Leela held her hand out in front of Fry's eyes, but he and Bender were apparently mesmerized. Then the music began.
"Hey kids," the TV announcer chirped, "What's your favorite show in the whole universe?"
The large group of children on the TV show responded, "The Slurm Youth League!"
"That's right, kids - the Slurm Youth League. And it's good to have all of you Slurm Troopers here on the show today. I'm ready to start the show with my buddies Walter the Cockroach and Clem Centipede, who have a bunch of great cartoons for you guys."
"We sure does," Walter said in his trademark New York accent. "We gots a Freddy Flea cartoon hot and ready to go for you kids, after a word from our sponsor."
Zapp Brannigan's image then filled the screen. "Protecting the universe from evil-doers works up a powerful hunger. When I get the munchies, I reach for a box of Poindexter's Sugary Carb Squares." Fry licked his lips, and stared at the screen. "Made naturally from sugar, carbs and starch, Poindexter's Carb Squares utterly defeat my hunger - they're yummy-licious."
"Fry! Wake the hell up - the Professor is on his way down here to talk to you guys. He's probably going to chew you two out royal for vandalizing the pop machine the other day."
"Good news, everybody!" He waved his hand in front of their faces and looked over at Leela. "Are they usually this comatose?"
"Only on Saturday mornings, when that stupid show is on." She reached over and shut the TV off.
"Hey!" Fry complained. "We were watching that!"
"I told you that you lunkheads were in trouble. Go ahead, Professor - straighten these guys out - give them the ass-chewing they deserve."
"Good news, everyone...and when I say 'good news,' I really mean 'good news' for you guys in particular. All of you will be making a delivery to the planet Wormulon...since I was able to write it off as a business expense, all of you will be getting tickets to Slurmworld. Well, how's them apples?"
Bender and Fry looked at each other like happy children. "You mean it? You really mean it?"
"That's the spirit! Now you're on the trolley...now go get packing."
"Last one on board is a rotten egg," said Bender. The two went running out of the room like happy kids.
Leela looked on in amazement. "I've never seen them move like that..."
"Leela, everyone has to re-live their youth at some point. Look at how happy they are."
"You sound like a camp director...since when are you concerned with their happiness? And a trip to the Slurm Mystical Dominion...really? Really?"
"Don't you have any happy memories?" The Professor reminisced. "I can still remember those pleasant walks with Mom at the theme park...holding hands...feeding the mutated slugs down by the stream..."
"Ick...will you stop already?"
"Oh, don't be such an old fuddy duddy...shake a leg and go get Amy. She's probably still at that acting class of hers. You guys will have fun."
As the Planet Express crew traveled to Wormulon, Amy showed them a video of her acting performance in "Hamlet." She had a terrible time trying to explain it to Fry. "Didn't you ever study this in school?" she asked him. "We had to read this thing in high school...along with all the other classics, like 'The Scarlet Letter' and Asimov's robot stories."
"Let me get this straight," Fry inquired. "Basically everyone either goes mad or dies by the end of the play."
"Basically. What did you think of it, Leela?"
"Well, you guys lost me when Hamlet had to set his phaser on stun to shoot Polonius...it kind of took something away from the original play."
"But Leela...it is a modern interpretation."
A loud beeping sound echoed through the command deck. "That's our cue - we're in the system," said Leela.
After fighting the traffic all the way into Wormulon through the star system, they finally approached the nasty-looking green planet.
"Who's the idiot that thought of interstellar roundabouts?" cursed Leela under her breath. "What's wrong with the usual intersections?" She groaned as she followed the other space ships in a big circle.
They finally found a parking spot among all the other ships. Leela walked down the landing ramp, and sighed as she looked up at the animated character on the parking sign.
She pointed up at the sign. "Everyone remember where we parked...we're in 'Wanda the Wood Louse' section, Row 8."
A group of Grunka Lunkas met them at the ship to unload it. Leela bent down to ask one of them a question. "I'm really curious about something," she asked, "what do you guys need with all the lead vests we brought?"
The Grunka Lunkas stopped their work, and assembled in front of her to sing. One of them blew a tone from a key whistle.
"Grunka lunka, grunkity grind, it's dangerous work inside of the mine.Grunka lunka grunkity vest, you need to wear lead all around your chest.If you work at the mines without a good shield,Radiation's a killer you can't even feel.You will go bald and your teeth will fall out,And our medical coverage leaves us in doubt."
Leela frowned. "That's enough singing...you can stop now."
"But they're a musical people," Bender told her.
"I don't care if they are; the Professor hated them, and I'm beginning to hate them."
Fry got very excited about something. "It's the Slurm Tram," he exclaimed, "our ride to the Mystical Dominion!"
The group piled into one of the aging tram cars. "Pack it in there," the tram driver told everyone, "make your buddy smile." The recorded voice of Walter the Cockroach, in his familiar thick Brooklyn accent, instructed everyone to remain seated and keep their arms, legs, antennae and tentacles inside of the car. The message was then repeated in Martian, Neptunian and in the grunting Carcaron language.
When the doors to the tram opened, the Planet Express Crew joined a large group of people assembled at the front gate of the amusement park. Beyond the gate was that famous group of buildings known as "The Bowery," a quaint, charming representation of a run-down urban neighborhood on Earth in the 1930's. Leela was getting tired of waiting in the scorching heat for the park to open; nasty methane vapors from the nearby fields made her cough.
Soon, a man in a Clem the Centipede outfit came strolling out with a bullhorn. After a loud bout of feedback, he addressed the crowd.
"Hey, everyone...are you ready for a fun day in Slurmworld today?" The crowd responded with a happy cheer. "Oh, come on now...you can do better than that. Are you ready to have a great day at Slurmworld?"
Leela then gritted her teeth, knowing what was to come next. "Don't you dare play that stupid damn song...don't you play that song..."
The Centipede raised his two working arms. "Hey everyone...are you ready to sing with me?"
Everyone cheered, and joined Clem in the song. Leela got that angry curve in her eye.
The charming music started, sounding like a band in America in the early 1900's.
"I am of a definite opinion thathappiness abounds in the Mystical Dominion.With the Grunka Lunkas singing,And the bell in the Slurm Tower ringing,children stop their crying;old people stop their griping.it's time to start enjoying thatgreen beverage that we're yearning.And in the end we all realize,that if we've got one or a thousand compound eyes,that it's a tiny universe anyway."
Then came that famous countdown. "Five, four, three, two, one. Come on in!"
Bender and Fry flailed their hands like happy little children; Leela just rolled her eye and groaned. "Look," said Amy, "there's a soup kitchen..."
As the Planet Express Crew walked through the main street of the Bowery known as Skid Row, Bender pointed at one of the buildings. "Now that looks like a bank I'd like to rob."
As the others took in the charm of the park, Leela busied herself with a map of Slurmworld.
"Hey lady," a voice asked her, "can you spare a dime?"
Leela didn't even look up from her map. "No. Get a job."
"Hey lady," the voice asked again. "Can you spare a dime?"
"I thought I told you to..." Leela looked over at Amy who was laughing at her.
"What are you laughing at?"
"It's just an animatronic, Leela...shmeesher!" She flicked the character's arm with her index finger. "See? just wood and plastic. You looked like you were going to beat the hell out of it - that would have been a gas."
Leela touched the bum's lapel. "Creepy...so life-like. Looks like a real person."
"That's just the 'Dinsmore Magic.' He made tons of these things for the park. It's just a machine."
As the crew walked on, the bum's eyes sadly followed Leela.
"Help," he quietly whispered. "Don't leave..." Without missing a beat, he turned to another park patron. "Hey, can you spare a dime?"
The gang then walked up to a bright, colorful building called the "Slurms of the Universe" which showcased the different types of Slurm offered around the galaxy. Inside patrons were given plastic cups so they could sample the different flavorings.
Slurm sold on Neptune was flavored with grape juice and beer. Martian Slurm was heavily flavored with Martian pearapple and brown sugar. The Slurm sold on Omicron Persei 8 was called "The Juice of a Thousand Deaths," and was mixed with Hungarian peppers and tequila. On the label was a painting of a mountain of human skulls with a defiant Omicronian warrior on top.
Leela spit this last one out of her mouth and swore. "How in God's name can anyone drink this crap?"
Some nearby Omicronians began laughing at her. "Sister, back home that's what we call 'Devil's Piss'," one of them told her. "This must be your first time. Hey guys - we got a virgin!" They laughed some more as she started to cough.
The first ride the gang came up to was the Amazonian River Raft Ride. As Fry and Bender got ready to board the ride, they were grabbed by the massive meaty hand of an Amazonian and pulled out of line.
"You no read sign? You no can ride."
The wooden sign that told them that they had to be at least 7 feet tall to ride.
"Oh, man," moaned Fry, "how are we gonna get on that ride?"
Bender poked his shoulder. "Hang on - I got a plan." He snuck over to a building that was under construction and returned with some drywall stilts. He then stretched himself taller on his robot legs. "Now - keep your gob shut and follow me; they ain't too bright."
The Amazonian gave the two a funny look, but then let them pass. Fry and Bender gave each other a high-five and boarded the ride.
"You hold on tight," the Amazonian said as she strapped them in, "we not lye, lee,"
"Liable?" Fry offered.
"Yeah, that. You get injured, it just too bad. You no can sue us."
"This is gonna be fun," Bender chirped.
The two funsters came out of the ride with only a few cuts and bruises. Leela looked at them with disdain. "You two look like you've been punched into a street gang."
"Yeah...wasn't it great?" Fry smiled, and was missing a tooth.
She put her hand up to his face. "You're going to be all black and blue tomorrow."
It was now nearly lunchtime, and the heat of Wormulon was stifling. Adding to Leela's miseries were the local mudflies...biting mudflies. In spite of all this, Fry and Bender were as happy as two little children, and Amy did nothing but add to their enthusiasm.
Leela then looked over at a nearby garden filled large green flowers. “These are pretty,” she said. She tried to sniff one, only to find that it smelled terrible. “Ick,” she said, “this thing smells like rotting limburger.”
“Those are Green Gobbleflowers,” Amy told her, “they use the nectar in them to make the Slurm honey that we see in the food stands.”
“Green honey,” Leela shivered, “that stuff looks so gross I wouldn’t even touch it. Why do they call them gobbleflowers?”
“Well, sometimes they’ll bite you if you’re not careful.”
Suddenly, the Planet Express gang heard a low tolling of a bell.
Fry looked at Leela with a bit of a blank stare. “It’s time for food.”
Leela looked back at him strangely. “What…you hear a bell and you know that it’s feeding time? What are you…an animal?”
The bell continued. They followed the sound until they reached a corny-looking medieval castle with a bronze statue out front. The statue was of Slurmworld's creator, Colonel Bud "Peppy" Dinsmore, next to a happy Slurm worm. At the statue's base was a plaque that read, "The happiest place in the universe." Before Leela could gag, she was bitten by another mudfly; she slapped her neck.
“It’s the Slurm Castle!” Fry said with excitement.
"Why are you guys so wound up about this castle?" asked a skeptical Leela.
"We get to have lunch with the characters," answered Fry. "I'm going to have lunch with Clem Centipede. It’s every kid’s dream."
"Oh yeah?" retorted Bender. "I'm going to have lunch with Freddie Flea."
"Wow," whispered Fry. "You're a lucky robot."
Amy smiled and blushed. "I've always wanted to be a Slurmworld Princess. I'm having lunch with Princess Paramecium."
Leela rolled her eyeball. "Oh, brother...I just want to have something to eat and not choke on it. I hope they don’t put that green honey on the food."
"Who gave you grump pills this morning?" asked Amy. "Doesn't this place bring back a few happy memories from your childhood?"
Leela glared at her. "To me the words 'happy' and 'childhood' don't even fit in the same sentence. I was born in a sewer and raised in an orphanage. And I've seen happier sewers than this place. The whole thing just brings me down."
Amy gave her work associate a sympathetic glance. "That is so sad...I always wanted to be a Slurm princess and help rule the Germ kingdom with Princess Paramecium. Maybe we can find some joy in all of this for you - at least a happy memory to take home..."
Leela's eyeball met Amy's gaze. "You know Little Sister, I at least appreciate the thought. Thanks."
Amy smiled. "Come on...let's get going into the castle. Maybe we can get you a lunch with Ernie Earwig."
"Woo-hoo," said Leela as she twiddled a finger in the air.
Once seated in the Slurm Castle, Leela and her crew were served by several people dressed in outfits from the Mystical Dominion movies; one was even dressed up as Oskar, the lovable spittoon. When they were done, as if on cue, they looked at each other and quickly departed. Leela noticed this - it reminded her of the action of robots. She began tapping on her wrist-thingee, which was picking up some sort of trace element in the air - a green light flashed on its screen, which typically went off during the presence of a gas in the atmosphere. In spite of the warning light, her thingee told her that the air was still safe to breathe, and that there were no NBC dangers.
"Amy," she asked, "what's that stuff that bees excrete?"
"You know - you're the PhD...what's that stuff that bees release to the hive?"
Amy's mouth was full. In between bites she answered, "Oh, you mean pheromones. Why? You're in the happiest theme park in the universe, and you ask about entomology?"
She pointed at the servers who were long gone. "Oh, I was...just curious as to why...oh, nothing."
"I'm just curious as to why you aren't tearing into your bratwurst pizza - it's really good. Anyway, if you must know, the word comes from the Greek words to transport and to stimulate."
"The Professor filled your head with too much stuff. You actually know that?"
"Yeah," Amy continued, "an insect can release aggression pheromones to trigger combat. They can release them to mark territory, to leave a trail, and even for breeding purposes."
"Boy," Bender blurted out, "if we could only bottle that for Amy."
"Or me," Fry added. "She doesn't need anything for breeding purposes."
Amy playfully threw a small pizza sausage at Fry, who caught it in his mouth and chuckled.
"Well, whatever this place does to people, it makes them happy." Leela rested her chin on her hand. "Except for me..."
Then, as if on cue, a guy in a Freddy Flea outfit came out to have lunch with Bender. Freddy unfolded his insect arms. "Hey everybody," he announced, "who loves ya?"
"Freddie does!" said Amy, Fry and Bender together.
Leela just groaned and shook her head as Bender posed for pictures with Freddie.
On a TV screen, the Planet Express Crew were being closely monitored. Colonel Bud Dinsmore looked over at one of his loyal Grunka Lunkas. "What's the story behind this one? The one with only one eye? She looks miserable...detached from the others. We flooded the chambers up to 30 parts per million - she should be happy as a lark."
The Grunka Lunkas then stood together. "Grunka lunka..."
"If I've told you people once, I've told you a thousand times...don't answer me in song!"
"Well, she's a mutant sir. I can only assume that her organic structure is different from the others."
"Well, it even works on the robot..." Dinsmore lit his pipe, and puffed out a pall of smoke. "He's acting like a 5 year old child."
"He has olfactory sensors that work much like a snake; they take in particles of the surrounding atmosphere and interpret them much as a human would. This would explain his comment to the red-haired one earlier when he told him, 'he who smelt it, dealt it.' This is an old Earth expression, sir. It's in his programming. Earth people used to find the release of bodily gas amusing, hence the expression. This all changed in the 22nd century with the new morality laws and fines."
"Yes, yes...I know all this. We need to find out why the mutant won't respond to the experiments, or she'll blow the cover off the whole thing. By the way, how are the air dispensers working around the park?"
"Still going at 89%, sir."
Dinsmore chewed on his pipe nib. "Excellent...excellent."
The door suddenly opened, and Mom walked in. She gazed up in anger at the one TV monitor. "Damn it, Dinsmore, you promised me happy people; happy people spend money. Is this thing of yours going to work, or not?"
"Oh, don't you start burning my forest down - give it time. We just have to work on this...what's her name? Lila? Lolita?"
"Leela...idiot. Meanwhile, you keep things going on your end while I go talk with the Bitch Queen downstairs. Maybe she's got some answers."
The door slammed behind her. Dinsmore frowned as he tamped his pipe out. "I wish she wouldn't call her that - she's difficult to get along with as it is..."
After lunch, the PE gang left the Slurm Castle and walked back out into the heat of the afternoon. Leela stared up at dark, stormy skies...a warning chime went off on her wrist thingee, and she read the screen. It displayed a brightly lit radar picture, and touted the words "Warning - Fish Storm Approaching."
"A fish storm? What in the world is a fish storm?"
"Is that what it's saying?" asked Amy. "We've got to get some shelter."
"Shelter? What's a fish storm?"
Amy twirled around her finger on the surface of the palm of her hand. "Here on Wormulon hundreds of tornadoes pick up fish and other debris from the southern oceans and carry it high into the atmosphere. At some point all of that stuff falls back down in these storms."
"And they built a fracking amusement park here?!"
"The land was cheap," Amy told her.
Startled by a loud blast of thunder, Leela watched in amazement as the amusement park began to be bombarded by a huge variety of fish. These made a loud slapping noise as they struck the pavement with the falling rain. Bender picked up one of the fish, which writhed in his hand.
"Here's a red snapper," he chortled. "This would make someone a nice lunch."
Leela slapped it out of his hand. "Put that down, stupid."
"There's the Hall of Universal Leaders," Amy told the others, "we can get some shelter in there."
Bender, un-phased by the whole thing, jokingly stood outside and sang, "Singing in the Rain." He was genuinely amused by his tap dance routine on the cobblestones as the rain and fish pounded down around him. Leela grabbed his arm like a little child and pulled him inside. "Hey!"
Leela sat in her seat in total boredom as one animatronic leader after another stood up to give a speech. She glanced up at the ceiling as the fish and other objects pounded the roof up above her. She then glanced at Fry, who was thoroughly entertained by the whole thing.
A massively fat animatronic man stood up with the help of suspensor globes. "Let House Atreides know that the art of kanly is still very much alive," it declared as it moved its head from side to side. "And the Duke will know that it is I, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who has interpreted his doom!"
Next, a Nixon head was lifted up in its jar by an animatronic Headless Agnew. "As leader of Earth," the head told everyone, "it's my duty to spread bureaucracy to all the corners of the galaxy. Some call that Imperialism...that's such an ugly word. I just call it being pro-active. Arroooo!"
Next a Wookiee animatronic began to make its grunting noises, and Leela noticed that the storm was starting to lighten up.
Mom came through the cave chambers in almost total darkness. She leaned against something as she lit up a cigarette...something mushy. "Ick!"
She looked down at a passing Grunka Lunka. "Hey you - little man. Where the hell is that bloated, maggot-infested tobacco worm you people service?" Her eyes suddenly got large as the thing she was leaning on started to move.
"Are you looking for me?" said the horrible croaking voice. "You will address me as 'Your Highness' or 'Queen' - I'm quite sure I've earned it."
"Well, 'Your Highness,' it seems like your pheromones don't always work like you promised." She pulled her nose plugs out so that she could light up a cigarette. "I'll back out of the buy-out if this crazy scheme of yours doesn't work."
"Boulder-dash! They always work on humans, and most alien races. How can you tell me they don't work? I can get a human being to do most anything if they're breathing my essence...even chew his own leg off, if I instruct him to. They're helpless as toys on that stuff." The creature turned her hideous head to face Mom.
Mom sarcastically flicked some cigarette ash onto the enormous worm body. "Well it doesn't work on Turanga Leela...you should modify it for sewer mutants."
The creature's eyes got large. "The devil you say...Turanga Leela is here? On this planet? She and her meddling friends nearly caused the collapse of our whole industry. Why, they were the contest winners 14 years ago - they only escaped because of that irritating Slurms MacKenzie. Tell Dinsmore to increase the amount of pheromone being sprayed into the air. I want her dead one-eyed body brought to me when this thing is over."
"This had better work, your immenseness, or our little deal is off. I'll leave your ass hanging in the wind and move on to other business ventures."
"Don't you threaten me, you human insect! If I didn't need you, I'd smash your bones! I would destroy all of you humans if I had half the chance."
"Fine," she flailed her hand in the air as she walked off, "if you can catch me. Good grief, you smell like crap up in here. And so do your little nerd men - they could use a bath once in a while." She stopped to talk with some of the Grunka Lunkas on her way out. "I want that stuff put through its final tests...this afternoon. I need to know if this pheromone junk really works.
"Ooh! Ooh!" Bender shouted, "It's the Hall of Robotics, sponsored by Mom's Friendly Robots!" Before he could go running off, he stopped. The low, loud ringing of a bell could be heard in the theme park. Leela watched as everyone around her began to walk in the direction of the bell, and Bender joined them.
"It's the Slurm Bell," Amy announced. "We are being summoned."
"Summoned? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Fry, talk to me..."
"We must go to the sound of the bell," he told her.
A concerned Leela put her hand up to his face. "How do you feel? Your face is flushed and your eyes are really dilated."
"All I know is that I'm very happy...the happiest I've been in all my life."
She thought quickly. "I've got something that would make you even happier Fry...we could find a secluded spot over there in the trees and make love to each other."
"Okay...after the bell." He went walking off toward the sound of the bell just like Bender.
She then turned to Amy. Same deal - flushed face and eyes dilated wide open. "Hey Amy, maybe you and I could make love to each other. I've always thought that you looked hot in that pink outfit."
"Sure," she replied blankly, "after I get to the bell." Like the others, she went walking off like an obedient child.
"Sure? she thought. "Didn't she hear what I just said? Not even an 'ick' or a 'gross.' Just 'sure.' These guys are on something." She checked her wrist thingee and found that there was even more of the pheromone floating around in the air. "Whatever this stuff is, it isn't good." She decided to act like everyone else and start walking toward the sound of the bell.
Leela followed the crowd of people inside the Slurm Castle, and a large metal door closed behind her. She slammed her fist on the door, but it was solid. Wherever they were, she had no choice but to keep following the sound of the bell. Suddenly, the bell stopped.
"Well, if it isn't Turanga Leela, the one-eyed mutant."
Leela kept her silence as she glanced up at the hideous Slurm worm.
"I understand that you're quite a star pilot," the creature continued, "but an actress you're not. I've been told that my pheromone spray has little effect on you. Pity, as you could have a really good time with the rest of our patrons. Look at how happy they all are..."
"Yeah...if you call these zombies happy..."
Leela cringed as the horrible creature squeezed out more of the pheromone from a gland on its body. She obviously couldn’t get enough out, so she ordered a Grunka Lunka to squeeze her side.
Leela winced. "What the hell is that stuff anyway? It smells like old puss."
"Why, it's my pheromone spray. Mom wanted a demonstration, and I think now is a good time to show you how it works." She barked an order into her audience. "Bring me the young Asian woman in pink over there...I believe her name is Amy Wong. Come here, my child - I won't hurt you."
Amy stepped up to face her like an obedient child. "Yes, my queen..."
"Young Amy, I'm fancying a bit of Shakespeare right now - your FacePork page brags about your acting classes; you really should be more careful with what you put on social media. Anyway, how about Hamlet, from act 1, scene 5...give us a sample."
She gave a quick curtsy to the beast, and turned to face her audience; her face displayed the serious nature of the part.
"O most pernicious woman!O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!My tables—meet it is I set it down,That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:"
"That will do nicely, my dear."
Amy bowed again to the worm, and the blank look returned to her face. The Slurm Queen grinned. "Very good, Amy, very good. I can see that you are well educated. I may just keep you around longer; I've got plans for you." She turned to Leela. "You see my dear? They're little more than just toys in my hands."
"Very impressive," she responded. "So you can get her to recite Shakespeare with your stink glands. What's next, Homer's 'Iliad'? 'Death of a Salesman'? She'd make a great Willy Loman."
"Oh, I think this next demonstration will be much more interesting. Mr. Fry...you were always so pleased with my product - step forward." Fry obeyed.
Leela looked over at Bender. "Aren't you going to stop this?"
The Queen responded with a rasping laugh. "I'm afraid your bending machine can't help you - he was designed a little too much like a human. Are you happy, Mr. Bender?"
"Oh, yeah...I'm real happy. The happiest I've been in all my life."
"All your life?" asked Leela. "You're a robot, dummy."
The quiet of the chamber was suddenly disturbed as two Grunka Lunkas dragged Mom in. "Get your slimy hands off of me, you little bastards! What is the meaning of this?"
"You wanted a test of my pheromones," the Queen said sarcastically, "and that's exactly what you're going to get. Put a weapon into Fry and Amy's hands."
"Go, you two, go!" shouted a happy Bender. "Get ready to rumble!!"
"Now wait a minute," Leela protested. "You got her to quote the classics - you've proved your point."
The Queen got a contented smirk on her hideous face. "I believe Ms. Wong here explained it quite well at the meal...I have several different pheromones for different situations." She squeezed another gland along her body. "This one initiates combat. Fight to the death, my two minions!"
Fry and Amy were given metal weapons with a grapple hook on one end, and a spear head on the other. As they prepared to fight to the death, Leela yelled over at Mom. "Put a stop to this!"
"I wish I could, Leela." She struggled with the Grunka Lunkas. "Get your hands off of me, you little perverts."
"I happen to know that Mom here is going to back out of the buy-out," the Queen said, "so we'll see later how she can entertain us."
Fry and Amy were serious about their combat. They growled at each other and gritted their teeth as they readied their weapons.
Leela got a quick idea. She inched closer to Mom, who had her purse around her shoulder. She reached her hand into the handbag.
"What are you doing? I don't carry any cash, if that's what your after."
"I'm not robbing you, stupid."
Leela found what she was looking for. She pulled out a large bottle of perfume.
"Oh, for the love of God - that's over a hundred bucks a bottle! Be careful with that!"
Leela threw the bottle down in front of Fry and Amy, and it shattered. The both of them stopped their fighting and got a confused look on their faces. She spotted a door up a flight of stairs, and bolted for it; since there were no Grunka Lunkas to block her, she easily made her way up and entered.
Leela looked around at a control room filled with TV monitors. She turned and spotted the man that the bronze statue was modeled after. "So you're Dinsmore," she told him.
"Usually I'm referred to by my title, Colonel Dinsmore. A few of my closest friends call me 'Peppy.'"
"Stop this thing right now - before my friends get hurt."
Down below the Slurm Queen raged. She squeezed out more pheromone to overcome the perfume scent. "Take your weapons, and go get Leela! Now!" Fry and Amy took their weapons and made their way up the stairs. “Go and kill the one-eyed mutant!”
Leela grabbed Dinsmore’s leather flying jacket. “Do something!”
“My dear girl, what am I supposed to do?”
“Something…anything!” She turned, as she could hear Amy and Fry getting closer. They stopped as soon as they entered the door.
Amy held Fry back with her hand as her eyes blazed with fury. “Now I could drink hot blood,” she told him, “and do such bitter business as the bitter day would quake to look on! Well, go on now – get thee hence! Dispatch the knavish mutant!”
Leela shoved Dinsmore aside and bolted out a door on the other end of the control room. She went down what seemed like an endless set of stairs, with Dinsmore, Amy and Fry in hot pursuit. When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she looked around a dark chamber. At first she didn't realize what she was looking at. When she stooped down to look at the basketball-sized objects, her mouth popped open. "Oh my...these must be...eggs?"
"I wouldn't touch those," Dinsmore instructed, "the Queen is very protective of them."
Leela turned to face him. "You...you knew this was here! And you helped her enslave my friends. You need to do something to stop this!"
“I’m not going to do anything,” the Colonel told her. "All is going precisely to plan."
She reached for his neck. “Why I could choke the shi…” When she grabbed him, a rubber mask came off of his face. She held it in her hand. She then looked up at the face, which resembled a large snail. “You’re not even a human!”
“No, my dear, I’m not. I am the primary drone of my species.” He pulled back a section of his arm to reveal a robotic limb. “Yes, I’m afraid that many children out there, as well as many an adult would be disappointed at my real appearance. It was quite a ruse, you must admit – the kindly old colonel with a dream of a huge theme park to entertain children of all ages throughout the galaxy. A veritable fountain of human kindness and generosity.”
"Then where is the real Dinsmore? What did you do with him? Kill him?"
The worm laughed as his snail eyes blinked. "Young lady, there never was a real Dinsmore."
Leela turned as an enormous elevator descended bringing down the Slurm Queen. "I see you've met my babies," she said. Riding down with her was Mom. "Get her nose filters from her," she told the Grunka Lunkas, "it's about time that she woke up and smelled the coffee."
"Get your stinking hands off of me," she shouted. As soon as the little men had taken her nose filters, she got a blank stare on her face. She slowly turned to face the Queen. "Is there anything you wish me to do, Your Highness?"
The Slurm Queen chuckled. "Finally - she's docile and quiet...I should have done that sooner. No, my dear, just stand there and wait for further instructions."
"Shall I kill the mutant, your majesty?" asked Amy as she readied her weapon.
"In due time, my dear...in due time."
"Why all of this?" asked Leela. "Why did you do this to my friends?"
"It took many a season to finally produce offspring, but I was eventually able to do it. Soon, during the convergence of the three moons, my younglings shall hatch and eventually be sent to the corners of the universe to do their bidding."
"But where do the park goers fit into all of this? Why enslave them with that...stuff of yours?"
"You see, when my babies hatch, they will be very hungry. The humans will bring down the Green Gobbleflowers so that they can feast on the nectar. When the pupae get a bit older, they will need protein in the form of meat - the humans themselves will become a convenient food supply. It's really best that they don't know what fate awaits them. I'm afraid your friend Fry shall join the lot of them in their demise. Mom here, sensing a good business deal, was only too happy to help us with our plans; soon her bones will litter the chambers down here with everyone else's after a life of slavery..."
"What do you mean, my friend Fry? What about Amy here?"
"Oh, I have a special destiny for her; I've decided to make her my next queen. She'll be pumped up with royal jelly and will become a Slurm Queen herself. She will shed that attractive Chinese body and grow into a magnificent worm queen - she'll weigh nearly a thousand pounds when it's done, and her human legs will disappear. It is probably her life-long desire...to squeeze out eggs and have them fertilized. And thus, another hive will be created. Don't you find it an honor, young Amy?"
Amy bowed. "I will serve my queen well, Your Highness."
"The mutant is an enemy of the hive," Mom growled. "Shall I dispatch her, m'lady?"
"This could be quite entertaining," the Slurm Queen told her. "Give her a blade. Leela's outlived her bloody usefulness anyway - both of them have. Either way, I win. Fight to the death you two!"
Mom hesitated at first, and the Queen rolled her eyes. "You - could you give us another squeeze right there? Lower...just a bit lower...there."
As the Grunka Lunka pressed in on the Queen's body, more combat pheromone came out. The horrible-smelling chemical made Mom begin to hold her blade in a fighting stance. "This I do for my queen," she announced, "you little hussy! Prepare to die!" In the background a Grunka Lunka began to pound a drum for the battle. Amy gave Leela her weapon.
As combat began, Leela found herself in a quandary; she really didn’t want to hurt her, but she had to defend herself from Mom. She mostly used the pole arm to block her advances with the knife. Mom was pretty inept at combat, but the knife was huge and could do quite a bit of damage if she wasn’t careful. And Mom wasn’t backing down.
As the combat continued, Leela noticed that they were essentially going in a circle. This circle took her fairly close to the Slurm Queen, who was absolutely delighted at the battle. On one of these close passes, she held up the weapon and lobbed it like a harpoon at the bloated abdomen of the Slurm Queen; as she yelled out in pain, the interruption in the pheromone production was just enough to stop Mom’s rampage; the older woman looked around in confusion. Leela ran through the door and back upstairs to the control room. Once inside, she locked the door behind her.
Leela only had a few seconds to scan the control panels. “Where are the control protocols?” she shouted. “How do you disable the protocols?”
The Grunka Lunkas gathered together and began to sing:
“Grunka Lunka disable the protocols…”
Leela reached over and grabbed one of them by the shirt collar, hoisting him into the air. “Stop singing!! You either tell me what I need to know, or I’ll break every bone in your body.”
In a squeaky voice he told her, “Uh, press the green button.”
After pressing the button, she found the master panel that distributed the pheromone across the park. She hit the button that opened the door to the Slurm Castle, and began flooding the park with feeding time pheromone; the people inside the castle began filing out toward the food courts like hungry zombies. Leela then spotted another panel. “Is that the master power panel?”
The Grunka Lunkas started to open their mouths in unison.
“No! No singing – just answer my question.”
They shook their heads yes. Leela reached over and grabbed a large lever.
“You can’t do that,” one of them shouted, “that will create a dangerous steam build up from the volcano – you’ll destroy the whole park!”
With a toothy grin she pressed the button for the evacuation message, and pulled the lever down. Klaxons and red lights began to warn of the impending danger. After kicking the door for several minutes, Fry and Amy finally got it open. “What’s going on?” shouted Amy.
“We’re going back to the ship,” Leela told her. “Grab Mom and let’s get out of here.” As they made their way out of the Slurm Castle, the park was beginning to come apart before their eyes. Explosions shook the ground beneath their feet as steam lines ruptured. As soon as the pheromone system was disabled, panicked park attendees began making a beeline to their space ships – they still had their hotdogs, hamburgers and nacho chips in their hands. Mom looked around in disbelief.
“All of my money! My park! I'm ruined!”
Leela grabbed Mom by the arm. “It’s too late! We’ve got to get out of here!”
More shaking of the pavement beneath their feet…more explosions.
“Look at Demon Mountain,” shouted Amy. The small mountain was now spewing a lava trail, and people were scrambling to get out of its way. With a loud bang a huge ball of fire flew out of the top of the tiny mountain.
“Aw, nuts,” complained Fry, “I was gonna ride that ride this afternoon.”
Leela spotted Bender getting near the lava flow with some hotdogs on a stick. “How do you like yours, Fry? I got dibs on the burnt one.” Leela grabbed his metal arm. “Hey!”
As they ran down the streets of the Bowery, Leela heard a familiar voice. “Hey lady, can you spare a dime?”
“But I really need some money to get out of here…all I've got are a few measly dimes.” Leela handed him a 5 – funbuck note. “Thanks, lady!”
Meanwhile, deep beneath the ruins of the once proud Slurm Castle, a wounded Slurm Queen struggled beneath the ruins of the crumbling building. “My babies!” she sobbed. “My younglings! Damn you, Leela!!” The Grunka Lunkas were gone. The Colonel was gone. The human servants, who would have become the food supply for her young were long gone. The Slurm Queen didn't stand a chance as the massive structure toppled in on her and her eggs.
As the crew left the entrance to Slurmworld, Fry couldn’t help but stop to take one last look at his beloved theme park. A fiberglass Clem Centipede statue played one last banjo recording from its microphone:
“It’s the happiest place in the universe…”
The figure began to warp and catch fire as it sank into the lava slag; the horribly distorted song quickly went silent as the burning flow consumed the figure.
Bender grabbed Fry’s arm. “Come on, Fry - we can’t tarry here.”
“It's a disaster of biblical proportions.”
“Biblical? Why do you say that?” Just then a small piece of brimstone hit him on the side of the face. "Ouch. Brimstone - I get it." He decided to quickly get on to the ship.
A shocked Professor Farnsworth stood there on the screen with his mouth open. “Waaa?” he said. “You burned it down? The Happiest Place in the Universe and you blew it up? To shreds you say. And the Slurm Queen? To shreds you say…”
“You maniacs!” Bender called out as he pounded the floor with his fist. “You finally did it...you blew it up…damn you all to hell…”
“Shut up,” Leela told him. “Anyway, we at least got paid for the delivery.”
“Oh, that’s a relief,” added Bender.
Mom stepped in. “Hubert, dear…do you think you can manufacture a synthetic Slurm recipe?”
“Oh, I suppose so, given time…why?”
“You’re going to need to. We’ll make a mint - millions of Slurm junkies are going to go through the DT's fairly soon.”
“I’m dyin,” Fry said in a shaky voice, “It’s been a whole two hours without Slurm. I’m gettin’ the shakes – I can see spiders on the ceiling!”
“You’re probably just coming down from the pheromones,” said Leela.
“But what am I going to do for a soda pop?”
Leela grabbed a can out of a cooler. “We still have Soylent Cola.” She examined the label. “This one belonged to a car salesman in Toledo; I still like the flavor of the supermodels better.”
“I was never so happy in all my life,” lamented Amy. “Now that I think back on it, that place kind of sucked.”
In the lobby of the Hotel Ganymede, a shady character carrying a gym bag booked a room with the clerk.
“Oh, my,” bubbled the Neptunian clerk, “you’re Colonel Dinsmore! I took my wife and kid to Slurmworld last summer – they really liked Demon Mountain.”
“Yes, my good man…I’d like to be discreet, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh, yes…of course. We have lots of celebrities here at our hotel.”
As Dinsmore waited for the clerk to finish up his paperwork, he winced at one of their corny commercials on a nearby television. Morbo was interviewing a blernsball player.
“Human, now that you’ve just won the big championship, where are you going now?”
“I’m going to Slurmworld!”
Morbo then turned to the camera. “All of you humans will die terrible deaths!”
The clerk returned with his room key. “Here we go…you’re in room 333. There’s even complimentary Slurm there for you.”
Dinsmore picked up a tourist brochure at the desk. “So you’ve got lots of caverns below the surface of Ganymede…”
“Oh, yes,” the clerk said, “hundreds of them…many unexplored.”
“And you have a botanical garden I see…”
“Why, yes – thousands of species of flowering plants.”
“Thank you…you’ve been very helpful.” As Dinsmore walked away, he unzipped the gym bag and peaked inside. He lovingly patted the large egg inside, which moved a bit. “Take care, my queen…we’ll have you situated soon enough…”