Fan Fiction

Tranquility Lost
By Corvus

Turanga Leela, cyclops, starship Captain, and employee of the Planet Express Delivery Company was sitting comfortably in the break room of the Planet Express building. The afternoon sun sent bright, gleaming rays through the window, giving the seedy room a golden glow. Next to Leela's boot-clad feet, lay her pet Nibbler, gently snoring in the pool of sunlight, very much as content as his mistress.

For the cyclops, it was a blissful afternoon. On the table next to her was a cup of freshly brewed Singularity brand coffee. In her hands, she had the latest copy of Fashion for The Clueless Monthly. There were no deliveries planned for today, so any harrowing escapes from death were off the agenda, much to the space captain’s relief.

Her coworkers had made themselves scarce. Professor Farnsworth was still sleeping at the conference table, which he’d been doing nonstop since the early morning company briefing. The person responsible for the long, unnecessary, and obsessively detailed briefing had been the resident bureaucrat, Hermes Conrad, who had retired to his office after the briefing to indulge in some of his favorite pastimes, namely collating, stamping, filing, and, if the faint odor of burning plant wafting into the lounge was any indication, some additional pastimes of questionable legality as well.

The next person conspicuously absent was the Martian heir and engineering intern Amy Wong. She had returned to Mars for the next couple of days. Generally Leela didn’t mind the young woman, since Amy was a great help in fixing the PE ship, but the intern could be trying sometimes. To be fair though, Amy had been a great help to Leela over the past few days during a much-needed overhaul of the PE ship.

With no deliveries, maintenance, coworkers, or boring meetings to disturb her, Leela sent out a content sigh. It was a wonderful quiet afternoon. As if on cue, a loud explosion followed by a surprised and pain-filled yelp echoed from the nearby room. An irritated grunt coupled with an equally irritated stare in the direction of the noise came from the relaxing cyclops. She had almost forgotten about Phillip J. Fry, delivery boy, coworker, and general nuisance.

"Fry! Were you playing with the exploding duct tape again?!" She called, already knowing the answer. Her voice gave weight to her annoyance. A couple of seconds idled by, during which Leela could almost hear the gears in her clumsy coworker’s head gnash against each other as he tried in vain to figure out a plausible denial to her question.

"Uh... no?" Came a slightly raspy, somewhat pain filled answer from the delivery boy. The tone of voice gave away Fry's thinly concealed attempt at denying the accusation that his captain had made. Leela didn't respond. Instead she continued staring with a half-closed eye and a frown on her lips in Fry's direction. It took about ten seconds of ice cold silence to lure the delivery boy into the break room.

"So, uhh, just out of curiosity, what if it turned out that I was playing with the exploding duct tape, after all?" He asked meekly, staring at Leela with puppy eyes.

Leela took one look on the two scorched and cauterized stumps where Fry's hands had been until just moments ago, before she addressed her wounded coworker, starting with an exasperated sigh. "I'm not taking you to the hospital... again."

"Aww... come on, Leela!" Fry pleaded, undaunted by the cyclops’s dismissal. "I've got a punch-ticket and everything! You get a free tetanus shot and a pizza slice with every 10th visit!"

"Look, I'm tired of the cosmetic surgery offers each time I go there. Ask Bender." She offered, hoping to end the discussion there and then, so she could go back to her magazine. By this point, Bender had joined the conversation. He was, as always, smoking a cigar. "Sure, I can take you to the hospital... for a price." The last word came with Bender rubbing two of his metal fingers together in the universal sign for money.

Fry looked first at Leela, who did her best to ignore him, then at Bender's extended hand and finally at his two stumps. His wallet was firmly placed in his right back pocket, but, without hands, he had no means of retrieving said wallet to pay his metal companion.

"But how do I pay?" He whined, trying to convey his inability to produce payment.

"With cash or booze. I also take organs, if you still have any that I haven’t stolen." Bender replied rather indifferently.

Fry came to the conclusion that the only way he was to get medical attention was to pay Bender, yet he had no hands to use anymore. The only course of action he could figure out retrieving his money was by the means of his teeth. Not unlike a dog, he started to twist and snap at his bottom right pocket where his wallet was.

Bender did nothing to help. In fact he merely stood there, calmly watching Fry spinning and twisting, snapping at his backside like a dog chasing his tail. Leela started to get really fed up with all the commotion. “Bender! Just help Fry, already!”

“Nah… I’m recording this. It’ll win me first prize in The Galaxies Funniest Home Videos. Why do you think I gave him the exploding duct tape to begin with?”

Leela buried her face in her right hand. Despite her best efforts, Fry and Bender always managed to drag her into things she so desperately tried to stay out of. If it wasn’t for the fact that the Professor had long ago proven mathematically that they were both morons, she might have suspected that they did it all on purpose, just to make her life more miserable.

With determination painted on her face, Leela stood up, put her magazine on the table, and emptied her ‘Universe’s #1 Space Pilot’ coffee mug in one go. Then she grabbed Fry by his collar and dragged him out the door. It was going to yet another tedious afternoon at the hospital after all.

The End