The Dark Side of the DOOP, Part 2
Leela: "A human bootprint? How did this get here?"
Fry: "Look. It leads into that forest"
Bender: "Is that a normal forest?"
Leela: "Of course not. Why should it be. Let's go. Just be careful, you saw what the bird did to that elephant thing"
"..the harmless animal..." Fry mumbles under his breath.
It turns our that the forest is further away and larger then it seemed. After ten minutes they arrive at what is now obvious to be a gigantic green maze! Even for this planet this is unexpected. The crew gasps at the enormous sight of it.
Leela: "Lets go. Fry, you remember what I taught you, right?"
Fry: "Oh Yea.."
The three have their guns drawn and enter the forest. The bootprints are well preserved, they cannot be that old. They lead up a track directly into the forest's dark green heart.
Suddenly a cracking sound is heard. "Ahh! What.. mmpf!" Fry cries and is shut up by Leela. They seek cover behind a rock... or something... The sound is approaching.. and then they hear human voices. Two DOOP officers, armed with ridiculous rifles, are approaching and they can be heard as they pass by
"Man, I hate this place."
"Come to the DOOP they said... You will get fame and glory, they said..."
"I just wish there wouldn't be any more of them freaky birds."
Their voices are receding and they disappear behind a bend.
Leela looks up: "Did you see that?!"
Fry and Bender nod their heads.
Fry: "Should we follow them? They might lead us somewhere"
Leela: "You bet they would. But let me go first, and be careful"
Bender: "It's all yours..."
Leela is 5 meters ahead of the others, probing out the near terrain, seeking cover and darting from one shade to another. Bender and Fry follow suit as good as they can. The soldiers' voices can be heard 30 meters ahead. They aren't all that motivated and don't even look around. Suddenly one of the soldiers is grabbed by the feet by a green plant-tentackle and is pulled into the bushes. "Ahh..."
His companion looks around and draws his rifle, shivering from fear: "Who's there?" As he turns around he sees Fry who didn't quite menage to disappear behind something fast enough. "Hey. Who are y.." is all he manages to say before he too is grabbed by the ankles. "Ahh... Help me someone!"
Leela, Bender and Fry emerge from their hiding places and run towards the helpless man who is dragged into the green mess of vegetation.
Leela: "Hang on! Quick, faster"
By the time they arrive Noone and nothing is to be found at the scene.
Fry: "Uah... what was that just then"
Bender: "What ever it was, it won't harm me."
Leela: "Are you sure!?"
Bender: "Ha-ha. I wanna see this plant making a meal of me.."
In that moment Bender is grabbed by the ankles and is thrown over..
Bender: "..Ahh.. Help me! It's going to eat me alive!"
Bender is drawn towards a green treetrunk that has a mouth sitting just above its roots. Funny they didn't notice it before.
Leela shoots the Laser at the tree but only burns a few holes in the bark, not harming it much. Fry tries to do the same but misses the tree twice, the third time he hits a tentacle by accident. The tentacle shrivels and lets go of Bender, but Bender is already halfway in the tree's mouth. The tree coughs him up together with the tattered backpack of one of the soldiers.
Leela: "Well done Fry! Now let's run"
Bender has recovered and is joining them. Fry picks up the backpack and runs after Leela and Bender.
Fry: "So you're safe, uh?"
Leela: "Look what's in that backpack...."
Leela retrieves a PDA out of the backpack and switches it on. It's a map to a nearby compound. The crew follow it and arrive at a clearing with absolutely nothing on it.
Fry: "What??? Did you read that map properly???"
Leela: "Sure I did. There is probably some trick to it..."
As she says that the ground begins to rumble. "Earthquake!!" Bender yells, and they run into the forest. Having gained a bit of distance to the clearing they look back and see two workers pushing a hoverdolly coming out of a trapdoor in the ground. They unload the hoverdolly in the woods and head on their way back (it seems they were bringing out the garbage).
Leela: "That must be the hidden entrance!"
Bender: "To what?"
Leela: "Let's find out"
Saying those words she signals the others to follow her and starts darting towards the closing trapdoor. They slip under it in the last moment and can see the two workers disappearing in a side corridor from the corner off their eye - seems like they entered unnoticed.
They are in a shiny new underground base and wander the corridors, always trying to stay unnoticed. They find the living quarters and "borrow" some doop uniforms.
Leela: "Look at those - the doop is behind all this!"
Bender takes a look at the doop logo on the wall, the uniforms and the doop-labeled underpants lying over a chair and agrees: "It would seem so"
They get changed in the bathroom (seperate of course) and stride the corridors now slightly more confidently. They hear voices from a room and sneak behind the door to listen.
"How is the plan progressing?" a senior voice asks. An all too familiar voice answers, and Leela looks worried: "Everything as planned governor. The threat is about to be extinguished your excellency."
Fry whispers to Leela: "Isn't that Zapp's Voice?"
Bender: "Yea, she probably knows the voice of every windbag she slept with.""
Leela sighs: "... Yes."
The two officers are getting ready to leave, by the sound of moving chairs and footsteps, and the crew aligns up like officers on guard, Leela hiding her face by wearing a helmet. Zapp's senior superior turns out to be an elder member of Kif's Race.
Zapp (roughly): "Hey you, no helmets on while..." and scans over Leela's Female body features. "... say, why don't you take of that helmet so we can take a look at your pretty face?"
Leela shakes her head. Zapp gets annoyed but the governor holds him back. "Nevermind that - we have more important things to do."
As they disappear behind a corner Leela lets out a sigh of relief.
Fry: "Aww, this is getting complicated - can't we just go home?"
Leela: "No - now we have to find out what's going on more then ever!"
Bender slips into the room and calls the others to him: "Take a look at this!"
The room turns out to be a laboratory with a conference table at the side. Bender pockets all kinds of miscellaneous items - samples, ashtrays, disks, chemicals, equipment - when the alarm bell goes off.
Fry: "That's us! LETS GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!"
The crew run towards the exit when Zapp's voice reaches them over the PA system: "Hehe, I love those fire drills". Everyone relaxes when they stumble across an officer crossing them on the corridor. They pass each other nervously when the officer holds them back: "Hey - I can't remember recruiting a one-eyed female! Can I see your badge please?"
Leela delivers a flying kick into his head and the crew is on the run again. They reach the trap door and hit the "OPEN" button to escape, but they are chased by a small army of soldiers.
They run through the woods to make it to the ship, chased by a little mob of doop soldiers. Laser fires around them but fortunately the vegetation makes any aimed fire difficult to say the least. They reach open space when the drek hits the fan. They have just made it out of the woods when a little hovership opens fire from above. Drop any weapons and valuables you have and surrender!" a voice booms from above. They take no notice, and the ship opens fire on them. The laser leaves craters in the ground to both sides of Leela, Fry and Bender, but always missing them by mere inches. Suddenly one of the freakish "birds" has finished his lunch behind the fence and is on the lookout for his next snack. The hovership has a comfortable size and the "bird" charges at it. The ship leaves the crew alone, being much too busy fighting of the local predator. But the infantry soldiers have by now long made it out onto the open too and are in close pursuit. Leela and Fry are hit by their stun rays and are knocked out cold. Bender gets hit as well but is hardly tickled.
Bender: "Aw man. This better pay of in hard cash" and grabs Fry and Leela under each arm and runs to the ship, making it just in time.
The doop soldiers wait in front of the ship for backup while Leela regains consciousness and flies the ship to safety. They reach the moon that the little omicronians hide out on and Leela prepares for landing.
Leela coughs: "I'm not feeling well.."
Fry: "Probably just the stun ray, I'm feeling a little drowsy too." (he looks at Bender) "Bender, did you save us?"
Fry: "You are a real friend!"
Bender (rubbing his thumb and index together): "You get what you pay for"
Leela and Fry grumble and hand over some cash. In that moment the ship begins to stumble and everyone looses balance.
Fry: "What's going on?"
Leela: "We're loosing fuel! *cough*"
The engine stutters and finally totally ceases to function.
Bender: "I don't like the sound of that." He looks out to find their last drop of fuel leaking out of a hole in the tank where they scratched the building over the omicronian capital city.
The ships descend gets disquietingly steep and alarm bells start sending their irritating sound into the ship's interior.
Fry: "Ahhhh! We're all gonna die!"
Leela: *cough* "Brace for impact!"
Everyone holds on to something when the ship crashes nose front into the moon surface, digging into the dusty ground.
Five minutes later, Leela opens her eye and looks around. She has dust all over her but isn't seriously injured. She sees Bender's head lying next to her: "About time you wake up! I want my body back!"
Leela is still drowsy: "Bender. Are you hurt?"
Bender: "Only my pride. Now put my Body together will you?"
Leela: "Yea sure, just lemme... Fry!"
Fry is lying face down on the moon surface - he crashed right through the windshield and isn't awake yet.
Leela drops Bender's head and runs towards Fry: "Fry, Fry! Are you all right?"
Fry just lies there. Leela is careful not to move his body too much and takes his pulse. Still beating, she thinks with relief. Fry opens his eyes. "Awwhhh.... AU!" as he tries to move. "Leela?"
Leela closes her eye and draws a deep breath: "I'm glad you're alive. Are you all right?"
Fry: "I can't move my leg. And it hurts to breath... *cough cough* AUU!!!"
Leela: "There There, don't move." She carefully turns him around and leans his head against a rock with her jacket as a cushion.
Leela: "I just have to put Bender together, then I'll be with you in a sec, OK?" and smiles at him. Fry smiles back but doesn't quite manage, the sensation of pain seems to cut through his mind like rusty razors as he tries to breath.
Leela collects up Benders parts and puts them together quickly.
Bender: "Ahh, that's better. Hey, what's happened to the skintube?"
Leela: "I don't know. Find water and the med kit in the back of the ship, OK?" The ship is intact for the most part, thanks to the moon's low gravity the impact wasn't all that hard on its robust construction. Enough to send poor Fry flying through the windshield tho.
Bender is off to get what Leela asked for and Leela kneels down next to Fry. Fry has closed his eyes again and seems to rest.
Leela gently wakes him. "Fry?"
Leela: "Are you badly hurt?"
Fry: ".. dunno... my right leg's probably broken, and something happened to my lungs. *cough* AUHHH!"
Leela is worried: "Don't worry, you will be all right, the professor should have picked up our beacon by now. Bender returns with the medkit and Leela starts to spray plaster onto his leg to keep it's position - it seems to be a clean brake as long as it isn't moved. But there is nothing she can do about the broken ribs that stabbed into his lungs. Leela coughs.
Fry (only semi-concious but alarmed): "are YOU OK?"
Leela gives him a smile: "I am fine, I'm more worried about you. The leg won't be a problem, but we should have gotten some help by now."
Bender: "From whom... the professor? He won't make it here that's for sure"
Leela: "We aren't that far away from the caves. Couldn't you make it there and get the little omicronians for help?"
Fry (still tired): "What about you?"
Leela: "I'll stay here and look after you"
Fry: "That's nice...." and totally looses consciousness.
Leela gives him a long worried look as Fry's head tilts to the side. She hastily puts it straight onto the jacketpillow again.
Leela: "Bender, go now. It's just in that direction! Get help!!"
Bender runs off and leaves the two alone.
Leela holds watch next to Fry. She is very worried indeed... what if Bender comes to late? She is too proud to admit it, but the thought of Fry getting seriously hurt hurts her probably as much as it hurts him. He is the only person that REALLY cared about her right from the start. Fry starts to wake up and sputters blood onto his shirt. Leela supports his head and soothes him "Easy Fry, be careful"
Fry is very weak and has difficulty focussing at her sight.
Fry: "Where is help? Breathing hurts so much..."
Leela: "Bender gets help, he'll get here, don't worry." And smiles at him. She lays his head into her lap and strokes his hair. So nice and soft red hair.
Fry closes his eyes, comforted, and sleeps in her Lap.
Fry awakes again after half an hour, coughing again. Leela calms him down and sips him a bit of water and wipes his forehead with a wet cloth. She is getting very tired herself and isn't feeling well, but Fry is more hurt right now.
Fry: "Leela.. I feel very very bad"
Leela: "Help will soon be here!" she is quickly to comfort him, and smiles at him again. He smiles back but continues to speak.
Fry: "Leela, I..." and coughs again.
Leela: "Don't worry, I'm still here. I'll stay with you. I won't let you die!"
Fry smiles sweetly and can only whisper: "I know that. But... I never considered the possibility of my own death. Now it seems there is so much left undone, so many things unsaid"
Leela: "Like what?"
Fry whispers very very weakly: "Come closer"
Leela moves closer, their faces mere inches apart.
Fry whispers softly: "You are the best Friend I ever had. Bender too but he is different. Not worse, just a robot. But you are special."
Leela takes Fry's hand and he returns her grip. Leela looks deep into his eyes, and he tries to return the look as good as he can and she sees that. Their faces are oh so close and Fry's irregular breathing and unfocussed gaze urges Leela to hurry before he drifts back into unconsciousness or worse.
Bender arrived at the caves after almost two hours of solid running. "Holy sourcecode, this is the last time I'm being charitable." He hurries to the professor who is idle in his lab. Soon they have a searchparty of many little omicronians, a hoverdolly that Bender pushes across the surface and the professor sitting on the hoverdolly with medical equipment for Fry.
They arrive at the Crash site to find it deserted.
...to be continued.