“That went well,” Bender said as he crawled out from under the tank robot. After heading toward the underground base, he had run into the tank-bot sentry that guarded it. After failing miserably to talk his way into the base, Bender jumped onto the guard’s arm and tried to stop it from shooting him. The tank-bot flailed, but was unable to dislodge Bender. It then tried to bash him into trees and a cliff face, but Bender refused to let go. Finally, Bender was able to get to the control panel on the back of the robot’s neck and shut it down. Unfortunately for Bender, the robot was on a hill, racing down. When it shut down, the treads came to a dead stop, but the robot didn't. Momentum carried it head over treads, temporarily trapping him underneath. A quick reprogramming job later, Bender started to crawl out.
After getting back to his feet, Bender looked at the tank-bot, slowly rolling over and righting itself. “You know what to do,” he asked.
“KILL ALL HUMANS,” the tank-bot replied, powering up its weapon arms.
“Oh, yeah. That’s the stuff,” Bender said, laughing evilly and running for the base.
Fifteen minutes later, Bender walked out of the elevator and into the lower levels. Looking into one of the rooms, he noticed, with his keen robot senses, the recent presence of humans.
“Mmm, Fry must have been here,” he said as he kicked the various empty food containers and balled up clothes. “Which means that he might still be here.” Nodding, he said, “Yeah. Gonna get me a chance to squash a meatbag.”
“Who are you and what are you doing in my hospital,” a female voice said from behind him.
“I’m Bender, baby,” he said turning around to see Nurse standing there. “And who might you be?”
“You’re not one of our robots,” Nurse said, turning away. “I’m calling security.”
“No you ain’t, baby,” Bender said, quickly crossing the room and tackling her. “I’m usually a lover and not a fighter,” Bender said as he put his hands on the sides of her head and twisted. “But in this case, I’ll have to make an exception. Nobody can know that I’m here.” There was a loud pop and the sounds of electronics shorting out as her head came apart from her body. “Sorry, baby,” he said as he got up and tossed the head to the ground. “Maybe when this is all over and I’ve killed all the humans, you and me could have a little fun.”
Stretching out his arms, Bender wandered the way that Nurse had come from and found a medical lab. “Aw, crap,” he said as he started to check out the computer screens and didn’t find anything interesting. “But what’s this,” he said as he found the log-in prompt for the Central Computer. Cracking his knuckles, he said, “Let’s see if I still got that old touch.”
“What do you mean that neither of us is the real Leela,” the human demanded.
“Yeah,” the mutant added. “I have very distinct memories of existing before coming to this planet.”
But Sylvester ignored them. He had a faraway look in his eyes. Something was wrong in the base. Some unauthorized someone was trying to access the Central Computer. And, since in effect, he was the Central Computer, he was immediately concerned. Turning his back to them, he walked over to a computer terminal and plugged in. Flipping though the various cameras at the speed of thought, he found the one he was looking for. At the Immediate Care Station where Fry and the original Leela had first come into the base, he saw it, and it made him angry. Angrier than he had been in a very long time. Ordering a security robot to go deal with the intruder he spun on the trio behind him. “You idiot,” he screamed, looking at Fry. “You stupid, brainless moron. You brought a robot here with you? How stupid could you be? I’ve been broadcasting a warning against bringing robots to this planet for five hundred years, and you and your idiot friend are the first ones to violate that. How could you be so stupid?”
“What are you talking about,” the human asked.
“And why haven’t you answered our question,” the mutant added.
“Your question? Your question? By bringing an unshielded robot here to the surface, you may very well have derailed all of the work that I’ve been doing for the last half millennium, and you have the audacity to demand an answer to your question? Why didn’t you listed to the warning that I broadcasted? I know for a fact that you can hear it as far into the system as Uranus.”
Fry snickered, but the mutant Leela ignored him and asked, “Where? Don’t you mean Urectum?” And that prompted Fry to laugh harder.
“It doesn’t matter,” the human said, also ignoring Fry. “If they don’t remember, maybe you’re not broadcasting anymore.”
Sylvester stormed to the console and hit a few keys. Suddenly, the room was filled with noise.
“Isn’t that the gibberish that we heard before, Leela,” Fry asked. “I mean that the other you and us heard before.”
“Yep,” the mutant said. “And I don’t understand a word of it. Hell, I don’t even think that those are words.”
“You don’t understand,” Sylvester said, stunned. “How can you not understand? That’s Galactic Basic. It’s the prime universal language of over a thousand parallel universes.”
“Well, obviously not our universe,” the mutant said.
“Well, ignorance still isn’t a defense,” Sylvester said, sounding more concerned than angry.
After a few minutes of uneasy silence, the security drone entered the Control Room carrying a robot’s head. The robot placed the head down on the counter in front of Sylvester. Looking at him, the robot said, “AN ERROR HAS DEVELOPED IN THIS UNIT’S OPERATION SUBROUTINES. THIS UNIT WILL NEED TO BE SCANNED.”
“Yes, yes,” Sylvester said absently as he picked up Bender’s head.
“Aw, buddy,” Fry said coming over. “What did they do to you?”
“Nothing more than he deserved,” Sylvester said. “Why, if he had succeeded in getting into the computer system…” Suddenly, it went dark, but the lights came back on just as quickly as they went out. As they looked around, they saw Sylvester pulling himself up from the floor, holding his head. Looking panicked, the little man said, “I think we’re in serious trouble.” He wobbled over to the computer panel behind him as fast as he could. After several minutes of typing, he turned to them. “We’re in a great deal of trouble.”
“Why,” Fry asked, sliding back toward the Leelas. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m no longer in control of the Central Computer. Somehow,” he said glaring at the three of them out of the corner of his eye, “a virus was introduced to the Central Computer and a reinitialization was needed to clear the system. Unfortunately, I wasn’t part of the system’s primary programming, and it’s kicked me out, too. So, everyone move very slowly and very carefully toward the exit and then run like your lives depended on it. Which, I should say, I think they do.”
As they all started to back slowly toward the door, the robot turned around and raised its arm. “THE HUMANS WILL CEASE THEIR MOVEMENT AND REPORT TO THE INFIRMARY FOR PROCESSING.”
“Technically, only one of us is completely human,” Sylvester said as they kept backing away. “I’m an alien, and the ladies are clones of a mutant. So, technically,” he said, grabbing Bender’s head and hurling it at the robot, “RUN,” he yelled. Fry and the Leelas didn’t hesitate. As soon as they cleared the door, the human Leela slapped her hand down on the panel to shut the door. Sylvester didn’t break his stride, sliding below the door then back up to his feet outside.
The robot twitched away as the head flew into its face then it began to fire. But, it was too late, as all it hit was the door as it was sliding shut. Plugging back into the computer the robot initiated the Intruder Response programming and ordered the activation of the other security robots.
Amy was comfortable. At least she was as comfortable as she could be with the rebreather in her mouth. They had spent the night together, and nothing bad had happened. No monster bears, no killer iguanas, no sharktapuses, nothing. Stretching, she snuggled her head into a still mostly warm Kif and sighed. She really didn’t’ want to get up, but Fry and Leela were out there somewhere, waiting to be rescued. Sitting up, she nearly spit the rebreather out of her mouth.
“Knock, knock,” Zap said, his head uncovered by his helmet. Amy stared at him, her eyes wide. Alarmed, she shook Kif hard, waking him up.
“What, who, huh,” he sputtered. Grabbing his head, Amy turned him toward Zap and pointed. “Oh, ugh,” he groaned. “Sir, where’s your helmet?”
“Ugh, that thing was much too hot. I took it off last night and now I feel fabulous. Who wants breakfast? We didn’t have much in the way of supplies, so I woke up early this morning and picked some berries. I ran the scanner over them and you’ll never guess what? Go on, guess.”
“Sir, I don’t think it’s wise for you to not to wear your helmet.”
“Oh, Kiffy, you worry too much. Now guess, silly.”
Looking at Amy, who just shrugged her shoulders, Kif sighed and said, “They’re edible?”
“Yes they are and they taste wonderful,” Zap said smiling. “You’re so smart, Kif. I don’t know what I would do without you. Now, come on you two lovebirds. It’s breakfast time.” Amy and Kif just looked at each other, too stunned to try and speak. “Come on,” Zap said from outside. “This fruit isn’t going to eat itself.”
The two of them crawled outside the tent to find Zap wearing his regular uniform, the power armor discarded. And, sitting on the remains of his tent was, as promised, a feast of fruit, mixed with the remains of their other supplies. “There you are,” Zap said, coming over to help the two of them stand up. “Come, come,” he added, shooing them to the meal, “eat. I’ll have some when you’re finished.”
“Um, sir,” Kif said, eating a small handful of the berries, “you realize that because you’re not wearing your helmet, you’ve been poisoned by the atmosphere.”
“Oh, heavens, Kif. Have I? Really? Well, that could be a problem. What have I been poisoned with?”
“Bronzillium, sir. It causes an upset within a person’s brain that alters one’s personality.”
“Really? Funny, I don’t feel altered. Don’t I usually act like this?”
“No, sir. You’re usually a complete jerk.” Zap look stunned, seeing Amy nodding vigorously in agreement with Kif.
“Really? Well, that doesn’t sound like the me I remember. Of course, almost everything before this morning is pretty hazy. Why would I act that way?”
“I have no idea, sir. You’ve done it for as long as I’ve known you.”
“Really? I don’t know what to say, Kif. I’m sorry. Please,” Zap said, falling to his knees in front of Kif. “Forgive me, my friend. I’ll make it all up to you, I swear.”
Embarrassed, Kif could do nothing but stammer. Amy hit him on the arm and gestured that she thought Zap needed to get up. When Kif hesitated, she hit him again and started to look angry. “Get, uh, I mean, please, uh, sir, I, uh,” he stammered. Rolling her eyes, Amy reached out her hand and helped Zap to his feet.
“Thank you, Amy. I swear I’ll make everything up to you, Kif, just as soon as we find Fry. And Leela, too, I guess.” Amy and Kif exchanged worried and confused glances as he continued to eat the fruit.
“You know sir,” Kif began, but was interrupted as the trees on the far side of the clearing exploded. A tank robot rolled out through the raining fire and debris, its arm cannon raised and glowing.
“THE HUMANS WILL BE TERMINATED.” The robot continued to advance, firing and repeating the same phrase over and over.
“What’s happening, Kiffy,” Zap wailed. “Why is it trying to kill us? What did we ever do to it?”
“I, uh, heh,” Kif stammered. Seeing that neither man was going to be much use, Amy grabbed their hands and dragged them into the woods.
“Quick, in here,” the mutant Leela yelled throwing Fry into a store room, followed quickly by the human Leela and Sylvester. Looking back up and down the hallway, she followed and shut the door. “I think we’ve lost them for a little bit.” Fry was doubled over panting, and her human twin was sitting on the floor, holding her side. Sylvester was pacing the room, fanning himself with his hat.
“This is all your fault, you know,” Sylvester said, looking at Fry.
“Our fault,” the mutant replied. “How is this our fault? You’re the alleged super-genius. From what you said, you’ve been here for five hundred years. Why haven’t you fixed this radiation problem yet?”
“Do you know how hard it is to create life from centuries old, and, usually, corrupted genetic samples? I’ve had minimal amounts of material to work with over the last few centuries. I’ve scoured the globe to find the few meager samples that I’ve got.”
“So,” the human said, “you’re either too busy trying to restore the human race, or you’re just making excuses because you have no clue how to do it.”
“I know how to do it,” Sylvester snapped. “I just don’t have the parts to build the three dozen satellites that I need to do it. Or an effective way to get them into orbit.”
“You don’t have a space ship,” Fry asked. “What kind of crummy alien are you?”
“I’ve got a ship,” he replied. “It’s just not suited to the placing of satellites in orbit. But that’s not the point. Right now, we’ve got to get to my lab. I’ve got a few things there that will help us. If I’m right, that robot back in the Central Computer room has started the sequence to reactivate the rest of the security drones. The only problem is that someone will have to distract the sentry robots.”
“I’ll do it,” Fry said.
“The hell you will,” the two Leelas replied. The two women stared at each other, each surprised by how strong the mutant’s reaction was.
“Leela, er, Leelas, it’s the only thing that makes sense. The three of you are more sciency and actiony than I am. And if there’s something I’m good at, it’s running away.”
“You’ll be killed,” the mutant said.
The human nodding her head vigorously, adding, “We can’t have that.”
“’We’”, Fry said, looking back and forth between the two of them.
Looking at each other the human said, “Yeah, ‘We.’”
“Got a problem with that,” the mutant asked?
“Uh, no. Not really,” he said smiling and looking slightly scared.
“The two of you are becoming unstable,” Sylvester said. “You shouldn’t have woken them up so early,” he said looking at Fry.
“What do you mean unstable,” the human asked.
“We’re not unstable,” the mutant added. “Take that back or I’ll kick your scrawny alien ass.”
“Your moods are swinging wildly,” Sylvester said. “Not that long ago, you were fighting each other over him, and now it sounds like you want to share him.”
“Meh,” Fry said, “she’s like that all the…what do you mean, share me? Two Leelas on me? Sign me up for that!”
The three of them just looked at him. “Anyway,” the mutant said, “you’re not going out there to die, and that’s final.”
“Someone has to,” Fry replied. “He can’t go because it’s his lab. That robot can’t be too far behind us, so it has to be done fast. I’m doing it, with or without your approval, Leela…uh. Leelas.”
“I’ll go with him,” the human said suddenly.
“Fine, good,” Sylvester said. “Let’s just get going already.”
“Are you sure,” the mutant asked.
“Yeah. He’s right, you know. He can do it, but one of needs to be there to keep him from getting killed. You know how he is if you leave him alone. I sure as hell don’t, but you do. If one of us is with him, then we can keep him safe and save the day, all at the same time. I have better eyesight than you, so it should be me.”
“You have better depth perception,” the mutant corrected, “but you’re right. One of us has to go with him or he’ll get himself killed. I don’t like it, but it’s the best option we have. Take care of him. I’ll keep your buddy here in line.”
“Let’s just get going,” Sylvester said. “Now, my lab is that way,” he said pointing down the hall away from the control room. “The two robots that I activated will likely be heading in that direction. You need to keep them off our backs for,” he paused, pulling out his pocket watch, “half an hour. By that time, we should have everything we need. Then I can try and regain control.”
“Right,” the human said. Holding Fry back, she looked her mutant twin in the eye and said, “Take care of yourself.”
“You too,” the mutant replied.
The two just stared at each other until Fry said, “So, uh, if we share, do I get both of you at once, because watching some Leela and Leela would be-oof.” The two women looked at each other and smiled as they both pulled their fists out of Fry stomach.
Shoving him out the door, the human said, “Come on, idiot.”
They weren’t getting anywhere quickly. The tank robot kept coming and kept firing, but Amy was still dragging her boyfriend and his now useless commander around. She was the one who had to do all of the thinking in this situation, but, with the rebreather in her mouth, she couldn’t communicate anything to the others. There has to be a way, she thought as ducked another tree branch. What did I say in that message…
She just stood there, watching herself talk about what had happened the previous few days. She and Leela were poisoned, Bender went crazy, and Fry, for some reason, was still perfectly healthy. She didn’t look good, hologram or not. Her hair was all stringy and her clothes looked terrible. On the plus side, the food poisoning had left her a little thinner. Blinking, she tried to concentrate on what she was saying.
“Amy, this is very important,” the hologram said. “Since I’ve been poisoned, I’ve forgotten who you are, er, I mean who I am. Whatever. All I know is that I’m a damn good engineer that rebuilt this sorry excuse of a spaceship’s engines to get maximum efficiency out of minimum fuel. Engines, I might add, that YOU’VE been doing lots of crummy work on. Open the damn manuals, woman! They aren’t there to look nice holding your closet open.
“You may think you’re smart, but whoever you are, you aren’t me. But you could be me, very easily. Since I’m an engineer and not a doctor, I can’t begin to tell you that this is a good idea, but I’m going to suggest it anyway. If you really need to, you can just breathe in the bronzillium and intentionally poison yourself. It may not be the smartest idea, but if you need smarts short-term, and I mean immediately, you might want to consider trying it. We were here a few hours before anything took effect with me, but I slept through most of my early exposure time, so who knows. Like I said, I’m an engineer, not a doctor.”
Amy dragged the two men down behind a fallen tree and tried to think. They were useless. Kif, although she loved him more than life, was hemming and hawing at having to make a decision about their safety. And she couldn’t even find the words to describe Zapp. He had no interest in anything violent, even to save their lives. He was feeling bad about crushing the bugs and breaking the branches as they ran. She could keep going like this, dragging these two lumps along, and eventually die when the tank robot caught them, or she could take a chance and spit out the rebreather.
A close laser blast that had Zapp squealing and Kif whimpering decided it for her. Spitting out the device, she took a deep breath. The air was a little cold, but there was nothing else. She didn’t feel any different. Thinking that she had lied to herself she started to look for the device. “It was worth a shot,” she said to Kif as she bent to pick it up.
“Amy, what, uh, I mean, why did, uh,” he stammered. “You shouldn’t be, uh, that is, oh, my. What are you doing?”
“Never mind, Kiffy,” she said. “Just testing something that someone said to me. I wish I knew who, though. Meh, it’s probably not important.” Another shot blew open a tree nearby. “We should run,” she said, the rebreather forgotten.
“Stupid robot,” the tech said as he ran the scanner over it. “These damn things haven’t been right since we got here,” he said over his shoulder.
“Quit complaining,” his partner said. “It could have been worse. We could have gotten stuck on that suicide mission that Captain Idiot is leading on the surface.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” the first tech said standing up. “You know, that was a great idea you had about changing out of our red shirts before that briefing.”
“I told you we should have gotten rid of those things years ago. Now, what’s this thing’s problem?”
“No idea. According to this gizmometer, there’s nothing wrong with it. No faults in its power distribution network, no motor problems, no programming errors, no nothing. It reads perfectly clean.”
“That can’t be right. I knew that those Farnsworth gizmometers were junk. It’s just the military buying cheap crap to cover someone’s butt somewhere up the chain. Pop the input panel and hook it to the scanner. I know that that works right.”
The first tech shoved the inert robot over to the scanner and began hooking him up. “I hate robots,” he said as the plug finally slid into the socket. “Let’s just download this thing and look at it later. It’s not going anywhere and I’m late for my break.”
“Yeah,” the other said, putting down his tools. “I could use a drink.”
The robot sat on the scanner, dutifully copying all of the files on its drives, including the virus that Bender had installed on it the previous day. Using the ship’s communication system, it attempted to make contact with Bender to report its progress, but Bender didn’t respond. It did, however, make the acquaintance of a very nice central computer on the nearby planet that said it needed a favor…
His sides hurt, and he was sure that there was a cramp starting in his leg, but Fry kept running, every so often looking over his shoulder to make sure the security robot was still following them. The explosions from the plasma hitting the walls around them assured him that they were still being followed. He thought that they had been running for a while, but he knew it wasn’t long enough. Sylvester told them they needed to distract the robot for at least half an hour, and it felt like they’d been running for hours at this point.
“How long,” he panted as they turned the corner.
“Five minutes,” Leela said. “You know, Fry, there was something that I wanted to tell you before, but well, you know…”
“Yeah, I know. What?”
“I love you.”
“Huh? Leela, are you,” he said before she cut him off by kissing him.
When she finished, she said, “I just wanted you to know that. Before I did this,” she said kneeing him in the groin. “Why didn’t you tell me I was a clone,” she yelled angrily. Fry could do nothing but writhe in pain clutching his injury. “You knew the whole time we were together down here, and you didn’t tell me. And where’s the real me?”
“Safe,” he muttered getting up. “There were issues with the purging process,” he said wincing. “Nurse purged the bronzillium, but when she started to purge your mutations, you started to flat line. I had Nurse make a clone because I didn’t want to lose you.”
“So why are there two of us?”
“I don’t know. You were done, and then the other one came out. Nurse must have made an original version of you just in case.”
“In case of… no, don’t tell me. I can guess. Still, why didn’t you tell me any of this?”
“Because of the way you two reacted to each other when you first saw each other.”
“That was because she had beaten you up.”
“Then why are the two of you wanting to share me now? You hate sharing. One time, you tried to break my hand when I took a piece of fried sharktopus off your plate.”
Before she could answer, the wall across from them exploded. “Come on,” she yelled, dragging him along.
The maintenance robot went through the door like it was made of paper. Leela followed it, being careful not to cut herself on the torn metal of the door. She saw the robot lying on its back, flailing its arms, trying to push itself back to its feet. Before it could, though, she opened its casing and flipped the power switch, shutting it down.
Sylvester stepped carefully through the door and said, “Well, that could have gone better.”
“Quit complaining. We’re in the room, and the robot’s out of the way. Just get on with it and we can get across that floor without burning my foot.”
“I’m not the one who stepped into the trap. You did that on your own, despite my telling you not to.”
“You weren’t helping. You were standing there, rubbing your chin.”
“I was thinking, Leela. It’s a practice you should employ yourself. I don’t know why I didn’t do something about your temper when I cleaned the poisoning out of your system.”
“Yeah, about that,” Leela said, suddenly crossing the room and picking Sylvester up by his collar. “Why are there two of me,” she yelled. “And if I’m a clone, which I completely refuse to believe, where is the real me?”
Sylvester reached up and pinched Leela’s wrists, calmly pushing her now opened hands away from him. Panicking, Leela struggled to move them back towards them and wrap them around the small man’s neck. But, try as she might, she couldn’t move an inch against the little man’s strength. When they were far enough away, he let go of her hands and quickly jabbed his right hand into the center of her chest, knocking her down hard.
Gasping for breath, Leela rubbed her chest in disbelief. “What? How…”
“I’m over one thousand years old. I’ve had training in more forms of fighting than you’ve had warm meals, girl. Don’t ever think that I’m just a helpless old man. Just because I don’t shout how tough I am from the highest mountain like some people, doesn’t mean that I’m not more dangerous than your tiny little mind could possibly comprehend. Now,” he said, leaning closely, “I’ve got bigger problems than dealing with your ego. Get up and watch what’s left of the door. I need time to work on the power distribution network so we can get past that trap.”
Rubbing the center of her chest, Leela just stared at the little man as he opened the panel and started pulling out various wires, muttering to himself as he did.
“What do we do,” Zapp repeated over and over. Kif hemmed and hawed and whimpered some, but was otherwise no help.
“Will the two of you shut up and let me think for a minute,” Amy said as she dragged them into a small building. They had earned themselves a few minutes of rest by taking a narrow, winding path up a boulder-strewn path. The robot, too big to get through and unable to force the stone to move out of its way, was forced to go around and find another way up. Looking around, she saw a bunch of junk. Nothing immediately appeared to be useful, but looking again, she had a few good ideas clicked into her mind.
“Kif,” she said as she started to walk around and pick up little pieces of things, “I need you to stall that robot for time when it shows up.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“I don’t know. I’m an engineer, damn it, not a military tactician. Now, leave me alone and let me build something.”
Fifteen minutes later, Kif was wandering the woods around the building, still looking for something that he could use to stop an unstoppable tank robot. He spun around in a panic when he heard a snapping noise behind him. Standing there, looking scared, was Zapp.
“Amy kicked me out,” he said. “She said I was distracting her. Plus, I missed you, Kiffy.”
“Oh, well, I guess, I mean, that is,” Kif stammered. “Sir, just stay out of the way.”
“Of course,” Kiffy, he said, sidding on a nearby rock. Crossing his legs and putting his hands on his knee, Zapp just watched Kif as he tried to come up with a plan.
After a few seconds, Kif uncomfortably said, “Sir, would you please stop that.”
“Stop what,” Zapp asked, innocently.
“That. You’re making me uncomfortable.”
“What? I’m just doing what you asked me to do, Kiffy. I’m just sitting here, staying out of your way. And watching you work.”
“It’s that whole…thing you’re doing, sir.”
“Oh, I love it when you call me that, Kiffy,” Zapp replied, smiling. “Do it again.”
“Sir,” he began out of habit. Zapp squealed in delight. “Ugh,” Kif said, turning away from his commanding officer who was acting like a school girl with a crush. Zapp continued to squeal and giggle every time Kif looked at him, and he just kept talking, no matter how much Kif ignored him. It was starting to move beyond embarrassing and right into annoying. If he didn’t shut up soon, Kif would have to give him a stern talking to. “No,” he said quietly, “he’d probably just like that. I can’t believe I miss the old him.” Kif turned his head. Was that the robot coming?
“And, when we get back to the ship, I’m having you moved into quarters right next to mine,” he said with an almost predatory smile.
“Sir, my quarters are already next to yours,” Kif replied. Yeah, there was a definite noise.
“Good, then we’ll have to start having sleepovers, Kiffy. I need to know you’re always where I need you…right behind me.”
Ignoring his boss’s sexual harassment, Kif looked spun around to look behind him. There, now visibly coming up the back side of the hill was the tank robot. “KILL ALL HUMANS,” it blared over and over as it came. Screaming, Zapp and Kif began to run back towards the shed where Amy was working. Amy. She said she needed him to buy her some time when the robot showed up so she could build…something. She needed him, and he wouldn’t let her down. Skidding to a halt, Kif took a deep breath and turned around, running back toward the robot.
“Kiffy, no,” Zapp yelled when he turned around. “You’ll be killed!” Kif kept running, trying to come up with something, anything, that would slow down the robot.
Amy was running out of time and options. Countless ideas started flowing into her head, but were just as quickly rejected because she didn’t have the parts to make them. She didn’t know why she was able to come up with all of this, and didn’t care much either. In the end, she finally built what she hoped was an ionic disruptor. If she calculated correctly, it would disrupt the robot long enough that they could shut it down. As long as the build holds up and there’s enough power, she thought. She hoped that there was one shot worth in the power pack she found. She knew that there wasn’t enough for two.
Leaving the shed, Amy heard the robot yelling, and Zapp shrieking, and ran. Dodging the trees, she lost her footing and started to slide on something. The slippery goo took her down the slope, ultimately stopping when she crashed into a tree. Dizzy, her vision swam as she tried to see what caused her to fall. When she saw it, she couldn’t believe it. She blinked several times, and when the image didn’t change, she screamed. Her foot had become lodged in Kif’s mouth and she rode his body down the slope. She kept screaming and crying, and didn’t even hear the robot roll up behind her.
Then there was a sudden silence. Amy cried for several more minutes before she noticed it. Turning her head, she started, sliding back against the tree. The robot’s cannon was less than a foot from her head. Dripping out of the torso where the armored plates didn’t meet was a viscous green goo. The liquid ran down the side of the robot and started to coalesce on the tread. The goo seeped out faster, eventually forming a more or less humanoid-shaped puddle. A face appeared and eyes blinked.
“Amy,” it croaked in a vaguely Kif-like voice, “can I have my skin back?”
At hearing his voice, Amy fainted.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Leela said as she threw a maintenance robot through a doorway. She slapped the panel on the door across the hall and dragged Fry behind her.
“What are you complaining about,” Fry said as he sat down to rub his feet. “That thing had me in the chokehold. At least you got to be violent.”
“But I don’t want to be violent, Fry. I just want to take you and head off into some hidden back room and not come out until neither of us could walk straight. In fact, when this is over, I’m going to do just that.”
“Don’t say that, Leela! I wish you had some of the other Leela’s memories.” When she glared at him, he explained, “It’s not that I don’t want you to, or that I don’t want to do the same thing, but if it’s one thing I’ve learned from TV, and I’ve tried tell you, er, her, whatever, this a dozen times, never talk about making plans for after you get out of a life threatening situation. They never, ever work out. You start thinking up all sorts of things, then you tell me, and someone dies, usually in a horrifyingly painful way.”
“So, why have you had to explain these things to me before? Do we get into life threatening situations often?”
“Yeah,” he said sheepishly. “But they’re not my fault. Usually. Well, most of the time. Sometimes. Alright, most of them are my fault.”
“But that doesn’t explain why you have to tell me not to make plans.”
“Well, you usually end up rambling about your date that night, and then when you go out, it’s a disaster.”
“So, you think my bad relationships come from me making plans and talking about them when I’m trying to avoid getting killed, and not because about what you said about my usual taste in men?”
“Fry, that is the dumbest thing that I’ve ever heard. And the sweetest,” she said, kissing him on the cheek. “When we get out of here, I’m going to…”
“Argh, Leela,” he yelled as he jumped to his feet. “Shut up! La, la, la,” he said putting his hands over his ears. “I’m not listening to you, la, la, la.” A laser blast down the hall brought her hand over his mouth. Looking back at the door, she started to drag Fry toward the back of the room, where she hoped to find a door. Looking around, she pointed to the back of the room where she could see the faint outline of one. Nodding, Fry crept to the back of the room with her.
Leela carefully opened the door and locked it behind her after they passed through. They were in a dark maintenance hallway, with only red lights along the floor and a yellow-lit door at the end of the hallway for illumination. Walking as quietly as they could, they started toward the door. When they got there, it was luckily unlocked. Sliding in first, Leela stopped short, causing Fry to bump into her.
“Leela, what,” he began when he saw what stopped her: Row upon row of security robots, just like the one that was chasing them. “There’s got to be hundreds of them,” he whispered. “Sylvester must have stored them down here powered down after everything went kablooey.”
“Yeah,” and Leela said looking to her right at the glowing display. “And it looks like they’re almost ready to wake back up.”
“It’s about damn time,” Leela said as Sylvester opened the door to his lab. Walking through, she heard glass breaking beneath her feet.
“Yes,” Sylvester said as he followed and turned the lights on. Looking around, they saw that his lab had been trashed. There were broken pieces of everything everywhere. The only thing that hadn’t been destroyed was what appeared to be a steel post attached to the wall across the room. “Well,” he said crossing the room, stepping over various pieces of broken equipment. Standing next to the post, the tapped it a few times and seemed satisfied. “At least they still make some things like they used to.”
“What’s that thing?”
“The power generator for the shields protecting, and hiding, my ship. I installed it here after I moved in. It’s made out of an invicillium alloy. It’s stronger than dolomite, diamondium and diamondillium combined.”
“You made those last two up, didn’t you?”
“It doesn’t matter. All that matters is,” he said as he punched a few buttons on the top of the control pad, “that the robots couldn’t get past this.” The wall next to him slid up revealing a hanger filled with space craft.
“So, which one of these couldn’t get those satellites into orbit?”
“None of you business. Most of these don’t work, anyway. I’ve been using them to build the satellites and other things I need to get the human race functional again.”
Looking back and forth at the mess in the lab and the only partially functional space ships in the hanger, Leela asked, “What do we do now?”
“We deal with the Central Computer and retake the base.”