Friday, September 2, 3008
Fry exhaled as he saw the comfortingly familiar sight of a certain petite, black-haired female wearing a pink hooded midriff sweater, equally pink sweatpants, and dark pink boots walking into the light.
It's only Amy, Fry thought with relief. And she's okay.
He desperately wanted to talk to Amy and ask what had happened to her. She had been declared missing for the past four months, and every day since her disappearance, Fry had wondered where she was and if she was all right.
As he watched Amy walk leisurely into the dimly lit alley, Fry caught sight of her expression. She wore a nonchalant smile that was all too cheerful for someone wandering around a rain-soaked city at night, especially one becoming increasingly populated by fierce, bloodsucking creatures.
Where has she been all this time? Fry wondered. Does she know about the nightwalkers? Should I warn her?
He hesitated at that last thought, remembering the strict instructions he'd been given back at EIB headquarters. The EIB was a top secret organization, and in order to keep it that way, he'd been ordered not to expose his presence to any civilians. He figured he'd look a little silly popping out of the blue looking like a redheaded Solid Snake.
At the same time, though, Fry figured it would be right to warn Amy about the terror secretly going on in the city. After all, it was his sworn duty to protect the public from the nightwalker threat, and as long as he was doing just that, what did it matter if Amy saw that he was a soldier? She knew him; they were co-workers. She'd understand.
Fry started to get up and reveal himself to Amy.
A second figure appeared from around the same darkened corner that Amy had come from. Fry suddenly stopped and stayed crouched behind his cover.
The figure approached Amy at the same unhurried pace that she was walking at. As it was nearly shrouded by shadows, Fry could only make out its shape at first. It was that of a portly man that, strangely enough, also looked familiar to him.
As the rotund figure entered the light, Fry recognized the man by the blue jacket he wore over a white shirt tucked into blue pants, along with his thick gray mustache and brown cap.
The man was Scruffy, the janitor at Planet Express.
What is Scruffy doing following Amy into an alley at this time of night? Fry wondered. And in the rain, too?
Fry studied Scruffy a bit more. He thought he could make out what looked like an excited smile underneath his mustache, widening with every step he took toward the Chinese-Martian intern.
Fry figured that something was definitely wrong with the scene unfolding in front of his eyes. Amy and Scruffy looked much too happy given the darkness, the weather, and the city's horrific ongoings. Fry noticed that Scruffy was trailing a few yards behind Amy, who was smiling and humming innocently.
Is he . . . stalking her?! Fry thought, unable to believe what he was seeing.
Fry dismissed that last query after Amy stopped in her tracks and turned around to face Scruffy, whom she allowed to walk right up to her without any hesitation. Amy stopped humming, but her cheery mien didn't fade. She raised her pretty almond-shaped eyes up to his and gave him a playful, teasing smile.
Fry heard a soft chuckle emerge from Scruffy's throat.
It dawned on Fry that Amy apparently lured Scruffy into the alley for a purpose — and, judging from their behavior, he couldn't decide if the purpose was amusing or disturbing.
Fry knew that Amy had a tendency to be promiscuous. But he never thought he'd see the day when she'd get romantic with a porn-obsessed janitor more than twice her age.
Amy reached out and clasped Scruffy's hands in hers.
This isn't like Amy at all, Fry thought. He figured that if she was going to get like that with somebody, a dark, rain-soaked alley would be the last place she'd do it. And Scruffy would be one of the last people she'd do it with.
A cold chill ran down Fry's spine as his nostrils were invaded by the same sweet odor he had smelled down in the sewer before Leela's mother was attacked. It was the smell of a nightwalker, and it smelled strong, as though it was emanating from somewhere nearby.
"So, is this where we're gonna . . ." Scruffy started to ask, but his remaining words caught in his throat when Amy suddenly pulled away from him.
"Hey —" Scruffy cut his cry short when he saw what was happening to Amy. His eyes bulged and his mouth dropped open in an expression of terror.
Fry matched Scruffy's horrified look as he saw Amy begin to transform. She appeared to grow in height, uttering what sounded like a grunt of pain as she lowered her head to one side and covered her face with one hand. The color began to fade from Amy's skin. She then jerked her head to the other side and hid her face with her other hand, a deeper grunt emanating from her throat. Amy's skin was now ash-gray. The grunt then crescendoed into a frightening, inhuman growl as she raised her face to the sky, then turned to face Scruffy, whom she was now taller than by a few inches.
Fry noticed to his growing horror that Amy's fingers were now tipped with razor-sharp claws.
Upon seeing Amy's face, Scruffy's face became pallid with intense fear. His legs gave out and he fell on his rear end, his breath coming out in short gasps.
"W-what the hell?" Scruffy stammered, moving backwards on his hands and feet toward the dumpsters next to Fry. "What are you?"
Amy didn't answer Scruffy's question. Instead, she let out a fierce roar of attack and charged the helpless janitor.
"No! Get away from me!" Scruffy shrieked, the pitch of his voice rising along with his terror.
Fry's mouth fell open and his eyes grew wide with horror as he saw what had become of Amy's formerly attractive face. Her skin was strikingly pale, pale as death. Her eyes, now green and monstrous, were narrowed into hateful slits as she glared down at what would be her prey. Saliva dripped from her canine teeth which had elongated into pointed, dagger-like fangs.
He only noticed these details for a few seconds, but it was already enough to fuel his nightmares for weeks.
Fry raised both hands over his mouth to keep from screaming as he watched Amy lunge at Scruffy with superhuman speed. She swept her arm low and quickly slashed at the janitor, plunging her claws into his stomach and up his chest.
Blood sprayed from Scruffy's fresh wounds and spattered onto the concrete ground. His body flew backward against the dumpster like a ragdoll being hit by a speeding train. Fry shut his eyes and winced at the loud bang made by Scruffy's limp body as it collided with the dumpster. The janitor then lay in a sitting position against it, motionless.
Fry's heart beat against his chest like a jackhammer. He couldn't believe what he had just witnessed, that he was this close to this fanged killing machine that used to be petite, cute Amy Wong.
As much as Fry wanted tear his eyes away from the grisly scene, he couldn't. A sort of morbid curiosity kept his eyes glued on Amy as she staggered zombie-like toward Scruffy's corpse.
Fry felt a sick, queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach watching Amy's strange, non-fluid movements as she staggered through the pool of blood that Scruffy sat dead in. It filled him with the horrifying realization that Amy was no longer human. She was now a creature — a savage, bloodthirsty creature with no restraint.
Fry's realization was all the more confirmed when Amy reached down, grabbed Scruffy's body from under his arms, and lifted him up. Then, she sank her fangs deep into the janitor's neck, feeding on his remaining blood. Copious amounts of gore spurted out from Scruffy's neck and splashed onto the concrete ground.
Fry felt bile rise up in his throat once again. He closed his eyes tightly to shut out the scene and quell his nausea, but he could still hear the sickening squelching sounds of Amy draining the blood from Scruffy's body and the gore splattering onto the ground.
Make it stop . . . make it stop . . . Fry pleaded in his mind. He felt sick to his stomach just listening to Amy feed on Scruffy. Watching and listening to a scene like this in a horror movie was bad; watching and listening to it in real life from only a few feet away was much worse because there were no cheesy-looking special effects — this was the real thing.
Knowing he could be next if he wasn't careful, Fry's stomach tied in nervous knots.
After several seconds, Amy pulled her fangs out of Scruffy's neck. The blood stopped gushing. She lifted the janitor up from under his arms and effortlessly tossed his body into an open dumpster as if it weighed nothing.
Amy then turned to look into the alley to Fry's left — his only escape route.
His heart pounding, Fry crept to the left along the wall he was crouching against, away from Amy. He lowered his display over his eyes and examined his radar.
Since she was in nightwalker form, Amy was already marked as a hostile. She appeared as a red triangle on the radar. A much larger red triangle fanned out from one point and spread across the alley that Leela had previously gone through. This triangle represented Amy's field of vision.
For half a minute, Fry watched the symbols intently, waiting for Amy to move or look away. She glared fiercely into the alley on the left and didn't budge, waiting for her next meal.
Fry's heart sank as he realized his predicament. With a dead end alley behind him and Amy guarding his only escape route, he had nowhere to go but into the eyes of the enemy.
He was trapped.
To be continued ...