Stepping through the hole made by Bruiser, the crew and Fry find themselves in what looks like a supply depot. Two dozen metal shelves and racks are arranged in rows and columns on the floor throughout the room. Upon many of them are weapons, pieces of armor, and one even holds an entire suit of armour. Labels on the shelves identify each item. Along the walls are a dozen metal cabinets.
"Wow, look at all this equipment!" said Blinky.
"I can see why this room required higher security clearance," said Bucky. "No wonder Bruiser couldn't get in!"
"Maybe we can take some of this stuff back with us!" said Fry rubbing his palms together with excitement like a kid on Christmas morning who can't decide which present to open first. "Can I have a look at - "
"Yes," Deadeye says with sarcasm, "you can touch things."
Giggling with glee, Fry runs to one of the shelves and picks up a handheld weapon. "Hey, look at me! I'm a space hero come to save the day!" He hums his own theme song.
"Fry, don't bother trying to bring that into battle," said Bucky as he reads the label on the shelf Fry removed the gun from. "It's a beta. That means it probably doesn't work. Either that or it does fire but has severe problems."
Fry stops humming. "Well damn it!" he mutters as he puts the gun back on the shelf. He steps over to another shelf that has pieces of armour on it including a helmet, gloves, boots, and other sections to cover the whole body. On the nearby shelf is an entire suit of armour. "Hey Jenny, I think this would fit you!"
"What I'm wearing is fine," said Jenny.
"Yeah, but I think you could use a better suit of armor instead of one that includes black leather, one that isn't as revealing as what you're wearing. Where I come from there is a guy who would leer at you in that outfit!" He snuck another look at Jenny's armour clad bosom.
"Well that's another beta design," said Bucky. "It probably isn't even laser-proof."
"And I'm not will to find out if it is," said Jenny.
"Good news everybody!" Blinky announces behind them.
"You sound like the professor back home," said Fry as he, Bucky, and Jenny turn. Blinky has opened one of the cabinets.
"I found the power cells!" said Blinky. "Now we can repair the generator and restore power!"
"Good work Blinky!" said Bucky. "We'll have power in no time!"
Meanwhile, back at Planet Express...
Leela enters the laboratory where Farnsworth is at work mixing chemicals in test tubes before pouring them into a beaker on the bunsen burner. "So professor, how goes work on the Photon Accelerator?"
Farnsworth glares up at her through his safety goggles. "Can't you see I'm busy? Go away."
"Yes, but what about the Photon Accelerator?"
"Haven't I made it clear enough by now? I have no intention of fixing that thing!"
"But how are we going to get Fry back?"
"And I said it before, we're all better off without him! Good riddance!" He removes the beaker from the bunsen burner and pours the contents into another beaker full of chemicals.
"And what about Willy?" asked Leela. "We can't leave him here in the thirty-first century? His friends and family back home will miss him and so will his other friends in the Anniverse."
"Then I'll make him my new lab assistant," said Farnsworth. "It's about time we have someone else with a brain around here!"
"But professor - "
But nothing! I will say no more about this! Now leave me alone and let me do my work!"
Fry, Bruiser, Deadeye, and Jenny are waiting outside the stairs leading down to the first floor when a sudden mechanical whir is heard. They are bathed in illuminance as the lights turn back on and power is restored. After allowing their eyes to adjust to the light, they are able to see everything.
"Ah, now that's better," said Deadeye.
"Now we don't have to wait for the solar eclipse to end," said Jenny.
"I thought by now you would have gotten used to the dark?" said Fry.
Jenny looks at him. "I beg your pardon?"
"I mean, cats can see in the dark, can't they?"
"Fry, cats have better night vision than most other animals, but we can't see in the dark."
Bucky and Blinky triumphantly march back up the stairs to meet the rest of the gang. "We did it!" said Bucky. "Now we'll have an easier time searching this place for anything we can salvage and bring back."
"What about everything in the supply room?" asked Fry.
"Something that actually works," said Bucky. "I also think we should know what happened here so we can make our report."
"Then let's go pay a visit to RADS," said Jenny. "The research and development station can tell you exactly what you want to know."
"Well now that the power is online we can take the elevator," said Blinky.
Leela enters the living room where the others are watching television.
"Well?" asked Willy. "Is he making any progress?"
"None," said Leela. "He made it clear he will not repair the Accelerator."
"So now what are we supposed to do?" asked Amy. "We can't just sneak into the professor's lab while he's out and fix it ourselves. He probably won't even allow that to be possible!"
Willy sighs. "I guess I'd just better get used to living here in the thirty-first century. I'll never see my mom, dad, or any of my friends ever again."
Jenny leads the crew into the room on the third floor where she and Fry found RADS. Fry is the last to enter. Just as he is about to enter he hears something similar to the sound of
a jet streaming through the sky. He turns and looks through the opening in the ceiling behind to see a ship flying overhead in the sky above the research station for only a second.
"Something wrong Fry?" asked Bucky.
"I saw a ship flying through the air," said Fry. "I can't remember what it looked like. It went by so fast."
"It's probably nothing to worry about captain," said Deadeye. "It's probably just passing through."
Fry enters the chamber to see Jenny waiting for the others in front of RADS which as activated itself.
"What the? I thought security had dealt with you."
"Sorry to disappoint you," said Deadeye. "The security bots are nothing but scrap metal now."
RADS' digital face frowns. "I knew the station should have increased spending on security, but would they listen? NOOOOO! They didn't think it was neccessary. Now I don't even get to tell them 'I told you so'!"
"RADS," said Bucky, "I'm sure my first mate has told you already we're just here to help. We were sent to find out what happened, salvage anything left behind, and find survivors."
"Well sorry to tell you that there are no survivors," said RADS. "Not after what happened."
"So what happened?" asked Bucky. "We'll need to include this in our report."
"It all started when the mining team uncovered a strange crystal deep within the Divorderum mines. They discovered that this crystal could store massive amounts of solar energy from the sun. They sought to harness this energy to create solar powered weapons. And that's what caused their demise."
"That would explain the high temperature," said Blinky.
"They testfired the weapon on the first floor within the heart of the station," RADS went on. "That's when things went horribly wrong."
"Where is the heart of this station?" asked Bucky.
"Directly underneath the sky," said RADS. "The opening in the ceiling."
"Thank you RADS," said Bucky. "You have been very helpful."
"My pleasure," said RADS. "Now hurry on out of here. You're unauthorized visitors after all." The screen went blank once more as RADS deactivated itself.
"We must find that crystal!" said Bucky. "Such power must not fall into the hands of the toads! It would be disastrous for the Anniverse if it does!"
"If it does," said Fry, "we should all wear an extra thick layer of sun lotion." He chuckles at his joke.
"It's no laughing matter Fry," said Deadeye.
They take the elevator down to the second floor.
"RADS told us that the weapon was testfired on the first floor underneath the sky," said Bucky. "Earlier, Blinky and I tried to get in while we were searching the floor, but we found that it's locked from the inside."
"So we'll have to find another way in," said Blinky.
They approach the round opening in the floor surrounded by railings. Thanks to the restored power they are able to see where they stand. Without the power, they would fall over the railings and possibly be seriously injured or killed in the fall. However, even with the power restored, they can't see much down below. Some of the railings however are bent, damaged, partially melted, or broken.
"Somehow, we need to get down there," said Bucky pointing down.
Fry notices something the others don't. Tied to one of the railings on the opposite side from where they stand is a long cord of silver colored rope.
"Looks like someone had the same idea before us," he said pointing to the rope.
The others are astounded, surprised, shocked, and puzzled. "Hey, that wasn't there before," said Deadeye.
"I think we are no longer alone in this research facility," said Jenny as they circle the perimeter of the opening until they stand before the railing with the rope tied to it.
Fry tugs on the rope to determine its strength, only to accidentally break the rail its attached to. The weight of the falling rail pulls the rope out of his hands and it falls into the darkness below. "Ooops!" he said sheepishly.
"Well that's just great!" said Deadeye slapping a hand over his face. "Nice going doofus!"
"Sorry everybody," said Fry.
"Captain," said Jenny, "it doesn't look like a very deep fall. I can still very clearly see the rope down there."
"How deep is it first mate?" asked Bucky.
"About thirty-six feet."
"See!" said Fry triumphantly. "Cats can see in the dark!"
"It's not complete darkness down there Fry," said Jenny. "Even you can see the rope from where you stand. We all can."
Fry leans over the railing to get a better view. Without warning, the metal railing gives way and topples forward, taking Fry with it.
"Fry no!" Jenny cries as she lunges forward with one paw outstretched. Fry reaches out and grabs her tail instead, taking her with him over the edge. Jenny grabs onto the edge of the opening struggling to stop herself and Fry from falling in, but the weight of Fry's body hanging from her tail is too much and she loses the struggle. The rest of the crew are too late to stop both she and Fry fall into the darkness below.
"First mate Jenny!" Bucky shouts into the darkness.
As they fall, Fry hopes that Jenny knows a spell to slow their ascent.
Fry and Jenny fall for about one second before they hit something. The surface they land on however is curved and slanted so their bodies roll downward for another second before falling for a final second, finally hitting the floor. Had they been falling straight down for all three seconds they would have been severely injured.
Jenny rolls over from her back onto her side facing Fry as he slowly pushes himself off his stomach.
"Fry, are you ok?" she asked concerned as she rises to her feet.
Fry stands up and dusts himself off. "So much for that theory."
"What theory?" asked Jenny.
"The one about cats always landing on their feet. Especially those in high heeled stilettos."
"Fry, Jenny!" Bucky calls out from above. "Are you two okay?"
"We're fine Bucky," Jenny shouts up to him.
"What do you see down there?" Bucky shouts back.
Fry and Jenny have a quick look around the chamber. At the opposite end of the chamber is another large computer screen. In the center of the chamber, rising up about twenty feet they see a structure shaped like a fat missile curved near the top. "So that's what he hit when we fell," said Jenny. "This must be the weapon that started it all!"
She presses a button on the nearby computer. With a mechanical whir, the structure descends down into the floor until only the top is visible. The summit is flat with a round opening where the energy would be released.
"Fry, keep searching!" said Jenny. "I'm going to open the door and stand outside so the others can get in!" She calls up above to the others, "I'll open the door and stand outside so you can enter!"
"Affirmative first mate," Bucky calls out.
Jenny heads for the door to open it.
"Stay where you are Fry!" Bucky calls out. "We're coming down!" He, Blinky, Bruiser, and Deadeye hurry off towards the elevator. Fry finds himself alone in the chamber. Jenny has opened the door and made her exit, waiting for the others.
Fry continues to have a look around the chamber. Suddenly, he trips over the railing and rope that fell down here earlier. Grateful that no one is around to witness this embarrassment he starts to push himself up. A faint sparkle near the weapon underneath some debris catches his eye.
He rises, dusts himself off, and approaches the glimmer he saw. He picks up and tosses aside some fallen railings and pieces of metal until finally he finds the source of the sparkle. A yellow crystal, whether it is topaz or amber he couldn't tell which, with a flat octagon top and a cone shaped body sparkles faintly before him.
He reaches down with trembling hands and scoops it up. "This is it?" he asks himself mesmerized by its beauty. "This is what all this is about?"
A noise to his side brings him back to reality. He whirls around holding up the crystal in one hand. "Guys! I found it!"
From the darkness, a purple hand suddenly grabs the crystal from his hand. Out of the shadows steps an anthromorphic purple reptilian creature with a long snout full of teeth. In his other hand he is holding a blaster.
"Fine work stranger!" he said. "Fine work indeed!"
To Be Continued ...