Futurama

Fan Fiction

Married With Children, part 7
By Ramon_51

The Oaks, Outside Charleston, South Carolina, July 5, 0700 (7 a.m.)

Fry looked out the bedroom window just in time to see Leela come running up the road. She was dressed in a red jogging suit, her purple ponytail bobbing rhythmically from side-to-side as she went. He stood still in the window, awed by the gracefulness of her stride. He continued to watch as she bounded up onto the porch and was hidden from view.

After a short wait, the door to their bedroom opened. Leela walked into the room, stripping off the top of her jogging suit. Fry smiled at the sight of her lean, muscular form as the jogging suit peeled away. The sight of the graceful curves of her body made his heart begin to beat faster.

She smiled at Fry as she tossed her top into the clothes hamper next to the bathroom door.

“Three points!” Fry exclaimed.

Leela laughed, “No that was a two pointer.” Then she removed her pants and sent them sailing into the hamper as well. “Now that was a three pointer.”

Now it was Fry’s turn to laugh.

Leela joined in. Then reached up and pulled the scrunchie from her hair. Her long, purple tresses cascaded onto her shoulders like a river of dark wine. At the sight, Fry inhaled deeply.

“Have I told you how much I love you?” Fry asked moving toward her.

Leela stepped forward and embraced him, “Not since we went to sleep last night.” Then she gave him a quick kiss and stepped away, “I’m all sweaty and I stink. I’m going to take a shower.” With that, she vanished into the bathroom.

Fry stood there as though rooted to the spot. He heard the sound of the shower running. Then her bra and panties flew into the hamper. Leela’s voice came from the bathroom, “I could really use somebody to scrub my back.”

“Be right there!” Fry almost shouted. Then he walked straight into the bathroom without even taking off his pajama bottom and tee shirt. He didn’t even break his stride as he slid the shower door and stepped into the shower stall.

Leela was facing the shower head, rinsing shampoo from her hair. Without looking back she said in a sultry voice “Could you scrub my back, Phil?”

Fry gulped audibly, “Sure!” He picked up a lufa sponge, soaped it up, and lathered her back gently.

“Mmmm, that feels good,” she almost purred. “Now you can soap the rest of me.” Leela turned around slowly, her eye shut.

Fry was busy lathering the sponge when Leela opened her eye. The sight of Fry in his pajama bottoms and tee shirt – soaked to the skin – stuck her as unbearably funny.

She began to laugh almost uncontrollably. In between her laughter she managed to gasp, “Ha ha ha…Phil! You wore you pajamas into the shower….ha ha ha…what in the world?...ha ha ha…oh you are so crazy…ha ha ha…Oh I love you!...ha ha ha!”

Fry shrugged his shoulders, “Well, I didn’t want you to have to wait.”

She stepped forward and embraced him lovingly. She held him close for a moment as the thought, “This is my husband” flashed through her mind.

She reached down and grasped his tee shirt. “Oh, you crazy man. I love you so much. Let’s get these wet clothes off of you.”

As Fry would later remark of the experience, “It was the most fun I ever had in the shower up to that time in my life.”

New-New York Police Department Headquarters’, Commissioner’s Office July 5, 0730 (7:30 a.m.)

Ramon slept in the office the previous evening. He stood at the sink in his bathroom, shaving in preparation for his meeting with the Mayor. He smiled as he took stock of himself in the mirror. The weight of his over half-century on the planet showed in the lines and wrinkles that seamed his face. “You win again, gravity,” he said. Then he let out a laugh.

He wiped the remnants of shaving cream from his face with a towel. Then he hung the towel up carefully. His many years in the DOOP Military had combined with his natural love of orderliness to make him a bit of a “neat freak.”

He sat behind his desk, activating his computer as he did so. He wanted to review the data the Red Shadow had brought him last night.

As usual, the Red Shadow had appeared late at night, emerging from the shadows after the lights had flickered. Ray smiled as he thought, “Everyone loves a little theater in their lives.” The Red Shadow, he reflected, was no exception.

They had spoken for several hours. After reviewing every bit of available data, they concluded that the Mutant Terrorists were mutant in name only. An as yet unidentified group of humans had been seizing mutants and using them as bomb carriers. Their motive seemed to be a visceral hatred of mutants.

They had so much physical evidence to back this up that Ramon said, “I’m going to a press conference with the hard facts right after I speak with the Mayor.”

The Red Shadow sounded concerned, “Couldn’t you lose your job, Ramon?”

“That mariposa of a mayor won’t fire me. I’m his heat shield. Besides, if he did, I’d be more dangerous to him on the outside than on the inside.”

Red nodded in agreement, “What about Brannigan?”

Ramon pursed his lips thoughtfully, then answered, “He’s gone off and started another one of his maldito wars to distract attention. He’s also “discovered” that Major Clark of the DOOP Marines…and lately of the Nimbus…masquerading as Major Wellington…was the terrorist’s leader, not Kif Kroker.”

“What happened to Clark?”

Ramon pulled a face, “Died of a heart attack yesterday. They found him face down in his apartment, stiff as a board.”

“Mind if I look over the lab reports?”

Ramon pressed a few keys, “They are on the way to our electronic dead drop.”

“Wonderful.” Red glanced at his old fashioned watch, “Well, I have to go. Lots to do.”

Ramon stood up, “One more thing, this information from M-5438 about this escaped maniac Z-6666, I don’t know why but I think it’s connected to this whole mess somehow.”

Red nodded, “I’ve felt the same way. Perhaps I can talk to M-5438 to get a little more detail. Do you mind?”

Ramon grinned as he shook his head, “Not at all. I’ll inform him you are friendly.”

Adiós, Ramón.

Adiós, Sombra Roja.”

The lights flickered and Ramon was alone in the room.

Now he turned his mind back to preparing for his meeting with the Mayor. He was going to give Poopenmeyer a chance to be a media hero. If old C. Randall was too dumb to take the opportunity, then the chips would just have to fall where they may.

The Oaks, Outside Charleston, South Carolina, July 5, 0800 (8 a.m.)

Fry and Leela entered the dining room hand-in-hand. J.B. looked up at them from his seat at the head of the dining room table. He had been reading a newspaper that was laid out flat on the table. Zeeves was in the process of clearing the table of dishes.

J.B. spoke first, “Well, my but you are late risers!” He smiled, “No matter, Zeeves will fix you some breakfast. What would you like?”

Leela asked, “Has everyone eaten already?”

“Indeed they have. They all breakfasted early. Sally has gone off to Charleston with Taz and Varney on a shopping trip.” He began to laugh, “She certainly has them wrapped around her little finger.”

Fry scratched his head, “She does have a way with people.” He paused and grinned at Leela, “It must come from her Mother’s side of the family.”

J.B. responded, “Absolutely…and she does pretty well with dogs. Prometheus and Pompey went into mourning when she left.”

From where she stood, Leela could see onto the front porch. Both of the huge Irish Wolfhounds lay on the porch, peering intently down the road. She thought, “They really do look sad! “

Fry interrupted her thoughts when he clapped his hands and said, “Let’s eat.”

Zeeves held Leela’s chair for her as she sat down. Then he asked, “What would Madame like to have for breakfast?”

“Um…I think I’d like two scrambled egg beaters, some wheat toast, a cup of coffee, and some fruit if you have it?”

“Would melon be acceptable, Madame?”

“Fine, yes. Thank you Zeeves.”

Zeeves turned to Fry, “Sir?”

“I’ll have a dozen eggs and a side of bacon.”

Leela frowned, “Fry!”

Fry held up his hands in a gesture of self-defense and surrender, “Okay. I was joking.” He turned to Zeeves, “Can you get me a cheese omelet?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Let me have some toast and a cup of coffee.”

“Yes sir, will that be all?”

“Yeah, sure. Thanks Zeeves.”

Zeeves glided into the kitchen. When the door to the kitchen closed, J.B. cleared his throat, “I’m glad to have this opportunity to speak to both of you alone. As you know, I filed our brief two days ago.”

Fry looked confused, “What do briefs have to do with it?”

J.B. didn’t even crack a smile, “I’m sorry, I’m speaking like a lawyer. I filed the papers for our case at the Federal District Court.”

“Oh.”

Leela looked concerned, “Will I have to testify? With the Mutant Edicts in effect, wouldn’t I be arrested as soon as I entered the courtroom?”

“You will not have to testify, my dear,” J.B. said with a smile. “You see, the Federal District Court is what is known as a court of appellate review. In simple terms, they simply review papers and decide if there were procedural errors, or if there is a constitutional question about a law.”

Fry’s brow furrowed, “How long will it take?”

“Fortunately, the notoriety of the case has moved it to the front of the line. I will make oral arguments before the judges’ tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. With any luck, we may have a ruling by the end of the day.”

Leela looked skeptical, “That fast? I don’t know…I’ve been to the Central Bureaucracy.”

J.B. emitted a short laugh, “I’ve wasted a fair amount of time there myself, but I know the judges sitting on this bench. They won’t delay…trust me.”

Leela reached out and touched J.B.’s right arm, “We trust you.” After a short pause she asked, “Do we have any idea who is behind all this?”

Anger flickered briefly across J.B.’s features, “It’s premature to say, but I have some people whom I trust running down the facts.”

Fry’s face brightened, “Buddy Dack and James?”

J.B nodded, “When I return to New-New York tomorrow, I will be certain to meet with them both.” His face darkened, “We will find whoever is behind this and they will answer for it.”

The Turanga Residence, the Mutant Village, New-New York, July 5, 1200, (Noon).

“Kif,” Munda called up the stairs, “could you come down to the living room?”

Kif, who was lying on his bed daydreaming of Amy sat bolt upright at the sound of Munda’s voice. He answered immediately, “Right away Mrs. T.”

She smiled at being called “Mrs. T.” For some reason Kif had found it very difficult to call her by her given name. When he tried to call her “Mrs. Turanga” she had protested it made her feel old. So they had compromised on “Mrs. T.”

She went back to the couch, sitting down next to Morris whose attention was riveted on the television screen. The news from the surface was encouraging. The Police Commissioner had issued a brief statement earlier that morning in which he said, “There is no evidence that this series of bombings was done by a group of mutant terrorists. In fact, all of the evidence points to the contrary.” This video clip was being played over and over on every news station.

Munda heard Kif’s footfall as he descended the steps slowly. She turned to look just as he came into the living room. He smiled, “What’s the news?”

Munda smiled back, “Sit down, the clip you need to see will be on in a moment.”

Kif sat in the threadbare arm chair without further comment. He turned his attention to the screen. Morbo the news monster was speaking, “So the stupid puny humans took this long to figure out that the mutants were not terrorists. BWA-HA-HA. Feeble minded idiots! My people will destroy you!”

Linda laughed in response to Morbo’s remark. Then she shuffled some papers lying on the desk in front of her before continuing, “Looks like 25 Star General Zapp Brannigan has done it again. He has conquered the planet of Pacifica after linking them to the terrorist explosions in New-New York. As a side note, he also brilliantly proved that his former Executive Officer, Lieutenant Kif Kroker, was innocent of any wrongdoing.”

The screen suddenly cut away to a picture of Zapp Brannigan being interviewed by a reporter. In his usual condescending tone, Zapp was explaining, “So you see, I reasoned that it had to be Major Clark, not Lieutenant Kroker.”

The reporter, an average looking brunette, seemed ready to swoon, “So General Brannigan, what is your next move?”

He grinned, “Come by my quarters later and I’ll show you.”

“Oh my,” she seemed flustered. Then she recovered her composure, “This is Robin Wittles with News Two, signing off.”

Kif was stunned. He sat silently for a moment. His mind was occupied with one question “What should I do now?”

He made up his mind. James Martindale would be able to find out if this was a trap or not. If he was in the clear, Kif intended to pretend to be his old meek self. But he was going to get Zapp Brannigan, of that he was sure.

The Oaks, Outside Charleston, South Carolina, July 5, 1800, (6 p.m.).

Leela, Fry and J.B. sat in a row on the front porch, each rocking back and forth in an antique wooden rocking chair. It was very warm, but a breeze off the ocean fanned them into a pleasant lassitude. The only sound was the rustling of leaves and the rhythmic “creak, creak, creak” of the rockers.

Both Prometheus and Pompey sprawled on the porch. Neither of the huge Irish Wolfhounds had stirred from the porch since Sally had departed on her shopping trip to Charleston in the company of Taz and Varney. Occasionally, a massive head would raise, ears perked, only to lie back down again while emitting a mournful sound that was a cross between an exhalation of breath and a whine.

As the minutes drifted slowly by, Fry reflected on how lucky he was to have Leela as his wife. J.B. was deep in thought about presenting his arguments in court tomorrow. Leela’s mind flitted back and forth between worrying about her parents and worrying that Taz and Varney were going to spoil Sally.

They all had their thoughts interrupted when Prometheus and Pompey stood up as one, gave what could only be described as a joyous yelp, and went tearing down the road.

Leela and Fry both laughed at the dogs antics. J.B. said dryly, “That would be our wandering shoppers.”

Sure enough, a green 2980 Foyota hoverpickup came over the crest of the hill as both of the dogs cavorted and barked in its dusty wake. Taz was driving, Sally sat in the middle, and Varney was by the passenger door.

The pickup pulled to a stop in front of the porch. The dogs circled the truck, barking and yelping. Sally called out, “Hush boys!”

Both dogs became quiet immediately, although their tails continued to wag joyfully.

Varney smiled as he gestured at the three on the porch, “Hey there y’all! How about making yourselves useful? We need to unload all of this loot.”

Leela was aghast. The entire back of the truck was crammed with packages! Sally must have soaked them for a fortune! Leela scowled, ready to lay into both Taz and Varney.

J.B. caught sight of the scowl, stepped close to Leela, and said in a soft voice tinged with just a touch of amusement, “You scowl just like my dear departed mother.” His tone became almost pleading, “Please allow Taz and Varney the pleasure of spending on our relations. It is a pleasure they have not had in a long, long time.”

Leela relaxed. She turned to J.B., “You are an effective advocate, J.B. Okay, no butt chewing today.”

Fry smiled. He made a mental note to take some lessons from J.B. on handling delicate situations.

Sally sprang up onto the porch and hugged J.B., Fry, and Leela in rapid succession. Her little face was animated as her words gushed forth, “Mommy, Daddy you’ll never guess what we did all day! We went shopping all over Charleston! I got a dress for you, Mommy. It’s really pretty. Oh, and we got stuff for everybody at the Orphanarium.”

She paused for a quick breath, before continuing, “I got you a Game Boy XXX, Daddy, and two cool games.” She paused to smile at her Uncles, “Uncle Taz and Uncle Varney are so cool! We ate hot dogs by the sea, and I got a…” she looked thoughtful, “a…a…petting cure.”

Both Leela and Fry asked simultaneously, “What?”

Varney, who was carrying an armful of packages up the steps chimed in, “Pedicure. She got a pedicure.”

Leela hugged Sally, “Sounds like you had a busy day.” She turned to Fry, “Come on Daddy, let’s help get all this stuff into the house.”

Fry gave a short laugh. He thought, “Daddy…I like being called that.” Then he spoke up, “Sure thing, Mommy.”

The Oaks, Outside Charleston, South Carolina, July 5, 2000, (8 p.m.).

The sun was getting low in the sky, casting long shadows everywhere. A cool breeze from the sea stirred the warm summer air. The sea air, flowers, and the smell of earth mingled to produce a potpourri of smells. Sea birds flew overhead, calling to one another as they dove and soared.

Leela sat in an armchair by the fireplace, thinking about how excited Sally had been at dinner. Eyes shining, face animated, Sally chattered on about everything she saw or did for the entire day. Fry had seemed almost as excited as Sally. Leela looked over at Fry, sprawled on the couch, fast asleep. He was on his stomach, with his arms crossed under his head. A smile flitted across his face and he murmured, “Leela.”

Stirred by an impish impulse, Leela rose from her seat. “I’m going to give him a little surprise,” she thought. Before she could carry out her plan, a sound from the back of the house caused her to pause. Leela stood perfectly still, listening to see if the sound repeated. It did.

“Crack!”

Leela stood straight up in alarm. It was gunfire!

Without thinking to rouse Fry, Leela charged down the central hallway in a flash. She emerged onto the back porch, looking around for the source of the sound. What met her eye both startled and alarmed her.

J.B. and Sally were standing together. J.B. was laughing as Sally chattered away, obviously very excited. Along a fence about 20 paces to their front, a series of half a dozen watermelons were arrayed in a line. Two had obviously already been shattered.

As Leela watched, Sally leveled a very small pistol – it looked like a toy – at a watermelon. Before Leela could speak, the pistol cracked followed almost instantaneously by another watermelon explosion.

“Excellent shot,” J.B. said as he smiled the smile of an approving grandparent.

A few quick steps brought Leela to J.B.’s side. He turned to her and smiled, “Good evening my dear, I was just giving Sally her first shooting lesson.” His tone became approving, “She’s a natural shot.”

Leela ground her teeth in an attempt to control her temper and her eye narrowed. Not surprisingly, her emotional state bled over into her voice, “She’s…six…years…old J.B!”

J.B.’s eyebrows flew upward in surprise, “My dear, I certainly apologize if I have committed a faux pas. Here in the South, we train children early in their lives to respect and handle firearms. I had entirely forgotten that New-New Yorkers might have a different approach.” J.B. touched her left forearm with his hand as his voice became conciliatory, “Please forgive me.”

Before Leela could answer, Sally spoke up to the surprise of both adults, “Mommy, Grandpa says that a lady must be able to defend the honor of her family.”

The thought of the tiny Sally defending the family honor struck Leela as funny. She smiled, “Darling, I just wanted to be certain that you are safe.”

“Don’t you use a ray gun, Mommy?”

“Well…yes…I have…but only to defend myself.” She knelt down to look Sally in the eye, “Honey, guns are very dangerous. You know that, right?”

“Yes Mommy. Grandpa J.B. told me that I must always treat my firearm as if it is loaded, I must never point it at anyone unless my life is in danger, and I must never touch it without an adult around to supervise me.”

Leela caught it immediately, “Your firearm?”

“Yes Mommy, Grandpa J.B. gave me this pistol…he called it a derringer…to protect myself. It used to belong to Grandma Eula.”

Leela stood up and faced J.B., “J.B., have you lost your mind?”

J.B. raised his hands in a gesture of self-defense, “Now my dear, I told her that I would hold it for her until she is old enough to have it.” He smiled disarmingly, “I’ve carried it for years as a belly gun.” Demonstratively, he tucked it away in a special holster behind his belt buckle, “See?”

Sally chimed in, “Please Mommy, don’t be mad at Grandpa J.B. Please let him keep it for me.”

Her first impulse was to say, “No!” Then she reflected how this could be the beginning of a strong bond between Sally and J.B. Leela shrugged helplessly as she looked into Sally’s upturned face, “Alright sweetie, you can have it l as long as you live by Grandpa J.B.’s rules.”

She smiled as she turned to J.B., “Where are Taz and Varney? You’d think they’d be out here for such a testosterone heavy event.”

J.B. returned her smile, happy to be off the hook, “Well, they went to saddle the horses.”

Leela felt her skin begin to crawl. Ugh! Horses! She’d ridden spiders on Mars and on Earth a couple of times, but she had never liked horses. The only time she had ridden one was when the Orphanarium had brought a pinto pony to the facility for everyone to ride.

Like most ponies ridden by a lot of people, it was somewhat mean. When Mr. Vogel placed her on the pony’s back, it threw her almost immediately. Then it did it’s level best to stomp her. She hadn’t liked or trusted horses since that day.

Instead of voicing her revulsion at the thought of horses Leela softly echoed, “Went to saddle the horses?”

“Yes dear, we go riding several times a week. Would you care to join us?”

“No…no thank you.” She was thinking of a way of gracefully getting Sally inside the house, when Taz and Varney rounded came out of the barn. She saw that they were leading three chestnut colored horses and a single white pony.

“Look Mommy, there’s my pony!”

Leela merely shook her head, “Men!’ she thought, “do they ever bother to think?” She took a deep breath and counted to ten. Then she stuck a smile on her face and said, “Was anyone going to ask me if it was all right for Sally to go riding?”

Varney looked puzzled, “I asked Fry if it would be okay. His reply was, ‘Sure, no problem.’”

Taz spoke up, “we are just going to take Sally to the ring to get her acquainted with her pony. Then we…”

Leela exploded, “Her pony? HER PONY!? Damn it, she’s shooting guns and riding dangerous beasts and none of you knotheads even seem to be concerned about it! What is it about testosterone that makes you men do such dumb things? I suppose that’s why almost all of the Darwin Awards winners for the past 1000 years have been men.”

All three of the men stood there with their mouths agape, clearly awed by Leela’s anger.

J.B. spoke first, “My dear…”

“Don’t try to sweet talk me!” Leela was clearly still fuming, “She’s my only child and precious to me. I didn’t give birth to her, but Fry and I chose her…we chose her. I know I can’t keep her completely safe, but I don’t like horses. They are untrustworthy, mean animals. I don’t want her riding.”

Varney replied, “Okay Leela, you are the boss.” He looked at Sally, “Sorry darling.”

Sally’s head drooped as tears began to flow noiselessly from her eyes. Her small frame shook with silent sobs as she began to trudge dejectedly into the house. As she passed Leela she paused to look Leela briefly in the face, “I’m sorry, Mommy. Please don’t send me back to the Orphanarium.”

In an instant, all of Leela’s anger was gone. She fell to her knees and wrapped Sally in her arms. Leela kissed Sally’s wet cheeks, stoked her pigtails, and murmured softly, “It’s okay sweetie. Mommy loves you. I’ll never send you away. I’m so sorry I got angry.”

“That’s okay, Mommy.” Sally replied as her small body still shook with sobs.

“No honey, it’s not okay.” Leela kissed her, and then gave her a handkerchief. “Go clean yourself up and play with Prometheus and Pompey. Maybe you can go riding tomorrow.”

Sally brightened, “Okay Mommy.” She straightened up and went onto the rear porch where she turned and said, “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

As soon as Sally went into the house, Leela turned around and faced J.B., Taz and Varney, “Gentlemen, we need to talk.” In her mind she thought, “I’ll deal with Fry later.”

Excerpt from Chapter Three, “The Legend of the Red Shadow” by Dr. John Zoidberg, MO, QBS, RDE, 32nd Century Press, New-New York, 3105.

We now arrive at the point in my narrative where I actually rendered my first real service to James Martindale in his fight against evil. I was sitting on the couch, working my way slowly through Grey’s Anatomy, desperately trying to learn the human body. Even today, I cannot help but marvel that such a frail species could rise to dominate the Galaxy.

Only one of every vital organ! A Decapodian, on the other hand, is built to take damage. We have at least two of every vital organ. Plus, we regenerate any organ as long as all of the backups aren’t destroyed. But I digress…

The sound of the door to James’ bedroom opening caused me to look up. In an instant, I could see from the look on his face that James was wrestling with some sort of knotty problem. He gave me a brief smile before he crossed the living room into the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, he began to brew some coffee. He looked over the counter and asked, “Coffee, John?”

“Certainly, my friend.”

In a few moments, James came into the living room bearing two steaming mugs. He handed me one, then slouched in the armchair, stretching his long legs out. He began to sip his coffee with a distinct air of distraction.

Curiosity got the best of me, “So my friend, you look troubled. Is there anything I can do to help?”

He gave me a rather odd look before he answered, “Not unless you understand the finer points of organic chemistry.”

I shrugged, “I know some organic chemistry. But haven’t you said before that laying a problem out sometimes helps you work it out?”

He laughed, “You’re learning Zoidman.” His face and tone became solemn, “I’ve been puzzling over the death of a key witness against Zapp Brannigan. I have the results of his last DOOP physical. He was a perfectly healthy male in his forties, no history of any cardiac problems, and no apparent organic dysfunction. Do you follow me so far?”

I nodded.

“I also have the results of the post-mortem. The coroner labelled this death heart failure, but I can’t find any of the enzymes normally associated with a heart attack. However, some of the trace amino acids I found were puzzling.”

A sudden thought came to me, “What sort of amino acids did you find?”

“I’m not sure if you will understand, but they were left hand, or levo-amino acids. Human amino acids are right hand…”

I sat bolt upright in my chair, “Decapodian amino acids are left hand!”

He looked at me for a long moment before speaking again, “Well. This is interesting. Perhaps you would take a look at the data on the computer.”

He stood and motioned toward the door to his bedroom. Within a moment, I was in his tesseract work room for the very first time. He gestured to the computer, “Have a seat. Tell me what you deduce.”

It only took a moment for me to realize that this person had been poisoned. There are certain Decapodian substances that, if introduced into a human body, literally cause it to short circuit within 24 hours. In this case, I realized the deceased had been fed a concentrate from the Purple Mollusk.

“James, this man was poisoned.”

“Are you certain?”

I explained that the one subject I had gotten an “A” in was Decapodian toxicology. It took a bit of talking, but I convinced James that I knew what I was doing.

He straightened up, “This certainly puts a new face on things. It gives me some more clues to finally put nail the lid onto Zapp’s coffin.”

Rather stupidly I said, “Zapp is dead? Why would you want to bury that skunk?”

James chuckled as he put his hand on my shoulder, “No my friend, that is just a figure of speech. But when I finally tie all of the facts together, Zapp Brannigan will wish he had never been born.”

5th District Court, Room 201, Lower Manhattan, New-New York, July 6, 0800 (8 a.m.).

Room 201 of the 5th District Court was a place where many historic decisions had been made. In the past two hundred years, no decision of the 5th District had ever been overturned by the Supreme Court. The five current Justices were proud of that fact. As a result, they often deliberated for extended periods of time before coming to a decision.

As he sat eyeing the Justices, Kershaw knew all this. He also knew that at least three of the Justices had issued opinions in other cases that made them very likely to rule in his favour. Still, like all skilled lawyers, Kershaw knew that any venture into the courtroom carried hidden risks.

His jaw set and his eyes took on a determined cast. “I’ll not lose this one,” he thought fiercely. Of course, New-New York had done him a favour by assigning their case to Harold Feathers, a Blue Hyper-Chicken famous for screwing up cases. Kershaw hadn’t even bothered to try and follow Harold’s rambling, disjointed argument in favour of the Mutant Edicts. From the glazed look in the eyes of the Justices, neither had they.

Finally, Harold finished talking, gave a loud squawk, and tucked hid head under his right wing. The audible sigh of relief from the bench gave Kershaw his cue to stand and approach the bench.

He paused for a moment before launching into his brief, “Esteemed Justices, I will make my argument short and to the point. The Mutant Edicts of 2207 are a product of a time of ignorance and fear. They allowed a majority to blame a minority for all of the worst evils, and to banish that minority to a living hell.

However, humankind enacted a constitution in 2423 that granted life, liberty, and security of their property to all inhabitants of Earth. As you know, Esteemed Justices, they did not say human inhabitants…merely inhabitants. Why did they say this?”

Kershaw paused as he reached back to the table at which he had sat moments before and picked up a large, leather bound book.

“I could cite case after case, but those are in my written brief which you have no doubt already read. However, I would like to read to you from the works of John Quincy Adding Machine, one of the authors of our present Constitution.

He was addressing the debates about the selection of the word ‘inhabitant’ for the Constitution. He wrote, “We selected the simple word ‘inhabitant’ for a purpose. We did so to extend the protection of our Constitution to all intelligent beings – robotic or not. We wanted Earth to be a place where creatures from throughout the Galaxy could come and make a home.”

Kershaw closed the book softly before continuing in a soft tone of voice, “Esteemed Justices, the Mutant Edicts of 2207 have been superseded by local law across the planet. Only in New-New York does this abominable act still continue in force.

As the Founders intended the word to be interpreted, Mutants are inhabitants of this planet. They are entitled to all of the protections of our Constitution. Therefore, the blatantly discriminatory Mutant Acts are absolutely unconstitutional.”

He paused for a moment to look at each Justice. From the looks they returned, he knew he was going to win. “I rest my case.”

Somewhat to Kershaw’s surprise, the Chief Justice, the head of Rudi Giuliani, spoke, “Five minutes recess.”

The bailiff called out “All rise!” as the Justices departed. Everyone waited tensely for their return.

In less than five minutes the bailiff rang out, “All rise!” The Justices were back. Chief Justice Giuliani spoke, “It is the unanimous decision of this court that the Mutant Acts of 2207 are unconstitutional in their entirety. Our written opinion will be posted this afternoon. That is all.”

A cheer issued from the gallery and several people stepped forward to congratulate Kershaw. He shook hands with them distractedly, thinking, “If I hurry, I can be home before dinner.”

The Oaks, Outside Charleston, South Carolina, July 6, 1700, (5 p.m.).

The dinner had been a sumptuous affair. The food was excellent, the wine even better, and the conversation served to put the seal on a perfect dinner. Even Sally’s sly feeding of prime rib to Pompey and Prometheus had only served to enhance the exhilaration that permeated atmosphere. The Mutant Acts had been struck down! Eight centuries of injustice had come cashing to the ground in a single morning!

Zeeves was clearing the table of the last few dishes when Sally raised her hand. Leela noticed her almost immediately, “Yes Sally, what is it?”

Sally opened her mouth to speak, but a loud and not altogether unmusical belch roared forth. Surprised and obviously mortified, Sally clapped her hand over her mouth as she turned beet red.

Fry gave a short laugh, “Ten points, Sally!”

“Fry,” Leela snapped, “don’t encourage rude behavior!”

Fry looked penitent, “Sorry.”

Sally looked ready to cry, “Sorry, Mommy. I don’t know what happened. It just slipped out.”

Leela’s scowl faded, replaced by a smile. “That’s OK sweetie. Was that why you raised your hand?”

Sally nodded vigorously, “Mister Vogel always made us leave the table if we had to burp or anything.”

Taz chimed in, “When I saw your reaction to Fry’s comment, it reminded me of our dear mother.”

All three of the Kershaw brothers laughed heartily. When Leela appeared a bit confused, Varney said, “Leela, our mother was a real stickler for table manners. Father was amused by such things – at least in the privacy of our home.”

J.B. chimed in, “Father actually used to egg us on, and then laugh when mother finally had enough.”

Mention of their father made Leela curious, “What was your father like?”

Varney, who was the natural storyteller of the group, leaned back in the chair before beginning, “Our father’s name was Joseph Winters Kershaw. He was a lawyer by trade who made quite a name for himself back in the First Galactic War. Taz is the spitting image of father but everyone says that I have his temperament.”

Varney paused to sip a glass of wine, “Anyway, father was a very kind man. A man or woman down on their luck could always find help from J.W. As far as I know, he was a very faithful husband as well.”

Varney’s eyes misted over as he spoke. There was a moment’s silence before Fry asked, “How did he meet your mother?”

Varney seemed almost startled by the question, “He met mother at a ball in Charleston. They married six months later. Father used to say, ‘I never doubted- from the very first moment that I saw her that we would be married.’”

With her curiosity partially satisfied, Leela turned her attention to another subject, “Earlier you said that my reaction to Sally’s burp reminded you of your mother. Did Eula have a bad temper?”

All three brothers laughed uproariously. When they had regained their composure, Varney answered, “No, but she was not a woman to be trifled with.”

Leela’s raised eyebrow bespoke a question that Taz answered, “Let me tell you a story that can illustrate what Varney means. When I was only six years old Mother and I went into the city for some shopping. It was a hot day and mother had bought me a bottle of Soylent Cola. It was one of those old glass bottles and quite heavy.”

J.B. and Varney both began to grin in anticipation, obviously having heard this story many times.

“We got into a part of town that was…shall we say…less than reputable. A rather dirty, but tall and strong looking man dressed in seedy clothes shouted something across the street at my mother. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but I learned not to repeat the words.”

“Why,” Leela asked?

“Well, I told the story to one of our relations and used the exact words. I can still taste the soap mother used to wash out my mouth.”

“Oh no!”

“Oh, yes! At any rate, as soon as that man spoke, mother looked down at me and said in the calmest of voices, ‘Son, hand me that bottle.’ I handed it to her and she grabbed it by the neck before throwing it across the street like a blernsball. It hit that man dead square between the eyes! He went down like he was pole axed!”

Everyone at the table laughed heartily for a moment. When the merriment subsided, Varney continued, “I was so stunned, I felt rooted to the spot. Mother took my hand, smiled sweetly, and said, ‘Come Charles, the garbage men will collect him. We have business elsewhere”

“She was a caution,” Varney said affectionately.

The other two Kershaw brothers nodded in agreement.

J.B. smiled, “So Leela, you can see that we mean no insult when we compare you to our mother.”

“I’d like to hear more,” Leela said.

“Me too,” chirped Sally.

“Me too,” Fry added. Then a concerned look crossed his face, “But don’t give Leela too many ideas. I’m not sure how well my head would stand up to a Soylent Cola bottle.”

Aboard the Nimbus, High Orbit, Planet Pacifica, Galaxy of Terror, July 7, 1700 (5 p.m.).

The Nimbus hung in low orbit over the devastated planet of Pacifica. Zapp Brannigan stood on the Nimbus’ observation deck, surveying his handiwork with satisfaction. Tens of thousands had died and millions were homeless, has sure.

What made him particularly satisfied was that the idiots at DOOP Headquarters bought his story – hook, line, and sinker. President Glab was so easy to manipulate, he mused. She saw terrorists everywhere.

Zapp went from amusement to anger as his mind turned to the recent failure of his plan to get revenge on Leela and Fry. He clenched his fists as he hissed between clenched teeth, “I was so close! Now I have to find another way to get my revenge.”

Saying it aloud made him realize he had one loose end from the last plan to tie up. He picked up an Interstellar Communicator Earpiece (ICE) device from the auxiliary communications console. He leaned over the console, punching a series of keys before placing the ICE device in his ear.

The sound of a ring tone on the other end made Zapp smile. He was confident the post-hypnotic suggestion he had planted would work.

A female voice came on the line, “Mayor Poopenmeyer’s office, may I help you?”

Zapp said smoothly, “This is Mister Grimpen with an urgent message for the mayor.”

The voice on the other end replied in a crisp, businesslike tone, “Yes sir, I’ll put you straight through.”

In a few seconds, Mayor Poopenmeyer answered the phone in his office, “Grimpen! Thank God! Where are you?”

Zapp didn’t answer the question. Instead he said, “This is Grimpen, I have a personal message for you from Xanadu. Do you understand?”

At the other end of the line, Mayor Poopenmeyer’s face suddenly assumed the look of a sleepwalker. He responded in wooden tones, “Yes.”

Zapp began to recite,

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

but I have promises to keep,

and miles to go before I sleep,

and miles to go before I sleep

After a brief pause, Zapp asked, “Do you understand?”

Poopenmeyer answered, “Yes.”

Zapp replied, “Execute.” Then he broke the connection.

As soon as the connection went dead, Mayor Poopenmeyer hung up the phone. Then he opened the upper right desk drawer. Reaching in, he took hold of a positron pistol. With slow, deliberate movements, Mayor C. Randal Poopenmeyer placed the muzzle of the pistol against his head. Then he pulled the trigger.

New-New York Police Department Headquarters’, Commissioner’s Office Conference Room July 8, 0030 (00:30 a.m.)

Midnight had come and gone. Commissioner Ramon Hidalgo and Detective M-5438 waited quietly for the Red Shadow. Ramon had issued him an urgent summons after Poopenmeyer’s suicide attempt.

The Mayor was in a coma. His life had been saved by a safety feature designed to prevent accidental discharges of the positron pistol. Called an attenuator circuit, it automatically reduced the output of the pistol to less-than-lethal levels when pressed against anything solid.

Ramon glanced impatiently at the clock on the wall. He knew that the Red Shadow would show up on schedule, that wasn’t what filled him with impatience.

“Damn, I need a drink,” Ramón thought. Of course, he never drank on duty. So until his meeting was over, he was on duty.

M-5438 spoke up in his high pitched voice, “He comes.”

Ramon was startled, “Who?”

“The one you call the Red Shadow.”

“What? How can you tell?”

“You forget, Ramon, that I am a being of pure energy. I do not actually see him, but I see the ripples he creates in time-space.”

“Damn.”

Just then the lights flickered briefly. As if by magic, the Red Shadow appeared in a dimly lit corner of the office. His voice issued from the gloom, “Sorry I’m a few minutes late.”

Ramón smiled, “No te preocupes Sombra Roja.” Then he switched to English, “Don’t worry, my friend. Do you know M-5438?”

The Red Shadow nodded his head, “We met briefly a long time ago.”

M-5438 increased in luminosity for a brief second, “Ah, yes! The garment district murders on Gamma Hydra Six! We never would have solved them without you.” He paused before continuing, “I assume you are up to date on the latest twists and turns in what I am calling the Brannigan File?”

The Red Shadow gave an uncharacteristic chuckle as he took a seat on the couch, “Oh yes. But I believe we have him now. With Poopenmeyer alive, we have a direct link to Brannigan…I am sure of it.”

Ramon looked skeptical, “How do we prove a connection? If the positron pistol didn’t scramble his brains, we can be sure that Brannigan employed some sort of mental manipulation on Poopenmeyer. He probably won’t be able to remember a thing.”

“That’s true enough,” the Red Shadow said, “but we have someone here who could link with Poopenmeyer and find out the truth…our good friend M-5438.”

M-5438 flared briefly, and then subsided, “I can only do such a thing if the subject agrees. If he resists, there are terrible risks to both parties.”

Ramon looked thoughtful, “Well, how do we catch this cabron?

There was a brief silence as all three thought of ways to catch Brannigan.

The Red Shadow broke the silence, “If we could just get Brannigan close enough to one of the detectors, we’d find out for certain if he has melded with Z-6666. But that’s as far as my thought takes me.”

M-5438 chimed in, “If I were present, I could force Z-6666 out. Then I’d have my criminal and you’d have Brannigan…for what that’s worth.”

“Not much,” Ramon hooted.

The Red Shadow’s eyes brightened, “I’ve got it! Here’s what we do. We use Kif Kroker to smuggle M-5438 within striking distance of Brannigan. Kif can also carry a detector. Zapp has so much contempt for Kif that he won’t be on his guard.”

M-5438 brightened, “Excellent!”

Ramon smiled, “Let’s do it.”

The Red Shadow stood, “I’ll see Kif this morning, before he ships off to the Nimbus. Farewell, gentlemen.” With that said he stepped back into the shadows and vanished from sight.

Ramon spoke to the empty shadows, “Adios Sombra Roja, Vaya con Dios.” He turned to M-5438, “Well, I guess I’d better introduce you to Kif Kroker in the morning.”

“Indeed.”

100 East 123rd Street, Apartment 5I, July 8, 3004, 0815 (8:15 a.m.)

“What a mess!” Leela exclaimed as soon as the door slid open to their apartment. It was obvious that the robot cops had thoroughly trashed the apartment.

Fry remarked, “Man, this looks worse than my old bachelor pad.”

Sally chimed in and broke the mounting tension, “I didn’t do it, Mommy. I promise.”

They stepped into the apartment surveying the chaos. Leela’s eye swept the apartment minutely, registering the fact that – although the cops had left a mess – very little appeared to be broken.

Terribly frustrated, Leela Involuntarily ground her teeth. Both Fry and Sally knew that sound was normally the precursor to an explosive display of temper. Before anything else could happen, the doorbell rang.

Fry turned to the door, “I’ll get it.” He stepped up to the door, looking through the peephole, “It’s your Mom and Dad!”

“My Mom and Dad?”

“Yup.”

“Well, let them in, Fry!”

The door opened to reveal Morris and Munda, standing uncertainly on the threshold. Fry shook Morris hand and hugged Munda. “Come on in…we’ve got a little situation here…”

Munda exclaimed, “Leela! I thought you place would be…well…neater. This looks like your college dorm.”

With some heat, Leela replied, “The cops did this Mom. They were looking for us. Since we gave them the slip, they took it out on our apartment.”

Munda stepped forward and wrapped her tentacles around Leela, “That’s OK, sweetie. I’ll help you clean it up…just like I did your college dorm.”

Leela looked surprised, “I always thought it was the maid that straightened my room up.”

Munda shook her head, “No indeed, it was the least I could do for my baby girl.”

Sally, who had been standing patiently, caught Morris’ eye. He stepped forward and scooped her up in his arms, “So how’s my granddaughter?”

“Fine, Grandpa.”

“Want some help cleaning your room?”

“Yes…please!”

As Sally and Morris went off to her room, the doorbell rang again. Fry answered it again. It was Amy and Inez! Without commenting, he opened the door.

Amy smiled broadly. “Hi, Fry!” Her face sobered as she looked around, “I see they trashed your place too.”

“Yup.”

Inez broke in, “Leela! Leo got us very good lawyer. Stupid cops who mess up apartment violate law by entering with no warrant. I file on your behalf and the City has to do a makeover of your apartment…just like they do for my Amy.”

For the first time since they entered the apartment, Leela smiled. Inez was pushy and opinionated, but she meant well. “A makeover…?”

Amy nodded vigorously, “Oh yes. Leela, you wouldn’t believe it! I’ve got a wonderful interior designer who is in my apartment right now. You’d love what he’s doing, it is so tasteful.”

“I don’t know.”

“It’s free, Leela!”

“Can he come over later today?”

“I’ll have him stop by after he finishes what he’s doing at my place.”

“OK.”

Inez was slightly annoyed at no longer being in charge of the conversation, “Okay ladies. This place not gonna clean up by itself. Amy and I stay and help.”

Leela smiled again, “Thank you Inez.”

Mollified, Inez said, “Munda and I do the kitchen and dining area. You and Amy take your bedroom. Fry, you do living room.”

Everyone nodded in agreement. Inez clapped her hands and said something in Cantonese, then paused, “Sorry, I just say that many hands make the work lighter. We work now.”

Work they did. For over two hours they moved, folded, washed, and straightened things until the apartment was back in perfect order.

The task finished, they were all in the living room, pleased with how quickly things had gotten done. Amy was sitting on the floor by the couch. Inez and Munda occupied the couch. Morris was in the Lazyboy, with Sally in his lap. Fry had dragged two chairs from the dining area for Leela and him.

Leela smiled, “Thanks everyone for coming over and helping. This would have been an all day job without your help.”

Munda spoke first, “It was a pleasure.”

Inez followed with, “We glad to help.” She seemed to reflect on something, “Oh, by the way, Henry bring your funny animal…what you call him?”

“Nibbler, Mom.”

“Yes, Nibbler! Henry bring Nibbler home this afternoon.”

Fry smacked his forehead, “Nibbler! I knew something was missing!”

Amy stood up, “I’m going to get the interior designer. Leela, you are just going to love him.”

After Amy left, they passed a few minutes in pleasant conversation. When the doorbell rang, Fry got up and opened it. He was puzzled by what he saw. Behind Amy was a tall, strange looking man…a man who looked very familiar.

To begin with, the man was wearing a pink coverall, with gold tape trimming. His blonde hair was put up in a sort of bouffant and he was wearing eyeliner. But that wasn’t what bothered Fry…it was something…”

Amy cleared her throat, “Fry are you going to let us in or are you going to stand and stare at Mr. Frappe all day?

Fry started, “No…sorry…come on in.”

When Mr. Frappe stepped though the doorway, Leela gasped. She recognized instantly that Mr. Frappe looked like Zapp Brannigan in drag.

“Hello, everyone,” Frappe gushed as he looked around. “This is a very nice place, but I can do so much for it.”

When no one replied, Frappe walked up to Leela, “You must be Leela.”

Startled, Leela asked, “Do I know you?”

“Not directly, no. But we have a mutual acquaintance.”

“Who?”

Frappe smiled, “My brother…Zapp Brannigan.”

100 East 123rd Street, Apartment 5I, July 8, 3004, 0900 (9:00 a.m.)

“Your brother?” Leela squeaked.

Frappe smiled, “My paternal twin Honey, can you believe it?” Frappe looked around, “You have a very austere sense of fashion. I like it.”

Fry spoke up, “Your paternal twin, how is that possible?”

Frappe chuckled and batted his eyes in an exaggerated manner at Fry, “Genetics you dear man, just simple genetics. Surely you learned about it in biology?”

Fry’s ears reddened at being called “dear man.” Before he could think of something to say, Leela spoke up, “It just seems odd that the two of you would be so…well…different.”

Frappe made a dismissive gesture with his right hand, “Dearie you have no idea how much alike Zapp and I were when we were children…or how far our own choices have taken us apart in life.”

“Tell us about it,” Morris said.

“I’ll give you the short version,” Frappe replied. Frappe told how Zapp and he had grown up in a dull, middle class environment. His voice became tinged with emotion when he explained how he and Zapp had been close right up into puberty.

“Then our paths split,” Frappe said with a sigh.

“Split?” Amy asked.

Frappe rolled his eyes, “He started liking girls and …well…I didn’t.”

“Oh.”

Frappe noticed the look of disgust that crossed Fry’s face. Not wanting to talk about his family life further, Frappe batted his eyes at Fry, “Don’t worry; I never get involved with my clients. It’s so unprofessional.”

Leela smiled at the look of relief in Fry’s eyes. She hesitated before asking, “So what do you think of what Zapp is doing now?”

Frappe shook his head slowly, an expression of deep sadness on his face, “Zapp was always a bit of a bully, but he never killed before. Well, we all know his screw-ups have killed a lot of his own men. Up to this time any other deaths as part of his quest for ‘glory’ have always been few. Like most bullies, he always likes to pick on helpless targets.”

Fry spoke up, “You know, you’ve got something. Even at Spheron One we only killed a few of the Balls before they surrendered.”

“Spheron One was Nixon’s idea anyway,’ Frappe replied. “Zapp always moaned that there was no profit in it. Zapp only liked targets that were both helpless and rich. The Spheronians were relatively helpless but they were dirt poor.”

“So why you think he change?” Inez asked.

“I don’t know why he changed. But he certainly did change…and for the worse.”

Leela made a mental note to talk to James Martindale about Frappe. Perhaps James could make some sense out of it all. Then she smiled, “I’m sorry we’ve been giving you the third degree. So, what do you think we need to do with the apartment?”

Frappe breathed an audible sigh of relief, “Well, first we’ll start with the curtains…”

100 East 123rd Street, Apartment 5I, July 9, 3004, 0700 (7:00 a.m.)

Leela paused outside Sally’s bedroom door, “Sally, are you dressed?”

“Yes Mommy, I’ll be out in a minute.”

Leela smiled at Sally’s reply, “Make sure you straighten your room before your Nanny gets here.”

“OK Mommy.”

Glancing at the wall clock, Leela called out, “Fry, when did Rebecca say she’d get here?”

Fry appeared in the doorway to the bedroom, “She said five after seven.”

As soon as the words left Fry’s mouth the door buzzer sounded. Leela, who was closest to the front door said, “I’ll get it.”

She tapped the opener. The door slid open to reveal not Rebecca Robotowitz, but Bender.

“Bender, what are you doing here?”

“I was just in the neighborhood so I thought we could ride to work together.”

“But this is six blocks out of your way,”

“Can’t a guy come and see his friends without catching grief? Leela you are so suspicious.”

“Bender, I’m not being suspicious.” She smiled as she realized why he had come, “I’m very glad to see you.”

Fry came up and stuck out his hand, “Hey, old buddy, how are you?”

“Fine, fine.”

The buzzer sounded again. Leela reached out and pressed the opener for the second time in as many minutes. This time, as the door opened, Rebecca Robotowitz stood framed in the doorway.

Leela stole a glance at Bender. As soon as Rebecca had appeared, his eyes had telescoped nearly out of his head. “If there ever was a love struck robot, it’s Bender,” she thought to herself.

Rebecca smiled at Leela, “Good morning Leela. How are you today?”

“I’m fine Rebecca and you?”

“I am well.” She looked toward Sally’s room, “Is Sally ready? I planned to take her to the Zoo this morning.”

“I love the zoo!” Bender blurted.

Rebecca looked at him as though seeing him for the first time, “Bender! I wouldn’t have taken you for the type.”

In what Leela would later describe as a Fry-like moment, Bender said excitedly, “I used to go there all the time with my old girlfriend, the Planet Express Ship…” His voice trailed off as saw the expression on Rebecca’s face and realized his mistake.

“Really,” Rebecca said coolly, “how nice.”

Making matters worse, Bender continued, “It is so over now. She went whacko and wanted to merge her program with mine.”

Rebecca raised her right eyebrow and said dryly, “Indeed?”

Fry decided to step in to save his foundering friend, “Rebecca, she really did go whacko. She would have killed Leela, Bender and me if Bender hadn’t bravely distracted her while Leela disabled her main computer core.”

Leela chimed in, “That’s right. Bender was very brave.”

“Bravery is the beginning of virtue,” Rebecca said, “but it will not stand alone.”

Bender extended his hands in a pleading gesture, “Please, just give me a chance.”

Rebecca looked doubtful, “I don’t know…”

Bender gave his most soulful look, “Please?”

“I will think about it.”

Before Bender could push his luck further, Sally emerged from her room. She skipped up to where the four adults were standing, “Hi Daddy! Hi Uncle Bender!” She hugged Leela, Fry and Bender in quick succession.

Then – wanting to look grown up - Sally extended her hand to Rebecca, “How do you do, Miss Rebecca?”

Rebecca gave a peal of laughter, “Miss Rebecca? From where does this title come?”

Sally blushed, “My Uncle Varney told me that a young person should always address her elders and close relations as “Miss” along with their first name as a sign of respect.”

Rebecca laughed again, “Miss Rebecca it is, then.” She knelt down to Sally’s level, “Would you like to go to the zoo, Sally?”

“Yes, ma’am I’d love to!”

Nodding to Leela and Fry as she stood, Rebecca reached out her hand to Sally, “Then take my hand and we will go.” Rebecca smiled at Leela and Fry, “Go to work now. I will have dinner prepared when you return.”

Leela smiled back, “Thank you Rebecca. We will see you this evening.”

Bender piped up, “Can I walk you home tonight?”

Rebecca replied, “One thing at a time, Bender.” Then she took Sally’s hand and walked out the door.

As the door slid shut, Bender let out a noise somewhere between a hiss and a whistle, “That is some fembot!”

Fry and Leela simply nodded in agreement.

Buddies