“AAAAAAAHHHH!” a purple haired child around the age of two, came tearing out of the bathroom, sopping wet, and ran down the hall. “NAKED BABY! LOOK MAMA! NAAAAKED BAAAABY!”
“Oh no! A naked baby!?” her mother giggled, “What are we gonna do? We'd better get her!”
“Can' catch me, mama!”, she tore around the island in the kitchen, and ran off to the living room.
“Violet, come on, sweetie! You need to dry off, you cute little bug!”
“AAAAAAAHHHH!” A naked man with wild red hair went running by, wearing nothing but his wedding band and a smile. “NAKED DADDY, MAMA! Come and get ME!”
“Oh, Lord.” she smacked her forehead with her palm, and shook her head in disbelief. “Fry, PLEASE dry off and put your clothes back on! You do realize you're only going to encourage her, right?”
“Aw, geez, that figures,” he huffed. “ya think it's cute when SHE does it, but when I do it...”
“Daddy!” the toddler ran full tilt into her father's legs and clung on. “I got YOU, daddy!”
“All right you two, back to the bathroom and dry off! Please! I need to go drying up all the puddles you two left everywhere!” she laughed and shook her head at their antics. “And Fry? 'cute' is not the word that comes to mind when I see you like that.” she giggled and 'winked'.
Taking a split second to understand what his wife was getting at, a smile slowly broke out across his face. He whisked his little girl up, and flopped her over a shoulder and carried her back to the bathroom to dry off and get dressed.
“Come on, little princess! Time to get dried off and go to bed!”
“Daddy gonna go t' bed too?” the little one looked up into her father's eyes, as he put her down, and started to dry her off.
“Uuuh, yeah. Yeah, I guess you can say that.” he laughed, and glanced out the door, down the hall, to his wife. He caught her grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Mama and Daddy need to... sleep. So we need you to be a good girl, and go right to bed, okay?” He rustled her hair with a towel and she squealed happily.
“I'ma good girl, Daddy!” she cooed. “I go right to bed!” Almost as if on cue, she yawned and stretched her little arms above her head. As she did so, Fry quickly took her nightie and slipped it on her, put a diaper on her, and patted her behind.
“There ya go, sweetie pie!” All dressed for bed. Wanna go get Mama, and we'll tuck you in bed?”
“Okay, daddy,” she said as she rubbed her eyes. “I go to bed... but I not tiiiireeed.” she stretched the last word out in a yawn, and toddled off to her mother's waiting arms in the hall.
“Oh, yes you are!” Her mother picked her up and cradled her against her chest, and the child rested her head on her mother's shoulder. “Time for small Frys to get in bed!” Before she had put her to bed and tucked her in, she was fast asleep. “Good night, angel.” she whispered. She kissed her, and tiptoed out of the room.
Slipping past the bathroom unseen by her husband, she snuck into their bedroom, and got undressed. She quickly threw on their favorite nightie of hers (a long flannel, with the words 'This IS my sexy lingerie, damn it!' on it), and waited for her husband to come into the bedroom. Her whole being tingled with excitement, as she awaited for the night to unfold.
“Leela?” Fry walked into the bedroom and stopped in his tracks when he caught a glimpse of his wife. “Ooooh! Yer sexy nightie!” They shared a laugh. “So, should I expect anything, or should I just go to sleep?”
“Well,” she grinned mischievously, “Maybe this will convince you of what the outcome will be tonight...” She unbuttoned the the two buttons on the top of the nightie, pulled the open neckline over her shoulders, and it slowly sank to the floor. The soft light of the lone lamp on a nightstand, cast a soft glow on her bare skin. It also allowed her to see the desired reaction from her lover, as his jaw slowly dropped, and he made happy giggling noises. “Phiiiilliip...” she cooed. “I... want you.”
Scrambling like a madman, he undressed himself, and stumbled and tripped on his pants and underwear. He then ran to his dresser, and rummaged through a drawer, and pulled out a small square foil package. All the while being watched, and hearing her laugh.
“You still got those?” She giggled.
“Uh, well, yeah.” he stammered. “I mean, you know... after the last two times...” he hung his head, still finding it uncomfortable to talk about the miscarriages. “I figured you'd wanna...”
She slowly walked up to him, and took the foil pack from him and smiled. She kissed him and walked toward the bed. Looking over her shoulder, she smiled back at him, and waved the small square at him. He looked at her quizzically.
“Philip,” she purred, “we aren't going to need this... I wanna make a BABY!”
FIVE WEEKS LATER...
“Fr-fr-fry! I'm...” Leela's stomach emptied itself violently once again into the toilet. “I...I...” she wheezed and gasped for air, as another wave hit, and she now brought up bile.
“Oh man! Hang on, Leela!” Fry ran into the bathroom, and held her hair back, and put an arm around her as she leaned on him for comfort.
“Ooooh, oh, oh....” she shook and cramped, as the dry heaves took over after there was nothing else to bring up. “S-s-sorry, Fry... it... came so sudden... suddenly this m-morning.”
“No problemo, Leela.” he smiled reassuringly at her. He looked over at the door, and saw their daughter looking on, scared and worried.
“Mama still sick? She need cwackers?” Violet asked, not understanding fully what was going on. “I can go get cwackers.” She went off the the kitchen to get the saltines on the table.
“She's gonna be a great big sister.” Leela smiled weakly.
“Yeah. You think we should tell her? Or do you think it'd be safe to wait again, this time?” he asked in a worried tone.
“I think we should...” she was cut off by their child yelling from the other room.
“MAMA! DADDY! NIBBER IS HERE! HE BING FWENDS!”
“Nibbler's back. Good, he can help.” Leela said as she flushed the toilet, and slowly got to her feet. She turned around to see her husband standing in the hall with a shocked expression on his face. When she went out to the hall to see what he was looking at, she saw Nibbler, and five other Nibblonians, armed to the teeth.
“Mighty One? Other?” Nibbler addressed them by their titles, “We are here.”
The six three eyed fuzzy beings got down on bended knee, bowed their heads in respect, and placed one hand over their hearts and saluted with their other hand. Fry guffawed, but Leela had quite the opposite reaction. Shock and fear.
“N-nibbler, what's going on here? Why did you bring... and... do they really have to...” she gestured to the five other Nibblonians still humbled and saluting.
“What, Other? Oh! Indeed.” He turned to his compatriots and addressed them. “At ease.” They relaxed and stood up again, and looked upon Leela raptly. “Please excuse them, oh great Other. This is the greatest honor bestowed upon a Nibblonian in our entire iconic history- to be elected by our people to be personal defenders to the Mighty-Other and his family.”
“I... have bodyguards now?” she asked. “W-why would I need... bodyguards?”
“Indubitably. And The Mighty-Other and the entire family will need to be protected from any and all aggressions. We can never be too safe.”
“Whoa, hang on, Nibbler,” Fry held his head, as he tried hard to comprehend what was going on. “you mean... wait... THIS baby is the Mighty-Other!?”
“Yes, Mighty One.” Nibbler smiled.
“But... hang on! How did you know Leela was... and how do you know THIS one is the Mighty-Other?”
“Allow me.” an older Nibblonian stepped forward. Leela and Fry figured he was someone of importance, by the the way the others, including Nibbler, looked at him with admiration and awe. “There was a shifting in the life force of the universe, that could only be explained by the conception of the Mighty-Other. The shift in the force was decidedly 'male'. The shift directed us here, precisely where we expected to find him and his family.”
“I... I'm not feeling quite right...” Leela said as she wobbled and held an arm against the wall.
“So, it's kinda like the force in Star Wars!” Fry said excitedly.
“Fry... no. And... I... Fry? A chair...”
“Yes, quite similar.” The older Nibblonian smiled.
“Oh, neat! So can you guys like, use light sabers and stuff?” he giggled with glee.
“Not... quite.” he said as he turned to another Nibblonian with a burn scar on his forehead and one hand. The guard in question shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. “But we can...”
“Aw, geez, that sucks. Just guns? Oh well.” he shrugged his shoulders and ran a hand through his red mop atop his head.
“F-fry... I think I'm gonna...” There was a loud THUD.
“Uuuuuh oooh!” Violet said, as Fry and their newly appointed sentinels gathered around. “Mama fall down an' go BOOM!”
Leela's eyelid fluttered, and slowly opened. Gathering her bearings, she figured she was laying on the sofa. A cold compress was on her forehead, and a furry little hand was gently stroking hers. She tried to sit up, but as she did, the room started spinning violently, and she decided to listen to the voice urging her to lay back down. Slowly turning her head to the side, she saw Violet on the floor playing with two Nibblonians, Fry talking to Nibbler, and Fiona sitting next to her, smiling kindly at her.
“Lay down, child. You took quite a fall.” she patted her hand and adjusted the ice bag on Leela's head. “Am I to assume all the sudden change and the news was a bit much?” Fiona asked sympathetically.
“Yeah. I... I guess so.” she stammered. “That and the morning sickness. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had puked up my slippers, the cramps were so bad.”
Fiona clucked her tongue, and her third eye atop her head glowed with a soft red light. She scanned Leela's abdomen, and smiled. Immediately, the nausea ceased.
“Do we feel better now?” the female Nibblonian grinned at her. “Also, you will be quite pleased to know that your son is healthy and developing exactly according to schedule.”
“Yeah...” Leela slowly got up. “My stomach is.... oooooh.” her hand went to her head, and she flopped back onto the sofa.
“Oh, how silly of me! Please forgive me.” Her eye glowed again, and she passed it over the cyclops' head. The swelling went down, the bruise that had started to form, disappeared, and the headache ceased.
“Thanks. That works better than anything my OBGYN would give me.” She got up again, and headed toward the kitchen. “I haven't eaten yet. Would you like anything, Fiona? We have some Dinkin Donuts... and, well, it's only coffee.” she teased her friend about her breakfast beverage of choice.
“That sounds quite good. And as much of a shock as this may sound... your primitive concoction you call coffee... is growing on me. Two shots of cream, two sugars, thank you.” She took the steamy warm mug from Leela and sipped it gingerly. “Mmm, this is good. Thank you.”
“Fry, sweetie! Coffee's on!” Addressing the guards, she asked, “Would any of you like something to eat or drink?”
“Yes, Other. May I please have a coffee? Black?” the Nibblonian with the light saber scars asked. “I like it like I like my females- strong and black.” he joked.
“Once again, the answer is no. Nibbler asked first.” Fiona teased.
“Uh, Okay.” Leela chuckled. “So, I know Nibbler and Fiona. Who are you, cutie?” she scratched him under his chin, and his leg started shaking, and he got embarrassed.
“I am SB.” he mumbled.
“You must tell the Other what 'SB' stand for.” Fiona prodded him. He only mumbled a reply.
“I... I'm sorry. I didn't catch that.” Leela leaned in as she handed him his beverage.
“I...” he sighed and drooped his shoulders. “I am called SB... I was named for my Grandfather... Snugglebunny.”
“Hey! I heard that name somewhere before!” Fry shot in, as he poured himself a mug. “A manager at the ape fights? Or was it... NO! Some Holy dude!” He took a sip,and looked at it. He added the rest of the sugar in the bowl, and made a brown sludge. “Ahhhh, you make gooood coffee, Leela.”
“Uuuh, yeah.” SB grew more embarrassed. “We try to keep my connection to my grandfather quiet. It's just SB, thank you.”
“He's, how shall we say this politely?” Nibbler interjected. “He's not a prophet, and not as... coordinated as his grandfather, Snugglebunny.” SB sighed at Nibbler's comment, and stared at his scarred hand and forehead with his third eye.
Leela put another pot of coffee on, and started handing out pastries. She sat Violet in her chair, and had Fry (try to) feed her. One by one, introductions were made all around...
“Mighty One, Other, Violet? You of course know Fiona and I.” Nibbler introduced the others who came to protect them.
“SB. And please, please, JUST SB. Thank you.” he looked at his feet sheepishly.
“Malva” a cute, chunky, fluffy female said. “Please, call me 'Mallow'.”
“Mars-mawwow!” Violet threw her hands in the air excitedly.
“Yes, seems my family has a sense of humor.” She smirked and rolled her eyes.
“Nikola.” a male with a fuzzier than normal muzzle looked up from some electric schematics. “Please, call me Nick.”
“And I, Madame Other,” the older, distinguished male bowed, “am Albrecht of Harmenszoon. At your family's service.” he kissed Leela's hand, and turned to salute Fry. He winked and smiled at Violet, and made her smile shyly. “I Promise you on our very lives, the life of your son, as well as the lot of you, shall remain safe.”
“Whoa, whoa whoa...” Fry set his coffee/sludge down on the counter. “Our... our... son?” He looked over at Leela, as her eye widened as she took it in.
“Indeed,” Albrecht smiled. “We have only mentioned the Mighty-Other as being exclusively male since arriving.”
“Fry, our... son!” Leela placed her hands on her still flat stomach. “We're... we're going to have... a boy!” Fry came over and placed a hand on top of hers, and wiped tears away with the other. They then held each other in an embrace.
A rhythmic knock of 'Shave and a Haircut' was rapped out on the Fry family's apartment door. Muffled from down the hall, a Hispanic man yelled 'MI MADRE!? I CUT YOU, YOU WOP BASTARD!'. Fry opened the door just in time to see the landlord, who was holding a package, turn around and look down the hall with a disgusted look.
“Oh! Mr. Vecchio! Sorry! We forgot! The rent! Come in, We can write you a check.” Fry escorted the older, short, stocky Italian in, and closed the door.
“Ah, that's-a good boy. I a-know yous-a gooda family.” He pinched Fry on the cheek and shook it gently. Letting go, he followed Fry into the kitchen and saw Leela, Violet, and the Nibblonians. “Leela! Mi bella signora!” he hugged and kissed her, and turned to Violet. “...per dolce bambina!” he handed her a piece of lemon torrone nougat. Ah, Madonna mia!” he turned to the Nibblonians. “Ise-a only gots the one-a prosciutto ham, Nibbler, you thinka you can-a share?” He handed it to Nibbler, and smiled and the six furry beings gathered around the cured ham, and devoured it.
“Sorry, Mr. Vecchio. We totally forgot with company and OUR SON on the way...” she smiled as the landlord grinned ear to ear and waved his hands in the air excitedly.
“SON!? Forget-a the rent! You needs that money for the bambino!” he shoved the check back at Leela. “Wait until I-a tell Rosalina! We have another 'grandchild' to a spoil rotten!” He lept in the air, excited, like a young child.
“Oh... oh NO.” Leela half joked, and was half scared. She wasn't a fan of Violet's early morning sugar rushes on Italian pastries and candies. “No need to...”
“ROOOOSALIIIIINAAAAA!!!!” the landlord yelled at the top of his lungs, as he ran out the door, and slammed it shut. He could be heard yelling in Italian at his wife all the way down stairs.
“I think I'm going to like it here.” SB patted his stomach and belched. “Lord Nibbler, you were certainly telling the truth, when you told us we would have 'perks'.
“Oh, it will not be like this every time. You haven't met MRS. VECCHIO.”
“Mrs. Vecchio?” Mallow asked. “Why? Mr. Vecchio seems kind enough.”
“Mallow, sweetie,” Leela asked, “have you met Fiona's father?”
“Ooooh.” a furry little chorus answered.
“Indeed. She thinks I am a rat!” Nibbler shuddered. “I dare not think what would happen, if she were to see all of us! It would not be good for the mission.”
“That reminds me!” Fry said, as he took Violet out of her booster seat. “Your turn, sweetie!” He handed his daughter an envelope. She reached in, pulled out a static sticker of a rat, and placed it on a chart on the fridge. “Ooh! A new record! We told her seven times in the past four days!” He high fived his little girl, and they laughed.
“What... what is a 'rat'?” Nick looked up from his papers, confused. “And does our appearance resemble one?”
“Think owls with no wings.” Fry said. “And a long bare tail. Oh... uh, no feathers. Fur. And no beak... they have teeth. Uuuuh, four legs... ya know what, they really aren't much like owls...”
“They're vermin.” Leela rolled her eye. “That's all you need to know. It may be advisable for you little cuties to lay low whenever she's around.”
“Dibs on under the sofa.” SB raised his hand.
“Negative. It has been claimed.” Nibbler tamped tobacco into his pipe and lit it.
“Oh, come on! ALL of us can fit under there!” SB pouted.
“We are most sorry SB, but the space under the sofa has been claimed by Nibbler and I.” Fiona confirmed.
“W-wait a second.” SB narrowed his eyes. “Why are just the TWO OF YOU allowed to go under there?” The other three remaining Nibblonians looked at him with varying degrees of 'are you THAT naïve?' etched on their faces. SB just eyed Nibbler who coolly blew smoke rings, and Fiona who smiled demurely. “Fine, fine... I'll go behind the draperies.”
“She rarely comes up here, so if you guys stay in the apartment, you should be fine. When you guys NEED to get out, you can take turns 'being Nibbler', and we can walk you.” Leela offered. “Besides, if Fry and I take Violet down to their apartment at least once a week, she tends to leave us alone up here... oh Lord... MORE sugar for Violet... this isn't going to be fun...” She thought of the ever present pastries, candies, and cookies crammed down their throats every visit.
“Sundays are a given. We are down there most of the day. I guess you can say they 'adopted' us, and have us there for a big family dinner, and we eat until we can't barely move.” Fry commented, smiling and rubbing his gut. “She may be not all there, but can that lady cook! You guys will pretty much have the run of the pace on Sundays...”
“Mighty One,” Nibbler interrupted, “Need I remind you why we are here? I believe it would be a terrible thing to leave ANY of you alone without some kind of protection.”
“Indeed.” Albrecht added. “We will most likely be setting up a schedule, so at least one of us will be with you at all times, even downstairs...” he scratched his chin in thought. “It would be better if there were at least one of us to protect each of you...”
“Negative. Nibbler interrupted. “Sorry to break your train of thought, oh wondrous Albrecht, but you have not seen her on a...” he cleared his throat, “'bad day'. Perhaps we could post sentinels in the heating duct work? We would be able to watch over the family, and keep them relatively safe.”
Agreeing, the half dozen protectors set up a battle plan, and waited the two days until Sunday dinner...
Leela sat on the antique stupid ages sofa in the Vecchio's parlor. She sat across from Mrs. Vecchio, as Violet sat on the floor, surrounded by toys equally as old as the furnishings, and kissing and hugging a doll. Fry had 'escaped' to help Mr. V with repairs and upkeep on the building, and Leela was 'alone', minus the two dust covered watchers in the heat ducts. She would have to get Fry for this...
“You...” the land lady narrowed her eyes at Leela, “you're-a too SKINNY! You need to gain-a weight!” she poked her in the belly, and Leela instinctively covered her gut with her hands. “Who ever heard-a of a SKINNY mama!? Eat! EEEAAAAT.” She shoved an anisette cookie in her mouth, and poured her more tea.
“M-Mrs. Ve-” she tried to talk when another sprinkled and frosted cookie was shoved in. She covered her mouth with her hand, chewed, and swallowed. Keeping her hand there to block the next wave, she continued. “Please! I'm fine! Our doctor says my body is PERFECT for a baby...”
“Perfect? PERFECT?” the old woman scoffed. “Too-a skinny!”
“Mrs. Vecchio, my body is just FINE to raise a child!”
Leela sunk back in the sofa out of shock, when her breasts were grabbed and sized up like a piece of meat at the butcher's.
“How you a-spect to feed a bambino with-a THOSE? Must-a be bigger...” she released her grip, and rubbed her chin in thought. “Your-a husband will like-a that too...”
“I... I... Frrrrry?” she looked around nervous.
“Oh, you a-young ones!” she pinched Leela's cheek then tenderly patted it. “Husband can-a wait!” she winked. “He's a-helping Tony with-a the HEATING...”
Suddenly, as if on cue, there was a thunderous banging from the basement, and dust came pouring out of the vents.
“TOOOOOONYYYYYYY” Mrs. V's eyes widened in shock and anger, and she spouted off a few choice words back to him through the vent. She did it again, when she saw Leela jump up to try and stop Violet from imitating his outburst. Glaring at the vent, she then kicked it for good measure, and stirred up more dust. The vent cover fell off, causing even more bantering back and forth. Suddenly a filthy Nibblonian staggered out, coughing and hacking. “A RAAAAT!”
“Uh, NO! No no no! Mr. Vecchio! It's Nibbler!” Leela jumped over and grabbed the appointed guard, and held onto him.
“Ni... Ooooh! Nibbler! How-a silly of me!” she slapped her head and laughed. “You poor-a thing! Must-a been scared of-a Tony and-a Fry!” she grabbed the protesting Nibblonian from Leela and marched him off to the bathroom. “You need a bath!” She looked at his face. “And-a the hair cut...”
That night in the Fry apartment, there were nine beings laying on their backs, holding protruding bellies. There were a few groans and belches here and there.
“How much food did that woman cook!?” Albrecht snickered as he rubbed his gut. We actually had to take turns 'being Nibbler'!”
“Yes, indeed!” SB commented, and belched contentedly. “That was the BEST!”
“Speak for your self...” Nick shot back, “YOU didn't loose your mustache!” he rubbed his now non shaggy face.
“Awww, but at least you smell nice!” Mallow teased.
“Seriously, sorry about that, Nick.” Fry apologized. “I can't remember the last time the heating system was worked on, or cleaned. And Mr. V gives us a reduced rent, for me helping him fix this place up.”
“Yeah, we know it's still not much, but we can afford it, even working at Planet Express!” Leela added. She looked around the room. “It just needs some work... a lot of work.”
“Other, if we felt this place was unsafe for the Mighty-Other and his family, we would have found somewhere for you all.” Fiona said, as she climbed up onto Leela's legs and curled up. “It only needs some work. Even the Mighty One is capable of doing most of the repairs.”
“Most.” Albrecht got up, and rolled open an ancient scroll. “Plumbing is going to be his demise.” Everyone looked at him. He scarcely glanced up. “Prophet. Saw it.”
“There is one thing that bothers me about this place, Mighty One, and Other,” SB rolled onto his side and glanced over at them. “just HOW OLD is this place!? I mean every building I know of in New New York is connected to Ex-Con Edison for it's water, heat, and electricity! This place has no connections to them of any kind!”
“Back in the early 2000's, there was a movement by some more adventurous people to 'live off the grid' as they called it. This building has solar panels on the roof and the south outside wall, a self standing furnace, and a separate water heater.” Leela sighed. “And the upkeep of the damned furnace is gonna kill Mr Vecchio and Fry one of these days. They have to work on it every couple of years! I don't even want to discuss that damned water heater! I mean, who's ever heard of RUNNING OUT of hot water!?”
“Don't forget what happens when I flush the toilet!” Fry giggled.
“What happens when the toilet is flushed?” Mallow asked innocently.
“Well, if the Other is in the shower while the commode is emptied and refilled,” Nibbler grimaced as he had a doll dress pulled over his head by the youngest Fry, “First, one will hear a high pitched shriek. Then many expletives not to be repeated in the presence of little ears are shouted.”
“Then I run for cover.” Fry tried to hide as Leela narrowed her eye at him and Nibbler.
“That reminds me... I still owe you...” she glared at her husband. “Just you wait, buddy!”
“Uhhh, shouldn't we all, uh, you know, try and relax the rest of the night? You have a big day tomorrow, Leela!”
“Verily. You are to be examined by your OBGYN tomorrow morning. He will confirm all we have divulged to you. It is a momentous occasion in history, oh great Other!” Nibbler quickly added, “Could you also ask for copies of the the ultrasound picture?” All the Nibblonians smiled up at her.
“I... I suppose so. But don't press your luck in asking for more than one each. My parents want one too. Speaking of my parents, they are coming over tomorrow to watch Violet, right, Fry?” she carefully sat up, and patted the sofa, inviting him to sit next to her. “I want you there with me, but someone needs to watch our daughter.” turning to the furry bodyguards, she added, “No offense.”
“None taken.” they answered.
“ Yeah, Mom and Dad said they'd be here around 9 tomorrow morning. That'll give Mr. Vecchio and I a chance to clear out more of the vacant lot and set up the bocce court before I go with you. Dad says he's looking forward to trying the game.”
“Well, that settles it then. Let me get Violet settled, and in bed, and we can all relax and call it a night.” Leela carefully picked up a half asleep Fiona off her lap and gently placed her on the sofa as she got up. “It's going to be a busy day tomorrow!”
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP.
Leela slowly opened her eye and focused in on her alarm clock. Six thirty. 'Oh Lord, this is not good', she thought.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP. The running came down the hall from the other direction accompanied by a little girl's giggles and shrieks.
“F-fry...” she reached over to the other side of the bed. “Fry, your daughter is already awake. Go take care of... Fry?” She kept reaching out, and realized he had already woke up, and was out of bed. “Aw, damn it.” Stretching, and getting up, she put on her monocle, and threw on a robe. Shuffling over to the bedroom door, she opened it and walked into the hall directly into Violet's path.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP POW! Right into her legs.
“MAMA!” Violet jumped up and down excitedly. “Mama 'wake! Uppies!” She held her arms up and was picked up by her mother.
“You're up early, poopsie!” she tickled her daughter. “And dressed?”
“Daddy 'wake, I 'wake too!” she wiggled so much Leela had trouble holding her.
“You know were daddy is, honey?”
“He help Misser. V.” she added, “I visit Miss-is. V.”
“Ooooooh, THAT explains the early morning energy.” She rolled her eye. “Did Mrs. V. give you cookies?”
“Are you sure?”
“No cookies, mama.” The child looked worried.
“Ah. All right. Did she give you anisette?”
“Okay... No cookies. Did you have candy again before breakfast?” Leela was trying not to get angry.
“No cookies, no candy mama.” The child was getting upset and starting to pout.
“Did Mrs. Vecchio give you anything?”
“Ah. But not cookies, not candy, not anisette toast... can you tell Mama what you had?”
“I show you!” The child reached into a pocket on the front of her dress, and pulled out a half eaten pastry that resembled a clam shell, filled with a rum custard. “See? No cookies, no candy!”
Leela flipped her monocle up, and rubbed her eye and sighed. Putting her daughter down, she ran off again, right into a wall.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP BANG!
“I okay! Hehehehehe.”
Shuffling over to a window, she pulled aside the curtains, looked down, and saw Fry, Nibbler, and the Landlord working in the vacant lot next door. Just a month or two ago, it was an eyesore, and the city was going to start paperwork on what to do with starting to get the paperwork done to clean it up. Instead, the Vecchio's bought it, and cleaned it up. It quickly became the only green open space for blocks. Opening the window, she caught their attention.
“... so you a-see, it a-REALLY means 'Do it up-a you...'” he coughed and stopped when he looked up and saw Leela. “Leela! Mi bella signora! You're-a up early!”
“G'morning Mr. Vecchio.” she stifled a yawn. “Violet is up, so I'm up.”
“What-a for? Little bambinas need-a their sleep! Why she's awake?”
“Seems she ate some...”
“Oh Madonna mia.” he slapped his hands on his cheeks and shook his head side to side. “Wha did she a-have?”
Leela showed them the half eaten pastry, and the Landlord started waving his arms wildly in the air and cursing up a storm with every word he knew in both English and Italian, waking up the neighborhood in the process. He turned to Fry, and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Excuse a-me, son. I'm-a gonna go kill you-a mama.” He stomped off inside while muttering about placing her in a home for dementia patients.
“Fry? Do you think you and Nibbler can come in when you're done? Besides, you need to get ready.” She closed the window and replaced the curtains. A few moments later, her husband and his personal watchman were in the kitchen with her sipping their coffee.
“Sorry, Leela.” Nibbler had a pained look on his face. “It is obvious we need to have stricter dietary guidelines enforced by our guards. I assure you it won't happen aga-OOFF!” He was tackled by a small blur with purple hair.
“Nibber!” she grabbed him in a bear hug.
“Can't... breathe! Mighty One... Other!... h-help!”
“Eh, you'll get over it.” Leela blew on her coffee and took a cautious sip.”Maybe your guard can help you. Speaking of... who was guarding Violet when she was downstairs?”
“Mallow had last watch.” Albrecht yawned as he staggered into the kitchen and gladly accepted a mug. “She is late for her debriefing.”
“Not... late, Sir. S-stuck.” a voice came from the cold air return in the floor. “A little help, please?”
Taking the cover off, they reached down and pulled out a very full, very bloated Nibblonian.
“I couldn't help myself! After I escorted my charge upstairs, I used the ventilation system to go back downstairs for more delicious food.” she whimpered.
“Yes, indeed. We do need to enforce stricter dietary guidelines. For the garrison as well.” Nibbler sighed.
“Wow, Leela! She looks like you're gonna, soon!” Fry laughed.
“Fry.” she answered dryly. “Go take a shower and get dressed.”
“But it's still too..”
“Are... are you gonna finish that...” Fry pointed to a half eaten pastry in Mallow's clutch.
“NOW, Damn it!” Leela snapped, as Fry ran down the hall to the bathroom. She turned back around to see Violet leaning over and secretly nomming on the said pastry, behind Malva's back. “Violet! I... I'm going to get dressed.” She said, walking away and shaking her head in defeat, as Mallow finally noticed her young charge eating her food.
“Ya know, if I were around forty to fifty years younger...” the elderly blonde hacked and wheezed, “I'd grab ya all for myself!”
“That's... flattering.” The gynecologist uncomfortably answered. “Okay, Petunia. You checked out fine.” he added a 'barely' under his breath, and made some notes on a file and handed it to her. “Hand this to the nurse at the reception desk, and she'll give you your bill.”
“Thank you, Dr. Schwartz!” she winked and blew a kiss at him as she left.
Dr. Schwartz shuddered, and went over to the sink as a nurse came in, sterilized the examination equipment, and left to get the next patient and her husband. He then poured bleach on both his forearms, scrubbed, rinsed, then emptied a bottle of rubbing alcohol and repeated the process, whimpering about how the All Mighty could have handed him such a cruel fate.
“Uh, Dr. Schwartz?” the nurse interrupted again, as he was scrubbing the top layer of skin off, and choking on stomach acid, “the Frys are here.”
“Send them in, Connie. Just finishing up.”
As he was drying off, he heard the usual whispering back and forth that all couples do when they come to him, and the soft 'click' of the door closing and locking for privacy. Turning around, he saw the Frys, and had to chuckle. Leela was sitting in a chair next to the exam table, patting Fry's hand, reassuringly, and Fry was on the table with his feet in the stirrups.
“It's okay, sweetie,” Leela joked. “the doctor can give you an epidural for the pain.”
“Well now!” he laughed a much needed laugh, “I may have been at this practice for only 24 years, but I'm quite sure it doesn't work that way! Never saw a 'backfire' before!” he shook his head, snickering, as the Fry's changed places. He sat down on his examination stool, and pulled it closer to them. “Hello, Leela! Hello Phil!” he shook both their hands.
“Hi, Hymie!” Leela gave a friendly smile to her doctor. “I bet you can't guess why we're here!” she joked.
“Hmmm...” he thumped Fry's belly like a melon. “Congratulations! Twins!” They all shared a chuckle.
“Damn doc,” Fry piped in. “I always thought this would be a dream job! THEN I saw your previous patient! Man did THAT burst my bubble!”
“YEAH.” the doctor sighed. “I get that a LOT. Oh well. My mother wanted her son to be a doctor. It was this, or a dentist.”
“A DENTIST?” Fry asked shocked. “That's like total opposites on the body!”
“”Yeah, “Dr Schwartz turned on some equipment. “Figured one of the two professions, because I have small...” he was interrupted by Fry snickering. “...hands! What did you think I was gonna say?” Fry laughed even harder. He sighed, shaking his head, and asked Leela to bare her midriff, and pull her pants and panties down slightly. He took a small wand, and rubbed it across her abdomen as it hummed softly. “So,” he smiled. “How long have you two suspected?” he placed the wand in it's holder in the computer console, and it transferred it's data.
“Oh, a few weeks. Morning sickness was hell. But I'm feeling much better now.” Leela glanced over at the monitor, trying to see if anything could cause concern. “Also, a home test said we are.”
“Feeling better all ready, from morning sickness?” the doctor looked on in amazement. “Well, I guess you save all of us the hassle of writing out and taking a prescription. Amazing.” He turned to the monitor and smiled. 'THIS is the best part of the job.', he thought to himself. He turned the monitor to the side, so his patient and her husband could see the charts, all pegged in the middle of the 'normal' range, and the greatly magnified picture. “This little fluttering,” he pointed to a spot on the picture, as they both looked on in amazement, and Leela wiped her eye, “is your baby's heart. Beating perfectly, too. As a matter of fact”, he pulled out a pen and used it as a pointer, pointing to the charts, “Everything ELSE is perfect! Seems you two deserve perfection after loosing your last two sons. Would you like to know the...”
“It's a boy!” Fry piped in proudly.
The doctor paged the screen down, looked, and looked at Fry.
“How... how did you...” he stammered.
“Oh, I just knew it is.” Leela jumped in. “I can feel it.” She smirked and rolled her eye.
“Hmm, yes. I suppose it's possible. Would you like a picture or two of your baby? Some for family and friends?”
“Yeah! That'd be great, doc!” Fry chimed in, excitedly.
“Okay,” he grinned. “How many will you need?”
Uh, Mom and Dad, the Vecchios, uh, another six for...” Fry counted on his fingers., got confused, and started over.
“I tell ya what- I'll give you a copy of the disc.” Dr. Schwartz smirked.
Walking out of the office, Fry unzipped the large duffel they had brought with them, and three furry little heads poked out, gasping for fresh air.
“SB! That was incredibly uncalled for!” Nibbler sputtered.
“I swear to the great creator, I did not...”
“It was was bad enough, the three of us confined in a small, muggy carrier...”
“Lord Nibbler! I swear to you!” SB turned to Fiona. “Fiona! Tell him I would never 'dutch oven' either of you!” Fiona just ignored them, smirking. “Oh, come ON, guys!” he huffed, and crossed his arms.
“Sorry about that guys, but the doctor's office was running a little late.” Leela apologized. “We would have opened the duffel bag sooner if we could.”
“Unfortunately, this was the only option available in which the three of you had personal protection, and our presence wasn't broadcast.” Nibbler said. “Besides, only service animals are allowed into hospitals and the like.”
“Aaah, so THAT'S why the Mighty One was allowed in!” SB nudged Fiona, and they shared a chuckle.
“And WHY were you chosen as the Mighty-Other's personal sentinel?” Nibbler rubbed his temples and shook his head to clear it. “Perhaps, we can...”
“Lord Nibbler,” Fiona chided, “He is just as skilled at combat as any of us, and despite his lack of coordination with it, he IS the only one of us with any experience with a light saber. This is simply his first mission. Chalk it up to youthful exuberance.”
“Youthful exuberance does not defend the great family. Youthful exuberance does, however, seem to give him a boost in methane production.”
“Now, guys,” Leela interrupted, “I'm sure this bickering isn't healthy for your mission. Also, you're giving me a headache!”
“Ooooh, does it have pictures? Maybe you can help them with their plans, Leela!”
“Fry, do me a huge favor.” Leela turned to him and took the bag containing the Nibblonians in it. She set it down on the ground. Taking Nibbler out, she handed him to Fry along with a leash. “Why don't you go on ahead. We're close to home anyway- I'm sure we'll be fine without you.”
“Yes! If we hurry, we can turn on the TV and watch the ponies!” Fry tore off up the street, with Nibbler squeaking and squealing, tucked under his arm.
“The ponies? I didn't think the Mighty One was a heavy gambler, or into horse races!” SB asked.
“He's NOT.” Fiona shook her head. “It's Violet's cartoon.”
“Wait a minute...” SB Scratched his muzzle. “A cartoon geared toward little girls...”
“Yes.” Leela sighed. “Sometime I wish he DID gamble...” She then smirked and mused, “I suppose it could be worse. Some of those cartoons from HIS time were TERRIBLE!”
Starting off again down the street, Leela noticed a flash of red hair out of the corner of her eye. Stopping, she looked over at the basketball court in the old church lot, and sure enough, there was her husband playing hoops with a bunch of robots. Worse yet, Bender was there, and he had a wad of cash in his hand. This didn't look good. Walking over to the basketball court, she placed the duffel bag containing the furry bodyguards down on the ground, and got Bender's attention.
“Hey, big boots!” he puffed on his cigar and blew the smoke in her face. “You here to hen peck poor Fry to death? You're up rather early on a day off.”
“As a matter of fact Bender, I got up early for a reason- I had a doctor's appointment.”
“A doctor?” The metal man laughed. “All that healthy living, and working out, and yer still sick! Ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Actually,” Leela narrowed her eye and glared at him, “I'm NOT sick. I'm PREGNANT.”
“Pregnant? PREGNANT!?” Bender choked on his cigar. “Again!? Aw crap! I KNEW I shoulda spayed and neutered you two when I had the chance!”
“Can it, Bender! Get Fry over here! We need to get home.”
“No can do, one eye.” He waved a huge wad of cash under her nose and laughed mischievously. “I have a lot of money riding on that dope! He's like an idiot savant of the basketball court! Well, he's got the first part down perfect!”
“Aw, cram it! You can wait a few more seconds!” Bender and Leela watched as the last few seconds ticked down, and Fry sunk a hook shot to put the last nail in the coffin. “HA! In yer face, losers! Gimme all yer money!”
“Bender! You know I'm good for it! Double or nothing!” a robot with a gold carriage and fancy jewelry said. “But it'll be Cannon-bot shooting for me next time!”
Leela walked over to her husband, glared, and pointed down the street. He immediately grabbed Nibbler and the duffel bag, and the two walked home. She could have sworn she heard her husband's name mentioned yet again for yet another one of Bender's schemes...
“I dunno, man.” Bender thought and scratched his 'chin'. “Hmmm, how about we make it interesting. If you win, you get all yer money back. If I win... ya know, I really like that hover Caddy of yours...”
“Fry, damn it! I thought I told you to get home ahead of me! Hermes was going to call us and check in! He needs to know we aren't playing hookey and really went to the doctor!”
“What's the big deal, Leela? We get there when we get there!” Fry shrugged his shoulders. “We both get payed either way, if it's for medical, or personal reasons!”
“Fry, some of us like to be honest with our employer. Besides, if he doesn't register today as a medical reason, Planet Express has the option not to pay today's doctor's bill!”
“Eh, with my share of Bender's winnings today, I think we can afford...”
Leela stopped as they approached the stoop of their building and turned to her husband. Taking him by his shoulders, and turning him towards her, she gave him her famous 'look'.
“Sweetie. Do I REALLY need to remind you of the LAST time Bender gave you your share of the winnings?'
“Uuuuuuh...” he scratched his head and furrowed his brow in thought.
“NEVER!” She said, exasperated. “He's NEVER paid you for any of his plans and schemes that have actually brought forth fruit!”
“Well, come to think of it,” he chuckled, “now that you've mentioned it, I think you're right!”
“Oh, Lord.” Leela unlocked the front door, and walked past the broken elevator to the staircase, and started climbing. “Remind me why I love you again, please?”
“Because I'm a great lover?” he smirked.
“Oh!?” She saw the smile on his face disappear, and his shoulders slumped down. 'Eh, he deserved it' she thought, after abandoning her yesterday to the forced feeding and groping. Unlocking the door to the apartment, she, Fry, and the Nibblonians walked in and got comfortable. Deciding to change into something more comfortable for the rest of their day off, Leela retired to the bedroom to change.
“Fry?” she called down the hall. “Check our messages, and see if Hermes called!”
“Okie dokes, Leela.”
Walking into the kitchen he looked at the phone and answering machine. 74 messages. 'Oh, snap. I could have SWORN I told Hermes we needed the day off...' he thought.
“Did Hermes call, or not?”
“Uh, lemme check.” Fry stalled for time. Hitting the 'Play messages' button on the machine, he had another finger hovering over the 'Delete message' button...
“Fry, Leela! It's Hermes! Where are you green snakes! You two are late for...”
“It's Hermes, mon! Pick up the phone! I know you two...”
“If you guys are at the doctors, you need to call me back as soon as possible, or I can't fill in the papers for...”
“All right! I need you to call in! And do you two have any idea where BENDER is!? We're trying to run a business here, mon!”
Fry glanced around nervously, and repeatedly hit the delete button until his finger hurt.
Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep. Beeeep...
“DAMN IT, MON. PICK UP THE PHONE! I've called 50 times so far- every 5 minutes! You two really need to...”
“Uh, Fry?” Leela watched him jump and turn around with a guilty look. “So. Did Hermes call?” She crossed her arms and looked at him. “Forget the damned machine and call him. Tell him I'm using my wrist thingy to send over the doctor's notes.” She turned around to leave the kitchen. Peeking back in, “While you're arguing with Hermes, I'm going outside with Mom and Dad and Violet, and learn this silly game Mr. Vecchio has set up.
A red ball slowly rolled to a stop and came to within a few centimeters of a smaller bright white one, knocking a green ball further away.
“Oh yeah! How about it for Bender! Take that, ya pudgy daygo!”
Leela then watched as the Landlord took his last green ball and rolled it down the lawn, and it hit Bender's ball out of play. Doing so, it came to rest right against the marker ball.
“Yes,” Mr V. smirked. “How's a-bout it?”
“WHAT THE... I...” the robot babbled and fumed. “ I thought I'd get away with cheating and using my... I mean... shut up! I don't need this stupid game!” He stomped off and into the apartment building to find Fry, as Leela's parents, Violet, and the Nibblonians cheered the good play.
“Well, I think I can try this game now, seeing Bender left!” Morris enthusiastically strode over to the pitch, as a high pitched shriek pierced everyone's ears.
“RAAAAAATS! RAAAAAAATS!!!” Mrs. Vecchio screamed pointing out the window from her kitchen at the Nibblonians.
“Oh, Lord, NO.” Leela's eye bulged out in shock. She looked over at five other equally shocked Nibblonians, who had just realized they had taken part in a serious breach of security.
“Oh, dear. The mission is ruined! Ruined!” Mallow shrieked, as she and her fellow guardians ran around in circles looking for places to hide.
“Leela, try to get-a all of you-a little friends together. I talk-a to mama about this.”
Hours passed, as Leela, Fry, Morris, and Munda gathered the five Nibblonians and brought them upstairs to the apartment. They could still hear the landlady shrieking about calling an exterminator in the morning, and the landlord trying to explain they are just more nibblers, like fat black chihuahuas. This greatly insulted the Nibblonians, but it must have worked temporarily, because eventually, it grew quiet downstairs.
As is was now getting late, Morris and Munda said goodnight to their grandchild, Leela and Fry, and took their leave. About forty minutes later, 'Shave and a Haircut' was knocked on the door, followed by the usual cursing down the hall. Leela opened the door to the landlord and let him in.
“Mr. Vecchio, we're SO SORRY! We...”
He placed a finger to her lips and shushed her. He then looked around.
“Are-a all the Nibblers safe?”
“Yes, Mr. Vecchio... I'm...” she was interrupted again, as Nibbler came out and looked at them sheepishly. Suddenly, the noise of Fry slipping in the shower and cursing, woke up Violet.
“Go. Go take-a care of the bambina. I can-a wait.”
As Leela went down the hall, Mr. Vecchio got down on the floor and beckoned to Nibbler, who reluctantly came over. The Nibblonian grew concerned as the kind old Italian man's gentle smile changed into a stern look of concern.
“Nibbler. That-a was a close one. There are-a evil people who wanna do-a harm to the Fry's. You Mustn't mess-a up again, mi paisan.”
“Mr... Mr. Vecchio? I... how did...?” Nibbler was shocked as the old man pulled out a badge and shown he was a member of the Carabineri.
“We gotta the tip from-a the Vatican. His a-Holiness's peoples- they're a-worried too. They have contacted Etrernium as a-well.” He put his badge back, and pulled out an antique gun. “Here. Give-a this to the Frys. It will-a not show on the enemy's scans.”
Nibbler admired the fine Italian double barreled .45 pistol. This thing could take down a herd of charging buggalo. 'Indeed, this gift can come in handy'., he thought. He smiled at his new ally.
“Thank you, Sir...”
“Thank you, Tony.” Nibbler Smiled. The Italian Guard smiled back. “Now about the rat incident...”
“Cazzo! I... I cannot a-promise much. She already call the exterminator. Just spread out and-a don't be all in-a one place for safety. I will a-do best to distract...” he stopped short as Leela came back with Violet in her arms pouting, and Fry trying to apologize. Seeing it was going to get ugly quickly, he decided to take his leave. “I'm-a sorry kids. I didn't-a realize how late it is. I can-a talk tomorrow!” He patted Fry on the back, and pecked Leela and Violet on the cheek, and showed himself out.
The Fry's never saw the look on Nibbler's face as he watched the landlord leave.
Albrecht, Nick, and Mallow watched as the Frys got ready for work, and took Violet to Leela's parents, with Nibbler on his leash, and Fiona and SB in Leela's duffel bag. They looked over the detailed notes that Nibbler said an 'anonymous source' left for them, and also pondered how to avoid the exterminator who was supposedly to arrive within the hour. Drawing lots, it was decided Nick would stay in the apartment and pose as Nibbler (hoping the landlady did not see him leave with the Frys). Mallow, then, who knew the heating ducts better than anyone, would hide in the labyrinth of heat vents, and Albrecht would slip outside via an old unused and forgotten large pipe, and hide in the old butcher's shop down the street. The plan seemed solid, until they spotted a van pull up in front of the building before they could take action...
'Roaches, Ratses, and Bugses' Exterminator pulled up to the apartment building, and turned off the rusty, smoking hulk that was his business vehicle. Leaning in his seat, and expelling flatus, he got out, stretched, adjusted his ball cap, and scratched his gut. Looking down at the paperwork, then up at the building number, he shook his head in the affirmative, and entered the building. Walking down the hall, he stopped at a door and knocked. He was greeted by an older woman in a house-dress, and he introduced himself.
“Roaches, Ratses, and Bugses Exterminator, at yer services, Ma'am. I'm Sal, whats can I dos for yas?”
“Rats! We have-a RATS!” Mrs. Vecchio whispered, as if they could hear her. “Rats a-everywhere!”
“Well, Okays, Ma'am, I'se'll sets up some traps for thems, and baits. Where was the lasts you saws them?”
“Out-a side... by the bocce court...”
'The Eternal be damned! I'm too late!' Albrect thought, as he saw Mrs. Vecchio and Sal walking around the perimeter of the bocce court. He was stuck. It was too late to go back inside- Sal found and sealed the opening; he would have to either run past them to get to his hiding spot, or try and hide where he was and hope for the best. He wished he could hear their conversation- the landlady was waving her arms and gesturing wildly, and Sal was feigning interest, and nodding politely. As they turned to go back to the building, he decided to make a break for it behind their backs. Suddenly...
A heavy net on a pole was put over him, and entangled him. Immediately, his instinct to be 'cute' kicked in, and he saw Sal soften. He saw his chance...
“Ma'am, is this yer rats?”
“YES! YEEEESSS!!! GET IT AWAY!!!” the woman shrieked, and tried to hide.
“Well, there's some goods newses! These are NOT ratses! Theyse are...” he scratched his chin in thought. “They is... well, theyse not owlses...I'se not sure what theys is. But they sure are cutes!” Carefully lifting the net, he reached out to pet Albrecht, who in a panic, scratched him up one side and down the other, and bit him on his ass before he made his escape. “OOOWS! The little bastards BITS me! Those things ares dangerous! I'se outa heres! I QUITSES!!!”
Albrecht shrieked and his eyes bugged out. He immediately started pawing and scratching at his tongue. Running around in circles, and spitting, he ran over to a puddle and took a drink. He was then seen running toward Planet Express licking fire hydrants, the street, and anything else he thought might kill the taste.
“Aw, crap, they're so cute! I have to kill the little bastards before they start affecting my programming!” The robot started stomping around on the floor, puffing on his cigar furiously. Three screeching Nibblonians scurried around on the bridge for cover.
“Damn it, Bender!” Leela snapped jerking her body around from the pilot's controls, and the ship lurched suddenly. “Leave Nibbler and his friends ALONE!”
“Says YOU, fatso! You don't have an over-ride for 'cute' in your system! Besides, I'M not gonna clean up after them! ONE of them coughing up hairballs and crapping is enough!” He continued to stomp around, trying to squish the three bodyguards.
“FATSO? FASTO!?” Leela frowned and held her gut. “I... I'm not even showing yet!”
“Are you sure?” Bender finally gave up and flopped down in his seat, and lit a new stogie. He narrowed his eyes and leaned forward toward her. “Looks like yer boobs are getting bigger too. Pretty soon yer gonna need a wheel barrow for those puppies!”
“Wha... what is it that everyone has to comment on my girls?” Leela pouted, and her bottom lip quivered. “I... I'm perfectly...”
“Fat.” He popped open a beer. “Pretty soon yer gonna need one of those steel belted bras they make in Germany. You know- 'Holtzfrumfloppen'?”
Fry walked onto the bridge just in time to see his wife jump up bawling, and Bender laughing. Trying to cheer her up, he offered her a hug, which she refused, and she ran off the bridge.
“Fry! Stay away from me! I'm FAAAAT!”
Taking over the controls to the ship, and turning toward his friend, he glared.
“You know, Bender, do I need to remind you once again, Leela has your remote control over-ride to your system? You MAY want to cut her some slack!”
“OH?” the automaton looked around nervously. “Aw, geez. I forgot about that! Wow, I'd better get a move on to important things, before she may destroy my chances of doing them!” He got up and started chasing the Nibblonians around again, this time, taking a large mallet out from himself.
“Bender, all it will take is one word. And game time's over.”
“You think this is a GAME Fry? I have them terrified! And I've been easy on them! All I have to do is...”
“Okay, guys... SIC!”
“MY SHINY METAL ASS!!!” Bender ran around screaming like a little girl, as Nibbler clamped his jaws down firmly on his metal posterior, and Fiona and SB started biting and scratching him from head to toe.
Emergency System Reboot...
Windoze did not shut down properly. Click any key to continue, and run in safe mode. Press 'F1' to run immediately without a scan.
The 'unsafe' mode was clicked, and the eye shade slowly lifted, and Bender blinked his eyes.
“Uuuugh, what happened? I feel worse than when I caught that virus from that Opera floozie.”
“Serves you right, axehole.” Leela sneered. “Call ME fat! Gee, speaking of, have you lost weight, Bender?”
“Says YOU, chubbers! I'm the perfect... wha... WHERE THE HELL IS MY BODY!?”
“They ate it. Made them sick, too. Hope yer happy, Bender.” Fry yawned and propped his head up with an arm resting on the console.
“Made them sick? GOOD. Just wait until I get another body! I'll give them such a...” He glanced over and saw Leela grin, waving a remote at him. “a... hug... yeah. That's it...” he laughed nervously and trailed off. “Oh, I'll hug them all right, he muttered to himself.
“You know, Bender, you are my friend, but you really need to stop it with Leela. I mean it's one thing when you steal my organs, but when you mess with her, that's where I draw the...” He turned to Leela with a questioning look. “Can I have more paper to draw?”
“No, Fry.” Leela sighed deeply and rubbed her face. “And thank you for the half brained comment. I think. And Bender? Be glad they only ate your body. ONE of them knows how to use a light saber.”
“Heh, you mean 'scarface'? Looks like he's practiced on himself! Hahahaha!”
“You know,” SB said as he walked back on the bridge twirling his saber around, “I heard you celebrate Robanukah.”
“What of it, mini-Pachino?”
“Looks like you're not clean or purified. I can fix that.” he evilly tapped Bender's antenna.
“NO! NOOO!!! You WOULDN'T!” he shrieked.
“It's funny,” SB snickered, as he turned the saber on and it came to life with a blue glow and a hum, “I didn't take much offense to you trying to kill me, but calling me a 'mini-Pachino' went too far. Besides... I hated that movie.”
“Uuuh, geez, little guy, I didn't mean to insinuate you were that ugly. Heh-hey! Put that down! I... I have money! No! Food! I can bribe ya with...
“In the same vein as our conversation,” SB's eyes grew wide and he pointed the light saber at Bender, “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!”
Emergency System Reboot...
Windoze did not shut down properly. Click any key to continue, and run in safe mode. Press 'F1' to run immediately without a scan.
Windoze does not detect a wireless connection...
Bender slowly opened his eyes and looked around. Fry was holding his crotch and whimpering, Leela had a pained expression on her face, and the Nibblonians were all snickering.
“I am indubitably impressed, SB.” Nibbler nodded as he tamped down his pipe and lit it. “Your skills with the saber have improved most significantly.”
“Thank you, Nibbler.” SB leaned back on the wall and rested his hands on his stomach.
“I'm not half the manbot I was.” Bender whimpered.
“Eh, you'll make do.” Leela smirked over her shoulder at him from the controls. “Besides, Fry has it in a baggie with some oil. When we get back, we'll have it back on you in no time.”
“What about my body, Big boobs?”
“Bender, leave my bazooms OUT of this!” she covered herself subconsciously. “I swear to you I'll have them remove and chew on your processor next!” The Nibblonians all looked at her and then at Bender, and tried not to vomit.
“I Most certainly wish our compatriots back home on Earth are engaging in a more enjoyable pass time.” Nibbler addressed his fellow Nibblonians.
“Oh, you poor little, adorable thing!” Amy cooed, and held Albrecht tight to her cleavage. “You've had a rough day, huh, widdle shnuckums?”
“You... you have no idea, Dr. Wong.” the little creature shuddered and snuggled closer in for a comforting hug, and listened to her heartbeat. “The taste! OH GOD THE TASTE!!!” He then wiggled free, and jumped to the table where Amy had bought out every store in a 3 block radius of: gum, mouthwash, breath mints, toothpastes and brushes, and started shoving them all in his mouth. Amy looked on in horrified curiosity.
“Albrecht.” he stopped pouring a tin of Altoids in his mouth to address her. “I'm a friend of Nibbler's. Here on vacation.”
“Uhm, Albrecht,” Amy started again, “Just what happened that you...”
He placed a half gallon jug of mouthwash down, and wiped his maw.
“If you must know, I was in a bit of a predicament. And I needed to do something rash to escape... I had to bite someone...”
“Oh, spleesh! Is THAT it?” Amy laughed. “If you're anything like Nibbler, you've put worse in your mouth!”
“I highly doubt it.” he glared at her, and started chugging the mouthwash again.
“I mean, who could possibly be that....”
“I believe he goes by the monicker 'SAL'...”
“OH SPLUCK!” she screeched and covered her mouth in shock. “You need more than THIS! We're gonna get you some professional help! PROFESSOR!!!”
After bringing Albrecht to see the Professor, and explaining what happened, the Professor agreed to help, in return for some 'samples'.
“Now you understand, Albrecht,” the Professor placed him on his work table, “We may not get the taste out. It may need to fade on it's own. But we can help you forget!”
“Oh, thank you, Hubert!” Albrecht clasped his hands together in a gesture of thanks.
“How will you do it, Professor? Hypnosis?” Amy asked.
“Oh,something like that,” the Professor gently laid his furry patient down. “he'll forget all right.”
“If it's not hypnosis, how are you going to help me to forge-” A large hammer came cracking down just behind his eye stalk, knocking him out cold.
“PROFESSOR!” Amy screamed. “What did you DO!?”
“Helped him forget!” he chuckled. “I'm sure to have given him amnesia! He won't remember that nasty funk in his mouth any more! Oh my, no... of course, he may not remember much of anything after that... never mind! Time to receive some samples!”
Malva was not liking what she was overhearing. Their dear friend and the Fry's landlord, Mr. Vecchio was discussing with his wife something of grave importance. She couldn't make everything out, but she did hear something about a secret mission, and sending Mrs. Vecchio 'away' for her own good and safety. The Missus was less than thrilled, and was accusing him of all kinds of things. She then followed her line of sight to the table where Mr. Vecchio had placed a small holster he had hidden under his jacket. Why did this kind old man carry a concealed weapon, and wish to send his wife away to be safe? Were they in trouble? Perhaps they could take the Vecchios in under their umbrella of protection. A cold chill ran down her spine when she heard him say as clear as a bell ' We NEED to do-a this. It's-a for their own-a good.'
She scurried through the heat ducts back to the apartment as fast as she could.
Nick was bored.
Nick was very bored. He read, and reread his schematics on the weaponry, tools, and other assorted gadgets he brought with him. He unscrewed electrical covers and studied the primitive wiring. His boredom was not abated. Sighing, he started tinkering and taking apart and rebuilding (in many cases improving) the electrical appliances in the apartment. Finally giving up on that, he started looking at the nick knacks and assorted trinkets on the walls and shelves. Finding assorted data chips, labeled with important days in their family's lives, he found one he thought might be slightly entertaining, and tried to put it into the player connected to the television...
“Odd. The player appears empty and willing to receive the chip, but it will not. Maybe if I...” Taking his tools, he opened the top of the player, and noticed a chip jammed inside, wedged on the reader. Wiggling it loose, a picture appeared on the screen and the player started to play.
“Oh, Fry!” Leela giggled on the video, “You ARE a naughty boy! You really want to video tape us...”
“Oh yeah, baby!” He grinned slyly, walking over to her and started to undress her.
“Hmm, what are our charges do- OH MY!” Slightly shocked, he fast forwarded the video, to see the couple in the act of copulation. “Oh, really!?” Fast forwarding again, he grew exasperated. “REALLY, NOW!?” Removing his hand from the remote yet another time, and seeing what was on the video, only got him more upset. “OH COME ON!”
After an eventful day of a an incapacitated Nibblonain, getting a new body and antenna re-attachment for Bender, and a curious co worker wondering about the said Nibblonian (as well as the huge duffel bag that never left Leela's or Fry's side), the couple was eager to go to her parents, pick up their daughter, and go home to relax. Fate, however had much different plans then they had hoped for...
“Please! Can we call this emergency meeting to order?” Malva pleaded with her fellow Nibblonians and the human family they protected. Nervous chattering went on unabated.
“Oooooooh, my head. My head hurts sooo... wait a minute... where am I?”
“Maybe Chanukah Zombie needs help with Brises... I can fine tune my light saber...”
“... but my question is THIS, Nibbler- Why did he not deposit his seed inside her the first time? First he puts it in, then he appears to pull it out! Then he puts it in again! Then out again! What is completely perplexing, is Leela encouraged him all the while!” Nick shook his head is disbelief. “Wouldn't it have saved time and effort if he did the job right the FIRST time? It was so damned frustrating!”
Nibbler just shook his head. “I'm afraid the levels of human sexuality are just not within our understanding.”
“I fast forwarded, and he STILL was doing it wrong!” Nick placed a paw on his face. “Oh yes, that reminds me,” He walked over to Fry and Leela and handed them the chip. “I fixed your player... THIS was stuck in it.” Leela and Fry both grew visibly embarrassed.
“A-hem,” Malva cleared her throat. “Meeting!?”
“Indeed. We all have news that needs to be shared.” Nibbler got everyone gathered together and quiet.
“Sorry to usurp authority, but something terrible is happening!” she started.
“Oooooh, damn it, I ache EVERYWHERE. All I remember is some funky taste and then pain... and... what the... why am I shaved there? Aw, damn it...” Albrecht stumbled to the kitchen to grab a coffee, as everyone stared.
“Uh... right. While our charges took Violet to the sewers to the Other's parents, I hid in the heat ducts as per our plans. It was there that I...”
“Went downstairs to the Vecchios and ate and then got stuck again?” Fry asked, as he got an elbow to the ribs from his wife.
“Be glad I trimmed them Fry.” Leela scolded him. “Go ahead, sweetie.”
“The Mighty one is actually partially correct. I did indeed go to the Vecchios. However, I did not eat. I had... that is I overheard...” she grew visibly upset. “Mr. Vecchio is sending Mrs. Vecchio away, and he carries weapons! He said something about it 'being for their own good!'” The others in the room had varying degrees of shock etched on their faces.
“Mighty one?” Nibbler walked over to Fry and handed him the antique firearm, “I believe you will need this. And I believe we need to have everyone here to clarify the situation...”
“Lord Nibbler,I am the least of the group, but even Fry and I know we are all here...” SB was silenced by Nibbler's upraised hand.
“Not yet...” He walked over to the front door and opened it, and a Carabinieri in full uniform stepped in. Everyone was shocked as Mr. Vecchio stepped into the room. “Now we are all here.”
“Nibbler,” he addressed him, as he took off his hat and unbuttoned his jacket to get comfortable. Tossing it aside onto a chair, the medals made a clinking sound that attracted Violet's attention. Leela quickly assessed the situation, and whisked her up in her arms. “I assume you all-a need answers.”
“Tony. Thank you for partaking in our conclave on such short notice. I assume you are already aware of the situation?”
In this short conversation, needless to say everyone, Nibblonians and humans included, had serious questions as to what was going on exactly, and how much was common knowledge outside of what they saw as their 'private circle'. Getting down onto the floor and the level with the Nibblonians, Mr. Vecchio first addressed Malva.
“Mallow, you have-a nothing to fear.” He caressed her cheek and smiled benevolently. “Yes, you a-DID overhear Mama and I...”
“But Mr. Vecchio! I...” She was quickly shushed.
“Yes, I AM a-gonna send Mama away. Not for what you a-think... she has the forgetful disease... she may-a be a danger to all involved. She's a-going to a home for-a the alzheimer's.” The old man hung his head sadly. “She all a-most had you all mistaken for-a the rats!”
“Indeed. About that...” Albrecht leaned in the doorway to the kitchen sipping a mug of coffee.
“What the HELL happened to-a you!?” Mr. Vecchio looked shocked. “You look-a like you lost a fight with-a the lawn mower!”
“I was caught outside by your wife and the exterminator. I took refuge at the Mighty One's and The Other's place of employment... if you wish to call it refuge.”
“Ah... Farnsworth.” the old man winced.
“Hey! There's something that's still bugging me!” Fry interrupted. “Okay, so Mr. V is like a super elite Italian soldier dude... and he knows the Nibblonians can talk... but why did Mallow say he carries weapons?”
“I... I need more coffee...” Albrecht shook his head and turned back into the kitchen and mumbled something about getting whacked harder than he thought. Everyone just stared at Fry.
“Ooooooh! That reminds me! Look at what Nibbler got me, Mr. V!” He pulled out the antique revolver- everyone scattered, as Mr Vecchio jumped, grabbed the gun in Fry's hand and pointed it away from everyone... just as he discharged it. A large hole was now in the front door, and a man down the hall was cursing in Spanish at the top of his lungs.
“MADRE DE DIOS! MI CULO!”
“FRY!?” Leela held out her hand, and he dropped the gun into it.
“Yes, Fry.” he looked at him with a slight air of worry. “ You were-a given that by ME. I see-a Nibbler gave you it.” Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a micro chip, and gestured toward the computer. Leela nodded and turned it on, and everyone gathered around. Placing the chip in, he opened a file with a series of codes and passwords. “While-a Earth President Nixon knows about this, he is-a unconcerned. His a-Holiness, the Space a-Pope, however is quite concerned. HE has a-shown me this information. What we are about to a-see... the Earthican Government can-a not know about...”
“But why? WHY!?” Leela gasped. “Would Nixon really make a deal like that just to stay in power? I mean, him and Zapp have surrendered to a cub scout pack from Alpha Centauri! Twice!”
“Yes, but they'll let him LIVE.” Nick grunted. “AND get an ally to help find the child.”
“And as long as the Mighty-Other is alive...” SB trailed off, and clutched his weapon to him. He moved in closer to Leela, with a look of determination.
“His a-Holiness the Pope... is-a for peace. We all a-know this. But peace for ALL. Not just a-Earth.” Mr. Vecchio shook his head sadly. “Nixon would a-kill his own mama to a-stay alive.”
“So Earth isn't safe... we need to move.” Fry sighed.
“NOWHERE is safe, Mighty One,” Albrecht stated. “this enemy will not rest until the child is dead. We might as well wait HERE, and defend ourselves here.”
“We will need more bodies than what we have.” Leela whispered, as a tear welled up in her eye.
“Indubitably. But seeing Nibblonians are openly 'pro Mighty-Other', Nixon would question any larger gathering than we have already dared sent.”
“Leela, your-a parents... do you think they could-a speak to your-a people?” he had a sly grin cross his face, and he pointed to his chest with his thumb. “Papa will talk to some people HE a-knows!”
“Geez, meatbag! What's with all the goombas and daygos around here!?” Bender asked his best friend. “You can hardly throw a bottle and not hit an Italian or even a Cygnoid!” Throwing an empty beer bottle, they heard someone yell in pain, then curse. “SEE!?”
“Aw, come on, Bender! The Italians are nice people... except for maybe 'Honest Vincenzo' there...” Fry shuddered involuntarily as the man in question nodded and smiled at them. “he gives me the willies!”
“Fry, I can't believe how prejudiced you can be!” the robot lit a cigar and blew the smoke in his face. “Just because a guy wears a three piece black pin stripe suit, wears dark glasses, has his hair slicked back under a fedora, and carries a violin case everywhere with him, does NOT make him a bad guy!”
“Still!” Fry shuddered again and turned away to avoid the Italian's gaze. “Hey Bender, I need to ask you a huge favor...”
“I dunno... it'll cost ya a pretty penny if I agree.” The robot popped open another beer and started to chug it down.
“Aw, come on, Bender! You already have one of my kidneys, and most of my intestines!” Fry huffed as Bender glared at him and turned away feigning indifference. “Oh, okay! Fine, fine! I'll let you borrow one of my lungs again so you can hack up your cigar smoke at another upper class function, or where ever else you'd do it. I need your help! There are people after my family and...”
'WHAT!? You mean there's someone OTHER than ME, BENDER, going after MY meatbags!?” Bender screamed. “I'll KILL them!”
“Thanks, Buddy! I knew I could count on you!” He threw an arm around the robot affectionately.
“Nah, I was only joking! They'll save me the trouble of killing you later!” he laughed. “Seriously, this will cost more than a lung...”
“Uuuuh, fine... I'll uh...” looking around, he thought of what else could be added to sweeten the deal. Suddenly re-making eye contact, he shuddered yet again, and turned back to Bender. “I'll... I'll introduce you to 'Honest Vincenzo'...”
“Mister Fry, it's a pleasure doing business with you!” he laughed and shook Fry's hand.
The antique furnace slid easily on hidden rollers to one side, and the landlord smirked and gestured for his companions to enter the well camouflaged tunnel. Climbing down a rickety ladder armed with shovels and picks, the small group walked the few thousand yards in silence and stopped at a snarled mess of old piping and electrical wiring. The soft glow of the miniature lamps they wore on their helmets, shown the concern on one another's faces.
“Huh, so this is what you brought me down here for?” Bender turned and glared at Fry and Mr. Vecchio. I thought this was gonna be worth my while! I could be home watching robo-porn, or spending my hard stolen money with a hooker-bot! All I see is some old pipes and electrical conduit! I'm outa here!”
“Not so a-fast, Bender.” Mr. Vecchio placed his hand on his holster, and reminded their robot chum of the very real military issue Robo-destablizer. “We made a promise. You need to-a keep up your-a end.”
“I... I still get to meet Vincenzo, right?” Bender scratched his 'chin', and eyed the weapon suspiciously.
“Yeah, of course!” Fry chimed in. “And I bet some of these lines here may hold live...”
“Well, Why didn't you SAY SO!?” the bending unit erupted and shoved past everyone and grabbed the first pipe, bending it out of the way, but then breaking it. Luckily only a few gallons of ancient stagnant water flowed out.
“BENDER, be careful! Just bend them out of the way!” Fry waved the noxious fumes from his face, and grimaced.
“And quiet! Just because we're-a underground, does not-a mean we can not wake-a people up! It's-a four in the morning!” Mr. Vecchio hissed.
“Aww, you're no fun!” he huffed, and grabbed a rather large pipe that looked suspiciously like an old New York steam line. Carefully taking it in his hands, he bent it out of the way. “Well, we're 0-2, meatbags... I thought you said one of these old lines could hold live electrical wiring! Daddy needs his fix!”
“He said 'could'. Now could you please face the task at hand and complete your job to fruition?” Nibbler glared at him and leaned on his pick axe.
Begrudgingly, the robot complied, and finally bent the last of the piping and conduit out of the way. Slamming his fist in disgust on a rusty pipe, it broke and sparked.
“Talk about a letdown! Not a ONE of these damned thing were...” as the pipe broke and sparked, it coursed the full amount of Ex-Con Edison's electricity for an entire block through Bender and into the ground. “Oooooooh yeeaaah...” The robot collapsed in a smoldering, half melted heap.
“Aw, great, now we have to haul his ass out of here!” Fry shook his head. “I really hope this was worth it, Mr. V.”
“Paolo!” the old Italian pointed at the arcing electrical wires, and a Cygnoid with a loaded tool belt and tool box jumped in and started to work.
The intrepid group continued in their clandestine dig a mere twenty minutes later, before any call for disruption in electrical service was noticed. Suddenly, Nibbler dropped his tool, and motioned for the others to stop.
“Nibbler, I don't hear a thing... I” Fry was cut short by the Cygnoid electrician.
“Hey, I heard it too! Stop digging! Stop digging!” Wiggling his antennae, he motioned for the group to back up. About fifteen seconds later, the dirt in front of them crumbled, gave way, and a long tentacle came through, followed by a beak, and three eyes.
“Glad to see ya made it to the party!” the mutant squeezed the rest of his body through the hole, as other mutants quickly jumped in to widen it to full size. He was easily eight feet in height, as he was hunched over in the six foot tall tunnel, and could have been a basketball player in his youth- but the three eyes and beak on his face, and the tentacle chin gave his heritage away. Grabbing Fry in a two armed/one tentacled bear hug, he beamed. “Hey there cousin! It's me! Tommy! When Auntie Munda and Uncle Morris told me how the Mutant Council was going to help, I had to be the first one to volunteer, and greet you! Aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?”
“I... sure...” Fry managed to wheeze out, barely able to breathe.
“Don't tell me!” Tommy dropped Fry with a thud, and pointed to everyone in turn, “You're Tony, the little guy is Nibbler, and you're Pauli!”
“Guilty as charged.” Paolo and the group chuckled.
“Oh... and THAT... that must be Bender.” Tommy winced at the half melted, smoldering heap. “Ugh, Vinnie isn't gonna like this...”
“Like what?" 'Honest Vincenzo' stepped into the light, set his violin case down gently on the Cygnoid's tool box, and looked at the robot. “Aw, crap. With THIS I'm supposed to complete the mission?” he slapped his forehead and shook it in disgust. “Damned junkie. Ah, Maddona mia! All right, time to get to work.” he said to himself. Turning back toward the mutant side of the tunnel, he embraced and kissed a drooling, saber-toothed glob that sounded like flatus when hugged, and smelled worse. “See ya later, Momma!” he waved and walked away with Tommy and the surface dwellers.
“Goodbye, Daddy, my sweetie, weetie-kins!” his mutant bride gushed as they vanished off into the darkness.
Nick glanced over the schematics once more, looked at what was left of Bender, and asked yet again, “Are you sure you don't want me to alter anything? I mean if you're worried about changing his programing and personality, fine, but at least let me give him a better processor!”
“No!” Leela snapped. “He doesn't deserve it! Besides, do you really think 'Honest Vincenzo' deserves to deal with a 'new and improved' Bender? I think not!”
“Vinnie, please, Mrs. Fry.” He set his violin case down on the table. “And I have worked with worse... off hand, I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure I have...” he trailed off.
“Whatever... I am still going to streamline these archaic boards and wires.” Nick dove into his work (literally) and shut Bender's chest door behind him. As the door shut, Violet tried to see what he was doing inside her Uncle Bender, and Tommy quickly whisked her up and swung her around in his tentacle.
“Whoa! C'mere, little cousin! Mom and Dad and their friends are kinda busy! What do you say I show you a new way to go to Grammy and Paw Paw's?” He looked at Fry who gave him a thumbs up, and Leela nodded her head in the affirmative. Tommy slid out the door and headed to the basement with his giggling toddler cousin in tow.
“So...” Fry eyed the violin case nervously.
“Yes?” Vinnie grinned at Fry.
“Uh... Mr. V says some things aren't always how they appear... is that... that...” he pointed at the case, and everyone looked over and grew silent.
“My violin case?” He smirked. He was enjoying watching him squirm.
“It... it DOES have a... I mean, just what...”
“What my husband is so eloquently trying to say is, 'does it have a violin in it, or... something else?'” Leela smiled nervously.
“Something else? Something ELSE!?” Vinnie feigned shock and hurt. “Oh, I'll show you something else in there!” He grabbed the case and opened it. Everyone but Mr. Vecchio jumped back in fear. “Hold this, Leela, please.” Vinnie removed a beautiful red violin from the case and handed it to her. “Be careful, dear, it is priceless.”
Leela cradled it gently, and glanced inside the F-hole. Her eye bulged, and she let go with a soft, slow whistle. Vinnie laughed.
“Like I said- priceless. A Strad... 1721 'Red Mendelssohn' to be exact.” He took the violin case and set it back on the table everyone had gathered around. “Now for the part of 'things not being what they seem to be'...” With the case opened fully, he hit the latches again, and a false bottom lifted up, exposing a ¼ inch space across the entire bottom of the case. Reaching in, he pulled out false passports, I.D.s, and money. “Just in case we need to get you guys out of here.” he shrugged.
“Vinnie and-a Bender will make-a the runs to get us each-a one of these.” Mr. Vecchio added.
“The immense cost of supplying our entire faction would seem hard to complete. Even with counterfeit currency.” Malva expressed her concern.
“Here's where the robot comes into play.” Vinnie smiled. “Bribery.”
“Bribery?” everyone glanced around.
“Bribery.” Mr. Vecchio, echoed. “Even with all-a the correct papers, someone will want-a the 'greased palms'.”
“Exactly. And Central Bureaucracy needs it's gears 'oiled' a bit too, if we are to get this moving anytime this century.” Vinnie added.
Albrecht scratched his head. “So I assume the bending unit will be used to,” he cleared his throat, “procure authentic funds. There will be those who will not take currency- real or otherwise.”
“Agreed. Luckily, we do have a head start. And now for part two of 'things not being what they seem to be'...” Vinnie took back his violin from Leela, and started loosening one of the tuning pegs until it came out. He repeated the process with the remaining three, and then to everyone's shock, he exposed the precious gems hidden away in the hollowed out pegs. “Diamonds. Tanzanite. Rubies. Some Pearls. It's a start. I'm sure someone's wife would like a pendant, ear rings or a new ring.”
“We may need to also bribe local authorities, the Doop...” SB added. “this is going to get quite expensive... you'd better keep an eye on that robot too, Vinnie. He may take a cut without us knowing.”
“WHAT!? What do you MEAN the suspects have clearance now? I thought we schnooked those damned loosers with our double agent from Central Bureaucracy, that knew them so well! God damn it, Agnew! Now we have to go all NSA, and cover every friggin' travel hub on this God damned planet!” Nixon just glared as Agrew shrugged his shoulders, and made apologetic growls, as he sulked away.
“Mr. President, with all due respect,” an aide chimed in as he dropped a classified folder on the desk in front of him, “Morgan is a Catholic. You didn't really think she'd go against her religion's Leader's wishes, do you?”
“Religion nothing! I'm a Quaker, and I love nothing more than watching commies and aliens die! Religion has nothing to do with it!” He starts flipping through the files, stops, and the robotic arm coming from his jar tapped a paragraph to show those gathered. “Says here Proctor and the male suspect were once 'involved'. Do you think she's holed up with the subjects?”
“Trust me Mr. President, the female suspect wouldn't allow THAT to happen...”
The aide was cut short by an agent who had been quietly standing off to the side, listening in on his earbud. He acknowledged his informant and let the group in on the breaking news.
“Morgan Proctor has been trailed from her bank, to 'Embassy Row' in New New York. Her account has been closed, and she had disappeared into one of the embassies.” He was met with cold stares, and stony silence. Finally, Nixon spoke.
“We're... we're not sure, Mr. President...”
“NOT SURE!? NOT FARKING SURE!?” he bellowed as his water started to steam and slosh out of the top of his jar. You're the God-damned Secret Service! This isn't Watergate! This is trailing a single damned woman! NOT SURE!?”
“We... we think we have her narrowed down to two Embassies, Sir.” the agent looked around nervously as the Doop guards had their rifles at the ready. “We have reason to believe she is either in the Omicromian Embassy...” He was met with derisive chuckling from his leader.
“Lrr has enough problems with Ndnd! There's NO WAY they'll take the likes of Proctor!” He narrowed his eyes at the agent. “This other place better be it, son.”
“Or...”he gulped nervously. “or she can be in the new Nibblonian Embassy...” he trailed off nervously.
Nixon just glared at him for a while, then turned his attention to the file before him, then to his aides.
“Women like cute things, right? Keep tabs on the Nibblonian Embassy. Although the way she acts, you wouldn't think she was a woman.” All the yes men chuckled at their boss's attempt at (sexist) humor. “As for the suspects, it's time to call in the big guns. Get Brannigan on the horn.”
“Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. I owe you all.” Morgan Proctor dutifully shook everyone's hand. “I would like to think where I'm going, they will need a bureaucrat for something, seeing I am sure to have lost my job, and burned any bridges here on Earth.”
“We owe you, Morgan! We owe you our very lives!” Leela shook her hand warmly.
“Well, don't say that until you truly are safe. We have a saying in Central Bureaucracy: 'Don't count your CB1049-AC's until their filed'.” She tried to smile, but instead made a pained expression. “Leela, had things been different, I think I would have liked for you to be my friend. Take good care of Philip, will you?” She quickly turned away toward the waiting Nibblonian ship parked outside in the courtyard. Stopping suddenly, she turned around to confront Fry. “Philip, be a good Husband to Leela and be a good father. And don't forget to...” she stopped suddenly to wipe the donut crumbs off his jacket. “Oh, you are a dirty one! What am I going do with you?” She stopped, and slowly turned back to Leela, who was smirking. “I... I need to go. Goodbye, all.” Without looking back, she ran to the departing ship, and took off for parts unknown.
“Uh... Leela? I didn't mean to...” Fry was cut off by his wife's laugher and a hug.
“It's okay Fry, I know. But knowing what we know now, and what she did for us...” she trailed off as she headed for the exit. A Nibblonian aide gently guided her away from the front doors.
“Other, Mighty One, please. This way. It's much too dangerous to exit this way. We are sure you are being followed. Lord Nibbler had made sure that an alternative exit would be appropriated for you.”
“Agreed.” Mr. Vecchio concurred. “When a-Morgan came to us with-a the papers, we knew we were-a underestimating the enemy.” He beckoned them to an access hall used by the janitor. “This-a way...”
Walking through a hidden door in the hallway, they descended a steep staircase, deep into the bowels of old New York. Walking a few blocks, and through some half collapsed buildings, they emerged in the sewers. Less than an hour later, they were back in the apartment's basement.
“Leela! My little rock dove!” Zapp waved to Leela as she and Fry walked up the staircase to their apartment. “Oh, ho ho... what trouble have YOU and your barely-a-man husband gotten into?” he smirked lustfully at her cleavage, down to her hips, and back up again.
“The only trouble I see us in, is having YOU blocking our entrance to our apartment, Zapp.” Leela glared at him menacingly, and balling her fists.
“Now, now, is that any way to treat your savior?” Zapp laughed. “The President gave me orders to have my men and I arrest you two and take you to Washington for...” he coughed nervously, “er... questioning.” He placed an arm around Leela's hip and shoved Fry aside. He didn't notice Fry's hand slip into his waistband, or his color rise close to that of his hair. “But, I'm sure YOU could get off the hook... IF...”
“If WHAT, Zapp?” Leela grabbed Zapp's hand and threw it off of her.
“IF you have SEX with me...” He was cut short by a slap to the face. “Leela! You ungrateful woman! No wonder your kind will always be inferior to men! Well, maybe not to the likes of HIM...” he gestured with his thumb toward Fry. “I'll have you know that Nixon just signed a new 'peace treaty' with our soon to be over-lo... I mean allies, and the only stipulation is they want YOU, Hairpile there, your unborn halfbreed bastard, and that bottomless pit pet. I am your ONLY hope in this situation!”
“And how is having sex with you going to save me?” Leela narrowed her eye, and gently held an ever growing enraged Fry back.
“Simple, my little dim witted vixen!” he grinned mischievously. Let them think I'm the father of the brat, and you will live, as 'my woman'...”
“And what about Fry and Nibbler? Like I'd even remotely take you up on this offer! I'll NEVER...” she was cut short by a laser pistol pointed at her swollen abdomen.
“Don't make me do this.” Zapp narrowed his eyes. “I could care less about the whelp you carry, but my 'prize' would become tarnished.” He smiled and poked her hard to get his point across.
“Zapp,” Fry said between clenched teeth. “That is MY woman. Don't do anything you may not live to regret...” The metal felt suddenly bone chillingly cold in his hand.
“LISTEN, YOU...” Zapp narrowed his eyes, and slowly and dramatically moved his gun from Leela's abdomen to Fry's head. It was enough of a break, and it would be the last thing he'd ever do to threaten them again.
The apartment door swung open after hearing shots fired from a stupid ages weapon, and the sound of something large and heavy crashing down to the bottom of the stairs. The Nibblonians, Bender, and Vinnie looked down to see a fat bald man with an obvious broken neck, twisted at the foot of the antique radiator. His hair piece was a few feet from him, and his Doop uniform had two holes just above his belt, and had matching larger ones in back. He was loosing blood rapidly, and he had soiled himself.
“Whoo! Way to go skintubes!” Bender tried to high five Leela and Fry. “I honestly didn't think you had it in you!”
“Oh... oh God...” Fiona peeked out of the duffel bag she was carried in, and covered her mouth. “That's... that's disgusting...”
“Tell me about it!” SB winced. “The fat bastard wasn't wearing underwear!”
“I suggest you two put in a leave of absence immediately with your employer.” Nibbler added. “We now must work in earnest toward your collective safety.”
“Agreed... ah, Madonna...” Vinnie ran a hand through his hair. “Come on, Bender... time for us to get 'busy'.”
The group went into the apartment just as the Doop troops came in to investigate after hearing shots fired, and Zapp not returning.
“They say he'll live...”
“Great. Ass Fattigan lives again... just what we need”
“I've heard he'll never be able to serve again... good thing for the Doop...”
Kif cleared his throat and glared mockingly at the assembled officers. They answered him with respectful silence.
“Let's cut the crap, and take our seats, gentlemen, ladies.” he quickly nodded toward the two women in the secret meeting. Smiling, he sat down, and rested his face on his steepled hands. “I think we all know why we're here today. It should still remain unmentioned though. How many of you are familiar with the Earthican 'Second Amendment'?” He was met with smiles around the table. Good. Looks like it's time to fully enforce it.”
“Forgive me, Captain... fully enforce it?” a newly appointed female officer questioned. “The right to bear arms has been around for centuries. How can we...”
“The second amendment was put in place for this very reason- if a government is found to be corrupt, it is the rights of the people to take up their arms and remove it by force if necessary.” a yeoman chimed in.
“That is correct, it's not only for self defense, as so many think.” Kif smirked. “we have seen first hand how it has effected the Doop. Now...” he handed out top secret files to the selected few. “We have an enemy at the very top. He's ready to hand over the entire system, and all of Doop if we don't stop him.”
An older Lieutenant whisted and rubbed his bald pate nervously. “The President!?” He slowly closed the file and glanced around nervously.
“Is there a problem, Lieutenant?” Kif cocked an eye at him.
“No... no, Sir. You know I'd follow you to hell and back. But this... we either all stick together, or all die separately.”
“Indeed we will. Either way. Mark my words, if the timing is even slightly off...” Kif mimicked a knife going across his throat. “No matter which it is, I'd like to die knowing we fought on the side of right and justice. The people of Earth, and all of the Doop have slowly been indoctrinated to trust their leaders, like mindless buggalos lead to the slaughter. It seems this deal will make Nixon very rich, and Dictator for life, over what will be essentially food farms for the enemy he is working this treaty with. I don't know about YOU, but...”
“What do we know about the enemy, Captain?” a former female 'servant' of Zapp's asked.
“Nothing. Fracking nothing.” Kif pounded his fist, and sighed. “And the only Doop officer that DID know anything is one step above a vegetable in a New Jersey Doop hospital. What we DO know is they are currently mopping up what is left of the Omicronian Empire. When we sought out and asked Morbo what he knows about them, he apparently screamed and cried for mercy. We know nothing of their weaponry, battle tactics, morale... nothing. Let's just say we probably don't want to lay down and die to the likes of them!” After a few more minutes of discussion he asked if there were any questions.
“Sir, not connected to the current mission, but how are your friends? I heard they were somehow connected to Zapp being wounded, and...” the woman who was an ex 'servant' asked, and was cut off.
“The Fry's are innocent until proven guilty. Besides, there was no known weapon to Doop that did the damage to his body. The doctors also came to the agreement that most of the damage to General Jackass came from falling down the stairs and breaking his back and neck. Until our top notch weapons specialists can figure out what kind of weapon may have been fired, by whom, and why, the Fry's are merely 'under surveillance'... by MY men.” he smirked, as everyone around the table chuckled at the 'top notch' knock at the government's 'experts'. “Any other questions?... Good. We'll meet again next week, or as soon as more information is made available to us. Keep an eye on one another, and keep your secure connections open. Dismissed.”
“Oh boy oh boy oh boy!” Bender giggled gleefully like a little child half a minute away from a bagful of candy. “My first job with Honest Vincenzo! What are we gonna rob first? A jewelry store? A bank? No! The mint! YES! Say it's the mint! Say it's the mint!”
“First, Honest Vincenzo is too formal,” He polished his laser pistol and slid it in it's holster under his jacket. “Just Vinnie is fine, Bender. And no, it's not the mint.” He motioned to a black hover Lincoln, and they climbed in.
“Aw, crap! No mint?”
“No, big fish come later with big experience, Bender. Today we pick up my cousin up in Fort Orange, at his printing company. We need to pick up some papers.”
“Oh! Counterfeit money? YES!”
“No, Bender. Passports, other forms of I.D., and the like.”
“Oh come ON! This bends! I didn't sign up for this!”
“You didn't sign up for anything... you LIVE because you cooperate, capisce?” Vinnie narrowed his eyes.
“Whoa whoa whoa, old buddy!” Bender backed off and waved his hands defensively. “No need for threats between old friends, right?”
“Yeah, old friends.” Vinnie cleared the New New York limits, and flew towards the Catskills. “You have the payment for him? He doesn't work cheap.”
“Yeah, yeah... three diamonds.” Bender lit a cigar, and looked out the window at the passing scenery.
“AND,” Bender sighed, “the pearl necklace. Ya know I coulda impressed quite the floozy with that!”
“I know, and we appreciate your help.” Vinnie rolled his eyes. “And if anyone asks any questions?”
“I'm your robo-tuner for your violin. You're doing a show at the Villa Vosilla. Ugh, how the mighty have fallen, poor Bender.”
“Well not much further of a fall for you, right?” Vinnie laughed as Bender glared.
“Why do you need me to carry the hot potatoes, anyway? Your fiddle and case can easily...”
“Because,” Vinnie smirked, “I'll be busy performing, while you do the hand off. Also, it'd look suspicious if anyone else were carrying the case, and if they managed to find anything in it. Besides, with your track record, you think you'd have experience in taking the heat.”
“Well, I AM great at that, yeah...” Bender laughed.
“And that's why we chose you to do this. Okay, here we are. Please behave. We pick up my cousin, and the hand off gets done at the Villa... a nice neutral spot.”
“Fry! The least you could have done was shot something vital!” Albrecht joked, as everyone laughed as the last Doop guard walked out of earshot.”
“Fry, you need to-a aim better! Bullets in-a the belly will not-a kill a man!”
“Well, about that, I WAS aiming at something vital... I was too high, Mr V.”
“Too a-high!? The head was no where a-near the shot!”
“Let's just say it I hit the mark, Zapp would never be able to treat women to his special 'treatment' ever again.”
“And he'd be able to join the Vienna Boys Choir, after that, no doubt.” Mallow chimed in. Everyone howled with laughter as they caught on.
“All a-joking aside,” Mr. Vecchio threw a wet blanket on the group, “We almost a-failed protecting the Frys.”
Solemn silence ensued. Occasionally eyes looked around, locked , and quickly turned away, embarrassed. Finally, Albrecht spoke.
“Indeed. Our lapse in protection almost cost us dearly, far more beyond what mere words could describe. It has now been nearly 24 hours, and nothing good or ill has become of the incident. I believe we should regroup and re-access the...”
A knocking on the door interrupted his input, and everyone jumped. A few guns were pulled, and a light saber was fired up.
“Geez! Take it easy!” Bender said as he and Vinnie slid into the apartment, and locked the door behind them. “You sausage links are more dangerous than a fat club at an all you can eat buffet!”
“Sorry.” Leela held a hand on her abdomen, and one on her chest. “It's just that you gave us quite a scare... what with everything happening as of late.”
“Sorry, Leela. Is... is the baby...?” Vinnie was cut off by Leela waving her hand at her. “Oh, okay. You had me worried there. We have all the papers. ALL of us now have clearance, and are also 'official' citizens of the Vatican State.”
“All of us?” Fry asked.
“Yes.” Vinnie reassured. “You, your wife, daughter, your inlaws, myself and Bender. Our furry little friends can, if they wish, be 'reassigned' through their embassy to follow us.”
“As good as done.” Nick hit 'enter' on the computer, and walked over to the printer. Handing out the papers to the Niblonians, he re-confirmed, “We now all have clearance to the Vatican.”
“Oh, Vinnie! Your wife!” Leela gasped, and flipped through the passports. “Vinnie! There isn't one for your wife! There's been a mistake!”
“There has been no mistake.” he smiled. “Someone has to stay behind, and believe me when I tell you, my bride is the most capable of that job. Like me, she isn't what she seems to be.”
“Oh good,” Leela let out a nervous chuckle. “I don't think I can handle much more stress right...”
A loud banging came on the door, and once again, guns and saber were at the ready. This time, there was more determination, when they heard who was trying to get in.
“OPEN UP! THIS IS THE DOOP! WE KNOW THE FRYS ARE IN THERE! THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!”
“Oooooh... Oh Lord! Fry!” Leela collapsed into a chair as a small puddle formed under her.
“Aw, it's okay Leela! I almost wet myself this time, too! Besides, with the baby pressing on your bladder...”
The door bust open in a thousand splinters, and armed armored Doop troops scattered into the room, led by Kif. Guns and the light saber were powered down.
“No time to explain! How fast can you get out of here?” Kif asked, as his loyal troops surrounded the group in a protective guard. “It'd also be best if you are not seen... it's started.” he hung his head.
“Oh no...” Malva gulped. “Where?” She clung to Violet instinctively, and looked around for any threat, real or imagined.
“Most of eastern Asia right now. Time is running out.” Kif said, then noticed Leela. “Leela! Is it, is it time? Isn't it early?” everyone turned around and gasped.
“Too... Too early.” Leela said taking ragged breaths. “I... I think this little stinker has elbow talons too...” Leela was sitting in a puddle of crimson.
“You... you say it's a-started already?” Mr. Vecchio asked, and got a firm nod as an answer. Looking back at Leela, he added. “You're a-right. We need to move! Everyone! To the basement! NOW!”
A mad scramble was made to the basement steps, and the door locked behind them, just as they heard troops loyal to Nixon enter the building.
“KROKER! We know you're here! Give up, and you will live! Stop protecting them! What is a life or two in contrast to the betterment of the whole planet?” The voice got softer as it obviously climbed the steps to the apartment.
“Here.” Mr. Vecchio whispered, as he silently slid the old furnace aside, exposing the tunnel. One by one, they climbed down into the darkness. Leela was helped down by Bender and Vinnie, and Fry had Violet under an arm, who suddenly started squirming uncontrollably.
“Daddy! I dun WANNA!”
“Sssh!” Fry shushed her, as Mr. Vecchio, who was staying back as the 'rear guard', looked over with worry and concern etched on his face. “Sweetie! You need to be quiet!”
“ I DUN WANNA! IT'S SCARY!” the little girl started to cry loudly. Footsteps could be heard storming down the steps.
“Don't you wanna visit Grammy and PawPaw?” The child now wailed inconsolably.
“It's coming from below, Sir!” they heard the voice shout. “I'm checking out the basement!”
Fry winced as he tried to cover his daughter's mouth to drown out her noise, but got bitten as a reward.
“Honey! Please!” He hissed. “Bad people are here! You may never see Grammy and PawPaw again if...”
“An Tommy, too?” Violet sniffed.
“Yes, and Tommy... say, you wanna go Visit Tommy?” He saw his daughter's face lighten up a bit. “Tommy is on the other side of the tunnel...”
“Okay!” Violet, suddenly cured of her sadness, trotted over to the hole and went down the ladder. “Come on, Daddy!” Fry ran over and started his decent.
“Mr. V., come on!”
“No. I'll stay a-behind and cover.” he patted Fry on the head, and smiled at him in a loving, fatherly way. “Go, son.” He slid the furnace in place as the door the the basement gave way and the troops ransacked the room, shooting and destroying everything in sight.
Walking into the sewers, everyone felt a bit more relieved. Bender, who had been helping Vinnie carry Leela in a sling made by his arms, was the most vocal.
“Oh thank your God! It's about damned time we got here! Leela's about to drop her litter, and I need to dry off my arms before I rust! One of you clowns can take her to a hospital now!” Vinnie caught Leela in his arms as Bender dropped her unceremoniously.
“Bender...” Leela said clenching her teeth, drenched in a cold sweat, “There are no hospitals down in the sewers anymore. We need to get to my parents' house... p-please...”
“That may not be an option.” Nibbler pointed down toward the Turanga home, where a groups of Doop 'peace keepers' surrounded the building. “Leela, please, you must endure a bit longer. Even the sewers aren't safe anymore. I know you are fully capable of sustaining to the end.” He himself doubted this, as her color slowly drained, and she involuntarily shuddered. The worry was the same on everyone's faces.
“Mama can take us in.” Vinnie turned on his heels and started back a block, and led the group through the mazes of buildings, pipes, and open pits. Kicking at the door, his wife opened, and wide eyed in shock, swung the door open and waved everyone in. Slamming it closed behind them, she locked up, and drew the blinds tight.
“Oh, daddy! I just got off the phone with Munda and Morris! They're looking everywhere for our little family!” Turning to Violet, who was cowering behind her father, she smiled, which only terrified the little girl more.
“Mama, do we have anything for Leela?”
“Let me check...”
Running off to a back room, she came back with a large case of medical supplies. Laying her down on the sofa, and starting an I.V. drip and pain meds, Leela soon drifted off into much needed sleep.
“And now, something for the father, I think.” She winked, and handed Fry a shot glass and a bottle. “for 'courage', of course. Not that I usually prescribe hard liquor as medicine...” she winked.
“Thanks.” Fry took the bottle and upended it, slugging it down. “But what is the little cup for?” everyone chuckled at his cluelessness.
“Now, your name is Violet, sweetie?” the giant smelly blob addressed the child. She nodded her head, still hiding behind her father, clinging to his pant leg. “Do you like Q.T. McWhiskers?” Again the child nodded, then quickly hid her face again. When she had the courage to look up again, the ugly smelly mutant was gone, and a huge Q.T. McWhiskers was standing it her place. “Meow!”
“Eeeeeeeeeeee...” Violet squealed in excitement. Running over, she clung to her, and rubbed her cheek on her affectionately.
“So, you're a shape shifter, thingie?” Fry asked, as he licked the rim of the half empty bottle.
“Something like that.” the disgusting blob turned giant cat shrugged her shoulders. “I'm a mutant with those abilities... but I can only do it for so long. Medicine is my true calling.”
“Speaking of, how is our charge doing?” Fiona asked, as she and Malva sat by her, keeping guard.
“She's lost a bit of blood, but the I.V. Should help. She still needs to get to a real hospital, I'm afraid. All I've done really is bought a little time for her. Isn't there a hospital near your embassy?”
“Yes,” Nick said slowly. “but there would be no way we could get her there without being noticed. Also, the embassy has been surrounded for a while now.”
“If we could get Leela to our embassy, we could always sneak her to Rome. The Vatican is considered a Neutral by every major group, universe wide.” SB thought out loud.
“Do you think Leela would make it that far without having the baby? Why can't she have it here...” Fry was cut off.
“Just because I gave her medicine, doesn't mean I'm capable of everything she needs. She needs a hospital. And God forbid, if the child needs anything...”
“Mama, can she make it to the Nibblonian embassy, then to Rome?” Vinnie asked, worried.
“She may...” the cat reverted back to her odorous slimy form, much to Violet's dismay. “But she needs REST...” She was cut short by yelling and loud banging on the walls and the door.
'MUTANT WHORE! GIVE YOURSELF UP! WE KNOW YOU ARE IN THERE! IF YOU COMPLY, YOUR HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER WILL LIVE...”
“Looks like she got all the 'rest' she's going to get, meatbags.”
“Bender's right.” Vinnie hung his head. “Mama, can you distract them while we slip out the back door, and take the tunnel to the Nibblonian embassy?”
“Distract?” She giggled. Within a second she transformed into a nude 'Plaything' centerfold model. She cocked an eyebrow as all the males' eyes widened, and their jaws went slack. Fry started to drool. “So... how's THIS?” She cupped herself with one hand, and ran another hand down a hip. “If the Doop is anything like Zapp, You guys will be able to walk out the FRONT door without them noticing you! Now you folks get out of here! I'll meet you all again, some day!” She waited a full thirty seconds after her husband led the fugitives out the back, until she sauntered over to the door, and swung it open. “Hello, BOYS. Can I … DO anything for you?”
Entering the embassy through the secret passage in the janitor's access hall, the weary assembly was given a private room, where they promptly collapsed until nightfall. Gaining much needed sleep, the band was woken up to mournful moaning.
“Leela! It's gonna be okay! I'm here!” Fry held her hand reassuringly.
“I'm afraid we're not as good as the meds she received in the sewers.” Malva sighed, as she finished passing her third eye over Leela's abdomen. “The baby is still fine, but we won't have much more time. We need to make a call...”
“Do we dare try and get by the troops outside and run to the hospital, or do we try and make a break for Rome?” Vinnie asked. “Either way, our enemy has to know we're here by now.”
“She needs a hospital. I say...” Albrecht was cut short by Nick placing a hand on his shoulder.
“With all due respect. We can make it to Rome. Our new Persian class carrier is in the courtyard, and is capable of transporting the lot of us to...”
“Dear, Nikola, while all souls are capable of being transported in it, it is not a fighter. The 'Snowbell' lacks the speed or the weaponry for any legitimate escape.”
The Nibblonians, minus Nick seemed to believe the carrier was unsatisfactory. He continued to press his cause, and tried to sway the others to his side.
“I assure you with my very life! I designed this ship! I know what she is and isn't capable of!” Nick pled. “Have I let any of you down thus far? Bender, how are your operating parameters? Your operating temperature?”
“Uh, yeah...” Bender sheepishly hung his head.
“Mighty One!” he addressed Fry. “In our time together, I have fixed all your electronics, helped rewire the apartment...”
“I'm with ya, buddy. I believe in you.” Fry patted the fuzzy muzzled guard on the back.
“Vinnie. We have worked together only minimally. Yet you have seen my prowess with electronics and...”
“Save your breath, mi paisan. I am with you.”
“So, you honestly think she can get past the Doop blockade, run past possible enemy alien forces, and make it to Rome?” Nibbler chided.
“YES. Yes I do!” Nick said affirmatively. “I'll strip her down to the last vital bolt to save weight if I have to. I'll tweak and adjust the engines for optimum speed. We can be in Rome in a few seconds after I work on her! The time we have all spent squabbling over our own views, we could have run the gauntlet outside and had Leela to a hospital!”
“But weaponry!” Nibbler sputtered.
“If it's fast enough, we could out run...” Nick was cut short, and everyone's heads turned to a cry, and a moaning.
“I... I think I want...” she gasped for breath, “I would... like to have my baby... in Rome.” Leela tried to sit up, but was forced to lie down by Fry and Vinnie.
“It is settled then. Nibblonains, we have been overruled. The Other has spoken.” Albrecht grimly stated. “Nikola?...”
“I'M ON IT.” Nick ran to the courtyard, and immediately set off to working on the carrier.
Leela groaned and shook uncontrollably. The furry sentinels gathered around and accessed the situation.
“You have ten minutes, tops!” Malva yelled.
“I can do it in eight! Get her on board!” they heard Nick yell from the engine bay of the Snowbell.
“Let's do this, coffin stuffers!” Bender grabbed a couple Nibblonians under one arm, and slung a protesting Fry over his shoulder and boarded the ship.
Vinnie, gently placed Leela on two medic's cots placed end to end, and strapped her as firmly in place as he dared, then buckled up next to Fry and Bender. The remaining individuals boarded, and were about to lock the air vent, when a gentle wrapping was heard on it.
“Hello, sweetie! It's your father and I! Are you in there?” The lock was quickly opened and Munda and Morris were added among the fugitives.
“Mom! Dad! You made it!” Fry turned around and smiled.
“You expect to have all the fun and leave me out, Fry?” Morris chuckled.
“We wouldn't have missed this for the world!” Leela's eye fluttered open, and she smiled up at her mother, as she placed a reassuring tentacle on her cheek, and kissed her. Her mother then turned to Vinnie. “And Vinnie, we really owe your wife! She helped us here! She's quite the lady! You're one lucky man!”
“Yes, yes I am.” Vinnie smiled. “She's quite talented.”
“We tried to talk her into coming with us, but she refused, saying she needed to stay behind. We're sorry.” Morris added.
“No, she's right, Morris. We had talked about this at length before. Besides, it's crucial she stays in New New York. We need a connection at home.”
“I do not wish to interrupt pleasantries, but we really need to commence with the take off. Are all within the ship?” Nibbler looked over his shoulder, and grunted and shook his head positively. “Nick! Are you...”
“DONE. Punch it!” Nick wiped off his hands and buckled in next to Nibbler in the co-pilot's seat.
“Punch it? Punch it? How un-Nibblonian sounding. Couldn't you have said...”
“Oh for the love of...” Nick reached over in front of Nibbler and switched over controls, and started the engines at full thrust. Those unbuckled went tumbling across the deck, as Nick laughed and managed to avoid all gunfire with the surprise escape, and unexpected speed. Rome, and The Vatican, would only be a few seconds away, then, in turn, a hospital.
The eldery nun cradled the newborn child in her arms, and cooed as he took to the bottle she offered. She smiled as his little eyes slowly closed in peaceful bliss. Slowly rocking back and forth in her chair, he soon nodded off to dreamland, like his parents and older sibling, off in a corner of the hospital room. She wondered what was in store for him. What good would he do with his life, a life that was given to him by impressive parents, and those who were sworn to defend him. Outside, she could hear the Nibblonian called Snugglebunny, acting not so snuggly, as he commanded the Swiss guards put under his charge, stationed outside the door. She slowly got up, and turned off the radio. At least had been good news for a change. Admiral Kroker, leader of the resistance, had Nixon and his crooked cronies against the ropes, and new allies from the former Omicronian empire were holding the invaders at bay for the time being. His Holiness, the Space Pope, condemned the killing of one of the Carabineri placed under his command in New New York. He was assured that in return for the 'unfortunate mistake', all sides would treat Rome and the Vatican neutral. This little family should at least remain safe here.
Shuffling over to a bassinet, she placed a kiss on the boy's forehead, and wondered how hard a life he would have in the current state of affairs. She carefully laid him down, and said a silent prayer for him. Slowly making her way over to the window, she saw the first rays of sunshine come over the tops of the Churches and homes surrounding the hospital. It was supposedly just another dawn, but as she looked back at the child, she couldn't help but feel that this was a 'new' dawn. A whole new beginning. She looked down again at the child, and wiped a tear from her eye and smiled.