Futurama

Fan Fiction

The Little Things in Life
By Gulliver63

"Ewww," cried Amy as she started to pour her coffee in the lounge; she brought her purple boot down and crushed a large red ant on the floor. "This place is getting gross."

Amy took her cup of coffee up to the Professor's lab, where he was experimenting with a small spider monkey. His huge light beam projector was just starting to cool down as he examined the ape.

The monkey was finished writing on a piece of paper, and handed it over to Farnsworth; the Professor frowned as he scanned the scribbling. "No, no, no...this is not what Kafka's Metamorphosis is about at all. You've got to think outside of the box...look at the symbolism."

The poor ape shrugged his shoulders.

"I know, I know...literature can be a hard subject to grasp. Here - you can have an orange anyway."

"How are you coming with that IQ booster of yours?" asked Amy as she playfully scratched the creature's head.

"Only moderately successful. His penmanship is chicken scratches, and he has a terrible time trying to spell 'occasionally.' Can I help you with something?"

"Yes...you are getting a bug problem. I killed a big gross ant in the kitchen."

"And you came up here to gripe about that? It's an old building...it's bound to have ants, especially when you guys drop food all over the place."

"Have you ever thought about hitting Fry with that beam to boost his IQ?"

"Very funny, Amy. Little Jim-Jim here would still probably spell better." As soon as the ape was done with his orange, he addressed it again. "Okay...write down in just a few sentences what the Magna Carta meant to modern history." He then readied the beam for another IQ blast.

As the ape began scribbling his notes, Amy spied another ant in the hallway and crushed it with her boot. "Yuck," she said.


Deep within the walls of the Planet Express building, a red soldier ant approached his superior within the colony. His antennae began to wave in all directions.

Sir, report is as follows.. we penetrated the kingdom known to the giants as Kitchen. We found it to be stocked with a plentiful amount of food. We were then surprised by a pink giant - sadly, Lieutenant Rk-Rk was crushed and killed as we advanced to the rear.

The ant superior pondered this for a second, and then began moving his antennae to communicate to the others around him. Very well...we will send other reconnaissance missions into the kingdom of Kitchen. We will gather together our armies, and then move forward for conquest. For the colony!

All the ants around him waved their antennae. For the colony!


Later in the morning, Fry and Bender went in to watch some cartoons in the lounge. Something strange caught Fry's eye, so he snuck over to investigate. "Bender...come here and look at this. Tell me if you're seeing what I'm seeing."

He brought his metal eyes over to see what was going on. "Uh, is this a trick question? It looks like a bunch of ants carrying an inkpad and sticky notes on down the hall. So?"

"And you don't find that even a bit unusual? Don't they usually carry away food from picnics and stuff? Shouldn't we tell the Professor?"

"Nah - I've seen weirder stuff than that around here. Let's go grab a Slurm and watch cartoons."

"Oh...okay."


It was lunchtime at the Planet Express building, and Leela addressed the others. "Now I know we've all been through this before; Bender is really touchy about his cooking, so just pretend that you like it. Okay?"

Amy got an annoyed look. "Fine...but if he comes in here again with Scorpion on a Stick, I'm out of here."

"Shhh...here he comes."

Bender came in happily singing, holding his tray of food. "I think you meatbags are gonna enjoy this; celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins...it's something you humans call ants on a log."

As he placed the tray down, the group looked on in horror.

"What? What?"

Fry winced. "Uh, Bender...are these ants of yours supposed to be moving?"

Bender picked up one of the celery stalks. "Hot-diggies...these really are ants on a log."

Leela shot a furious look at the Professor. "Amy complained of this to you, and you blew her off and went back to teaching German to that stupid monkey of yours."

"For your information it was Bulgarian...and he's doing quite well, I should mention."


Leela stretched and yawned as she entered the building. "Fry...did you sleep here again?"

"Yeah...but I had a lousy night sleep."

"Really? Why?"

"All that racket...I could swear I heard hammering and power saws all through the night."

Leela curled her face in confusion as she peered out the window. "That's weird...they're not working on the building next door anymore."

"I don't know, but it just went on and on."

"Darn it," Leela said as she brought her boot down with force on the kitchen floor, "Professor, you really have to do something about these stupid ants."

"Waaa? I didn't bring them in here. Why are they my responsibility?"

Fry looked in amazement at something on the countertop. "These are carpenter ants, Leela."

"What are you talking about? You don't know anything about insects."

"Look!"

Leela's eye got wide as she looked over a large group of tiny buildings nestled near the toaster that had been apparently put up overnight. "These are apartments..."

"Nice ones too," added Fry. "Look at the little swimming pool."

"You think that's something," the Professor interjected, "this will really fry your noodle." He pointed to a group of tiny buildings next to the refrigerator. "They're obviously very intelligent - this is a university!" He pulled out a magnifying glass from his coat, and observed a group of ants staggering around in an odd fashion. "By the looks of this, it's rush week for the fraternities."

Just then an oblivious Zoidberg opened the fridge to get his lunch. "Aw...the ants are hauling my lunch away!"

Fry peered in. "Isn't that a written note next to it?"

Zoidberg grabbed it with his pincer. "It says: "Let us have the pastrami, and no one will get hurt."

Leela shook her head. "For the love of Asimov; they write?" She then turned her angry gaze over to the Professor. "This wouldn't have anything to do with your IQ boosting ray, would it?"

He shot an angry look back. "Why is it always my fault when a creature mutates or evolves too quickly? Haven't you heard of Natural Selection? Just blame the mad professor, won't you..."

"Who are we supposed to blame," asked Leela, "that janitor guy over there?"

The janitor adjusted his cap. "Name's Scruffy, ma'am."

"Well, don't you usually have bug spray on your cart?"

He then pulled a porno magazine from his cart. "I'd like to help you with that, but I got a scheduling conflict."

The Professor motioned for the others. "Come on, you guys...we've got a mystery to solve."


The others followed the Professor on his bug hunt down the corridor. "Tell me this again, Fry; you said that they took an inkpad and sticky notes?"

"And some bigger pieces of paper."

Farnsworth pointed to a series of sticky notes posted along the floorboard. "There's your sticky notes." He began reading all four of them in order. "If it's wisdom...that you're seekin'... it's into the walls...that you should be peekin'."

Fry got a stupid smile on his face. “They’re a poet, and don’t know it.”

Farnsworth looked up along a crack in the wall, and spotted a larger piece of paper sticking out.

"What's it say, Professor?" asked Amy.

"It says: 'You are a Professor, a creature of great intelligence. Not many scruples, but great intelligence. We will require a communication device to establish contact with you. Do not disappoint us, or there will be consequences.' It's signed by someone named Arg."

"They have really good grammar for ants," noted Amy, "as well as a good sense of humor."

"Yeah, they also threatened us. What could they possibly do to us?" asked Leela.

"Let's find out, shall we? To the lab!"


In response to the ants' demands, Professor Farnsworth installed the small speaker on the kitchen counter so the ants could speak to them. He also fashioned a tiny microphone that their leader could mount upon his head. The voice that then came out was an awkward mechanical one, and it echoed around the kitchen.

"I...am Arg, the queen's representative...I...will speak...on behalf of the...kitchen colony."

"Good," said the Professor, "maybe we could get this thing cleared up quickly."

Fry bit his fingernails as he watched a large group of red ants circle around the back of them. "Good grief," he blurted out, "these are army ants! Look at the size of those mandibles!"

The speaker answered back. "Do not be afraid - these are only soldiers on military exercises near our kitchen borders. These exercises were planned well in advance. There is no invasion scheduled."

Leela fumed. "I am so sick of this! Here...I'll just take care of 1st Platoon." She hovered a massive boot over the group of ants and then brought it down with a crunching sound.

Again the speaker came to life. "You will need to restrain the one-eyed giant before we can continue our negotiations. She will soon find herself brought up on war crimes charges..."

"Negotiations?" asked Amy angrily. “You're not in charge here. What possible leverage would you have over us?”

"We have disabled the security computer connected to this building; you will not be able to exit until we allow you to leave..."

Farnsworth brought his hand up to his mouth. "Oh, dear God...they've commandeered the security computer's panic room feature and sealed us into the building." He looked at the others in terror. "Conceivably they could shut off our oxygen supply..."

"Finally you understand the perilous situation that you are in. You are now our obedient servants to do with as we wish. We will keep you alive to perform certain tasks, like dropping bits of food on the floor from time to time, or spreading sugar on the table. There is also a certain entertainment value to you. Keep in mind that your very lives depend on your good behavior. The circle-eyed one might want to keep this in mind."

Leela brought her boot down again. "Oops...there went 2nd Platoon."

"You are only getting yourself into deeper trouble, Cyclops Giant...the tribunal will not look favorably on this..."

"Oh, I'm so scared," Leela taunted. "What are you going to do, nibble my lunch? If I get to my weapons locker, I'm going to roast all of you with my laser pistol." Leela walked over to the electronic door, and it wouldn't open for her. "Darn it!"

The Professor gritted his false teeth. "Leela, we'll have to stay here for a while. If those army ants swarm us in our sleep, we won't stand a chance. Please don't rile them anymore."

The Planet Express crew suddenly heard footsteps coming up the hall as the door opened.

"Who would that be Professor?" asked Amy.

"Oh, good heavens - Morgan Proctor was supposed to drop some paperwork by."

"We have permitted a visitor to enter this facility...they cannot leave until we have cleared them to go. If they prove to be a danger, they will never leave here alive."

As Morgan got ready to come into the kitchen, they motioned for her to stop; she stood there with her shoe a foot from the floor.

"You slovenly pigs," she spat, "you've got a huge insect problem here. I didn't bring paperwork for that. I leave you alone for just a few weeks..."

"A bureaucrat," Arg said, "how convenient. We can use this giant in the negotiations."

Morgan safely deposited her foot away from the ants, and stooped down to examine them in wonder. "They said that? A communication device for ants - brilliant! Where is the representative here?" She watched one lone black ant come forward; she placed her finger down on the floor, and the ant climbed on and she lifted him up into the air.

"I am Arg, of the Kitchen Colony."

Her massive eye focused on the tiny creature. "You realize that what you have done here is an illegal occupation...they'll go after you for that."

"That is to be determined in the course of the negotiations..."

Morgan then spotted a tiny flag on the floor with a crossed knife and fork on it. She frowned. "Arg, that kind of nationalistic fervor isn't going to help the situation any."

"You must realize, Bureaucratic Giant, that this is now the nation of Kitchen. We have formed a loose hegemony with the rest of the Planet Express universe. We are obviously the leading nation, as we control the food supply. We will then utilize these giant slaves to serve our needs."

"Hegemony?" asked Fry.

"It's Heinlein," Amy told him in a whisper voice. "I'll explain later."

Again, Morgan peered down at the ant on her finger. "Next question: can you gentlemen sign paperwork? We're dead in the water if you can't."

"We use our feet on the thing known as...the ink pad."

Zoidberg held up the food note from the refrigerator in his claw. Morgan squinted to read it. "Penmanship leaves a lot to be desired, but it will work." Again she eyeballed the black ant on her fingertip. "I hope you've brought your A-game, buster - these giants are a tricky bunch. I know them."

The ant waved an antenna. [The one-eyed giant has attacked us with a weapon of mass destruction, and threatened us with chemical warfare].

Leela continued her rant. "Could we get this over with so we can smash these guys and get the hell out of here?"

Morgan gently placed the ant back on the floor. "Very well...let the negotiations begin."

"Negotiations?" Leela growled. "With a bunch of stinking ants?"

"Leela, you are currently considered a prisoner of war - I'll make sure you're treated fairly, but you're not allowed to leave the kitchen. You are in quite a bit of trouble, young lady, so don't kill any more ants."

"You sound like you're on their side," said Amy.

"I am merely acting as a moderator - I'm not taking either side at this point."


After reviewing her paperwork, Morgan leaned over to address the huge collection of ants on the floor that resembled a sea of black motion. "I'm going to need to speak with a bureaucrat." After several seconds of inactivity, she spoke to them again. "Come, come...I don't have all day. There must be someone there that keeps track of the eggs and sends reports back to the queen."

Finally, a smaller ant came forward to face her. As he began waving his antennae around, Morgan placed her hands up to her temples and started waving her index fingers around in a similar fashion in response to the ant.

"Oh, good grief," Leela bristled, "she speaks ant too?"

The Professor watched with a fascinated smile. "I heard that they were teaching this to the new bureaucrats - I always wondered how it worked."

"Why, for God's sake?"

“I speak bee,” Bender volunteered as he moved his rear around, “why ask why?”

After wiggling her fingers around, Morgan went back to jotting down notes in her paperwork. "Okay," she said, "I'm going to need a face-to-face meeting with the queen and her court." Morgan then turned to the Professor. "I understand that you once made micro-droids to examine Fry's intestine; I'm going to need that same technology to meet with the ants."

"We still have that technology, yes...if your new-found friends will let us get to my lab."

"We will permit it," said Arg. "But some of our soldiers will oversee the process."

"Very well...follow me." Morgan let more of the ants climb on to the palm of her hand."

Morgan found the whole process fascinating; first she was scanned, and then a teeny-tiny copy of her was made. She held the miniature copy in her hand. "Imagine if I had a million of these," she said with a smile, "the stuff I could get done."

The Professor furled his brow. "Oh, yeah? Do you have any idea how much these darned things cost? I don't care - it's your money. You're holding a Rolls-Royce in your hand."

Morgan was then given a virtual reality hood, shoes and gloves, and the Professor gently lowered her robot double into the mass of black ants with his tweezers. She looked around at her new surroundings, and gasped in wonder. The ants looked like a large herd of black horses on the open range. She and her human friends appeared to be monstrous giants that climbed into the sky.

"This is amazing," she told the others, "I can see everything." She turned to examine her new surroundings. "I hate to be a pest, but you people really should use some floor wax every now and again."

"Oh, I'll get right on that," Leela said sarcastically, "as soon as I get paroled."

"They'll teach you how to do that in prison," said Bender. "I waxed a mean floor in Chino."

A black ant walked up to Morgan's micro-droid, and began moving his antennae around. [Greetings - I am Arg, of the Kitchen Colony. This is Kr-kr, my bureaucrat. Please climb on my back and we'll take you to the queen]. Complying, the Morgan-bot mounted the ant like a small black horse. As they walked on, she spotted the red army ants standing in formation at the edge of their group. Some of them were practicing their close order drill.

[Are those who I think they are?] asked the Morgan-bot in ant-talk.

[The Generalissimo and his troops - we've never have completely trusted them], Kr-kr told her.

As the group got close to one of Leela's boots, the Morgan-bot looked up and spoke with Kr-kr. The tops of the boots seemed to stretch into the sky. [Weapons of mass destruction?] she asked.

[Why yes...weapons of mass destruction; they took the lives of many of our comrades. I will probably suffer nightmares from that fateful day. We mustn't get too close].

Next, the Morgan-bot was surprised by several ants that flew by on wings. [Those are our airborne units], Kr-kr proudly told her.

To Morgan's surprise, she was taken directly to the ant queen and her court. The queen looked like the others, but her abdomen was much larger. The Morgan-bot curtsied. [Your Highness...I am Morgan, of the Bureaucracy Nation].

[Miss Morgan...I have heard much about you. At last I finally get to meet your avatar. We will need your help in creating a treaty with the giants. These are my counselors Urg-Urg and Oooog; they will assist you].

The tiny robot activated an even tinier wrist thingee. [Agreed, Your Majesty; let's get started].

The Queen addressed her again. [Miss Morgan - do you think this lot is really worth sparing? Or should we just slaughter them now as my military leaders would have me do?].

She looked up. [Oh no, Your Highness...there is always a peaceful solution. This group of giants can be of great use to you. They can bring you mighty tributes of food and help to expand your kingdom. I know they're oafish, but give them a chance].

The Planet Express crew watched in wonder as Morgan tapped notes on her wrist thingee. In between the tapping came those familiar movements of the fingers with her ant companions.

While Morgan finished up her notes, Amy clumsily sneezed on the ants. Morgan's micro-bot was blown over by the mighty gust of wind, which went through the collection of ants like a small hurricane. After getting back up from the floor the robot looked up at Amy's face looming over her.

"Sorry," the giant said in an echoing voice.

"Will someone please get this girl some allergy medicine?"


As the Professor placed the tiny Morgan-bot into a storage container with his tweezers, Morgan reviewed her notes on her wrist-thingee. "I have on my wrist," she proudly told the others, "a treaty from the ants that is guaranteed to bring peace in our time."

Fry scratched his head in confusion. "I'm not much with history, but wasn't that said by someone else? And didn't it go terribly wrong?"

"Before I share the treaty," she continued, "we will now begin the tribunal for Leela."


Next came the business of the military tribunal. Leela sat in a kitchen chair in utter frustration as Arg read the charges against her. She was tied up to the chair as part of the ants' instructions.

"You have been charged with, on the second day of April, wiping out large elements of the 5th Shock Army with a weapon of mass destruction. You have therefore been classified an enemy combatant."

"Weapon of mass destruction?" blurted out Leela.

Morgan pointed down to Leela's boots with her ball point pen. "It's those size 13 clod-hoppers - that's what he's talking about. Go on, Arg."

The Pink Giant, the whiney one, is also guilty of killing two of our advance scouts..."

"Ewww…but they were just so gro-tee," said Amy.

"Yes, but that doesn't give you free reign to just go around killing Arg's people."

Leela couldn't hold back anymore. "They're not fracking people! They're stinking bugs!!"

"Now you see,” Bender said, “it's just that kind of racial insensitivity that got us into this mess to begin with. They're technically arthropods; insects if you will. Read Wiki."

Morgan interjected. "Leela, Arg's people are a proud and noble race...I've walked among them and met their queen."

"They're bugs, you idiots!! Untie me!"

"Their contract," Morgan told them, "calls for the establishment of the Kitchen Nation, which will be allied with the Lobby Nation and Hallway Nation. The humans will be kept alive, for now, as entertainment for their ant masters, and to do things like drop honey on the floor from time to time."

"Entertainment?" asked Amy. "How are we supposed to entertain them?"

"You know...regale them with stories, sing songs, read poetry...that sort of thing. You'll be like fools in the Queen's court. They're really merry folk, these ants. Also, all of your names will be changed to properly reflect how they view you. Anyway, any further killing of ants will be met with swift and terrible retribution. Also, any attempt to call in a pest control man will mean certain death to all of you. I'll have this stamped and submitted in my inbox by Monday morning, and the Bureaucracy can make it official."

Leela shouted out. "You imbecile! You took their side? I knew you'd sell us out."

"Cyclops Giant, you will refrain from any further outbursts during the tribunal." Morgan then turned to Zoidberg. "Big Red Tentacle Giant, the ants are going to need some bread crumbs spread on the floor - they're getting a bit hungry. They know that you're quite good at this..."

"Hooray," Zoidy said, "I'm finally useful; I'm going to enjoy serving my new masters."

The group got quiet as they noticed a commotion among the ants on the floor; the mass of insects whirled around like a stormy black and red ocean. Morgan got on her hands and knees to see what was going on. "Gentlemen...what's happening? I approved your contract. Gentlemen? My Queen?"

The electronic voice returned. "I am Generalissimo Rrrrrr. The current government of Kitchen has been replaced by a provisional military one; things weren't progressing as quickly as we'd hoped. I am now in charge until such time as we again can hold normal government functions."

"But what of the queen?" asked Morgan.

"No harm will come to her - she will be merely locked in her quarters with a pile of sugar."

Fry leaned over to the Professor. "I guess stuff happens quickly in the insect world."

“They had a freaking coup d’état?” asked Leela. “Freaking ants?”

"But the treaty still stands," Morgan added, "doesn't it? The Queen and I had a treaty."

"All but one part - the One-eyed Giant must die. She is too much of a risk to national security. The military will carry out her sentence at once - death by biting."

Leela was furious. “That’s it – Bender, are you just going to sit back and let his go on?”

Bender stood up with a large bottle of malt liquor in his hand; he started pumping the fingers of his other hand like a goose beak. “Yada, yada, yada. I’ve been listening to you bugs chitter-chatter all morning about peace treaties and demands. Leela may be a one-eyed giant, but she’s our one-eyed giant. Now it’s time to drop some napalm on you guys.” He took a long swig of beer, and held his mouth open. He then quit moving, apparently frozen in place. A small puff of smoke rolled out of his mouth.

“And?” asked Amy.

The Professor opened his door and looked inside, and found several ants milling about inside of him. “The ants have chewed on his wiring; he’s shorted out.”

Fry slumped his shoulders. “Well, there goes our super-weapon.”

“Again you have been foiled at using your newest terror weapon. You need to accept the situation as it stands: we are your new masters. Your wheel-eyed friend is to die.”

Professor Farnsworth leaned over to Fry. "This calls for a game-changer. Boy, bring me my box labeled 'Experiment 333."

"What's that?"

"Just do it...and quickly."

Fry scurried off to find the Professor's box.

The Generalissimo spoke again. “Where is the low-IQ giant going?”

He feebly smiled. “Oh, just bringing down more sugar cubes. I’m sure the troops are getting hungry.”

“You are of the intelligentsia, Professor. I don’t know how much I trust you. The stings of my soldier’s mandibles will be a slow, painful way to die if you are lying to me.”

Morgan scowled. "I must protest this - protection was offered to her. A contract is a contract."

"You forget, Miss Bureaucrat - we are the only ones who can issue you safe passage out of this kingdom. Would you rather die with her?"

Fry returned with the box. "Professor, I brought that box you wanted." Clumsily, he tripped and dropped the bulky plastic box to the floor, which then shattered. A mass of larvae-type insects went flying in all directions across the floor. The Generalissimo could be heard screaming on the speaker as the ants began running in all directions.

"What are those?" asked Amy.

Farnsworth grinned. "Myrmeleon pictifrons...Ant lion pupae. Some people call them 'doodlebugs.' Don't you read Wiki?"

"Retreat!" shouted the Generalissimo, "retreat!!"

"Boy," said Amy, "they aren't called ant lions for nothing - those things are eating the crap out of the ants."

Leela then spoke up. "Fry, will you come and untie me?"

As he loosened her bonds, he told her, "I'm sorry I was so clumsy."

She grabbed his hand. "You know, I think you did just fine."

Morgan straightened her dress. "Well...I think my work here is done." She tore up the piece of paper. "I now declare this piece of paperwork null and void. I think it’s time to call the exterminator for those army ants – we’ll just skip the paperwork on that one."

Morgan took one last look at the carnage on the floor. "Still, it was a shame about poor Arg...he was a competent leader."

Another carpenter ant had already taken over the microphone device. "He had served his colony well, Miss Morgan; we will leave his body on the floor - you may dispose of it as you wish."


The next morning the Professor was vacuuming up what was left of the ants after the building was sprayed. His lab experiment monkey Jim-Jim was playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on a small toy piano while he worked.

"Looks like a battle took place here," Amy commented as she fiddled with Bender’s wiring. "Do you think you accomplished anything with your experiments, Professor?"

"All I really wanted to do was to see if I could boost an animal's IQ."

The monkey stopped his piano playing, and spoke: "I believe it was your immortal Socrates that said, 'I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.'"

The Professor dismissed the ape with a wave of his hand."Oh, we know that already. I just hope I got all of them. I can't imagine what would happen if any of those ants got loose out in the world - they could change everything we know."

The ape shrugged his shoulders and continued playing his sonata.

Amy then asked the ape a question: "Do you know any Rachmaninoff?"

The ape smiled. "Concerto No. 2? Certainly." He began playing his new request.


As Morgan sat sipping her mocha in a nearby coffee shop, she saw something that made her face curl up in anger. A black ant stood on top of her purse, waving its antennae around. Damned ant, she thought. She raised the palm of her hand up to smash the ant, and then stopped. She moved in for a closer look, and then began to speak ant with her fingers.

[I thought I was done with you folks...why won't you leave me alone?]

[Please, Miss Morgan - give us a chance...]

She frowned. [What is it you want?]

[We need to ask for asylum; our entire nation has been turned into a chemical-poisoned wasteland. Our eggs have all been destroyed. All that is left of us has taken refuge in your purse...underneath the compact, in between the lipstick tube and the chewing gum.]

She continued wiggling her fingers. [Hey...you're Kr-kr, the bureaucrat.]

[Yes...it's me. All we want is an opportunity to find a new home. We're more than willing to work...]

[Well, what do you do?]

[We're good at clerical work...I know shorthand...and you know we have civil engineering skills...]

[It's just going to be hard to put the paperwork through on you guys, seeing as you are ants and all - you have no permanent address...] Morgan Proctor then noticed a heavy-set woman nearby staring at her. "Can I help you? Haven't you seen anyone speak ant before? This is a business conference - go back you your latte."


Professor Farnsworth looked up to see his ape subject walking toward the door with a small suitcase. "What," he asked the monkey, "you're just leaving?"

"Oh, I forgot to tell you - I accepted a teaching position at Columbia. Not very prestigious I admit, but it beats sitting around here writing papers on Jung and Nietzsche while you blast me with that beam of yours."

"But...you're an ape..."

"I know...there's still that 'Old Boy' network at the school; some will feel embarrassment at being upstaged by an ape, but I'll do fine." The ape then handed a pile of papers to him and addressed him sternly like a schoolmaster. "Professor, these papers of yours are rife with spelling errors; honestly, I don't know what they teach you humans anymore. Top of the evolutionary chain...hah!"

Farnsworth's face became flush with anger. "You proofread my treatise? Three weeks ago you were swinging from a tree in Punjab, picking bugs off of your friends' backs. Ingrate..." He then poured over the papers. "Anyway, thanks for the help."

Jim -Jim the ape then grabbed his book bag. "Oh, and I borrowed your copy of 'The Gulag Archipelago' - I'll have it back to you in the morning."

As the ape swung out of the lab, Farnsworth continued to grumble. "I should have never boosted that primate's IQ..."

In Morgan Proctor's office, a co-worker congratulated her. "That was really great work on the Stevenson account," he told her. "You made it look effortless."

"Ah, that's nothing," she told him, "all in a day's work."

As soon as he left, Morgan pulled out a tiny matchbox from her desk. The box had a label on it which read "Bureaucrat .00019." She opened it up and gently let the ant inside out onto her desktop. "I really appreciate your help this afternoon, little Kr-kr...if that isn't worth a sugar cube, I don't know what is. You'll go far in this organization."

She placed a sugar cube next to the ant, and smiled as he began to enjoy it. She then turned and opened a cabinet, which was filled with ants working on paperwork. “Brilliant,” she told herself, “absolutely brilliant. They’re the best workers in the world; they don’t need vacation, they don’t gripe for more pay, and they never stop working.” She then observed a group of newer buildings in the corner of the closet that the carpenter ants had put up recently, and curled her face up in annoyance. "Wait a minute - did you guys get building permits for those?"

Buddies