"It shall be so:
Madness in great ones must not unwatch'd go." Hamlet
"Good news, everyone," the Professor told them, "we're going to get a new intern here at Planet Express while Zoidberg is away."
"Where exactly did he go again?" asked Amy. "I know he went home for some reason."
"Dr. Zoidberg went back to Decapod 10 for the T'pring Sprong, or his official entry into middle-age."
"You mean like a bar-mitzvah, but for someone with a mid-life crisis," added Leela. "Sort of a post bar-mitzvah."
"Something like that, I suppose. I do know that he must moult, and go through a religious cleansing of some sort."
Bender waved his hand. "I say he's past his prime - I'm all for boiling him in a pot and calling it a day."
"It would certainly be the sensible business decision," declared Hermes, "and we could have our annual company picnic with no added expense. We could serve him with rice."
"There will be no cooking of anyone," the Professor told them, "John is my friend, and that settles it. If he needs some time away for a quasi-religious ceremony, so be it. Besides, lobsters grow more muscles after moulting; they don't weaken with age like I do, so don't count on him dropping dead anytime soon. If you studied wiki more often, you'd know this."
"Shame," Bender quipped, "we could have served him with beer."
The Professor cleared his throat. "Moving right along. I would like you to meet our new intern, Miss Miranda Love."
The tiny woman with her short afro and honey-brown skin waved a hand; she was a vision of beauty in her fancy new jumpsuit. "I'm going to enjoy working with each and every one of you." She then spotted Fry, and gave him a special smile.
“Your paperwork here says that you have a nickname; how did you get to be called ‘Tweak’?”
“Oh, I actually thought that one up – it’s a long story.”
“Well, welcome aboard, Miss Tweak.”
"Have you participated in the ritual moulting?" asked the Decapodian High Priest.
"Yes I have, Your Eminence."
The High Priest reached out and tapped Zoidberg's shell with his pincer. "Okay, I guess that'll do - you've got your new skin."
"I felt like a new crustacean after the moulting, and why not."
"But at your age," the High Priest continued, "you haven't mated yet. Why is that?"
"I was here for the mating ceremony a number of years back," Zoidberg nervously cleared his throat, "and I was told that my mating display was..."
"Go on...was what, exactly?"
"Was...less than sufficient." He slumped his shoulders. "My mate Edna deposited her eggs by someone else, and then went the way of her sisters."
"You do realize that the request for a T'pring Sprong is quite unusual...you aren't supposed to live long enough to have one."
"But Your Eminence, you've had one."
"Uh, Oath of Celibacy..."
As the rest of the Planet Express crew went about their way, Amy briefly chatted with her. “Girlfriend, those are some great looking boots…”
“Why thank you,” Miranda said, “I practically stole them.”
As Amy left, Miranda was asked to stay behind. Professor Farnsworth gazed at an open file folder with concern. "Miranda," he said, "the only thing still bothering me is that you've been let go from several jobs..."
The tiny intern got a mean look on her face and tilted her head down. Her dark eyes focused on the Professor.
Farnsworth looked up and got a blank stare on his face. "Buuut then again, people probably just didn't understand you. There's a lot of that nowadays." He closed the file and went about his way.
"Just a second, Miss Ting...I have a question for you," said Hermes sternly. "I don't give a boatload of shrimp in Kingston how many times you've been fired; what concerns me is that you don't have a DOOP registration number. I know just as sure as God made green apples dat you weren't born on Mars like you said..."
Again, Miranda got an angry look on her face.
"Don't give me dat look..." Hermes suddenly got a blank expression on his face. "Buuut, den again," he continued, "I don't see no harm in you workin' here until we clear dis up. I'm sure dat dere is a reasonable explanation for dis..."
As Miranda went about her way with a look of satisfaction on her face, Amy Wong peaked from behind a metal storage door. "Shmeesher," she whispered, "that was just too weird – I’ve got to tell Leela…”
It was a rainy morning as Zoidberg made his way over to the large crab-shaped transport ship; she was appropriately named the Casco Bay. As John belted himself into his seat, a Decapodian flight attendant came over to check on him. "Would you like to have some of our shrimp eggrolls for lunch?"
"No thank you...I'm not very hungry."
She placed a claw on his shoulder. "What's wrong - why the long face."
He looked into her eyes. "I'm a failure, I tell you. I'm a failure on Earth with my job, and I'm a failure every time I come back home. I can't mate, and even my T'pring Sprong was put on hold indefinitely. I'm going to die an old lobster on a beach somewhere, a total failure. The sea birds will pick at my rotting carcass, I tell you."
The woman frowned. "Poor dear...let me get you some clamato juice."
"That would be nice, thank you."
The captain's voice now came over the speakers in the cabin:
"This is your captain speaking. That nasty meteor shower has moved on, so the trip in to Earth should be a pleasant one. Please keep your seatbelts fastened until we leave the planet's atmosphere. Lunch will be served soon, so sit back and enjoy our in-flight movies, 'Jaws' and 'Perfect Storm'."
"Oh, give it a rest Amy...you're just jealous, and you think she'll replace you. I'm sure the Professor won't push you out the door."
"Leela, I know what I saw. Hermes and the Professor were like putty in her hands. She needs to be checked out - she's got to be some kind of alien. She played them…like marionettes."
"Zoidberg can do that when he gets back. Meanwhile, just try to get along with her. You'll have to - she's going out with us on our next delivery."
As Amy walked off, Miranda walked into the room; she was looking at a piece of paperwork. "It's going to be two weeks before I receive any pay," she complained.
"Yeah," Leela told her, "that's pretty much standard with any job."
"But I'm going to need an advance for rent," she said. "Where's the company safe?"
"Whoa, hold your horses, young lady. No one gets to that safe. You know we can't trust Bender, so I'm not even going to tell you where it is. I can't chance him finding out."
Miranda got that mean look again as she twiddled her fingers in the air like a magician.
Leela looked up and got a blank stare. "The safe is in Hermes' office...I don't know the combination."
"You know what? I think you're telling the truth." With that, Miranda walked away.
In the afternoon, Miranda counted her money at her desk. She looked up, and noticed Fry peaking in at her. "Oh, hello Philip."
"You get your own office?" he asked.
"Oh, yes...Mr. Conrad was nice enough to make some office space for me."
"Okay...I didn't mean to bother you."
She held up her hand to stop him. "No, wait - you don't have to run off..."
"I don't?" Fry then got a glassy stare on his face. "I don't have to run off..."
Miranda patted her hand on a chair next to hers. "Philip, I want you to sit down here next to me. Shut the door first..."
Later, as everyone got ready to clear out for their dinners, Amy caught up with the new intern. "Hey," she told her, "I've wanted to chat with you. They tell me that you grew up in Olympica City on Mars."
"Pretty much...you too?"
"Oh, yes! All those memories. Elzar's Neptunian burger joint. Did you ever eat there as a teenager?"
"A few times, I guess."
"In high school?"
"I figured you did; I'm surprised that we've not met before. Hey, I'll catch up with you later."
As Miranda went out, Leela caught up with her. "That seemed pretty friendly, Baby Sister."
"She's a liar."
Leela got a confused look on her face. "Oh, how so?"
"There is no 'Elzar's Neptunian burger joint' that she ate at as a teenager. It was bulldozed when I was five to make way for a Cantonese restaurant."
"Really? How do you know?"
"Because my father owns the land...and the bulldozer, and the Cantonese restaurant."
The next morning found Planet Express in a meeting. The Professor and Hermes seemed very serious about something.
"I've tolerated a lot of shenanigans in my day," Farnsworth told his employees, "but this certainly takes the cake. Snakes alive - I never thought we'd have to deal with employee theft!" He then turned to Amy. "If you needed money, why didn't you just tell us?"
"What?" Amy's jaw dropped as everyone looked at her.
"Little boots stole something?" Bender said. "Wonders never cease..."
Hermes stepped in. "We don't know how you got the combination, but you took 250 Nixon Funbucks from the safe yesterday. Great riptides of Nassau, how could you do dis?"
"I didn't take any money!" Amy said.
"Well that just dills my pickle," the Professor added. "As of this moment, you're fired Amy! Just clear on out of here, you thieving cow!"
Amy stood up. "I'm the daughter of millionaires...every one of you know it! Why in the hell would I steal money from the company safe? My parents could buy and sell this place!" She then turned to Miranda, who was scratching the back of Fry's head. "You...you did this! I don't know how, but you did this to me!"
Miranda looked at Hermes. "I think she needs to be escorted out of here. She's hysterical."
"I tink you're right about dat. C'mon, Miss Ting - we'll send you your locker stuff later."
As Hermes led Amy out of the room, she continued to shout. "Everyone's going to know what you are - I'll make sure of that!" She swore in Chinese as she was taken out of the building.
"Kind of makes you wonder what makes people go bad," Miranda observed. "She seemed like a decent sort."
This drew an immediate look of wonder from Leela. "She is right, you know - she could buy and sell any of us here with her credit card. She's got no reason to steal anything."
"Sometimes they steal just for the thrill," Miranda noted.
"Oh, really?" asked Leela. "And just how would you know?"
"Moving right along," the Professor continued. "I'm now going to let Miranda speak, as she has some great ideas for the future of Planet Express."
When the meeting was over, it was nearly lunch time. Miranda grabbed a bite to eat at the nearby Burger Masters. The weather was nice, so she decided to eat outside. Before she could bite into her burger, she heard a familiar voice behind her.
"So, Tweak, how did you do it?"
She put her burger down. "What...you're going to stick a knife in me? You know I won't let you do that - you'll just end up stabbing yourself in the chest. It'll be all over the news...‘poor distraught terminated employee attempts suicide’."
"Are you worried of a knife in the back? That would be a pretty dishonest thing to do - I usually don't operate that way." Amy sat down next to her. "I just want to know how you did what you did. Are you an alien?"
"No, I'm a mutant. My father was, how do I put this, less than human. But, then again, he was so much more than human. From an early age I found that I could 'tweak' a person's mind to get what I wanted – that’s where the nickname came from. It started small...tweaking my mother's mind to get a cookie here or there. Then I tried in on the kids at school - I had a load of fun with them. Children's minds are so simple to toy with. Then, as time went on, I realized that I could live in a world of my choosing - I could have the universe that I've always wanted, shaping it the way I want to."
"Yeah, I saw you making the moves on Fry..."
Miranda smiled. "He's cute...naive, but cute. To me, he's little more than a toy to be played with. When I'm done, I'll just cast him aside for another toy."
"So that's what people are to you...just toys. You don't care if he gets his heart broken."
Miranda turned to her. "Haven't you ever wanted things...wanted things your way?"
Amy bristled. "Of course! My parents own half of Mars. I've probably used people as toys myself...not with special powers, but with money."
"Well, I haven't had all that money you've grown up with. My father left us in a lurch. But I do have that power to tweak. And I use it."
"And you could use that for something good..."
"Whatever. Hey, you could join me - we could make quite a team together. I could make it so you could have anything you ever wanted...anyone you ever wanted. Anytime that you want it…"
"Yeah...we could be outlaws, like Jesse James. No thanks - I have to be able to sleep at night. I can’t just screw people over and sleep like a baby."
"Oh, it's like that. Consider yourself served and go back home to your rich mommy and daddy."
Amy got up. "Enjoy your lunch...be seeing you."
"You'd better hope not. I'm a good friend to have...and a lousy enemy." She pointed her finger at Amy. "You just keep that in mind." A man went by on a bike, and Miranda twiddled her fingers at him; he turned and slammed into a parked car. "See what I can do? Now get moving along, toy..."
As Amy walked along the street from Burger Masters, her wrist thingee chimed. As she answered it, she saw the sad face of Zoidberg looking at her. "Dr. Zoidberg?"
"Is there a way you could pick me up in your car? The airbus isn't running because of a transit strike."
"I sure can - I've got the afternoon off. As a matter of fact, I've got a bunch of time off now. While we’re at it, I have a medical crisis to tell you about."
"A medical crisis?"
"Let's just say that we've got an infection here at Planet Express."
"An infection! I'll be useful again..."
Leela grumbled as she walked through the halls with a pile of paperwork. "She's probably in her new office," she thought. She walked up to the door. "I've worked here for 14 fracking years and I don't have an office...and I have to do paperwork for her?"
As she opened the door, she saw Fry and Miranda locked in a romantic kiss. Miranda turned to address her. "Yes? Can I help you?"
"I've got your paperwork you asked for at the meeting."
"Thank you...just put it over on the bookcase."
"Since when do you...are you..."
"Miranda and I are in love," Fry told her.
"Since when - she's only been here a day..."
"Miss Leela, is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Uh, not really...carry on, you two." Leela let the door close and left.
Leela grumbled again as she stomped down the hall. "I'm going straight to the Old Man about this!"
As she walked through the employee lounge, she stopped to take a pot-shot at Bender. "Is that all you do is watch Fry's old movies?"
"Hey...I like this one. It's called 'Scanners.' Watch this part - the guy blows the other guy's head up...with his mind. He's a psionic."
"Fascinating. Hey, where's the Old Man? I need to talk with him."
"In the lab...where else. Here - watch his head blow up...bang!"
She stomped into the laboratory and confronted Farnsworth. "Would you quit playing with your goofy inventions..."
"Good heavens, don't you ever knock?"
"What is that thing?"
Farnsworth held it up with pride. "This is a device that protects the wearer against just about any psionic attack."
"Who in the devil would need anything like that? Are there any alien races that are psionic?"
"I suppose there could be, but it's never been proven."
She looked down at it, and then looked back down the hall. "On second thought, do you think I could field test this thing of yours?"
"Why, I suppose. I've got no immediate use for it...unless you know of an alien that I can test it on."
She placed the unit on her head. "So, you just put this thing on like this?"
"...And then just press the button."
Cubert came by after lunch with a box in his hands. Miranda confronted him. "Is that Amy's stuff? Just drop it by my office."
"Huh," he said, "who the hell died and left you in charge? And like when do you intend to do any work around here? You're lazier than that stupid robot."
Miranda twiddled her fingers again. Cubert got that blank stare on his face.
"You're right, ma'am...I should go and pick up cigarette butts outside of the building." Cubert quietly walked away.
"Are we having fun?" asked Leela. "I'm starting to see what you're up to."
"What's your problem, one-eye?"
"You did get Amy fired; you played me for the location of the safe, and you no doubt played Hermes for the combination." She took a pile of papers and dropped it onto the floor at her feet. "Oh, and here's your latest paperwork."
"That's a decorative piece of jewelry on your head," Miranda told her in a cool voice. "it looks like something the Professor made. What exactly does it do?"
"It protects me from people like you."
Miranda pointed up. "I think the battery light is on."
"Huh?" Leela's eyeball went up to the tiny red light on the unit.
"Now it's time for me to be in charge."
Miranda twiddled her fingers again. Leela's face went blank.
"You'd better hand that over to me," Miranda instructed.
"Yes, ma'am," she said as she handed the unit it over. Miranda then smashed it in several pieces under her boot.
"Bad children shouldn't be given dangerous toys to play with." She twiddled her fingers and tipped her head at Leela.
"You're right, miss...this floor is filthy and needs cleaning." Leela walked over to Scruffy and took the broom out of his hands to clean up the Professor's device with.
Scruffy scratched his head."It just don't do to cross that new perty lady," he noted, "she's just a boat-load of trouble from the lower pits of hell. I guess I'll have to go back to readin' mah magazine."
Miranda twiddled her fingers again, and Leela stopped sweeping. She did a slight curtsy to her. "Would you like to hear a song as I'm sweeping the floor, m'lady?"
"Please...regale us with a song, Leela."
Leela cheerfully sang as she continued sweeping.
"There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium,
And hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium
And nickel, neodymium, neptunium, germanium,
And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium..."
Miranda laughed. "You're going to make such a fun toy, Miss Leela. Continue..."
"What, you aren't coming in with me?" asked Zoidberg.
"I can't - I'm not allowed anywhere near the property."
"Nonsense. You have to at least hear my stories from home; I brought shells and starfish for everyone."
"Just be careful in there - don't let her get inside of your head."
"Like it would matter...most of my brain isn't even in there."
Amy stopped. "Wait a minute - that would mean that you're like a lobster..."
"I am like a lobster. I don't have a centralized brain like you humans. Cut my head off, and I could finish the day at work, I could."
"Huh...let me know how things go in there..."
As Zoidberg walked in, he was surprised by what he saw. Leela and the Professor were singing a duet together.
"These are the only ones of which the news has come to Harvard,
And there may be many others, but they haven't been discovered."
Miranda clapped her hands like a happy child as Fry massaged her shoulders. "Very good, you two, very good! You really sing great together. Do you know any Gilbert and Sullivan?"
"Would you like any more chardonnay?" asked Hermes.
"Please," she said as she presented her glass. "And some brie, if you can find it."
"What is this?" asked Zoidberg. "I know all this frivolity isn't because of my triumphant return. Miss Love - I'm going to need to see you in my medical office."
Miranda waved her hand. "No you won't - we'll take care of that later."
"Uh, yes you will - you need to stop by now."
Again she waved a hand. "No, I don't need to go now."
"What am I, talking to hear myself talk? You can take your wine in with you. A cup of wine a day is a very healthy habit; although I prefer clamato juice myself - it keeps me regular."
Reluctantly, Miranda got up out of her office chair and followed Zoidy.
"Shall we continue singing, m'lady?" asked Professor Farnsworth.
"Yes, keep on singing until I get back."
"We sail the ocean blue,
And our saucy ship's a beauty;
We're sober men and true,
And attentive to our duty."
Bender looked over at Scruffy. "You know, I'm not a robot of culture, but they are pretty talented. I think the Old Man is a bit off key, though."
Scruffy scratched his chin. "Mah years cleaning up at Julliard have made me an expert on voices; they really ought to try Madama Butterfly next."
Zoidberg looked up from his paperwork. "Miss Love, I'm concerned about a huge lack of any medical paperwork in your file. As a matter of fact, your file doesn't contain much of anything at all."
She twiddled her fingers. "Yes, but that doesn't really matter."
His eyes went up to hers. "Yes, but it does."
Again, she twiddled her fingers. "No, it doesn't."
"Yes, it does. And what is with the twiddling of the fingers already? Do you have a nervous tick? I have a salve that can help with that. You rub in on the belly for three days, and you'll be good as new."
"I don't have time for this."
"I feel like I'm talking to a wall; yes you do. This file is utter mishegoss - it's like you're an undocumented alien or something."
Just then Fry poked his head into Zoidberg's doorway. "Are you coming back, Miss Miranda? They're getting ready to do that scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' that you requested."
Zoidberg's eyes got large. "Oy, gavalt! Amy was right, she was - you're an alien from outer space, as it were! I'll have Zapp Brannigan come here and banish you to the far regions of the galaxy!"
"Fine - bring him here. Does he sing? We can have a trio out there for the late afternoon show. I could sell tickets. You people are like insects to me - you really can't interfere with what I want to do. I've just been having a little fun with your friends; I could just as easily have them run out into traffic, or have them set this place on fire - with them in it. Now leave me alone, Lobster Man." With that she got up and left the office.
Zoidberg got up and looked at the others in despair. "What evil have I let my friends get into? Oy, I curse this crustacean body...I wasn't able to save them. All this…and I’m going to die a worthless arthropod."
Just then, Cubert walked up to him wearing a fool's cap. "Mister, would you like a program for tonight's show?"
"Oy...get lost, Cubert." He stopped. "On second thought, I'll take one of those."
In the evening, Zoidberg found Miranda in the employee lounge with the other Planet Express crew; they had bath towels wrapped around their shoulders like play costumes.
"Young lady, I'm not finished talking with you..."
"Ah, Dr. Zoidberg - I expected you to stop by. You're just in time for the show - the play's the thing, in case you haven’t heard."
"I've told you before young lady that I'm immune to your mind hoo-doo."
"That you are, Mr. Zoidberg, that you are. But your friends aren't. Look behind you."
Hermes stood behind him with a Mark IV laser pistol. "Hermes?"
"You see, Dr. Zoidberg, this play your friends are putting on is a special one - I chose it in your honor. We're presenting our version of "Glormis Rex," the tragedy about the first Demon King of Mars. Sit down in that chair. Miss Leela, bring the king his crown. Fry, give him a script."
Zoidberg looked around, and seeing that he had no other choice, sat down. Hermes menacingly pointed the pistol at him while Leela placed a child's toy crown on his head.
"Oh, and I forgot to tell you, Doctor - this is a tragedy, and the king dies in this show."
Zoidberg watched on helplessly as his friends delivered lines for the play; as Amy had earlier noted, they were little more than puppets on a string. Every time he would start to move or shift his weight, Hermes would point his laser pistol at him. Suddenly, all the action of the play stopped.
"It's your line, Zoidberg." She motioned to Hermes, who again pointed the pistol.
"Oh," Zoidberg shuffled the script. "I decree that we send our soldiers across the Utopia Plateau and find our enemy."
"Zoidberg, will you please emote - that was hardly a dramatic performance. Continue."
Meanwhile, Amy struggled outside to get a view in through a window. "Come on, Zoidy...what are you guys up to?" She finally went to one of the windows and saw Zoidberg in his chair. "What are they doing - putting on a play?"
Zoidy then caught sight of her, and was smart enough to not give her away.
"Mr. Zoidberg," Miranda barked, "please stay focused - your line is coming up."
Amy breathed on the glass and then wrote into the steamy window with her finger backwards: "What play is it?"
Zoidberg looked around, and then held up the theater program in his claw.
"Mr. Zoidberg - line..."
"Oh, yes...of course. 'This slarn fish is truly a dish fit for the Gods.'"
Miranda winced. "Awfully spoken, but it will do. Continue."
“What are you doin’ back here?” asked Bender. “It’s bad enough that you’re a thief, but now you’re stalking us?”
“Huh…takes one to know one.”
Bender chuckled. “Yeah, Little Boots – you got me with that one.”
“Have you seen what they’re doing in there?”
“Yeah – the play.”
“Since when do they put on a play for a new intern?”
Bender snuck another look in the window. “Hey…you don’t suppose…”
“What do you think? All of this to amuse her? Think it through…”
“Hey…that’s like that movie I was watching with Fry – all about psionics. You know, the Professor was tinkering around with those headsets, but we just laughed at him.”
“Headsets? He actually built one?”
“Several. They’re not tested, though.”
Amy grabbed him by his robot arms. “You’ve got to get in there and grab the Professor…drag him any way you can into the lab and get those headsets! You can’t fail at this, or we're boned. Now get in there!”
Bender snuck around to the back entrance, excited that he was being sent on a secret mission. Amy then went back to peering through the window. Her eyes got large as she felt the muzzle of a laser pistol poking her in between her shoulders. Leela’s big hand pulled her up by her hood. “You’re coming with me…”
Zoidberg sadly looked up as Amy was dragged into the lounge.
“Miss Amy,” Miranda chirped, “so nice of you to join us – we’re getting very near the end of the play.” She put her hand next to her mouth and mockingly lowered her voice. “It’s the death scene – don’t tell Dr. Zoidberg.”
Amy jerked her arm away from Leela’s grasp. “You can threaten me all you want – you can’t have my mind!”
Miranda tweaked her fingers as if she were adjusting the knob on an invisible radio. “That’s where you’re wrong – I already have it. We’re getting near the endgame here, and it’s getting late.”
Amy struggled against the tweaking, but quickly got that blank look on her face.
“You have no idea what I can do to you. But frankly, it’s late, and I’m bored. Leela, give her the gun.” Amy placed the barrel of the weapon up to the head of a horrified Zoidberg. “Punch Lobsterman's ticket, and let’s call it a night.”
Amy pulled the weapon back, and lowered it.
“What are you doing? Shoot him!”
“I cannot, Miss Miranda.”
“What do you mean, you cannot?”
Amy looked up at her with that blank expression. “It’s not right.”
“I gave you an order to do something – what do you mean?”
“You do want me to perform the play as it is written, don’t you?”
“Yes! Just like it’s written. Now do it.”
"But who is the Queen?"
Miranda got an angry look on her face. "I'm the Queen...you can react to me."
“But Miss Miranda…the King doesn’t die in this play. He dies in the second play; the Queen dies in this play...from a laser blast to the head.” She then pointed the pistol at Miranda, who was horrified. “The Queen dies…I’ll perform it just the way you want me to.”
Before she could squeeze the trigger, Leela quickly snatched the weapon out of her hand.
“She’s wicked smart,” announced Bender. “How do you like us now?”
Miranda saw that Leela wearing one of the anti-psionic devices; Fry, who was wearing one as well, was busy fitting one over Hermes’ dreadlocks. She nodded her head, but nothing happened - she was no longer in control. Leela pointed the pistol at her. “It’s all over, Miranda.”
The young woman suddenly changed her tone as Professor Farnsworth tied her hands behind her back. “Oh, come on now guys…we were all having a bit of fun here. Amy – tell them I didn’t mean any harm…Amy? Tell them…I wasn't really going to hurt anyone...”
Bender quickly placed one of the devices on Amy’s head, and gave it an affectionate tap. "Okay, Little Boots - you've got yer brain back..."
After blinking several times, she looked over at Miranda. “What in the hell just happened here? What did you do to me?”
“Amy – I asked you to join me…we could have ruled the world together…”
Amy Wong then gave Miranda a savage look. “You just haven’t learned the lesson that the rest of us have had to learn from Day One – this world doesn’t revolve around you. And you’re going to find out quickly that this world doesn’t owe you shit.”
Miranda jumped and let out a yelp as Zoidberg gave her a shot in the hip. As she began to slip into a deep sleep, they untied her and laid her into a chair.
Leela gave an evil grin to Zoidberg. “I’ve never had more faith in your abilities as a doctor than I have tonight, Zoidy.”
“Aha,” he replied, “the doctor is in the house. Finally...I'm useful again!”
Deep in the Colorado desert of California stands the Desert Center Mutant Detention Facility. A safe place to house dangerous mutants, it was miles from anywhere save a tiny one-horse town. The crew of Planet Express gave Miranda Love a brief visit before heading back to New New York. As they got closer to the psionic section of the facility, they spotted some graffiti scrawled on a wall by the staff - it read, 'The Mind is a Terrible Thing.'
Miranda was housed in a see-through jail cell constructed of diamondium panels at the end of the ward, which Professor Farnsworth helped to design years before. Tiny particles of Fermium, the by-product of a hydrogen bomb explosion on a distant world, were imbedded into the diamondium. For some unknown reason, this mildly radio-active material interfered with the broadcasting of telepathic powers, rendering psionic mutants like Miranda quite harmless; it was the same material that Farnsworth had used in his headsets. A food lock was even built into the cell, protecting the staff from any kind of psionic attack. On top of that, the guard staff on the floor all wore those Farnsworth headsets.
“How are you holding up, kiddo?” asked Leela.
“Okay, I guess – I feel like a bird in a glass cage. Why did you bother to visit me, anyway?”
“We don’t hate you,” Amy told her, “and we sort of understand why you behaved the way you did. Under different circumstances we could have kicked it together.” Amy got an embarrassed look on her face. "They tell me that I almost shot you..."
"Yeah," Miranda said, "I guess I never studied much in junior college...it might have helped in my choice of a play."
"They said something about a trial," Fry said, "in a glass room like this."
"Yeah, it was really something. They treated me like I had some dread disease. They decided that I was a 'threat to human society,' and told me I was being shipped out. They told me that I was the most dangerous kind of mutant that they'd ever encountered."
Zoidberg interjected. “So, what are they going to do with you?”
“Well, they’re talking about deporting me to some prison planet, some place called Mutara 17.” She gave the girls a sad look. “Can’t we just start over again? I promise to be good…I don’t want to get shipped to some mutant planet. I'm not a threat to society.”
Leela answered that one. “We could, but it would be like walking around with a Siberian Tiger on a chain…we could never really trust you. At any point you might go back to your wild nature and maul someone.”
As the PE gang got ready to go, Miranda gave them a limp wave good-bye. “I’ll try not to maul anyone,” she said.
A female prison guard came up with her attorney; the middle-aged man stood there with a strange metal helmet on his head. He produced some paperwork from his briefcase.
"Okay Magneto," she said sarcastically, "what do you have for me?"
“Your transfer to Mutara will take place in the next two weeks,” he told her. "I couldn't delay it." Miranda slumped into the plexiglass chair in the cell and sighed.
It was fairly quiet as the Planet Express ship cruised back home. Amy finally spoke to Leela. "Do you think we were nuts for visiting her in jail?"
"No, I don't think we were nuts. Like we told her, we don't hate her - I just think our planet isn't quite ready for her yet. Maybe she'll be with people more like herself..."
It was a bright sunny day as Miranda boarded the prison bus, but almost all of them were in that part of the country; sunny, hot and dusty. The ship was to depart from a little-known starport near the old army base of Ft. Irwin. Miranda was shackled next to a weird alien with lots of fur and tentacles that apparently couldn’t speak any human language. It quickly became apparent that its purpose was as a boat anchor for Miranda. As the bus pulled away, she attempted to start up a conversation with it.
“What did you do, Cousin It?”
The creature writhed some of its tentacles and let out a guttural croak.
“Whatever,” Miranda mused.
She looked outside the window, and wondered how she could tweak her way out of this one. As they drove by a Burger Masters joint, Miranda nodded her head; the man she was looking at threw his drink onto another man's shirt. She chuckled.
She then focused her attention on the driver, a stocky woman with red hair tied back in a bun. Why in the world did they put me on a bus with old Dolly Madison here...don't they know what I could do to this lady? She's got 'victim' written all over her. A quick glace revealed that she wasn’t wearing one of the Professor’s devices. She then tried to start a conversation with her. “I can see that you didn’t get one of the Professor’s toys.” The woman ignored the comment.
This is just too easy, Miranda thought. Where to start? Ah, I know…let’s scratch an ear. Miranda concentrated on the woman’s brain. Come on, sweetie…your ear is itching…scratch it...
The driver reached up and scratched her left ear.
Boy, this one is a tough nut to crack; must have a thick skull.
What do you mean, thick?
Miranda heard a sarcastic laugh roll around in her skull. Do you think you’re the only one here with a special gift? So you thought I'd be a push-over. How the hell do you think I got this job, anyway? Guess what - you're going to a place just chock full of mutants...many of them psionic. You're no longer going to be the flavor of the week like you were here on Earth.
Miranda was furious. The driver peeked up in that large mirror of hers and grinned. Oh, yeah? The only reason you talk so big is because you're up there and I'm back here. I dare you to say that to my face, bitch...
The bus driver quickly pulled over to the side of the road. She pulled out her nightstick and made it float in the air next to her. She tapped it with her finger, and made it float back until it gently touched Miranda's nose. Shocked, Miranda's eyeballs focused on the end of the wooden baton. Again, she spoke to her telepathically.
You know what, honey...I don't have to. Now sit back, shut up and just enjoy the ride. With a movement of her finger the nightstick returned to her hand, and she continued driving the bus. Miranda didn't say, or think for that matter, anything further.