Fan Fiction

Death Clock Countdown, part 6
By JustNibblin'


               FRY, LEELA,and BENDER stand outside a nondescript door in a
               long hallway.

                      Bender, you're sure this is the most
                      secure location?

                      Yep, right in the center of the building,
                      with good thick walls.  Hermes stores
                      spare forms here, and I've stored lots of
                      ...umm... presents here over the years,
                      and no one has ever noticed.

               The door opens, and SCRUFFY THE JANITOR walks out.

                      Who are you?

                      Scruffy the janitor.  Just checking up on
                      the contraband in here.  Good place to
                      sleep too.  

               Through the door can be seen stacks of cigars, booze,
               several wide screen TVs, CDs, and piles of Lovey Bears.  A
               section of the room has been made into a little sleeping
               cubby, with magazines scattered on the floor.  FRY looks at
               the animals.

                          (to BENDER)
                      Lovey Bears?

                      Hey, it was an investment opportunity.

                      And who are you?

               FRY instinctively looks toward LEELA to respond, but she is
               using the death camera again.

                      We work here, but we need to stay in here
                      overnight, because a lot of robots are
                      trying to kill us.  That OK?

                      Fine with Scruffy.  Just don't ruin
                      his...er...picture books.  

                          (suddenly excited)
                      Are those bagpipes I see in there?

                      Yep, Scruffy can really let loose in this
                      room, nice thick walls you see...

               FRY and SCRUFFY enter the room.  LEELA turns to BENDER.

                      Our death times are nice and stable. 
                      Fry's seems to creep forward slightly,
                      but I've noticed that when he drinks a
                      can of Slurm it slides back to the
                      original time.  Somehow we're playing
                      right into the hands of what's coming,
                      and I can't figure out why.

               She rubs her hand over her eye.

                      Well, then stop doing what you're doing
                      and do what you're not doing.

                      Oh sure, why didn't I think of that

                      Hey, look on the bright side.  If Fry's
                      times are really that stable, you've got
                      a betting advantage over us now.

               LEELA stops rubbing and looks at BENDER.

                      Us?  Who's us?  There's more than robots

                      Oh yeah, the PE crew has placed some bets
                      as well.  Hermes, Zoidberg, Fry...


                      Yeah, he's not allowed to bet on his own
                      death, cause he might cheat, but he
                      placed one on yours.  Quite a bit of
                      money, I might add.  

               A glint of fire appears in LEELA's eye.

                      Fry bet on me?  How much?  For what time?

                      Hey, what do you think I am?  I'm an
                      honest broker here, and all bets are
                      confidential.  Now do you want to play or
                      not?  There's plenty of slots left.

               The horrible strains of a badly-played bagpipe float
               through the door.  LEELA stares through the door, lips
               compressed, hands clinched.

                      "I want you to play it in the years
                      ahead," he said.  And all the while--
                          (to BENDER)
                      I take it I can't bet on myself, but I
                      can bet on Fry?

                      Sure thing.

                      How long is a slot?

                      Varies with time into the future.  At the
                      time you've got on the camera, the slots
                      are one minute long.

                      OK, I'd like to spread my month's wages
                      over a ten minute period, or ten slots. 
                      The winnings would go to my parents. 
                      They could really use the money.

               LEELA pulls out a piece of paper, writes down a time, and
               hands it to BENDER, while entering a new countdown on her
               wrist thingmajig.

               15:34:35, 15:34:34, 15:34:33, 15:34:32...

               The music stops.  FRY and SCRUFFY emerge through the
               doorway, arm in arm.

                      Thanks, Bartholomew!

                      No problem, Fry.  Scruffy will come by in
                      the morning and play.


                      A small favor for me.

               As SCRUFFY exits, BENDER turns to FRY.

                      If you don't die in your sleep, another
                      three thousand bets will fall through. 
                      So I'm going to stay in the room with
                      you, just in case, you know--

                                FRY AND LEELA
                      Goodnight, Bender.

               As BENDER exits into the room, FRY turns to LEELA, and

                      You're not so sad anymore!  That will
                      make me sleep better.
                      I know you're really tired, so you can
                      sleep on the Lovey Bears.
                      They kind of creep me out anyway.

                      You know, I think I'm just going to stay
                      outside and guard the door.  I'd rather
                      be alone right now anyway.

                      Are you sure?
                      Are you angry?

                      Why should I be angry, Fry?  Here I am,
                      on my last night on Earth, most likely,
                      thinking that at least I have my friends
                      supporting me through this.  Then I find
                      out they're keeping important secrets
                      from me. 

               LEELA stares expectantly at FRY, who looks confused.

                      So, are you angry?

                      Yes, I'm angry, but that's good.  Anger
                      has kept me going all my life.  In fact,
                      I feel wonderfully full of energy right
                      now.  I can easily stay up all night.
                      By the way, you didn't drink your Slurm
                      this past hour, did you?

                      No, how could you tell--

                      You wouldn't mind keeping to your Slurm
                      schedule that I wrote out for you, would
                      you?  The one that maintains you at your
                      original addiction level?  I'd hate for
                      your death date to wander further, hmm?

               She juts out her arm, holding a Slurm can.  Fry
               hesitatingly takes it.

                      Are you sure you want to be alone
                      tonight?  Because, I'm a little nervous
                      about tomorrow..., not that I'm scared,
                      but I mean I'm feeling kinda...

                      Good night, Fry.  

               A subdued FRY walks back through the door, which slides
               shut.  LEELA enters a code to lock the door, and then she
               grabs a chair and shoves it in front of the doorknob.  She
               then dials a number on her wrist thingie.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Amy? Hi, yes, I'm just fine.  But I have
                      a favor to ask.  Can you stop by my
                      apartment tomorrow morning and feed
                      Nibbler?  Also bring some clothes for me? 
                      Don't worry, my apartment's pretty sparse
                      --should be easy to find.  And once more,
                      thank you and Kif for all your help. 
                      You're absolutely right.  A crisis really
                      does show who your true friends are. 
                      Good night.

               She hangs up, and puts her hand over her face for a moment. 
               She then walks out of the corridor, reappears with a laser
               rifle, and sits in front of the door, rifle cocked and
               ready, staring fixedly down the corridor toward the main

               15:19:11, 15:19:10, 15:19:09, ...

                                                                SCENE 24


               6:42:42, 6:42:41, 6:42:40, ....

               LEELA has fallen asleep, chin resting on her chest, rifle
               across her lap, chair leaning back against the closet door. 
               AMY, HERMES, and ZOIDBERG peer cautiously around the

                      You wake her.

                      No, you wake her.

               Together, they turn to ZOIDBERG.

                      Maybe she's sick.  You should go check.

                                DR. ZOIDBERG
                      This doctor prescribes a "no". She has
                      pulled out a couple of my spare organs
                      over smaller things than waking her from
                      a nap.

                      Well, the DOOP troops are coming to
                      escort them, so we'd better get going.

               HERMES is crumpling a paper form into a ball.

                      It occurs to me that a form U-459 has the
                      exact weight and thickness to travel
                      precisely the distance needed here.

               HERMES arcs the crumpled paper ball through the air toward
               LEELA.  Suddenly a beam shoots through the air and
               vaporizes the ball.  Three more beams follow, drilling
               holes inches from where ZOIDBERG is peeking around the

                                DR. ZOIDBERG
                      Great, always Zoidberg.  Always shoot
                      Zoidberg first.

               LEELA is on her feet, sighting down the corridor.  After a
               moment she lowers the rifle.

                      Oh no.  What time is it?

                      Around eight.

                      I never meant to fall asleep.  I was
                      awake until at least four, and must have
                      slipped off around then.  We should have
                      been moving hours ago!  Robot Santa is
                      gunning the town!

                      Wait, you have a few minutes.  Kif is
                      sending a few DOOP troops over now.

                      Just so you know, I'll let you charge
                      your time here overnight to overtime. 
                      But not when you were sleeping.  I have
                      to draw the line somewhere.

                      You're so sweet, Hermes.

               NIBBLER runs into the corridor and jumps into LEELA's arms.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                          (hugging him)
                      Nibbler!  Oh sweetie, I'm sorry I haven't
                      been around.  What are you doing here?

                      He refused to be left behind when I
                      stopped by your apartment this morning.

               LEELA sets NIBBLER down, and he begins sniffing and
               whimpering at the door.

                      Oh yeah.  Guess I should let him out too.

               The door slides open and moments later, FRY wanders out
               with some serious bedhead, with BENDER following.  

                      Wow, it was hard to sleep in there. 
                      Those Lovey bears just kept staring, and
                      staring...  At least those spare PI-314
                      forms make great pillows.

                      Ah yes, that was a very good vintage of
                      paper, that PI-314 issue was.  Very good
                      for documenting irrational situations.

                      Fry, Bender, you've got five minutes to
                      get your sorry butts ready, and then
                      we're out of here.

               LEELA, AMY, and HERMES exit.

                      At least she's not so down anymore.

                      Why should she?  She's got a good chance
                      of winning her bet on you.

                      Bet on me?

                                                                SCENE 25


               6:31:23, 6:31:22, 6:31:21, ....

               LEELA rushes in, slipping on her jacket, with AMY and
               HERMES in tow.

                      Thanks for the spare shirt, Amy.  When
                      are the troops coming?

                      Any minute.  You might want to take a
                      moment to fix your lipstick.  That shade
                      doesn't really flatter you.

               LEELA glares at AMY, shoves a pistol in her pocket, straps
               a knife to her boot, and cocks the laser rifle.  As she
               does so, FRY, SCRUFFY, and BENDER enter via the opposite
               door of the hangar.  SCRUFFY carries his bagpipes and is
               dressed in a Scottish kilt. FRY munches on a piece of toast
               and he looks at LEELA across the room as she finished
               preparing for the day.

                      So all she knows is that I have a bet on

                      When it comes to gambling, stealing, and
                      whoring, I'm as honest as they come. 
                      I've said nothing. Much.

                          (looking around)
                      Where's Fry?

               FRY walks up to her, cautiously.

                      Here. Just grabbing something to eat. 
                      I'm starving.
                          (looking uncertainly at LEELA)
                      Want a bite?

                      No thanks.  Drink your Slurm?

               FRY makes a face.

                      Yes, haven't missed a one since last
                      night.  I never knew acting like me took
                      so much planning.  About last night,

                      We don't have time for this, Fry.  I need
                      to focus on what's coming.  Just try to
                      stay out of my way today.  
                      The future doesn't know who it's messing

               FRY looks at LEELA for several beats.  He very much wants
               to say something, but looks down.

                      I'm glad you're not scared, Leela.  But I
                      need to do one quick thing before we go. 
                      Another rock to shoot.

               He turns to SCRUFFY, and nods.  SCRUFFY starts warming up
               on the bagpipes.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      I was reading recently about my brother's
                      son, my, uh...


                      Right, Philip Fry. Anyway, one of his
                      life stories said a branch of our family
                      came from Scotland.  I guess that's where
                      I get my red hair from.

                      You actually read something?

                      No, not really--it was actually a little
                      movie clip.  Anyway, when Philip was
                      about to land on Mars for the first time,
                      he played bagpipe music, because just
                      before a big fight in Scotland, the
                      fighters played it, to scare their
                      enemies, but also to make themselves feel

               He nods to SCRUFFY.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      And when I saw the bagpipes last night, I
                      thought that today we're going into a
                      fight just as real as any real fight, so
                      why not play the music of my family, to
                      get ready?  Because I'm not really ready

               Now warmed up, SCRUFFY begins in earnest.  The hangar is
               filled with the martial tones of ancient bagpipe music. 
               Everyone except FRY covers their ears.

                      Screetsch!  So that's where the Martian
                      national anthem comes from.  I can
                      believe the scare away your enemies part. 
                      But didn't they want to keep their
                      friends too?  

                      Great JAH's ghost!  Excuse me, I'd better
                      start preparing your discharge papers and
                      death certificates.

                      Yeah... I'll go watch the front for
                      Kiffie's men...

               As the music reverberates in the open space of the hangar,
               everyone except BENDER, SCRUFFY, LEELA, and NIBBLER leave,
               the latter two with hands over their ears.

               FRY however, seems not to notice.  The music has changed to
               a waltz, sorrowful yet solemn, and FRY starts to dance with
               an imaginary partner just underneath the nose of the Planet
               Express ship.  His eyes are closed, and the traces of
               nervousness on his face relax away.

               LEELA is leaning against the wall, arms crossed.  The
               hardness on her face softens as she watches the lone figure
               spin around the floor.  And as FRY starts to spin his
               imaginary partner, she straightens up and moves to join
               him.  However, SCRUFFY has just ended, and FRY makes a bow
               to his invisible partner.

                      I'm ready.  Thanks, Phil.

               A slow clapping fills the silence.

                                ROBOT SANTA
                      Somewhat naughty, but also a little bit

               SANTA is standing at the main exit of the hangar.  He lifts
               a bazooka onto his shoulder.

                      Scruffy's going to check the boiler now.

               SCRUFFY hastily beats a retreat.

                      Wow, that's the quietest entrance I've
                      seen you make.

                                ROBOT SANTA
                      Dr. Zoidberg let me in when I knocked. 
                      He was happy to get his present early
                      this year.

                          (to herself)
                      Idiot.  No excuse to let your guard down.
                          (to ROBOT SANTA)
                      And why are you here?

                                ROBOT SANTA
                      Replaying official log of Captain Zapp
                      Brannigan, DOOP vessel Nimbus, two days
                      ago:  "Cause of vessel crash traced to
                      absence of experienced pilot.  Lt. Kif
                      Kroker was removed from shuttle duty at
                      the last moment at the personal request
                      of Captain Turanga Leela, whose
                      helplessness and confusion prompted this
                      captain to offer the services of Lt.
                      Kroker, with subsequent unforeseen

               ROBOT SANTA swivels his head toward LEELA.

                                ROBOT SANTA (CONT'D)
                      Sometimes judging the naughty and nice is
                      easy.  Someone clips a toenail and leaves
                      it in the bed -- clearly naughty, capital
                      punishment required.  But sometimes the
                      consequences of an action aren't
                      immediately obvious, and the causes and
                      effects have to be traced back to find
                      those ultimately responsible for the
                      naughtiness.  There are riots on Neptune
                      from the lack of velour.  I'm going to
                      have to wear green as Santa this Xmas. 
                      Justice must be done, and the trail of
                      responsibility leads here.

               He swivels the bazooka towards LEELA.

                      Wait, it wasn't her fault Kif wasn't on
                      that ship.  It was really mine.

                                ROBOT SANTA
                      Doesn't compute.

                      Well you see, I kinda made the whole
                      thing start... I thought someone else was
                      going to die, so I brought the camera,
                      and Amy used it...
                          (turns to BENDER)
                      Bender, help me out here!

                          (to SANTA)
                      Preparing data download...

               A screeching modem sound is heard as BENDER wirelessly
               downloads data to SANTA.

                      Download complete.  I see.  Yes the
                      naughtiness trail goes back farther,
                      doesn't it?  You, then Farnsworth, then
                      his father, then his father's father,
                      Hmmm...then Philip Fry, Jr., who was
                      named after... you!  There you are again! 
                      You're doubly responsible, first for your
                      own actions, and then for indirectly
                      influencing the fate of Farnsworth's
                      line, who invented the device that you
                      showed to Leela, which moved her to stop
                      Kif, whose absence crashed the shuttle,
                      which destroyed the velour, which caused
                      my green Xmas!  Very clear line of blame.

                          (stepping in front of LEELA)
                      Yes, so in the end I'm responsible. 
                      Leela was just a domino on the chessboard
                      of events.

                          (steps back in front of FRY)
                      Enough of this, Fry!  I knew this was
                      going to happen!  Remember, you're first,
                      not me!
                          (to SANTA)
                      And how the hell can you judge all
                      causality!  If you traced all evil acts
                      to their roots, you'd end up trying to
                      kill everybody!
                      Oh wait...

                      Offering to take each other's
                      place...that is very nice of you.  Just a
                      moment, adjusting naughtiness quotient...

               He puts down the bazooka, and pulls a plasma rifle out of
               his chest.

                                SANTA (CONT'D)
                      Punishment adjusted.  This should be
                      slightly less painful.

                      One moment, Santa.  Haven't they been
                      naughty too?

               He points to the DOOP troops, peeking nervously behind the
               exit door.

                                DOOP SOLDIER #1
                      Umm.. Hands up?

               SANTA flips the bazooka up into his other hand and launches
               several rounds in an arc toward the troops.  A section of
               the hanger wall disappears in smoke, from which all manner
               of return fire appears.  After a ferocious firefight of a
               few seconds, no further fire is returned from the rubble.

               SANTA stands up and swivels his head toward the Planet
               Express ship.  LEELA's boot can be seen disappearing
               through a doorway on the opposite side of the hanger.

               SANTA begins to stride toward the far door, when he halts
               and looks down.  

               Blocking his way, NIBBLER sits on the floor, a hint of a
               smile on his face.

               6:19:58, 6:19:57, 6:19:56, ....

                                                                SCENE 26


               4:19:58, 4:19:57, ...

               MORRIS and MUNDA are sipping coffee at their dining room
               table, when LEELA and FRY burst in, followed by BENDER.

                      Leela! Phil! Robot!  Don't you just have
                      a few hours left before...

                      Yeah, wouldn't it make more sense if you
                      tried to keep to a regular routine, and
                      simplify it so you could recognize and
                      flag anything out of the ....

                      Dad! Trying!  Robot Santa and random
                      robots trying to kill us!  Left Nibbler!
                      Moving through the sewers to throw off
                      track..lost them... need to get to my

               She presses a button on her thingmajig...

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Kermit, everything OK for us?

                                KIF KROKER
                      Roger, site being prepared now.  Santa no
                      longer at PE, location unknown.

                      Thanks, Clobberela out.
                          (turns to her parents)
                      Since we are winding through here I
                      wanted to at least stop by and say bye.

                      Bye, Mr. and Mrs. Turanga!  Hello,
                      snake/cat thing!

                      Phil, call me Munda, please.  We haven't
                      seen you for such a long time!  We missed
                      you around here!  Here, you must have a
                      minute or two.  I just baked some fresh

                      Oh great!  I'm starving.  Thank you.

               LEELA is standing, pistol drawn, facing the entrance door,
               eye darting back and forth like a feral animal.  As MUNDA
               enters with a try of cookies, FRY picks one up, only to
               have it swatted out of his hand by LEELA.

                      Sorry.  No food.

                      Turunga Leela, I have guests in my house
                      and I refuse to let them go hungry!  I
                      know you are supposed to die, but that's
                      no excuse to lose your manners.

                      Fry was nearly poisoned last night, and
                      we are getting close to his death time. 
                      We nearly lost our lives this morning
                      because I let my guard down, and it's not
                      happening again.

                      You have the camera, right?

                      I.. forgot to charge it last night... We
                      need to get to the apartment.  No time to
                      charge it here...

                      Well dear, I guess you do know what's
                      best.  You're right. It's best to be
                      Also I haven't made cookies in a long
                      time, so you probably aren't missing

                      But maybe I am.

               He reaches out, grabs a cookie, and eats it.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      Now that was a good cookie!

                      You idiot!  You stupid, moronic idiot! 
                      If my death weren't linked to yours, I'd
                      just let you wander around until a bus
                      hit you!

                      Don't you remember from yesterday? The
                      buses are programmed to stop-

                      Figure of speech!  Figure of speech!

                          (softly yet firmly)
                      Sweetie, that's enough.

                          (breathing deeply)
                      Oh yes.  He's so generous.  He's so kind.
                      I'm the mean bitch that's trying to keep
                      us alive.  Remember what I told you about
                      him yesterday?  How's he going to get
                      himself killed?  He's already tried once
                      today!  And he's so kind! Right! He's got
                      a bet on my death!


               FRY starts to open his mouth, but then looks down at the

                      No, Phil, no need to say anything. 
                      Leela, you are my daughter, and I love
                      you dearly, but you've got to calm down. 
                      Remember, "free and focus your mind"? 
                      Now, obviously you are angry with Phil
                      for some reason, but for now you need to
                      focus on getting both of you past the
                      next few hours, then you will have the
                      luxury of dealing with everything else...

                      But the cookie!  The cookie! Fry, why the
                      cookie! You just don't think! I just
                      can't trust your judgement!

                      Yes, there was a small chance the cookie
                      would kill me.  There is a small chance
                      that anything will kill me.  But the
                      cookie is important.  It means something
                      to your mom.  And I think it means
                      something to me.  If I do die, I didn't
                      want to die remembering not eating a
                      cookie from your mother because I was
                      scared.  And it was good! 

               MUNDA ruffles FRY's hair.

                      You're a sweet boy.  I would miss you,
                      you know.

                      OK, all of you need to go.

               He hugs his daughter tightly.

                                MORRIS (CONT'D)
                      Remember, we've watched over you all your
                      life.  We can get to your room.  Would
                      you like us there?

                      I would love for you to be there, but the
                      DOOP is guarding the place, and remember
                      what you just said, "as few complications
                      as possible?"

                      I know.  Still, it's going to be hard for
                      us to wait here and watch the clock...

               LEELA hugs him back, and then hugs MUNDA.

                      It's going to be hard for all of us.  But
                      you're going to be there with me, inside
                      me... you know that.

                      OK, mighty leader.  Time to go.  Money's
                      at stake here.

                          (to FRY)
                      One favor, young fella.  If you do come
                      face to face with Death, do me a favor
                      and spit him in the face for me.  He's
                      taken too many of my friends too early
                      from me.

                      Will do.

               4:09:28, 4:09:27, ...

                                                                SCENE 27