"Captain's Log, Stardate February 3006. Starship Valkyrie is on course to planet Vruzori to answer distress call. Weeks ago, the planet was invaded by the Skrej's, which if spelled backwards is "Jerks". The war wages on and it is up to me and my crew to provide backup as reinforcements. As the most famous space hero in the galaxy, the fate of hundreds of thousands of lives depend upon the actions and decisions I have to make. If I succeed, the planet and its denizens will be freed. If I fail, certain death awaits me and our crew."
In the distance, the captain sees the planet Vruzori in the distance. Vruzori is a lush Earthlike planet with vast oceans, but with a single large continent surrounded by several dozen smaller islands.
"Captain, the Skrej's have detected our ship and a small portion of their fleet is moving to attack! Orders?"
"Prepare for the attack immediately! Activate shields and prepare our cannons!"
A dozen spaceships fly up from the planet and launch themselves at Starship Valkyrie. Their laser cannons open fire and dozens of laser beams fly at the ship. The Valkyrie manages to shoot down two of them before a laser beam from another ship strikes. The shields protect the ship from severe damage, but the lasers keep coming. Several more ships are destroyed by the Valkyrie, it's shields are gradually weakened by repeated fire.
"Captain, our shields are diminishing. We can't take much more of this! We must finish this quickly or we're all done for!"
At last it all comes down to the Valkyrie and one last ship. However, Valkyrie by now is heavily damage and all it takes is a single laser beam to blast a hole in the ship's hull. The vacumn of space sucks out all the oxygen.
"Captain...we're being...hailed. Before I die...it's been an honor...serving you."
The face of the Skrej commander appears on a monitor and smiles a sinister grin. "And to think people called you the greatest space hero in the galaxy? Some hero you are!"
Everything fades to black. The words "Game Over" appear blinking in the blackness.
"Okay Fry," Leela says, "if you're done wasting time playing Space Ace Valkyrie, it's time to get back to Planet Express!"
Fry sighs and stands up from the seat, removing the virtual gaming helmet for the game.
"Space Ace Valkyrie is the mega-hit game at the arcade!" said Leela as the crew were gathered in the meeting room on their coffee break. "Fry's been spending all his free time at the arcade over the past week playing it."
"I can't even get past the first part of the game!" said Fry. "According to what I've heard other players say, after you destroy the Skrej's fleet, you touch down on the planet and battle their ground troops, finally infiltrating their base and destroying it to save the planet."
"Scruffy thinks it sounds like fun!" said Scruffy.
"You guys ever wonder what it would be like to be a real space hero?" asked Fry. "Am I the only one here who's seen or even heard of Star Wars? Star Trek?"
"Star Trek is prohibited Fry, remember?" asked Leela.
Fry grumbles and folds his arms on the table. "Don't remind me."
"Shpleesh!" said Amy. "What's his problem?"
"Aw he's just upset because I pulled him out of the arcade," said Leela.
"And it was my last quarter too!" said Fry. He speaks up with a hopeful tone. "Can anybody spare me a couple?"
"No!" everyone shouts at once.
"Damn it!" Fry grumbles again.
"What's the big deal?" asked Amy. "It's just a game."
"Just a game?" asked Fry. "Do you have any idea how it feels to be the hero in a videogame? Space Ace Valkyrie is a simulation kind of game where you are the captain of the Starship Valkyrie. It's as if you're a real space hero!"
"It's just in the game only Fry," Leela reminded him. "When you leave the game, you're back in the real world, in reality."
"In other words, nobody that important," said Amy.
"Like Zoidberg here," said Bender. Zoidberg groans in response.
"Anyway," Amy continues, "speaking of space hero, my Kiffy singlehandedly saved the crew of the Nimbus when the ship came too close to a supernova! He'll be getting a medal in a special award ceremony this evening."
"I'll bet Zapp Brannigan is jealous!" said Leela.
"Hmmph!" Fry snorts folding his arms over his chest.
"He's not the only one apparently!" said Hermes.
That evening, the crew attend the award ceremony for Kif Kroker. The DOOP president gives a speech while everyone listens in boredom. When Kif Kroker is finally introduced, everyone claps and cheers...everyone except Fry. Even Zapp Brannigan is applauding for his assistant's heroic deed.
A satin pillow is carried in by another DOOP officer. Atop rests a gold medal with the DOOP emblem upon it. The DOOP president takes it into her hands and presents it to Kif Kroker.
"For your selfless act of bravery and heroics in saving the lives of the Nimbus' crew, I award Kif Kroker with this prestigious award, the highest honor anyone in DOOP can earn! Well done luitenant Kroker!"
As she places the medal around Kif's neck, everyone applauds and cheers with even greater force...everyone except Fry that is, who just sits back with his arms folded over his chest.
"Come on Fry!" said Amy elbowing him. "Show a little support and praise for my Kiffy!"
"Hmmph!" Fry snorts turning away.
After the ceremony, everyone pays Kif a private visit to congratulate him. Fry keeps his arms folded across his chest.
"Kif, I'm so proud of you!" said Amy.
"He takes after me very well," said Zapp patting Kif on the shoulder several times. "I knew I was such a good influence on him!"
"Hmmph!" Fry snorts.
"I think someone's jealous of Kif's success!" said Leela.
"Do you have to rub it in Leela?" asked Fry, his first words all evening. "Kif! Kif! Kif! That's all everyone talks about tonight! I could be a real space hero too if I had the chance!"
"Ha!" Zapp retorts. "Remember when we went to war against Spheron I? I still remember your act of cowardice!"
"But I redeemed myself when I went to rescue Bender!" Fry protests. "And who here remembers the time when I saved the world from those brain aliens?"
"What brains?" asked Leela. "Fry, we have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."
"Damn it!" said Fry. "Am I the only guy in the world who remembers what happened that day?"
"What happened?" asked Amy.
Fry groans in defeat. "Never mind!"
"Good news everyone!" Farnsworth announces at the meeting room table the next morning.
"Why do you have to keep saying that everytime we hold a meeting?" asked Fry. "That's really starting to get annoying!" Of course his hands are still folded over his chest.
"Spleesh!" said Amy. "Who spit in his slurm this morning?"
"Aw, he's just mad because he didn't get to go to the arcade before he came to work today," said Leela.
"Fry, get that stupid game out of your mind," said Amy.
"Anyway," said Farnsworth, "if you'll follow me to the lab, I will present to all of you my latest and greatest project!"
Later in the laboratory, Farnsworth shows everyone a device that looks like a large turbocharged engine.
"This is the photon accelerator!" said Farnsworth. "It will provide even more power for the engine on the Planet Express ship once completed!"
"And how will this benefit the ship?" asked Leela.
"It will make the ship go even faster! We'll never be late again for another delivery!"
"But professor," said Amy, "we've never had a late delivery!"
"And now, thanks to the photon accelerator, we never will be!" said Farnsworth. "But it's not complete yet. Although I've built the engine, a few more tests and it will be ready for installation. Now, let's discuss your next delivery. You are going to the Nimbus."
"Well then count me out!" said Fry. "I don't want to bask in anymore of Kif's glory!"
"Then I'll go in your place," said Amy. "I'll get to see and congratulate Kif again!"
"Maybe Fry can help you out on the Photon Accelerator," Leela suggested.
"What are you crazy?" Farnsworth exclaims. "Has anyone forgotten what happened the last time Fry helped me in my lab? Somebody better tell me because unlike an elephant, I've forgotten!"
"Fry's never helped you out in the laboratory," said Leela.
"Exactly!" said Farnsworth. "And I intend to keep it that way!"
While Amy, Bender, and Leela are away on their mission on the Nimbus, Fry stays behind at Planet Express. He grabs a bag of potato chips and nibbles on them as he watches the professor work on the Photon Accelerator.
"Are you sure you don't want any help professor?" he asked.
"Do not disturb me!" said Farnsworth. "I need to focus! If you want to make me useful, hand me that chip."
"Okay," said Fry. "But I hope you like Salt and Vinegar, cause that's what flavor these are."
Farnsworth glares at him. "The com-put-er chip!" He speaks slowly as if addressing a dumb animal.
"Huh?" asked Fry.
"Just give me the chip!" Farnsworth yells.
Fry holds out a potato chip
"Oh forget it!" Farnsworth shouts. "See, this is why I never get you to help me in the laboratory! You're the worst assistant ever imagined!"
"Do you want the whole bag?" asked Fry. "I just noticed that these are quite rancid."
"Arrgh!" the professor shrieks. "I'm going to call Cubert in and get him to help me!"
The professor storms out, leaving Fry to himself. Alone with the Photon Accelerator. "I don't even know why I even bother keeping you here!" he shouts through the door."
Fry tosses the potato chip bag into the garbage. "Worst assistant huh? In fact, he's right! Maybe I should just quit!"
He approaches the Photon Accelerator and grabs the professor's notepad. He reaches across the engine for the pencil. As he does, part of his arm flips a switch on the Photon Accelerator.
"This is not the kind of life I imagined I would have here in the thirty-first century!" he said ripping out an empty page. "Being a delivery boy here in the future is no different than being a delivery boy in the past. You never truly get to make a difference!" He writes out his resignation letter, not even noticing the humming sounds coming from the activated Photon Accelerator.
"There!" he said. "I doubt this will even affect Planet Express's performance! As if I ever helped make a difference anyway!"
Just as he finishes, he finally notices that an illuminous light is shining from the Photon Accelerator. The humming sounds grow louder and the lights become brighter.
And then, a beam of transparent colored lights crackles outward and forms a large rectangle the size of a door. To Fry's amazement, a door materializes out of nowhere before him.
"What the?" he asked himself. "Is this normal?"
Fry's curiosity gets the best of him as he steps forward. "I wonder where this leads?" he says. A thought crosses his mind. "Wait! This could be the entrance to an alternate dimension! Maybe the beginning of a fresh start for me!"
As he opens the door, he turns and takes one last look at the laboratory. "Goodbye Planet Express!" he said. Then he steps into the unknown, closing the door behind him.
Moments later, the door to the laboratory opens. By now, Amy, Bender, and Leela have returned from the Nimbus. The lights shining from the laboratory are so bright, they attracted the attention of those returning on the Planet Express ship. Leela quickly lands the ship.
The remainder of the crew rush into the laboratory where the Photon Accelerator continues to hum and the lights continue to shine brightly.
"Is this even normal?" asked Amy.
"Where's Fry?" asked Leela. "Did you leave him all alone here?"
"Look!" said Amy pointing ahead. "There's a door! There wasn't one there earlier!"
"Now he's gone and done it!" said Farnsworth angrily! "This is the final straw! Fry can consider himself fired!"
"Professor!" said Hermes. "There's no need to fire Fry. Look what I found!" He holds up Fry's resignation letter. But before he can begin to read it, the door opens. Everyone looks on, dreading what is to come.
What's coming through the door? Aliens? Killer robots?
What comes out is something no one expected. A young boy with blond hair and glasses steps into the room, shutting the door behind him. He steps forward, but when he sees the Planet Express crew ahead of him, he gasps in shock. So do the rest of the crew. Some of them shriek in surprise.
Suddenly, without warning, the Photon Accelerator begins to emit a series of crackling noises as electrical sparks fly from the engine.
"The Photon Accelerator!" Farnsworth cries. "It's malfunctioning!"
Electricity continues to dance and dart from the Photon Accelorator. The door behind the mysterious boy begins to disappear as it is engulfed in a bfight white flash.
"No!" he cries as he runs toward the door, but it's too late. The door disappears just as he reaches to grab the knob. The Photon Accelerator finally shuts down. All becomes quiet. The light vanishes.
The boy stands there, breathing heavily in shock at what's happened. The crew stare at him in astonishment.
He suddenly turns around on them. "That door was my only escape!" he shouted.
"Well, them's the breaks!" said Bender.
As the Photon Accelerator shuts down in the Planet Express building, Fry turns to see the door he entered disappear in a bright white flash, cutting him off from the other side. Even if he would have changed his mind about being here, it was too late to do so now.
Fry began to take a look around at his surroundings of this new world. He appears to be standing within a spaceship. The walls surrounding him are constructed of a red metal. Outside one of the windows, he sees stars floating by. The ship was apparently in flight through outer space.
"What is this place?" he asked himself.
"Willy?" a female voice is heard from somewhere.
"Huh?" Fry asked himself.
A pair of legs clad in steel armour with black stilleto heels step down the rungs of a nearby ladder. Behind them is what looks like a tail made of pink hair. "Willy, I'm so glad you're here!" the voice goes on. "The captain will explain everything about this mission once you're..."
"Captain?" Fry asked himself.
The unknown female creature stops on the bottom step as her face meets Fry's. She appeared to be a beautiful humanoid white cat about only about a meter in height. Her pink hair envelops the back of her body and above her head like a giant cape. She is clad in black leather with steel battle armour. Pink jewels encrust the cuffs on her lower and upper arms, where her navel is located, and within her helmet. Her green cat-like eyes are staring at Fry, widened in shock. The tone of her voice is a reflection of the shock in her eyes. "You...you're not Willy!"
"Awwhhaaaaaaa?" asked Fry.