Death Clock Countdown, part 5
INT-ELZAR'S RESTAURANT-MOMENTS EARLIER
...and then we ate some solyent-green at
a 24-hour stall, 'cause playing that
instrument made me really hungry..
..and then we just walked around. We
walked for hours! By the water, by the
ice rink, through the park. We saw the
stars, and we talked, and walked, and
talked. I was really happy. I remember
wishing the morning would never come.
And the funny thing is... I can't really
remember what we talked about! I just
remember a feeling like lying on your
back on a summer field on a warm day and
watching the clouds float by, and
everything just seemed right.
And then you got a room?
(absently, lost in memories)
Oh no, nothing like that.
(incredulous and delighted)
You mean nothing happened?
Well, a lot happened! But we didn't end
up kissing and ... that stuff. I guess
maybe we felt that had we kissed it would
have been more like an ending, a curtain
on things. And somehow we both wanted it
to be a beginning, a new start...
...at least we thought there would be
time for a new start...
So you mean nothing happened?
As the sun rose I made a promise to her,
and in return she made a promise to me.
(leaning even further forward)
I promised I would not keep asking her
out. Oh yes, and I also promised I would
create something else musical for her.
ZAPP stares at FRY for a moment, then throws his head back
and roars with laughter until tears form at the corner of
You wrote an entire opera for that
flower, and in the end that's all she
gives you, and you're happy with that!
Oh, what a woman! What a sorceress!
What an elegant brush-off! And what a
way to get you off her back, leaving the
way clear for me! And what did this
angel of chest-tity promise you in
Well, you can ask her herself. Here she
As LEELA, AMY, and KIF arrive, FRY grabs his knife and fork
and starts cutting his appetizer into smaller pieces. He
looks at LEELA and sees she has a small smile on her face.
Relieved to see her that way, he breaks open into a grin.
She grins back, but the way he is holding his hands catches
Are you still trying to use that same
knife? I mean, it's nearly bent into a
right angle! You can barely hold it
correctly to cut it!
I've had a lot of trouble cutting this,
but I'm not switching around. Meat
smells great, though.
He lifts a piece to his mouth, but LEELA's hand falls
gently, yet firmly, onto his arm.
She grabs the camera and views FRY, whose mouth is still
open, lips stretching to taste the morsel a few inches
Drop it. Now.
Do you really think now is the time to
take pictures, right before we eat--
FRY drops the fork and knife, and LEELA pulls the plate
None of you eat this.
She gestures to ELZAR, who swings over to the table.
How'd you like my dish. Enough BAM! for
Actually, too much. I think something in
here is toxic.
No, that just the new flavor my new
specially-bred spice weasel is making.
Well test it. If any of us eats it we'll
be dead within seconds.
ELZAR begins to argue, but one look at her face convinces
him to simply nod and walk to the kitchen. LEELA's face is
pale and her lips are trembling.
I forget to watch the camera for just a
couple minutes and this almost happens.
I'm sorry, but we need to leave. Fry,
take your Slurm with you.
Hey Leela, it's no big deal, and we
haven't had dinner yet...
Three seconds from death. Three seconds
and all our efforts would have been for
Wow! Shattered the old record!
LEELA looks extremely tired all of the sudden.
I'm sorry Kif, Amy, .... Zapp ...., We
have to go.
We understand, Leela.
ELZAR walks back, a little shaken.
Apparently our new spice weasel has a
stomach flu that put a little more BAM!
In the spice than I wanted. I feel
really, really terrible about this. Tell
you what, I'll give it to you half price.
Half price! We thought that was a gift
on the house!
A gift? For a failed opera? Guy's gotta
make a living here. But I do feel bad
about almost killing ya--so again, I'll
cut the price in half and we'll call it
LEELA turns to the others around the table.
Would you excuse me for a moment?
LEELA leaves with ELZAR.
Fry, Leela is going to have you stay at
Planet Express tonight, where everyone is
going to keep an eye on you.
With Robot Santa and riots arriving, we
all decided you needed to be in a more
secure place overnight. Then tomorrow
Leela will escort you to her apartment.
Really? Her apartment?
She also said something like "Don't let
him get any ideas."
From what I've learned tonight, I
wouldn't have any worries about that.
This has been most eddie-frying, but...
...interesting. Kif, three small ships
of unidentified origin have entered the
atmosphere. No known origin or
recognizable characteristics. You've got
work to do tonight.
Yes sir, I really do.
Please say goodbye to Leela, and tell her
not to worry.
It's good to see she's so into
photography right now. I'll have Kif
send some good shots of me--ah nature-el
if you know what I mean?
KIF and ZAPP leave just before LEELA enters with a slightly
Er, on behalf of the house, the house
would like you to have the dish on the
Standing behind him LEELA's eye shines with righteous fury.
Despite her exhaustion and simple dress, FRY can't help but
look at her and feel his spirits lift a bit. A glance from
her reminds him...he looks around and polishes off his
INT-PLANET EXPRESS OFFICE-AN HOUR LATER
FRY and BENDER are watching ALL MY CIRCUITS on TV, lounging
on the couch.
Calculon has only 24 hours left to live!
Will he survive? Can Monique save him?
Meh, it's been done before.
He shuts off the TV, and looks at BENDER, who is thumbing
Yep, and its still growing. But now I've
scrambled your identity further, seeing
what happened this afternoon. I also
tried to remove assassination as a valid
option, but that apparently takes twelve
hours to go through.
I'm happy you did that for me, Bender.
Yeah, that would be pretty sad, although
kind of funny, if your bet ended up
killing me. But if they killed Leela I
would be pretty mad. Did you take her
off like I asked you?
Yeah, she was easier to remove--I'm just
keeping her in the local in-house pool.
And don't keep mentioning your death.
I'm still in step 1.6 of my grieving
process algorithm, and right now I'm
running the denial subroutine.
OK. Well, I'm thinking of hitting the
sack. Nothing interesting left on TV,
except stupid warnings to stay inside due
to dumb death and destruction tomorrow.
He stops talking, and silence drifts over the building.
What's Leela up to anyway?
INT-FARNSWORTH'S LAB-A FEW MINUTES LATER
LEELA, still in her evening outfit, is sitting in front of
a bunch of computer monitors. Videocamera stills of a
crowd at a tube station appear on one screen, mug shots on
another, and death certificates on a third. LEELA's head
lies on the keyboard.
FRY and BENDER wander in.
Leela? Leela! Are you OK?
LEELA awakes and looks around, uncertain where she is for a
moment, before everything snaps into place. Suddenly fully
awake, she jumps off the stool.
What? What's wrong? I left you in front
of the TV for just a few moments! Did I
oversleep? Is it morning yet?
This is some setup you have here!
Yeah, what are you doing? Making movies?
(shutting off displays)
Hmmm..crowd scenes, face recognition
software, police morgue reports, death
certificates...sheez, I said you should
have tested the camera this way earlier,
but no, it was "Oh, let's go buy lizards
because we can't test humans".
You mean she's testing the camera again?
Yep, checking them against police
records. It's just a matter of matching
the faces to a database. A few hours of
video in front of a tube station should
pick up thousands of people, and the odds
are that a few will shuffle off this
mortal coil in the near future. And the
time between death and death certificate
is just a matter of minutes.
Yep, before your body is cold, people
already know you're dead and are checking
out your apartment.
But Leela, we know the camera works! And
didn't you think, didn't we agree --other
than Bender that is-- that this was a
bit, what's the word---
Ghoulish? Yes. But I finished preparing
for tomorrow a while ago, Amy's just
dropped off all the equipment at my
apartment, and I just thought I'd place
the camera at the nearby tube station and
check it out one more time. Maybe it's
not always perfect, and we're worrying
ourselves over nothing.
So, has it missed any?
So far tonight five people on the camera
had predicted death times a few hours
into the future. The last of the five
death certificates came online just
twenty minutes ago. By next morning
another six should be dead.
Bender, would you mind picking the camera
up down the street? It's disguised in a
garbage-bot standing back from the tube
entrance. I don't want to expose Fry any
more than we have to.
I'll add it to my bill.
As BENDER exits FRY keeps looking at LEELA, who has trouble
meeting his eyes.
Leela, this can't be good for you.
Yeah, yeah, you've already said this a
bunch of times.
But just because I keep saying it doesn't
make it less true. I'm worried about
you, Leela. You're really tired, really
stressed out, and this camera is worrying
you sick. And now you're doing creepy
things like this. I haven't seen you
this stressed out since-- well, since
yesterday, and the day before that--and
actually since every mission we've been
As if you aren't stressed out, either?
You aren't, aren't you? What's wrong
(puts face in hands)
One of the dead was a little girl. She
was an orphan. I didn't know until I saw
the autopsy report. She had been
abandoned, and she was alone. She died
from the cold. I saw her face on the
camera, but I didn't know...
You're going home right now, and I'm
taking the camera from you.
No! I've got to keep on it, monitor both
Look, Leela. We both know only you have
any chance of figuring this thing out.
But if you're tired, you're no good to
me, and you're no good to yourself. If I
ask Bender for the camera, he'll give it
to me. Now, we're going downstairs, and
you're going to your apartment.
You need to stay here---
And I will. But you are going to get
some rest, and we've got a lot to live up
to tomorrow. Come on.
EXT-STREET IN FRONT OF PLANET EXPRESS-FIVE MINUTES LATER
LEELA and FRY emerge onto the street, and hang around
waiting for BENDER. LEELA has her coat on.
Look! The stars are coming out! There's
Venus! and Xan IV! How shiny they are!
Oh yes, in the Ship constellation...
You and your stars. Even after flying
among them, you still love to look at
them from the ground, don't you?
I really do. It reminds me of my old
life. So many things are different in
the future, but the night sky is still
the same as it was when I was little. I
remember Yancy and I looking at them
while camping out behind the house.
I suppose the stars are beautiful, if you
don't think too closely about how that
star there is a tourist trap, how that
one is going through a civil war, and how
that one started the current unfortunate
finger amputation fashion craze.
The night sky also brings me back to the
night we walked, after the opera,
..yes, we walked everywhere, didn't we?
Past Madison Cube Gardens..
..and along the old dockyards..
..and past the malls and ice rink...
..and through Central Central Park...
...and we ate the worst solyent-green
ever on the corner of 42nd and 5th...
...although the solyent-orange wasn't too
..and you know what? I can't clearly
remember what we talked about!
Neither can I. But I do remember the
stars starting to fade away from the
...and the streetlamps switching off...
...and the mist over the bay..
...with the water calm...
..and the sky red...
...and the dawn bringing a new
She bows her head.
...at least that is what I'd hoped all of
us would have.
Silence reigns. FRY shuffles his feet and pulls something
out of his jacket.
I don't know when else I can do this.
Just in case things don't turn out well
for me tomorrow, I wanted to make sure
you had this.
LEELA takes the wooden case, and opens it, revealing a
Fry, I can't take this...
Her hands start shaking.
You really are aware, aren't you? You
really don't think we're going to make
it. That's too bad. Even though the
rational part of me feels the same way,
part of me was taking such comfort in
your calm, your faith...
No, no, no. This is just cleaning up
before the big thing starts. You know,
There's a video game I used to play
called Asteroids. You shot big rocks
floating in space toward you. They were
called, geez I forget--
Yeah! And the thing was that if you shot
a big one, it broke into littler ones.
So if you shot all the big ones at once,
there would be so many little ones that
you couldn't handle them all and you'd
get hit, right?
So the thing to do is you pick one big
asteroid, shoot it, and then shoot all
the little pieces. And once you are done
with one rock, you can move on to the
others. Get it?
Sure, it's what we do all the time in the
Well, tomorrow a big rock is coming, and
before the shooting starts, I want to
make sure all the other rocks are out of
the way. All the worries about what to
give who, all the things you want to say
to people you care about, they are like
other rocks. So Leela, you are a big
rock and I'm trying to shoot you into
little bits so I don't have to worry
about it, tomorrow. Do you understand?
In spite of herself, LEELA smiles.
You know, I think I do. And the strange
thing is, I told my parents something
very similar just this morning. Funny.
So this isn't giving up on you, because I
know for sure that you're going to be
just fine. That's why I want you to have
this. I want you to play it in the years
ahead. I think you would play so
beautifully. I would like to hear it.
Fry, I don't know the first thing about
this. I've only played drums, and not
The thing I'm learning about the
holophoner, is that you don't play it.
You let it find what is inside you, and
let it bring it out. And you have
amazing things inside you Leela, wondrous
things. I'm just sorry I may not be able
to keep my promise to make music for you.
LEELA stares at the holophoner, softly rubbing the case.
Fry--I know we really haven't had a
chance to talk since that night, and I
know I've come across as harsh lately-
but I want you to know I've thought a lot
about my promise to you.
(she looks up shyly)
A lot. And the greatest regret I would
have if this thing happens tomorrow...
Something tugs at LEELA's coat. Instinctively sliding the
case into her coat, LEELA looks down and sees the robot
Excuse me, good sirs, ma'am? Might I
enquire whether one of you is Philip J
Why are you asking---
Hi Tim. I'm me. What's up?
Yonder gentlebots wanted me to check.
They gave me an excellent sum to ask. I
don't know why.
He raises his crutch and waves it. A red dot appears on
FRY's forehead, but before the dot can even center LEELA is
in motion, tackling FRY and slamming both of them into the
ground. A flurry of laser beams flash through where their
bodies were an instant before, scarring the PE building
facade and entry door.
LEELA hugs FRY to her closely, and as one they both roll on
the ground towards the door. LEELA kicks up her leg and
hits the entry keypad with her toe, as jets of melted
plastic and vaporizing metal burst around the keypad. The
door slides open, and they roll through.
INT-PLANET EXPRESS ENTRY-CONTINUOUS
LEELA crawls out of the direct line of fire, slaps the
interior door panel, and the door slams shut, as does the
rest of the access points to the building.
Both humans crawl away from the door, and lie panting on
The door suddenly slides open again and BENDER strides in
with the camera, whistling cheerfully as a few more beams
shoot past his head. He shuts the door and looks down at
FRY and LEELA lying next to each other.
Hey you two. Should I go into the other
What the $@ is going on with the robots
today? And why can't I help but think
that you're responsible?
Tell her, Bender.
I've got a betting pool registered for
both of your death dates.
Don't worry. The profits are going to
charity. Actually, I'm lying, but I
thought maybe that'd make you feel
And you knew about this!
Yeah, Bender told me. It's his way of
dealing with things, and I figured you
had enough on your mind.
Enough on my mind? Something that may
directly cause our deaths and you decide
not to say anything for my peace of mind?
What were you thinking --oh, who am I
kidding? Why am I even surprised? But
why the robots?
Oh, the online gambling emporium!
Yep! Over ten thousand robots have
signed up! Two thousand have already
lost their bets because you've survived
up to now!
Ten thousand robots with a vested
interest in our deaths didn't seem
harmful to you?
For the second time today, FRY looks at LEELA's expression
and knows he has let her down. He stares at the floor.
Well things got a little out of hand--
who would've thought? But I told Bender
to take you off the betting pool right
away, so you should be safe. The robots
are only after me now.
Of course. How silly of me. I should
have noticed the name tags on those laser
beams that would have sliced me in half.
So that explains the attack in the
internet, and the robots after us right
now. Just great. After all this time
looking for enemies, it'll be my friends
that kill me...
LEELA seems to be staring somewhere far away, and her
shoulders slump slightly.
Come on, Leela. We've got to get some
sleep. And we should get away from this
As if on cue, the muffled thuds of mechanical arms beating
on the PE door float across the room.
They probably can't break through the
Xmas defenses, but yeah, I guess we
should find the most secure location in