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Part 4- The Fryish Paradox


Officer 1BDI

A/N: Once again, a millennium's worth of apologies for the lateness of this chapter, but it wasn't for a lack of interest. I haven't given up on this series yet. Also, despite what was shown in Leela's Homeworld, I'm sticking with my original idea of Leela's heritage. This means that 1) she is still an alien, 2) her true parents are the ones I gave her, and 3) her name will remain Toronga Leela Sheecera (Toronga being her first name, Sheecera being her last).

Final note: This should have been mentioned in the first chapter, but oh well. This is a parody/crossover with a computer game series called Creatures, but it's an inaccurate one at the least: about half the things in this story are either over-exaggerated or invented completely from thin air.

That said, enjoy Part 4.



Leo wanders right past the doorframe (and straight OS) whistling to himself, then suddenly returns to peek his head through the door.

LEO: (screaming) INEZ!

Inez and Amy are on the couch, drinking coffee and conversing.

AMY: (nonchalant) Hi daddy.

LEO: What she doing in our home?!

INEZ: Having mother-daughter chat.

LEO: I want her out, now!

INEZ: Hey, you the one who disown her, not I.

Leo growls and storms off in a huff.

INEZ: I'm sorry he still like that, Amy. He just overreacting.

AMY: Well, at least you're _talking_ to me. (Glances down at her coffee) Why don't you guys like Kif?


INEZ: (awkward) Well, he squishy green pansy, that why. (Hesitates) He... he not what he seems, Amy. Your father believe Kif... is dangerous.

AMY: *snorts* Mom, pul-eeze, you just said he's a pushover.

INEZ: Yes, but... there are things he might be hiding. Things that may hurt you.

AMY: But _you_ don't think he's hiding anything. (PAUSE) Right?

A moment's hesitation, and Inez shakes her head sadly. Amy sighs and stares hard into her coffee again.

AMY: (quietly) Damn it, mom...

INEZ: (warning) Amy!

AMY: (pointing towards the doorway) You're just like him. Why can't you two see that Kif's the best thing I've ever had?

INEZ: (snapping) You know nothing of that race. Oh, Grays seem all sweet and calm, but turn your back, and you find knife in it. That been family knowledge for generations, ever since Wongs first land on Mars...

AMY: Alright, so what makes them so horrible?


INEZ: (slowly) I forget...



Yianna's slouched at her desk, flipping through a large pile of papers and frowning furiously. There's a knock at the door.

YIANNA: (tense) Come in.

KIF: (entering) We should make this quick: Zapp Brannigan _insisted_ that he come along.

YIANNA: (scowls) Come again?

KIF: (nervous) Uh, well... you see, it started like this...

Zapp storms in with an enormous smile on his face. He's holding a bunch of lotion bottles and a box from some place called Virginia's Mysteries. He proceeds to drop them all in front of Yianna, and winks slyly at Kif (who's gone maroon in the face).

ZAPP: I thought I'd take the courtesy to bring these over for you, Kif. Although, I must say that the sensual nighty you bought could have been a bit more _risque_.

He wanders out of the room, leaving Yianna staring at the objects cluttering her desk. She opens the box and frowns at an incredibly sparse night gown.

YIANNA: Kroker, please explain why your girlfriend's desirables are strewn across my desk.

KIF: *Groan* I didn't want to tell him why I really kept coming here, so... (buries head in his hands) He thinks we're having a scandalous affair...

Yianna glowers.

ZAPP: (OS) I've almost got the camera rolling, Kif! Go ahead and start whatever sensual things you two like to warm up with first.

YIANNA: I really should have him court marshaled again...

KIF: Any luck?

YIANNA: Not yet. Whoever broke onto the ship managed to hack the programming. There's no record of _anyone_, human or not, having been on that ship since you discovered that egg.

KIF: We're dealing with an expert Rebel, then?

YIANNA: Maybe... I'll have to run a more thorough scan later. However, I _did_ find...

ZAPP: (barging in with a camera in hand) The film's ready! Are you two ready for your close-ups? (Notices they're completely platonic) Aw, come on. Don't be shy, Ambassador. This movie won't be seen by anyone besides my finest DOOP privates... and Kif's other girlfriend... and a couple of Nixon's cabinet members, but that's all, Captain's honor!

YIANNA: Captain Brannigan, may I suggest that you find yourself a hobby and get a life?

ZAPP: But this _is_ my hobby...


Zapp sighs and storms from the room in a huff.

YIANNA: Anyway... (cautiously, quietly) Kroker, I noticed that not all the Rebels are deceased. There are quite a few living on Earth, in this very country. Most of them froze themselves, I suppose...

KIF: Anyone we know?

YIANNA: I'm... not sure. (Hesitates) When I printed off the names, they were in some sort of alien code.

KIF: A different language?

YIANNA: No, English letters, just different words. The numbers appeared to the same, so I have dates... (sighs wearily) I don't know _who's_ a Rebel and who's not... only that they may still be alive.

KIF: And the ship knows that?

YIANNA: I'm not sure how, but it does. (Awkwardly) It almost seems sentient...



Most of the crew is gathered in the room, waiting impatiently for something. Aaron, Zoidberg and Fry are noticeably absent.

LEELA: Alright, I want you all to keep in mind that you're all going to help us choose, so pick the type you like the most. (Glaring at Bender) I'd also like to remind you that _we're_ paying for this cake, so either pick a flavor you actually like, or have my personally stuff it down your throat on the big day. (Leaning over to glare him in the electronic eye) Comprendes?

BENDER: Hey, if it's lacking any essential flammable liquids, I'm not stuffing nothing!

CUBERT: I'm hungry. Are they done yet?

HERMES: Yeah, mon. It's been twenty minutes already!

LEELA: Let me check...


The camera focuses on the empty doorway (okay, so it's not a door... there's not even a wall: the kitchen's just an open-faced room...), which Leela appears in, eye closed, as if she's dreading what she's about to see. She opens her eye and screams.

The camera pans around to show several cake samples (or what's left of the several cake samples) spread around in a large bakery box that Fry and Zoidberg are both engulfed in. Aaron's sitting on the table, leaning over the box in mid-swipe of a piece of cake. All three are looking at her with frozen stares, covered in crumbs.

AARON: (suddenly scared) Uh-oh.

LEELA: (just a little PO'ed) PHILIP!! Damn it, that was for everyone! I can't believe you ate the cake samples! I can not...

Still wearing a look of surprise, Fry quickly points over towards the counter, where an unopen box of samples is lying.

ZOIDBERG: It's okay, Leela. He got two boxes. "Chill", as you humans say, before you overhead and turn into one of those puffy balls of corn that you're so fond of.

LEELA: (ignoring Zoidy, taking to Fry) *sigh* Will you help me pass out the samples?

FRY: (mouth stuffed) Hure, Hure, ouh oorze.

Balancing Aaron in one arm and the unopened box in the other, Fry follows Leela out through the "doorframe". Zoidberg watches them.

ZOIDBERG: Aww, now I have no one to share my meal with but myself. (PAUSE) BONZAI!!!

He turns around to dive at the box, only to discover that it's completely cleaned out.

ZOIDBERG: What the... oh, wait, maybe this is one of those meals that's still alive...

He glances under the table to see it's the cake's crawled under there, and notices Tequila cramming the last of the crumbs into her little face.

ZOIDBERG: (disappointed) Ohh... If I eat her, I can still taste it, maybe.

He makes a swipe for the Et... White-Assed Monkey, but she's one step ahead of him and dodges his claws. He makes a weird attack noise and dives for her, but she scurries from under the table and into Nibbler's bed. Of course, Nibbler's already sleeping in it...

ZOIDBERG: Oh, so _that's_ how it is, eh? (Tried to get up and bangs his head on the table. He starts screaming) YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME?!

Zoidberg starts attacking the legs of the table, while Tequila watches in mild amusement as she licks the last bits of chocolate off of her fingers. Hermes storms in, sees Zoidberg, and whacks him across the head.

HERMES: Dammit, Zoidberg! Dat's de third table dis month!

ZOIDBERG: Hey! He was threatening _me_!

HERMES: Get out of 'ere, ya big loony, before I get Animal Control on your ass.

ZOIDBERG: Alright, alright, I'm leaving.

The two turn to leave, but before Zoidberg's completely left the room...

ZOIDBERG (Whipping around, to the table): You and me, same time, next week!

HERMES: (grabbing his arm) Come ON!

The two leave. Tequila glances down at the sleeping form of the Nibblonian and curls up next to him. Almost immediately, Nibbler leaps to his feat and faces her, crouching on all fours and growling, his back arched and his hair standing on end.

(A/N: For the rest of this scene, the characters'll be talking in their "English" voices. No translation, just recognizable speech [however, if anyone humanoid wanders into the room, they shouldn't be able to understand them])

NIBBLER: Stay the hell away from me!

TEQUILA (in an extremely childish voice): Why?

NIBBLER: You may have fooled the others, but I'm on to you. I know what you are. Just stay away from me, and don't even get near Fry!

TEQUILA: (blinking) What Fry?

Nibbler stops growling and relaxes a little, but not enough to make him look any less fierce.

NIBBLER: You're just a child, so I'll cut you some slack, but Fry... that funny-looking human with the bright hair... he's _my_ responsibility, and _my_ project, so BACK OFF!

Nibbler barks the last two words, sending Tequila rolling out of his bed and onto the floor. She stares at him with a hurt look in her deep red eyes.

TEQUILA: (sad) Nibbler dislike Tequila.

NIBBLER: No, I don't. You're a threat to me and the rest of these humans.


NIBBLER: (awkward) I'm not really sure why. But I know you're dangerous, and that's all the knowledge I need.



(A/N: Yes, there's a legitimate reason as to why I keep coming back to the ruddy Cerca. Be patient...)

One of the DOOP's guards (actually doing his job) patrolling the hanger floor. The room is dimly lit, and grows even darker as the sun begins to fade behind the hanger's enormous windows. He glances nonchalantly at Leela's bronze ship, when something catches his attention. Maybe it's the fact that the ship seems illuminated, even in the darkened room, or that the entire hanger suddenly seems deathly silent. Of course, it's probably the eerie flash of bright blue light that floods a few windows of the ship for several brief seconds before it fades away as quickly as it appeared...


The guard now stands in the hall, illuminated by the ceiling lights above. He wanders a few paces, past the Tiraffe Terrarium, and rounds a corner. Lying in the middle of the corridor is an abandoned gun. Cautiously, the guard lifts it up, and it discharges. The guard jumps and dodges the bullet, then looks around wildly for the owner of the weapon. Of course, the hall is empty...


Fry is sitting at the table, looking rather ill. The mess of crumbs is still covering both table and floor, and Nibbler is still curled up in the corner, sleeping. Tequila is also on the table, but she's gathering crumbs and stuffing them into her mouth as she goes along. Fry watches her for awhile, then reaches out to pet her.

FRY: You're not that bad for a... whatever the hell you are. How can someone be afraid of a little ball of fur?

Tequila chooses not to answer, but nuzzles against Fry's open palm, grinning at this new source of attention.

TEQUILA: (pointing at the crumbs) Doh-rah doh.

Fry just gives her a blank stare. Jitan enters the room, armed with a mop and a bunch of spray bottles. Tequila glances up at him, gives a little shriek, and scurries of the table.

TEQUILA: (hurrying from the room) Ching-soh!

JITAN: Intelligent little creature you've got there.

FRY: (obviously still ill from the cake) *Moan* How can something so little eat so much and not get sick? (PAUSE) It was for a good cause, though.

JITAN: (thoughtful) Yes, a very good cause indeed. You and Leela seem very happy together.

He starts to mop his way through the kitchen, with Nibbler watching him cautiously from the corner. As he mops, he stares at Fry with a curious look on his face, as though he's weighing some important consideration.

JITAN: (almost cautiously) What do your parents think? I mean, about you and Leela being different species and all?

FRY: (uncomfortable) They don't know.

JITAN: You mean you haven't told them?

FRY: No... they're dead.

JITAN: (frowning) Oh. I'm sorry.

FRY: (shrugs) It happens. I never told you that I was from the 20th Century, did I?

JITAN: (mildly surprised) Really? Well, then, that _would_ explain a lot. You know, I thought I'd seen you around before.

FRY: Really?

JITAN: Yes, at a baseball game. Do you remember a funny man who used to stand in the bleachers holding up a sign preaching about the horrors of model rockets?

FRY: That was _you_? (Reminiscing) You beat the crap out of that one fat guy who tried to snap your sign in half.

JITAN: Well, he _did_ snap my sign in half... I'd just happened to whack him over the head a little with it. (thinks) He did have a very large head...

FRY: Wait, how do you remember me?

JITAN: (wirily) One of the men you were with nearly beat the crap out of _me_ in an attempt to... save the man.

FRY: Yeah, Anthony was never any fun with stuff like that. (Thinks) So, I guess that means you're from my time, too. (Jitan smiles and nods) Why did you leave?

JITAN: (hesitates) I... lost my family. In that horrid conflict you call the War of 2012.

FRY: Oh. Sorry.

JITAN: (shakes his head) No matter. I froze myself to escape my troubles, and here I am, in the company of you good people. Frankly, I don't see how it could have turned out any better.

FRY: Well, you could have gone to work for some old miser who died and left you everything, (growing excited) and then you could have got rich and bought a nice big planet in Gortox 3 and hired all these beautiful women to surround you and... (trails off) I'm not helping.

Jitan chuckles. At that moment, Leela pokes her head in, looking PO'ed.

LEELA: I have to leave early, Phil. Someone broke into the Cerca.

FRY: Should I come, too?

LEELA: (considering) Yeah, why not.

Fry gets up, gives a rushed good-bye to Jitan, and drapes an arm around Leela's shoulders as they exit the building.

LEELA: (SOTTO) What's the worst that could happen?

(A/N: *cough* Overused cliche, I know...)



The camera pans through the empty hall, past the Tiraffe Terrarium doorway, and towards the two cast shadows of our favorite Shipper duo. Not-so-quiet cursing can be heard on Fry's part as the camera finally reaches the couple: Leela's standing on Fry (who's crouched on all fours) as she observes a peculiar mark on the ceiling. There's a large, black, metallic box in the corner.

LEELA: Well, it's definitely a scorch mark. But it's not the type of burn that a gun like the guard's would have made...

FRY: (innocent) This is all blandly interesting, but couldn't you just take a picture and analyze that. Something that doesn't involve you crushing my spine?

LEELA: *sigh* Give me the toolbox to stand on.

Fry picks up one hand and tries to slide the box next to him so Leela can step off, but the lack of support he creates causes him to fall flat on his face... and Leela flat on him.

FRY: Ouch.

LEELA: Sorry.

She climbs onto the toolbox and continues her inspection, as Fry sits and watches. Actually, he's not watching her work as much as he's just staring at _her_. Leela finally notices after a few moments and turns towards him.

LEELA: What?

FRY: How much do you weigh?

LEELA: (offended) _What_?

FRY: (quickly) I don't mean in a bad way... I just don't think I could pick you up.

LEELA: Why would you need to pick me up?

FRY: Wedding night.

LEELA: (smiling slyly) I'm sure we'll be too busy doing _other_ things to test that...

FRY: (playful) Yeah, but first we have to get to the room, and to get to the room, the guy has to sweep his girl off her feet, like so...

In one quick move, Fry manages to (clumsily) grab Leela from the box and into his arm. Leela yelps and clings to Fry's neck.

FRY: (wheezing) It's supposed to be more suave than that...

The two glance at each other and smile.

LEELA: So then what happens?

FRY: Well, then we walk though the door...

LEELA: Uh-huh...

FRY: And I guess I set you down... (which he does)

LEELA: Yeah...

Leela leans back against the wall and pulls Fry close to her, putting their faces only inches apart.

FRY: And then... and then I guess we'd have to kiss.

LEELA: Yeah... I guess.

The two's lips meet, starting off yet another major moment in fanfiction F/L shipperdom (well, maybe not...). Just as the corny romantic music builds up, and the two become more "involved", Leela pulls away.

FRY: What?

LEELA: We can't... someone might see us.

This is when the strange things begin to happen...

Suddenly, the lights in the hall flicker, then fade away until they're just barely illuminating the hallway. The two lovers untangle themselves and look at each other uneasily.

FRY: How did you do that?

LEELA: It wasn't me. Maybe the ship's power is low...


LEELA: Oh well.

She pushes Fry into the wall and kisses him furiously. Needless to say, he happily sinks into it. Of course, that's when he starts glowing... correction: the _wall_ starts glowing a bright, light blue.

LEELA: (noticing) Phil...

FRY: Hmm... WHAUG!

Leela suddenly finds herself without a fiancee... Fry's apparently fallen through the strange new portal that's opened up in the wall. Before Leela can investigate, though, the wall reseals itself.

LEELA: Philip? (PAUSE) This isn't funny!

With no warning, the blue circle of light flashes again, and Fry seems to explode from the wall, tumbling onto Leela. Seconds after his collision, the portal disappears, yet again.

LEELA: Are you okay?

FRY: (excited) It's so cool!

LEELA: What?

FRY: There's this whole part of the ship we've never seen before!

LEELA: Through the portal?

FRY: It's not a portal...

He goes back up to the wall and traces his finger around what seems to be a fine-haired crack in the wall, shaped like the portal was. The crack forms a sort of bent-up circle that hoovers at least three feet off the ground. The wall gives off a dull glow right beneath his finger as he does so.

FRY: (CONT) It's a hidden door!

LEELA: I can see that. (PAUSE) Dad never mentioned any hidden rooms...

FRY: Maybe he just didn't know about them.

Leela stares at the hidden door suspiciously, as though it's got something to hide. She shrugs off the wariness, however, and gives the door a shove.

Nothing happens.

LEELA: (disappointed) It went dead.

FRY: What? Lemme try...

He's barely brushed a hand against it, and the door glows as the "portal" reappears. With a final glance to one another, the two wander through: Fry first, followed by Leela.


Unlike the previous hall, this one is cluttered with an array of futuristic-looking doors. It's also much smaller, and MUCH darker. Even the metal seems to be a darker tinge of bronze. That, combined with a harsh, raspy noise coming from the left doesn't make for a very pleasing noise.

One of the futuristic doors (the one closest to the camera) opens, revealing the portal. Fry and Leela are thrown from it and go skidding into the opposite wall (unlike the entrance way, this door is right on the ground).

LEELA: Where are we?

The two observe the several new doors on the opposite wall that lead to rooms that have yet to be explored, which is odd, because the ship doesn't seem big enough to fit all these rooms.

FRY: Do you think they lead anywhere?

LEELA: Yeah... I'm not sure I want to know where, though.

FRY: Do you hear something?

The two fall silent and listen...


LEELA: (slowly) It's coming from that end (points towards their left).

The two glance at each other warily before Leela rises and follows the source (as Fry reluctantly follows her). She follows the hallway to the end, where she finds nothing more than a few pieces of junk machinery and a 4x4 hole in the floor. Cautiously, she kneels over the hole and tries to catch a glimpse of whatever is down there.

With no warning, a pair of feet fly out from the hole and send Leela flying backwards. The owner (a humanoid) scrambles from the hole, cloaked by the shadows of the ship, and bolts into the hall, knocking Fry down as he goes.

LEELA: (screaming) Who the HELL is that?

She stumbles to her feet and chases after the perpetrator, with Fry following closely behind. They end up back by the hidden door, and the humanoid is nowhere to be seen.

FRY: (slumping against the wall, gasping for breath) Damn... he... he can run.

Leela ignores him as she glances around the hallway furiously. There's a moment of silence, before a backpack drops from the ceiling mere inches away from her head. She quickly glances up and sees the man... hanging from the ceiling.

But this is not a Gray.

LEELA: What the...

The man seems to dive off the ceiling and tackles Leela to the ground. Fry screams a few obscenities as he pounces on the man, pulling him off of Leela. However, the man takes this golden opportunity to flip Fry over onto his back and pound his head into the floor.

LEELA: Leave him alone, you bastard!

She lunges for him, but suddenly finds herself face-first on the ground. Glancing behind her, she discovers that her feet are now shackled to the floor of the hallway. The bonds seem to be made up of the same material as the ship's walls themselves. Suddenly, light floods the hallway, and Leela is forced to shield her eyes from the sudden illumination. By the time her eyes adjust, all she can see is the silhouette of a man escaping through a hole in the ceiling, dragging the backpack with him.

Fry, meanwhile, is slowly recovering from the trauma to his head. He sits up awkwardly, looking as though he may fall over any second. Leela tries to get close to him, but the bonds keep her from getting any nearer.

FRY: (Weakly) Tora...

LEELA: I can't f--ing move! How the hell did these get on me?

Fry tries to stand, but nearly collapses from the effort and has to kneel with both hands on the floor to keep his balance. At the same time, the hole above them begins to shrink, and Leela watches in dismay as the hole closes up entirely.

FRY: (louder) Toronga, are you okay?

LEELA: Besides a lack of circulation in my feet, I'm fine.

FRY: Crazy little bastard, wasn't he?

LEELA: (sarcastic) You think...?

She blinks and turns around to see the bonds around her ankles literally melting off of her, into the floor of the ship. The floor ripples, as though it were liquid, then solidifies in a matter of seconds.

FRY: (watching) Has anyone ever told you that you have a really cool ship?

LEELA (Standing, ignoring him): How did he do that? He must have some special remote control over this part of the ship or something.

FRY: (glancing up at the ceiling) Maybe it was mind control. (Leela gives him a weird look) No, I'm serious! Maybe he thought about a really big hole growing in the ceiling, so a really big hole grew in the ceiling...

Just then, a really big hole grows in the ceiling. Again.

LEELA: (scowls) I've had enough of this crap. Philip, stay here. I'm going after him.

FRY: No, wait! (tries to stand, but collapses again) Ugh, fine, abandon me.

LEELA (Climbing out of the hole) Don't wait up, hon.


Leela emerges and glances around warily. The entire hanger is dark, save for a few lights in the corner. Unbeknown to Leela, a shadow walks up behind her. It gives a gentle tug on her ponytail: she whirls around and sends a fist towards the figure, but he ducks it and grabs her around the waist, sending her to the ground (or the ceiling).

Now, the beauty of the Cerca is that the entire top is composed of a bunch of curves, most which lead to a long, deadly drop. Both opponents seem to be aware of this as Leela rolls over onto her back and kicks the stranger off, almost over the side. But he manages to grab a hold of something, a mystery in itself, because the entire ship's surface is smooth.

The figure stumbles to his feet and grabs a club... that seemed to come off the ship itself. But that can't be right... a ship doesn't just have clubs conveniently lying around on it. Nevertheless, the man takes a swing at Leela. She dodges the first, but the man brings a second blow right onto her skull. She goes down quickly and finds herself half-conscious, sprawled dangerously close to the ship's edge...

DAVID (A/N: Oh come now, you knew it was him): You should have stayed out of my business, bitch.

LEELA: (slurred) What are you?

DAVID: (murmuring) Just an acquaintance...

He raises his club, which begins to melt and shift into something a bit more harmful... like a jagged sword.

Meanwhile, the hole in the ceiling has conveniently remained open, and Fry's managed to regain enough of his senses to climb through it. When he peeks over the edge, he finds himself witnessing this little spectacle...

FRY: (shouting) TORONGA!

David looks up sharply. In the same instant, a large, metallic tentacle grabs the sword from his fists and retreat. He turns around and watches as the tentacle merges with the sword and sinks back to where it came from... the ship itself. David scowls and turns back to glare at Fry.

DAVID: Fancy meeting you here, Phil.

FRY: (oblivious to the voice) Do I know you?

DAVID: *sigh* You always were rather dull in the head. Even as a child...

FRY: Hey! I'm supposed to resent that!

DAVID: (ignoring him) I'll give you two choices, Philip. (Kneels next to Leela) You either go after me, discover who I am and what I'm after... or, you go after your girl.

Fry sprouts a bewildered look on his face as David (unknowingly to him) begins to smile evilly.

DAVID: (nonchalant) So long.

With that, he shoves Leela off the side of the ship and bolts off in the other direction. Fry, however, is still stuck in the hole, and hasn't the footing to climb out in time to catch either. He screams Leela's name and desperately reaches an outstretched hand towards the love he'll never reach, barely grasping the edge of the hole with his other hand.

In some freakish form of a miracle, another metallic tentacle shoots out from the side of the ship and speed grows towards Leela. About ten feet above the ground, it catches her and wraps itself around unconscious form. Fry watches in numb shock as this arm gently carries Leela back to the top of the ship, disposes of her far away from the edge, and melts into the surface with ease.

Fry scrambles from the hole and rushes to Leela. He kneels next to her, hugging her protectively as he shoots looks all over the roof of the Cerca for any sign of that stranger.

But David seems to have disappeared altogether.



Leela's curled up on her sofa, holding an icepack to her forehead. Kily's leaning over the arm of the couch, watching her eagerly, as one of the familiar NNY cops (SMITTY) stands by.

SMITTY: Sorry we didn't catch him, Leela. The Ambassador said she's tightening security, though.

LEELA: (sarcastic, rising to her feet) Great. I almost get knocked off my own damn ship and Glab just "tightens security".

FRY: (entering from a doorway) I better stay the night. Then, if what's-his-face comes back, I can kick his ass for you again.

LEELA: I refuse to let you kill yourself trying to be the hero. That's what I trained up for: minus the whole death thing.

SMITTY: Seriously, Leela, if this guy comes around again...

LEELA: We'll be fine. (Hugs Fry) I've got my own guardian for the night.

Smitty leaves as Kily shoots a glance at Fry and Leela.

KILYNA: Well, I guess I'll make up an extra bed...

FRY: *sexy growl*

KILYNA: ...on the _couch_.

FRY: Aw...


The enemy is pacing frantically within his confined quarters, muttering curses under his breath. Every once in awhile, he throws a sideways glare at the bag he just barely managed to save.

DAVID: But _how_... that warp was destroyed when I shot it... he must have escaped right before it imploded. (Stops pacing) That still doesn't explain who was controlling the ship. Philip wasn't a Rebel, his brother saw to that! (Thinks) Unless... (seething) ohhh, curse the day I set foot on that planet... Now I'll have to knock him out of the picture, lest all my careful planning be ruined.

He storms towards the bag and empties it of its contents. A few jars, sealed tightly, but appearing empty, fall onto the floor. He picks up one gingerly, labeled only with the number 5.

DAVID: Antigen 5. One of the most potent diseases on that ship. (Smiles evilly) And there's nothing left to cure it.

He begins to laugh sardonically (loudly, too), when there's a knock at the door.

DAVID: (barking) What?!

VOICE: (OS, almost identical to OFF's Generic Teen) Uh, Mr. Castle? Toilet three is backed up again.

DAVID: (shudders) Coming.



Our favorite delivery boy is curled up in what's left of his bed: merely a mattress and a rather thin blanket. Even though most of the boxes are gone (implying that Fry's probably moved his stuff into the new apartment), there's still a large pile of (mostly metallic) junk in one corner. Tequila wanders through the doorframe, dragging behind her one of Bender's arms. She shoves it into the pile, gurgles something in her language, and clamors on top of it, beaming.

Bender storms in a few moments later, retrieves his arm (causing the pile to collapse) and storms back out.

BENDER: (bitching) Stupid monkey with her stupid metal fetish...

Tequila pouts for a second, but turns to her cluttered corner and begins to stack the junk up again. She doesn't notice the mysteriously wide-open window until she almost falls out of it in an attempt to retrieve a rolling bolt. She glances out of the window curiously, and notices a strange figure, conveniently cloaked by the shadows of the night. The stranger hoovers higher, until he's at eye level with Tequila. His mouth drops.

DAVID: (weak) Bloody hell...

TEQUILA: ["Translated English"] What?

DAVID: (scowling; softly) You're supposed to be _dead_!

He makes a swipe for her, but she dodges him and cowers by Fry, stammering "ching-soh" rapidly (A/N: "Ching-soh" means "run"). David growls and sends himself a few feet below, so that the stirring Fry won't see him. When Fry fails to rise, he cautiously places the glass jar from earlier on the floor. He grasps the bolt that Tequila was chasing after, and jams it into the side of the jar (SFX: GLASS BREAKING), causing a few chunks of glass to fall out of the side. David disappears, and the window mysteriously closes.

Tequila carefully crawls towards the seemingly vacant jar and takes a whiff. She snorts and hurries towards Fry, rambling in her alien language.

FRY: (finally awaking) Wha... Tequila, geroff!

But she won't relent and clings to Fry's arm, tugging at it as though to drag him from the room. He sighs, untangles her from himself, and gently sets her on the end of the bed.

FRY: (irritable) Go. To. Sleep.

He rolls over on his side and drifts off immediately, leaving the Ettin to watch him, fretting.


CLOSE UP of the door: Bender pokes his head through cheerfully, his novelty chef hat perched on his head.

BENDER: Wake the hell up already! Your pup waffles have been sitting cold for half an hour!

He waves a plate of waffles around, which would appear normal if they lacked the several dog tails scattered in them. One of the waffles whimpers.

BENDER: (to the waffle) Shut up! (Glances towards the bed) Fry?

The robot cautiously approaches the bed, where Fry is concealed by the covers. ZOOM INTO Bender's face as he slowly reaches out and whisks the blankets off. Bender blanches.

FRY: (OS) *Moan*

BENDER: You okay, man?

FRY: (raspy; weak; OS) I think I'm sick...

BENDER: (oblivious to Fry's pain) You wanna go to ER or something?

FRY: (OS) Yeah...


BENDER: *Ahem*

Fry sighs from Off-S and reaches On-S to give Bender a couple twenties. His skin is noticeably paler than usual.



There's a group of doctors surrounding a board with several Ultrasounds and X-Rays posted (and illuminated) on it. One of them is holding a stack of statistics.

DOC 1: Honestly, this is a hell of a bacterial infection.

DOC 2: (staring at the board) I just don't understand how all of his organs could begin deteriorating so rapidly.

DOC 3: Well, we can conclude that this isn't any "local" disease, par say. We'd better call some experts on this one. It might be a new strain of something.

DOC 2: And you said it was all over the room?

DOC 1: When I sent the quarantine team over, they said the whole damn _floor_ was infected. Thank God it was only a robotic establishment.

DOC 3: His roommate's in quarantine, I assume.

DOC 1: Of course. He put up a hell of a fight, though.

The first doctor holds out his arm to show an array of cigar burns. A middle-aged nurse wanders into the room, looking disgruntled.

NURSE: What's-her-eye is demanding that she see the patient.

DOC 1: *sigh* I'll take care of it. (To the doctors) Contact the nearest biologists and get them here, pronto! Whatever this strain is, it's taking him down fast.


Leela, Amy and the Professor are waiting eagerly for any news on Fry. Leela's pacing the room, obviously frazzled. Amy, cradling Aaron in her arms, watches Leela attentively. The 1st doctor and nurse appear through a side door, and Leela begins to drown them with a load of questions.

LEELA: What's taking so long? He'll be alright, right? This isn't anything serious or...

DOC 1: Miss Sheecera, please calm down. We're doing all we can for your fiancee. (Hesitates)

LEELA: (pressing) But?

DOC 1: It appears that he's got a bout of a... well, frankly, I don't know what the hell it is. The mysterious bacteria found in his room has slowly begun to break down several of his vital organs.

FARNSWORTH: Bah. You don't need original organs! Just clone him some new ones and give the remains to me. I'll make good use of them.

The professor smiles to himself, as Amy slowly edges away.

DOC 1: Unfortunately, we may not have the time.

AMY: (to the doctor) You _can_ help him, though... right?

DOC 1: I'm afraid that until I can pinpoint the disease itself, finding a cure is near-impossible.

PAUSE as the three allow this information to absorb. Leela looks even more despairing.

LEELA: Can... can I at least see him?

DOC 1: Not now. We can't risk you catching the disease as well.

Leela sinks down into a chair and glances around the room helplessly. A few moments pass, and she bursts into tears.


Chad is hunched over a laptop in the (currently) dimly lit room, shifting through his E-Mail. Rosa is in the background, checking the various cages situated throughout the lab.

ROSA: GodDAMN it... Chad, we lost #14 last night.

CHAD: (ignoring her) I think you should take a look at this, Rose.

A few sheets of paper emerge from a convenient printer in the back of his laptop, and he hands them to Rosa. She skims the first few lines and scowls.

ROSA: Deteriorates organs? In one day?

CHAD: Yeah, the guy's system was shutting down on him by 10:00 last night; they have him on life support now.

ROSA: Interesting... I've never seen a bacteria work that fast on a humanoid since...

She trails off, and for a moment, her eyes go wide. But that moment passes and she shakes off the feeling immediately.

ROSA: (CONT) No. There's no way that disease could have existed without a host for almost an entire millennium.

CHAD: This is something from your time?

ROSA: (hesitant) Kind of. (Quickly) Maybe I should go down there, just to check it out.

CHAD: (firmly) No.

ROSA: Chad...

CHAD: You read the newsletter, it's lethal. I'm not losing you and the baby over some warped disease from the planet of peril.

ROSA: What if I don't touch anything?

CHAD: No! (Rosa pouts)

LAPTOP: (electronic voice) Chad and Rosa. You've got more damn mail.

Steaming, Rosa snatches away Chad's laptop with little remorse, and giver her full attention to the newly received letter (ignoring Chad's hurt glance in the process).

JITAN: (VO) Rosa...


Jitan is also leaning over a laptop, but he's typing furiously.

JITAN: (VO) I'm sure most members of your occupation have already received the gritty details on this latest "outbreak", so I'll cut to the chase. The man infected was Philip (yes, the one I work with). I think it is of the upmost importance that you come to Earth to investigate this with me, for I believe this is a disease that both you and I are _very_ familiar with. Please, put the past aside and help me prove my theory correct. The man's life is on the line, Rosa. I know you won't let me down.

He presses enter and sags into the couch.

JITAN: (SOTTO) But how could they have gotten it?

ZOOM OUT into the foreground, to show Nibbler watching Jitan from across the room. He glowers at the janitor.

NIBBLER: (VO ["Translated English"]) He _knows_ something...



Rosa's standing in the corridor, tapping her foot impatiently. Jitan enters from one of the doors, carrying a large paper bag, and smiles when he sees her.

JITAN: My, that was quick.

ROSA: (impatient) Cut the crap, Jitan. I can't stay long. I told my husband I was restocking the antibody shelves. (Glances at the bag) What's that? Lunch?

JITAN: (nonchalant) No, it's a HoverDoc.

ROSA: A Ho... Jesus Christ, you can't bring that thing in here!!

JITAN: (removing the HoverDoc) Why not? It's not as though it's dangerous.

Dangerous or not, the HoverDoc doesn't appear to be any normal medical scanner (or doctor, for that matter). It looks like a mini, golden futuristic space ship, except it has a tapered tail between it's two booster rockets. Every once in awhile, the tail gives a friendly wag.

ROSA: *groan* What else did you "savage"?

JITAN: Oh hush. What I keep in my quarters is none of your concern. (PAUSE; almost teasing) You know, those Crobsters taste even better with a little mustard on them.

Rosa just buries her head in her hands.


Instead of beds, the room is packed with five hoovering plastic boxes (isolation chambers). All but one is full, and Fry is occupying the one furthest from the door. Besides harboring a pale-green tinge in his skin, the various IV tubes scattered throughout his figure, the heart monitor beating ominously, and the respirator running at full force, he looks... decent. Apparently, the doctor has finally given in to various pleas, because Leela is slumped in a plastic chair close by the bed, giving an empty stare towards Fry. Her anguish seems beyond tears at this point, even as she fingers the plastic mournfully.

LEELA: (SOTTO, softly) I can't even touch him. (PAUSE) Please wake up.

ROSA: (from the doorway) He'll wake up, eventually. I just have to run a test or two.

LEELA: (sharply) What are _you_ doing here?

ROSA: Don't you know? His case is all over the news. I came over to investigate.

LEELA: (angry) You and about a hundred other scientists over the twelve hours. They all say the same thing: (bitterly sarcastic) "How intriguing"; "Fascinating"; "Oh, but there's nothing we can do"; "He'll be dead by tomorrow".

JITAN: (entering) _I_ asked her to come, Leela. We... well, _she_ believes this is not anything new.

ROSA: If I don't touch him, will you let me at least try to help?

Leela scowls at her, but nods slowly. Rosa shoots a wary glance at Jitan, before wrenching the bag from his hands and removing the HoverDoc. She strokes it gently, and it shoots out of her hand and appears to unroll itself, revealing an

insect-like head resting on a slender neck, and two stick-thin arms. The tail wags eagerly as it hoovers towards Rosa. Leela just stares at it numbly.

LEELA: What in God's name is that thing?

ROSA: A HoverDoc. It'll be able to tell me his current biochemistry without touching him.

She grasps the thing and positions it right over the isolation chamber. The HoverDoc stays still for a moment, as though it's mentally scanning Fry. Rosa looks at her watch and touches the gadget again. A holographic screen projects from it's back, featuring the basics on Fry (Name, species, gender, and a brief description on his condition).

JITAN: (reading the description) This is a male adult human named Philip. He is deathly ill, and needs to seek medical attention soon, before he keels over and expires.

LEELA: (unimpressed) Duh.

ROSA: Wait...

She "presses" a holographic symbol on the far end of the description, and a new window (Toxin Control) is shown. Instead of the description, it lists several chemicals, including a few Histamines, and, of course...

ROSA: Antigen 5. (SOTTO) Crap.

LEELA: Do you know what it is?

ROSA: (shutting down the HoverDoc) *Sigh* Yeah. I've run into it before. It's a nasty little ditty that I haven't seen since _way_ back in my time.

LEELA: Can you help him?

ROSA: (hesitates) I'll try. But I can't promise anything.


As Jitan and Rosa are exiting...

JITAN: You'll _try_? Come now, we've handled this before...

ROSA: (sharply) But that was while we had the cure, you moron! How the hell did he get Antigen 5, anyway!?

JITAN: (thoughtfully) Maybe there's an old friend among us.

ROSA: But why Philip? Unless... unless someone knows...

The two shoot one another suspicious gazes, but both shake it off with a uniform "Nah".

ROSA: (sinking into a nearby chair) I wish there was something we could do. There's no way he'll survive this without the antibody. But there's only two places we can get it from, and both were destroyed long ago.

JITAN: Not so.

ROSA: You're not funny, Jitan.

Jitan casually glances around the hallway, then bends down so that only Rosa can hear him.

JITAN: Philip has an Ettin.

ROSA: That's _not_ funny...

JITAN: I'm not joking.

There's a moment's passing as Rosa absorbs this.


JITAN: (calmly) Well, actually, it's not Phil's. It belongs to that robot friend of his, Bender.

ROSA: (flustered) I don't understand... they were all killed off centuries ago.

JITAN: I know. But even _you_ must have realized by now that not _everything_ was killed off.

Rosa reflects this silently.

JITAN: (CONT) Bender's been put into isolation as well, until the disease dies off due to a lack of an appropriate host. However, he'll be in there for quite awhile. Much longer than he needs to be.

ROSA: You mean... oh God, no.


Bender's stuck in one of those closet-sized rooms, similar to the ones form Insane in the Mainframe. He's glaring at Rosa and Jitan through the tiny glass window in the door.

BENDER: (muffled) You want me to _what_?

ROSA: We know you're keeping your pet in your torso compartment. I need to take her so I can... uh, cure her.

BENDER: (muffled) She's fine with me, thank you very much.

TEQUILA: (OS; muffled) *Moan*

JITAN: Bender, I assure you, no harm will come to her; unless you keep her in there with you, of course.

BENDER: (muffled; considering) Well, I'd hate to loose a potential partner-in-crime... alright, I'll let you take her.

There's a small slot leading to a tiny compartment next to Bender's door, which he shoves Tequila into. The compartment seals itself, and Tequila is doused with a strong disinfectant. Another slot opens adjacent to Rosa and Jitan, and Tequila is forced from the compartment and into Rosa's arms. She curls one of the Ettin's dreadlocks gingerly as she stares at the creature in awe.

ROSA: (quietly) God, I haven't seen you guys in a _long_ time.

JITAN: I suggest we get to work?

Rosa nods numbly, and the two exit.



Rosa and Leela watch eagerly as a doctor injects a syringe of a creamy white liquid into Fry's limp arm.

LEELA: How did you get this from Bender's monkey?

ROSA: Jitan told me that despite being carbon-based, Bender's pet hadn't shown any symptoms like Philip had, so I figured that she had developed an immunity to the antigen. Sure enough, her body produced enough Antibody 5 to keep her free from the disease. So I just took some of the antibody from her to produce a cure for him.

LEELA: And you're sure this will work?

ROSA: (confident) He'll be pretty weak for awhile, but he should make a full recovery.

LEELA: (staring at Fry) I don't know how we can thank you.


ROSA: (shifting uneasily) You said you were attacked in the DOOP hanger? (Leela nods, and Rosa frowns) Leela, what is your ship called.

LEELA: The Cerca de Casa.

Rosa freezes.

ROSA: (faltering) Um... *ahem* any reason why you call it that?

LEELA: No, not really. My da... the former captain told me that's what it was called.

ROSA: (suddenly urgent) Did the captain say where he _got_ the ship from?

LEELA: He told me he... stole it from an alien race called the Cycuses.

ROSA: (paling) The same Cycuses that invaded Earth not long ago.

LEELA: Yeah... wait, what does this have to do with Philip?

ROSA: (quickly) Nothing, nothing. Listen, I have to go now, but I'll be back tomorrow to check up.

Rosa leaves in a rush, and almost collides with Jitan in the hall.

JITAN: My, we're in a hurry tonight.

ROSA: What are _you_ still doing here?

JITAN: I thought I'd make sure the antibody took. Did it?

ROSA: Of course it did, but that's not the important thing... (excited) Jitan, I think we found the Siõe ship! That must be where they got the Ettin! That means whoever attacked them on the ship thinks they're trying to renew something!

PAUSE as the two realize that something should be done.

JITAN: So, what do you propose we do?

ROSA: I think... I think we should tell Philip what he's been wanting to hear.

Not much of an explanation for this ending. Project A.L.B.I.A. will finally be revealed next chapter. Finally, it will be known why the War of 2012 started, who the Siõe _really_ were, why David is so infatuated with that ship, and most important of all: why the Blueberry doll's still in this story...



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