The Tweenage Rugrats,
"Just Slightly Ahead Of Their Time"

By Dwayne Anderson

"Didi!" called Stu. "Tommy! Dil! Everyone! Come see my latest and greatest invention!"

Everyone went downstairs to the basement.

"What is it this time?" asked Drew.

"Just my greatest masterpiece of all" said Stu.

He pulled a cloth off the table, revealing a device that looked like a television remote control combined with a calculator.

"What is it dad?" asked Tommy.

"A time machine" said Stu.

"A TIME MACHINE!!!" everyone repeated.

"Yes" said Stu. "I haven't tested it yet. It would be great for seeing the future without paying a gypsy to do it."

"I wanna see the next winning lottery numbers" said Drew. "Then I can go back into time and enter the lottery and win!"

"I wanna visit my dad before he died" said Kimi.

"And I wanna see my mother" said Chuckie.

"Now now" said Stu. "Be careful how you use the time machine. In fact, it can only take you to the future, but not the past. However, if you travel into the future, you can return to the present, but not go to the past."

Chuckie and Kimi moaned.

Suddenly, everyone heard the sound of steam.

"Eep!" cried Didi. "My tea!"

"My coffee!" cried Stu.

Everyone rushed back upstairs, except the kids.

The kids looked at the time machine device.

"What a great gizmo!" said Chuckie. "Too bad we can't go into the past. I could have met my mother."

Tommy picked up the time machine. "Why don't we give it a test run?" he suggested. "Let's say, 1000 years into the future?"

"Yes! Lets!" said the others.

Tommy pushed a few buttons. The screen of the machine read "1000 years".

A time gate opened and sucked the kids into it like a vacuum cleaner.

The grownups returned downstairs.

"Hey!" said Stu. "Where did the kids go?"

"And where's the time machine?" asked Didi.

"Oh no!" said Stu. "They've gone into a time gate!"


The time gate opened and the kids found themselves in a spaceship traveling through outer space.

"Yay!" cheered Kimi. "We're the first kids in space!"

"Uh...where are we?" asked Chuckie. "Is this the future? Where's Earth?""I'm going to find out!" said Tommy. "Wait here everyone!"

Tommy walked over to the door. To his surprise, it automatically opened up.

"Yep! We're in the future alright!" he said. He walked out the door.

He walked down the aisle and came to another door that automatically opened for him. Inside, he found a robot hard at work.

The robot turned around. "Who are you?!" it said.

"Ahhh!" screamed Tommy. "It's alive!"

He ran out of the room and back to the others.

"Tommy, what happened?" asked Lil.

"There's something alive on this ship!" said Tommy.

"What is?" asked Phil.

"It's a robot!" said Tommy. "And it was bending stuff like a straw. I don't want that to happen to me or any of us!"

"What did this robot look like?" asked Angelica. "Can we take it home to uncle Stu?"

"Get serious Angelica!" said Kimi. "This is a robot we're talking about!"

"Now let's not panic guys" said Tommy. "I know I saw a robot, but I know that they can't harm people. They can only do that if they are programed to do it."

Just then, the door opened.

"Hey, there he is again" said a familiar voice. "And he brought nerds!"

The kids turned to the door.

Standing in the doorway was the robot Tommy saw. With him was a young man with orange hair, a red shirt, blue jeans, and black shoes.

"Bender, it's just a bunch of kids" said the man.

"Kids?" said the robot. "What are they doing on the Planet Express ship?"

"Ummm" said Angelica trying to think of a good excuse. "We wandered here by accident?"

"Actually" said Tommy, "we're from the past."

"How far from the past?" asked the man.

"1000 years" said Tommy.

"Wow!" said the man. "I'm from the past too! I was cryogenically frozen on the eve of the millennium 1000 years ago."

"How did you spend time?" asked Chuckie.

"You don't understand" said the man. "It was like a coma. And it was kind of cold. While I was asleep, much has changed over the years. Aliens also live on Earth with us."

"Can you take us to Earth?" asked Tommy.

"We could, but we're on a tight schedule now" said the man. "We're making a delivery to the headquarters of the galaxy-wide government, the 'Democratic Order Of Planets', or 'DOOP'. Then we need to make another delivery to Mars."

"Martians?" asked Angelica.

"No" said the man. "People live on Mars now, well a few people."

"Well, I guess for now we'll have to tag along" said Tommy. "It appears the time machine's batteries just went dead. We'll need to recharge them somehow to return to the past. But it could be days before we do find a way!"

"Well, for now, how about I take you to the cockpit" said the man. "Oh by the way, my name's Phillip J. Fry, but everyone calls me Fry."

Fry led the Rugrats to the cockpit. Piloting the ship was a young woman slightly younger than Fry. She had a white shirt, black pants, and grey boots. Her purple hair was tied back in a pony tail. And one unique feature that sets her apart from the rest..."

"Leela, I need to talk to you" said Fry.

The woman turned to him.

"Ahhhh!" cried the Rugrats. They were quite surprised and shocked to see that the woman had only one eye.

"Fry, you know better than to let kids onto the ship" said the woman.

"But these kids are time travellers!" said Fry. "They're from the past, my past!"

"Actually, even though we came from the same period, we're actually from our own past -- we never met," said Angelica.

"Can I ask you something?" Phil asked the woman. "Who are you?"

"I'm Turanga Leela" said the woman. "But everyone calls me Leela. After we make our delivery to DOOP, we're going to Mars to make a delivery to the Wong family."

"Aren't they chinese?" asked Kimi. "I'm Japanese, although I was born in France."

"Yes they are Chinese" said Fry. "Try asking Amy."

"Who's Amy?" asked Angelica.

"I am" said a young woman as she entered the cockpit. She had black hair and a pink sweatsuit. "Nice to meet you" she told the Rugrats. "I'm Amy Wong. My parents own half the planet Mars."

"First humans land on the moon, and now they've colonized Mars" said Tommy. "What else could humanity do?"

"You live on Mars?" asked Lil.

"Yes" said Amy. "Actually I was born on Mars. I live in an apartment in New New York."

"What happened to the old New York?" asked Kimi.

"It was destroyed by aliens" said Leela. "Fry was frozen when it happened."

"We usually stop on Mars during the job to visit my parents. But it's always the same. As soon as they meet me, they always ask `where's my grandchild? Where's my grandchild?"

"Do you work on this ship?" asked Chuckie.

"Yes" said Amy. "I'm the intern. Leela is the pilot. And Fry is our main delivery boy."

"I hate being a delivery boy" said Fry.

Leela went back to piloting the ship. "Fry, why don't you introduce the kids to the rest of the crew?"

"But there's only Zoidberg and Farnsworth" said Fry.

"Hey can I ask you something else?" asked Dil.

"Does it have something to do with my eye?" asked Leela.

"No" said Dil.

"Then what's the question?"

"What's with the eye?"

"I'm a mutant!" said an annoyed Leela. "For a while I thought I was a cyclops living on Earth."

Just then, an old man entered the cockpit along with a lobster man.

"Kids, this is professor Farnsworth and Dr. Zoidberg" said Fry.

"Where's the robot?" asked Susie.

"In the supply room" said Fry.

"Hold on to your horses everyone" said Leela. "We're approaching DOOP!"

Soon, they boarded a large spacecraft.

On board, they met a young man with blonde hair.

"Welcome to the DOOP space base" said the man. "I'm captain Zapp Brannigan! Leela, so good to see you again!"

Leela frowned.

"Hey Zapp, where's Kif?" asked Amy.

"I'm right here Amy" said an alien dressed in a red uniform.

"What's so important about Kif?" asked Angelica.

"He's not only the lieutenant" said Amy, "he's also my boyfriend."

"This small boned wimp?" asked Angelica.

"Actually" said Kif, "I don't have any bones. I'm supported by a system of very fluid glands."

"And I'm full of hormones myself!" said Zapp.

"Pay no attention to Zapp kids" Leela told the Rugrats, "he's a real jerk."

The kids seemed to enjoy the future. Maybe their stay wouldn't be so bad after all.

Just then, a brown skinned man with black hair came out of the Planet Express ship.

"Sorry" he said. "Did I miss anything?"

"Hermes, did you oversleep?" asked Leela.

"How can you tell?" asked Hermes. "Hey, who are those kids?"

"They're time travelers from my time" said Fry. "By the way, they didn't tell me their names."

The Rugrats told everyone their names.

"Let me welcome you kids to the future and give you a tour of this place" said Zapp. "One day, you kids will want to have a career in DOOP like me and Kif!"

"Well we'll be going back to our home time after we somehow recharge the time machine's batteries" said Tommy.

"Farnsworth, can you do anything about that?" asked Fry.

"I think so" said Farnsworth. "It may take several days for me to invent a machine to recharge batteries, since batteries don't exist in the future."

"But until then, you kids can do whatever you want" said Zapp. "Here in the future, anything is possible."

"By the way Zapp" said Fry, "the weapons and new uniforms you ordered are here."

"Bring them to me" said Zapp.

Fry went into the Planet Express ship.

"Bender, we need to give Zapp those uniforms and weapons now" he said.

"Alright already" said Bender. "I'm getting to it."

They picked up several boxes and carried them outside.

Leela handed Zapp a contract. "Sign here" she said.

Zapp signed his name with a laser pen.

"What do you all do here in DOOP?" asked Kimi.

"We govern the planets and wage war on our enemies" said Zapp. "Your rank determines your duties. Kif, what's the best rank here in DOOP?"

"Captain sir" said Kif.

"And what's the worst rank?"

"Being your assistant."

"Now come" said Zapp, "I'm sure you kids will want to see what the future has in store for everybody."

Later, Zapp finished giving the kids a tour. Fry, Leela, Hermes, Zoidberg, Farnsworth, and Amy went too.

One of the last rooms they passed had a heart shaped bed. Leela shuddered at the sight of it.

"Something wrong Leela?" asked Tommy.

"This gives me terrible memories. I remember this room where I actually spent the night with Zapp. But it was all in a sense of pity for him. Now, he's obsessed with me."

"You must have alot of trouble getting a date on Saturday night" said Dil.

"I do" said Leela. "Almost every man I meet looks at my eye, and either ignores me or runs away screaming as if I was some kind of freak. But one time, an old orphanage friend of mine who became a doctor, gave me an operation to give me two eyes. Everyone thought I looked great, except for Fry. He actually liked the weird one-eyed Leela. Of course, later, I had the operation reversed when I realized that what Fry said was right."

"What did he say?" asked Tommy.

"I said that Leela shouldn't care about what others think" said Fry. "I liked her just the way she was before she got two eyes."

"I'm still have men trouble" said Leela. "The only two men who seem to pursue a relationship with me are Zapp and Fry."

"And what's wrong with both of them?" asked Kimi.

"Zapp's a big jerk whose brain is 99% sleaze. Fry on the other hand is a slacker, is clumsy, and immature. Still, he is the better of the two."

"Thanks for the compliment" said Fry.

"But still, every other women has no trouble attracting men" said Leela. "Look at Amy! She's already had about a dozen boyfriends, Fry being one of them."

"Is that true?" Angelica asked Amy.

"G'uh!" said Amy.

"Don't you mean d'uh?" asked Angelica.

"This is the future" said Amy. "You can say anything now."

Later, they left the DOOP spaceship and headed towards Mars for their next delivery.

During the flight, Amy said to Kimi, "Kimi, I know this may sound ridiculous, but, when we meet my parents, can you pretend to be my daughter?"

"Why?" asked Kimi.

"Because I'm tired of my parents asking me `Where's my grandchild?! Where's my grandchild?!"

"I see your point" said Kimi. "OK, I'll do it!"

"Thanks" said Amy.

A little later, they arrived at a ranch on Mars. Buggalo, livestock that looked like giant beetles, with white shells and black spots, were in a pen.

Amy knocked on the door.

The door was opened by a middle aged man and woman dressed as cowboys. They were Leo and Inez, Amy's parents.

"Howdy!" said Leo. "Welcome home Amy! Please come in!"

Everyone came in.

"My my Amy" said Inez. "You gave us lots of grandchildren."

"Not really" said Amy. "Most of these kids are from Earth."

Kimi suddenly realized what she had agreed to with Amy. She stepped forth with Amy.

"Mom, dad, this is Kimberly, your granddaughter" said Amy.

Leo and Inez gave Amy a thumbs up.

"I hope I know what I'm doing" Kimi said to herself.

To Be Continued

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