Fan Fiction

Boned To The Future
By Chug a Bug


I like reading fanfics, the author often seems to put their own experiences, attitudes or wish fulfillment into their work. You can often tell as much about the author as you can about the subject they're writing about, or so it seems to me. I wonder what mine say about me?

Fry is standing by himself at the Planet Express building. He looks sad and his eyes are on the floor. He sighed. Just then Amy came in the room. She turned and looked at him.

Amy: "Fry, it's the anniversary, isn't it?" she said, softly and with sympathy. She half smiled.

Fry: "Yes. It's been three years to the day. Three years since Leela was taken from us. From me."

Amy put her arm around him. "Is there anything that I or Kif can do for you? You know our house is always open to you and Kara."

Fry raised his eyes from the floor. "No, thanks. Kara and I will have an evening at home, I think."

Amy said, "Ok. Is there anything can get you now? Cup of coffee maybe?"

Later that night, Fry is at the apartment he shared with his six year old daughter Kara. She has two eyes like her father but has her mother's purple hair. She is Fry and Leela's child. He's sitting on the edge on the bed he used to share with Leela. He has his face in his hands, sobbing.

Kara walks into the room. "Daddy, don't cry!" she rushes into his arms. He holds her tight.

Fry says "Oh Kara! Its been three years since your mother passed away. I loved her, loved her with all my heart. I miss her so much! Oh Leela! Why did you have to get into that stupid situation in the first place? You knew it wasn't worth it! Oh Kara!"

Kara sobbed in her fathers arms. Fry pulled himself together. He took her, wiped her tears and said, "come on sweetheart it's time to cook the dinner." He took her hand walked out of the room. On the bedside table there is a photograph of Leela. There is larger framed picture of them on their wedding day on the wall.

Later than night he's tucking Kara into bed. "Daddy," she said, "I'm sure everything will be alright. I know mummy is up there watching us." Above her bed there is a picture of Leela holding her as a baby. Fry looked up at it and then down at her. He kissed her on the forehead.

Fry: "Goodnight, sweetheart." As he walked away he thought, I can't let this go on! I can't! I have to do something. Kara needs a mother and ever since Leela died I havn't been able to look at another woman. Leela's parents have been great but...

He sat down on the sofa, thinking, what about that time when I accidently created that Black Hole and we went back in time, what if I could change the past and prevent Leela's death?

Next day at work Fry went to talk to the Professor. He was getting more doddery every day these days. Fry wondered how much longer he had left, and what they were going to do when he was no longer around.

Fry: "Professor, I have to talk to you...."

Professor Farnsworth: "Uh, wha, who are you?"

Fry "I'm Fry, remember, I'm the delivery boy."

Professor: "Eh? Oh yes, come to look for job, hey?"

Fry: "I've worked for you the last 10 years, I'm your relative, remember?"

After he'd established that the Prof remembered who he was, Fry got straight to the point. He said that he wanted to borrow the ship. What for? He was asked.

Fry: "I need to go back in time, like we did before. I need to prevent Leela's death."

The professor was suddenly irascible: "Fry you moron! Don't you know what can happen when you mess with the laws of causality! Look what happened to Mr I'm my own grandpa!"

Fry: "Professor, it's been three years since... well, you know. Since Leela passed away. My daughter needs a mother, and, I miss Leela, I need Leela. So I'm asking you for the ship. If you don't agree, I'm taking it anyway. Try and stop me!" Fry was increasingly passionate in his speech and his voice was rising towards the end, and determined. Leela would have been proud of me, he thought.

Professor, raising his hand in an almost friendly manner: "Oh my, no need my headstrong chum. I already have this. I invented it some time ago but I've never had a reason to use it before now. It's a time machine." He gestured towards a small device on the bench behind them, it had tubes and wires poking out of it, a keypad and looked like just like what a crazy professor ought to have knocked together in his spare time.

Fry stared at it. He wondered about the Professor's sudden mood changes these days but put it down to his age. He wasn't going to argue. He picked it up. "Thanks Professor" he said and carried it out.

Later that night at home he placed the device on the table in the lounge. He sat on the sofa and stared at it. Kara was standing looking at it, and him.

Kara: "Daddy, whats that, and whats for dinner? I'm hungry."

Fry, still looking at the device. "In a minute, sweetheart. This is something that... it's something thats going to make daddy very happy. Both of us very happy."

Kara: "Oh daddy! Is it going to take us to Disneyplanet?"

Fry: "No, honey. Something much better than. Something wonderful."

She ran into his arms. They hugged each other.

Kara: "I love you daddy."

Fry: "I love you too honey."

Fry didn't know why they had kept Nibbler around after Leela died. Maybe it was because it reminded him of her, maybe it was because of Kara. Probably Kara he thought, he thought how Nibbler liked to sleep on her lap and purr like he did with Leela. Nibbler came into the room now. He stopped, and looked at them both, and then at the time machine.

Nibbler: "The time, has indeed, come."

Fry: "Yes... eh wha! You spoke!" he was absolutely astonished. And startled. "Kara honey, come over here." He gesticulated wildy for her to come over to him immediately. She opened her mouth, obviously astonished too, but no words came out. She was speechless. She ran over to her father, obviously frightened.

Nibbler: "Relax, Mighty One. You and the child are perfectly safe. We must take the child to her grandparents and then we have work to do."

Fry: "Huh... how did you know...."

Nibbler: "I have been with you all these years, watching you, and yours, until the time comes when you will play your part in the fate of the cosmos. We were deeply sorry that we could not prevent the death of Leela, events unfurled faster than we thought they would. We could not save her in time. We have been biding our time until the time is right. And now it is. It was us who planted the idea for the time machine in the Professors mind. It had to be done carefully no-one must suspect a thing which is why it's taken this long. And for that, we are profoundly sorry." He hung his head, as if in deep sorrow.

The discussions carried on late into the night. The next day was saturday and as usual Fry took Kara to visit her grandparents. They knocked on the door and Munda opened the door. Her face lit up as she saw her granddaughter.

Munda: "Kara! My darling! How are you sweety?"

Kara: "I'm fine thank you grandma!" She rushed into her grandmothers open arms who gathered her up in them

Munda: "Lets go inside shall we? Come in, Philip."

Fry shut the door behind them. After Kara had enthusiastically greeted her grandpa Fry greeted them both. He was very fond of them and they treated him almost as a son. Morris however could see that something was on Fry's mind.

Morris: "Whats troubling you, son?"

Munda: "Oh Morris, you know! I'm sorry, my husband can be very obtuse sometimes." She looked concerned. "It's about Leela, isn't it?" It's been three years since she....." her sentence tailed away. "Oh I'm so sorry! You must be missing her terribly. We all are, of course, but you and Kara...." her voice tailed off again.

Fry looked down at his feet. "Yes," he said. "But I have something else thats on my mind, too. I'll tell you later." He glanced at Kara. He didn't want her to hear what he was going to say to Leela's parents. He was going to tell them all about the plan that Nibbler has disclosed. He wasn't going to tell them about Nibbler, of course, he didn't think they'd believe it anyway Nibbler had already blanked Kara's mind so that she wouldn't remember anything about him talking and for some reason he seemed to be unable to talk about it either...

After she'd gone to bed he told them the plan. They were both very concerned.

"Munda: "Philip, are you sure about this? Is this really the right thing to do? Of course we'll respect whatever you decide to do but....this sounds awfully risky. Dangerous, even. Are you sure this is what's best for you and Kara?"

Fry, looking down, lifted his head up and spoke. He gave all the reasons about Kara needing a mother and added: "I miss her too. I miss her so much. I loved her with all my heart and theres never been another. There'll never be another Leela."

Munda and Morris both had tears in their eyes. Morris spoke and his voice was choking although he was trying not to show it.

Morris: "Well son, if thats what you want, then we'll support you. All the way."

"It is," Fry said.

The scene: it's 3 years previous. The setting is the PE conference room. Everyone is sitting at the table. The Professor walks in.

Professor: "Good news, everyone! I have a special delivery for you!

Hermes, holding a bunch of papers, stands up: "Yes. We've just signed a contract, you'll be delivering to de other side of de galaxy in dat new territory dat de DOOP has just opened up!"

Leela, sarcastically rolls her eye: "Oh great! That means a delivery to..."

Professor: "Zapp Brannigan! He especially asked for it to be delivered direct to him. I know you've met before so I'm sure you'll get along just fine! Oh my yes!"

Leela groaned.

Fry: "Leela I'm sure it'll be fine! What could possibly happen?"

Leela, frowning, "Fry he left us to die last time, remember? Just took off and left us. He even locked the controls so we couldn't escape if we wanted to."

Fry: "Heheh, yeah you've gotta love the guy!"

Leela, frowning still: "Fry, love your optimism. Professor, theres no way we're going to do this. No way, not ever!" She folded her arms.

Professor: "Oh my, and I've just received these bonuses to hand out to you from the DOOP because it's a risky mission! I'll just have to return them then along with this contract thats saving Planet Express from bankruptcy! Oh well!"

Everyone shot an annoyed expression at Leela.

Leela, sourly, said: "Oh alright! I'll go! But don't say I didn't warn you when I say theres going to be trouble!"

Grumbling, she folded her arms and turned as if to leave.

Amy: "If we're going to see Zapp then Kif will be there! Can I come too? Pleeeaase?!"

Zoidberg: "Oy! If the rest of the crew is away I'll be the one who's the centre of attention! Hooray for Zoidberg!"

Later Leela and Fry are alone at their home. Its late and they're talking whilst sitting on the sofa. Kara is in her room, asleep.

Leela: "Fry, you know this mission is risky. Ever since Zapp launched that stupid war against the Pacifists of the Gandhi Nebula.. there are areas that are still unexplored and there are stories of... well odd happenings. Ships that disappear without warning. The rumours are that theres a dead civilisation beyond their space and well, the stories are spooky. It worries me. And as for seeing Brannigan again, don't get me started. He drives me nuts. I don't want to go through with it. Ever since we married he's been downright hostile. Fry, I don't want anything to happen to you or me. Or Kara. It's her I'm most worried about."

Fry: "Leela, I know you're worried but.." he took her hands. "Listen, this is not like you to get spooked so easily. This isn't the Leela I know! I know you're concerned about us but, I'm sure it'll be fine."

Leela: "Thats why I love you Fry. Ever the optimist." She smiled.

Fry: "Don't worry, you have me to look after you too, you know?" He smiled in return.

Leela: "And a dreamer, too." She kissed him affectionately on the cheek. "I don't know Fry, I just can't shake this feeling I have. I don't know, maybe it's because I have more to lose now than before. Well, I have things to do, and pack for the trip. Kara will have to stay with my parents since we're going to be away for up to a week. I want her safe, here, on Earth." She walked out.

Fry was left to his own thoughts. What could possibly go wrong, this was a routine delivery, wasn't it? Just drop and go. Even if that dumb gross gorilla Brannigan is there what can he do? Leela and I are married now and nothing will change that. Nothing, he told himself.

The scene is the interior of the PE ship. Leela is at the controls. Its been an uneventful trip through the uncharted territories despite the rumours, albeit a slow one. Perhaps Fry is right and I'm worrying for nothing, she thought. How silly to let a little thing like this get to me! What was it about motherhood that had made her more fearful of potential danger than before? Maternal instinct? I must be going soft, she thought.

Fry: "I can't believe that Bender isn't with us. It doesn't seem right some how. Funny how he said his mother was ill and had to visit her!"

Leela rolled her eye. "Fry, he doesn't have a mother! He was built on an assembly line, remember? That was just an excuse to cop out of a risky mssion!" She wondered about Fry and Bender, they'd been very close been before she and Fry married and she wondered if Fry missed the male bonding. Still, it's not like they didn't still work together. But she couldn't help but think Fry sometimes missed him.

"Fry, do you miss Bender? Would you rather have not married me and carried on living with him?" She asked it, half seriously, half amusedly.

Fry got out of his seat and Leela could feel Fry's warm arms wrapping themselves around her even as she sat in the Pilot's seat. He said:

Fry: "Not for anything in the world. You're the one I love Leela. You and no-one else. And Kara. Sometimes, y'know, I when I need a little male company I can spend a few hours at our old place. He still misses me, you know. But being with you, and Kara theres nothing that can ever come close to that."

She turned her head and they kissed. Amy, who had been down below taking a look at the engines as a good engineering student ought, chose that moment to come through the doors and onto the flight deck.

Amy said: "Spleesh! Get a room you two!" She was smiling, though. "Aren't we at the co-ordinates for the rendez-vous yet? We've been travelling for days and I want to see my Kiffy!" She said, sadly.

Leela: "All in good time. We should be nearing the destination soon, I'm expecting a contact any time from... " she sighed. "Zapp Brannigan."

The PE ship viewscreen flickered into life. Leela was looking at it. On it appeared, to Leela, the hateful image of Zapp Brannigan. She scowled.

Zapp: "Ah, if it isn't the sexilicious Leela! If you don't comply you will be boarded and once I've penetrated your defences I'll thrust ahead with the mission until we reach it's climax! Theres no force in the universe that can resist the Zapper!"

He said it with that leering, lecherous look on his face that Leela despised so much. Was it that she despised what he was or what she had once let herself be talked into? How could she have ever let this idiotic oaf overwhelm her common sense anyhow?

Leela folded her arms and frowned: "Zapp we don't have time for your games right now, ok? Lets just get this cargo unloaded and we'll be off, alright?"

Amy, who had been biding her time up till now, chose this moment to chime in, plaintively: "Leela, Kif's on that ship. You know we're getting married in 3 months time. It's hard enough trying to see Kif what with him being away in the territories for 6 months at a time. It's been really hard." She looked like she was going to start crying any moment.

Leela sighed. "Very well. Zapp, we'll need quarters for day or two, seeing as it's your supplies we're carrying. I'm sure you can't object to that. she said, crossly, and glowered at him.

At that moment Kif's face suddenly appeared on the viewscren in the corner next to Zapp's. He spoke: "Amy! My smizmar! It's really you! Oh hoo hoo hoo! Captain, we have to let them onboard! You know I'm engaged to be married soon!"

Zapp rubbed his chin, thoughfully: "Ugh, you disgust me Kif! The thought of you making it with a woman! Still... Leela I'm sure we can find you some rooms. Close by the captains quarters theres a fine view from the ports." He leered again.

Leela: "Zapp, I won't be alone. I have Fry with me. You remember him. We're married." and she pulled Fry next to her. Fry grinned with an obviously fake grin.

Fry: "Pleased to meet you again, sir!"

Zapp looked momentarily annoyed, then it seemed to pass. "Very well, bring that pipsqueak with you if you must. But you'll be in separate rooms."

Fry, suddenly puffed up with indignation, burst out with: "No, sir! This is my wife and I'll be..."

Leela interupted him. "It's not a problem Zapp. We'll sort out the details later."

As the viewscreen went off, Leela turned to Fry and said: "It'll be fine. Don't worry."

Fry, still indignant: "But, Leela....."

Leela: "Leave it, Fry. We don't want to antagonise him. Lets just get this over with and we'll be gone. I don't like it anymore than you do, just think of Kif and Amy."

Later they were docked with the Nimbus. There was a small contingent of troops onboard, most of them were engaged elsewhere they were told. Zapp was at the captains table with Leela, Fry, Amy and Kif. Zapp was bragging about his most recent "victory".

Zapp: "... and then I sent in the troops and annililated their puny fleet before they could attack us! I was awarded this medal for that glorious victory!" he thrust out a medal that was pinned to his chest.

Kif sighed: "Sir, that was the delegation from the last of the Pacifist planets coming to give their surrender! They didn't even have any weapons!"

Zapp: "And I made sure they never would! Pfah! Pacifists! Have these people no spine? I hate them even more than those filthy Neutrals!"

Kif groaned: "Sir, the Neutrals are our allies, remember?"

Zapp turned to Fry at this point. His eyes narrowed to slits. "So, this the famous Fry who managed to snare my woman, Leela. Kudos! You don't look like much of a man to me. Spend a month with my troops and I'll make a man of you, soldier!" He lowered his voice. "Or perhaps you're too much of a coward."

Fry, apparently oblivious to the implied threat, or simply too good natured, just replied: "Well, I've already been a soldier, in the war with the Space Balls, remember? You tried to use my friend Bender as bomb to blow up the...."

Leela had had enough. She interupted by putting her hands on table, stood up and looked Zapp straight in the eyes: "Look, as fascinating as this conversation is Zapp, it's late and its time we turned in. It's been a long flight and we're all tired." she said sarcastically.

Zapp, suddenly reasonable: "Of course. Kif, show our guests to their rooms. Don't forget, I know where you all are so theres no need to be afraid of whats in the dark." He shot what he probably thought was a seductive look in Leela' direction and she suppressed an sudden desire to barf.

Soon, Leela and Fry were standing outside a door.

Leela: "This is my room Fry. Yours is down there, at the other end of the corridor."

Fry, cheerfully oblivious: "Yeah. Funny that that was only one available. All the way down there!"

Leela, sardonically: "Yeah. Funny that. And Zapp's room only just over there."

Just then Amy appeared, with Kif. She spoke: "Well, goodnight you two. Kif and I have some catching up to do." She giggled, then Kif chuckled. She pressed the door entry of a room nearby and they proceeded to go in.

Leela: "Hey! I thought it was single rooms only!"

Amy: "Uh, Leela, that was for you and Fry only. He didn't say anything about us." Amy pulled Kif by the arm and he was fairly yanked into the room.

Kif looked slightly surprised and said: "Oof!" as door closed behind them.

Fry turned to Leela and said: "Well, goodnight Leela. I love you. I wish we could, y'know..." and he took her hands.

Leela: "I know. But we'd better not annoy Zapp. I love you too." They exchanged a long kiss and parted.

Later in her room, alone, Leela noticed the lock on her door didn't appear to be working. She pulled out a blaster from her belongings and fired a single shot at the mechanism. There was a flash and a shower of sparks and it fused shut. That'll put paid to anything that goes bump in the night, she thought.

Fry sat alone in his room and on his bed. He felt terribly alone. This was the first time in nearly 3 years he'd been apart from Leela and it felt awful. He couldn't shake a feeling of foreboding that had come over him since he came on board this ship. Curse this mission, he thought. Leela was right. We should have never have gotten involved with Zapp again especially as this is his ship and he's calling the one calling the shots here.

The scene:

it's three years in the future, the day after the plan to save Leela has been revealed. Fry is at home, with Nibbler. The Time Machine is sitting on the table. Fry is fiddling with it.

Fry: "Ok I think I've figured out this thing. You input the date and time you want and bam! Press the "Engage" button. He frowned. "At least I think thats it. I always knew watching those Back to the Future movies would come in handy one day! Well, theres no time like the past." He was suddenly determined. "Lets get this over with." He went to press the button to engage the machine.

Nibbler was standing by him and suddenly alarmed said "No, wait! You don't understand..."

There was a sudden shimmering and a flash of light. Fry and Nibbler were standing exactly where they were, in front of the table with the Time Machine sitting on it.

Fry looked startled, and then puzzled: "Hey, what gives! Nothings happened! We're in exactly the same place! It doesn't work!" He said, annoyed.

Nibbler: "Mighty one, you do not understand," he said, obviously alarmed, and rapidly went to the machine and started pressing buttons on it.

To the left of them there Fry could hear a noise. Fry recognised it, it was the sound of the shower in the bathroom in the rooms off the lounge. Fry could also hear another sound. It was the sound of someone singing in the shower. Fry recognised the voice instantly.

It was Leela.

Fry cried aloud: "Leela! Is that you? You...you're alive! I..I don't understand, whats going on?! He was bewildered, surprised, and not a little frightened.

From the bathroom he heard a voice: Leela's. "Fry, Fry is that you? I thought you were coming back later. Did they not have what you were looking for?"

Leela turned off the shower and wrapped a towel around herself. There was a shimmer of light in the lounge. Blinking with water still in her eyes she walked into the lounge. It was empty.

Funny, I could have sworn I heard voices, she thought to herself. She went back into the bathroom to dry her hair.

Meanwhile back in the future Fry is standing in the lounge, with Nibbler, in exactly the same place as before. He rushed straight into the bathroom where he had heard Leela's voice. It was empty. The shower was dry and looked like it hadn't been used for days. Fry rushed back into the lounge.

Fry: "What the..."

Nibbler: "Mighty one. Sit down and listen. I have something to explain to you."

10 minutes later after Nibbler was sure that Fry had understood what he'd told him, Fry replied: "So what you're telling me is this machine can go anywhen but not anywhere? Whats the point in that?! That was Leela! She was alive! I have to talk to her! Why did you stop me?! Leela!"

Nibbler sighed. He hung his head. "Yes that was 3 years in the past. Leela had not yet passed away." He shook his head. "You cannot, must not, speak to her. We must be very careful. It is possible to intefere with the laws of causality in such a way that could create a paradox that could destroy the universe. Leela must know nothing of what will come to pass."

Fry: "Huh? A para-what?"

Nibbler: "Mighty one, you must trust me. We have to do this the right way. Come, we have much to do. Bring the machine with you."

Nibbler took Fry to the alley where he kept his spaceship. He opened the doors. Nibbler spoke: "I will take you to where you must do what you must do. I cannot intefere. This starcraft," he continued, "is the culmination of the technology of our ancient home Eternium. In it we must go."

Fry: "Oh swish! What a cute little ship!"

The scene:

aboard the Nimbus the following morning after they docked, 3 years previously.

Fry had a troubled night. Leela slept soundly. Kif and Amy, well thats best left to the imagination, suffice to say it wasn't wholly unpleasant. After they all got up Fry, Amy and Kif made their way to the bridge, Leela taking a little longer. Zapp was already there, sitting in the captain's chair. Leela walked in. She was not happy.

Zapp: "Ah, everyone's here. I trust you all slept well, despite the problems someone seems to have had with their door this morning." He frowned in Leela' direction.

Leela: "Ok Zapp we're out of here just as soon as your people have finished unloading the supplies from our ship. Fry, Amy, lets get packed and we'll be off a.s.a.p. ok?"

Amy, however, had other ideas. It'd been a long time since she'd had a chance to meet with Kif face to face and she wasn't going to let the opportunity pass lightly. "Leela, if we have some time can I speak to you? Kif and I have been talking and could you help us with some plans for our wedding? Please? As you've been through it already, well, Kif and I could do with some advice."

Leela: "Well... ok, if it doesn't take too long. Fry, you can come if you..."

Fry, for whom sunshine usually followed the rain as quickly as a summer shower, was feeling much brighter this morning. "Meh. Sounds like girl talk to me. You two carry on. Kif has agreed to take me on a tour of the ship!" he said, cheerfully.

Kif and Fry walked off the bridge. Leela and Amy followed. Zapp watched them, his thoughts known only to himself. Within twenty minutes Fry and Kif are deep within the bowels of the ship.

Kif: ".. and this is the troop ship hanger deck." There was a troop ship in the hanger and troops were embarking on the ship.

Fry: "So, where are those guys headed?"

Just then Zapp rounded the corner and spoke.

Zapp: "Fry! We're approaching a planet we're scheduled to visit. Some of my troops are taking a short trip to the surface. Would you care to visit while you're waiting?"

Fry wasn't sure. "Well.... Leela said we need to be leaving soon..."

Kif suddenly looked uncomfortable. "Uh, sir....."

Zapp: "Kif! Don't you have some duties to take care of this morning?"

Kif: "Uh, yes sir, but.." he stood where he was.

Zapp: "Well, get to it then, soldier!"

Kif, uncertain: "Yes, sir...." and walked off, reluctantly.

Zapp put his arm around Fry's shoulder and turned him in the opposite direction towards the open hanger deck.

Zapp: "There she is! It's a short trip there and back. It's a beautiful planet, don't you agree?"

Out of the hanger windows a beautiful blue and green planet shone in the sunlight.

Fry: "It sure is. Well... I guess a little trip couldn't hurt..." He smiled. Maybe Zapp wasn't so bad after all, he thought.

Five minutes later the small ship departed through the hanger doors of the Nimbus. It looked very small silhoutted against the DOOP starship. Fry sat with the troops within the troop carrier.

Fry said cheerfully to the nearest soldier: "Hey, I'm Fry. Pleased to meet you."

Soldier: "Scott. You're from that delivery ship, aren't you? What are you doing here anyway?" He looked him up and down. "The last ship didn't come back. This is one of Zapp's suicide missions."

Fry: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!"

Scott: "Sure. We're the second carrier to be sent down to this godforsaken place, the first hasn't been heard from in days."

Fry remembered something Zapp had once said: When I'm in charge every mission is a suicide mission!

Fry, panicing: "Wait! You've got to send me back! I'm not supposed to be here! This is a mistake!"

Suddenly the deafening sound of alarm bells rang out. A voice came over the PA system: "We have incoming. I repeat, an incoming ship. Vessel unrecognised. Not responding to hails." The ship, which had been peaceful up to now as a steady thrum seemed to come from all directions, suddenly rocked violently from side to side. "We're under attack! Assume bracing positions!"

The PA announced. The soldiers bent over and put their hands over their

hands . Fry thought he had better do the same.

Fry: "How the hell do I get into these situations?!"

The troop carrier weaved from side to side as an alien ship of strange design doggedly pursued it as it descended rapidly through the atmosphere, lasers spitting red at the troop carrier. Then one shot caught it smack in the rear, smoke and flames exploding from the area of the engines. Onboard the ship klaxxons wailed out.

Scott: "Hang on! We're going down fast! Prepare for a crash landing!"

The ship dropped out of the sky at a sickening speed.

Back on the Nimbus Leela and Amy are in Amy's room. They're deep in conversation, pouring over wedding accessories catalogues. Kif walked into the room, unannounced.

Leela looked up: "Kif! I've had word they're almost done unloading. We're packed and ready." She looked around. "Where's Fry?"

Kif, looked sheepish and nervous. "Uh.. thats what I came to tell you about. I'm not supposed to be here but... Zapp has sent Fry down to planet 367 and I don't know whats happened.. we've lost contact with the second carrier..."

Leela:"What!! Kif, whats going on? Where's Zapp?!"

Kif stuttered: "Uh...oh... well, I tried to warn him but.. oh curse my cowardice! I shouldn't have.. I mean I should have..."

Leela: "Kif! Whats happened?"

Kif related the story of how they had encountered this apparently dead planet when entering uncharted space 5 days ago. He told of how 4 days ago a troop carrier had been sent down to secure the planet for the DOOP and how it hadn't been heard from since. Other DOOP ships had gone missing in the past weeks in this territory too.

Kif: "... and then we broke off to meet you and, well, you know the rest."

Leela stood up. "Amy, come on. We're getting off this ship. We need to find Fry. Now." She grabbed Amy by the arm and started for the door.

Amy: "Leela... what about our stuff... and Kif, I can't just leave him again. I want to stay here."

Leela turned to her: "Kif is an officer, you're a civilian. You'll just be a spare wheel around here. He can send our stuff on. Besides," she continued, "I don't trust Zapp."

She hurriedly took Amy, Kif following, down to the docking port where the PE ship lay. On the way an alarm started sounding.

Kif: "Uh oh!"

He went to a small comms device on the passage wall nearby and flicked on the viewscreen. On it an external view of the Nimbus showed a large ship of unknown design bearing down on them. Lasers could be seen firing at them. The sound of muffled explosions could be heard, and the ship rocked from side to side.

Kif: "What the...! I'd better get back on the bridge." He turned and hurried off to the nearest turbolift. Amy looked after him, sadly.

Amy: "Bye, Kif."

Leela, with a determined look on her face, led Amy down to the docking port. The door opened and they could see the PE ship waiting for them. Standing between them and the ship however, was the figure of Zapp Brannigan.

Leela walked right up to him, put her hands on her hips, leaned in to meet him face to face, frowned and said, furiously:

Leela: "Zapp, this is your doing! You deliberately sent Fry down on a dangerous mission hoping he wouldn't come back, didn't you?"

Zapp stood in commanding form, took out a badge showing his rank and status and thrust it at Leela saying:

Zapp: "Under DOOP military law #356 in the event of an emergency I have the right to commandeer all civilian vessels and crew." He looked at her in what he thought was a seductive way, and said in a sexy voice: "Its a 3 month tour of duty. You and me, plenty of cham-paggen and a continuous loop of Barry White songs!" He leered at her again.

Minutes later the PE ship blasted off from the docking port of the Nimbus. Meanwhile Zapp Brannigan was still trying to pull his badge out of his mouth into which Leela had shoved it. The PE ship roared down heading straight for the planet's surface. Inside Leela was determined, pushing hard on the acceleration lever. Amy was strapped into one of the seats, absolutely scared out of her wits.

Leela: "Do we know where that troop carrier was headed?"

Amy: "I've put the co-ordinates in the computer. Kif gave them to me...!"

A ship of unknown design appeared and streaks of red laser spat out in the direction of the PE ship... back on board the Nimbus Zapp Brannigan had other things to worry about. On the bridge he could see a large ship bearing down on him.

Zapp: "Where in blazes did that come from...?"

The Nimbus shuddered as shot after shot hammered home.

Zapp: "Kif, damage report!"

Kif, worried: "Sir, we've taken heavy fire. The rear shield is down and the front almost. One more shot like that and we'll take a hull breach."

Zapp narrowed his eyes. "Very well. Take us out of here. At maximum speed."

Kif widened his eyes: "Sir, we still have people down there, and Amy and Leela..."

Zapp hit a button on Kif's console and the Nimbus took off at speed. For some strange reason the alien ship didn't follow them.... Zapp observed this with a smug satisfaction.

Zapp: "I'll send in the Cygnus as soon as we're away. Don't worry Kif. I'll get them back. Sooner or later they all come crawling back to the Zapper!" He turned and put his hands behind his back and clasped his hands: "Kif, prepare my foot massage, and bring the athletes foot powder!" He frowned. "Kif, were the candles and music prepared for dinner tonight?"

Kif sighed. "Apparently so, sir. Since Leela is no longer onboard I guess you won't be needing them afterall."

Zapp: "Hmm. It's a shame to waste it. Bring Rita to me tonight."

Kif: "Sir, she has a puncture, remember?"

Zapp: "Very well. Bring inflatable Ingrid instead!"

Kif groaned.

The scene

The surface of the planet. It's green and verdant with low scrub and trees growing up. The whole place looked abandoned, uninhabited. Fry's ship has crash landed on the planet's surface and it's a smoking wreck. Fry and the soldiers are sitting down on the ground 100 metres from the ship. They're alive but exhausted.

Soldier: "Sarge, what are we going to do now?"

Sargeant: "Hilliard, did you bring the radio from the ship?"

Hilliard: "Yes, sir."

Sarge: "Good. Try to contact the Nimbus. In the meantime, is everyone ok? Who's missing?"

Another soldier spoke up: "Sir all 12 crewman made it down ok, sir. Some have injuries."

Sarge: "Anything serious?"

Third soldier: "Sir, I think I've busted my arm. Crewman Yates has lacerations on his leg."

Sarge: "Medical orderly, see to the injured. We need to find cover for them in case whoever it was who fired on us decides to pay us another visit."

A soldier pointed: "Sir, theres an overhanging ledge over there by those rocks. It might be shelter for now."

Sarge: "Very well. Can everyone walk?"

They all nodded.

Sarge: "All right. Lets go."

They all trudged over to where the rocks lay, Fry following at the back. There was a noise behind him, something that sounded like a low hum. Fry glanced around. He couldn't see anything but there was an occasional rustle from the trees behind. The hairs started to stand up on the back of his neck. "Uh... Sarge..." he began.

There was a sudden burst of laser fire. The ground next to the team exploded. Earth and bits of roots showered down on them.

Sarge: "Quickly! Over here!"

It looked like the overhanging rock extended back, back into what looked like a cave. The sergeant ordered everyone to go back into the cave as far they could. They hid behind some boulders. Outside they could hear a low hum which then seemed to die away.

Sarge: "We'll leave the injured here. Doc, you look after them. The rest of you, come with me. We need to get a clear signal with the subspace radio we aren't going to get it here."

Radio officer: "Sir, there seems to be some minor damage. I think I can fix it though."

Sarge: "Very well. Everyone else take five."

Fry, exhausted and very worried, wondered if he was ever going to make it out of here.

Leela and Amy were descending fast through the planet's atmosphere. Leela was turning the ship violently from side to side in an effort to evade their pursuer which continued to pursue them all the way. A thump on the side of the ship indicated another direct hit.

Amy: "Leela, the ships not going to take much more of this." She was terrified.

Leela: "Ok, I have an idea. Hold on to your seat this could get hairy!"

Leela pushed the lever hard to the end and at the same time pulled the attitude control all the way back in the other direction. The ship lurched upwards as the g-forces became incredible. Amy screamed.

Leela: "Hold on...!"

The ship performed a graceful arc in the sky, formed a complete loop the loop and dropped in behind the pursuing ship.

Leela: "What kind of design is that, I've never seen anything like that before... Amy, man the guns!"

Amy leapt out of her seat and grabbed the gun controls. She pointed the gunsight....

Leela: "Fire!"

Amy: "Steady...aim.... !" She fired with everything the PE ship had including the torpedoes. The enemy ship ahead exploded in a huge fireball no more than a couple of hundred metres away. "Leela, pull up, pull up!"

Leela wrestled with the controls but there wasn't enough time. The PE ship flew straight into the cloud of fire and smoke. It all went dark on the bridge for a few seconds, and then the power came back on."

Leela: "Amy! Damage report?"

Amy checked the consoles. "Phew. We got a little cooked there but we're ok."

Leela took the ship down to the last known co-ordinates of where Fry's ship was supposed to land. She flew over the treetops but could see nothing.

Amy: "Look, over there to the left, theres a column of smoke. It might be worth checking out."

Leela turned the ship hard over and headed in the direction of where the smoke had been sighted.

Back at the cave the soldiers were preparing to move out. Scott, who had been injured in the crash, said to Fry:

Scott: "Here, take my blast helmet. I'm not going anywhere. You might need it."

Fry: "But..."

Scott insisted. Fry took it reluctantly.

Sarge: "Ok people we have a combat situation here. Blast shields down."

They pulled down the blast visors on their helmets down in front of their faces partly obscuring it.

Sarge: "Ok, lets move out."

The remaining uninjured soldiers plus one civilian headed cautiously out into the open air, guns ready, expecting trouble.

Sarge: "What in blazes... Fry, thats your name isn't it? Get back in that cave. You're no use to us here."

Fry, suddenly indignant: "Pssht. I used to be a soldier. I fought in the war with the Space Balls. We had them thoroughly licked!"

Sarge: "Son, this is no time to play the hero! What are you, some kind of idiot?!"

Fry: "Some kind, yes. Or so everyone keeps telling me!" He said, folding his arms.

Before the sarge could reply a crackle of static hit the air and laser fire streaked across and hit behind, just missing them. Smoke filled the air.

Sarge: "Get under cover! Now! Everyone follow me!"

Fry ran. He ran, stumbling through the dense undergrowth and choking smoke, in what he thought was the direction of the other soldiers. When he finished running and the smoke cleared, he realised he was completely alone. And he couldn't remember in which direction he came.. he tapped on the side of his helmet. He knew that there was a communicator built into the helmet.

Fry: "Hello... hello.. can anyone hear me?"

A voice crackled over the 'com: "Fry? Is that you? Where the hell are you?"

Fry: "I dunno. I got lost in the confusion. I'll try and get back to you..."

Sarge, on the 'com: "Negative. Stay where you are. We'll come and find you. Try and find some some shelter. Over and out." The 'com went dead. Ok, Fry thought to himself, perhaps over there... he took a few steps and abruptly vanished.

Meanwhile back on the PE ship Leela was flying over the crash site. They could see twisted wreckage and smoke rising in tall plume far into the sky. She turned the ship, looking for a safe place to land. She brought it down, safely.

Amy: "Oh no...!"

Leela was looking just as worried: "Oh God no! Fry!"

They hastily disembarked and ran over to the wreckage of the downed ship. Leela hurried on through an open hatchway.

Amy: "Leela! No! It's too dangerous!"

Leela: "Hold on, I'll only be a couple of minutes....."

Ten nail biting minutes later, or so it seemed to Amy, Leela re-appeared. "It's ok. Theres no-one onboard. They must've got out safely."

Amy breathed an enormous sigh of relief. "We'd better go look for them. They might be hurt."

Leela: "Yes. But something stinks around here and it's not Bender's cooking. There might still be hostiles in the area."

Amy, smiling: "Spoken like a true ex-soldier."

Leela picked up a discarded helmet lying in the debris. She put it on and tapped on the side of it. "Hello, hello, can anyone hear me?" A voice, crackling but still audible, could be heard.

Sarge: "Roger. We copy that. Who's that speaking?"

Leela: "My name's Leela. We've come from the Nimbus. Can you tell me whats happening, over."

Sarge: "The nimbus! We're saved! Look out there is some kind of hostile alien here and they're armed and should be considered highly dangerous. We havn't been able to get a clear look at them yet so we don't know what we're up against. We'll trace your signal and meet up. Over."

Leela: "No need. We're by the crash site. We'll look out for you. Over and out." She turned to Amy. "I'm in contact with the troops. They're coming to meet up with us. We need to find some cover theres some kind of hostile forces around and they havn't come to play pat-a-cake."

Just then a low hum could be heard and a rustle in the treetops. Leela heard it and turned to Amy: "That doesn't sound like squaddies on the march!" Just then a laser blast seered the air next to them and a small bush exploded into fire. They both dived into the cover of the trees. Leela pulled out a blaster from under her jacket that she'd picked out of the debris. She looked up and could clearly see a hovering machine, sleek, about half the height of a man, metallic, with a red light built in to the top that seemed almost like an eye, unblinking and menacing. She pointed and fired. The machine exploded in a fireball. "Good! Thats taken care of that!" she said and went to look for another blaster for Amy.

Fry woke up, groggy. He was dimly aware that he was in a dark place, with minimal light. He was also aware of something else: pain. On his head. He reached his hand up and felt something wet and sticky. He moved his hand in front of his face: It looked dark. He tentatively touched his finger to his tongue: blood. He groaned. He looked around, he was in some kind of chamber, it was overgrown with dirt, and tree roots, and dead vegetation that seemed to have come in from somewhere. As he looked up he noticed where the light was coming from: there was a circular hole in the ceiling, high above him. I must have fallen through it, he thought. He felt like darkness was closing in all around him: he passed out.

Meanwhile by the crash site Leela handed a blaster to Amy. They could hear the sound of crashing and trampling through the undergrowth. That sounds like soldiers, she thought. Just then though a low hum could be heard....

Leela shouted: "Watch out! Take cover!" as another of those strange machines appeared throught the trees, unblinking eye seemingly watching her every move. She fired her blaster.

The machine dodged to one side. She fired again. It dodged again. There was a searing bolt of laser and the ground erupted next to her.

Leela: "It's learning! Amy, I need your help! When I give the word, fire directly at it."

Amy, looking uncertain: "Ok, here goes..." she aimed.

Leela: "Now!"

Amy fired her blaster. The machine dodged to one side. Leela immediately fired her blaster and caught it, head on. The machine exploded in a fireball.

Leela: "Good. But we may not be so lucky next time."

Amy: "What are those things? And why do they keep firing at us?"

Leela: "I don't know. But somehow I have a feeling that won't be the last time they pay us a visit."

The soldiers, who had been keeping their heads down until now, decided to show themselves above the undergrowth.

Sarge: "Great shooting men! That was...." he stopped. He looked at them. "Two girls? You're the rescue party?! Zapp has some strange ideas."

Leela, frowning: "We're not exactly a rescue party. Call us unofficial, if you like."

Sarge, looking them up and down: "Sure, whatever. Hey that was some some fancy shooting you did there! You're welcome to join my platoon anytime!"

Leela: "Thanks but no thanks. Been there, seen it, done it, bought the T-Shirt." She looked at them, suddenly concerned: "Wheres Fry? Y'know, the civilian guy that was supposed to be with you? He's my husband."

Sarge: "Ah him? The idiot? He got himself lost somewhere. We're looking for him, or at least we were until you showed up."

Leela sighed. "That sounds like Fry alright. C'mon, we'd better get looking, the sooner we find him the sooner we can get off of this dump. Do you know where he is?"

Sarge: "We're onto it right now. We need an open comms signal to triangulate his whereabouts but he's gone quiet. I hope he's ok."

Leela put her hand on the Sarge's shoulder and gently pushed him in the direction of the cover of the trees. Leela exuded a kind of natural leadership quality and after a while she was soon comfortably giving orders and Sarge was uncomfortable, but compliant, in taking them. Man, thats much woman, he thought to himself.

Fry came too again, slowly. The pain still throbbed in his temple. I... must.... contact the others, he thought. Slowly and painfully he moved his hands around in a motion either side of his body trying to locate his helmet and it's communicator. His hand hit on something metallic. He scrabbled to grab it, caught it, and pulled it towards himself. He looked at it. It was the helmet. He gingerly put it onto his head mindful of his injuries. He tapped the communcator. There was a crackle of static. Good, it's working, he thought. "Hello, hello, this is Fry, can anyway hear me?" He said, weakly.

The Sarge looked up as he heard a faint voice coming over the 'com system. "Repeat please, who that speaking? Over."

Leela's face suddenly lit up as she recognised the voice: "Fry! Fry, is that you, where are you? Are you ok?"

Fry: "Leela! Leela, it's you! Uh... I'm trapped down some kind of hole, I've received some injuries, I'm not sure how bad... I've been out for some time, I don't know how long for..."

Leela: "Oh God! Fry, listen, leave your 'com open for a while and we'll trace your signal. Over."

Fry: "Ok Leela. Uh... how's things up there?"

Before Leela could reply just then there came a huge blast. It knocked them all to the ground. In the ground between them was a smoking crater. Leela caught a glimpse of another of those machines off to the left in the trees. Damn, she thought, I'm getting careless. Men were scrabbling to their feet in a general chaos all around, she could make out through the swirling smoke. Leela turned to the machine and fired.

This time something different happened. The machine hovered there but the shot didn't reach it: it was surrounded by some kind of energy field.

Leela: "Dammit, they're getting harder to kill. Sarge I need your help!"

The Sarge aimed his blaster and started firing along with Leela. Nothing happened.

Sarge: "Everyone, c'mon! We need help!" The troop started firing too. The shield suddenly collapsed and the machine exploded. "I don't know that we can hold off another attack."

Leela: "Fry, are you ok?" She heard an affirmative. "Good. Hold tight, we're coming." She looked to the soldiers. "Have one of you got a fix on that signal yet?" One of the soldiers nodded. "Good," she said. "Show me."

The did and once they'd established their bearings, they moved off swiftly in the direction indicated.

Meanwhile Fry, lying at the bottom of the hole, was taking a look around. His eyes, now accustomed to the gloom, saw that he was in a corner next to some kind of wall. The vegetation and debris were everywhere but he could see what looked looked like a button poking out on the wall. Eh? He thought, whats that doing there? Only one way to find out, he thought. He brushed away some of the dirt around it and found that it was part of some kind of console. He pressed it the button and the console lit up. A screen appeared with what looked like some kind of rader map. A screen lit up, and he could see what looked like scenes from around where they'd come from. He could see the cave, he could see soldiers, and what looked like explosions. Then the camera switched to another party of soldiers, with them were two civilians, one with a helmet with long purple hair straying out. It could only be one person.

Fry: "Leela!" He exclaimed aloud.

Just then a voice rang out in the chamber. It seemed to be talking some kind of alien language, incomprehensible. Then the language seemed to change.. words in English popped out here and there...

Voice: "We have been bxxzzzt monitoring your communication.. communications. We hope you're enjoying the demonstration."

Fry, weakly: "Demo... demonstration? What demonstration?"

Voice: "The Zanthus 240 is latest in automated defence systems, it has the capability to learn from it's mistakes. It can defend against ships in the air, in orbit, or combatants on the ground."

Fry noticed a countdown on the console. "What? Those things that have been attacking us? Wait... whats that?"

Voice: "That is the time until the latest, more deadly model is launched. We hope you enjoy the demonstration."

Fry: "What...? No.. wait, stop! Turn it off! Those are my friends out there!"

Voice: "Turn it off? Does that mean you wish to purchase this device?"

Leela was getting nervous. "We havn't heard from any more of those devices yet and they're overdue. I'm getting worried."

Amy: "G'uh, maybe they've given up and gone away. Maybe we've shown them who's boss! Yeah!" She waved her blaster, jubilantly.

Leela, frowning: "I doubt it. Come on, it's not far now, just a few hundred metres in that direction," she said, pointing.

Leela caught the sound coming through the trees, a low hum... she shouted "Get down! Now!" and a blast exploded just behind. Leela rolled, and on righting herself pulled her blaster and fired at it. As before, it's shield lit up. "Everyone else, shoot!" They all did. The machine just stood there, taking it. Then suddenly it shot off to the right. Leela turned. It was a mere 10 metres away from her and there was nothing between her and it. It's shield had dropped and in the milliseconds that followed the dread thought swept throught her mind that it was going to fire: we're sitting ducks and we've had it...

The machine's red eye gleamed menacingly as it's laser flashed into life....

She just caught out of the corner of her eye one of the soldiers jumping in front of her line of fire. He simultaneously pulled something from his pocket and hurled it at the machine as it fired....

There was a flash of light and a sickening thump of an explosion. Then, all went dark for Leela.....

Fry was still looking at the console. He could see Leela's head from a height and it was getting closer....

Fry: "What do you mean buy it, buy it from whom? Theres no-one to buy it from.. this is a dead planet, we've seen no life other than vegetation of any kind...."

Just then Fry had one of those very rare occurances, a flash of insight, an idea. What if... his mind slowly thought....

Fry, suddenly: "Yes!"

Voice: "Then you like it? You'll buy the defence system?"

Fry: "Yes! We'll buy it! I only hope I'm right about this or Hermes'll be docking my pay for the rest of my life...."

Voice: "You won't regret it. Thank you for making a purchase with the automated sales department."

The console which had been showing what had been happening to Leela's party until now, turned itself off and powered down.

"Leela, Leela, are you ok?" A voice seemed to be saying, from far away. Her ears were ringing. Leela opened her eyes and saw... the sky. Then, a soldier's face appeared between it and her, looking down at her. She sat up, slowly. "Ow," she said, "I have one hell of a headache." She remembered. "What the... oh no, where is he? Wheres the guy who saved our lives?"

There was no reply from the soldiers who were either sitting or standing. They couldn't look her in the eye and dropped theirs to the ground. Even the Sarge had gone quiet. Leela looked around. "Where's Amy?"

Amy: "I'm here. Leela, I think you should see this. Now." Her voice was creaky, like she was trying not to choke. Leela looked around to where she was kneeling next to a soldier lying on his back. From where Leela sat she could see he was a mess. His uniform looked burned, and when she scrambled over to him she could see blood soaked in his uniform. He looked in a very bad way. What totally shocked her was when she looked throught the matted hair at the blood stained face. It was Fry.

Leela collapsed to her knees. "Fry.....! No.....! What the.... how.... oh God no! Fry!" Tears were welling up in her eye as she fought to hold back the emotion. She instinctively took his hand and held it. "Fry.. no... we were coming to find you... why did you... I mean, how did you... what are you doing here Fry? You're supposed to be lying injured somewhere."

Fry: "Leela... listen... I don't have much time...." he said, weakly. "I came... came back.. came back for you, Leela." He said.

Leela: "What? Came back? For me? Fry, I don't understand. Oh Fry! We have to get you some treatment!"

Fry, his voice getting weaker: "Leela.. Leela, that blast was meant for you. You were supposed to die in that explosion. I came... back... back in time, to stop it from happening. I couldn't live without you Leela and neither can Kara. Leela...."

Leela, with tears in her eyes: "Came.. came back in time? I don't understand. And you say I was supposed to die? Fry, where did you come from, and how? I don't understand."

Fry, struggling to speak: "I.. I've been watching you since you landed. I joined your party in the confusion. I came from the future, I came to to save you, Leela. Whether.. whether this works or not, I want you to know Leela, I love you. I love you and I always will. You were the only one for me, Leela, now and for ever...."

He exhaled and with that, the light went out in his eyes for the very last time.

Leela was incredulous, disbelieving. "Noooooooo! God, no! Frrrrryyyyyy!" And she collapsed on top of his lifeless body, his eyes still staring blankly into the sky. She erupted into a paroxysm of grief.

Amy was the first to speak amongst the stunned silence of the rest of the party standing around watching them. She tugged Leela's sleeve. "Leela.. Leela, "she said softly, "we have to go. We can't stay here. It's not safe."

Leela, speaking briefly between her sobbing, said: "Go away. I'm not leaving him." She continued with her desperate weeping over him.

The Sarge turned to Amy: "I don't know what the hell is going on but we have to rejoin with the others. We'll have to bring her with us, by force if necessary."

Fry had no idea what had just happened on the surface. All he knew was the automated console seemed to have switched off and all had gone quiet, that is until he thought he heard voices some of them quite passionate about something or other, and some way off... what he didn't know was that Fry's body, the other Fry on the surface, was starting to thin out, to vanish into thin air....

He tapped his 'com device: "Hello....hello can anyone hear me?" A voice answered, the signal strength indicated it was close by. From what he could hear first one voice, then another, broke in, all were at first disbelieving and then ecstatic. One of them was Leela and for some reason she was utterly distraught, alarmed, and then filled with what sounded like joy, senseless joy as she realised it was him on the 'com.

The soldiers quickly located him and used a rope they carried to drop down into the hole. Once they found him with their battlefield training they assesed that his injuries weren't life threatening and they pulled him out of the hole by making a makeshift stretcher with some canvas and some branches that were lying around on the surface. Leela was overcome with joy and tears and held his face in her hands and kissed him all over it. I must fall into holes more often, Fry thought. The others were saying I don't believe it, over and over again.

They carried him back to the cave where the other wounded were still lying. After he'd been treated by the medical orderly who said that Fry's injuries weren't life threatening, just a cut to the head, concussion, some bloodloss and other minor cuts and bruises, Fry, inbetween passing out, managed to explain why the hostiles had been neutralised. That explained the attacks and disappearances and why the Pacifists had become so, Leela reasoned, it was the example of their neighbours who had managed to destroy themselves and their civilisation with their own mercenary devices. Fry was stretchered back to the PE ship and they prepared to take their leave.

The soldiers were lined up at the crash site, next to the PE ship. Leela and Amy facing them. Leela spoke.

"Well, thanks for everything. It's been good to know you."

Amy: "Amen to that!" and started to shake their hands. Leela did the same.

Leela: "So you're sure that you managed to contact the DOOP via the radio?"

Sarge: "Yes. They're coming to collect us. They should be here within a day."

Leela: "If you're sure theres nothing else we can do. We really need to leave. We want to be long gone before Zapp gets here."

Sarge growled. "Yeah. Zapp Brannigan. Our illustrious captain. Sure, we understand." He spat on the ground.

Later, back on the PE ship Leela was comfortably back in the captain's chair. It felt good. "Amy, set a course for home. Maximum speed."

Amy: "Aye, aye, captain!"

Within a week they were back home after their momentous journey. Fry was well on the road to recovery. He was off work but was still able to walk about the house. He still had a bandage on his head as a reminder of his troubles. Leela told Fry about everything that had happened on the surface, minus what had occured with his alter ego. She had decided with Amy not to tell him about it, at least not until such a time as she felt he was strong enough to bear it. Back home Kara had been ecstatic about seeing her parents again, and very concerned when she saw her father return home injured. "I'm ok, honey, really I am," he said as she rushed into his arms and he held her tight. "There, there sweetheart daddy's going to be fine". He turned to Leela and said: "We are going to be alright, aren't we?" as she looked at him with a mixture of concern, relief and love.

Leela: "Fry," she said, as she nuzzled her head into his shoulder.

Fry: "Mmmmm?"

Leela hesitated, as if uncertain. "Fry..... Fry, would you be willing to die for me? If you had to?"

Fry also, uncertain, looked at her. "Leela? Are you ok? Where did that come from?" He broke out into a smile. "Yes... yes I know I would. Leela, I'd move heaven and earth for you. I can't help it, I love you, and I always will."

Leelas eye filled with tears as she gazed into his: "I will always love you. Now and forever." She put her arms around him and they kissed.

A few days later when Fry had recovered enough she said to him:

Leela: "Fry, honey, I have a little something for you. Could you help me out?"

Fry, distractly, sitting on the sofa: "Mmm? What is it Leela? Theres a late repeat of the blernsball match on TV tonight...." he turned around.

Leela was standing in the doorway of their bedroom and had dressed herself in a black two piece lingerie set. "I went shopping with Amy some time ago, I've been waiting for a special occasion to try it out. I guess now is a good time." She smiled seductively and Fry could see her starting to take one of the straps off of her shoulder.

Fry's eyes nearly popped out of his head. "Yowza!" He said. "You look absolutely gorgeous, stunning....!" as he walked over to her. I guess it had the desired effect, she thought. Fry smiled. She smiled back at him. She then pulled him by the arm and he was fairly yanked into the room

"Oof!" Fry said, slightly surprised, as the door closed behind them.

The End.

Author's Note

Phew. What a marathon that turned out to be. I'm about 80% happy with that, I ended up writing more than I originally intended and I possibly got a bit bogged down in the latter sections but there was no other way to make it fit the plot, it seemed straightforward enough in my head but writing it out....in retrospect maybe it was a bit overambitious. Its funny how things I was not initially confident about writing like the scenes on the Nimbus I'm now quite pleased about but the scenes I felt much happier writing about on the planet turned out in retrospect to be a bit disappointing and I'm not entirely sure why, possibly its because Futurama is essentially a character based comedy and when the plot becomes rather heavy it doesn't work so well. Maybe. Anyway thanks to those who took the trouble to read this and especially to those who may have derived some enjoyment from it.