Delicious Surprise, Part 2
For disclaimers, distribution information and story info, see part one.
Oh, and the established cannon for meteor-storm-as-snowfall was established in the Futurama Comic book series. I usually count the books as an extension of the series cannon, and since it's been said that the series will be somewhat continued through the publication of the comic book...
The walk to the Head Museum seemed to take forever, at least to Bender. He couldn't let the kid keep talking on forever, or else she would start blabbing on about books. So he filled in the space between them with a few colorful antic dotes about the past.
"...And then, I saw her: your mother. The virus made it so I had to run down my best friend when in werecar form, so I revved my engine..."
"What? I thought my dad is your best friend."
"Yeah; he says that every time I tell this story. Anyway, she tucked up in a ball and rolled right out of the way! I never saw her move so fast before, and she can move pretty fast."
She blinked, "Are you sure this is my mom you're talking about?"
Bender's surprise mirrored her own, "Hey, I wasn't your mom's biggest fan when she was a captain, meatball, but she's still the toughest dame I've ever seen. And that's in, what is it, twenty galaxies now?"
Lilah was impressed by this compliment, for getting Bender to compliment anyone seemed to be the robot equivalent of pulling teeth, "I think it's gone over a hundred. Anyway, I know Mom's pretty tough. I mean, she's not really afraid of anyone..so, Why is she so afraid to drive? And to travel?"
Bender averted his eyes from the young girl, looking straight ahead, "That's a long story, Meatball."
"Well, I'd like to hear it."
He paused for a moment, and for the first time in her life, Lilah realized that her "Uncle" was in a very serious mood. "It ain't my story to tell. It's yer mom's."
"Are you sure you don't wanna hear something else? Like the time I toured with Beck's head?"
She rolled her eyes skyward, "Uncle Bender, you tell that story every week, at least."
"But it's my best one!" He whined.
"I like the one about you and Angleyne and Flexo better."
He glared at her, "Yeah, you would."
She sighed, "I'm sorry for being mean. It's just that it's...hard for me to understand her, sometimes."
"Yeah, I guess I get her better. One time, the Professor forced me to feel all of her emotions. I never hated her more."
Lilah laughed. "That still doesn't tell me what happened to her."
"Ask me about your dad. He's easy to understand."
"I know that, and that's why I don't..." Bender's clear discomfort stopped her, "It's really serious, isn't it?"
"Like I said, it ain't my story to tell."
They progressed in silence down the street. Nibbler, to their mutual relief, didn't seem to need to go anymore. The Head Museum appeared on the horizon, and further quiet marked their progress to the door.
Bender spoke up as they reached the door, "I'm not telling you anything because your ma's the only broad I ever respected, kid. Except for you, but you're not old enough to be a broad yet. You're a broadette."
"Thanks, Uncle Bender." She smirked.
The Head Museum was the same as Lilah remembered it to be on his last visit, just before New Year's Eve. Through the years, it had become drafty, and the city had circumvented most of the place's power and re-directed it to the street outside. As the years passed by, security forces had lessened as well. The blasť attitude extended itself to the fundraising side of things; admission had been waved. From the dusty condition of the interior of the building, even the trustees had stopped paying attention to the place.
Lilah's eyes scanned the shelves, which sat in meticulous order.
"If I remember right, it's in alphabetical order. Would he be listed as a scientist?"
"Nope. War heroes."
She shrugged absently, "Oh yeah, I forgot. He served in the last one, right?"
Bender glared, "They don't teach you nothing in that crap school you go to, do they?"
Embarrassment touched Lilah. "My history teacher said that the last war is something that's best to be forgotten."
"Yeah, I can get why they don't want you to hear about a time when mutants lived under the street. Besides, since when do you listen to your teachers?"
She shrugged, "That's probably why I got left back last year."
He dragged her past rows of heads; she recognized names like Franks and Bush from her history book, but they sparked no special feeling within her. Finally, at the very end of the hallway, on a grooved marble pillar, and in a jar with a bright golden plate fixated to the base, sat Professor Farnsworth's head. Lilah could barely read the inscription at the base of the jar:
"Professor H. Farnsworth:
The forty-fifth Savior of Earth," read Bender, loudly.
"What did they do with the other forty-four people who saved the planet?" Lilah asked.
"Eh." Bender shrugged, "They're probably down in the basement with all the other heads no one wants to look at anymore."
"Shhh!" She whispered to her uncle, hearing Professor Farnsworth's snore. "He's sleeping!"
"What?! I didn't walk through all of that ash just to watch him sleep. I did that when he was alive!"
"Uncle Bender!" She hissed, but he had already picked up the jar and began shaking it vigorously.
"Hey, Professor! Wake up!" When the head didn't respond, he placed the jar back on its base and cupped his hands around his mouth. Concentrating on increasing the volume of his sound waves, he bellowed, "HEY!! PROFESSOR! IT'S BENDER!"
Professor Farnsworth awoke with a snort. His eyes fell on Bender and he replied, "Dammit, Bender, I told you not to wake me during my afternoon nap!"
Bender rolled his eyes, "Sorry, was that your mid-afternoon nap or your late-afternoon nap?"
"It was my early afternoon nap, dammit, and you knew that!"
"Hey, be grateful I came to see you, scrunch-face!"
"Scrunch-face?" The Professor asked wearily, "Are my lazy nephew and his wife giving your Humor Software regular upgrades?"
"No one upgrades Bender Bending Rodriguez except for me!" Huffed Bender.
"Good to see you, Bender."
"Back at you, Prof." Suddenly, he remembered Lilah's presence, "Oh, I brought one of the skintubes with me!"
Lilah stepped forward, into the light, "Hi, Professor."
He squinted at the young woman, "Leela, what awful sort of thing did you do to your hair? It isn't normal."
She frowned; in the dimness of the light, she supposed that she sort of resembled her mother; her hair was loose, and her mother wouldn't wear such impractical clothing in the middle of an ash blizzard, "Professor, It's Lilah, your great-great-great...you know the rest. I'm your cousin."
"Ohh, Lilah," He squinted at her, then asked, "Where the hell is your lazy father?"
"Oh, he's always off in some other galaxy. My only blood relative, and he's too busy to see me!"
"Professor, I'm related to you by blood."
"What? No! Fry and I have compatible blood types. With no circulation below the neck, I need his youthful corpuscles to keep my brain in tip-top condition. I've been living off of transfusions from John Ashcroft's Great-Great-Great-Great..."
"Oh...kay..." Lilah began backing away from the Professor, "Well, I have a ton of homework, and..."
"Waddya mean? It's an ash day! We got all the time in the world to talk to the Professor!"
"Oh my, yes! And I've been working on this new theory that all young people are direct descendants from the unholy union of the ancient demonic spawns Brittany Spears and Puff Daddy, and therefore should be wiped from the face of the earth."
"Uhmm...I think I hear Nibber calling."
"I've got Nibbler!" Bender announced, holding out the sleeping creature, but Lilah had already made her way to an exit.
Hard as she pushed at the door, it wouldn't open. She peered through a nearby window and realized that the ash had piled midway to the door, sealing them temporarily in the museum. She rushed back to her Uncle.
"...and that's what's wrong with your generation of robots."
"Yeah, real interesting, prof." Bender said, his own expression showing boredom.
"Uncle Bender? Can I see you for a second?"
"But the Professor was going to teach me the divine secrets of Linux Programming!"
"Yeah, I guess I don't have to drag you off into a private corner to tell you that the door's blocked by ash and there's no way out until the plow lasers come through."
"Oh..." His dulled expression changed instantly, "What?" Then he cried loudly, "NOOO!!"
"Quiet!" A voice piped from a nearby jar, "Bob Dole is trying to take Bob Dole's afternoon nap!"
Lilah groaned, "You're such a drama bot." She sat upon a nearby bench, crossing her legs Indian-Fashion. Nibbler leapt from Bender's grip and crawled up the leg of the chair, curling up in her lap.
"Great; I'm stuck here with no booze, a bunch of lousy human heads, and a kid who thinks she's so damn smart! I should be drinking Castoil smoothies in the park!"
"That doesn't make you less of a drama bot."
His eyes locked on the floor, "People won't pay attention to me any other way."
"I love you, too, Bender."
He glared at the young girl; his plan for gaining revenge on her for dumping him with the Professor on their last visit hadn't materialized. Bender grunted to himself, trying to get comfortable on the floor.
"Professor," She said suddenly, "I was wondering if you could tell me about my mother and father."
"What about them?"
"Oh, what they were like before I was born."
"Don't they tell you anything?" He snapped, "Good lord, no wonder you were left behind!"
She shook her head, "Yeah, but I can fix that. You're always going to be a head."
"What? Your evil, youthful wit confuses me!" He glowered, "How I wish I still had my angry dome!"
"We're going to be stuck here for awhile, and I'd really like to know a few things, so I thought you might want to tell me, since Bender won't."
"Ah ha...you want to hear about the war, then?"
"I want to know why my mother won't pilot a ship, when I hear she was one of the best captains in the history of interstellar flight."
"Leela's stopped flying? Oh my..." He trailed off thoughtfully, "I will tell you what I can, but some part of the story is your mother's to tell."
Lilah nodded, "That's better than what the trash can over here offered me."
"Hey!" Bender protested. Lilah smiled at him sweetly. "Go sit on a fork, kid."
They both turned to the Professor, "So...how does the story begin?"
"It doesn't, unless I have my afternoon nap!" The Professor fell instantly to sleep, leaving his visitors to their own devices.
Lilah glanced at her watch; it was three in the afternoon.
She hoped that her parents were having fun.