The Leelazarus Effect, part 6
Leela was livid. Damn Hermes and his
bureaucracy. She’d been flying the company ship for years now
and it was still flying. Sure, there’d been a few mishaps
involving city billboards, but that was small stuff. There was no
reason to send her off to do some bogus driving exam, mandated by the
government or otherwise.
“I mean, it’s not like
Hermes hasn’t ignored the rules before.” She grumbled.
“He just fills out one of those ‘ignore the rules’
forms or whatever, and the problem just goes away.”
Leela reached her hovercar. Shifting
her purse to her left shoulder she reached down and pressed her thumb
against a small sensor on the door. The car beeped and unlocked
itself. Leela climbed in. She was just about to put the key in the
ignition when something caught her eye. There was a folded piece of
paper sitting in the seat next to her.
“That’s weird.” She
said aloud. She picked up the paper and unfolded it, mentally
crossing her fingers that it wasn’t another letter from Fry
expressing his true feelings.
It did turn out to be a letter, but it
wasn’t in Fry’s messy chicken scratch. Actually, it
looked like it was her handwriting, but that didn’t make sense.
She hadn’t left a letter there.
Curious, Leela began to read:
Look in your glove compartment.
There’s something in there that might help out with the driving
test. It’s a little present from the future. But be careful.
It takes a long time to recharge and it can really screw things up if
you let it. Trust me, I know. Only use it to pass the test; then
put it and this note where and when you found them.
And just so you don’t think this is some kind of joke: Once
back when you were at the orphanarium you got so mad at Warden Vogel
for canceling Double Soup Tuesday that you switched his coffee with
Andarian mammary juice. You know you never told anyone that. Good
luck with the test. You won’t need it.
P.S.: Be nicer to Fry. You owe him
Leela stared at the note, not sure what
to think. It couldn’t be a joke. She had never told anyone
about her childish revenge on the warden, the very memory of which
made her shudder. The poor man had been ill for weeks. But, since
no one else knew about the prank, then that meant… Leela
opened her glove box. A small pistol-like device tumbled out into
her hands. She regarded it for a moment, looked around her, and
tucked it into her purse. Shaking her head, Leela put the key in the
hovercar’s ignition and pulled out of her parking spot.
Across the street, the author of the
note was watching the retreating hovercar over the top of her
newspaper. When the vehicle disappeared around the corner, Leela
dropped the newspaper on the bench she was sitting on, stood up, and
stretched. She wondered idly what would happen when her past self
managed to pass the test. Once the other Leela sent the time device
into the past, she, the Leela on the bench, would find herself cut
off from history entirely. “Will I feel myself fade out of
existence?” She wondered. It didn’t matter. The
universe was safe. She’d done her job.
Leela walked into the Planet Express
Building just as Fry was landing the Planet Express Ship. She stood
at the railing on the hangar’s second floor and waved at him.
The delivery boy waved back from the ship’s bridge. A moment
later the engine noise died away and Fry came trotting down the
ship’s staircase. By the time he had made it to the conference
room, he was out of breath.
“So, how did the test go?”
He asked between gasps. “It didn’t take you very long.”
Leela smiled at him and patted a bulge
in her purse with her left hand. “It went fine.” She
said. “And you’re right, it didn’t take me very
long. Only four tries.”
“Four tries?” Fry asked,
cocking his head. “You were only gone a few hours. You had
enough time to take the test four times?”
“A few hours huh?” Leela
smiled mysteriously. “Funny. It seemed to me like I had all
the time in the world.”