Fan Fiction

Stranger In A Strange Land, part 3
By La Belle Leela

(Planet Express building, 06/03/3008 - 5:45am)

The following morning, Leela arrived at work much earler than usual. Dave was fast asleep on the couch in the dimly lit break room, a Slurm-stained pillow, and thin blanket was all they could find at the office, but Dave gratefully accepted them. Leela started to make coffee in the small kitchen next to the break room, quietly as to not wake Dave up. Nobody else had arrived at Planet Express as the sun began to peek through the New New York skyline on a beautiful cloudless early summer morning. Leela sat at the small table in the break room drinking coffee, minding her own business, but looking up every once in a while to glance at their new guest on the couch. Curiously, Leela got up and walked over to the large bay window, as if something were happening out in the street. The smell of the coffee brewing caused Dave to stir. He slowly opened his eyes, but did not move, he glanced at the ceiling noticing dawn was breaking. He saw someone standing by the window, and noticed the early morning sun softly illuminating Leela's face, and her long beautiful purple hair.

Leela had been casually glancing over at the couch ever few minutes, and she was startled a bit when she looked over, and Dave's eyes make contact with hers. "Oh, I'm sorry, didn't mean to scare you like that" said Dave. Little did Dave know, if it had been anyone else, Leela would have already had a roundhouse kick in mid-flight aimed at the sternum of whoever scared her! Leela composed herself, "It's ok, you were probably more spooked than I was, what with my one eye and all." "No" said Dave in a calm voice, "your eye didn't scare me, I guess I'm not used to waking up in strange places, with people I just met the day before." Dave steadied himself as he sat up, he was stiff with pain from yesterday's crash. He reached involuntarily for his glasses, then remembering they were smashed, and how Professor Farnsworth had miraculously fixed his eyesight with a simple jolt from a lazer pistol of his invention. Dave made an attempt to stand up, slowly. He staggered around the room for a minute, not noticing Leela was no longer standing at the window. She came back into the room with a mug of steaming hot coffee. "Here, sit back down, you look like your still hurting from the accident."

Dave & Leela were still conversing over coffee when Fry & Bender came strolling into the office. "Geez, get a room you two!" Fry joked, but all Leela did was stare daggers at him, look down into her coffee muttering "idiot!". Everyone was gathered on the couch watching Morbo, the news monster, deliver yet another diatribe on his hatred of all mankind when Farnsworth, and Hermes walked in. "Good news everyone! we've got fresh organs to harves-ohhhh, Damn!, he's still alive." mumbled Farnsworth. "Sorry Zoidberg, you'll have to raid the dumpster again if you wanna eat!" Zoidberg just moaned from the other room "Ohhhh, I already cleaned it ouuuuut! WAHHHH HA HAA!"

While the Planet Express employees were at the large conference table enduring yet another one of Hermes's exceedingly long presentations, Dave used the alone time to see what was left of his truck, and see if he could salvage anything. Dave hung his head in disbelief as he surveyed the damage. Somehow, they had managed to pull the big Dodge out of the large, jagged hole it punched in the reinforced concrete wall. All that remained of the front end were the exposed frame rails, and a jumble of scrap metal & wires around the engine block, it was totaled! Dave felt for his keys, forgetting they were still in the truck's ignition. He pulled the passenger side door open, which promptly fell off it's hinges and crashed to the floor. "If ya don't mind, we're tryin' to hold a meetin' here mon!" shouted Hermes. Dave apologized, and went back to rummaging through the cab for anything that may have survived. He first found what he needed most, a small duffel bag with a few days worth of clean clothes still inside! He muttered to himself how lazy of him to not keep a cleaner vehicle. He brushed a load of broken glass off another small bag and remembered it was his travel attache bag containing his laptop computer, iPod, and a small digital camera. He wondered if they would still work 1,000 years in the future. Not much else was left inside, Dave did have a habit of leaving his jacket in the seat back storage area, he reached back, and pulled two jackets out, one was his old nomex flight jacket, issued to him by the US Navy, the other was a black & silver striped replica of a stock car driver's firesuit jacket. Dave smiled as he looked at the large "Goodwrench" logos emblazoned on the front and back beside a large, red stylized #29, and stitched signature of his favorite driver, Kevin Harvick. Dave was a huge fan of auto racing, NASCAR in particular, and he wondered if that was still around in 3008. Dave checked under the seats to see if he could find anything else. His hand touched something cold, metallic, and in a instant, he knew what it was. He pulled back his hand revealing the flat parkerized finish of his .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol. He reached back under the seat, and found the well-worn brown leather shoulder holster, and smiled. That shoulder rig had been worn by his father on almost all of his combat missions he flew back in Vietnam, and Dave was thrilled when it was passed down to him.

Dave had taken his laptop computer, firearm, and duffel bag, lowered the truck's tailgate, and set up a makeshift workbench to see if everything still worked. He unfolded the laptop's screen, no damage, that's good, he thought. He pressed the power switch, and to his surprise, the little PC powered up! While the computer was booting up, Dave began to inspect his firearm. By now, Hermes's meeting had ended, and Dave was joined at the back of the truck by Fry and Bender. "Whatcha got there fleshpile? Some kinda primative computer hardware I see!" said Bender as he stood relaxed with a big bottle of Olde Fortran in one hand, and lighting a cigar with the other. Satisfied that his computer, iPod, and camera still worked, Dave grabbed his duffel bag, and headed for the locker room. The hot water from the shower felt good on his sore back, plus he was just grateful to get cleaned up again. Dave paused at the large mirror over the sink, studied the small cuts & scratches he received from the crash for a minute, and went about shaving. Amy didn't know Dave was in there, and accidently walked in. Dave didn't know she was even there either, until Amy gasped in shock! She noticed Dave's scarred back, but by then he turned and saw her walk out of the locker room.

Fry, Leela, Bender, and Amy were gathered in the break room when Dave finished getting cleaned up. He walked into the room, looking much better than the day before. "Heyyyy, you clean up good meatbag!" said Bender. Amy's face turned a little red, and she tried to look away. Fry, and Leela both gave thumbs-up gestures, as Dave looked rather handsome, yet rugged with a tight fitting black t-shirt tucked into blue jeans, worn with his large black leather work boots. Leela spoke next, "Dave, we have a delivery to go on, you're more than welcome to join us." Dave's eyes lit up. "Really?" "Yup, we have to deliver raw materials to Metalon-6, nothing fancy, should only take a few hours." said Leela.

Everyone re-grouped at the large round conference table for the mission briefing. Hermes's explained the delivery to Metalon-6 wouldn't take long, but it could be dangerous. Hermes pushed a button on his console, and the computer display in the center of the table played the mission profile. "Metalon-6 is inhabited by a humanoid species. The people live, work, and worship one thing, loud heavy metal music! The planet's chief exports are "Monster Ballads" compilation albums, and musical instruments (computer displays images of what appear to be some futuristic looking instrument lie a guitar, and some percussion pieces) The people dress mostly in leather, denim, or spandex material. They are ruled by a single tyrannical dictator. (computer displays image of ruler who stands nearly 12 feet tall, dressed in leather, long black hair, and wearing an enormous black leather top hat.) Metalon-6 is currently at war with the nearby Country-Western Federation of Planets. The leader of the CWFP was almost assasinated last month by an unknown assasin, which they assume was from Metalon-6." The computer display flickered off, and Hermes spoke again. "Everyone, make sure da ship's weapons are fully loaded, and make sure you are all armed yourselves." Leela, and Fry went back to the storage locker to gather plasma rifles, and pistols for the mission. Dave walked over to his truck, pulled on his shoulder holster, gave his .45 a quick function check, satisfied, he secured it under his left arm. He suddenly remembered the ammo, and extra mags he should have under the seats. He rummaged briefly, finding 2 boxes, and six spare magazines. He grabbed up his ammo, and his USN jacket & headed over to the Planet Express ship.

The closest Dave had ever been to a spacecraft before was watching the Space Shuttle being readied for a launch inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Now he was 1,000 years in the future, a time where space travel is so common, most people take it for granted! Dave looked around in awe at the huge two-tone green space vessel. Leela was performing her usual pre-flight inspection, connecting the ground power umbilical cables to access ports near the ship's forward landing strut, pausing to rapidly stamp several papers for Hermes, and then yelling for everyone to get on board. Dave followed Leela, Fry, and Bender up the stairs, the main access door slid open, and Dave was greeted by the sound of capacitors charging, electrical cooling fans humming, and at the same time coughing at overpowering aroma of alcohol & stale cigar smoke.

Dave, Fry, Bender, and Capt Turanga Leela all buckled themselves in for the long trip to Metalon-6. Leela initiated the launch sequence, pulled a lever on her right which started the large hangar doors overhead to open. Dave's face was plastered with his usual grin as he stared up out of the ship's forward windows, he loved flying, but this ws going to be an experience he thought he'd never see! The ship's main engines roared to life, and with Leela's shout of "Heeeere we go!" they were off like a shot!