Futurama

Fan Fiction

The Promised Land
By Gulliver63

Bender the robot came walking into the cabin with a steaming coffee cup. "Hey Leela," he said gleefully, "I've got your cup of hot cocoa."

"Thanks!" She gave him a skeptical glance with her eye. "I don't know whether to trust you - the last time you peed motor oil into my cup." Bender chuckled and walked back to the galley.

Amy had been building up hours in her pilot's logbook, and this gave Leela a chance to relax a bit; she wasn't a half bad pilot in her own right. As Leela took a sip of cocoa, she noticed on the screen that Amy had made a course correction. "Hey sis, why'd you make a course change?"

"To get around that asteroid."

"Asteroid? There are no asteroids in our sector."

"It's this guy right here." Amy pointed to the screen.

Leela took a closer look. "I'll be darned...big enough to be an asteroid, or a huge meteor. Way too big to be a ship. Good call, kiddo - you'll make a decent captain someday."

"Leela," Fry asked, "do you think the old man is going to give in and let us take some shore leave?"

"Doubt it."

Amy got a worried look on her face. "Uh, guys...we have a problem here."

"What's wrong, Amy?"

"I may be losing my mind, but this asteroid just changed course to follow us."

Leela got up to take a look. "No freaking way. Come around with a 90 degree lateral turn...do it smartly." Amy complied. The two gazed at the screen in disbelief.

"Leela, it not only turned with us, but it's getting closer." She looked around with a panicked look on her face as the ship started to tremble. "What was that?"

"We've been hit with a tractor beam."

"Like on Star Trek?" asked Fry enthusiastically, like a happy child.

Leela got that angry look in her eye. "Yes, just like on your beloved Star Trek." She placed her hand on the throttle quadrant and accelerated; The ship just shook, and she pulled the throttles back. “Whatever it is,” she whispered, “it’s got us.”

Bender strolled in from the kitchen. "What was that shaking? Did Little Boots just hit something?"

"Sit tight, Tin Man...we're working a problem here." Leela glanced at the panel. "It's getting closer - we're being pulled to it. Amy, put out a distress call."

"All our frequencies are being jammed."

"Fine," Leela announced. "Everyone follow me to the back of the ship."

"Why?" asked Fry.

"Don't think...just do it. Get going."

As they made their way past the sleeping berths, Leela reached into a hidden compartment in one of the bulkheads. She pulled out an enormous 11mm revolver with a shiny nickel finish.

"Holy shmeesher, where did you get that?" asked Amy.

"This? This is just Betty Mae." She made sure the cylinder was loaded, and placed it back into the weapon. "I may not get them, but Betty may. Now - all of you, get into the cleaning closet."

"What?" asked Fry

"Just do it." the three crewmembers followed her instruction.

Leela took up a defensible position behind a large wooden box. The safety of the Planet Express crew now sat in the hands of a lone cyclops woman with a gun. Metal clanking noises could be heard outside of the hull. Leela could hear the engines shut down, and the landing gear extending. Another loud thump - the ship was now on solid ground, wherever it was. The next sound was that of the gangway opening. Leela swore under her breath as she brought the gun up in front of her.

The clomping of boots came into the ship as Leela pointed the weapon. You can do this baby, she thought. Take the slack out of the trigger...breathe...easy does it...aim for center of mass...my God, I never thought it would all end like this...

What came into view was a well-armed soldier with a helmet and a rifle. "One more step buster," Leela yelled out, "and you're a dead man!"

The soldier just froze. He didn't even point the weapon at Leela - he just glared at her. Why isn't he firing? He pulled up the visor of his helmet and just stared at Leela. Her jaw dropped and she lowered the weapon. The soldier was a cyclops just like she was. He pointed his hand palm down toward the floor. "Take it easy, lady...we're friendlies. Just put the weapon down." He carefully crept up for a closer look. "There is no way...could it really be you?"

Another soldier joined him. "Ramac, you idiot, you're supposed to communicate..." he looked over at Leela. "What the?"

"This could be her...go tell the captain." As the second soldier bolted off, Ramac slung his weapon around his shoulder. "You can put the weapon down...you are among friends now."

"Like hell...you've kidnapped my ship, taken us hostage...I'm not putting my gun down."

"Us? There are more? From your crew? Are your kidnappers here?"

A nervous cough came from the cleaning closet. Ramac got his weapon ready. "I knew it - come out of there with your hands up!"

The three stepped out of the closet, hands in the air.

"Nuts! I knew it! You brigands...kidnapping innocent citizens of the Imperium. You'll pay for what you've done..."

"Kidnap?" asked Leela. "What are you talking about? This is my crew."

"This bunch? Dual eyes? I've never trusted a dual eye...they act stupid, but I think they're smarter than people think. And a sick-looking robot that looks like them! At the very least, we've got to throw them into a cell..."

"You will do no such thing. These three...uh, belong to me. They're my property."

The soldier stepped back. "I'm sorry, miss...I just thought that..."

The second soldier popped his head back in. "Ramac, the captain wishes to see her now."

Amy whispered through clenched teeth. "What are you doing?"

"Just keep your mouth shut and play along." She went over to the soldiers after putting her revolver back in its hiding place. "Ramac, is it? These three creatures are my property...I do not want them hurt in any way. There will be hell to pay if they are damaged. I want to speak to your captain, and be on my way as quickly as possible."

"Yes, ma'am…follow me."

It was only when Leela and the others walked down the gangway and gazed at the enormous landing bay that they realized how big the ship really was. "My God," she gasped, "it's huge..."

"She's got two sister ships," Ramac told her with a smile. He glanced over at another soldier. “Those three are her specimens…they’re to be treated well.” The soldier nodded.

Leela was taken to the officer's wardroom and treated to a sumptuous meal. She wasn't starving, but everything was just so delicious. She especially enjoyed the wine. The captain of the ship joined her for the meal. An aging cyclops, he was sharply dressed in a white naval uniform. "Is the blue tangerine wine to your liking, Miss Neeva?"

"The wine is fantastic, but I notice that you've called me Neeva on several different occasions tonight...do you really know who I am?"

"I'd rather doubt that there would be a cyclops alive on Monocula that wouldn't know who you were. The young, brave anthropologist plying the depths of space. When your ship went missing, the whole planet was shaken to its core. Your father took it especially hard."

"My father...that's what I wanted to speak to you about...I..."

"I need to stop you before you go any further, my dear. Your father the Proconsul sadly passed away recently...I needed to tell you this before you hear in on the newswire or something. I knew your father personally...tragic loss of a great man.” He gazed at her eye, waiting for a reaction. “Now, if you'll excuse me for a moment, I need to check on something. I'll be back presently."

As the captain stepped out into the hallway, he spoke with Ramac.

"Is there a chance that it's her?" Ramac asked. "I mean the accent is really strange sounding, but she is speaking the core language."

"She certainly looks similar...she's awfully quiet about her father's death, but who knows what horrible things she had to endure at the hands of the barbarians? She had to live among them for many months. It will all probably hit her later."

"A quick DNA check will give us the answer..."

"Young man, she's the daughter of a proconsul. You know that we won't have any access to those files. That will be up to the Imperium to decide what to do with her; I for one don't want to make any enemies on the Supreme Council...do you?"

"No, sir...I see your point."

"If they make a mistake, it will be in their hands. For now, she's our honored guest."

Amy tapped on the walls of the room with the palms of her hands. "Gleesh...this has got to be pure plastiluminum...there is no way we can break through this without a laser. It's less like a room, and more like...an animal cage." The three of them turned as a hidden door opened up. A young cyclops man in a lab coat entered carrying a bowl of fresh fruit.

"Good morning, you guys!" He looked over Fry and Amy. "What great specimens you are. They even dressed you up in clothes...just like a cyclops."

"I've had two eyes all my life, you geek. And why wouldn't I have clothes on? Sluh...wouldn't you like to know."

The young man just stood there looking at Amy with his mouth open. He then got an annoyed look on his face. "Professor Krenna put you up to this, didn't he? He must have wired you for sound." He started to grope around Amy's sweatshirt back, looking for a hidden speaker.

"Get your fracking hands off of me, you creep!"

The cyclops stepped back. "Oh my...this can't be real...a talking primate. A talking primate!" He turned to Fry. "Say something...anything..."

"What do you want me to say?"

He gently probed Fry's throat with his fingers. "My stars...a developed voice box. A cyclops-level IQ. Do you know what this means?"

"Yeah," Amy added, "it means I'm going to bash your brains in if you touch me again, you nerd..."

"It means that the evolutionists got it all wrong. I’ve been right the whole time! It means that I'm going to have a statue of myself in the Hall of Science! Maybe even my own wing! You two are amazing! I'll be right back. Oh, and have some fruit if you get hungry. If you press this button with the wavy lines on it, you can get water. Stay right here! Don't go anywhere!" The young cyclops went back out the door after using a retina scan on the wall. The door locked behind him.

Amy began to curse in Cantonese.

Fry looked into the retina scan, which returned an angry beep. "It won't work for you doofus," Amy barked, "you've got two eyes."

"Anyone know what got into his hippocampus?" asked Bender.

"How dare he call me a primate...I could buy and sell him. Fry - what are you doing?"

Fry had just shoved a fruit into his mouth. "I was hungry."

"Aiyaa! You're just proving him right that you're a trained animal!"

"I am not...I'm a man with freewill and intelligence. I think, therefore I am." A loud bell suddenly rang. Fry and Amy looked at each other. "It's obviously feeding time," he said.

Amy sighed and thrust her hand out. "Okay Mr. Freewill, give me a fruit."

"The green ones here are quite tasty."

"What's this?" Leela asked Ramac.

"It's a uniform of sorts...it was really all that we had. The captain wanted you to be able to freshen up before we present you. I know it looks a bit like a cadet uniform."

"Present me?"

"Yeah. When you get back home, the press will be waiting..."

"Oh, boy...I was afraid of that. Ramac...my, uh, specimens..."

"They're in good hands, miss. Laris is studying them in his lab."

"Laris? Are they safe?"

"As can be. He's this young science nerd that thinks that two-eyed primates can be trained to talk and act just like us. If they're safe with anyone, they're safe with him. He’s thrilled to pieces with them – he usually has nothing to do on these voyages."

"See to it that they are reunited with me after we land."

"Uh, okay." Ramac scratched his head. "Did you really live with those animals?"

"Ramac, get going."

"Uh, yes, ma'am."

"And thank the captain for his hospitality."

"Yes, ma'am."

A cutter took the Planet Express crew down to the surface of the cyclops homeworld. As Leela and Ramac walked down the ramp to the tarmac, Leela gasped as she looked over at the city. Gleaming towers of glass and plasteel lined the horizon, with scores of tiny vehicles buzzing about like so many insects. A late morning sky of orange sherbet hues with several moons floating above the city held Leela spellbound. The planet even had a ring system that shone like diamonds across the horizon. My God, she thought, could this be my new home? Could this planet be where I was meant to be? A whole planet of people just like me.

"Impressive, isn't it?" Ramac asked her. "Betcha it feels good to be back home."

"Home...the word sounds strange. I don’t know if I still know how to pronounce it.”

“What…Aendrill?”

“Aendrill,” Leela added, “the city of Aendrill.”

“See? You still know how to pronounce it. And look – there’s Laris with your friends.”

Fry, Amy and Bender just stood there as the crowd of cyclopes pressed in around them. Laris tried to hold them at bay, but he couldn’t keep the curious from reaching out for them.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please," he told them, "they're very tired and frazzled from their journey. Please give them a little space."

A stocky cyclops woman made the mistake of grabbing Amy by the sleeve.

"Get your damn chubby hand off of me, you one-eyed freak!"

Everything just stopped. A woman gasped. Laris' jaw dropped. "Probably a publicity stunt," one man commented.

Laris got a smile on his face as he gently grabbed Amy by the back of her sweatshirt. Amy got a nervous smile on her face, as if she knew that she'd done something wrong.

"How do you like that, folks? I've got a sound recorder strapped to her back. Boy, I really had you people going for a minute! You guys really thought that she spoke. One of my colleagues put me up to it. Imagine that - a talking human! Now if you'll excuse us, we've got to be going."

Laris took the three over to a waiting airvan, and piled them into the vehicle. Two of Laris' colleagues chuckled amongst themselves. "That Laris is an idiot," one of them commented as he shook his head.

The airvan coasted to a stop in front of a charming old bungalow at the edge of Aendrill. Leela stepped out and walked up to the door.

"How does it feel to be back at your house?" asked Ramac.

Leela turned to him. "Thanks for everything...I really need some time to be alone, if you don't mind."

"Sure...no problem."

"And make sure my friends are looked after - I'm depending on you for that."

"Sure."

Leela turned back to the front door as the airvan left. Like many other doors that she'd seen, it had a retina scan specifically designed for a large cyclops eye. She knew she wouldn't be able to open it, but it was amusing to think of an entire planet designed just for people like her. She was startled as the door opened. A chubby middle-aged cyclops woman smiled at her.

"Miss Neeva," she told her, "I wasn't expecting you so soon. Come right it!"

Leela gave her a strange look. "You're...my..."

"No...I'm afraid she quit several moon phases ago. My name is Arda; the Council sent me over to get the house ready. Come in and just relax."

Leela slowly wandered into the living room. She spotted a newspaper on the coffee table, and picked it up. The woman in the moving color photograph looked very similar to herself, but she was unable to read the alien alphabet. This Neeva person even had purple hair.

"Oh, Miss Neeva...you don't want to see that."

"How long has it been?"

Arda got a sad look on her face. "It's been two turns - two whole turns. Don't think about that today. Just let me get you a hot cup of spiced coffee...the meal will be right up."

Leela settled into a chair. Oh crap...what am I going to do now?

"Laris, I'm really busy right now. What is so important?"

"Professor Krenna, you'll never believe this."

"From you, probably not. Now, what do you have to tell me?"

"I have in Lab C two talking human primates."

"Oh, you aren't on about that again, are you?"

"I'm serious..."

"Laris, did you teach them hand signals again, because that's not really talking."

Laris couldn't contain his excitement. "No, really! The young woman actually told me her name is Ay-mee, and that she is the daughter of wealthy parents! Human beings with wealth!"

"Laris, whether they can talk or not isn't going to matter anymore."

Laris lost his enthusiasm. "What do you mean?"

"The two humans are slated for dissection. Then, they will be stuffed and put in the science museum. So much for the scientific find of a lifetime. Sorry, pal..."

"Grrrrr! We've been put into another cage by that nerd!"

"Amy, these blue fruits are pretty good."

Amy slapped the fruit out of Fry's hand. "Stop that! We need to get out of here! Quit acting like a trained pet monkey."

"Hey, I was gonna eat that..."

Again, Amy tapped the wall with her hand. "This stuff is even tougher than the last wall...possibly glasteel. It would take a flamethrower to get through it." She turned to Fry. "I don't know what these people have planned for us, but I'm not going to find out what it is."

"Bender can shoot flame," Fry said as he stuffed a fruit into his mouth. Amy looked over at him. With a stuffed mouth he asked, "What did I say?"

Amy looked over at the robot. "Come here, you lazy bum..."

"Guys....Ay-mee....Fry...." Laris looked all around the lab, and then spotted the large hole burned into the wall, lined with blackened fibers. "Oh, no...what am I going to do?" Laris looked at the floor. "I'm ruined...I'll be fired, if I'm lucky...I'm finished as a scientist."

He peered out the hole. "They can't have gotten far...job or no, I'm not going to let them dissect these guys!" He turned on his wrist thingee. "Hello? I need to get a hold of Miss Neeva..."

The three found themselves wandering around in an ordinary looking suburban neighborhood. It could almost pass for a street on Earth, except for the fact that everyone was a cyclops and the clothing was a bit different.

"This isn't going to work," Fry complained.

"Shut up and keep your hand over your eyes until I think of something. And if someone asks, just tell them that we just had eye drops at the optometrist. And don't make eye contact!"

"Do they even have eye drops on this planet?"

Bender said, "I got all you losers beat, he he he." He unscrewed one of his long eyeballs and put it into his door. "I can be the spokesperson for you guys; in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king..."

Amy shoved him aside. "No way in hell am I going to let you speak for us. Hey - isn't that a street vendor over there?"

The three walked about a block and approached the vendor, who had his wares spread out on the sidewalk. "You're a lifesaver," Amy told him, "you have sunglasses! Wrap-around ones at that!"

"Of course I do," he replied, "but not that I need them."

Amy suddenly realized that the elderly cyclops was blind. "You sure made my day...we'll take two pair." She pulled out a solid gold coin and put it into the man's hand with a grin.

The vendor knew immediately by its weight that the coin had value. He bit down on it. "By the seven stars...I can close early with this! Thanks...whoever you guys are..." By this time the trio had already left.

Laris was pacing around like a nervous animal when the airvan pulled up. The door slid open, and Leela hopped out.

"Miss Neeva, I'm glad that you could get here so quickly."

"What exactly is going on? You didn't make much sense in your message."

"Your friends, the talking humans - they've gotten out of the lab and disappeared."

"We can find them, can't we? They couldn't have gotten far..."

"Miss Neeva, it's worse than that...the Science Institute wants to study them..."

Leela looked confused. "That's what you're doing, isn't it?"

"You don't understand...they're scheduled to be dissected and put on display in our Natural History Museum. We've got to find them, and do it quickly."

"Oh, dear lord...but what about your job?"

"I'm done for as a scientist anyway...but I wasn't going to let them hurt your friends."

"You are a man of character." She started to send a message on her wrist-thingee. "I didn't have much luck before with this, but I'll try again."

The trio continued down the street with renewed confidence with their sunglasses. They finally spotted a man with two eyes walking down the street carrying a heavy box. Amy tried to make contact with him. "Hey mister...boy are we glad to see you. We're looking for someone..."

The man just stared at her like a dog. The cyclops man he was with gave Amy a strange look. "What are you talking to him for, lady? Like he's going to answer back or something."

Amy thought quickly. "I just thought he was, uh, cute."

"He's for sale, if you want him...he's good for lugging heavy things about."

"I'm just looking."

"Suit yourself."

Amy watched the two walk away, and got a shiver. "Fry, we've got to get out of here; I don't want to end up as someone's pet on this planet. Hey, isn't that a clothing store over there? If we can ditch these clothes, we can make a serious search for Leela." Amy suddenly grabbed Fry's jacket. "Isn't that the lab nerd?" she said in a loud whisper. "We've gotta get out of here! Follow me!" The three darted into the store.

"Oh, nuts..." said Laris.

"What is it?"

"I could swear I saw the girl, but they disappeared into the crowd."

Leela looked up at the storefront. "This is a clothing store...they're in here - I'd bet real money on it. Let's go." She tried again to send a message on her wrist thingee.

Amy and the others took advantage of all the clothing on the racks to find a temporary hiding place. She would occasionally peek out from the clothes to see who was around. On one of these peeks she quickly found out that Laris was standing in front of her. His wrist thingee chimed. As he answered it, she had a clear view of the screen. The older cyclops on the screen looked serious.

"Laris," the man told him, "you need to round those specimens up and bring them in for dissection; I know you're attached to them, but the Science Council demands it. Say...is that a store you're in? Where are you, anyway?"

"I'll bring them in as soon as I can, Dr. Karatang." He then walked away.

Amy was filled with panic. Dissection? That nerd was going to have them sliced open? She knew that she was going to have to take tough action to save their lives. What was next...could she still trust Leela? Did she somehow 'turn' and go native on her? Amy would have to form a plan and fast. They were now truly on their own.

Laris shrugged his shoulders. "I've been lying to my bosses...what am I going to do?"

Leela said, "I could swear that they'd be in here...I know them."

Leela watched Amy walk up to the counter of the clothing store. "Amy...there you are..."

Amy spotted something near the cash register on the shelf and reached for it - a menacing-looking object, she grabbed it and held it up to Laris' neck. "One false move and Lab Nerd here gets it!"

The surprised sales clerk said, "Lady..."

"Back off! I mean it! We're just going to walk out the front door...no problems. Understand me?"

"Amy - let's talk about this," said Leela. "You don't know the whole story yet - "

"I know that nerd boy here was going to split Fry and I open to see how our brains worked...now get moving."

"Amy - this 'nerd boy' as you call him was trying to save your life...he sacrificed his job just to save you guys..."

Amy got a confused look on her face. "He did?"

"Yes, you idiot...now let him go."

The shopkeeper then said, "When this is all straightened out, can I have my stapler back? I need it for my paperwork."

"Stapler?" Amy said with a toothy grin. "Uh, sure..." She put the stapler back on the counter and let Laris go free. "Sorry," she told him.

"That was pretty funny seeing you go all gangsta on us," Bender spat. "It would have been even funnier seeing you join a prison gang."

"Come on, you knuckleheads," Leela told them, "Let's get this mess sorted out."

"You still are fascinating specimens," Laris added, "that was a nice fight or flight response, if I do say so myself."

"Thanks," said Amy. "Glad I could amuse you. Maybe I can run around on a hamster wheel for you sometime. At least I know now that you’re not going to chop me open."

Before they could leave the clothing store, a black airvan pulled up. Arda the housekeeper stepped out of it, along with an armed security officer. "All of you," she told them, "get into the van."

The lot of them were piled into the back of the airvan, which had no rear seats. As the vehicle climbed into the air, Leela examined her surroundings. "Isn't this clever," she quipped, "blackened windows."

"Where are we going?" Fry asked. "Where are they taking us?"

Amy shot him a mean look. "Don't you get it? They're taking us out to the woods...they probably have the lime pits waiting for us." She still saw a look of confusion on his face. "They're gonna kill us," she said with emphasis.

"I don't want to die...I didn't do anything!"

"Don't worry," Bender interjected, "I'll just dig my way out and...oh, that's right - you guys are humans. Sorry..."

"Fry," Leela said as she held his hand, "if this is our last day to be alive, I'd want it to be with you."

Arda gave them a subdued smile. "Don't be so sure that you know the ending to this tale," she told them. "One thing's for sure - everything will be settled for you guys today."

"I guess I didn't make a very convincing Neeva..."

"Hardly. I must have made a convincing maid..."

Leela didn't answer.

The vehicle finally reached its destination, and they could hear the engines spool down. As soon as the van came to a stop, the door slid open. Leela's stomach tightened as she saw all the trees outside of the doorway. "You were right Amy," she grumbled, "they are going to kill us in the woods." She then shot a venomous look at Arda. "How could you...I trusted you..."

"Just get out of the van, please."

As the four Planet Express crewmembers and Laris stepped out of the van, they saw two hooded figures approach. It was a man and a woman, but their faces were well hidden from view.

"Are these your executioners?" Leela stepped forward toward the strangers. "I'm not afraid to die," she told them. She lied - deep inside she was actually filled with terror.

The woman pulled back her hood to reveal a cyclops with purple hair. She was slightly older than Leela, but looked similar. "You're not planning on kicking off anytime soon, are you?"

"Neeva?" Leela's mouth opened.

The real Neeva looked Leela up and down. "It's amazing - she does look somewhat like me. The genetic similarities are astounding." She extended a hand, and Leela shook it. "How do you do – I’ve wanted to meet you."

"But you were...but they thought..."

Arda stepped closer. "Nearly two turns ago our secret police forces here on Monocula discovered a plot to kill the Proconsul and his daughter by a terrorist cell here in the capitol city. It was my idea to concoct a story of a group of pirates taking over Neeva's ship, and then conveniently to have her father die of natural causes."

The man now revealed his face; he was an older, but dignified cyclops with silver hair. "The state funeral was well done," he said with a smile, "I must say I was quite moved."

"We've got to keep them in seclusion until we can find all the guilty elements involved here; the plot is rooted in the Council itself, so it hasn't been an easy task."

"How do we fit into all this?" asked Amy.

"I must say that you people created a hell of a mess when you came here. The ship's crew was convinced that they'd found Neeva, and then the press got wind of the story...it was like trying to put out a brushfire with a broom."

"You mean you're not going to kill us?" asked Fry.

"Gah," said Amy as she shook her head.

"We've got a lot of damage control to do because of you folks," Arda continued, "but we do realize you were shoved into the breach in this matter. You will be taken to an old airship base where your ship is. You are to leave immediately, and tell no one what happened here."

Arda then turned to Laris, who was crestfallen. "You mean I don't get the credit for the scientific discovery of the age?" he asked.

"I'm afraid not...at least, not for now. You'll just go back to your job at the institute, which you still have, and continue being heckled by your co-workers." Arda placed a 500 credit disc into his hand. "Consider this an early holiday bonus."

Laris gazed down at the credit disc. "I now know the truth about evolution...and can't even tell anyone. I will do what you ask, though...to ensure their safety."

"Leela, why the look of disappointment?" asked Neeva. "We're going to get you guys on your way home."

"Just like Moses," Leela noted.

"Moses? Who is Moses?" Arda asked. "There isn't anyone else from your planet here, is there?"

"Moses in our culture got to look across the river Jordan, but he couldn't go into the Promised Land. Right now I feel a little like Moses."

"For now, Leela, it's just too complicated a situation. Maybe someday, when all this is ironed out, we can show you a little more of that Promised Land you speak of."

"But how will I ever find you people? I've looked all my life for you..."

"Don't worry," she smiled, "we'll find you."

The group said their good-byes to the Proconsul and his daughter, and climbed back into the airvan. "You guys really were the best of specimens," Laris told them.

"What, these meat-sacks?" asked Bender. "Gimme a break - now there'll be no living with them."

"Oh, I don't know," Leela said. "I have to put up with a whole planet full of 'em every day. Maybe you can come by sometime to study us."

"A whole planet of talking humans!" Laris entered the van with a smile on his face.

"Naw, it's nuthin' to write home about," said Bender. "Believe me, I know. I'd kill 'em all if I had half a chance."

Leela tried her best to do some reading on her break, but the voices in the Planet Express lounge got louder and louder. When she started hearing the Chinese swear words, she knew she had to intervene.

"Stop eating my lunch, you ugly sandcrab! This is the third time this week I've gone to pick up my lunch, and you've left me the empty bag! Why do you leave the empty bag?"

"But Amy, I was so hungry...and you've got to admit that your name wasn't on it..."

"Dao mei! How many people work here? You can't tell me that you didn't know!"

"Amy, let me make it up to you...I'll buy you lunch..."

"Buy me lunch? You're so poor you couldn't buy your way out of a piss-soaked paper bag...buy me lunch?"

Leela stood up. "Knock it off...both of you! You, quit eating other people's lunches. You, stop yelling and swearing in Cantonese!"

A disgusted Amy shook her fist. "This isn't over, Lobsterman." She stomped out.

"Did you have to eat her lunch again?"

"It was tuna casserole," Zoidy lamented. "I couldn't help it." He slumped his shoulders and sadly left the room.

Fry showed up behind Leela. "You had to play referee again?"

"It's just like a daycare with children. Hey, what have you got there?"

"A package for you."

"For me? I deliver packages...I don't get them."

Leela opened the small box, and pulled out a bottle of blue tangerine wine. She pulled a note out from inside the box, and read it. The note was barely legible, but it was close enough to English to be understood. Here's just a little taste from the Promised Land, the note read, thanks again. Remember, mum's the word. Arda.

"A care package from home?" Fry asked.

"Maybe...someday..."

Buddies