"Greetings, my fellow Nibblonians," Nibbler said. "I'm pleased
to announce our plan to rid the Universe of the Brainspawn has succeeded."
"What of the Mighty One, Lord Nibbler?" a Nibblonian elder
"I had to erase his memory. He threatened exposure of us."
"Ah. Yes, we can't go public. The Mighty One is still needed."
Another elder spoke up. "The Mighty One's brain pattern is
different than that of normal humans. What if your memory blank is only temporary?"
"I see no threat even then. No one will believe him, just
as when the Brainspawn first attacked," Nibbler replied. The group of elders nodded.
Suddenly, alarms were heard throughout the complex and beyond.
"Security breach in sector 5," the security alarm's voice droned. "All guards
report to sector 5."
The Nibblonians in the Elder Hall widened their eyes in shock.
Very few species even knew of their existence; who in the Universe would make
an unauthorized visit to sector 5? Nibbler ran to meet the guards outside of the
cordoned off section. He approached the lead guard who saluted as Lord Nibbler
"Sir!" the lead guard exclaimed. "The area's been cordoned off and the vicinity
is being searched for the intruder."
"Very good, Node," Nibbler replied. "What has been stolen?"
"The files of cabinet 1 have been reported missing, sir."
Nibbler's hands slapped his face. "The intruder certainly
knew what he was looking for. We were fools to think this was over. Dear god!
I can only imagine what will happen if those files fall into the wrong hands."
"Sir! Permission to ask a question?"
"Permission granted, and stop calling me sir. We're not in
"S- uh, Lord Nibbler, what was in cabinet 1?"
Nibbler turned and stared off into the distance at a setting Eternium sun.
His eyes were half closed in anger as he scanned the horizon. He turned and said,
"The Fry Files."
Location: Robot Arms Apartment
Fry ran for his life. He didn't look behind him. He knew death
was there, coming for him. A horrifying sight was before him: the Brainspawn had
returned. This time, however, their stupification ray had the touch of death.
He watched helplessly as his friends were felled by the rays. He cried out as
he saw that Leela was among the body count. He couldn't stop to mourn, though;
he was being hunted. He knew they desired revenge against him. He begrudgingly
ignored the odd sensation that he was now alone. Everyone in the Universe was
somehow gone, and only he remained. He didn't understand how he knew, he just
did. He looked up to see a Brain hovering above him. He waited for death to come.
He felt the ray strike him-
"Hey meatbag! You alright?"
Fry awoke with a start. It had just been another dream. He
saw Bender looking at him a bit nervously. "Sorry Bender. What'd you say?"
"I asked if you were alright. You looked like you were having
the time of your life. You were screaming, 'NO! Stop killing them!' Were you having
a dream about your old pal Bender killing all humans?" Bender chuckled to himself,
satisfied that he gave Fry nightmares.
Fry smiled a little. "Nope, not this time. Sorry, Bender."
"Aww!" Bender trudged away.
"Don't be sad! I'll let you chase me with a broken bottle
on the way to work."
"Nah, It's no fun if you let me."
"Then how about this?" Fry quickly got dressed, walked over
to Bender, opened his compartment, and took his last beer. He started chugging
down the malt liquor and smiled to himself.
"You bastard! I'll kill you! He snatched the bottle from Fry's
hand and smashed it against himself. Then, for the second time that morning, Fry
ran for his life. He leapt out the door and ran down the hallway. He hopped the
railing and slid down it, landing on his feet. He shoved his way out the door
and onto the streets of New New York. He checked behind him to see if Bender was
following him and saw that he was. He ran faster and tried to lose him in the
crowd. He saw a transport tube dead ahead. He hurriedly stood under it and shouted
out his destination breathlessly.
"Planet Express!" He was whisked away just seconds before
Bender reached him and caught a glimpse of his best friend waving the broken bottle
angrily. He stretched his arms out and pretended to fly, if only for an instant.
He saw his chute opening ahead and prepared to land. He was shocked to fall into
the waiting arms of Bender.
"I've got you now!" Fry cowered in fear at the impending pain.
"Wow, buddy! Almost made it here before me. You're getting good at this!" Bender
put his friend down.
"Hey, thanks Bender."
"Hey, in no time at all, we'll have you running like a machine. Let's go get
ready for another hard day of doing nothing at all."
They high-fived each other and walked inside. They both got drinks from the
vending machine and sat down at the table.
"So, what dangerous mission do you think the Professor will
send us on this time?" Fry asked
"I'm trying really hard not to think about it," Bender replied.
"You know it'll probably be something that makes us miss 'All My Circuits.'"
"Well, that goes without saying," Fry nodded.
The other crew members walked in and stared in shock.
"Guys, you're here early!" Leela stammered.
"Sweet Marley's ghost. It must be April Fools Day!" Hermes
"Wha? There's good news already? I haven't said anything yet,"
the professor mumbled.
Bender and Fry looked at each other.
"Aww, damn it! I must have forgotten to set my inner clock back two hours,"
"I knew the fact that the sun was just rising looked suspicious,"
Fry mourned. Their perfect tardiness record was ruined.
"Oh, cheer up, fellas," the professor said, "there's still
my good news. It turns out our delivery boy, Fry, is the most important one here.
Fry's head perked up. That sounded so familiar. "What was
The professor adjusted his glasses. "Oh I misread. Fry's actually
the second least important one here. Zoidberg is the first. He handed a
medal to Zoidberg, which read 'Loser #1.'
"Hooray! Zoidberg is the best! In your face, hypochondriac!"
Fry just sighed. He wasn't even the least important person.
Somehow, this thinking sounded wrong, but he shrugged it off.
"What's this? There appears to be more good news! You'll be
making a delivery to the planet Eternium."
Alarm bells rang in Fry's head. It hurt so much, he nearly
blacked out. "Oh my mistake, it's actually Beternium, the gambling planet." A
thud was heard as Fry's head smacked against the table. The others rushed to see
if he was ok. Fry was, but he was unconscious.
Fry looked around and found himself surrounded by Nibbler look-a-likes. He
noticed they were in a fancy hall. He was surprised to see himself there, speaking
to the creatures. It was like watching a show with the sound muted. Walking around,
he found he had no effect on his surroundings. No one could see or hear him. The
creature spoke back to the Fry in front of him. He noticed an unfazed reaction
on his face. It was like he was used to talking to them. He saw a screen appear
with the Brains flying on it. He watched himself react to it. Then, all of a sudden,
the sound came on.
"Your immunity is due to the fact that you lack the delta
brainwave," he heard the Nibbler-like creature say. Then, the scene faded out.
Fry's eyes fluttered open. He found himself in Dr. Zoidberg's office. The others
noticed he was awake and rushed over to see him.
"Fry, you're ok. I'm so glad!" Leela hugged Fry tightly. A
little too tightly for Fry.
"Leela-choking-me!" Fry managed to spit out.
Leela quickly released him and stepped back.
"I'm sorry Fry. I was really worried."
"You passed out! It was so cool. Your head made this really
cool cracking sound. I had dibs on your wallet if you died," Bender said.
"Good ol' Bender! It's great to know you care."
"Oh, my dear uncle!" the professor exclaimed. "I didn't know
I would kill him with my words! Say, that gives me an idea! The world will tremble
at my words!"
"Professor!" Leela exclaimed. "Look! Fry's alive!"
"He is? Oh, drat! Now the world will laugh at this speech
of doom I made up just now."
"So Fry, what did you dream about? Was it all weird and crazy
like my coma?" Leela asked, ignoring the professor as he rambled on.
"Well, it was definitely weird, but honestly I don't think
you'd believe me if I told you. Where's the dumb poop machine, just out of mild
"You mean Nibbler? He's sleeping on the couch."
"Ok, thanks. Are we ready for the mission?"
Leela's face fell. "Fry, you've been unconscious for two days.
Bender and I already completed the mission."
"Yeah, about that. I lost all the money in your wallet gambling,"
Bender said as he handed Fry his wallet back. "I hope you don't mind."
"Yeah, sure. I'll just add it to the amount of money you owe
me," Fry said.
"Aw, you're a prince among robots, pal." Bender hugged him
and walked away.
"Well, I guess I'm gonna go watch TV." Fry sighed to himself
and trudged toward the lounge. Leela watched him walk off.
"Fry, wait." Fry turned around and gazed at her. He looked
strange to Leela, almost lost. "You want to go for a quick ride?" She twirled
the ship's keys around her finger.
Fry's face brightened up instantly. "You mean we can go on
an unscheduled space drive? Wahoo!" Fry ran in the direction of the ship, shouting
excitedly all the way.
Leela smiled. It didn't take much to make Fry happy. Maybe
there was a lesson in that. She hurried after Fry and entered the ship, only to
smile again at a buckled up Fry.
"Ready for takeoff, Captain!" He saluted her. She sat down
in the captain's chair and started the ignition.
"Want to do the countdown, Fry?"
Fry looked absolutely ecstatic. "10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Blast off!"
On that cue, Leela floored the pedal and the ship zoomed into the sky. She
looked over at Fry, who was having the time of his life.
Once the ship was level, Fry got up and ran to the window. "Now this is cool!
We're so focused on the missions that we hardly ever notice what a wonder it is
to travel through space." Fry's face became focused, determined, as if lost in
thought. "Leela, you ever hear of a planet called Eternium?"
"That doesn't sound familiar. Why do you ask?"
"I dunno. It's just when the professor messed up and said
Eternium, an alarm went off in my head."
"Well, you can check the holomaps and see if such a planet
exists," Leela suggested.
"Good idea. Uh, where are they?"
"It's right over there, Fry." Leela pointed to a console with
a big red button. "Just say the name of the planet you're looking for and it'll
tell you where it is."
Fry walked over to the console. He looked at it for a moment,
then pressed the button. "Please say aloud the name of the planet you wish to
visit," a computer voice stated.
"Eternium," Fry said as clear as he could.
"Searching for planet 'Eternium,' please hold. 'Eternium'
"Well, I guess it was just a weird occurrence, Fry. It happens."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. I shouldn't let a silly little
thing like that ruin my day. I'm traveling through space and there's no one I'd
rather see it with." He smiled at Leela, and she smiled back. Both could swear
their hearts felt warmer, but they quickly dismissed it.
Eventually, Leela looked at the time and decided it was time
to head back. "I'm sorry Fry, but it's getting late. We should head home." Fry
hung his head, but nodded to show he understood. "Hey chin up! Why don't you take
the helm? I'll watch and make sure you don't get into trouble."
Fry ran over and sat down in the captain's chair and Leela
sat herself next to him. "This is so cool! I'm flying the ship!"
"Very well, I might add. You've gotten better at it."
"Thanks, Leela. That means a lot."
Suddenly, an alarm sounded. They were being hailed. Zapp's face appeared onscreen,
and Leela's face soured. She started to speak, but Fry stopped her. "I'm the captain
"Greetings, I wish to speak with your captain," Zapp said.
"You're looking at him. What do you want, Zapp?"
"Why, the fair and sensuous Leela, of course. I must speak
"I don't think I have to explain myself to you."
"I'm sitting in the captain's chair. Therefore, I'm temporary
Captain. You have to explain yourself to me regarding my crew members. Fry winked
at Leela. He was only having fun.
"Well, I think you as a fellow man can understand his 'needs'
and that only a woman can satisfy them."
"Needs? Hmm, I know what I 'need.' I 'need' you to shut up and I 'need' you
to go away! I think you'll satisfy those 'needs' just fine."
Leela laughed at this and Zapp turned beet red. The communication was ended
and the Nimbus pulled away. Fry and Leela laughed it up. "Man, that book you gave
me really paid off."
"I'm surprised you read it," Leela said in between laughs.
"Well, I mostly looked at the pictures, but a few lines caught my eye."
Leela shook her head. Typical Fry.
The rest of the journey was made in relative silence. Leela even went to sleep.
Her head rested on Fry's lap. Fry smiled to himself. They had their differences,
but this was one of those times where that didn't matter. Fry landed the ship
and gently shook Leela awake.
"We're home," he whispered. Leela groggily sat up and steadied herself. "Would
you like me to walk you home?"
"Thanks Fry, but I'll just catch a tube home."
"Ok. goodnight, Leela."
Fry took a tube home himself and arrived at the apartment in no time at all.
His mind worked out the recent events over and over again. He figured things might
be clearer with a good night's sleep. He knocked on the apartment door and Bender
let him in.
"You got some mail, skintube. I left it on the bed for you."
"You didn't open it?"
"Nah, didn't feel like it."
Fry headed into his room and saw a manila envelope lying on his bed. It was
addressed to him. Fry wondered what could be inside. There was only one way to
find out, and that was to open it. Maybe tomorrow. Right now, he needed sleep.
Location: Hall of Elders
There was a still silence in the room as the Elders gathered.
Once they were seated, a screen appeared with Nibbler's face on it.
"Lord Nibbler, there is grave news to report. We discovered
the identity of the thief. Sadly, it is as we feared," a female Elder said.
"Noob?" Nibbler whispered.
"Correct. It is the rouge one."
"This doesn't make sense. Noob knows everything about the
Mighty One. What will he gain from stealing the various data we collected on him?"
"The sages reveal that Noob no longer holds the files. They
are now within his Mightiness' care."
"Dear god! If Fry reads those files-"
"Exposure of our struggles with the Brains and Fry's importance
will be at hand."
"The fool! He's going to wreck everything!"
"Which is exactly why you must steal the files from Fry before
he reads them."
"I understand. Nibbler out." Nibbler sighed to himself. Noob
had never understood their ways. Noob questioned everything that Nibblonians had
ever done. Once the sages saw the Mighty One, Noob snapped. Nibbler would never
forget that day or the events that followed.
All the Nibblonians were quiet as they waited for the sages
to make a prediction of their future, as they did every Friday. Sometimes, the
sages would see what was for lunch tomorrow, but other times they would see matters
of great importance. This felt like one of those times. The leaders of the sages,
one male and one female, rose to speak.
The male spoke first: "We have seen the Mighty One who will defeat the terrible
The female spoke next: "He is a child of destiny who is immune to the Brain
Spawn's mental attack."
Murmurs arose from the crowd, but the male called for silence.
"He lacks the delta brainwave, but will still have a working
mind, thanks to the mix of other brainwaves he has."
"Unfortunately, this man is cursed with the limited lifespan
typical of his species. He is a human."
"That's preposterous! Humans don't live long enough to sneeze,"
a young Noob shouted. "He can't live long enough to help us in 1,025 years."
"Quiet, Noob!" Nibbler snapped back. "You show disrespect
for the sages."
The male sage asked for silence once more. "Noob is correct,
but we have foreseen that humans will perfect the technology of cryogenics in
25 of their years. We can seal the Mighty One inside one of these chambers and
wait 1,000 years for the human to awaken. During that time, the tube will be under
heavy guard. Once awakened, he will meet the Other. We have foreseen that a union
between the two will be most beneficial. This area remains cloudy, though, as
we can't predict emotions. This is why the Mighty One must be pushed into the
tube since, we can't predict his reaction."
"This plan is ridiculous!" Noob exclaimed. He turned around
to face the crowd. "We know what the Brainspawn will do and when. We could launch
a pre-emptive attack now and end the threat before it begins!"
"Have you forgotten that we're not immune to their attack?"
a Nibblonian in the audience questioned.
"No, but this human can't be so important. He'll need our help. A man without
the delta brainwave is an idiot! We'll basically be attacking the Brainspawn ourselves!
We don't need him."
There were murmurs of agreement.
"Noob, please control yourself. It is true that the Mighty
One will be a simple man, but that doesn't mean he won't be crucial to our plans,"
the female sage said.
"So, you still want to precede with this plan?"
"Yes, Noob. The plan will be set in motion."
"Then I'm leaving! Anyone who agrees with me can come with
me." He walked out of the Gathering Hall, and a few Nibblonians followed. Nibbler
and the others shook their heads. It was a sad day for them all.
"It's been 8 years since the foolish ones enacted their equally
foolish plan. Their so-called 'Mighty One' is now frozen solid and will rejoin
society in 992 years. We must not allow this to happen. We must launch an attack
on the building he's being held in. The life support systems of the tube must
be cut. This will kill the Mighty One. Once this has been accomplished, I will
show the foolish ones the folly of their ways by single-handily defeating the
Brain Spawn. I will save the Universe!" Cheers erupted from the crowd.
Noob raised his hands for silence. "Tonight, the future will be decided by us,
not some foolish man!" More cheers are heard throughout the crowd.
Location: Applied Cryogenics
All was quiet here. No one could have guessed that one of
the most important battles in history would be fought at this seemingly deserted
building. The Nibblonians had gone all out to protect their savior. The building
was surrounded by a Nibblonian forcefield that protected the building from destruction.
There were Nibblonians stationed all over to prevent the removal of Fry's tube.
There was also round the clock surveillance on the life support systems.
The Noobellion landed on the roof of the building. They were
all dressed in cute ninja outfits. Noob tied a red bandanna on his forehead. He
then directed some of his minions to cover the exits, and the others would pull
the plug on the life support system of tube 40. He lowered himself into the room
where Fry's tube was held. He looked up at the tube containing the 'Mighty One.'
"Ha! Not so mighty now, are you? Pity you have no idea what's about to happen
to you. My followers will soon link your life support to this remote control I
hold. Once that's done, your life will be in my hands."
"I think not," a voice stated.
"I'd know that voice anywhere. Nice to see you again, Nibbler."
Noob turned to face his adversary.
"I got promoted. It's Lord Nibbler now. Drop the remote."
"Now, now. Some of the others might feel different."
The rest of the Noobellion stood behind Noob.
"Your pathetic army can't help you here Noob. Stand down."
"I don't see an army behind you. I think I'm free to press
"I hoped to avoid a bloodbath."
"You know better than to expect less."
Nibbler sighed. "As you wish. Nibblonians, attack!"
Nibblonians revealed themselves all over the lab. Noob knew now that he was
outnumbered, but he couldn't back down now.
"Show no mercy, my Noobellion!"
The two sides drew their weapons. The Nibblonians pulled out water pistols
and the Noobellion whipped out nunchucks and bo staffs. The Nibblonians fired
first, unleashing lasers of death upon their foes. A few were hit and blood splattered
as the bodies fell. Most of the Noobellion with laser-proof nunchucks directed
the rays back at the Nibblonians. Most ducked, but a few were caught by surprise
and blasted to hell. The Noobellion members armed with staffs lurched forward
and began smacking the weapons out of Nibblonian hands. They laughed, thinking
they had the upper hand. They were surprised by hand to hand combat and quickly
disarmed. The bo staff wave lost most of its members to surrender. The nunchuck
wave was proving more difficult. They deflected lasers and when close enough,
beat their attackers to death. The Nibblonians caught a break when the last of
the bo staff had surrendered to their mercy. They could now concentrate in the
nunchuck wave and got several in the back. The remaining Noobellion members realized
their defeat was at hand and fled, leaving Noob to deal with matters on his own.
"Cowards!" he cried.
"Noob, do you surrender?" Nibbler retorted.
"Then I propose a duel between you and I. The others will
stay back while you and I have it out with old fashioned laser swords." He held
two objects that looked like glow sticks. "Are we agreed?"
"Well, I never could turn down a duel. We're agreed. We fight
for control of Fry's life support."
Nibbler tossed Noob a laser sword and they both assumed battle
stances. They began to circle each other, looking for weaknesses. Noob rushed
at Nibbler point blank, and his attack was blocked. Noob was obviously trying
for the quick kill, which gave him the disadvantage, and they locked blades several
times. Nibbler defended against all of Noob's slashes, all the while backing him
into a corner. Noob saw this and ducked out, twisting behind Nibbler. Nibbler
sensed the attack and whirled around to block the blow. Nibbler made a quick slash
at Noob's legs. Noob hollered and pain and backed off, a move that proved his
undoing. Nibbler trapped him against the wall.
"I win the duel. Now, adhere to whatever honor you have left
and leave. Don't let me catch you near here again." Nibbler proclaimed.
"Very well, Lord Nibbler. I'll keep my word. Beware,
though, this is far from over!" Noob climbed up the rope and Nibbler hadn't seen
Location: Leela's Apartment
Nibbler sighed again. He'd never expected to hear from Noob
again. Unfortunately, now was not the time for regrets. He had a mission to complete.
He had get the files away from Fry, or they were all doomed.
He snuck away from Leela's apartment and ran through the streets,
until he eventually got to the Robot Arms Apartment building where the Mighty
One dwelled with his metallic friend. He looked up and decided that the best way
to enter was through the closet window. He could be in and out in no time, and
the whole thing would look like a robbery. He took out a cute little grappling
hook and watched it climb to the roof. When he felt it tug, he climbed up. Along
the way, he wondered why the Mighty One couldn't live on the first floor instead.
Finally, he reached his destination. His target was on a bedside table, unopened.
Luck appeared to be on his side this day. He got out a glass cutter and silently
made a hole in the window. He slipped through and scurried along the floor until
he reached what appeared to be the files. He checked the envelope to be sure.
Success! The files were in safe hands again. He made a dash for the window to
The sound surprised him and he did the worst that could happen. He dropped
the envelope. Nibbler watched it fall through the air and onto a nearby news van.
To his horror, the person inside got out and took the envelope. His keen eyesight
observed Linda looking at the envelope closely before getting into the van once
more and driving off.
"What's going on here? Why were you stealing my mail?"
Nibbler babbled at him, but a strange look in Fry's eyes told him Fry wasn't
"I'll bet you know why I've been having these weird dreams. You're always in
them along with the Brains killing everyone I know and love."
"Are you alone at the end?" Nibbler asked.
Fry didn't really seem surprised that Nibbler was talking.
"Yeah." Then he grabbed his head as memories came flooding back. Memories of Nibbler
talking, his importance, sealing the Brains away in an alternate dimension, him
telling Nibbler he didn't like being used, him telling Nibbler that he only had
to ask, and then the flash. "Why?"
Nibbler looked him curiously. "I'm afraid I don't understand."
"Why did you blank my memory? I told you I didn't like being
used. What made you decide I'd like my memory blanked?" Fry shouted angrily.
"Ok, I admit it wasn't the best move, but I panicked when
you started talking about telling the others. We'll discuss that later. Right
now, we have bigger problems. We'll start with your dreams. They may reveal something
"In my dream, the brain thingies are back. This time is different,
though - their rays kill people. Soon, I'm the only one left alive in the whole
"Oh no. The Kateg virus!"
"The what virus?"
"The Kateg virus. It's a biological weapon the Brains created
to rain devastation upon the Universe."
"How can a virus destroy the Universe? I thought they wanted
it to go kaboom with the explosions and fiery deaths."
Nibbler smiled briefly at Fry's childlike behavior, but this
was no laughing matter. "The Kateg virus attacks the delta brainwave, just like
the Brains's stupid making ray. However, this virus kills the brainwave instead
of reducing it, essentially making the infected infinitely. Every known species
in the Universe has weapons of mass destruction and without some semblance of
intelligence, the Universe will very much go boom."
"I'm the only one immune to the virus, aren't I?"
Nibbler sadly glanced down. "Yes."
"Good thing I sealed the Brains away in that dimension thingy."
"Yes. Which brings us to our 'bigger problems.' Fry, you understand
that not all beings in a species are good, correct?"
"Of course. I'm not a complete idiot."
Nibbler burst out laughing. "Anyway, I'm sad to say that even
our mighty race has its bad apples." He took out a small device and pressed a
button. A hologram of a Nibblonian in a red uniform similar to Nibbler's blue
uniform appeared. "This is Noob. He is the leader of a group he calls the Noobellion.
It's a faction of Nibblonians who believe that you have no business saving the
Universe. Noob is responsible for an attack on your tube during the early years
of your cryo-statis. Defeated, he and his group retreated to their hideout. Recently,
Noob has resurfaced. He's stolen top secret documents that pertain to you. Apparently,
he sent them to you. I can only guess it would have served as a diversion tactic.
Perhaps he assumed you would spill the beans about us."
"So that's what you were taking? Where is it now?"
"In the hands of New New York's second favorite news anchor,
"Good. Now maybe people will believe me about the Brains."
Nibbler sighed. "That's not a good thing."
"Maybe for you, but I might actually get some respect and
maybe Leela will be impressed."
"Fry! Please use whatever mental abilities you do have and
think! You're the only one who functions without the delta wave. You'll be locked
up and studied. You won't be human anymore. Humanity has a difficult time accepting
people who are different. They don't even have a category for someone like you.
You'll be alone."
"No, I saved them. They'll be grateful. They have to be."
"So did the mutants, and look what happened to them."
"A good while back, an alien race decided to use Earth to
get rid of their toxic waste. The waste proved mutagenic to humans. A huge cleanup
crew was sent in to deal with the waste and the aliens who chose to dump it here.
The mission was a success. The goo was cleaned up and an understanding was reached
with the aliens. The heroes returned home, only to realize that any contact
with the waste was fatal to their appearance. The people were repulsed by them
and they were ordered into the sewers. A hero's welcome indeed."
"Man, that's harsh."
"My race would suffer from the revelation as well. Being an
ancient race, we know things that everyone else is just beginning to realize.
We would be pumped for info and used as producers of dark matter. Do you have
any idea what it would be like to be a mere poop factory? After our knowledge
is shared, that's all we would be."
"Ok, I get your point! I just really wanted Leela to like
"Fry, Leela isn't going to like you just because you're important,
although it certainly won't hurt. I think you'd want her to like you because of
who you are, not what you are." Fry sighed and Nibbler crawled into his lap to
give a comforting snuggle. Fry started to pet him. "It will be all right, provided
we get the files and stop whatever Noob has planned."
"Do you have any ideas what he might do?"
"Noob believes himself to be the true savior of the Universe.
I believe he may try to release the Brains and save the Universe himself."
"I thought they couldn't escape."
"There is a way. We didn't tell you because only my race knows
how to reopen it. The problem with my theory is that you're still here."
"What do I have to do with it?
"Your brain is the key. Only your brain wave pattern can open
the dimension." Noticing Fry's shocked reaction he added, "It doesn't have to
be removed, but Noob will want to anyway. He hates your guts."
"Oh, thanks so much for the reassurance!" Fry said sarcastically.
"Oh, did the image of me taking out your brain frighten you, oh Mighty One?"
a new voice spoke. Both Fry and Nibbler turned to see Noob staring at them. "Hello
brother, it's been a while since we last saw each other."
"Well, if I'd known where you were I would've had you arrested,"
"Ooh, you'd see your brother tossed in prison, eh? That hurts."
"You know the rules, a Nibblonian that becomes an outcast
is no longer considered family." He turned to Fry. "According to our law, we are
assigned families. Noob and I were chosen to be brothers, but the instant he left
our society, he absolved the bond."
"That's Nibbler. Always a stickler for the rules. That's a
stupid name by the way. Unfortunately, I can't speak your real name in the presence
of the human."
"Why can't you?" Fry asked.
"Nibblonians are natural translators. We speak the language
of any particular planet we're on or any beings with us. Noob seems to forget
that just being near a planet activates the gimmick. If we were back on Eternium,
we would speak our language and use our real names," Nibbler said.
"Always talking, too. Don't you ever shut up? You've broken
several of your precious laws telling this boob as much as you have," Noob shot
"Fry's a special case, although you refuse to admit that."
"No, I'll admit it. I need his brain after all."
"The brain stays in the head," Fry said, "unless you'd like
to try and take it." Fry stood up and tried to appear intimidating, but only served
to make Noob laugh.
"I've no interest in a fight. Instead, I've come to offer
a dilemma." He took out a dart gun and shot Nibbler. Nibbler plucked the dart
out and fell over. Noob promptly picked him up. "The dilemma is this: give up
your brain and save Nibbler or stay here and watch the news ruin your life. You
could snatch the files, but you'd be too late to save Nibbler. Your friend Leela
might be very upset over the loss, and I have no problem with providing
a target for her emotions. If you save Nibbler, you'll of course die and I'll
save the Universe. Either way, I win. You can't be in two places at once. Good
luck." Noob then disappeared out the window with Nibbler.
"He's right. I can't be in two places at once, but maybe my friends can help.
Let's see: two places plus six friends equals, uh, more friends than places. Oh,
but they didn't believe me last time, why would they believe me now? Ooh, migraine
Location: Planet Express Meeting Room
"Fry, it's 6:30 in the morning. While I'm impressed by your
new attitude regarding work, I'm mad that you dragged us all out of bed so early,
so this better be good," Leela said.
"Nibbler's been whatever-napped."
"What?! Are you sure? That person's going regret that!"
"I know where he's being held. Start the ship, I'll be right there."
Leela ran for the ship and Fry watched her go. He noticed the others held angry
expressions on their faces.
"Guys, that was a cover story. I didn't want her to know I saw a news crew
spying on her. I think they know she's a mutant."
The crew now wore worried looks on their faces. Leela was a friend; they couldn't
let her be deported to the sewers. Bender was the only one who still looked unimpressed.
"I don't see why I should care," he said. Fry whispered something to him. Bender's
eyes grew wide. "Well, don't just stand there, meatbags, we've got a gambling
record- I mean, a mutant's reputation to save."
The rest of the crew ran after him. Zoidberg scuttled after.
"Hooray, I'm sabotaging the news-with friends!" Fry smiled,
satisfied that something he thought of was working. He ran to join Leela. Time
to be the Universe's hero once more.
Leela looked out at the seemingly empty void of space. "Fry,
are you sure this is where Nibbler's being held?"
Fry sighed. "I'm sure. Leela, I need you to stay here. You're
not going to believe me, but I've got a job to do. He reached out and gently touched
her face. He put on a space suit, and before Leela could respond, was out the
"Fry? What do you mean stay here? Nibbler's my pet!"
She saw a ship appear out of nowhere. Fry floated to it and went inside. Leela
wasn't about to be left in the dark. She found the ship's hailing frequency and
set it for a silent transmission. She sat back uneasily and watched the unfolding
"All right Noob, I'm here! Release Nibbler."
"Fair enough, Fry. He's free to go. You sit down over there."
He gestured to a chair that closely resembled an electric chair. Fry sat down
and Noob locked his arms and feet in place. He lowered the metal cap onto Fry's
head. "This machine will suck your brainwave pattern out of your head. You'll
be rendered dead and the Brains will be free."
"Why are you doing this? I'm the only one who can fight the
"That's where you're wrong. While the machine is sucking you
dry, I'll be altering my brainwaves with a synthetic delta wave the Brains will
have no effect on.."
"That's so crazy it just might work."
"Thanks. Here we go!" Noob flicked the switch and Fry began
to feel massive pain tear through his skull. Then he felt nothing. Thinking himself
dead, he opened his eyes to see what must be an angel. He noticed that this angel
looked very similar to Leela.
"Fry, are you alright?" he heard the angel ask.
"You stopped the process in time, he should be fine," he heard
another voice say.
He felt himself being released from the chair. He finally
realized that he was still alive. "What happened?" he asked.
"I saw what was happening and snuck aboard to stop the machine
before it killed you," Leela replied.
"Yes, and while you were saved, Noob received the full treatment
of his machine," Nibbler added. "I doubt he survived."
"You are wrong, Nibblonian. We live." Noob's body had spoken,
but it seemed like a thousand voices were speaking in unison. "This is strange.
We were not designed as a single organism, but as many. We have one purpose, and
that is to infect all beings. Yet we also have consciousness. We understand that
we are single minded. We understand we are a virus. The creators called us Kateg.
Therefore we are no longer the life form Noob. We are Kateg."
"My God. I believe the virus melded with the Brains and Noob.
The split second that you spent in the machine must have allowed that to happen,"
Nibbler said in awe. "Noob's new brain pattern didn't protect him; it made him
"You are correct. It is a pity, though. This life form is no longer connected
to his race. We could have filtered into the race, made them our minions. Now
we are forced to spread using only this vessel. We are contagious, though. We
will serve our purpose." Kateg used a stupification ray on Fry. It, of course,
had no effect. "The fabled one appears once more. No matter, he cannot stop us.
He will be the sole witness to an idiotic Universe and will watch as all beings
"I think now would a very good time to leave," Fry said.
"That is most wise," Nibbler replied.
"You don't have to tell me twice," Leela said.
They all ran, just narrowly escaping another ray blast. They boarded the ship
and took off at high speed.
Location: TV Station
The others arrived at the TV station with an hour to air time.
They'd showed up in burglar outfits and lots of tools to break in. The professor
took a torch to the door, when a voice suddenly came from behind it. "Hey! You
must be the burglar experts Morbo will be interviewing for the evening show. Here,
let me get the door for you." He opened it and let the others inside. The professor
moaned about not being able to use the torch. Amy and Bender shoved him through.
"Bender mon. Did Fry tell you what to look for?" Hermes asked.
"He said the files were in a manila envelope."
They stopped in front of a door that read "File Room," opened the door and
gasped in shock at what they saw. All the files were in manila envelopes.
"Aww, this'll take forever." Zoidy sighed, perked up and said
"At least I'm with friends." He looked around to see the others had already gone
into the file room. He scuttled after, whooping.
"Start searching for anything that says mutants or something
icky like that," Amy said. The others stared at her. "Oops."
Hermes pushed everyone aside and cracked his knuckles. "Everyone
stand back. I'm a professional filer." He looked at no one in particular and said
"Kids, don't try this at home." There was a flurry of paper and envelopes in the
next few minutes while the others looked on.
"If you find a record on illegal gambling, shred it will you?"
Bender said. Feeling the others look at him, he added "I don't want the bastards
to use it against Leela." The others shook their heads and went back to watching
Hermes who had finished sorting.
"I didn't find any files on Leela. There is this envelope
addressed to Fry though."
"That's his mail. What's it doing here?" Bender asked.
"I don't know. Does anyone think this is what Fry really sent
us here for?" Amy asked.
"It would appear so," the professor replied, "though I can't
understand why Fry would need all of us to fetch his mail and why he would lie,"
"Everybody shut up! Someone's coming!" Hermes yelled. They closed the door
and listened to the approaching voices.
"It's the story of the century, Morbo! A man who lacks the
delta brainwave. He's a miraculous freak of nature. Think of the things scientists
could learn from him. I'll win an Anarchie for this story."
"Morbo doesn't understand your fascination with the Anarchie and your other
worthless awards. Morbo desires only the domination of your puny planet."
Linda laughed. "Anyway, the guy's name is Philip J. Fry. After
I show the world the tapes and files, I'll offer a reward for his capture."
"Now that's something Morbo enjoys." The both shared a good laugh and walked
The crew fell out of the room after they all leaned against the door to hear
"The poor boy. He really should take better care of his mail,"
the Professor commented aimlessly.
"You senile old coot. They're gonna put a price on Fry's head
if dat crazy lady shows what's in dis envelope."
"What's so special about him? I've never heard of this 'brain'
and I'm an incompetent doctor," Zoidberg said. The others ignored him. "Aww!"
"Well, Fry's safe as long as we have the files. Let's head home." Amy didn't
notice the line of string being pulled tight as she crossed the floor. Her foot
hit the string, causing her to fall down, and the envelope fell out of her hands.
"Oh ya clumsy woman!" Hermes smacked his forehead. "Never
send a Martian to do a bureaucrat's job." He moved to pick up the files, but felt
pressure put on his hand. He looked up to see a creature similar to Nibbler holding
a squirt gun on his hand. "Why hello dere. What a cute little gun." He heard it
cock and knew its ammo was far from cute.
"Move away or lose the hand," the creature said. Hermes looked
shocked, but continued to move towards the envelope. The creature fired and blasted
Hermes's hand. Hermes screamed in agony as he looked at his now mutilated hand.
"NO! My stamping hand! I'll never stamp a form again!"
The creature made no apologies. "You were warned." He motioned to another creature.
"Get this to the news lady's desk. The underling nodded and ran off. He looked
coldly at the crew. "My leader told me to pass a message onto your friend. He
said to tell him 'Nice try, but he can't have both.' We were instructed to stop
anyone who tried to remove the files, save for Fry. Now you will all bear witness
to the rise of the Noobellion. Move!" A bunch of Nibbler clones forced the crew
to the newsroom and put them in a closet. "I'm sure you have questions, but in
15 minutes they will most likely be answered," the lead creature said. He laughed
and the others joined in.
The crew listened in horror to the creature's sinister laughing. Hermes sobbed
over his lost hand. Amy reassured him he could get a new one which calmed him
down a little.
"In 14 minutes, life as we know it will never be the same," Bender cried.
The others sadly agreed. Fry would be hunted like an animal. If he were caught,
he'd be little more than an experiment.
Location: Planet Express ship
Leela hadn't really said anything, but both Fry and Nibbler
could tell she was still trying to understand what the Nibblonian had finished
explaining 45 minutes ago. "So let me see if I have this straight," she finally
spoke. "Fry's coming to the future wasn't an accident, but an attempt by Nibbler
to see a 1,025 year old prophecy come true?"
"Indeed. Of course, the plan was a success. Fry defeated the Brains by using
our quantum interface bomb. He also saved us when he defeated the Giant Brain
and disabled the first wave. He has also proved useful in other situations as
well." Nibbler said looking at Fry.
"So he defeated the Brains. Isn't his job over?"
"Sadly, no. While our sages are accurate, predicting the future
is hard. We had no idea that Noob's outcast from our society would become a part
of the prophecy. That's why I got worried when Fry told me of his dreams. Our
sages had predicted a possible outcome like the one Fry saw. They foretold that
the virus would take the form of a lost one, that death would sweep the Universe,
and the Mighty One would be alone."
"So I can tell the future?" Fry asked.
"To an extent," Nibbler replied. "Your missing delta brainwave
enables you to use other brainwaves that most people seldom use. Your visions
are symbolic and must be interpreted. The ones had by our sages are a little more
"Is there a cure for Kateg?" Leela asked.
"We were never able to take a sample to develop a cure. Now,
we have a slight chance. Kateg beamed the virus into Fry, the only being who can
withstand the virus. It's quite possible that we could get a specimen from Fry's
blood and study it. So far, all we know about the virus is that it attacks in
stages. The first stage is a raging fever which affects the inhibitions. A being
in this stage will have no worries or cares. Next, comes the sneezing. In this
stage, the afflicted will reveal their darkest secrets after each sneeze. Finally,
brain draining. In this final stages, the afflicted will lose ALL intelligence.
The delta brainwave is destroyed and they are rendered a blathering idiot with
a burning curiosity. They are particularly attracted to buttons and weapons."
"One thing bothers me. Why do you know so much about it?"
"It pains me to say that Nibblonians were the test subjects.
While those that remained on Eternium were safe, the ones in field study or planet
research were not. Our only choice in those situations was to run like hell. We
managed to find the infected in various stages. That is how we also found out
the virus is VERY contagious."
"Should we even head for Earth? You said it yourself: Eternium
is safe from the Brains," Fry said.
"From the Brains, yes. Unfortunately, our technology won't
keep out a Nibblonian that is now the host for the virus. I can feel him approaching
my planet. Fortunately for me, as Kateg said, becoming Noob means it can't filter
through us. It must infect us."
Fry looked at his watch. "Leela, it's 6:00 p.m.! Turn on a
TV!" Fry shouted. Leela did so, and just in time to see the faces of Morbo and
"Good evening," Linda said. "Tonight, we have an groundbreaking
story. Is he the next step in human evolution? Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I
give you proof of a man that walks among us with no delta brainwave. Yes, you
heard me. This man functions with no delta brainwave."
"Morbo is uninterested in science fiction. I will destroy you!" The crew watching
the screen stared in shock. The secret was about to be revealed.
"Hey, everybody! It's me, Bender!" Bender walked onscreen.
"Thanks for finding my movie script and early takes. Now give it back!"
Linda held the envelope away from him. "Who are you?"
"I'm the soon to be famous movie director, Bender Bending
Rodriguez. Those are my notes and early film takes you have."
"The files in here are awfully descriptive. They even describe
what he does in the bathroom."
Fry glared at Nibbler upon hearing this.
He grinned sheepishly. "Nibblonians are driven to be very descriptive."
They both turned back to the TV.
"So? Is there a law against wanting the character to be just right? Besides,
I paid for the advertisement hoping to emulate Blair Witch 400," Bender said.
"I-but you,-I mean," Linda stammered.
"Hey! Great acting! You really should audition for a part."
Bender grabbed the manila envelope from Linda. "Anyway folks, come see MY movie
coming out sometime in-never! Cheese it!" he yelled to a group off stage. Then
he too ran off.
"Morbo thinks that was most weird. This is Morbo saying good night pathetic
humans!" Then he reached and got a flower and sniffed it. "Ah, such a pretty flower!
Hello, pretty flower. I will not destroy you." Morbo looked up at the camera.
"What do you mean there's still 45 minutes left? I will destroy YOU!" Morbo screamed.
Leela turned off the TV and everybody on the ship gave a loud cheer.
"Well, it appear your friends have averted a disastrous exposure
for us both. This is a most unexpected feat from them, particularly the metallic
one. He constantly shows disdain for human life."
"Eh, that's just a cover-up. He may claim to hate humans and
maybe he's been convicted for attempted murder, but he'd never allow anyone to
hurt me unless he's doing it himself," Fry fondly said.
"Well, that's one problem solved, but we still have Kateg
to deal with," Leela mused. "Nibbler, how long does the virus take to destroy
"3 days. Each stage takes 24 hours to run its course."
"That's only 72 hours! We gotta move on that cure!" Fry said.
"Yes, perhaps the psychotic ape you call 'The Professor' can be of help."
Leela landed the ship and they all got off the ship to see the others hadn't
"Fry, something's bothering me. How did the guys know not
to let those files get aired?"
"He was sneaky and manipulative, that's how. I'm so proud!"
Bender said. "He knew we'd never fall for his story about Brains attacking Earth.
So he told the skintubes you'd been exposed and told me they had proof of my secret
"I'm glad you're all here. We require your help in a most
dire situation," Nibbler said. The others stared in shock. Nibbler sighed. "You
didn't read the files did you?" They shook their heads, except for Bender.
"I just wanted to be popular," he said. "How ya doing you
"I'm fine, and your race knows me as a Nibblonian. That's
not what we call ourselves, but since it makes more sense to your race, that's
what we must use."
"Blah, blah. Did I ask for a creature feature lesson? No, I asked you to get
busy explaining what's going on."
Nibbler sighed and filled them in as quickly as possible.
"We'll need to examine Fry's blood," said the Professor after
hearing Nibbler's explanation. "I have just the thing." He pulled out a needle
that seemed capable of draining Fry of all his blood. Fry screamed. "No, wait.
This is for blood transfusions, not sampling." He got out a smaller needle. "Now
hold still. This won't hurt a bit!" Fry's scream echoed through the halls. Scruffy
looked up, put on earmuffs, and went back to reading his porno mag.
"That hurt like hell!" Fry screamed.
"Oh yes, for you, but I barely felt a thing," the Professor
"Hey Nibbler, I don't feel so good," Fry commented.
"Well, Kateg IS a virus, your Mightiness. Have no fear, it
can't do much more than give you the sniffles without a delta wave to attack.
Your immune system just needs to adjust," Nibbler explained.
"Wait, if Fry's sick, isn't he contagious?" Leela asked.
"No. Most of what Fry is experiencing is his body's reaction to the virus.
Any viruses that come from him are essentially harmless. Might I suggest a lie
down while your body adjusts? You've done enough for now." Fry nodded and headed
toward the lounge. Nibbler turned toward the Professor. "Shall we get started?"
The Professor nodded and he and Nibbler left the room.
The others stood around, apparently in deep thought. They had been told everything.
Nibbler actually seemed relieved to be telling someone other than Fry the secrets
his race had hidden for so long. Fry told them the strange dilemma Noob presented
him with and explained to Leela how he managed to solve the problem. This both
touched and scared Leela. What hell would Fry have endured from her if he'd chosen
to just grab the files? She now knew Noob hadn't intended to let him do both,
as the rest of her co-workers described the measures Noob had taken to make sure
"Does anyone else feel lousy about the way they treated Fry
after hearing this?" Leela said, breaking the silence. Everyone nodded.
"He's got such a thankless job mon. Let's face it, we don't
help matters," Hermes said. He made a fist with his new hand, trying to break
"I'm gonna go talk to him. You guys let us know if the Professor
and Nibbler make any progress." The others nodded their consent and Leela walked
to the lounge. She found Fry shivering and sweating profusely. She ran over and
felt his forehead. He was burning up. She fetched a washcloth, soaked it in cool
water, and returned to place it on his forehead. Fry seemed to stop shivering
and opened his eyes. He smiled.
"I did it for you, I definitely did it for you," Fry said.
He coughed and sat up.
"Did what, Fry?"
"The night I blasted the Brains into another dimension, I
didn't make it out in time. The Brains offered me a chance to go back and stop
Nibbler from freezing me. I accepted. After all, everybody won if I did that.
I went back and captured Nibbler. I was going to have my life back! Then, Nibbler
reminded me that the fate of the Universe depended on me. He asked if there was
nothing in the future worth saving. I thought of you. I froze myself to save you."
He looked up at Leela. "I think I made the right choice." Leela grabbed Fry's
hands and squeezed them gently, gazing into Fry's eyes.
"Thank you," she whispered. "I want you to know that you have friends who care,
friends who know what you've done for them, for the Universe. You are important.
Don't forget that."
Bender ran into the room, interrupting yet another romantic moment. "Big news
guys. The DOOP's gone nuts! They're declaring war on anything and everything that
can literally kick their ass."
Fry and Leela stared in confusion and disbelief. Bender hit the remote in time
to catch a speech being made by the DOOP president.
"The time for fear is over. We're going to take the fight to our intimidating
enemies. Thousands may die, but who cares? Our more powerful foes will soon learn
they can't make the DOOP cower in fear for more than a few hundred years!" She
turned to a large computer labeled "Insta-Chooser and pushed a few buttons. "Omicronians"
popped up on the screen. "The machine has decided. The Omicronians will be first
to feel our tiny wrath." Cheers, jeers, and mumbles of confusion filled the air.
"It appears Kateg has wasted no time in infecting the DOOP.
The suicidal war started as a result of the first stage will serve his purpose
of mass infection. Fortunately, Omicron Persei 8 is a full day's trip. The effects
of Stage 1 should wear off before any real harm is done," Nibbler explained. The
others turned around in surprise. They never heard him come in. "We must attempt
to stop further infection."
"We could blow its host up with one of my doomsday devices.
That would take care of it, among other things," the Professor said.
Nibbler shook his head. "Kateg will simply infect another
host, or worse, become airborne. Our only chance lies in destroying the virus
while it is contained within the body of Noob. That means creating a vaccine that
will kill Kateg and injecting it into the host."
"Who's gonna do the injection?" Fry asked. All eyes turned
to him. "Oh yeah. Heh, sorry."
"No apologies are necessary, Mighty One. You aren't the sharpest
tool in the box after all."
"There you go with the 'Mighty' stuff again. Why the hell
do you call me that?"
"You don't know? You're the equivalent of a god on my world.
My people worship you! We even had a temple erected in your honor."
Fry held a blank expression on his face as he said, "Heh.
"A reaction one could only expect from the likes of the fabled
one. How foolish that an entire society of the Nibblonians' vast intelligence
should worship a mere mortal and a defective one at that. Our host realized this
when he first heard the prophecy. It is unfortunate that he allowed himself to
think he could beat our creators. The fabled one's victory over our creators drove
him mad. He couldn't bear to be wrong. His refusal to accept the truth led him
to believe his own words more so than his followers," a unified voice explained.
The others turned to face Kateg in its Nibblonian shell.
"Have you already finished with Eternium?" Nibbler cautiously
"Yes, we have spread in your home world. Now we come here,
for you are the only other beings who could stop us." Kateg zapped all who were
present in the room, except for Fry. It turned to him. "Soon, we will have the
Universe to ourselves. If you do manage to survive Stupidity Armageddon, we have
plans for you." Kateg then leapt out the window.
"NO! You guys are infected! Are you morons already?" Fry said.
"Kateg has not affected us yet, Mighty One. We might still be able to make
that vaccine before the virus overtakes us." Nibbler began coughing. "Then again,
it could be fast acting."
Bender walked in whistling. "Hey losers, I was just in the
uh, bathroom-" Bender got a good look at everybody. "What happened to you guys?"
"Kateg got them. You and I are the only ones not infected,"
Fry sadly replied.
"Guh, what am I? Chopped Buggalo?" Amy peeked out from behind
the corner. "Kateg didn't get me."
"Fry, you've got to get us into quarantine before the first stage hits. It's
the one that does the most damage to social structure," Nibbler said.
Fry nodded and herded everyone to Zoidberg's office. Dr. Zoidberg was only
looking busy, so he was pleasantly surprised when the crew walked in.
"Hooray! My friends come to visit me!" he said.
"Uh, yeah. They all need checkups too. Why don't you start
"I would, but she isn't here."
Fry looked around. Zoidberg was right. Leela was gone. Fry groaned in anguish
and slapped his forehead. He ran off and locked the door.
Zoidberg looked up. "Fry? Awww!"
Location: Bender B. Rodriguez
Fry had searched all of Leela's favorite places and hadn't
found her yet. Then it hit him, literally. The blind and deaf man that had teased
Leela in her youth ran straight into Fry. He yelled, "You gotta help me, she's
"Who? Cher?" Fry asked.
"No, crazier than her. It's One-Eye. She's trying to kill us! I just barely
got away by falling down into the laundry chute which leads to the incinerator.
Luckily, it wasn't laundry da- Hey!"
Fry was already headed towards the Orphanarium. He got there just in time to
duck out of the way of a flying dresser. He walked inside and stared in shock.
Leela looked as if she had been in a fight with a monster truck. He noticed a
mangled lawnmower with purple hairs around it. It had to be bad if someone was
willing to use a lawnmower on her.
"Nobody makes fun of me anymore. I'm tired of your crap, Vogel!"
"Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, you freak?" Vogel shot
Leela's eye narrowed in rage. "THIS!" She raised a laser saw
above her head and brought it down on Vogel, realizing too late that Fry had pushed
him out of harm's way. The laser saw struck ground, just inches from Fry's feet.
He turned his body to see Leela's face contorted in undeterred anguish. Fry scrambled
to his feet and jumped in front of the leering Vogel. He panicked as she raised
the saw again. He'd hoped that she would be reluctant to kill Vogel if she had
to kill him This didn't appear to be the case.
"Come on, Leela," Fry nervously said. "I know you're not thinking
clearly right now. Don't do something you'll regret!"
"I won't regret this. This is the first clearheaded decision
I've made in a long time." She coughed, and her clothes were soaked with sweat
from her raging fever.
"Just think about all the good times you had here."
"She had no good times here! I made her miserable all the
time. I'd do it all over again if I had the chance," Vogel yelled.
Fry clamped a hand over the guy's mouth. "Don't do it Leela!
He's crazy! I heard if you kill crazy people, you become a crazy person. Also,
you smell bad and I know how important hygiene is to you. You force me into the
tub every other week."
"Oh that whole clean thing is overrated. Fry, I'll make you a deal. Let me
kill the man who made my childhood miserable and I promise I'll make tonight something
you won't forget." Leela smiled sexily and her face conveyed a look of lust.
Fry looked lost. Here was another dilemma; this one harder than the last. He
could have the one woman he'd always wanted for the life of a man who constantly
proclaimed things that would get the Orphanarium closed in a nanosecond. On the
other hand, wouldn't that make him like all the others she'd slept with? He rarely
ever thought about tomorrow, but circumstances like these made it all too clear
how little time they really had.
"Sure." Fry stepped aside and Leela squealed with delight.
She ran over and rewarded Fry's decision with a slow, passionate kiss. She felt
a small prick as she pulled away and then sagged against Fry in deep slumber.
"I'm sorry, Leela." He picked her up and carried her back to Planet Express. Bender
caught up with him along the way.
"Wasn't that a great shot? I still don't understand why you
wouldn't let me use poison. If you had, we'd have one less problem." Bender laughed.
Fry laughed a little before staring the robot down.
"We're doomed you know. I just lost everybody who could work
on that vaccine. For being the most important person, I sure don't do anything
useful," Fry said glumly.
"Normally, I'd agree with you and laugh, but these are desperate
times. My life, err, I mean the Universe is depending on you now. Sure, you don't
have your more intelligent friends with you, but you got me, Amy, and Zoidberg.
Personally, I'd dump the two losers and go with the greatness that is Bender."
"Does this have a point?"
"My point is you're the only one that can function properly
without a delta brainwave. That means you have to be somewhat intelligent. Also,
I'm great. Together, we can make a vaccine against this virus."
They finally reached the PE building. Bender distracted the infected while
Fry gently placed Leela inside the room. He smiled as he ran his hand through
her hair. After shutting and bolting the door, the two friends headed to the lab
with purpose in their eyes. Kateg was going down.
Location: The Professor's 'secret' laboratory
Fry threw up his hands in despair. "I give up! I've been looking
for hours and I'm not any closer to creating the cure for Kateg."
"Well, actually you're looking at a comic upside down, and it's also only been
five minutes. Can I see that? It looks like a good issue," Bender said. He wasn't
really doing any work either, unless robot pornography contained the cure for
Fry sighed and handed the comic to Bender. He looked around for anything that
the Professor and Nibbler might have left as a clue. He found a notebook and started
to read. Most of it was stuff he already knew. The three day deadline, the stages,
the initial mode of infection, and how contagious it was in normal beings. This
last bit caught his eye.
"It's contagious in normal beings. Well, I know I'm not normal.
Mutants are definitely not normal. I wonder if there's a connection. Hey, Bender.
What do you know about mutants?"
"I know they stink. Also, they seem to have weird reactions
to certain diseases. If One-Eye isn't having a weird reaction, it's a safe bet
that they're not immune to Kateg. You owe me five bucks."
Fry groaned and handed him five bucks. "That reminds me. I
better check and see how our patients are doing." Fry walked to Zoidberg's office
and saw Amy guarding the door. "How are they?"
"Well, Leela keeps screaming your name. The others are just
kinda giggling. It's the quietest they've been for a while now." Leela's moans
and grunts could be heard through the door.
"I hope she's all right. She must really need me if she keeps
screaming my name. I better go see what's wrong." Amy blocked the door.
"NO! I mean uh, she's uninhibited. She's without fear or remorse.
I think whatever she's doing is private."
"Everyone else is in there. How private can it be?" Fry's
expression remained clueless.
"Look, you're not getting it. She doesn't care that everyone
can see her doing her private thing."
"Oh good, then she won't mind if I come in." Amy gave up and
moved aside. Fry peeked inside and was treated to a naked Leela punching the heck
out of a dummy fashioned into a horrible rendering of Fry.
Leela pulled back her fist and yelled "Fry!" She sent her
fist into the dummy's head full force, knocking it off from the body. The others
laughed. They, too, were naked.
"Uh, I'd turn on the air conditioner," Fry said to Amy. "They
might be a little hot from the fever."
"Ok, I'll do that." Amy stared at him confused. She'd expected a better reaction
from him seeing a naked Leela. She watched Fry walk off. Unbeknownst to her, Fry
sported a huge grin on his face.
The accidental Peeping Tom had done wonders for Fry's mind. It reminded him
of something he'd always known: Leela had no other visible defects on her body
other than the eye. He'd seen tons of mutants who looked so horrible they'd turn
Medusa to stone, but Leela was an exception. His brain started to get a-what had
Leela called it? An idea. He had an idea! He ran back to the lab where Bender
was busy reading his comic.
"Bender! You gotta help get Leela down here. I wanna do some,
oh what do you call them? You use pencils and they're really hard."
"Tests?" Bender suggested.
"Bingo! We gotta find something to hold her in. I think she's
mad at me."
"That's crazy! There's nothing here that will hold a humanoid
mutant. All that's here is that device the Professor invented in case one of you
went crazy and had to be restrained and tested."
"Aww!" Suddenly Fry's head jerked up. "Can't we use that?"
he asked, pointing to the machine Bender just mentioned.
"Hey, yeah! Chalk up another great idea for Bender!" Fry turned
to the chalkboard and put a mark under Bender's name. He noticed that Bender was
currently the reigning champ of good ideas.
"I wish I had great ideas," Fry said.
"Hey, cheer up buddy. Some of us were made for thinking. Let's
face it though, I was doing all the reading. You were the lazy one that kept looking
for notes and stuff."
Fry shrugged as he walked out to get Leela. Bender followed
him, and together they grabbed hold of the struggling Leela. "Geez, it's times
like these I wish I were human," Bender said sadly. They brought her back to the
lab and placed her into a container that resembled a cryo-tube laid sideways,
like a glass coffin.
"Let me out of here, Fry!" Leela screamed. Fry looked at the
clock. Only a few hours left until stage 2 hit. Then she'd be spilling her guts,
but at least she'd be more cooperative.
"Well, we've got lots of instruments here. Which one do you
wanna try first?" Bender asked. Fry looked at the sharp medical tools the Professor
had. He saw one that reminded him of a bar code scanner appropriately labeled
"Let's try that one," he said.
The device took two hours to work and beeped when it was done.
Bender took the device and downloaded Leela's DNA info into his mind. He logged
onto a scientific website that allowed him access to the Universal DNA Database.
He then began matching Leela's profile with those in the database. This process
took about an hour.
"According to this, Leela's 95% meatbag. The other 5% is unknown, but has properties
that are generally found in your puny immune system."
Fry took a look at the scan of the unknown gene that Bender brought up. "Wait,
I'm getting an idea. In lots of sci-fi shows I watched, some people had genes
that were human and alien. Can you get the computer to check for a mixture of
mutant and human DNA in the 5%?
"I can try, but I have to smooth talk the computer," Bender
said. He went motionless and his eyes became windows of an apparent conversation
between the two. The results of the scan came through. The unknown 5% was 50%
human and 50% mutant. Bender came back to life. "I hope this is worth the cybersex
I promised," he muttered.
"Fry, where are you? Why am I in this thing?" Leela called
out. Fry ran to her side and looked up at the clock. 24 hours had passed.
"Leela, do you remember anything that happened 24 hours?"
Leela sneezed and answered in a monotone voice," The last thing I remember
is Kateg blasting me with his virus info. Then I was in this thing."
Fry nodded. Something had told him that people in Stage 2 wouldn't remember
Stage 1. He had the feeling the same was true of Stage 3. Why was Leela speaking
in monotone? Yet another idea dawned on him and he tried something.
"Leela, why did you flush the letter I wrote you down the
Leela looked confused as she sneezed and said, "I flushed
it because it was a badly written letter and I just didn't feel the same way."
Leela looked shocked. "Why did I say that?"
"It's Stage 2 of the Kateg virus. I guess people literally sneeze out the truth
to any questions they're asked," Fry replied. He turned to look at Bender. "Stay
here and look after her. I'm gonna use this to my advantage." Fry ran out of the
Bender smiled as he looked at Leela. "It's confession time, eyeball!" he laughed
as he set himself to record. Leela looked horrified.
Fry ran down to Zoidberg's office. When he got there, he found everyone dressed
and interrogating each other. A sneezing fest ensued.
"What did you do wrong last month, ya filthy crab?" Hermes asked.
Zoidberg answered in a monotone voice, "I ate the surplus
supplies." He snapped out of his trance state. "Hey! No fair! Where do you keep
the surplus now?"
Hermes sneezed violently and said, "In my office closet." He shook his head.
"You stay out of that closet!"
Zoidberg whooped and scuttled away. Hermes ran after him.
Fry grabbed Nibbler and brought him to the lounge.
"Mighty One, I've failed you. Judging from my complete loss
of 24 hours, we've entered Stage 2. At least in this stage we can function normally
until someone asks a question." Nibbler sighed in relief. "I can only imagine
what I did in Stage 1."
"You did some pretty crazy stuff." He had really just eaten
all the food in the room, including some stuff that couldn't be classified as
food. "Sorry about this, but what can you tell me about Leela?"
"She is the one we have classified as 'The Other.' The sages
foresaw that a relationship between the two of you would be beneficial. So far,
the sages have been correct. Leela has saved your life on more than one occasion.
We know that she is the least mutated mutant ever born, but we haven't figured
out how this could be beneficial if you were to mate."
"Bender and I found that Leela was 95% human and 5% something
else. I figured out that the 5% was some kind of mixture between the two. Bender
also said that had stuff found in the system that protects you from germs and
stuff like that."
Nibbler almost slapped himself. "Leela's unique immune system
might be the cure for Kateg! It makes sense. Kateg made you sick for a short time
because your immune system isn't used to it. Since you don't have a delta wave,
Kateg couldn't affect you more than that. Leela has something the Brains didn't
prepare Kateg for and had she been exposed earlier, she would have been immune
today. Since she wasn't, her system is getting used to it. It seems we were right
to call her 'The Other.' She's the only being besides you that can survive Kateg.
Sorry, I babble when I'm excited."
"So all we have to do is find out what Leela's gene is made
of and we have a cure for Kateg?" Fry mused.
"Yes, it's a little like gene therapy. We give the infected
a shot filled with the modified gene and Kateg is cleansed from the system. If
we give the gene to someone unaffected, Kateg will be rendered useless. We must
go to the lab quickly!" Fry picked up Nibbler and ran back to the lab, just in
time to hear Bender finish his list of questions.
"Just out of interest, what flavor ice cream do you like?"
"Chocolate," Leela answered.
"Well, I think that covers everything. I'll make copies of
this so I can blackmail you 'till I get bored, and given my love for extortion,
that's not likely to be soon."
"Leela, good news! You're not going to become permanently
stupid!" Fry yelled.
"Yeah, turns out you're immune to Kateg."
"Your immune system just needed to adjust," Nibbler said. "It probably already
Fry ran over to the chamber and released Leela. They embraced each other for
what felt like an eternity.
"You guys make me sick! Just because Leela isn't going to be affected doesn't
mean everything's OK." Bender groaned. "You still gotta take care of the virus
and his rat host."
"The metallic one is correct!" Nibbler said. Fry and Leela
looked shocked. "Yes, I'm as shocked as you are. Leela, if you give me a blood
sample, I can create the antidote."
"Well, don't just stand there! Load up! We have a universe
to save." Leela sat down and stuck out her arm. Nibbler approached with a cute
little syringe and drew the blood sample. He then set to work on isolating the
gene. Bender stood beside Nibbler and watched him work.
"Hey Nibbler. I've been wondering, this gene thing is great
for the meatbags of the Universe, but what about us robots? We can't support a
"No, but once I learn the secrets of the gene, I'll be able
to upgrade your antivirus software with a program to combat Kateg. It'll tell
your software what to do if Kateg should ever breach your systems."
"Ah, very nice. You think of everything. Well, I'm off to
find some hookerbots."
"Bender, wait. We might need you. You can't just run off,"
"I have recordings that say otherwise. Perhaps I'll select
an interesting one and play it. Ah, the perfect one for our current audience-"
Bender found himself being pushed out the door.
"OK, go. Have fun!" Leela said with forced cheer.
The Professor ran into the room. "Good news everyone! The
war against Omicron Persei 8 has been called off!" Cheers erupted from everyone.
"The bad news is the Nimbus has been stolen."
"Is Zapp accounted for?" Leela asked.
"Oh my yes. He's a featured speaker on the news today. He's
giving away lots of military secrets and tips for bedding one-eyed girls." Leela
looked cross, but said nothing.
"I suspect Kateg has taken the warship. If modified correctly, the Universe
will feel its might in a matter of hours." Nibbler said gravely. "Although I think
I've cracked the gene." He looked amazed. "The components of the gene are simple.
I'll be able to make a cure in no time." The others smiled. Maybe there was hope
for the Universe after all.
Location: Planet Express Ship,
several hours later
"Ok, so we're clear on the plan?" Leela asked.
"Plan? What plan? I thought we were just gonna pick up the
host and feed him that gene thingy," Fry replied.
"It's so simple. The plan is that you two fleshpods go in
and lovable Bender stays out here."
Leela groaned and shook her head. "Nibbler said that Kateg
has the Brainspawn's ability to suppress the delta wave as well as the ability
to transmit his viral code to other beings. Fry will have to distract it while
I inject the countervirus into Noob's body. While we're taking care of Kateg,
Nibbler and the others will be curing the infected."
"Oh yeah! Great plan!" Fry exclaimed. "According to this tracker
Bender stole from the DOOP, the Nimbus is dead ahead. We should see it when this
green dot gets closer to that red dot."
Sure enough, the Nimbus came into full view and the crew gasped
in shock. Kateg had done a major overhaul on the ship. It now looked like a massive
giant brain with a huge satellite dish attached to the top.
"That virus does some fast remodeling. I wonder if it'll consider redecorating
my room," Bender mused.
The PE ship moved in closer to the Nimbus and stopped a few feet short of the
"We can't dock with it. Kateg will know we're here and we'll
lose our element of surprise," Leela whispered. "Fry and I will suit up and try
to sneak aboard. Bender, keep radio silence, but be prepared to pick us up if
"Roger that! You know, an advance payment might convince me
to stick around." Bender held out his hand suggestively. Leela groaned and put
50 bucks in. Sometimes Bender could be a real pain. She and Fry suited up and
went inside the airlock. They squeezed hands for reassurance as Leela pushed the
button to open the door. They let go as they were sucked out and fired up their
jet packs. They reached the Nimbus within a few minutes. Leela hacked the docking
door using her wrist computer so it opened without alerting Kateg.
"I'm going to hide here while you confront Kateg. You'll tell
me when you've found him using this walkie-talkie." Leela handed him a child's
walkie-talkie, one Nibbler had given her. Fry started off in search of the target,
but Leela called after him. "Oh, and Fry? Be careful." He nodded and continued
down the corridor that led to the bridge. The door opened and Fry quietly crept
"We've been expecting you, fabled one. We knew that you would
come to stop us. Rest assured that you will fail." Kateg's unified voice was eerie
to Fry, but he kept his calm. He raised the walkie-talkie and spoke into it.
"He's on the bridge." He put the talkie away without waiting
for acknowledgement and headed for Kateg.
"Foolish human! Your friends can't help you. We've locked
the doors to this room and it takes a while for lasers to cut through the reinforced
doors. We are alone." Fry gasped, but still held a determined gaze. "How do you
like our remodeling job on the ship, human? We call it the Nimbrain."
"Oh God, what a bad pun!"
"Laugh while you can human! This warship is now one huge transmitter
of our code. The transmitting ray will blast an area twice the size of your planet.
In a matter of hours, we will spread."
"Not if I stop you!"
"A challenge? Very well. We will accept. We will now scan your body and link
your mind to ours. You win if you destroy all of us, but when you lose, we will
take your body as our new host. With you out of our way, we can easily accomplish
our goal. The battle begins now." A ray shot out of Noob's third eye and engulfed
Fry saw his surroundings change, and it looked as if he was inside what passed
for Noob's mind. He saw a bluish light form in front of him. It quickly took on
Noob's form with a brain too big for the skull. "Welcome to the host mind," it
"So where are the weapons?" Fry asked.
"Simple human! You don't even realize you are your weapon!"
Kateg shot a red beam at Fry, who just barely dodged it. "You are a representation
of your mind. Fortunately for us, you are unskilled in using it. We will be merging
"NOO!" Fry screamed. At this show of fury, a golden light
shot out of Fry's hands and struck Kateg. He was knocked backwards, but got up
"Very impressive, human. Unfortunately for you, your mind
is undeveloped. You'll never win."
Fry formed a yellow bat in his hands. Kateg shot another ray blast. Fry deflected
it with the bat and hit it out of their brain-like arena. Kateg growled as it
lunged toward Fry, a mace forming in it's hand. Fry panicked and dodged the attack.
He tried to think of something to throw and a pizza appeared in his hand. Fry
shrugged and threw the pie at his foe. It hit the virus and turned the image it
projected into a gooey mess. Fry laughed while Kateg roared.
"Enough!" It turned into blue rope which quickly surrounded
Fry's body. As it's grip grew tighter, Fry found it difficult to breathe. "Give
up! We want our new host!"
"NEVER!" Fry yelled. He found himself changing and Kateg's
grip became loosened. He slipped out of the virus's grasp and reformed himself,
or tried to anyway. He was pretty sure that he'd screwed something up, if Kateg's
laughing fit were any indication.
"Fry? Are you okay?" It was Leela. Fry could hear her. She
must have gotten through the door."
"I'm in here!" he shouted.
Kateg laughed. "I think you forget who's in control of this
body. She can't hear you. She can only hear us. Oh, Leela when we're done, would
you like to go on a date? After we get my new body, we're sure you'll agree we
have a great personality!"
"Sorry Kateg, but I have to decline your invitation. I don't date dead viruses.
Fry? Get out of there! I'm about to inject the countervirus!"
Fry started to run, but found his feet restrained by Kateg.
"Oh no you don't! Leela, We have your boyfriend and you can't
be sure he'll survive that cure in this state. We'd drop the syringe if we were
"OK, just don't hurt Fry. Please."
Fry was touched by the concern in her voice, but he had a mission to complete
and he aimed to finish it one way or another. He frantically searched for a way
to speak to her, and got an idea. He relaxed into Kateg. He could feel the merge
"Leela, it's Fry! If you can hear me, do it. Do it now!" Then
he pushed himself away from Kateg before the merge started to take control.
Leela voice rang through the air once more. "OK, Fry. I don't like it, but
I understand. I just hope you know that you're my best friend."
"I know," Fry whispered.
He and Kateg both felt the syringe enter the skin. A green fluid came rushing
toward them. Kateg screamed and released Fry, who wasted no time running off.
He heard the wails of anguish behind him, but refused to look back. He reached
the end of the brain and finally turned around to see a tidal wave of green fluid
looming over him.
"Ok, we could sever that link anytime now and I'd be really happy." Nothing
happened, and he shielded himself with his arms. "Goodbye Leela!" he said tearfully.
"Goodbye nothing! You're back!" Fry felt the cyclops throw
her arms around him and gratefully returned the hug. A sexy female computer voice
"Kateg viral code will be released in three minutes."
"Oh man! I should have seen it coming. Kateg must have rigged
the ship to release his infection, should he die," Fry said. "It happens all the
time on TV."
"We'll have to blow up the Nimbus. I'll activate the self
destruct. You get to the ship," Leela said, pushing Fry away.
"No way! As temporary captain, I refuse to leave a crew member
behind." Leela smiled and walked over to the control panel. A few seconds later,
the same computer voice spoke again.
"Ship will self destruct in 60 seconds." Fry and Leela looked
at each other and then ran like hell. Leela took out the walkie-talkie.
"Bender! Pick us up! This ship is gonna blow in 58 seconds!"
"Can do!" the robot answered. As they got closer to the docking
bay doors, they sighed with relief when they heard the familiar docking sound
of a ship. The computer kept counting the seconds until explosion.
"40 seconds 'till self destruct."
The two friends dived into the waiting ship. A frantic Leela pushed Bender
out of the way and took command of the ship. They were all jolted as Leela pushed
the stick to full power.
"Ya know, an 'excuse me' does wonders," Bender complained.
Fry ran to a window and watched as the newly named Nimbrain exploded, unleashing
a fiery ring of death just inches away from them and expanding. Fry feared they
would still get caught in the resulting explosion.
"Dive!" he yelled.
He was thrown back as Leela did as he suggested. He was filled with relief
as he saw his plan was working. The explosion continued on above them and died
away. Everyone in the ship gave a loud cheer and Leela dialed the Professor to
tell the others of the mission's success. Soon, there was even more cheering as
it was learned that the Kateg cure was working. The infected didn't remember anything
that had happened while they were infected, so it seemed once more that most of
the Universe remained unaware of how close it came to destruction.
Location: Hall of Elders
The room was deathly quiet as Nibbler walked into the Hall and greeted the
Elders. The Elders did not return the greeting.
"Lord Nibbler, you stand before the Nibblonian Council of Elders, accused of
revealing sensitive information to lower beings of the planet Earth. How do you
plead?" a male Elder asked.
"While it is true that I revealed information to the Mighty
One's friends, I dispute that a wrong has been committed. These loyal friends
of the Mighty One risked their own lives to keep the secret and were of great
help in defeating both Noob and the Kateg virus," Nibbler argued.
"While this is true, it is too dangerous to allow them to
remember any of this. The humans and robot will have their memory blanked."
"The Mighty One wishes to speak!" Fry's voice rang out. He
ran into the Hall, followed by his friends. The Elders gasped. Muttering ensued.
"Your Mightiness, this Council would not dare deny your voice.
Speak as you desire," the astonished male Elder said.
"I'm done with you creatures making all my decisions! You
decided to push me in the freezer. You decided to blank my memory. Well,
now I'm making a decision. I don't care what the rest of the Universe believes,
but I like knowing I did something good with my life. I like my friends knowing
what we've done. I'll probably screw up tomorrow and it'll be just like old times,
but at least they'll know I was important. That's all I ask of you. Just let them
The Elders looked touched at this speech and debated on it.
The male Elder spoke once more. "It is the decision of this Council that the Mighty
One's coworkers may retain their memory of the recent events. They are hereby
sworn to secrecy about said events. If the events or Fry's importance are ever
revealed, they will be stripped of those memories and all operations will return
to normal. Are you all agreed to this?" Fry's friends nodded their heads, even
Bender. "Very well, we acquit Lord Nibbler of all charges and you may all return
Everyone cheered and shared a hug with Fry. The Nibblonians
even worked out a deal with Planet Express to deliver their food supplies. This
deal would make the first long-term contract for Planet Express, and the Professor
was glad to accept.
After a great feast and celebration of the victory over Kateg, the crew returned
home. Nibbler stayed behind to finish some business, but he would return.
Leela caught Fry looking out the window as they approached Earth and joined
him. "Penny for your thoughts?" she asked.
Fry smiled. "I just wish my parents could see me now. They'd be so amazed."
Leela put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "I'm sure they're very proud of
you. I know I am."
"Leela, do you think there's a chance that maybe someday you'll
feel the same way about me that I do about you?"
"Maybe someday. Heck, maybe I'll ask you out myself one day.
Just don't give up. If you don't, maybe it'll turn my head. For now, you're my
very best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way." She gave him a kiss on
the cheek and walked away.
"Well, at least she didn't give me that 'we're too different' talk." He thought
over what she'd just said and what Nibbler had said when he went back in time.
He smiled and said, "Soon. She'll see soon enough."
Then he went to buckle himself back in for the landing. As he went, he was
patted on the back and congratulated by his friends. He took a seat by Leela and
saw her smile at him as they descended. He couldn't wait to get back and get some
much needed sleep. Tomorrow was a whole new day, and he didn't want to miss a
second of it.