Robot Hell Rises (Seriously, It Does)
Futurama created by Matt Groening. Developed by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. Owned by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Used without permission.
Kim Possible created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle. Designed by Stephen Silver. Owned by Disney. Used without permission.
“…And the noxious fumes emerging from the abandoned amusement park in New Jersey are continuing to spread through Atlantic City. And that‘s the news for this morning. I‘m Linda.”
“And I am Morbo. Morbo wishes the people of Atlantic City a slow and painful death.”
Linda laughed before saying, “Same here.”
Leela, Fry, and Bender, the crew of the Planet Express delivery space ship, had just finished watching the news. This was a slow morning, so they were in the company lounge, taking it easy and trying to forget about the suspicious smoke that had been coming from New Jersey all morning. Then, Leela heard the doorbell ring.
“Fry, Bender, wanna get that?”
“No way, lady,” protested Bender, “Fry an’ I ain’t goin’ out! Not after we saw that freak lightning bolt on the way to work this morning.”
“I saw it too,” said Leela “but you can’t let the little things scare you.”
“Yes, we can,” said Fry, his eyes not leaving the screen.
Leela sighed and left for the waiting room, where the entrance to the building was. She heard voices behind the door that were mildly arguing.
“I still think we would be imposing on them,” said a young female voice, “after all, there’s no ’help wanted’ sign. We could just stay at a soup kitchen.”
“Did you look in there?” said a young male voice, “it was full of robots! And they were serving oil!”
Leela opened the door at that last statement. Behind the door were two young teenagers: one girl and one boy. The girl was a redhead with green eyes and slightly above average looks. She wore a tight black top and green cargo pants. The boy had messy hair and looked less assuming than his companion. His clothes were baggy and his shoes were noticeably large. They both turned from each other and noticed Leela.
“Oh, hi,” started the boy, “we’re…Aaah!”
The boy was in shock, obviously due to seeing Leela’s large, single eye. The girl was also obviously disturbed, but tried to be polite about it.
“Uh, hi. My friend and I are, well, new around here and, well, we were hoping that you were hiring. Not that we want to impose. It’s just that we have no money and nowhere to go and…”
“It’s okay,” said Leela, feeling sympathetic for the pair, being cast aside in the past herself, “I heard you talking. I’ll check with the owner. You two can stay in the waiting room until then.”
She opened the door and the kids entered. The boy noticed the Slurm machine instantly.
“Wow!” he said, “A soft drink I haven’t tried!”
He then deposited a quarter, received a can, and took a swig of it.
“Wow! This is great! What’s it made of?”
“Worm secretion,” answered Leela matter-of-factly as she exited the room, “I’ll be back soon.”
As Leela left, she heard the boy groan behind the door, “Kim, I don’t think I like this future.”
About an hour after they had arrived, Ron was waiting outside the bathroom for Kim to finishing changing.
“I’m starting to have second thoughts, K.P.,” he said through the door, ”I mean, everything here is so…”
“’Funky’?” responded Kim, “it’s not much crazier than what we’re usually go through. Besides, the owner’s a scientist. He may be able to get us home.”
“I don’t know,” said Ron, “he’s not much more stable than the guy who got us in this mess.”
“It seemed routine,” argued Kim, “a scientist asked us to help test his time machine. We were going to send a naco you made in his kitchen a few minutes in the future…”
“That was your idea,” reminded Ron, “I wouldn’t waste my famous nacho-taco hybrid on science unless under protest! It was supposed to be my lunch!”
“Whatever,” continued Kim, “we needed something. Rufus went for it and when we tried to stop him…”
“He ran, but we ended up here,” finished Ron, “at least he’s safe, but…”
“You’re hairless mole rat must be missing his ’daddy’,” finished Kim, “we’ll deal with our problems after we gain the trust of these guys and some money to survive on.”
“Okay,” agreed Ron, “say, you don’t usually take this long…”
“It’s this hat and my hair,” explained Kim, “I guess I’ll go with the old ponytail.”
At the conference table, Professor Farnsworth, the company owner, made an announcement to the crew.
“Good news, everyone! Today, we have two new teenage crew members!”
“Crew members?” asked a shocked Leela, “I thought they would be gofers or something! Being a crewmember is a dangerous job…”
“Come here, you two,” interrupted Farnsworth, calling to across the room.
The kids entered from the lounge. They now wore copies of the uniforms leftover from the brief takeover of the company by Cubert, the Professor’s son: a yellow cap, a blue jacket, blue shorts, and small boots. The jackets now has the Planet Express logo on the backs. Kim’s hair was now in a ponytail.
“Fry, Captain Leela, Bender,” said Farnsworth, “meet Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable!”
Fry snickered before asking, “seriously, what are you’re real names?”
“Those really are our names,” explained a slightly annoyed Kim.
“Man,” said Fry, having more trouble containing his laughter, “you’re parents must have had a crazy sense of humor.”
“We got our last names from our parents,” explained Ron.
Fry then burst in an uncontrollable fit. Ron looked insulted while Kim looked exasperated.
“Anyway,” continued the Professor, “you’re to deliver a cart of wheels to Atlantic City today.”
“But it’s dangerous in Atlantic City right now!” protested Leela, “and we can’t take the kids to…!”
“Off you go!”
It was a quick trip to Atlantic City. Leela was even more apprehensive of leaving the kids alone on the ship as she was taking them into the city, so Kim and Ron walked with them as long as they stayed close. With all the brimstone in the air, they had to wear gas masks, with the exception of Bender. The maskes came with a clear audio, so they could still easily hear each other.
“Who made the gas masks?” asked Kim, “the handiwork seems familiar.”
“They were part of a contract with Loadco.,” answered Leela, “funny thing; it’s reported that their founder started out as a shut-in, online consultant for various corporate and government projects in the first decade of the twenty-first century.”
“And he was only ten years-old when he started?” asked Ron.
“You’ve done your research?”
“Sort of,” said Kim, giving Ron a cautious look. She was usually more open, but she figured that these people would not believe her story just yet. Also, she had started to notice Ron noticing Leela. This was hardly the first time Ron was eyeing an older woman, but she was worried he would bite off more than he could chew. Also, neither of them needed a distraction.
“Well, I’m off,” said Bender, starting to walk away, “tell me how the delivery went later.”
“Bender,” protested Leela, “you can’t leave…”
“Sure, I can! There’s four of you and I’m in one of my favorite spots on Earth. Plus, you don’t wanna bring kids where I’m going.”
Bender left while the others looked at each other and the crate that was suspended on a hover dolly.
“I guess it’s just us,” said Kim, not wanting to know where Bender was going or else face her parents’ disapproval whenever she got home.
“Where we goin’?” asked Ron, finally putting his mind on the situation.
Fry looked at the label on the crate.
“Oh boy,” he said to himself, “the kids may be better off with Bender.”
Leela looked at the label herself.
“’Oh boy’ is right,” she agreed, “but we’ve probably gone too far to take them back.“
“Why?” asked Kim, “where is it?”
Fry and Leela looked at each other before turning to Kim and Ron.
“Robot Hell,” they answered simultaneously.
It was not too long a walk to the old and abandoned amusement park which Robot Hell was located underneath. Still, the foursome had walked long enough to receive odd looks from everyone along the way. Leela figured that people had gotten the wrong idea about the four of them, probably due to the color of Fry and Kim’s hair, Kim’s ponytail, and Fry and Ron’s similar expressions.
When will people stop thinking that way about me and Fry? she wondered. Why did they think that way, anyway? Is it because it’s what they want to see or…maybe they just see something I’m not seeing?
She wondered if anyone else has that kind of interpretation upon them…and if they were closer than she thought.
Something else came to mind and she decided to get it out of the way.
“Thanks for not bringing up my eye,” she whispered to Kim.
“You’re welcome,” Kim whispered back, “you’re not the only one-eyed woman we know.”
“Really? Is she like me”
“Well…, no,” Kim answered, apparently uncomfortably, “you naturally have one eye and she has an eye patch…”
“Let’s stop there,” said Leela, feeling a little disappointed. She met her parents some time ago, but she still hoped to know if there were other one-eyed people out there, mutant or otherwise. Simply to discuss what she could not with her friends, like the struggle to find large single contact lenses.
A smoldering crater with brimstone constantly pouring out was found at the edge of the park.
“This is the way to Robot Hell?” asked Ron.
“There used to be a funhouse called ‘The Inferno’ right here,” explained Leela, feeling suspicious, “and that was the entrance.”
“Wow,” said Fry, looking down, I guess the Robot Devil wanted a new image or something.”
“Maybe,” said Leela. She turned to the kids, “I guess one of us will have to take you back after all…”
“We went this far,” stated Kim, sounding rather brave, “we’re not turning back. Although I don‘t like the idea of visiting hell…”
“Me neither,” said Ron, sounding more nervous than his friend, “I thought I’d be closer to hell after entering college.”
“Actually,” said Fry, “I don’t think there’s much time for sinning in college. Both times I was in, they expected me to study.”
“Then why did you drop out?” asked Leela, partially teasingly.
“I was partying. That doesn’t always mean I was sinning.”
“Well,” said Kim to Ron, with some fear in her voice, “I’m going, but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t want to…”
“K.P.,” interrupted Ron, “I’ve always helped you if you needed me and you just might need me in there!”
Kim looked at the pit again.
“I guess that’s a safe bet. So, how do we get down there?”
“This way,” said Fry, pointing to the rim of a slide at the edge of the pit.
The ride was long and Ron enjoyed it as much as he could. Slides were more of a Kim thing; he was a see-saw boy in their early years.
Robot Hell was not without scenery: everywhere Ron turned, he saw robots being run over by each other with wheels of various sizes. He did not know which bothered him more: the robotic screaming or the perverted use for wheels, one of his favorite interests.
When they finally landed, Ron noticed Leela’s grim expression. He had been noticing Captain Leela…a lot, and this was the grimmest he had seen her today.
“So,” asked Ron, “is it always this charming here?”
“No,” answered Leela flatly, “it’s worse now. Something’s changed here. First, the pit and the brimstone. Now, these wheels….”
“Let’s just deliver this to the Robot Devil and get out of here,” suggested Fry.
Kim was looking at the address on the package while the others talked. Ron heard her mutter a quiet, “Oh, no.”
This got Ron’s attention, so he went to the crate to see the label himself. Two words chilled him.
“What’s wrong?” asked Leela.
“It’s not for this ‘Robot Devil’ Mr. Fry mentioned,” answered Kim.
“It’s for someone we know,” said Ron, “someone very dangerous…”
It had only been a short time, but the power he was feeling was intoxicating. After spending a thousand years as a head in a jar and about two-hundred years on a shelf in the head museum reserved for forgotten super-villains, the mullet-haired Motor Ed felt like he was home.
After joining the Robot Devil’s weekly poker nights, Ed had focused his mechanical skills to memorize hell. He also focused his underhanded skills to cheat at playing against the devil. Finally, he had won hell itself in a game against an overconfident Robot Devil and cast him out. He then had his head plugged in the mechanics of hell to control it.
Some changes were needed, though. Much missed wheels were added to the robot punishers and he wanted to see his beloved New Jersey again, although he was planning to trash it. The park ride which camouflaged hell for years had to go. He was going to send his newly wheeled army to the surface and literately bring hell to Atlantic City. Then, he would continue until the world becomes his personal scrap yard.
Now, if only those bros with the wheels would get here. Why did things hover these days, anyway?
Ed looked up and saw a one-eyed chick and a red headed guy with a hover thingy with the crate he asked for.
“Ah! Rightous. Now, I can seriously rock hard!”
“How will you be paying?” asked the lady.
“Paying? Not my style, babe,” he turned to the robot forces around him, “get ‘em! Seriously!”
Kim and Ron were on a ledge that was overlooking the action. Leela had told them to stay out of the way earlier. Kim wanted to protest, but Ron was more eager to let the grown-ups do the talking.
“Looks like they need help,” said Kim.
“But we don’t have anything that can stop robots…,” Ron began to protest, until he saw Kim pulling out the wires and such out of two sets of disembodied robot hands and feet.
“Ready-made gloves,” she quipped, “are you with me?”
“Like I said,” said Ron with half a smile, “if you need me.”
Leela found herself relying on her boots during the fight. She did not feel like busting her hands against metal. Fry was not doing much better either. She was glad the kids were out of danger, though.
Suddenly, two familiar forms dropped down and joined them. It was Kim and Ron with metallic gloves and boots. Leela was shocked.
“I thought I told you two to…”
Kim busted off a robot’s head.
“Sorry to disobey you,” she said, “but this is a temp job anyway.”
Leela felt like yelling, but she was impressed by the kid’s skill. She hoped Kim’s friend could do so well.
Seeing Ron’s obviously impromptu moves and yells made Leela feel less at ease.
“Hey, it’s Red and her skinny dude,” observed Motor Ed, “get them, seriously.”
“’Red’?” asked Leela.
“Yeah,” said Kim, “I wish he wouldn’t call me that.”
As the fight went on, Leela found herself very impressed by Kim.
“Very nice,” complimented Leela, noticing Kim’s stance, “mantis kung-fu?”
“My favorite kind,” explained Kim, still focusing on the battle, “I can’t place your style though, and I know several.”
“Acturian,” explained Leela as she used a decapitating move on an approaching robot. “I’m surprised that you couldn’t recognize it. It’s popular the galaxy over.”
“It…has to do with where Ron and I are from,” said Kim, “I’ll explain later.”
Leela felt like she was not getting the whole story, but she had to concentrate on surviving for now.
Fry got a proton gun from a fallen robot during the fight and was doing well protecting himself. Although he never took classes, Fry was an excellent marksman due to a lifetime of playing violent video games.
Ron was keeping himself alive with his rather iffy fighting style, which was impressive in itself.
“So,” asked Ron at one point, “what’s the deal with you and Captain Leela?”
“I wish there was a deal,” Fry sadly answered, “she just wants us to be friends.”
“Oh,” said Ron sadly, but followed with a more enthusiastic, “so, she’s available?”
“You? Woah, man! Leela wouldn’t swing to your age,” warned Fry.
“Hey,” said Ron, “I can dream. I’m a teen. I think you‘re a lucky guy to even be around her.”
“Wow, thanks” said Fry, not used to being the envy of a male, “but, I assumed you and Kim…”
“Her and me? Nah! She’s interested in this artist guy! Still, she’s always been my best friend, even though we fight a lot, and we’ve been there for each other when we really need to be. That means a lot to me. Other girls have given up on me altogether.”
“Wow,” said Fry, “that sounds really familiar.”
Despite their skills, the sheer number of foes started to overcome them. The fight had been going for a while and Leela was feeling tired. The robots had no such problem. If only Bender was with them. Having a robot on their side may have tipped the odds in their favor. They soon found themselves completely surrounded. Fry was pulling the trigger of his gun, but with no luck.
“I’m out of ammo!” wailed Fry.
“And I’m out of room!” complained Ron.
“And you’re out of luck,” explained Motor Ed, “seriously!”
“NOT SO FAST!” boomed a familiar voice from above, “your ruling over hell is over!”
They all looked up and saw the sight they least expected.
Seeing his friends in danger wasn’t a surprise for Bender. That was probably why he left Power Strip early. He was surprised to find the Robot Devil in an alley and almost sober to boot. Not quite himself, the devil told Bender his problem and Bender, probably not feeling like himself either, took him to see the Hyper Chicken lawyer to see what could be done about this. The lawyer found a loophole and they all went to Robot Hell…to find the Planet Express crew and hell’s new owner in mortal combat. Despite the temptation to bet on the winner, Bender figured he should stop the fight. Must have been an effect those blasted kids had on him.
After his announcement, both sides looked up to see him, the devil, and the lawyer on a ledge.
“Motor Ed,” announced the Robot Devil, “I have a surprise for you!”
He then picked up the chicken and threw him at Ed. Leela prepared herself to grab him but Kim had already jumped, summer salted in the air, and grabbed the squawking lawyer. Unfortunately, he must have been too heavy for her. Leela quickly noticed that Kim’s landing would be off, so she tried to catch all three of them. They all ended up in a heap with Leela on he bottom.
Ed did not get the strategy here. He didn’t know the silver bro, but he recognized the horned dude and the chicken lawyer. This Hyper Chicken guy had a rep for being an incompetent lawyer, but he was popular since he was cheap and the competition liked him because he would accidentally point the evidence in the favor of his clients.
The skinny dude and the Male-Red was busy helping Male-Red and the one-eyed chick, so whatever would happen, it was nothing Ed couldn’t handle.
“Now,” said the lawyer, “which of you folks is this ‘Motor Ed’ fellow?”
“I am!” announced the villain from his jar, “now what the deal here, seriously!”
“My client claims that he was forcefully ejected from his home and will see you in court concerning the ownership of this here pit o’ punishment.”
“What? He can’t do that, seriously,“ argued Ed, “I won this place fair and square in a poker game, seriously!”
“Actually,” explained the Robot Devil, who had just landed from the ledge to join them, “you never did have hell turned over in your name!”
“I had to sign something? Bro, seriously, that is so strenuous! First I had to cheat, then I had to lie about not cheating, and now this! I’m sick of this! Seriously! Robots, attack these guys, seriously!”
“What? Hey, metal bros! Seriously, do something!”
Ed then noticed something. He did not feel input from the robots. He looked down and saw that the wiring that attached his head, and, in turn, his mind, to Robot Hell and, wirelessly, to the robots, had been sliced off. He turned around and saw Female-Red standing triumphantly with her famous hand-held lazar in hand. The lazar was smoking, which explained all to Ed.
“Why you! Man! I…I…!” he turned back to the Robot devil and the Hyper Chicken, “I’m gonna beat this rap! Seriously!”
While the two villains and the lawyer argued over the home ownership laws, the Planet Express crew secretly exited. Leela figured a debate like this could take weeks or even months.
“So,” explained Kim, “that’s how we got here.”
Back at the Planet Express conference table, Kim and Ron had finally explained the truth to a surprised crew.
“The trouble is that we don’t have anything that can get us back,” Kim continued to explain as she reached into her pocket and pulled out what seemed to be a portable video/audio receiver and broadcaster, ”all we have is my Kimmunicator, but…”
“Did this time machine have some kind of signal device?” interrupted Farnsworth.
“Yes,” said Kim “but we don’t have a way to get a signal through.”
“Not unless you would have this,” announced Farnsworth, pulling a metal box out from under his lab coat. The device had a red button and a small light on it.
“I’ve been comparing notes concerning time-travel with my former mentor, Adoy,” he explained, “all you would need in your case is a signal device that can be picked up throughout time! This is a part from my old, non-working time machine. Adoy instructed me how to make this into a beacon. It was halfway one already.”
“You mean,” asked Ron hopefully, “you can get us home?”
“So I won’t have to pay you? Yes!”
An hour and a half later, the Kimmunicator, the beacon, and some other devices were and hooked up together, making a eyesore in the lounge.
“There,” explained the Professor, “the energy crystal in Kim’s device has been recalibrated to have my device send a signal into the time stream. All we have to do is wait until the signal reaches the time when the machine that brought them here was still activated. Then, you should automatically return to your home time.”
“And how long will that take?” asked Fry.
“Oh, it’s hard to say,” Farnsworth explained, “it would be moment after you disappeared. But for us, it could be days, maybe, weeks, or months or..”
The signal device began to beep.
“Well,” explained Farnsworth, “it sort of depends on the strength of the signal…”
Just then, Kim and Ron began to fade.
“I guess this is good bye,” said Kim as she began to vanish, “thanks for everything!”
“Wait!” said Ron as he was fading, “Captain Leela, you rock hard…”
With those last few words, they were gone. Leela found herself wide-eyed at that last statement.
“I don’t know if I should be bothered or flattered by that,” she thought out loud.
“I’d say he has good taste,” said Fry.
Leela gave him a half-smile in response.
“It was nice to have them around,” said Leela, “they reminded me of the two of us.”
“Yeah,” agreed Fry, “say, did you notice that Motor Ed sounded a lot like Bender when he’s really angry?”
“Not really,” said Leela, “some things are better off unexplained, anyway. Like how two people of the opposite sex can go so long and be so close and still be considered just friends.”
”That reminds me,” said Fry, “are we still up for joining Kif and Amy at Elzar’s tonight?”
“Yeah,” said Leela, “but we’re going to be more casual than they will be. I don’t want people to get ideas.”