Futurama

Fan Fiction

The Other, Part 16
By Rye Guy

As the docking bay doors to the Planet Express close over the ship, Hermes and the Professor step up to the descending stairs of the ship. Skyler, Bender, and Amy appear at the top of the stairs.

"What the hell took you three so long?" shouts the Professor angrily.

Skyler shrugs. "Well, we ran into some unexpected delays."

"Yeah, but nothing we couldn't handle!" exclaims Bender patting Skyler on the shoulder. Skyler cringes in pain and grunts holding in the scream. Bender taps his fingers nervously on his chassis. "Er... uh, you can't walk away form every victory unscathed, right?"

Hermes pulls back Skyler's jacket and stretches out the collar of his shirt to see the gun shot wound. "Sweet biggolo of jiggolo! What happened to you?"

Skyler covers the wound. "I got shot, alright? It's no big deal."

The clacking of crab claws grows louder as Dr. Zoidberg approaches from his office. "Did someone say shot?"

Skyler turns quickly. "No! No one said that."

"Here, let me take a look." he grabs Skyler, turns him around, and examines his shoulder. "My God! We need to get you into my office right away!"

"No please, I'm fine."

"Nonsense. I'll fix you up in a jiffy." Zoidberg then grabs Skyler and tosses him over his shoulder. Skyler tries to escape but finally gives up when Zoidberg shuts the door behind them.

The Professor and Hermes look back to Amy and Bender.

"What happened up there?" asks the Professor. Bender and Amy shrug as they try to come up with a reasonable explanation.

"I can explain," says Leela. They all look up to see her descending the stairs.

The Professor stomps his foot. "Leela! I told you not to go with them! I should have known that's why I haven't been able to contact you at your home!"

Leela raises her hands in defense. "Hey, calm down Professor. I'm alright, see? No harm done. I told you I can still work... wait, why have you been trying to contact me?" she asks quizzically. Normally, the only people who'd ever call her at home were Fry, Amy, and Bender whenever he needed to take his anger out on someone.

"Because there's someone here to see you."

"Who?"

"It's dat Zapp fella'," says Hermes pointing down the hall. "He's waiting in the lounge."

"Hmmm, wonder what he wants." she begins walking down the hallway to the lounge. Behind her she can hear Bender and Amy beginning to explain the events of their delivery. She enters the lounge to see Zapp and Kif facing out the window. "Hey guys. What's up?"

They turn to her. "Leela, I wish to speak with you for a moment."

"Is Amy here?" asks Kif.

"Yeah, she's in the docking bay."

"Thank you," Kif heads out for the hangar.

A dead silence fills the room between the two captains. Leela finally meets eyes with Zapp. "So, what brings you two here?"

"It's like this, Leela. The DOOP have been asking alot of questions about what happened. Kif and I have managed to cover it up until now. Now, officials are bringing up eyewitnesses, security camera videos, debris from Nibbler's ship, and strange power surges detected by their sensors. We've run out of excuses and we don't know what to say. I was hoping you could help."

She shrugs. "I don't know what to tell you. To be honest, I don't even know what to tell myself. It's like I was saying to Bender the other day, everything's changed now... for all of us. But, now, I'm going to go on a search for Fry. Maybe when I find him, things'll start to make more sense."

"Leela, I'll be more than happy to let you use any of my ships in your search. Just say the word and I'll have as many ships and crewmen at your beck and call as you want."

She smiles. "Thanks. But I think it'd be better if I just went in my ship with my friends. But, you're welcome to come along if you want. Both of you."

"Are you sure?"

"You surprised me by the change you've made. I'm now happy to call you a friend." She puts her hand on his shoulder and the two share a grin.

After a moment, Zapp returns his eyes to the window. "So, when are you planning to leave?"

"First thing in the morning. I want to find him before the baby's born."

In the docking bay, Amy and Bender finish their story as Kif enters.

"And that's what happened," ends Bender.

Hermes scratches the back of his head and sighs. "What's going on around here? Dis is all too much..."

"Yes," the Professor adds. "This is unlike anything I could have ever imagined."

"Oh, Kif!" exclaims Amy as she kisses him very passionately.

Kif smiles and looks into her eyes. "Wow! I'm happy to see you too."

There is a sad silence as Leela and Zapp join them. Bender stares up to the ceiling.

"I wonder what Fry's doing right now."

"I know..." says Leela shutting her eye and smiling "...right now, he's watching the stars pass by in the crystal clear sky. Right now he's thinking about the future with high hopes."

She opens her eye, still smiling; the glow from her smile breaks the depressed mood in the room.


In Zoidberg's office...

Zoidberg is finishing up sewing Skyler's shoulder. He cuts the end of the string with his claw and goes to put his tools back on the table.

"There you go Skyler, all set."

"Thanks doc." Skyler stands and reaches for his shirt.

Zoidberg turns to him. "You know, I can remove all those scars for you. I've got a surgical laser right here that's used for eliminating scars."

Skyler glances at him for a second then puts his shirt back on. "I appreciate the thought, but I'd rather keep them."

"Why?"

"Let's just say there are... memories attached to each of them. And as painful as those memories are, they also remind me of why not to give up." He slips on his jacket and begins walking out the door.

"Give up on what?"

Skyler looks over his shoulder as he stands in the doorway. "There are some things that are better left unsaid."

He walks out, leaving the good doctor bewildered.


The next morning...

The sun rises, filling the sky with the bright hopes and dreams of one Tarunga Leela. The sunlight shines through the window of Bender's apartment. The usually messy bed is now made; the sheets are neatly folded, the pillow fluffed; and Skyler is in the bathroom shaving. After going the past few days on Battletopia 7 without shaving, he's got a rough shadow across his chin. He drops the razor in the sink and tosses his jacket over his shoulder, holding it with the ends of his fingers. He knocks on Bender's door.

"Bender, get up! Come on!"

The door opens and Bender yawns. "What time is it?"

"It's dawn," responds Skyler with a smile. Bender shuts the door. "Bender!" Skyler pounds on the door "Bender, open this door! We need to get going." Fed up, Skyler grabs the bottom of the door and forces it open. Once Bender sees how strong Skyler really is, he cowers. Skyler grins. "Good morning. You ready?"

"S-s-s-sure," stutters Bender in fright.


Later at Planet Express...

Amy searches through the entire ship. She checks each and every room.

"Leela? You in here?"

She heads to the bridge. "Leela? Where is she..." she asks herself.

As she exits the ship, she sees Hermes and the Professor.

"Hey, have either of you seen Leela? She said to be here at dawn, but that was two hours ago."

The Professor shakes his head. "Sorry Amy, haven't seen her."

"It's not like Leela ta' be late for work," says Hermes scratching his chin.

Amy takes a seat at the conference table. "Well, this is an important day. I mean, I can't imagine what she's going through."

They hear the door open and eagerly turn, expecting to see Leela but instead see Skyler and Bender.

"Morning," greets Skyler.

Bender looks around for a second, though still waking up. "Wait, where's Leela?"

"We don't know," shrugs Amy.

"Don't worry guys. Let's just be patient. She'll be here," assures Skyler.


Meanwhile, down in the Turanga home in the sewers...

The guilt has weighed down on Leela since Fry went missing. Not only did she feel responsible for what happened to him, but she felt guilty about leaving her parents out of it all. She felt like a hypocrite. She had always dreamed of having parents that she could come and talk to about anything, but here she was, keeping something so big from them; something they were unwittingly involved in.

She sat, slightly slumped in the easy chair, with her dad sitting on the couch. Her mom walked in carrying a tray with three glasses of tea and a pitcher. She set it on the table and joined her husband on the couch.

"So, how have you been sweetie?" she asks.

Leela sighs. "Not too good actually."

"Why? what's wrong?"

Leela sits there in silence for a second that seems to last for minutes until her dad sits up. "Now Leela, if there's something wrong, just tell us."

"I want to so bad. But I don't know how. I'm afraid."

"We're your parents, pumpkin."

"You don't have to be afraid," assures Munda.

Leela grinds her hands nervously and looks down to the floor. "It's Fry... he isn't on a business trip... he's missing."

"Missing?" Munda and Morris gasp simultaneously. "What happened?"

The scar on her arms begins to burn slightly. "I'm not sure exactly how to explain."

Munda reaches over and wraps her tentacle around her daughter's hand. "Try starting from the beginning," she says with a warm yet concerned smile.


Back at Planet Express...

The Professor approaches Skyler in the lounge.

"Skyler, may I see you in my lab for a moment?"

"Uh, sure."

He follows the Professor upstairs to his lab where they can speak in private.

"So what's up?"

"Tell me, did you have more of those blackouts on Battletopia 7?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Can you please explain what happens when you do black out?"

Skyler shrugs. "Not much to explain; everything goes dark, my head hurts, then I pass out."

"Hmmm..." The Professor steps over to the counter and begins searching through the cabinet above it.

"You mind telling me what all this is about?"

"You see, Skyler, my sensors have detecting strange power surges for a while now."

"And you think they have to do with me?"

The Professor nods. "Yes. Well, I didn't at first. It started when you blacked out during our X-mas party and my sensors picked up a surge at the exact same moment. They detected one a few nights before. I remember I saw Fry and Leela walk out of here together that night, and an hour or so later there was a surge. I also felt one the night after you came here and another during your delivery to Battletopia 7. So I've been meaning to ask you about it."

"Well, I don't know anything about it," responds Skyler defensively.

"Now now, calm down. I only wish to conduct an experiment."

"What kind of experiment?"

"I want to observe you here in my lab when you have another black out."

"I hate to disappoint you, but I don't know when that'll be. They all just happen from time to time."

"Is there something specific that triggers them?"

Skyler's face droops as he hops up and takes a seat on the table. "Normally whenever I begin thinking about my family, or whenever I'm around things that remind me of them."

"Oh, I see... the others told me all about it. But, nonetheless, I still want to conduct this experiment."

"Why? What's the point?"

"I don't know, damn it!" he shouts. He sighs and calms himself down. "Since that night, I don't know what the point is to anything anymore. And then you showed up and, I'm not sure why, but I feel some kind of connection with you."

Skyler's eyes widen.

"And I'm not the only one who feels this way about you. All of us do."


Morris and Munda stare at their daughter in disbelief. Leela however, can't stand to look her parents in the eye. Munda stands and walks upstairs. Leela jumps to her feet.

"Mom?"

She looks to her dad, she is just as lost as she is. She stands and follows her mother upstairs where she finds her in the bedroom digging through a drawer of her dresser.

"Mom, please understand-"

She cuts her off. "Leela." Leela freezes and sits on the edge of the bed. "I know we haven't been a part of your life until recently, but I want you to be honest with us. We want you to trust us."

"I know mom, okay? I know. But put yourself in my position. I was worried, I didn't know what to do." she buries her face in her hands to hide her tears. "I was scared because of what had happened, but even more so because I feel like somehow there's still more ahead."

Munda sits down next to her daughter holding a small wooden box in her lap. She opens it and pulls out a photo of a normal looking older woman with gray hair and two eyes. "This is your grandmother, Leela."

Leela admires the photo. "She's beautiful, mom."

"Yes, and she was probably the most warm hearted woman on Earth. You see, she and my dad were not mutants like us."

"What?"

"It's true. But, for some reason I was born like this. My dad wanted to give me away, send me to the sewers; but my mom said that everyone deserves a chance at life. With that, he left us, so she had to raise me all alone."

Leela stares at her mom in awe as she continues.

"It wasn't easy living on the surface. Eventually we were forced down here in this very house."

"Mom, not to sound mean, but what are you getting at?"

Munda's warm smile seems to set comfort in Leela's heart as she puts her tentacle around her. "When we were forced to live here, I was worried because I was unsure of what was going to happen. Much like you are now. And she said something to me that I'm going to pass on down to you. She said, 'The past is all that's gone, the future is yet to come.'"

Leela shrugs. "But what does it mean?"

"It means that the future is unseen. Keep your faith alive and everything will work out." She places the photo back in it's box and slides it back in the drawer. She then stands places her tentacles on Leela's shoulders. "Don't let the fears of your past haunt your future. Everything will work out, you'll see."

Leela stands and hugs her mother tightly.

"I always knew you were meant for great things, Leela. But this is beyond my wildest imagination." She kisses Leela on the cheek. "Now go find your husband."

An eager smile grows on Leela's face as her heart fills with hope.

 

To be continued


Well folks, it's been a while hasn't it? I've been busy with working two jobs, going out with my new girlfriend, and trying to get into college. So I'm sure you all can see why it's taken two months to get this chapter up. I hope I didn't disappoint any of you. And don't worry, chapter 17 will be up sooner than two months because I've already gotten a good start on it. I do want to thank Graham and Extwist for their continued support through all that I've gone through. And thanks to all of you who have stayed with this story. Trust me, it is far from over. Everything that's happened so far was just a cake walk compared to what's going to happen. So, stay tuned, chapter 17 coming soon...

Buddies