In which Bender and Zoidberg hide from the Robot Mafia, Amy fights a racist kangaroo, and Fry and Leela go looking for Bender and Zoidberg, and find something more.
The Donbot wasn’t happy.
Joey Mousepad and Clamps were standing in front of him, shifting their weight back and forth nervously. Being robots and part of the Robot Mafia, there were very few things they feared. The wrath of the Donbot, however, was one of those things. They hadn’t given him good news, and he still hadn’t replied. He had been sitting there, staring at them and drumming his fingers on the top of his desk for the last fifteen minutes. Finally, he sat back and steepled his fingers. He sat this way and looked at them for another fifteen minutes before he finally spoke.
“So, what you are telling me is that there are no Foghat gray robots anywhere on this planet. And that no robots have left the planet since our courier was robbed. Is that correct?”
“Yes, Donbot,” they said simultaneously.
“And you found nothing to indicate that any of our robots had been repainted?”
“No, Donbot,” Clamps said. “In fact, the only robot that was close to Foghat gray was Bender, but he said he was pale silver.”
“Yes,” the Donbot said, tapping his fingertips together. “Bender. That robot has caused us trouble previously by taking stuff that don’t belong to him.”
“Like your wife,” Joey said. “And your daughter Bella at your other daughter's wedding... on the day of your other daughter's wedding. Oh, and your meatball recipe.”
“Yes, like my meatball recipe, and those other things,” the Donbot said evenly. His voice was so cold and emotionless, even for a robot, that Joey backed up a step, just in case. “Gentlemen, I would like you find Bender and bring him here. I would very much like to have a conversation about his habit of taking that which don’t belong to him.”
“Yes, Donbot,” they said as they quickly left the room.
They sat in silence for a long time before Fry actually had the courage to speak. “What did you say?”
Leela sighed. “I said, I love you and I have for a long time.”
Fry was dumbstruck. Leela knew how he felt about her, but he had thought after they passed through the wormhole, despite their kiss and what they thought was a dying declaration of their love, a mystical button had been pushed by some capricious deity somewhere that reset their relationship to just friends. It seemed to have happened before, like after that time that he got stomach worms or after that opera that he had written for her or when she actually almost married him (sure that was Lars, but Lars was really him, so in his mind that counted). But apparently, this time, he was wrong, and that rotten, stupid cosmic reset button hadn’t been pushed after all.
“If,” he began, but then stopped, trying to find the right words. “If you’ve loved me for a while, why did you act like you didn’t for so long?”
She just kept staring out at the sea. “I was scared,” she said. “Fry, you’re a normal human. No one’s stared at you, or avoided staring at you, just because of the way you look. For the first thirty or so years of my life, I was just a weird Cyclops alien with delusions of normalcy. And then you came along. You, a moron from the stupid ages that has problems tying his own shoes.”
“I can tie my shoes. It’s working a belt that I have trouble with now.”
“Fry, let me finish. You remember what I told you that my life was like before you defrosted, right?” When he nodded, she continued. “You and Bender were the first actual friends that I ever had. After knowing you for a little while, I thought that I had to try and keep you alive, just until you got used to the future. I really liked you a lot as soon as we met. You completely accepted me. You thought I was cool, one eye and all, just because I was an alien. It was so refreshing an attitude, I couldn’t help but like you. Then, after we talked for a while, I realized that you were a complete dumbass.”
“Very cute, but definitely dumb as a box of hair. I’m sorry, Fry,” she said, taking his hands, “but you’re just so dumb. Realizing that, I decided that I had to protect you from yourself.”
They sat quietly for a while, watching the birds wheeling over some yacht when Fry said, “So, when did you…”
“Realize that I loved you? When you got those stomach worms. You were as sweet and devoted as you are now, but you were smart about it and really won my heart. After you got rid of them, I was so angry with you. But, I was angrier with myself for being so shallow.”
“Why did I continue to date jerks and treat you like a friend, or worse?” Leela turned away, staring out into the ocean. Finally, she said, “I had to know for myself. And, if you remember, after the worms, I had very few dates.”
“There was Chaz,” he said, pointedly. “Who I said was a jerk.”
“And you were right, Fry.”
“And then there was Lars. Who, I remind you, was really…”
“You. Yes, I know that, too. Must have been why I was attracted to him, and agreed to marry him, in the first place.”
They sat in silence for a while, neither really looking at the other. Eventually, Fry said, “So what do we do now?”
Leela just stared at the horizon, toward where Bender and Zoidberg had crashed the ship. “I don’t know,” she finally said.
“The first round is completed,” the obsidian giant shouted. “Chef Caporuscio of the Aldo Super Nova and Chef Robert of the planet Big Boy are eliminated. Please remove your taster’s corpses and slink away into obscurity. Round two will begin in one hour. Chefs, remember the rules against your taster regurgitating.”
After the tasters were returned to their holding cells, Amy wailed, “An hour? All we get is an hours rest?”
“Quit yer whinin’,” the humma said. “I’m gonna win anyways, so it wouldn’t matter if it were an hour or a day. Yer still gonna lose, ya monkey!”
“Guh! You’re such a jerk! If you’re a typical humma, no wonder people don’t like your species.”
The humma sputtered several times before yelling, “I’m a jerk? Yer tha jerk! Ya whole species is jerks! Ya treat everyone else like crap, and expect us to smile about it because ya noticed us!”
“Ugh, would you just shut up! What makes you so certain that you’re going to win, anyway?”
“Oh, just a little trick of nature. We humma, by your racist standards, have a poor sense of taste and smell. I could eat a steaming pile of sheep dung, and it’d be like you eating the finest meal ya’v evah tasted. So, like I said, ya gonna lose, monkey.”
“Why are you doing this? What are you getting out of it?”
“What cha mean?”
“How’d you get stuck in this contest?”
“Who’s stuck? I volunteer to do it so I can eat and make you humans look stupid. And by stupid, I mean that I do it so I can kill you.”
“See, like I said, by yer racist definition, I got a poor sense of taste and smell. The way I figure it, you humans keep doin’ stupid stuff, like tryin’ to skip out on ya bills, and ya get caught, and forcibly entered into this contest. That means, all I have to do is eat, and I get to kill you stinkin’ apes, one meal at a time. ‘Cause, ya know that loosin’ means death, right? Oh, and so ya know, I ain’t never lost. 35-0 against humans.” When Amy didn’t reply, he just chuckled evilly.
“Sweet something of….someplace that rhymes with that something. What happened last night,” Hermes asked as he looked around at the wreckage of the living room table. “And what am I covered in? I really hope it’s mud,” he said, wiping some of the goo off of himself. Sniffing it, he nodded in satisfaction. “Thank Jah it was only some sort of brown, mud like substance,” he said as he tried to roll over.
After getting to his hands and knees on his third attempt, he looked around the suite. There was no sign of any of the others, but the large amounts of sunshine that he saw coming in through the open patio door made him think that they were out somewhere, wasting company money. Fighting his way to his feet, he muttered, “Either I’m losing my tolerance, or dat was da stickiest icky since His Honor Judge Dogg’s head was still attached to the rest of his body.”
He staggered unsteadily around the suite before making it to the kitchen. Pushing a button on the coffee maker, he surveyed the damage. “Not too bad,” he muttered, seeing that there were muddy footprint on the floor, a big muddy stain on the couch where he sat down, and a destroyed coffee table when he slid off the couch. “Could have always been worse,” he said as the coffee maker dinged. Taking a sip made him feel good enough to try walking further.
Wandering out to the patio, he saw the Professor lying on the chaise lounge, seemingly dead. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he was relieved to find the mirror he carried unbroken. Holding it under the Professor’s nose, he was mildly disappointed when a fog developed on its surface. “Next time, maybe,” he said hopefully. Putting the mirror away, he started to shake him. “Wake up, Professor.”
"Wha? Who? Oh, Hermes," he said, shielding his eyes. "Are you dead, too? And what’s with all this light? I’d think with all the abominations against nature, doomsday devices and whatnot I’ve invented, I’d be somewhere more, I don’t know, brimstony."
"Yer not dead, mon. Not yet, anyways. It’s light out because we’ve been asleep most of the day."
"Damn it," the Professor said as he sat up. "We’ve missed the Extra Early Bird Dinner at the local TGI Chizzler outlet, and I’ve got a serious case of the munchies."
"Really," he said. Quietly, he added, "I thought that was only me. That must have been some serious stuff," he said to himself.
"Yes," the Professor said, not really hearing Hermes. "I’ve got the hankering for some boiled chicken. Mmm, now that’s what I call bland eats."
"Yeah, uh, Professor, I need to go get cleaned up first. Why don’t you go ahead without me and I’ll catch up later."
"Your loss, Hermes. Where’s Zoidberg? I’m sure he’d appreciate going for some tasteless food."
"No idea, Professor. I haven’t seen anyone since yesterday after the seminar."
"Hmm. That’s just like my lazy crew. Always disappearing when you want them around, and never leaving when you don’t."
"Professor, why don’t you go to lunch, er, dinner, and I’ll clean up and find the crew?"
"Yes, yes," the Professor said as he shuffled toward the door. "Boiled food would hit the spot."
Shaking his head at the Professor, Hermes said, "Might have to go back to the farmer’s market again tonight. But something else first.” Pulling out his phone, he said, “Siri, are there any Taco Shacks on this planet?"
The floated for a while longer before Fry restarted the engine. Making sure they were clear of any other ships, he turned away from the coast and into the open ocean and into the direction that Leela was looking.
“Where are we going?”
“I have no idea,” he said. “It’s away from everything, and in the direction that you were looking. What were you looking at, anyway?”
“Nothing. Bender and Zoidberg took the ship and then crashed on the Professor’s new island. It’s out in that general direction,” she said, waving her hand toward the front of the hover boat.
“They did what? When?” Before she could answer, he said, “It doesn’t matter. Why didn’t you tell me earlier? We could have rescued them by now!”
“I did tell you earlier. Remember, before we went to breakfast? Anyway, I’m sure that they’re fine. Maybe this will teach them a lesson about doing stupid things.”
“No it won’t. You know that! Bender’s my best friend, and we have to save him. And Zoidberg.”
“Fry, before we head out there, could we just have a little more you and me time?”
Fry blinked and throttled down the engine. “What? Are you saying now that you want to spend more alone time with me?" When she didn’t answer, he said, “Leela, you have to stop this. You’re acting crazy. One minute saying you love me, then the next yelling that you don’t know what you want, now you want me again. You have to stop, Leela. Think hard about this, and then answer me truthfully. If you want to be with me, you have to commit to it. You have to stop torturing me like this.” He stepped over to her and turned her to face him. Putting his hands on her shoulders, he said, “Turanga Leela, what do you want?”
She stared at him silently for a minute, and then put her hands on the side of his face. “You,” she whispered. “I want you, Philip J. Fry.” He started to smile, but before he could fix it onto his face, she was kissing him.
“So,” the humma said as they were wheeled back into the holding area, “you survived round two. Big deal. Yer still gonna to lose, and that’ll be one less stinkin’ hairless ape running around the ‘Verse.”
Amy grunted and then belched. “Ugh, would you please shut just the Robot Hell up.”
“What’s the matter, pinkie? The pressure getting’ to ya? There’s only four of us left. Probably lose the next two in the next round. Or maybe you? That’d be a real shame, wouldn’t it? Oh, hey, here’s a little secret for ya what ain’t too secret. You remember that cygnoid and that verpine that just bit it? Yeah, they’re bein’ made into our meals in the next round.”
The humma laughed as he watched Amy trying to control her gag reflex and not get herself disqualified.
“I’m sorry that didn’t take as long as you might have liked,” Fry said as they lay in the hoverboat.
“That’s OK, Fry,” Leela said, a contented smile on her face. Turning onto her side to face him, she said, “It didn’t last that long, but it got the job done. We’ll have to work on your cardio, though. Don’t want you to die while we’re doing it, do we? I want you around to do that for the rest of our lives.”
“As often as you like,” he said, kissing her. “But remember, the spirit is willing, but the flesh can be spongy and bruised.”
Rolling her eye, she sat up and said, “We really should go rescue them.”
“Bender and Zoidberg,” she said as she picked up her bathing suit. “We’re drifting in their general direction, remember?”
“Oh, yeah. I’d forgotten about them, what with us having snu-snu with each other for the first time in our own bodes and all.”
Leela rolled her eye and smiled. Looking down she said, “Ready for round two already? What was all of that about flesh spongy and bruised?”
Smirking, he said, “I said it ‘can’ be bruised. A willing enough spirit can overcome some bruising.”
“Meh, what the Hell. Those two idiots aren’t going anywhere right now, anyway.”
“OW! Stop with the hitting! I’ll take you to the robit,” Zoidberg said as Joey Mousepads hit him again with the wooden mallet.
“Now the clamp is on the other hand, isn’t it Slick,” Clamps said, laughing as Joey kept hitting Zoidberg. “Not so tough now when I got a friend with me, are you, Slick?”
Looking up, Zoidberg saw him and snapped. Reaching up, he grabbed Joey’s arm in his claw. “I told you before, Francis. The name’s not ‘Slick.’ It’s! DOCTOR! JOHN! F%&$@N*! ZOIDBERG!” With that, his top fin unfurled and he snapped Joey’s arm off at the elbow. Clicking his claws together, he yelled, “So, mister tough guy Francis, you’ve come back for some more, have you?”
Clamps’ eyes went wide and he scrambled back. “Now, now, now, take it easy, Slick. I don’t want no trouble, here.”
“Well, trouble is what you got, Francis,” Zoidberg yelled. “I’ll snip you into small, byte sized robit pieces,” he yelled, clicking his claws together. “You mess with the Dodecapodian, you get the claws.” Roaring, he charged Clamps, nearly missing with several swipes at his head.
“There’s no need to get so clampin’ violent,” Clamps said, still backing away from a very angry Zoidberg. “I’m sure we can work dis out like sensible beings.” Clamps was stalling, looking for some kind of out. He and Joey had to get out of here in a hurry, but the crab was between him and the ship. Joey was useless, wailing and holding his stump with his good hand. “Do something about dis here, ya lazy mug, or so help me I’ll clamp ya!”
“Whadda you want me ta do, Clamps? My arm’s gone!”
“It’s only yer hand and part of your forearm. You got most of it left, and all of the other one!”
“Oh yeah,” Joey said, standing up. He wrapped his arms around Zoidberg from behind. “That’s enough of you, lobsterman.”
Zoidberg warbled in pain and anger as Joey squeezed. He frantically snipped at the robots arms, just trying to break his grip. Spots started to swim in his vision as the robot squeezed harder. Zoidberg snipped at anything he could reach, knowing that he was going to pass out soon, and then he’d really be in a boil. In a last act of desperation, he jabbed down at Joey’s stump. He hit something, and it forced Joey’s arms out, releasing him.
“Clamps, help,” Joey yelled. “I can’t lower my arms!”
“Run for it,” Clamps responded, seeing his escape route. “Our massive technological superiority is no match for his primitive weapons!”
Zoidberg warbled a battle cry, and watched as the two robots fled in different directions into the woods. “Let that be a lesson to you, Francis! If I ever see you again, you’ll really be in trouble! Now,” his adrenaline still pumping, “to deal with my ‘master,’ the robit! I’ll show him that an enraged Zoidberg is no one to be trifling with!”
“Suck on that and,” Amy began, then paused to belch. “Suck on that and like it,” Amy said to the humma as they were wheeled back into the holding cells. “You ain’t bad,” she said. “You ain’t nuthin’.” She was bordering on food coma, with still one more round to go. The other two aliens, a Neptunian and some sort of slug thing, died in the last round, leaving just Amy and the humma. She just kept talking at the humma, hoping to…well, do something. She had no idea how she was going to get out of this.
For his part, the humma was starting to feel it, too. This pink monkey had pushed him further than he’d ever been pushed before. As much as he hated humans, he was starting to get some respect for the eating abilities of this one. But he’d never let her know it. “Yer...,” he hiccupped, then began again. “Yer not lookin’ good yerself, monkey. In fact, you look like yer either gonna pass out er ‘splode.”
“Yer…yer one to talk,” she replied. “You don’t sound good…”
“I’m…I’m still fit enough to eat you under the table, monkey.”
“Sure ya are,” she slurred. But she knew he probably was. She was in real trouble, and she knew it. The food that her chef had been giving her hadn’t been too rich until that last round. He had filleted the Cygnoid into steaks and covered it with some sort of heavy, syrup-based sauce that felt like it contained a lot of alcohol. He’d called it Cygnoid a la King, she thought. The alcohol syrup, in addition to all the other things she’d eaten had nearly pushed her over the edge and it took a lot of work to keep from vomiting.
And, to top it off, all the eating and the alcohol were doing other things to her. Every time she indulged her food lust like this in the past, she’d been able to exercise all of her other physical lusts, too. But this time, she hadn’t been able to find any other release. If she didn’t do something about that, and soon, she wouldn’t get out of this alive.
“Guh. Done in by my own perverse lusts,” she muttered. “I’ve got to be the only person in the history of ever to have that happen to me.”
“When I find them,” Leela said, knocking branches and palm leaves out of her way, “I’m going to kill them.”
“Come on, Leela,” Fry said, trying to keep up with her, but only ending up getting hit in the face when she let go of the branches and leaves. “There must be a perfectly reasonable explanation why the two of them would steal our only way off the planet and crash it into a desert island in the middle of nowhere. WAH,” he yelled as a branch suddenly snapped back and knocked him off his feet.
“Really, Fry,” she replied angrily. “You think either of those two dopes have a good reason to be out here? Knowing Bender, he got caught doing something that he wasn’t supposed to be doing and dragged Zoidberg with him.”
“Why didn’t he drag me along with him,” Fry said, suddenly indignant. “I’m supposed to be his best friend. And he doesn’t even like Zoidberg! You know that this isn’t the first time he’s done this!”
“Fry, he’s still your best friend,” she said, wearily. “Do you remember when we had this same conversation when Bender became the were-car and tried to run me over instead of you? Zoideberg was just the first patsy he grabbed. You were out with me, and then drinking and eating waffles until the early morning light, remember. Bender couldn’t have grabbed you instead of Zoidberg.”
“I guess you’re right, Leela, but I’m still outraged.”
Sighing, she said, “Fine, Fry. Whatever makes you happy. You know what would make me happy, though? Getting out of this stupid jungle. I hate bugs!”
“I-WOOF,” Fry said as more branches hit him. “Leela, oof,” he tried saying again, as another palm leaf slapped him. “We really, oof, should, d’oh, try and, gah, find some sort of, doof, path and, gack, get out of this, oof, stupid jungle.”
After the last branch, they found themselves in a clearing. There were obvious signs of a recent struggle, with tracks and hydraulic fluids everywhere. Leela spotted something in the brush and picked it up. “Look familiar,” she asked, holding a robot’s forearm up. When Fry shook his head, she said, “It belongs to one of those Robot Mafia goons.”
“Do you see any clamps, Fry? No. It’s the other one. The big guy with that thing around his neck.”
“Zoidberg,” she said, glaring at him. “Really, Fry? Really? You think that Robot Mafia goon has Zoidberg around his neck?”
“No,” he said, pointing down a path out of the clearing. “Zoidberg’s over there.”
Turning, she saw him standing there, top fin unfurled and screaming. Zoideberg, she yelled. “Where the hell is my ship?”
“You shut your face hole,” he yelled back. “Zoidberg will tell you where your damn ship is when he’s damn good and ready! If he even feels like it! Here, Zoidberg is king!”
“Tell me where my damn ship is right damn now or I’ll have to hurt you Zoidberg. Nobody would like that. And by ‘nobody’, I mean you, because I would enjoy it immensely.”
Warbling and clicking his claws together, he charged.