Fan Fiction

Anthology of Interest 2.71828

Anthology of Interest 2.71828

(Opening Credits and Music: Caption: Bender's Wardrobe By Emperor's Clothes Inc)

(Scene opens on the Professor's lab. The crew is gathered in anticipation as the Professor unhurriedly sorts through his tools. Looking back and forth between a screwdriver set and the What-If machine, Farnsworth delicately and carefully selects a mid-sized screwdriver. He unsheathes it, flips it over, then bashes the machine upside the monitor with the handle)

Farnsworth: There. (He turns) Good news, everyone! The What-If Machine is completely fixed, and it stopped leaking plausitrons! Who wants to give it a test inquiry?

(Everyone raises their hands/appendages, shouting in excitement)

Farnsworth: Oh, now now, there's no rush, there is plenty of time for everyone to have a turn. Though, more specifically, exactly three of you.

Hermes: I suggest we do this da fair and organized way. Alphabetically. (he smirks)

Farnsworth: Very well... Amy, you go first.

Amy (ecstatic): Really?!

Hermes (Interjecting): Not first names ya jerked... jerk! (He sighs)

Amy: OK. (taking her place) There's something I've been wondering for some time now. What would happen... if Kif asked me to marry him?

Fry (obnoxious): Boooooring!

(Amy gives him a swift kick in the shin, adding a Cantonese gibe)

Fry (feebly): Paaaaainful...

(Cut to the swirling eddies of color on the What-If Machine's screen. The amorphous forms slowly congeal to form a recognizable picture)

(Scene opens on Kif and Amy, dining at a fancy restaurant)

Amy (eying Kif seductively): What a wonderful night Kif... The dancing, the flowers, the unexpected truckload of stuffed animals... the dinner, you've really outdone yourself tonight.

Kif: Well, heh, we don't get to do this often, so I'd like to make it special.

Amy (sexfully): Any day is special when I'm with you...

(Kif smiles instead of choking for once, and takes his cue)

Kif (nervous, but contained): I know Amy, you always say that, and I hope you truly mean it. I feel the same way.

Amy (swooning): Oh, Kif...

Kif: Amy, there's something I have to ask you...

(Kif attempts to get down on one knee, but it folds, accordion style, on itself)

Kif: Oh my... this isn't...

(Now too nervous, he turns transparent)

Kif: Oh dear. I uh... Amy, would ...(sputter)... you...

(A waiter trips over Kif, now camouflaged with the floor, spilling the contents of a predictably large tray onto the amphibian)

Kif: Ohh... (quickly) Marry me! (He produces a now slightly sauce-coated box from his pocket, which flips open, revealing a rather stunning ring)

(Amy squeals with delight)

Amy: Of course I will!

(She flings herself off her chair, arms outstretched, in Kif's general direction, but passes directly over his chameleonic shoulder, instead soaring headlong into the ground)

Restaurant Patrons (sweetly): Awww...

(Cut to a coffee shop patio. Amy is chatting happily with Leela)

Leela: And so that's it? It's final?

Amy: Uh-huh!

Leela: Pardon my bluntness, but I can't believe you said 'yes.' You're so afraid of official commitment.

Amy: I know! I just said yes without even needing to think. I guess I love him that much... and besides, life won't be too different, since we decided it would be best if Kif moved in with me.

Leela: You mean?

Amy: Kif is quitting the military and leaving Zapp on the Nimbus.

Leela: And just how is he planning on telling Zapp this?

Amy (edgy): Well...heh-heh- that's why I invited you here...

(She points over Leela's shoulder. Leela twists her head around to discover the Nimbus in sight at a nearby port)

Leela (shouting): Oh-ho-no! No way, Le Wei! Whatever you're thinking-

Amy: Just come with me on a "double date." It'll be easier for Kif to break the news if you're there.

Leela (hostile): That's not all that'll be easy to break.

Amy (cute): Pleeeeease?

(Leela slumps in her chair and sighs)

(Cut to: The deck of the Nimbus. Amy, Leela, Zapp, and Kif are seated at a table, a drink in front of each)

Zapp: I'd like to propose a toast to the happy couple. (he raises his glass) May Leela become aware of the fact that she is part of it, and soon meet me in my chambers for what happy couples, and certain canines, do.

Kif: Uh, sir...

Zapp: What?

Kif: You know, there is a non- fantasized couple at the table too...

Zapp: Huh? Oh, you're still dating What's-her-chest over there?

Kif (quietly fuming): Her name is Amy!

(Leela and Amy glare at Zapp with a glower that could liquefy pants. He doesn't notice)

Zapp: Yeah, whatever. Here's to you two. (He downs his drink)

(Amy, getting impatient, kicks Kif under the table)

Kif: Oh, right. Um, Sir...

Zapp: What is it, lackey?

Kif: Well, it may interest you to know that Amy and I are getting married.

Zapp (impassive): And why would that interest me?

Kif: Well, putting all emotions you could feel aside, it means that I'll be stepping down from my duties. (gulp). Sir, I am respectfully leaving your command on this vessel.

(Zapp takes a minute to let this soak in. He clenches his fists in rage, but any possible intimidation factor is offset by the lone tear in his eye)

Zapp: But... but... who will wash my clothes, and apply various ointments to not so various parts?

Kif: Well, sir, you could always promote a new lieutenant...

Zapp (whining): It wouldn't be the same! Who will wash my underarms with a toothbrush every day?

Kif: Sir, please...

Zapp: And who will replace that toothbrush with a fresh one each morning?

Kif: Um... I've never done that, sir.

Zapp: ...oh. (a beat) And who will-

Leela: Will you shut up?! You can start doing things for yourself!

Zapp (Back in character): Shall I start with you? (wink)

Leela: Not if you want to be breathing for yourself.

Zapp (walking away; grumpy): Fine, I'll do something for myself... I'll let the three of you off of my ship.

Kif (following): Please sir, try not to be upset.

(The two women follow Kif as Zapp goes through a doorway)

Zapp (entering the bridge; morose): Well, we should be getting back to Earth any second now... no need for me to keep you on this ship any longer.

Kif (surveying the room): Actually... we're on a crash course with that non-Earth planet clearly visible in front of us.

Zapp: Impossible! I turned on the autopilot!

Kif: It doesn't seem so, sir.

Zapp: Impossible! Well... then what did I turn on?

Kif: (sigh) The... uh, waffle iron, sir.

Zapp: (now eating a waffle) Mmmpssbll! (gulp) I didn't turn anything on!

Leela: As usual.

Kif: Well sir, you couldn't possibly have turned on the autopilot then.

Zapp: Spare me the mind games, you turncoat.

Amy (false cheer): Y'know, I bet if someone had initially tried to save the ship, we might have had a chance!

(Everyone looks out the window. Ground is approaching fast)

Leela: Oh, right.

Zapp: We're gonna crash! I'm too virile to die!!

(Amy, now closest to the controls, grabs at them and slows the ship's descent)

Leela (encouraging): That's it Amy! Do that heroine thing!

Amy (turning): Hey! That's in the past...

Leela: No... I meant-


(Amy shrieks as the ship thwarts her callow efforts to right it. Impact seems imminent)

Kif: Everyone grab on to something firm! (he grasps a chair tightly)

(Zapp looks back to Leela, thinks for a second, then gracelessly lunges for her upper torso. Leela, also taking advantage of the command, seizes Zapp tightly by the throat)

Leela: Nice try.

(She smirks, quite pleased with herself. Subsequently, the ship finally hits the ground, sending the two unsecured passengers sailing into the windshield. Zapp absorbs most of Leela's impact as the windshield cracks, but contains the two. They slide down the rest of the glass, off a console, and land, entangled, on the floor)

(The ship skids to a halt. A beat. Zapp woozily raises his head and opens his eyes just long enough to wink at Leela)

Zapp: So, does this bring back any memories, baby?

Leela (vitriolic): Maybe the hitting the windshield part...

Amy (dazed): Ugh... where are we?

Kif: I don't know, the instruments are down; and who knows how far we've wandered?

Leela: What about communication?

Kif: Down. We're stranded.

Leela (looking at her wrist computer): Great; no ship, no clue where we are, no intelligent life forms on this planet, and no way of getting in touch with anyone-

Zapp: You can touch me...

Leela: And to top it all off... you.

Kif (optimistic): Don't worry; we can all build a shelter, and I'm sure we'll find some food; then we just wait a little while to be rescued...

(White text appears as the scene changes: One Year Later)

(Leela lounges on a rudimentary bed, eating some grapes or grape-like fruit. Zapp stands eagerly next to her. Amy and Kif frolic like lovers do in the background)

Zapp: So I was thinking-

Leela: No.

(White text: Ten Years Later)

(Same exact positions, everyone looks a bit older)

Zapp: How about-

Leela: No.

(White text: Twenty Years Later)

(Same exact positions, everyone has gone grey)

Zapp: Please?

Leela: No.

(White text: Fifty Years Later)

(Same exact positions, everyone is clearly elderly)

Zapp: I think it's been long enough that-

Leela: No.

(White text: Fifty Years Later)

(Amy and Kif are no longer in the background; Zapp looks in worse shape than Farnsworth)

Zapp: Now?

Leela: ...

Zapp (playful): Last chance to say 'no'...

(Leela, eye open, limbs sprawled, doesn't say or move a thing)

Zapp: Yes!

(He gradually pounces on her; the camera shot cranes all the way from the bed to a view of the entire alien planet)

Announcer: Captivating stuff! You've probably missed an important appointment or phone call while engrossed in these TALES OF INTEREST!

(commercial break)

(Cut back to the Planet Express Building. Camera focuses primarily on Amy and Leela, the closest two to the screen. Amy's face is filled with ardor, while Leela's looks not only like she has seen a ghost, but like said ghost just called her fat)

Amy (blissful) : Aww... he really will love me forever! Isn't that great Leela?

(Amy turns to Leela, who is completely irresponsive. A beat. Leela snaps out of her trance just in time to find herself clamping her hands over her mouth. She sprints out of the room, nearly gagging)

Amy (equally blissful): So, who's next?!

Farnsworth: Well, if we follow the current trend, alphabetically from A to Zoidberg...

Zoidberg: Aww...

Farnsworth: It appears to be Fry's turn.

Hermes: What?! Dat doesn't even-

Farnsworth: Don't argue with me, Hermes Conrad, I'm old!

(A pause)

Bender (surprised): He's right!

Farnsworth: Go ahead, Fry.

Fry: Great, because I have a good one. You guys are all I have here, and I usually think of us as more of a family than a group of workers. I love each of you as much as the next. My question is this; (He walks up to the What-If Machine, and clears his throat): What if I never met my best friends Leela and Bender in the future?

(The Professor inserts the screwdriver into a screw on the side of the machine, turns it once, then pushes "forcibly" down on it, whereon it reacts as a slot machine lever would. A spinning blur of colors speeds up and the whir of reels is heard. As the picture focuses slowly, we are able to discern Fry. He is in the Cryogenics Lab. Terry and Lou lead him to an office at the end of a hallway)

Lou: Have a nice future.

(The door slides open)

Fry: Cool! Just like in Star Trek! (He giddily walks through)

(Fry enters the office, and spies someone bent over, possibly tying their shoe, behind the desk; only a shapely rear-end is visible)

Fry: (same pleased grunt as in SP3K)

(The person stands up and faces Fry)

Ipgee: Good afternoon.

Fry: (same shocked retch of disgust as in SP3K)

Ipgee: Name?

Fry: Uh, Fry.

Ipgee: I am Ipgee. OK then, enough mindless banter. You need a fate faster than Leela needs a date.

Fry: Huh?

Ipgee: I assure you, Mr. Fry, My childish joke to myself is of no importance to you.

Fry: OK...uh... (He sheepishly looks away, and catches the sight of something outside the window)

Fry: Wait a minute! Is that blimp accurate?

Ipgee: Most blimps are these days. The date is December 31st 2999.

Fry (shocked): My God, a thousand years!

Ipgee: Yes, that is what you probably set the dial for when you froze yourself. You are regretting it now?

Fry: Well, that's not really what happened... but actually I'm glad it did. I had nothing to live for in my old life. I was-

Ipgee: Yes yes, let's get probing already. (He grabs Fry by the collar and starts to drag him away)

(Time lapse to the assignment room. Ipgee carefully types something on a computer)

Ipgee: Well, that was surely most unpleasant for both of us. I apologize, but I rarely touch those controls; it's not my job.

Fry (Rubbing his bum): Uh... that's OK I guess. I'm just glad I finally have a fresh start in life. There's nothing stopping me now!

(A buzzer sounds)

Fry: What was that?

Ipgee: Your permanent career assignment seems to be ready.

(He turns the screen, "Career: Delivery Boy" is written on it)

Fry: Delivery boy? No! Not again! Please! Anything else!

Ipgee: You've been assigned the job you're best at, just like everyone else. Everyone does the one job they are destined to do.

Fry: Then why did you say the controls weren't your job?

Ipgee: Yes, I suppose this is not really the best example of how our society works. I sent the woman who usually works here to pick up dinner for our department. It's much faster than ordering delivery food. (A beat. He looks Fry up and down.) Hopefully you can work on that. However, I forgot someone might thaw out, and am therefore rightly covering for her until she returns.

Fry: Is picking up food part of her destiny job?

Ipgee: No, it... (he boils-over) Stop asking sensible questions and let me stab you with this career designation gun!

(He picks up the career chip gun, and lunges at Fry, who dodges)

Fry: Keep that thing away from me!

(He gets up and runs out of the room)

(Cut to: Fry, bursting out of the building's front door. He sprints down the street, head on a pivot, trying to comprehend the sights around him. Realizing he has a bit of a lead, he ducks behind a corner, where he spies a transport tube)

Man at Tube: Plasma Hotel. (He is sucked up as Fry reaches the tube)

Fry: Cool! Uh... Cross-town express?

(Ipgee, finally catching up, blindsides Fry from off camera, but is unable to deploy his device as both men are sucked up into the vacuum cylinder. What follows is an invariable ballet of close-quarters shuffling and wrestling, as the two dart past a few of the sights Fry passed in SP3K. Fry screams throughout, but there's a twinge of elation in his horror)

(Cut to: The end of the line. Ipgee and Fry are shot out of the tube and into a nearby brick wall. Fry rubs his head as he staggers to his feet, and then gains a stride again. Ipgee lags behind, for the impact has caused him to drop the implant gun. He quickly picks it up and runs his hand over the dented exterior, then continues in pursuit)

(Cut to: Fry, sprinting for his life. He checks to look behind him, and runs smack into a taxi which has inconveniently run up onto the sidewalk. Rebounding off of it, he pauses to gape into the back window, then turns, bolting into the front door of a building to his right. Igpee follows, gaining ground as Fry hits the main staircase running)

(Cut to several flights up: Fry spots his chance in a strategically placed wheeled cart loaded with office supplies. He swiftly knocks it down the stairs at the charging Igpee, who in a sudden display of coordination, dodges it. Fry goes through the nearest door but finds it to be a dead end. Giving up, he cowers in fear as Ipgee seizes his hand, and pulls the trigger)

*Beep Beep Beep*

Fry (Still cringed): Is it over?

Ipgee (frightened): Ohhh no.

Fry: What is it?

(The beeping intensifies, and the device begins to rattle in Igpee's hand)

Ipgee: I have read about this before, this thing is broken in the worst way possible.

(The beeping becomes a steady, loud buzz; Ipgee is clearly losing his grip, and is fighting with the gun like it was an out of control fire-hose)

Fry (staring at the broken gun): What does that mean?

Igpee (oddly calm): It means pick a God and start praying! (He closes his eyes)

(The camera turns away from the two men as the high pitched buzz crescendos. The machine subsequently can be heard discharging in a series or frantic and sickening "Thunks")

Fry/Ipgee (as screen fades): Ow! Oooch! Eep! Hey! Ow! Not the- AHHH! I was planning on using that! Stop! Ack! Ow, my aorta! No! Right through the- ARRRRGGH!

(The camera fades fully to a blur, and re-sharpens on a close up of Leela, trademark scowl on her face)

Leela: I mean it's just the principle of the thing. We have people who are designated to bring food to people with more important jobs. Why do I have to be belittled by trekking back and forth across town?

(Camera pans out; Leela is in the backseat of a cab, complaining to the driver as it speeds along ground level traffic)

Sal: What's belittlin' abouts it? What's belittlin' is the systems wes got. I drives a cab, but I also dos other things my career chip don't specifies.

Leela: I could report you for that.

Sal (unimpressed): But you won'ts.

Leela: (sigh) Yeah...

(She dispiritedly looks out the window, and to her surprise, sees a familiar man chasing another, not-so-familiar man up ahead)

Leela (alert): A runner?! Cabbie, cut off that red-head!

Sal: Anythings for yous, doll face.

(He audaciously turns sharply, skipping the taxi up onto the sidewalk. The seemingly oblivious red-head runs straight into the cab's back door. He pauses a moment to rudely gawk at Leela's eye before changing direction and running into a nearby building)

Leela: That's it, now it's personal!

(Leela tries the door, but finds it locked. Meanwhile, Ipgee dashes by just outside)

Sal: Pays up.

(Cut to: The outside of the cab, Leela exits the car, ditches the two bags of food on the street, and rushes into the now closing front door)

(Cut to Leela, loping up the stairs. She is on her wrist communicator)

Leela: Officer 1BDI, requesting backup!

Smitty: We'll be there in 5... to 60 minutes!

Leela (to herself; self pity): Idiots. This is just what I need on New Years Eve. All I wanted was an uneventful day with -oof!

(Leela is struck by a wheeled cart loaded with office supplies. She is carried several steps down, where the entire ensemble crashes through a glass window. A nauseating crunch is heard below)

(The camera again fades to a blur, and re-sharpens on a shot of Bender, impatiently waiting in a line of people)

Bender: C'mon people! Even in death you're irritating me! (He taps his foot cup)

(The suicide booth zaps someone, Bender steps up to the door)

Bender: Well, I guess no one's here to stop me... so...

(He enters the booth. There is a pause)

Bender (Loud, yet muffled): Slow and horrible, baby! Bring it on! Wooooh!

(Buzzing, clanking, and sawing are heard resounding from the booth. Then silence. The door opens, and a slightly dilapidated Bender emerges)

Bender (weakly) Lousy piece of junk... humans must be really easy to kill.

(A beat. He stands up straight)

Bender (profound): That's it! I shall start a new life. All of mankind has depressed me by forcing me to build suicide booths, and now they will, I mean shall, suffer! All shall fear me, and I shall be known as... Super K- ouch! (He is crushed by a falling woman and a wheeled cart loaded with office supplies. Another pause. The pile of debris doesn't stir)

(Sal walks by. He has two bags of food in his hands)

Sal: Super Couch? That's not too goods of a name... (He laughs and walks away)

(The pile spontaneously combusts)

Announcer: Needlessly violent! Where else will you see your favorite characters die than in this, and possibly other TALES OF INTEREST?!

(commercial break)

(Cut back to the Planet Express Building. Camera is on Amy)

Amy: Neat!

(She looks to her left. Leela is back, and looks even more pallid and traumatized than before)

Amy: Oh, you're back? Did you get to see the end of Fry's answer?

(Leela slumps unsteadily into a chair)

Zoidberg: Who's next?

Farnsworth: Well, it's someone who's been waiting a looong time to ask a question, but hasn't gotten the chance. Myself. Now... what to ask...

Hermes: For cryin' out loud, mon! All I wanna know is what would happen if I got a new stapler! Is that too much to-

(His head is forcibly met by airborne stapler. He falls like a bowling pin)

Bender (nonchalant): There, now you know. Now if you'll excuse me, I believe you've skipped a very important letter of the alphabet. B, for Bender, baby...

Farnsworth: Well, I-

(Bender grabs the screwdriver from his hand and pushes the old man out of the way)

Bender (assertive): Outta the way, I know how to use this thing. (A beat) Now then, I've lead an eminent life so far, thanks to my dashing looks and wonderful personality. But, what would have happened if no one ever installed my in-your-face interface?

(A pause. Nothing happens)

Bender (blithe): Oh, right... ee-yup!

(Bender casually pierces the screen of the What-If Machine with the screwdriver, causing a miniature explosion, and an unusual power surge which electrocutes him. His eyes snap shut and he hits the ground)

(Cut to: Bender's Vision: Green text on a black background :)

SCANNING. . . . .

(Shot changes to third person: Bender opens his eyes; they are lacking their usual angry semblance, and instead look quite melancholy)

(Bender is in a spaceship that is most definitely not the PE ship. He enters the bridge to discover a rather motley crew. Fry and Hermes chat idly over an odd controlling apparatus. Meanwhile, Leela is being hit on by a noticeably two headed Zapp Brannigan. Bender tiredly meanders to Zapp's side)

Bender: You called?

Zapp: Uh, yeah. Listen here now ol' pal... the toilet in the bathroom is acting really funny... and we were wondering-

Bender: If I could fix it? Why of course. I can use myself for spare parts if I need them, and-

Zapp: No, you don't understand. It's a comic, and it won't shut up. Will you just talk to it for a bit?

Bender: Oh... I'm not a machine, but a natural tranquilizer then? I could just stick my head in its mouth and wait until you give me the all-clear.

(Throughout all of this, one of Zapp's heads has shifted its gaze south of Leela's neck)

Leela: (Lifting the stray face) Ahem. My eye is up here.

Zapp (straightforward): Yes, and your breasts are down there.

Leela (frustrated): (She pushes his face away and turns around, crossing her arms) Ugh... I hate it when you undress me with your eyes...

Zapp: Would you prefer my teeth? Because I've been practicing-

Hermes: Bender, could you come over here?

Bender (languid): I'll check.

(He hobbles piteously to Fry and Hermes)

Bender: I made it. Any other inane task you need me for?

Hermes: Yes, could you explain to us again how this thing works?

Bender: Well, this is the infinite probably drive.

Fry: We know that, and?

Bender: Oh, you're quick ones. It's all quite simple. Just steer in the direction you want to go, and the ship will probably drive that way. A marvel, really. It's so great that you've taken the time to understand this machine, yet write me off as the misunderstood one. If you need me I'll be in my room, decapitating myself so I have someone to talk to...

(Fry pulls Bender aside before he can leave, as Hermes studies the controls)

Fry: (grasshopper/octopus story telling voice) Poor, miserable Bender. Bender, you've got to learn to meet some people, take some risks. Do something crazy; have some fun! My brother Yancy and I had fun for hours when we were kids... some afternoons we would take a brown paper bag, and we'd fill it with dog-doo. Then, we'd silently walk up someone's porch, ring the doorbell, and light the bag on fire. And when the person came, we'd hit them in the face with it. Ah, those were fun days. Do you get my point?

Bender: Oh, yes, I'm simply riveted... of course, that may be because I was riveted together. Not well, mind you... just enough to keep me from falling apart-

Zapp (shrill): Everyone! Battle-stations!

(Zapp and Leela run to a computer mainframe. Hermes is eventually joined by Bender at the controls. Fry calmly curls himself into the fetal position in a corner)

Hermes: What is it?

Zapp: I don't know yet! Something's coming right at us!

(Zapp points out a large window to two growing specs in the distance. He activates a control panel, and a familiar voice is heard)

Computer: Huh- whaa? What... what is it?

Leela: Do something for once and tell us who's heading straight for us!

Computer (crotchety): Alright, alright, don't get your necks in a knot. (Computation noises) There are exactly 2.3 missiles headed towards this craft, give or take one.

Leela: What do we do?

Computer: Damned if I know, but it had better be something and fast, or we'll all be blown to douglas atoms!

Zapp: Buick, evasive maneuvers!

Buick (Hermes): Believe me, I'm tryin', but it's not workin'! (He tugs ineffectually at the controls)

Leela: Computer, what's going on?

Computer: Eh...er... how should I know? Doing that should probably work. (cheerful) Collision in 10 seconds; time to kiss yourselves good-bye!

Zapp: Can do! (One head moves seductively in on the other)

(The camera mercifully pans past a revolted Leela to Bender, who is exceptionally stoic. He checks his digital watch and waits patiently)

(The sound of metal twisting violently is heard as the missiles strike the ship. However, there are no explosions. A perplexed crew dashes towards the source of the noise. Bender follows grudgingly)

(Cut to: Some random room on the ship. The crew rushes in to discover both missiles have wedged themselves through the hull of the craft, yet have come to a stop, creating an airtight seal. Leela carefully approaches the two visible front ends)

(Before she can get there, however, the tip of the left missile decompresses, an eerie hiss startling those around it. The entire tip of the projectile lifts off on a hinge, exposing a dark hollow)

(The crew peers in, and out of the shadows crawl three mice. They hop unassumingly to the floor, then proceed to gaze back at the crew. Zapp sprays them with an aerosol can. They die)

Zapp: Got 'em!

Leela (shocked): Zapphod!

(She grabs the can while shoving him away, then bends down to inspect the mice. Abruptly, a hand thrusts out of the hollow tube and grabs Leela by the forearm. Squirming its elbow out, then using the leverage, the being pulls itself out of the cylinder and flops awkwardly onto the floor. It gets up quickly, trying to keep some dignity. We see that it is clearly a member of Morbo's species, but it is smaller and slimmer)

Alien: Greetings. I am Zorbo. I hope my arrival was not too startling.

Fry (baffled): What? (He begins adjusting a fish in his ear)

Buick: Maybe you could hear what he said if you stopped putting sardines in your ears!

(He grabs the fish and discards it on the ground. Zorbo's attention is drawn to Bender)

Zorbo: Wow, nice robot! Does he do any tricks?

Bender (caustic): Yes, I lose my faith in humanity. Watch. (A beat) Ta da.

Zorbo (turning to Leela without hesitation): There is much to discuss. You are?

Leela: I'm Leela, but everyone calls me Billion. And this is Philip, Buick, Zapphod, and Bender. (All wave except Bender)

Zorbo (recognizing a name): So, you're Zapphod? We must speak on matters of severe importance.

Zapp (perhaps distracted by Billion): I have pills for that now.

Zorbo (not catching the misunderstanding): Come, there is little time to spare! (He leads them back towards the bridge)

(The camera does not follow, but pans to the second missile, which heretofore has been ignored. Someone pounds on it from the inside)

Morbo-esque Voice: Hello?! The hinge is stuck... and I think some mice hitched a ride in the tube! I demand you to help!

(Cut to: A heart shaped space vehicle landing on an arid landscape. Craters are more abundant than buildings, and lava flows in narrow streams as tremors shake the terrain. The crew and Zorbo exit the ship)

Zorbo: Thank you for changing your course on such short notice. Welcome to Volcanon. I don't think I need to tell you what this city was built on.

Philip: ...is it rock and roll?

Zorbo: A volcano.

Philip (disappointed): Oh.

Buick: I still don't get it. Why us?

Zorbo: It has been foretold that one named Zapphod holds the key to saving this city from a cataclysmic eruption, and must be present at the Volco shrine to do so.

Billion: Why didn't you just not build the city on a volcano?

Zorbo: Well, in fact, there are infinite dimensions in which we chose not to build here; however, by nature that means that there are infinite universes where we do. So you could say we were just unlucky.

Philip: What?

Zorbo: Just take my word for it...

(Cut to Philip, attempting to stick a large mouth bass in his ear)

Philip: What?

Bender: What a useless endeavor, it's clearly going to explode any minute. But, really, what endeavor isn't useless... and-

Zapphod (irritated): Fine then, you wait here, and use your seismometer. Warn us if it's about to blow. I've got important hero things to do!

Bender: "Wait here?" That might be an even harder task than "Come over here." You really do keep my life enriched, don't you?

(By now, everyone has left, headed into a crater. Bender sighs dejectedly)

(Cut to the group, sans Bender, arriving at an ancient looking obelisk. Zorbo stops them, and points to an incongruous glowing icon.)

Zorbo: There. It is foretold that Zapphod has the key that will activate the icon of Volco and thus subdue the volcano.

Zapphod: Uh... so what do I do?

Zorbo: Simple. Find your key.

(Zapphod fiddles in his pockets, and produces the ship's ignition key)

Zorbo: No...

(He pulls out a credit card and presses it against the icon)

Zorbo (impatient): No.

(He starts to undo his belt buckle)

Zorbo (horrified): NO! Your mind, the key is in your mind!

Buick: Got it! Which head do I go for? (He produces a hammer)

Zorbo: Metaphorically! It's there in your thoughts; you just have to find it!

(Cut to Bender, pacing. He stops and checks inside his chest compartment. A needle is moving spastically against a piece of paper)

Bender: Hmm. I probably should warn them. (He calls quietly and unenthusiastically) Hey. Guys. The area you're standing on is going to implode, maybe.

(Cut back to the shrine. Zapphod is on one foot, his other pressed up against the icon, and is waving his hands like a hypnotist. Zorbo has also moved his hands... to his head in frustration)

Zapphod (ghostlike): Oooooh! Ahhhhhh! Opeeeeeen!

Zorbo: They prophesized a man with a key in his mind, but never accounted for him not being able to think!

Billion: This is hopeless.

Philip: Yeah, let's get out of here before-

(A quake rattles the land under their feet. The floor starts to give way. Everyone falls to the quivering ground)

Billion (Shouting): Bender! Get help!

Philip (Yelling): Save us, Bender!

Buick (Frightened): Yeah!

Zapphod: (A toupee off of one head, pressed against the icon) Activate! Ac- Ti- Vate!

(Cut to Bender. He watches the chaos below. As magma starts to seep up through the cracks that are stranding the crew, the semblance in his eyes visibly changes. He looks resolved)

(Bender takes a determined step forward, and then knocks the seismograph out of his chest, reaching behind it to grab a camera. He snaps a picture)

Bender: Neat! *Click*

(Screaming and agony are heard below, but the shot stays on Bender, taking pictures furiously and clearly enjoying it)

Bender (giddy): Photography! That's it! I've never been so happy! *Click Click Click*

(Suddenly, the entire scene flickers and distorts)

Bender: Crap! Reality! Go away! Shoo! (He waves his arms at nothing in particular)

(Cut to Black)


(Bender sits up with a jolt, scattering those huddled around him)

Bender (livid): Alright! Which one of you chumps coldcocked me while I was asking a question?!

(He points directly at Zoidberg, who scuttles away in a panic)

Leela (clearly a bit recovered from previous incidents): Bender, you did it to yourself!

Bender: I know you are but what am I?! BA-ZING!

Farnsworth: You've completely ruined the What-If machine! It's leaking valuable plausitrons again... and so I had to put newspaper down to soak them up! (He grumbles incoherently while leaving the room)

(Amy picks up said newspaper; it is completely dry)

Amy (fretful): Uh... guys? This is tomorrow's newspaper!

Leela: Hmm... must be some sort of side effect.

(Bender snatches it)

Bender: Finally, I can bet with confidence without the need to rig the results!

(Camera slowly pans out of the room, outside, to a shot of the entire PE building as the following dialogue ensues)

Leela: Or, we could use the paper for the good of mankind...

Fry: Boring! Give me the comics... and the horoscopes!

Amy: I'll take fashion!

Hermes: Business!

Leela: (long sigh) Local news...

Bender (flipping a page, excited): Hey Fry, you'll never guess who died!

Fry: Is it not me?

Bender: Close!