Death Clock Countdown, part 3
least dumber than usual. Bender will
help me with that. Second, I know we'll
be OK, because the Leela I know never
gives up, even when facing Death. I've
seen it before. Third, don't ask me to
leave you or hide when you need help.
Fourth, I'm hungry. Anyone else want a
He then turns and walks out the door, LEELA staring after
The camera has captured all of this, and as FRY walks out
the door, the countdown date for FRY jumps ahead 12 hours,
and LEELA's jumps even more, so that their death dates are
now just hours apart.
INT-MUNDA AND MORRIS'S HOME, NEXT MORNING
LEELA, MUNDA, and MORRIS are sitting around the table,
sipping coffee. LEELA looks relaxed for the first time
since SCENE 1.
-and then what happened?
He went and had lunch. He was hungry,
after all. And when we returned to the
office we found that Farnsworth is
grounding us for a few days-"to give time
to train up a new crew"-he said, so there
would be no interruption in service. So
as soon as we were settled in, I came
Both MUNDA and MORRIS make small noises of disgust.
I'm not sure why you are still working
for that man.
Actually, I really enjoy it.
I guess I should be saying that I enjoyed
Sweetie, you don't really believe that
this machine is truly revealing your and
Phil's death, are you?
Not only do I believe it, but I know
what's going to happen. Once the death
times changed on the bridge, after Fry
and I had butted heads, I knew.
How can you be so sure?
I've known Fry for years, and know his
strengths and weaknesses, mostly
weaknesses. And the sad thing is that
one of the things I like most about him
is what's going to kill him. He may have
the hygiene of a space chicken, and the
attention span of a flea, and the
intelligence of a post, and he's lazy...
There was a good point, I thought?
Sorry. My point is that he will
occasionally, without a second thought
about his own safety, put himself at risk
for a friend. Bender constantly exploits
him that way.
Especially, I can't help but notice, when
you're involved. Remember, Morris, how
he came by all the times when Leela had
those epileptic seizures from the bee
How can I forget? There was also the
small matter of the two foot bee sting he
took for you.
Yes. It's rather sweet, this instinct of
his, really. The problem is that his
desire to act usually exceeds his
competence, and he's nearly killed
himself several times now getting himself
in over his head like this.
She scratches her ankle brace, idly.
I think a lot of it comes from his
inability to comprehend the consequences
of his actions. He's such a child in so
many ways, unaware of the finality of
death, toying with his life so
carelessly. And it's gotten worse over
the years. He used to be such a coward,
which at least kept him fairly safe and
predictable. But recently...
She stirs her coffee, while her parents watch closely.
I'm starting to lose control over him. On
this last trip he deliberately disobeyed
my orders by bringing the camera to me,
and then when I hurt my ankle, he rushed
over to help me, even when I asked him
And so? What's wrong with him covering
Don't you see? It's all coming to a head
tomorrow. When Fry refused to back down
on the ship, our death times jumped
forward. Our deaths are linked. Closely
linked. I think the same thing is going
to end up killing us. And Fry's going to
die first because he's going ignore my
advice and try to "cover my back,"
probably in the most inept way possible,
killing us both.
If that's the case, why not separate
yourselves, so you aren't in the same
place at the same time?
There's so many ways our deaths can be
linked, without requiring both of us to
be in the same room. All Fry has to do
is sign a contract, answer an email, or
even just try to buy something in his
dreams, and who knows how the results
will lead to me? No, I need to keep a
close eye on him, even if the whole
effort does seem kind of hopeless.
Well, sweetie, we've watched you grow up
under the worst circumstances, and you
never, never gave up. Anything that rose
up to block you, you rallied back up to
fight it. Even if this death clock seems
to be accurate, I know my daughter will
not wait around passively for the end.
You're absolutely right, Dad. And I
don't plan to sit around and wait for
Death to knock on my door. But how can I
stop Fry from being himself? How can I
prepare for something that can come from
Any way you choose to face this dear, we
are behind you completely, and want to
help. And... you might consider actually
talking to Phil about this, instead of
just trying to shield him, like he was
some idiot child.
Yes, I haven't known him as long as you,
but he's never struck me as being as big
a fool as you seem to think. I mean,
didn't he recently write an opera for
you? By himself?
Yes, you've never told us the full story.
What happened that night he performed?
Now you're really starting to meddle!
But you don't know how much it means to
me to have parents who want to meddle in
my personal life. I promise, if I get
through this we'll talk about it further.
But first things first. Let's begin to
fight the future.
She pulls out a small set of computer memory chips.
Things are probably going to get hectic
and desperate over the next couple of
days, and I want a clear mind. Thus I've
already put all my affairs in order.
Here you'll find my video will and
financial records, along with
instructions for caring for Nibbler.
I've given you two my power of attorney.
Please don't open any of this unless I
Munda starts to tear up, but nods her head.
Don't worry, Mom. The first step in
facing your death is to face the prospect
squarely, recognize it, acknowledge it,
then prepare for it. Then you are free
to struggle against it, having known you
have considered the worst that can
happen, and have arranged for it. Doing
this frees and focuses your mind. It's
really kind of liberating, actually.
I understand, I really do. In that
spirit, you understand that having you
here, confiding in both of us like this,
means so much more to us than anything
you're leaving behind in this will. In
case we don't have a chance to talk
again, we want you to know that.
And I do. I do, Mom. I'm so glad I've
had a chance to meet both of you, and to
be able to say "Mom" and "Dad".
Everyone hugs. LEELA stands and heads toward the door.
Now go and save yourself and that young
I know, and I will.
EXT-NEW NEW YORK STREET-A FEW MINUTES LATER
FRY and BENDER are walking down the sidewalk, holding the
death clock camera in front of them.
OK, head this way...
FRY walks down the alley under the watchful eye of the
Fry turns around and walks down another alley.
Two minutes. Keep going.
FRY continues to walk down the alley, eyes darting left and
right. He takes each step as if he were going to plunge
into a trap.
They emerge onto another street.
(continuing to view FRY with
One minute. Hold on. Look left.
OK, turn around and look right.
OK, go ahead and go that way...thirty
That's good enough.
Not there yet--stay on course...stay on
course...15, 14, 13, 12, 11...
I'm bailing out.
He backs up the street quickly.
Wussbot! Ten seconds til death! That's a
new record, but just barely.
The street ahead is traffic free, nearly empty, and
peaceful. Suddenly a piano falls from the sky down onto
the sidewalk, right where FRY would have been. SAL looks
out a window from one of the apartments above.
BENDER does his evil laugh.
Ahh, who knew that applied philosophy
would be so much fun! Well, I think
we've shown that free will trumps
determinism under certain circumstances.
FRY taps his toe against the piano.
That is getting a little too close for
me. Can we do something else?
Well, Fry buddy, I was just starting to
put together a betting pool on the time
and manner of your and Leela's death.
Want to put in? Hermes has bought
several slots already. The fact that
your time is skipping around makes things
a little more exciting.
Aw, I'm going to miss you too, Bender.
Sure, go ahead, if doing this will make
you feel better. But how do you know I'm
not going to cheat and kill myself at the
time I predicted? After all, it looks
like I have some control over when I'm
going to die.
That's exactly what I would do in your
shoes. Tell you what. We'll restrict you
to Leela, and Leela to you, if she wants
Fair enough. In fact, I already have an
bet I would place on Leela.
He whispers at the side of BENDER's head.
Ah, that's not quite what I had in mind,
but I'll let you do it anyway.
LEELA rounds the corner, eyes on her wrist thingmajig. She
looks up, smiles at the sight of her two friends, and walks
Playtime is over.
Uh, Bender, maybe we can keep this to
ourselves? Especially the betting pool?
She's kind of been on edge lately.
Hi guys! Wandering around, looking for
Yeah, you could say that.
How'd you find us?
Tracking chip in Fry's pocket. I slipped
it in yesterday. He usually doesn't
change pants for a week or so, so I
thought it would be a safe way to keep
tabs on him.
I like clothes with character!
Yeah, look. It now looks like your death
date is tomorrow afternoon, and mine
later in the day. But we've made
progress. The uncertainties in these
dates have dropped to just a few hours.
Plushton must have really blurred the
issue. Thus, we should be safe for
today, unless we deliberately go looking
for trouble. That's why I felt safe
letting Fry go home last night, and
leaving you two alone this morning.
She frowns slightly at the piano lying on the broken
Fry, I was thinking about yesterday and
I've decided that you're right. It's not
fair to ask you to wait around doing
nothing until the moment arrives.
(smiling in relief)
Really? You're OK with me trying to help
Yes. But what do you want to do? Do you
want to wait and hope for the best, or do
you want to try and figure out what's
going to happen?
I trust you completely, Leela. Whatever
you think is best.
Fry, it would mean a lot to me to know
what you want.
Well, trying to interfere with the future
is often the exact thing that makes the
future happen. So I worry that if we try
to do something, we'll end up killing
ourselves, instead of simply living our
lives and ignoring the camera.
LEELA is deeply impressed.
Did you really think of all that on your
Me? Nah. But this comes up on Star Trek
all the time. There are at least six
episodes on exactly this question.
So, what usually happens?
Well, generally the crew tries to do
something anyway, I guess because sitting
around waiting for the future to arrive
makes for boring TV. But my death time
seems to move around a lot, so maybe this
isn't quite like Star Trek, and we can
change the future a little bit.
Yes, it puzzles me that your death time
doesn't seem to be set in stone, like
most people I've observed. Mine jumps
around as well, but not as much as yours,
and my dates are always linked to yours,
which makes me think my death is going to
be dependent on yours.
(peering at camera display)
Looking at the stored predictions, your
death time seems to jump around quite a
bit, but always with this upper limit of
tomorrow afternoon. But perhaps if we
wander around with this camera and
establish your routine, and make slight
adjustments in your routine and see if
there are any deviations....
She looks up from the camera display at BENDER and FRY.
Ten seconds til death two minutes ago?
And 13 seconds til death five minutes
She scans through some past history, then looks at the
piano again, comprehension dawning. She looks at FRY, who
feels that he's just made an terrible mistake, but he's not
sure what, only that he has somehow let her down.
I see that you've been having a bit of a
game with this. Do you want to continue
to try to save your life, or should I
leave you continue to play around with
We could probably trim a few more seconds
off the record, so I'm thinking...
...of doing exactly what you want us to
Of course, why should anything be
different from before?
Well, why don't we walk through your
EXT-OUTSIDE FRY'S APARTMENT BUILDING- - MORNING
FRY is walking with some confusion up and down the side
walk, like a bloodhound who has lost the scent.
Well, some mornings I go directly to the
office, but some days I like to go by the
waterfront. But often I'll stop by the
coffee shop because the smells remind me
of Old New York, but other days going by
the suicide booths makes me uncomfortable
so I'll cut through this dark alley here
and dodge the crack addicts...
So you really don't have a regular
pattern, from which we can map out the
risk, can you?
Well, one thing I've never done is cut
across the street right here, because of
the heavy traffic. See?
And he begins to walk across the street.
What the hell?
Don't worry, we've tested it already.
See-the display hasn't budged.
A large hovertruck is barrelling down on FRY, the driver
looking back over his shoulder. Suddenly the truck brakes
to a stop in front of FRY. The startled driver shakes his
fist at the delivery boy, who steps back onto the curb.
I didn't know about all the safety
devices that exist out here. It actually
is pretty hard to find ways to die.
Why do you think they invented suicide
booths? Cars are automated to avoid
pedestrians, bridges and buildings have
automated tractor beam recovery systems
for jumpers, the tube tunnels have
failsafes. Try to do yourself in inside
the apartment and all sorts of rescue
devices kick into gear. There was a real
market niche for those booths.
Speaking of which...
She is staring at a booth across the street, with a line of
four people waiting in line. She has an odd, hopeful
expression on her face.
Give me the camera....Let's see, first
guy has 1 minute, second guy has 2
minutes, third guy similar--wait! Fourth
person has decades left! Could this
thing occasionally misread?
I don't think it does you good to do
However, the three watch as each person takes their turn
entering the booth. Just as the fourth person, a woman, is
about to walk in, a buzzer sounds and an OUT OF ORDER sign
flips up on the door. Disgruntled, the woman walks up the
street and out of sight.
And because that one impulsive attempt is
thwarted, she ends up living for decades
more...this camera is never wrong...
Something dies in her eyes, and FRY, looking at her, feels
a stab of fear. Not for him, but for her.
Come on Leela, you're sad. Let's walk to
the PE building from here and see if
there are any obvious ways to die. That
should cheer you up.
LEELA shakes out of her reverie.
Sure. That's the only way to work on
this. Try to simplify our lives,
eliminate any complexity from our
routines, and identify likely vulnerable
times and situations. We'll start with
medical issues, once we're at Planet
INT-PLANET EXPRESS KITCHEN-AFTERNOON
AMY and BENDER are standing around the kitchen.
So they're in with lobster whats-his-face
I think that's smart--maybe not the
Zoidberg part, but visiting the doctor
part. I'd be willing to bet that after
all this worrying about death coming from
outside, a bad case of indigestion would
actually end up doing the trick.
Are you willing to bet?
Well... not sure if this is right..
Well, OK. I'll put one in for Kif too.
He could really use the money, or
something to cheer him up. And he won't
take money from Mom or Dad.
Does the green guy know what's going on
Ever since they learned that the shuttle
engine failed because the inexperienced
pilot skipped part of the flight check,
poor Kiffie is blaming himself for this.
He keeps thinking that if he had gone he
would have spotted the error and everyone
would have survived. Squirlesh-ka!
Toying with the future is complicated,
Which makes it interesting. In fact,
there's quite an online betting industry
where you can bet on just about any
future event. That camera could make me
so much money...
LEELA, FRY, and DR. ZOIDBERG enter.
Bad news, everyone!
Everyone looks up hopefully.
DR. ZOIDBERG (CONT'D)
Fry and Leela have only one day to live.
Uh, not allowed to use the camera?
Oh. Well then, both you and Fry have
huge air bubbles in your chests, that are
pressing down on your heart. If this air
gets into your bloodstream, you will face
instant death. Zoidberg can't predict
exactly when this will happen, but it is
sure to be fatal.
Zoidberg, those 'air bubbles' are called
lungs, and they're perfectly normal.
Well, at least we had the medical checkup
from Taco Bellvue.
I'm in perfect health. Nothing out of
the ordinary, and considerably better
than ordinary in most things. As for
The doctor said I should be dead already,
given what coffee has done to my heart!
But my spleen is in great shape!
Because it's not yours. Nothing is ever
simple with you, is it?
But what I can't understand is even if
you had a heart attack, how that would
cause my death. We're probably on a wild
But just to be safe, we'll need to go
online to get the lab results. Ready,
She looks around for FRY, who is trying to fish a piece of
toast out of the toaster-bot with a butter knife. LEELA
quickly unplugs the toaster-bot.
How you made it out of diapers, I'll
never know. And is that THE butter
Yep, it's my lucky charm. It saved my
life on Plushton V, and I'm never letting
Fry, that knife is not part of your
regular routine, and so is an
unpredictable element. Would you be
willing to let Bender or me keep it for
you, for the time being?
FRY's eyes widen and he clutches the bent and tarnished
knife to his chest. LEELA sighs in frustration, and FRY
looks at her and relents.
How about I give it to you just before
I'm supposed to die? So it's near me but
not on me, so I'm not touching it.
I would feel better about that.
So are we going online or what?