Fan Fiction

Ten Years Gone, part 5 - THANK YOU

If the sun refused to shine,
I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea,
There will still be you and me.

Page/Plant 1969

Inside Apartment 1I – New New York City - June 4, 3002 1845 EDT

“What about this?,” Leela asked her daughter as she walked out of her bedroom.  She was dressed in a full-length black dress that was slit almost to her hip on one side, dipped dangerously low in the front, and was completely backless. “I was saving it for Easter, but this is a special occasion.”

Kyrie was going to be staying with her while she was in this time. She was going to be her younger sister, in case anyone asked.  They had figured it would lead to fewer questions that way.  She had borrowed more of Leela’s clothes, and was sitting on her couch, wearing a t-shirt and an old pair of sweat pants that Leela had made into cut-off shorts. She had spliced her wrist-a-majigger into Leela’s TV and was using it as a monitor as she surfed the internet, looking for any scrap of information she could get on Ohm, Praxis, and any other planet that she could remember from the formation of the Confederacy.

Kyrie looked at her mother as she spun around and raised her eyebrow. “I thought you and dad were going to take this slowly.” Squinting, she looked at her again and made a slightly disgusted face. “Mom, are you wearing underwear?”

Leela turned several shades of red before answering. “I, I mean, I, uh, I really can’t with this dress, Kyrie. I mean, it pretty much shows everything.”

Sighing, she said, “Yeah, mom, that’s my point. I swear to Gail, if I wake up four years older in the morning, I’m going to lock the two of you in separate closets until I’m finished with this business. It’s bad enough that I’m here doing all of this, but Nibbler’s right, you two need to control yourselves for a few more days. Please. Chew some gum if you have to, but just don’t do anything drastic. Remember, it's my life you're screwing with here. I don't want to go to sleep and not wake up because I don't exist anymore."

“Says the woman who’s planning on killing a bunch of people to screw with the lives of a couple of trillion beings,” Leela said, her hand on her hip and her eyebrow raised.

“That’s different. I’m trying to avert universal destruction. You’re trying to get lucky.”

They just stared at each other for a long time before Leela sighed and turned back to her bedroom. “Fine. I’ll try something a little less daring.”

“My new skirt is in my bag,” Kyrie said absently from the couch. She searched for a while, coming up empty on every occasion.  Ohm was, according to the internet at least, running a clean, honest, and open campaign. There were no hint of hidden deals that she could find and no big bad hidden donors of huge amounts of campaign cash. It made no sense for him to advocate leaving the DOOP after he got elected. There had to be something else going on. She set her wrist-a-majigger down and yawned, rubbing her eye. Ugh. I need coffee, she thought. She got up and started toward her mom’s small, Spartan kitchen.

“K,” Leela yelled from her bedroom. “Could you come here for a minute?  I need your help with something.”

Growling in mild irritation, Kyrie turned from the kitchen doorway and headed to the bedroom. She walked in on her mother, only partially wearing the corset that she had bought yesterday. She had tried to get herself into it, but all it resulted in was the lacing coming almost completely apart and the garment falling off of her.

“I’ve never worn one of these before, so I have no real idea how this works,” she said, sheepishly. “It looked good on you so I thought I’d wear it and see what it did for me.”

Kyrie smiled in spite of herself.  Shaking her head, she said, “I’m not 100% sure on this either, mom. But, let’s see what we can do.”

It took them a few minutes of hard work and cursing, but eventually they got Leela strapped in, and she was amazed at the transformation. Looking at herself in the mirror on the back of her door, Leela said, “I’m not sure that this is going to be a good idea, K. Looking like this, I don’t think your father’s going to be able to keep his hands off of me.”

“Ugh, mom. What did I tell you before about sex talk with you and dad? It was one thing when you were both alive before. I was ten and I had no idea what you were talking about. But, now I understand it and I really don’t want to hear about you and daddy doing the horizontal mambo.”

“I’m sorry, Kyrie,” Leela said putting on a black sleeveless sweater that she had picked out. “I’ve never really had any friends. You’re pretty much all I’ve got.”

“Yeah, but mom,” she began, but was interrupted by the doorbell.

Looking at her clock, Leela said, “That’ll be your father. Let him in and tell him I’ll be a few more minutes.”

When she opened the door, all she saw was a big bouquet of flowers.  “Come in, dad,” she said to the giant floral arrangement. “Mom said she’ll be a few more minutes. She just has to finish her makeup, or something.”

Slightly disappointed that his grand gesture was wasted on his daughter, Fry walked into Leela’s apartment for the first time. Taking a look around, it was about as empty as he imagined.  She had a chair, a couch, a coffee table, and a big TV mounted to the wall, and that was it. Kyrie went toward the kitchen to put the flowers in something and finally get her coffee, and Fry wandered over to the couch and started surfing the web on her wrist-a-majigger.  Five minutes later, she walked back in on Fry watching a space cow tipping contest.

“Meh.  This’ll never catch on,” he said, clicking back to look for something else to do.

“It lasts a lot longer than you’d expect, dad,” she said, sitting down next to him. “They were still running the PSCTT until 3010.”

“So what’s up with all this, kiddo,” he said, gesturing at the wrist-a-majigger and Leela’s TV.

“Research. I need to know where we’re going and what we’re up against before I can plan taking it out.”

“Don’t you know all of that stuff already?,” he asked, confused. “I mean, you are from the future, aren’t you?”

“Dad, I was home schooled for most of my life. You and mom and the other Daughters would teach me what you could when you could. It wasn’t exactly comprehensive universal history.”

“Wait, who and who and who?”

She rubbed her eye and realized that she screwed up again. And so did her mom. She hadn’t told him everything. “The Daughters,” she repeated. “Didn’t you and mom talk?”

“Yeah we did,” he said, “but she didn’t mention anything about the Daughters.” He was getting angry, and she knew it. She’d seen him annoyed, frustrated, and near giving up several times, but rarely ever was he angry. Very few things actually made him angry, but when he was, he was a terror.

There was a cough from the other side of the room. The sight of her pushed almost all the anger out of him, and quickly replaced it with awe and no small portion of lust. She was wearing a black sleeveless sweater and Kyrie’s skirt, and low heeled shoes. The effect of the corset was the stunner, though. He just gaped at her, making several attempts to speak, and with nothing coming out. Leela took it for approval and a small smile played across her face. 

“Glad you like it, Fry,” she said.

“Li-li-li-li…,” he stammered as he rose to get a good look at her. “I love it, Leela. You’re beautiful.”  She smiled again, more broadly this time, as she took his hands.

Sighing, Kyrie said, “Don’t be out too late. I need the two of you tomorrow. And dad, please control yourself. Like I told mom, if I wake up tomorrow morning four years older, I’ll kill you both.”

“I make no promises,” he said as they walked out the door. Leela elbowed him playfully in the side. "Fine," he said. "We'll be good."

“What have I done?,” Kyrie said to the empty apartment, shaking her head.

Elzar’s Fine Dining – New New York, 1950 EDT

His earlier anger was almost completely forgotten. He was on a date, a real date, with her. And good Lord, was she beautiful. He’d dreamt of this night for months, but now it was actually coming true. He just stared at her over the menu. As angry as he had been, he was willing to forgive her. He couldn’t stay mad at her for long, anyway. Only one thing could make this perfect night better, but they had promised Kyrie that they’d behave for her sake.

She knew he was staring. He had been pretty much non-stop from the time they left her apartment. She was used to people staring at her, but not like this. Usually it was fear and loathing, usually mixed with a dose of disgust. This was different.  This was admiration and love, with a healthy dose of lust thrown in. A girl can get used to this, she thought as she looked over the top of her menu and caught him looking at her again. She smiled as he turned a little red and quickly darted his eyes back down at his menu, pretending that he hadn’t been staring at her again.

“What do you think, Fry,” she said, already knowing what he was going to order. A cheeseburger, she thought. Same thing he always orders.

“I was thinking of the Lobster Newberg,” he said, not looking up and trying not to laugh.

She blinked a few times, not believing what he said. “What did you say? You want to eat Zoidberg?”

He looked up and smiled at the look of utter confusion on her face.  “Naw, I’m just kidding,” he said with a laugh.  “I’m allergic to shellfish. I’m going to have the buggalo chops.”

“Idiot,” she said, smiling. He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled.  The waiter came around and took their orders: the buggalo chops for Fry and the yeti fillet for Leela.

“How about a toast while we wait for our food?,” he said, raising the glass on non-vintage Earthican Champaign. He decided to get his annoyance with her out of the way early so that they could continue with their date unimpeded.  “To us, and everything we’re going to create together.”

Her smile faltered for a split second before she recovered, touched his glass with her own and quickly sipped her drink.  What was that about?, she wondered.

“I need to ask you something, Leela,” he said, all traces of his previous amusement gone. She’d never really seen this look on his face, but she guessed that he was tapping whatever well of strength he had tapped on the ship that afternoon. “Why didn’t you tell me we created the Daughters?”

That was what he's mad about, she thought. “It must have slipped my mind with that other thing we talked about, Fry. I mean, my whole family history thing seemed much more important to me at the time.”

“What else did she tell you?,” he asked.

“That’s between us, Fry,” she said, defensively.

“Really,” he said, raising an eyebrow, his irritation starting to slowly overcome lust. “Anything I should know? Like what you two were fighting about.”

She looked down and made a face. “Yeah, we did talk a little about that.” 

“And,” he prompted.

He’s getting to like this too much, she thought looking up at him, getting irritated herself. “And it’s nothing you need to worry about it. She and I are two adults and we don’t need you holding our hands.”

“What aren’t you telling me, Leela?,” he asked quietly, changing the tenor of the conversation so fast she was momentarily left speechless. “Did she tell you things about me? Things you think I shouldn't know, but that are ok for you to know?”

“Uhh….,” she began, but luckily for her, they were interrupted by their meal arriving.

They ate in an uncomfortable silence, both pointedly not looking at the other.  Fry paid the check and they left, walking back to Leela’s apartment, taking the long way back, both not really ready to call this disaster over. It had been a good hour since they had spoken to each other, and it was starting to get to both of them.  They were so lost in their own thoughts that neither of them saw the short, bronze-colored robot with large clamps where his hands should be slip behind them. They continued on in silence, neither wanting to blink first. They walked side by side, but they were together only in the broadest definition of the word. 

For Fry, it was a matter of stubborn pride. He gave in to Leela all the time, but the fact that he now knew that they were destined to be together had given him a little more backbone. After two years of being around her, he knew that Leela liked men with a bit of backbone, and not the slacking coward that he had been for most of his life. If he was going to win her in fact, he had to straighten up some.  And he felt that holding his ground about this was a good first step.

But for Leela, it was fear. She and Kyrie had talked a little more about the future when they had gotten to her apartment.  Kyrie had told her a little bit about what the bitter shell of his old self that Fry had become after the war, and she didn’t want to tell him. She knew he would be crushed when he found out about her death. He would complain about how unfair the universe was. He’d waited a thousand years for her, and they would only get ten years together, years that were more Hell than Heaven. And then he’d have ten more years of Hell before they were finally together again.  She hated not telling him, but she wanted to spare him the pain.

“This is stupid,” he said finally, stopping abruptly. “I’m sorry, Leela, but if we’re really going to do this, we can’t have secrets from each other like this. If Kyrie told you things about us, about me, I need to know them, too. You can’t hold back just to spare my feelings.”

She smiled weakly and said, “Who the hell are you and what did you do with my delivery boy?” Sighing, she sat down on a nearby park bench and motioned for him to follow. She swallowed, and taking his hands, she said, “She told me lots of things about us, Fry. Some I had to pry out with my fingernails, but other things she just told me. 

“We were happy until the war started in earnest,” she said, not looking at him.  “We ran with everyone else, taking who and what we could from the Earth. Some of our friends don’t make it out, though. She didn't name names, but I think it was Hermes and LeBarbara. We form the Daughters at first to give the girls a home and a purpose, but later we use them to help raise and guard our daughter. Kyrie’s first mission is in 3011, and she kills her first person in 3012. She told me she cried for days afterward. You and a girl named River eventually pull her through, though” she said, smiling at him and patting his thigh.  “She says she still has nightmares about it...

“Over the next few years, you and I grow closer, and she told me we even tried to have another child. But, then we get the orders for the liberation of Earth, and that was pretty much that. In the end, we think South Dakota is a trap, but Zapp doesn’t and orders us in anyway.

“I,” she said, faltering. She took a deep, trembling breath, determined to tell him the truth, no matter how hard. “We lead Kyrie and sixty others in, but you manage to only pull out seven of them. I,” she said, tears in her eye, “I don’t,” she said as she began to cry, reaching out blindly and taking his hand. “I don’t make it, Phil. You raise her alone for ten years before you…” She broke down and started to cry.

He held her as she cried while he tried to take it all in. Ten years. That was all they’d get. A thousand years of waiting, and all they’d get was one lousy decade. And, with the war taking up more than half of it, it would be a lousy decade.  It wasn’t fair to any of them.  He’d lose her, but he’d still have Kyrie.  He guessed that he could live with that deal if the alternative was losing both of them.  It explains a little why she was so attached to me, though, he thought.

Suddenly, he heard a clicking noise that sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. It bothered him, and he knew that he should know what it meant, but Leela was right here and she needed him. Ignoring the noise, he rubbed her back, saying, “It’s not that bad. We’ll have a while together. Ten years is better than none, isn’t it? We raise a beautiful daughter, full of self-confidence and strength and everything, plus we raise a couple of hundred more kids with the Daughters. We saved them, Leela. We save the Earth.  We do some good things, Leela. Ten years may be short, but I bet they’ll be full years,” he said, trying to sound profound. This talking about the future like it was the past was giving him a headache.

Obviously she bought it, though, because she looked at him, her eyesight blurry from tears, and said, “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

“That’s not the question you need to be axing, skin-tube,” said a male mechanical voice behind them. “What you need to be axing is what you did to deserve the CLAMPS!” Fry’s world exploded in pain as the clamp closed hard around his left shoulder. Leela rolled to a crouch on the sidewalk, kicking her shoes off as she did.  She quickly measured the robot for a kick to the head and sprung.

“Hiiii-ya,” she screamed leaping at Clamps.  But, unfortunately for Fry, Clamps had better reflexes than Joey Mousepad.  He pulled Fry in front of him and used him as a human shield, deflecting Leela’s kick. Leela fell to the ground nearby and rolled back into a crouch.  All Fry could do was scream as his shoulder dislocated. Soon enough, though, he mercifully blacked out.

“What do you Mafia goons want?,” she asked, looking for her opening. “This is the second time today you’ve come after us.”

Clamps kept swinging Fry around in front of him, trying to make him kick Leela.  “The Don-bot don’t tell me the reasons, eyeball. He says go and clamp, I go and clamp. Now, get outta my way or else.”

There was a scraping of metal on pavement as an open-topped hover car took the turn too sharply and scraped along the ground.  When he turned his head to watch the hover car’s approach, she saw her chance.

“That’s my ride, eyeball,” he said, turning to jump onto the passing hover car.  They leapt at the same time, Clamps clamping onto the passenger side door, and Leela grabbing his legs.

“Ditch the skin-tube,” Clamps called to the driver. With a burst of binary, the barely sentient driver-bot turned sharply.  Leela looked over at Fry, still held firmly in the clamp.  His eyes were closed, his breath was ragged, and his feet were dragging along the ground alongside the car. She had pulled herself up far enough on Clamps so that her bare feet weren’t being dragged across the pavement, but her grip was starting to slip. She wouldn’t be able to rescue him. Yet.

Risking it, she let go with her right hand and moved to her wrist-a-majigger. She slid out her wrist lojakinator and reached out to where Fry lay clamped. Stretching as far as she could, she put the homing device into the pocket of his pants. Then she let go of the robot.

She rolled to a stop against a parked hover cycle. The Mafia car was getting a way, but not for long. Hiking her skirt up, Leela straddled the bike. Pulling out some small picks from her wrist-a-majigger, she began hot-wiring it. A few minutes later, she was in hot pursuit, tracking the hover car with her wrist-a-majigger.

She woke up screaming, scanning the dark room, looking for the threat she knew was there.

She reached under her pillow and found nothing. She started to panic, but then she remembered where she was.  She took a few deep breaths to try and calm her racing heart. There was no voice this time, but she knew something was wrong.

“Dim lighting,” she called and the lighting in her mom’s apartment responded. She was still having some jetlag like effects from the time travel. And that, combined with the wickedly comfortable couch, the incredibly weak coffee her mom had, and the very boring research she was doing into Ohm, had put her to sleep soon after her parents had left.

She got up and walked around, looking for the problem. She saw that Nibbler hadn’t come back yet, but she knew from her time that that was nothing new. After they found out who and what he was, he would be frequently gone for days before coming back with some bit of intelligence or some other well hidden factoid that he had uncovered.

She picked up her wrist-a-majigger and looked at the time. It was only 9:00, so they’d still be gone for another hour, at least.  She took her half full cup of now cold coffee into the kitchen and dumped it into the recycler, where it was reconstituted into a new batch of beans, just waiting to be ground and brewed again. She was just about to hit the button to do just that when her wrist-a-majigger began to buzz in her hand.

“Fry,” she said out of habit as she hit the button.

“Kyrie, it’s mom.” Her purple hair was trailing out behind her and she was shouting over the wind. “Your father was grabbed by another Robot Mafia goon. I’m tracking him with my lojakinator, but I’m going to need help. Call Bender and you two get over here now.”

Dad’s in trouble? She thought. I’M IN TROUBLE! “Where? What frequency?”

“Dial up 212 on your low band,” Leela replied. “We’re in some kind of industrial area, the Atlantic Quays, I think.”

“Got it. On my way,” Kyrie replied, running for Leela’s bedroom where she left her gear.

She’d called him three times, but got no response. Stupid robot, she thought as she jumped down the stairs to get outside, her EE-3 slapping her uncomfortably on the back as she did. Her mom at least was kind of like she remembered, but dad and Bender were nothing like she knew. That obvious trap earlier would have set off alarm bells in the father she remembered long before she herself had noticed it. And Bender was much more mercenary than she ever remembered him being, even when he was a mercenary.   You play the hand you’re dealt, Tatia had told them once in a briefing. And this time, unfortunately, she seemed to have been dealt a hand with more Jokers than Aces.

As she reached the street, she heard a woman yelling, “Stop that robot! He’s stolen my purse!” Looking around, Kyrie didn’t see anything. Then she heard a clanking sound followed by some huffing and puffing. Looking in the direction of the sound, Kyrie sighed and shook her head.

Bender, wearing a mask that covered his eyes, was running toward her, purse in hand.

“Oh, uh, hey, Little Boots,” he said. “Uh, this isn’t what it looks like.”

“Hiii-yaaaa,” she yelled, jumping into a spin kick that knocked his head across the street. She pulled the purse from his body’s grasp and tossed it to the woman, who had come panting up behind Bender.  “DOOP intelligence,” Kyrie said. “Thank you for your help, ma’am. We’ve been after this robot for months. I’ll take it from here.”

“Shouldn’t we call the police?”

Kyrie stared hard at the woman and forced her back a few steps. “I said,” she said emphatically, “I will take it from here. Good evening, citizen. You,” she said, turning to Bender’s body, “come with me.” The body saluted and followed her. One of its extend-o-matic arms, however, crawled along on his fingers to take $50 out of the woman’s purse as she walked away.

Kyrie picked his head up from where it had rolled next to a hover car. “Just what the hell is wrong with you,” she asked, shaking his head. “I need you to help save the universe and you’re out pick-pocketing people. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Stoooooooop shaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkinnggggg meeeeeeeeeeee.” She did, but still kept him away from his body. “I don’t mean to be bad,” he said, “I’m just programmed this way. And besides, it’s fun.”

She lifted him up so she could look him in the eye. “Dad’s in trouble,” she said.  “Mom said the Robot Mafia is holding him. We’re going to save him.”

“Robot Mafia, eh? Well, I suppose I could help.” His body held out a hand and he coughed a few times.

“Oh, no,” she said. “Not this time. I don’t need to pay you to get your help. Remember this morning? I know your model’s Obedience Override code. I’m sick of this mercenary streak of yours, Bender. You help me, or I say the code and you help me anyways. What’ll it be, circuit box?”

“Are you sure you’re not a robot, Little Boots?,” he said, defeated.  “Fine, I’ll go. What do I need to do?”

“Nothing much for now. Just a little grand theft auto.”

“Yee-haw,” he yelled. “This is gonna be fun on the bun.”

Leela pulled up outside a small warehouse in the Atlantic Quay district. They were inside, or at least he was, and that was the most important thing. She rode around to a nearby alley where she decided to wait until Kyrie and Bender got there.

Damn it, she thought, looking at her wrist-a-majigger. Where the hell are they, anyway? I wish I brought my purse. I have a gun in there.

“Can I have my body back now?” Bender asked from where his head sat in the back seat.

“No. Now will you please shut up?  I’ve got to figure out how we’re going to do this.” Kyrie sat in the passenger seat, searching for the signal again. She’d hooked her wrist-a-majigger into Bender’s body, so it could drive them without needing his head. She needed a plan, and needed one fast. She had to keep touching her leg just to remind her that it was still solid. If something happened to dad, she was in serious jeopardy of ceasing to exist.  Not yet, she mentally repeated to herself over and over.

“I thought you did this crap all the time? Break in, rough up some people, get out. You mean to tell me that the Army ain’t like that?”

“No, it isn’t,” she said turning around. “Everything is meticulously planned before we move. We have maps and threat ratings and all sorts of stuff I don’t have here. They’ve stopped moving, so I’m trying to find a map for that building. What do you know about the Robot Mafia, Bender?”

He laughed nervously, and said, “Funny you should mention that…”

He blinked a few times, and tried not to gasp. His left shoulder was on fire and he couldn‘t lift his arm. He looked around as best as he could, trying not to roll to his left. This felt worse than when Zoidberg chopped his arm off on Decapod 10 last winter. At least then he had the morphine. Now, all he had was a hell of a lot of pain.

He was in a warehouse with very few boxes in it. He heard voices, too. He recognized two of them, though.  One was that Don-bot guy and the other was that clamping robot, he thought his name was Clamps, from the Robot Mafia.  The other voice sounded human, though, or at least, he didn’t sound like a robot.

“What about the woman,” he said. “I’m paying you idiots for both of them.”

“That don’t compute, Richards,” the Don-bot said. “You’re paying us for one, or the other, or both. We got you one and we want to get paid.”

“Don’t make me clamp you,” Clamps said. “CLAMPS! CLAMPS!”

“I could destroy you both right now,” the man, Richards said. “You forget what I’ve got here,” he said, and Fry heard him patting something hard.

“If you could use that you would have already,” the Don-bot countered.  “Don’t pretend I’m a PlayStation 120, Richards. You owe us fifty large for this skin-tube, and I want it. Now.”  Suddenly, there was a loud noise somewhere near the warehouse doors. 

“We ain't alone here,” the Don-bot said. “Clamps, get the package. And by the package, I mean the skin-tube. And by the skin-tube, I mean get moving!  Until you bring me the cash Richards, he’s still mine.”

“Correction,” a familiar voice said. “He’s mine.” There was a crash and what sounded like of metal pieces bouncing on the floor. “Sorry about killing your guard,” she said.  From where he was laying, Fry could see Kyrie walking into the warehouse, pointing a positron rifle at the meeting.

“What are you going to do with that, girl?,” Richards asked. “Wait, I know you. You’re their kid, aren’t you?  One of those damned Daughters, right? What the hell are you doing here?” He moved his gun off of the Don-bot and onto Kyrie.

“If you know who I am, then I was thinking of asking you the same question.  Do I know you?,” she asked, shifting her attention to him.

“Dr. Jonas Richards, at your service,” he said, eyeing her much more warily than he was his alleged allies.

The Jonas Richards? The Butcher of Fantoma?” She looked him over, and decided he didn’t look much like his legend. Richards was a scientist that worked mostly with micro-technology. He was very likely the one who developed the gas that helped kill her dad. As of 3027, they still hadn’t caught him. How he escaped pursuit for almost ten years was beyond her.  Then she noticed something hanging around his neck.  It looked suspiciously like a time-vortex manipulator. Ah, she thought. That’s how he did it.

He shrugged his shoulders, seemingly pleased to have met someone who had heard of him.  “Meh. I’ve been called worse.”

“So you're the other one.”

“Other what?”

“Nevermind,” she said, kicking at his chest, hitting his manipulator squarely.  “Tell the Nibblonians Kyrie Fry said ‘You’re welcome’.”

“What the hell did you do, eyeball?,” he asked as the green lights started to turn red. “You’ve destabilized the matrix. You stupid bi-.” His last words were cut off by a scream as he was suddenly pulled back into the future in a pillar of blue light.

“Now, I believe we were talking about ownership of Mr. Fry,” she said, aiming her rifle at the Don-bot.

The Don-bot clapped his hand together a few times. “Check out the ball bearings on this one. If only you had better peripheral vision,” he said. “Clamps.”  Clamps, who had moved while Kyrie and Richards talked, reached out and grabbed the positron rifle right on the barrel.  He pulled the weapon out of her hand and crushed it.

“Now.  I believe that you skin-tubes have caused me enough trouble. And since I am no longer getting paid, thanks to you, I think that Clamps and I are going to have to do something drastic.”

“Yer gonna get the CLAMPS!  CLAMPS!”

“I say, old boy,” said a sophisticated voice. “Let me do it.”  Fry knew that voice. It was that other Robot Mafia goon, Blotto. He let out a defeated sigh, knowing that he and Kyrie, and by extension the entire universe, were doomed. If only he could see Leela again.

“Well, well, well. Look Clamps, it’s our old friend, Blotto.”

“GRRRR,” Clamps said, the Don-bot’s hand on his shoulder the only thing restraining him from clamping someone.

“That was a dumb thing you did, Blotto. No one leaves the Robot Mafia, unless it’s in a Styrofoam packed box.” 

“Now see here,” Blotto said. “I was coerced into quitting the Robot Mafia. This meat sausage here,” he said, indicating Fry, “tricked me into renouncing the Organization. You know I’d never do something like that, don’t you Don-bot? Look to your program directory and find thetruth.exe.”

“File not found,” the Don-bot said, releasing Clamps.

Leela squatted in the rafters waiting, wishing she had asked Kyrie to bring her a pair of pants. 

This was her part of the plan. Kyrie had used her updated wrist-a-majigger to scan the building to located Fry and the robot Mafia. They weren’t alone, as some other human was there with them. Probably whoever was paying the Robot Mafia to get them, they figured.  So, Kyrie and Bender would go in and distract them, and she’d do all the shooting, just in case things got rough. 

She had Kyrie’s rifle trained on the Robot Mafia, letting her daughter deal with the human, Richards. She had spared a few quick glances Fry’s way. She knew enough to be worried that he wasn’t moving, but there was no obvious pool of blood, so they hadn’t hurt him too much. And based on what little of what she heard Richards say, she and Fry were wanted alive.  For a little while, anyway.

Kyrie kicked Richards, causing the blinding flash of blue light. Kyrie and Nibbler had described that as being what happened when a person used the time-vortex manipulator to travel time. She had, apparently, just sent him somewhere in time and space. The bad news was she had no idea where he was, but the good news was that he was no longer a current threat.

She had to wait now, while Bender came in and did his part of the plan.

“File not found,” the Don-bot said, releasing Clamps.

That was her cue.

Clamps charged them, claws snapping away. Bender was shaking and trying to run, but Kyrie restrained him.  She had every confidence in her mother. With the help of her daughter’s EE-3’s repaired scope, she could easily make the shot on a moving target.  Clamps closed to within two feet when the first shot hit, followed quickly by the second and third shots of the burst. His left claw exploded into a fine metal mist, followed by his left arm and then his right claw.

He screamed, looking at the stump of his left arm and where his right clamp used to be. Bender, feeling bolder now that Leela had disarmed Clamps, kicked him in the head.  The Don-bot started to move away, but another burst at his feet stopped him.

“Now, Don-bot,” Kyrie said, “I believe you have something that belongs to me.”

"Easy, Kyrie," he heard Leela say. "That shoulder’s pretty bad."  It was still pretty dark in the warehouse, but he could make out the figures of his friends in the dim light.  He felt fingers gently probe the wound and he tried not to scream again.

"It doesn’t feel too bad, mom," he heard Kyrie say. "It’s just dislocated. Daddy?," she asked. "Daddy, can you hear me?"

He groaned a response, hoping it would be enough. If he opened his mouth any more, he’d scream.

“Daddy, this is going to hurt a lot, but it’s the only way to reset your shoulder. Do you understand?”

He nodded, hoping that they weren’t going to do the Mel Gibson thing from that Lethal Weapon movie.

“Bender, give me a hand,” she said, picking him up. “I’m really very sorry, daddy, but this is going to hurt. Do it, Bender.”

Oh crap, he thought, they are. He screamed as Bender jerked and moved his arm, popping it back into the socket. “Sonofabitch,” he yelled as he blacked out again.

They carefully loaded him into the car that Bender and Kyrie “borrowed” before and decided to take him back to Bender and Fry’s apartment. Bender drove, with Kyrie riding shotgun. Leela was in the back seat, Fry’s head in her lap. She just sat there, stroking his forehead.

“Are you guys sure this is a good idea,” Kyrie said as she scanned the streets. “The Robot Mafia might want a little more payback for this. Clamps may be in no position to do anything about anything, but the Don-bot’s got to have other goons.  He seems to be the type that holds a grudge.”

“Naw,” Bender said. “The three of them is it. Not a very big organization, but they’re effective. We’ll be fine taking him home.”

“Tomorrow morning I want you to take him to a doctor and get that shoulder set right. What about that Zoidberg guy? Is he any good?”

Leela and Bender laughed all the way back to Robot Arms.

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time

Cockburn, 1984
Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn Stealing Fire

Planet Express Building, June 5, 3002 1615 EDT

The ship slid, though not as easily as usual, into its spot in the hanger.  Amy, Bender, and Zoidberg had done the delivery today, since Leela and Fry were still at the hospital.  Zoidberg had wanted to do the operation, but after hearing stories about what kind of ‘doctor’ he was, Kyrie had insisted that he go to a real hospital. Just happy to be going places and doing things with friends, Zoidberg agreed to go on the delivery instead.

Kyrie had spent the most day searching out anything she could find on Ohm and Praxis. She used Leela’s net-suit because actually being there offered a better chance on finding anything on Ohm and maybe finding a few of the dirty little secrets that he hid. The closest she could find was some tenuous ties to the Praxis Mining Company. PMC had some minor issues with DOOP Labor Regulators, but nothing that would scream ‘Secession.’ We’re just going to have to go there and kill them, she thought to herself as she pulled off the helmet. Sighing, she walked to the kitchen to get a Slurm and wondered who was going to be going with.

She had spent part of the morning going over their personnel records, hoping to find some skills. She learned that: Amy, for all her absent-mindedness was an engineer, skilled with many types of machinery that Kyrie found incomprehensible; Hermes was a Bureaucrat, skilled in unarmed combat, several assassination techniques, and he was licensed to kill with limbo; her mother knew several fighting styles and had a strong desire for violence; her father had uncanny abilities in a starship gun turret; and Bender had great skill at breaking and entering. Combine all of that with her own 16 years of training and experience, she had felt better than she did last night.

She was sitting in the lounge, feet on the table drinking a Slurm and watching the news when Amy came in.

“Hey,” Amy said, sitting down on the couch. For some reason, she liked this girl. She was like Leela, only she seemed to be more fun.  It’s the red hair and green eye, she thought. It makes her look less like Leela and more like Fry. Now he was fun. While it lasted, anyway.

“Hey,” Kyrie replied, somewhat distracted by a news report about Ohm. Buh, it’s a fluff piece, she thought as she reached for the remote to turn the TV off. Then she heard something an aide said to the reporterette. “Senator Ohm will be touring the Praxis Mining Company facility on Praxis 3 this week.” Praxis 3, she thought to herself. Why is that important?

“What’s going on?,” Amy asked watching the girl. There’s just something about her, she thought.  

“Not sure. Some fluff piece about Ohm made me think of something that I should know, but I just can’t put my finger on it.”

“History changing?”

“No. It’s probably more that I forgot it. Hey,” Kyrie said looking at Amy, “you’re an engineer, right?” When Amy nodded, she asked, “How good are you with old technology?”

“Good enough, I guess. Why?” Her eye is so green, Amy thought suddenly, staring at the girl.  It’s so intense and so… beautiful.  You could get lost staring into that eye.

“I’ve got a few data discs I need analyzed, but I have no way to read them. Could you help me?”

“I’ll take a look, if you like,” Amy said with a smile. “I’d much rather do that for you than any kind of attacking people,” she said, making a face. “I’m a pretty non-violent person. It’s just not in my nature to hurt people.”  

“I had a friend who was like that,” Kyrie said, patting Amy’s leg. “Thanks Aunt Amy,” she said smiling as she got up.

“Please, Kyrie, just Amy. I’m not old enough to be anyone’s aunt.”

“Amy, then,” Kyrie said smiling.  “I’ll get you those discs tonight.”

“Kyrie,” Amy said, suddenly a little nervous, “you want to go out and do something tonight? I’m bored, and you need a little break after yesterday.”

“Sure,” Kyrie said turning around smiling at her. “What the hell. I’ll meet you at your place around 6. You can start working on the discs and then we can head out for a while.”

“That sounds great,” Amy said.  “Your parents know where I live.” She had been planning on going out with some of her sorority sisters, but for some reason, she felt drawn to Kyrie. Amy sat, staring at the TV, not really watching it, trying to understand where these feelings for the red-headed cyclops were coming from.

Club Butterfly, New New York, June 5, 3002, 0230 EDT

She sat at their table, trying to catch her breath and will her head to stop spinning.

She had gotten to Amy’s a little after 6, dressed for business. The little socialite was wearing only a short silk robe when she walked in, and after taking one look at how Kyrie was dressed, she had playfully declared, “I’m not going anywhere with you dressed like that!” But, Amy got down to business first, converting some of the old style discs so that they could be read by the current day computers.

“Wait a minutes,” Amy asked as she slid the disc into the drive. “You’re from 25 years in the future, and Cubert, who’s a super-genius, by the way, was saving information on a CD? Shouldn’t he have used something, oh I don’t know, say, a little more futuristic?”

“I don’t ask what a super-genius does in his spare time,” Kyrie replied shrugging her shoulders. “Sometimes you’re much better off not knowing.”

“Don’t I know it,” Amy said, shuddering as she thought about some of the things she had to do as the Professor’s intern.  Brightening, a mischievous smile on her face, she said, “This’ll take a little bit. Why don’t we go find you something a little less…,” she paused, trying to think of a word that wasn’t insulting. “Professional,” she said at last.

So, many hours later, she sat in a borrowed mini-skirt that barely covered her backside, a top that struggled mightily to contained her, and high heels that almost fit, which were now sitting abandoned on the floor under their table next to Amy’s. She’d gotten plenty of appreciative looks from both men and women, but she still felt much more uncovered than she would have liked. Amy said she looked beautiful, and strangely enough, her comment made Kyrie feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It was either that or the three (Or was it four, she wondered) Black Hole Slams she’d had since they got there around 10.

From somewhere in a far back corner of her mind, a thought screamed at her that it was Aunt Amy saying those things.  And no matter how good they felt, or how drunk they were, or how beautiful Amy looked, it was wrong.  But, with as much as she had been drinking, it was easy to push that thought away and ignore it. She was having fun.

“How’re you doing,” Amy said into her ear, a little out of breath as she bounced back to their table for a drink before going back out on the dance floor again. Kyrie smelled the sweet perfume and the subtle alcohol on her breath as she turned her face so that Kyrie could respond in kind into her ear.

“A little tired, a little sore, and,” she said, intentionally turning her voice a little whiney, “a lot lonely,” an exaggerated frown on her face.  The two of them had been dancing together all night, but about half an hour ago, Kyrie decided that she needed a rest.  Amy had carried on alone, dancing with all comers. “You’re dancing with everyone else and ignoring me,” she said, with a pouting tone in her voice and her bottom lip sticking out in a pout.

“Oh, poor baby,” Amy whispered playfully in her ear. “Come on,” she said, tugging Kyrie to her feet. “We’ve only got half an hour before they close. I want to dance more, and you need to have a little more fun,” she said, a wicked-looking spark in her eye. They were still holding hands as they started dancing again.

An hour later, they were getting out of a cab in front of Amy’s building, staggering up the steps to her private door. They were hanging on each other for support as they giggled at each other’s stupid jokes.  Amy, stuck her finger into a DNA scanner that her father had had installed at the door last year after she had locked herself out four times in three days.

They got into Amy’s private elevator and headed for her penthouse. Kyrie didn’t know that she had a private door or elevator, having come up the way everyone else did when she showed up last night. Amy leaned up against the wall, her eyes closed.  She had opened a few buttons on her top and was fanning herself as they rode up the twenty-one stories to her level.

Kyrie just looked at her, a mixture of lust and longing, with a small dose of fear, running through her.  She’d never had a serious boyfriend before, not that she was ever really interested in men anyway.  She’d recreated with the few male friends she had, just to see what it was like, but they never really did anything for her. Not like a woman could.  Spending her whole life surrounded by women, Kyrie had learned long ago that she preferred a woman’s company to a man’s.  And now, here she was, hormones raging with drink and the endorphin rush that she had gotten from the night-long dance party they had just left, standing alone in a private elevator, still barely dressed, with a beautiful woman, who had just opened her top, seemingly oblivious to Kyrie’s staring at her meager cleavage. The only thing that kept her from walking across the elevator and kissing Amy was that ceaselessly nagging voice in her mind, louder now that they were alone and sounding distinctly like her mother, that this was Aunt Amy, and she shouldn’t be thinking about her this way.

Amy just stood there, oblivious to the battle playing out inside of Kyrie.  Amy was busy fighting a similar battle of her own.  It wasn’t that she was interested in women very much, but she had experimented when she had gotten to college.  There were those few Pledges last year during Hell Week. Those girls really wanted to get into Kappa Kappa Wong, and were willing to do anything.  And they were so cute, too, she thought.  Besides, it’s not like sleeping with sorority sisters counts.  But there was something about this woman.  Either it was the drink and hormones talking, or the near soul-crushing loneliness that she felt at times, but Amy was wishing that Kyrie would just come over and kiss her already. If she were a man, Amy thought, we’d be naked by now.  Amy opened her eyes and saw Kyrie look away quickly.  She pretended not to notice the pink coloring on Kyrie’s cheek and ears.  Maybe all she needs is a gentle push.

Amy opened her mouth to say something, but the elevator binged and the door opened into her bedroom.  The two of them staggered into her room and Amy flopped down face first on the king-sized bed as Kyrie sat near her.  Rolling over, Amy found her head was right next to Kyrie’s hip, her right arm around Kyrie’s back, hand on her other hip. Kyrie was just sitting there, swaying dizzily, struggling to hold herself up-right.

Amy pushed herself up to a sitting position and put her head on Kyrie’s shoulder.  Amy slid her left arm around Kyrie’s midsection and her right under Kyrie’s left, reaching around her back, rubbing her forehead on Kyrie’s neck. Kyrie tentatively ran her right arm along Amy’s left, slowly reaching her shoulder and rubbing small circles on her lower back. Taking it as a sign that everything was going well, Amy started kissing Kyrie’s neck and throat.

When Kyrie sighed in pleasure, Amy shifted positions and was suddenly straddling her. Kyrie threw her head back and gave in to her. How long has it been?, she wondered as Amy playfully bit her neck and ear lobes. Much, much too long, she though as she ran what nails she had over Amy’s back and shoulders. At about the same time, they reached out and kissed each other, deeply and passionately.  

After a long few minutes, Amy unbuttoned her shirt and threw it over her shoulder. She pushed Kyrie onto her back and started to slide her shirt up, kissing her stomach as she did. Kyrie pushed Amy off and pulled her shirt off, reached out to hold Amy. They fell back onto the bed, snuggling close and barely dressed.  Amy’s skin was warm and soft, and she smelled wonderful. As she ran her fingers through Amy’s short hair, Kyrie realized that she didn’t want this to end.

Kyrie felt was warm and solid beneath her.  Her years of hard military living had given her a strong and lean body. She’d protect me, Amy thought as she lay on Kyrie’s chest, listening to her heart beating. Keep me safe from everything.   Sighing contentedly, she looked up at her, brown eyes meeting green, and said, “You could really use a shower.”  Her voice was soft, but serious, and her speech very slurred. She pushed a stray strand of hair out of Kyrie’s face and kissed her again, playfully licking her nose after she finished.

Kyrie rolled them over so that she was pinning Amy down and kissed her neck and shoulders.  Inhaling deeply, Kyrie replied, staring back into her eyes, her voice just as soft and serious, and her speech almost as slurred, “You, too.”

Amy grinned and said innocently. “What should we do about that?”

“Oh, I’ve got an idea,” Kyrie said.

“Me too,” Amy purred. “Let me up and if you show me yours,” she said seductively, “I’ll show you mine.”  

“Promise?,” Kyrie asked, her voice hopeful as she rolled off her and watched as Amy drunkenly staggered around, unzipping her skirt, and swaying her hips as seductively as she could manage.

“Don’t go far,” Amy said over her shoulder as she walked into the bathroom. Kyrie heard the water turn on in the shower, and then saw Amy’s bra come flying out of the bathroom in her general direction, followed by her panties. “Come on in. The water’s perfect,” she slurred out the door.

Smiling, Kyrie started to strip off her own borrowed clothes. She was standing there in her panties when she heard a loud thud from the bathroom.  Staggering as best she could, she found Amy, lying naked on the shower floor, snoring like a buzz saw. After a few attempts to revive her, Kyrie carefully picked her up and half dragged, half carried her to her bed. Pulling the covers up over her, she kissed Amy lightly on her lips and staggered back to the bathroom.  Sighing regretfully, she took off her panties and got in the shower alone and turned the water temperature down considerably.  While she stood under the cold spray, trying to clear her mind enough to read through the discs that she had brought earlier, she thought about Amy and regretted what might have been and what she thought could never be.

Planet Express Building, New New York, June 11, 3002, 1830 EDT

It had been the longest week of her life. 

The morning after their sort of date, Kyrie woke up with a pounding headache and felt riddled with guilt. That was Aunt Amy I was pawing at last night, she thought, disgusted with herself, as she quickly and quietly dressed and let herself out, not wanting to wake Amy. That was one conversation she was dreading, and she hoped that Amy was too drunk to remember anything. Later that morning, while she was making a second pot of coffee, her fears were realized when Amy told her that she had a wonderful time, and hopefully they could do it again sometime soon.  Then, with a smile, a wink, and a gentle touch on Kyrie’s arm, how sorry she was for passing out. Kyrie’s face turned redder than her hair, and she almost ran out of the kitchen. 

Since then, she’d been trying to avoid Amy. But almost every time Kyrie turned around, she was there. The tension was starting to become unbearable. And the worst thing was that Amy pretended that nothing happened in front of everyone else, and the few times they were alone, she would mentioning how good of a time she had that night and how she hoped they could repeat it in the future, with a slightly different result.  Then Amy would wink at her, making her turn shades of red brighter than her hair.  Every so often, out of the corner of her eye, she’d catch Amy looking at her appreciatively, but when she’d turn to her directly, Amy would ignore her. To make matters worse, deep in her heart, she loved the attention Amy was paying her and wished that she would be a little more forward.  But, no matter how much she liked it, the shame of being attracted to what she considered to be her aunt was almost more than Kyrie could bear. 

Kyrie tried to keep herself busy by doing more research, using DOOP security measures that wouldn’t exist for a decade, and were unstoppable and untraceable by the current generation of Intruder Countermeasures Electronics. She easily sliced into corporate bank records and the personnel files of the Praxis Mining Company. There was a connection there, and she was determined to find it.  So, she kept the routine, everyday using the net-suit and slicing with her meager skills (which, with her technological advantage were enough), and avoiding Amy.

She wasn’t the only Fry avoiding a woman, however.  Her parents, surprisingly enough, were playing their own game of cat and mouse.  After he came back to work on Monday, her dad snuck around, hiding much better than he usually did, apparently.  Her mom complained to her at dinner one night about how distant he was being lately.  Concerned with her own problems, all Kyrie could say was to give him time and he’d come around.

“How did you deal with him?,” Leela asked.

“I let him be,” she replied, pushing the potatoes around her plate. “He’d get all moody and broody at times. At first I tried to push him and get him to talk, but he’d just shut down harder. Eventually, he’d apologize and we’d get over it. It hurt me at first, until I figured it all out.  You know how hard it is for a twelve year old to not to be able to talk to her parents.”

Leela nodded sadly. She knew exactly how that felt. They ate the rest of their meal in silence. Kyrie pushed her food around a little more before getting up to go sit out on the fire escape.  She wished River was there. She really needed a friend to talk to now, and River had always that friend.  She laughed mirthlessly, remembering that River had said she had lived a few blocks away at this time.  The only problem was that she was three years old. 

Finally, on the Friday after their ‘date,’ Amy confronted her.

“Want to talk about it?,” she asked as Kyrie was taking off the gear. She hadn’t even heard her come in. She was slipping.  The perfume that she was wearing smelled wonderful, much better than the stink of burning rhesus monkey that the net-suits had.

“What’s to say,” Kyrie replied, putting the helmet down.

“Sorry for the way you’ve been acting would be nice.  Buh, you’ve been running away from me like I’ve got cooties or something for the last week.”

“I am sorry,” Kyrie said. “I just don’t know what to do,” she said as she slumped against the wall and slid to the floor.

“What do you mean?,” Amy asked squatting down in front of her, elbows on her knees.

“Amy,” she said sadly, “have you even considered the fact that, if I’m successful, I’m going to cease to exist? I, I can’t do that to you. I won’t.  Better we were both alone than have to go through that.”

“It’s not your decision to make, K, who I care about,” she said, reaching out and caressing her cheek. “I’m a big girl. I can make my own choices. And besides, if you cease to exist, I won’t know you, will I? No person, no heartache.”

She reached up and put her hand over Amy’s. “And there’s other things,” she said with a sigh. “When I was a baby, you changed my diapers and you died when I was eight years old,” she said, tears in her eye.  “That’s not an easy thing for me to get over, Amy. All night last Saturday, a voice in my head screamed how wrong it was for us to be together. You’re my aunt, Amy, whether you like it or not.”

“No, I’m not. Some other Amy Wong is. I’m not her yet. And besides,” she said, a smile on her face, “it’s not like we’re really related or anything. Why don’t you come on by tonight and we can talk about it? I promise that I’ll keep my clothes on this time,” she said with a smile.

“I’ll think about it,” Kyrie replied as strongly as she could.  Getting up, she held out her hand and helped Amy rise to her feet. When Amy reached out and embraced her, Kyrie stiffly hugged her back, kissing her on the top of her head. “No promises,” she said.

Amy released her and looked up into her eye.  “Don’t keep me waiting long,” she said. Then she turned and walked out of the lab. Kyrie shook her head sadly. She couldn’t do it. She just couldn’t put her through this. Not watching where she was going, she walked right into Fry.

“Sorry, Le-,” he began, trying to crawl away.

“Daddy,” she said, reaching out a hand to help him up.  As he rose, she pulled him close and hugged him tight. Soon, she was crying softly.

“There, there,” he said awkwardly as he patted her in the back. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”

She laughed a little, tears still in her eyes. “You tell me. What do you do when you care for someone so much that you can’t stand to see them hurting, but when you pretend not to care about them, it only makes it worse?”

Confused, Fry said the only thing he could think of. “K, I think that you need a little father-daughter bonding time. And there’s no better way to bond than the traditional the way we Frys have always bonded: over alcohol.”

“How old is this tradition, dad,” she said as she let go and wiped her eye.

“Oh, it’s well over a thousand years old, honey,” he said, taking her hand and heading for the front door. “About one thousand and seven, give or take.” 

O'Zorgnax's Pub June 11, 3002, 2210 EDT

“So there you were,” she was saying, gesturing wildly, “running full tilt out of the cave, just as the installation on the cliff above went up. This fireball blew out of the cave mouth and you were thrown about 20 feet into the air. Just as you reach the top of the arc, mom flies in and you land right on her wing. You held on for a good ten to fifteen seconds before you slipped off and landed right in the jeep.” Shaking her head, she said, “If I didn’t know you better, I’d swear you planned it that way.”

“Of course I planned it,” he replied grinning wildly. “What makes you think I didn’t? I know how I think and that sounds exactly like something I’d do.”

She just smiled, shaking her head and took another drink of her beer. They’d been here for several hours already, but hadn’t drank that much. They were swapping stories, mostly about him, and just enjoying themselves. Her mind was clearing already from that last talk with Amy. She wouldn’t be going anywhere near her apartment tonight, or ever, if things kept going like this. 

He finished his beer and signaled the waitress for another round for them. Then he just stared her. After the waitress brought them the next round, he said, “Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong, K.”

“I need some advice, daddy,” she said, taking a drink. “On my love life, or, more accurately, my distinct lack thereof.”

“So, as a guy, and your closest relative, you come to me. I hate to break it to you kiddo, my track record ain’t that great, no matter what I my web page says.  We do have that conversation when you’re old enough, right?”

“A little bit,” she said smiling. “You have our friends Tatia and River give me The Talk. The girlie stuff was a little too much for you, you said.  But, you and I did talk about it from time to time.”

“Good. Don’t want to leave you hanging.  So, what can I do for you,” he said, taking a drink.

“See, there’s this girl,” she said, but then she had to duck quickly to get out of the way of the beer spray.

“K, did you say ‘girl’?,” he gasped.

“Yes dad. I’m a lesbian,” she said carefully. His reaction, so far, was the same as it was the last time she told him. She hoped that it would end the same way.

“Do I, uh, I mean, did I know?”

“Yes. You were very supportive.”

“Did your mother know?”

“Dad, mom was dead for 6 years before I knew.”

“Oh, right. Sorry.  Carry on,” he said, wiping the table off with his coat sleeve.  “There’s this girl, you said.”

“Yeah, there’s this girl.  I like her a lot, but I’m not too sure about starting a relationship with her.”

“Why not?,” he asked. “Does she know you like her? Doesn’t she, uh, um, swing that way?”

“No, that’s not it. She’s made several passes at me recently.  It’s more of a commitment thing, I guess.”


“Dad, you do know that there’s a definite possibility that if all this succeeds, I’m going to cease to exist right? I’m not supposed to be born for four more years. I hope,” she said, looking directly in the eye.

“I know,” he said, suddenly very solemn, bowing his head to stare into his beer.  “It’s part of the reason your mother and I aren’t getting along right now.”

“What’s wrong, daddy,” she said reaching out and touching his hand, trying to change the subject. Her love life was dicey enough. If something happened to her parents, she’d really be in trouble.

“Nothing, baby. Nothing.  Don’t worry about it.  Now, what about this girl?,” he said, twisting the subject back to her.

She smiled. She knew him better than he knew himself.  Once his mind was really focused on something, he couldn’t be distracted.  “I don’t want to commit to anything I can’t finish, dad. I might not be here in a week. How is that fair to her?”

“How is it fair to you?,” he asked, finishing his beer. “You’re supposed to be miserable while you try and save the universe? K, I’m not the smartest man in the world, but even I know, from what you told me, that you, your mother, and I need to take our love when we can find it. We’re lucky that I found your mom. She is, without a doubt, the most wonderful, loving, and selfless person I’ve ever met. All her nagging and nosiness aside, you know.  Did I ever tell you the story of how I convinced her to love me?"

“Yes. And don’t ask, ‘cause I’m not going to tell you.”

“Well,” he said, slightly disappointed, “I fought for what, three years,” he said, watching her nod. “Three years to convince her. I worked hard at it, right?,” he asked again, seeing her nod again. “Everyone around me told me it was hopeless. But I did it for her. Because I loved her. She filled that space inside of me that I hadn’t even known was empty before I met her.  Do you know what that feels like?"

“Yes, I think I do.” Amy was doing that for her. She didn’t know how empty she was until last Saturday night.

“Do you love this woman?”

“Yes,” she whispered simply.

“Does she feel the same about you?”

“Yes. Yes, she does,” she said, a smile slowly spreading on her face.

“Then what are you doing here? Go to her and tell her. Take what love you can find from this universe. It might not come again.  From what you’ve told me tonight, the universe has taken a lot from you, and given you nothing back. Maybe it’s time you took something from it.”

She sat and tried to piece together what he said. He was right, the universe wasn’t fair.  It had taken everything from her and hadn’t offered anything back. Now, the universe had screwed up and given her an opening, something that would make her happy. He was right.  She owed it to herself to take the ring.  She finished her beer, got up and kissed him on the cheek.

“Thanks, daddy,” she said, heading out the door.

Damn, he thought. She bought it. I was just talking out of my ass and she bought it. Still, maybe there was something to what I said. Nodding, a determined look on his face, he got up and left the bar, heading toward Leela’s.

Casa del Swank Condominium Complex, June 11, 3002, 2320 EDT

She was more nervous right now than she could ever remember being. Even that shop owner last week didn’t inspire this much fear and dread in her. War, death, and killing she could handle. But love?  Was this even love or just infatuation that seemed to quell the horrible, aching loneliness that she’d been feeling since dad died? None the women that she had briefly dated in her life had ever made her feel like this inside. This was different.  She didn’t know what this was.

Is this what love feels like?, she wondered as she stood outside the main door to Amy’s building, debating if she really wanted to do this.  She reached out to the button marked ‘Wong’ and hesitated. This is wrong, her mother's voice screamed in her head. She’s your Aunt Amy. You can’t do this.

But then she thought back to their ‘date’ the other night. It had been drinks and dancing at some bar that Amy’s parents owned, but they connected like she had never connected with anyone else. She felt whole when Amy was around. Complete, even though before it happened she had never known anything was missing.  It was how dad used to talk about how he felt when mom was still alive, and how empty he felt after she died.  Closing her eye and taking a deep breath, she reached out with a trembling hand and pushed the button.

A few seconds later, she heard Amy’s voice. “Yes,” she said.

“Amy, it’s K,” she said, trying to keep her voice steady.  “Can I come up, please? I need to talk to you about something.”

The only response was the buzzer sounding as the door lock opened.

Outside Apartment 1I, New New York City, June 11, 3002, 2330 EDT

He stood there, debating what to do. Sure, he sounded big telling Kyrie to go for it, but this was different. This was him. He had his daughter’s life in his hands now, and it wasn’t something that he treated lightly.  If they slipped once, it could be a disaster. But, if this kept up, there would be no Kyrie, and that would be a bigger disaster.

He knew that Leela said she wanted to wait, but he knew their fear was keeping them apart. Fear that what they did now could impact Kyrie and change the future.  But, he had told Kyrie to follow her heart, and he knew what his heart was telling him to do.  He took a deep breath and made himself ready to give the same speech to Leela that he had just given Kyrie. He reached out and touched her buzzer and waited.

Finally, she responded. Sleepily, she said, “Whoever you are, you better have a damn good reason for waking me up.”

“Leela, it’s me,” he said, as strongly and as seriously as he could manage.  “Can I come up? I want to talk to you about something, and it can’t wait until morning.”

“Sure Fry,” she said, a small measure of concern in her voice. “But you better not be wasting my time with a stupid question.”

When the buzzer sounded, unlocking the door, he said to himself, “Don’t worry, honey. It’s serious.”

Casa del Swank Condominium Complex, Unit 2112 June 12, 3002, 0826 EDT

The sunlight felt good on her face. She stretched and rolled into the warm spot on the bed where Amy had been the night before. Kyrie felt so good this morning. It was the best night’s sleep she had had in a long time.  But it wasn’t like we did a lot of sleeping, she thought smiling sleepily.  It was all so surreal.  Less than a week ago, she had to be really, really drunk to even consider this.  But so much had changed since she came to the past…

A familiar buzzing revived her somewhat. She slid out of bed and wrapped the blanket around her. Crawling across the floor, she picked up her wrist-a-majigger and answered it.

“Fry,” she said, groggily.

“Hey, honey,” her mom said. Something looks slightly odd about her this morning, Kyrie thought. Her hair is a mess and she looks a little bit flushed, and maybe even a little guilty, too. But why?

“Hey mom,” she replied. Something’s odd about her this morning, Leela thought.  Her hair is a mess and she looks a little bit flushed, and maybe even a little guilty, too. But why?  I mean other than her not coming home last night. But, I’m glad she didn’t…

“Where are you honey? You father and I were worried about you when you didn’t come home last night.”

Father and I?, Kyrie thought. Oh, God, no. “You didn’t,” Kyrie said, staring at her mom. Just then, over Leela’s shoulder, Fry walked in shirtless.

“Hey, honey. Breakfast is ready. Who are you talking to?”

“Mom,” she said. “Dad!”

“Kyrie,” Leela began, almost apologetic. 

But, there was a noise behind her. Amy, wearing only a very short silk robe walked in and said, “Breakfast is ready, K.”

Leela’s eye went wide. “Amy?,” she asked, surprise and anger plainly evident on her face. 

“We’ll talk about this later,” they said in unison as they both shut down the connection.

Planet Express Building June 12, 3002 1230 EDT

The four of them just sat there, staring at each other, none of them knowing where to begin.

Leela was furious. It didn’t really bother her that much that her daughter liked women.  It was kind of odd, but hey, she was a mutant who loved a human. It was the 31st Century, she could love who she wanted.  To each, her own, she always thought.  What bothered her was that it was Amy. That, that slut had seduced her little girl. First Fry and now Kyrie. Who was next?

Kyrie should have known that Leela would overreact this way, but what she didn’t know was what exactly she was overreacting about. It was the 31st Century, and she should be able to be with who she wanted to be with, society be damned.  And it wasn’t like society cared, anyway.  Relationships between aliens and humans had been happening and accepted since humans had first ventured off this rock and encountered other beings.

Amy was wondering what Leela’s problem was. Spluh, it’s not like we’re children or anything, she thought.  She needs to loosen up, among other things. Like Kyrie, she was an only child.  But where K’s parents had loved and tried to raise her as best they could in a horrible environment, teaching her self-reliance, Amy’s parents lived in the lap of luxury and had never paid that much attention to her, teaching her that she wasn’t as important to them as property. It left her looking for love and attention, and she tried to find it in the beds of so many former lovers. All it left her feeling, however, was empty inside. Now, though, she found something more in an unlikely place, and she was ready to fight to keep it.

Fry just sat there, wondering what the problem was. A thought ran through his mind about talking to K later and comparing notes about Amy, but he quickly tried to banish it.  He realized no matter how far into the future he had come, talking to his daughter about her sex life with her sort-of girlfriend, who had once been his sort-of girlfriend, was just too creepy.

Finally, both Leela and Kyrie had had enough. At the same time they said to each other, “What the hell were you thinking?”

“What was I thinking?,” they replied to each other’s question, matching expressions of disbelief on their faces.

“Well, it was obvious that you weren’t,” Leela said a little smugly.

“Me?,” Kyrie said.  “What about you? You’re literally screwing with my life here, mom. How could the two of you do this to me?”

“Will the two of you calm down?,” Fry began.

“I’ll handle this, Fry,” Leela snapped as Kyrie said “Keep out of this, dad.”  Fry and Amy just looked at each other and just shrugged.

“Why don’t Amy and I go take a walk and leave you two alone,” Fry said starting to stand up.

Leela reached out and grabbed his hand hard. “Don’t you dare,” she began.

“Dare what, Leela?,” he said pulling his hand away, finally snapping.  “Have a female friend? I’ve known her almost as long as I’ve known you. This jealous streak you’ve got is really annoying sometimes, Leela. You know I love you, and only you, but you keep pushing me. What the hell is your problem, anyway? It seems to me that you’re the only one of us that sees anything wrong with any of this.  K’s happy, Amy’s happy, and I’m happy.   You WERE happy, Leela. What is your problem?”

“It’s because it’s Amy, alright,” she yelled. “I don’t care if Kyrie likes women, but why the hell did it have to be her?”

“What’s wrong with Amy?,” Kyrie said, looking back and forth at the three of them.

“They used to date each other,” Leela said angrily. “They went at it like marmots for about a week before your father dumped her.”

“You what,” Kyrie said, the color draining from her face.

“Oh, you didn’t know?,” Leela asked. It sounded almost like a taunt to Fry.

“Stop it, Leela,” Fry said angrily, slamming his fist down on the table. “It’s obvious that we didn’t talk about it or think it was important enough to bring up.  Yes, honey,” he said gently, turning to Kyrie. “Amy and I dated for about a week around this past Valentine’s Day. Then we broke up. We decided that we’d be better off as friends.”

“He dumped me,” Amy said, glaring at Leela. “But I still carried his head around on my shoulder for a few days before Zoidberg fixed his body. It was nice having someone around to talk to. But, whatever. What does Fry and me have to do with Kyrie and me, anyway?,” she asked looking at Leela.

“It’s not you and Fry, or you and Kyrie, it’s just you,” Leela said angrily.  “You hop from bed to bed to bed, not caring what anyone else thinks. And now you’ve jumped into my daughter’s bed. You’re an heiress to billions of dollars and half a planet, but for some reason, you want to take everything away from me that makes me happy.  You shouldn’t have a care in the world, but you’re constantly picking on me for some imagined reason.  And here you go again.  First it’s all the little slights and snide remarks, the left handed compliments and outright insults.  Then it’s Fry. And now it’s my daughter.” Standing up, she glared at Amy, and said, “I hate that you think that you’re better than the rest of us and that deserve to have everything because you’re young, rich, and beautiful.  That’s what this is about.”

“I’m sorry you feel this way, Leela,” Amy said.

“No, you’re not,” Leela shouted. “That’s the problem. You don’t care about us. We’re bugs to you. You can buy and sell us ten times over with what you waste every month on shoes! Do you know how long I could live on just the interest on all of your bank accounts? You have no idea what it’s like to have to fight and scratch for every little thing, Amy. Everything has always been handed to you because of your last name.  You’ve always been the billionaire princess. Try looking at it from my perspective for once. And I swear to God, if you shut one of your eyes to look at me, there’ll be three cyclopes in this room.”

“You touch her mom, and I will rip your throat out,” Kyrie said with deadly seriousness. “The universe be damned, mom. You even think about it and I’ll kill you.”

“Why doesn’t everyone just calm down for a minute,” Fry said. This was getting way out of hand. He needed to do something before this tragedy became a disaster.

“Stay out of this, daddy,” Kyrie said, getting to her feet as Leela said, “Come on, little girl.”

“Amy Wong, Kyrie Turanga Fry, and Turanga Leela,” he yelled as loudly and forcefully as possible. “Sit down and shut up RIGHT NOW!” All three of them did just that and just stared at him, mouths gaping open like fish. “I’ve had enough of this.”

“First,” he said raising the thumb on his left hand, “Amy.  You are one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and far and away the cutest, too. But Leela’s right. You treat the rest of us like crap, especially her.  I don’t know if you don’t like non-humans or just ones you deem to be terminally unhip, but it makes you out to be an elitist, racist bitch.  And it’s worse because I know you’re smart enough to know what you’re doing.  You don’t realize how good you have it compared to the rest of us.  Your parents own the building you live in and you live there rent free.  The rest of us have to decide sometimes between eating and paying our rent. You tip people more in a week than I make in a month.” Leela smiled smugly as Fry talked, but it slipped when he glared at her.  Amy looked down at her hands, embarrassed and guilty because she knew he was right. Kyrie fumed, glaring at her mother.

“Secondly,” he said, adding his left index finger, “Leela. The love of my life and my heart’s only desire.  Leela, please just shut up. I am so sick of hearing you whine and complain about every little thing,” he said slapping his palms flat on the table and looming over her. “It’s not always about you, Leela.  Please, give it a rest. Let things go sometimes. You need to loosen up a little bit or you’ll give yourself a heart attack or something.” 

Amy smirked until he turned his gaze back to her. Her smile faded as she looked back down at her hands. Kyrie just looked at her, then reached out and took one of Amy’s hands in her own, bringing a faint smile back to Amy’s face. But Kyrie held back a smile.  Fry was on a roll, and after years of his briefings, she knew better than to interrupt him. He may not be her father yet, but he was starting to get there.

“And finally,” he said, adding his middle finger, “Kyrie. My beautiful and loving daughter, who will be the light of my life when all is at its darkest.”  He walked over to her, put his hands on her shoulders, rubbing them a little bit, and then he leaned down and kissed the top of her head. “Honey, I don’t care who you love. I just want you to be happy. And if Amy makes you happy, you have my blessings. She is, all her faults aside, a wonderful person, who I still care about a great deal.”  He looked back and forth between Leela and Amy and silently dared them to do or say anything.  Neither would meet his eyes.  “But,” he said, suddenly squeezing Kyrie’s shoulders hard enough for her to cry out in shock and pain, “if you ever, and I mean EVER, consider doing what you said, you’ll find me standing in your way. I know that I can’t take you, but I’ll sure as Hell make you regret the day that I fell into that freezer.”

“Now, does everyone understand me?,” he said walking around and glaring at each of them in turn. When they all nodded, he said, “Good. Because until this little mission is over, we have to be a single-minded machine with one goal: saving the universe.  Like it or not,” he said glaring specifically at Amy and Leela, “we’re a family until then. All four of us. I suggest you all remember that.  The universe may be bigger than the four of us, but it won’t exist without the four of us working together.”  He turned and walked toward the elevator, leaving the three of them staring blankly at each other, the fight gone out of them.

Planet Express Building June 12, 3002 1530 EDT

He sat on the roof of the building, hugging his knees to his chest, trying to calm himself down. He had never acted like that before, and he had no idea where it had come from. It scared him as much as it seemed to scare them.

The hatch opened and Bender stuck his head out. “Hey, meat bag,” he said, climbing out to sit by him.

“Hey, Bender,” he replied automatically.

They just sat there and, for the first time he could remember, Bender opened his chest and handed him a cold beer. “You need this, Fry.”

“No kidding,” he said, twisting it open and throwing the cap toward the Atlantic. To his surprise, it actually hit the water.

They drank their first beer, and their second, in silence, watching the traffic flow through the sky. Rush hour was just starting as Bender handed him the last of the six-pack that he had in his chest.  Fry took the beer and opened it without comment. Finally, Bender said, “I heard what happened downstairs.”

“Yeah,” he replied blandly, sipping his beer.  “What of it?”

“What got into you, Fry?”

“I have no idea, Bender” he said with a sigh. “One minute I’m thinking about talking to K about Amy and this thing she does with her tongue, and the next I’ve snapped, screaming at all of them like some kind of maniac. I, I don’t know what’s happening to me, Bender. Or should I say Blotto,” he said suddenly, glaring at his best friend. “How could you do that to us, Bender? I nearly got killed three times by those guys.”

“I’m sorry Fry,” he said, sounding genuinely remorseful.  “I had no idea they were going to be hitting our ship that day. I did the best I could to protect you guys, you know that, don’t you? How’s the shoulder, anyway?”

“Yeah, I know Bender. And I guess those last two times weren’t your fault. K said it was some guy from the future trying to kill me and Leela to stop us from defeating him, or something.  I don’t know. I stopped paying attention after she said future. Shoulder’s good as new, by the way. Thanks for asking.”

Both of them took another drink of their beers, and then Bender asked, “What are you going to do now? I hear Little Boots is gonna move out of Leela’s and into Amy’s place. You gonna to stick around with me or abandon me to shack up with your eventual baby mama?”

“I’m not sure yet, Bender,” Fry said after taking another drink. “I’m thinking about it, though.” Finishing his beer and chucking the bottle toward the Ocean, Fry said, “Bender, have you ever been in love?”

“I’m a robot, Fry. No emotions. Nothing but cold, cold logic,” he said with what sounded like a touch of regret. “Once,” he admitted finally. 

“The Countess,” Fry said quietly. 

Bender nodded, and said, “I think it was love. Might have just been a virus, though. I had been looking at a lot of robot porn at the time, and who knows what kind of viruses you get from those sites”

“Well,” Fry said, “I’m in love, Bender. And so is my daughter. I’m just not too sure about the women in our lives, though.”

“Leela and Amy are both a lot of things, Fry,” Bender said, getting thoughtful all of a sudden. “But they aren’t stupid. They’re gullible and naïve sometimes, but not stupid. Leela knows how you feel about her, and it sounds like Amy feels the same about your mini-meat bag.  From what I can tell about humanoid emotions, neither of them would hurt you or your spawn on purpose.”

“That’s almost pretty close to what I wanted to hear, buddy,” Fry said, patting him on the shoulder.  Standing up and walking over to the hatch, he said, “Thanks for the beer, Bender.”

Bender sat on the roof until dark, watching the traffic fly by, and wondering if his one and only friend would be there when he got home.

Amy and Leela sat on couch in the lounge together, not saying a word to each other.

Leela wasn’t taking the news well at all.  Her baby was moving out to live with her.  Granted, Leela hadn’t known Kyrie for very long, and her baby was twenty years old and more than capable of taking care of herself and making her own decisions, but it still hurt that she chose Amy over her.

Amy didn’t feel any satisfaction in Kyrie’s decision.  If anything, she felt a little dread. She knew that things wouldn’t be the same between her and Leela again.  Add to that Leela was her girlfriend’s mom, and they were left with a horrible mess. How strange is that?, she thought, smiling faintly. I have a girlfriend.

The door slid open and Fry walked in the lounge. They both eyed him warily. The way he blew up earlier that afternoon had scared them. He had always been kind of meek and mild mannered, but his outburst had startled them.  He watched them with a heavy heart. They had been kind of close at one point. Amy was really the only female friend that Leela had. And now there was this between them.  Sighing, he walked through the lounge to get a Slurm from the kitchen, determined to find a way to fix things. 

Sitting at the table, pushing papers around like she was actually reading them was Kyrie. Her eye was red and puffy, so he knew she had been crying. 

“Hey,” he said sitting down across the table from her.

“Hey,” she replied mechanically.

“I hear you’re moving,” he said, taking a drink from the can.

“Yeah. We thought it might be for the best.”

“Probably. Your mom is taking this really hard, you know.”

“I know,” she said sadly.  “Dad, what am I supposed to do? I go one way, I alienate mom. I go the other, I lose Amy.  What am I supposed to do?”

“Well, you’re the military mind in the family,” he said, taking a long drink. “Use what I taught you and think about this problem.”

“Dad,” she said, “if I used what you taught me, I’d have whacked mom over the head with a folding chair by now and hit her with a flying elbow drop from the top of a steel cage.”

“Well, there’s something to be said for watching wrestling,” he said, nodding sagely. He finished the can and belched.  Resting his right elbow on the table and putting his head into his hand, he just looked at her.  “Anyway, like I said, you’ve got the military mind. You tell me what your years of training say to do.”

“Dump Amy, ignore mom, and get on with the business at hand. None of which would make anyone involved very happy,” she said, making a disgusted face. “Why can’t life be fair just once?”

“Life’s not fair. Life’s just life,” he said.

“That sounds profound, dad,” she said, looking at him.  “You come up with that up on your own?”

“No. It’s a lyric from a song. I forget who and what, but I think I owned a tape of it when I was younger. It might have been your Uncle Yancy’s, though.”

“Oh,” she said.  Sighing, she said, “One day I feel I'm on top of the world, and the next it's falling in on me.”

“That sounds deep,” he said smiling. “You come up with that up on your own?”

“No. It’s a lyric from a song I found in your music collection a few years back.”

“Well, I always did have good taste in music.”

She smiled, finally. Mission accomplished, he thought. Now, for the other two. “K,” he said, leaning over the table with a conspiratorial grin, “what do you say that the two of us take on your mom and Amy?”

When the door opened again, they still weren’t talking to each other.

“I’ve had enough of you two,” Fry said walking out, Kyrie at his heels.  “Amy, you’re coming with me.” Leela glared and started to say something. Holding up his hand to cut her off, Fry said, “Leela, Kyrie wants to talk to you.  We’re going to work this all out before it gets any worse. Come on, Amy,” he said, pulling her to her feet. “We’re going to take that walk I wanted to a few hours ago.” As he pushed her out of the room, she looked over her shoulder uneasily at Kyrie.

When the door shut behind them, Kyrie sat on the couch, next to Leela.

“Why?,” Leela said finally, still not looking at her. “Why her?”

“Why not?,” Kyrie countered. “Why dad? Why does anyone choose anyone? Do we even have a choice in these things? Nibbler told me we all have a destiny.”

“Don’t get all metaphysical with me,” Leela snapped. “I can spew bull crap philosophy too, ya know. I mean, she knew how I would feel about this.” Turning to face Kyrie, she almost screamed, “She did this to me on purpose!”

“So, my girlfriend is all about you, mom?,” Kyrie said angrily. “What about me? Don’t I get to be happy?” When Leela didn’t answer, Kyrie continued. “Mom, this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time. You have no idea how alone I’ve been since daddy died. When he was around, I always had a center point, something, no matter how far away I was, that I could point to and say, ‘That’s home.’

“When he died, I was so lost. All I had was River, but for most of the last year, I couldn’t even talk to my best friend. I didn’t even want to be in the same room with her while she was pregnant,” she said, her fist clenching in her lap. “River had two things that I never would, and it was killing me.” Leela looked funny at her, not understanding. Kyrie closed her eye and said, “Dad gave her away at her wedding and she was pregnant.  She had the baby, Elizabeth Leela Suun, the day before she died. She promised dad she’d named it after one of you.”

“Because you’re a lesbian. You could always have used artificial,” Leela began before Kyrie angrily cut her off. 

“No, mom,” she snapped. “It’s not the lack of a male partner. I’m sterile. Brannigan and all those other DOOP bastards did it to me with that nuke in South Dakota. The one that killed you killed any future our family would have had, too. You have no idea what it was like. River was my best friend from the time I was 5 years old, and the only other woman that I have ever truly loved before I came here, even though I knew she didn’t feel the same way about me, and I couldn’t stand to talk to her until the day she died. She knew I loved her, and she never stopped being my friend, and I turned my back on her for almost a year.  Do you know how lonely I was?”

“So is that why,” Leela began, not really sure how to continue, “I mean, how you’re…”

“What? Like I am? No. I slept with a few men before, but they didn’t really do anything for me.  I’ve been around women almost exclusively since I was 5 years old, and they were just more comfortable for me to be with. River and another friend, Tatia, gave me ‘the Talk’ when I was old enough.  Dad was too scared to do it.  It was years later when I realized how I felt about River.”

“How old were you?”

“When I knew I liked women instead of men?” When Leela nodded, she said,” 15 or 16, I think.”

“Did your father know?”

“Yes. He was very supportive of me. He reacted then the same way when I told him last night as he did when I told him when I was 17,” she said with a smile. “I ducked this time, though.”

Leela turned away, stared at nothing a long time before she said, “K? Does Amy make you happy?”

“How does dad make you feel?,” she countered. 

Leela sighed and nodded. “Alright,” she said finally.  “I’ll be nice to her and try and like her,” she said turning her had towards Kyrie.  “For you.”

Fry and Amy walked for a little while in silence.  A few block away from the Planet Express building, he said, “I hear she’s moving in with you.”

“Yep,” Amy said simply. “We thought it would be the best for everyone.”  Fry being responsible and trying to lead was starting to freak her out. He was a follower, not a leader. Yet, here he was, trying to make some sort of peace between her and Leela. Who are you and what did you do with Fry?, she thought.

He just nodded and they kept walking. “You better be good to my baby, Aim,” he said seriously after a few more blocks.

“Fry, you’ve known her, what, a week. Where is all of this coming from, anyway?”

He was quiet for a few minutes and then he said, “Did I ever tell you about my parents, Amy?”

“No, we were both too busy doing other things to talk,” she said with a smirk. 

He laughed and laced his right arm through her left. “I had terrible parents,” he said. “My brother Yancy pretty much raised me, and he hated every second of it.  Dad was always worried that the Commies were going to invade or start raining nukes down on us, or some other crap. Every night we had to do a missile drill. We had to run down to the cellar and seal it. We eventually got down to about one minute forty-five seconds. That bomb shelter was the only well-built part of our house.  I remember once I put my foot through the floor in the hallway upstairs by our bedrooms, and my dad didn’t want to fix it.  He said he didn’t want to have to ‘divert resources to a structure that wouldn’t survive the coming hell-storm,’” he said, trying to make his voice sound like his dad’s.  “My father was a lousy dad, but he still cared about us in his own way, I guess.

“My mom was no better.  She was addicted to gambling.  It didn’t matter what sport, either.  She’d bet on everything, and usually lose, too.  Oh, she’d win enough to keep close even, but she’d never get ahead.  It didn’t help she was practically an alcoholic, too.  When my Grandma Mildred moved in with us for a few months before she died, the two of them would just sit and drink.  My dad was too busy working, so Yancy and I would have to clean them up and get them into bed.”  He closed his eyes and sadly remembered his family, now, other than his nephews and his daughter, all long gone.

“Mom and dad were constantly screaming at each other about money, too.  They would just scream and scream, oblivious to me and my brother. Mom would either gamble or drink it away or dad would just blow it on upgrading the bomb shelter.  When I was 10, my dad had to get a second job just so we could keep the house. One night, I was sick of listening to them fight. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, I guess. Anyway, I went out our roof and just sat looking at the stars, wondering what it was like out there. Whatever it was, it had to be better than this, I thought at the time.  Turns out I was right,” he said sadly, “but that’s not the point.

“The point is that I swore that night that whenever it happened, I would be the best father I could be, no matter what. Talking to K last night, I found out that, under the circumstances, I did one hell of a job. But that will be then, and this is now.  Right now makes the most difference.  And right now, I have no idea what I’m doing.”

She gripped his upper arm with her right hand and laying her head on his shoulder.  “You’re doing fine, Fry,” she said.  “K and I talked a little last night, too.  She told me a lot of things. She said you were crushed when Leela died, and you leaned heavily on her and on the girls you saved in South Dakota.  The Original Daughters, she said you called them. They were all your children, she told me you said once.  Philip J. Fry, you end up being a wonderful father.  You saved the world and ended up raising seven wonderful sounding young women.  You should be proud of yourself.”

“Thanks, Aim,” he said, laying his head down on top of hers, his eyes wet. She told him the same thing last night, and about River’s daughter, his ‘granddaughter’, little Elizabeth Suun.  They walked a little further, just enjoying each other’s company. Finally, he said, “Why’d you switch?”

“What?,” she asked stunned, stopping suddenly.

“I’m just trying to understand some, Amy,” he said defensively. “You never seemed interested in women before and I don’t want you hurting K.  I want to make sure you’re not going to decide after a few days that this isn’t fun anymore and you’re done experimenting, breaking my baby’s heart.  Know what I mean?”

“Oh.  Sorry. It’s just, I’m not really sure, Fry,” she said, taking his arm and walking again. “It just happened.  We were talking last week in the lounge, and then something just clicked, you know, and it just went from there. By the end of last Saturday night, I knew that I wanted to be with her, and it didn’t matter that she was a woman.  I wasn’t one hundred percent sure, but how I felt Sunday morning when I woke up alone proved it to me. I, I really, really missed her, Fry. I just couldn’t bear to be without her.  Something warm sparked in my chest when I saw her at work later that morning, making it more obvious to me.  That’s how I knew it was love.  I had only felt like that once before,” she said, looking up at him meaningfully.

He made a face and turned away embarrassed.  “Well, uh, I mean, uh, good. Just so we understand each other. By the way, did you show her that thing you do with your tongue yet?”

“Jerk,” she said with a laugh, slapping him on the shoulder.

Casa del Swank Condominium Complex Unit 2112, June 16, 3002, 0353 EDT

Kyrie just sat there, watching her sleep. Amy was curled almost into a ball, her naked back to her. Kyrie had woken up a few minutes earlier from a dead sleep, but her less experienced, but very enthusiastic, lover slept on. Again there was no voice, but she knew there was trouble coming.

As she watched Amy sleep, Kyrie felt a small twinge of regret for Uncle Kif and how she had changed his destiny.  But the fact that she still remembered him as Uncle Kif, and not only as Captain Kroker, disturbed her.  If she still knew him as Uncle Kif, then she wasn’t out of the woods yet as far as not existing.  The future could be saved and she could still be gone, despite her parents getting together.  And now that she had something to live for, other than her mission, she wanted to stick around for as long as possible.  She sighed and put on the short silk robe Amy had bought her, and went outside to sit on the balcony to watch the traffic fly by, and wait for the trouble to start.

After fifteen minutes, Kyrie began to think that she had been wrong, and this was nothing more than her paranoia getting the better of her. As she touched the handle to go back inside, she heard a familiar voice.

“If you weren’t on a mission of vital importance to the continued existence of the universe, I’d wipe your memory.” She turned and saw him.  Nibbler was back, finally.  And he didn’t look happy.

“The damage that you have caused just to this planet in the last two weeks is almost incalculable,” he continued angrily. “At this moment, your parents are mating, and apparently you’ve begun a romantic relationship with a woman that was destined to be someone else’s wife. What in the name of all that’s good and right is wrong with you, girl?  How could you be so stupid?”

“Good to see you again, too, Nibbler,” she said, keeping her voice neutral. “You have a nice vacation?”

“I wasn’t on vacation, you stupid ape!,” he yelled.  “I was doing what you were supposed to be doing: finding a way to destroy the bomb and kill Ohm.  You, it seems, were more interested in trying to completely destroy the universe by creating temporal paradoxes all over the place.” 

“How do you know about Uncle Kif?,” she asked. “How do I still know about him?”

“You think your girlfriend is the only one in the quadrant that can decipher old computer media? I’m thousands of years old, child. I’ve got abilities that you’ve never even considered. One of the files on that disc was a listing of high profile casualties. Listed on there was one ‘Kroker, Amy Wong,’ She died December 20, 3014 when the Nimbus was destroyed.  The Nimbus’ captain was Kif Kroker. It wasn’t that hard for me to deduce why she, a non-combatant with the same name as the captain, was on-board. She was his fonfonru. HIS WIFE!”

“Why didn’t we find that file when Amy converted the disc?,” she asked sitting down on a chaise lounge as her legs turned to jelly.  She knew about Amy and Kif already, but to have it thrown back into her face drained her.

“Because I deleted it, that’s why. You already know too much about the future. I didn’t need the Wong girl finding out she was going to get married to someone that she, up to this point, has met once, and that they’d both be dead in twelve years.”

“She already knows him?”

“They met over a year ago on the Titanic. Who do you think has been calling her and hanging up for the last six months? How could you not know that?

“I was eight when they died,” she said angrily.  “Besides, no one’s been calling here, Nibbler, at least, not for the last few days, anyway, and Amy hasn’t mentioned that anyone’s been calling. But you still haven’t answered my question Nibbler. How do I still know who he is?”

“I’m just guessing, but I’d say that since you are the heart of all the temporal disturbances, you are the only one who knows this information. Since you experienced the events, you still remember them. To you, the future, or the history as you know it, won't change, even though it will be different.  It's just so much science fiction now."

She considered this for a few minutes, and then said, “That is the biggest crock of scientific mumbo jumbo that I have ever heard.”

“Child, I hold advanced degrees in fourteen different disciplines, but temporal theory isn’t among them. I have no idea why you still remember. That’s the best I can do for you.”

She rubbed her eye. “This is giving me a headache, Nibbler. For the moment, let’s set aside time travel and who’s doing what with history and talk about why I came here in the first place. What have you found out about Ohm?”

“Quite a bit, actually,” he said, settling down on the chaise next to her. “What do you know about the Praxis Mining Company?”

“I was right,” she said suddenly, jumping back to her feet, doing a victory dance. “I knew that there was something on Praxis 3!”

“The PMC is a front,” he continued, ignoring her shout. “It seems that the PMC is really doing military research in the underground tunnels. Apparently, the mines on Praxis 3 played out about sixty years ago.  They reopened the facility five years ago…”

“About the time that Ohm was made interior minister,” Kyrie finished as she spun to a stop. “But all their data checked out.  They’re supposed to be producing small amounts of tungsten or something from that mine, aren’t they? They’re barely breaking even because of the small amounts of it, or something like that, right?”

Sighing, Nibbler said, “Lucky for your one of my advanced degrees is in mineralogy. Those mines used to produce platinum and nickel. Tungsten wouldn’t be found with those metals.” 

“Why hasn’t anyone figured that out before now?”

“Do you know how boring mineralogy is? Besides, they doctored their records. They now say they produced iron out of there in the past.”

“Then how do you know what used to come out of there?”

“I have a piece of platinum that I purchased from the PMC seventy years ago,” he said pulling out a thin chain from under his flight suit. “And I kept the documentation.  It says the metal came out of Shaft 411 on Praxis 3. 

“Wait a minute.  Shaft 411 is where Ohm was supposed to be last week,” Kyrie said. “That’s where they say they’re producing tungsten now.”


“Nibbler, we,” Kyrie began, but was interrupted by the patio door opening. Amy walked out in her robe, bleary eyed and yawning.

“I woke up and you were gone, K,” she said. “I was worried.  Oh.  Hi Nibbler.” It’s still so odd that he can talk, she thought sleepily.

“Miss Wong,” he said, keeping his emotions in check. The look he threw at Kyrie said ‘Don’t say a word about Kif.’ Kyrie understood and told him so by quickly blinking her eye twice. 

“I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to wake you, baby.  I’m sorry,” she said standing up to embrace Amy and give her a quick kiss. “Nibbler was just giving me some information on Praxis 3.”

“Weren’t you looking for stuff on that place, xin ai?,” Amy asked with a yawn. Xin ai was Mandarin for beloved. Amy had taught Kyrie a few words of it over the last few days, but that was the only one that was important to Kyrie, though.  She felt a little guilty over hiding Uncle Kif from Amy, though. I’ll tell her when this is all over, she swore to herself.

“Yep. And combine what he’s found and with what I’ve found and you’ve got some interesting, uh, findings.  Why don’t you go back to bed, xin ai? I’ll be right behind you, right Nibbler,” she said, putting a little menace in her voice.

“Yes,” he said, still hiding his emotions. He would kill this girl if he could for the mess that she’d made. How could he have been so stupid as to go away and leave these overgrown primates unattended? “We’ll talk more in the morning. I want to see what else you’ve been up to since we last spoke.” With that, he leapt over the side of the railing and was gone.

“What was that about?,” Amy asked sleepily as they walked back inside.

“Nothing important,” Kyrie said, sliding her hand up the side of Amy’s robe, and happily discovering her bare hip.  She took her own robe off and put her hands around Amy’s waist.  Reaching around the front, she pulled Amy close and then pulled the tie of her robe open, dropping it to the floor.  She pressed herself against Amy’s naked back and kissed her neck, which led to each of them kissing other things until they both forgot all about Nibbler.

Planet Express Building, June 16, 3002 1145 EDT

“How long do you need?,” Nibbler asked, pacing back and forth across the kitchen table.

Kyrie sat, drinking her Diet Slurm as Amy called in some favors to a security company that her parents owned for the weapons and armor through her net-suit in the lab. Her parents and Bender were off on a delivery. Hermes was willing to allow her use of the company’s facilities, but he drew the line at stopping work so she could save the universe. She had her priorities and he had his, he had said. 

“Two days. Three tops. Amy’s getting the gear, so that really shouldn’t be too much of an issue.  I’d rather go Friday, but I don’t know what the delivery schedule is going to be like. All of us can just pile into the ship and sleep here Friday night and then go out early Saturday morning.  It’s not ideal, but it’s the best we’ve got.”

“I don’t like it either, but I agree.  Have you made your team yet?”

“Pretty much,” she said, making a face as she put the bottle down. “I’ve got Amy getting the weapons and armor for mom, dad, and Bender.  Hermes will be staying behind.  A Bureaucrat will do us no good in combat.  And while I’d love to bring Amy along, the best role I can see for her is flying the ship.  I just can’t see any combat role for her. It’s just not in her to purposefully hurt someone. And if she can’t kill anyone, she’ll be a detriment to the operation.  And even though I’ve seen him do it, I’m kind of iffy on dad, too.  On the other hand, mom is fully capable of killing someone. As for Bender, well, you just try and keep him behind when he finds out there’ll be humans to kill.”

“Leave your father and the Wong girl behind. It’ll be better that way.”

“Because you still need the Mighty One, right? No, I’ll find something for them to do, even if it is just giving us air cover.  I won’t leave them behind, Nibbler.”

“What about Cubert?”

“No. Other than being an annoying super-genius, he has no useful skills.  He stays.  Thanks to you, I’ve already killed him once,” she said pointedly. “This little runt is nothing like that big sack of crap I killed.”


“And hopefully,” she said, glaring at him, “he never will be. If we stop the war, we can stop him from becoming a monster.”

“You put a lot of stock in hope, Kyrie.”

“Hope and faith are all you have sometimes, Nibbler. It’s pretty much all I’ve got now. Faith in myself, faith in my family, the hope that I’m doing the right thing, and the hope that we can save everyone.”

Amy was putting down her net-suit, having gotten what she needed with her usual charms. She added a suit of armor and a pistol for herself, just in case.  She and Kyrie had been going round and round about what her role was going to be in the operation.  She didn’t think she could kill anyone, but she wasn’t going to be left behind, either.  But, she loved her xin ai enough to know that Kyrie would try to protect her, even if it meant leaving her behind.  And now that she had someone truly meaningful in her life, she wanted to fight to keep it.

As she set the helmet down on the table, she heard Nibbler and Kyrie arguing in the kitchen above her.

“I still cannot believe what you’ve done with her, though,” Nibbler said.  “I thought you were smarter than this. You know what her future held, and you still willfully changed it.  Why?”

“Don’t give me that destiny talk again, Nibbler,” she said angrily. “You tried that crap a few weeks ago, and I still don’t buy that everything is predetermined. All throughout my life, I’ve had everything that I hold dear taken from me: my childhood, mom, dad, my chance at ever having children, River, everything. Why have I been made to suffer, Nibbler? Where’s the great cosmic justice of it all, huh? Why can’t I be happy for a change?”

“But what about Amy’s,” he began, but was drowned out by the sound of the roof opening and the whine of the engines as Leela slid the ship perfectly into place.

“My what,” Amy wondered aloud.  The descending ship drowned out the rest of the conversation upstairs.  Swearing in Mandarin, Amy tried to work through the problem.  Nibbler had said Kyrie had deliberately changed her future.  She didn’t know how, but, lacking any further information, the only conclusion she could draw was that Kyrie had lied to her when she said the thing with Nibbler the other night was about nothing important.  Sighing sadly, she knew that this would bother her until she found out what she was missing out on and why Kyrie had changed it.

Chester’s House of Hunan and Waffles, San Francisco, June 16, 3002 2030 PDT

The four of them sat together, eating and trying to have a good time.  Kyrie had Fry and Leela held as she told them some stories of her life and times in a future that she hoped she would still remember tomorrow. Amy noticed that she was completely absent from most of the stories, and when she was mentioned, it was just in passing.  Kyrie had said earlier that she had changed her diapers when she was a baby, but from the sound of things, she didn’t play much of a role in her life after that.  She pushed her rice around, trying to look happy.

Leela, of all people, noticed and decided to do something about it.  She and Amy had been cautiously nice to each other over the past few days, but they still had a pretty rocky relationship. Instead of all of them taking the ship, Amy all but insisted that she and Kyrie drive themselves and meet Fry and Leela at the restaurant. And she had been avoiding Leela as much as possible during dinner, staying as far away from her as she could.

They were getting up to leave, with Fry and Kyrie arguing over who was going to pay, when Leela decided to make her move. She slid out of Amy’s sight only to come up behind her and take her arm, walking her to the front and away from their table. Amy protested quietly, not wanting to make a scene, with Leela shushing her and insistently leading her outside.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Leela?,” Amy asked, as they got out front, pulling her arm away.

“I was going to ask you the same question, Amy,” Leela said, concerned. “You look miserable. You’re hiding it pretty well, but you still look miserable. If there’s one thing that I know it’s how to pretend that you’re having a good time. What’s wrong?,” she asked, laying a hand on Amy’s arm.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Leela,” she replied jerking her arm away. “I’m fine. We’re both fine. Everything is fine.”

“Uh-huh,” Leela said, not believing a word the Martian said. 

Leela just stared at her until Amy stammered again, “We’re, we’re fine, Leela. Really.”

“Who are you trying to convince, Amy? Me or you?” 

Just then, Fry and Kyrie came out. Seeing her break, Amy walked right over to Kyrie.  Putting her hands on the side of her face, Amy pulled Kyrie’s head down and kissed her with as much passion as she could. Fry looked away slightly uncomfortably, while Leela just stared at them. When they finished, Amy flashed Leela a look that said ‘See, everything’s fine,’ while Kyrie looked happy, if a little confused.

“See you guys tomorrow,” Amy said, lacing her arm through Kyrie’s and leading her to the car.

“What the hell just happened, Leela?,” Fry asked her as they watched the pair walking away.

Leela just stared and hoped she was wrong.

Casa del Swank Condominium Complex, Unit 2112, June 17, 3002 0315 EDT

Kyrie sat on the balcony, wondering how everything that had seemed so wonderful could have gone so wrong so fast.

They had barely gotten into the elevator when Amy leapt on her. They were both naked by the time it reached her floor.  Amy seemed very eager to please, but Kyrie felt their lovemaking was forced. As they lay in each other’s arms afterward, Kyrie told Amy the plan. Amy seemed relieved to be taking a minor part in the action, but something still looked like it was bothering her. That was when Amy asked her how she died.

“Please, xin ai,” Kyrie begged. “Don’t ask me that. If you love me, trust me. It’s better if you don’t know.  Please?”

“I want to know, K,” Amy insisted. “No secrets between us, remember?” When Kyrie still hesitated, Amy snapped, “What, your parents can know how and when they die but I can’t? I’m not important enough to you to tell me?”

“Fine,” Kyrie said, her voice colder than she wanted. She got out of bed and walked over to the patio door, looking out into the night.  “You die on December 20, 3014. You’re on the Nimbus when she’s destroyed over Trimbal 2.”

“What the hell am I doing on board the Nimbus?”

Kyrie drew in a deep breath and said quietly, “Your husband is her captain.”

“My what?,” Amy whispered.  “Who, who was, is he, K? It wasn’t Brannigan, was it?”

Kyrie stayed at the window, fearful that a gulf was opening between them. She was K, not xin ai. A tear quietly slid down her cheek. Her back still turned toward Amy, she said, “His name was, and is, Kif Kroker. He’s the Nimbus’ first officer under Zapp Brannigan.”

“Kif Kroker,” Amy said thoughtfully.  “Why do I know that name?”

“You met him last year on Titanic,” Kyrie said, choking up.

“That squishy little green alien?,” Amy said, some shock and surprise in her voice.

“He calls you and eventually you two go out on a date with mom and Brannigan and you and Uncle Kif,” a sob cut her off. After taking a few deep breathes, she continued, “You and Kif hit it off.  You get married in 3007.”  Kyrie let the tears flow as Amy just stayed in her bed. Not our bed anymore, Kyrie thought despondently.

“Do we…did we have any children?,” Amy whispered.

“A couple of dozen,” Kyrie said unsteadily, her heart breaking.  When she heard Amy gasp, she said, “Uncle Kif has them. You and mom were the, uh, fathers, I guess is the closest thing.  It has something to do with his race’s reproductive cycle. You provided the spark, mom provided the genetic material, and there it was.  You were considered the mother because you were, you were his smizmaar. His beloved.

“You never saw a single one of them crawl out of the swamp, though, ” she said after a few minutes, her crying the only sound in the room. “They had a twenty year developmental period before coming out as Amphibian children.  I did see one of them about two years ago, though,” she added softly.  “Kif’s relatives had her killed because, because she was a mutant.  She had some of mom’s DNA, and was deemed inferior. They sent us her remains because we were her ‘surviving relatives.’ Dad named her Lilly and gave her a proper burial in the Everglades.  I have no idea how many of the others survived.” She hadn’t thought of Lilly in almost two years. There were times that she thought she would have liked to have known this older, but yet younger, half-sister. Ancient history now, she thought sadly. Another life I’ve destroyed by loving her…

Amy stayed silent, taking in all the information that Kyrie had just given her.  Kyrie just walked outside to sit on the balcony. She wanted to be alone with her misery.

She lay back in the chaise, not even bothering to hide her sobbing anymore.  She’d destroyed Kif and Amy’s future and denied their children the chance to exist. She knew about them, and she intentionally destroyed their chance at life.  She felt like more of a monster than Cubert. At least he had the excuse of being insane.

She had no idea how long she sat there crying. The entire universe seemed to be out to get her.  She thought she had been so clever in finding love where she hadn’t expected it. She thought she had pulled a fast one on the universe. She was wrong again.  Whatever Powers That Be that controlled everything seemed to find joy in taking things away from her. It had happened so many times that she couldn’t think of it in any other way.

She was surprised to feel a warm, soft hand on her shoulder. Amy was standing there, smiling down at her. “Are you coming to bed, xin ai,” she said softly. “I’m lonely.”

Kyrie was stunned. She is so beautiful, she thought, seeing Amy standing there naked in the moon light. Her heart was breaking all over again. She asked, “How…how could you call me that after what I just told you? I destroyed your children and deliberately changed your future. How can you even look at me?”

Xin ai,” she said patiently, love evident in her voice, “you came back in time to deliberately change the future.  You’re planning to kill hundreds, maybe thousands of people for the sake of trillions. You’re changing the lives of trillions of people deliberately. Do you think that makes you a monster?”

“That’s different,” Kyrie said. “That’s to save the universe. This was to get lucky.”

Kneeling down next to her, Amy wiped the tears from her face. “Who says you can’t do both?,” she whispered.

“Nibbler, for one,” she replied, forcing a laugh. “He’s so mad at me right now.”

“Screw Nibbler,” Amy said firmly.  Placing her left hand on Kyrie’s cheek and looking deep into her eye, Amy said, “I love you, Kyrie Fry. Nothing is ever going to change that.  Who says that this isn’t the universe’s way of making things up to you for everything it’s taken from you?,” she said, laying her right hand on Kyrie’s lower abdomen. Amy hesitated for a second before saying, “I’ve always wanted to be a mother.”

“You mean it, Amy,” Kyrie said hopefully.

“Every word, xin ai” she said with a smile, tears in her eyes. “Now come to bed. We’ve got a busy few days ahead of us.”

Optera System, June 19, 3002, 0530 EDT, Earth-relative

They were all there, all but Nibbler. He said that he’d meet them on Praxis 3.  He had something to do first, he said.  Amy was at the helm; her father ready to man the guns; her mother, wearing her own armor from fourteen years in the future, looking every bit the commando that Kyrie had remembered her being; and Bender, smoking a cigar, drinking a beer and looking at robot porn.  Yep. Everything is just the way it should be, she thought with a smile. 

“We have two primary targets,” Kyrie said, pacing across the bridge. “Whichever location we hit first, we can be assured that the second location will be that much harder to take out. Our choices are the PMC Shaft 411 on Praxis 3. This is the facility that has begun building the space-rotation bomb. No matter what, this weapon cannot be allowed to be completed. All information regarding this device must be destroyed as well.  Otherwise, this whole mission is a waste of time. And time is one thing we can no longer afford to waste.

“Our second target,” she continued, “is Dangrid Ohm himself. He is currently somewhere on Praxis, running his campaign for the Presidency. As you recall, Senator Ohm will become the face of the Confederacy and will lead Praxis and a dozen other planets out of the DOOP a few days after he’s elected. Ohm is an important target, but the bomb must be destroyed, or this will all have been for nothing.”

“Your call, K,” Fry said. “Ohm or the base?”

“I say the base. That bomb needs to be destroyed. Ohm, as important a target as he is, is secondary to that. Everything is secondary to destroying that bomb. Understood?” When they all agreed, she let out a breath that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “Very well, then. Amy,” she said as she walked to the front of the bridge, “would you set course for the Praxis system, please?”

“Of course, Lieutenant Fry,” Amy said as she pushed a few buttons to bring up the course. “By your command, ma’am,” she said, smiling.

“Engage,” Kyrie said simply.

Everyday people…
Rise from the ashes and blaze
In everyday glory…
In the city where nobody smiles…
Just one spark of decency
Against a starless night
One glow of hope and dignity
A child can follow the light…
If the future's looking dark
We're the ones who have to shine
If there's no one in control
We're the ones who draw the line
Though we live in trying times
We're the ones who have to try
Though we know that time has wings
We're the ones who have to fly...

Peart, 1993
Everyday Glory – Rush Counterparts

Little drops of rain whisper of the pain,
Tears of loves lost in the days gone by.
My love is strong, with you there is no wrong,
Together we shall go until we die...
And so today, my world it smiles,
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
Thanks to you it will be done,
For you to me are the only one.

Page/Plant 1969
Thank You – Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II