Futurama

Fan Fiction

The First Day, part 1
By Corvus

Authors Note: Big thanks to soylentOrange for his stellar Beta reading. Couldn't have done it with out you.


New New York, December 31st, 2999

The sun vanished behind the horizon as nightfall slowly crept over the vibrant city of New New York. Lingering rays of sunlight painted broad strokes of bright color upon the deep, dark sky. Stars came out one by one, punctuating the black velvet of night with their flickering light. A crisp chill swept the buildings of New New York in a soft embrace. Everywhere people, aliens, and robots alike were busy preparing their festivities for this final night of the year. The last trembling hours were to give way to an increasing crescendo of celebration that was to culminate at the stroke of twelve.

Residing in this fair city among the smooth, tall glass skyscrapers, even a certain purple haired cyclops- the only one of her kind on the whole planet, as far as she knew- was making her own preparations as the last hours of the year drew to a close. Alone in her sparsely decorated apartment, her attempt at getting ready was not without a quandary. A task of great importance lay before her, yet it continued to vex her, as she was unable to readily solve it.

Leela was indecisive, a state of mind that she rarely visited, as she was an energetic person that didn't usually dawdle or hesitate. Problems were solved through logic or experience; this, however, lay outside both of those realms.

Underneath a furrowed brow, Leela's sole eye flew over the objects before her, seeking a color- a shape- anything that could give a starting point from which to attempt to reach a decision. The young woman had contemplated the problem for a good hour, yet she was anything but near a certain solution. Leela surveyed the cluttered mess that her wardrobe had now become in her desperate bid to find anything to wear for her night out on this New Years Eve. Wearing a frustrated grimace on her face, Leela’s posture gave evidence to her state of mind. Her arms were folded across her chest. Why didn’t I think of this earlier? She silently berated herself.

Leela's bedroom was no more a pinnacle of interior decorating than the rest of her small apartment. Her living room was a white space of nothing, occupied only by a large TV screen and an armchair; the kitchen followed suit with the bare necessities consisting of a microwave, a robotic stove, a combined fridge and freezer, and a single table with only two chairs. Mimicking this, the bedroom was nothing more than a room in soft colors that held a bed and a nightstand, and, of course, her spacious wardrobe. Her apartment was unscrupulously clean, which was due to the purple-haired owner’s sense of neatness as well as the fact that she had very little else to do on her free time apart from working out or getting drunk in front of the TV.

Standing in her bedroom beside her bed in the midst of a flurry of clothing, boots and other accessories, Leela quietly wished for someone to ask for help; a female friend would have been great, a mother even better.

But friends for Leela were few and far between as she had none, and the thought of a mother only served as a painful reminder of her past as an orphan- and how lonely she truly was. A hollow feeling made its presence felt in her stomach and tears started to well up as Leela sank to the bedside. The cyclops’ hands sought her face for comfort, and seconds idled slowly by as only a quiet sobbing could be heard from the hidden face.

With an effort that came with years of unwanted practice, the purple haired woman suppressed her gloomy feelings of loneliness. Leela roughly wiped her tears with her right arm and the palm of her hand; for the moment Leela didn't care that she had smeared her makeup.

The way she dried her tears was an old habit, something that she had learned as a young girl at the Orphanarium when she’d hidden away under a blanket in a closet to hide from the cruel taunts and ridicule of her peers. Feelings of anger and irritation pushed her sadness away; Leela hated her loneliness and how it made her feel. Why do I have to be this… weak? She thought with distaste. She had gone through so much in life and always managed to get out if it on her own; she didn't need these feelings of vulnerability right now.

The cyclops stretched her nimble body over the bed and with her right hand she caught a tissue from her nightstand and blew her nose. The crumbled tissue flew over the bed in a trajectory towards a lone dustbin in the corner of the room; it missed and bounced off the wall instead, coming to rest just beside the dustbin. Leela frowned; this just made her even more miserable and angry. She’d never asked to be born a depth perception-less cyclops. She rolled over and lay on her stomach and stared at the offending tissue. She didn't need yet another reminder that she was a cyclops with poor depth perception. I don’t need crap like this right now! Leela fumed for herself, directing her anger at a universe that saw fit to underscore her flaws.

By now the hour had already crossed into early evening and Leela was now feeling slightly stressed; she had every intention of having a night out, not spending it at home fretting over what to wear. A tiny voice in her head reminded her that she should have thought about that and spent some time shopping, rather than spending the past week trying to find a boyfriend for this special night.

She didn't want to go through spending a special night like this alone like she’d done during Xmas, a holiday Leela had, to her chagrin, endured the same way she always spent it: with a packet of Insta-turkey of the I-Am-Single variety together with a bottle of cheap, domestic eggnog wine.

Since she had been alone, the hours of terror as robo-Santa had ransacked the city had been spent in the municipal Santa-proof bunker with old people, screaming kids, and other misfits of the city that couldn't afford to buy the simplest of home Santa protection, or, as in Leela’s case, just wanted the comfort of being with other people.

Not wanting to experience that again, she had been determined to find a boyfriend before the year’s end. So preoccupied in her single-minded pursue of a suitable counterpart had she been that she had totally forgotten another crucial part; what to wear. Her desperate attempts to find a boyfriend before New Year’s Eve had fizzled out in the same bunch of weird, repulsive creeps as she always seemed to attract.

Determined not to be beaten by this, Leela had decided to go to The Hip Joint on New Year’s Eve, despite that she didn't have anyone to go there with. At least she would be with a lot of people, have some fun, and, with some luck, find a guy before the stroke of twelve.

As the days had inexorably moved towards the fateful Tuesday night in which New Years Eve was to present itself, her coworkers Terry and Lou had offered to share a bottle of cheap Neptunian Champagne with her at work when the clock struck midnight; they hadn’t had the chance to find someone to go out with, nor had they either any friends or family with which to spend the last day of the year.

Leela didn't want to spend the night with her coworkers, and it felt too much of a loser’s meeting for her. It wasn't that she had anything against them, just that she met them each day at work and Leela wanted to meet other people, new people that weren’t defrosted or obsessed with the idea of showmanship, like Terry was.

So after the last guy for the day, a middle aged, scruffy looking man from the 22nd century, had been defrosted, probulated and sent off to a merry new life with a forced smile and a stamp in his palm from her career chip gun, Leela had raced home as quickly as she could. One quick shower later she had been ready to get dressed to kill that night... only to be met by row upon row of snow-white tank tops, smooth black pants, one black jacket, grey boots, and one lime-green jacket. She’d realized those items were not fit for a night out. Desperately she had searched through every box and stand she had in her wardrobe.

The only thing she had found was a lime-green colored tube mini dress, complete with knee high, lime green boots. The dress had a rather revealing neckline and the short length of it was more than slightly on the daring side. She had bought it years ago on an impulse and had never used it. It was a working outfit, but Leela wasn't sure she really wanted to use it. Posing in front of her wall mirror, Leela held up the dress in front her. To the cyclops it looked awfully... short. Tugging the unyielding fabric didn't make it any longer. “Oh lord.” She muttered with a tired groan and grimaced. She tossed it on her bed and sat down beside it.

It was by now long past closing time, so there was no possibility for her to go to- say- Overlord and Tailor’s in a bid to finding something else to wear. Leela picked the hemline of the dress somewhat absently and stared at the thick heeled boots that just screamed 'tacky' at her. Maybe I should just stay home, nuke a Bachellorette TV dinner, get wasted, and watch New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.

A sudden anger flashed through Leela's mind. No, I’m not going to take the easy way out and stay home. Why is it that I always cave and come up with these lame excuses as soon as there’s a social event? Her plans for a nice evening out with a boyfriend had come to naught, but she was hell bent on having some fun tonight at least. With determined face and without further hesitation, she grabbed the dress with her left hand and her makeup kit with her right and headed for the bathroom.

Roughly an hour later the young cyclops left a hover cab, having arrived at The Hip Joint. The distant murmur of people and music came floating from the entrance. Around the red carpet there was a small group of people hanging around; some were standing alone- briefly catching some crisp, cold air before they would dive back into the feverish party. A couple of robots were silently sharing a cigar between them and a handful of young men with their girlfriends were waiting for a hover cab to take them to the next party.

Feeling the night chill brush against her exposed skin, the cyclops was almost shamefully aware of just how little fabric her dress contained. Leela tugged the hemline somewhat nervously, she felt out of place in an outfit like this. Maybe this was a mistake, after all. She thought and tried to walk as casually as her high heeled boots permitted. A quick glance at the women that stood with the boys not far from her revealed that Leela's outfit was anything but risqué compared to theirs, a fact that did put her mind somewhat at ease.

Her arrival did not go unnoticed by the men, who ogled her with appraisal; one of them even gave her a wolf whistle, something that made her roll her eye towards the sky. The scantily-clad women of the group were not as approving as their men and sent the purple haired woman acid stares. Leela thought she heard one of them mutter 'freak' but she wasn't sure and the cyclops decided that she didn't want to stick around; the temperature was not really encouraging for staying outside any longer than a few minutes, and she silently wondered how those girls who had even less clothing than she had could stand the cold.

Having slipped pass the bouncer bot and paid the entry fee, Leela entered the interior of the club and was assaulted by a wall of music, strobing lights and a cacophony of voices. For a moment she stood just inside the door and took in the atmosphere; she surveyed the place with a light feeling of anticipation. The place was filled with people, aliens and robots of all shapes, sizes and colors. Waitresses, dressed in their minimalistic outfit complete with the trademark rings of the place, scurried in and out of the mass of creatures that seemed to occupy every free surface. The waitresses’ movements were smooth and seamless, betraying their veteran skills in maneuvering their filled hover trays through the narrow gaps between humans, aliens and robots alike.

The large dance floor was a sea of dancers waving, shimming and shaking back and forth in pace with the music. Rays of multicolor light strobed over the dance floor, illuminating spots at random. The source of the lights came from the underside of unevenly shaped floating dance floors that soared at different levels under the bowl-shaped ceiling. Small, circular hover pads floated discreetly back and forth from the different levels of floating dance floors, ferrying dancers to and fro.

A quick glance at the nearest booths, which ran along the circular wall, revealed that they all were full. Leela couldn't see if there were any other booths free beyond her immediate vicinity, so she opted to have a look at the bar area instead. The tables there were also beset by throngs of people, aliens and robots. The only remaining option was the bar itself. Situated fairly centrally in the building, it was, as anything else in The Hip Joint, circular in shape with the exception of the "roof", which was as irregularly shaped as the floating dance floors. The "roof" was held up by a circular fish tank that featured exotic marine life not only from Earth, but from other places in the known universe.

Positioned in even intervals running along the circular bar were peg-shaped bar stools, complete with pink seating pads. Behind the bar, bartender bots swept back and forth, taking orders, mixing drinks from the large and oddly shaped vats that contained many differently colored ingredients, and serving drinks and snacks to the large crowd that occupied the bar.

Leela surveyed the mass of creatures in the bar, looking for a free space, and spotted a narrow space between what looked like a large cargo bot and an Asian girl with a rather odd haircut and dressed in a very revealing pink dress.

"Ex.. excuse me?" Leela tried her best to make herself heard over the deep, pounding music as she made an effort to wedge herself between the cold steel of the cargo bot and the young Asian girl. The robot, with its more sensitive audio sensors, heard Leela and swiveled his massive head a hundred and eighty degrees and let his optics scan the flesh pile that was nudging his lower back. Leela stared back at the robot, waiting for a response. The bulky machine didn't say anything, but simply realigned his head forward and moved a mere inch closer to the bar. Leela stared into the scuffed and dented back plate of the robot for a couple of seconds before realizing that the haul bot wouldn't move anymore than it already had. Nonplussed by the silent treatment from the bot, the cyclops turned her attention to the Asian girl beside her instead.

"Excuse me? Excu... excuse me!" Leela hazarded a second time, and gave the girl with the odd haircut a light tap on her right shoulder. The Asian girl turned away from the man she had been chatting with to face Leela. She gave the purple haired woman a quick and cute smile, a smile that turned into a surprised look on her face upon seeing Leela's more prominent facial feature; her one eye.

"Ai-yaaa! That's a big eye!" The pink-clad woman blurted in surprise. The moment she had said it she seemed to realize that it wasn't perhaps the most appropriate thing to say. "I mean, nice eyes... eh... one eye... eh." The Asian girl continued to fluster while trying to avoid staring at Leela's face.

This again. Leela thought wearily with a slight frown. Though the purple haired woman wasn't fond of the reaction her one eye got her, the girl in front of her at least seemed genuinely sorry that she had reacted the way she had.

"I'm Leela, I just wanted to order from the bar." The purple haired woman said with a disarming smile and a wave with her left hand towards the bar.

"I'm Amy Wong." The Asian girl replied, still a bit uncertain where to place her eyes. Her eyes were darting nervously around the bar area trying to find somewhere to put her gaze.

"Amy Wong? Of the Mars Wongs? Leela said with a surprised tone in her voice and facial expression to match. She would never have expected to find the heir to the influential Mars Wongs in a bar in New New York.

"Eh... yeah but look, we're not as rich as everybody says.“ Amy mumbled, while she stared into the marred surface of the bar counter and absently scratched her left wrist. She was feeling slightly ashamed and wanted to change the subject. Amy was not really happy talking about her heritage. Her parents had wanted her to come to the Wong New Year’s Eve ball but Amy had every reason to avoid her parents- especially her mother- who nagged constantly on Amy about grandchildren and tried to get Amy together to spawn offspring with any able young man that happened to cross her mother’s path.

Noting the lime colored dress that Leela wore, Amy jumped at the only thing she could come up with that wasn’t making her feel awkward. “Hey, that's a great dress!”

Leela was momentarily distracted from Amy by the fact that she finally had managed to get the attention of the bartender bot. "A Purple Dream." The cyclops slid a few dollars over the bar desk that the bot took and disappeared. "My dress? You think it’s okay?" Leela asked Amy. She had been very uncertain about it, and it felt great that she had the approval of another woman, especially someone like Amy.

" Shpleah, it’s really cute.” The young Martian offered with a bright smile and a sincere look on her face while nodding enthusiastically. For a moment Leela relaxed, perhaps her anxiety over her dress had been unfounded after all. What was I so worried about?

Yet, Amy was far from finished. A concerned expression crept over her face. “But too bad you don’t really have the hips for it- or the chest. And it sorta makes your butt look really big." Amy continued, before she hesitated, as she’d just realized something. “Oh and you don’t have the calves for those boots, either.” Amy, yet again nodded, concerned that such a nice outfit was ruined in such a manner.

Leela just stared, unblinking at the girl in front of her. Had she really heard what she thought she’d heard, or was the loud music playing tricks on her?

"What did you just say?" Leela said slowly, with a hint of impending doom in her voice. Her relaxed posture had tensed and her hands, which had rested upon the bar counter, threatened to dig deep holes in it. Totally oblivious to what the cyclops had just said, Amy continued.

"You have such nice, rich hair- though purple doesn’t really match that lime green. Puke-a-tronic!" Amy was on a roll. Unflappable, she didn't realize her fashion tips were not well received by Leela; she just figured that the one eyed woman would benefit from her candid remarks. After all, everyone had access to a walk in wardrobe the size of a medium sized apartment, right?

Leela stared flabbergasted at Amy; for a moment she was sorely tempted to take Amy’s bright yellow drink and throw it over the obnoxious girl. Leela felt that she didn't need this type of candor, especially not after the emotional roller coaster that her indecision over her dress choice had brought her. The cyclops’ lust for random violence was momentarily curtailed as the bartender bot arrived with her drink; it had a deep purple color and came in a tall martini glass that featured three rings around the narrow stem.

Turning back to Amy, Leela found herself staring into the back of the young Asian; a man with a rather large mustache had caught Amy's attention. Seeing a booth being freed up by a couple that was leaving for one of the floating dance floors, the purple haired woman saw her opportunity to get table instead of standing squeezed between people in the bar. It was also a chance to get away from the obnoxious Wong girl, though Leela couldn't just leave Amy without a proper retort; the cyclops put her right knee in the hock of Amy's right leg. With a surprised yelp Amy tumbled to the floor as Leela left the bar area without a word and made her way to the empty booth. She reached it just before another group got to it.

Sipping from her drink, Leela tried to compose herself after the rather odd and somewhat irritating meeting at the bar. She wished that, for once, she could manage to strike up a conversation with someone of her own gender that wasn't a complete ditz. Her internal musing over the treacherous nature that her own gender sometimes presented was cut short when a man suddenly landed in the broad seat just beside her. He was casually dressed in khaki colored pants and a pale blue shirt; he had sandy brown hair and light facial stubble. Leela stared at him and was just about to open her mouth and ask who he was when another man, dressed in a worn tuxedo- and obviously drunk- staggered up to the booth. He leaned in a dangerous angle over the table while trying to find the table surface with his hands for support.

"Say gorgeous... wanna have some.. urp.. f.. fun?" He managed to slur to Leela after he had stabilized his swaying against the table surface. The cyclops groaned to herself and, with arms folded and her eye rolling towards the ceiling she displayed all too well her dismay. The brown haired man who had just seated himself beside Leela took it on himself to answer before she could.

"Hey, buddy! Leave the lady alone will, ya?!"

The drunken tuxedo man straightened himself up as well as he could. For a couple of seconds he just stood there, swaying back and forth like a broken deep-space antenna before he tugged his vest and gave Leela and the man a contemptuous stare. Without a word he stumbled away, pushing his way into the crowd and was soon gone.

"I'm sorry about that. I'm Daniel." The casually dressed man said to Leela. She scrutinized him; he looked like he was in his early thirties, his sandy brown hair was carefully combed over his head, he had deep brown eyes and a strong chin. Though his choice of fashion was simple, Daniel’s clothing was clean and proper. Leela smiled at him as well as to herself. Things were looking up; she was talking to a good-looking man that hadn't been repulsed by her eye or given any indication of being a total slob or some sort of freak. He seems nice, very nice. Leela thought before she introduced herself.

"I'm Leela."

"I'm charmed, Miss Leela. Or is it Mrs. Leela?" He quickly added while looking around to see if she had a partner somewhere.

"Oh, just Leela." The cyclops said with anticipation in her voice. This man held promise so far.

"Leela... Leeeeeela." Daniel rolled her name in his mouth like he was tasting wine. ”That’s a lovely name." Leela herself wasn't really sure how to interpret this, "interest" in her name. "You are a lovely woman, you know that?" Daniel had a suave look on his face. His hands somehow placed themselves around her left hand while he gazed in her eye with half closed eyes.

In a corner of Leela's mind a red flag was waving; sure the guy looked good and everything; it was just that something didn't feel quite right about the way he smiled- and touched her; his hands felt a tad clammy. And then there was the way he looked at her; his eyes seemed to linger in her chest area. Leela wanted him to be nice, but her gut instinct gave off warning signals that were just too strong to ignore.

"Eh, I'm going to get another drink." Leela temporized in a bid to get some more time to think him over.

"I'll be here!" Daniel called, cheerfully after her.

Leela pushed her way to the bar; it seemed as though there were even more people now than before. Upon reaching the bar area she surveyed the long line of people, aliens, and robots as she tried to find a hole in the wall of creatures and machines so she could order another purple dream drink. Her scouting was abruptly disturbed by a familiar voice from behind.

“Hey Leela, where did you go?! I was just thinking how you should get some moisturizing cream- you know, for your face? I mean guh! All that dry skin. Blech!” Amy’s cheerful voice permeated the background wall of noise. Leela froze where she stood and gritted her teeth. For the love of… Why did she have to run into miss obnoxious again?

Thinking fast, Leela tripped a man that had just brushed past her, sending him stumbling straight towards Amy. In an awkward embrace both of them fell to the floor.

Leela distanced herself from the scene and just as she was trying to get past a group of men, someone grabbed her bottom, and grabbed it hard.

As if stung by a bee, Leela spun around, only to come face to face with a fat, blond man with a square face and dressed in a deep red, velour uniform that belonged to the DOOP. A coal-black belt did its best to keep a beer belly contained, something it barely managed. His face wore a smooth and oily smile; there was an air of superiority about him.

"Well, well, well, a one-eyed alien. A sexy one-eyed alien- a potent combination!" The man purred at her. "I'm Bran..."

The man seemed vaguely familiar to Leela, but the cyclops was absolutely furious that this lecherous man had fondled her posterior, so angry that she didn't care who he was, nor did she wait for him to finish his greeting; Leela rammed her fist straight into his face. The fat man fell to the ground like a slaughtered ox. Satisfied, Leela simply stepped over him and made for the bar; she had seen a gap open up as two Octarians had left.

A green Amphibiosan dressed in the same maroon red DOOP uniform as the blond man approached the scene. The Amphibiosan had seen what had happened but stayed away during the incident.

"uhh.. Sir? Aren’t we supposed to be at the DOOP reception?"

"Kif, my boy, I'm in love" came a gurgling reply, giving evidence that something had broken under the cyclops’s enraged assault.

"Uggh.." Kif sighed and hoped that it was the concussion talking- though with his semi-intelligent superior you could never tell.

While Kif was dragging his obnoxious commander away to a waiting hover cab, Leela had ordered and received yet another drink and was on her way back to her booth where Daniel was waiting. Her hands were still slightly trembling from the adrenaline-infused anger. How dared he?! She fumed to herself. Leela hoped that Daniel was a good listener because she really felt she needed to vent. That or go on a murderous rampage.

To Leela's astonishment the booth was empty. She slid down on the seat and took a sip of her drink while scanning the surrounding area for the sandy blond man. Where did he go? The cyclops silently wondered to herself.

"Say gorgeous... wanna have s.. some.. burp.. fun?" A drunken voice asked just one booth to her left, the drunken voice barely audible over the pumping music.

"Hey, buddy! Leave the lady alone, will ya?!" It was Daniel’s voice. Peering around the ring-adorned sphere that was placed on the side of the booth, Leela saw the exact same thing that had happened to her play out again. This time it was a busty blond that was being "harassed" by the drunk in the tuxedo.

The cyclops let out a frustrated sigh. She couldn't believe that she had fallen for a ploy like that. Again. Why are all men such lying, ass grabbing creeps? Leela thought with bitterness as she returned to nursing her drink. And why do I always seem to attract them?

Hours later- and with some thirty minutes to go to the stroke of midnight- Leela found herself being accosted by several drunk men desperately trying to score with anything female. The old I'm-waiting-for-my-boyfriend lie had turned them all away. The night was seemingly turning into any other night she had spent out trying to find someone nice. The dismal young woman was seriously considering going home when a well dressed man landed in the same spot Daniel had occupied hours ago.

"You look like a lady that could use some company." The man greeted Leela. He was elegantly dressed and well spoken. "Pardon my lack of manners; I should have asked if this seat was taken." He made a show of leaving the seat.

"No, no, not all. I mean, the seat isn't taken." Leela said hurriedly. He seemed a lot different than all the others who had approached her- at least, so far.

"Ah, well then, my name is Jacob Willmax the Third, and by what name does such an apparition of stunning beauty go by?"

Leela was astonished. Could she have finally met some one that was self-confident, adventurous, and even a snappy dresser? "Leela, Miss Turanga Leela."

"Ah? Leela, a name fit for a goddess. Well, my lady Leela I..." Jacob's smooth voice was cut short by the sound of a woman. The tone of her voice was hurt and angry.

"Jacob Willmax the Third! What do you think you are doing?!" There was a stunningly beautiful woman standing in front of the booth. She had rich, dark brown hair that flowed from her head down over her bare, perfectly shaped shoulders; her body was hugged by a long, dark red dress that emphasized her perfect forms.

Jacob winced upon hearing his own name. "Janice? I... I was just making conversation my sweet blossom." He feebly tried to excuse himself.

"Conversation?! It was your idea that we should come to this... dump. I didn't come along just to see you chat up other women. Now get over here!" With the last sentiment hanging in the air with the background noise of music and partying people, Janice reached over and grabbed Jacob by his left ear and proceeded to drag him away while scolding him like a mother would do with a child. Leela just stared after them; Jacob glanced back at Leela and shrugged apologetically.

With naught but fifteen minutes left of the old year, Leela ordered a large carafe of vodka and a tall glass. By the stroke of twelve she raised her full glass in a toast.

"Here's to another lonely millennium." She muttered resentfully, though nobody heard her; everyone in The Hip Joint was far too busy screaming and shouting 'Happy New Year' again and again. Leela downed her vodka like it was water.

Hours later she entered her apartment, having been driven home by an obnoxious taxi driver by the name of Sal who had refused to help her when she’d had trouble getting her drunk body out of the cab. He’d actually used being lazy as an excuse. Leela would have hit him… if the ground hadn’t been spinning quite so much. It took her five attempts to get her apartment to recognize her slurred voice as belonging to the proper person before she managed to get inside.

Leela only managed get one boot off before she passed out in her bed.

New New York, January 1st, 3000

Sitting quietly at her career advice desk at the cryogenic facility, Leela miserably dealt with her nasty hangover. Next to her was a large, fresh cup of Black Hole coffee beside a bottle of Headache-Insta-Kills, which apparently didn't work on her alien physiology, as she had swallowed at least a dozen more than was advised on the bottle with no effect.

Last night had been a disaster, and having to come to work on a New Year’s Day was even worse. She hated her job. Unfortunately, her boss Ipgee was all too happy with his job; which entailed making sure that she did her job. Even if it meant working on New Year’s Day.

She let out a deep sigh and buried her face in her arms. ”I am one hung over cryogenicist” she murmured to herself. Last night was supposed to have been so great, and it ended up being so... usually her. Why couldn't she meet someone nice- someone that, for once, cared for her, wasn't bothered by her sole eye and wasn't a jackass. And maybe, just maybe, if she sat absolutely still her head wouldn't explode.

The cyclops slowly started to drift off into sleep, her breathing becoming shallow and slower. Leela’s rest lasted for exactly thirty seconds, give or take a couple tenths. The door to her office hissed opened and her boss, Ipgee, entered. He stopped just inside the door, staring at his lazy subordinate. One flick on the 'slam door' button and Leela sat straight up in her seat mere milliseconds after the thick metal door had met the door frame with a loud bang.

Blinking at her boss, Leela's one eye was as red as a stop signal. "Miss Leela, if you are going to spend precious work time sleeping, I have no other option than to deduct that time from your pay." Ipgee said with his distinct Indian accent. The cyclops didn't respond; instead she just groaned and hid her face in her hands. There was just too much noise and light for her to cope with right now.

"Moaning and groaning isn't going to do your job. We all have to do what we have to do. Meet me in fifteen minutes down in the lobby. We have a meeting with a professor." Leela didn't answer; she was just hoping that her annoying boss would leave- and soon- before her head exploded.

"And try to sleep at home!" Ipgee offered as he left her office, the door hissing to a close behind him. Leela slumped briefly in her chair. She stared out the window. Despite the early hour of New Year’s Day, the New New York traffic was picking up. She could see ships striving up towards the sky with long tails of vapor tailing behind them. Staring blankly at the window, Leela caught her own reflection. It wasn't a pretty sight. Ugh, I should really stop drinking, especially vodka straight.

After a quick visit to the bathroom, Leela felt somewhat invigorated after having held her head under a running faucet with ice cold water for five solid minutes. A quick glance at her wrist computer declared that she had some seven minutes to spare. Leela decided to take a quick stroll through the cryogenic pod room; the room was held at a much lower temperature than other rooms, and Leela felt that she needed some fresh cold air. Besides, she enjoyed browsing the rows of pods, trying to guess why the inhabitants had frozen themselves and who the different people could be.

Most pods held elderly people, and from Leela’s experience most of them just wanted to live longer or be cured of some strange ailment. But there were others- more odd occupants. There was the camouflage-dressed man complete with military boots, bandoleer and a quarter-inch long hair. A middle-aged woman dressed in a housewife’s dress with a frilly apron and a rolling-pin in her hand. There was a couple with a young man in front, hugged by what seemed to be a woman squeezed in the pod behind him. Then there was that one guy. Leela stopped in front of the pod containing a single man. He seemed to be in his mid-twenties. He was casually dressed in clothing that looked like it came from the stupid ages. He had a rather plain face and looked a bit cute. I wonder what he's like. She thought. A quick glance at the timer on the pod door revealed to Leela that he would be defrosted in thirty days. I will know then.

End Part One

Buddies