In all the years of his life, Fry had seen many wondrous and beautiful things, but even they could not compare to a floating orb of luminescent pink light created by Jenny. Mere moments earlier, he had muttered to himself about flightlights. As if on cue, Jenny had held out her arms and the jewels on her cuffs and in her helmet began to glow. Strands of light poured of the jewels and merged together to form a small orb the size of a fortuneteller's crystal ball that now illuminated a much larger radius, vastly improving their vision. Jenny was careful not to make the orb too bright as it would draw attention from her comrades below.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, Fry let out an astounded whistle. "Where were you when I needed a nightlight when I was a child?" he asked, not expecting an answer.
Like a fairy, the orb of light fluttered before him before flying slowly away, trailing a tail of pink light behind it like Halley's comet. Like a cat seeing a laserpen's light on the wall, he felt himself drawn to it.
"Ooooh! Pretty!" he says like a total moron who had lost all interest in everything of importance. He chased after the orb.
"Fry! Stay close!" Jenny calls out to him, "we're supposed to a team! Remember?"
Fry himself was getting tired of being the only man in history to have a feline babysitter. It was more than embarrassing, it was ridiculous.
"How does Willy put up with her?" he asked himself as he continued his pursuit.
Suddenly, the orb changed direction and flew past him back towards Jenny. "Hey what the?" he exclaimed. It never occurred to him that she had control over the orb.
"Shhh!" said Jenny putting a finger to her mouth. "Not so loud! You want to draw attention to us?"
"From who?" asked Fry.
"You know," said Jenny. "From Bucky, Bruiser, Deadeye, and Blinky."
"I knew that!" Fry smiled a sheepish grin.
"We're supposed to stick together," said Jenny as the orb hovered in front of it's master. "If this is the only way to keep you by my side, so be it."
"I don't need babysitting," said Fry folding his arms over his chest resentfully.
"This isn't about babysitting. Part of being a team is sticking together. There is no 'I' in team."
"Well there is one in 'Willy' but that doesn't stop you," Fry smiles slyly.
Jenny glares at him with an annoyed look. "Fry, you shouldn't be saying such things." She has obviously taken offense to the earlier statement of Fry's calling him her boyfriend. "Willy is just a friend."
"Yet, the way you speak of him," Fry says, "it sounds as if you are obviously very fond of Willy." He chuckles. "Seriously, I hope Willy keeps his distance if you ever go into heat!"
"Fry, don't make me use another mind control spell on you."
"Alright alright already!" said Fry. "You made your point! I'm sorry!"
Jenny smiles. "Apology accepted. Now lets get a move on."
The orb takes flight once more straight ahead but at a much slower pace. They follow side by side.
"Jenny," Bucky's voice is heard from nowhere. Fry starts to panic that one of Jenny's comrades may have found them and seen the orb, but his worries are quelled as Jenny takes out a small handheld transmitter like one of the walkie-talkies he used as a child.
"I'm here Captain," said said. "So is Fry. What's your status?"
"I have bad news and good news," said Bucky's voice on the transmitter. "That bad news is Blinky and I have already found several small piles of what looks like either dust or ash with singed fabric within them. So much for finding survivors."
"That's terrible Bucky," said Jenny, her face is a kaleidoscope of emotions: sadness, shock, and horror. "Judging from how hot it is in here, I can only guess as to how the science team died."
"Yeah, but what a way to go," said Bucky's voice. "The good news is Blinky and I found the power generator. However, two of the generator's three power cells have been damaged and we're going to have to find some replacements in order to restore power."
"And what do these cells look like?" asked Jenny.
"Look for something cylinder shaped with four colorless vertical stripes on the sides. Meet us back on the first floor when you find them. Relay this message on to Deadeye and Bruiser."
"Understood captain," said Jenny. She pushes one button to disconnect Bucky before pushing another button. "Deadeye, are you there? What's your status?"
"Boy, I'm sure glad captain Bucky paired me off with Bruiser," Deadeye's voice is heard. "With him, who need a keycards? He's strong enough to force these doors open."
"I just received word from Bucky that he and Blinky have found the power generator. In order to restore power, we need to find replacement power cells. They are shaped like cylinders with four colorless vertical stripes down the sides. We need to find two. Have them ready on the first floor for Blinky and Bucky."
"Right," said Deadeye. "We'll keep an out out for replacements. You and that dolt too!"
"Don't call Fry that," said Jenny. "Remember, he is still part of the team...for now."
"I'm so glad I didn't get paired off with him. I feel so sorry for you Jenny."
Fry fumes. He is really starting to get tired of Deadeye's disrespectful attitude.
"Come on," said Jenny as she turns off the transmitter and puts it away. "Let's get back to the search."
As they follow the orb, Fry continues to mutter to himself about how he gets no respect from Deadeye.
"Is something wrong?" asked Jenny.
"I get no respect," said Fry, "Deadeye must really hate me."
"Deadeye has great respect for Willy," said Jenny. "You on the other hand must somehow prove yourself worthy of his respect."
"And how the H-E-twin hockey stick am I going to do that?" asked Fry.
"When the time comes, you'll know," said Jenny.
They eventually come to the first door they've seen on this floor so far. Fry finds what looks like a wall panel with a screen. He touches the screen and immediately, a green imprint of his hand appears on the screen. The words "Access Denied" appear on the screen as the imprint vanishes.
"Nope," he said. "Sorry Jenny, we can't go in there. This needs some kind of clearance."
Jenny glares at the panel and screen before outstretching her arms as the jewels on her cuffs and on her helmet glow. A surge of pink energy flows from the jewels and strikes the panel. There is an explosion of smoke as the panel shorts out. And then, to Fry's astonishment, the door opens.
Fry lets out an impressed whistle. "Did you teach Felicia that?"
"Everything I know," said Jenny.
As they enter, Fry says, "I certainly hope you never cross paths with Bender."
"Who?" asked Jenny. "Is he one of your friends."
"He's a robot like Blinky...nah scratch that! He's nowhere like Blinky at all!"
Inside the center of this room, the two see what looks like a massive super computer. Numerous buttons and a large screen flank the front.
"That has got to be the largest computer I have ever seen!" said Fry. It was slightly bigger than the Femputer on planet Amazonia.
As they stand before the computer, the screen flickers to life and a digitalized face appears.
"What the? How did you two get in here? You don't have clearance!" the face spoke.
"Cool!" said Fry. "A talking computer. I once met another talking computer like yourself but it turned out to have a fembot inside."
"Explain yourselves," the digital face demanded, "before I alert the security bots, that is to say, if they haven't been already."
"Settle down," said Jenny. "We've been sent by the UAC in answer to a distress call they received some time ago. There are four more of us in the facility. We're just here to help."
"Well you're only about a few days too late friend," said the computer. "As you may have already figured out, the science and research team perished immediately following the disaster."
"Yeah we pretty much know that by now," said Fry. "But how can you know all this stuff? You are a computer!"
"Ah, well, as to that," the computer spoke, "I am no ordinary machine. I am quite self-aware
as any other mammal in this anniverse. I am the Research and Development Station, or RADS for short."
"Research and development station?" asked Fry. His eyes light up and a big smile appears on his face as if he had just figured out the solution to a difficult problem. "Hey, that spells RADS!"
"Ah, lovely," RADS said like a parent praising a child for learning the alphabet, but with a hint of sarcasm, "figured that out did you? Would you like a cookie?"
"Actually yes," said Fry, "I would love a cookie."
The digital face on the monitor stares in astonishment at Fry, completely taken aback by this statement. He had obviously not expected this reply. "I...argh! Is this really the best that UAC could do? Send an imbecile like you to save us? Seriously, even you you were the Anniverse's only hope, we have a problem."
Suddenly, Bucky's voice is heard over the transmitter again. "Jenny! Fry! You better get down here to the first floor immediately! We have a problem!"
"No kidding!" RADS says just before the digital face disappears from the screen.
"What's going on Bucky?" asked Jenny.
"No time to explain!" said Bucky's voice. He sounded urgent.
"Come on Fry!" said Jenny. "We have to go help them!"
As they run out of the chamber, they hear a loud robotic voice from below speak out. "Security breach! Intruders detected!"
"Uh oh!" said Fry. "That doesn't sound good!"
"Hurry Fry!" said Jenny. "Come on! The others need us!"
To Be Continued ...