The Other, Part 11
By Rye Guy
"Here." The door opens and Leela shows Skyler into the room. "This
is Fry's place...I'm sure it'll be alright with Bender if you stayed here for
He looks around, surveying the room. "Looks cozy, thanks."
"You're welcome." He walks toward the bed while Leela points out
the different rooms. "The bathroom's on the right, washing machine behind
the door next to that."
He observes the bed and then the end table. There's a picture frame facing
away from him. Curious, he picks it up and looks at it; its the Monument Beach
"You like that?" she asks.
He sets it back down "...Yeah."
"Your clothes smell awful. There's some in the closet. They might be a
little tight though."
He removes his jacket and drops it on the bed. As he begins to take off his
shirt, Leela turns away and looks out the window. She sees the scars in his reflection.
"My God, just like Amy said," she thinks.
Once he has the shirt on, she turns back to him. The shirt is a little tight
because of his more muscular build. He sits on the bed and begins unbuckling his
boots. She sees the tattoo on his arm.
"'With you in your dreams'?" she reads.
He sits up and places his boots at the foot of the bed. "Something my
"What's it mean?"
"...Nothing important. Look, I'm pretty beat so I'm just gonna go ahead
and turn in."
"O-okay. Night." She walks toward the door.
The Professor is in his lab, checking his energy sensors... On the monitor,
he examines the energy readouts from the past few days; they all show the same
unusually high measurements. But their origins are unknown.
"Strange...there must be some connection between these.
I know there is."
The sensor begins beeping.
A young boy of ten is chained to a grimy brick wall. He struggles to break
the chains but is stopped by a silhouette on the wall of a man lying on a table.
Another figure appears above him. The man on the table screams in agony as the
young boy cries.
The Professor's sensors beep erratically as the measures increase.
"Daddy!" the boy shouts.
Skyler springs up in bed in a cold sweat. "Daddy!"
The beeping ceases and the measurements drop to zero.
"What the hell was that about?"
In the bathroom, Skyler runs the sink. Taking some water in his cupped hands,
he splashes it across his face and breathes heavily. He leans over the sink and
gradually looks up to his reflection in the mirror with a determined and enraged
"Dad...it won't happen...I swear it!"
Bender pounds on the door. "Hey! Keep it down in there!"
The next morning...
As Skyler walks down the street to Planet Express, he sees a small ship out
front of the building. Getting closer, he reads 'DOOP' on its side. The building's
front door opens, Zapp, Kif, and the ship's pilot exit.
"So you're leaving?" he asks.
"That is correct, Skyler. Returning to headquarters to report," responds
Kif butts in, "We still have to come up with a good explanation as to
what happened that night, that is."
Skyler holds out his hand. "Lieutenant Kroker, it was an honor meeting
"Why thank you."
They shake. The pilot is already seated inside. Zapp and Kif step in the ship.
As the door begins to close, Skyler turns. "Kif!" he calls.
Kif presses the button and the door opens. "Yes?"
"Stay below the squad line."
"What?" asks Kif, puzzled.
"Just remember it," he grins and walks inside the building.
Kif scratches his head. "Hmm, odd..."
"Kif, close the door," commands Zapp.
Skyler steps in the conference room to see the rest of the crew seated at the
table. He takes his seat next to Zoidberg just as Hermes and the Professor enter.
"Good news everyone! Our first big delivery in weeks!"
"And what is it this time?" asks Bender sarcastically. "Delivery
to the Planet of Death or the Zone of Terror?"
The Professor chuckles, "Oh you...Your delivery today is a crate of M.R.E.s
to the war planet of Battletopia 7. A planet inhabited by two civilizations locked
in epic combat against one another. Now this is a dangerous mission so Skyler,
Bender, and Amy will make the delivery."
Leela smacks the table. "What about me?"
The Professor shrugs. "Sorry, Leela. But our insurance policy won't cover
you if you're injured while pregnant. So you won't be able to accompany them on
any missions; at least for the next nine months that is."
"That's not fair! I'm the captain! I have to go!"
Skyler places a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry, Leela, I think
we can handle this. Professor, which of the two civilizations is the delivery
"Both. There is a neutral sector on the planet where you will make the
delivery. From there the M.R.E.s will be dispersed accordingly. So you should
be in no present danger."
"If it's not dangerous, then why can't I go?" asks Leela.
"Because, if something were to happen while you were flying over there
or back then the insurance wouldn't cover you."
She slumps in her chair. "I still say I should go."
On the ship...
Skyler, Bender and Amy enter the bridge and Skyler immediately takes the captain's
seat at the helm.
"You know how to fly this?" Amy asks.
"You kiddin'? I practically grew up on a ship just like this one."
The others take their seats as Skyler starts the engine and the ship takes
off. Once in space, Skyler presses a button which displays a map on the monitor.
"Okay guys, according to this it'll take about twelve hours to get there
so I want you two to go into Hyper-Naptosis to conserve oxygen."
"What about you?" asks Bender.
"The autopilot won't work since there's no homing beacon on Battletopia
7 so I'll have to pilot us all the way there."
"Think you can manage?" Amy asks with a bit of concern. "I'd
hate for you to sit here all alone for twelve hours."
"I'll be fine. I used to fly longer than this tons of times."
"Okay, if you're sure." She and Bender leave for their own quarters
and enter Hyper-Naptosis.
Alone in the bridge, Skyler reclines. "Well, at least now I've got time
to figure out what to do."
"And what are you planning to do?" asks Leela from the door.
He turns. "How'd you get here?"
"I snuck onboard. There's no way I'm letting my crew go off without me.
Now, you mind answering my question?"
He stammers for a second, "Oh...uh, I'm trying to figure out what to do
now in finding my own apartment."
"Hmm, so where'd you learn to fly this ship?"
"I used to fly ships similar to this one. The controls are pretty much
"I see." A hush comes over them. She sees the edge of his tattoo
from under the sleeve of his shirt. "You told me your mother said that. It's
obviously important to you." He pulls down the sleeve to cover it up "You
wanna talk about it?"
He doesn't say anything; he just looks out the window still steering the ship,
concentrating on the path before him with a downhearted face.
"You know, if you're hurting; sometimes it helps to talk about it with
a friend." She sits down in a nearby chair.
He sighs deeply. "My mother said it to my father while giving birth to
me...she was dieing and those were her last words."
"My dad said it was the worst thing he'd ever gone through..." his
eyes water, but he fights to hold back his tears "...he had to raise me on
his own, but luckily he had the help of his 'family'. Growing up, he used to tell
me stories of things that happened to him and my mom before they were married.
They were so fanciful that sometimes I couldn't help but wonder if he was making
some of it up. But something in his eyes told me it was the truth. And I could
tell it always made him happy to talk about her. He used to show me pictures of
her and would tell me all about who she was and where she came from, how they
met and when they first fell in love. We were all so happy though; me, him, and
our... extended family."
"He sounds like a great guy."
"Was? You mean-"
"He was murdered."
Tears form in her eye as she listens.
"I was ten-years-old when it happened by someone who despised him. He
forced me to watch as he tortured him for days on end until..." he sighs
angrily as his fists clinch tight on the steering wheel "...and as if that
wasn't enough, he killed the only woman I ever loved too." Tears begin to
poor down his cheeks.
"Dear Lord! How have you managed to live with all of these memories?"
"My dad once told me, 'Its important to remember the past and all who
had a part in it; but you can't dwell on it. You have to be able to focus on the
future and move on. Hold on to those precious memories and look toward the future
with your head held high.' So, that's what I do...you see Leela, that's why you
have to stay strong for Fry."
"I'm trying. But I'm afraid that it'll turn out like everything else I've
ever believed in...it might end up hurting me."
"Leela, it won't. Trust me. He'll keep his word. You just have to keep
"That shouldn't be too hard. I mean, I believe it now; how can I stop?"
she asks rhetorically.
"That's the spirit." He gives her a light, friendly hit on the arm
with a smile.
She glances up to him. "You're not really from around here are you?"
"Those scars...were you in some kind of battle or something?"
He thinks for a moment. "You could say that. These scars are the price
I paid for not listening to my father sooner. I preferred dwelling on the past
and seeking revenge. You can't imagine what it feels like."
"Hey! In all fairness my life hasn't exactly been a walk in the park either!"
"I know; you were abandoned as a baby, you grew up being used and mistreated
by every guy you met, faced constant ridicule for your appearance; and now that
you've found the one thing to make your life perfect, its taken from you by someone
you once trusted."
She gawks at him. "How the hell do you know so much about me?!"
"The crew told me..."
"They did not! They wouldn't share personal details about me with a total
stranger like that!!"
He returns his eyes to the window; she stands. "Who are you?"
A loud siren accompanied by flashing red lights interrupts them. "Warning!
Warning!" the computer alerts. The radar shows several large asteroids coming
"Damn! An asteroid field! Strap yourself in Leela!" She buckles her
seat belts as Skyler grabs hold of the steering wheel. "Computer, switch
off all interior lights and convert all power to engines!"
"Yes captain!" the computer responds. The lights turn off giving
Skyler a clear, uninhibited view out the window. "All power converted to
"Let's see what this baby can do!"
The first asteroid approaches; he pulls the steering wheel back making the
ship fly up over it then back down as it passes. A quick pull to the left, then
to the right; asteroids are all that can be seen out of the windows. They come
upon a large one with no room around it to fly past. He sees what looks like the
opening on its surface.
"What are you doing?!"
He flies the ship into the pitch black tunnel. It's so dark Leela can't even
see her hand in front of her face.
Skyler slows the ship. "We should be alright as long as we don't hit-"
they hit the wall of the tunnel sending a hard shock through the ship "-the
The ship hits a wall below with such force that it begins careening out of
control; hitting the walls of the tunnel again and again. "Warning! Breech
in the hull!" warns the computer. Skyler hears a loud crash behind him but
thinks nothing of it and focuses on regaining control of the ship.
Finally seeing the stars at the end of the tunnel he gets the ship stabilized.
"Puttin' the petal to the metal! Here goes!" He pushes the accelerator
to the floor and the ship boosts out of the tunnel, just scraping the top as it
Once free of the asteroid field, the ship comes to a stop. Skyler drops back
in his chair and scratches the back of his head. "Sorry about that, Leela.
Didn't know it was gonna get so rough. You okay?" She doesn't reply "Leela?"
He turns to her but with the lights off, he can't see. "Computer, turn on
the lights!" they come on.
Leela's chair has broken off its swivel and crashed against the wall with her
still strapped to it. "Leela!" She's unconscious. He removes the straps
and lays her on the floor.
Bender runs in. "What's with all the racket?" He sees Leela on the
floor. "Holy crap!"
Skyler checks her pulse then places his ear next to her mouth and nose. He
breathes a sigh of relief. "She got knocked out but she'll be fine. You alright?"
"Of course." He beats on his chest. "I'm Bender baby. Indestructable!"
Skyler chuckles for a second. "Wait, where's Amy?"
"Still sleeping I guess."
Skyler takes Leela in his arms and gently hands her to Bender. "Take her
to the medical quarters; I'll go check on Amy."
Skyler takes off down the hall to Amy's quarters. Once there, he presses the
button to open the door. A loud buzz sounds and the door doesn't open. He presses
it again, same result. "Damn it!"
Damn! And I thought Leela had a troubled past! That's a cakewalk compared to
Skyler's. Anyways, I hope you're still enjoying this story. I know I am but that's
me. Not much else to say except stay tuned for Part 12 coming soon...