I stand here facing certain death…I stand tall, not really afraid, but just a bit sad that I couldn’t have done more with my life. Well, if you’re listening to me blather about my life, I might as well tell you my story. My name is Jamie Wong…no, not that goodie-goodie rich girl that spends her days on endless shopping sprees, but her clone. I’m her accidental clone; I’m not even supposed to exist. I guess being a clone isn’t such a bad thing, but it kind of sucks in a way…my memories are her memories…my tastes in men are her tastes in men, and so forth. My whole life is sort of like having to borrow a car instead of owning one. And those hateful nerds over at the Planet Express delivery service – I know that at least one of them calls me “Amy Wrong.” That really hurts. It’s probably that one-eyed freak named Leela. The boy Fry is kind of cute, though.
Anyway, back to my current predicament. I’m about to lose my life, which up to this point has only been 18 months, 5 days and 12 hours…no, I’m not a baby, I’m a clone – I already told you that. I know that you’re itching to hear how I got into this mess. It would be bad enough that I am a clone, but Professor Farnsworth’s computer programmed my brain with Amy Wong’s most undesirable traits. Okay, so I’m a thief. I enjoy it. Does that make me a bad person? I can tell you with some measure of pride that I had all of New New York on the edge of its seat with the most infamous crime spree in years. They even had a name for me – the “Black Jacket Bandit.” Kinda clever, huh? Anyway, when the heat got too hot in the Big Big Apple, I stole a ride on a tramp freighter to Mars. Olympica City is no New New York, but it had treasures of its own.
So how did I end up in prison? I was in charge of the biggest caper ever on Mars, possibly the whole solar system. The history museum in Olympica City is a pretty boring place, but it contained the most incredible treasure on this whole planet – the Idol of Nyon-Yatha. Old Nyon was the third Demon King of Mars, who ruled what we now call the Utopia Plateau. History was never my strong suit, and I really didn’t care much. What I did care about was that the idol itself was 3 kilos of pure platanium and encrusted with black Martian sapphires. Enough to make someone like me an empress for life if I’d melt it down into ingots. I put together the best crew money could buy…Shorty Hannagan, who may have been small in stature, but who could dismantle any alarm system in the universe, and Spyder Bledsoe, who could crack any lock anywhere. Spyder got me into a roof panel, and I was on my way down to get the idol. And then, Dao Mei! The stupid thing stuck. Before I could get the motor to take me back up, I got pinched by an idiot android security bot who shoved a laser pistol into my face. The greatest criminal escapade ended by a robot. I was taken straight to jail here in the city. And I sat there until my old buddies from Planet Express came to visit me one day.
When Professor Wernstrom called Farnsworth, he was on the verge of a panic attack. “For the love of all that’s decent, can’t you get your people under control?”
“What is this all about, Wernstrom?”
“It’s your intern, Miss Amy Wong! She’s broken into my lab and stolen several items. I’m not really angry about those items, but she has disrupted a very important experiment.”
“Last night?” the Professor asked. “Amy was with us the whole evening at dinner…I can vouch for that.”
“Hubert, just look at this security video.” Again, as had happened before, in walked Jamie – it was bad enough that she did what she did, but she just had to cheese it up for the cameras. Amy had already spoken to the police about several similar incidents. They watched in amazement as Jamie disappeared through a hole in the wall.
“Wernstrom,” the Professor said, “that wasn’t our Amy. Let me explain…”
Within a week, the Planet Express crew was marveling at how Jamie was arrested on Mars. “This calls for a celebration,” said Leela.
“I don’t feel much like celebrating,” responded Amy. “In a small way, I feel a little responsible for all of this.”
“It’s not your fault…stop beating yourself up over this. It’s the Professor’s screw up, not yours.”
“I think I’ll go grab lunch…I’ll be right back.” Amy went down the street to grab some burgers from a nearby diner. She didn’t notice the two thuggish characters that were hanging around outside of the restaurant. As soon as she came out with her bag of burgers, the two grabbed her and hauled her off. In the struggle her wrist computer came off and fell to the ground.
“Boy, Amy sure is taking her time getting lunch,” Leela said. A stranger walked in with Amy’s wrist computer. Leela turned to talk with him.
“Did you guys lose this?” he asked. “I found this on the sidewalk and it had a return address on the inside of it.”
Leela thanked the man, and went up to Farnsworth’s office with the computer. After examining it, the Professor got a scowl on his face. “It’s just as I thought,” he told Leela, “it’s got dirty anti-protons all over it.”
“And just what is that supposed to mean?”
“Whoever got to Amy was from outside of our universe. It’s a fair bet that they had something to do with Wernstrom’s experiment.”
“So that was a dimensional gateway we watched on the video?”
“Yes, and he found a particularly evil universe at that. Universe EVL. Jamie must have done something over there that brought someone back here. There is only one way of finding that out.”
The warden spoke in English, but it was in that heavy Martian accent that made him hard to understand. He grumbled as he looked over the communiqué, but he beckoned the Professor and his friends to follow him.
“I thought Jamie would have been in with the general population,” the Professor said.
“Her? She’s already tried to escape three times since she’s been here. We keep her in solitary in the basement.”
When the PE crew saw where Jamie was being kept, they were truly shocked. She was like an animal in a glass cage. They could barely see her, as she sat in the shadows of the room. “Hello, sweet friends,” came a somber sarcastic tone out of the darkness.
“Jamie?” said Fry.
She came out of the shadows to view her audience. “You’ve even brought Leela, with that New New York accent from the sewers that she tries so desperately to shed. And here’s yummy little Fry…you usually wear Old Spice, but not today.”
The most surprised of the bunch was Bender, as he’d never seen her. “Holy crap – she’s the spittin’ image of Little Boots!”
“Miss Jamie,” interjected the Professor, “we need some information from you.”
“If you need something from me, than you’ll have to do me a favor in exchange.”
“What the hell would you possibly want,” Leela shot in, “porno for your cell?”
“I want a night with Fry here…” she said, and began to purr like a cat as she caressed the window of her cell with her finger.
“No way,” said Leela. She then caught site of an angry Professor. “Okay sister, give us what we want and we’ll work on that.” This prompted a look of shock from Fry. “You may have to take one for the team, dear,” she said to him.
“I don’t want it like that,” Jamie shot back in anger, “I want it to be nice, and sweet, the way Amy would have had it. By the way, where is my counterpart anyway? I keep having the heebie-jeebies like she’s in trouble or something.”
“That’s what we were hoping you could help us with,” said Leela.
“Little lady,” Farnsworth said as he wagged his finger at her, “you did something in that lab, didn’t you? What did you do?”
“Oh, that…I sort of pulled a job.”
“Where?” he asked sternly.
“In that other place…the dark place. I found a royal palace – palaces have riches. I found some very nice jewelry when I was there. I’ve got them buried in a safe place for a rainy day. There…now I’ve held up my part of the bargain – do I get my Fry now?”
“What?” Leela said angrily. “You gotta do more than that, sissy. We’re gonna take a little ride.”
“How do you geeks intend to get me out?”
“Here is your paperwork, young lady.” The Professor produced a set of signed forms and held them up to the glass.
As soon as they were out of the police station, Jamie asked the Professor, “How did you pull that off?”
Farnsworth looked around to see if anyone was listening. “I sort of fixed a horse race for the judge.”
“Well, I fixed it. Not all tracks test for nanobots in the horses yet.”
Jamie bellowed with laughter. “You guys aren’t the goodie-goodies I thought you were. I’m liking you more and more…”
“Well, you won’t now…Leela?”
Leela quickly slapped a metal collar onto Jamie’s neck and locked it into place. Jamie screamed out in anger. “Aiya!! What the hell is this?”
“That,” explained Farnsworth, “is your invisible fence. If you stray more than 30 yards away from Leela’s wrist computer, you’ll get the shock of your life.”
“Damn you!! You mean I’m yoked to the Jolly Green Giantess over here?”
“Thank God you're only a thief and not a murderer,” said Leela.
“In your case, I may make an exception.”
“Bring it, little sister…”
“Enough, you two,” interjected the Professor, “let’s get to the Starport.”
The ride in the Planet Express ship was uncomfortable to say the least. Every time Fry glanced over at Jamie, she would purse her lips together to form a kiss, or worse, she would mouth the words to something really obscene. He even dozed off in his chair and had a terrible dream about her; in the dream he was a tiny mouse and she was an enormous marauding cat. When she captured him, she batted him around in her huge paws. Fry awoke in a sweat, only to find Jamie still staring at him with a smile.
After the green ship landed in the Planet Express bay, Leela marched her new charge down the ramp. “Don’t start playing prison guard with me, Leela…don’t give me an excuse to kill you later,” Jamie snapped.
“You’ve got me shaking all over…now get moving.”
The Professor looked at his watch in disgust. “It’s too late this evening to go over to Wernstrom’s lab…we’ll have to bunk out and head over in the morning.
“I’m not sleeping with you nerds,” Jamie spat, “I’m heading to the basement with Fry...”
“Wait!” yelled the Professor. They heard the zapping noise, and the yell come from Jamie. She was furious when she came back upstairs.
“I want my Fry! You promised!!”
“When you deliver on your part of the bargain,” Leela shot back. “now, bunk on this couch here and no funny stuff!”
When everything had settled down, the Planet Express crew had gone to sleep. Leela slept on an inflatable bed in an empty office. Jamie had gotten to be an expert at silently creeping around. She was able to get into Leela’s room without a sound. In her hands was a pillow. If she pulled this off right, this would be her first ever homicide; it didn’t seem like that big a deal. Closer. Closer. Even closer…
With a lightning swift movement, Leela was up at Jamie’s neck with a long bladed knife. Jamie’s eyes got huge. In a low voice Leela said to her, “You are the better thief. I am a much better warrior than you. If you try this again, you will not survive it. Now…go…back…to…sleep.” Quietly Jamie exited the room and went back to her couch.
Amy Wong was carried into the old manor by her captors, kicking and yelling as they held her arms. They brought her in to see the Vizier, who was shutting down his dimensional gateway machine. He looked at Amy. “This is the one?”
“Yes, we’re sure of it. We found wanted posters all over the city.”
The Vizier looked at the poster the thug handed him. “Are you sure this is the one? I mean she looks so innocent and nice.”
“That’s not me!” yelled Amy.
“Well, than who is it?” asked the Vizier.
Amy looked down at her boots. “It’s my clone.”
With this men burst into laughter.
In the morning, everyone griped about the lousy night sleep they had. Insta-meals were waiting in the kitchenette. When Jamie stumbled in, Leela greeted her with a smile. “Jamie – how was your night sleep?”
“Oh, just peachy Leela – and yours?”
“Wonderful…had a strange dream, though. I dreamed that someone tried to kill me…silly dream.” Jamie mockingly smiled back at her.
The first order of business was to retrieve the jewels that Jamie stole from the Darkmorr estate in the evil universe. She marched the crew out to New Central Park, and they stood looking up at the Leo Wong statue. The bronze figure had the trademark cowboy hat, a smile on his face, and held open a wallet full of money. At the base of the statue read the words, “How much you want for that?”
“Well,” asked Leela, “where is it?”
“Fry, climb up on the statue and knock on the wallet three times.”
Fry volunteered, and did what she said. The bronze wallet popped open, and he retrieved the necklace from a hollow part inside.
“Whoa, baby,” chortled Bender, “will you look at that. I never stole anything that nice!”
“Can I pick ‘em, or can I pick ‘em?” added Jamie with a smile. She held up the necklace, with its platanium and black Silurian diamonds and blue Martian sapphires…it shone brightly in the morning sun. “It’s just a pity that I have to take it back.”
Leela scowled. “I can’t believe you two lame-brains would brag over what you’ve stolen.”
“Well, Leela, some people collect baseball cards…Metal-man and I just collect other people’s baseball cards.”
When the Planet Express crew arrived at Wernstrom’s lab, the Professor couldn’t help but criticize him for opening up another dimensional door.
“Thanks for the advice,” Ogden shot back, “coming from the man who unintentionally cloned a human being recently.” It took a while for the machines to warm up, but Wernstrom had opened the dimensional hole again. He looked condescendingly over at Jamie. “Hubert, you’ve got that animal on a short leash, don’t you?”
Jamie looked back at him and made a slicing gesture across her neck with a smile.
In the old stone manor, Amy Wong sat at a long dinner table with a fancy meal in front of her. At the other end of the table sat the Baron of Darkmorr dressed in black. “Is the wine not to your liking, my dear?”
“Nothing here is to my liking. I hate it here. I don’t want to be here. I want to be back with my friends and my husband!”
“That breaks my heart to hear you talk about a husband…you know that I’ve fallen in love with you. You’re the criminal mastermind that stole the royal necklace. You’ve got brains, you’ve got beauty, and you’re evil as sin…what’s not to love?”
“For the last time, I was never here and I never took anything from this creeped-out Scooby palace!! I want to go home!!”
The baron came closer, and got down on one knee. “Please…won’t you please reconsider? I could make you my baroness! I’m not angry about the loss of the gems…they could be your wedding gift. We could rule this little barony together. I’ve fallen madly in love with you…” Distraught, the baron left the room.
The Planet Express crew stepped in through a hole in the wall and entered the Evil Empire. It was a dark place, with almost constant flashes of lightning illuminating a barren landscape. The group flinched as a close bolt of lightning struck nearby. “That’s just great,” Jamie spat as she looked at Bender, “do we have to stand here with a walking lightning rod?”
“If I get struck, I’ll just grab onto you, sweet cheeks!” barked Bender.
“Be quiet you two,” snapped Farnsworth, “Jamie, where is this place you robbed?”
“Just over those hills. You up for a walk, old man?”
“As ready as you, little squirt. Let’s get going.” The gang walked across the dark landscape as brilliant flashes of lightning lit up their faces.
“Hey, Prof,” asked Jamie, did we really have to wear these jet-boots? Isn’t this a little over the top?”
“I thought we might have to scale a wall or two. You up for a fly, little girl?”
As the five made their way up to the huge stone fence of Darkmorr Manor, Professor Farnsworth readied his jet boots. “You actually scaled this thing, Jamie?” he asked.
“I’m still young, old man…only 18 months old.”
Farnsworth gave her an evil smile and winked his eye. “Old age and treachery beats youth and skill any day.” He tapped the control on his wrist, and the jet boots easily took him up and over the wall.
“I’ve never seen him move that fast,” quipped Bender. Of course Bender had some jets of his own built into him. The Planet Express crew bounded over the wall one by one. As soon as they were over, the bunch of them froze in their tracks as an enormous hell hound ran up to them. Instead of attacking, it went up to Jamie and contentedly let her scratch underneath its chin. Leela’s eye got huge. Jamie looked at Leela and said, “You wouldn’t understand…it’s an evil thing.”
“I take back every rotten thing I’ve said about you,” she said.
“Hell, I wouldn’t…” said Jamie with a smile. You know…you’re so nice Leela, I just might kill you last.”
“Oh, that’s a comfort,” responded Leela. “We’d better get going.”
As they crept up to the stone walls of the manor, Jamie pointed out exactly where it was that she pulled her heist. “I climbed waaaay up there to that upper level, and in through the window.”
“Fine,” said the Professor, “let’s get going.”
“All of us?” asked Jamie. “It’ll only take me…I got it alone in the first place. The rest of you are just excess baggage.”
“Fine…Leela, you go with her.”
Jamie looked annoyed as another bright flash of lightning lit up their faces. “I gotta take the giant girl with me?”
“Well,” explained the Professor, “it’s not like we don’t trust you or anything…but when you are finished putting the jewels back, Leela will take off the collar. Besides, the rest of us will go looking for Amy – you’ve actually got the easier of the jobs.”
“I thought you had a plan, baldy,” spat Jamie.
“I want some hazard pay for this,” said Leela sarcastically.
“You’re gonna need it – I may try to kill you yet,” added Jamie. “Get your rocket boots ready, tree woman.” With that the two became airborne once again on their way to the upper parts of the manor.
The Black Knight was finishing off a cup of ale when the Vizier caught up with him. “Good sir knight,” he told him in a low voice, “we’re going to need your services. We’ve got more prowlers. If anything else gets taken, there will be hell to pay.” The knight got up from the table and pulled his sword out of its sheath.
Leela was amazed at how skilled Jamie was at breaking into a window, if such a job skill could be admired. Their mission was almost finished.
“Hold it right there, you thieving dogs!!”
The two spun around to see the knight, in all his black shining armor. Leela managed a weak smile. “I guess it wouldn’t help to explain that we were returning the jewels…would it?” He readied his sword to swing. “I guess it wouldn’t,” she said.
The knight went after the two with a vengeance…the only thing that kept them alive long enough was that they were agile, and that he had all that armor on. Leela kept trying to flank him and use her kung fu on him, but quickly had to back out of the way when he came around with that sword of his. “Crap,” Leela shouted, “if I only had a weapon.”
Jamie thought quickly. “You do!”
While the knight ran after Leela, Jamie jumped onto his back and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. “Get back, Leela!”
“I said, get back! Are you deaf? Run the hell away!!”
It took a second, but Leela figured out what Jamie was up to. While the enraged knight tried to peel Jamie off, Leela got as far away as she could on the balcony. When the shock collar kicked in, the knight had the misfortune of standing too close to the edge of the balcony. Both got the shock of their lives, and both fell over the balcony.
The knight with all of his armor broke the fall. Jamie lay on the ground, feeling like a mass of bruises from head to toe. The knight slowly got up, and recovered his sword. “Are you ready to die, you infidel dog?”
As he raised his sword on high, ready to execute Jamie, he didn’t notice the baron running up on the heath. “Wait!” he shouted to the knight.
No, I wasn’t killed in the fall. And I didn’t get my head chopped off, either. I told you that I was facing death…I didn’t say I died. Do you think I’m telling you this story from beyond the grave? Spluh! Anyway, let me finish my story…
“Sheath your sword, knight. I want to see this young woman.” As the knight put his weapon away, the Baron marveled at the resemblance of Jamie to Amy. “This is the one…I swore that no one could get to the jewels, and this little woman did it.”
Jamie sat up, and pulled the shining necklace out of her jacket pocket. “Sir, I believe these are yours.”
The baron’s eyes got large. He looked at Jamie. “Try them on, young lady…”
She looked back at Leela, “Do you mind?” Leela removed the shock collar.
Jamie put on the necklace, and he got a smile of satisfaction on his face. “You look radiant with that on, my dear.”
Jamie smiled back. “You are kind of cute yourself, in a rock star way.”
“I hate to break up this little romantic interlude,” said the Professor, “but my pocket computer is telling me that solar activity is on the rise. We’ve got to get back through the dimension hole and back to Wernstrom’s lab. If we miss this hole, we may get stuck here for 3 stellar minutes!”
Leela gave Farnsworth a confused look. “And that would mean…what? How much is a stellar minute?”
“Right…let’s get going.”
A rip in the fabric of space opened up on the heath…in the stormy night, Wernstrom’s lab could be seen through the hole.
As the Planet Express crew headed for the hole, Jamie and the bald-headed, bearded baron were still gazing at each other. Farnsworth got annoyed. “Will you two quit shilly-shallying? This hole won’t stay open long.”
“I’m not going with you guys,” said Jamie.
“You’re not?” said Amy in surprise.
“I belong here…I never did belong in your universe.” She looked at Amy with surprise. “Why are you crying?”
“Because, you’re a part of me. You may have been evil, but you’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister.” The two embraced for the first time. “Take care, sister,” Amy said.
Jamie then turned to Fry. “Poor Fry…we would have had such a good night together…”
Leela looked at her sternly. “I think he’ll survive.”
Jamie stroked Fry’s chin once with her finger. “You’ll find someone, Sweet Fry.”
Again, Leela looked irritated. “He’s already found someone.”
“Ooops…forgot about that.”
Then it was Bender’s turn to get in a parting shot. “It’s just too bad that we didn’t get the chance to see who was the better thief, you spiky-haired Tasmanian devil.”
“Oh, but I did. Remember the pocket watch that you took from that old man the other day?” Jamie pulled out the watch and swung it on its chain, flashing her teeth in a cheesy grin.
“Hey!” She put the watch in Bender’s hand, and he quickly put it back in his door.
“Jamie,” Leela said, “that thing that you did, on the balcony, you realize that you did a good thing…”
Jamie got a funny look on her face. “You won’t tell anyone, will you?”
Leela smiled. “Your secret is safe with me.”
“Leela,” Farnsworth barked, “will you get your bulbous rear-end in here?”
As soon as Leela was into the hole, it quickly disappeared. The baron and Jamie strolled through the stormy night back to the manor, holding hands.
Okay, okay…now I know you curious bunch of people have all kinds of questions. Shmeesh, you’re prying. Anyway, yes we got married. And yes we wore black, even the bridesmaids. The party afterwards was fun as hell, with lots of heavy metal and grunge from a really good band. I even gave my hubby some expensive Cuban cigars that I found among Bender’s things. And now I have a title…I’m a baroness. Now, the baron doesn’t know this, and I swear I’ll kill you if you tell him, but I think there is a little bundle of evil on the way…