“GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE!” The words echoed around the building and sent a shudder down every spine. Reluctantly, everyone stopped what they were doing and headed toward the conference room, and took their seats. Steeling themselves for the worst, they watched the Professor walk in with Hermes, holding a large package.
“Good news, Everyone! Wait... did I say that already?” the old man scratched his bald pate. “Oh well, it IS good news! We actually have a DELIVERY!”
Assorted hoots, hollers, and sounds of happiness were heard from all. The Professor smiled at his happy employees, and continued.
“Yes! We received a delivery!” He watched as everyone's cheer turned into wary speculation. “A delivery of a fan fic from the Futurama Madhouse!”
In response, a chorus of negative grunts and groans echoed around the conference table.
“Come on, mon! You KNOW our main contract wasn't renewed! We need all da jobs we can get!” The Rastafarian bureaucrat reached into the package, and pulled out scripts that he handed out. Besides, not all of us are in this one! Some of us can relax after the stupid ages 'Thanks-for-giving' holiday.”
“All right! Come on, Leela! Let's go do some X-mas shopping!” The delivery boy jumped up and was quickly yanked back down into his seat by his better half. Hermes just scowled at him as he threw a copy of the script on the table in front of him.
“Seriously, Fry?” The cyclops captain looked at him. “You didn't think that YOU, being a main character, would get out of this, did you?”
“Well, I sure did HOPE...” he trailed off and slouched into his chair.
Hermes handed out a script to Leela, Bender, and Amy, who got an additional script as well. Picking up the additional script, she smiled.
“Oh, good! My Kiffy is in this with us!”
“Aw crap.” The booze swilling robot muttered. “Another fleshy to deal with. Great. I'm gonna need back up.” Reaching into himself, he took out a liter of Maker's Mark, and started chugging.
“Now before you all have fun on this fun filled fan fic,” the Professor smiled, “I want you to know you will also be MAKING a delivery! The details are in the script!”
Already having skimmed over the papers with an eagle's eye, Leela narrowed her single one, and confronted the Professor.
“Germany? AGAIN? I'm not overly wild about this... bad things seems to happen when we go there, between legitimate episodes, the comics, and fan fics!”
“Like what, Leela?” Fry asked. He was answered by a group of blank stares.
“Wait a minute... fan fic... Germany... holiday... Oh Lord...” she smacked herself on the forehead, and shook her head in despair. “Let me guess... Dinkdrinker wrote it.”
Again, groans and upset sounds filled the room.
“Mmm, yes, why?” the Professor smiled cluelessly.
“Aw, son of a... we're ALL gonna need this. BAR'S OPEN.” Bender started handing around the bottle.
“It is kind of obvious. The fat bastard is really running out of ideas, isn't he? I mean...” she scowled at the script, and shook her head in disbelief.
“Now, calm down, Leela,” Hermes interjected. “There's this one story, and our contractual obligation to his crappy X-mas fics will be finalized. Now... for your delivery...” reaching in, he pulled out a large gold rectangle, resembling a biscuit.
“What's with the giant gold cracker, Hermes?” Amy asked, sizing it up, and trying to figure it's net worth.
“It's not a cracker, it's a biscuit, damn it!” The Professor snapped, and took the golden biscuit from Hermes and handed it to Leela. “It's the golden biscuit of the Bahlsen company in Hanover, Germany. They make cookies and other food products. It was stolen by the Cookie Monster, and was found here in New New York, hanging from The Statue of Liberty, like some edible bling, or what not! Now it's our job to return it safe and sound!”
“Professor, can this please wait until Monday? After all, you called us in one day after a Holiday. All of New New York is still...” The captain pled.
“No can do, Leela,” Hermes shook his head in the negative. “Germany's X-mas celebrations start in full swing TODAY. The Bahlsen company needs this NOW. It hangs over their headquarters, and they want it back as a gift to the family that runs the business.”
“But,” The Professor added, holding up his finger, “After that, you will have the entire weekend to yourselves! Just make sure to return the ship, safe and sound! See you later!” He shuffled off, dejected, mumbling about the lack of certain doom and maiming.
“Well, go on, ya lazy green snakes! The sooner you do this delivery, the sooner you can have your personal time!” Hermes gently scolded them and walked off.
“Well,” Leela got up and addressed Amy, Fry, and Bender, “Let's go get Kif, and read this script...”
Walking up the steps into the Planet Express ship, Kif Kroker looked every bit in the holiday spirit. He was exuberantly happy. Maybe it was the fact that he was going to spend the day with the woman he loved, or perhaps it was he finally got away from his commanding officer, thanks to another bout with the Space Clap. Maybe it even had to do with the fact his green skin and red uniform caused others to smile this time of year, and that in turn made him happy... odds are it was Zapp coming down with the Space Clap again, but he still got to spend the time with his Amy.
Walking onto the bridge, he made his presence known, and snapped to attention.
“Lieutenant Kif Kroker, reporting for duty, Captain Turanga.”
“Cut the crap, Kif.” Leela smiled. “Welcome aboard, and take a load off. I'll let you in on our mission.”
Flopping down in a chair next to Leela, he slumped down, relieved.
“THANK YOU, Leela! It's going to be a welcome change away from Zapp! I understand that you needed an officer from the Doop on this mission, and I was personally requested.”
“Yes, on both counts. Amy requested you... of course the money she 'donated' helped, I'm sure.” She 'winked' at Kif, and got out the details of the mission.
'Damn it,' Kif thought. 'How does Fry know when she's winking or blinking... I...' His thought was interrupted by Leela
“We have a very old, and priceless artifact aboard, and it needs to be returned to it's rightful owner.” Handing him his copy of the mission briefing, she continued. “The golden biscuit has hung over the Bahlsen Bakery's H.Q. in Germany since the 1800's. Having recently been stolen by the notorious Cookie Monster, the Bahlsen family has paid handsomely for it's return. We have been given the job of returning the biscuit. Your job is to guard it until it is returned. You too, of course, will be paid handsomely, as this falls under Doop's cultural heritage clause.
“That... that's it?” The Amphibiosan was taken aback. “Only to Germany? This shouldn't take more than a few minutes, including handing over the artifact!” He saw Leela wince, and knew there was more he didn't know.
“I wish it were that easy.” Leela grimaced. “The ship has been acting real wonky lately. We just can't seem to get it to run right. As it is, Septuple A had to come and get us last week from the moon. We'll be lucky if we can get it to Germany and back without Amy working on it constantly.”
“Well, Leela,” Kif got up. “I'm sure I'll be able to help Amy after the mission is done - we'll have her running and purring like a kitten!”
“Yes, and the Planet Express ship, too. Right?” she chuckled.
“I...I... eh, uh, err....” Kif grew visibly embarrassed and sputtered and wheezed.
“The Gold biscuit just so happens to be in Amy's quarters! You can kill two birds with one stone! Go get 'er, tiger!” Leela laughed as he smiled sheepishly, and tripped over himself running off the bridge.
Turning the ship's engine over, Leela scowled at the controls. Engine power was fluctuating wildly, and didn't sound very healthy, either. She watched the power dip dangerously closer to a stall. Switching to manual over ride, she adjusted hydrogen and fuel, and laughed when she remembered Fry trying to explain to her she was 'choking' the engine. Silly goofball. 'Choking' an engine. Indeed!
Getting the engine running somewhat better, she turned on the ship's intercom, and had everyone check in. She also left a strong hint to Fry that she needed his help on the bridge. She was pleasantly surprised when he came to the bridge after the first 'suggestion', and he dutifully flopped down in his place.
“What up, Leela?” You need me on the bridge? We're only going to Germany! Bender and I were busy...”
“Yeah, busy recording Amy and Kif. The robo-pervert already told me he'd be doing that. That can wait, Fry. I'm going to need help with the ship. After not even being able to limp it home from the moon last week, I'm not going to take any chances. Let's just get this crate to Hanover. Over-riding, and switching some controls over to you... I'm lifting off now- watch the engine output, and leveling stabilizers.”
The ship slowly shuddered and crept out of the hangar, and bucked a couple of times before it took an easterly arc over the Atlantic ocean towards Germany. The couple on the bridge let out a sigh of relief when Ireland and the United Kingdom came into view. Flying over the southern U.K. and the Netherlands, they were finally within Hanover's air/space radar. Identifying themselves, they were cleared to land on a landing pad where German Polizei would meet Kif, and the handing over of the golden biscuit would take place.
“Okay Fry,” Leela said through gritted teeth. “She's going to stall if we're not careful! I want you to ease back on the dampeners, and...”
The ship landed with a thunderous crash, just as the landing gear were fully deployed.
“Or that could happen too.” She looked over at him as he grinned sheepishly at her. “Powering down.” she said with a sigh. Getting on the intercom, she called to the remaining crew. “Okay, folks, landed safe and sound in Hanover.”
“Safe!? Spleesh, Leela!” Amy sputtered an angry reply. “Why don't you just try and kill us NEXT time? You know you knocked Kiffy and I right out of bed! 'Number seventy three' isn't exactly an easy one to keep your balance with, you know!”
“Number seventy three?” Fry looked at an equally clueless Leela. “What the flip is a Number seventy three?”
“Wait 'til you SEE it, buddy!” Bender cut in over the intercom. “Those two were going at it like two yarn people in a knitting factory!”
“BENDER!” Amy and Kif yelled, outraged.
“Hey! No! I wasn't watching you two sick fleshies swapping DNA! I was, uh, looking at that big gold cracker thing! Yeah! Was gonna steal it too, damn it! But we're here already!”
“Bender, stop it.” Leela barely suppressed a chuckle as Fry was covering his mouth to stifle his giggles. “Okay, Kif, you'd better make yourself respectable quickly- they are already outside of the ship waiting...”
Exiting the ship to a surprising amount of fanfare, Kif descended the steps holding the gold biscuit, and entered a flurry or camera bulb flashes, and reporters. Smiling politely, and waving as he handed the prized possession over to the local authorities, he managed to stave off any persistent news-hounds with a garbled 'Ich spreche kein Deutsch'., and was visibly relieved when the last one left. Shaking hands with the chief of the local precinct, he exchanged pleasantries.
“I'm sorry, Sir, but I'm afraid I don't know much German... I hope...”
“It's all right, Lieutenant Kroker. The media can get a bit hectic this time of year.” the chief shrugged his shoulders matter of factly and escorted Kif inside a building. He then turned around and beckoned to the rest of the crew with a smile and a wave of his hand, and they quickly and happily followed.
“Oh! I... that is, I didn't expect you to speak English, Sir!” Kif stammered slightly and grinned sheepishly.
“Of course, we speak English, Lieutenant! We are Germans, not savages!” he winked, and tipped his hat to the ladies. Pulling out a seat for Amy, Kif and the crew gathered around a small table in a room in a large warehouse like building. Leela, still standing, just stared at Fry as he flopped down and helped himself to the baked items on the table. Smirking, the Chief pulled out the chair for Leela, and then sat down with the guests.
“Whoa, Leela! You have Got to try the glazed ones! They're like chewy gingerbread! Wha-what's this communion like wafer thingie on the bottom?” He poked at it. “Oh well, maybe they're Holy cookies. Whatever!” He continued to shovel the lebkuchen into his mouth like a starving man.
Giggling, a young woman dressed in a dirndl came in with more cookies, and made sure everyone at the table got some this time.
“Here, fräulein,” she handed Leela a rather large cookie. “for you, before he eats them all.”
Eying the giant baked good in his woman's hands, he reached over to take it, and had his hand slapped by Leela.
“Aw, Leela, I'd LOVE to have yer cookie! Can I just have a little nibble?” her pled.
“Touch my cookie and die, Fry.” She then glared at him, and slowly and purposely nibbled on it, as he drooled an whimpered like a begging animal. “Mmm, not bad.”
Clearing his throat, the chief gestured toward a door that opened and a family came in, all smiles.
“On behalf of the family, and all of Germany, I wish to thank you for returning the golden biscuit back to it's rightful owners. The Family wishes to thank you themselves...” Stepping aside, an older gentleman stepped forward and introduced himself.
“Guten tag! I am Werner Bahlsen, head of the family, and our family's company. We wish to thank you so much for returning our biscuit! It has hung over our headquarters for many generations, and we couldn't imagine a holiday season without it! Please, allow me to present you all with our humble thanks, a small reward. We understand many of you just finished celebrating a holiday yourselves, as we are gearing up, here.”
“Oh! What's in the envelope? More cookies?” Fry spewed crumbs as he reached for it, only to have Leela snap it away from him.
“Fry you stupid bone bag! You never put cookies in large envelopes! Now maybe you could put secret recipes, or maybe some smaller gold biscuits I could sell on the black market...” Bender too, got his hand slapped by Leela as he reached for the envelope.
“Cool it Bender, he said it was for ALL of us.” Opening the envelope, she looked in and whistled, and her eye grew larger in surprise. The Germans all smiled. “This... this is the largest amount of cash I've ever seen not involving Amy!” She pulled out a huge wad of bills.
“Is... is it enough?” an elderly matron asked in broken English.
Leela managed to stammer a positive reply as her coworkers gathered around.
“Good!” the chief clapped his hands together and smiled. “Perhaps you can all enjoy a nice weekend here in Germany! But please forgive us, we now must get ready, ourselves, for a big night!” Getting up, he opened the door for the crew to exit to the ship. “It is the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent! The Christkind opens the Christkindlesmarkt tonight! All of Germany is waiting!”
“The who opens the what? And why is the whole country waiting?” Amy asked.
“The Christ child opens the Christmas market in Nürnberg. It is televised. Everyone watches it.” A younger family member chimed in as he followed the crew and the police chief outside. “Perhaps, you can visit it yourselves!”
“I'm afraid, we need to return to New New York,” Leela said, amongst groans and vocal displeasure her friends. “Besides, we'll be lucky if we make it home!”
“Too bad.” The chief said. “Perhaps some other time you could experience the Fatherland at Christmas time. Have a safe trip home! And, Fröhliche Weihnachten!”
Climbing into the ship, everyone gathered on the bridge and either sat at their console or on the sofa. As Leela started up the ship, Fry posed a question.
“Hey Leela, do we REALLY need to go home? The Professor said we can have the ship for the weekend...”
“No. Sorry Fry, but this bucket of crap barely got us HERE. I really don't want to chance being stuck here longer than we can wear out our welcome.” She gritted her teeth, and reminded Fry she needed a little help getting back home.
“So, you'd rather risk us crashing in the Atlantic than over dry land? How generous to mess with our lives, one eye.” Bender lit a cigar and popped open a beer.
“It does seem rather silly, Leela.” Amy put her two cents in. Why don't we just call Septuple A, see where the nearest repair shop is, and we can have the ship repaired there, while we can actually enjoy a night out?”
“Let me guess.” Leela glanced over at her, as she finally got the ship to clear the building tops. “You found a place open...”
“Jerusalem!” Amy chirped, excitedly.
“JERUSALEM!?” Leela asked shocked. “Surely there's a closer one than that!” Punching in some information into the computer, she got a list of closer repair shops. “There is one right outside of Nürnberg! We can shop at the Xmas market while we're there...”
“But... but, Jerusalem!” Amy pouted and looked at Kif. “Kiffy and I wanted to stop at the Sexateria!”
“NO. We need to get to a REPAIR SHOP now. We'll be lucky if this thing will make it to London! We're gonna try to limp it to...”
“Drive thru, then? Kiffy and I wanted to order something- #69- tucanchu...”
“I said NO! And... DRIVE THRU!?” She looked shocked, at a sheepish Kif, and a blushing Amy.
“Hehehehe! Those crafty Jewish bastards! Gotta love 'em! What say we go? You're headed south already, one eye.” Bender added.
“Yeah, Leela! You and I can order one of those, too!” Fry grinned at her and wiggled his eyebrows.
“For the LAST time! We are NOT going to Jerusalem! We're going...”
Suddenly, the ship shuttered violently and quickly lost altitude. Fighting to keep it airborne, Leela skimmed rooftops, and weaved through taller buildings, until she spotted water. Turning the ship toward the river, she brought it down and skipped it a couple of times before coming to a stop. Gathering her senses, she glanced at everyone, and sighed.
“Seeing we're here, looks like we're going to Nürnberg.”
Having blown a large chunk of money from their reward to bribe the proprietor of the Feuerzangebowle not to have them arrested for the water spray from their landing putting out his flaming boiler (not to mention Bender drinking all of the remaining rum punch), Leela called up a tow-ship to have them tow the Planet Express ship to a repair shop... only to discover another problem...
“But, Septuple A said your shop was OPEN today!” Leela huffed, and stomped a boot in frustration. “NOW you're saying you won't get to look at it until SATURDAY?” The tow operator, that looked remarkably like Sal, shrugged his shoulders.
“Ya, it vas opened today.” he paused to scratch his buttocks. “But is closed now for das market. Also, how does Amerikaner say?... 'OVERTIME'?”
“Oh, Lord,” Leela rubbed her head in frustration. “I need a drink. Too bad SOMEONE drank all 9000 liters of the punch!” She glared at Bender, who just smirked. “How in Gilgamesh's name do you DO that!?”
“When you're good, you're good, baby!” the robot thumped his chest proudly. “But never fear chumpette- there are at least ten tents here serving Glühwein. You can still get drunk.”
“Woo! Drunk? Come on, Bender!” Fry grabbed his friend by the arm, and trying pulling him toward the market. “Let's go get fit shaced!”
“No can do, coffin stuffer. I Have, uuuh...” Bender glanced over and spied a bunch of demonic looking creatures tormenting and heckling passersby. “I have to go do some studying for a test... yeah, that's it...” He ran off into the direction of the multiple Krampuses.
“Well, if he won't DRINK, that'll be one less thing for us to figure out what he's doing.” Kif grumbled. Everyone seemed to nod in agreement.
“Well”, Amy clapped her hands and rubbed them together to warm up, “Kiffy and I will try and find us a hotel or an apartment to stay in; We'll meet you and Fry by the Schöner Brunner just before 19:00, and the opening prologue.”
“Sounds good.” Leela took Fry's hand and reined him in as she caught him out of the corner of her eye ready to tear off into the crowd. “But good luck with that. These places sell out their rooms for this month half a year in advance!”
“Oh, I don't think we'll have a problem with THAT!” Amy grinned and flashed her Centari Express card. “Besides, if all else fails, Kif can use his clout and kick someone out!”
“I... I can- can what? Oh... I... eeesh... uh...” Kif got nervous and glanced around.
“Come on Kiffy! We got beds to rent!” She winked and kissed him.
“Oh? OH! I- I think I can... oh my...”
HALF AN OUR LATER- OUTSIDE OF THE HERRENBRÄU...
“WHAAAAT!? How is that POSSIBLE, Agnew? I paid for our suite back in JUNE!”
Chasing down a Krampus wasn't an easy task, Bender found out. For whatever reason, they actually seemed hell bent on avoiding him. After cornering one brandishing switches at young children who were misbehaving, he decided to jump in and help.
“Hey hey hey! That's not right!” the metal man stepping in between the terrified ne'er-do wells and the demon. The Krampus stepped back and assumed a puzzled stance. “Gimme this, my fine sir!” Bender snapped the whip like branch out of his hand and brandished it. “Like THIS!” he started beating the children mercilessly on their rumps as they fled in terror screaming. “See? It's all in the wrist!”
“That... That's just evil, man!”
“EVIL? I'll show ya, EVIL!” He belched, lighting the switch on fire and started chasing random people. “Whoa! Look at that! Her coat went up like an un-watered Xmas tree! Hehehehehe...” Turning back toward the Krampus, who was now worried about his own safety, he posed a question- “So, how do you feel about teaching me your demonic ways? I mean, I consider myself a pretty nasty robot, but there is always room for improvement.”
“WHAT? NO!” The demon turned on his heels and ran.
“Aw, come on! So maybe it wasn't evil enough! But I can learn! Come on! Give a bot a break!” Bender gave chase through the narrow cobbled city streets...
“So Leela,” Fry said around the mini brats he was shoveling into his mouth. “How's that wine punch stuff?”
Leela upended her fifth mug, and downed it's contents. Grinning slightly, and blinking her eye a few times, she slowly turned to him and giggled.
“Ya, know, Fry... I... I dunno if I likes THISH one...” she pointed to the tent they were in front of, “or THISH one!” she pointed down the path. “Oooh LOOK, Fr-fry! There's ANODDER one!” Grabbing Fry by the arm, she dragged him to yet another Glühwein seller.
“Oooh, yeah!” The redhead grinned mischievously. “Gonna get lucky tonight!”
“Thash right, Fry... luck-” she hiccuped, “lucky.”
Fry was more than happy to pull out his wallet and pay yet another proprietor for their alcoholic libations. Handing the steaming mug to his woman, she was suddenly bumped from behind, and she dropped her mug, shattering it, and loosing it's body and mind numbing contents.
“H-h-hey! You! Ugly! You made me shpill mah drink!” Leela screamed as a Krampus ran by screaming in German.
“Whoa! He's REALLY gotta be ugly if the mask is an improvement, huh, Leela?” Fry chuckled. “Let me buy you another one...” Taking another bill out of his wallet, he handed a new mug full of Leela's new favorite Xmas drink to her- only to have it spilled this time by Bender running into her.
“Gah-DAMMIT!” Leela shrieked as the piping hot liquid splashed down the front of her again. “I'm gonna be a st-shticky MESS!”
“Uh, I can help clean you off...” Fry grinned. He quickly noticed Bender behind Leela, looking around quizzically. “Oh! Hey Bender!”
“Hey meatbags! Did you see a Krampus run by here? About this big,” he held his hands out to describe his dimensions, “and furry, and has a long tongue?”
“A krammed what?” Fry scratched his head, and was suddenly distracted by Leela trying to mop up Glühwein that went down into her cleavage. “Uuuuh...”
“Hey dummy! I'm talking to you!” Bender snapped. “Seriously! What's more important? Leela's sticky bazooms, or me, Bender?”
“Wha? Oh, right, sorry buddy. You were saying?” Fry reluctantly turned his attention back to his friend.
“The Krampus.” the robot sighed. “I'm looking for the Krampus.”
“Oooooh! The ugly dude that hit Leela the first time!” The dude in the mask went off that way.” He pointed off into the crowd.
“Whoa whoa whoa, wait a second, meat bag...” Bender looked at Fry questioningly. “a mask?”
“Yeah, a dude in a demon mask ran by here...”
“You... you mean the Krampus is just a guy in... in a mask?” Bender trailed off dejectedly.
“Yeah. Pretty sure a Kramp- whatcha call it isn't real...”
“Nope, kinda like the tooth fairy.” Fry shrugged his shoulders.
“SHE'S not real either!?” Bender lurched back, in shock.
“Nope.” Fry tried to 'help' Leela clean up, but was yanked back to face Bender.
“You- you mean... aw man! I'm too awesome to cry! This... this is...”
“Yeah, I know how you feel buddy. I felt the same way when I found out the Easter Bunny wasn't real...”
“HE ISN'T!?” Bender shrieked.
“Dammit, Fry, will ya shaddap before ya totally ruin hish holi-holiday?” Leela interjected, then hiccuped and giggled.
“Aw, man! This bends!”
“Geez, sorry, Bender. Maybe some of my bratwursts will cheer you up?” Fry offered him a roll with three small links smothered in Bavarian mustard, only to have it slapped out of his hand.
“Like it could compare to Bender's Mammothwurst!” He walked off sad, and hanging his head. “Maybe sex or physical violence will cheer me up...”
Shuffling off into the crowd, Bender tried to cure his depression. Sure, beating up the old woman for her purse was fun, and stealing the candy from the children made him giggle, but he still felt... cheated. How could those demons only be mere men in disguise? Damn it, they were gonna pay for this, if it was the last thing he did. He knew what he had to do...
It took a while, but Bender was a patient robot when he needed to be. He waited until he heard the shrieks and screams, then ran toward the melee like a drunken berserker. Breaking trough the crowd, he came face to face with around twenty men in Krampus costumes.
“YOOOOUUUU!!!” He pointed a finger at them menacingly. “YOU! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!!!”
People normally flee from switch and chain yielding Krampuses, but they were absolutely terrified when they saw all the Krampuses fleeing in terror from a robot threatening to kill them. Bender chased them through the stalls right up to the Frauenkirche.
“Zuflucht!” The 'Krampuses' started pounding on the doors to the church.
“Sanctuary!? SANCTUARY!?” Bender sputtered. “Not even the Space Pope can help you!”
The doors of the church opened and the men disappeared inside just as Bender got up to the doors. He was met with a large wooden door slammed in his face, and the sound of it being barricaded from the other side.
“Maybe I can sneak in a back entrance...” he thought to himself, as he saw a small van pull up, and watched a young blonde woman in a flowing gown and wearing a crown, hop out and enter through another door. He suddenly had another idea. “Hehehehehe.” he giggled to himself as he slipped in just before the door closed and locked behind him.
“Hey, sexy human, wanna help me kill all the Krapuses?”
The Christkind just giggled and blushed.
“Eh, whatever. Or we can fool around for a bit...” Bender extended an arm under her gown and goosed her ass, and giggled as she shrieked, and playfully smacked him on his shiny metal...
“There ya go, Leela.” Fry handed Leela another mug of hot coffee. “As much as I enjoy you like this, you really need to sober up a bit.”
Sipping on the steamy cup of java, Leela begrudgingly admitted she needed to slow down... and there was always tomorrow to drink more. Fry just gave her a a worried look.
“Fry, I'm not that drunk, nor am I as drunk as I was before,” she paused to take a sip, “but thank you for caring. Besides...” she paused again and leaned in to kiss him and whisper in his ear, “you never need to get me drunk to get what you were planning.” She snickered as she nibbled on his ear and started kissing his neck as he turned to jello in her arms. “Okay, Fry, it's almost time for the Christkind to officially open this market. If we are here in Nürnberg, we might as well do as the locals do, and enjoy the festivities.”
“Uh, Leela?” Fry stammered. “Couldn't we just see if Amy and Kif got a hotel room? I mean we could watch the room as they enjoy the show here...”
“Easy there, tiger!” she laughed. “Plenty of time for that later!” She suddenly waved frantically and Fry saw that she noticed Amy and Kif, arm in arm, enjoying the festivities. Walking up, the group, minus Bender was together once again.
“Well, Kiffy and I did it! We got us a room right on the square! Two beds, and a closet for Bender. Cost a pretty penny too. I had to pay an extra seven thousand Euros to kick someone out of a room.” She looked around nervously as Agnew went by holding a frosted over Nixon.
“ARRRROOOOOOOO!!!! Nixon is pissed! Mark my words, Agnew! Someone will pay for my frozen jowls!” Leela's, Fry's, and Kif's eyes widened in shock as they looked at Amy, trying to look innocent.
“Not like any of us voted for him...” she mumbled. Quickly changing the subject, Amy looked around. “Hey, where's Bender? Wasn't he supposed to meet us here?”
“Oh, he'll be fine. He's just upset because I told him the 'Krammits' aren't real. Odds are he's moping somewhere, and plotting revenge.” Fry waved his hand dismissively.
“Or worse, he's getting drunk, fooling around, or a combination thereof.” Leela rolled her eye.
Just then, the entire market plunged into darkness, and the crowd that was gathered, hushed in excited expectation. After what seemed like an eternity, a blazing light shone, temporarily blinding the onlookers. As all eyes focused, The Christkind could be seen atop of the Church. The market suddenly erupted with thousands of flashes going off, and reporters and camera crews scrambling.
“Ihr Herrn und Frau'n, die Ihr einst K-kinder w-w-waaart, Ihr K-kleiiiiinen....” the Christkind stuttered and stammered. The crowd looked on puzzled and worried, as she broke character, and looked over her shoulder and whispered “Nein, Bender!”
Her reprimand was met by a robot's devilish giggling, and the Christkind shrieked, giggled, and turned beet red.
“You know you like it, baby!”
Slowly, Leela, Fry, Amy, and Kif all looked at each other with terrified looks on their faces.
“BENDER.” they said in unison.
Leela, Fry, and Kif glared at Bender in the hotel room, as Amy tended to Kif's many cuts and bruises from retrieving the metal man wanted 'for official Doop questioning'. Finally, Leela broke the uncomfortable silence...
“Now... let me get this straight...” she rubbed her temples then her eye, and composed herself. “You...”
“And the Chistkind.” Bender puffed out a ring of smoke.
“YES, Bender...” she took a deep breath. “You and the Christmas Angel did WHAT!?”
“Horizontal jogging; bedroom aerobics; hiding the German saus...” Bender was cut off by a now furious Leela.
“But in the VESTIBULE!?” she shrieked, as everyone winced at the thought.
“Well, duh, big boobs, we were in the Church! Where else would there be any privacy, besides maybe the confessional booths?”
“Bender! You sullied their Christmas Angel!What do you have to say for yourself!?”
“Let me think... 'She sure was heavenly!'? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!” Bender purred and laughed.
“THAT DOES IT BENDER.” Kif snapped, and jumped up from Amy's nursing his wounds, and turned to the robot, and poked a finger at his 'chest'. He continued his uncharacteristic rant. “You could have gotten us all in SERIOUS trouble! As it is, I am now going to have some serious explaining to do to General Jackass about my using Doop power to save your shiny metal behind! I really stuck my neck out for you!”
“Well, sure glad it was you, because you stretch awfully easy. Tried doing it to Fry once, he got all floppy and limp- had to take him to the hospital!” Bender laughed and drew a long deep breath on his stogie, as Fry rubbed his neck, remembering the fateful night.
“I'm serious Bender! Don't make me...” Kif was cut off.
“What? Raise your voice again? Hahahaha!- WHA!?” Bender was slapped with a robo-destabilizing cuff.
“THERE. If you get farther than 20 feet from me, you will become immobile!”
“You'll be sorry!” Bender narrowed his eyes.
“Oh, will I?” Kif chuckled. I already took the liberty of programming it to my DNA and your specific operating parameters. You even try to remove it, you'll shut down.
“Aw, come on! All he did was fool around with some chick in a Church!” Fry tried to come to his friend's defense, but withered under the collective gaze of Leela, Amy and Kif.
“Fry, can it. He corrupted a national treasure and beloved figure of Germany! We're all treading on thin ice here, because of him!”
“Oh please! You were all in trouble when you crashed the ship in the river and flooded the river front!” Bender snubbed out his smoke on the wall. “Now if you'll excuse me, I'm powering down for the night!” He huffed and slammed himself into the closet.
“Well, with Kiffy in control here, I think we can all relax now. Amy got up and sat down on a bed. “I suggest we all get a good night's sleep, so we can enjoy the market tomorrow, before picking up the Planet Express ship” everyone agreed, got undressed, and turned in for the night.
The first dim rays of the morning's sunlight slowly crept across the young Martian's face. Smiling, she stretched, and listened... she could hear the loud snoring of Leela, and Fry's distinct snore as well. Rolling over to face her lover, she reached out to him... and kept on reaching.
“Ooooh Kiffy! Everyone's still asleep! Do you wanna... Kiffy? Kif?” Opening her eyes, she saw Kif's hand tied in a knot around the bedpost, and his arm stretched out the door. “Oh no... NO.” She jumped up and went to the empty closet. “LEELA! FRY! WAKE UP!”
Getting dressed, they followed Kif's arm out the hall,down a staircase, across the street. There, they shuddered at what they saw.
“Oh SPLUCK.” Amy gasped. Kif was stretched all over the entire market- up and down and through the stalls, up and around the fountain, in and out of the church, and out into the main city. “Kif, my love! I'll save you!” she started running, following her lover's elongated body all over.
“Uh...” Fry looked on puzzled. “You think we should go help her?”
“Nah, let's do some Xmas shopping here, and just ignore, and play stupid to the green Doop officer stretched all over the city.” Leela took Fry by the hand and walked through the stalls. “I plan on enjoying SOME time here with you!”
Buying a few things from the stalls, and crossing off names from their Xmas lists, Leela and Fry were doing fairly well- they were only stopped once by police for questions, despite groups of them all over, investigating certain 'trickier' parts of Kif wrapped around fragile and national treasures. Ducking under Kif's arm (or what they hoped was Kif's arm), they walked into the Sister Cities section of the market (they didn't find anything of interest in Atlanta'a booth- if you've seen one Mer-person's wares, you've seen them all), and glanced at the various food and drinks other countries and planets displayed. Arriving at Poland's booth, they saw the proprietress weeping how an enraged robot drank all her vodka, and yelling for the Christkind, while stretching out something green behind him. Leela quietly dropped a wad of cash and left quietly with Fry in tow. They did the same for the man in Glasgow, Scotland's booth, for his missing scotch.
“Fry, I swear I'll beat him 'til he has to reboot in safe mode!” Leela sat down on a bench and beckoned her man to do the same. “He's really done it this time! What I wouldn't do just to actually spend time ALONE with you without anyone lousing it up for us!”
“Yeah, that's our Bender!” Fry flopped down on what he thought was a pile of soft snow on the bench next to Leela. When he did, it gave a muffled grunt. “Whoa!” Fry jumped up startled, to see Kif's head emerge from under the snow.
“ Hi Leela. Hi Fry.” he grimaced. “I suppose you two are looking for Bender?”
“Uh, yes, something like that...” Leela trailed off.
“Well, He went off that way,” he nodded and looked with his eyes, “with the young woman from last night.” He sighed. I thought I was going to get away from him and shut him down, but when my hand slipped, he panicked and handcuffed me to himself.” He winced in pain. “I have no idea how much more I can take before I snap. I don't think he'd be too far from here, though, by the feel of it. You may want to look in that building...” Kif sighed again and the two lovers slipped away in the opposite direction.
“So Kiffy knows where Bender is? That's wonderful, Leela!”
“No it's not. We're now on the other side of the city. And it's a secured apartment building. We can't get in.”
“Maybe I can go back to the hotel room and try to untie his...”
“NO!” shouted Leela and Fry. “That'd be... I mean, a waste of time! Just go to the apartment and see if you can get in!”
“Uhh, okay.” Amy hung up, and Leela and Fry disappeared under the sheets in the motel room.
“Oooooooh, Bender!” the Christkind cooed, as the automaton lit a cigarette for her, and lit his cigar. “That vas AWESOME.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know it baby! I hear it all the time! Wh-WHOA!” Bender's arm lurched as Kif's arm retracted slightly. “Oh no you don't! I'm not done with this here floozy yet!” He yanked back on it hard, and tried to roll over toward his bed partner, but then something happened...
“Bender! Mein schatzi! Vere are you goink?” She reached out for him but it was too late- he flew across the room and through the door. She jumped out of bed and gave chase. “Take me vid yoooou!!!”
It started out as a rumbling and crashing sound across the street. Passersby looked around inquisitively at the long green elastic like thing coming out of a building and stretching out down the road, when suddenly the door of the apartment exploded into a thousand pieces, and a robot attached to the green thing in question came flying out, and whizzing down the street, around lamp posts, around vehicles, and off into the distance- leaving destruction in it's wake. Worse yet, was how the parents had to explain to their little ones why the Christkind was unclothed, and giving chase.
Amy wasn't yet to the apartment in question, but she knew it wasn't good, and Bender had been there- as far as she could see off into the distance, was mass hysteria and destruction. Traffic signals down, buildings damaged, vehicles turned over, gas mains burst. Yup. Bender was close by.
“Hang on, Kiffy, my squishy wishy love bug! I'm coming to help YOOOOOOOUUU!”
Suddenly she was swept up in a mass of humanity running and screaming for their lives. Struggling to stay upright, and not get trampled, she made her way to the edge of the sea of people and escaped to a sidewalk. What she saw next was like a train wreck- it was horrifying to watch, but you couldn't turn away. Large explosions and balls of flame seemed to erupt everywhere. Vehicle alarms went off. Buildings lost chunks of their structure. After the people fled by, she cautiously leaned out, and quickly lunged back as Bender went flying by.
“Oh no! It can't be! No! It really can't get any worse!” She turned around just in time to see a young blonde woman wearing nothing but a gold crown and the 'suit she got on her birthday' run by her.
“Bender! Bender, mein liebster!” she ran by, sobbing.
Amy quickly called Leela...
“Leela- it's just gone critical...”
“COME ON FRY! We ARE done! We need to get the HELL out of Germany!” Leela jumped out of bed and threw on her clothes. Throwing his clothes at him, she ran to get the rest of their belongings, and started shoving them in bags. “Here! Take these to the ship! I'll grab the rest! Amy and Kif can get Bender there!”
“But what if the ship isn't done yet?”
“It damned well better be! We're leaving as soon as our asses on on that damned space craft!”
“Oh well, I guess you're right, Leela.” Fry got up and got dressed. But before leaving, he went over to the other bed and shook Kif's hand. “Good luck, Kif.” Kif's hand gave him a 'thumbs up' as he ran out the door.
Bender actually started enjoying his path of destruction through the old city. Not only did he enjoy the property damage and the explosions, he took delight in belching fire every time he went past an Xmas tree seller, and setting their wares aflame (the little children crying was an added bonus). If he stretched out his arms, he could widen the swath of carnage. He took great joy every time he saw groups of law enforcement 'protecting' a delicate national treasure he had wrapped Kif around.
“Look out sausage links! Bender coming through!” He howled maniacally as ten of Germany's law enforcement officers scattered in a panic as he whizzed around the antique gilded fountain a few dozen times, eventually toppling it, and knocking all the police to the ground. “Yes! Bowling for Polizei! Aaaaand- STRIKE!”
Flying around and through the stalls, carved nativities, plum men, foil angels, and traditional ornaments met their demise as the robot went whizzing through attached to the elastic arm of the Amphibiosian. Slowly, one by one, entire rows collapsed and some caught fire.
“Next stop! The Frauenkirche! You'll deserve this for keeping those Krampuses safe, and interrupting me and my floozy!'
A group of young men chatted nervously, and warily looked out of windows from inside the antiquated sanctuary. Putting on their costumes, they steeled themselves to go out in public in costume for the first time in over twelve hours.
“Hans?,” a younger man of around twenty looked out of a small window with a worried expression etched on his face. “Do you think he will be out there?”
The older man put a hand on the younger's shoulder reassuringly. “Heinrich, there is nothing to worry about- Angela Merkel's head has even called in 'Das Heer' for additional protection...”
“But Hans,” another one nervous twenty something interjected, “What about him? What about DAS BENDER!?”
“Wilhem, I assure you, there is no possible way...”
Suddenly the wooden doors splintered into a billion pieces as their worst fear because an all to reality. 'Das Bender' was back. And he came to kick Krampus ass.
Screaming like a madman, Bender extended his arms as far as he could, and grabbed the group of Krampuses and took them on a 'tour of the Church of Our Lady' that none would soon forget.
Going over and under every pew, under and around the altar, up, over and around the pipes to the organ, nothing was left unscathed in the robot's wake. All the while holding a group of now seriously battered and wounded Krampuses. As he flew back out into the market square, he dumped them and yelled obscenities at the broken (physically, mentally, and spiritually) men.
“H-hans? Why? Why? It can't get worse!”
“I'm afraid it can...” The older man slowly got up and shook his head is sorrow. “It appears he 'drained coolant' into the baptistery...”
Amy was finally back at the hotel room, and was trying her damnedest to untie Kif's hand. She'd been working on it for close to ten minutes, when Kif started waving his hand excitedly.
“Almost Kiffy! But you need to stay still! I've...”
Before she could finish the sentence, she was knocked down and woke up looking up at her lover.
“Amy, my dearest! Are you okay? I tried to cushion you from Bender crashing into the room!”
“Oh, Kiffy! We need to leave! Leela and Fry took all our stuff to the ship! As soon as we get there, we're returning to New New York! Are you fine for...” she looked down, and saw his arms looked like there was an explosion in a rope factory. “NO! Bender! This is all your fault! Now how are we going to leave for the ship with Kif like this, and everyone outside closing in on us?” the young Martian spat at him in anger.
“Oh please,” he huffed, and pulled out a cigar and lit it. “You forget who's here! Bender, baby! Time to leave, huh? Good, I was getting bored here, and I got my revenge anyway. Let's go, bone bags!”
“I do NOT have...” Kif grumbled.
“Oh shut your noise hole and get over here!” Bender started grabbing armfuls of Kif and started stuffing him inside his chest cavity. There. One down.”
“Bender! The Army is out there! We'll never get out of here alive! I- eee!” Amy squealed as Bender threw her over his shoulder and trotted outside to confront the masses waiting outside.
Strutting confidently out what was left of the lobby, he casually glanced over at the angry mob, and twirled a gun on a finger.
“One move, and the rich broad gets it! Then you'll NEVER see any money to fix this popsicle stand!”
The crowd cautiously moved aside, as he ran off into the distance, laughing, and telling them he had so much fun, he just might return next Xmas... IF they misbehaved.
“What do you MEAN the ship isn't ready!?” Leela screamed and pounded the counter in anger.
“Das shiff is not vurkink! Need more 'overtime'.” The fat man behind the counter smiled and leaned back in his chair, and opened an adult magazine.
“Hey...” Fry looked into the work hangar and saw no one working on the Planet Express ship. “Just who IS working on our ship?”
“I am.” The man glared angrily over the top of his magazine.
“But... but you're looking at pictures of fun bags and baby factories! Our ship is in there!” he pointed.
“Oh Lord, Fry. Just grab the damned keys.” Leela rolled her eye as she knocked out the 'mechanic' in one punch and pointed Fry toward the board displaying keys to various vehicles.
Running up the steps two at a time, Leela and Fry sat at their designated seats, and quickly assessed the situation. Nothing was done. The ship sat in the bay no different than the day they had it towed. Leela growled and pounded a fist on the driver's console. Fry knew the routine- just be quiet and do exactly as Leela says, and no one will be hurt. Much. He still jumped involuntarily when she called his name.
“FRY! I really need you to help me with this! I can get it started, but you need to watch the fluctuations, and outputs, and adjust accordingly!” She started the ship, and an agonizing wheeze was heard and the whole ship shuddered. “Come on... stay running...” Leela said more to comfort herself and Fry, then to encourage the ship. Fry was adjusting dampeners and outputs as quickly as he could. He figured he was doing all right, as he heard no complaints.
“Hey, coffin stuffers! Let's get the show on the road! I want to get back in time for the Scary door Holiday special!” Bender had managed to come on board without anyone noticing, due to the noise of the ship. He dropped Amy on the deck, and flopped down in his seat.
“Bender!” Amy rubbed her ass and cursed at him in Chinese. “Leela, how is the...” She got up, looked over the captain's shoulder, and her eyes widened in shock. “I'll be down in the engine room!”
“Bender! You should go help her! And where is Kif, damn it?” Leela spun around in her seat and snapped.
“Cool yer jets, oh great boobed, nagging one.” Opening up his chest, Kif slowly tumbled out in coils.
“Here I am. I should be okay in... a day or two.” Kif grunted and groaned as he tried to reel in his elongated body.
“All right then- then let's get the hell out of here, and may we never return!”
Flying through gunfire over Germany, and limping to Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and Finally to New New York, Leela got everyone home 'safe and sound'... to start all over again the following Monday.
“Good News, everyone!” The Professor shuffled in to see his employees gathered around looking quite worse for wear, and answering him with the usual chorus of groans and moans. “Yes! Good news, indeed! I hope you are all well rested after your weekend, because we have an important mission! Mmm, yes. It seems the U.S. is extraditing the Cookie Monster back to Germany to stand trial, and Nixon has chosen Planet Express to return him!” He gestured over to Hermes, who was bringing in the Cookie Monster, frozen in carbonite. “This is a very serious trip- we can't have any accidents, is that understood? And oh, the ship still hasn't been fixed right- be careful Leela.” He smiled.
THE FOLLOWING YEAR, IN NÜRNBERG...
A young mother is seen on the street, trying to reign in her unruly child. Finally, she uses the ultimate threat...
“Johannes, if you won't behave, do you know what will happen?” She glared at her son.
“The Krampus will get me, mutti?” he looked worried.
“Nein- far worse, I'm afraid... DAS BENDER will get you!”
“NOOOOOOO!!! I WILL BE GOOOOOOD!”