Futurama

Fan Fiction

Death Clock Countdown, part 7
By JustNibblin'

               INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-AFTERNOON

               1:15:32,1;15:31,...

               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.

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                FRY
                      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.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      Is this my good side?

                                LEELA 
                          (ignoring him)
                      It looks like your death time is still
                      holding steady since late last night.

                                BENDER
                      And last but not least, I get this chair,
                      right?

               He sits, and all three friends are now facing each other, a
               few feet apart.  LEELA flicks through some other views on
               the display.

                                LEELA
                      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
               sees NIBBLER.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                FRY
                      Since when did you get a window?

                                LEELA
                      Last year.  You must not have been here
                      in a while...

               She remembers the circumstances, and she and FRY look in
               opposite directions.

                                BENDER
                      Well, things aren't looking good for
                      Hermes right now.  He's on his last
                      minute.

                                FRY
                      Probably was hoping not to pay us any
                      more than he had to.

                                LEELA
                      I'm worried about that open window.
                          (to wrist thingie)
                      Kermit, come in.

                                KIF KROKER (O.S.)
                      Kermit here.

                                LEELA
                      Everything set.

                                KIF KROKER
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      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
               room.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Simplify, simplify...camera far away,
                      power connections away from Fry, light
                      fixtures not directly overhead...

               He eye falls on BENDER, and stays there.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Bender, maybe you should sit in the
                      bedroom with Nibbler.  You could monitor
                      things from there.

                                BENDER
                      Bite my shiny metal ass!  I've got to
                      monitor the situation to keep the betting
                      fair!  I'm not moving.

                                LEELA
                      You are an uncontrolled factor...

                                FRY 
                      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...

                                LEELA
                      Ah, yes.

               She walks into the bedroom and reemerges with a coil of
               rope in her hand.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Fry, I've got a favor to ask.

                                FRY
                      Sure, anything.

                                LEELA
                      I need to tie you up.

                                FRY
                          (hopefully)
                      Really?

                                LEELA
                      Shut up Fry. I'm doing this for a reason.
                      I just want to tie you to the chair. 
                      That's it.

                                FRY
                      But why?

                                LEELA
                      Remember how I told you we needed to
                      control all unknown factors to identify
                      what's going to kill us?

               FRY nods.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                FRY
                      I thought we had moved past the cookie.

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                FRY
                      I don't really have a choice, do I?

                                LEELA
                      No.

                                BENDER
                      Then it's not really a favor, is it?

                                LEELA
                      Shut up, Bender.

                                FRY
                      It seems kind of strange...

                                BENDER
                      Seems like she's malfunctioning, if you
                      ask me.  Go ahead, ask me.

                                LEELA
                      It needs to be done.  We've got to get
                      this under control.

               FRY stands still for a long time.

                                FRY 
                      OK, I don't really understand, but I
                      trust you.

               After a moment of hesitation, LEELA starts to bind Fry to
               the chair.

                                LEELA
                          (sarcastically)
                      Yes, last night I learned exactly how
                      much faith you have in me.  Here, hold
                      still.

               She begins to attach various electrodes to his temples and
               chest.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                          (casually)
                      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.  

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Good. Now unless you swallow your tongue,
                      you can do nothing now that will end up
                      killing you.

                                FRY 
                      Is it really possible to swallow your t--

                                LEELA
                          (shouting)
                      DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING IT!  
                          (calming)
                      I will clamp your tongue down and force
                      you to breathe through a straw!  Just try
                      me!

               FRY's sits shock still, his mouth hanging open.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      You're allowed to close your mouth.

               She turns toward BENDER, and for a moment it seems like
               each is sizing the other up.

                                FRY
                      You can tie me, but Bender stays.  Or the
                      tongue gets it.

                                LEELA
                      Fine, you can stay for now.

                                BENDER
                      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, ...

                                                                SCENE 28

               INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-AFTERNOON

               00:53:28, 00:53:27, ...

                                LEELA
                      ...air ducts, wall space, bedroom,
                      bathroom, window interior, window
                      exterior, surrounding space...

               There is a knock on the door.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      ...front door?  Who got through?

               She switches to hall camera, then jumps up, knocking over
               her chair, shaking her head.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      No! It can't be!  Can't exist!  Can't!

               She whips out her pistol and slides along the wall.

                                VOICE (O.S.)
                      Helloooo!  I'm here!

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                DELIVERY BOY
                      Hey lady, what the hell you think you're
                      doing?

                                LEELA
                      What the HELL do you think you're doing?

                                FRY (O.S.)
                      Hey, are you the pizza guy?

                                DELIVERY BOY
                          (taking off costume)
                      Does the space pope lay eggs?  Apartment
                      1I, right?  Pepperoni and jalapeno
                      stuffed olive?

               LEELA looks down and sees a pizza box on the floor.  It has
               the label "GRIM REAPER PIZZA--GOOD ENOUGH TO DIE FOR."

                                LEELA
                      Pizza?  Pizza!  Food again?  How'd you
                      even make the phone call?

                                FRY
                      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
                      cookie.  

                                LEELA
                      Didn't we agree not to mention the
                      cookie?

                                FRY
                      It's not like I'm going swimming
                      afterward... say, would you mind paying
                      him? I'm a little tied up at the moment.

                                LEELA 
                      What? Oh sure.  Sorry about that.

                                DELIVERY BOY
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      How'd you get past the DOOP?

                                DELIVERY BOY
                      Hey, we promise 30 minutes or it's free. 
                      Do you think military checkpoints would
                      stop us?

               He leaves.  LEELA stares after him, then slams the door and
               turns on FRY.

                                FRY
                      Is there any way I could get a hand
                      loose?

               LEELA is scanning the pizza.

                                LEELA
                      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
                      handle anything.

               She opens the door to her bedroom.

               00:45:56, 00:45:55, 00:45:54...

                                                                SCENE 29

               INT-LEELA'S BEDROOM-CONTINUOUS

               NIBBLER looks up as LEELA slides a pizza into the room.

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                NIBBLER
                      The Santa robot has been disabled by me.

                                NIBBLONIAN#1
                      So we have learned.  Unfortunately, we
                      think we have been detected upon entry by
                      the armed forces of this planet.

                                NIBBLER
                      No matter, compared with the importance
                      of your mission.

                                NIBBLONIAN#2
                      Is it true then, that the Mighty One is
                      in danger?

                                NIBBLER
                      Yes, but what from I cannot say.  But the
                      source was reliable enough to warrant my
                      distress call.

                                NIBBLONIAN#3
                      What shall we do?

                                NIBBLER
                      Set up an inner perimeter behind the DOOP
                      guards.  If anything tries to move past
                      you, eat it.  The next hour will be the
                      critical time.

               The NIBBLONIANS salute and disappear, and NIBBLER shuts the
               window and creeps back toward the door.

                                                                SCENE 30

               INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-CONTINUOUS

                                LEELA
                      Hmmm... Window activity alert?  Nothing's
                      there...

               She jumps up, opens the bedroom door, and peers in.  As she
               walks back, her wrist thingmajig makes a beep.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                FRY
                      Time sure is crawling by slowly. 

                                LEELA
                      It's going all too quickly for me.

                                FRY
                      And there's another problem...

                                LEELA
                      Despite the risk, I'm getting really
                      tempted to gag you and let you breathe
                      through your nose.

                                FRY
                      ...you've made me drink six cans of Slurm
                      over the past few hours, and well,  you
                      know...

               LEELA sighs.

                                LEELA
                      Number one or number two?

                                FRY
                      You know, even those lizards got a little
                      more dignity than I'm getting here.

                                LEELA
                      Can you do it sitting in the chair?

                                FRY
                      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.

                                                                SCENE 31

               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.

                                FRY
                      I can't perform in front of an audience.

                                LEELA
                      What are you whining about?  Me seeing
                      your 'lower horn'? 

               FRY taps his foot.

                                FRY
                      Bender. Here. You. Out.

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Not this damn knife again!  You were
                      supposed to give this to me!

               She pockets the butter knife and steps back.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Watch him, don't let him do anything
                      besides do his business.

                                BENDER
                      What, you run a business out of here?

                                LEELA
                      It's a polite way of saying urinate. 
                      Make sure he does nothing besides
                      urinate.

                                BENDER
                      Oh, this is where you meatsacks spring a
                      leak?  I've actually never seen this.

                                FRY
                      That's it.  Both of you out.

                                LEELA
                      One minute, then I'm coming in.

               BENDER and LEELA back out and the door closes.

                                                                SCENE 32

               INT-LEELA'S BEDROOM, MOMENTS LATER

               00:37:11,00:37:10, ...

               LEELA taps her foot impatiently, glancing at her watch,
               while BENDER looks around and notices that NIBBLER is gone.

                                BENDER
                      Where's the little killing machine?

                                LEELA
                      Two minutes, Fry.  What's going on in
                      there?

                                FRY (O.S.)
                      Just a sec.

               LEELA taps her foot some more.

                                LEELA 
                      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.

                                FRY
                      Hands!  I was just washing my hands!

                                                                SCENE 33

               INT-LEELA'S LIVING ROOM-CONTINOUS

               00:35:11,00:35:10, ...

               LEELA marches in with FRY in tow.  NIBBLER is sitting,
               looking at the camera.

                                LEELA
                      How many times have I told you, DON'T do
                      anything today that you normally don't
                      do!  That goes for washing your hands!

                                FRY
                      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
               tightly.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      Breathe!  Breathing good!

               LEELA looks at the vital signs display.

                                LEELA
                      Very well...

               She loosens the bonds slightly.

               00:33:18, 00:33:17, ....

                                                                SCENE 34

               INT-LEELA'S APARTMENT-AFTERNOON-- DAY

               00:27:37,00:27:36, ...

                                LEELA
                      ...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
               lap.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Everything is normal and steady...clock
                      hasn't wavered at all.  What could we be
                      missing?
                          (to wrist thingie)
                      Kermit, Cloberalla.  Update?

                                KIF KROKER
                      Stand by... yes, Robot Santa has been
                      found in a dumpster two blocks from
                      Planet Express...

               NIBBLER stops purring to listen, then thinks better of it
               and continues.

                                KIF KROKER (CONT'D)
                      ...don't know what happened, but he is
                      safely secure now!  Do you copy!

                                LEELA
                          (relieved)
                      Oh yes!  Yes I do, thank you!

               Something beeps on BENDER.  A little printout emerges from
               his teeth.  He rips it off and reads.

                                BENDER
                      Oh great!  Assassination is no longer
                      acceptable as a way of winning the bet on
                      your death!  No more robot death squads!

                                LEELA
                      Oh, good news, everyone!

               She and everyone else winces.  She looks at the clock.

               00:26:30,00:26:29, ...

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                          (frustrated)
                      But why is nothing changing? The known
                      threats are falling away, and everything
                      else is accounted for or stable.  What
                      have we missed?

                                BENDER 
                      What about your pet?

                                LEELA
                      What are you talking about?  He's
                      harmless.

                                BENDER
                      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
                      uncontrolled factor.

                                LEELA
                      Hippopotamuses are extinct!  And we've
                      had him for years! Why would he be
                      dangerous now?

                                BENDER
                      Com'mon!  You know I'm right!

               LEELA looks down at NIBBLER.

                                LEELA
                      I'm sorry sweetie.  We need to take no
                      chances.

               NIBBLER whimpers, but only slightly.  LEELA stands up and
               lets him into her bedroom, and then she shuts the door.

                                LEELA (CONT'D)
                      Clock still hasn't changed a bit.

                                BENDER
                      Better safe than sorry.

                                LEELA
                      You're exactly right.  Tell you what,
                      would you mind moving back your chair
                      about five feet further away from Fry?

                                BENDER
                      Why?

                                LEELA
                      Better safe than sorry.  You are the only
                      remaining factor I can think of that we
                      haven't checked.

                                BENDER
                      Well, why don't you back off a little bit
                      too, then!  Last time I checked humans
                      were a bit more unpredictable than us
                      robots.

                                LEELA
                      True, but then I wasn't the one going
                      around playing existential limbo with
                      Fry's life, wasn't I?

                                BENDER
                      That was an experiment...

                                LEELA
                      And I wasn't the one who gave ten
                      thousand robots a vested interest in
                      killing Fry, did I?

                                BENDER
                      Slight twist of fate.  Could happen to
                      anybody...

                                FRY
                      Come on, Leela, you know you're not being
                      fair...

                                LEELA
                      I'm not?  Bender, do you still have your
                      self-jackinator rigged?

                                BENDER
                      Huh?  Yeah sure, but..

                                LEELA
                      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.

                                BENDER
                      If you think I would use any of that to
                      hurt Fry, then you've got a few wires
                      loose in your head!

                                LEELA
                          (patiently)
                      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...

                                BENDER
                      Sorry, not doing it.

               00:22:25, 00:22:24, ....

                                LEELA
                      Bender, step away from Fry.

                                BENDER
                      No, you step away from him!  You're just
                      as dangerous!

                                LEELA
                      How so!

                                BENDER
                      Well, you put him in danger all the time!

                                LEELA
                      It's not me, it's our job, and I try to
                      make it as safe as possible.

                                FRY
                      That's true, Bender.

                                BENDER
                      Yeah, OK, fair enough.  But you're not
                      always perfect.  I remember a certain
                      space bee situation.

                                LEELA
                          (quivering in anger)
                      Not fair.  Don't you dare bring that up. 
                      One time out of hundreds of trips.

                                BENDER
                      Hey, one time is all it takes, you know.

                                FRY
                      Guys...

                                BENDER AND LEELA
                      Shut up, Fry!

                                LEELA
                          (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
                      agree?

                                BENDER
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      I'm sorry, but I need you to step back.

                                BENDER
                      Nope.

                                LEELA
                      If you don't I can and will deactivate
                      you.  That would be the safest route
                      anyway.

                                BENDER
                      Bite my--

                                LEELA
                      Back off, or I'll drop kick your metal
                      ass into tomorrow.

                                FRY
                      Fighting among ourselves isn't going...

                                BENDER AND LEELA
                      Shut up, Fry!

                                BENDER
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      He's not in danger from me!

                                BENDER
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      I'll take a step back if you take a step
                      back.

                                BENDER
                      Fine. I'll count to three...

                                LEELA
                      No, I'll count!

                                FRY
                          (shouting)
                      I'LL COUNT!

               They turn to look at him.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      On the count of three.  One, two, three!

               No one moves.

                                LEELA 
                      You didn't take a step back!

                                BENDER
                      Well, you didn't take a step back first!

                                FRY
                      Again.  Else, the tongue! I'm serious! 
                      OK, one, two, three.

               LEELA and BENDER take a step back.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                FRY (CONT'D)
                      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.

                                LEELA
                      Look at that!  There's enough alcohol in
                      that thing to ignite the entire room!

                                BENDER
                      Oh yeah?  The firepower on the ground
                      next to you could take out this entire
                      building!  And she needs to take off the
                      jackinator thingie!

               LEELA slowly and deliberately takes off her wrist thingie,
               revealing her bracelet.

                                FRY 
                      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, ...

                                                                SCENE 35

Buddies