“I wish that this bronzillium would have made him lighter other than in the loafers,” Amy said as she and Kif dragged Zapp out of the elevator by his one good arm. His blood had soaked through her shirt and he was starting to turn grey.
The ride down in the elevator had been non-eventful. There was only one floor, although it took several minutes to get there. Once the doors opened, it was obvious that someone had been here recently. Looking quickly in one room, Amy saw empty food containers and balled up clothes. “Fry’s been here,” she said. Leaving that room, Amy quickly looked into a few more nearby rooms. “Bender, too,” she yelled into the hallway.
“What did you find,” Kif asked as he came in the room behind her.
“His body,” she said pointing toward the corner. It looked like it had been shot in the back hear his neck. The head was nowhere to be found. “What’s that,” she asked, pointing toward the consol.
“Looks like another broken robot,” Kif said as he knelt down next to it. Giving a heave, he flipped the body over. “These markings make it look like some kind of medical robot.”
“Here’s its head,” Amy said. Rolling it over, she flipped a switch inside the neck. She dropped the head as a robotic scream issued from the mouth. Kneeling down next to it, she reached in and flipped the switch again, turning it off. “That was odd,” she said. “You don’t think…”
“That Bender came in here, ripped its head off, then got shot by something else?”
“Can you fix it? A medical robot would come in handy right now.”
“That’s true. Zapp’s not getting better,” she said absently. “We’ll have to do something and do it fast.”
“Yeah, Zapp. But I was talking about you, though. Remember, you’ve got bronzillium poisoning.”
“It’s probably not going to kill me. But, his injury probably will kill Zapp. We have to get him some help. And to answer your other question, of course I can fix it. Give me a few minutes and it’ll be up and running. Go keep an eye on Zapp and let me do this.”
“Suck on that and like it, tin-head,” Leela yelled as another security robot went down. They seemed to be everywhere, but with Sylvester’s ionic disruptors, they were falling down just as quickly as Leela saw them.
Sylvester, while possessing a gun, had barely fired a shot. He had spent most of his time hacking every computer that they ran across. Leela didn’t know what he was doing, since he hadn’t bothered to tell her, but she covered him all the same. All she knew was that there were more and more robots coming to their location. Which, she hoped, meant that less and less were looking for Fry and her human double.
The three of them being together was something she was going to have to get used to. She had always really liked Fry. Sure, he was a dope that could barely tie his own shoes, and he had nearly gotten them all killed on more than a couple of occasions, but he had always been her loveable dope. And he was right, she didn’t like to share. But this, this was something different. She would be sharing with herself. She wasn’t completely sure how she was going to deal with it, but she was pretty sure that when the original Leela found out about all of this, she wasn’t going to be happy.
“We’re close now,” Sylvester said from behind her, causing her to jump.
“Don’t do that,” she hissed. “I could have shot you.”
“Doubtful,” he said. “But forget that. We’re almost there.”
“Where are we going and what are you doing?”
“I’m making it easier for us to get to where we need to get to. Now, move. Take that hallway, then take the first left and wait there. A security robot should turn up. I wasn’t able to get a 100 percent fix on it, but it should be the last activated one in this area. And Fry and the other you are nearby, too.”
“If something has happened to either one of them…”
“They haven’t been captured or killed yet. But that may change if you don’t shut up and get moving.”
“Stupid alien,” she muttered as she walked cautiously down the hallway. “If he killed my boyfriend or his other girlfriend, I’ll wring his scrawny little neck.” She started running when she heard a shot being fired. Right before the second shot, she heard, Fry yell. After the third shot, she saw her target, staggering back into the hallway. “HI-YA,” she yelled, firing as she ran, hitting the walls and floor before finally hitting the robot in the head when it spun towards her.
“That’s what you get for messing with my man,” she said, holding the butt of the rifle on her hip.
“Leela,” she heard Fry say.
“I’m here, Fry, it’s safe,” she said, walking to where she heard his voice.
“Speak to me, Leela,” he said. “Please.”
“Fry I told you, I’m right…,” she began, but stopped when she realized he wasn’t talking to her. Looking down, she saw the other Leela with a smoking wound on her stomach. Fry was desperately trying to cover the wound, but he wasn’t being successful. “Sylvester,” she yelled down the hallway. “Get you scrawny alien ass over here right damn now. Leela’s been wounded.” Turning back to her human twin, she said as she pushed her hair off her forehead, “It’ll be ok, sweetie. Sylvester will take care of you. Nothing can kill us. We’re Leela. We’re too tough and stubborn to die. Sylvester,” she shrieked.
“Take…take care of Fry,” the human said.
“The hell with that,” Leela said. “We’re both going to be here to take care of Fry for a long time. You’re not dying on us. Fry, hold your coat over that. Now you listen to me, Turanga Leela, you’re not dying. Sylvester is here. He can fix you. Tell me you can fix this,” she said looking over her shoulder when she heard him come behind her.
“Of course I can,” he said, staring down at them. “But, we may have other problems.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The Central Computer has been talking with a ship in orbit. Because all of the satellites are gone, the Central Computer can’t get in contact with the Tirolians. It doesn’t know that they’re gone. The robots up there are taking over the ship. The Central Computer’s convinced them that if contact the Tirolians, they’ll be free to attack anyone outside the Empire. And they’re killing any non-robot they run into. With a ship that size, they could wipe out solar systems.”
“What does that have to do with helping her,” Leela yelled. “If you can do it, then do it already.”
“What about the space ship? I’m only one person. I can save the universe or save your sister.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, she said, “Save her. I’ll deal with the ship.”
“The hell you will,” Fry said. “We don’t know anything about that ship, Leela. Who knows how big it is or how much firepower you’ll need to take it out.”
“It’s big,” Sylvester said. “Probably what you would call a destroyer or heavy cruiser.”
“Yeah, aren’t they all? Any of those ships in that hanger work?”
“Yes. There’s a BTL-S8 fighter-bomber that’s still armed and fueled.”
“It’s the yellow and blue one on the right side as you enter. The password for the shield generator is 23-11-63.”
“Why isn’t anyone listening to me,” Fry asked.
Ignoring him, Leela said to Sylvester, “You better save her, or so help me, I’ll come back here and kill you so many times it won’t even be funny.” Not waiting for his reaction, she knelt down next to the human Leela. Her breathing was shallow, but she was still doing it, which Leela took as a good sign. Looking up at Fry, she said, “Take care of her, Fry. If I don’t..,” she said before stopping. “No. No future plans when we’re in bad situations, it’ll end badly. Isn’t that what you tell me all the time? See, I listen.”
“But you aren’t now. You’re going to get killed up there, Leela.”
“No I won’t. One big spaceship is a piece of cake for me. You’re going to be the one with a problem, Fry.” When he just looked back at her confused, she said, “You have to deal with two of me. And from the looks of things, she and I are becoming very much of the same mind as each other.” She smile a slightly predatory smile at him.
“This isn’t the time for that, Leela,” Sylvester said. “I have to move fast if I’m going to save her. If you’re going to go, stop taunting Fry and go.”
“Fine.” She leaned forward and kissed Fry quickly, then leaned down and whispered something into her twin’s ear, which caused a weak smile to appear on her face. With a quick kiss on the other Leela’s forehead, she stood up and said, “Remember what I said, Sylvester. I meant every word of it.” Checking the power pack on her rifle, she ran down the hallway back toward the lab.
“Fall back,” the trooper sergeant yelled through the headset in his armored spacesuit as he kept firing on the approaching maintenance robots. The magnetic boots in his suit were the only thing holding him to the decking.
The ship’s central computer had shut down the life support systems over half the ship. The robots and the computer had been working slowly, but six hours ago, they snapped, taking over Engineering, the hanger, and several of the cargo bays. They had killed at least half of the ship’s security officers, but only a few dozen of the regular army troopers. The army troops were better trained and equipped than the security officers. The security officers had been blindsided by the robot revolution. Luckily, after so many times that Brannigan had nearly destroyed the ship, the army troopers had their own secured section, with their own central computer system and power plant. They had their own robots, too, but they had left them in isolated lockdown in their own cargo bay.
The army troopers had made progress toward the rear of the ship before the computer started to shut down the life support systems. That had forced a retreat out to areas of the ship that still had atmosphere. After they regrouped, and put on the armored space suits, they started forward again, eliminating most of the ship’s remaining robots. Then the computer opened large sections of the ship to space. Most of the army troopers that had been lost were killed when they couldn’t activate their magnetic boots fast enough and were sucked out into the void. The troopers that remained were too few to stand against the advancing robots, so they started to fall back.
The sergeant just made it beyond a blast door before the other troopers had manually closed it. Sitting back, he looked at the others. They looked tired, and more than a little scared. He felt the same way. They had been constantly fighting through what seemed like the exact same section of the ship for the last four hours. They were still flying though space and away from whatever planet Brannigan had led them to, but the sergeant had no idea where they were going. He caught a fleeting glance at what looked to be Mars, but the planet they had been orbiting only vaguely looked like Earth. Plus, he didn’t see any satellites, other ships, or any of the multitudes of space stations or billboards that he knew were present between Earth and Mars.
After several minutes of silence, something started pounding on the door. Most of the troopers hung their heads in resignation, knowing that their all too brief rest was over. Seeing his men flagging, the sergeant stood up and said, “On your feet, boys. The tin cans aren’t going to rest, and it looks like they aren’t going to let us rest. Wilkins, you and Crawford get to the other end and protect the wounded. The rest of you, form up on me.” Standing in the middle of the hallway, dead center of the blast doors, he added, “Stevens, when I give you the signal, let them in.”
“I am a highly sophisticated medical robot with multiple specialties,” Nurse said. “Now, thanks to that stupid bending robot, I am just a head. Can’t you understand the indignity of it? That rotten bending robot needs to have its insides pulled out with magnets.”
“Would you please shut up,” Amy said as she put the head down on the console. “I told you, I can’t put you back onto your body. Bender did too much damage when he ripped your head off. Now, can you get this medical thing back on-line or not?”
“It is not a ‘medical thing.’ It is a highly sophisticated diagnostic and treatment chamber. And yes, I can get it back on-line. Much better than you can with my body, I might add.”
Amy rolled her eyes and said, “Just get on with it.”
“Not to be a bother,” Kif said, sticking his head into the room, “But could the two of you move faster? Zapp’s pulse is becoming erratic. I don’t know how much more time he has.”
“You can’t rush medicine, Lieutenant,” Nurse said as tools from her neck linked her to the machine.
“Can’t be much of a nurse if your patient dies,” Amy said, resetting some of the battle damaged connections on the back of Nurse’s head.
“I would be a better nurse with hands that worked. Not much of an engineer if you cannot reattach a robot’s head to its body,” Nurse said as she double checked the electronic connections. “This system is no longer connected to the Central Computer.”
“It may mean something or it may mean nothing. I do not have enough information at this time to reach an informed conclusion.”
“Well, do you have access to enough information to heal Zapp?”
“Of course I do. Human anatomy is incredibly simple. Remove his clothes and place him in the chamber. If I had a body I could help you…”
“Shut up, Nurse.”
Leela quickly went through the pre-flight for the fighter. She was still trying to figure out how she was going to fly a ship she’d never heard of, let alone attack a big ship with it. She knew that it was probably a suicide run, but it would keep Fry safe. Poor, stupid Fry. He was probably going to lose both of them today. Sylvester would probably clone them again, and not tell Fry. She hoped that wouldn’t have to happen, though. She didn’t want Fry to be lied to like that. But, she wouldn’t put it past that little manipulative bastard.
She activated the repulsors and the ship rose unsteadily. Adjusting the power as best she could, it leveled out before she hit the ceiling and then lowered the ship to an acceptable height. Easing the throttle forward, the ship smoothly left the hanger. Turning on the scanner, a familiar shape appeared on the scanner. Swinging by the anomaly, she saw the Planet Express ship in the clearing where she had put it what seemed like a lifetime ago. Doing a quick scan, she found no life signs. “Oh, Amy,” she said sadly. “What did Bender do to you?” Torn between potentially saving the Universe and checking on her friend, Leela reluctantly, and regretfully, pushed the throttle to full and rocketed into space.
She set the scanner to its longest setting and got a reading just past Neptune. Setting course, she sat back and let the auto-pilot do the work. The ship’s database had nothing regarding the ship, and she was too far away for anything more than a cursory location. She ran through the weapon systems of the ship and started to get them all online. There were half a dozen T-33 plasma torpedoes and twelve thermal warheads, whatever they were. Doing a quick scan through the databases, the torpedoes were used to overload the shields and let the thermal missiles do the damage. Flipping a few more switches, she saw that she had a laser cannon mounted on the upper hull behind her. There were two more weapons, but the ship was obviously made to be crewed by more than just the pilot. She had access to information about them, but she couldn’t fire either of them from the cockpit.
When she was halfway between Jupiter and Urectum, she rescanned for the ship, finding it now past the outer dwarf planets and heading for deep space. The power readings looked familiar, but she couldn’t put her finger on why. She noticed that the other ship was starting to slow down, so she pushed the engines harder to close the gap. The ship had come to a dead stop as she passed Neptune and she was finally able to get a good visual on the other ship. She hung her head when she saw the results.
“Good-bye, Fry,” she said softly as she raised her shields and closed on the Nimbus.
“Kif, there’s nothing more beautiful than a perfect pair female buttocks, like your girlfriend has,” Zap said as he watched Amy getting her treatment in the other room. “Until you remember what they’re used for, then it gets gross. But, if they’re as perfect as hers, it’s only kind of gross.” Kif sighed for the seventh or eighth time since Zapp had come back into the room.
“Lieutenant, I wish you would let me analyze you for that respiratory problem you seem to have recently developed,” Nurse asked as she checked Amy’s vital signs. “It could be the first sign of a dangerous infection in whatever species you are.”
“No, you’ve done enough, Nurse,” he replied, sighing again.
“Enough of your annoying sighing, Kif,” Zapp said. “I need pants. Go find me some while I watch your naked girlfriend and her perfect buttocks and her perky, if rather small-.”
Zapp was cut off by Fry coming in the room carrying Leela, and yelling, “Nurse! Leela’s hurt and needs help.” Looking quickly, he didn’t see her, but did see Kif and Zapp. “What the hell are you two doing here? And where’s Nurse?”
“What did you do to my Leela, hairpile,” Zapp asked grabbing Fry by the jacket. Looking down quickly, he added, “And why does she have two eyes?”
“I am here, Mr. Fry. By General Brannigan’s comment, I take it that it was the human clone that was injured, yes?”
Seeing just her head sitting on the console, Fry blinked. “Where’s the rest of you?”
“Over there in the corner,” Sylvester said as he walked into the room. “Your friend ripped her head off.”
“Ah, Master,” Nurse said, hearing Sylvester. “It is wonderful to hear your voice. Perhaps you could do something about my indignity?”
“Later, Nurse,” he replied. “We need this woman healed, first.”
“She was shot by a security robot,” Fry said, struggling to hold her weight while Zapp still held his jacket.
“Lieutenant Kroker, please turn my head so I may scan the patient,” Nurse said, since Kif was the closest to her.
“He’s supposed to be getting me pants,” Zapp said. “He has his duty to perform first, no matter how dangerous it may be to my full-figured love slave. If that really is Leela. And even if it’s not, she looks close enough for me to think it’s Leela. She’ll just have to wear an eye patch during our love making.”
“Let me deal with this, Fry,” Sylvester said, placing a hand on his shoulder. Walking toward Brannigan, Sylvester reached up and chopped the edge of his hands into the sides of Zapp’s neck. His eyes rolled back into his head and he dropped like a stone. “Venusian aikido,” he said with a smile. “It seems like it’s been several lifetimes since I used it.” Seeing the expressions on Kif’s and Fry’s faces, he added, “Don’t’ worry. He’ll be alright. He’ll just be unconscious for a little while and wake up with a bad headache. But it will shut him up long enough for us to do what we need to do. Nurse,” he said walking to the consol, “is the secondary chamber on-line?”
“It is currently off-line, Master,” she said. “Also, the connection to the Central Computer is down. I have been trying to reestablish contact, but I have been unsuccessful.”
“Cease efforts to reconnect to the Central Computer for the time being, Nurse,” he said
“Wait,” Fry said suddenly. “Why isn’t she trying to kill us like every other robot in this place?”
“Simple,” Sylvester said, not even looking up from the console as he started up the other chamber manually, his fingers flying over the control panel faster than they could see. “There, Nurse. It’s powering up now. Load the human clone’s data and restore everything but the memory centers. It shouldn’t take too much work. Now, as to your question Fry, Nurse was off-line when Bender’s virus was downloaded onto the network. All of the other robots were reset to their default intruder counter-measures programming, but since Nurse was no longer connected to the network, she wasn’t. And to your question, Nurse, when Bender tried to hack the system, and I was still in control of the Central Computer, I locked out this room from the network by erasing the connection pathways, allowing it to still function as a standalone unit if need be, which also explains why she isn’t trying to kill us now that she’s back on-line. And, now we need the chamber. Fry, take Leela into that room there and take her clothes off.”
“Take…off…Leela’s clothes…,” Zapp began as he stirred. Kif quickly kicked him in the side of the head, knocking him out again.
When they looked at him, he simply said, “What?”
“She finally did it,” Amy said as she watched Leela getting her treatment in the other machine.
“Well, I did it, really.” When he heard Nurse making a coughing noise from behind them, Fry corrected himself. “OK, Nurse actually did it. I just made the suggestion. She’s not the real Leela, though,” he said.
“I can’t believe you cloned her, Fry. What were you thinking?”
“She was dying, Amy. I had to do something.”
“Success,” Sylvester said as he stood up Nurse’s body. Adjusting some of the machines controls manually, he put her head back onto her body. Tweaking a few connections, he said, “Try it now.” Nurse’s raised her right arm and flexed the fingers on that hand. “And the other,” he said, which she did to his satisfaction. “That should do it, Nurse.”
“Thank you, Master,” she replied, happily reunited. “At least someone here is a competent engineer,” she said as she looked at the back of Amy’s head.
“I still have no idea what you’re talking about, Nurse.”
“Be glad you forgot things, Amy,” Kif said. “I’m never going to be able to forget what Zapp was trying to do to me,” he added with a shudder. “I can’t unsee or unhear those things.”
“I still think you’re making that up, Kif. I’ve never sexually harassed my subordinates. Although, there was that one time I thought Ensign Nielson was a woman. He really shouldn’t have been dressed so sexifully, with those ‘come hither’ eyes that he has. And the way his mouth pouts just so. Oh, and he certainly fills out the lower portion of his uniform nicely. I tell you what, if I swung that way, I’d be all over that. With his strong arms and those take-charge hands… What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?”
“Anyway,” Fry said, “what are we going to do now, Sylvester?”
“I am going to go to the Central Computer room and take it back. And you’re coming with me.”
“Come again,” Fry said, dumbfounded.
“I’m retaking the Central Computer and you’re coming with me.”
“No, I heard that part. I’m just wondering why you want me to come with you?”
“Simple. The young lady has just gone through the decontamination process and isn’t completely steady on her feet yet. And your other friend here,” indicating Kif, “doesn’t seem to want to leave her side. And I’m not going anywhere with him,” he said waving his hand dismissively toward Zapp.
“But what about Leela?”
“She’ll be fine, Fry,” Amy said. “Kif and I will keep lover boy here away from her…” She stopped when they all looked over and saw him pressing his now naked body against the screen that showed Leela getting her treatment.
“I will have to burn that,” Nurse said.