The Streets of New New York
She tall with eyes the color of the sky. Her skin was slightly tanned as if she spent some time under the sun, but not a lot. Then again, it probably depended on which sun, as she had the look of someone used to space travel. Other than that, she had often been told she had the softer features of her father’s face. But probably her most intriguing feature was her hair; beside the fact it was extremely long and worn in a braid, it was a brilliant shade of purple.
And her name wasn’t Leia. It had never been Leia. The purple-haired woman had come to this realization soon after her conversation with the barkeep of O’Zorgnax’s Pub. Her name. Her real name was . . . was Deanna.
Deanna walked hastily down the street. She had been told that temporary memory loss could be a side effect, but never thought that it would actually happen to her. How much time had she lost? Did she lose the window of opportunity? What had been lost during her time with amnesia? The purple-haired woman shook her head; she needed to get going; but first . . .
The former amnesiac stopped dead and scanned the street around her; she found what she was looking for a few minutes later. It sat outside of the Big Apple Bank, just waiting for her to hack into it. A computer.
Outside Big Apple Bank there sat, like most other banks, an ATM. Deanna smirked as she walked up to the device and nonchalantly rerouted its money-giving state to something more suitable for what she wanted. Once on the Internet she searched madly, her fingers flying over the keys for the wireless signal she was looking for.
“Black Boots, this is El Zilcho requesting password.”
“Shove it, Luna. It’s me.” Deanna rolled her eyes at the figure that had appeared on the screen in front of her. “Do you really have to use those stupid codenames? This isn’t an undercover mission.”
“For all you know it is.” The silver robot crossed her arms. “Finally get your memory back?”
“You knew who I was this whole time and you didn’t tell—“
“Wow. Wow. Wow.” Luna waved her arms in front of the computer camera. “Would you have believed what I told you?”
“Well . . . uh . . . no.”
Deanna sighed. “Lune, we have to get moving. I met him.”
Deanna hesitated. “Y’now . . .”
“Oh, that him . . . so if you’ve met him . . . that makes us really, really late.”
“Where are you? And do you have a ship?”
“Crap. We are really are late. And no.” Luna scratched the back of her head. “You see there was a problem with our calculations and—“
“I know a place where we can get one.” A new figure appeared behind the robot.
“You brought Cox?”
“Don’t blame me, he wouldn’t stop bugging me.” The robot shrugged. “And someone had to dress up a the nurse, and it sure wasn’t going to be me. By the way, you owe us for that. On the plus side, he apparently knows where we can get a ship.”
“Where? . . . and how?”
“There’s this place I know.” Cox pushed Luna off to the side and out of the way of the camera. “Meet us where this mess began.”
“Which mess? The one that started in the Clandestine Galaxy?” Deanna raised an eyebrow.
“Shove the poppycock somewhere, Dean. You know where.”
“Fine . . . Where’d you get the career chip of Leia Abrams?”
“From some chick on the street named Leia Abrams.”
Deanna shook her head and cut off the signal. Then with the few quick keystrokes she wiped all traces of her chat off the ATM and returned it to its normal money-giving state. Finally the former amnesiac flipped her braid over her shoulder and started walking casually down the street.
It still amazed Deanna how fast her memory had come back. Shouldn’t it have taken longer than it had . . . and more gradual? But she wasn’t arguing—at least it had come back. But would she make it in time? This is my one chance. If I screw it up than who knows what will be in the future?
The former amnesiac then saw something so startling it made her stop dead in her tracks and stare. She had been told about them, but never actually seen one before. Then again, her trips to New New York City or more broadly, Earth had never been very often to begin with. Deanna reached out and pressed her hand against the turquoise-blue glass then ran her hand up to one of the connecting gold rings. For her, a person who spent the better half of her life on a starship, the tube transport system of New New York was a legend.
Deanna tentatively walked into the transport and spoke the name of her destination. The next thing she saw was the Statue of Liberty in the second she flew through the statue’s grasp, before being flown underwater. Adrenaline rushed through her ears and a broad smile eclipsed her face. Deanna’s only thought was, finally.
Then came the exit. The most that can be said about it was . . . well it would become more graceful later.
“Finally.” Luna repeated Deanna’s thought when the former amnesiac walked up to her and Cox. “You couldn’t have gone any slower.”
“Where’s this place of yours?” The purple-haired woman ignored the robot and turned to Cox.
“Its behind you.”
The former amnesiac spun around and for the second time that day was awestruck. She had heard many, many stories of the company.
“T-the ship is in there?”
“No. But the someone who can take us into space is.” Cox replied calmly. “Or out here I guess.” His eye fell on the small, cute alien walking up to them.
Ken studied the trio in front of him and sighed. Things were about to get complicated. No, they were already complicated; really, really complicated then?
Whatever it was . . . it was slowly spinning out of control.
The RCS-7/5 Imperial
He stood in an emerald sea of meadow bordered by mountains. The sky wavered rhythmically between sea foam, robin’s egg, and lavender colors. Everything was peaceful and quiet . . . and beautiful. He smiled, how long had it been since the last time he smiled? His emerald eyes absorbed the elegant scenery around him, Callania 7 was only like this three weeks in spring and—vast starships dove tore into the planet’s atmosphere and fired their deadly lasers.
The Last Lord of Callania 7 woke with a start, breathing heavily. He stared up at the ceiling of his chamber for a moment before shaking the dream from his head and getting up. Enough. He thought. There was business to be done and a certain Mighty One aboard his ship who may or may not get in his way. Ridiculous dreams would get Julian nowhere. Action would.
Julian Jerome Antony III carefully washed his emotions behind the curtain where they usually lay in waiting for any moment of weakness. Then after that was done, he lifted his head high and walked out of the chamber. He only stopped when he reached the room he had given the Mighty One.
The Sev-Lord hesitated outside the door of the human he thought to be one of his greatest pawns. He shook his head, pushed down on the handle of the door—forgetting that he’d locked it earlier, and opened it.
The Mighty One was gone.
Julian’s first reaction was to raise his eyebrow. Well, well. So it worked, what he saw in the HR gave him some spirit. The Callanian Lord studied the small room; the only entry and exit was the door he was standing in front of, thus the exit point of Fry. The only way that the Mighty One could’ve opened the door was if he picked it.
There! On the floor was a small, silver, needle-like object that was most likely used to do the job.
After coming to a conclusion on how Fry escaped, Julian’s next task was to find the Mighty One. Doesn’t he know he’s on a starship and that running was useless, it’s only a matter of time before I find him?
Fry let out a sigh of relief when he heard the audible click of the lock unlocking. He hand lost track somewhere in the hundreds of how many times he’d failed to pick the lock on the door. But determination had kept him going, he needed to see her again. He needed to make sure she was real. That she was alive.
The door swung gently open to Fry’s push. Then, after making sure none of the crew was around, the delivery boy started down the hall in the direction he was 75% sure the alien had taken down when he took him to the room where he saw Leela.
There were two things the Callanians were masters in. One was the constructing of massive amounts of weapons and warships; the other was painting, apparently, as Fry found out on his tour of Julian’s warship. Unlike other warships such as the DOOP’s Nimbus, The RCS-7/5 Imperial’s walls were decorated with long streams of vibrant colors, some in patterns, others just wandering lines. If the delivery boy knew more about Callanian artwork he would know that the wandering lines would lead him to the most important posts on the ship.
Fry wasn’t quite sure he was heading in the right direction when he’d left his room, now as he journeyed through the alien spacecraft he was even less sure. The halls twisted and winded so many times it made Fry’s head spin and the paint lines with all their vibrant colors made him dizzy. How could so many passages fit inside one moderately sized spacecraft anyway?
It was luck or maybe the Force, but Fry somehow managed to meander his way to the HR (Hologram Room). He recognized the room by its darkness and its silence. And the smell of burnt potatoes that didn’t seem to be anywhere else on the ship.
This time when Fry looked around he found himself, amazingly not in the ship’s bridge but in some kind of . . . bazaar? But he was in the middle of space, there couldn’t be any—oh right, there could . . . but not while he was flying in a spacecraft—in the middle of space, right?
It didn’t make any sense. The sights and sounds didn’t deceive Fry; there were the spice merchants with their assorted mixtures of nutmeg and cinnamon, the Zubans, with their exotic tobacco. The babble, bickering, and gossip of the Bazaar floated in and out of Fry’s ears. The delivery boy looked to his right and left at the meat pie stall and the . . . well, what exactly were those? Yep, definitely a Galactic Bazaar.
But how’d this place get on an alien spacecraft?
Fry stepped deeper into the world expanding around him. All around him all types of aliens were doing business; selling everything from what could be honey to something that looked like an exotic neon green puppy that smelled like asparagus. As he went deeper into the bazaar, the delivery boy began to feel less and less on the alien starship he knew he was on and more and more like he was actually wandering a Galactic Bazaar similar to the one he once went searching for his nose in. Fry grimaced when he thought back to the days of the Human Horn. He’d gotten his nose back sure, but then almost lost . . .
Then it struck Fry like Leela slapping him and the delivery boy stopped dead.
This isn’t real.
Nothing, not the alien, not seeing Leela, not the Bazaar . . . none of it was real! He was dreaming or had finally begun to hallucinate like Zoidberg thought. Fry rubbed his chin and ignored the growing headache at the back of his head. No that wasn’t right . . . he didn’t feel like he was dreaming.
Then where was he?
And why did the Nimbus keep popping up in the back, dusty part of his brain? There was something . . . if he could only reach it.
Why was that important? No, it wasn’t important. But Fry’s mind knew something it wasn’t telling him, something that had to do with both the Nimbus and Leela’s DNA.
“The Holo-Shed’s on the fritz again! The characters turned real!”
“That’s it! This is a Holo-Shed!” Fry yelled triumphantly at figuring out his puzzle.
And from somewhere there came singing. Above the bartering voices of those selling and buying came a melodic rhythmic voice. Fry turned his head, it sounded familiar.
“You aren’t supposed to be here.” The voice was as cold as the person bearing it. “Has it ever occurred to you it’s rude to go looking where you’re not wanted?”
Fry spun around and swallowed. Hard. A face the color and smoothness of lapis lazuli bearing acidy eyes and thin lips pressed hard together bore down on him. He hadn’t thought the alien who’d taken him from Earth looked this menacing before.
“I—err—I . . .”
The Planet Express ship
By the time they finally too off it was well past midnight, and dawn would slowly close in in a couple of hours. The ship flew out of Earth’s atmosphere at an amazingly fast pace. On board was the ship’s usual crew plus a victorious ambassador and an imprisoned hunter.
Amy yawned, like everyone else with her; she’d been up the entire night. But unlike everyone else, she had to steer the ship. Its wasn’t like the professor could be trusted with the helm, and Bender would probably spill alcohol on the controls thus short-circuiting them, Hermes could’ve probably handled it—if he hadn’t crashed in Fry and Bender’s cabin, Zoidberg? Ha, that’s a good one.
A cough to her left reminded Amy she wasn’t alone. There was him, the alien who called himself Barrett, ambassador to Cattania—no Callania? Five. He had told them that the bounty hunter that had tagged along on the quest to find Leela had been lying to them and had Fry spirited away to the nemesis planet of Cattania 5, Cattania 7. Then he had conveniently given them the coordinates to that planet and told them he could take them there. Maybe it was desperation for a simple answer, but the PE crew had believed the alien and then followed him into space.
The flight had been long, and after hours, tedious. All Amy could think of was being somewhere, anywhere else. How can Leela take it? Sitting in this same seat hour after hour on a mission. Well, she does have Fry and Bender for company, but steering a starship is sooo boring. Her eyes began to droop. And I’ve been up all night . . .
“I can take the helm for a while if you’re getting tired.” Barrett broke the long reigning silence from his position by the radar controls.
“No. I’m fine.” Amy slumped down in her seat. I shouldn’t let him control the . . . ship. Her mouth stretched into a giant yawn.
Barrett studied the intern for a moment. “You can trust me, I’m not like the hunter. I can get you to where you can get your friend back.”
Amy blinked repeatedly, it was becoming more and more difficult to keep her eyes open. The alien did know where they were going after all. And he was more trustworthy than the hunter, right?
“Alright, but don’t let it drift off course.” The Chinese Martian surrendered the wheel to the Callanian.
When he was sure Amy was gone, Barrett turned on the videophone and dialed the only number he had memorized.
“Ambassador Barrett, you have acquired the Other?”
“No my lord, but-“
“Then why are you calling?”
“There has been a slight change in the plan. Something has obviously happened to the Other and only the Mighty One knows, Lord Julian has taken him back to Callania 7 for further questioning—“
“And you’re not with him?” Anger. That was never a good sign with the ruler of Callania 5.
“No, my lord. We were spotted on the streets of an Earthling city and the witnesses had to be taken care of. But the ordeal came out in our favor that I am now escorting the crew of the Mighty One to Callania 5.”
The dark eyes of the Civ-Lord bore into Barrett. “You did not make it this far in your career by being stupid, ambassador. So pray tell me what is running through your head.”
“The Mighty One is subject to compassion and cares for those around him. Lord Julian earlier explained that the supposed death of the Other shattered him. Thus we can use his compassion against him; I am currently on a ship with his crew, if it comes to that, we can use them as leverage. If Julian turns against us and uses the Mighty One, we can counter the attack within a blink of an eye.”
“Very well. Proceed on.”
The transmission was cut off.
Amy headed toward Leela’s cabin; unsure of where else she could go. Professor Farnsworth and Hermes had bunked in Fry and Bender’s cabin while Bender had been forced to take the small storage room off to the side. Zoidberg was—wherever Zoidberg was. The captain’s cabin was the last place the intern could go.
“Ooh yeah.” Amy flopped down on Leela’s bed. “This is comfy.” In a matter of minutes she had fallen asleep.
And later she would realize she had just made one of the biggest mistakes in her life.
Exiting Earth’s Orbit
“They’re giving chase!”
“How many ships can Tom requisition this late at night?” Leela pushed the wheel of the Callanian Smuggler forward, the ship accelerated harshly as it left Earth’s atmosphere.
“At most, six.” Mackenzie paused. “Unless we’re extremely unlucky and he manages to convince any DOOP ships in the area to help him.” Leela gave her a menacing look. “What? The imbecile can be very persuasive at times. We both ended up working for him didn’t we?”
“I had amnesia. I was broke and in need of a job and-”
“Someone Tom probably paid ‘helped’ you find work by bringing you straight to him.” Mackenzie studied the radar. “I know the guy, he’s done it before. And there’s one ship heading straight for us from Earth. I would—”
“Listen Mackenzie or whoever you are.” Leela’s grip tightened on the wheel. “You might know how Callanian technology works; you might even fly this ship every day. But for all I know to work this ship you have to speak French and dance the tango. I don’t exactly spend my time flying alien starships.”
“And you think I do?”
“This is your starship. You were the one who kept it hidden behind a wall in a hangar. Why the heck wouldn’t you know how to fly it?” The Cyclops snarled.
A vein above Mackenzie’s left eye began to pulse. “I’m a Navigator! I navigate! Louie was always the pilot! He never taught me anything . . . did you ever teach your navigator anything about piloting?”
“My crew consists of—“ BOOM! Leela and Mack’s time for arguing had ended. Tom’s ship had joined them and it was firing.
Leela sighed and closed her eye, willing herself to calm down. Being stuck in a situation like her current one wasn’t new to her, being stuck in a situation like her current one while flying an alien starship was. This can’t be much harder than a 4D space whale running on my own ambition.
And just like that, it happened, just like when she’d first assumed control of the Callanian smuggler. The ship morphed, but this time instead of a gearshift changing into a replica of the Planet Express ship’s wheel, the wheel turned into a mass of black, metallic tentacles that weren’t unlike the space whale’s intestine. They wrapped themselves around Leela’s wrists before marching on the rest of her body. And so, for the second time in her life, Leela was consumed by something flying in space, the first being the 4D space whale. For the sake of the curious, the Cyclops did not find either time especially enjoyable.
But after that, flying the smuggler was simple. Considering that Leela had become the smuggler, as she had once become the whale. She dived and spun, falling out of Tom’s ship’s range of fire.
Tom leaned back in his chair, crossed his fingers, and studied the dark starship opposing his own. I have to give you credit, Mack, that is one fine ship you’ve hidden from me. But what is your ship? Is it some type of new Omicronian warship? Have the Trisolians finally figured out how to built a starship?
Then, suddenly, the dark ship dove and veered, causing Tom’s ship to fire aimlessly into never-ending darkness. The starship company owner swore and yelled commands at his crew. He could not let Leela and Mack escape; they both knew enough to ruin his business and reputation. One had been with him for years and probably knew his company’s secrets, the other he’d used bribery and trickery to get to work from him.
“Sir, we have received a hailing signal from the DOOP Nimbus.”
And then the wrong man got lucky. Or maybe it was because Zapp Brannigan would rather prefer to hail the human ship before the alien ship when he accidentally stumbled upon a dogfight between the two.
I have had just about enough of this! A sweet yet somewhat oily taste filled Leela’s mouth as adrenaline pumped through her veins and her ship-controlling tentacles. How many battles against various opponents, such as a river and Falcon Enterprise guards, in the past 72 hours did this make it? Two? Three? Leela had had enough of them. I am going to kick that manipulative ass’s butt and then I am going to find Fry and kick his butt for disappearing.
With the effort of thought, the starship captain shoved the throttle forward three notches and expertly tugged the ship around to the right, causing her two opponents to fill up her viewport.
And then, just to make matters worse. Leela heard the voice of the human being she hated more than any other.
“Alien invaders, surrender or prepare to be destroyed.”
“Likely chance, Brannigan.” Leela’s newfound icy voice shocked all parties listening, including herself. She shook her head, that’s what you got for messing with foreign machinery.
“Then prepare for your destruction.”
“Can you man the cannons?” Leela snarled back at Mackenzie, without taking her eye off her two foes. Glad, for the first time that day; that the other woman had decided to come along.
“Can’t you with your tentacles—“
“No! This ship isn’t steering itself you know!”
“ . . . In that case, not all of them, this ship has over 350 cannons and they’re meant for bigger foes than this.” Mack seemed to be thinking out loud to herself more than talking to Leela. “But the laser turret should be effective enough.”
“Then get to the turret!” The Cyclops rolled her eye. “I don’t know about you but I don’t want to die today.” She turned back to the foe that awaited her to make a move. Leela was outnumbered two to one; but the odds were still in her favor, both of her enemies were idiots and it took her the power of thought to move her ship.
“I’m in the turret. Permission to fire?” Mack’s voice came over an intercom Leela couldn’t locate.
“Granted.” Why is she asking? I’m not the actual captain of this—BOOM!
A volley of brilliant neon green lasers lit up the space before the Callanian smuggler. Tom’s—or was it Zapp’s? Attack hadn’t gone unanswered by Mackenzie. She claims she only knows navigation yet she can fire a laser cannon?
Mackenzie had always been sure she could handle anything life threw at her. She’d always managed to get herself out of tight spots knowing on her shoulders rested a cool head. But this was insane. She’d gone from Mackenzie with a decent job and an alien starship hidden in the basement to Mackenzie who wanted revenge on her boss, took it, and then joined up with a purple-haired, Cyclops starship captain to guide to the Clandestine Galaxy. I don’t even know what I’m doing up here. Louie had taught her a few things about the weapons system of their ship, but never before had she used the turret in actual battle. I must be one of the luckiest people off Earth.
The ship rocked violently as Leela pressed into some maneuver or another. Mackenzie was jerked to the left and with a yell crashed into a small armada of buttons, sending a new type of yellow laserfire into the depths of space. Oops.
Back in the bridge, Leela tore a dozen or so metallic tentacles from her torso. As part of the ship, they worked with it and thus—like a computer—had begun to overheat. A headache ravaged through the Cyclops’s head and not for the last time that day or the days following, she wished this whole ordeal would just end.
“Mackenzie Meridian.” Tom’s voice echoed through the smuggler from the well-hidden radio. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“What does it look like?” The Ex-Falcon employee snapped her reply from the turret. “I’m whooping your butt.”
“Do you really want to fight this battle? For someone you barely know?” There was an audible sigh from across the vacuum of space. “I admit the things I said earlier weren’t exactly . . . how to put this—“
“Shut your mouth Tom, before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.”
“Willing to die for someone you don’t know.” The captain of the third ship in the dogfight radioed in. “I like it.”
“Who the heck are you?”
“Commodore 64 Zapp Brannigan.”
“Mack, I’ve made some mistakes . . . but the past doesn’t completely rule the future, I can change. You can still have a future with Falcon Enterprise.” Tom ignored Brannigan and focused on his ex-employee.
“I said shove it Tom!”
“You cannot win. No matter what you do, Mackenzie Meridian, you will lose this fight because you chose to alliance yourself with the wrong side.” Tom’s voice was calm. “You can still turn back. Join me.”
“And me.” Zapp Brannigan was at it again.
“Be quiet.” Tom snarled. “You aren’t involved here.”
“Neither are you!” Mack pressed down on an insignificant until that moment button. Unleashing yellow laserfire at the Falcon Enterprise ship. The smuggler no longer felt loyalty to her old boss or his company. She had decided to help Leela in the name of revenge and now was helping her in the name of loyalty.
The Streets of New New York
“Leela?” Ken stared at the purple-haired woman of the trio. But she’s a Cyclops . . . and dead . . .
“Are you Lord Nibbler?” Cox ignored the Nibblonian’s remark to question the newly arrived Nibblonian.
Ken sighed. Why? Why do they always want Nibbler? “No. I’m Ken.” He turned back to Deanna. “Leela? Is that really you?”
The former amnesiac’s face went white. “N-no. I’m Tu—“
“She’s Deanna.” Luna glowered at the purple-haired woman; did she want to complicate things further? Because she was doing a great job of it. “Are you our ride off Earth?” Her eyes fell on Ken.
The Nibblonian studied Deanna for a long moment before replying. “I am not taking anyone anywhere until you tell me who you are and anything you know about this.” He took out the small shard of metal he’d found on Eternium.
Soon after he found the Hall of Eternity in ruins and determined that Eternium had been attacked, Ken had left his home planet. Unsure of where to go he’d wandered through various Nibblonian outposts and colonies, but strangely none knew of what had transpired on their home planet. While he wandered Ken questioned after the small shard of metal he’d found and now wore around his neck. It intrigued many a scientist and eventually was determined to be some sort of Magnesium alloy. But where it came from and what its other half was could not be determined. Finally the Nibblonian had received an encrypted message telling him he would find a link to the answers he sought if he went back to Earth . . . and the delivery company in the middle of everything.
“You already know who Deanna is. I’m Cox and this is Luna.” The Amphibiosan paused. “And we need to get to . . .” he paused and looked at his companions. How much could they tell the Nibblonian?
“We need to get to the Clandestine Galaxy.” Apparently Deanna had fewer qualms about giving up all their secrets.
“The Clandestine Galaxy.” Ken repeated, not sure that he was hearing right. “You are going to the Clandestine Galaxy.”
“Say it any slower and we’re going to be here next year.” Luna crossed her arms. “But yeah our entire mission, as my idiotic friend just blurted, revolves around us getting to that specific galaxy.”
Ken wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved that he’d stumbled into a plot that dealt with the Callanians, the aliens he was sure attacked his home planet, that would help him in his search for his fellow Nibblonians or confused, because why did these three have to do something in a galaxy barely anyone knew about?
“Why—why are you going to that galaxy?”
“It’s a long story.” Deanna informed Ken. “An extremely long intricate story that started when someone made a wrong decision.”
The Nibblonian was unimpressed. Heck, he was living a story that fit that description. “And?”
“Lets just say, unless I get to the Clandestine Galaxy and do what I’m supposed to do, a lot of bad things are going to happen.” Deanna snapped.
Ken glared up at the purple-haired woman. “You can’t tell me what it is your supposed to do? Or why you’re supposed to do it?”
“No. She can’t.” Cox put his hand on Deanna’s shoulder. “You just going to have to trust us.”
What else could Ken lose? “Very well. But I’m warning you, if you three had anything to do with the attack on Eternium . . . your future won’t be bright.”
No one said a word.
1 Hour Later, give or take 15 minutes
“I thought you said you knew him.” Deanna hissed at Cox, while looking at Ken’s back.
“I thought he was a different Nibblonian.” Cox replied. “One I was sure we’d find outside . . . never mind. We’re getting a starship and that’s all that matters.”
They had been following Ken through the back alleys of New New York for the past hour. And Deanna couldn’t help but wonder if the Nibblonian was taking them on a wild goose chase, which made her extremely antsy. Any time she might’ve had to complete her mission on Earth was gone and the window of opportunity was closing.
“If you fail, you can never come back.”
“I understand.” Her words sounded much more firm than she felt.
“You could lose your memory for a short time . . . or forever.”
“Deanna . . . this doesn’t have to be your battle. You still have a chance to live a life with your remaining family, here on Earth.”
“Thank you, but I have the opportunity to change things. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself if I don’t take it.” Deanna put on her jacket and prepared to leave.
“Please Dean! Think of your father! What this is going to do to him!”
“I’m sorry, but he never knew I existed before now. He won’t miss me.”
“Dean! Deanna! Come back!”
The purple-haired woman grimaced, thinking of one of her first days on Earth. It felt so long ago now . . .
THUNK. So deep in thought was she, the former amnesiac didn’t notice the man with the tinfoil hat creep up behind her and hit her over the head with a bottle. Then, like so many Mad Fellows before him, the man opened the bottle and began drinking out of it.
The RCS-7/5 Imperial
“Don’t waste your breath on excuses. I know why you’re here. You’re here for exact same reason anyone who has stepped into the room before you has come here.” Julian paused. “Though how you managed to get here without being caught is a mystery. But come, it is time to go.”
“No.” Fry clenched his fists. He wanted answers.
“There is nothing for you in this room. You will not find what you’re looking for here.”
“How do you know? I could.” Fry retorted. “Anything’s possible.”
Julian smiled down at the delivery boy. “Because this room will only show you a projection of her, it won’t bring her to you. As long as you stay in the room, what you want will be outside your grasp.”
“Then she’s really alive.” Fry whispered. “Leela’s alive.”
“I never said that.” The calm on the Sev-Lord’s face vanished for a moment. “I said that she would forever be outside—For the sake of the Twin Rain Gods, running off in here won’t get you anywhere.”
But Fry had already disappeared into the Galactic Bazaar. Julian sighed before following the delivery boy, regretting building the HR as big as it was.
It was the singing. The soft, melodic singing Fry heard before the alien had arrived that lead the delivery boy. He followed its hypnotic voice through the vast maze of smelly stalls the HR created around him, convinced that it would lead him to the one person he desperately wanted to see alive again. The one he needed to see alive again.
But as he continued, the Bazaar began to disappear. At first it was just the aliens Fry past in his search, then the stalls began disappearing into mist, the world was fading; transforming. Until all that remained was the singing voice, Fry wouldn’t let it go. His mind held it in the HR.
But the HR was reading the brainwaves of the other living being in its depths now. And the secrets that had been hidden for so long broke out and displayed themselves across the HR.
An elegant ballroom with great crystal chandeliers casting rainbows everything enveloped Fry’s world. There was a long buffet with many foods—all of them alien—only a few appetizing to a human, hundreds of dancers of the Callanian race filled the dance floor preforming waltzes so complex no human could ever have completed them. Fry turned around in confusion, how’d he come to be here? Wasn’t he just in a Bazaar?
“Fry?” And then there was Leela.
“Leela!” Happiness filled the delivery boy’s voice. “Wait—last time you didn’t hear me. Are you real?”
Then there was the singing. Fry spun around and charged into mass of dancing aliens, determined now more than ever to find it. He shoved past anything and anyone who happened to be in his path until—
“Leela!” Happiness filled the delivery boy’s voice at the sight of the Cyclops. “Wait—last time you didn’t hear me. Are you real?”
“Of course I’m real. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“B-but the bazaar—holo-shed!”
“This place is replicating his memories now. But you kept me here Fry. You wouldn’t let me go.”
“Shhh. Dance with me. It’s the only way I can stay.”
And so the two humans danced among the Callanians. Fry wasn’t sure how they kept the rhythm of the music—he never was good at dancing. But then Fry wasn’t sure of what was going on. It felt important, but his mind couldn’t grasp what it was. But all that mattered at that moment was Leela.
“Lords and Ladies of Callania 7!”
The music abruptly ended and all eyes turned to the group that had just arrived. Fry felt a shiver run up his spine; he glanced over at Leela, but she—where’d she go? The Cyclops had vanished.
“Your crimes have not gone unnoticed.” The leader of the newly arrived group spoke again. “And Callania 5 has decreed punishment.”
“We’ve done nothing wrong!”
“Callania 7 rules itself!”
“Barrett! How dare you!” That was the alien who’d taken Fry from Earth. He’d come forth out of the crowd to challenge the coalition from Callania 5.
“Ah Julian, so good of you to invite me to your little party.” The coalition’s leader glared at the Sev-Lord. “You know why I’m here, Callania 5 disproves of your planet’s smuggling business. I’ll get to the point so you can drink your cheap wine; Callania 7 has had warning after warning.” He paused and then spoke into a small wrist device. “Start the attack!”
Chaos ensued. The Civs from Callania 5 shot into the crowd and the partygoers tried to flee but found themselves locked in . . .
Fry found himself shoved into a torrential storm of moving bodies, he cried out but no one could hear him over their own yells and shouts. Before the delivery boy could do anything he was pinned against the wall of the ballroom. The next moment he tumbled backwards through it and landed with a thump on a riverbank. The memory had changed.
“Its over, Julian. Callania 7 will fall. We must evacuate the survivors.”
Confused, Fry turned around. Standing in the dark of night by a mighty river stood a two Callanian figures.
“I know.” Julian’s voice was a whisper. “But they own the space around our planet. Fighting will only bring defeat.”
“Then what do you suggest?” The general snapped. “We can’t just sit here waiting for them to come. Better to go down fighting than to sit here waiting—expecting them to come.”
“I will surrender myself.”
“Shut up and listen.” The Sev-Lord snapped. “They will believe our resistance is done and return to Callania 5. Most likely I will be put under some sort of arrest and be publically humiliated.”
“But they won’t stop until we’re all de—“
“You may no longer believe this, general but our enemy share our race with us. They are Callanians and though it seems impossible, they may still follow the old laws. And the old laws state; there is nothing more important than the preservation of life.”
The general laughed grimly. “Ha! I doubt they even know the old laws still exist!”
“I wasn’t done yet, fool. Once the Civs leave, make your escape. Find a hidden world and start a colony, then build an army, an army so great the Civs wouldn’t dream of defeating it. Once you have done this, contact me and I will provide you with an opportunity for revenge.”
“Fry!” Leela had come back to take the delivery boy through to the next memory. The delivery boy barely had a moment to take a breath before the Cyclops pulled him into the river.
He arrived gasping at the next scene without Leela. Apparently she was only there to take him from one place to another.
Fry crept forward on the riverbank, maybe he could hear whatever plan was being formed if he was closer. The delivery boy accidentally put his foot down in a mud patch and before he could do anything, Fry went tumbling into the river.
“From this point on Callania 7 is an asset of Callania 5. It will be governed by the Sev-Lord Julian Jerome Antony II who will be, for his own protection, live in a great obsidian tower we have so kindly given him, not to leave without an entourage of guards.”
“You were never meant to see this.” The words were hissed in Fry’s ear as a cold grip encased his shoulder. “Now you will pay.”
“—My Lord?—“ Before Julian or Fry could do anything, the Sev-Lord’s lieutenant called on Julian’s small radio. “We have arrived in the Clandestine Galaxy and should descend upon Sev-Callania within ten minutes.”
There was no reply from Julian.
“My Lord? Do you copy? Sev-Lord?”
“I heard you the first time, imbecile. Have you already checked for electric storms?”
“ . . .”
“There was an audible sigh. “Don’t do anything until I get up there.” The Sev-Lord turned to Fry and pulled the delivery boy by the shoulder up to the bridge. Once there, he shoved him to the side before turning to his lieutenant.
“Of the many times you’ve landed on the Sev homeworld, you haven’t already checked for the most dangerous landing obstacle?”
Fry never heard what came next. Ever since coming to the future he had always been amazed by cosmic objects . . . and the planet sitting directly in the center of the Callanian warship’s viewport was one that would captivate someone bored with space.
It was deep indigo in color wrapped with thick whitish-green clouds. If one were to compare it to Earth, they would find the planet nearly the same size of the third planet from the Sol. Off to the side sat three silver-white moons that contrasted greatly with the planet, adding to its magnificence.
The Planet Express ship
Zoidberg, the humblest of the PE crew, also the member with the least amount of self-esteem was the last one awake beside Barrett and the prisoner in the laundry room. The crustacean of course didn’t know this, as he was munching on his earwigs in the cargo bay, oblivious to all other happenings aboard the ship.
With a semi-satisfied burp, the Decapodian finished the earwigs and looked around for something else tasty to eat. Finding nothing but a few crumpled empty cans of Slurm in the cargo bay, Zoidberg turned his search to the rest of the ship. He scuttled his way into the upper deck of the ship. Seeing no one . . .
“So Zoidberg has the ship to himself does he? The claw is in Zoidberg’s imaginary house now. Hehe. I can finally do all those things that someone would hit for doing.”
The Decapodian snuck stealthily—or at least what he thought stealthily would be—toward the laundry room.
The bounty hunter looked up as the door opened. Had the imbeciles finally come to their senses? Had they come to let him out? No. It was only the lobsterman. What was he doing in the hunter’s prison?
Zoidberg shrieked. No one had told him they locked the evil alien guy in the laundry room, but then again no one told Zoidberg anything to begin with. Nonetheless the Decapodian went postal against the hunter, head fin raised and claws outstretched.
“Stop! Stop you deranged lobster!”
Two large hands were shoved out defensively.
Two salmon-colored claws receded and Zoidberg slowly started edging toward the door. With the hunter there, he could no longer try and sleep in the washing machine. Once back in the hallway, the crustacean crept along until he reached the cabin he’d always been kicked out of.
Hermes and the professor were already awake.
And Bender was with them.
“Balderdash I say. If the alien isn’t trustworthy than I’m not a professor.”
Hermes crossed his arms. “But professor, he’s given us no hard proof dat we can trust him.”
“So? A lot of people don’t trust other people.” Bender lifted his usual cigar from his mouth. “For example I don’t trust you.”
“I agree with Hermes.” Zoidberg chimed in helpfully. Take that evil alien invader of the laundry room.
“Shove it Zoidberg.”
Bender knocked Zoidberg roughly to the corner of the cabin. Once sure that no one was paying attention to him, Zoidberg quietly scuttled out of the cabin. His next move was to the only other cabin, but he was kicked out of that one by a string of Cantonese curses. Then the crustacean moved to the bridge.
He arrived just in time to see the Planet Express ship enter an extremely large fleet.
“Ooh! New friends.” Zoidberg clapped his claws together happily.
Callania 5 was preparing for war.
And the Planet Express crew had entered its armada. Also the Clandestine Galaxy.
The Continuity of Space
There was no ship in the Known Universe that could take a Callanian warship. The race was nearly as ancient as the Nibblonians and had had millennia after millennia to perfect the art of creating weaponry. It was after all, the only thing they were good at. Even if Tom’s ship had more advanced weaponry and Zapp Brannigan didn’t captain the Nimbus and Leela didn’t have her weird tentacle thing going on, Tom and Brannigan would still have very little chance of victory.
Little chance didn’t mean they lost straight out. It just meant that a spectator should bet on the other side. Tom’s ship and the Nimbus may not have the upper hand of weaponry, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t put up a fight. And so they did.
Imagine this, three very different starships waging war against each other in a battle. One is long, sleek, and definitely of made alien design. The second is a famous warship known throughout the universe as the head of the DOOP’s fleet. The final ship is vastly outmatched by the other two, and if it didn’t have an alliance with one of the other ships would have been shot out down by now.
The ships dive and roll, weaving in and out of red, purple, and green laser fire. Weirdly enough, none have yet fired a torpedo—BOOM! Oh, never mind.
Leela gritted her teeth and sharply pulled the smuggler into a jagged, 60-degree turn. How? It was alien and she was covered in tentacles, do you really want to ask that question?
Almost there . . . just a few more . . . seconds. There! Leela locked onto Tom’s ship and sent a torpedo whizzing through space. At the same time, the Nimbus fired wave after wave of red laser fire at the Smuggler. By fate or random chance the torpedo and fire met . . .
Back on Earth in New New York an eight-year-old boy was gazing dreamily at the night sky, wondering if he would fly spaceships when he was old enough, when a small flickering light drew his attention. He turned his black-haired head toward it. A shooting star? No . . . it was growing bigger . . . and bigger . . . and BIGGER! The fiery explosion enveloped the night sky causing a false dawn. The little boy gasped and his jaw fell open. This. Was. So. Cool!
Then the dark blob came flying through the dawn, straight at the little black-haired boy. He watched and waited unmoving as the burnt starship was tossed overhead. He heard it screech as it landed. Then he went running to see the crash site.
The remains of Tom’s ship smoked as its surviving crew stumbled from its depths. NNYPD and a herd of ambulances arrived at the scene within a few minutes and help came to the limping crew.
“Sir, I need you to calm down.” A fireman spoke to the ship’s overweight commander.
“But I—My ship—I need to—“
“Give it a rest, Tom.” One of the lucky crewmembers that made it with only a broken arm and burns removed an oxygen mask from his face for a moment. “Its over, you’re lucky to be alive.”
Back in Space . . .
. . . The DOOP Nimbus
Aboard the DOOP Nimbus, two beings, one human, one Amphibiosan watched the empty space in front of them. Their thoughts were as conflicting as fire and ice.
“Kif, why aren’t we giving pursuit?”
“Giving pursuit to what, sir?” The lieutenant sighed. “There’s nothing out there.”
“Then they’ve already escaped. Prepare to begin a universe-wide manhunt.” Zapp Brannigan stared intently out the Nimbus’s small viewport. “Those aliens won’t get away with attacking Earth.”
“But sir, we don’t know that they were attacking—“
“Not now Kif, I’m pursuing.”
The lieutenant sighed a usual sigh before turning back to his command post. After he checked and double-checked that all factions of the ship were working perfect, he let his thoughts turn to the dogfight the Nimbus had intervened in. One of the ships had definitely been of Earthican design, but the other ship, the one he was currently pursuing . . . the Amphibiosan had never seen anything like it before. And he had seen everything from the Inter-Dimension ships of Pandora to the Octopus ships of Hovering Squid World 97A.
What was this conflict Zapp bluntly shoved them into?
. . . A Callanian Smuggler
The smuggler was being whipped and tossed, edged on by the fires of when torpedo met laser fire. Leela was released from her tentacle prison and with Mack was tossed around the bridge like leaves in the wind.
Leela grabbed something, the torpedo control she guessed, and hugged her body tightly to it. Then the world stopped spinning, slightly. At least I’m no longer being tossed around. But there was still the problem of regaining control of the ship.
The Cyclops craned her head around, trying to find something, anything useful. A big red button dubbed ‘Emergency Brake’, perhaps. Leela could’ve yelled a second later if her lungs weren’t already exhausted from the exertion of breathing. The scarlet button had literally formed from nothingness. Am I hallucinating or have I gone insane?
Leela, as it should be known, was not going insane. All Callanian ships, especially those of the seventh planet of the star system, are made of a Destructomite-Magnesium alloy that never received an official name. This alloy’s only interesting attribute is it can shape-shift at any random moment. This power; after discovery, was harnessed by the Callanians and attached to a brainwave reading device that would force it to change it into whatever the user thought necessary. After perfecting the early prototypes, scientists attached the newfound technology to the Callanians’ starships where it was put to use by the starship captains and a couple of decades later, Leela
Manual override complete. All systems set to reboot. New destination set as Base I in Sarai City of The Great Sev-Callania Homeland.
Leela sighed a sigh of relief and released her fingers from their pressed position against the scarlet button as the ship stopped spinning and the autopilot took over, flying them toward . . . The Callanian Star System.