Futurama

Fan Fiction

Fry The Road Warrior
By CosmicF


Introduction: Worlds Apart

For Hermes this was a day like any other, except no one else had shown up for work.

“Lousy free loaders... Not even the Professors here” he muttered to himself as he boarded the PE Ship.

“Well as my grandmother always used to say in her tar paper shack in Montenegro bay, if you want a mysterious box hurled into the sun you got to do it yourself! God rest her zombie bones”

Meanwhile, deep within the confines of said small green box, With the exception of Dr Zoidberg, The rest of the planet express workers, together with their near identical universe A counterparts, where desperately sorting through a large pile of several hundred light blue boxes in professor‘s laboratory

Amidst this confusion Hermes A stood in the middle of the room holding one of the vast multitude of boxes over his head.

“Oh Mon it’s hopeless, we’ll never find your universe in time! Plus this stupid box is stuck on my fat head!” he frantically uttered in a blind panic.

For he had good reason to panic for the box stuck on Hermes fat head is no ordinary box. Like the many other boxes in the room and the small green box in the possession of Hermes 1, this box was a Farnsworth paradox, a hole in time and space, and a portal to another universe.   

This being the case, and Hermes’s head being where it was, resulted in his ill thought out panic-stricken sentence to catapult through the vacuumless empty space between universes and drift over a trillion worlds in a billion galaxies. Hermes’s words seeped through the thin hazy mists of matter and energy and through the vacuum of space, eventually finding their way to an inconspicuous faded brown box, which lay almost alone on a vast expanse of sun baked sand.

“Oh Mon it’s hopeless, we’ll never find your universe in time plus this box is stuck on my fat head” Blurted Hermes A's voice as it spewed forth from the box.

Fry looked up form a map that he had placed on the steering wheel of his car.

"You hear something Nibbler?" Fry asked looking at his slightly feral pet Nibblonian

Nibbler responds by simply coughing up a dirty old boot.

Fry's eyes quickly scanned the surrounding area for raiders, but soon settled his attention on the tattered old box resting by the driver’s side tyre of his black Ford Falcon XB Coupe, V8 351. After a second of staring he snapped out of his trance.

"Nah it’s probably nothing, this damn heat must be getting to me" Fry thought out loud as he tossed the map into the back seat

"Common Nibbler let’s go find some water. I don’t know about you but I’m parched!" he said with a new found vigour and determination.

Fry started the cars monstrous gas guzzling V8 engine and with a mighty roar pulled away, leaving the unassuming box behind him, alone to bleach in the desert sun.

Futurama
Careful! This stuff's hard to washout!

Chapter 1: The Road Warrior

Amy stood astride her motorcycle and from her hill top vantage point and skimmed the desert horizon with a cast Iron glare.

“tch! Nothing” she said to herself with an undeniable hint of disgust.

She looked down and tapped the fuel gauge.

“Splech! We need to find some juice; we barely have enough fuel to last the night”

Kif sat and listened on the back of the bike behind her. He peered silently into the distance with a small pair of binoculars he had round his neck.

Amy pushed down the stand with her foot and got off the bike. She walked over the brow of the hill, whistled and waved over to a large man in a silver helmet standing by a near by car, also scanning the desert with a beat up pair of binoculars. He lowered his glasses looked over to Amy and shook his head.

Amy blew her top “Hi yah!” she exclaimed kicking the sand.

At that moment Kif pointed out to the desert and shouted “Dust Plume Ho!”

Amy’s heart lifted, was it true? She ran over to Kif and snatched the glasses from his hand, almost garrotting him with the strap. Ignoring Kif’s desperate choking sounds she looked over at the horizon. Sure enough in the distance a faint wisp of dust broke the pure blue tranquillity of the desert sky.

Kif started to turn white “Air” he choked.

Amy was oblivious. She was now totally entranced by the growing wisps of dust she could see through her binoculars. Slowly but surly a shape started to form through the shimmering heat. Amy started to drool with anticipation.

Kif also started to drool, but because he was starting to go limp.

“It’s a Car” Amy shouted dropping the binoculars, releasing Kif from his torment.

Kif took several deep breaths and slowly started regain his normal colour. Unfortunately for him whilst he’d been gasping for air, Amy had jumped on the bike, started the engine and had kicked away the stand.

With two loud revs of the engine she powered the bike down the hills 45-degree slope at full throttle.

Kif, still not recovered from his near strangulation, again started to turn white and clung to Amy’s shapely body for dear life. “Not so fast my Sweet!” he shouted in a wavering voice as they disappeared down the hill.

Near by, an unsuspecting Fry was still driving his car through the desert looking for an oasis of some description. “See Nibbler, here’s the road, just like the map said”

Nibbler stuck his head out the window and opened his mouth. His tongue started flapping in the wind

Fry chuckled at Nibbler’s antics and turned the car onto the asphalt to follow the remains of the ancient road he’d discovered.

A couple of seconds passed before Fry noticed a car and Amy’s motorbike fast approaching in his rear view mirror! ”Oh great, raiders! That’s all I need” Fry said calmly with surprisingly little urgency in his voice.

An evil smile crossed Amy’s face as she waved at the beat up looking car to come past her and to come along side Fry’s interceptor.

From the driver’s seat, Fry wearing a weary looking expression on his face unflinchingly looked on. “Hold on Nibbler” he said motioning his hand toward a switch on the dashboard.

Nibbler pulled his head out of the window and started to gnaw at his own leg. Amy pulled out a crossbow and manoeuvred her bike into position along side her prey. Still holding her evil grin, she winks with grim conviction at Fry through the interceptor’s side mirror and points the nasty looking weapon at the interceptor’s rear tyre. With that Fry flips the switch on the dashboard and flips Amy the bird.

The interceptors supercharged turbo engine flares into life, generating an insane amount of power that forced the car to accelerate with such ferocity that the resulting g-forces pinned Fry to his seat and sent Nibbler hurtling across the car and pinned him against the rear window like an ugly beanie baby with suction cups on the feet.

Amy’s Jaw dropped as Fry’s car suddenly shot off into the distance leaving her, her bike and the raider car standing in its wake.

Fry looked into his wing mirror and smiled mockingly at the raiders whose images were disappearing rapidly from view. He looked back at the road ahead of him.

“Argh!” Fry screamed girlishly whilst slamming on the brakes. Turning sharply Fry narrowly avoided an abandoned truck that had appeared in the middle of the road from the haze in front of him.

The Interceptor slid off the road and had started kicking up dust. Fry struggled to regain control of the car and just managed to miss the trucks disused trailer before finally grinding to a complete halt.

Fry hits the steering wheel. In slamming on the brakes so quickly, he had stalled the engine. He turned the key in the ignition. Nothing! “Flooded!” he curses

Moments later Fry could hear the grungy roar of old engines through the car window. He looked into his mirrors, all he could see was the big cloud of dust his car had kicked up moments earlier. Fry grabbed a sawn off shotgun from the glove compartment and got out of the car.He tightened his grip on the weapon! He could hear them getting closer with every passing second. Then from the thick murky haze of dust came the sound that Fry had been preying for. It was music to his ears. The unmistakable sound of crunching metal and a car rolling in the dirt

Fry looked over to Nibbler who had joined Fry in staring out into the now rapidly clearing cloud of dust. “I guess someone didn’t see that trailer huh Nibbler” joked Fry with a sense of grim relief.

Sure enough through the dust Fry could make out the upside down and crumpled remains of the raider’s car, engine still running in the baking heat.

His eyes continued to search the area as he holstered his gun and grabbed a large canteen that had been lashed to the side of his car!

Without any further hesitation Fry ran over to the crash and started collecting the fuel that had started to spill from the cars cracked gas tank onto hot desert sand!

With the important stuff out the way His attention turned to the next little problem, Amy and Kif.  He finally spotted the pair looking on through the shimmering heat some distance down the road.

As Amy revved the bikes engine, Fry walked to the middle of the road and once again produced his sawn off shotgun from its holster.

Amy snarled and revved the engine once more. Looking over Amy’s shoulder Kif noticed Fry’s gun. “Uh dearest, perhaps this isn’t such a good idea” he whispered into her ear. Amy grudgingly agreed and nodded back at him, with that she turned the bike around and road off.

Fry put his gun away; looked back to the fuel draining into his canteen then back to Nibbler. “Swish!” he celebrated

Chapter 2: The Aviator

After his run in with Amy and Kif Fry decided to keep away from the major routes, after all messing with raiders was a risky business.

His long search for some water was almost over, the last couple of miles of desert where thick with shrub and ahead of him Fry could see the distant but unmistakable silhouette of trees. This had to be the oasis he’d seen on his map.

Sitting in the back seat Nibbler belched out a silver helmet.

“Don’t worry buddy, that waters so close now I can practically taste it” he said as he stared out at the dirt track ahead of him. “Stupid desert” he sulked “Man I’ve never been so thirsty” Fry looked up out of the car window toward a cloudless blue sky “why, oh why did I decide to wear this heavy black leather jacket and these tight leather pants”

It was a few minutes before Fry reached the small lake at centre of his oasis. Once there, he immediately quenched his thirst, let out a large belch and set about filling several canteens with water from the lake, which he then packed into the back of the car. With his objective complete, Fry climbed back into the driver’s seat and set off through the oasis and back toward the desert.

As he drove through the thin vale of trees surrounding the lake Fry encountered a curious thing. Amongst the sparse dispersion of foliage, through the windshield Fry could clearly see a strange looking 3 wheeled machine, roughly the same size as a small car.

“What the!?” exclaimed Fry “is that a car?” he turned and looked back at Nibbler who was curled up fast asleep in the back seat.

His curiosity aroused, Fry stopped his Falcon XB Coupe and got out to investigate. He walked up to it and scratched his head “Man this is the strangest looking car I’ve ever seen” he said thinking out loud

“That’s because it’s not a ‘car’ you dolt, it’s a helicopter!” boomed an old wizened voice from behind him. “Now step away from there, I don’t want you touching that thing!” the voice shouted

Fry reached for the sawn off shotgun holstered on his leg.

“Oh I wouldn’t do that if I where you” the voice roared. “I may not be a great shot with this contraption, but I’ve got over ten thousand rounds to try and hit you with! Now drop that barbaric weapon and turn around moron!

”Fry stopped to mull things over for a second, and then dropped his gun. He slowly turned around to see the face of the man who had managed to get the jump on him. It was a shock to say the least. As he turned, Fry was confronted by an extremely old dusty looking Farnsworth, sporting a pair of driving goggles, wearing a dirty brown Mac and wielding the biggest and by far the most deadly looking crossbow Fry had ever seen. The senile old coot must have seen him coming then buried himself in the dirt nearby.

The professor motioned Fry over toward the car, “Hmm, looks like I’ve got myself a new automo-car, Good news eh?” he smiled.

“Err not really” Fry answered. “And it’s simply pronounced ‘Car’” he added correcting the professors mistake.

“I don’t care!” The professor snapped in response “Now where was I?”

“Uh, putting down your gun and letting your good pal Fry go?” Fry smirked optimistically

“Nonsense, I don’t know anyone called Fry and besides it’s a crossbow not a gun, now shut up and hand me the damn keys dummy”

“Hey don’t call me tha…” Fry stopped mid sentence as he saw the professor carefully taking aim with his massive crossbow. Without hesitation Fry quickly reached into his pocket and fished out the keys to his Ford Falcon then grudgingly handed them to the professor.

Still carefully watching Fry’s every move; Farnsworth backed toward the car and opened the door. As he does so Nibbler jumped out of the back seat straight into the back of Farnsworth’s leg, knocking him down like a failed tree.

Now face down in the dirt, the professor frantically searched for his crossbow “Oh my!” he gasped anxiously.

This was Fry’s chance and he took it, quickly he produced a large bowie knife he had concealed in his boot. He leaped forward and thrust it down on to the professor’s neck.

“Now, now young man, there’s no need to give me the ‘business’” chirped the professor with a nervous gulp “let me live and I’ll make it worth your while

”“Worth my while, How?” Fry demanded, as he spoke Fry increased the pressure on Farnsworth’s neck.

“Gasoline” squeaked the professor in terror.

Fry paused for a moment “Gasoline? How much gasoline?” asked Fry, captivated with the prospect of obtaining more petroleum.

“All the gasoline you’ll ever need, oh my yes, won’t be easy though!”

Fry thought it over and eventually removed the knife from the Professors jugular. He backed away, picked up the crossbow and returned the knife to its sheath in his boot.

The professor sat and watched as the leather-clad moron went to retrieve the shotgun, and sat down on the hood of his car. Fry pointed his gun at the professor “ok, I’m listening.”

Farnsworth picked himself up and dusted himself off. A worried but slightly relieved smile slowly crept onto his face. “Well” he said anxiously “We’ll need your Automo-car” said the professor pointing at the Black Ford Falcon nervously.

Chapter 3: Like Moth’s to the flame

Fry had been sceptical of the professor offer of gasoline since the outset some hours ago, but even the smallest promise of gasoline was just too good to be dismissed so readily, besides he had nothing to loose by going along with the professor. Well not if the Professor was going to be chained to the back seat under close guard from Nibbler all the way.

After a two hour drive through rough desert with the professor securely in chains, Fry found himself perched atop of a cliff staring down upon that most rare of things, a fully operational combined oil well and gas refinery, surrounded by a fortified makeshift wall of junk.

“Well, there it is! The last surviving outpost of Mom’s friendly oil company” said the professor with dramatic awe.

Through his binoculars Fry could see several bikes, dune buggies and cars circling the facility, a veritable swarm of raiders mounting a heavy and sustained attack. It seemed Fry and the professor weren’t the only ones who knew about this place.

“Four days I sat up here, watching learning, trying to think of a way to get in and at that precious gasoline” continued the professor as he licked his lips

“Day and night it’s pumping, refining! Fuel to burn

”Fry, still looking at the ensuing battle through his binoculars winces as a dune buggy is violently consumed by a glowing arc of flame projected from the walls defences

“They’ve got the lot you know, power, lights, you name it. And you can bet your life that mean to keep it. Oh my yes”

Fry pans his binoculars away from the facility into the desert. This wasn’t your ordinary rag tag bunch of raiders, their attack was too organised for that, someone was directing this battle. Fry fixed his gaze on an open topped truck that stood some way back from the refineries defences. His suspicions where confirmed. There directing the battle stood a gritty in your face robot smoking a cigar and shouting orders to… Amy, the raider from the desert, “I thought that road back there looked familiar” he thought to himself.

The professor continued with his brief “Thirty of them are in there, all with Arrows, flame-throwers, guns, the lot! No place for a mad genius and his dreams of atomic superman, I thought.”

Fry looked up from his binoculars toward the professor “Atomic supermen?” he asked in disbelief

The professor, ignoring Fry’s stupid question, continued his story “Then this trash arrived!” he said pointing at some of the raiders near the refinery.

Fry lifted his binoculars and looked back toward the battle. The raiders had had enough and had started to fall back.

Farnsworth’s expression turned to a distant gaze as he digressed “as moths to the flame, Round and round, attack, attack! Like angry ants, mad with the smell of gasoline.” He ranted maniacally now stood fully erect and waving his arms around wildly above his head. “Woo!”

Fry looked back over his shoulder, if he didn’t do something fast, this crazy old coot was going to give them away. Fry rolled over and tugged Farnsworth down to the ground using the chain attached to his manacles.

“Not so loud you senile old fool” He whispered with a great sense of urgency right into the floored professor face.

“Just tell me where they keep the loot!” he continued

“In the tanker, that’s where they keep it, uh, Thousands of gallons, As much as you want!” Whimpers the professor quietly

Again the professors mood changes “Right now I’ve shown you the gas, let me out of these things, that was the deal dammit!” he snaps angrily, thrusting the shackles around his arms up to Fry’s face.

“I don’t think I trust you enough you let you out of those” says Fry taking a firm grip of Farnsworth’s dangling chains. He dragged the Professor over to a near by stricken tree

“Besides I think you’ll find that our arrangement was that I wouldn’t kill you.” Says Fry with firm conviction.

Farnsworth looked shocked. “uh wha! ?” he gasped as Fry fastened his chains to a weathered old log.

“I think you got a pretty good deal, don’t you?” smirked Fry with a devilish and threatening grin.

With nothing more to say on the matter Fry turned away and walked back to his cliff side vantage point. Stunned and with tears swelling beneath his goggles Farnsworth dropped to his knees and wept.

After several sweaty hours atop the hill Fry hadn’t seen any weaknesses worth exploiting in the refineries defences. Farnsworth was right to leave when he did. Those damn raiders had the refinery guards in a constant state of alert. It was starting to get dark. Fry, tired and hungry, decided to call it a night.

He put down his binoculars and looked over to Farnsworth who still chained to the log was fast asleep quietly snoring.

He lay down and closed his eyes weary from the day’s events Fry could feel himself drift away to a world without time, of tormented dreams and days past.

Some hours later amidst the rapidly fading memories of his nightmares Fry awoke in a cold sweat enshrouded by darkness. He could here the distant echoes of car engines. He sat up and reached for his binoculars.

Staring into the night He could see the moonlit silhouette of cars heading away from the refinery in every direction. He glanced over to the raider camp out in the desert. In a bustle of activity the raiders where jumping into cars, onto bikes and any vehicle that was able to give chase.

He looked back to the refinery. The gate had already closed.

Tracing a trail of kicked up dust Fry followed one of the refinery cars with the binoculars as it drove round the hill!

“Looks like their heading to the old highway” said the professor as he looked on through a large hand held telescope behind Fry.

Looking back in surprise Fry dropped his binoculars and snatched the telescope.

Now able to see the scene unfold in far greater detail Fry looked on as Amy, Kif and a small group of raider cars surround the car from the refinery.

Once again Amy produced the crossbow that earlier that day had almost shot out Fry’s tyres. She pulled up along side the car from the refinery, aimed her weapon into the cars drivers’ side window and fired.

Amy dropped back as the car, now clearly out of control veered left sharply and ploughed into a sandbank, lifting its wheels high off the ground sending it into a roll.

Like vultures Amy, Kif, and the raiders descended upon the crashed vehicle and picked over its remains

Still using the professor’s telescope Fry quietly stared though the darkness as Amy dragged a broken body out the wrecks passenger seat. After a brief interrogation, Fry and the Professor look on in horror as Amy and Kif drive off leaving their prisoner in at the mercy of their comrades.

Fry directs his gaze back to the refinery; nothing he pans across to the raider’s camp, empty!

He snatched his Binoculars away from the professor and handed him back his telescope.

Confused and still chained to his log the Professor helplessly watched on as Fry jumped into his car and set off down the hill.

Farnsworth raised the Telescope to his eye and looked down upon the horror below.  “What’s that fool up to?” he asked himself

Chapter 4: Mom knows best

Quarter of an hour had passed and Fry once again sat behind the wheel of his car powering his way through the desert, the cars mighty V8 engine running at full power, he checked his mirrors… Nothing, he glanced down at the fuel gage again, nothing. “Man we’re burning fumes” he thought. Fry looked across to his passenger seat “How you holding up there buddy” he asked with a great deal of concern Nothing. “Man can’t this thing go any faster” Fry cussed. “If we don’t make it there in time you won’t be the only one going to hell in a hand basket”

He looked over to the man in his passenger seat, he heard the thick and sickly trickle of blood as it fell from the seat to the floor “although I cant imagine how that could be any worse than being stuck out here” he added cynically.

Fry could be forgiven for thinking such things as he sped through the endless expanse of hot sand, rock and dust toward his destination. Looking upon this nightmarish landscape it was hard to imagine that things were ever different.

Where now lay the various harsh and unforgiving wildernesses of the wastes, once stood vast fertile fields of crops and trees along with many great cities of glass and steal. All gone now, but a distant memory, lost beneath the sands.

Mankind sure in its knowledge and confident in its triumph over nature had united under a common flag, and had risen to touch the very stars themselves…

But pride as it so often does came before a fall. Dazzled by the shining brilliance of their own accomplishments humanity had forgotten that without the fuel to power its devices and machines all of its achievements where as nothing.

The great nations of earth panicked as the wells ran dry and the machines ceased. Now desperate and consumed by greed and envy the government of earth dissolved into a loose collection of quarrelling states, who driven by greed enviously set upon each other and like a great cleansing fire, destroyed all they touched leaving only death and silence in their wake.

For those like Fry ‘lucky’ enough to survive this apocalypse, life had become a torturous struggle for survival, all scavenging for scraps and living off the decaying remains of a scorched earth.

All, as it turns out, but for a certain wealthy industrialist and a handpicked few. She alone had foreseen mankind’s fall from grace and she alone had a plan.

Leela silently watched the desert horizon as she walked the ramshackle walls of the refinery. Morning had arrived and with it had come 3 ominous pillars of smoke standing unbroken far over the distant horizon.

”Well that’s all of them” she said to herself dejectedly. She looked over to Wernstrom, who had come to assess the situation himself.

”I don’t know what you were thinking when you sent them out there to run the gauntlet of those jerk-wad raiders Wernstrom. It must have been obvious what was going to happen, especially with that idiot Zap Brannigan in charge! And the less said about your so called ‘second phase’ the better”

“I don’t see your problem, we needed a truck and they all volunteered!” he said defensively “besides I didn’t see you objecting to anything when I proposed my ingenious scheme!”

“Look just because they were all stupid enough to volunteer, that doesn’t mean you had to send them to their deaths! Not even that pompous buffoon Branigan deserved that” she said angrily “besides the only reason I didn’t object at the time was that I didn’t think Mom would even consider your lame brained plan for a second. Clearly I was wrong about her to!”

“Well she’s clearly a brilliant woman who recognises my obvious genius” Wernstrom gloated smugly

Leela directed her angry gaze away from Wernstrom back out into the desert.

“Obvious inflated sense of self importance more like!!” she mumbles.

“I heard that!” He began only to have his objection cut short by the now all too familiar chillingly harsh screams of their commander and chief, Mom.

“SHOVE A CRAP IN IT YOU BASTARDS!!!”

“Mom!” chirped Leela and Wernstrom in surprise

“CRAM IT LEELA!!! Wernstrom come with me, I need to talk to you!” Mom said almost calmly to the now petrified old man. She turned to Leela and smiled.

“Now Leela would you be a dear and GET BACK TO WORK!!!”

Leela stood bolt upright to attention and regimentally replied “Yes Ma’am!” Saluted and continued to walk the wall and watch the desert!

She looked back to Mom and Wernstrom who had started making their way to the old school bus parked within the refinery compound. Leela continued her patrol of the wall until she approached Terry who was retrieving parts from the burnt out raider dune buggy. Just inside the wall

“Psst Terry!” she whispered loudly

“What is it Leela? I’m busy here!” he said as he removed a chared sparkplug from what was left of the buggies engine.

“What’s going on with Mom and Wernstrom lately?” she asked

“What do you mean?” Asked Terry still peering into the buggies Engine

“Well first he disappears into the fallout shelter one day, and no one sees him for months, then when he comes out and he and Mom are linked at the hip. Now he gets first dibs on everything, even flame thrower fuel”

Terry finally emerges from the dune buggies engine “hmm, maybe their sleeping together” he joked wiping the ash from his overalls

“Look Leela I wouldn’t worry about it Mom knows what she’s doing!”

Leela rubbed her chin as if in thought “Hmm it’s not Mom I’m worried about”

Terry looks up and points out over the wall “Hey you better get back to work Turunga”

Leela looked back out to the desert from her wall top vantage point to see Fry’s car quickly heading toward the main gate. She grabbed the bow from her back and shouted out the alarm at the top of her voice “RAIDERS!!!”

As Fry approached the refinery walls he couldn’t help but notice how much bigger they looked up close. He stopped the car near the gate just out of range of the defences. Through the cars window Fry looked up to a cold steely woman manning one of the flame throwers by the gate. He opened the door and got out. Fry slowly removed his gun belt, showed it to the woman and dropped it on the ground. Then he reached back into his car and carefully pulled out his passenger.

“Waterfall!” shouted Morgan back into the compound “open the gate!!” She looked back at Fry “Ok come this way slowly, keep your hands were I can see them at all times”

Fry did as he was told. The gate opened and a bunch of guards rushed out to him, quickly grabbed Waterfall and dragged him back through the gate. Fry looked back to his car; some of the guards had started pushing it through the gate to.

Fry looked back over his other shoulder, behind him stood Leela pointing an arrow straight at the back of his head. As she did she motioned him through the gate.

He walked through the gate and was confronted by Mom with a whole host of well armed guards.

“So you’re the snot nosed punk that decided to drop in and pay old Mom a visit” she said sternly pausing only to take a deep breath from her cigarette “You know ordinarily you would have been killed on sight, but I’m curious to know why you didn’t show up with the rest of the trash” at that moment Mom dropped her cigarette and stamped it out. Her eyes narrowed as she leaned in closer to Fry’s face. “I take it you didn’t come here to show off your handy work?” Mom asked with a terrifyingly serious tone, releasing the tepid smoke from her lungs directly into Fry’s face stinging his eyes and causing him to choke on its acrid fumes.

Regaining his composure Fry explained. “I saved that man ‘Waterfall’ from some of those raiders outside. He said that if I brought him back here he’d give me some fuel!!”

Mom backed off a little. Her cold steely expression gradually melted into an amused smile. Beneath her breath she chuckled to herself then lit up another cigarette. She took a puff and turned back to Fry.

“Damned Christian of you rat, but you didn’t save squat numbskull! He’s dead!” She took another deep breath of her cigarette “But I believe your story, despite your staggeringly inappropriate attire you have that sanctimonious look about you. I won’t have you killed just yet!” She paused “I take it the girl that went with him didn’t survive either?” Mom asked

Fry dismally shook his head.

Mom again sucked on her now rapidly diminishing cigarette, “you know old man Waterfalls going to be real sorry to hear that!”

“Now I’ve done my part what about my Gas?” Fry asked with new found confidence.

Moms expression again turned cold and hard “Quiet ape! The only person that owes you anything around here is the poor dead bastard in that tent over there, and he’s in no condition to give it to you”

Leela kicked the back of Fry’s legs forcing him to the ground and again took aim this time at his face

Mom Looks down on Fry and continued. “You better watch yourself around here desert trash, I still haven’t decided whether your going to live the rest of your life chained to a damn post or not!”

 Mom motions to Walt who pulls out a pair of cuffs and places them on Fry’s arms. Mom turned to Leela “Leela, keep your eye on him dear, from now on he’s your responsibility” Fry was taken aback by the change in moms voice where it had been stern and harsh it had now changed to that of a kindly frail old woman. Yet this change instead of being a comfort seemed sinister and full of foreboding. Who was this one eyed creature Leela Fry wondered and what had this old bat have in store for him.

With Fry now safely in chains, a cold grin fell across Leela’s face. She lowered her Bow “Yes ma’am!” she chirps with a worrying sense of satisfaction that sent a chill down Fry’s spine.

Mom went back to the school bus she turned to Edger “what happened to that jerk Wernstrom?” she asked abruptly

Chapter 5: Bender the Humongous

Leela had been guarding Fry for a while. To stop him from trying to do something stupid like trying to escape she’d followed Moms suggestion and chained him to a post where she could see him at all times.

Unlike most of the wasteland scum she’d encountered Fry was unusually talkative. After the first hour or so of trying unsuccessfully to strike up conversation with her he’d turned his attention toward his strange alien pet. Leela estimated that he’d managed to make the somewhat one sided discussion with the odd looking creature last for almost two hours.

Once Fry was done talking to himself, or be it through the guise of talking to Nibbler, He pulled out a beaten up old harmonica and played the blues.

For a time Leela sat and listened to Fry play. It had been so long since she had heard any kind of music that Fry’s skilful yet depressing warbling sent a chill down her spine and brought a tear to her eye.

To look at him she never would have imagined that such creative spirit could dwell in the body of such desert trash.

Some time passed before Fry stopped playing and glanced back over to Leela. She snapped out of her trance

“God damn it Leela! What part of ‘Raiders’ don’t you understand” came Morgan’s voice from atop the Wall

Leela grabbed her bow, and scrambled to her post. With his guard gone Fry slipped his harmonica back into his jacket and look down at his chains.

Leela looked out over the wall. Approaching the walls she could see about twenty raider cars and buggies. She readied her bow as they slowed and stopped just out of range

Leela could barely discern the shapes of men and machines through this brown haze of suspended dirt kicked up by the raiders but could clearly hear the repeated revving of engines through the murk.

Suddenly a defining silence fell across the compound as the engines stopped and a thick Jamaican voice cut through the mist.

“Behold! The Humongous!!! The Lord Humongous!! The warrior of the waste Land and… sweet Vanity of Santa Fay! I’m sorry Bender I’m not reading d’is”

“Read it Hermes or your god help me!!!” Came a second grungy voice

The first voice paused momentarily

“And the prince of rock and roll!?” Hermes added grudgingly from the cloud of dust still suspended about the raider formation.

Hermes stepped out of the dust and revealed himself. He motions his arm back into the settling cloud.

Leela squinted as she stared into the haze.

Another voice emerges from the dust “Hey Hermes! I’m not hearing any gasping?” Hermes turns round and looks back into the cloud.

“It’s the dust mon, no one can see you, you crazy metallic mooch!!!!”

“What!! Lousy dirt ruining my entrance” the voices disgusted rant degenerates into an unintelligible mumble

“Look Mon, complaining isn’t gonna make the dust go away any faster, what we need to do is”

“Hermes if your going to suggest another nude conga line I swear I’m going to come down there and tear you a new one!” the voice butted in.

“No! We just have to wait for the dust to go down!” says Hermes deliberately

“Well! Ok. But you have to do my intro again!”

Irritated Leela rolled her eye, “Oh lord! What do these idiots want now” she said to herself with a combined sense of boredom and frustration.

“Hey Hermes I think it’s settling now! do the intro again!!! ”Said the voice from the cloud.

Hermes grudgingly stepped forward and re-reads the introduction, with considerably less enthusiasm than before

“Behold the Humongous, the Lord Humongous, the warrior of the waste land”

Back on the wall Leela started to check her nails

“And!?” Insisted Bender from the remaining cloud

“And the prince of rock and roll” Hermes mumbled as he again motioned into the dust

Leela looks up from her hand and back out into the desert. With a gust of wind the dust cleared to reveal the raiders in all their glory, at the centre of which stood Bender atop a small truck, to the front of which was tied Zoidberge and Zap.

“Those idiots have our idiots!” Leela gasped in awe and surprise.

Bender, now holding the full attention of the refinery workers pulled out a megaphone and started to address them.

“Hi I’m the Humongous but you can call me Bender! Now it’s come to my attention” He says looking down toward Zap “that you chumps and chumpettes are in the market for a heavy haulage vehicle.” Bender leaned toward the compound as if expecting a response

“Screw you!” Shouted Zoidberg from the front of the truck

Bender nodded to Hermes who punched Zoidberge in the gut. The pain of being struck in such a sensitive location made him pass out instantly.

Bender continued his speech

“Now it seems to me that you’re not going to get a truck anytime soon, so I’ve come to make you a deal! I’ll let you live if you catch the next Pimpmobile out of here and leave us all the booze. Oh and you better leave us the fuel to!”

“Don’t do it! These filthy hippies will reduce you to worm chowder the moment you step outside, if you know what I mean!” Shouted Zap tied to the front of the truck next to Zoidberge “Wait, what do I mean?” he pondered.

Bender nodded to Amy, who immediately kneed Zap in the groin.

“You Have 24 hours to pack up and leave, after that you can all bite my shiny daffodil ass!” Bender shouted loosing all patience

“Come on, let’s all get back to camp and get drunk!!” he ordered the rag tag selection of desert trash that had gathered around him. Without hesitation, the raiders started their engines and began to disperse.

With the emergency over Leela started walking back to where she left Fry.

“That dumb robot clearly doesn’t know Mom if he thinks for a second that!” Leela’s train of thought was interrupted as she looked up to see the pole, Fry’s chains and a pair of empty handcuffs where she had left him.

“Fry?” she screamed as she looked around in a blind panic.

“Hey relax I’m up here! Those things were starting to get uncomfortable” Said Fry casually as he sat on the walls battlements. Leela pointed her bow at Fry

“I don’t know how you got out of those cuffs but you going to come back down here again right now!”

“Jes’ Leela, I told you to relax, it’s not like I’m going to leave without my car!”

Leela lowered her bow “Well I guess not, but I can’t let you run around free like that!”

Fry jumped down from the wall, “Don’t worry about it, and just let me talk to Mom”

“Are you crazy? If I did that you wouldn’t be the only one in chains around here” said Leela with a degree of cynicism.

Fry started to look annoyed “look do you guys want a truck or don’t you?”

Leela’s expression perked up a little “You know where to find a working Truck?”

A rye grin crept onto Fry’s face “Take me to Mom!”

Chapter 6: The Long Road

Some time after his meeting with mom fry slipped out of the Mom corp. compound on foot and hastily made for the hill where he had left the professor some hours earlier. As Fry walked out into the desert night, burdened with several cans of fuel, he couldn’t help but look back at the Mom corp. enclosure and wonder if he would ever make it back to see his car again.

The deal he’d made with Mom was risky to say the least, although the abandoned truck he’d almost collided with a few days back didn’t seem too badly damaged on the surface, there was no guarantee that the thing would even start, assuming that he could make his way past Bender and his private army of drunken raiders, or that he wouldn’t succumb to the harsh desert wasteland itself. The choice of a heavy black leather costume had never seemed so stupid.

Fry looked over to the raider camp on the horizon. Thanks to Benders misguided leadership the whole stinking lot of them had gotten trashed on moonshine and had started to scuffle amongst themselves. With a little luck and if he made good time, Fry could make it back with the truck before they even started to stir.

As the hours past the sun slowly rose above the horizon and Fry had started to feel the heat, as had Nibbler who had started to pant wildly, but through the thick haze Fry could make out a familiar shape.

Fry dropped the jerry cans he had slung over his shoulder, the swilling sound of the fuel within draws the distant mans attention who looks back to Fry “Uh wha’?” he uttered with unwitting and obvious surprise. Fry looked on as the man started to hobble away with increased urgency, dragging all the while a broken log chained to his wrists. Fry smiled at the old man’s feeble attempts at escape.

“Hey Nibbler, Fetch” He ordered in a stern voice.

Hearing Fry’s command Nibbler perked up his ears looked over to Fry and followed the direction of his gaze into the soup like murk of the sweltering heat, his eyes finally settling on Farnsworth who had dragged the remains of that sun bleached tree trunk from the hilltop far out into the desert with him.

Nibbler set off like a dart toward the prof, who by now had stumbled and fell to the ground like an old sack of potatoes. Nibbler took hold of the log in his mouth and slowly dragged it back to Fry with Farnsworth in tow.

“Oh my” complained the professor as the small black alien dropped the log at Fry’s feet.

Fry reached under the thick leather belt that secured his trousers and produced a hair clip.

“You know, you’re a hard man to get hold of when you want to be” he said as he picked up the Professor and skilfully picked the heavy padlocks on his manacles. Farnsworth rubbed his wrists and frowned as he watched Fry discarded his chains, throwing them onto the dirt

“You know it would have been easier on both of us if you just stayed put up on that hill” said Fry looking back at the fuel canisters by his feet.

“Go to hell!” shouted Farnsworth in disgust. “What makes you think for a second that I’m going to carry your excess baggage?”

Fry reached for his gun and pointed it at the professor.

“Oh no, not this time!” shouted Farnsworth with new found vigour “You wouldn’t come all the way out here to find me if you didn’t need me for something, and I’m guessing that, as your still alive, it has something to do with that Mom corp. refinery back there, so now your going to level with me”

With an amused laugh, Fry holstered his gun and picked up the fuel. “Well I guess there’s no getting anything past you is there old man?”

The professor straightens up and brushes some of the dust from his trench coat “Damn straight!” he said smugly.

“Fine, take one of these jerry cans and I’ll explain on the way!”

As they walked Fry told Farnsworth of his refinery exploits, the Truck he’d found on the road, and the deal he’d made with Mom. The pair made good progress and by mid day the two men had reached the Professors oasis and freshened up.

“Come on lad, my helicopters this way” said the professor eagerly. “Now it’s been a while since I had some juice in this baby, but with that fuel you got from Mom, I should have her fired up in a jiffy”

Fry picked up both jerry cans and followed the Professor back into the scrub where they had first met.

“Behold once more, my helicopter!” said the professor waving his hand manically above his head with a great sense of self satisfaction.

Fry put down the fuel and walked over to a nearby dune buggy.

“hey this wasn’t here before, where did it come from?”

The professor hobbles over and adjusts his goggles “Oh that probably came from a raider or something, their always coming through here looking for water you know.

Fry draws his gun. “Then where’s the raider this hunk of junk belongs to, it’s not like them to just leave perfectly good equipment lying around like this.”

Farnsworth hobbles over to a large nearby hole. “Oh I wouldn’t worry about that, our friend here stumbled into my spike pit.”

Fry looked over in surprise, “Spike pit?”

The professor grinned and started to pour fuel into the helicopters tank. “Oh my yes, it’s brutally effective you know, but equally!” he frowned, “a nightmare to keep clean!”

Ignoring Farnsworth’s crazy explanations, Fry started rifling through the raider car searching for anything of value. After a few minutes of fiddling Fry came across an unused shotgun shell.

“Score!” He whispered to himself in triumph. He looked over to Farnsworth.

“Victory!” the professor shouted as the helicopter engine flared into life, spewing out an unhealthy amount of soot, “In your face post apocalyptic wasteland!”

Fry got out the buggy and drew his shot gun “We ready to go?” he asked as he cocked the gun and placed the shell into its empty magazine.

The Professor looked over to Fry “why yes, just let me… uh wha? That thing was empty all this time?”

Fry simply shrugged. The Professor started shaking his fists angrily “Oooo this is an outrage! You made me show you that refinery, chained me to that log and left me out in the desert to die and that things not even loaded. This wont stand! How do i know that shells not a dud?”

Fry drew his gun again “well there’s only one way to find out!” said fry menacingly as he pointed it at Farnsworth.

Farnsworth doesn’t even flinch “oh shut up and just get on the dam helicopter so we can get this over with. All this Mom corp. nonsense is really angrying up my blood!”

Fry again holstered his gun and did as the Professor said. “Well I guess there’s no point arguing with you today old mad” Fry said as the professor climbed on and took the controls.

“No dam it! Now let’s go already!!

Fry sat back and watched the weathering rotor blades start to rotate as the professor set the throttle to full power. With a tremendous jolt the helicopter spat out more soot and took to the sky. With all the shaking and unhealthy grinding sounds coming from the engine, Fry began to wonder if using this piece of junk to get back to the lorry was such a good idea, however, looking back to the oasis and watching the ground speed by below, it was clear that the helicopter would only have to stay air born for a few minutes before reaching the abandoned truck on the highway. Fry pointed over to the brow of a small hill in the distance “There it is. Put her down over their Professor!” he shouted over the noise of the engine.

Farnsworth did as he was told and landed the helicopter with a bump but a few yards from the trucks ruined trailer and powered down the engine.

“Well there you go Fry, and we hardly used a fraction of our fuel”

Fry grabbed 2 of the remaining jerry cans, jumped out of the rickety old aircraft and made for the truck. The professor followed carrying the last can and examined the truck “Err Fry this it appears that this truck is A Mack R600 COOLPOWER that runs on diesel fuel, not the light petroleum fraction we used for my helicopter” Fry nodded as he removed the fuel cap.

“Yep that’s why these three cans all contain diesel fuel”.

The professor gave a slightly relieved nod as he passed Fry another Jerry can.

“Well better see if it works I suppose” Fry muttered pouring the last few drops into the tank. He pushed past the professor and climbed into the cab. Fry pulled out a small switch blade and reached for the ignition only to find the key still in there. Fry puts down the blade and grasped the key whilst saying a short prayer “Come on baby!” he turned the key to see the dashboard light up and expelling yet more soot into the parched wasteland environment before the engine sputters out. Fry looks over to the Professor who hobbled over to the front of the truck and peered into the engine. Licking his lips Farnsworth produced a small screwdriver from one of his many pockets and tweaked a tiny screw attached to the throttle. He looked back at Fry and raised his thumb.

Fry turned the key. This time the engine coughed and spluttered to life and the unmistakable smell of burning oil fills the cab. Fry cranked the truck into gear and tried easing it forward. To his surprise the truck smoothly moved forward without objection. Fry put on the brake and motioned to the professor now standing at the side of the cab.

“So what do we do now Fry? Power our way through those dam raiders and into the refinery?” the professor asked eagerly.

Fry slammed the cab door and shook his head. “You’re not doing anything old man, I’d say you earned your freedom, do what you want!” Fry lifted the brake and drove the truck off in toward the setting sun, leaving Farnsworth covered in dust and soot.

“Hey you can’t leave me here you idiot we’re partners dam it!” shouted Farnsworth as the truck disappeared into the haze. He shook his fist one last time and turned back to face his helicopter. Farnsworth climbed aboard looked back toward the plume of dust kicked up by the truck and smiled mischievously. He started the engine “Don’t worry. I’m coming after you partner!” he thought as the rotors once again span into life.

Chapter 7: Making a delivery

As Fry sped through the night behind the wheel of his big ‘new’ Mack R600 COOLPOWER truck his attention turned to just how he was going to get the thing back in through the gates of the compound. Although this ordinarily would not be a problem, he could be sure that that robot and his army of raiders would try like hell to make it one.

From his time atop the hill Fry had noticed that the raiders usually started to drink and party as soon as it got dark so by his estimation the best time to try and sneak past them was a few hours after that when they all either turned in, or passed out. However Fry also noticed that his new truck was a lot heavier to drive than his interceptor and a lot harder to control. This beat up old thing couldn’t move like his old v8 either. He’d be lucky if this thing hit forty without a wheel coming off. He looked over to nibbler who had curled up to sleep on the passenger seat. It was getting late and his window of opportunity was running out.

Going round the hill would take to long, and the raiders would be attacking the refinery by time he got there and given the length of the truck, going over the hill as he did before just wasn’t possible.

The way Fry saw it the quickest, and best way to get to the refinery was straight through the raider’s camp. It was a risk but if he made good time he could catch them with their guard down and simply cruise on through. If his luck held he wouldn’t be torn to a million tiny pieces in the process.

Back at the raider camp itself Bender sat atop his small truck and surveyed the damage of the night’s heavy drinking “Heh heh heh, lightweights he muttered to himself contently before letting out a satisfyingly large flaming burp. He looked down at a grungy looking Amy, who staggered past the front of his car rubbing her head “Hey Amy! You want to start tidying this stuff up or what? ”

Amy simply cut him a glare and threw up next to his truck. Bender took another sip of his drink “You know your cleaning that up to right?” Amy walked up to him and flopped herself down on the side of Benders truck. “Hey Bender have you seen my Kiffy lately? I haven’t seen him since we started drinking?” she asked with an obvious slur in her voice.

Bender rubbed his chin “You mean the squishy green dude with no backbone right?”

Amy nodded as she slid off the truck and collapsed in an untidy heap on the ground. Bender laughed loudly as Amy tried to regain her footing. “Well have you seen him or not?” Amy asked with a slightly annoyed flavour to her drunken tone.

“Oh yeah, I remember he asked me to tell you I hadn’t seen him then went to hide in that tent over there” said Bender pointing across the raider camp, strewn with drunken bodies. Amy smiled and gave bender a hug, “Thanks bender, you’re the best!”

Bender smiled and patted her on the back “I know I spoil ya, now you go have fun” Amy turned and tried feebly to straighten herself out and look tidy before staggering across the various heaps of people that lay all over the floor. “Don’t worry Kiffy, I’m coming home now!” she shouted eagerly before falling flat on her face. Kiff, heard the commotion outside wore a tired look of concern got up out of the tent and picked her up. “Amy smiled as she clumsily threw her arms around him and planted a miss aimed kiss on his nose. “There’s my Kiffy! You know I love you right Kiff?” Kiff groaned as he dragged Amy into the tent “I know Amy, I love you to” he said wearily.

A huge drunken grin spreads across Amy’s face. “Aww you do?” She said pushing him to the floor of the tent, loosing her balance and landing on him. “Ooh Kiff your frisky tonight!” she said cheerily ‘carefully’ placing another kiss on Kiffs mouth. Kiff struggled for air and almost gagged at the fowl taste of semi digested moonshine that came from her lips. “Um Amy I was thinking that perhaps we should just! urgh” Kiff again struggled for air as Amy planted another foul tasting kiss on his beak. “Um yes as I was saying.”

Amy wasn’t listening she stated to unbutton her top. “Um Amy maybe this isn’t…” Amy put her finger on Kiffs mouth. “You may not have noticed but I’m a bit drunk, and need full concentration for this part so shush!”

Kiff started to panic, Amy was a drunken mess and was probably going to throw up again any time now and here he was stuck underneath her “oh odds and bodkins” he mumbles as he weighed up his options. Amy had finished with her top and started slobbering clumsily on his neck

Just at that moment the ground started to shake as the sound of a large grungy engine could be heard close by. Kiff tried to sit up only to be pushed back down by his over eager drunken girlfriend that lay on top of him. ”Err dearest maybe we shouldn’t…” Amy stopped slobbering on his chest and looked him in the eye “Yes?” she asked seductively as she could in her state.

In a single violent motion the tent was ripped away leaving the pair exposed. The couple looked on as their former shelter dragged across the desert behind Fry’s truck. Half the raider camp was up in arms trying to give chase as the other half slept in piles of their own vomit.

“Oh thank god” uttered Kiff in a sigh of relief, resting his head back on the pillow. Amy didn’t move. “You know!” she said taking off her top “this is kind of kinky” she smiled with drunken awe. Kiffs eyes widened in fear as Amy pressed up against him again and started to heave. “Nooooooooo!” he screamed in desperation.

Meanwhile, in a slightly less desperate situation, Fry peered into his rear view mirror to see dozens of raiders on his tail. He looked back up to the electric lights of the refinery. Those back stabbing bastards hadn’t even opened the gate.

“Oh man can someone in there get off their ass and help me here” he cursed under his breath trying desperately not to crash his truck into a nearby sand bank. He peered down at his speedometer, which read a mere 35mph. He looked back into the rear view mirror. The gap between him and the raiders had vanished and the raiders started to position themselves around the truck.

In a bold move Fry veered right forcing a couple of the cars into the bank sending them flying into the air before crashing into the dirt with a violent and thunderous explosion that lit up the night sky. Fry checked the mirror to his left. Those damn raiders where swarming all over him. Fry looked back at the refinery as the gate slid open to let him in. If he could hold those raiders off for a few seconds more, he’d be safely within the range of the defences and through the gate.

Fry felt a jolt as one of his tyres blew out. He checked his mirrors again. The raiders had started to take out his tyres, but that was the least of his worries. Above the noise of everything else that was happening around him, he could here the roof of the cab distort with the heavy footfalls of some clumsy raider. Fry slammed on the break then watched Bender fly off the roof of the cab and land in the dirt in front of him “Learn to drive you Jerk!!” He shouted as he got up. Bender turned round just in time to see the trucks radiator grill impact his rusty metal ass.

Fry slammed his foot down on the accelerator trying to get back up to speed. The raider cars had started to break off their attack as gushing jets of flame had started to spew down on them from the refinery compounds walls.

Breathing more easily now. Fry eased up on the accelerator and slammed on the brake, sliding the truck in through the refinery main gate and bringing it to a halt within the safety of its towering walls.

Fry sat back in his chair, closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. He wiped the sweat from his brow and peered back out through the windscreen.

“STUPID JERK, I’ll kill you!” shouted Bender who had managed to claw his way up from the radiator grill onto the hood. Bender punched his way through glass to get at Fry who screamed and darted to one side as Nibbler frantically scratched away at the inside of the door trying to escape. Fry reached for his shotgun and pointed it at Bender who had started tearing through the cab trying to get at Fry through various layers of twisted metal.

“Stay still sausage link! I’m going to make you wish you died back in the big one with all the other Jerks! ”Fry took aim. “Oh please! You’re going to shoot me with that primitive thing, common I’m made of metal!” Fry raised the gun a few inches and shot out Benders eyes, shattering them into a million tiny pieces which scattered all over the seat. “Ahh! I can’t see! Where are you? You bastard! I’ll kill you!” Fry popped open the door and slid out of the cab as Bender reached into his chest and fitted a new pair of eyes. He looked around desperately seeking Fry. Bender saw a hand full of heavily armed refinery workers heading his way “uh oh! Cheese it!” he shouted to himself as he ran across the compound and using his extend-o-matic arms and legs to bound over the wall back to the freedom of the wasteland.

Fry lay on the dirt clearly relieved that the ordeal was over. He opened his gun and removed the still smoking cartridge that lay within and threw it to the ground. He snapped closed the shotgun and put it back in his holster. “You ok there Nibbler?” Fry asked picking himself up off the ground. Nibbler ran up to Fry and started sniffing around his boot.

With the excitement over, Mom stormed out of her office and up to Fry. “You cut that pretty close didn’t you?” Fry rose an eyebrow “hey I got you your truck didn’t I?” Mom sneered and walked over to the smoking pile of machinery that Fry had just driven through the gate. She lit up a cigarette “Well It’s in crappy condition, I don’t like the colour, it smells like some one died in there and it’ll need some work, but it’s a truck all right!” she said sounding almost pleased. “You’ll find your car with a full tank of gas over in Terry’s workshop by the pumping station.

”Fry nodded and left Mom to look over her new Truck in peace. Walking across the yard, Fry was approached by his former guard Leela, who seemed a little friendlier than before. “Hey Fry! I guess I was wrong about you being just another piece of desert trash like those jerks out there” she said with a smile “look what I’m trying to say is I’m sorry for treating you so badly”. Fry stopped and grinned “Well thanks, I guess. But don’t be. I did what I did for the fuel”.

Leela looked disappointed, “oh well, now you’ve got what you came for I guess you’ll be going.” Fry looked over to his car then back up to Leela. “Well I guess I could stay here a little longer, I’m short of a few supplies, and maybe Mom has another Job for me”Fry looked on as Leela smiled, turned and walked over to Mom by the truck. He picked up Nibbler and made his way toward the car. Fry opened the door and placed Nibbler on the driver’s seat before slamming the door behind him. Fry looked back across to Leela who smiled and gave him a small wave. Fry returned the gesture and turned to face Terry who was chuckling quietly to himself nearby “I think she likes you” says Terry washing his hands. “Me too” Fry laughed. Terry finished up and dried his hands on an oil stained rag. He turned round then squinted. He pointed out into the distance, “Hey what’s that? Is that what I think it is?”

Fry tore his eyes away from Leela and looked over to where Terry was pointing. He shook his head in disbelief and patting Terry on the back said “Yes I believe it is Terry and I also believe my ‘partner’ has arrived!” Terry put down his rag and wondered out into the yard to watch in amazement as Farnsworth landed his rickety old helicopter slap bang in the middle of the refinery courtyard.

Mom stamped out her cigarette and stormed over to Farnsworth as he climbed out of the pilot’s seat. “Who in the blue puss dripping hell are you?” she demanded shouting at the very top of her voice. Fry walked over and gives an introduction “Mom, may I introduce my ‘partner in crime’ Professor Hubert J Farnsworth”

Chapter 8: Where do I sign?

Bender walked back across the desert back to his camp from the Mom corp. refinery. He couldn’t help but think things through. Although he his gang had a clear advantage out in the open, the refinery was just too heavily defended. The chances were that bunch of Mom corp. jerks could keep his chumps at bay indefinitely.

Not that it really mattered that much, so long as those idiot raiders kept coming in from the wastes with their fermentation tanks and their stills. The scam was fool proof, if the idiots got in and took the refinery he’d get all the oil he’d ever need, if however the refinery workers kept them at bay he’d have access to a ready supply of free booze.

The plan had only one flaw. If the supply of oil dried up and the refinery workers packed up and left with all the spoils, the raiders would have no reason to stay and the booze would dry up to.

From Benders point of view, the arrival of Fry and his truck was an ominous omen. Had Mom and her crew used up all the oil? Had the well ran dry? Where they planning to leave with what little they had left. He looked back at the well. The pump was still running. Something was up; the old bat was planning something. But then if there was still oil to be had what difference would it make. If he played his cards right he could have his cake and eat it to. All he had to do was wait for Mom to leave and if he played his cards right he could take his rightful place as king of the wasteland. By time Bender arrived back at the camp things had started to settle down. Amy had passed out on the floor and Kiff was using an old cloth and bucket of water to clean himself up. “oh odds and bodkins, every night the same thing” Kiff complained to himself under his breath.

Still deep in thought Bender made his way over to a still and took a drink. “Sweet hangover of Bolivia, What happened to you? You ok Mon?” blurted Hermes who had propped himself up against the still in a drunken stupor. Bender looked down and rubbed the lower portion of his own back “I Just got hit by some Jerk who was delivering a truck, a Mack R600 COOLPOWER I think, to those refinery chumps. aw” he turned back to face Hermes “I think I have whiplash” Hermes gave him a blank stare as Bender poured himself another drink from the still. “Wait a second, what where you doing when that Mom corp. chump tried turning me into a hood ornament?” Bender downed his drink as he waited for Hermes to respond. “Lying on the floor drunk along with everyone else who entered that stupid drinking competition of yours”

Bender let out a flaming burp and dropped his glass “Well its not my fault if you bone sacks cant hold your liquor. If anyone wants me I’ll be in my truck planning our attack tomorrow” Said Bender as he turned and walked off. Hermes simply shrugged and instantly fell asleep, snoring loudly.

Meanwhile, back in the compound, Fry had finished explaining Farnsworth away to Mom and had negotiated a deal for himself. Fry sat back on the hood of his car and gazed at the clear night sky. He hadn’t slept for over 28 hours so decided to turn in and get some long overdue and much deserved rest.

Leela on the other hand had been unlucky enough to pull night duty, not that she minded. Walking the walls at night she could enjoy the view without enduring the pounding heat of the day.

Walking atop the refineries parameter wall looking out to the desert she stopped to stare up to the sky. “Beautiful isn’t it?” said Fry still lying on the hood of his car below her. Leela glanced down to Fry and smiled. She looked back up at the sky. “Yes it is. Although I’ve never really met anyone else who’s ever taken the time to look at it” She looked back down to Fry still staring up at her from the hood of his car. “So besides admiring the view what are you still doing up? You must be tired, especially with the day you’ve just had”

Fry smiled, “Well I could use some sleep. I haven’t had a wink since before I left.” Leela looked back to Fry in surprise “Well I guess that explains your driving earlier!” she joked “You should really go get some rest, I don’t know how long Moms willing to let you stay here”

Fry’s expression dissolved into an amused grin “Scared I’ll run out on you and drive into a sand bank huh?” he chuckled. “Well it would be a waste of a perfectly good V8” she smirked back. Fry and Leela fell silent as Leela again checked the desert for any sign of Raiders. “Well I wouldn’t worry about that, I spoke to Mom after moving the truck into Terry’s workshop.” Said Fry, staring vacantly up at the moon “What does she want you to do this time, run out there and find a blimp?” Leela shrugged still scanning the desert. Fry grinned and shook his head. “Nothing so drastic I’m afraid, well at least I hope not. She just told me to stick around for a few days” said Fry sounding a little tired.

Leela turned back to Fry and smiled. “In which case you’d definitely better get some sleep, She’ll have something crazy lined up for you I’m sure”

Fry yawned “You know, I think you might have something there, I’ll see you tomorrow” he said fighting off another yawn. “I’ll leave you to get some shuteye, don’t worry I’ll try to keep it down up here!” she added motioning down the walkway. Fry nodded and with yet another yawn closed his eyes after a short pause he heard Leela above him yet again “Oh and Fry!” she called down. Fry looked back up to her “Yes?” he asked. “Thanks for keeping me company!” she shouted back before waving him good night and continuing her patrol. Fry waved back and closed his eyes again, only to be disturbed once more, this time by Terry who occupied a nearby bunk in the workshop. “She definitely likes you" he whispers jokingly. Fry got up off the hood and climbed into the back seat of his car and slammed the door “Shut up Terry” said Fry wearily pulling out a pillow and bedding down for the night.

Fry awoke the following mourning to the sound Terry working on the truck. He picked up a small water canteen and used some of its content to rinse his face.

Fry got out the car and walked over to Terry who was busily fitting replacement tires on the wheels that had been shot out the night before. Fry looked over the truck. The scars left by the raiders where clearly visible in the daylight.

Fry whistles in amazement at a huge dent in the body work “Hey Terry you really got your work cut out for you with this one” Terry shook his head as he tightened a wheel bolt. “Oh you don’t know the half of it, once I finish repairing the damage caused by years of neglect and you’re driving, Mom wants me to weld armour over the cab and fit a plough to the front.

”Fry dried his face with an old cloth from the car. “Wow that sounds like a real custom job” he joked. Terry walked round to the front of the cab and opened the hood. “Hey you may joke, but these days pretty much everything’s a custom job round here, I couldn’t begin to count the hours I worked on the old school bus out there, by comparison this should be a cake walk” he said motioning out to the yard.

Fry peered over to where Terry pointed and saw a fairly beat up yellow school bus with a few pieces of sheet steel welded over the windows. “Wow that bus must have really been in some shape if it took more work than this hunk of junk.

Terry looked up from the engine “Well!” Terry stopped mid sentence as Morgan walked in and gave him a wink. “Oh don’t mind me hon. I’m here to speak to our guest.”She said in a cheery yet professional manor. Terry nodded and wiped an oily sleeve across his sweaty brow and peered back into the engine. Meanwhile Fry casually tossed his rag back into his car. “What do you want?” he asks looking over to Morgan who was busily checking out Terry’s butt as he leaned deeper into the engine. “Uh, oh yeah Mom wants to have a word” she said raising an eyebrow and looking back over to Terry. “Oh ok, you mind showing me where she is?” Fry asked waving his hand past Morgan’s Face. Morgan Frowned “oh very well, follow me” Morgan looked back over to Terry one last time then stormed out the door, closely followed by Fry.

“Hey wait a second; shouldn’t this place be under attack about now?” Fry asked looking around at the relative calm of the place. Morgan shrugged, “well I guess those raiders are still licking there wounds from that ass kicking we dealt them last night, I wouldn’t knock it, it gives the night guards a chance to sleep, and I get to spend some time with Terry in the workshop. You know this whole end of the world business has been a real strain on our relationship”

Fry shook his head. “Hmm, well I guess that’s only to be expected.” Fry commented “Still, maybe this lull in raider activity is a good thing. It does seem a little odd though” he thought out loud as the pair approached a heavy steel door deeply inset on the wall of the compounds old fallout shelter. Morgan raised an eyebrow “whatever!” she replied as she gave a knock. “What is it” Came Moms voice from the other side of the door. Morgan opened the door and poked her head through, said a few words then looked back at Fry. “You can go on in now” She said. Morgan looked back to the work shop and gave a sly grin “If you’ll excuse me I’ve got plans for the day”

Chapter 9: Good news everyone!

Fry walked through the heavily inset door of the Shelter and into the poorly lit room beyond. He looked to Mom who was smoking a cigarette by one of the thin pill box like windows that where dotted periodically around the walls.

Mom took one last deep breath of her cigarette, the orange glow highlighting the heavily wrinkled features of her face before dying back down to its usual dull ember. Mom dropped the cigarette and stamped it out just as the heavy rust covered door slammed shut behind Fry sealing the entrance tight.

“Well” She snorted “I take it your wondering just why I called you here.” Mom asked walking over to another big steel door opposite Fry.

Fry shrugged as Mom opened the door to reveal an aging wire frame lift, nestled tightly in its dull grey elevator shaft. The grill let out a shrill scream as it was hesitantly slid open by Mom. This sickening whine made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end as it sent a chill down Fry’s spine. Mom got into the lift and glared at Fry.“Well, are you just going to stand there like some kind of leather clad moron or are you going to come with me and find out just what I have lined up for you?” she asked impatiently.

Fry got into the elevator. Mom Lit up another cigarette took firm grip of the wall railing and punched the button by the door. As the sound of old machinery powering up filled the shaft Fry stumbled as the whole lift compartment dropped a few feet in an uncomfortable jerking motion. Fry clawed his way back to his feet and looked across to Mom who was still calmly smoking her cigarette.

“That first steps a real bastard isn’t it?” she smirked as Fry desperately gripped the rail next to her. He nodded nervously as the lift again starts to shudder and slowly descend into the deep and chilling darkness of the elevator shaft below.

“So, why are we going down here?” Fry asks as Mom tapped a failing 40 watt bulb set in the wall behind her.

Mom took another puff of her cigarette “You know I built this place back when those dribbling piles of congealed puss back in Washington started sending society down the tubes before the big one”

Mom pauses as she again tapped the flickering bulb with her finger nail “Hard to believe now but this place cost me a butt load of money back then!

Fry shrugged “what the refinery?” he asked “No you idiot, I had refineries coming out of my ass, surely you don’t think they came with a state of the art fallout shelter as standard do you?”

At that moment the bulb behind Mom fizzled out permanently leaving the pair in complete darkness with the sound of the ageing lift motor echoing through the concrete shaft.

Mom reached for her lighter and sparked it up. She looked over to Fry through the gently flickering glow and sneered as the lift ground to a halt and the wire mesh door noisily slid open.

Mom handed her lighter to Fry and reached for the heavy steel latch on the door. Fry winced in pain as the metallic casing on the butane filled lighter started to get hot.

With a heavy clunk, the latch on the door was released and the door slowly swung open. Fry looked on in amazement as a bright white light filled the lift accompanied by the low pitched hum of electrical equipment and the silent whirr of air conditioning systems.

After a second of silent awe, he snapped shut Moms lighter, stepped out of the Elevator and into the hallway. He tossed Mom her lighter back and took a deep breath of the refreshingly cool air within.

“God Damn that bastards hot!” Mom screamed flinging her lighter to the ground in a blind rage.

Fry looked back to Mom “Oh sorry, I forgot to say that it might be a little warm now” he smiled nervously.

“Warm my Ass, if I didn’t know better I’d swear it had been wrenched from the very bowls of Satan himself after hells very own suicide chilli night!” she shook her hand to cool it off and stormed off down the corridor in a huff.

“Come on I’ve got something you need to see” Fry follows mom down the corridor and into what was clearly a conference room decked out with plush leather seating, fancy table and projector. Mom motions for him to sit down as she turns on the projector and dims the light using a remote control she’d picked up off the table. “I had this film made up so that I could get government backing for my plan; of course those bastards dropped the bomb before I could even show this to anyone!”

Fry sat in his plush leather chair and set his boots up on the table watching the screen as it flickered to life. “What plan?” he asked.

“I WAS GETTING TO THAT APE!” she barked loudly, making Fry fall from his seat in surprise. Fry got back onto his chair. “Go on” he says calmly.

“Well ecological activist had successfully petitioned the DOOP to more strictly enforce directive B51.8 across the known universe!“

Uh! Directive B51.8?” Asked Fry slightly confused.

“Directive B51.8 is the intergalactic law that prohibits any civilisation from interfering with undeveloped worlds!”

“Oh!” says Fry leaning back into his chair“

It was a disaster although B51.8 has always been a part of the DOOP charter it had never been strictly enforced until that point.”

Fry looked confused “So what’s so disastrous about that?”

Mom paused the film. “You’ve got to be kidding me, you don’t know what happened?”

Fry shook his head “Nope I was cryogenically frozen centuries ago. I woke up to hear siren blaring outside and then I found my pet Nibbler scavenging around outside by an abandoned car.”

Mom blinked slightly, confused for a second she shook her head and continuing her story

“Well, 98% of all earths Dark matter holdings where on what where deemed undeveloped words by the DOOP and the 2% that remained was used up in under 10 years. We had to revert back to the primitive technologies of pre-dark matter engines”

Fry put his feet back up on the table “Well that explains a lot I guess”

Mom turned the projector back on and continued to narrate. “Things where going well so it was easy to recreate the primitive gasoline burning engines of the stupid ages and burn the fuel that those idiots couldn’t extract from the numerous oil wells dotted around the globe, but it was a temporary solution at best.”

Fry raised an eyebrow “No kidding?”

Mom gave Fry a steely glare then looked back up to the screen. “It was tricky but Mom Corp was able to rediscover the micro fusion technology originally used to replace the primitive fuel burning monstrosities of those times and adapt them for use with the faltering dark matter driven technology already available in abundance. It was a stroke of genius, the fuel cells where almost as good as dark matter itself and the hydrogen used to build them could be gathered in abundance from uninhabited and inhospitable planets without those DOOP Bastards sticking there big ugly green and purple noses in.” she looked back at Fry “To get the ball rolling all we had to was harvest hydrogen from the abundant water sources here on earth”

Moms expression saddened for a second. She looked back up to the screen to see herself proudly holding one of the new fuel cells fresh off the production line.

“We could have made billions in domestic trade alone if those pin headed politicians hadn’t pushed the button for the sake some lousy oil field in the Antarctic”

“Why don’t you make a bunch of those fuel cell things now then? You could bring civilisation back from the brink!” Fry shrugged.

“And just what the hell do you think I’ve been doing you moron. You may not have noticed this but between the bleak desert environment and those Jerk-wad raiders it’s just not that easy. Sure I can make a bunch of fuel cells but then what? They’re no good to anyone if the only machines around run on gasoline!”

“That’s a good point” Fry shrugged

“You bet your butt it’s a good point! That’s why I built this place. It’s a kind of pilot light as it where. From here we could produce fuel cells from the water and hydro carbon compounds we pumped up from the well, and then once we have them, we can power the abandoned dark matter technologies scattered about the place and really get the ball rolling. Before you know it bam! Instant monopoly” Mom said as she flipped the remote, turning off the projector and raising the lights in the room.

“For this to work we had to find a way of producing both the advanced machinery needed to restore civilisation and the fuel cells used to power it, using what little resources were available of course”

“So didn’t you just say that’s why you set this place up?” Fry asked.

“But of course. However this facility alone can’t produce enough fuel cells to achieve our goal, besides this place isn’t exactly bristling with a large amount of dark matter tech either and that…”

Mom lent back into her chair and gave Fry an amused stare. “…And that’s where you come in” she continued with a great sense of intrigue. Fry raised an eyebrow quizzically as Mom tossed a box of 50 shotgun shells onto the table in front of him.

“What are these for?”

Mom gave a menacing smile as she paused to consider her reply.

“I need you to make a delivery for me, consider that a down payment.

”“Another delivery huh? Oh man, I’m starting to feel like some kind delivery boy” Fry complained as he pocketed the shells.

“Some Kind of delivery boy sounds about right, does that mean you’ll take the job?” Mom asked.

“Sure just tell me when, where and most importantly of all, how much?” Fry said using his most business like voice.

Somehow a grin finds its way onto Moms face. She takes a seat across the table and clasps her hands.

“You know, I think I’m beginning to like you” Mom comments with grim satisfaction. Fry looks on as she flips a button on the remote activating the projector again.

“Listen up dear, here’s what you can do for old Mom”

Chapter 10: The Road Ahead

“YOU SAID YOU’D DO WHAT?!” screamed Leela in disbelief as Fry helped Terry lower the freshly reconditioned truck engine into the Trucks engine compartment.

Fry strained as Terry directed him to stop as he adjusted its position. He looked over to Leela and repeated his statement. “I said that I’d drive the truck and the tanker to the abandoned government hydro electric facility 400 miles south of here!”

“That’s what I thought you’d said you idiot, do you realise just how insanely suicidal that is?” said Leela clearly in distress.

“Hey you’re all going there too; I don’t see why I should miss out on all the fun.” Fry protests still struggling to hold the chain attached to the engine.

Leela rested her hands on her hips and leaned in as she continued to nag “That’s not the point and you know it, those raiders out there will tear each other, and you, apart just to get at that thing! Face it Fry, you don’t stand a chance behind the wheel of this hunk of junk” she motioned toward the truck.

Terry gave Fry the ok signal to Fry who let go of the chain.

“Look Leela, I know what’s waiting out there and I know what this truck is capable of, which is a lot more than I can say for any of you guys. Mom knows that that tanker will stand a much better chance of making it to its destination with me behind the wheel and deep down I’m sure you know that to”.

Fry picked up an old rag and rubbed the sweat from his brow before tossing it back into his car, hitting Nibbler square in face.

Leela was dumbstruck, she knew Fry was right. None of the refinery workers had much experience out in the wasteland, certainly not as much as Fry, and he had driven the truck across the desert wastes before. Someone had to drive it and Fry was the only real choice. Not that she could live with herself if she let any of her friends go in this strangers place. After all that’s all this Fry was, some random guy from the desert who needed fuel that happened upon the fort one day.

She looked down to Nibbler who was spitting repeatedly into the dirt trying to remove the fowl taste of Fry’s sweat from his mouth. For reasons she couldn’t explain, in the short time she’d known Fry; she’d somehow grown attached to him. Maybe it was the music, the mystery of his presence or just his boyish charm. She looked back up to Fry who had started drinking from the large canteen that had been attached to the side of his car. She had to admit, as stupid a choice of desert clothing it was, He did look great in leather.

“Right that’s it, I’m going with you!” she screamed with some urgency. Fry dropped the canteen in surprise and sprayed the water from his mouth, all over Nibbler now on the ground in front of him.

“WHAT! You can’t do that!” he shouted “There’s no need for you to come along, besides I’m going to have my hands full just keeping my own ass out of trouble, I don’t need you along complicating things.

”Leelas eye widened as if shocked by his reply “Humph! And just what make you think I’ll be letting you get your hands anywhere near my ass?” Leela shouted back.

Fry took a deep breath as if to reply. Then he looked confused “What?! I didn’t mean!”

Before Fry could finish Leela turned and stormed out of the workshop leaving Fry, Terry and Nibbler totally a gasp.

Fry turned to Terry “Just what the hell did I say?” he asked.

Terry shrugged. “I don’t know, but what I do know is that you’ll have more than stumpy here for company when you take this baby out next! If I know one thing about that woman, it’s that once she sets her mind to something she does it.”

Fry looked down to Nibbler, up to the truck then back over to Terry. “What I didn’t agree to that” he objected.

“Oh relax big guy, these days taking a one eyed lady out for a spin in a slow ass truck with a whole bunch of raiders riding your butt every step of the way is practically a date!” Terry joked as he disappears back into the trucks engine.

Fry was un-amused.“Whatever, I’m going to see what Farnsworth’s been up to. I haven’t seen him since he landed. “Are you coming Nibbler?”Nibbler darted over to Fry and followed him out of the workshop leaving Terry to work in peace.

After a brief stroll around the now bustling compound and through the gathered mass of refinery workers and motor vehicles, Fry eventually found Farnsworth arguing with Wernstrom outside the refinery.

Fry sat back and to listen as both men passionately argued over the nonsensical theory of which kind of cereal would be the best shield against harmful radiation.

“Balderdash!” Shouted the Professor as if objecting to Wernstrom. “Only the deliciously thick and crunchy flakes of Admiral Crunch have sufficiently large a surface area for maximum particle adsorption!” Farnsworth screamed passionately, bewildering every one in earshot.

“HA! Your argument is preposterous, where’s your evidence old man? Admiral Crunch simply doesn’t have the capacity to adsorb dangerous ionising radiation. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going for my afternoon nap! Humph.” Wernstrom replied.

Farnsworth looked on defeated yet unbroken, as Wernstrom slowly hobbled out of view.

“Don’t worry professor that guys clearly an absolute fruit loop!” said Fry patting the professor on the back. Say how’d you end up getting mixed up with that guy anyway?” Fry asked quizzically.

“Uh wha? Oh Wernstrom? WERRNSTROMMM!”.

“Enough with the crazy and tell me how you and Poindexter there ended up arguing about your insane theories.”

“Oh that, well after a brief chat with Mom down in that bunker of hers she said that I could stay and work for her. She’s a little short handed you know. I believe she has something in mind for you too Fry!”

“Yeah Mom and I had a little chat ourselves, but that doesn’t explain how you ended up arguing with Wernstrom!

“Wernstrom is, for want of a better term, ‘head of science’ here so naturally I went to ask him about this new fuel cell technology Moms been working on. Professional rivalry being what it is we ended up here discussing the various alternate applications for breakfast cereals, oh my yes!”

“Well that makes a crazy kind of sense I guess. During your little chat with Mom did she tell you this bunch of crazies is about to relocate to an old hydro dam south of here?” Fry asked beneath his breath.

“What?!” shouted the professor motioning his hand to the flight cap flap hanging over his ear.

“Do you know about Moms crazy plan to move shop! Those poor chumps out there are all packing up ready to leave” Fry said a little louder pointing out into the yard.

“But of course! That Moms quite a woman, just think of it Fry. Once we get the generators back on line that dam will provide an infinite source of renewable energy as well as storing all the water we’ll ever need to produce fuel cell. I hear theirs an old cache of dark matter technology there too.”

“What you don’t think going out there with those raiders is crazy? They're all going to get themselves killed” Fry says with some angst.

“Oh nonsense all those raiders are interested in is getting their hands on the petroleum for their arcane gasoline engines and other tech. That much you can count on Fry!”

“But I’m driving the tanker to the new site!” Fry Shouted nervously!

“Well we’ll need fuel to get there of course” the professor pondered “and Mom must need that tanker to move it. I admit it’s a risk Fry but it’s a chance we all have to take for Moms plan to work. That dam is perhaps the only mechanism in the wastes that can provide sufficient power to operate the manufacturing facilities required for a large scale introduction of fuel cells to this area. Besides those raiders don’t have enough gasoline to follow us all the way there, most of them will run dry after the first 30 miles or so!”

“That’s easy for you to say, but for me in that dawdling truck that’s a whole hour fighting those guys off!”

The professor rested his hand on Fry’s shoulder “Don’t worry Fry Mom needs that fuel and you can bet she’ll spare no expense in helping you protect it!”

“Well there’s that I guess. ” Fry said. “You better get ready, we’re leaving as soon as the truck's ready, and at the rate Terry seems to be working that should be some time tomorrow morning”

“Well ok Fry, and just in case I don’t see you, good luck!!

Chapter 11: Anticipation

Bender booted up for the morning over in the raider camp and took a shot of the hard stuff from a moonshine still he had installed in the back of his truck. After a grim night of sobriety and chewing people out for not stopping Fry’s delivery, Bender had personally made sure that every raider in his camp stayed sober enough to keep an eye on the refinery 24 hours a day. He’d figured that now the refinery workers had the truck, they where going to make a break for it with the loot. “Come on Jerks and skin tubes, old Benders a’ waiting for you” he said peering through to the compound with his telescopic eyes.

Meanwhile out on the desert road past the compound Kiff and Amy where surveying the far wall. “If they make a break for it, they’ll be sure to come this way my love!” said Kiff to Amy as she peered across the desert. “No spluh, that truck doesn’t stand a chance across open desert, they’ll have to take the road” Amy replied Pausing to wave at another group of raiders near by. she grabbed Kiffs bulbous green head and forcefully planted a kiss on his soft sponge like beak before pushing him off her bike onto the hard ground below. “Now Kiffy be a good boy and steal yourself a buggy from one of those Jerks over there, when those refinery workers come this way, I want to be sure its us that gets the juice” Kiff picked himself up and dusted himself down “but dearest!” he complained. Amy unbuttoned her top so the top of her cleavage is clearly visible “Don’t worry hon. you wont be caught I’ll provide all the distraction you need. Just make sure you grab the one with the biggest engine. You can do that cant you, get me a lil’ present.” Kiff didn’t have time to answer. Amy simply revved up her bike and sped of in the direction of the small group shed seen earlier “sweaty Wait I…” started Kiff, his voice dissolving into a slight mumble as Amy sped away. Kiff continued to swear under his breath as he turned his gaze to the small collection of beat up dessert wrecks the raider group had parked about half way between them and him. Kiff reached into his stirrups and produced a small switch blade and made for the nearest buggy. “Time to get to work!” he said to himself as he engaged his camouflage reflex and disappeared into the desert heat.

Back in the Refinery complex, Terry had made good on his word. After a ceaseless night of toiling he had repaired most of the damage to the truck, loaded up the trailer and was just touching up the last couple of seams on the cabs new thin layer of armour. Fry sat back and watched as Terry wrapped up. “So Fry you all rested up? It’s not going to be easy out there, even if you get past the raiders you got a lot of sun baked desert to cross” he asked as he welded shut another seem. “I’m good thanks and don’t worry I’ll make it there ok with Moms gasoline, just make sure you and Morgan don’t mess up my car too much.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll take it easy on her Fry!”

“What Morgan or the car?” Philip smirked suggestively taking a large swig from his canteen, not noticing Morgan who had just walked in through the vehicle entrance and was now standing behind him.

“The Car I hope!” boomed Morgan’s voice from across the workshop. Surprised by the sound of Morgan’s stern sounding voice together with what she was implying soaked Terry as he chokingly spat out the water he had inhaled from his canteen. “Just once I’d like to have a drink around here without doing that!” Fry complained. “Yeah tell me about it.” Terry said whipping the water from his face.

Terry turned off his welding Iron and glared at both Fry and Morgan with a look that could cut through the armour he’d just installed on the truck.

“Quite screwing around sloughs!” bellowed Mom as she and a small entourage of employees walked in behind Morgen. “You filth merchants all set here?” she demanded impatiently.

Terry looked over to Mom the turns back to Morgan looking for an answer “We’re all packed Hon” she winked back.

“I’m all set here to” said Fry patting his shotgun holster

“You mean we’re all set” Said Leela cutting Fry a glare and grasping her Bow

“Good” said Mom “Then How about we all stop jawing and get this damn travelling monkey circus rolling!” she reached for her packet of cigarettes. She cussed, the packet was empty. “Life times supply my Ass!” she whispered under her breath. Mom then redirects her frustration to the assembled group that now surrounded her. She glared over to Terry “You and your skank get over to that idiots interceptor, I want you driving point in front of me, edger and Wernstrom in the school bus” she said to Morgan’s surprise. “Come on Morgan Lets go!” Terry said grabbing her by the elbow and making for Fry’s Car.

As Morgan and Teri walked off Mom Turned Back to Fry and Leela “Now listen up you two, every things riding on you successfully getting by those freaks out there, and I don’t want any screw ups. Mess this up and survive, neither raiders, that demented bending unit or this waste land will be anything to be scared of compared to me!”

“Ok Fry” Wernstrom said after a brief silence. “Your out first, head north to the road and drive out east, once you lose those raiders head for the hydro plant I’ve marked out on that map of yours”

“What about the rest of you guys?” Leela asked “surly were going to get some help out there”

“Don’t worry you’ll get a small contingent of men to help slow those raiders down, for all the good it will do you” said Wernstrom

“The Rest of us are going Direct” spat Mom “so don’t expect any help outside of your own convoy.”

“Fine by me” Fry said confidently “I do some of my best work when I’m not babysitting anyone”

“Sheesh” said Leela rolling her eye about its socket.

“Quit Jerking around you two!” Mom screamed. “I’ve rigged the whole compound to blow in 30 Minutes and I want everyone to be well underway by then. Now get to work!” she spat pointing tensely at the now heavily armoured truck with the highly prized fuel in tow.

As Fry turned to the truck, Mom paused and glanced over to Leela. Fry couldn’t place it but as the two women stood there was something different about the way the steely old woman held herself, as if just for a fleeting moment mom allowed a begrudging heir of sympathy and understanding passed between them.

Mom motioned to Wernstrom then made for the school bus.

Fry wasn’t sure but Leela seemed less sure of herself than before. Perhaps the reality of what lay before them had started to sink in. He decided not to pry and opened the cab door for her. Obligingly Leela climbed up the step and found Nibbler already curled up in the passenger seat fast asleep. Pushing gently she edged the still sleeping animal up the seat, placed her weapons to one side and sat down next to him. Meanwhile Fry slammed the door and had made his way over to the driver’s side. On arriving he looked over to Leela and saw Nibbler resting peacefully next to her. “Hmm you two kind of suite each other!” he commented “Nibbler doesn’t usually go in for company” he said as he started the engine.

“Hmm, appreciate the thought Fry but he’s not my type!” Leela replied. “Then just who is your type?” Fry asked coyly as he drove the truck out into the yard and up to the gate. “You know what they say Fry, if you have to ask…” “You’ll never know.” Fry completed her sentence and stared out through the trucks hastily repaired wind screen.

Leela rested her hand on Nibbler as he stirred on her lap. Fry revved the engine. There was a moment of eerie silence as every soul in the packed court yard looked toward the exit. After what seemed an eternity the gate mechanism came to life breaking the silence with a high pitched metallic squeal.

“Well I guess this it Fry” said Leela looking across the cab. Fry looked ahead to the gate “Please, call me Philip!” He said glancing back to her. “Torunga” she smiled back nervously “You sure you can drive this thing with a trailer attached” she asked. “Maybe replied Fry. “You sure you stop all that desert scum from shooting the two of us?” They again sat in silence for a moment listening to the unhealthy squealing sounds that issued forth from the gate motor. Then the gate slowly started to open. Fry Immediately jammed down hard on the gas. As the trucks metal clad wheels span in the dirt and the truck jerked toward the half open gate. Fry didn’t let of the gas for a moment. Leela covered her eye as they neared the wall, “the gate isn’t going to open in time” she thought “this fool is going to crash before we start!”

A few seconds passed before the cabin shook violently and Leela was wrenched from the passenger seat with a crash. “I knew it” she thought she opened her eye to see they where out in the desert, still in motion. “We need to get to the road, and fast” shouted Fry above the noise of the engine gazing out toward the raider camp from which a vast number of cars had already started out toward them. “I don’t think the truck can take the extra weight of the trailer on this rough surface” he continued “hang onto your butt, its going to be a bumpy ride”

Chapter 12: The Gauntlet

“Ok Chumps and Chumpettes, get to your pimp mobiles this is it!” Bender Shouted as he saw the heavy metal gate start to slide into the wall “Don’t you think we should see which way they are heading before be start driving around wildly?” asked Hermes as he turned the ignition. “Up yours Hermes” Said Bender in a rage”Just shut up and drive! You should try to remember who’s the humongous around here. Is it you? No! It’s me, Bender! And if anyone has a problem with that then you can bite my shiny metal ass! ”now who wouldn’t want to kiss the boss’s ass or the king of rock and roll for d’at matter” Hermes joked to a scruffy looking raider sat next to him.

Bender and Hermes Looked back to the compound just in time to see the tanker truck slip past the still moving gate at blistering speed and crash through a small sand back just out side the compound walls, fallowed by a small contingent of scavenged raider buggies decked out in Mom corp. colours “their heading for the north road” Hermes said urgently “Good Signal those chumps on the north road and tell them their on tanker detail. You take everyone near the hill and follow them. Me and all these no name jerks from the camp will take the compound!” Bender said jumping out off the truck. “You sure about that mon?” Hermes asked “You know they probably haven’t left anything behind for us right!” he said

Bender turned back to Hermes “Duh! It’s a pumping station idiot; with that well I could fill a hundred of those tankers. And I want first dibs” he said with greedily.

“Well all right!” said Hermes coyly “Lets go jerk some Jerks!” he shouted to a few raider cars waiting near by. Hermes motioned to a few raiders who where on foot. “With me ya’ lazy hodaegs!” he ordered. With that they all accelerated down the hill straight toward Fry.

Meanwhile amidst a heap of now unconscious raiders Amy and Kiff sat together in there newly acquired buggy looking back at compound “What’s that Kiffy?” Amy asked pointing to a flashing light on the horizon

“Why that the signal” Said Kiff with a measure of excitement “this is it, the tankers heading this way” he giggled. Amy Grinned as her eyes narrowed with anticipation “start the Engine Kiff and Follow my lead” she said bounding out from the passenger’s seat and scrambling for her bike. Kiff did as he was told and revved up as Amy mounted the bike and pulled out a crossbow which was ready loaded with a nasty looking barbed arrow. Kiff pulled a large six chambered revolver out from under the steering wheeled and loaded it with six rounds from his pocket. The pair nodded at each other and sped off toward the distant truck as it hastily tore its way toward them through the desert.

The main Mom Corp. convoy had little trouble making its way out of the compound, Hermes together with the bulk of the raider force where too interested in the truck to pay them any attention, meanwhile those that had stayed behind led by bender where just happy to take the compound.

“So Long Jerk Wads!” shouted Bender as the Mom Corp. convoy honed from view “Ok sausage Links lets make ourselves at home” he shouted back to his men “oh and don’t forget the stills!” he added jovially.

Fry and Leela Meanwhile were up to there necks in trouble, surround by a swarm of raiders being led by Hermes. Hermes directed some of the raider cars to engage the tankers already over whelmed escorts, drawing them off away from the prize. He then directed one buggy to overtake the tanker, the dust it kicked up with its tires effectively obscuring the vision of the cabs occupants.

“Ok Leela this is it!” Fry shouted across the cab “There going to try to push us off the road!” Leela nodded “I’ll see what I can do” she shouted back. She opened the door of the cab and climbed out onto the roof. Seizing the opportunity the car in front slammed on the breaks hoping to cause the truck to swerve and jack knife. Fry didn’t even flinch and floored the accelerator ploughing headlong into the raider buggy reducing it to scrap.

On the roof of the cab Leela hangs on for deer life as the lorry jerks wildly from side.

Realizing their mistake the raiders regroup and move in closer to the sides of the truck and start firing arrows at the wheels, in at the cab and at Leela who is now standing upright on top of the cab. Leela grabbed her bow and started to loose arrow after arrow at the assorted trash that surrounded the truck. The first few fell well off the mark “lousy Cross wind!” she murmurs to herself as she regained her composure

Down in the cab Fry tried to hold the truck steady as scores of arrows where being deflected off the cabs armour and a succession of raider vehicles buffeted the truck from every angle.

“Ok People!” Hermes shouted to the raiders sitting behind him in the back of his small truck “I Want this smooth and by the numbers. I want it neat clean and efficient” he motions to another car to move forward past the truck. “In short I want you all over that truck like a pair of snakes in a sugar cane field”

This time as the car overtook the truck the passenger leant out the side window and threw a lit petrol bomb that shattered on top of the cabs engine compartment. “Leela! I could use a little back up” Fry shouted as he desperately searched for a water canteen.

The cars passenger disappeared back through the car window and shortly re-emerged with another bomb Leela fired an arrow at the assailant, this time it hit home knocking him back into the car bomb in hand, forcing it to be released back into the car which promptly turned wildly and ploughed into a sand bank then exploded in a wash of flames as the driver and passenger rushed out and desperately start rolling in the dirt.

Meanwhile Hermes made use of the distraction and drove in close behind the truck dropping off his men onto the trailer. Un aware of their new passengers, Leela continued to exchange arrows with the cars at the front of the truck causing them to swerve violently and delaying their attacks.

With the windscreen now hopelessly blackened by smoke, Fry drew his gun and shot it out. The fire still raging on the hood Fry opened his canteen, soaked a cloth and attempted so beat out the fame as he drove.

Back at the compound, Bender and his crew where celebrating their victory out in the main court yard; Bender walked over to the well and ran his metallic hand into the slow stream of oil that issued fourth.

“Hmm Pure Texas crude” he sighs contentedly “That’ll loosen up the rusted joints”

“Uh chief, uh humongous, uh sir?” Came the worried voice of a Raider minion. “Hey, call me Bender” said Bender in a relaxed tone.

“Uh Bender I’m getting a weird read out on the pressure regulation valve” said the same worried minion “Oh really what does it say skin tube?”

“It’s just reading a sequence of numbers and I can’t seem to back out of it!”

“So, read them to me, maybe my superior robot intellect can decipher them”

“Well over here the well pressure is steadily building higher and higher and over here” the minion directed his gaze toward a larger red flashing readout panel ” It read 8, now 7, no 6, wait 5, 4…”

“Oh crap!” Bender uttered sounding utterly defeated “I really hate that old Bat!” Bender continued in a disdainfully morbid tone.

“Now it says 1” continues the minion oblivious

“0…”

Back at the truck the ground shook as an intense flash of light filled the sky followed by a deafeningly loud bang and hot rush of air forcing the lighter vehicle of the road and blowing out the fire on the hood blowing Leela clear off the roof and down onto the hood. All the time, Fry struggling to keep control of the truck through the midst of confusion.

“Holy Crap!!!” shouted Fry in surprise and alarm “Leela… Leela, are you ok?”

Leela shook her head, slightly dazed and confused “Oh I’m just peachy!” she replied “one things for sure though” She added. “What that!” Fry enquired gripping the wheel with both hands “When it comes to blowing Sh*t up mom doesn’t mess around!!” she concluded.

Chapter 13: Fallout

As the refinery blew, Farnsworth looked back across the wasteland to the rapidly disappearing wisps of dust kicked up by the chase. From his airborne prospective he could see the plume of debris steadily rise from the well and the now raging oil fire burning out of control below. He checked his fuel gauges and looked down to the ramshackle convoy of cars being led by Fry’s black interceptor and moms school bus as it glided smoothly across the rough dessert ground beneath him. As he looked on something didn’t sit right. As he mulled things over in his mind he finally came to an inescapable conclusion. His life had turned around the day he met Fry and he couldn’t sit by and do nothing as the man that set up such sweet deal for everyone was fighting for his life once more for all of them. Farnsworth pulled out his cross bow and changed his heading. “Hang on there partner, here comes the cavalry, oh my yes!”

Down in the school bus Walt, Larry, Igner and Windstorm sat quietly as mom drank creamed soda and complained about the lack of cigarettes, the pains of being cut off from her old addiction fuelled her desire to lash out at anyone that spoke. Peering out of the window Igner looked blankly into the sky, his eyes eventual settling on Farnsworth’s aircraft high above as it swerved sharply toward the road far to the north. Igner unwisely broke the uneasy silence. “Uh Mommy?” he asked foolishly “WHAT IS IT APE?” Mom shouted back even more angry than usual. “Where’s the Flying man going?” he enquired pointing up into the sky. Mom got out of her seat walked past some fusion cells to the nearest window… “Farnsworth!” She hissed through her teeth. “That fools going to get him self killed!” Wernstrom folded his arms “so let him, we don’t need that quack” he snorted derisively “it’s not like we can stop him either, he’s all the way up there and we’re way down here.” Walt sat up clearly concerned. “If I might interject, Farnsworth’s a great asset, and we can’t afford to lose him!” he said as forcefully as he could despite which his voice still sounded a little slimy as he spoke. Mom reached for a cigarette then paused as she remembered that she hadn’t any left. “So what do we do mommy?” Igner asked sounding confused. Mom looked up at the helicopter for a moment and looked back toward rest of the busses passengers “it’ll take more than a few half assed raiders to get the better of that old fool… He’ll be back, carry on as planned… Now, SOMEONE FIND ME A DAMNED CIGARETTE!”

Meanwhile back at the truck…

“Holy Crap!!!” shouted Fry in surprise and alarm “Leela… Leela, are you ok?”

Leela shook her head, slightly dazed and confused “Oh I’m just peachy!” she replied sarcastically “one things for sure though” She added. “What that!” Fry asked gripping the wheel with both hands “When it comes to blowing Sh*t up Mom doesn’t mess around!”

Fry continued to grapple with the wheel as he struggled to prevent the trailer from jack knifing. Leela stood up and returned herself to her position on top of the cab. Upon arrival Leela was ‘checked in’ for an unexpectedly brief stay by the fist of a burly looking raider who had made his way up the length of the trailer unseen since disembarking from Hermes’s truck some miles back. Again Leela found herself back in front of Fry on the hood the Truck, dropping her bow. “Having trouble there Leela?” Fry Asked Still wrestling with the wheel, only to have a the same fist meet his face through the driver’s side window as the raider on the roof leaned over the side of the cab

Fry spat out blood across the cabin, still punch drunk let go of the wheel leaving the truck to veer wildly across the road ploughing into the soft sand embankment opposite. As the debris from the explosion at the compound began to fall Fry eventually re-established his grip on the wheel and again steadied the truck, unable to fight back as he did so, Fry was subjected repeatedly to the raiders punches as he continued his attack. Hanging down from the roof of the cab and fully engrossed in the act of tenderising the left hand side of Fry face the raider didn’t notice Leela climb back up behind him and swing her sturdy boot squarely toward his crotch. As the hardened steel toecap contacted with the collection of soft dangly objects between his legs the sheer force of the blow propelled him forward off of the cab and into the road. The raider reeled in pain and released a high pitch blood soaked scream that ended abruptly as the unstable wheels of the tanker sucked him under. Leela straightened her jaw and directed her gaze back onto the trailer behind her.

Alarmingly it was crawling with more of the same scum that she’d just dispensed with. Having seen what she’d done the their comrade they weren’t taking any more chances, drawing an assortment of blades the assembled party waited for the truck to steady itself before rushing the lone fighter as she stood in readiness for the onslaught.

Through the commotion above him Fry thought he heard a familiar voice slowly getting louder “No, it cant be!” he said looking to the sky ahead, but sure enough amongst the debris fell… Benders disembodied metallic head, screaming and glistening as it fell before landing on the hood of the truck, by pure coincidence landing exactly where the hood ornament would be. “You” both Fry and Bender screamed in unison upon seeing each other. “So you finally got your wish! Made old Bender a hood ornament didn’t you.” Fry continued to fight the unwieldy motion of the truck as another tire blew out on the trailer behind. “Well you’ve got to admit it is kind of ironic you landing in that exact position and being perched there like that” Fry said mocking the head as he strained against the wheel. “Oh please, it’s not ironic” Bender retorted indignantly “It’s just staggeringly improbable! You know if I had my body with me I’d seriously be kicking your ass right now bone sack!” Bender directed his gaze to the top of the cab “you know skin tube you’re missing a hell of a fight out here, heh heh! I put 50 bucks on my guys!!”

Back in the drivers seat Fry ignored Benders head as he looked on at the road ahead. From the bushes before him emerged more raiders’ intent on getting their hands on the precious cargo. Fry swore in disbelief, his right eye began to swell as he drove, but as they drew nearer Fry could still make out Amy, the raider From that fateful day he met Farnsworth for the first time, brandishing her crossbow in readiness. Fry reacting reached for his gun. An unconscious raider fell onto the hood in front of him momentarily distracting Fry. He looked back to where Amy had been. Nothing at a loss as to where she had gone Fry looked around the outside of the cab franticly searching for her as another raider was flung off of the roof, this time past the drivers side window onto the road side embankment. He heard the passenger side door open then slam closed “Leela…” he said as he looked round expectedly, only to see Kiff who promptly snatched away Fry’s shotgun and aimed it at his head “Keep driving” he commanded.

Meanwhile, as various peaces of debris fell around her Leela was far too busy to notice Kiffs unmanned buggy as it careered out of control into the road side embankment below her. She had her hands full with the raider ‘boarding party that had set on her with chains, knives and clubs. She had already dispensed with two of her attackers by throwing them off the truck but now the assailants seemed to have changed tactics, cautiously holding their ground and choosing their moment to strike. Leela waited for the first attack, which came from the raider on her left. Using his own momentum against him she dragged his knife wielding hand past her and swept his legs out from beneath him with her foot. Grasping his knife as he fell, with one fluid motion she span round and thrust it deep into the neck of a second raider that lunged forward from behind. Moving to block yet another attack she felt a burning pain in her right shoulder as a third massive brute mercilessly thrust a rusted blade deep into her upper arm and twisted the handle.

If things weren’t bad enough, as Leela fell through the corner of her eye she spotted Amy emerging from the back of the trailer, cross bow in hand. Now on her knees she looked back to the raider whose knife now stuck out of her shoulder.

The male raider had started swinging a heavy steel chain about his head in preparation for one last blow, “this was it” she thought. As the Raider lurched forward, to Leela’s surprise he fell to his knees screaming in pain, Amy’s barbed arrow now embedded deep into his torso. “Argh!” he screamed again as he lurched forward he grasped Leela’s neck. Leela winced in agony as she tensed up the muscle in her neck hoping to buy herself a few more seconds before she passed out. She reached for her shoulder with her good arm and took a firm grip of the raider’s blade. She quickly drew it out screaming and thrust it into the gut of its owner. It just made him angry, his eyes widened as he tightened his grip, His efforts finally cut short as Amy casually reached over and in a singular swift motion snapped his neck like a dry twig. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to hit girls or play with knives” she cussed at his bloodied corpse before dropping his lifeless form and directing her steely gaze toward Leela who now bled helplessly at her feet.

“So…you next jerk wad?” Leela spat up defiantly at Amy as the strength ebbed from her body. She passed out seconds later. Silently Amy lifted Leela by her good arm and dragged her back to the front of the truck; not noticing as she did the unconscious raider Leela had flung to the deck, start to stir. Amy lowered Leela through the passenger side door to Kiff waiting below; as she did, she looked round and saw the scruffy looking raider, who had started to work the latch which held the trailer in place.

“Scruffy’s pulling out a big Pin.” He said to himself jovially. As he did so the tanker let out a high pitch wale, the sound of metal sliding against metal the roar of tearing hydraulics, followed by the crash and scream as the trailer fell to the asphalt of the road below. “No!” Amy shouted watching in absolute terror, as Scruffy and the loot fell to the road behind them.

Chapter 14: Worlds Collide

The Professor powered through the air in his light helicopter surveying the ground far beneath him as he approached the road to the north of what once was the last refuge of mom corp. which now burnt like the seventh circle of hell below him. Tracing the path of the truck laid clear by its deep tracks in the sand, the masses of twisted metal and the bodies of its former escort and pursuers alike sporadically scattered along the banks. After flying some 5 miles the professor spotted a large group of raiders desperately recovering fuel from their stricken vehicles and yet more of the rascals dragging their cars back to the road. Given the relatively large number of ‘accidents’ at this one location the professor surmised that this must be where the rolling battle had been at the time of the plants detonation. Amidst the chaos below, Farnsworth recognised the raider second in command, barking orders to those around him using his signature Jamaican prose. Even as he sped overhead the professor could clearly tell it wasn’t going to take long for the raiders to get rolling again.

Farnsworth directed his gaze forward optimistically, had Fry made it through the meat grinder in one peace? If he had this was good news, by now Fry could be nearing the limits of the gangs range. Then searching the road ahead, Hubert’s heart sank. There only a few miles ahead of him stood the customised Mack R600 almost motionless, and lying some distance behind was the trailer broken and clearly unattached to the truck.

Down below, as the Truck ground to a stop Fry looked to Leela who lay bleeding on the cabs seats where Amy and Kiff had left her, who at that moment looked back down the road to the crashed trailer which lay broken and cracked behind them. “Hey why isn’t leaking oil all other the road?” asked Amy curiously. Kiff scratched his head deep in thought before looking back at Fry who had started cutting the dirty blood soaked clothing from Leela’s gaping wound. Fry looked up to Kiff, who instead of pointing his gun at him as he had up to that point was now pouring water from his canteen over Leela’s wound, attentively cleaning it as Amy prepared a dressing from a few ‘clean’ rags she had on her person.

Amy passed her rags to Fry, who use them to dress Leela’s wounds. Fry nodded to Kiff as he tied off the makeshift bandages.

“That the best we can do with for her, if she doesn’t stop bleeding she’s not going to last long” Kiff said to Fry stepping back out of the cab giving Leela some room to breath.

“Thank you…” Fry sighed sincerely “but I don’t get it. Why are you guys helping us?” Fry asked “I don’t mean to seem ungrateful but I thought you just wanted to get that fuel in the trailer!”

“Well until that refinery blew, you were absolutely right!” Said Amy looking back to the tanker” with a calm but serious voice “A tanker full of gas on its own is little good to anyone out here, not if you don’t have a place to stash the goods.” She continued. “Without that mom corp. facility it was only going to be a matter of time until some other gang stole the loot... that’s if there was any loot in the first place. Splech!”

Fry jumped out of the cab to see the broken tanker behind them. “It’s Empty?” he said in complete surprise

“Heheheh! Looks like you and your chump girlfriend were set up!” Said Bender still perched atop the trucks emblem.

The assembled group stood in silence as the weight of what Bender said fully sank in. Was it true? Was it a set up along, a mere diversion so that mom could escape? Surely Leela must have known what Mom had planned. She was with Mom at the refinery from the beginning. But if she had known, would she have volunteered knowing it for what it truly was? Knowing all along it was a death sentence. Fry looked back into the cab to Leela her dressings already beginning to soak through with blood.

For Mom to hide this from Fry was one thing. He had only been there a couple of days. Leela must have at least seen something. Living amongst the pumps and refineries, surely she had to have known there was nothing in the tanker. Had she volunteered herself for this fate, for him? There was no need for her to be here. To mom Fry was just another expendable asset, a loan drifter, Ideal for the purposes of distracting the gang that had plagued the fort, but Leela? Surely there was no need for her sacrifice.

Maybe she was just that dedicated to mom, going for the ride just to convince him he really had the fuel. Perhaps she had been suckered by mom or… perhaps deep down, she truly believed she could save him, save them both. “But it wasn’t worth this.” Fry grasped Leela’s hand “We only just met” he whispered under his breath. He said a silent prayer. It was all he could do for his companion now.

The silence was broken by what to Fry was an all too familiar but not unwelcome sound, the sound of Farnsworth’s 2 person gyroide flying high over head.

As he circled to land, the professor could not even begin to fathom just what had happened but minutes before. All the raiders were out for the count several miles back and with no other vehicles to be seen in the area around the truck, Farnsworth was at a loss.

Amy and Kiff raised their hands in submission as the Professor landed and immediately aimed his immense crossbow at them. “Keep ‘em where I can see ‘em you desert whipper snappers!” he ordered authoritatively.

“Fry!? Leela!?” he shouted desperately. “Professor, don’t worry about them, those two saved our asses back there” Fry replied looking up from Leela who sill lay unconscious across the cabs seats. Farnsworth lowered his bow and walked over to the cab “My god Fry what happened?” he asked “Dear lord! Your face, jes… oh man that looks bad!”

“No time for that old man, we’ve got to get Leela out of here as soon as possible!” Philip said as both he and Amy lifted her from the seat. “We patched her up as best we could but she needs real medical attention. Did the Mom Corp med make it through alright?”

“But of course, that desert trash didn’t pay us any mind!” answered the Professor “Quickly bring her over to the helicopter; I have a first aid kit that might help her hold on till I get her back to the convoy!”

Obligingly they both carried Leela to the helicopter and carefully lowered her to its rickety floor. Briefly fishing around in the rear Farnsworth produced a small plastic box with a green cross engraved on the front. He opened it up pulled out a small number of hypodermic syringes filled with a strange glowing orange fluid which he immediately injected at strategic points around the poorly dressed wound on Leela’s shoulder and upper arm. One he saved for Fry, injecting it near a nasty looking gash above his eye. “What is this stuff some kind of pain killer” Fry asked as he felt the pain ease across the hole of his face “oh my no!” said the professor as he returned the kit to its place at the back of the helicopter “Despite our surroundings this is still the 31stcentury, in a few minutes your face should be as good as new, unfortunately it cant do anything for how your face looked before you were injured.”

Fry raised an eyebrow in surprise and looked on as the Professor resumed his place at the helicopters controls “What about Tarunga?” Fry asked concerned

“Well, it will knit the wound, stop the bleeding and prevent any infection if that’s what you’re asking me Fry. But if she wants full use of that arm again I’ll have to get her back to the convoy as soon as possible”

Fry looked as if a great load had been taken from his mind.

“Hey what about us?” butted in Kiff

“Yeah we want in!” Amy continued

Ignoring Kiff and Amy’s out burst Fry continued his conversation with the Professor “Well I’ll see you then old man” he said “You take care of that lady there old man, I’m going to want to see her again when she wakes up. I… we all owe her a lot, you hear me.”

Farnsworth started the helicopters engine and winked back at Fry “Don’t worry. She’s going to be just fine… Fry I’ll tell her to expect a visit from you soon. Now you folks better get back into that truck and haul some butt, I’d say you haven’t got long until the rest of that gang back there starts after you again. Stick to the plan Fry and you’ll be back with the rest of us in no time! Oh and don’t worry about Mom, you performed your part of the bargain perfectly. As for the fuel mom stowed that in special tanks terry had installed on the rest of the vehicles. Very clever that Mom, but I since turning 160 I’ve always made it a point to never trust a rich widow with brains.” He shouted back at Fry over the sound of the engine as he waved goodbye.

Fry stood and watched as the professor turned the power up to full throttle and slowly took off.

“Hey what about me and Kiff!?” Amy screamed up at the professor urgently.

“What!?” the professor screamed back

“I said what about us” Amy screamed one more time

“Oh… I’ll put in a good word for you with Mom!” he replied veering away and heading back to the mom corp. fleet “I’m Sure she wont have the two of you shot on site… so long!” he shouted back in conclusion as his voice faded into the distance.

Fry smiled as he felt the last of his facial wounds heel miraculously. He turned to Amy and Kiff who he motioned into the truck

“Well I suppose you guys had better hop on in” He said sincerely “next stop the Hover Dam Mom corp. micro fusion facility”

Amy and Kiff looked at each other and walked over to the cab

“Uh Kiff?” Said Fry as he grasped the green alien by the ‘elbow’ stopping him in his tracks

“Yes?” Kiff responded quizzically.

“Could I get my shotgun back, its kind of an heirloom?”

“Uh…” Kiff looked up to Amy, already sat in the cabs passenger seat

Amy nodded and gave Kiff a confident wink. He handed Fry back his shotgun. Fry released him and holstered his gun.

He walked around the truck and took his place behind the wheel. Fry started the engine popped it gear and started off down the road.

As the truck disappeared down the road leaving the empty tanker behind them, for the first time in a while all of the passengers felt something they hadn’t felt in a while. Hope.

“One last thought” Fry added as the drew toward the horizon “do either of you guys know how to drive a truck, I hate being the designated driver”

Pondering her response Amy noticed Nibbler sniffing at her feet “Eww! Fry what is that thing? Why are you travelling with a rat? That is so gross!”

Ignoring Amy’s objection to Fry’s pet Kiff butted in with an urgent question “Uh I hate to be a nuisance but there are going to be a few bathroom breaks between here and the dam right?”

“Hey aren’t we all forgetting something here, Me Bender! Get me off this damned Grill. Hey look at me when I’m talking to you… Hey!”

And so it was that with the aid of the last few remnants of her Business Empire and the mysterious stranger from the wastes the once great industrialist Mom was able to begin her mission to return civilisation to the broken remains of the world. The story of how she, Fry, Leela and the others were to succeed in this task is a tale for another time.

The End

Written and illustrated by Steve Canniford “CosmicF”

Buddies