stared blankly into his beer mug. He’d been trying to put his
past attempts with Leela behind him, but sometimes, they would rush
to the front of his mind. Even though he’d been seeing Lt.
Jeannie Sims, a legal assistant with the DOOP, even thinking about
her wasn’t enough to get his mind on something else.
“Ehhh buddy! How’s it hangin’?” said Bender, as he
planted his metal posterior in the adjacent seat to Fry’s left.
I’ve been better. I still think about her Bender. Even though I
know she’s happy again, I still want to keep trying.”
clanked back another 40oz of Olde Fortran, belched and stared off.
“Yeahh, well, trying’s the first step towards
failure. That’s what ol’ Bender says!” as
he lit up a huge stogie.
bartender furiously scrubbed at a stubborn stain on the bar top.
“Nnnngh! Corrosion resistant steel, my ass!” He
muttered angrily under his breath.
I know what ya mean buddy!” said Bender, as he thumped his
fist against his undercarriage. “I’ve got one of those
sensed somebody sit down to his right, but didn’t look. “Can
a young, single lady buy a stranger a drink?” cooed a
female voice in Fry’s ear. He spun around in his chair, seeing
it was Jeannie who sat beside him.
what are you doing here? This is a cool surprise!” Fry
said, sounding much happier all of the sudden.
I wanted to know if you were free tonight. There’s a star
imploding near Corona Borealis, wanna go check it out?”
“BUTT OUT LADY! C’mon Fry, let’s hit the Squid Fights down at
the docks! We‘ll have a good ol‘ time!” Bender
shouted, giving Jeannie an evil stare.
sorry Bender. Normally I’d be there with you at the fights like
I always do when I‘m upset, but I’m not feeling so down
anymore. You understand, right?”
Bender looked at the stained floor for a moment, then back up at Fry & Jeannie.
“Sure, , , of course I do. I guess, , , it‘s nothing a night full of binge drinking & rippin‘ stuff off can‘t fix!” He said glumly.
ya go! I knew you’d understand!” Fry
said enthusiastically, as he paid his tab, and left arm in arm with
stayed at the pub, watching Fry, as he disappeared from view. “*sigh*
Where’s a suicide booth when ya need it?” he moaned,
as he exited.
(Planet Express - 09/19/3008, 0900 hours NNY time)
what’d you two do this weekend?” Amy
said, in the general direction of where Leela and Dave were sitting.
Everyone slumped over the conference table in their seats, as was the
normal activity before a Monday morning meeting.
Leela turned her head towards Amy, answering nonchalantly, “Oh,
dinner at my folks Friday night, that was nice. We had a nice long
walk around the sewers, which gave us time to talk, you know, about
“How did you like the sewers n’ junk Dave?” Amy
a swig of coffee, he said “It’s different, of course,
Old New York, it’s regular New York to me, just like it is to
Fry. What amazes me is how the people down there can thrive in their
own society, with little influence from the aboveground world!” he said, as he tapped his finger on the table.
smiled. She loved how Dave never called them “Mutants”.
Morris & Munda were also glad to hear this, when they asked him
about his thoughts, and how he’d reacted the first time he met
the subterranean dwellers.
a damn shame. They don’t deserve to be treated like that.”
Dave said, as he took another swig of his coffee. “I
mean, they’re humans, same as us, and just because they have a
little extra this, or an out of proportion that, , , It’s just,
sad! Turning to the others at the table, he asked, “Would
they get treated like that if they were from another planet?”
straightened up in her seat. “No, they probably
wouldn’t,. I know it’s a sad existence for them, but
they’ve been exiled down there for hundreds of years. Problem
is, there hasn’t been any political movement, or civic action
to help them. Most of them dislike us, just as much as our society
hates and fears them.”
Dave tried to put his thoughts about the mutants behind him, as Hermes
entered the room to start the meeting.
people. We gotta biiiig order dis’ morning’. 600 tons of
concrete mix for Gambino-4, and this big, oversized, custom-made
couch for Omicron Persei-8.” Professor Farnsworth walked in
on the meeting, nothing out of the ordinary, but only that he was
lorrrd! Professor, did you, forget something this morning?”
Leela said, her face turning a little red, as she held a hand up
to one side of it.
Eugh-ohh myyy, hee hee! I guess I did!” he said, after
opening the refrigerator. “I guess my mind’s been
elsewhere this morning! Eugh-byeeeee!” he said, as he
shuffled back to his lab.
the meeting adjourned, Leela and Amy set to making the ship ready for
flight. “Fry, Bender, you guys load the cargo, while we prep
the ship.” she said, with her voice trailing off, as she &
Amy climbed the stairwell-landing gear.
the Planet Express crew off on their delivery, There wasn’t
much for Dave to do in the headquarters building. After moving a few
more of The Professor’s inventions over to the new
Lab/Warehouse, he had some time to perform some much-needed
maintenance on his truck.
The new warehouse was spacious. Even with most of Farnsworth’s
antiquated inventions there, plenty of open floor space remained.
The lower level, under the massive retractable concrete slab, stood
A few hours later, Leela, and the crew returned from the day’s
deliveries. Fry nearly plowed Amy into a wall, as he rushed to the
phone, to call Jeannie.
big-boots. I don’t get it. What’s that female flesh-pile
got that I ain’t got?” Bender said to Leela.
you’re just upset that Fry’s spending more time with his
girlfriend than you, aren’t you.” She said,
Ever since the trial, he’s been going ga-ga over that perky
little sausage link!”
“You should be happy for him. I mean, he’s happy whenever you go out
with some random Fem-bot right?”
but he knows that’s just to fill a cyclical temporary emotional
void that’s been programmed into me. Well, guess I’ll go
stalk Calculon. That usually makes me feel better. Mmmmm,
Cal-cu-lonnnnn! Hee hee, ‘scuse me!” he
said dreamily, as he clanked away, donning a ski mask & running
out of the building.
excused herself, and went outside. The early afternoon sky was
turning a clear, deep blue, following the passage of a cold front.
in through the Planet Express warehouse’s side door, Leela
could hear some unfamiliar music echoing from the main deck.
had his truck powered and hovering at idle. His iPod connected to the
stereo interface device, and booming out the heavy, grinding sound of
“Here to Stay” by the 20th century
metal band Korn.
He was oblivious to Leela’s presence. Dave moved from under the
truck’s rear bed electronics bay, to the huge, gleaming blue
powder-coated steel tool box, a complete assortment of Arclight-brand
tools that The Professor graciously let him use whenever he needed
She snickered under her breath. “Perfect! Payback time!”
she thought, as she slinked along the warehouse wall, stealthily,
just as Phnog had taught her to do.
the sound of the hover truck’s idling power plant, there was
little chance he’d have heard the sound of someone about to
pounce on him.
for a 11/32 socket and a torque wrench, Dave thought he saw a
fleeting shadow out of the corner of his eye. The hair on his neck
stood up, as if he knew someone was coming up behind him. He quickly
put the torque wrench in his striking hand, and slowly began to look
around, as he bent down in a crouched position.
he could even react, he felt a pair of rock-hard knees slam him
chest-first onto the cold concrete floor, by someone who obviously
knew how to take a person down.
onto his back to gain a better defensive posture, Dave swung his left
hand upward across his chest, tightly gripping the heavy steel torque
“WHAT THE HELL?” Dave screamed, as he dropped the torque wrench.
A split second earlier, and it would have slammed home into his
attacker’s face, before he saw it was Leela who jumped on him.
She just cracked a little smile “Gotcha!” she
whispered, as she leaned down, & gave him an apologetic kiss.
“Ohhh, I get it.” He said,
nodding his head with a laugh, “Payback for the
little joke I pulled last week, heh! Guess I had it coming!”
Dave said while getting up, and
brushing himself off.
was about to say something before being interrupted by her wrist
assistant thingy. “Eeugh, hello? Blast, how do you work this
you loud n’ clear Professor.” Leela
goody. I need everyone back here, I have some good news!”
As they started to walk together, she looked over at Dave again,
regaining her train of thought.
“I had a great time the other night. I still can’t remember how I
got from the couch to my bed that night, I really must have been
wasted.” Leela said, talking down to the ground as they
easy, I carried you there. Passed out or not, you certainly didn’t
look very comfortable on the sofa.” Dave replied, hearing
Leela gasp as he told her.
your gasp, I take it you’re not too happy with my decision?”
he said, as he looked at her.
Leela stopped, with an unhappy look on her face, she answered.
“No, , , it’s just, sometimes, I wish I didn’t over-do it on
the hooch. It was very sweet of you, none of my dates has ever
treated me with the kindness and respect you’ve given me. Leela
said, as she hugged Dave in the fading light of the warehouse’s
returned her embrace just as tightly, gently running a hand through
the purple bangs of her hair. He noticed her eye looking glassy with
the reflection of the sunlight from the bay windows. “You
okay?” he whispered.
I don’t mean to get all emotional.” she said, with a
shaky little giggle.
you don’t have to be ashamed to show me how you feel. You’re
a strong woman, that’s what I admire about you! Besides,
keeping it inside only makes it ten times worse when it finally
breaks out of you.” Dave said.
“Yeah, , , ooh! We better get going! The Professor’s expecting us!”
Leela exclaimed, as she glanced at her wrist.
“So, I thought maybe we could do something on Sunday night. I read about a
concert over at the MHOP. Some of the best Neptunian opera singers
are performing, they’re even going to do stuff from the 20th!”
she said, as they resumed their trek across the hangar bay.
he answered, “I can’t say no to that Leela. I’d
love to go!” as they
walked out of the warehouse, and over to the Planet Express office.
(Planet Express Headquarters - 09/19/3008, 1800 hours NNY time)
had everyone gathered on the hangar deck, when Dave and Leela walked
guys, over here!” Fry
shouted, calling their attention to a spot in front of the huge,
green spaceship. No sooner than they arrived, Amy walked into the
hangar, a huge smile plastered across her cute face.
going on Amy? You certainly look happy.” Leela exclaimed.
was stunned to see Kif Kroker enter, following Amy. Kif was dressed
sharply, as always, in his DOOP Class-A uniform.
I’m just so excited! Amy, dearest, why don’t you tell
them!” Kif squeaked.
Kiffie’s getting promoted! They’re having a huge
ceremony, n’ stuff this Saturday night! We’re all
invited!!!” Amy shouted, her happiness causing her to hop
in place excitedly.
room broke out in cheers of joy. Zoidberg shouted loudly “Mazel-Tov!
Hoorayy!” Kif resumed speaking when the cheering subsided.
of our actions last month, and The Nimbus getting a more competent
captain, I’m moving up the chain of command. I will be the new
(Planet Express Headquarters - 09/21/3008, 1100 NNY time)
weekly 9am presentation by Hermes every Wednesday, went by
exceedingly long as usual. The employees lined up afterwards for
coffee, to shake off their bureaucrat-induced sleepiness.
shouted from the lounge that Zapp Brannigan’s court-martial had
moved on to the sentencing phase, and it was being televised live on
The Judicial Channel.
the Planet Express crew watched, Cambots zig-zagged around the court
room, giving everyone in front of a TV screen, a view of everything
hovered in the lounge, as everyone waited for the verdict to be read.
kinda punishment do ya think he’ll get?” said Fry.
turned to face him. “Whatever it is, I hope he doesn’t
see freedom for the rest of his damned life!” He said
bitterly, while he involuntarily rubbed one of the round scars on his
back, through his work shirt.
TV was replaying the testimonial highlights. They watched as it
showed Leela speaking about how Zapp kept pursuing her throughout the
years. She described how he had ranted at her on Zuban-5, about how
she would always belong to him, and how nothing, or nobody would ever
keep him away from her.
Here come the waterworks!” Amy said, as she watched the
screen, now showing Leela on the verge of tears.
, ,he just doesn’t stop! He won’t leave me alone, my ship
always gets boarded for some stupid excuse, just to harass me, and my
lawyer’s voice off screen asked if she ever had to resort to
physical violence to get rid of him,
doesn’t work! Zapp’s such a degenerate, he derives
pleasure from getting beaten by me. I was so relieved when Dave, ,
,uh, I mean, Mr. Murphy, roughed him up. That was the only time I’ve
seen him get the message through his thick skull about leaving me
alone. I guess it didn’t last too long.
a brief commercial for Shiz
Variable-flavor soft drink, they showed a highlight featuring Fry’s
testimony. The defense attorney asked him to give his description of
the battle to escape from New Robot Hell.
it was like, all, KAPOW! BWOOOSH! KAPAAOWWWW! Lasers going
everywhere! Really noisy and scary! Then I got shot in the leg. I
told Dave n’ Leela to get out, not to worry about me, but he
started pulling me over to some cover. Then I saw him get hit, as
Leela dragged me out of the cave. I’d be dead if wasn’t
for my friends.”
cracked a smile as she watched the image of Fry on screen, wildly
throwing his arms around. The Cambots began to show the MPs escorting
the Judge into the court room. Everyone in the court room sat down
again, as Judge Johnson began the final session.
to the jury, he spoke. “Mister Foreman, has the jury reached
meek, balding man in his early 40s stood, and answered. “Yes,
, ,yes we have, your honor.” With
that, he cleared his throat, and opened a folded piece of paper.
the charge of Dereliction of Duty, we find the Defendant, guilty!”
the charge of Conduct Unbecoming, we find the Defendant, guilty!”
the charge of Aiding The Enemy, we find the Defendant, not guilty!”
trio of red-colored space ships flew over the Planet Express
building, at an extremely high rate of speed, and making a good
amount of noise.
head was on a swivel as he tried to watch both the space ships, and
the TV at the same time. “Hey,,, those ships look
the noisy vessels passed, the Judge’s voice could be heard
coming from the TV again.
is with great sadness, that I have to do what must be done. To uphold
the laws, and regulations every service member of the DOOP, from the
newest Private, up to the highest ranking officer, must abide by.
Brannigan. You of all people are the one we all look up to. You are
supposed to be a shining example of the positive things the DOOP
stands for. A 25-star General is the pinnacle of leadership! Yet,
when you unabashedly abuse your power, and make others suffer for
your own, personal gain, then you, by all means, deserve the
recommendations I hand down today!”
Defendant will stand for sentencing!” The
Johnson scribbled something on a electronic tablet, before facing the
Brannigan, you are hereby dishonorably discharged from The Democratic
Order Of Planets. You will be immediately remanded to the Adak Alaska
Federal Penitentiary, to a term of no less than eighty years! Twenty
for each guilty charge, to be served concurrently! The jury is
excused, Court-Martial is hereby adjourned!” Judge Johnson
said bitterly, as he slammed the gavel home, effectively ending
(DOOP Central Command Complex - 09/21/3008, 1143 NNY time)
in the court yards, people stopped in their tracks, as they watched
those same red spacecraft that overflew Planet Express now made a
fast, low approach towards the DOOP complex, in a line-abreast
inside the court house, the electro-restraint hand cuffs had just
been placed on Zapp Brannigan’s wrists, when the strange space
vessels opened fire.
remaining people in the court room instantly dove for cover under
tables, or fled the room. Staccato explosions from the ships’
plasma cannons rent the air, echoing down the hall, as dozens of DOOP
sentries ran to the sound of battle.
two burly MPs shoved Brannigan under the Judge’s bench, both
arming themselves, looking for an escape route, and keeping an eye on
sounds of the battle outside subsided. Shouts, and sporadic phazer
fire were getting louder in the hall. Whoever attacked the DOOP
complex was now inside the court house, and they were getting closer
by the minute.
a few minutes, all was silent. The two MPs stuck their heads up to
see what was happening, when the huge oaken doors of the court room
forced open, hard enough to rip them from their hinges!
metallic clinking noises echoed across the room. One MP took another
look, he was stunned to see seven demonic looking robots, all heavily
armed with plasma, and EMP rifles, marching into the room.
BRANNIGAN, WE ARE HERE TO SECURE YOUR RELEASE!” the lead
robot screeched in a tinny voice.
DOOP guards stood up with Brannigan from behind the bench. Both had
their phazer pistols at the ready.
seven of the robots charged their weapons simultaneously in response.
The DOOP guards reluctantly lowered their weapons, as Zapp’s
familiar sleazy smile returned to his face.
lead robot prostrated itself before Brannigan. “General, Our
leader, The Robot Devil has sent us to free you!”
to the guards, “I’ll take those boys, and those
cuff keys too!” Brannigan
said, as the guards handed him their pistols, and key ring for the
restraints on Zapp’s wrists.
work! I knew my clanky compadre wouldn’t leave me to rot in
prison!” Zapp said, as he strolled towards the exit,
flanked by the robot minions.
(Planet Express Headquarters - 09/21/3008, Ten minutes earlier)
shouted everybody in the TV
lounge, as Zapp Brannigan’s fate was read by the Judge. Hugs,
and high-fives were exchanged between Dave, Leela, and Fry. “What,
no love for Zoidy?” said
Zoidberg, followed immediately by someone throwing him a sandwich,
which he caught, and devoured in mid-air.
Cambots cut away to Linda and Morbo, who were talking excitedly about
something ominous happening at The DOOP Complex.
in the lounge sat back down on the couch to watch, as cameras now
picked up the images of those red painted space ships, laying down a
gauntlet of laser fire, peppering the complex with explosions.
watched as one of the ships landed, and several red-colored robots
battle their way inside the court house.
those bots look familiar! But where?” said Bender, as he
stroked his imaginary chin.
Those are the robots from Robot Hell!” exclaimed Leela, who
shot up off the couch in shock, pointing at the TV. “I also
recognized those ships. They were the ones parked next to the DOOP
shuttlecraft on Zuban-5!”
would they attack the DOOP? Why today?” Fry
WHY, LOOK!” shouted Leela angrily, pointing again, as the
Cambots showed the robot soldiers re-emerge from the court house,
black smoke could be seen out of the large panoramic window in the TV
lounge. The robot-commanded ships now made their escape. The Planet
Express crew could only watch in disbelief, as those ships flew by
again, with several DOOP interceptors in hot pursuit.
out onto the balcony outside of The Professor’s quarters, they
watched the battle in the skies overhead.
dogfight twisted and turned for only a few minutes, as the robots
were trying desperately to escape to the safety of outer orbit. The
DOOP interceptors managed to break up the formation, following one,
as it flew up the East River.
of the interceptors promptly dispatched it with a heavy burst of
laser cannon fire, sending it spiraling down, thankfully into an
the time the interceptors formed back up, they were too late. The
robot ships had reached the safety of Earth’s upper atmosphere,
and began their jump to hyper-speed.
on Earth, Fry, Leela and Dave sat for the next few hours in front of
the TV, waiting for updates on the daring mid-day attack, and
liberation of Zapp Brannigan.
ship that was shot down didn’t contain any human remains, much
to everyone’s dismay. A senior DOOP official was explaining on
TV that Zapp was now Fugitive Enemy No 1. A large bounty had been
placed for his capture, this time dead or alive!
stood up, and walked over to the window, as she stared out at the New
New York sky twinkling in the chilly night air.
going to happen now? That bastard’s out on the loose again!”
she thought. Her despair lasting only long enough until she
rubbed the small golden tag around her neck between her slender
said he’d never let him hurt me again, , , ,I believe in him!”
a slowly spreading smile indicated, as she looked over at Dave,
giving Fry a detailed explanation of how to properly clean a pistol.
be just fine guys. Might be nice to get that bounty money too!”
Leela said enthusiastically, as she closed the curtains.