, Lrrr and Zapp to notice that the young man had left the group to reach the bomb. During the various banters, Fry had been dragging the weapon to the edge of the rock cliff, the one overhanging the magma lake. A little push, and the bomb would fall in the lava, several yards below.

Nobody realized that Vile was now sweating heavily, and it wasn’t because of the heat.

“- Fry, what are you planning exactly ? Asked Leela, who suddenly was having a bad feeling about the situation.
- Well, I don’t know for you, but I don’t really like of having something like this just behind, just waiting to burst and changing me into a small pile of ashes, so I kinda took the initiative of getting rid of it. And as everyone wants that now…
- ‘Getting lid ov it’ ? Said a panicked Vile. You can’t be feliouf ! Dvuft put it back whele it wav, and…
- Nah, that way is quicker. And far less tiring.

But the criminal mastermind, who tried to get back on his feet but got stopped by two DOOP soldiers, couldn’t prevent the young man from pushing the bomb with his foot. The deadly device was now falling to its destruction, in the magma. Nobody seemed to be particularly worried by this, except Vile who was now experimenting a curious mix of hate and fear.

- Why ? Asked Fry, as clueless as ever. You wanted to blow it up anyway.

Leela was about to ask what was so worrying about this, when the bomb finally sank in the lava. Its external envelope melted in a blink, exposing the explosive matter to the intense heat…

And triggering the explosion.

It was as if a dwarf star suddenly was burning inside the crater. The force of the blast caused tremors that threw everybody on the ground and blasted the part of the rock cliff that was directly over the magma lake. Caught in this apocalypse of rocks and heated gas, Fry flew in the air a few seconds before hitting the rock wall over the tunnel entrance. His final meeting with the ground was painful, but by some extraordinary luck, he wasn’t suffering from any major wounds. The explosion also threw large amounts of lava in the air, some of them getting so high they went over the crater’s limit. Of course, a large part of it fell on the rock cliff… It required many skills to everybody to dodge the various parts of lava ; Leela had to help Zoidberg, who was just standing where he was, screaming “My friends ! What’s going on ?”, and unable to dodge the lava fallout. Without her, the Decapodian would have been killed, burnt to a cinder.

When things got quieter, everybody turned to Fry, all angry. Feeling unease, Fry was nervously smiling, trying to look relaxed. It wasn’t really working well.

“- Smart move, Fry, said Leela, not even hiding her anger.
- Next time you want to take an initiative, Morbo will throw you in that damn crater, understood ? Said the Kabejjedian anchorman.
- Hehehe… Sorry… Said Fry. I wasn’t really expecting that.
- Vhat’f only vhe beginning molon !”

Zapp turned to face Vile. Apparently, the criminal mastermind was now completely panicked.

“- Oh, shut up, fiend ! Sure, that rocked a bit, but now it has exploded, it…
- … Will get wolfe and wolfe ! Said Vile, interrupting the DOOP captain. Doev nobody hele know how vhat ftupid planet wolkf ?!? Whele do you fhink vhat poivonouf ftenfh comev flom ? Vhif planet’v undelglound iv a vaft netwolk ov cavitiev filled with pleffulized gaf ! Vhif volcano nevel had an elupfion finfe itf folmafion, and vhat’f what plevented all vhif gaf flom fuddenly been edvected in vhe atmofphele ! But aftel vhif ekfplovion, vhe cavitiev containing all vhat gaf ale weakened, and vhe following tfain leacfion will flagilive all vhe ovhelv ! Vhey won’t hold fol long !
- Which means ?” Asked Bender.

Vile’s anger was getting back. He couldn’t believe they were all stupid enough for forcing him to be more precise.


Everybody was now looking at each other, wondering if the criminal mastermind was making all this up for trying to get away…

But then, the ground began to shake.

A growing sound of rumble could be heard.

Cracks appeared on the rock walls around the group.

The magma lake’s surface was progressively altered by an increasing number of bubbles.

“Uh-oh.” Said Fry.
Bending Unit
« #34 : 04-26-2007 13:15 »

No taco for Morbo (part 26)

The tremors were getting stronger and stronger, and already some pieces of rock were coming off the crater’s walls to fall either on the rock cliff or in the lava pit. This last one was now boiling so intensively that bigger and wider projections of magma were troubling the lake’s surface every now and then. Panic began to spread among the various people who were still gathered in the crater.

“TO THE SHIPS, QUICK !” Screamed Leela.

Nobody waited for her to repeat her injunction. Everybody was already running to the crater’s exit, especially Zapp who didn’t even waited to see if anybody was following.

“Okay, remember, Zapp, said the DOOP captain to himself. You’re not fleeing like a coward. Certainly not ! It’s just a perfectly rational decision, and the fact you will have to make Kif clean the inside of your suit is just a coincidence. Exactly.”

The others weren’t that away from him, however. In only a matter of seconds, everybody, from the DOOP soldiers to the Planet Express crew, and including the prisoners, the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were already out of the crater. Kif, despite the panic, ordered one of his subordinates to call the negotiation camp and tell them to evacuate the planet as fast as possible. All the various groups were now running in order to get to their ships before the inevitable would occur.

Fry, Leela, Bender and Zoidberg, jostled around by the others, were amongst the last ones to get out of the volcano’s tunnel. The Earthicans and the robot were even the more slowed down that they had to carry Zoidberg. As soon as he realized what was going on, the Decapodian freaked out and tried to ran away, but as he was still blinded by his ink, he only managed to run in a rock wall and knocked himself out. At least he wasn’t screaming anymore.

As soon as they got out of the tunnel, the quakes reached a new level, and the tunnel finally collapsed behind them. They stopped a second and looked behind, realizing how lucky they were, but a new tremor made them run again. Getting back to their ship was now taking much less time than getting to the volcano a few hours ago, but in their haste they nearly hurtled down the slope in a painful manner…

“- Faster ! Screamed Leela. I don’t think we have much more time !
- Well, that would be better if we weren’t carrying that dead weight ! Said Bender. Can’t we…
- No !
- But that way we’d…
- I said no !
- If there’s a common afterlife for robots and meatbags, don’t yell at me when we’ll be there !
- I won’t hold for long… Said Fry, completely exhausted. He’s way too heavy… I can’t…”

Just at this moment, a monstrous deflagration occurred hundreds of miles away from their position. It was as if a nuclear bomb, buried only a few feet under the ground, exploded, producing a gigantic cloud of smoke and dust that was almost covering the entire sky. The group could see thousands of square miles of land being disintegrated in a blink. Lumps of rock got projected around in a superficy  as wide as a small county, some of them even being thrown in outer space because of the strength of the blast. Leela made a quick calculation that informed her that it would take a few minutes before the rock fragments would finally fall to the ground. The group stood still a few moments, amazed by the show, too astounded for making a single move. But then, when another similar explosion occurred a bit further, and then another one, and another one… All of them getting closer and closer from each other… Then they ran as they never ran before.

Finally, the Planet Express ship was in their field of vision. Somehow, they gained even more stamina from seeing their rescue and even accelerated until they got to the ship’s access stairs. The sky was now completely darkened by the gigantic clouds of dust produced by the detonations, and the uproar caused by the explosions was almost deafening them. As soon as they got inside the ship, the rock fragments were now raining all around the ship. Leela knew it could have withstood the smaller ones, but they would better be off before they would be crushed by a giant one.

The Cyclops let Fry and Bender put the Decapodian in the sick room and rushed to the commands, not even taking the time of getting out of her spacesuit. She activated the engines as soon as she got in the cockpit, and made quick thanks to whatever God would be watching them as they immediately started. She immediately made the ship take off the ground and began to maneuver it so that they would get out of the atmosphere as fast as possible.

She heard the cockpit’s door slide behind her.

“- Leela ! Said Fry. Please tell me we’ll get out of here ! Pleasepleasepleaseplease…
- Quiet, Fry ! Replied a pissed off Leela. I’m working on it !
- Come on, big boots ! Screamed Bender. Full throttle ! Why aren’t we away yet !
- Shut up, Bender, just… Shut up ! That’s not the right moment !”

Now that the ship was completely in a vertical stance, Leela accelerated the ship’s speed to a level that was still bearable for her organism, but was already high enough for projecting Fry and Bender on the back wall. At this speed, Leela barely could avoid the rock fragments, but fortunately, none of them was big enough for causing much damage. She would regret the ship would have to go through such a trial so soon after having been completely repaired later, when she would have enough time. If they wouldn’t get out of the planet’s atmosphere soon enough, they would be lucky if it would only need repairings…

They were already miles away from the ground when the volcano exploded, destroying the place the ship was parked on only a few seconds ago. This was certainly the biggest ground explosion that occurred on the planet’s surface so far ; even from their position, Fry, Bender and Leela got hit by the blast. The entire ship began to shake, tossed about by the force of the gaz emission, but it only lasted for a few seconds until the ship became faster than it. Soon, they got out of the rock fragments’ cloud, and the obscurity of space beyond their windshield finally filled their field of vision. They finally were out of Plainrock’s 1246 atmosphere… But they weren’t out of trouble for the moment. If it was possible to look behind them, they would be able to see the planet’s surface being completely hidden by the titanic dust clouds produced by the explosions. Under those clouds, was a show that was certainly some indication of what the Apocalypse would look like on Earth : the explosions were spreading all around the planet, disfiguring Plainrock 1246’s surface, turning this whole world into an indescribable inferno.

Plainrock 1246 had spent billions of years asleep, earning the award of the most boring planet ever created. It was as if it thought that, after a failed life, it should perform the most spectacular death it can afford.

The Planet Express ship was gaining more and more speed, trying to keep as much distance from the planet as it can…

And at last, the final explosion occurred.

The blast completely dislocated the planet, breaking it in millions of pieces that were now projected at tremendous speeds in all directions. A large share of the planet’s components got vaporized. Among the remains of the planet, some were as wide as entire continents, but, fragilized by the power of the blast, they quickly dislocated into much tinier pieces of rock. A monstrous cloud of dust, big enough for covering the entire Earth, was getting larger and larger, but also less and less thin as the particles were rapidly spacing out, and finally disappeared.

As nothing in the void of space could have slowed them down, the millions of rock fragments were now engaged in a neverending race to an unknown goal. Fortunately, as the Planet Express ship was still flying away from the explosion’s zone, Leela, Fry and Bender didn’t have to deal with them as much as they could have feared. A few hit the ship’s hull, which was resistant enough for not being that bothered by them. Leela finally thought they were out of trouble ; she began to make the ship slow down. When they finally were stopped, she made the ship turn to have a look at the show.

No more planet could be seen. Where Plainrock 1246 was located, was now nothing else but the silent obscurity of space.

The three friends stood where they were, completely stunned by the dramatic events. Only 30 minutes had been enough for causing the disparition of an entire planet. Even after having witnessed this, Fry, Leela and Bender still couldn’t believe everything went so quickly… Speechless, they were still watching the empty space in front of them, asking themselves if that was a hoax, or something less sinister than what it really was…

“That… Was a blast…”

Fry spoke almost mechanically, as his own words came out without his brain really formulating them. But they triggered something in Leela’s mind. It only took her a second for switching into incredulity to madness. She nearly jumped on her feet and slapped Fry, enraged. Surprised, the young man backed out after the impact. His look was reflecting how much he hadn’t expected this.

“- Leela ? Why ? What was that for ?
- You’re axing me why ? YOU’RE AXING ME WHY ?!?”

Leela was clearly getting out of control, which made Fry and Bender back off. The delivery boy even got cornered against the cockpit’s wall, but Leela followed him, and now she was shouting at him, her nose only a few inches away from his.

“- You’ve just destroyed an entire planet, moron ! Screamed the Cyclops. What did you expect, a reward or something !? Do you even realize you could have killed everybody !
- But… But… Staggered Fry. Everybody managed to evacuate…
- And the basecamp ?!? We don’t know if they fled ! From what we know, they may all have died in the explosion !
- I don’t think so… Said Bender, trying to calm down the Cyclops, despite being scared by her at the moment. I mean, they got warned just as it began to smell bad, and those guys all had easy access to their ships, unlike us. I’m sure they’re fine. And after all, those were just Neutrals…
- Even if nobody died, Bender…” Resumed Leela, still glaring at Fry, who was trying to shrink down to a microscopic size. “Even if everybody is fine… Do you remember what was going on ? The Omicronians and the Kabejjedians wanted that planet ! THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR IT ! Because of you, none of those two nations of psychopaths will get it, and believe me, I’m 100 % sure they certainly don’t like being deprived of something they claim ! They will hunt us down, treat us like war criminals, and I don’t even want to think about all the things they will inflict to us ! You’ve doomed us, Fry ! And maybe they would even go after the Earth, just for the sake of having a revenge ! ALL OF THIS BECAUSE OF YOU !!!!”

Fry was now shrivelling up in his corner, trembling like a small child that have made a stupid thing and is being scolded by his mother. The only difference being that it was far more important than a little blunder, and that he was now perfectly aware of this…

“- I thought it would help everybody ! Whined Fry.
- And once again it did nothing but cursing us to an awful fate ! Yelled Leela. By now, you can start praying that the DOOP would find us first, or else…
- Too late for praying, Leela, said Bender.
- Oh yeah ? And why ? Said Leela, angrily turning to face the robot.
- ‘Cause they’re already here.”

Leela looked by the windshield, and she had to admit he was right. The Nimbus was flying in their direction, followed by the Omicronian and Kabejjedian motherships. She didn’t wait for the buzzing indicating that someone was trying to contact them to know they were already spotted. And as she expected, when she activated the communication, she heard Zapp’s voice.

“- Well, well, unless I’m wrong, here’s one fantastic lovebird which is trying to get out of the nest of lust…
- Do you always have to be that dull, Zapp ? Replied Leela, too angry for moderating her words.
- Come on, Leela, you know I will be more “poetic” once we would be making some nasty gymnastics… But I’m afraid we’d have to forget that today. Our friends want to have a talk with you and your reddie friend I can see in the background, crying like a little girl. And I guess I’d be forced to shoot you down if you ever try to escape.
- I get the message, Zapp. We won’t flee. Just make this quick, this comedy has lasted long enough.”

Leela immediately cut the communication, not waiting for another of Zapp’s ridiculous seduction attempt. When she turned, she saw that Fry was now completely devastated by his fear. That managed to make her change her mind. He may have goofed big time… But he was still her friend, someone she always counted on until that moment. She truly wanted to be firm and impassive, and she was finding her resolution to act this way in her anger. But even at the climax of her rage, she still couldn’t want him to suffer as much as she thought he would have to.

“Leela… Please… Said Fry, on the verge of crying. I don’t want to…”

Looking at him broke her heart… But she knew too well there was nothing she could do for him now.

“I’m sorry, Fry… But sometimes… You have to face what you’ve done…”

She tried to be as stoic as she could.

That certainly was the hardest thing she ever did this day.
Bending Unit
« #35 : 04-30-2007 13:08 »

No taco for Morbo (part 27)

A few minutes later, the Planet Express ship was back in the Nimbus’ docking bay. Although all the maneuvers were quickly performed, Fry, Leela and Zoidberg had enough time for getting out of their spacesuits and put on their casual clothes. Bender had to help the young man, however ; shaking with fear, paralized, shocked, Fry couldn’t do anything from his own.

As soon as she got out of the ship, Leela saw that all the officials were already here. Zapp was already going in her direction, closely followed by an exhausted Kif. A bit on the side, she even recognized the Neutral coordinator who had been sent for keeping an eye on the negotiation camp’s organization, which reinsured her on the fate of all those who were still in the camp during the battle against Vile’s henchmen. But she could also see that, in the background, Lrrr and Trago were standing still, looking dread, waiting for them… And that vision chilled the blood in her veins.

Zapp quickly got in her way, not even letting her a moment for trying to calm down and overcome her anxiety.

“- Glad to see you’re still in one piece, Leela. And may I add, one quite appetizing piece…
- Spare me the details, Zapp, replied Leela. I know in what kind of position we are, and I have an idea of what is waiting for us…
- Yes, your lad put us in quite a mess…” The captain came closer to her, smiling. “Unless you’re talking about something else ?
- Did everybody manage to flee before the destruction of the planet ? Said Leela, diverting the conversation.
- Oh yes. Even those cursed Neutrals. Looks like Kif warned them soon enough. They couldn’t take anything with them, however : they were too busy running for their lives… Calmly. They weren’t even flipping out when we found them…” Zapp grumbled something in his teeth. “Damn evildoers ! I let my sexhunt notebook there, do you think one of them would have thought of taking it with him ? Nooooooo, they were…
- And the prisoners ? Said Leela, cutting Zapp short.
- They’re all here. Well… Almost all of them.”

Somehow, Leela knew what it meant…

“- Some of them couldn’t escape in time ?
- Oh, no no no. They all reached a ship.
- Including Vile ?
- Yes. He did.
- But then… If they all survived, but aren’t all here… Then I guess some managed to escape.
- Well… Errrr…” Zapp was now looking uncomfortable. “We didn’t let enough guards in one of the capsules we used for transporting them… I’m sure it’s Kif’s fault somehow…
- Yeah, of course… They took control of only one capsule ?
- Thank God yes !
- Let me guess… Vile’s capsule, right ?
- Mmmmmh…” Zapp was carefully choosing his words. “You… Could say that… I think…”


Vile itched his back, feeling irritated. That DOOP uniform was really uncomfortable, not counting the poor quality of the tissue. It seemed that Zapp was making some margins on his soldiers’ uniforms for God only knows what purpose. Anyway, that really wasn’t helping him in his piloting. It would already be difficult enough to escape the Omicronian and Kabejjedian armies and to reach an inhabited and safe planet before they would run out of oxygen and fuel, if he had to care about a stupid scratching jacket… But he didn’t have the choice. His armor was useless now, and as he couldn’t stay in his underwears (he was still a criminal mastermind, dammit ! And criminals masterminds don’t pilot in boxer shorts !), he had to find a solution. That was almost making him feel pity for the DOOP soldiers.


“You won today, Klokel… But foon, you will ekfpeliment vhe foul tafte ov defeat, dvuft befole I would kill you ! And vhat will be nofhing compaled to what I’ll do to vhat molonic boy ! He will fuffel… Av foon av I’ll lemembel hiv name…”

Vile coughed. All those monologues and revenge vows were really making him thirsty.

“Kyle ! Liam !”

The two muscular goons entered in the cockpit… Or more precisely put their heads in it, as there was already just enough room for Vile.

“- Yes, master ? Said the first one.
- I need a dlink ! Find me fomefhing !
- It’s not really a palace here, master… Said the second one.
- Yeah, I don’t think we’ll find something else than water…
- Vhen watel it will be ! Why ale you ftill hele ? Go, go !”

The two goons immediately began to look for a water bottle in the small capsule. Vile cursed.

Too bad. He would have loved one of their special cocktails, right now…


“- That sure is worrying, said Leela, but I guess you’re about to tell us we’ve got more important things to settle right now ?
- Exactly, replied Zapp. Some of our patrols are already looking for Vile’s ship, anyway, so we can’t do much things about it for now. But now, there is the question of everything you and your friends have done…
- Alright. Go on. What are you planning to do ?
- Errrr… Nothing.”

That sure made Leela frown.

“- What ?
- Kif ? Come here, would you ?”

The Amphibian, apparently as tensed as the young woman, got closer to his officer. He was carrying a file with him.

“- Can you describe what are their charges ?
- Illegal entry in a forbidden zone, said Kif, reading from the file. Evasion attempt. Illegal agreement with one belligerent. Suspicion of looting and crooking DOOP officers…
- I won’t say a damn thing before I would get my call !!! Yelled Bender.
- … Trespassing restricted area. Wearing provocative clothes…
- That one’s for teasing me with your sexy attitude.” Said Zapp, smiling and winking at Leela. The Cyclops contented herself with sighing.
“- … Destruction of a planet. And finally, flight for escaping authorities.
- Good, said Zapp. Now, Kif, can you read them why we won’t charge them ?”

The Amphibian got a small paper out of his file.

“- The Emperor Lrrr of Omicron Persei 8, and the Overlord Trago from the Kabejjedian Empire, have informed us that if we would ever try to arrest you, they would immediately combine their forces and destroy the entire DOOP fleet, as they want to be the only one to deal with you.
- Exactly, said Zapp. And that seemed like perfectly reasonable arguments for freeing you from any charges the DOOP could have formulated against you.
- That’s kind, said Bender.
- Of course, it also means that those gentlemen will immediately deal with you, said Zapp, pointing the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians.
- That’s NOT kind.
- Alright, it was a pleasure knowing you, said the DOOP captain, but I think we’ve let our friends wait long enough. Leela, before you die, I want you to know that you were the best shot I ever had since that one-night leave on Gooeyon 7.
- Oh great, replied the young woman. I’ll leave this world, and my last act will be to puke…”

Immediately, all the DOOP officials went away, carefully taking some distance of the Planet Express crew. Of course, Zapp was among the first to disappear from sight, hiding behind his men. But now… The Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were walking on their direction. Lrrr, Trago, Ndnd and Morbo were as fearsome as ever, looking determined and extremely grave. Leela, nervous, took a quick look at her friends. Bender was trembling so hard that his internal processors were clicking, giving the feeling he turned into a giant maracas. Zoidberg wasn’t spitting oil, this time : he was SWEATING it. And Fry… He was absolutely terrified, on the verge of fainting. Although she knew he made his biggest (and certainly last) blunder and had to pay for it, she couldn’t help but think what was about to happen was way too cruel for him…

Lrrr and Trago stopped in front of her. She swallowed a big gulp of saliva, trying to look as stoic as she could.

“Where’s the one called Philip J. Fry ?” Asked Trago.

None of the Planet Express crew answered… But the few guards around them immediately pointed the young man.

“Bring him forward.”

The DOOP soldiers pushed him with their rifles, and put him in front of the alien commanders. Fry was completely stunned by his terror, and was almost fascinated by their look. Both Trago and Lrrr were still impassive, making the whole scene even more frightening.

“- Philip J. Fry, said Lrrr, because of your actions, the planet Plainrock 1246 is no more. A planet which was part of our two empires for millenia.
- Doing this, you stripped us from a part of our territory, said Trago. Many died in the last week for determining which one of our two nations would rule its lands, and now all of this became useless.
- Do you deny this ?”

Fry knew he had to say something, but his fear prevented him from saying anything coherent. He only stammered a bit before getting back to his passive state.

“You’ve destroyed a planet, said Lrrr. A planet that was the center of many crisis between our two people for centuries. A planet we were fighting for. A planet many of our subjects shed their own blood for. And for this…”

Suddenly, Lrrr grabbed Fry by his shoulders and lifted him up, above the ground. But that’s not what stunned Leela, Bender, Zoidberg, and more precisely anybody who wasn’t an Omicronian or a Kabejjedian.

The Omicronian lord was smiling.

“… THANK YOU !!!”

Saying that everybody in the docking bay was surprised was an understatement : there wasn’t a single person in the DOOP and Planet Express side whose lower jaw didn’t hit the ground at this very moment. After this burst of joy, Lrrr put Fry back on his feet and gave him a friendly slap on his shoulder. If everybody was surprised, it was nothing compared to what the young man was feeling : he went from unbearable fear to a complete incomprehension of what was going on. Trago went forward too, and grabbed Fry’s hand. The handshake he gave him was so vigorous the young man thought his arm would dislocate itself.

“In Trago’s name, please accept our most sincere thanks ! If someone would have told Trago that a simple human would save our glorious empire from such a situation, Trago would never have believed it !”

Fry was slowly beginning to realize nothing would ever happen to him. Behind the two leaders, all the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians were smiling, showing their approbation, and soon, they began to applaud. The delivery boy was still too shocked to react.

Leela, however, managed to overcome her surprise.

- Of course we do ! Said Ndnd. Come on, we all know we would never have found an agreement on this war ! And our respective cultures would never have accepted to stop the war as long as none of us would have been defeated !
- The Omicronian scum is right ! Replied Morbo. We may be fierce conquerors, but we still know when a war is unnecessary. By destroying Plainrock 1246, your friend put an end not only to this war, but also to a rivalry that has caused millions of deaths over the centuries ! He finally freed our two people from self-destruction !
- I don’t get it… Said Zapp. If you knew that war was stupid, then why did you engage in it ?
- Honor, of course ! Replied Lrrr. That planet was just on our boundaries, and if there’s one thing our two people don’t know, it’s peaceful negotiation. As stupid humans, you can’t understand : we HAD to fight. Just like getting to the dentist, or watching Earthican Idol : you don’t like it, but you can’t always avoid it.
- But… But…” Leela still couldn’t accept what was happening. “He destroyed an entire planet !
- A useless planet, uninhabitable, without any valuable resources, said Trago. We couldn’t even park our prisoners on it. It’s not like someone will miss it. In fact, it’s a good thing he destroyed it. That planet was the only thing that was preventing our two empires to finally have normal diplomatic relations.
- Yes ! Said Lrrr. Those negotiations at least had a purpose : it showed us we have much more in common than what we thought. This is the beginning of a new era for Omicron Persei 8 and Kabejjedia ! Oh, but I’m talking, I’m talking, and we’re forgetting the most important…”

Lrrr snapped his fingers. And immediately, an Omicronian, carrying a small box, walked to him. Lrrr opened the box and got something out of it. It was a medal, representing one of those Omicronian mythological creatures. It looked like a wolf, but compared to it, Cerberus was just a puppy. Lrrr proceded in pinning it on Fry’s jacket, who was still dazed.

“Philip J. Fry of Earth, said Lrrr, you are now a honorary member of the Order of the Koltak, for all the great deeds you have performed. May your enemies die in horrible pain and your lineage grow !”

Lrrr finished the ceremony by performing a small salute. Then, Trago went forward. One of his aids gave him a medal too, this one representing two swords piercing a sun. The Kabejjedian pinned it on Fry’s jacket as well, just next to the Omicronian medal.

“And me, Trago, Supreme Commander of the Kabejjedian Empire, grant you the Medal of the Suneaters, as a reward for the help you provided to our glorious nation. Bring destruction upon the weaks’ home and make slaves of their children !”

Trago stepped back, and bowed to Fry. That was the first time in millenia that a Kabejjedian was bowing in front of someone who wasn’t from Kabejjedia, even more a human. The two leaders then made a small signal… And the two delegations immediately saluted the young man, in the most solemn way they knew. Fry finally realized what was happening to him. A hero. They were treating him like a hero ! Overwhelmed by bliss, Fry was smiling like he never smiled before ; he was saying to himself that he shouldn’t cry, although he was so happy he was about to.

He was the only one among the DOOP and the Planet Express crew to feel that way. Nobody could believe what they were witnessing… Especially as they were all expecting the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians to kill him in a horrible yet original way…

That was especially difficult for Leela. She should have been relieved that her best friend would live, but her logic just couldn’t compute all the elements.

He destroyed a planet.

He was rewarded for this.

He nearly killed them all.

And yet they were giving him a medal.

What the hell did it mean ?!?

That it’s useless to be righteous ?

Just be a moron, and everything will be alright ?

How could this be ?!?

That was making no sense !

Leela was analyzing all the elements, trying to find a pattern that her moral and her beliefs would find plausible. She failed. She just couldn’t get what was happening. It was so opposed to what she always thought was right and normal… She was desperately trying to get an explanation that would convince her… But it was useless.

The mental pressure this situation was causing to her became unbearable.

Leela screamed out, her hands pressing her head, unable to act reasonably anymore. She was still screaming when she ran away, out of the docking bay. It took some uncomfortable seconds before her shriek fainted away, during which everybody was looking at each other, embarrased by this awkward moment.

Zoidberg came closer to Bender.

“- Errr, what is wrong ? Asked the Decapodian.
- I think she lost a fuze, replied the robot.
- Oh. That’s worrying.
- Bah, she’ll be fine. I’m surprised she didn’t flip out earlier anyway.”

And now, I can reveal it : this is the second-to-last episode of this fanfic. 5 months of hard writing that are finally coming to an end !

Starship Captain
« #36 : 04-30-2007 15:14 »

Wow.  This is awesome.  I can't wait for the end.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« #37 : 04-30-2007 15:35 »

Hooray, everyone's alright. Great stuff you've got here, more people should tell you that.
Bending Unit
« #38 : 05-04-2007 14:53 »

Thank you guys ! Although, honestly, that's not my favourite... There were moments when I thought it wasn't such a good idea, but, well... As I started posting it...

Anyway, this is it !

No taco for Morbo (final part)

“Oh no… Don’t tell me you’re watching TV AGAIN !”

Fry wasn’t exactly pleased of what he was seeing. That Bender was in the couch, watching TV, was perfectly normal. But Leela was as well, and she didn’t move at all from it for the last hours.

It took them forever for getting back from the Axholish quadrant. First, they had to wait that the Omicronians and the Kabejjedians would finally put an end to all those ceremonies they had to performe for celebrating the end of the war (and as the main responsible for this, Fry had to assist to every bit of them). And then, they had to wait until Leela was finally back to a more stable state so that she would bring them back home ; Zapp couldn’t help them, as he had to get to the DOOP headquarters to explain the situation, and of course claim he alone solved the crisis. Even when she seemed to have recovered, the young woman had been acting strangely ever since… She didn’t even complain when she realized the professor had organized many hiring talks for finding a new crew, as he thought they would never come back. They were lucky that all the candidates were expecting a decent wage and the legal insurance the professor was supposed to provide to his employees : as soon as any of them would talk about this, the professor would immediately burst out laughing before throwing them out of the company’s building. None of them ever returned after such a welcome.

Leela looked at Fry. She sure had changed during this trip : she was looking much more unconcerned by everything that was around. Slumped in the couch, her feet posed on the small table in front of her, she was drinking a Soylent Cola can.

“- Oh, come on, Fry ! That was a busy morning ! We need some rest !
- Yeah, exactly ! Replied Bender. How about give us some fresh air ?
- Look, I’m the first one when it comes to lazing around, but there are some limits ! Said Fry. I mean, the ship needs some repairings, and I don’t have a clue of what I should be doing !
- Can’t it wait ? Asked Leela.
- Well, I dunno… A few red alarms are screaming right now. And how bad is “omega level breach in the core reactor”, exactly ?
- Nothing too worrying. Just ask Amy to look after this.
- She’s been working on the ship since we came back ! Look at her, she can’t work anymore !”

Fry pointed the young intern, who was at this moment sleeping on her chair, in a corner of the room. She was covered from head to toe with oil, and some parts of her tracksuit were torn off. She was snoring so loudly it was almost making the entire building tremble.

“- Then ask Zoidberg ! Said Bender.
- Didn’t see him today, replied Fry. I wonder where…”

Just at this moment, the restroom’s door opened, revealing the Decapodian, in a terrible shape. It was as if he fell in a grinder, as his clothes were almost completely destroyed. His shell was covered with various scratchings, and some parts were even cracked. His dazed look finished to completely worry Fry.

“- Doctor ? Said the young man. What happened to you ?
- A terrible tragedy, my friend, worthy of the ancient Greeks, the Knights of the Round Table legends, or Dawson Creek ! Said the Decapodian. See, yesterday, I went to meet Gruber…
- Man, again with this stupid owl ? Said Bender.
- … And then, I met his daughter… A very fine lady, I must say, but way too young for me, and, well, physically, she’s not really my type…
- Waiiiiiit a minute… Said Leela. Are you saying you’ve dated an owl ?!?
- No no no, not at all ! The problem is that she tried to seduce me, but her father misinterpreted it and thought I was the one who was making advances to her. I even think she told her that when she realized I wasn’t attracted to her. For vengeance, you see
- Oh yeah, said Fry. I did the same with one of our cheerleaders in high school. Strangely, nobody believed me. What happened then ?
- What do you believe happened !? Gruber and his men almost pecked me to death, and then he excluded me from his clan ! I’m an outcast now ! That was the best thing that ever happened to me, and now it’s gone !”

Zoidberg began to cry, despaired. Fry was conflicted between the urge to laugh and the necessity to comfort the Decapodian. He finally decided to help him. Fry gently tapped on the Decapodian shoulder.

“- There, there, it’s over… They don’t know what they’re missing…
- A smelling, dumb, sissy-boy shellfish ? Said Bender.
- That couldn’t have worked forever anyway, you know, said Fry. I mean, you’re a lobster, they’re owls… One day or the other, it would have went bad for you…
- But I don’t care ! Replied the Decapodian between two sobs. When I was with them, I was almost feeling like one of them ! I’m so despaired, I think I would do anything !
- Like manipulating possibly radioactive matters, being exposed to various biohazard materials, and risking to be caught in explosion ? Asked Leela.
- Well… Yeah, for example… Said Zoidberg.
- Good. The ship needs repairings, by the way.
- I’ll take care of it. At least I’ll feel useful…”

The Decapodian rubbed his tears off and headed to the hangar. Fry looked him going away, haggard, and then looked at Leela. The Cyclops was still drinking her Cola on the couch, watching “All my circuits”.

“- There ! One problem solved !
- Man, you really changed… Said Fry, on a semi-disapproving tone.
- ‘Changed’ ? I didn’t change, Mister Hero ! I just decided to take a new path for a while, just for seeing how cool it can be !
- Well, I don’t know… You’ve not really been yourself, those last days… Are you sure you’re alright ?
- Of course I’m alright ! I’m fine ! I’m finer than ever ! Stop with your stupid questions !
- Yeah, you’re just here, pissing us off, said Bender. Can we please watch TV quietly ? This is going to be one major scene, and…”

Just at this moment, Calculon (who was about to reveal he had three kids with his wife’s rival, who had plastic surgery for looking like her while he wasn’t aware of this evil plot) disappeared from screen. In his place, was now a panel saying “we interrupt this program for flash news”.

“Damn, not again !” Said Bender, who was about to throw his beer in the TV out of anger.

Bender’s rant couldn’t change a thing about the situation. On TV was now the usual set for the news report, completed with Morbo and Linda. The two were looking joyful, for once. That wasn’t something new for Linda, but it was extremely surprising from Morbo.

“- Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, said Linda. The war between Omicron Persei 8 and the Kabejjedian Empire has finally come to an end today, as the last warships from the two nations have left the Axholish quadrant two hours ago, getting back to their respective bases. The fights themselves have stopped since the destruction of Plainrock 1246, caused by an unknown phenomenon…
- Yeah… Unknown… Said Leela, peeking a look at Fry.
- … But until now, both Kabejjedia and Omicron Persei 8 let some of their forces, in case their former opponents would resume the fight. However, the diplomatic negotiations, led by the DOOP captain Zapp Brannigan, got the two people to make an agreement. Lrrr, Emperor of Omicron Persei 8, and Trago, Supreme Commander of Kabejjedia, have both declared the relations between the two nations were not only warming up, but also getting to a new stage ; both announced the creation of embassies in their capitales for welcoming their former opponents, a step that has never been performed until now. And now, Morbo, as you came backf rom your vacations, can you describe us the reasons behind those decisions ?
- Certainly, stupid female ! Said Morbo, a bit too cheerful for anyone’s tastes. Morbo’s victorious empire and Omicron Persei 8 have discovered during this war that they could benefit from establishing peaceful and cooperative talks with each other.
- You’re talking about trade, arts, business…
- No, about torture methods, strategies and slaying inferior species ! Omicron Persei 8 has been performing such thrilling leisures as long as Kabejjedia ! As a consequence, we all decided to improve our methods by working with our friendly yet ugly neighbors !
- I guess everybody must do something of his spare-time…”

Linda then began to giggle ; Morbo gladly joined her, which wasn’t really reassuring anybody on the set and in the Planet Express’ restroom…

“- In  the other news, the DOOP still didn’t manage to locate and arrest Derek Vile, suspected of weapon trafficking, spying and war crimes. An abandonned DOOP capsule has been found on the surface of Sklerrosis 3, however. It is highly possible that it’s the capsule used by the criminal mastermind in his escape, as the DOOP investigators discovered a note, saying “Folly, nekft time maybe ?”. The experts have declared it is without a doubt Vile’s handwriting.
- Informed about this, continued Morbo, Emperor Lrrr replied he would double the bounty for his capture, and even triple it if Vile would be handed over to Omicron Persei 8 before the DOOP. Supreme Commander Trago replied he would even quadrupled it if the criminal was deprived of his genitals with a rusted hook during his capture. May you remember, although Morbo doesn’t care about your integrity, that Derek Vile is considered heavily armed and extremely dangerous. That’s not something that would scare one of my kind, but knowing as you cowards often wet your pants for nothing, Morbo had to warn you.
- And this concludes this flash, said Linda. Have you something else to add, Morbo ?
- Yes, Linda. Morbo would like to thank one more time the human known as Philip J. Fry, who has played an important role in the reconciliation between our two worlds, and his coworkers from Planet Express.” Morbo crossed his arms on his chest, showing his gratitude. “Thank you, puny human ! When we’ll finally turn this whole planet into ashes, your deaths will be quick and painless !
- So you made a friend on your trip, right ? That’s very nice ! To be fair, I also sympathized with your replacement while you were away, but strangely, we didn’t have news of him since you came back…
- By now, the capsule Morbo has locked him in must be somewhere between Alpha Centauri and the Horse Nebula…
- What ?
- Nothing, human. Go on.
- Anyway, this brings an end to this edition. Have a good day, dear viewers !”

The screen faded to black pretty quickly, before getting back to the “All my circuits” episode. Fry gave a look at his friends : Bender was just as neutral as before, but it was a bit different for Leela : the young woman was gripping her can so firmly that it was getting deformed… Obviously, despite what she was saying, she was still a bit tensed about how things turned out…

“- Well, I guess that everything is well that ends well… Said Fry, as he had the feeling he had to say something.
- Yeah. Sure. Whatever.” Replied Leela, not really hiding her irritation.
“- Please, Leela, this is getting ridiculous ! Said Fry. What happened to the active and brave woman who was leading this whole place ?
- She’s on vacation, said Leela. Taking a break. Being tough is a bit too overrated…
- Damn, I really don’t like the way you changed…
- I can say the same about you ! Said Bender. Since those inflated heads gave you those medals, you’re acting as if suddenly was relying on you !
- What ? Said Fry, surprised. I’m not !
- Oh yes you are ! It’s as if you and Leela had inverted your roles since we came back !
- Stop talking silly, Bender ! I didn’t turn into Leela, and Leela didn’t turn into me ! Oh, and that’s it ! I’m sick of being the only one active ! I need to walk ! Nibbler ? Whohho, where are you, cutesie little critter ?”

The small creature went in, babbling and barfing just as ususal. Looking overexcited, he began to run in circles around Fry. The young man kneeled down and began to rub his head, which made the little pet purr. He then grabbed him and put him his leash. During the whole process, Fry was extremely joyful.

“Who wants to go in the park ? Hey ? Who wants ? Oh, but it’s Nibbler ! Coochie coochie coochie ! And then, who will have a big, juicy ham ? Mmmmh ?”

Fry looked at his coworkers, now looking less friendly.

“- I’ll be out for an hour. When I’ll be back, you’d better be at work, you two !
- Sure, mommy… Replied Bender.
- Yeah, yeah.” Said Leela, still watching the TV. It wasn’t sure she even heard what Fry just told them. The young man then went out, pulled by Nibbler out of the building. Leela and Bender heard the front door open then close only a few seconds later.

“- Man, what a party-killer… Said Leela.
- Yeah, won’t leave us alone for a moment, replied the robot. Hey, I have an idea ! How about filling his locker with shaving cream ? Just for fun ?
- Hey, good idea ! Oh, wait, I don’t have shaving cream…
- Bah, then we’ll take that whipped cream. You know, the one which use-by date has expired five years ago…
- I’m in !”

Leela and Bender high-fived. Yeah, this afternoon, may be fun, after all…


Starship Captain
« #39 : 05-06-2007 10:26 »

That was a very good fic.  It's one of the best I've heard.  Have you considered posting other fics of yours here?
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