History Repeating, Part 3
See part one for disclaimers!
Leela sighed resignedly. "Professor, I thought you promised you wouldn't try to scare people with your blackhead gun."
Lisa stopped screaming.
"I wasn't trying to scare her...I was trying to kill her!"
"Professor, there's no need to kill her. We can simply use your device to slip back in time..."
"I'm afraid that her disappearance has already caused a small but temporal tear in the space-time continuum! It won't make a difference if she's returned now or later; her parents already know she's missing. There's no reason we shouldn't take the laziest way out of the situation and simply let her stay here overnight."
"Crud! What should we do with her in the meantime?"
"Bring her to Cubert. I'm sure he'll enjoy having someone around the same age to play with." He smiled condescendingly to Lisa. "You go with Leela now, okay?"
"Certainly. I suppose I don't have another option."
He nodded and smiled, whispering sagely to Leela, "I hope Cubert doesn't embarrass her! The girl's as dumb as a stump!"
"So you see, your theories regarding hyperspace travel are, simply, plebeian." Cubert smiled with a superior air.
"I would be inclined to agree with you...except your notion of time and space are quite finite."
"And they don't obey the law of the speed of sound!"
"We broke the speed of sound years ago. I fear you are just as dumb as Fry!"
"Take that back!"
The two children began to scuffle, garnering only a perfunctory, "Kids! Stop fighting!" from Fry, who sat watching television.
Lisa looked up from the fight with interest. "What is that?"
"Sssh," said Bender. Calculon's gonna say something!"
Lisa turned to watch the screen. There, a gold-colored robot, arms spread out, and voice modulation everywhere but where it should be, declaimed, "MONIQUE! BUT YOU'RE...DEAD!"
Lisa watched as Calculon, Monique and another robot began interacting. It allowed her to get a slight upper hand on Cubert; she twisted his arm behind him, arm locked beneath his chin. The force of her hold was strong enough to make him gasp for release. Lisa released him and sat down, listened to the show, without commenting. At the commercial break, she laughed aloud.
"My mom watched these sorts of shows when I was small. They call them 'soap operas'."
"Yeah? They call them 'serial dramas' now," Fry replied.
"What else is different?" She crawled onto the sofa.
"Well, the cars fly, and people travel through tubes, and tattoos talk; it's pretty complicated if you're not sharp, like me."
Lisa smiled. "I have the feeling I'd get the hang of it."
Fry shrugged. "Eh. I just hang out, most of the time. Just chill, relax, take it easy..."
"But what about these cars? How do they fly? How did aliens get to this particular planet, and why would they choose to settle here...any robots! So many robots..." She broke off to study Bender.
"Whatt're you lookin' at, pineapple head?"
"Your face fascinates me."
"That's what Calculon said..." Bender sniffled, "but he never called!"
"Well..." Fry tried to explain everything, to the best of his knowledge. Leela listened to his every word. To his credit, he remembered the origin of the robotic race correctly. She finally intervened when he blamed the evolution of the decapitated head on the Communists.
"That's enough, Fry. Lisa, I can show you the ship's digital encyclopedia..."
"Sounds good." Lisa willingly followed Leela into what was Hermes' office. Leela pulled a flat disc out of a volume designed to be a book, then plugged it into a black projector. A few moments into the first presentation, she left Lisa with a volume of the discs and left for her own apartment.
Lisa stayed up for most of the night, fascinated by this new world she had been plunged into. Finally, she was lulled to sleep between the letters "m" and "n".
She awoke to the confused murmuring of unidentifiable but distinctly adult voices.
"...when do you think we should leave?"
"As soon as possible."
"Yes, now would be optimal."
A sigh and the shuffling of feet lead to the opening of the door to Hermes' office. She sat still, her head on the desk, pretending to be asleep.
"Lisa? Please, wake up..."
Lisa didn't stir. Leela resorted to shaking her until she was forced to stir.
"What's wrong?" she muttered, in a voice that she hoped to sound sleepy.
"We need to leave. There's an emergency delivery that Fry and Bender and I have to take care of. We're leaving something on the planet Melodious. It was on the news that a new wormhole has opened in the Advard Galaxy, and the Professor says that, if we time it correctly, you could pass through the hole and be in your correct year by tomorrow," Leela said.
"Isn't that cool?" Fry asked.
"Oh no!" Lisa gasped. "I'm not at all ready! I haven't had a chance to properly study the period, and I..."
"Lisa, if you remain here, the world you knew will change forever. We can't let that happen."
A childish rebellion brewed behind Lisa's eyes, but her voice was sweet as candy. "Of course. I'll be ready in a minute."
Fry retreated from the room, but Leela paused at the doorway. "I brought these from my apartment," she said, setting a pair of boots not unlike her own at the end of the desk. "It's the first pair I ever received; they came from the Orphenarium. I thought you must feel naked, just being in your nightgown."
They were beautiful. Lisa examined them carefully. "I'll be sure to wear them."
The tentative affection was unmistakable to either young woman as Lisa strapped the boots on.