Comic #18: The Time Bender Trilogy: Part Two
Transcribed by Umbreon
Cubert sits in the professor’s chair, alone in Planet Express.
CUBERT: Cubert’s log: Due to an accident in Professor Farnsworth’s laboratory, the entire population of Earth has been sent to the AGE OF THE DINOSAURS.
In the past, a huge crowd of people run from a tyrannosaurus rex. Hermes carries the professor.
ZOIDBERG: (out of shot) Curse you, Professor!
PROFESSOR: What’s eating Zoidberg?
HERMES: It appears to be a velociraptor.
CUBERT: (narrates over a flashback) The professor was able to break off a piece of the time machine and take it into the past with him. Fry, Leela, and Bender were given the simple task of bringing the rest of the machine back and saving the world. But due to a sever case of stupid, Fry caused all of them to be sucked into a time vortex, breaking the rest of the time machine into three pieces in the process.
Fry, Leela, and Bender float in the vortex, each holding a piece of the time machine.
FRY: Sorry for dooming the world, guys.
BENDER: I’m sorry, is someone talking?
CUBERT: Leaving me, Cubert Farnsworth, the last boy on Earth.
From a different angle, it appears Cubert is talking into a camera held by a robot monkey. On the floor is a box that reads, “Make your own robot monkey kit. Ages 6 and up”.
CUBERT: I’m trying to locate Planet Express’s three stooges with the help of my robot monkey, who I’ve named “asterisk.”
CUBERT: (begins to type on a console, Asterisk on his shoulder) That’s right, Asterisk, if we wait too long, the changes to the time stream will become PERMANENT and the present will CEASE TO EXIST! Okay, let’s get to work! Those idiots aren’t going to find themselves.
Meanwhile, through time…
A vortex opens over ancient Roman times, dropping Leela on her butt with a ‘whump!’
A second vortex opens, dropping Fry face-first in between two cliffs into the mud.
The last time vortex opens, dropping Bender in a forest on the side of a lake, breaking him into pieces.
BENDER: Aw, NUTS!
As Leela gets up, a centurion in bronze armor and a man in a toga notice her.
MAN: Ulysess, look, A CYCLOPS!
ULYSESS: Run away! *sprints* But if anyone asks, I bravely stabbed it in the eye and stole it’s sheep.
MAN: What about me?
ULYSESS: You were eaten.
LEELA: (groans) Where am I? For that matter, WHEN am I?
WRIST COM: You’re in ancient Greece, 700 B.C. Give or take!
LEELA: (smiles) I’m really glad I got the time and space Onstar upgrade on this thing. The important thing is not to panic. I have a quarter of a time machine. Maybe I can build the rest using these olive branches and rocks.
An hour later…
Leela sits on a rock next to a box made of branches and green leaves. Her quarter of the time machine is on top.
LEELA: No, the only thing I can make is a lousy microwave!
The box beeps.
LEELA: Oh good, my feta cheese burrito is ready! *after a bite, she begins to cry* It’s hopeless!
VOICE: Don’t cry!
Leela turns and spots an old man with a wood cane and a bag of things.
LEELA: You’re not terrified of me?
MAN: No, is there a reason I SHOULD be?
LEELA: I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you’re blind.
MAN: The name’s HOMER.
LEELA: Like the cartoon character.
LEELA: Never mind. *sits, hugging her knees and leaning her head on her crossed arms* Listen, I’m just going to go back to weeping at the hopelessness of everything if you don’t mind.
HOMER: Why not ask the Gods for help? I was going to ask them for a good twist ending to a story I’m writing called “The Illiad.” I can put in a good word for you.
LEELA: Oh, that’s sweet, but I don’t think imaginary mythological beings can help…
A purring sound begins to come from Homer’s bag.
LEELA: Excuse me, is your sack purring?
Homer opens the bag, showing her several differently colored kittens.
HOMER: Yes, these are the kittens I’m going to sacrifice to ZEUS. He LOVES kittens.
The cats mew.
LEELA: I don’t mean to trample on your religious freedoms, but…*she kicks Homer in the face*
LEELA: (shakes the sack, releasing the kittens) Run, kittens! RUN!
HOMER: Oh no! NOW you’ve done it!
LEELA: (crosses her arms) What? The Gods’ll be angry and smite me?
The sky suddenly grows dark and thunder rumbles loudly.
Bolts of lightning flash down from a palace on the top of a tall mountain, Homer and Leela dive out of the way,
HOMER: Pretty much, yes!
Bender lays in pieces, his head just behind his body.
BENDER: (groans) Where AM I? And why am I staring at my own ass? This is great! Oh well, lucky I had my emergency internal magnet recharged last spring at my annual tune-up. Bender, ASSEMBLE! *his pieces jump up and fly back together, his arms where his legs should be, his legs coming out of his arm and neck holes and his head on his left side* Note to self: Next time TIP the magnet installer instead of insulting his mother!
Five minutes later…
Bender’s got himself pretty much how he should be, with the piece of the time machine in his hand.
BENDER: Still got this chunk of time machine. Maybe I can sell it for booze. *his head begins to shake* Uh-oh, magnetic side effects kicking in. *sings* Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care! Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care!
People that look like colonists show up and begin to clap.
BENDER: Huh? WHUZZAT?
MAN: I am called Zebediah, stranger. Your songs are most welcome in our town of Salem, Massachusetts!
BENDER: You LIKED my singing? WOW!
ZEBEDIAH: What brings thee to our fair town?
BENDER: A tear in the space-time continuum. Speaking of which, any of you skinbags got a time machine on you?
MAN: (aside to Zebediah) His words are most passing strange, Zebediah. Perhaps he is a…
ZEBEDIAH: (aside) Hush, Samuel! *turns to Bender* Please accept our hospitality, stranger.
BENDER: If by hospitality you mean cash and jewels…
Zebediah pushes forward what looks to be a pink fembot.
ZEBEDIAH: My distant cousin, Samantha, will show you to our home. Let her know if there is anything you need.
SAMANTHA: Pleased to meet you, stranger.
Bender gulps. A loud bell clangs and the people turn to leave.
SAMANTHA: Oh no!
BENDER: You hate bells, too? We have so much in common. This one time I took a bulldozer to a church and—
SAMANTHA: It’s a TOWN MEETING!
They follow the people to a building with ‘Town Hall’ hanging over the doors.
BENDER: Is there beer at these things?
SAMANTHA: There has been no liquor in this town for a generation.
A portly man wearing a sash with ‘Mayor’ on it stands in front of the seated pilgrims.
MAYOR: Fellow Salemites, these are dark days! The cows give sour milk, the corn is rotten, and my wife no longer finds me attractive.
WIFE: Maybe in you lost a few pounds, asked me how my day was, and brushed your teeth after you drink the sour milk…
MAYOR: There be only one explanation… *points* There is a ROBOT in our midst!
PILGLIM #1: Get him!
PILGRIM #2: Burn the robot!
PILGRIM #3: Destroy it!
A man in a green shirt and an army helmet yells.
MAN: Wake up, maggot!
Fry sits in a trench, groaning. An alien that looks like a worm holds up a laser rifle.
WORM: I am awake, sir!
MAN: Not you, private Larvowski! *rounds on Fry* Why are you out of uniform, private?
FRY: (moans) What year is it?
MAN: 1915! And if you think you can get out of duty by playing CRAZY, then you ARE crazy! But not crazy enough to get out of duty!
FRY: This is World War I?
MAN: (holds up a can labeled ‘Army outfit Now with laser rifle’) WORLDS War I! *sprays Fry in the face, making him cough*
FRY: (comes out of the cloud in full army fatigues, holding a laser rifle) Cool!
A loud whining sound is heard. Fry and private Larvoski look over the edge of the trench.
LARVOWSKI: Incoming! DUCK!
A missile heads toward the trench, right for a large duck alien dressed in army fatigues.
Fry, Larvowski, and the commanding officer watch an explosion, feathers flying everywhere.
MAN: PRIVATE QUACKERS! *turns to Fry* What’s your name, private?
MAN: Fry, you’re taking over Quacker’s gun duty; defending NO MAN’S LAND!
FRY: Man, this is a big foxhole. How far does it go?
LARVOWSKI: You ARE new. It goes all the way around the planet. It used to be what your people called “The Equator.”
FRY: And where’s this no man’s land we’re supposed to defend?
LARVOWSKI: (narrates over a shot of the world with a large trench dug in the middle) You’re LOOKING at it. All 200 light years from here to the Omicron Persei empire.
FRY: (lifts up his boot) Ewww! Sure is damp!
FRY: What? All I said was it was damp.
MAN: Oh, don’t like the damp, do ya? Maybe you’d like to be transferred to the Pacifix section of the foxhole for a while!
FRY: (smiles) That sounds nice, sure!
Later that day in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…
Fry floats underwater between two blue fish-like aliens with army shirts and guns.
FISH MAN #1: How’s the new recruit working out?
FISH MAN #2: He keeps pointing to his mouth and lungs.
FISH MAN #1: Must be homesick.
Back in ancient Greece…
LEELA: (watches the clouds) This is just a COINCIDENCE. Freak lighting storms happen around mountains all the time! There are NO GODS!
HOMER: Will you SHUT UP!
A form speeds past Leela, kicking up a cloud of dust.
A thin man wearing a red toga, boots, and a gold helmet with small wings on it places his hands on his hips angriliy.
MAN: You have displeased the gods with your BLASPHEMY!
LEELA: (crosses her arms) What are you? The god of flower delivery mascots?
MAN: I am HERMES, messenger of the gods!
LEELA: (looks unimpressed) Really? I work with someone with the same name. He’s kind of a tight ass. Listen, I don’t really buy into this “Gods” business. But if you really are on the level, can you guys send me into the past?
HERMES: Perhaps! *he runs past her, grabs the part of the time machine off the top of the microwave, and back to where he was standing*
LEELA: My time machine piece!
HERMES: (tosses the piece between his hand) I am also the god of thieves! If you want it back, you must come and get it from the top of MOUNT OLYMPUS!
LEELA: Why don’t I take it back now?!
She launches forward to kick Hermes in the face. With his speed, he moves before she can reach him and she kicks Homer in the face instead.
LEELA: Oh… sorry.
HOMER: (on the floor) You remember when I said I wasn’t AFRAID of you? I’ve changed my mind.
Meanwhile in the present future…
Asterisk sits typing at a computer.
ASTERISK: Eep! Arf!
CUBERT: (runs up) What’s that, Asterisk? You’ve found Fry, Bender, Leela in the time stream?
ASTERISK: Eek! Eep!
CUBERT: Yes, it WAS lucky that their implanted career chips have a tracking device that works through time. But what can we do now?
CUBERT: Of course!
There is a silhouette of Cubert and Asterisk working on some kind of machine. Afterward, the two of them sit on the conference table with large cups.
CUBERT: Mmm… banana milkshakes were a great idea, Asterisk! But right after these, and maybe a cookie, it’s back to saving the world.
Back in the trenches…
LARVOWSKI: How was the Pacific?
Fry coughs up a seastar.
FRY: Just so I have this straight. We’re fighting Omicron Persei 8?
LARVOWSKI: Just 8? I wish! It’s the whole empire, 1 through 27. They feel Earth has evolved too quickly and is a danger to the universe.
FRY: (looks at his piece of the time machine) It must be because of the time machine. It changed everything.
LARVOWSKI: Say what?
FRY: Nothing. Are YOU from Earth?
LARVOWSKI: Oh, heavens no. I’m a Maggotian. Just one of several races that feel this invasion is unjust and have joined your fight. Plus, if you lose, there should be a lot of CORPSES. *licks his lips* So for us it’s really a WIN-WIN SITUATION!
MAN: Enough chin-waggin’! Man your guns! We’re under attack!
All three look up to see a pixilated formation of ships lined up like ‘Space Invaders’.
LARVOWSKI: (gasps) The Omnicronians have allied with the Galaxians, the Galaga, and the Gorf!
MAN: No quarter asked! None given!
Back in Salem, Massachusetts…
The mayor points at a red headed man sitting next to Bender.
ZEBEDIAH: I accuse JAMES of being a robot!
JAMES: It is a lie!
ZEBEDIAH: That is just the sort of thing A ROBOT would say! Denial is the FIRST sign.
SAMUEL: But, Mayor, how shall we prove he is a robot?
MAYOR: (holds up a thick book) Let us consult the book of robot tests!
The group moves outside.
MAYOR: According to the book, a robot’s skin is soft and ticklish. Citizens! Grab your feathers!
The pilgrims pull out feathers and advance on James menacingly. They then begin to tickle him.
JAMES: Hee, hee, hee!
BENDER: (whispers to Samantha) Robots aren’t TICKLISH. Who the hell wrote that book?
SAMANTHA: Us robots. The town needed a SCAPEGOAT to blame for everything that went wrong. And when they ran out of WITCHES, they turned to robots.
Samantha turns, looking at the pilgrims. James now has a pink sheet tied around his neck and the mayor holds up a pair of shears.
MAYOR: Test number two: robots feel no pain when their hair is cut!
BENDER: But can’t they just tell he’s not a robot? He’s not nearly handsome or metal enough.
SAMANTHA: They have no idea what a robot looks like, and so we wrote that book.
BENDER: And they fell for it?
SAMANTHA: Nothing like IRRATIONAL PREJUDICE to lower the I.Q. a few dozen points.
MAYOR: Test number three: robots swim when thrown in water.
Zebediah and Samuel toss James into a creek.
BENDER: So what happens is they decide he’s a robot?
MAYOR: (points at the floating James) He’s swimming! He’s a robot! BURN HIM!
Zebediah stands at the edge of the creek and tosses lit matches at James.
ZEBEDIAH: It’s really hard to set him on fire while he’s in the lake.
MAYOR: (points at him) That sounds like robot talk to me. Maybe we should test THEE!
ZEBEDIAH: (looks panicked) I’m lighting! I’m lighting!
Meanwhile, on Mount Olympus…
Leela gasps and wheezes climbing, passing a few signs on the way. They read, “Turn back now!”, “Go no more!”, “Or you’ll face the wrath of…”, “The MINOTAUR!”, and “Burma Shave”. After a while, she stands and walks.
LEELA: Finally some stairs! That’s more like it! *she looks down and sees she standing on a huge pile of bones* Ewww!
VOICE: Who dares disturb…
A creature that looks mostly like a man, excepting that he’s got a bull’s head and reddish skin, stands before Leela wearing boots and the lower half of leather armor.
CREATURE: THE MINOTAUR!
LEELA: So all these skeletons--?
MINOTAUR: (leans forward) Those foolish enough to try and climb the mountain to gain audience with the Gods. And now you shall join them in DEATH!
LEELA: You must be so lonely.
LEELA: Well, you’re OBVIOUSLY a bachelor.
MINOTAUR: How do you know that?
LEELA: (holds up a skull and a half eaten ham) Oh please, food and skeletons everywhere. This is like every bachelor apartment I’ve ever seen. You’re not as bad as Fry, but—
MINOTAUR: Enough talk! Time to die!
The Minotaur swings his fist, smashing a few bones and missing Leela, who jumps out of the way.
LEELA: You really should find a nice minotauress.
MINOTAUR: There ARE none!
LEELA: I passed one on the way up here!
The Minotaur walks to the edge of the bone stairs and looks over the edge.
MINOTAUR: Really? Where?
LEELA: (walks up behind him) Look closer. She’s the one living in the split level labyrinth. *she pulls her right leg back* Just bend over, and you’ll see it. *she kicks, sending the Minotaur flying over the edge*
Back in the trenches, a soldier walks up to Fry who’s looking at a picture of Leela.
SOLDIER: Hey buddy. Missing your girl?
FRY: She’s not really my girl. She’s… *looks up* … yeah, I guess I am.
SOLDIER: (pulls a rabbit’s foot on a chain out from under his shirt) My Susie, she’s the best. Before I left, she gave me this GOOD LUCK CHARM and made me promise never to take it off.
FRY: Can I see it?
SOLDIER: (hands it over) Sure! Why not?
The soldier is quickly hit by a laser shot, turning him to dust.
FRY: JOHNNY! *he fires his rifle wildly, hitting five somethings in the darkness* NOOOOO!
COMMANDER: That was some nice shooting there Private Fry. Where did you train?
FRY: (tired) The Atari, sir!
COMMANDER: Sounds like a fine academy. I think we may have a job for you, boy. Come with me!
He leads Fry to a red and yellow bi-plane, the Earthican logo on the side.
COMMANDER: Fry, you’ll be flying this plane across no man’s land to deliver this PLANET-BUSTER BOMB! *holds up a gas can and a medal* Here’s enough gas for a ONE-WAY TRIP and a MEDAL for your heroic suicide.
FRY: Sounds good. ANYTHING to get out of this foxhole.
James still floats in the lake, Zebediah standing at the edge trying to set it and him on fire.
ZEBEDIAH: He’s still not burning! I have an idea. *points to what looks like a telephone pole* Why not tie him to one of these stakes?
MAYOR: Well, we’ll have to find another place to post images of our lost cats and garage sale notices, but yes! ‘Tis a good idea.
JAMES: (being tied to the stake) I’m not a robot.
ZEBEDIAH: Don’t listen! He speaks in sinful BINARY lies!
Bender jumps in front of the group as they move closer with lit torches.
SAMANTHA: Bender! What are you doing?
BENDER: I enjoy mob violence as much as the next guy, but this… If we learned anything from the 27 X-Men movies, it’s that PREJUDICE IS BAD, be it against mutants, robots, or robot mutants. Robots and humans can work together in peace until the day finally comes when we’ll TAKE OVER. Why, my best friend is a human, and I hate him less and less every day.
ZEBEDIAH: What are you saying, folk singer?
BENDER: That I, Bender, AM A ROBOT! *points his thumb at Samantha* And so is Samantha. Now, brothers and sisters, let us JOIN TOGETHER in song!
A few minutes later, Bender and Samantha are tied to a stake while villagers chant ‘Burn the robots!’
BENDER: That’s not really a song. It’s more of a chant!
SAMANTHA: Will you shut up!
Meanwhile on Mount Olympus…
Leela strides up a walkway that leads to a temple, passing two horses with flame manes and a sign that reads ‘God only parking’.
LEELA: Ha! I made it!
Hermes dashes up and tosses her the piece of the time machine he stole.
HERMES: Well done, mortal! Zeus will see you now!
Leela, with Hermes next to her, stands before a seated Zeus and his wife Hera.
ZEUS: So, you are the mortal who did slay the Minotaur and freed my kittens? Now you are here to ask me for a BOON?
LEELA: Yes, and I’d like to thank you for the chance to talk to you in a calm and reasonable manner. I’m from the future, and even though I think you’re a bunch of nonsense, I…
Zeus hurls a lightning bolt at her. Leela wakes lying on the ground, her body smoking slightly.
LEELA: (moans) I’m getting REAL tired of asking this, but… where am I…?
She pushes herself up and sees a raft, a few very sad looking people on it. Steering the raft with a pole is the boatman, Charon, who appears to be a skeleton wearing a black robe.
CHARON: Hades, land of the dead. Now get on the ferry with the other corpses!
Further down the river, the raft passes walls of blue flame and the three-headed dog, Cerberus.
MAN: So it turns out hemlock shouldn’t be used in a Greek salad. Was my face red.
WOMAN: (shrugs) Oh well, live and learn.
LEELA: (thinking) Uh-oh.
Back in the times of Worlds War I, Fry wears a spacesuit and is flying his plane into space.
FRY: Wait a minute. A SUICIDE medal?
In Colonial times, Bender and Samantha are standing in the middle of rising flames.
BENDER: Would this be a bad time to ask you out?
BENDER: Is that yes you’ll go out with me or…
In the 31st century, Cubert works at a computer while Asterisk sips a banana smoothie.
CAPTION BUBBLE: What will happen to Leela, Fry, and Bender? Is all hope LOST? Is the world DOOMED?
ASTERISK: Eeep! Ark! Eeep!
CAPTION BUBBLE: You’re right, Asterisk, we’ll all have to tune in next time for the senses-shattering conclusion to THE TIME BENDER TRILOGY!