Death Clock Countdown, part 2
EXT. PLUSHTON V SURFACE, AFTERNOON SCENE 6
LEELA, AMY, and BENDER are being lowered by the crane to the
planet's surface. They are completely covered by green burka
like suits, covering all features of their bodies, except for a
mesh in front of their faces, permitting them to see through.
Stacks of pillows and lettuce are bundled up in ropes next to
The lift hits the ground, which undulates softly on impact.
The sky is a hazy pink, punctuated by gentle clouds, and
implanted with a bright orange sun. The low-relief
landscape is an off-white color and lumpy, and looks like
cloud tops, or a pile of freshly-laundered towels.
Overall, the impression given by the planet is that of a
typical fabric softener TV commercial.
OK, everyone, we are in the restricted
landing zone, to prevent the Plushtonians
from seeing our ships. So we have to
cover the ship with a cloak, and then
hike to the trading area. Bender, we
need you to haul these heavy loads.
Less exposition, more action!
He hefts the pillow bundles onto his back, as the rest of
the crew plants cloaking beacons around the ship's
Be careful not to expose any part of your
metal frame. The Plushtonians have never
seen a robot, or a human for that matter,
and we're not going to be the first ones
to make history here. Let's go.
EXT. PLUSHTONIAN FARM, 15 MINUTES LATER
The three crew members arrive at the rendezvous site, a 10
meter ridge overlooking a large plain to the north.
Arranged at regular intervals on this plain are red piles,
about the size of haystacks. Groups of PLUSHTONIANS are
peeling red material off the ground and tossing them into
the red piles. To the west of the field the landscape
begins to show some additional relief. Cris-crossing this
landscape is a wall of pillows, looking like a pillow-fort
version of the Great Wall of China. The wall extends from
the horizon up to the ridge the crew is currently standing
upon, and ends in a ragged pile of pillows about 15 meters
To the east the sky has turned a deep, threatening pink (if
pink can ever be considered threatening).
Two PLUSHTONIANS wait next to the incomplete portion of the
wall. They look like a cross between Mr. Potato Head and a
roll of two-ply toilet paper. They stand at about a third
of the height of LEELA.
Gentle greetings and everlasting ease to
you, fearless voyagers from beyond the
Plush! Welcome to our most sacred and
important landmark--the Cushie Pushy!
Although not visible behind her burka, LEELA is clearly not
at "everlasting ease". Her stance radiates suppressed
tension, and a readiness to swing into desperate action at
Thank you. It is our pleasure to serve
the needs of your people.
Umm, if we might ask, what do you need
the pillows for?
Your pill-lows, as you call them, are the
most amazing building material we've come
across. We simply soak them in mucas and
glue them together to make tremendously
strong structures. So strong, yet so
portable! We are using them to finish
building our Pushy wall against the
terrible Cushie that raids our farms!
What exactly is a Cushie?
A horrible predator that has no
hesitation in consuming us or our crops!
Its teeth are the hardest objects in the
What are your crops anyway?
Our "cash crop," as you say, is a divine
material that is much valued by the elite
of our planet for its fine feel and
smooth touch, and I understand your elite
feels the same way. In your language you
call it "velour"?
(even more alertly)
Yes, in fact I believe our biggest
customer from your DOOP is arriving today
to pick up a supply. These pill-lows are
part of the payment for his order.
Best customer of velour? From DOPP?
Oh no. We need to leave, everyone.
ZAPP BRANNIGAN (O.S.)
Do I hear the dual-set tones from the
swan-like throat of my lovely and
ZAPP BRANIGAN, KIF, and five other SHUTTLE CREWMEMBERS
appear over the ridge. All are covered with stylish
military burkas. ZAPP and KIF are easily distinguishable
through their posture.
(recognizing KIF's slouched
Hello, my sweet.
Don't you look so handsome in your burka!
Watch it, Amy...
I'm sorry, dear, but business before
Peace and greetings to the rulers of
Plushton V! I am Captain Zapp Brannigan,
here to claim my year's supply of velour.
I have brought several aides to carry the
supplies for me.
(squealing in pleasure)
The First Contact! We are honored to be
in your presence, sir! But we must hurry
-a terrible storm is approaching and we
must make arrangements!
An horn wails in the distance.
Too late--we have the storm approaching!
Hurry everyone, we must find shelter
among the pill-lows!
The Planet Express and Nimbus crews quickly assemble
several pillow forts and crawl inside. Somehow, LEELA ends
up with ZAPP and the PLUSHTONIANS.
A gentle breeze and a light rain begin.
Such a storm. I have only heard of such
from our ancients!
But what is this coming up the hill
No, this creature is on two legs, but
doesn't have the loose skin that our good
friends here have. Also, the material on
its head is the color of our sun.
LEELA has been too busy fending off ZAPP's advances to look
outside the pillow fort, but these last words capture her
attention. The rain haze has started to clear, and within
moments the sky is clear again.
Now clearly visible walking up the ridge, FRY carries the
death clock camera slung over his back. He looks pale and
out of breath.
I have never seen a voyager like this.
And it walked through the storm like it
was not troubled at all!
And what is it carrying that gleams so in
I am familiar with this entity. Please
let me talk with it alone for a moment.
Please get it out of here. And remember,
Brannigan's wrath is like Brannigan's
Yeah, Yeah, hard and fast--
Actually, I was going to say hot and
cleansing, but I like that better!
As she scrambles out of the pillow fort, AMY and BENDER
emerge from the other forts. They all converge on FRY, who
smiles, pleased to see them.
Oh good! Here, there's something you
Fry, what in the world are you doing
here! I told you to remain in the ship,
in your cabin!
Well, I decided to hang out on the bridge
a little bit, and then I saw Zapp, Kiff,
and their crew, and I thought I would
come and tell you..
We've figured out they're here by
ourselves. But you need to leave now!
You have no burka and you're threatening
But wait! I looked at them before they
put on their tent things, and the not
Zapp and Kif guys--well, guess what?
Fry. Go. Now.
They were wearing red shirts! And I
remembered from my Star Trek that red
shirt guys on planets always die! So I
turned on the camera, checked it out, and
thought you would want to see this, since
proving the camera works was bothering
you and all--
Fry, you have endangered yourself, me,
our mission, and this planet's culture
for the dumbest reasons--Why didn't you
I tried--I pressed the little button
thingie with the picture of the
microphone next to it, but couldn't
contact you. So I came out.
(rolling eye behind burka)
Fry, how many times do I have to tell
you! That was the karaoke button! But
never mind--take the camera and go back
to the ship NOW!
But the red shirts...
Red shirts do not cause death! Look at
your red jacket! How many times have you
worn that thing on our deliveries?
FRY looks puzzled for a moment, but his expression quickly
changes to one of stark terror. He slips off the camera
strap and rips off his jacket. The butter knife in his
pocket falls out and implants into the ground, gleaming
brightly in the orange sun.
Leela, aren't you overacting a little
bit? I mean, we just shook off the
biggest storm on this planet! What's the
worst that can happen?
EXT-PLUSHTON WALL-ONE HOUR LATER
A large crowd of PLUSHTONIANS stand on the Pushy Cushie
Wall, looking down at the lone figure of FRY standing with
his back to the wall, facing the uneven terrain of the
western horizon. What appears to be a cave entrance is
visible 200 m away, at the summit of a low-lying hill. The
remains of what seems to be toilet paper are scattered
around the opening.
LEELA, AMY, BENDER, ZAPP, KIF, and the rest of the
REDSHIRTS are also on the top of the wall, staring at FRY.
They are all still wearing burkas.
PLUSHTONIAN ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Fellow survivors of the Cushie menace!
Today we witness a turning point in our
history! Our friends from beyond the
Plush have surprised us with a great gift
-one of their greatest warriors, built
out of special materials collected from
across the beyond!
The PLUSHTONIANS roar their approval. LEELA looks over at
AMY, who is working on the camera.
Fry's death date is jumping all over the
PLUSHTONIAN ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
And not only that! Their warrior brings
a weapon that lies beyond our poor
ability to comprehend! The weapon that
will kill our greatest enemy! Behold,
the Bu-tear Nife!
A hushed, respectful silence falls over the crowd as they
stare at the butter knife clenched in FRY's hand. LEELA
stares at FRY with a painful intensity, squeezing the
pillow in front of her.
Bender, are you picking up anything on
Nothing. No money in sight.
Nothing else either.
I thought that fobbing Fry off as a
different species would sate their
curiosity, but damn that butter knife!
Once again your mind is as pliant and
flexible as the rest of you, Leela. But
being a captain means having the
cajoanays to make the tough calls, to
make the sacrifices needed. Once the
Plushtonians saw the knife, we were at
real risk of exposing everyone and
damaging their culture further. Not to
mention risking the loss of a perfectly
good supply of velour. One of your few
weaknesses, my voluptuous vixen, is that
you are too attached to your crew,
particularly expendables like your
delivery boy down there.
AMY has been fiddling with the camera, pointing it toward
the SHUTTLE CREW.
Chung goa! Fry was right! These guys
have only have 17 minutes left! How
(swivels camera to KIF)
At least Kiffie seems to be OK for now.
LEELA leans over, swivels the camera to ZAPP, and reads the
I know, I do look good on camera, don't
(turning to his men)
As for my velour, go back to the shuttle
and depart for the Nimbus with the cargo.
I want you in the air in, say, 17
AMY and LEELA exchange a look, as the SHUTTLE CREW departs.
What are we going to do, sir?
I need to see this ceremony out, but I'm
sure the comely Captain Leela will give
me a ride back to the ship.
And maybe even a ride in the ship, if you
know what I mean? Kif, go catch up with
those men and help spread that rumor.
No! It can't be true!
He can't go with them!
Amy, I'm touched that my leaving means so
much to you, but--
Zapp is coming on my ship over my dead--
Please, Leela! Don't you see?
PLUSHTONIAN ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
We have now confirmed that the Cushie is
coming from its den to the surface!
LEELA is distracted by FRY's situation and begins to move
away, but AMY clings to her anxiously.
Your pleas have not fallen on a deaf
heart. But Kif has a job to do, as do I.
And we cannot let attractive feminine
pleading stop us. Although attractive
feminine cleavage can be much more
A hush suddenly falls over the crowd. LEELA grabs the
camera from AMY.
But, but, Kif needs to stay because....
You know Leela is madly in love with you?
(focusing camera on FRY)
What did you say?
This is hardly news to me. Clearly, the
more a woman says "no" to a man, the more
attracted she must be to him. By that
standard, Leela must be nearly sick with
longing for my presence.
Something emerges from the tunnel. A CUSHIE crawls out
onto the surface. It is a small thing, not much larger
than the PLUSHTONIANS, with a tuft of wiggling worm-like
tendrils on top of its head. It has no nose, but a single
nostril opening centered on its face, which it uses to
sniff the air. In the direction of Fry, it bares tiny,
Oh good, teeth! This will tilt the odds
even more in my favor.
He passes a pillow behind his back to a few shifty-looking
Well, yes...she is longing for you, and
she's been wanting to say it for some
time, but you're such an intimidating,
manly, figure...well, can't you see she
would be more comfortable, more..
receptive... if some others were to come
along with you on board the shuttle?
I understand the intimidating part, but
my charm will take care of that.
Kif, depart for the shuttle now!
FRY looks a bit relieved at the appearance of the CUSHIE.
He turns and smiles up toward LEELA, who has been staring
at the camera display, which has suddenly stabilized at a
I don't have time for this psychology
She grabs ZAPP by the lapels and gives him a deep kiss.
FRY looks stunned.
If Kif comes with you on the shuttle,
I'll give you another one.
Kif, remain here with me!
(shouting to FRY)
Fry, stay as far away from that thing as
FRY snaps his head back toward the CUSHIE, which is
lumbering slowly toward him. Over the next few minutes Fry
and the CUSHIE play a slow-motion game of tag, circling
around the cave entrance.
PLUSHOTONIAN #1 leans over toward ZAPP.
Your warrior is quite impressive. Look
at how carefully he scouts the danger,
biding his time. He has already lasted
longer than any other combatant--may
their remains rest in piece.
He nods toward the toilet paper-like material scattered
around the cave opening.
Nice alien! Good alien!
Fry, get over here towards the wall! I
need you to bring that thing closer!
Surreptitiously, she pulls out her laser pistol. FRY
hurries toward the wall. The CUSHIE breaks out onto a run,
and so does FRY.
FRY reaches the walls and starts clambering up the pillows.
He reaches the top edge just as the CUSHIE arrives at the
base. The PLUSHTONIANS scatter from the point where FRY is
clinging, while LEELA and the other off-worlders converge
on his location.
The CUSHIE looks at FRY hanging approximately 15 m above
it, and pauses for a moment. Then it bites deeply into the
soft ground. It appears to be sucking in fluid, and it
begins to swell. Within moments it is half the height of
the wall. A tendril from the top of its head suddenly
whips out and wraps around FRY's ankle.
FRY plunges his butter knife into one of the pillows, which
is anchored to the others. The CUSHIE tries to tug FRY off
the wall, growing larger all the time. Finally, it stops
biting the ground, and rears up, revealing teeth that are
now as large as daggers. It's head is now only about 3 m
LEELA reaches Fry just as the tendril gives a final tug,
ripping Fry's knife through the pillow. LEELA grabs FRY's
wrist, kicks her feet deeply into pillows underneath her,
and hangs on.
No. Not yet.
BENDER grabs FRY's wrist as well.
Here, let me assist.
He steps behind LEELA and wraps his arms around her chest.
No, don't do this! The wall, we're going
to lose the wall!
LEELA, enraged, elbows Zapp in the face. Unfortunately
this loosens her hold, and she and BENDER loose the grip on
FRY. Like a rubber band snapping back into place, FRY
shoots back and lands on top of the CUSHIE's head,
surrounded on all sides by tendrils.
A great cheer escapes from the PLUSHTONIANS on either side
of the wall. Desperately, FRY pushes the knife into the
top of the CUSHIE's soft head. Surprised by the unfamiliar
pain, the predator roars in protest.
On the horizon, a shuttle launches, although its cloaking
device only makes the exhaust plume visible. It begins to
arc so that its flight path passes over the wall.
Several tendrils grab Fry and start to drag him down the
animal's face toward the mouth, the butter knife leaving a
jagged scar on the animal's face. As he slides over the
nostril, LEELA finally sheds ZAPP, turns her back on the
nearby PLUSHTONIANs, and fires the pistol several times.
The beams slice through the tendrils, releasing FRY. He
splays his hands and legs against the nostril edges.
Framed by the darkness of the nostril, he stares down into
the nasal passage.
Wait-thought I had a thought there.
More tendrils snake toward FRY.
Olive! Fry! Be the olive!
Fry stabs his butter knife into the interior of the nostril
and uses the hold to slide in. The tendrils follow, giving
the CUSHIE the appearance of trying to pick its nose.
LEELA keeps shooting the tendrils away from it nostril.
Stung by the beams, the CUSHIE switches its attention to
the top of the wall.
Tendrils shoot over the wall, latching onto LEELA, KIF, and
BENDER. They are lifted over the wall and dangle,
suspended, in front of the CUSHIE's face.
As the shuttle passes overhead, one of its engines
explodes. The shuttle corkscrews into a downward spiral
toward the velour fields to the west.
Suddenly the CUSHIE begins to choke. Distracted, it drops
its victims and begins to stumble around. Within moments,
it drops to its knees, and then, a few moments later, falls
flat onto the ground. A mucas-covered FRY gingerly crawls
out of the animal's mouth.
Huh, the throat and nose are connected in
this guy, too.
He smiles at LEELA.
Not dead yet.
He raises his arm, butter knife in fist. The PLUSHTONIANS
erupt into a rousing cheer just as the shuttle impacts the
ground near the horizon. A huge cloud of red shoots into
the air near the impact zone, and an enormous ground roll
speeds toward the Pushy wall like a tsunami.
The ground roll hits the wall, destroying it and tossing
PLUSHTONIANS, ZAPP, and AMY high into the air.
Fortunately, landing on the surface is like landing on a
waterbed. The wave also tosses the CUSHIE and the rest of
the crew into the air, where they land close to the CUSHIE
tunnel. By bad luck LEELA lands on top of the CUSHIE,
injuring her ankle, and entangling herself in the tendrils.
The red cloud is streaking closer, resolving itself into a
massive airborne supply of velour. Clumps of the material
start plopping onto the ground.
Hurry, everyone! Into the tunnel before
Death by velour! There could be worse
ways to go.
Everyone starts to run for it, but FRY turns around and
Go Fry, go! That's an order! I'll be OK!
She turns to look at a massive wall of velour descending
Not like this. Not like this.
Her laser cuts through the tendrils, and she somersaults
off the head onto the ground, gasping in pain as her ankle
twists again. Balancing on one leg, she stands up, only to
find FRY next to her.
Fry, today is not my death day. It's
Ignoring her, Fry ineffectively tries to pull her toward
the Cushie entrance, where the others are peering anxiously
out of the opening.
There's no time! Quick, in here!
Grabbing Fry by the wrist, she hops toward the CUSHIE, with
its head lying on its side, mouth half open. Leela tries
to push Fry through the teeth inside the mouth, but Fry
holds back stubbornly.
No, you first!
LEELA starts to protest, but there isn't time. She
squeezes herself between the teeth, and sticks her arm back
out. FRY grabs the arm and with a final heave LEELA pulls
FRY into the mouth with her, just as the wave of velour
smashes into the pillow wall, the CUSHIE, and everything
FADE TO BLACK.
INT-PLANET EXPRESS SHIP BRIDGE--EVENING - SCENE 9
LEELA, AMY, FRY, and BENDER sit around the bridge. Through
the cockpit window the NIMBUS shrinks away into the
Nimbus, this is PE Ship departing local
KIF's image appears on the vidphone.
KIF KROKER (O.S.)
PE Ship, this is Nimbus. Glad everyone
I want to apologize for all the headaches
we caused you.
KIF KROKER (O.S.)
No need, Leela, it could have ended much
worse than it did. Fortunately,
Plushtonians don't die by suffocation, so
almost all of them were still alive when
the crew dug them out. So now we only
have to deal with the cultural and trade
impacts. We managed to gather most of
the wreckage of the shuttle, so if we can
keep the cultural contamination down to
silverware, we may be able to minimize
the effect. And our trade position may
The vidphone switches to scenes of what appears to be a
bunch of PLUSHTONIANS toilet-papering a monument.
KIF KROKER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
Even with the loss of their entire
crop, the Plushtonians feel that it's a
small price to pay for the defeat of the
Cushie. Fry is quite the planetary hero
now. Did you hear they've declared a
worldwide holiday and celebration in his
Yes I did.
So with Fry's public endorsement of our
trade efforts, I wouldn't be surprised if
our negotiating position ends up better
And thank you, all of you, for keeping me
from going onto that shuttle. We still
have no idea what happened to that
engine. I can't help but sense you knew
what was coming.
I'm glad our instincts were correct, Kif.
Amy would be intolerable without your
influence, so we're glad you're still
with us. We're sorry about the rest of
KIF KROKER (O.S.)
Me too. They were good men, and we seem
to be running out of red uniforms.
Anyway, perhaps someday Amy will tell me
the complete story. But perhaps I don't
want to know. Kroker out.
LEELA turns to BENDER.
Can you fly the ship for a while?
With my eyes closed.
He grabs the controls and a shutter slides down over his
Hey, I can fly the ship now, in fact I'm
He suddenly finds himself on the floor, with LEELA, on a
crutch, towering over him.
What the hell did you think you were
doing back there!
FRY looks over to where he was sitting. Scraps of paper
with childish drawings lie on the floor next to his seat.
Well, I was trying to draw some pictures
so that I don't mix up the karaoke and
radio buttons. I also think the
emergency eject button and the disco ball
display are a bit confusing as well.
No, back on the planet. Here we are with
a sword hanging over our heads..
(FRY looks up nervously)
and you go off and disobey a direct
order, and put yourself and the rest of
the crew in jeopardy because you can't
remember the simplest instructions
Farnsworth gives us. You irreversibly
interfere with another culture's
development, and I've had to kiss Zapp
twice--TWICE!, just so the DOOP won't
prosecute all of us for smashing his damn
non-interference directive, and wiping
out his velour supply! We're lucky we
even got the camera back from them!
She points to the camera setup on the bridge, still
battered but functional.
That's a very dangerous device, now that
we have proof it works. I'm glad the
DOOP is still unaware of what it can do.
Fry did help save Kiffie...
Kif was not destined to die today! You
saw that yourself!
But the only reason Kiffie didn't die was
that Fry noticed the dates of the other
crewmen, and so we were able to alter
History wasn't altered! It was all
supposed to happen! That's why Kif was
never in danger!
So is this still my fault, if it was
supposed to happen anyway?
LEELA is not so sure herself, but blusters over it.
That's not the point! It's just that
today is so typical of you, Fry! It was
sweet of you to try to help with the
camera, but you never think about the
consequences of your actions, and end up
endangering everyone. Nothing changes!
And now we know that you are going to die
in two days--and yes, Fry, the display is
now very clear about that--and frankly,
I'm not surprised. The only thing I'm
surprised about is that you haven't died
sooner, pulling stunts like this. Why
are you acting like this, when you know
what that camera is predicting about your
future? Are you even capable of
understanding what's coming? Don't you
care or think about your death at all?
I care, I really do. But I don't know
what I can do about it, and I don't know
how to explain why I'm not acting any
differently. I need time to think.
Well, time is what you don't have. If
you're serious about surviving, listen to
me. Do exactly as I tell you over the
next few days. No more attempted
heroics. The clock says you are going to
die before me. There is thus no point in
trying to risk yourself for me, because
the most likely outcome is that you'll
just end up killing yourself.
I was just trying to help...
I know, Fry, but I want to ask you a
favor. Don't do anything. Doing
something makes you unpredictable, and it
will make it very hard for me to figure
out what is coming down on us. Why don't
you just go down to the bunk and lie low?
Once we get back we'll just put you in
front of the TV and keep you out of
FRY looks at her as if he can't see her clearly.
I love doing nothing, it's true, but I
don't like being told to do nothing.
What's going on with you? You haven't
talked to me like this since... well,
since I had that little situation with
the coffee machine and my laundry.
Fry, go downstairs. Now.
OK, now it's getting interesting.
I said no. And with your ankle like
that, it may even take you a few seconds
longer to force me down there.
LEELA drops her crutch and hobbles up to FRY. They stare
at each other, trying to understand what is happening.
Then FRY leans his head back and laughs, leaving LEELA
I guess I really must be scared to be
doing this! Three things, Leela. First,
I'll try not do anything dumb...or at