Death Clock Countdown, part 7
INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-AFTERNOON
LEELA's living room is a sparse affair. Normally a wide
screen TV sits on the wall, but through the open door into
the bedroom a corner of it is now visible, leaning against
the bed. A sofa is pushed against the wall near the
entrance door, and three chairs sit facing each other in
the center of the whitewashed room. A camera tripod stands
a few feet away from one of the chairs. From that chair a
set of wires run out to two large wall display clocks on
the wall, one labeled FRY and one labeled LEELA. Both are
counting down steadily. FRY's is at 1:15:27 and LEELA's is
at 01:36:45. A set of heart monitors and other
physiological displays hang below the clocks. A six-pack
of Slurm sits in the corner.
The door bursts open and LEELA's somersaults into the room,
landing in a crouch and sighting her pistol around the
room. She motions behind her and BENDER and FRY run in.
Leela shuts the door, electronically locks it, and slides
the couch in front of it.
Everyone turns and looks at the instrumented chair in the
center of the room. There is an air of finality about the
moment that makes FRY and LEELA shiver.
Here, it looks like Amy got everything
set up. We're going to put you on the
chair and monitor your vital signs on
those monitors over there.
She walks up to the tripod and mounts the camera, plugs it
into the power outlet, and aims it on the chair.
I sit there?
LEELA nods. As FRY sits down in the first chair, she sits
down on a second chair, and a small holographic display
appears next to her. As she waves her hands through the
display, the camera rotates and focuses.
Is this my good side?
It looks like your death time is still
holding steady since late last night.
And last but not least, I get this chair,
He sits, and all three friends are now facing each other, a
few feet apart. LEELA flicks through some other views on
I've also got sensors monitoring the air,
air vents, electrical system, and the
area outside the window and door.
Nothing, not even a nanobot, will be able
to get into this room without us knowing.
Something tugs on her ankle. Startled, she looks down and
Nibbler! Oh you're safe! I'm so sorry
we had to leave you behind with nasty
Santa! How'd you get here? You must
have found your way back. What a smart
liddle creature you are! But how'd you
get into the room?
She stands up and walks into the bedroom.
LEELA (O.S.) (CONT'D)
The window's open!
The sound of a window shutting is heard, and LEELA walks
back into the room, leaving NIBBLER in the bedroom,
shutting the door behind her.
Since when did you get a window?
Last year. You must not have been here
in a while...
She remembers the circumstances, and she and FRY look in
Well, things aren't looking good for
Hermes right now. He's on his last
Probably was hoping not to pay us any
more than he had to.
I'm worried about that open window.
(to wrist thingie)
Kermit, come in.
KIF KROKER (O.S.)
All teams are in place. Strike situation
settling. Santa still missing. Building
clear. Your room should have the only
macroscopic life forms in it. Airspace
secure for ten miles around.
Roger that. Cloberella out.
(faces hologram display)
Now scanning everything...hallway, air
vents, bedroom, bathroom, outside window,
space between walls, adjacent rooms,
lateral, above, below...
Her eye lifts from the display and she looks around the
Simplify, simplify...camera far away,
power connections away from Fry, light
fixtures not directly overhead...
He eye falls on BENDER, and stays there.
Bender, maybe you should sit in the
bedroom with Nibbler. You could monitor
things from there.
Bite my shiny metal ass! I've got to
monitor the situation to keep the betting
fair! I'm not moving.
You are an uncontrolled factor...
Leela, I met Bender the day I entered the
future, and I want him here the day I
leave it. He's my best friend. He
stays. I want both of you here with me.
If you make him go I'm not staying here.
LEELA's eye turns to Fry...
She walks into the bedroom and reemerges with a coil of
rope in her hand.
Fry, I've got a favor to ask.
I need to tie you up.
Shut up Fry. I'm doing this for a reason.
I just want to tie you to the chair.
Remember how I told you we needed to
control all unknown factors to identify
what's going to kill us?
Well, you're the greatest unknown factor.
More than the air vents, killer robots,
even Bender. It's really true, the more I
know you, the less I understand you. I
don't know how you're going to act
anymore. I don't know if you're going to
try and run away, throw your life away on
some stupid whim, or eat a damn cookie.
I thought we had moved past the cookie.
The cookie settled it. From the start of
this you have been my greatest
uncertainty, and my greatest problem in
this whole mess. And this is the only
way to get you under control.
FRY looks at the determined cyclops.
I don't really have a choice, do I?
Then it's not really a favor, is it?
Shut up, Bender.
It seems kind of strange...
Seems like she's malfunctioning, if you
ask me. Go ahead, ask me.
It needs to be done. We've got to get
this under control.
FRY stands still for a long time.
OK, I don't really understand, but I
After a moment of hesitation, LEELA starts to bind Fry to
Yes, last night I learned exactly how
much faith you have in me. Here, hold
She begins to attach various electrodes to his temples and
So how'd you decide to choose the time of
my death, when you bet on me?
FRY looks at her, opens his mouth, then shuts it.
Yeah, you know that I know, huh? I
noticed that at my parents' house. So
much for Bender's "honest broker" bit!
Aren't you and Bender nice little
partners in crime!
LEELA purses her lips together, and tightens the bindings a
little more than necessary. FRY grunts.
Good. Now unless you swallow your tongue,
you can do nothing now that will end up
Is it really possible to swallow your t--
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING IT!
I will clamp your tongue down and force
you to breathe through a straw! Just try
FRY's sits shock still, his mouth hanging open.
You're allowed to close your mouth.
She turns toward BENDER, and for a moment it seems like
each is sizing the other up.
You can tie me, but Bender stays. Or the
tongue gets it.
Fine, you can stay for now.
Good, because I've decided to let you
stay as well.
Everyone sits, and the clock continues to countdown.
01:02:10, 01:02:09, ...
INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-AFTERNOON
00:53:28, 00:53:27, ...
...air ducts, wall space, bedroom,
bathroom, window interior, window
exterior, surrounding space...
There is a knock on the door.
...front door? Who got through?
She switches to hall camera, then jumps up, knocking over
her chair, shaking her head.
No! It can't be! Can't exist! Can't!
She whips out her pistol and slides along the wall.
Helloooo! I'm here!
Be brave, Leela.
She opens the door. The GRIM REAPER, scythe and all,
stands at the doorstep. LEELA launches a forward kick into
the REAPER's midsection, who flies backward into the hall.
LEELA advances swiftly to him, pistol in hand.
Hey lady, what the hell you think you're
What the HELL do you think you're doing?
Hey, are you the pizza guy?
(taking off costume)
Does the space pope lay eggs? Apartment
1I, right? Pepperoni and jalapeno
LEELA looks down and sees a pizza box on the floor. It has
the label "GRIM REAPER PIZZA--GOOD ENOUGH TO DIE FOR."
Pizza? Pizza! Food again? How'd you
even make the phone call?
I called this morning, since I knew I'd
be starving. And it's true. All I've
had today is some toast, Slurm, and a
Didn't we agree not to mention the
It's not like I'm going swimming
afterward... say, would you mind paying
him? I'm a little tied up at the moment.
What? Oh sure. Sorry about that.
No problem, happens all the time. Think
I'm going to have to quit soon, or at
least ditch the scythe. Too many people
have tried to use it on me.
How'd you get past the DOOP?
Hey, we promise 30 minutes or it's free.
Do you think military checkpoints would
He leaves. LEELA stares after him, then slams the door and
turns on FRY.
Is there any way I could get a hand
LEELA is scanning the pizza.
I can't allow the risk, just like with
the cookie. This is an uncontrolled
situation, and I can't verify for certain
that something isn't wrong with this.
I'm just going to have to throw it out-
wait, I'll give it to Nibbler. He can
She opens the door to her bedroom.
00:45:56, 00:45:55, 00:45:54...
NIBBLER looks up as LEELA slides a pizza into the room.
Here you are sweetie. Sorry mommy can't
stay right now. You be good.
Nibbler makes little baby burping noises as the door
closes. THREE NIBBLOBIANS pop up at the window. NIBBLER
walks over and opens the window.
The Santa robot has been disabled by me.
So we have learned. Unfortunately, we
think we have been detected upon entry by
the armed forces of this planet.
No matter, compared with the importance
of your mission.
Is it true then, that the Mighty One is
Yes, but what from I cannot say. But the
source was reliable enough to warrant my
What shall we do?
Set up an inner perimeter behind the DOOP
guards. If anything tries to move past
you, eat it. The next hour will be the
The NIBBLONIANS salute and disappear, and NIBBLER shuts the
window and creeps back toward the door.
INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-CONTINUOUS
Hmmm... Window activity alert? Nothing's
She jumps up, opens the bedroom door, and peers in. As she
walks back, her wrist thingmajig makes a beep.
You're due for another drink. You're
vitals have been nice and stable. I
think we've reached your normal addiction
status again. Good!
She opens a can and holds it up to FRY's mouth, forcing him
to drink it down.
00:41:46, 00:41:45, 00:41:44, ...
FRY turns his head to the clock.
Time sure is crawling by slowly.
It's going all too quickly for me.
And there's another problem...
Despite the risk, I'm getting really
tempted to gag you and let you breathe
through your nose.
...you've made me drink six cans of Slurm
over the past few hours, and well, you
Number one or number two?
You know, even those lizards got a little
more dignity than I'm getting here.
Can you do it sitting in the chair?
While I'm a little curious to try, can't
you just let me loose for a few minutes?
There's still a bit of time. I promise
I'll go back to the chair when I'm done.
LEELA bites her lip. Then she quickly unties him and
motions him toward the bathroom through her bedroom.
INT-LEELA'S BATHROOM-MOMENTS LATER
00:39:46, 00:39:45, 00:39:44, ...
The bathroom is as bare and white as the rest of the
apartment. FRY steps in, glances around, and steps up to
the toilet. He looks around and is unnerved to see LEELA
standing behind him.
I can't perform in front of an audience.
What are you whining about? Me seeing
your 'lower horn'?
FRY taps his foot.
Bender. Here. You. Out.
Fine, but I'm busting back in if you take
more than a minute.
(looks over her shoulder)
Bender! Come here.
BENDER strolls in as LEELA is frisking FRY.
Not this damn knife again! You were
supposed to give this to me!
She pockets the butter knife and steps back.
Watch him, don't let him do anything
besides do his business.
What, you run a business out of here?
It's a polite way of saying urinate.
Make sure he does nothing besides
Oh, this is where you meatsacks spring a
leak? I've actually never seen this.
That's it. Both of you out.
One minute, then I'm coming in.
BENDER and LEELA back out and the door closes.
INT-LEELA'S BEDROOM, MOMENTS LATER
LEELA taps her foot impatiently, glancing at her watch,
while BENDER looks around and notices that NIBBLER is gone.
Where's the little killing machine?
Two minutes, Fry. What's going on in
Just a sec.
LEELA taps her foot some more.
That's it. I'm going in.
She launches herself at the door, just as it opens and FRY
starts to walk out. LEELA quickly pulls back her kick, but
she sails into FRY and both crash back into the bathroom.
All is silent for a few moments, then LEELA appears
dragging FRY behind her by his collar, just like a cat
carries its kitten by the scruff of its neck.
Hands! I was just washing my hands!
INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-CONTINOUS
LEELA marches in with FRY in tow. NIBBLER is sitting,
looking at the camera.
How many times have I told you, DON'T do
anything today that you normally don't
do! That goes for washing your hands!
I just thought that maybe today some
killer germs were around, and a little
handwashing couldn't hurt.
He gasps as LEELA, growling, binds him back into the chair
Breathe! Breathing good!
LEELA looks at the vital signs display.
She loosens the bonds slightly.
00:33:18, 00:33:17, ....
INT-LEELA'S APARTMENT-AFTERNOON-- DAY
...air ducts, wall space, bedroom,
bathroom, window interior, window
exterior, surrounding space, hall,
adjacent rooms: lateral, upper, lower,
heart, lungs, EKG...
She leans back, stroking NIBBLER, who is purring on her
Everything is normal and steady...clock
hasn't wavered at all. What could we be
(to wrist thingie)
Kermit, Cloberalla. Update?
Stand by... yes, Robot Santa has been
found in a dumpster two blocks from
NIBBLER stops purring to listen, then thinks better of it
KIF KROKER (CONT'D)
...don't know what happened, but he is
safely secure now! Do you copy!
Oh yes! Yes I do, thank you!
Something beeps on BENDER. A little printout emerges from
his teeth. He rips it off and reads.
Oh great! Assassination is no longer
acceptable as a way of winning the bet on
your death! No more robot death squads!
Oh, good news, everyone!
She and everyone else winces. She looks at the clock.
But why is nothing changing? The known
threats are falling away, and everything
else is accounted for or stable. What
have we missed?
What about your pet?
What are you talking about? He's
Although logic is boring, I am a robot.
And if I recall, he is capable of eating
a hippopotamus in one gulp, and we've
picked him off a strange planet, and we
know nothing about him. He is a big
Hippopotamuses are extinct! And we've
had him for years! Why would he be
Com'mon! You know I'm right!
LEELA looks down at NIBBLER.
I'm sorry sweetie. We need to take no
NIBBLER whimpers, but only slightly. LEELA stands up and
lets him into her bedroom, and then she shuts the door.
Clock still hasn't changed a bit.
Better safe than sorry.
You're exactly right. Tell you what,
would you mind moving back your chair
about five feet further away from Fry?
Better safe than sorry. You are the only
remaining factor I can think of that we
Well, why don't you back off a little bit
too, then! Last time I checked humans
were a bit more unpredictable than us
True, but then I wasn't the one going
around playing existential limbo with
Fry's life, wasn't I?
That was an experiment...
And I wasn't the one who gave ten
thousand robots a vested interest in
killing Fry, did I?
Slight twist of fate. Could happen to
Come on, Leela, you know you're not being
I'm not? Bender, do you still have your
Huh? Yeah sure, but..
So you have a 100,000 volt device sitting
just a few feet away from his heart? Not
to mention all the saws, power tools, and
god knows what else you have in that
multidimensional space in your chest.
Sounds like trouble to me.
If you think I would use any of that to
hurt Fry, then you've got a few wires
loose in your head!
Bender, this has got to be it. By
elimination you've got to be most likely
cause of Fry's death. So why don't you
just step back...
Sorry, not doing it.
00:22:25, 00:22:24, ....
Bender, step away from Fry.
No, you step away from him! You're just
Well, you put him in danger all the time!
It's not me, it's our job, and I try to
make it as safe as possible.
That's true, Bender.
Yeah, OK, fair enough. But you're not
always perfect. I remember a certain
space bee situation.
(quivering in anger)
Not fair. Don't you dare bring that up.
One time out of hundreds of trips.
Hey, one time is all it takes, you know.
BENDER AND LEELA
Shut up, Fry!
(steadily, to BENDER)
Logically, based on past history, and
your known capabilities, you are the
remaining factor most likely to kill Fry
in this room. I'm dying soon. Isn't it
interesting that the last one standing
will be you? Can't you analyze that and
I agree that using the past to predict
the future is a risky business. I'm not
moving. I'm just going to sit here and
not upset Fry any further, unlike you.
LEELA pulls out her pistol and aims it at BENDER.
I'm sorry, but I need you to step back.
If you don't I can and will deactivate
you. That would be the safest route
Back off, or I'll drop kick your metal
ass into tomorrow.
Fighting among ourselves isn't going...
BENDER AND LEELA
Shut up, Fry!
Sorry, Leela, but I'm not moving away
while you're this close to him,
threatening to off him too soon for me to
win my bet.
He's not in danger from me!
I may be just a robot, but logic suggests
that a crazy lady waving a gun near his
face may be danger---
The pistol accidentally discharges, singing FRY'S hair.
LEELA blinks, eye wide.
I'll take a step back if you take a step
Fine. I'll count to three...
No, I'll count!
They turn to look at him.
On the count of three. One, two, three!
No one moves.
You didn't take a step back!
Well, you didn't take a step back first!
Again. Else, the tongue! I'm serious!
OK, one, two, three.
LEELA and BENDER take a step back.
Again, one, two, three!
They take another step back. They repeat the process until
LEELA and BENDER have backed up to opposite walls. LEELA
sits down on the sofa.
OK, now Leela, you put down the pistol,
Bender, turn off your jackinator thingie!
Gradually, both LEELA and BENDER disarm, and guns, knifes,
electrical devices and weird looking blades pile onto the
floor. A cask of Olde Fortran drops by Bender.
Look at that! There's enough alcohol in
that thing to ignite the entire room!
Oh yeah? The firepower on the ground
next to you could take out this entire
building! And she needs to take off the
LEELA slowly and deliberately takes off her wrist thingie,
revealing her bracelet.
OK, good! At least we're still talking!
LEELA and BENDER are silent, and sit at opposite corners of
the room, disarmed, arms folded, glaring at each other.
FRY sits bound, alone, in the center of the whitewashed
room. The clock keeps ticking down, and the future
slouches toward the present.
00:20:58, 00:20:57, ...